Across time, men and women have been drawn towards streams of wisdom that perennially flow from the world’s great sacred traditions. These streams are emerging anew in the modern era, expressing the inner dimensions as distinct from the exterior manifestations of religion. Each sacred tradition (including Christianity which is our grounding as an Order), has at its heart interior paths of transformation that are contemplative in nature — that is, they reflect an inner attention to spiritual reality that requires not only a different level of consciousness from our ordinary waking states, but a different manner of life that comes from daily contemplative practice. Men and women who walk and live these interior paths are students of sacred wisdom — they are seeking, and in seeking they are becoming sages who, in the traditional language, are life-long “lovers of wisdom” (philosophia).
As practitioners of wisdom tradition, we draw from the transmission of a great wisdom corpus from across the ages and from many different streams of tradition, beginning in the ancient world with the Hebrew wisdom found in the Psalms and the Writings, the Books of Enoch, and early Apocalyptic literature including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then, the Canonical and non-canonical Gospels including Thomas, Mary Magdalene and Philip (published together in the “Luminous Gospels”).
We draw from a host of early contributors to Christian wisdom, among them the writings of Ephraim of Syria, the Odes of Solomon, Evagrius, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Dionysius the Areopagite, the Cappadocians, Isaac of Nineveh, John Cassian, John Climacus, and Maximus the Confessor.
As the stream expands in the Middle Ages, from Benedict, Erigena, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis, Bonaventure, Raymond Lull, Meister Eckhart, Johy Rusbhroeck, the author of the Cloud, Julian of Norwich, Simeon the New Theologian, Gregory Palamas, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross.
Into the modern era through many such as Jacob Boehme, John Donne, William Law, Frederick von Hugel, Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, Evelyn Underhill, Alan Watts and Thomas Merton.
We honor saints and sages from across many traditions including: Philo of Alexandria, the writings of the Zohar, the works of Maimonides, Abraham Isaac Kook, Nahman of Bratslav, Rabia, Suhrawardi, Ibn al-‘Arabi, Jallaluddin Rumi, Hafez, and Mulla Sadra.
In the present we are nourished by the works and sapiential writings of many contemporaries, among them Beatrice Bruteau, Cynthia Bourgeault, Richard Rohr, Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, Maurice Nicoll, Kabir Helminski, Pema Chodron, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Arthur Green, David Cooper, Adin Steinsaltz, Jacob Needleman, Tom Cheetham, Valentin Tomberg, Philip Sherrard, Bede Griffiths, Daniel Matt, Lawrence Kushner, Eckhart Tolle, and Ken Wilber, just to name a few.