1/23 -1/28/2023: More on Nondualism and the Holiness of Matter

January 23, 2023. MLK, Chenu & Aquinas on Nondualism and the Body Politic.
Aquinas reminds us that the common good is more divine that personal liberties. Knowing how important this was, Martin Luther King, Jr. cited Aquinas in his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail. It was clear that spiritual laws supersede those made by men.

“King at a press conference in March 1964” Wikimedia

January 24, 2023. Chenu on the Spirit at Work in Human and Cosmic History.
One of the things nondualism means is our interdependence and oneness with nature and the universe. Pere Chenu clearly understood this when he said: The history of humankind, the history of the spirit is, by ontological necessity, tied up with the history of nature. For humanity is, in the full sense of the word, a microcosm. He further said that “every individual is at the service of the species.” Thus, we need to fight injustice in our world.

January 25, 2023. MLK & Chenu on the “Creative Maladjustment” Injustice Requires.
Dr. King once said that “human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” Matthew says: It is the maladjusted, those who resist adjusting to a bad system and use their imagination and creativity to find alternatives and make them happen, who usher in the way of the future, the way of healing or salvation. King was clearly such a person, as was Chenu. And both of them paid the price. But both also wrote words of great beauty and inspiration while in exile. Chenu, for instance, wrote: Our being is born of love. And every creature loves the all more than himself and God more than the all.

Excerpt of Teilhard de Chardin’s “Mass on the World,” considered one of his great mystical texts. Read by Yaling Wu of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. From the documentary Teilhard and China by eRenlai Ricci. YouTube 

January 26, 2023. Chenu, Aquinas, Teilhard on the Holiness of Matter in History.
Chenu speaks about “continuous incarnation” and “continuous creation.” Matthew reminds us that “with incarnation comes responsibility.” Chenu says, “Creation fails when humanity fails.” Meanwhile, Teilhard de Chardin says that matter is always being created and “will always remain young, exuberant, sparkling, newborn for those who are willing.”

January 27, 2023. More of Teilhard’s Nondualism.
All the mystics speak about nonduality and union. For instance, Julian of Norwich said, “Between God and the human there is no between.” And Teilhard wrote: Matter and Spirit: These were no longer two things but two states or two aspects of one and the same cosmic Stuff, according to whether it was looked at or carried further in the direction in which it is becoming itself or in the direction in which it is disintegrating. Matter is the Matrix of Spirit. Spirit is the higher state of Matter.

The Spiritual Power Of Matter/Teilhard de Chardin. Video by David Bell, KiwiConnexion Theology on YouTube.

January 28, 2023. Teilhard de Chardin on Nondualism, continued.
Teilhard speaks of the Cosmic Christ (the very opposite of dualism!) and says that this Christ is present “in the heart of the tiniest atom.” Teilhard came to realize that Spirit was “the very heart” of matter and that matter evolved and morphed into psyche. Meanwhile, Spirit was ominpresent. He concludes with this powerful statement: The conclusion is always the same: Love is the most powerful and still the most unknown energy of the world. He sees the universe as filled with love.

Banner image: The Universe is Love. Nonduality in action. Pexels

Recommended Reading

Christian Mystics: 365 Readings & Meditations

As Matthew Fox notes, when an aging Albert Einstein was asked if he had any regrets, he replied, “I wish I had read more of the mystics earlier in my life.” The 365 writings in Christian Mystics represent a wide-ranging sampling of these readings for modern-day seekers of all faiths — or no faith. The visionaries quoted range from Julian of Norwich to Martin Luther King, Jr., from Thomas Merton to Dorothee Soelle and Thomas Berry.
“Our world is in crisis, and we need road maps that can ground us in wisdom, inspire us to action, and help us gather our talents in service of compassion and justice.  This revolutionary book does just that.  Matthew Fox takes some of the most profound spiritual teachings of the West and translates them into practical daily mediations.  Study and practice these teachings.  Take what’s in this book and teach it to the youth because the new generation cannot afford to suffer the spirit and ethical illiteracy of the past.” — Adam Bucko, spiritual activist and co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation for Homeless Youth.

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

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8 thoughts on “1/23 -1/28/2023: More on Nondualism and the Holiness of Matter”

  1. Avatar

    All matter incarnate…indeed! Thanks, Teilhard for that inspiring reminder!

    Another feminine theologian, Sally McFague, then suggested “The Earth – God’s Body”

    Thanks, Matthew, for your connections with some of the wise ones!

  2. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    On January 26, 2023 in our Daily Meditation, Matthew began by saying that “Chenu admires Aquinas for the importance he gives to matter. Remember Aquinas tells us that this is why he preferred Aristotle to Plato, because Aristotle ‘does not denigrate matter.’” More than this, Chenu talks of “continuous incarnation” which means that we too are incarnations of the Cosmic Christ. And with incarnation comes responsibility. Today our responsibility extends to Mother Earth and to creation itself. Chenu put it this way: “Creation fails when humanity fails….” Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest, scientist and mystic, who the Vatican forbade most of his books from being published in his lifetime, also celebrates matter. Says he: “Till the very end of time matter will always remain young, exuberant, sparkling, newborn for those who are willing.” Nor is evolution for Teilhard an obstacle to faith. Quite the opposite, it offers insight on the deeper dimensions of Spirit at work in history. Teilhard writes: “That magic word, ‘evolution’ which haunted my thoughts like a tune: which was to me like unsatisfied hunger, like a promise held out to me, like a summons to be answered.” I agree with Aquinas, Chenu and Teilhard on the issue of matter. I hold a view that human nature is embodied spirit or as Chenu has continuous incarnation–a wholistic approach to human nature. I also am forever grateful for Matthew’ Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, where he shows us the marvels of matter and the blessings of the flesh…

    1. Avatar

      I have no comments on the summary today. Richard, I thought I read this week, in a comment response, that you have a book coming out? If that is the case, what is it about and what does it cover? Under the topic of spirituality, I bring up that question here. Thanks. — Bill.

      1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
        Richard Reich-Kuykendall

        Bill, The book you refer to I mentioned in a comment to Jeanette Metler. It was my dissertation for Matthew’s University of Creation Spirituality. Its title is, Tarot Meditations Inspired by Creation Spirituality. What the book is, is 78 meditations on the cards of the tarot, from the perspective of Creation Spirituality. Besides the meditations, I drew all of the illustrations for the cards, in the practice of what Matthew calls: “art-as-meditation.” Beyond this there is a history of the Tarot and the explanation of what Creation Spirituality is. It is in production now but still probably won’t be out for a couple of months. Thanks for asking !

  3. Avatar

    The ancient Japanese mystics of the Shinto religion share the same world view as those mystics discussed within this week’s DM’s. At the center of their way of being upon the Earth, lies a knowledge that all the things of the world surrounding us, possess Kami. Kami refers to each created thing having their own form and expression of aliveness, of consciousness, of inspiritedness. All things are aware, expressive, and engaged with the world, each in its unique way.

    Shinrin-yoku is the spiritual practice of these Japanese mystics, which is about contemplatively, consciously and quietly walking upon the sacred Earth; allowing oneself to be influenced by the inspirited world, that is conscious of human presence.

    Celtic philosopher, poet and mystic John O’Donahue calls this same spiritual practice interflow… a reciprocity of life, of pulse, of natural wisdom, an offering and receiving in equal measure, without question.

    Andrew Harvey encourages us to kindle the flames of joy, one flame of which is to Love and trust the mystics and practice what they taught… another flame is to Love nature, by celebrating its sacred beauty.

    I’m currently reading a wonderfully inspiring book, by an ordinary mystic in our times, titled…Rooted: Life At The Crossroads Of Science, Nature And Spirit, which conveys beautifully the topics within this wks DM’s. I highly recommend it.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, You write today in part: “Shinrin-yoku is the spiritual practice of these Japanese mystics, which is about contemplatively, consciously and quietly walking upon the sacred Earth…” There is also “walking meditation” in Buddhism and even Aristotelian philosophers were called, Peripatetics because they walked around while they taught!

  4. Avatar

    Looking forward to reading “The Coming of the Cosmic Christ”!
    Two other books about The Divine Feminine that have been recommended to me are:
    1) “Homo Liminous:: Manual for the Divine Human,” by Kiara Windrider
    2) “The Sophia Code: A Living Transmission from the Sophia Dragon Tribe,” by Kaia Ra

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Damian, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ was a life changer for me !!! Its a great book, published just before Matthew was silenced. Bless you in your reading !!!

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