Conversations deconstructing religion and cultivating a relational spirituality centred on the practice of presence to and love for one's own self, others, the cosmos, and God.
We produce The Podcast of the Urban Mystic which as the public face of our work. On a project management level this includes planning the season and episodes, cultivating relationships with our guests, and editing and publishing. We often meet with listeners.
The podcast is our honest and vulnerable grappling with the absence of God in faith as institutionalised and commercialised and the quest for an authentic relational spirituality centred on the presence of God.
We meet people one-on-one in person and on Zoom for spiritual accompaniment.
Most spirituality focuses on spiritual formation centred on going to church, finding an opportunity to serve others, reading the biblical text (lectio divina) for one's self, formational growth, and wrestling with the discovery of God's plan within the story of your life. These all wrestle with the mystery of God as hidden and silent in one's life. And though these activities are understood to lead toward character formation toward Christlikeness, with one's relationship with God based on faith and faithfulness. In this paradigm God remains distant and hard to engage. This does not satisfy the deeper longing for intimacy with God.
Pursuing intimacy with God is challenging in a world where faith is substituted for relationship, mystery for presence, and silence for speaking. Where God is viewed as Ultimate Mystery it is absence and silence which become God's primary attributes. Spirituality is then tied to wondering, reflecting, longing, and searching for meaning. I believe that our spiritualities substitute the mystery of God, who is a self-revealing Person who wants to know and be known, for a mystery that cannot be known. Here God's voice is traded a silence that can never be heard to speak. And God's desire to draw near in Person displaced by an absence where God is never invited into, waited for, or pursued.
As urban mystics we offer spiritual accompaniment to those seeking to enter deeply into their living and loving in relation to their self, others, the cosmos, and God. This is based on the values and practices we hold, which include, authentic and vulnerable sharing, deep listening, and the practice of the presence of God.
In Season 5 of the podcast we're stepping forward to define and establish 'relational spirituality'. The first part of the series is between the two of us and the second engaging guests.
In addition to our one-on-one conversations on Zoom, we're also trialling an accompaniment process enabling you to connect with your deep self through the story of your key relationships. This then flows into cultivating a practice of relational presence to your self, others, and God. If you'd like to participate, please contact us.
If you're looking to cultivate a relational spirituality meet us for a conversation online or in person. We'd love to explore how we can support you to cultivate a practical and meaningful spirituality centred on the presence of God.
Tim is doing his PhD at the University of Pretoria with the working title Mystagogy and Self-revelation: Reflecting on the practice of the presence of God and engaging with theology and contemplation.
Tim is published about in Gary Best's Naturally Supernatural: God may be closer than you think (2007), which is available on Amazon. 2007.
Tim contributed to the 1st Edition of the Divine Feminine Version of the NT, now in its 2nd Edition and available on Amazon. Editors: Shawna R. B. Atteberry and Mark M. Mattison. 2017.
Tim's Master's dissertation is also available in UNISA's online repository, see the abstract and link:
"In this dissertation the author reflects on the absence and presence of God within Christianity. This is accomplished through engaging and seeking to understand key conversations following the Copernican Revolution and the-death-of God. The goal is to understand and model how it is that Christianity defines itself as a faith tied to knowing God and yet is appraised by many as a religion characterised by God's conspicuous silence, absence and death. These are 'God after God' conversations understood to include contributions from philosophers, Essentialists, and Christians following the-death-of God. These 'God after God' conversations are tied to the institutional expression of Christianity and the diversification of and within religion during the modern era. It is with this in mind that the conjunction and disjunction between Christianity as religion, spirituality, and mysticism can perhaps enable a post-institutional expression of Christianity as the practice of the relational presence of God."
Timothy Victor, 2019, Exploring the 'God after God' conversations in relation to God's absence and presence. https://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/26548
Tim thrives on an active lifestyle in mind and body. He loves hiking, rock climbing, and surfing. He's an urban mystic committed to relational spirituality. He hosts The podcast of the Urban Mystic (link) yet is perhaps best known for his work with those self-defined as 'spiritual but not religious', church leavers, and deconstructers. He is establishing an approach to spiritual accompaniment rooted in the relational presence of God which differs relationally from the devotional spirituality and centring prayer.
Tim holds a Diploma in Theology (Missiology) from Cornerstone Christian College as well as a B.A. Honours in Religious Studies and Masters in Theology (Spirituality, Cum Laude) from the University of South Africa. He is also pursuing a Doctorate in Theology (Spirituality) focusing on Theology, Contemplation, and the practice of the presence of God.
Steve hosts the podcast and meets people one-on-one in person and online for conversations about life and the practice of the presence of God.
Steve holds a B.A. Honours in Psychology from the University of South Africa.
Steve lives in the Netherlands.
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