Easter Monday: From Fear of Death to Living Fully

Yesterday we meditated on the teachings of Otto Rank who, though a Jew and not a Christian, proposed that Eater and its message of Resurrection for all was the “most revolutionary idea proposed” in the history of the human race.  Revolutionary because, in his reading of the history of our species, the fear of death and our consequent d “immortality projects” have dictated much of human history from the get go.

Flowers affirming the return of spring. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Now, since Easter, all are promised Resurrection, one does not have to be a Pharaoh or king or famous to live beyond this life.  One does not have to be rich or powerful or successfully buried to live beyond this life.  Now all are participating in resurrection.  And it helps to have learned something about love and justice, that is compassion, in this lifetime.

What does Easter or Resurrection Sunday signify?  That none of us need fear death.  If the fear of death, so primal to human history, and its many immortality projects including empire and fame, money and power is now gone, then now our species can evolve more fully.  Can live more fully. 

Paintbrushes, tools of creativity. Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash

How do we do that?  For Rank, to live fully is to create.  With the fear of death sidelined we are free and able to create ourselves and also able to create our species anew—a species that can choose not to go extinct but return to living at peace with self, others and the rest of creation.  To evolve beyond modernism and capitalism and ego-ism and to devise more appropriate economic, political, religious, educational models, to advance who we are as a species.

First, to birth oneself, one’s truest and deepest self.  (What the mystics would all our “inner self” as distinct from our “external” or “outer self” that seeks to please others and often wanders from the truth of who we are.)  But Resurrection  also means to create a society that makes it easier for everyone to be their true self.  A society of justice and compassion where everyone’s true self can come to fruition. 

We rise by lifting each other up. Photo by Chouaib brik on Unsplash

Where “resurrection” is not an individualistic concept dictated by an ego that is afraid to die but a community project.  We all resurrect or none of us does.  We all enter Joy or none of us does.  We don’t journey alone but together.  We care for one another,  A world of Compassion.

Compassion is about living out our authentic place of interdependence and interconnectivity with one another and with all beings—the waters and the soil, the air and the trees, the fishes and the four-legged ones, the birds and the reptiles, are here together for a reason.  We need one another; and we can take delight in one another.  All that is compassion:  Our shared joy and our shared suffering.  All that is resurrection.

See Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion, pp. 104-111.

Banner Image: Light invading cave in Antelope Canyon, United States. Photo by Bertrand Borie on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree with Rank that to live fully is to create?  What follows from that?

Recommended Reading

Resurrection Logic: How Jesus’ First Followers Believed God Raised Him from the Dead

Bruce Chilton investigates the Easter event of Jesus in Resurrection Logic. He undertakes his close reading of the New Testament texts without privileging the exact nature of the resurrection, but rather begins by situating his study of the resurrection in the context of Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Syrian conceptions of the afterlife. He then identifies Jewish monotheistic affirmations of bodily resurrection in the Second Temple period as the most immediate context for early Christian claims. Chilton surveys first-generation accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and finds a pluriform–and even at times seemingly contradictory–range of testimony from Jesus’ first followers. This diversity, as Chilton demonstrates, prompted early Christianity to interpret the resurrection traditions by means of prophecy and coordinated narrative.

Special Offer for a Time of Coronavirus restrictions! 

25% off the package of the Stations of the Cosmic Christ book AND Meditation Cards!  Meditate on these stations while staying at home.  WAS: $39.90; NOW $29.95.

To order click here.

“This book is revolutionary. It celebrates the sacred at the heart of the universe.” — Joanna Macy, Ph.D--“What a brilliant and exciting combination of creative words and evocative images.” — Richard Rohr, O.F.M.–“A divinely inspired book that must be read by every human being devoted to global survival.” — Carolyn Myss

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

8 thoughts on “Easter Monday: From Fear of Death to Living Fully”

  1. Avatar

    Good morning, thank you for filling our hearts anew this morning, as full as the tomb is empty. My cup runneth over. There was the most beautiful sunset last night after the storms, painted with light and pink clouds across the sky, it was a masterpiece of cosmic creation and compassion. Most of the birds were home safe in their nests already but a few flew across it with wings gold-tipped in the sunlight. This morning the birds were singing a new song, another cosmic creation of joy. Soon their cave-like nests will be empty as well, as the birds spiral out in to the World. Thank you, see you tomorrow!

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Laura,
      thank you for sharing this beautiful description of your Easter Monday. It was a Cosmic celebration that included all of us – whether we saw a it with you or not. May your cup continue to run over with joy!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Avatar

    Thank you Matthew fox for that reassuring word this morning. For a long time now, I have blessed myself with the circle representing the Cosmos . It is my sign that I am one with all. This morning you suggested the empty tomb and I like that. Easter blessings to you.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Theresa,
      thank you for writing and sharing your version of “crossing” yourself as a way to celebrate Easter rather than GOod Friday. It seems that Matthew agrees with you!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  3. Avatar

    Thank you so much for the very inspiring ideas that you share with us this morning! They are a breath of fresh air to me. It is also wonderful to think of the Resurrection as ” the most revolutionary idea proposed in the history of the human race,” as expressed by Rank. How enlightening!
    I have never been afraid of death because of having had a taste of heaven for two full weeks when I was 23 years old, an experience which I never forgot.. But I do have compassion for those who fear dying, and wish I could reassure them . . . but that is up to God to do.
    I LOVE the idea of using the spiral to express creativity and compassion, i.e. oneness with all beings on earth and in the air and the seas and above the earth and the whole Cosmos. Thank you, Theresa, for sharing!
    For a long time, the sign of the cross was a powerful symbol of Christ’s unbelievable love for me and for all, but I became a little uncomfortable about using it before meals, or in public. I look forward with delight to blessing myself with the spiral instead! Thank you, Thank you! Thank you! Matthew.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Vivian,
      Thank you for your comment and your wise words about death. It does seem that death is a beautiful experience full of light and love, as told to us by those who have gone and come back.Perhaps this happened to you at the age of 23. Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  4. Avatar

    I also love the idea of the creativity of the empty tomb and the spiral gesture. As a Protestant, the cross has always represented the risen Christ, not the suffering Christ, and I think people can get stuck in that suffering place and not be able to move on to the hope and reality of resurrection. Thank you, Matthew.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Thank you, Susan, for writing and affirming the spiral as a gesture of creativity and compassion emerging from the open tomb. Perhaps we have started a movement here…..literally. I hope the gesture affirms your own creative energy.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: