This blog is best read following, Indiana Jones of 20 C. Christendom.
Matthew Fox began his presentation at Mystical Activism, a conference hosted by the Wisdom Centre, with the question, “How to love the world?”
Then he helped us understand why this is indeed the right question. He began with very clear parameters for the conversation, no slinking away. Statements like:
- Extinction is a real possibility due to climate change
- We can choose not to go extinct
- Humans are causing the extinction of animals and plants
- We have to change our ways as a species
Question 1: What is being revealed?
Matthew declared that we are in a time of apocalypse which means revelation (and this was in January, before a world wide pandemic settled in!) So what is being revealed?
The New York Times asks a similar question in The Learning Network
Teach and Learn With The Times: Resources for Bringing the World Into Your Classroom
What Weaknesses and Strengths About Our World Are Being Exposed by This Pandemic?
How would you answer this question in terms of how your own family and community have been affected?
How would you answer it more broadly, in thinking about your city, your nation or the world?New York Times Learning Network
I will pose you the same question.
What do you see now, that you didn’t see before the pandemic ? What do you know in a more acute way about yourself, your community, your faith home, your city and our world that you didn’t know before?
Question 2: Who are we as a species and as individuals?
Matthew suggests the realities we face today, stark as they are, have arrived to provoke our capacity for deeper revelations, deeper unveilings, of who we are as a species and as individuals?
What is our primary identity: consumer/ lover, separate/embedded, a sacred being in a sacred universe/a cog in the market place? Matthew referenced this poem by Mary Oliver.
Of the Empire
by Mary Oliver
We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a
commodity. And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.
Question 3: How to fall in love with the world?
How to love the world ?
Have you fallen in love with the rivers and glaciers?
What can you love and how can you live that love in the world?
These questions get my attention, they wake me up! They seem like questions worth whatever I can give.