Ponder-worthy words from Parker Palmer

I’ve lately been reading a lot of (and listening to podcasts by) Parker J. Palmer, an author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues including education, community, leadership, spirituality, vocation, and social change. I came upon a powerful passage  that speaks to the uncertainty and loneliness that knots up so many of our souls:

Here is the insight most central to spiritual experience: we are known in detail and depth by the love that created us and sustains us, known as members of a community of creation that depends on us and on which we depend. This love knows our limits as well as our potential, our capacity for evil as well as good, the persistent self-centeredness with which we exploit the community for our own ends. Yet, as love, it does not seek to confine or manipulate us. Instead, it offers us the constant grace of self-knowledge and acceptance that can liberate us to live a larger love.

3 thoughts on “Ponder-worthy words from Parker Palmer”

  1. Adele,

    Already, you have enriched your readers exponentially! What a marvelous alternative view Parker Palmer presents to the world of education. I went to the Amazon.com page and read some of the intro and pages available. I definitely will be ordering this book.

    “Knowing is a profoundly communal act.”

    “Good teachers bring students into community with themselves and with each other–not simply for the sake of warm feelings, but to do the difficult things that teaching and learning require.”

    “Most academic disciplines have largely abandoned truth in favor of facts and reasons; spirituality is the one discipline I know still committed to compassing truth in the round.”

    “Spiritual traditions build on the great truth that beneath the broken surface of our lives there remains–in the words of Thomas Merton–“a hidden wholeness.”

    What a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom is here contained!

    Thanks for bringing it to our attention…….John H.

  2. Always happy to share Palmer. Been flying through his books for the past couple of years, and just started his book on faith and politics (Healing the Heart of Democracy). His words constantly challenge and bless me!

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