Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic: A Chat with Matthew Fox

 

Matthew Fox has been one of my dearest friends for 25 years as well as a beloved mentor and inspiration. We have worked together innumerable times and I continue to be amazed at his focused mystical brilliance and the ceaseless flow of amazing work that has poured from him. His latest book, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond, is one of his greatest, and in this masterwork, he dives deep into the sacred and joyful vision of one of Christianity’s greatest mystics, a woman who spent most of her life working in the black plague that killed two-thirds of Europe.

He shows us how Julian never gave up on her vision of essential joy, gratitude and celebration without ever shirking the real agonies and sufferings of life which she saw exploding all around her from her anchoress’s cell in the middle of Norwich.

I beg you to give yourself the gift of this book. I have just read it for the second time and have found it to be thrillingly inspirational...

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Diamonds in the Dark: Mining Divine Joy In the Depths of the Shadow

 

I want to invite you on what I consider to be one of the most thrilling mystical adventures—the journey into the depths of the shadow to discover the diamonds that are hidden in its darkness. As anyone who is half awake knows, the shadow is having a Babylonian orgy in every realm all over the world, and as I have pointed out many times, this is causing a massive evolutionary crisis which is showing up as a global dark night.

This is of course in one sense terrifying and there are two approaches to shadow work which I find dangerous and unhelpful.

The first is the New Age approach which is hippy dippy about the light and idiotically in denial of the shadow; this approach only makes the shadow darker and more lethal. Another slightly wiser but still dangerous approach is to become obsessed with the shadow and hunt it down to its minutest particulars in such a way that the person who pursues this path becomes paralyzed, depressive, pseudo-brilliant in their pessimistic vision of...

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The Coming Time of Truth and Healing

Everyone who isn’t dead or senile knows that America is facing its greatest ordeal, and the choices that will be made in the next week will determine whether the United States plunges into irremediable chaos or crawls out of the horrible divisiveness that has rent families, separated friends and seen an unprecedented amount of hate-filled rhetoric and violence.

The question that obsesses me is this: if Biden wins, and if this long dark night of the Trump horror ends, how will those who have won tend to those who have lost? How will those who have suffered so much trauma and despair in these last four years find the spiritual depth and courage to turn to those who have abetted this trauma and see them not as deplorables, traitors and lunatics but members of our large American family?

What do we need to be and what do we need to do to help Biden in his mission of being not simply a president for those who voted for him but a president for all Americans? Nothing is more...

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Joining the God-Driven Adventure Into Transfiguration

A few years ago when I was living with my cats, Topaz and Jade, in a ramshackle cabin in the forgotten depths of the Arkansas Ozarks, I wrote this prayer:

In this age when history itself is on fire

In this time of the convulsion of the beast

Of the final dance of the enraged demons

May I keep faith, Lord, in Your sublime alchemy

That has ordained the mystery

That from deepest darkness births the Highest Light.

(from Light the Flame: 365 Days of Prayer, 2013.)

As you know, tonight I begin a class that I am honored to teach for the Shift Network, Embrace the Dark Night to Become the Phoenix Rising, which outlines the birth of the Divine Human.

I have known for the last 20 years two interlinked truths that have kept me awake night after night, and wildly and exhaustingly on the road. These truths are that humanity was heading for a terrifying global dark night and that this global dark night was potentially not at all the end but the shattering, amazing and terrible beginning of the...

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The Call to Rise Like a Phoenix

I am thrilled and honored to announce that I will be teaching a 7-part class for Shift Network, Embrace the Dark Night to Become the Phoenix Rising. We are living in terrifying times and I know we are all suffering intensely the horrors and ordeals that are exploding everywhere.

As I write this, fires are burning along the U.S. west coast, Antarctica is melting faster than even the doomsayers predicted, the Coronavirus pandemic is still out of control and millions of people worldwide are facing economic collapse.

Given all we are going through, it’s easy to run into the sordid embrace of magical thinking—as we can see from the idiotic and dangerous proliferation of conspiracy theories—or to fall into exactly the kind of nihilistic despair that increases the danger already afflicting us.

What I want to offer at this moment is a way through that is neither grounded in fantasy or tainted by the pessimism that saps will and robs us of the kind of rugged hope that we...

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Getting Through the Dark Times: Four Foundational Practices

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2020

When the mother of evolution decides that one human race is over and another has to be born urgently for there to be any hope for humanity at large, there is only one thing that we can do. Get with her program through aligning ourselves with clarity, spiritual practice and sacred action.

Other teachers sell popcorn, but I have never been one of those teachers. I have found that true hope is born of the other side of devastating despair, and real purpose arises when all false illusions are burnt away.

These are hard, brutal terrifying times in which the possibilities of the birth of unprecedented fascism and the destruction of democracy are becoming ice clear. There is absolutely no point in turning away from this tragic truth and there is equally no point in allowing it to paralyze you.

So the question poses itself, how do we get through this? How do we respond in a dignified way when the dignity of everything we love including truth itself is being systemically destroyed? We...

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The Great Event: Dark Night and Rebirth

For thirty years now, I have believed three related truths; that the exploding global crisis we are obviously in is, in essence, an evolutionary crisis, on whose outcome depends the future of the human race and a great deal of the natural world; that this evolutionary crisis is a mystical crisis with two phases, that of the dark night process and the potential Birth that it makes possible of an embodied divine humanity; that the birthing force of this new humanity is Sacred Activism, the marriage of profound and universal spiritual stamina, faith, passion, compassion, and urgent inspired wise action in every realm of Earth life.

Everything I have done and written has been dedicated to this vision and I hold passionately and doggedly to it because I know it isn’t my vision but the one I have been entrusted with to live, honor, make available and protect, whatever the difficulty and resistance that inevitably arise in world drunk on scientific fundamentalism, cheap new age...

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