The Generosity of Nature and the Model it Sets for Humanity

How generous Nature is!

This week we celebrate beginning of summer (Wednesday). Let us remember how generous the universe is. For example, the sun. The entire energy of the earth runs on one billionth (!) of the energy the sun emits every day. 

Portrait of Khwāje Shams-od-Dīn Moḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shirazi (1325-1390), by Abolhassan Sadighi. Wikimedia Commons.

Sufi mystic Hafiz in the fourteenth century caught the deep meaning of this when he wrote:

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens
With a love like that,
It lights up the whole sky.

Currently, climate change, so much a result of human narcissism and self-absorption, appears rendering the sun into an enemy. But heat emergencies should wake us up to our own complicity as a species in our own demise amidst ever worsening draughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes. 

Latvian traditional dance in Riga, June 23, 2016. Video by chapo773.

And get us moving to, as Thomas Berry said, “reinvent the human.” Which means reinventing the way we do work and energy, education and religion, politics, media and economics on this earth. And ready us for the “inner jihad” that can move us beyond wars against one another and provide the group response to the common calamity we face from climate change.

The bottom line is found in Hafiz’ poem. The sun is generous. Are we generous back? Are we generous forward–to future generations of children of all peoples and all the species inhabiting our amazing earth?

Hafiz reminds us that we all have a spiritual warrior inside of us and generosity is a sign of authentic warriorhood.

Suscol Intertribal Council, 2015 Pow-wow. Photo by Sarah Stierch. Wikimedia Commons.

The warrior
Wisely sits in a circle
With other men and women
Gathering the strength to unmask oneself.
Then sits, giving,
Like a great illumined planet on the Earth.*

We must recover the warrior within if we are to have the gumption to respond to the Earth crisis and climate crisis of our time. 

Inner strength is required. 

Circle consciousness is required.

Moral outrage is required.

A sense of community is required. (To hell with the exaggerated individualism of capitalism, consumerism and modern consciousness—“I think, therefore I am.”)

Wisdom is required. (To hell with so-called education and academia that teaches knowledge and ignores wisdom!)

The divine feminine (Earth and Wisdom are both goddesses) is required.

The intuitive brain is required (where Einstein says values are found).

A renewed healthy masculine, the sacred masculine, is required.

Humans imitating the generosity of nature and the cosmos is required.

*Daniel Ladinsky, The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master, Renderings by Daniel Ladinsky, (NY: Arkana, 1999), pp. 34, 135.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 416f.

And Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.

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

Banner Image: Sun, Sky, and Clouds, photo by Bodomi. Wikimedia Commons.

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13 thoughts on “The Generosity of Nature and the Model it Sets for Humanity”

  1. Avatar

    Another contribution from Hafiz:
    One regret, dear world,
    That I am determined not to have
    When I am lying on my deathbed
    Is that
    I did not kiss you enough.
    (I Heard God Laughing: Rendering of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinski, p. 85)

  2. Avatar

    The ‘Sun’ teaches faithfulness, gratefulness, gratitude and its enduring generosity. When most are still asleep, the sun is getting ready to rise again as it always does for us. If the Sun were to implode, we would not know as we would implode in some way along side of it. Since this has not been the case, we should not take the Sun for granted, but rejoice in its gift of life to us, everywhere and always. There is another sun or ‘Son’ that teaches faithfulness, gratefulness, gratitude and unending and enduring generosity as well. We should not take the Son for granted, but rejoice in His Gift of Life to us even more so, with all our mind, heart, body and soul. — BB.

  3. Avatar

    Brother Sun reminds me every morning (every moment) of God’s Spirit of LOVE~LIGHT~LIFE Present within, through, among, and around us in our daily Compassionate lives with one another, with beautiful Sacred Mother Earth, and with our Sacred physical and non-physical spiritual multidimensional-multiverse evolving Cosmos within our co-Creator~Source’s Loving
    Diverse Oneness….

    Even though we have to remain aware of our personal and humanity’s need for healing of our inner shadow woundedness, guilt and transgressions caused by our ancestors’ beliefs/actions based on toxic, unbalanced, and destructive patriarchal values such as egocentricity (still present within/among us), I am glad that you reminded us that not only the Spirit of the Divine Feminine, but also the same Wholistic Spirit of Sacred Masculine is also Always Present within and among us (“The Hidden Spirituality of Men”) in the eternal evolution of our souls….

  4. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    The Generosity of Nature

    Last night I had a balcony seat for the Opera of Nature. The stage was painted in deep washes of dusk, dimly light with starlight. To the right of the shadowed forested stage slowly emerged the deep beltone sounds of the frogs and the sweet serenading song of the string quartets as the crickets played their violins. To the left of the stage entered the two voices of the operatic singers, the loons, with their reverberating, echoing calls back and forth, their haunting tones traveling like skipping stones across the still waters of the lake. This generous gift of the opera of nature, was a healing balm for my soul!

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thank you for painting the scene for my imagination to behold through sight and sound.
      I imagined the string quartet and remembered the song of the loons.

  5. Avatar

    As a keen gardener, nurturing and tending my plants on a daily basis I am in a position where I touch Nature at the point where it is most alive. And as a student of Horticulture there is a requirement to learn the proper names of plants, including Genus and species for purposes of understanding a plant’s ancestry and for identification. Matthew’s recent themes on genus & generosity is enhancing my appreciation considerably and today I had a peak experience whilst standing in front to my herbaceous border…. fresh from heavy thundery rain and glowing in the morning sun. .. such power of sheer beauty coming from the flowers as if they were singing with joy!
    A moment I am sure to remember.
    Thankyou for the awakening.

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