We are continuing to share portions of Deena Metzger’s recent powerful meditation from her blog, on the times we are undergoing. She writes:
When people realize they have a life-threatening illness, they begin to re-examine their lives, considering deeply what matters and what should fall away.
Deena tells us that she underwent such an examination and soul journey when she faced death from a cancer emergency years ago.
This deep soul journey parallels the physical process of dying itself when so much that we have fervently insisted is indispensable to us, falls away, becomes irrelevant, and what has meaning and is really essential is respected. When, if we are lucky and recover from what has threatened to devastate us entirely, we begin our lives again, we know we cannot, must not, return to how we were living before, we cannot return to the ways that were killing us and others.
In the face of death we learn to re-examine our lives— and this can prove to be a societal opening to mortality as well as an individual’s. Thus our economic systems and political systems and educational systems and religious systems are subject to death and transformation also. Right?
Are we daring to do that? Is this a lesson the virus has come to remind us? The “seed that must die” for growth to happen that Jesus spoke of 2000 years ago includes our institutions as well as our personal egos.
How healthy are the systems we have in place? Whom are they serving?
Deena Metzger sees the tribulation we are undergoing to be “a spiritual initiation of the highest order.”
Initiation is Spirit’s way of breaking us down so that we might be recreated in a wisdom way. This is an astounding and awesome initiation by Spirit. It is one of the ways illness transforms us.
An invitation is afoot to take stock of our culture and indeed of our species as we face the limits to both and re-examine the paths we are on. The covid-19 virus together with the extinction spasm we are undergoing with the Climate Change beckon us to reconsider our value systems. What really counts? What really matters?
In this liminal moment, this passage between one world and another, let dying strip us down to the heart as dying does, and begin again. It is a little like a bone marrow transplant –- the marrow is of the only culture that can survive these times, the one in which our species and the other species all thrive together, one that is committed to the life force of all beings, which, hopefully, will include us again.
See: Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet.
Banner Image: “One of a herd of Elephants we met in a grove who all seemed to be in acts of devoted adoration of the trees. We were at Mashatu Wild Animal preserve.” Photo by Deena Metzger, from her blog post “Extinction Illness: Grave Affliction and Possibility” (also a featured article in Tikkun).
Queries for Contemplation
Do you also see this current time as a possible “spiritual Initiation of the highest order”? What follows from that?
What might follow if our species and our culture wakes up to the lessons being offered us at this time?
Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet
Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow. Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Living in Sin