Yesterday we meditated on Gandhi’s warning about character building and truth telling and its importance for the very survival of human society.
This seems especially pertinent when we learn that a certain ex-president, who is threatening to run for president again and riding shotgun for his political party, gave a talk this past weekend in Ohio where he linked up forces in an explicit way with QAnon, a conspiracy group shouting near crazy slogans of hatred onto others who do not follow their extreme path.
At moments like this, it might be fitting to hear from some other voices who also consider truth seeking and truth speaking important.
George Orwell warns us that “during times of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary.”
The social media is a technological achievement so new that we are just beginning to recognize its evil impact for spreading untruths so rapidly and effectively that it can devastate a person’s mind. Such technology seems to carry out Gandhi’s warning about how “science without humanity”–let us say, “technology without awareness of humanity’s weaknesses and laws to guard against it”—can wreak havoc in a society.
Especially is this true when the goal of wreaking havoc and chaos and disruption is the spoken purpose of a certain political “philosophy” spoken explicitly by Steve Bannon and cheered on by those who follow him.
bell hooks tells us that “the heart of justice is truth telling.” She is surely on the same page as Thomas Aquinas when she reiterates the teaching we shared yesterday from Aquinas, how truth and justice journey together and both are the “proper objects” of the human heart. We are hungry for both, as hooks is telling us.
Pontius Pilate, a political “leader” in his day and representative of the oppressive Roman Empire, is famous for asking Jesus at his trial, “Truth, what is that?” And Jesus is famous for refusing to answer, implying it seems to me, that some people are so awash in their own version of reality that it is not worth getting into an argument with them.
Maybe a contemporary version lies in the phrase, “alternative facts,” language also spoken by a person in a high place in imperial politics.
It would seem that truth and falsity frequently clash in the context of empires and empire building.
See Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 101-108.
And Matthew Fox, The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human, pp. 138-145.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Extinction Rebellion boat on the river Thames near Westminster, London, 07.10.2019 Photo by Stefan Müller on Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you agree with bell hooks that “the heart of justice is truth telling?” What does that teach us? Does it mean that injustice needs to be named and accounted for?
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
The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human
The A.W.E. Project reminds us that awe is the appropriate response to the unfathomable wonder that is creation… A.W.E. is also the acronym for Fox’s proposed style of learning – an approach to balance the three R’s. This approach to learning, eldering, and mentoring is intelligent enough to honor the teachings of the Ancestors, to nurture Wisdom in addition to imparting knowledge, and to Educate through Fox’s 10 C’s. The 10 C’s are the core of the A.W.E. philosophy and process of education, and include: compassion, contemplation, and creativity. The A.W.E. Project does for the vast subject of “learning” what Fox’s Reinvention of Work did for vocation and Original Blessing did for theology. Included in the book is a dvd of the 10 C’s put to 10 video raps created and performed by Professor Pitt.
“An awe-based vision of educational renewal.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.