More Meanings and Understandings of Generosity

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.

Man shows exceptional kindness and respect. Free Hugs Project

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.

“Nessi Gomes – All Related.” Orion Eshel on YouTube

“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 skies at Pan de Azucar National Park, Chile. “There was no outdoor lighting on the beach so we were able to the skies as we had never seen them before.” Photo by Maarten Verstraete on Unsplash

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?

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

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15 thoughts on “More Meanings and Understandings of Generosity”

  1. Avatar

    We are all One. I’d heard that said by spiritual teachers (yogis) for years and only now after 74 years of living and the discoveries of science do i “ get it.”
    It’s indisputable at this point in time. We are evolving and hopefully according to some divine plan. Thank you Dr Fox.

    1. Avatar

      Ellen, after 91 years of living and recent scientific study, I too finally “get it”. Creation Spirituality and New Cosmology, the unfolding and evolutionary journey we are all on, makes perfect sense. I feel as though I have only now at this late date awakened to a conscious awareness of the story of the universe and our current role within it. And I so grateful.
      I am working hard on trying to understand how the human must change in order to implement the intentionality and evolving creativity of the universe. We can no longer destroy our home planet; we must become conscious that the Earth is sacred.

    2. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thanks for sharing your 74 year old awareness.
      I feel the same way. Heard the words for years –
      just beginning to feel and experience – ONE.

  2. Avatar

    I think if we go ‘back to the future’ we will find that we are only discoverers of who we really are and who we have always been. We ‘realize’ what is and that is beyond our current comprehension alone. What is to be ‘revealed’ is what is. Alpha and Omega tell us that beginning and end are infinitely connected. The ‘One Truth’ is not a time honoured and evolving tradition, it just is. What the Holy Spirt has said to the Prophets of old and those yet to come is the same as what is being whispered in our ears today if we can be receptive to it. This is not to dampen the new and the creative, but new and creative are discoveries of who we are, what we are capable of, and what we have always been. This too is liberation and cause for celebration and generosity, for we too are blessed in so many ways that are beyond our current comprehension. When we ‘live as blessed’ others will take note and look to get a share in that, or not, being their choice. What more can we do to honour the God of Our Creation than to live the ‘blessed life’ that we are? — BB.

  3. Richard E Reich

    In your book on Blessings of the Flesh, you 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–the flesh of the universe, the flesh of the Earth and her creatures, and the flesh of humans are all one flesh. 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! I cannot improve on your words, so this is the heart of what you have said to me!

  4. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    Generous Cosmos
    One Love Birthing
    Manifesting Infinite
    Diverse Expressions
    Of Its Kindred Spirit
    Through Relationship
    With All Of Creation

    Generous Earth
    One Love Giving
    All Of Herself
    Enfolding All
    In The Beauty
    Of Her Giveaway
    Nurturing Wholeness

    As Above So Below
    One Love Continously
    Unfolding Emerging
    Converging Within All
    Sacred Union Of Hearts
    Holy Communion Of Souls
    Entering The Circle Of Being

  5. Avatar
    Gwen McGrenere

    Perhaps Matthew should seek the nomination for President of the United States. He has a sterling platform highlighting the unity of all being, from here to eternity.

  6. Avatar

    There are several aspects/qualities of the Spirit of Divine Love that are very important and interrelated in our souls on our human spiritual journeys with one another here on sacred and beautiful Mother Earth with whom we are deeply interrelated and interdependent within our co-Creator~Source’s Loving Diverse Oneness — Compassion~Wisdom~Truth~Peace~Justice~
    Healing~Forgiveness~Transformation~Creativity~Beauty~Joy~Service… This Spirit of Divine Love is always Present with-in our “True Heart Self~Eternal Sacred Soul~Cosmic Cosciousness”of our humanity in our daily lives with one another, with Sacred Mother Earth, and with-in our sacred physical/non-physical spiritual multidimensional-multiverse evolving Cosmos….

  7. Avatar

    Generous! What a great word to consider more deeply. Thank you????????
    Thank you for this meditation and for putting voice to what I know to be true. Very generous, brother

  8. Avatar
    Cheryl M Burton

    I don’t see much in the history of the Dominican Order for charity work. Even the Orders who did extensive charity works have now sold out to the State. This means that more and more big businesses are controlling works of charity now with their money. It is the same with the Protestants and all other religions. All the same, they are controlled by money.

  9. Avatar

    The discussion of generous and related words reminds me of Erik Erickson’s stages of psychosocial development. The next to the last of the 8 stages is generativity vs. stagnation in later adulthood–the feeling of satisfaction for the future because of raising healthy children as opposed to bitterness over failed hopes. Generativity recognizes the connections with all creation. We need more modeling of this truth. Let us spread the word as best we can.

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