Eckhart on the Nobility of All, Part II

In his treatise on the nobility of all, Eckhart tells the peasants that “no one is nobler that you.”  We are equal, not ranked.  

Golden eagle in flight. Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

What our Lord calls a nobleman, the prophet calls a great eagle.  Who then is nobler than one who is born, on the one hand of the highest and the best that the creature has, and on the other hand from the inmost ground of the Divine nature and of His desert?

In employing the image of the eagle, Eckhart is playing on the German words Edler (noble) and Adler (eagle).  “What our Lord calls a royal person is named by the prophet a large eagle (Ezk 17:3f).”  

Eckhart relates our nobility to our being part of the “kingdom of God.”  If the kingdom of God is everywhere, we are all royalty, all part of it, no matter our status in society.

We all hold the divine nature in us.  

God has sowed His image and His likeness, and…sows the good seed, the root of all wisdom, all knowledge, all virtue, and all goodness, the seed of divine nature.  The seed of divine nature is the Son of God, the Word of God.

“The Sower at Sunset.” Vincent van Gogh, 1888, Arles. Wikimedia Commons.

Who then is the royal person?  

Anyone who lives a life from the core of his or her inner self, where the divine image or seed of God is found is a royal person. All who desire goodness and choose goodness therefore.  

The inner person is the one of whom our Lord says that ‘a man of royal birth went to a distant country to be appointed king.’  This is the good tree of which our Lord says that it always bears good fruit and never evil fruit.  For it desires goodness and is included to goodness.

Biblical scholar Dr. Helen Kenik tells us that throughout the Hebrew Bible the Yahwist tradition “presents human being as kings.”  

Good fruit: a pear tree in Hamedan, Iran. Photo by Alborzagros on Wikimedia Commons.

Eckhart draws from this tradition reminding us that “Christ’s whole nobility belongs equally to all.”  Because kings are responsible for justice, he urges us to “practice the same equality in human society.”

Moreover, we are to remember that since “the seed of a pear tree grows into a pear tree, a hazel seed into a hazel tree, the seed of God into God.”  

Our divinization is underscored.

When we receive “the word of God with a noble and generous heart,” it yields a good harvest. 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 518-525.

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

Banner Image: The Beloved Community: a silviculture orchard, interdependent ecosystem, bearing good fruit. St Ann’s Community Orchard, Nottingham, is part of the St Ann’s allotments. Photograph by Clem Rutter, Rochester, Kent, on Wikimedia Commons.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize the seed of God growing in you?  What makes it grow?  How do we practice the same equality in human society?

Recommended Reading

Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart

Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.”  — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.  

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

5 thoughts on “Eckhart on the Nobility of All, Part II”

  1. Avatar

    “No one who comes to me will ever be sent away.” – Jesus. These were the words, the ‘promise, that surfaced and rang out in my being last night as I was completing my daily kriya. How many times have we read the Word and the phrases ‘Come to me’, ‘Follow me’ and invitations to banquets and feasts?

    We are all called into discipleship, which is the greatest of callings. What will we learn when we humbly sit at the foot of the Master today? What will we hear? What will we ask? What will we be doing when we are asked to arise and follow? A disciple moves about and only finds rest and comfort in Jesus. Our role is active and as active witnesses we will be asked to testify to ‘the Truth’ as we follow ‘the Way’ and live ‘the Life’. There will be trials, suffering and rejoicing. Love, truth, peace and joy are our rulers and guides. The Spirit within us is indomitable. With Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we ‘break the chains’ and the hold that ‘the world’ has on us. Our freedom comes at ‘a cost’, the cost of foregoing all but the Master and the Master’s Ways, whose presence is here, now and everlasting. ‘To have and to hold, from this day forward’, is the promise of unconditional acceptance. — BB.

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      The Greatest of Callings!
      Another way, I experience, your amazing awareness:
      “The ‘Cost’ is in submitting to the all embracing, eternal love of God!”
      I have learned in that submission, I have experienced the most fulfilling, profound, at times – unbelievable experiences in my life. Does this forego pain and challenge? NO! That’s where our courage and joy, signs of holiness manifest. This is where I learn and continue to learn -RADICAL TRUST!
      Thank you, Bill, for your thought-fullness!

  2. Avatar

    It’s beautiful that the unique seeds of God are growing within All of us. Another way of expressing it spiritually is that we’re All made in the image and likeness of God. This is the “True Heart Self~Eternal Sacred Soul~Cosmic Consciousness”… within All our unique human hearts, so we must each of us have Faith and be open to nourishing and being aware of this Divine Nature and evolving Soul Present within us in our daily compassionate human lives with one another, with Sacred and beautiful Mother Nature, and within our Sacred multidimensional-multiverse evolving Cosmos with the Spirit of our co-Creator~Source’s Loving Diverse Oneness….

  3. Avatar

    The seeds within are nourished by spiritual practices and resources, such at this DM and other writings by Matthew, Richard Rohr, Henri Nouen and so many others. Those who model love and justice down through the ages inspire me. To follow Jesus is the way.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: