The virtue of “generosity” is a very appropriate one in a time of discovering a new cosmology and a new creation story. As we have seen, the word “generous” in English is related to the words genus, genuine, genesis, generate, generative. But it is also related to the terms kin and kind and kindly. Clearly, the etymology of the word generous is deeply cosmological. Clearly Generosity fits wonderfully a time like ours when we are learning a new cosmology that is shared around the world.
In my book on Blessings of the Flesh, I propose that due to the new cosmology the word “flesh” needs to be expanded. In light of today’s creation story, “flesh” includes all matter, all of which is kin or of one kind (or genus) because it derives from one moment in time when the universe began and makes up one space that we call the “universe” (from the Latin word unus or “one.”) The flesh of the universe, the flesh of the Earth and her creatures, and the flesh of humans are all one flesh.
“Kin” means “a group of persons of common ancestry, one’s relatives,” according to Webster’s dictionary. Today we know that all being is kin, all flesh is kin, all the beings of the universe are our relatives. We all derive from the same ancestry after all. We are all of one kind, one kin. The indigenous people know this when they pray for “all our relations” on a regular basis.
What a moment we live in for reinventing and recelebrating community! Community motivates for generosity. In community, people find ways to give with greater abundance.
The word “kind” as a noun derives from the Old English word cyn or kin. It, too, denotes “family and lineage, the fundamental nature or essence of a group united by common traits or interests.” (The Latin word for this is genus.)
Who can deny the common interests we share with others of our kin today? In yesterday’s DM we considered the healthy air and forests that we hold in common and are seeing destroyed by climate change.
Our true family is the family of being, the family of creation, the family of our Creator and Source of all being. Is this not why so many traditions have called the Creator “Father” or “Mother”? The new cosmology has broadened our understanding of family to two trillion galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars. To be continued.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 381-383, 21-131.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner image: Food program for highly vulnerable families in the indigenous communities of the municipality of Poncitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. 700 children and 86 kidney patients. By Foodbank Lakeside and Mexican Food Bank of Guadalajara. Photo by Anna Guerrero. Used with permission of photographer.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you agree that Generosity fits a time of a new cosmology very well? What might follow from that discovery?
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