Let us this July 4th look for medicine that can heal our ailing species that is busy threatening itself and other beings on our planet with extinction. Such medicine is offered by the wisdom of indigenous peoples and pre-modern mystics whom we have journeyed with in our recent daily meditations.
When Europeans landed in the Americas they had already squelched an earth-based religious consciousness largely due to the fear generated by the Black Death pandemic of the 14th Century. This killing of creation spirituality, fueled by the “Doctrine of Discovery” decrees, found its expression in genocide toward indigenous peoples and enslavement of African peoples.
Without “bringing the entire cosmos into our lives,” as Eddie Kneebone taught in yesterday’s DM and Black Elk and all indigenous teachers urge us to do, we are lost. We are lonely. We are violent. We do not feel like we belong. Maybe that is where so much of the violence and anger is coming from in American politics today—people are lost and disconnected from their souls and from creation.
I am stupefied, for example, that an entire political part in America remains in denial about climate change in 2021 and unwilling to put taxes into doing something about it. In the latest proposed infrastructure bill all representatives of that party demanded subtracting any investment that would address climate change. What planet are they living on? Entire towns go up in flames in Canada and heat records are set daily for the pacific northwest—the response of 48% of congress is: “What, me worry?”
Psychologist Otto Rank celebrates a psychology of microcosm/macrocosm and considered our separation from the cosmos as the greatest issue besetting our species. He felt that this cosmic separation is temporarily healed by our experiences of mystic union, the return to an original identity of union with the cosmic process that “has to be surrendered and continuously re-established in the course of self-development.”
Such folly underscores how important cosmology and its sister ecology are, and why indigenous wisdom and the wisdom of the great pre-modern mystics like Hildegard of Bingen, St. Francis, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, and Julian of Norwich (all of whom celebrated a Cosmic Christ and a psychology of microcosm/macrocosm) need to be heeded.
When we surrender ourselves in art or in love, says Rank, we undergo a
potential restoration of a union with the Cosmos, which once existed and was then lost. The individual psychological root of this sense of unity I discovered…in the prenatal condition which the individual in his yearning for immortality strives to restore. Already, in that earliest stage of individualization, the child is not only factually one with the mother buy beyond that, one with the world, with a Cosmos floating in mystic vapors in which present, past, and future are dissolved.
Rank believed that premodern and ancient peoples saw physics (nature, or the macrocosm) and psychology (human nature, or the microcosm) as one. All of life was a celebration of this union of psyche and cosmos.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Times, pp. 145f.
Banner Image: “Stop the Williams Pipeline,” rally to protest a project that would have run through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the waters off Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Rockaways. Taken on April 18, 2019 by @brownsvillain.
Do you agree that “modern man and woman” has lost a connection with the cosmos and the result has been great neuroses? And that there are ways to reconnect to the whole? And that our present earth crisis is part of that neurosis?
Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time
While Matthew Fox recognizes that Meister Eckhart has influenced thinkers throughout history, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
“Matthew Fox is perhaps the greatest writer on Meister Eckhart that has ever existed. (He) has successfully bridged a gap between Eckhart as a shamanistic personality and Eckhart as a post-modern mentor to the Inter-faith movement, to reveal just how cosmic Eckhart really is, and how remarkably relevant to today’s religious crisis! ” — Steven Herrmann, Author of Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward
A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality & The Transformation of Christianity
A modern-day theologian’s call for the radical transformation of Christianity that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality. A New Reformation echoes the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517 and offers a new vision of Christianity that values the Earth, honors the feminine, and respects science and deep ecumenism.
“This is a deep and forceful book….With prophetic insight, Matthew Fox reveals what has corrupted religion in the West and the therapy for its healing.” ~Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography
Join Matthew Fox for a thought-provoking 7-week course: Answer the Call for an Uncommon Life Through the Mystical Teachings of St. Hildegard, Tuesdays, 6/15 to 7/27. While the course has begun, registration remains open, with recordings of past classes available. Learn more HERE.
Join us for a Virtual Teach-in with Isa Gucciardi and Matthew Fox, hosted by Rev. Cameron Trimble.
August 13-14, 2021 (Fri-Sat)
Shamanism in Buddhism and Christianity
Session 1: Friday, August 13 at 4pm-6pm PT
Session 2: Saturday, August 14 at 9am-12pm PT
Session 3: Saturday, August 14 at 12:30pm-2:30pm PT