On Human Nothingness and Extinction, continued – Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox

To meditate on one’s own mortality is not always an easy thing to do—but it is very necessary in order to live life fully and gratefully.  To meditate on our own species’ possible extinction is even harder to do—but probably even more necessary.

It is not an easy meditation to undertake.  But it may reap dividends.  I used to tell my students to add one year to your age and then meditate on that year, the time that preceded your existence, the time before you were born–when you were nothing.  Meditate on your pre-existence when you were not yet.

Meister Eckhart urges us to return to our “unborn selves” to recover our freedom when we were not yet and that we can do this by way of meditation and letting go.

One meditation on our extinction would be to project ahead to a time when humans are no longer on the earth.  That time will come eventually.  What can it tell us about how to live now, while we are still here and thereby prolong our time as a species?

Even if we stumble through our current crises by hook or by crook, still there will come a time eventually we know when the earth will no longer be hospitable to the animals, plants and biosphere that makes our living possible.  Five or six billion years from now and our earth will be turned to a crisp by the sun we are told.

So some might say, “well, whether we last a billion years or five billion or a million years or just a few hundred years, what’s the difference?  What’s it all about anyway?”

All those questions are worth considering in a meditation on the future nothingness of our species.  Can we look back and ask, “Might we have done things differently?  How might we have responded to the teachings of a Jesus or Buddha or Isaiah or Mohammad or Black Elk differently?  More generously?  With greater gratitude for our existence after 13.8 billion years of gestation on the part of the universe?”

Might compassion, for example, which all the spiritual traditions we have inherited urge us to practice, have been woven more deeply into the fabric of our communities and cultures, our education, law, science,  business, economics, politics, media and religion?  What if we had lived lives more committed to compassion and to justice?  How would human cultures evolved if that were the case?  Might we have prolonged the lifetime of our species?

Source: On Human Nothingness and Extinction, continued – Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox

Recommended Reading

Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart

Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.”  — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.  

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity. “Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register

Christmas Eve, 2021: Eckhart on Our Birthing the Christ

By Rev. Matthew Fox 12/24/2021

Christmas is many things.  That is its power and its invitation.  It opens up avenues for archetypes galore to seize us and transform ourselves and society itself.

For example, we have been meditating during Advent on the damaged and toxic and unholy masculine that has permeated culture and history for centuries.  This has proven to be a very important and useful practice.  Advent is meant to be sort of a mini-Lent where we give up things, let go of things, in order to purify our souls and their intentions after all.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful grace if each of us and all of humanity were to fast from patriarchal mind sets during advent and beyond in preparation for some Good News about another way to live in the world?

Meister Eckhart, himself a very balanced man who entertained both the divine feminine and the sacred masculine in his consciousness, is a special guide to understanding deeper layers of meaning to Christmas.

Consider, for example, what he tells us of Christ’s birth.  Referring to John’s Gospel, he comments that John’s statement that the Word of God was ‘in the beginning’ tells us that “it is always ‘in the beginning,’” and

if it is always ‘in the beginning’ it is always in the process of being born, of being begotten….And so it comes about that the Son in the Godhead, the word ‘in the beginning,’ is always being born, is always already born.

Indeed, “In God the Son is constantly born and will constantly be born.”  When we undergo our many births and rebirths and breakthroughs, the birth “does not take place once a year or once a month or once a day but all the time….”  And as often as this birth takes place [in us], so does “the Son of God become born.”


Adapted from Matthew Fox, Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 330f.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: We give birth. Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash.

 

Rev. Matthew Fox, PhD, author, theologian, and activist priest, has been calling people of spirit and conscience into the Creation Spirituality lineage for over 50 years. His 36 books (translated into 74 languages), as well as his lectures, retreats, and innovative education models, have ignited an international movement to awaken people to be mystics and prophets, contemplative activists, who honor and defend the earth and work for justice. To learn more, visit matthewfox.org

Source: Christmas Eve, 2021: Eckhart on Our Birthing the Christ – Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox

Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox: Inviting Men to Their Deeper Selves

Our times are dire, even apocalyptic.  Millions in America today actually are committed to destroying democracy which, though flawed, seems to offer the best hope for survival as a community.  The earth is warming up to the point of no return and many corporations we have spawned run essentially on unbridled greed which means all other species are paying a severe price.

(Witness the latest oil spill in the news, this one in southern California.  Or the news that mighty AT&T has sunk millions into a radical right station whose goal is to destroy democracy.)

Women and men alike need to wake up and grow up fast as time is running out for homo sapiens, just as it did for all our previous hominid cousins, nine of which we have now named.  We are the last ones standing.  Will we be standing 100 years from now?

Growing up means, among other things, tapping into our deepest resources such as love and forgiveness, justice and compassion on the one hand; and putting our considerable intelligence and creativity into responding to the moment with useful science and technology.

It also means we learn to balance anew the healthy masculine and divine feminine in our souls and institutions including education, law, economics, business, religion, politics.

How can men in particular grow up and touch what is hidden even from ourselves? 

As a species, we can no longer be stuck in our adolescence.  Growing up spiritually means we can no longer afford to be stuck in puerile religion or puerile anti-religion.

We need to explore ancient wisdom and deep teachings about the Sacred Masculine and how we touch it and how it touches us and brings us in line with the Sacred Feminine.


Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. xiii, xv.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you sense that men are eager to awaken their sacred masculine, their deeper selves, in response to the challenges of our times?  How best to do this?


Recommended Reading

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.”
— Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

Source: Inviting Men to Their Deeper Selves – Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox

Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox: Men in Search of the Divine Feminine

Recently, while lecturing (on Zoom) about the need to balance the sacred feminine with the sacred masculine, a man asked me: “How do you recommend men entertain more the divine feminine?”
It is a good question.

photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I offered one answer yesterday in my sharing on Francis of Assisi because he truly stands out as a man who had an amazing balance of the feminine and the masculine.  It is so much in evidence in his poem on Brother Sun as I indicated in the video where I read much of the poem.  He found the divine feminine (but also the masculine) in nature.

So that is one answer: Check nature out.  And look for its feminine aspects—which are everywhere.

It is important to put our hunting-gathering instincts into answering that question, for a patriarchal culture has so flooded us with the uber masculine that we can find, in such a fog, neither the healthy masculine nor the feminine.

This is where praying the feminine names for divinity such as we have been meditating on for weeks becomes a meaningful—and important—exercise.

Such a practice brings the feminine back to one’s own consciousness.

So too is realizing our own mysticism.  Mysticism itself is feminine, as Dorothee Soelle described it.  Mysticism “comes closest to overcoming the hierarchical masculine concept of God….The mystical certainty that nothing can separate us from the love of God grows when we ourselves become one with love by placing ourselves, freely and without guarantee of success, on the side of love.”

The male mystics are very good at this (as are women mystics)

Continue reading “Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox: Men in Search of the Divine Feminine”

A Conversation with Matthew Fox

A fascinating chat with Matthew Fox, renowned spiritual theologian, popular speaker, author of over 35 books, and an early and influential proponent of Creation Spirituality.

Matthew Fox is an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest, and activist who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. Fox has devoted 45 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality, which is Continue reading “A Conversation with Matthew Fox”