For the indigenous peoples of Australia, Africa, the Americas and elsewhere, the sky was very alive. 

A three-body problem. “The Notion of the World’s being a great Machine…tends, under pretence of making God a Supra-mundane Intelligence, to exclude Providence and God’s Government in reality out of the World.” ~ Samuel Clarke, c. 1715. Collage by seriykotik1970 on Flickr.

Not so the Westerners of the Modern Era who put the Father God of the living sky to bed and eventually to death.  “The death of God” that Nietzsche recognized in the nineteenth century very much corresponded to the death of the sky.  For modern science taught us that the sky was a machine and if it needed a Deity it was only to oil the machine once in a while.  And eventually, that lone duty was taken away from God as well. 

So we hunkered down, men especially, expecting no help, no insight, no enlightenment from the sky.  We took our vast energies and relationships for which we were made, and we shut our souls down to fit into the mechanical sky and the industrial work world. 

No wonder so many men feel beat up at work.  No wonder so many people feel despair rules the day.  No wonder we fell into atrocities of aggression and war and nuclear weapons and bloated military budgets.  We substituted for the awe of the heavens the awe of man-made destruction.

Germany’s Krupp weapons machining workshop, 1900. Wikiwand.

There was little creativity in a Newtonian universe which is essentially a completed project.  Indeed, creativity gave way in the modern era to compliance. 

And obey we did.  We obeyed crazy rulers who led us into the worst wars ever imagined; we obeyed the machines of technology that took Cain’s stone that he killed Abel with and converted it into tanks, gas, submarines, bombs, machine guns and atomic bombs.  Our reptilian brains went crazy.  Violence ruled the world on unprecedented scales.  And many men were sucked into this violence in wars and work and self-hatred that resulted from both.


Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 8-10.

Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 9-16, 21-24, 53-56;

Also see Fox, Christian Mystics, p. 218.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Late 1900s industrial smoke, Widnes, Cheshire, England. From Hardie, D. W. F., A History of the Chemical Industry in Widnes, Imperial Chemical Industries Limited, 1950. Wikimedia Commons.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize the devastation that teaching that the universe is a machine wrecked on humanity and on men in particular? Do you see ways out of this impasse now that Sky is seen as alive and creating and inviting our creativity again?


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

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book!  Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit


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18 thoughts on “The Modern Era Kills Father Sky”

  1. Avatar

    I see now, through these DMs as of late the corelation Mathew has been making between the Webb telescope and Father Sky. What came to my remembrance was that moment in humanities evolutionary history, when the first man walked on the moon. It was the early sixties and there were alot of revolutionary awakenings taking place. That one moment in time and space however, I see now the beginning of a collective awakening, a return to a passionate admiration of the universe, an awe inspiring view offered to millions all over the world…. whom were all looking up together, experiencing the univication of the macrocosim with the microcosim, which moved all of humanity into rediscovering that something sacred… that had been decimated by years of devastating wars. That one pivotal moment sparked the redemption of creativity for the good of the whole… and that spark spread into a flame, ushering in much needed changes within the consciousness of humanity.

  2. Avatar

    It is indeed a dark picture that reflects life everywhere on the planet. And yet, there exist little cloisters of peace and harmony, the hope of generations to come. We ourselves can be such places to and for others. Surrender to love. }:- a.m.

  3. Avatar

    This morning’s meditation shows the out pouring of debris into the sky from the
    Industrial Revolution and the War Years but both these belong to a previous era….
    We should be alarmed at the electro/magnetic pollution which is now shrouding the
    Earth from the thousands of satellites being launched everyday by every country.
    See the book ‘The Invisible Rainbow’ (A History of Electricity and Life). by Arthur Firstenberg,
    published February 2020.

  4. Avatar

    Maybe we need to teach more people, and especially children, about the astonishing quantum interwovenment of our-self-atoms — the subatomic structures that we’re composed of –with the entire universe around us, i.e., use the teaching of science to combat the fallacies of outdated conceptions of science. If we taught our children that they really are intermeshed with everything and everyone around them, they might grow up better grounded in humility, awe and compassion rather than separation, subjugation and entitled exploitativeness.
    Knowing that we touch the stars with our consciousness is rather amazing. Knowing that we’re intimately connected to everyone around us is even more amazing. And knowing that we can sense that interwovenness directly is a true gift of the universe.

  5. Avatar

    What I find really interesting about the contributions of comments in these DM’s, is the way perception keeps being shifted to seeing multiple viewing points, with each one holding out valuable truths to be considered. What I see today, within this is that there seems to be some kind of necessary balance we have yet to fully understand, acknowledge and learn to respect, between creativity that remains beneficial and when it crosses the line into destruction, for example with regards to Jan’s comment about all the space objects now floating in the atmosphere around the earth and the negative effects of this. Our ability to create also comes with a certain level of responsibility that we need to further awaken to consciously, so that we can discern where to draw the line between that which is beneficial vs destructive, and this is where morals, ethics and the value of virtues comes into play. I’m certain Albert Eistein must have struggled, as we all should with this process.

  6. Avatar

    The American military has made Father Sky into a terrifying figure around the world. In today’s news feed is the finding that “An average of 46 bombs have been dropped on other countries per day by the United States and its allies since 2001, recent research by anti-war group CODEPINK revealed. According to the research by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies of the U.S.-based group, which was published Thursday on the Common Dream website, the United States and its allies have dropped at least 326,000 bombs and missiles on other countries since 2001, including over 152,000 in Iraq and Syria.” Toxic masculinity at a terrifying cost..

  7. Avatar

    One last comment, if I may. I also see the utter necessity of uniting once again what humanity has torn asunder… that being joining together spirituality, philosophy and science… in order to help us learn to discern, ackowledge and respect, with responsibility the fine balance between creativity and destruction.

  8. Avatar

    Matthew, I’m glad you’re reviving the creation/evolutionary spirituality of Teilhard de Chardin again in your Daily Meditations. Ilia Delio in her website, christogenesis.org., and writings is also
    reviving Teilhard’s spirituality and the awareness/consciousness of the sacredness of our inner and outer lives, the intimate interrelationship of God’s Macrocosm and Microcosm in our souls.
    The indigenous and mystics have known this sacred awareness/knowledge a long time and modern quantum physics has begun to discover it this past century. May this sacred knowledge and synthesis of our mystical spiritual traditions and modern science continue growing and transforming our hearts and societal relations with one another….

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Damian, Thank you for your comment. I have one problem however with one thing you said. In reality modern quantum physics have NOT just begun to discover what indigenous thinkers and mystics already knew. And that is not to downplay the contribution of indigenous thinkers and mystics. Its just that physicists by and large would never draw this conclusion accept for Fritjof Copra in his TAO OF PHYSICS, and Gary Zukav and his DANCING WU LI MASTERS. If you would like to hear what major physicists have had to say about spirituality a good book to read–in fact, I think it is the best in making this point, is Ken Wilber’s QUANTUM QUESTIONS.

      1. Phila Hoopes

        Rick, another book of interest that connects shamanic teachings with modern science (and predates The Dancing Wu Li Masters and The Tao of Physics by more than a decade) is The Eagle’s Quest: A Physicist Finds the Scientific Truth at the Heart of the Shamanic World by Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D. (UCLA)…the story of his personal journey. Fascinating reading.

  9. Avatar

    Richard, I hope Matthew also reads my above post. Thanks for the referral to Ken Wilber’s book.
    Besides the spiritual works of Teilhard, I’m interested in the growing interrelationship/interconnectedness of our mystical spiritual tradition and the developing modern science of quantum physics. Teilhard studied and had faith in the evolving spirituality of matter in our lives, but he was rarely understood….

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