Like Jennifer Hereth, artist Suzi Gablik, in her important book on The Reenchantment of Art, challenged artists to move beyond art for art’s sake and art for ego’s and fame’s sake to commit to art for Saving the Earth’s sake. 

“Altar to the Black Madonna” by Suzi Gablik. From Matthew Fox’s personal collection; used in Gablik’s class on Altars to the Black Madonna at the University of Creation Spirituality.

Gablik decries the “atomic individualism” that she feels lies at the heart of patriarchy, citing Michael Zimmerman:

The atomic individualism of patriarchy destroys much of the fabric of the human community.  Such a damaged community is incapable of understanding the needs of its own members, much less of the nonhuman world. 

One of the causes of climate change and all the destruction that is coming with it—our neglect of the nonhuman world?  Patriarchy?  Individualism? 

In contrast, Gablik offers another worldview, one based on today’s science, not yesterday’s, and moving beyond patriarchal consciousness when she talks of “a revolution in consciousness as far-reaching as the emergence of individualism itself was during the Renaissance.” 

What is that? 

To see our interdependence and interconnectedness is the feminine perspective that has been missing, not only in our scientific thinking and policy-making but in our aesthetic philosophy as well. 

What is holding us back is the lack of a gender balance and the dynamic that comes with that, one might say the banishment of feminine wisdom. 

A recognition of kinship and solidarity between the individual and the world—a cultural context of empathy—cannot arise, however, until there has been an integration of masculine and feminine energies into a more creative partnership as the very ground of our whole culture.

*Suzi Gablik, The Reenchantment of Art (NY: Thames and Hudson, 1991), pp. 96, 176.

See Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion

And Matthew Fox, Hildegard of Bingen, a Saint For Our Times;

Also see Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond.

Banner Image: Suzi Gablik, Tropism #12, 1972. Smithsonian American Art Museum.

For a transcript of today’s video teaching, click HERE.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you sense a recognition of kinship and solidarity between persons and the world emerging, however slowly?  Are crises like climate change and coronavirus contributing to this new consciousness?

Recommended Reading

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

Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century

Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.

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

“Wisdom, Grace, Love” – a 3-part online lecture series by Caroline Myss, Andrew Harvey, and Matthew Fox, September 8, 15, and 22, 3:00-4:30 pm Pacific (GMT/UTC-7). Learn more HERE.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

7 thoughts on “Reenchantment of Life, Reenchantment of Art”

  1. Avatar
    Theodora Maestre

    I’m a retired teacher and teacher educator. I taught in elementary schools in Oakland, and supervised student teachers and interns in Oakland and many surrounding communities. I have seen so many wonderful teachers and programs in the schools. Many teachers have to struggle to find times and resources for the important work they do, and many are often hampered by mandates which go against their own best instincts for what is important. Some programs that I have seen implemented for decades include: Mindful Schools, Project Learning Tree, Project WET, Educators for Social Responsibility. Empathy and compassion abound in these and others.
    I am hopeful that these efforts continue and that the many amazing and compassionate teachers I know will keep on doing the work at the ground level.

  2. Avatar

    The world of live theatre is also a place where patriarchy rules. Only about 27% of plays produced today in the U.S. are by female playwrights, a fact that limits the kinds of themes, ideas, and conflicts presented onstage. It isn’t just that the plays are written by men. It’s that the narrative arcs producers look for follow a male model of sexuality–and this has been the case since plays were first produced in ancient Greece. Producers only want dramas with a slow build-up, increasing tension, a climax, and then a very quick falling off (or falling asleep LOL). It’s as if those choosing plays cannot recognize that civilization faces other types of conflict. In many plays (e.g., a Sam Shepard play or an August Wilson play) the climax is a physical or verbal fight. This is not the way a woman’s sexuality works; it’s more an undulating wave. It’s time theatres understand that drama need not follow a male sexual model. This would invite more productions of plays by female writers, opening theatre to ideas that question the very nature of how we deal with conflict and the critical issues facing our world today.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: