Rich recognizes that coming to grips with the Great Mother, including her powers of creativity and her powers of death and destruction, is essential to male as well as female consciousness, particularly in today’s patriarchal culture. Creativity is key for a new vision to occur, and she invites men to find it within themselves.
She says: I am curious and expectant about the future of the masculine consciousness. I feel in the work of the men whose poetry I read today a deep pessimism and fatalistic grief; and I wonder if it isn’t the masculine side of what women have experienced, the price of masculine dominance.
One thing I am sure of: just as woman is becoming her own midwife, creating herself anew, so man will have to learn to gestate and give birth to his own subjectivity — something he has frequently wanted woman to do for him. . . . Women can no longer be primarily mothers and muses for men: we have our own work cut out for us.
She talks of how we have been “numbing” our powers of creativity and imagination. What is the role creativity plays in our educational systems? What role does art as meditation play in education and academia?
Rich: One of the devastating effects of technological capitalism has been its numbing of the powers of the imagination — specifically, the power to envision new human and communal relationships.
She tells us why she is a feminist and in doing so also indicates that men do not have to be “embodiments of the patriarchal idea.”
I am a feminist because I feel endangered, psychically and physically, by this society, and because I believe that the women’s movement is saying that we’ve come to an edge of history when men — in so far as they are embodiments of the patriarchal idea — have become dangerous to children and other living things, themselves included; and that we can no longer afford to keep the female principle — the mother in all women and the woman in many men — straitened within the tight little postindustrial family, or within any male-induced notion of where the female principle is valid and where it is not.*
*Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (NY: W. W. Norton & Co., 1976),98.
And Barbara Charelsworth Gelpi and Albert Gelpi, eds, Adrienne Rich’s Poetry (NY: W. W. Norton, 1993), 104f.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, pp. 70f.
See also, Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 293-337, 363-379, 397-413.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Does patriarchy render men “dangerous to children and other living things, themselves included”? What is the medicine for this? Do you hear a “deep pessimism and fatalistic grief” in men today? What is the medicine for that?
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
Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart
Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.” — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.