Julian of Norwich on Love vs Bullying: A Fairer Economic System

The divine feminine is not impressed with bullying.  Bullying is the opposite of caring or compassion or even justice.  It is domination; power-over; I rule, you obey.

Fr. Greg Boyle SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries, showcases stories of tenderness, compassion, and redemption learned from decades of work with gang members. Originally posted to YouTube by GoalCast.

Julian of Norwich, by developing an in depth understanding of a post-patriarchal world and a post-patriarchal religion, invites us beyond bullying, beyond power-over dynamics.  She is Moses leading us out of the land of Pharaoh who stands for all those who think they are anointed to dominate others and deprive others of their freedom and their right to be themselves.  

Racism is a kind of bullying based on color of skin; Sexism is a bullying based on what genitals one possesses; capitalism is all too often a bullying based on how much money you have to buy politicians and judges and law schools to decide in your favor; what class rules and dominates and makes the laws about who gets tax breaks and who pays for public education, roads, highways, police and fire departments and the rest.  

Young children showing their support for racial justice. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

And who gets health care and who does not (even though both the bullies and the bullied have the same human bodies—so too do black people and white people, Asian and Latino, indigenous and others.)  The same body but not the same care for the body when the body politic is one of bullies and the bullied.  Wall Street often treats Main Street with bullying tactics.  

Have we learned lessons from the financial debacle of 12 years ago that was caused by the greed of Wall Street “bundlers” of bad loans and the rest?  Millions of Americans lost their savings, their retirement, and their homes but when Wall Street went into a dive, guess who had to bail them out with hundreds of billions of dollars of loans?  Yes, Main Street.  The everyday taxpayer.  

Then, when things got better and Wall Street got back on top, guess who got over a trillion dollars in tax breaks?  It wasn’t Main Street.  And no Wall Street manipulators who caused the crash went to jail.  Infamous differences in power and decision making.  Is it any wonder that many middle class people are angry at the “system” that is the government?

Poverty wages. Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

Democracy is meant to cure this tendency to dualism, haves vs. have-nots.  Democracy is not currently healthy in the body politic of today.  Just as Mother Earth is not healthy today because bullying dominates her too.  

Julian of Norwich is urging us to step up to acknowledge and to celebrate the divine mother and all of motherhood which she understands as actions of service and love and compassion.  She is saying, Put love first, operate out of the goodness that is deep in all beings (including ourselves).  Grow up and move beyond a one-dimensional patriarchy and a toxic masculinity of power-over.  Vive la difference! Celebrate the differences in all dimensions of the body politic—sexual, racial, ethnic, gender, class.  Put love first.

Julian sees a universe surrounded by love and kept together by love.  

See Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond, pp.  20-33, 45-58.

Banner Image: Plant trying to grow in a cup of coins. Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash.

What have you learned from bullies and bullying?  What medicine do you see for bullying, whether personal or societal?

Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic–and Beyond

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she ‘sheltered in place’ and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, Showings, which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.
“What an utterly magnificent book. The work of Julian of Norwich, lovingly supported by the genius of Matthew Fox, is a roadmap into the heart of the eco-spiritual truth that all life breathes together.”  –Caroline Myss
Now also available as an audiobook HERE.

Upcoming Events

Matthew Fox offers pioneering teachings from Hildegard of Bingen at 1 pm Pacific (GMT/UTC-8) on February 2, as one of more than 40 thought-leaders at the free online Mystics Summit running February 1-5. Learn more and Register HERE.
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3 thoughts on “Julian of Norwich on Love vs Bullying: A Fairer Economic System”

  1. Avatar

    Caroline Myss, author of ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT, concisely explains the Bully Archetype on the Bully Archetype card found in her deck of Caroline Myss Archetype cards: LIGHT ATTRIBUTES – Highlights your tendency to intimidate others. Helps you confront the inner fears that bully you. SHADOW ATTRIBUTE – Conceals deep fears behind verbal or physical abuse.

  2. Avatar

    True justice holds the balance of masculine and feminine, in the wisdom that consistently reveres the sacred in both. We have strayed a long way from home, and yet the seeds of remembrance are within us.

  3. Avatar

    The world’s biggest bully is out. A more compassionate person is now POTUS.
    Compassion is passion for commonality, community and communion among all.
    We should be compassionate toward all people at all times…but few of us are.
    It is easy to be compassionate when we recognize our shared humanity and spirit.

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