Week of 2/20-2/25: Truth & Lies; Mystics vs. Fox News

February 20, 2023. Further Teachings on the Cosmic Christ from Pre-Modern Mystics
At this time of ecological crisis on the planet, we are urged to return to a Christology which honors the Cosmic Christ and the sacredness of all that is. Following are a sample of teachings from pre-modern mystics: Divinity is the enfolding and unfolding of everything that is.  Divinity is in all things in such a way that all things are in divinity.  (Nicholas of Cusa, 1400-1464) This Word manifests in every creature. Now this is how the spirit is in the flesh—the Word is indivisible from God. The God of creation is worshipped by all creatures…Every creature has a spiritual life.  (Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179) The seed of divine nature is the Son of God, the Word of God…The seed of God is in us.  (Meister Eckhart, 1260-1327)

“Carolina Wren singing her little heart out.” Photo by Ryk Naves on Unsplash

February 21, 2023. The godlessness of Fox News: A Spiritual Crisis
The trial of Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News has brought to light the fact that most of the Fox News executives and anchors knew that claims about a “stolen election” were patently untrue, and yet they nevertheless continually spouted those lies to the American public. When one reporter dared to question Trump’s claims on air, she was threatened with being fired because stock prices were down. The god of Fox News is obviously not Truth, but greed. Matthew concludes: A sick capitalism births a sick journalism that in turn sickens society.  

February 22, 2023. Fox “News” versus Truth
Another revelation which emerged during the court case between Dominion and Fox “News” is that the big shots at Fox were mocking, behind the scenes, those very people whom they were interviewing on air. Clearly, Fox knew the truth and subverted it for its own purposes. Profit margins trumped truth. Around the world, Truth is often equated with God— i.e., “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” And, the Bhagavad Gita, which declares that a world without truth is a world without God and in such a world desire alone will rule.

February 23, 2023. Ash Wednesday 2023: Should We All Give Up Fox News for Lent?
Ash Wednesday, like Ramadam in Islam and Yom Kippur in Judaism, is a time for taking stock of our lives and our values. How can I (we) do better?  How can I (we) live out my (our) values more authentically? If Christ can fast for 40 days and nights in the desert, what is it that we can give up or sacrifice for 40 days? Perhaps one thing we would do well to do is cease watching Fox News, recommit ourselves to the Truth, and convince others to do the same.

“Fox News: We Deceive/You Believe” Billboard banner of Change.org boycott of Fox News advertisers. Photo by Aaron Bassett on Flickr. Learn more HERE.

February 24, 2023. Lent 2023: Is Rupert Murdoch a Father of Lies?
As we do personal spiritual inventory work during lent, we wonder: Wouldn’t it be nice if corporations took the time to do this as well? What is becoming evident for all to see is that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is not seeking or sharing Truth so much as distorting it and investing bigly in Big Lies. It is clear that this promulgation of lies contributed in no small way to the January 6th insurrection and that it continues to endanger our democracy. Maybe Fox News should remember that while God is synonymous with Truth, Satan is “the Father of Lies.”

February 25, 2023. Teresa of Avila on Truth; Murdoch, GOAT of Lying
Rupert Murdoch, as a media mogul in three countries, wears the dubious honor of “Greatest of All Time” Liar. Among his many sins, he has paid enormous multi-million dollar salaries to Fox anchors for continuing to spout lies about the previous election, all which have resulted in disastrous effects on our democracy. In contrast, the mystics have a lot to say about Truth. For instance, St. Teresa of Avila said that we should “draw out the truth in everything…God is supreme Truth; and to be humble is to walk in truth.”

St. Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582), Doctor of the Church, mystic, nun and reformer, led a movement of spiritual and monastic renewal, reforming the Carmelite Orders of both women and men. Painting by François Gérard, 1827. Wikimedia Commons

Banner image: Goddess of Truth and Justice. Image by NoName_13 from Pixabay

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood For Our Time

Thomas Aquinas said, “To live well is to work well,” and in this bold call for the revitalization of daily work, Fox shares his vision of a world where our personal and professional lives are celebrated in harmony–a world where the self is not sacrificed for a job but is sanctified by authentic “soul work.”
“Fox approaches the level of poetry in describing the reciprocity that must be present between one’s inner and outer work…[A]n important road map to social change.” ~~ National Catholic Reporter

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8 thoughts on “Week of 2/20-2/25: Truth & Lies; Mystics vs. Fox News”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    February 20, 2023. Further Teachings on the Cosmic Christ from Pre-Modern Mystics
    On this day Matthew began by reminding us that: “We are urging the return to a Christology that is far older than that of the Nicene Creed–that of the Cosmic Christ. We have found this foundational archetype richly present in the Christian Scriptures, the Greek Fathers of the early church and the medieval mystics—all pre-modern thinkers”–and in such thinkers of our times as Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Merton. The idea of the Cosmic Christ as well as a good share of mysticism was lost or buried during the Enlightenment period, as well as after WWII with Logical Positivism, and Linguistic and Analytical philosophy. We are trying to disentangle ourselves from this reductionistic thinking, and scientific materialism which draws our attention away from Mother Earth and the things of the Spirit. And so we find here that it is not modernistic thinking that saves us, but the thinking of the pre-moderns like: Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Meister Eckhart (1260-1327), Julian of Norwich (1342-1415), and Nicholas of Cusa (1400-1464). And then he asked us: “Be with just one of these meditations.” And so I was with: “People think God has only become a human being there—in his historical incarnation—but that is not so. For God is here—in this very place—just as much incarnate as in a human being long ago. And this is why God has become a human being: that God might give birth to you as the only begotten son/daughter, and as no less” (Meister Eckhart)–This is my meditation, and has been for a long time…

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    The day by day summary of this past week’s meditations beautifully reveals in clear relief how lightning fast we flawed humans with feet of clay can slip from basking in the Divinity in all things to the next day calling a collection of our fellow humans, with whom we might rightfully disagree, godless…

    It’s a challenge I struggle with every single day. Thank you for this.

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    I recognized in my ponderings… how nature itself mirrors the movement of what we encounter during the Lenten season that leads to the Resurrection. The time of lent is about dealing with temporary conflict both interiorally and exterrially… a movement of little deaths… which leads to future, creative resurrections.

    We often perceive this movement rather violently unfolding, evolving and emerging in creation; for example in the conflixtion of the tectonic plates as they shift under the earth creating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions… the death of somethings…that eventually leads to future creations… the resurrection of new life.

    We see this phenomenon and the drama of this playing itself out within humanities relationships… with the different aspects of self, each other, the earth and all creatures, as well as the Great Mystery.

    This movement isn’t about an either or option… or the need to eliminate one to attain the other… but rather each contributing part within this cosmic drama… the temporary conflixtion… death… and future creative resurrection… unfolding, evolving and emerging, within the bounds of time and space… is NATURAL.

    This isn’t just a Jesus story, it’s a Cosmic story. The mystics like Teilhard, Eckhart, Chardin, and Jung along with Jesus, were awakened consciously to this truth of reality… accepting these mysterious movements, which they named as the Christ.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, Today you write: “This isn’t just a Jesus story, it’s a Cosmic story. The mystics like Teilhard, Eckhart, Chardin, and Jung along with Jesus, were awakened consciously to this truth of reality… accepting these mysterious movements, which they named as the Christ.” I just wanted to add another name which is important to your list because of his influence on Matthew, and that was his teacher Marie-Dominique Chenu (1895-1990). Chenu was the grandfather of Liberation Theology–having taught Gustavo Gutierrez, who was the author of the book: Liberation Theology, and the grandfather of Creation Spirituality–having taught Matthew. And Chenu also was forced by the Master of his Order to leave Paris in 1953 only being allowed to return in 1962–sounds like Matthew to me–except Matthew didn’t return!

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    Bonnie Krauskoff Belfy

    Matthew Fox, you are the greatest! I love all of your meditations. I have been an advocate of yours way before you had to leave the Roman Catholic Church. Your meditations resonate with my own spirituality. Your reflections on Fox News is something I wish the whole world would hear and take to heart.
    May the god of us all keep blessing you with wisdom and voice. You are a prophet of our times.
    Bonnie Krauskoff Belfy

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    Here’s the hang-up I have with the “Cosmic Christ” concept. It seems to be a form of spiritual colonialism- Christianizing the Universe, i.e. everything. I recognize it is well intentioned but the association of the word christ with Christianity is undeniably strong, arguably inseparable. Would we be as comfortable with the concept of the Cosmic Mohammed? Think many folks would show up to learn more about such a concept? I can grasp that the idea of an anointed bringing us to fulfillment or the Promised Land and that such source is the Universe herself. But the title Christ is synonymous with Jesus, i.e. Christianity.

    That said, I get, as best my struggling self can, the reality of the Creator being in all, including me and you. I’m a deep admirer of Meister Eckhart. His Zen like understanding and non-understanding reminds me of what I understand Merton was trying to do before his death. Knowing-Not Knowing, Via Negativa, Positiva…that sits with my heart/soul. Thanks for reading. Appreciating the timeliness and depth of Matts daily postings. Thank you.

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