Morton T Kelsey was my teacher, mentor, spiritual director and friend from 1974, when I first studied under him in graduate school at Notre Dame University, until his death in 2001. Morton Kelsey bequeathed me his unpublished writings, lectures and notes, including his personal correspondence with C G Jung, letters including dreams that determined the future direction of his vocation.
MUSINGS contains selected insights, stories and data that focus on the importance of our encounters within the spiritual realm, specifically through the practicality, mystery and guidance one may gain in various ways through dream work.
MUSINGS FROM MY MENTOR MORTON
FIVE ESSENTIALS FOR MATURE AND GROUNDED SPIRITUALITY
1. TRADITION– Build upon the foundations laid by others who came before us: cultural realities, roots that shaped those times, the life and teaching of spiritual leaders through the centuries, historic documents, historical human development, religious traditions, creeds, historical religion.
2. MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE– Direct encounter with Divine Presence; symbols, active imagination, sacraments, deep rooted and ancient rituals, personal numinous experience of Divine Presence, prayer with and without images, transpersonal encounters.
3. HONEST SCIENTIFIC REASONING– The scientific method is one valid way for accumulating knowledge. Spirituality need never be mindless or superstitious. When new data emerges, we must find a new hypothesis, always leaving room for new truth to emerge. Even so, nothing is more sterile than pure thinking void of spiritual experience combined with psychological insight, an awareness of tradition and genuine compassion for other people.
4. PSYCHOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE– There must be a balance of interrelatedness between psychology (who I am) and spirituality (Whose I am). While psychology by itself is not enough, faith without self-knowledge is also inadequate for modern humanity in search of one’s soul and psyche.
5. A CIVILITY THAT GENUINELY CARES– To love and care for others we must first take good care of ourselves. In the words of Jesus of Nazareth, “Love others as you love yourself.” It is impossible to love other people if we do not love and care for ourselves. We cannot give what we do not receive. We cannot reproduce what we do not model. Our primary prerequisite is to grow and heal and serve out of the overflow. We cannot guide others further than we are willing to grow ourselves. Out of such responsible, accountable, conscious and proactively healthy self-caring we can then reach out and connect with others who may eventually choose to benefit from our hospitality, generosity and consciousness. In this way we build more reliable networks of compassion and a depth of loyalty that withstands every storm that will come.
(Hal Edwards has paraphrased and updated Kelsey’s Five Essentials To Mature Spirituality, found in his book, Companions on the Inner Way, Crossroad, NY, 1983, p. 43ff.)
LISTENING IS OUR KEY TO CONSCIOUSNESS AND COMMUNITY
“Real listening is a kind of prayer, for as we listen, we penetrate through the human ego and hear the Spirit of God, which dwells in the heart of everyone. Real listening is a religious experience. Often, when I have listened deeply to another, I have the same sense of awe as when I have entered into a holy place and communed with the heart of being itself.”
TEN STEPS TO LISTENING, BY MORTON KELSEY
“It is impossible for us to love other people unless we listen to them.”
(Excerpts) Page 67ff.,
CARING: How Can We Love One Another?
by Morton T. Kelsey
1. CEASE TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF AND BE SILENT: Obviously, we cannot listen until we stop talking.
2. BE SILENT WITH THE OTHER PERSON IN AN ACTIVE WAY: open, active, receptive, alive, without letting your mind wander or daydream. Keep eye contact, let your body language tell the person you care.