Spiritual theologian and author, Matthew Fox, joins Raghu for a conversation on Creation Spirituality, Original Blessing, Thomas Merton, Hildegard of Bingen, and Jesus and the feminine.
Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, author, Episcopal priest, and activist for gender and eco-justice. With nearly 40 books translated over 70 times, he has contributed much to the rediscovery of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, and Thomas Aquinas as pre-modern mystics and prophets. Matthew holds a doctorate in the history and theology of spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. The founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in California, he conducts dozens of workshops each year and is a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning. Learn about his new book, Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality and more at MatthewFox.org
Original Blessing, Original Goodness
Welcoming spiritual theologian and author, Matthew Fox, to Mindrolling, Raghu invites him to share how the early catalysts of polio and Tolstoy opened him to the contemplation, mysticism, and gratitude of monastic life. Wanting to teach from the zeitgeist—after receiving a blessing from Thomas Merton—Matthew went to study spirituality (the experiential side of religion) in Paris, where he began to uncover metamorphic new perspectives on Christian concepts of sin, goodness, and creation.
“My book Original Blessing kind of blew the roof off the Vatican because I learned they’re very invested in ‘original sin.’ If you look at the universe, sin came 13.8 billion years after the universe is doing its thing, so I think there is a lot of blessing before sin showed up … Look at Chapter 1 Genesis, there’s not a word of sin or evil mentioned in it. It’s all about goodness.” – Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox joins Chris Grosso to talk about Thomas Merton, spirituality, & activism, on Ep. 44 of the Indie Spiritualist
Creation Spirituality // Jesus, Nature, & The Feminine (13:00)
Describing Creation Spirituality as the opposite of fundamentalism, patriarchy, and dogma, Matthew explores the life and message of Jesus through the lens of nature, the feminine, compassion, and interdependence. From here, Raghu and Matthew share on science, spirituality, awe, the sacred, war, imperialism, and the climate crisis.
“Recovering that sacredness is key, and stepping off of our ladders, and out of the patriarchal reptilian brain that says, ‘I win, you lose.’ It’s the mammal brain of compassion that needs to assert itself at this time, but it can’t do it until that patriarchal reptilian brain chills out some. That’s where meditation comes in. That’s how we calm the reptilian brain.” – Matthew Fox
Mirabai Starr & Nikki Walton illuminate the ‘Dark Night of the Soul,’ on Ep. 19 of New Growth
Illumination & the Web of Creation (28:00)
Speaking to the nuances of illumination and how despair can be used as yoga, they dive into the ‘web of creation’ message of Hildegard of Bingen, sharing wisdom from the books that Matthew has written on her, such as Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen. From here, Raghu shares a Neem Karoli Baba story about Christ, before they close with a discussion on Meister Eckhart’s connections to Buddhism.
“Merton devoted one year to reading Eckhart and Zen poetry, and it flipped him. He changed from being a dualistic, romantic, guilt-ridden, Augustinian monk; to being this prophetic Christian who ended up writing about, war, peace, and humanism, and traveling to Asia and drinking in the wisdom of the East.” – Matthew Fox