Week of 10/9-14/2023: Spiritual Warriors & the Very Unspiritual Attacks in on israel and Gaza

October 9, 2023: The Archetype of the Spiritual Warrior
We must remember that a warrior is very different from a soldier. Said one indigenous man, Broken Walk, who served in Vietnam: There’s a difference between being a soldier and being a warrior. Don’t ever get these two confused. When I was in the army, I was a solder. I was a puppet doing whatever anybody told me to do, even if it means going against what my heart told me was right. I didn’t know nothing about being a warrior, until I hit the streets and marched alongside my brothers for something I really believed in. When I found something I believe in, a higher power found me. 

A PBS special spotlights Native American service in the armed forces during the Vietnam War. Video by KARE 11.

October 10, 2023: Prophets and Warriors, Humor and Antiwarriors
Chogyam Trungpa talks about the “sad and tender heart of the warrior.” A spiritual warrior, as Hafiz declared, relates to God as a lover. But the idea of God as an avenging God or a punitive Father feeds a distorted notion of masculinity. Sometimes employing humor helps us look at aggression and deal with our shame. Cervantes did that with Don Quixote, who is a beloved antihero, antiprophet, antiwarrior.

October 11, 2023: The Sad and Perilous Happenings in the Middle East Today
The potential for evil in humanity is on clear display once again, this time in Israel and Palestine.  Our powers of creativity and imagination can be put to use “to create or to destroy,” as Dag Hammarskjöld used to say, and today’s news seems all about destroying. While Israel’s prime minister was busy undergoing a trial for corruption, the safety of the nation was rocked as thousands were injured or killed by the militant Hamas which controls Gaza in Palestine.

October 12, 2023: Hamas and Netanyahu: Beware “the Spiral of Violence”
One wonderful spiritual warrior is the late Archbishop of Recife in Brazil, Dom Helder Camara. His book, Spiral of Violencespeaks to the reality that is happening in Gaza and Israel today. Camara tells us that “injustices are a form of violence.  One can and must say that they are everywhere the basic violence, violence number 1.” From injustice, a second violence is born, usually a revolt of the oppressed or the young. A third violence arises “when conflict comes out into the streets. When violence No. 2 tries to resist violence No. 1, the authorities consider themselves obliged to preserve or re-establish public order, even if this means using force. This is violence No. 3.” The media often covers the latter form of violence but seldom gives attention to the first form.

A child stands in the midst of destruction during the 2008-2009 Gaza War. Wikimedia Commons.

October 13, 2023: Israel & Hamas: Moving Beyond the Horror & Spiral of Violence
In Gaza today, 320,000 residents are now homeless.  Israel’s siege is starving Gaza of electricity, food, water, and fuel, and putting hospitals on the verge of collapse. We all grieve the war crimes that Hamas inflicted on civilians in Israel. And we must also remember the longtime suffering of Palestinians. Said one Israeli survivor, huddling in her home: The terror Israelis feel right now—myself included—is a sliver of what Palestinians have been feeling on a daily basis under the decades-long military occupations of the West Bank and Gaza.* Haggai Matar is a conscientious objector in Israel, refusing to serve in the army. He says: Everything that I am feeling now, which every Israeli must be sharing, has been the life experience of millions of Palestinians for far too long…. The only solution, as it has always been, is to bring an end to Israel’s regime of apartheid, occupation, and siege and promote a future based on justice and equality for all of us.  We have to change course not despite the horror, but precisely because of it.*

October 14, 2023: Good & Evil and the Spiral of Violence in Palestine & Israel
As Rabbi Zalman Schactner used to say, “there is more good than evil in the world, but not by much.”  We must learn lessons from what happened after 9/11 when outrage and irrational decision-making resulted in a war with Iraq, which was in no way responsible for 9/11. It would seem that making decisions based on rage and revenge is not a wise thing to do.  As Matthew reminds us: “Evil + evil does not equal resolution or peace.”

“Israel Palestine Conflict Explained 2023 Edition.” 7 News Australia

** Haggai Matar, “Hamas’s Shock Attack Should Spark Our Horror—and Our Questions.” The Nation, Dispatch, 10/11/2023.

Banner image: “A wall at Netiv HaAsara facing the Gaza border reads the words “Path to Peace” in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Netiv HaAsara is a moshav in southern Israel. Located in the north-west Negev, it nearly borders the Gaza Strip. In 2017 it had a population of 842.” Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

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

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

1 thought on “Week of 10/9-14/2023: Spiritual Warriors & the Very Unspiritual Attacks in on israel and Gaza”

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: