We have been meditating for weeks on a foundational question: What does it mean to be human? To answer the question, we have put on the table the “10 C’s” of creation spirituality.
Currently, we are meditating on the “C” called Compassion including of course both its mystical or yin dimension; and its yang dimension of justice-making.
I am writing this at 8:10 AM in Vallejo, California on September 9, 2020 and it is pitch dark outside with a very faint red in the sky. It seems like the sun is trying to rise but cannot. It is strangely eerie and eerily strange. What is going on?
Injustice is going on. Eco-injustice. We call it climate change (about which, for reasons only they can grasp, an entire political party, and its head in the white house, are in denial).
Can one deny the warming of the planet, the great chunks of Greenland that are melting into the sea, the disappearing of glaciers in the Himalayas, at Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, in so many places around the globe where current and future generations of humans and other species depend on glaciers for their water supply and their agriculture?
Droughts are not abstractions. Nor are record heat waves; or record strength and numbers of hurricanes and the floods that result; nor the current wild fires near where I live that have been poisoning the air for weeks for millions of humans and other creatures in the West—and of course driving many from their homes and livelihoods; and that has currently, right now and right here where I sit, turned an 8:30 AM day into midnight sky.
Justice is NOT an Abstraction because Injustice is felt in the gut. This is true of eco-injustice.
But it is also true of racial injustice—when black men get killed at the hands of police even when they are not armed, that is not an abstraction. When people are denied access to buy homes because of the color of their skin, that is not an abstraction.
Social injustice is not an abstraction—when people cannot pay rent because of coronavirus and are tossed on the street into homelessness—that is not an abstraction; when people do not have health care, but do have bodies that need assistance, that is not an abstraction.
Economic injustice—when multi millionaires and billionaires get huge tax breaks while the poorest workers still have to fight to get $15 per hour, that is no abstraction; When the poor put their lives on the line providing food for front line workers in a pandemic and die at far great rates than white collar workers as a result—that is not an abstraction.
Gender injustice—when women are accosted with impunity, that is not an abstraction.
When Eckhart celebrates justice-making—as he is doing in our most recent DM’s–he is not talking abstractions. He is talking reality when he says those who work for justice “tickle God through and through.”
See Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, “Path Four: The New Creation: Compassion and Social Justice,” pp. 415-545.
Also see Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice.
Banner Image: Protest for human rights and living wages, 2016. Photo by Annette Bernhardt on Flickr.
Do you see justice and injustice as abstractions? What makes both real for you?