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Qualities and stances of authenticity

“Inside us and outside us is mystery, awe, wonder…There is also love, motivation, compassion and responsibility… There is the possibility for inner certainty, a peace, a contentment and endlessness in our innermost being.”        Joe Mathews (link


      Profound Humanness is the ability to live life in which each moment is significant and meaning-filled. The quest for meaning in life is the most profound of all human quests, far deeper than the quest for money, sex, status or power. Once a person tastes living in profound humanness, a consciousness emerges that there is “no other way to live.” One’s journey becomes a path of wonder and empowerment which emerges out of the experience of being wholeheartedly and deeply engaged in life. It encompasses states of being which are open and accessible to everyone. 


      Profound humanness encompasses living a life without illusions, a commitment to continual growth and inner development and taking care of ourselves. The journey of Profound Humanness creates a new consciousness which is based on one’s own interior work. It is a desire to embrace an authentic and purpose-filled life. We become aware that changing ourselves comes before expecting others to change. The world no longer becomes a place to put blame on others. We take responsibility for our own life. 


      The experience of Profound Humanness elicits authentic engagement; embracing mission, purpose and meaning. It includes the desire to contribute to a significant or noble cause which is too big for any one person or group to accomplish in a lifetime. Out of a deep sense of love, we are released to service for the world, just as we are, wherever they are. Profound Humanness is discovering a kinship and connection with every human being. Thomas Merton, in a moment of epiphany while standing at 4th & Walnut in Louisville Ky, described feeling as if blinders were removed from his eyes and he saw the divine in each human being passing by. 

“It was like waking from a dream of separateness…This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud…I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate…There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”                                                               

 Thomas Merton “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander” 


      The 12 areas of Profound Humanness described by The Ecumenical Institute are: Event, Mystery, Consciousness, Action, Totality, Corporateness, Declaration, Creativity, Presence, Integrity, Care, and Effulgence. The charts that follow on include poetry and prose that illuminate the elements and experiences that make up Profound Hummanness. (link to charts).  They are described in detail by 12 Talks on Profound Humanness given by various members of the Eucumenical Institute- which later became known as the Instititue of Cultural Affairs.  (insert link to talks here) A summary of the 12 talks precedes the actual talks. (insert link)


      The first chart: “12 Qualities of Profound Humanness” (insert chart) is a road map of the 12 talks. The second chart, (insert chart) uses descriptive prose to illustrate the components of internal states of being and their external manifestations. A version of Profound Humanness qualities through the lens of feminine dynamic can be found here.  (insert here)


“Why is it that you want to be free with such passion and intensity? It is not merely for your own liberation. It’s for the transformation of the whole world, for the enlightenment of the whole universe, for evolution of consciousness itself. Suddenly you begin to care about life, you begin to care about what happens here, about your own effect on the world.”  -Andrew Cohen