If self-hatred leads to fascism, then the cure for fascism is self-love. 

High-school students participate in a “To Write Love on Her Arms” workshop on mental health and suicide prevention. Photo by Jessy Rone on Flickr.

Meister Eckhart asks, How can anyone be compassionate toward her neighbor who is not compassionate toward herself?  This is why Jesus says: ‘Be compassionate!’  He wants our compassion to begin at home.  He wants us to be compassionate toward our own body and our own soul. 

He goes on, very much in the vein of Thomas Aquinas: 

Everyone loves himself or herself to some degree.  To do otherwise is to fool yourself.  For if you hated yourself, you would cease to exist.

Since friendly relations with another spring from friendly relations with yourself, you should meditate on how it is that the soul loves the body.

Brian D’arcy James as Matt Carroll and Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer of the Boston Globe interview victims of priestly abuse in Spotlight.

Adolf Hitler had a tyrannical father (not unlike Trump) who beat him daily according to German psychologist Alice Miller.  Abuse leads to abuse.  The “sins of our fathers” get carried on if there is no intervention.  When Love intervenes, whether it be other relatives, a teacher, a clergy person, a therapist, a friend, a group in recovery, healing can happen.   

I once read that 95% of rapists were themselves rape victims.  Caring for the wounded child within—or failing to–has profound social and political consequences.  Self-hatred unattended gives birth to fascism.

Why are we so short of self-love currently? 

One reason is our narcissism as a species—Climate Change may assist us to break out of our species isolation and wake up to our utter dependence and interdependence on 13.8 billion years of creation.

Trauma expert Dr. Gabor Mate speaks on “The 7 Impacts of Trauma.” Wholehearted

Psychologist Erich Fromm links self-hatred to fascism.  I hold him in great respect–of all the books I studied for my book on Evil, his book on The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness touched me the deepest.  He it is who said, “necrophilia grows when biophilia is stunted.” 

Fascists are low in biophilia.  Low in Original Blessing.

What evil does an absent Via Positiva and absent Original Blessing wreck in others?  In history? 

Those yearning for autocracy and strong men to rescue them today should heed these teachings. 

How important the new cosmology can be–the Webb Telescope feeds us daily about the beauty, wonder and gift-giving of the universe. Creation loves us.  Original Blessing therefore.  Original Goodness.  

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, p. 105. 

And Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. xiii, 9f., 20, 155, 195, 258, 300.

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

And Fox, Essential Writings in Creation Spirituality.

Banner Image: Coming for comfort to Nature. Photo by Kevin Young on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

What do you find cures self or others of self-hate often born of trauma and abuse?  Does the new cosmology assist?

Recommended Reading

Meditations with Meister Eckhart: A Centering Book

A centering book by Matthew Fox. This book of simple but rich meditations exemplifies the deep yet playful creation-centered spirituality of Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart was a 13th-century Dominican preacher who was a mystic, prophet, feminist, activist, defender of the poor, and advocate of creation-centered spirituality, who was condemned shortly after he died.
“These quiet presentations of spirituality are remarkable for their immediacy and clarity.” –Publishers Weekly.  

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

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

Matthew Fox: Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality
Selected with an Introduction by Charles Burack

To encapsulate the life and work of Matthew Fox would be a daunting task for any save his colleague Dr. Charles Burack, who had the full cooperation of his subject. Fox has devoted 50 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality and in doing so has reinvented forms of education and worship.  His more than 40 books, translated into 78 languages, are inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions and have awakened millions to the much neglected earth-based mystical tradition of the West. Essential Writings begins by exploring the influences on Fox’s life and spirituality, then presents selections from all Fox’s major works in 10 sections.
“The critical insights, the creative connections, the centrality of Matthew Fox’s writings and teaching are second to none for the radical renewal of Christianity.” ~~ Richard Rohr, OFM.

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3 thoughts on “Original Blessing, Self-Love, and the Curing of Fascism”

  1. Avatar

    We all have an ‘inner child’ in our adult selves that has been wounded in various ways and degrees that has affected in various way our personal, social, and spiritual development. Our spiritual journey therefore is closely related to healing our wounded inner child. Most of us are probably unconscious of this wounded inner child, due to it being so prevalent in our social conditioning and which continues to wound and prevent/suppress our ability to become fully consciously aware of this deep inner wound. The most prevalent symptoms and defensive human reactions to this universal ongoing unconscious wounding of our inner child from the LOVING HEALING ONENESS in our hearts/Souls, are the many individual manifestations of egocentricity that separate Us from Our True Heart Selves and Compassionate relationships with Others and All Living Creations on earth, the spiritual realms, and the COSMOS in the Sacred Process of the ETERNAL PRESENT MOMENT….

  2. Avatar

    Hitler and apparently Trump endured their father’s abuse. As did John Muir. Unlike them, however, John Muir managed to escape it; and it was the blessing of creation that brought about his healing. There’s a wonderful article online titled “The Nature Mysticism of John Muir.” It fits in well with what you are saying, Matthew. It begins like this: “In describing his first explorations of the Sierras, John Muir wrote, ‘Oh, these vast, calm measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light every thing seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.’

    “It is probably safe to say that no American ever experienced wilderness as religious ecstasy more than Muir. He called the Sierras the Range of Light and — as Light in the sky — they evoked in him immense religious longings. Before the magnificence of nature, he found himself dumb with admiration, prostrate and humble before the power of the God who created it all.”

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