By Mattie Lennon.
John Moriarty was a Kerry man on whom it would be difficult to put a label. Poet Paul Durkin described this man of many parts as, “ . . . Ireland’s most outstanding philosopher-theologian since Bishop Berkeley in the eighteenth century.” Another writer described him as, “A missionary in the tradition of the early Irish monks.”
John, whom many described as a mystic, was born in North Kerry in 1938 and educated at Listowel and University College Dublin. He taught English Literature at the University of Manitoba in Canada for six years, and returned to Ireland in 1971.
Eist Recordings has now brought out a 4 CD set of John’s talks Celtic Spirituality in which he explains, in layman’s language what he calls “other dimensions of reality.” Several times in the course of those talks he reminds of how we tend to ignore our spiritual side. He emphasizes how unfortunate it is that, “ Our eyes become economic brain tumours.” In this series of talks, which were recorded in Glendalough, brings the listener on a spiritual journey in which the north Kerry habit of describing a woman as ,”a fine mare” is linked to the Hindu approach to the female. An inebriated Gaelic speaker, in Conemara, who couldn’t pronounce “W” in English, lost his bearings one dark night and asked John, “Fare the fuck are we”? What other theologian could use that story to illustrate how we are losing our way spiritually? Even the sentence structure of the Healy-Rayes is worked into the spiritual mix. This CD set is a must.
Details of Celtic Spirituality can be found at www.eist.ie