As we move on from the question: “What does it mean to be human?” and our response by way of the “10 C’s,” let us meditate briefly on each of these “C’s.” Of course, we are not leaving this question or these ten responses behind, we take them with us wherever we go and whatever the news that speaks to us daily.
1. Critical Thinking. In this era of social media and “alternative facts,” Q-anon and thousands of presidential lies entering common political discourse, Critical Thinking is more important than ever.
2. Cosmology/Ecology. For centuries, humans have misunderstood our place in the universe and therefore our place on this very special planet in the universe that we call home. Anthropocentrism is dead. The narcissism of our species is over. Or ought to be.
3. Courage. A large heart—coeur large—is called for if we are to navigate the great challenges facing our and other species today. Truth-telling and service take courage. A response to the prophetic call that invites us all to change our ways and learn to work together demands a big heart for which there is no substitute. “God is delighted to watch our souls enlarge” (Eckhart).
4. Chaos. The return of the goddess Chaos, our learning to recognize her again as intrinsic to nature and that too much order is as dangerous and deadly as too much disorder, can be seen all about us in a time of pandemic which upends our normal routines but which also prepares us for new visions and new habits of dwelling on the earth—a “new normal” becomes possible.
5. Character/Moral Development. Our inner work is essential to developing our full humanity and this means learning how important integrity is and how, while we are all fallible and imperfect, even our mistakes teach us and redeem us.
6. Contemplation. Calming the reptilian brain, learning how to “make silence,” is essential to an authentic humanity and to our survival as a species. Move over, reptilian brain, make way for the mammal brain.
7. Creativity. Survival today requires an explosion of Creativity, from alternative energy to virus vaccines, to new agriculture and diets. Much of the power of the mammal brain is our power of birthing, “creativity happens in the realm of the mothers,” observes Carl Jung. In creativity we and the Holy Spirit co-create together and the divine feminine asserts itself in both women and men.
8. Compassion/Justice. Compassion is not sentimentalism, “compassion means justice” (Eckhart). Compassion is the action that derives from the ancient spiritual principle, finally rediscovered by today’s science, that we are all interdependent, that “whatever happens to another, be it a joy or sorrow, happens to me” (Eckhart). With science on board, a future of compassion and justice seems possible.
9. Community. Compassion and justice build community. We are being stretched to see anew how many communities we all belong to today, beginning with the universe community and the earth community (see # 2 above). Within community, life derives its meaning and we derive good work.
10. Ritual/Ceremony. “There is no community without ritual” (Melidoma Some). In ritual we are all invited to share our common joy and our common grief, and become empowered for our common work which is about becoming the best humans we can be in loving and defending Mother Earth and her future.
See Matthew Fox, The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human.
Also Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.
Also Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet.
Also Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion.
Banner Image: “We Can Do Better” Photo by Benjamin Finley on Unsplash.
Do these 10 C’s assist you to name the meaning of humanity and the desire of humanity? How so? How not?
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.
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
A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice
In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register