13 Pillars Summarizing Our Daily Meditations Journey So Far

I love the picture accompanying today’s Daily Meditation!  Taken in 1941 during the construction of the Jefferson Memorial and its northern seawall adjoining the Tidal Basin, it shows the pillars that would be responsible for holding the seawall – and the memorial – stable.

In 2011, however, a $13.5 million restoration was required to replace the seawall, as the pillars were 5 feet too short to reach bedrock. The seawall of the Memorial had been been sinking for years and its settlement threatened the stability of this beloved landmark. 

We are reminded how important solid foundations are for any enterprise.  Didn’t Jesus say something about not building a house on sand? 

“Legend of Aataentsic – She goes by many names: “Pachamama” for South American Indians, “Gaia” in Greek mythology. “Terra Mater” in Roman myth, “Mahimata” in Hinduism’s Rid-Veda. “Eorban Modor” for Germanic and Northern peoples, and “Mother Earth” as named and celebrated by North America’s First Nations.” Photo by Dennis Jarvis, Flickr

That is what these Daily Meditations are all about—grounding ourselves by building a deep foundation that prepares us as mystics and prophets, activists and contemplatives, at a critical “turning point” in human and planetary history.  A foundation that is both real and deep. 

We began these Daily Meditations on Mother’s Day, 2019.  Why Mother’s Day?  First to honor Holy Mother Earth, who is in such peril today precisely because we have lost the sense of her sacredness.  And second, because a toxic masculinity—one that deals in death and reptilian brain energy of win/lose and “I am number one” (or my country or my race or my religion, etc)–needs displacing.  The return of the divine feminine is integral to the liberation from a patriarchal world view that preaches a “fatalistic self-hatred” as Adrienne Rich named it.  We need a Sacred Masculinity that calls forth the nobility of both women and men.

Following are the Pillars we have been laying down:

Pillar One: Sacredness of Mother Earth and all the lives she supports, including our own

Pillar Two: The Divine Feminine

“Man Looking Up” by Lucas Piero, Pexels

Pillar Three: The Sacred Masculine

Pillar Four: A Sense of the Sacred, therefore a return of the Cosmic Christ archetype

Pillar Five: A Sense of the Sacred, therefore a return of the Buddha Nature archetype

Pillar Six: A Sense of the Sacred, therefore a return of the Tselem or the Image of God archetype

Pillar Seven: Natural Ecstasies  (actually 7 more pillars?)

Pillar Eight: Tactical Ecstasies (actually 7 more pillars?)

The Via Transformativa in action: “Free Hugs, 8/4/19 Dayton” Photo by Becker1999, Flickr

Pillar Nine: Via Positiva

Pillar Ten: Via Negativa, Grief & Suffering

Pillar Eleven: Via Negativa, Silence & Contemplation

Pillar Twelve: Via Creativa

Pillar Thirteen: Via Transformativa

Lots of pillars to anchor into the bedrock of our souls.  A deep foundation.  With more still to come.

Rabbi Heschel: “There lies in the recesses of every human being a prophet.”  Yes!  But we must get to the recesses.  Thus, these pillars.

Banner Image:: Timber piles installed during the construction of the northern sea wall adjoining the Jefferson Memorial. Photo: National Park Service

For Deeper Contemplation

Look back over the previous Daily Meditations and consider them, even their titles, in light of this meditation on the 13 Pillars.

Do you feel the truth in your own recesses of your role as prophet that Rabbi Heschel speaks of—the prophet he teaches is “one who interferes.”  Are these pillars helping to deepen your prophetic calling?

Be with the picture of the inadequate pilings for the Jefferson Memorial.  What is it telling you?

Recommended Reading

Go back over the titles of our Daily Meditations Archive. As you reread and sit with them, what new insights come to you?

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.

An introduction to the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, Illuminations reveals the life and teachings of one of the greatest female artists and intellectuals of the Western Mystical Tradition.  At the age of 42, she began to have visions; these were captured as 36 illuminations–24 of which are recorded in this book along with her commentaries on them. “If one person deserves credit for the great Hildegard renaissance in our time, it is Matthew Fox.”  – Dr Mary Ford-Grabowsky, author of Sacred Voices.

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6 thoughts on “13 Pillars Summarizing Our Daily Meditations Journey So Far”

  1. Avatar

    There is a moving in the deep. There is a knowing in the dark. This is the best place to start, to deepen our ground, to birth from, to recognize our wholeness and connected-ness to the divine. Thank you Matthew and Team for these crucial daily meds!

    1. Gail Ransom

      Dear Brent,
      Thank you for writing back. Its good to hear from you. “There is a moving in the deep. There is a knowing in the dark….” Sounds like another song is being born out of that deep ground!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      FOr the Daily Meditations Team

  2. Avatar

    All truth is God’s truth
    I am a recent subscriber to these daily meditations, which feel blessed to have stumbled upon on my spiritual journey toward mystical, unitive being. As a 45-year Christian it has been during my awakening in the past 5 years that I have discovered the amazing world of historic and modern mystics which is driving me to become more inclusive in thinking and being. Thanks for sharing your vast wisdom to help create new generations of contemplative prophets to guide us into a sustainable future. It is in serving that we lead.
    David Bradshaw

    1. Gail Ransom

      Dear David,
      Thank you for writing. We are glad to have you join our Daily Meditations community and become an avenue for your discovery of the mystics. For too long the church has neglected the tradition of the mystics, discounted them actually, and concentrated on theology and morality. And yet, the spiritual experience is what we all long for. We hope that you continue your exploration of the mystics and they continue to expand your thinking and being. Welcome!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditations Team

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