This past Saturday, in meditating on a healthier masculinity, we learned of a powerful phrase from a Native American prison chaplain who summarized my book on the Sacred Masculine with this phrase: “Finding the nobility inside.”

The “cardinal virtues” act as an antidote to the envy, wrath, avarice, etc. inside us. Video by hochelaga.

Isn’t that what spirituality is all about? Our finding the nobility inside, and acting on that, in preference to, let us say, the envy inside or the violence inside or the greed or avarice or fear or self-hating or… inside?

Père Chenu thinks so. He actually defines spirituality as our nobility. That is what spirituality is: Making touch with the nobility inside.

The earliest known portrait of Augustine in a 6th century fresco, Lateran, Rome. Unknown author. Wikimedia Commons.

Original Blessing is a term I coined for the same reality. That all beings are original blessings, from the universe itself, to our Earth, to all the creatures on it (I know my dog is), to each human on Earth. “Blessing,” we recall is just a theological word for “good” or “goodness” or “exhibiting the good” or “sharing the good.”

We are all born original blessings—humans too—no matter what neuroses plagued St. Augustine around his sexuality that he could not control—Augustine being the one who came up with the idea of “original sin” in the fourth century, and who equated it with our sexuality. 

Elie Wiesel at the 2012 Time 100 gala. Photo by David Shankbone. Wikimedia Commons.

No Jew—Jesus included—has ever heard about original sin. It is not in the Bible. Elie Wiesel tells us that the idea of original sin is not only not in the Bible, “it is alien to Jewish thinking.”

The Jews, Jesus included, have heard about original blessing or its equivalent however, since, if you check it out, the first page of the Bible (Genesis 1) speaks of the various items of creation as good, as good, as good and then, after humans arrive (believe it or not) the entire circle of creation is called very good.

How about that? 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality, pp. 42-56. 

And Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 3-18.

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

Banner Image: Two classes, both noble: Men in process of rebuilding Seattle after its 1889 fire, in front of Jacob Furth’s house. Furth, founder of Puget Sound National Bank, had a reputation for putting the city before his own business interests. Photo from MOHAI, Seattle Historical Society Collection. Wikimedia Commons. 

Queries for Contemplation

How do you recover the sense of your nobility or original blessing when it has been compromised? How do you assist others to do the same?

Recommended Reading

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology): the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.
Original Blessing makes available to the Christian world and to the human community a radical cure for all dark and derogatory views of the natural world wherever these may have originated.” –Thomas Berry, author, The Dream of the Earth; The Great Work; co-author, The Universe Story

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

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9 thoughts on “Finding the Nobility Inside, continued”

  1. Avatar

    Regardless of who we are / what we may think of ourselves, and what others think of us, we are and always will be worthy. Worthiness is our foundation and our starting and ending point. That is why most do not get started on the spiritual path or stop and start, get warm and cold, get enthusiastic and then ‘jaundiced’ and indifferent. It seems that one’s sense of worthiness goes up and down like the thermometer measuring temperature and pressure. Worthiness tells us that we belong as rightful heirs as sons and daughters of the ‘Most High’. We might be scorned, admonished and hated for both our good and bad behaviour, but we will always be worthy. Say and think what you will, but we are all from and belong to the ‘Royal Court of Divinity’. This does not excuse one from untoward or harmful behaviour, but always ‘serves’ to take us back to that which and where we belong. And that is what we look for is it not, being the place where we are accepted, loved and belong. And God’s children are not to be orphans, as all are to belong. Reliance on the ‘Mother and Father’ of creation is our birthright regardless of our ‘messy lives’. If we are to truly accept our worthiness as inherent to our soulful being and ever-present nature, we in turn need to accept the same in all others. In this regard, we are not unlike ‘the Father and Mother’ of our creation, always looking to forgive, accept, love, hold and patiently keep the door open. — BB 03 21 22.

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    Our sense of nobility, our Sacredness within, is recovered and experienced by Faith and daily silent meditation in our daily lives which leads to healing, remembrance, and transformation within God’s Spirit of LOVE~WISDOM~Peace~Justice~Healing~Joy~Compassion… PRESENT with-in and among Us in Our Co-Creator~Source’s ongoing Creation~Evolution and LOVING Diverse Wholeness~ONENESS of Our COSMOS….

  3. Avatar

    Most of humanities sense of nobility or original blessing has been compromised and is need of being recovered; through rediscovering and reclaiming the sacredness of our true nature and the beauty of this spiritual essence that is present within the soul core of our being.

    What one chooses to FOCUS on, takes on SUBSTANCE and FORM. It takes DETERMINATION to UNDERSTAND and IMAGINE the FREEDOM we actually have, in allowing this sacredness of our true nature and the beauty of this spiritual essence, already present within our soul; to manifest itself within our humanity.

    Ceremony, ritual, time in Nature and journaling helps me to reflect, meditate and contemplate upon the movements of this seven fold stream, helping me to clarify my priorities and the choices and decisions available to me; in response to whatever I am experiencing or encountering in life, rather than simply reacting out of my human behavioral conditioning.

    Through this process, I cultivate the ability to respond to and take accountability for choreographing, designing and directing the movements of my own energy; my own thoughts, feelings, words, actions and the motion of this in relationship with my Higher Soul/Self.

    There is a sense of freely embodying this spiritual essence inherent within; through the intentional practice of living within this seven fold stream with more conscious awareness of my Higher Soul/Self; as taught to me by the elders, known as Dancing the Star Maidens Circle.

  4. Avatar

    I find it interesting how ideas and readings intersect in my life. A few years ago I attended a retreat and learned about Hildegard of Bingen and then just recently what happened to appear in a Facebook post from a friend was your daily meditation about Hildegard. I then signed up, and just listened to today’s meditation. And lo and behold, another intersection. I am currently signed up in the Book Study being put on by the Presbyterian Hunger Program. The book is “The Land is Not Empty, Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery” by Sarah Augustine. So your meditation today gave poetry to the beautiful landscape that was lost, and what could have been had we not followed this doctrine. My own Christianity has been enriched by the teachings found in both Celtic and Indigenous spirituality. And I also just returned from the Climate Rally held in NYC yesterday about the damage still being done to our Earth Home. Thanks for allowing me space to air my ruminations.

  5. Avatar

    I miss hearing your video every morning. I am grateful for finding your website and having it accessible on a daily basis. It has become a part of my own morning ritual.

    Blessings and thank you for the work.


  6. Avatar

    Going back to your wonderful and inspiring book, “Original Blessing”, following these daily meditations and those of others, and daily contemplative practices remind me of my “belovedness” and provide resources for others who have been soul damaged, especially by the toxic patriarchy of too many churches.

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    How do I assist others? I hope that, by sharing the message of the Mysticism that was Spirit-gifted to me, I can counteract some of the abusive, soul-damaging messages that patriarchy, Western Christianity and modern society have inflicted upon people. I also hope to share some of the beauty, subtlety and wisdom of mysticism.

    The mystical Revelation was THE catalyst for the ancient explosion of excitement for a new vision, new ethics and a new religion of a radically conceptually-enlarging, deeply engaging, supremely loving One-God. This was a God of total involvement, radical complexity and subtle nuance, a God who demanded love –and a minimizing of separation — in direct, deep, participatory encounters/theistic-cosmic-personal unions, rather than in any traditional distancing types of worship of “thing-idols” (including any cheating-substitutions of “close enough” imagery, names, or intellectual concepts: those ideas are dualistic/inaccurate ego-posturing). It was a God of all gods, a God encountered in radical awe, a transcendent God who lovingly shared a “taste” of Her/His Being within a category-exploding mind-space.
    This is the Bible’s God.

  8. Avatar

    For those who may have feelings of unworthiness from different causes including sin, the idea of original blessing is certainly refreshing. A proper love of God and neighbor dispels guilt and gloom. Let us get rid of any idea of unwortiness except from a true humility that accepts our limitations before God’s limitless blessings. These are found in God’s abundant graces and many material gifts. Every time I eat a banana or apple, I am reminded of God’s unfathomable bounty.

  9. Avatar

    This book delves into the exploration of what Fox refers to as “the sacred masculine.” Through ten powerful metaphors or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, a symbol of our connection with nature, to the Spiritual Warrior, it offers timeless inspiration for men to discover their true selves and reshape the world. Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of “The Left Hand of God,” insists that this book is a must-read for every man on the planet and even for women seeking to understand the hidden struggles that shape the men in their lives.

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