Week of 6/5–6/10/2023: Generosity and Its Opposite

June 5, 2023. Seven Precepts Born of the Chakras toward Living a Full and Spirited Life
In this meditation, we look at Matthew’s seven precepts for living well on the planet. Using the seven major chakras as a guide, these principles of Creation Spirituality teach how to direct the love energy we all possess. Greatly summarized, they are: 1. Be grounded and appreciate the wonders of the Earth and the Cosmos. 2. Be passionate. 3. Fight injustice. 4. Be compassionate. 5. Tell your truth. 6. Develop your creativity. 7. Build community. This is a welcome alternative to a focus on the seven capital sins which, as Aquinas says, is “misdirected love.”

Tune-up of All Chakras, in 7 minutes. Video by Meditative Mind.

June 6, 2023. Holiness and Generosity: The Wave of the Future
As we explore the concept of holiness, we look at generosity as a key indicator. Matthew tells the story of Sister Jose Hobday who was asked to speak to a group of nurses. The head nurse wanted her to talk about the problem and prevalence of burnout. Sister Jose began her talk with this: ”It’s better to have burned out than never to have burned at all.” And then she went on to praise the nurses for their compassion and generosity in caring for the sick. Matthew teaches: Generosity is about giving from one’s abundance, from the depth of one’s heart, from one’s very soul. Generosity is about giving without a guaranteed return. It is about the indigenous concept of “give away.” 

June 7, 2023. Robert Hanssen, Opus Dei, and the Opposite of Generosity
Robert Hansen was a spy who recently died in prison. He was serving several life sentences for betraying his country, selling highly classifed info to Russia for 1.4 million dollars plus bank funds and diamonds. He is an excellent example of the opposite of generosity, one who was motivated by extreme greed, with no moral compass. The head of the FBI during Hanssen’s tenure there was a member of Opus Dei, as was Hanssen. Opus Dei infiltrates many places of power, including the Catholic Church and our Supreme Court.

An insightful investigation into the controversial Opus Dei sect, founded by a priest of the Franco regime and now extending its influence across the world. Journeyman Pictures

June 8, 2023. Generosity, Its Etymological Roots and Meanings
The word “generous” comes from two Latin words: genere, which means to beget, produce, create, cause to exist, bring to life or generate. And genus, which means birth, descent, origin (especially of high birth), father, family, nation, stock, offspring, race, kind, class, sort. Matthew concludes: “The lesson seems to me that it takes generosity to be generative.” Meanwhile, Webster’s dictionary tells us that the word “generous” means to be magnanimous, kindly, liberal in giving, openhanded, marked by abundance or ample proportions, copious. Clearly, generosity is a great virtue.

June 9, 2023. Lessons to Learn from the Current Wildfires
As smoke blankets skies all over the Northeast, we reflect on the sad evidence of climate change in the wildfires that are raging throughout Canada, impacting both people and animals and devastating the great forests. This is a wake-up call for us; a time to remember and recognize the inherent sacredness of Mother Earth. Interestingly, as is the case with many disasters and catastrophes, human kindness, bravery, and generosity are also in full evidence as firefighters from all over the world come to help tame and extinguish the fires.

June 10, 2023. More Meanings and Understandings of Generosity
As we continue to explore the meanings of the word “generous” (related to: genesis, generate, generative, and also kin, kind, and kindly), we realize that the word is deeply cosmological. If kin means our relatives, and if we know that all being is kin, all flesh is kin, then we celebrate that we are related to all the beings of the universe. Our true family is the family of being, the family of creation, the family of our Creator and Source of all being.

We are related to one another, to the animals and trees and stars in the heavens. (Pictured are the skies at Pan de Azucar National Park, Chile.) Photo by Maarten Verstraete on Unsplash

Banner image: Watercolor of a potlatch, by James G. Swann, depicting the indigenous practice of the potlatch, practiced by the northwestern peoples of the U.S. whereby the chief gives away many goods of great value. Pictured here is the wife of Chief Chetzemoka distributing goods to the Klallam people of Port Townsend, Washington. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

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

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug

In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.”  ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.

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