The word “empire” has been in the air of late ever since Queen Elizabeth II died, perhaps.
And it has been in our daily meditations as I introduced the term “Age of Reckoning” to summarize much that is transpiring in our time: From the truths of Black Lives Matter to the taking down of confederacy statues; from the fuller realization that founders and icons of the United States such as Jefferson and Washington were slave holders (and the former had a slave mistress with whom he birthed several children) to the trauma passed on from generation to generation among so many colonized indigenous peoples; from the realities of the British empire to its devolution to commonwealth status and much more.
And the headlines feed to us daily Mr. Putin’s aspirations to be a 21st century czar who feels he is free and anointed to invade a neighboring sovereign state if he cares to, United Nations charters and international laws be damned.
Yes, empires and colonialism have been with us a long time. In fact, David Korten, one of the great prophets of our time and author of When Corporations Rule the World wrote another book which is on the end of the age of empires—and what might replace it. He called it The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.
Joanna Macy called it the book we’ve been waiting for. We are not doomed to domination and suicidal competition. We can choose another story. This is the ‘Great Turning.’
Notice that the “Great Turning” means moving from domination and suicidal competition, that is, out of Patriarchy and reptilian brain consciousness which is all about domination, dualism, and suicide or what Adrienne Rich called “fatalistic self hatred.”
Are we witnessing the last gasps of the Age of Empires? And how thoroughly it has ruled the patriarchal mind set for 5000 years? Is this some Good News rising from the crises of our time?
Might our common foes, climate change and the demise of our Mother Earth, assist us in thinking globally and with an Earth consciousness, a story that moves us beyond empire-building and beyond nation-state idolatry?
To be continued
See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, especially chapters 2-4 on the Sacred Flesh of the Universe, Earth, and Humans, pp. 21-130.
See also Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Tohono Indian Women led the Tucson 2019 Women’s March with a show of strength, resilience and power. This woman’s sign said: My Mom, Sisters, Aunties and Grandmas are sacred. Her son was by her side. International Women’s Day Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash
Queries for Contemplation
Do you envision humanity coming together and throwing off the shackles of Empire-building in light of the common dangers and possibilities we share vis a vis our shared Mother Earth?
Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth
Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.