A striking contrast to the “kingdom of Caesar.” These contrasting visions are in as much collide today as in the first century.
How we live and love matters. And has consequences. Not only on a personal level but on a systemic and political level as well.
Marcus identified the heart of the Christianity the process of transformation. And that process liberates. Liberates us from ignorance and blindness, from bondage and exile, doubt and anxiety, violence and fear. And liberates us from the sting of death. Even liberates us from God and our misconceptions about the nature and reality of God. Marc’s work in its own way is an exploration of Meister Eckhart’s prayer “O God save me from God!”
Marcus’s work helped release Christianity from its dogmatism and reestablished it as one of the great wisdom traditions.
But Marcus did not believe or think that Christianity was the only portal for encountering the sacred or the only path of transformation. Echoing the late Swedish Bishop Krister Stendahl, Marcus would say “we can sing our love songs to Jesus with abandon without needing to demean or deny other religions.”
Religions are not all the same. Each provides distinctive angles of vision. We learn from them all. But it is suggested there is a “participatory knowing” that is recognized by all the great religious traditions. Marcus shared this affirmation of perennial philosophy, also known as the primordial tradition.
In his last book Marcus acknowledged some of his own mystical experiences. In doing so he was witness to the reality of first hand religious experience and its varieties. What William James called “The More” or “multiverse pluralistic mysticism.” I prefer the term, “The More.”
The More, Ultimate Reality, Is-ness, Such-ness, what some of us call God, inter-penetrates every part of nature, including ourselves, the universe, and extends timelessly and spacelessly beyond it. The technical word for this understanding of God is Panentheism. All in God. Marcus had a panentheistic view of what is.