D. H. Lawrence and Scott Sanders on Father Sky

D H Lawrence explains what was lost in our souls when we lost Father Sky.  

Rising sun at autumn equinox, Brazil. Photo by Rafael Macedo on Unsplash

What a catastrophe, what a maiming of life when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox! 

This week we celebrate the Autumn equinox.

D. H. Lawrence continues: 

This is what is the matter with us, we are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of life, and expected it to keep on blossoming in our civilized vase on the table.

What happens when cosmology is replaced by psychology?  When cosmic connections are displaced by shopping malls and commercials?  The heart shrivels.  Men’s souls shrink.  And untold violence goes through their heads.

But all that has changed as we move beyond a mechanical universe to a living one where Father Sky is giving birth to a new star every fifteen seconds.  Webb Telescope has upped the ante on our awareness of the generativity of Father Sky, filling our hearts and imaginations daily with new images and surprising stories of what’s going on there.

NASA Space News offers details and September-October viewing info on Comet Nishimura, a rare and mysterious visitor from the farthest edge of the solar system, which will never return.

Scott Russell Sanders, in a book written for his teen-aged son, tells how his soul expands in the presence of the cosmos. 

I still hanker for the original world, the one that makes us rather than the one we make.  I hunger for contact with the shaping power that cures the comet’s path and fills the owl’s throat with song and fashions every flake of snow and carpets the hills with green.  It is a prodigal, awful, magnificent power, forever casting new forms into existence, then tearing them apart and starting over.*  

To be continued.

* Scott Russell Sanders, Hunting for Hope: A Father’s Journeys (Boston: Beacon Press, 1998), p. 138.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 3, 13.

Banner Image: Autumn foliage against a brilliant sky. Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

What do you feel was lost when we lost our connection to Father Sky?  Do you sense its return today?

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8 thoughts on “D. H. Lawrence and Scott Sanders on Father Sky”

  1. Avatar

    Beware: The cockeyed concept of “Father Sky” being telescopically observed “giving birth” is a sloppy one, at best, as well as innately offensive to those many of us who have biologically done so. Maybe “generate” fits, ok; but no “father,” even an ordained one, emits from within as only MOTHERS do. Kindly show more care and respect of the unique irreplaceable maternal laborers among us.

  2. Avatar

    Dear Matthew,
    We traveled from Iowa to join you and the gathering last night in Boulder. It was well worth the drive. We appreciate all the memories and wisdom that everyone shared. Thanks so much for all your activism and teaching over so many years.

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for identifying that longing ‘for the original world’. This am, Paul and I and Gracie, feline member of the family, all feel the turning away of the sun’s journey -as though our spirit’s are drawn away …
    At Equinox I do a spiritual practice, turning with the Sun’s journey, stepping onto the 4 paths, chanting, “h OM e” 3 times and trying to align with Creation’s promise and the Sun Earth Dance.
    CELEBRATING your legacy of papers welcomed to Boulder last night, Matt. IT was an important event as human story turns more deeply into Creation Spirituality and the new story. It was an original event, a celebration of Original Joy.

  4. Avatar

    Since Sky is giving birth to stars, one every 15 seconds no less, then clearly Sky is Mother Sky! And, yes, Her generativity is awesome. 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Cosmology and quantum science are helping us return to and value the spiritual wisdom, beauty, joy, compassion, healing, transformation, and PRESENT Consciousness of Indigenous Spirituality and our genuine mystical traditions for the interrelated Microcosm~Macrocosm of our Eternal Sacred Souls within and among Us, with-in Beautiful Sacred Mother Earth and all her living creatures/abundance, and our Wholeness~ONENESS within our Sacred Evolving Diverse LOVING multidimensional~multiverse COSMOS….

    Last night’s celebration of Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality, and talk at the University of Colorado was Beautiful!!! Congratulations again Matthew for your life’s work!
    Congratulations again Matthew

  6. Avatar

    It’s not just our Western religions and society that makes us feel “cut off” from the earth. It goes much deeper, to the fundamental constructs we’re taught by our Western languages, most of which are derived from Indo-European roots. These have a firm structure of “this VERSUS that”, a sky-thing is defined as separate from a human-thing, even though the human constantly breathes the sky, embraces the sky with sight, and would die without the sky’s air. There ARE languages that indicate interactions within words: e.g., a word designating a woman-interacting-with-a-lower-status-girl; a dog-word that shows how it is interacting with someone,
    Our Western cognitive schisms are learned extremely early, absorbed into our mental framework seamlessly. We don’t question our given world as infants: we absorb and learn from what’s around us. Our deep certainty of our grasp on truth also makes us arrogantly blind to the fact that many other humans perceive the world fundamentally differently: their brains were wired from infancy by what they learned early on. They literally experience the world differently. Many Westerners have no idea that many so-called “primitive” (i.e., foreign) people have languages with deep nuance and rich insights already built in, with religions that reflect deep subtleties coded into their languages.
    We could learn a lot by paying close attention to those subtleties.

  7. Avatar

    Matthew, I am so glad to read your fine comments about Scott Russell Sanders. He’s been an important influence on my poetry of place, and I’m glad to say he wrote a wonderful endorsement of my new _Homecomings: A Writer’s Memoir_, which covers the fifty plus years of my writing and publishing life. Included is a chapter that is in effect a review of two of your books. Info about the new book can be found on my website. http://www.krapfpoetry.net.
    If readers click on the Table of Contents link, they will see all the 43 mostly short chapters (336 pages) and their titles that give a good sense of all the subjects I discuss in the book, including my poetry collection about surviving abuse by a priest, _Catholic Boy Blues_, which includes your introduction, and the prose memoir about writing the poems to help my fellow survivors begin to heal from their abuse, _Shrinking the Monster_, which won a silver medal in the Illumination Book Awards.

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