One of the gifts of TNH is that he modeled authentic masculinity.
Let us summarize our meditations on the archetypes of the Sacred Masculine and the gifts from Thich Nhat Hanh to that important conversion experience that our species must undergo if we are to avoid extinction.
Father Sky. In speaking of “inter-being,” TNH connects, as we saw yesterday, wine and bread, the human body and the earth, to Father Sky’s gifts of rain and clouds, sunshine and wind, moon and rivers. All is interconnected.
Green Man. TNH says that what we most need to do to save the world is to hear within us the sound of the earth crying. And then practice Deep Ecology. That is a green man talking. He also teaches us to walk on Mother Earth while meditating and to resist exploiting her, one practice being veganism.
Spiritual Warrior. By standing up to his own country, both North and South, during the Vietnam War, TNH took on the opposition of many including his fellow monks and had to live in exile for many years.
Blue Man. While living in exile, TNH gave birth to many books, poems, and communities, especially Plum Village in France. Also to Deep Ecumenism wherein he birthed a creative response to Christ, as well as a vision calling Christianity to wake up to its mystical and non-dualistic tradition in order that the true “jewels” of that tradition might shine anew. His whole life was a life of healing and of creativity.
Hunter-Gatherer. As a hunter after truth and a hunter after peace and a hunter after Deep Ecumenism—so important for world peace that religions make peace among themselves as well as contribute to peace among nations—TNH was a hunter-gatherer his whole life.
Fatherhood. TNH was not a literal father, but he was a father and mentor to many generations of people whom he taught and inspired and led by his courage and example as well as his ideas and practices shared so generously. And, of course, he fathered the Plum Village community.
He marries the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine.
What a contrast TNH’s life of compassion is to those who express their masculinity by bullying and lying and conquering and feeding the reptilian brain. Offering an alternative, TNH invites us to go deeper into the ground where the mammal brain dwells and renders compassion real.
See Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.
See also Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic Warrior for Our Times.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: “Our Earth, our green beautiful Earth is in danger, and all of us know it. Yet we act as if our daily lives have nothing to do with the situation… If the Earth were your body, you would be able to feel many areas where she is suffering.” – Thich Nhat Hanh. Word-drawing of TNH by Michael Volpicelli for Voices of Compassion; photo by Felton Davis on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
How do you see TNH ushering in a new understanding of manhood and masculinity and the marriage of the divine feminine and sacred masculine?
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
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