For Fr. Bede Griffiths, the marriage of East and West must take place at the deepest level of the human consciousness. It is an encounter ultimately between the two fundamental dimensions of human nature: the male and the female—the masculine, rational, active, dominating power of the mind, and the feminine, intuitive…and receptive power.
This meeting needs to include religions. All the Christian churches Eastern and Western, have to turn to the religions of the East, to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and the subtle blend of all these in Oriental culture, and to the deep intuitions of tribal religion in Africa and elsewhere, if they are to recover their balance and evolve an authentic form of religion which will answer to the needs of the modern world.
Thus the marriage of East and West will also be a marriage of Science and Intuition, of Masculine and Feminine. And it begins in ourselves, within each individual. This union includes intuition and imagination and being at home in the darkness for intuition belongs not to the sunlit surface of the mind, but to the night and the darkness, to the moonlit world of dreams and images, before they emerge into rational consciousness.
Intuition precedes intellect and the very “source of intuition” derives from “the experience of the body, the senses, the feelings, the imagination.” All these pre-cognitive experiences marry and interact together:
…there is no such thing as a mere sensation, a mere feeling, a mere thought. Every sensation, every feeling, every imagination affects my mind, modifies my being. I live and act as a whole.
And how big are we? How does our “whole” interact with other “wholes”? The self is not the little conscious ego, constructing its logical systems and building its rational world. The self plunges deep into the past of humanity and of the whole creation. I bear within my mind, my memory in the deep sense, the whole world.* The self, therefore, is cosmic in size. Psyche and cosmos marry.
*Bede Griffiths, The Marriage of East and West (Tucson, AZ: Medio Media Publishing, 2002), pp. 151-160.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp.263f.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: The Soweto Gospel Choir performing in the ‘Voices of Spirit’ Choir festival, December 2014, in Graz, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you agree that the limitations of Western science and education often excludes intuition and imagination? And that religion too much find a fuller balance of both?
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