Finding the nobility inside is finding a greatness inside that matches the beauty and grandeur of the universe outside. 

“No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite.” – John Muir, ninth person to climb Half Dome. Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

It is the job of parents, teachers, citizens, artists, elders and culture itself to show children the goodness, blessing and nobility of oneself in a world of grandeur. 

How do we bring nobility back when bad stories abound that become internalized in us?  When our nobility gets covered up by stories about original sin and so much more that robs us of that nobility? 

Stories in a racist culture about being black?  or brown?  or Asian?  Or indigenous?  Or in a sexist culture about being female?  Or in a heterosexist culture about being gay or lesbian?  Etc, etc.

Frederick Albert was a Nazi prisoner of war; Elinor Powell was an African-American nurse and officer. Their love was a crime on both sides of the war. But “They didn’t let racism win.” PBS NewsHour

Meister Eckhart created an entire treatise celebrating our nobility and in it he poses this question: 

Who then is more royal than one who was born on the one hand, from the highest and best that a creature possesses and, on the other hand, from the most intimate depths of the divine nature and its wilderness?

It ends this way: 

Through the prophet Hosea our Lord says: ‘I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness and speak to her heart’ (Ho. 2:16).  One with one, one from one, one in one, and eternally one in one.  Amen.    

“Sail o’er the canyons and up to the stars And reach for the heavens and hope for the future And all that we can be and not what we are.” ~John Denver, “I am the Eagle.” Video by ergonomover

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

Indigenous peoples too honor the eagle for its nobility and its power to soar to the heavens while staying connected to the earth. 

Are we—each man and each woman, each boy and each girl–noble like the eagle inside?   Built to soar to the heavens while also staying close to earth?

Adapted from Matthew Fox, “’Sermon’ Thirty Six: Everyone an Aristocrat, Everyone a Royal Person,” in Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 510-530.

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

Banner Image: Eagle soaring in sunrise light, Refuge des Cosmiques, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. Photo by Sylvain Mauroux on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Do you soar like an eagle and thereby exercise the nobility inside?  Do you feel your birth “from the most intimate depths of the divine nature and its wilderness?”

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.  

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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1 thought on “Finding the Eagle Inside”

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    When we look at ourselves and what we would create, both wonder and awe set in. We see the beauty of the trees and streams meandering around us as we walk in the woods. How marvelous that God created such a spectacle for us and the birds that fly and perch, with animals on foot and the fish that swim. If we stand before the great Rocky Mountains with blue sky above or look at one of the oceans with ships that rest upon, we see more awe and wonder of creation. All for our enjoyment, pleasure and well-being. And we can look upon ourselves, our brothers and sisters, as the intricate and highly sophisticated beings that we are. Who could have orchestrated such a priceless work of art that is made to live in harmony with all else created.
    So, when we think of the grandeur of what God has created, we can sit endlessly in awe and wonder. What is it then that we can create that even compares? There is just so much to be enjoyed or not. That alone should tell us as ‘souls of creation’ and humans on earth we walk a two-pronged path at the same time. Being able to reside in ‘soul consciousness’ and in connection to all nature and the nature of our being is one prong. We need to be grateful, joyful, and heartfelt for what we are and what we have. And to be good stewards of the same, shows our love and appreciation. And God wants us to walk a parallel path with endless possibilities that new creation, that new ways, can be birthed for the benefit of all. — BB 03 16 23.

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