In this season of ever louder toxic masculinity, it is synchronistic that a hunter-gatherer after healthier masculinity, Robert Bly, died and has left us much to ponder about holiness.
Bly’s book I celebrated in the video yesterday, News of the Universe, by its very title as well as much of its contents, takes on the anthropocentrism of our species and especially of the modern era. It did great things for me when I first read it, acknowledging as it does, the importance of our souls and psyches reuniting with the universe—just as Thomas Aquinas writes when he says that “every human person is capable of the universe.” And that “the most excellent thing in the universe is not the human but the universe itself.”
Such good medicine for a species seeking to destroy itself and the earth because it is cut off from the cosmos and its child, mother earth! As Thomas Berry says, “ecology is functional cosmology.” Bly saw this and gathered wisdom from world poets to tell us these truths.
All this contributes richly to recovering the “Father Sky” metaphor that constitutes the first of the ten metaphors of my study on the sacred masculine. Cosmologist Brian Swimme joined my faculty at ICCS after having been present for a day when Robert Bly visited and shared his Kabir poems.
I thank Robert also for introducing me to Kabir. Kabir’s poem on how our souls contain “all seven oceans and hundreds of billions of stars” also links us to the greater and sacred cosmos. I invoked several of Bly’s Kabir poems in my book Original Blessing.
Countless are the men I have listened to over the years who tell me their lives were changed for the better by having encountered Robert Bly and his men’s retreats.
See Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. xif., 3-18; 55f., 64, 177f, 215-217, 272f.
And Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 59, 89, 92, 103.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Are you, too, eager to hear the “News of the Universe” to heal your soul and expand it? How does cosmology and a new creation story contribute to your expansion of mind and spirit, heart and action?
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