Winding Up Our Meditations on “What It Means To Be Human”

For several months we have been posing the question: “What does it mean to be human?” and responding by invoking the “10 C’s” of creation spirituality that I first laid out in my book The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human. 

Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Viritruvian Man” with the symbols of the seven chakras. Collage by William Vroman on Wikimedia Commons.

The 10 C’s we have been meditating on are the following aspects of our humanity listed here in the order in which we have been considering them in our Daily Meditations:

1. Critical Thinking
2. Cosmology/Ecology
3. Courage
4. Chaos
5. Character/Moral Development
6. Contemplation
7. Creativity
8. Compassion/Justice
9. Community
10. Ritual/Ceremony

Each of these themes deserves still more consideration, for each is rich in itself and surely books have been written about each.  Nor of course are the 10 C’s the last word or exclusive word on What it Means to Be Human.  

“Artists in the Garden,” a program offered by The Chicago Wisdom Project, an outgrowth of the YELLAWE pilot program.

But I think they are a good start and, as I explained at the outset of this journey, they formed the basis of our YELLAWE pilot project with inner city teenagers in Oakland, California. The “10 C’s” served as a device for understanding a common ethic for a public school system that is reluctant to employ religious language as such. It proved very doable—and even fun—for the students to memorize, wrestle with and then apply these values in their class assignment as they created a film or rap or poetry about whatever topic was meaningful to them.

To this day I am moved by a number of the projects I recall such as the freshman who created a film on how to convert a muscle car to a vegetarian diet (cosmology/ecology) and ended his film with a race between a gasoline-driven muscle car and a vegetarian-driven muscle car.  (Guess which one won the race?)  

A YELLAWE student’s documentary about her connection to boxing and martial arts, not only as exercise but as meditative practice. Uploaded to YouTube by YELLAWE.

Or three 14 year old boys who were gay and went through the streets of Oakland with camera ready and approached strangers telling them: “We’re gay.  What do you think of that?”  And recording the responses and growing considerable self-confidence in the process. 

Or the high school senior who was eager to learn how to do graffiti and who created a large graffiti on canvas with the words: “CHAOS” written in living color and in spending many hours on the project also spent many hours contemplating “chaos” and its deep and many meanings. 

The Reciprocity Foundation, also using Wisdom Education principles in working with a group of homeless New York youth, took their students on an retreat in upstate New York at the Omega Institute.

Hopefully, in the months in which we have been meditating on these 10 C’s our readers of this column have also imagined their own responses to these elements of our common humanity.  I do believe that this question—What does it mean to be human?—needs to form the basis of all future politics and economics and religious and societal interaction. 

This question, to me, lays a foundation for a common future for humanity.  The answers we offer can make an immense contribution to a future worth living.

See Matthew Fox, The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human. 

Banner Image: “Resistance.” Image by Mary Bettini Blank from Pixabay

Which of these 10 C’s do you think our culture is weakest at?  Strongest at?  Which of these do you personally need to most shore up?

The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human

The A.W.E. Project reminds us that awe is the appropriate response to the unfathomable wonder that is creation… A.W.E. is also the acronym for Fox’s proposed style of learning – an approach to balance the three R’s. This approach to learning, eldering, and mentoring is intelligent enough to honor the teachings of the Ancestors, to nurture Wisdom in addition to imparting knowledge, and to Educate through Fox’s 10 C’s. The 10 C’s are the core of the A.W.E. philosophy and process of education, and include: compassion, contemplation, and creativity. The A.W.E. Project does for the vast subject of “learning” what Fox’s Reinvention of Work did for vocation and Original Blessing did for theology. Included in the book is a dvd of the 10 C’s put to 10 video raps created and performed by Professor Pitt.
An awe-based vision of educational renewal.Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.

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4 thoughts on “Winding Up Our Meditations on “What It Means To Be Human””

  1. Avatar

    Thank-you for your relentless contribution to assist in helping us remember who we are in the midst of what is. These daily meditations are always relevant and helpful.

  2. Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    From the staff on the Daily Meditations we want to thank both of you for your kind words and support !!!

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