A Question from Lewiston, Gaza, Israel, and the Globe

This morning I received from a friend in New England, a powerful essay from a man whose children were home because their school near Lewiston was shut down.  His wife, a first grade teacher, was strategizing with fellow teachers about how one talks about these realities to seven year olds.

“Tips to help children process the mass shooting events in Lewiston.” News Center Maine

As a journalist he has covered many mass shootings, but this time his family is affected directly.  He appropriately links his concerns with families struggling in Gaza and in Israel and asks this question: Today—with a shelter-in-place order still in effect for large areas where I live—there’s one question I find myself asking: what does it really mean to find safety when the world’s like this?*

Of course, we could be talking about the globe, our planet, and what just happened in Cuernavaca, Mexico.  All the fierce hurricanes, droughts,  flooding, rising of seas and acid levels in the oceans–“What does it really mean to find safety when the world’s like this?”

It means we roll up our sleeves and do our inner as well as outer work and commit to change our species for the better.  This includes “defense departments” the world over thinking about more than making new, deadlier, faster weapons of destruction and posing questions like this: How do we defend ourselves against ourselves?  Against hatred and strife and guns and mental sickness and access by civilians to military weapons? 

“How to Save Our Planet.” WWF International

AND, how do we defend our habitats, ecosystems, oceans, rivers, soil, forests, insects, birds and animals from our rapacious selves?  How do we get nations to put money into examining the causes in homo sapiens that bring about destruction and self-hatred and hatred of others (fascism is born of self-hatred according to psychologist Erich Fromm) and hatred toward Mother Earth?  Forces of matricide and ecocide, therefore.

The spiritual warrior dares to ask these soul questions. And denial is no option.

*October 26, 2023, Common Dreams <commondreams@commondreams.org>

See Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 77-104, 19-32.

And Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality.

Banner image: “Rally for Senate Action to Prevent Gun Violence” 5/26/2022. Victoria Pickering on Flickr

Queries for Contemplation

Do you see your family as an Original Blessing?  Do you see your life that way too?  And our planet?  Do you see yourself as a spiritual warrior and Green man/woman called to make a difference? 

Recommended Reading

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

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

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2 thoughts on “A Question from Lewiston, Gaza, Israel, and the Globe”

  1. Avatar

    I haven’t been on this site for awhile, and so I’m very grateful to have opened it today- I appreciate your pulling ALL these current tragedies together and asking us to contemplate on our awareness of being an Original Blessing and a spiritual warrior. I personally feel a daily call to “embrace suffering of the world and embody joy” and I do so locally by leading an environmental network of faith communities.

    Could someone fill me and other in on how Matthew is doing and why we are all not hearing/seeing him directly? I send my prayers for him as he ages with such dignity,
    Susan S

    1. Avatar

      Bless you in your work! My church in Tallahassee has also been very active in climate and environmental issues, but we are in the minority. Matthew is busy writing a new book so is not able to do his usual daily videos, but we hope that he will be back soon. Welcome.

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