Longing for I-Thou relationship

Dear Cynthia,

I’ve read 5 of your books and am currently in the Introductory Wisdom School (thru CAC).

I am a Christian in Exile; raised Methodist but took to eastern philosophy when I was 17. I’ve been meditating regularly since 1973, done countless retreats (including a full year retreat) and I even part-time teach a secularized Buddhist meditation and lead public retreats. I’m very grateful for my Buddhist and Vedic knowledge and experiences but I can’t find, and long for the I-Thou relationship with God.

So this has drawn me back to my Christian roots, and your work (and Fr Richard Rohr’s) is my main diet. I have been re-reading the New Testament by way of lectio divina but have hit a snag. Even after I have brushed away some St. Paul’s pronouncements, as much as I try, I can’t swallow the fundamental tenets of the Apostles Creed; particularly Virgin birth, Resurrection, that Jesus is the Son of God, and the whole ‘Jesus died for my sins’ etc.

Does this mean I can never have a relationship with the mystic Christ?

Any advice very gratefully received.

Whenever I watch videos of you, or hear your voice thru your written word, my heart fills with love. I wish I could attend your wisdom schools in person, but I’m in Australia.

Anyway, thank you very much for your work.

With much appreciation,


Dear Ian,

I would say trust the yearning in your heart and that deep sense of heart connection that is already manifesting in you. That is the reality. The words, the tenets, the doctrines: they gradually fill in (or don’t!) as you learn more about the allegorical and anagogical (unitive) “senses” of scripture (i.e., the more subtle interpretive levels). For now, I would simply offer as a start toward reframing that some of these claims which strike you as intellectually preposterous reveal themselves, when received at the emotional level as variations on “oh wow!!” They reflect the gut-level sense that this Jesus was of a different order of being, a qualitatively higher level of intensity, purity, holiness, and beauty than anything they had ever seen or could compare him with on earth. Like when you yourself fall desperately, head over heels in love. Your beloved is the ONLY one, even if there are three million other human beings immediately around you. These hyperbolic statements reflect acknowledgement that we are in the presence of a master of a quantumly higher order of being.

Since it is from this order of being that the Christ Mystery now reaches out to you, I would suggest for now that simply accept the “oh wow” for what it is, the place it comes from, and don’t lose the preciousness of this gift you’ve been given in a dogfight over doctrine. Let the doctrine be, stay with what’s happening in your heart. The rest will fill in over time. But you are already tasting the Christ Mystery.

All blessings! And thanks for the beautiful honesty and transparency of your heart.