Integral Profiles: Rollie Stanich. Part 1: Who Do You Say That I Am?

November 25, 2009

Integral Profiles: Rollie Stanich. Part 1: Who Do You Say That I Am?

with Rollie Stanich and David Riordan

Rollie Stanich has been a vital part of the emerging Integral movement for years, having previously worked as the Chief Facilitator of Integral Spiritual Center, as a former managing editor of Integral Naked from 2004-2005, and as an ongoing contributor to Integral Life.

Rollie’s spiritual path is one of contemplative Christianity—he is a practitioner of Centering Prayer and a longtime student of Fr. Thomas Keating and co-wrote and co-produced the 2008 Integral Life DVD The Future of Christianity.

In this remarkable and long-overdue interview, Rollie discusses the book he is currently writing, titled Who Do You Say That I Am?—a question Jesus asks Simon in biblical scripture.  When Simon responds “You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus blesses him and changes his name to Peter—a symbol of the transformation of identity and spirit that can occur when we are able to meet Jesus exactly where we are.  Rollie talks about how this story has been taken for granted by the mythic church, accepting Simon/Peter’s response as the single correct answer to the question—even if we don’t really know what the words “Christ”, “”Messiah,” or “Son of God” actually mean.

But when Rollie is asked “Who do you say that I am?” he doesn’t hear it as a question with a single fixed answer, but as an invitation to reflect upon our own station in life, to see Christ wherever we happen to be, and to acknowledge the fact that our relationship with Christ can appear quite different at different points in our life’s journey.  Rollie’s practice of contemplation, prayer, and self-inquiry has helped him to see Christ everywhere he looks—a Christ in all four quadrants, a Christ for all states of consciousness, a Christ for all stages of development.  Christ is everywhere at once, loving us exactly where we are, while inviting us to step beyond ourselves.

Rollie is an extraordinary friend, teacher, and role model; an extraordinary example of clarity, compassion, and grace; and is dearly beloved by all who have been fortunate enough to feel the tender warmth of his heart.  Not to mention that he is clearly bringing sexy back to Christianity—and God knows that is a good thing!

Watch Now.

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