We are blessed today with a poem contributed from the poet/activist Rafael Jesús González, first poet laureate of the City of Berkeley, CA and founder of the Mexican and Latin American Studies Department at Laney College in Oakland. He dedicates this work to Teilhard de Chardin.

A Brief History of Love

“Emergence” Sand painting by David Paladin, 1973. Reprinted with permission.

The first-born of Mother Chaos, it is said,
was Eros of the piercing, life-giving darts.
& then through eons & eons of Cosmic turmoil
was born Earth who in union with the Sun
through eons & eons of gestation
gave birth to Life. Through more eons & eons
of calamity, catastrophe & trial,
Life grew sentient —colors & sounds,
smells, tastes, the feel of things.
And later after eons & eons
(though far less) it grew conscious
of wonder & of myth, of history & science,
strange mixtures of love & fear,
curiosity, invention, & awry desires,
until Tonantzin, the Great Mother
is wounded by us, her wayward children.

Awaking to what is
now we must defend the Earth
from ourselves
with a fierce love.

Breve historia del amor

El primogénito de Madre Caos, se dice,
fue Eros de las saetas penetrantes, dadoras de vida.
Y luego a través de eones y eones de agitación Cósmica
nació la Tierra que en unión con el Sol
a través de eones y eones de preñez
dio luz a la Vida. A través más eones y eones
de calamidad, catástrofe y prueba,
la Vida se hizo sensible —colores y sonidos,
olores, sabores, tacto de las cosas,
Y más tarde después de eones y eones
(aunque muchos menos) se hizo consciente
de asombro y de mito, de historia y ciencia,
extrañas mixturas de amor y de miedo,
curiosidad, invención y torcidos deseos
hasta que ahora Tonantzin, la Gran Madre
es herida por nosotros, sus hijos desviados.

Despertando a lo que es
ahora tendremos que defender a la Tierra
de nosotros mismos
con un amor feroz.

© Rafael Jesús González 2014


See Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.

Also see Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Tonantzin, Mission District mural. Photo by Andy Cross on Flickr.

Midpoint Image: Indigenous Waorani women, protesting ‘rushed’ hearing of their suit against the Ecuadoran government selling tribal land, shut down court with song. Photo by Sophie Pinchetti for Amazon Frontlines. Mongabay News.

Queries for Contemplation

Recommended Reading

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.

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.


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9 thoughts on “A Brief History of Love, Dedicated to Teilhard”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today you tell us of Rafael Jesús González, first poet laureate of the City of Berkeley, CA, and you share a poem that he dedicated to Teilhard de Chardin titled: “A Brief History of Love”
    The first-born of Mother Chaos, it is said, was Eros of the piercing, life-giving darts.
    & then through eons & eons of Cosmic turmoil was born Earth who in union with the Sun
    through eons & eons of gestation gave birth to Life.
    Through more eons & eons of calamity, catastrophe & trial,
    Life grew sentient —colors & sounds, smells, tastes, the feel of things.
    And later after eons & eons (though far less) it grew conscious of
    wonder & of myth, of history & science,
    strange mixtures of love & fear, curiosity, invention, & awry desires,
    until Tonantzin, the Great Mother
    is wounded by us, her wayward children.

    Awaking to what is
    now we must defend the Earth
    from ourselves
    with a fierce love.

    An amazing and powerful poem that I believe finds a very welcoming home in the tradition of Creation Spirituality, and of course it is a gift to Teilhard de Chardin.

  2. Avatar

    “Awakening to what is
    now we must defend the Earth
    from ourselves
    with a fierce Love”

    This Divine Love is always Present within our hearts~souls, among us, in our Sacred Mother Nature-Earth, and within our ongoing co-Creation~Evolution of our sacred multidimensional -multiverse Cosmos in Loving Diverse Oneness….
    ????

  3. Avatar

    “Born of chaos… was love. Born of turmoil… was union and gestation, giving birth to life. Through calamity, catastrophy and trial… grew conscious strange mixtures of love and fear. Wounded, wayward children… awaking to what is.” The archetypal image of Durga arises from these words… slashing away all illusions of the romantic sentimentality of love, union and gestation that gives birth, and the unfolding, evolving emergence of growth in consciousness with its strange mixtures of love and fear. In place of this illusion we are faced with the reality of fierce love, which is chaotic, born of turmoil, calamity, catastrophy and trial. It’s a wounding, wayward journey… that awakens. This just is!

    Strangely this image and these poetic words of fierce love empower me to not be so afraid of chaos, turmoil, calamity, catastrophy and trial. They oddly give me hope, that there is within this gestation, a unifying force giving birth to something new… that within the strange mixtures of love and fear, there is the unfolding, evolving emergence of conscious awakening within humanity taking place… in which the wounded become the wounded healers and the wayward become fierce lovers of all that which just is… that gives life.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, Thank you for saying: “Strangely this image and these poetic words of fierce love empower me to not be so afraid of chaos, turmoil, calamity, catastrophe and trial.” And your words: “fierce love” remind me of Ram Dass’ words: “fierce grace.” We are seeing common threads in different forms of mysticism…

  4. Avatar

    Teilhard encourages us to “pursue our curiosity”… I
    I see curiosity as a Spirit Prod urging us to go forward…inspiring us with questions, unsolicited invitations designed to guide us to the essential Truth that will set us free….
    Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul in his book The Unconscious Civilization stated that dismissing questions can cause a person and a community to slip into a dangerous state of unconsciousness. He wrote: “A true question…will remain clear and unforgiving for hundreds of years.” This is what I had in mind when I made the sub title of my book about Miriam of Nazareth a question: Who can find her?

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Gwen, Thank you for saying: “Teilhard encourages us to ‘pursue our curiosity’… ” Curiosity leads us to search for answers–a search that lasts a lifetime, even though we come to many stopping places along the way. In these places, where we think we have reached our destination, we also think we know the truth. No more need for curiosity. And many stay in these places–but not mystic-prophets…

  5. Avatar

    We wayward children must defend Mother earth from ourselves with a fierce love is such a poignant concept, that carries both threat and hope. I hope and pray that there are enough of us who will continue to act in fierce love against all the powers and principalities that are so seductive to ego and so easily internalized.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Sue, Today you write: “We wayward children must defend Mother earth from ourselves with a fierce love…” And just how fiercely we must love and defend Mother Earth, Matthew writes passionately about in his book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. This book begins with a Dream and a Vision–a dream he had which said Mother Earth was dying. He speaks of it as “matricide” and of the Crucifixion of the Earth, he then shows us how bad things are getting on the earth, but then shows us a way out–how ??? If you haven’t already read this book, I recommend you do it now. It was a life changer for me !!!

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