One wonders if the coronavirus crisis that our species is facing today might be an ultimate example of the Via Negativa in practice—one that leads to much deeper personal and social, indeed species, transformation.
Just as the photos from space 45 years ago made clear that our nations are in our heads (and not in the earth), so too the challenges we face might be more in our heads and hearts than in the earth as such.
If so, the solution to global climate change is to be found in our heads and hearts where transformation happens and structures are birthed and let go of. This is where the spirit acts, this is where the Divine Mother, Kali, Hag, Black Madonna, Kwan Yin—however we name her—does her work. And her work is one of creativity and birthing (thus “spirit” is feminine in Hebrew and therefore in the Bible).
The Via Creativa is so often born of the Via Negativa, suffering precedes birthing just as an emptying precedes a filling. Or as Meister Eckhart put it, “I once had a dream, though a man I was pregnant, pregnant with nothingness. And out of this Nothingness God was born.”
Might Divinity or Spirit or Unity be born out of the crisis we find ourselves in today as a species? Here is one way it could happen: Why not gather the truths we are learning about the suffering of Mother Earth (climate change) and all her creatures, so threatened by extinction in our time; and the suffering of humanity from the coronavirus and do the following: Declare war on those dangers.
Has the time arrived to replace a militaristic paranoia of war against one another fueled by nationalism, jingoism, xenophobia, hatred, or some idolatrous ideology and to stop feeding our military machines for a doomsday confrontation and instead put that money toward a pool that researches and supports standing up to climate change as well as to coronavirus?
Money to research our common survival therefore. A true emergency—like WWII was—but one aimed not at one another but at our common enemies as a species: namely, ourselves. Our Narcissism as a species. Our hatred toward Mother Earth.
The money we would save to invest in this new battle would be $56,000 per second! That is what we are currently spending on military expenditures as a species (of that, 51% is being spent by the USA). We might keep a modest amount for policing purposes (maybe 10%?) to support peace where strife raises its head around the world or to assist in emergencies often exacerbated by human folly such as hurricanes, rising seas, etc.
This might prove to be a Via Creativa and Transformativa born of a genuine Via Negativa we are undergoing that respects no gender, class, ideology, nation or culture. Kali would have woken us up. (to be continued)
See Andrew Harvey, The Return of the Mother
Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.
Banner Image: Jimboomba Police rescued a koala and her joey from fire in the Gold Coast hinterland as wild fires spread across Queensland State. Roughly 1 billion animals perished in the 2019-2020 bushfires; 25,000 koalas are estimated to have survived. Photo from “Australian fires have devastated koala population. Could they be introduced in New Zealand to prevent extinction?” on South China Morning Post, 1/13/2020.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you also recognize in the current coronavirus plague an invitation to change our ways as a species? An invitation to transformation of self and structures to align more readily with Mother Earth? What follows from that awakening?
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