Inner Rage Toward the Temple We Call Earth?

A few days ago, I was talking with a woman who told me how she tries to spend two hours every day working in her garden.  As she described the experience, it was clear it was a spiritual practice for her—she got high on it.  Ecstasy was part of her experience.  I reminded her that the Persian word for garden was also the word for paradise and she was thrilled to hear that.

“Planting a Wildflower Garden.” Photo by CDC on Unsplash

How readily we can forget that nature is a temple (or mosque) and that the divine dwells therein!  How, as Biblical scholar Krister Stendahl instructs us, the word basileia that we translate as “kingdom of God” can also be translated simply creation.  That creation is the kingdom/queendom of God.

Jesus teaches that “the reign of God is among you” and many of his parables underscored the simplicity and diversity of the reign of God, which at times was like a mustard seed, at times like leaven, at times like a net, at times like a gathering of sheep and goats.  Everyday things–the kingdom/queendom of God!

And yet so rare because we have eyes and do not see, ears and do not hear. Like the Buddha, Jesus taught that humanity has to wake up to see differently, to realize how close to heaven we already are.

In contrast to experiencing the garden as paradise, Thomas Berry perceives an “inner rage” in our souls toward the earth. 

A residential neighborhood backs up to an industrial-waste Superfund site in Davis, CA. Photo from DavisWiki; photographer unknown.

Only now have we begun to listen with some attention and with a willingness to respond to the earth’s demands that we cease our industrial assault, that we abandon our inner rage against the conditions of our earthly existence, that we renew our human participation in the grand liturgy of the universe.

Is there an “inner rage” we are carrying round inside of us toward Mother Earth?  Toward the “mother” and the “feminine” and toward the mother in us all?  As well as toward the Earth itself? 

Speaking out for the planet despite misogynistic backlash: (L) “File:Greta Thunberg urges MEPs to show climate leadership (49618310531) (cropped).jpg” by European Parliament, CC BY 2.0; (R) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at “Women’s March on NYC 2019” by dimitrimr; CC BY 2.0

As I have pointed out elsewhere, the effort to “climb Jacob’s ladder” to escape matter (“materia” in latin) and mother (from “mater” in Latin) is baked into century after century of spiritual practice.  Maybe this is one place of the origin of an “inner rage.”  One that we see in the fierce denial of climate change in our day as well as the fierce effort to control women’s bodies at all cost.

Is patriarchy born of that “inner rage” which taps so directly into the reptilian brain?

Young Men Discuss The Pressures Of Masculinity: ‘You Can’t Show Sadness,’ 3/25/18, Sunday TODAY

If so, then the return of the divine feminine and the “motherhood of God” is essential medicine for our very survival.  So too is ejecting patriarchy in favor of a healthy masculine which includes a sacred marriage of the divine feminine and sacred masculine.  This needs to begin with our inner selves, our souls and psyches and imaginations and move from there into our institutions from education to politics to religion to media to economics to agriculture.  Our inner work becomes our outer work. 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

Also Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations, # 360.

Banner Image: “Loggers with time on their hands IMG_5792” by F.Eatherington is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Do you recognize an “inner rage” at work today including a rage toward the earth?  How do we calm an “inner rage” against the earth?  Against one another?  Against our bodies?

Recommended Reading

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God


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
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9 thoughts on “Inner Rage Toward the Temple We Call Earth?”

  1. Avatar

    Wow, this totally resonates with me and the work we are doing in the UK!
    This place we call earth is indeed for me a Temple of such magnificence and beauty, how immensly privileged we are to just be here.
    One of the peices for our Connect project is called Temple. Video link here
    In this we explore what real love is
    real love would passionately and furiously defend the earth our mother, our temple. It would defend the divine.
    I am honoured that Matthew let us use a small portion of his wise words in this video. Words which continue to inspire us .

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Steve, thank you for sharing this with all of us. And thank you as well for the work you are doing in the UK in the Connect project !!!

  2. Avatar

    Ecstasy, Oh yes, Matthew – gardening, planting, playing in the dirt, composting, call it what you will, it is pure ecstasy!! Thank you.
    How do we spread the word about honoring Mother Earth? We stand in awe and radiate her beauty. We stand at her destruction and show the rage.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Thank you for your comments, Margaret! My wife too has the gift of gardening–and it too is an expression of the Via Creativa !!!

  3. Avatar

    You talked about soul carnage in an earlier meditation. Our own souls are so barren and bereft, and we do not even know it. Thus, self hatred that gets projected outward to destruction of all creation, including ourselves.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Sue, you make a good point on self-hatred, because this does cause us to project our hatred outward on the external world of creation.

  4. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    In today’s DM you talk of inner rage. An indigenous elder once shared with me a teaching called the twenty great teachers. Within this teaching rage is the teacher of truth. It is the teacher of truth, because it reveals what was, what is and what the possibility of something different can be. Richard Rhoar teaches that real justice comes by way of love, compassion, mercy, understanding and forgiveness, rather punishment, retribution, or retaliatory vengence. Rage and justice expressed in the right way can lead to reconciliation and healing.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, an example of Matthew doing what you suggest is what you find in his book, A SPIRITUALITY NAMED COMPASSION… and where you can find this compassion extended to all nature see: ORDER OF THE SACRED EARTH.

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