We have been meditating on Eckhart’s profound teachings on the Yin dimension to Compassion, the mystical expression. Now let us consider his teachings of the Yang side of Compassion, the prophetic side of justice-making.
For Eckhart, all our work leads to justice (and therefore compassion)—or fails to do so. Furthermore, as we do our work we are birthing nothing less than Divinity itself. We are being “mothers of God.” Indeed, to birth justice is to birth Christ all over again:
The Father gives birth to his Son as the Just One and the Just One as his Son; for all virtue of the just and very work of the just which are born from the virtue of the just person are nothing other than the event of the Son being born from the Father.
Eckhart teaches that
…a just person is one who is conformed and transformed into justice. The just person lives in God and God in him. Thus God will be born in this just person and the just person is born in God; and therefore God will be born through every virtue of the just person.
When humans make justice happen, joy and rejoicing occur in the Godhead! Indeed, we “tickle God through and through” by our works of justice.
[God] will rejoice through every virtue of the just person. And not only at every virtue will God rejoice but especially at every work of the just person, however small it is. When this work is done through justice and results in justice, God will rejoice in it, indeed, God will rejoice through and through; for nothing remains in his ground which does not tickle him through and through out of joy. Ignorant people have to believe this, but enlightened ones should know it.
A sign that love and justice are at work through us is our working “without a why.” For
…the just person does not seek anything with his work, for every single person who seeks anything or even something with his other works is working for a why and is a servant and a mercenary. Therefore if you wish to be conformed and transformed into justice, do not intend anything in your work and strive for no why, either in time or in eternity. Do not aim at reward or blessedness, neither this nor that. For such works are truly fully dead.
Dead works are those we do for an outside reward. Real work comes from our depths and our inside, not from outside.
Therefore, enter into your own ground and work there and these works which you work there will all be living. And therefore the wise person says: “The just person lives.” (Wis: 5:16) For because he is just, he works and his works live.
Furthermore, the just person is like God, since God is justice. And therefore whoever is in justice is in God.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 464-466.
Also see Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice.
Banner Image: “Social Justice Day.” Art by Fanny Didou, Johnny Azprendiz, and Isabelle Malleze. Photo by GEN Europe on Flickr.
Do you enter into your own ground when you do your work? Are your works living? And you too?