What is happening in the Amazon with the deliberate setting of fires is a desecration.  A murder of Nature’s Sacred Temple to make money for the idols of the Temple of Mammon.  A very great Evil indeed. 

Carl Jung predicted that in the Age of Aquarius, which we are now living through, Evil will no longer be beneath the table but above the table.  We will all see it quite clearly.  The issue will be: Will we have the will to deal with it? 

“Prayer” Photo by Nhan Thai on Pexels

One of the important lessons I learned from my study on Evil is this: The opposite of Evil is not the Good.  (Bad is the opposite of Good.)  The opposite of Evil is: The Sacred.  This is why dealing with the Via Positiva and our experiences of grace and awe, wonder and reverence and gratitude, is so primal if we are to prepare ourselves for spiritual warriorhood or prophecy.  If we are illiterate about the Sacred we will be ill prepared to take on powers of Evil.  Evil is not stupid; it goes where the power is for it is powerful and smart.  To combat Evil one must be immersed in the Sacred. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham Jail. Photographer unknown.

That is what the Via Positiva does for us, it marinates us in the Sacred and this is one reason why we are urged to remember our moments of sacredness.  They will inspire us and motivate us but also sustain us in the struggle.  The Via Transfomativa, our struggle for justice and battling against injustice and denial and lies, requires the Via Positiva.  “The prophet is the mystic in action.”

If, as David Orr teaches, “Hope is a verb with the sleeves rolled up” what further actions can we take at this time?

  • Reinvent what is clearly becoming an enfeebled democracy (not unlike that which preceded Hitler in the Weimer Republic) not only in Brazil and in America but in many places in the world where a vacuum has been created that is being filled by dark forces of nihilism, racial animosity, and extreme speciesism or narcissism as Pope Francis puts it.
Pope Francis’ encyclical may be read or downloaded here
  • Vote and organize others to vote for those not committed to denial of climate change and who still love future generations and the more-than-human world. Or run for office yourself.
  • Study Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” alone or in groups.
  • Study Rabbi Arthur Wasko’s work at The Shalom Center for offerings today on how to save the planet.

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society
See Matthew Fox, Original Blessing
Banner Image: “Slash and Burn” Rainforest burned for planting rice in Madagascar. The burning taking place in Brazil is only one part of the destruction being wreaked on rainforests worldwide: Africa, Indonesia, and the Arctic to name a few. Photo by Leonora Enking on Flickr.

Query for Contemplation

What are the implications from the teaching that “the opposite of Evil is the Sacred”?

Recommended Reading

Fox makes the point that religion has so often oversold the concept of “sin” that it has left us without language or power to combat evil. Through comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

In this book Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology). Here Fox lays out the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.

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10 thoughts on “Evil and the Desecration of the Earth”

  1. Avatar

    What is giving me hope is Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist and all the young people she has rallied. I thought of her when reading “A Prophet is the mystic in action.”

    1. Gail Ransom

      Dear Kathleen,
      Thank you for reminding us of Greta Thunberg and other youth who have stood up to power and taken prophetic action. Your comment brings to mind the young people of Parkland Florida who have stood up for gun control after loosing their friends to gun violence. Other young people have spoken out for peace, for our rivers, for racial justice. Their vision is unclouded and their voices are clear. Our work is to support them.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Avatar
    Rev. Dr. David Spence

    ……what is the sacred aspects of ‘fire’?; and how can the sacredness of the cleansing and renewing influence and impact of fair lead humanity into a new awareness of earthly life? Perhaps the way of spiritual prophecy might include ‘conviviality’ and a clarified ‘ecumenology’ that allows for a new generational relationship with namaste, shalom, et salaam……..ya ali madad!

  3. Avatar

    Fear not. We must not think in terms of battle, war, triumph over. Those are the ways of man. The way of birth and rebirth of transmutation, transformation are what are at play. Humanity has a choice. We will either join, work with, and co-create with Mother Earth or WE will suffer the consequences of our action and inaction. We will be humbled and brought low. Not by Her who loves us, but by our continued, and intolerable desecration. We will be awakened to our delusions. In those moments, our proper response is repentance and amendment of life. Like the Prodigal Child, we are loved and we will be welcomed back into relationship with our Source, the Source of all that is – seen and unseen in which we live and move and have our being. But like the Prodigal Child, it is we who must find the Wisdom in Step 1 and 2 – Our lives, separated and out of line with Source has become unmanageable and only in relationship with and in communion with Source can our sanity be restored.

    1. Gail Ransom

      Thank you John, for this powerful summation of our present situation. I find your comparison of our ecological crisis to the Prodigal Son story very helpful, for we are like that son, willful, short-sighted, and wasteful. He is the classic adolescent. Perhaps there is hope in this. Perhaps we will, or are, growing through our composite adolescence into a more mature stage of development, in which we could be ”working with and co-creating with Mother Earth.”
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

    2. Avatar

      Yes! Reverence can lift consciousness out of primal, instinctual fear-based behavior into wonder and appreciation, co-creativity. The powerful limbic system is still in control; we haven’t evolved a universal language of conscientiousness to replace “organic” fearful and aggressive emotions with “organic” nurturing, cooperative ones. Will neurobiology/psychology discover an antidote to unrestrained predatory behavior, especially in leadership/ruling elites? Some brains are less capable of social cooperation, more condusive to exploitation, control. I am convinced we are ultimately required to apprehend and resolve the “predator paradox” underlying human self-consciousness. Beyond being culturally mediated, it is psychoneurologically, sociobiologically mediated!!

  4. Avatar

    I love how clearly you frame the mystical experience as central to our motivation for activism. Mystical consciousness changes our values, energy, perception and work for we know first hand that we are sacred beings in a sacred world. When we experience this at the deepest levels, we are lived by the sacred – mystics who cannot not respond.

    1. Gail Ransom

      Dear John,
      Than you for your wise comments and clear description about how this mysticism – prophetic action relationship works. At first, developing our mystical nature might seem like denial, an escape from reality and the pressing need to DO SOMETHING NOW. But you remind us that the change maker is a key part of the change and offer the hope that when we invest in our own mysticism, we might actually know what to do to make the difference. Thank you.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditations Team

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