Last fall Thrivent For Lutherans co-sponsored an evening lecture at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio near San Francisco by author Lynne Twist. Although Thrivent has recently openly communicated its intention to abandon its Lutheran heritage (as if its Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army efforts weren't clear enough), it had no excuse as a "faith based organization" (as Thrivent describes itself) to financially support a Mystic trying to improve the condition of people's souls.
Alarmingly, Lynne Twist was the keynote speaker for Thrivent's 2010 national sales conference at the Minneapolis HQ.
Reading my partial transcript below of the Interfaith presentation doesn't do it justice. It must be experienced. Too many times she approached what could have developed into a Scriptural point on stewardship or contentment in Christ, but swerved off the road and into the "Self," "The Other," or "Consciousness." Here is the embedded video.
I'm talking about sufficiency; we're trained to want more than we need. Sufficiency is precise. It's being met by the universe with exactly what you need over and over and over again. And I say that that's the radical surprising truth about your life, about my life, and about life: that we actually get exactly what we need. It's not an amount of anything, now that you're looking in the 'amount' category there. I want to disabuse you of that. It's a way of seeing, a way of being, a way of perceiving the world.
And I'm going on to say something else if I could, because this really kind of makes my point. I have another 80+ year old teacher [editor's note: the other teacher mentioned earlier was Buckminster Fuller] who is Brother David Steindl-Rast the great Benedictine monk, who is the greatest living scholar on 'gratefulness' n the world or many people would say that and I'm one of them. And Brother David is steeped in gratefulness and he has a website [redacted] which I recommend. He writes on gratefulness, he speaks on gratefulness, he lives it, and I see people who know him and say, "Don't you just love Brother David?" And so I asked him, "What's the difference between gratefulness and gratitude?" His answer fills out what I'm saying, so I want to give that answer to you from Brother David. He said: gratitude has two great branches. One is gratefulness. The other is thanksgiving.
Gratefulness is the experience of life when the bowl of life is so full that it's almost overflowing but not quite. The bowl of life is so full that it's bowed to the top, but not yet dribbling over the edges. And that's the great-full-ness of life. That's when you're in the great-FULL-ness of life. And when you're in the great-FULL-ness of life, when you're in that experience, you're one with god, you're one with the universe, there is no 'other.' And that's so 'full-filling' that the bowl of life overflows and becomes a fountain which puts you in the other branch of gratitude called thanksgiving.
And when you're in the branch of gratitude called thanksgiving, the bowl of life is overflowing and you're so grateful that there's an 'other.' All you want to do is serve and give and contribute and make a difference. And that's so full-filling, that it puts you in the great-FULL-ness of life again, so etc. You can go back and forth between the two branches of gratitude.
What I'm illustrating here is (gesturing) this is sufficiency and this is abundance. In my understanding of life, I say that true abundance only flows from sufficiency, from enough. It never comes from more. Grasping for more will only lead you to lack and thinking you need more again. But from the context of sufficiency, of wholeness, of the great-FULL-ness of life, that overflows into true, authentic abundance from which we share, give, contribute, serve, and have a depth of your own wholeness and sufficiency and abundance in your heart.
Of course it wouldn't be a lecture in San Francisco without a collectivist motivation.
I have a mission on this planet to facilitate the reallocation of the world's resources - financial resources - away from fear and help move them towards love. Away from death, destruction and consumption, and help move them toward life, and sustainability, and the health and well being of all children, and all species, for all time.