Some Fierce Words from Matthew Fox

A few words from the Fierce Light interview with Matthew Fox, conducted by Velcrow Ripper. While Matthew is not in the body of the Fierce Light film, he will appear in the bonus disc:

“We’ve raised gluttony to a whole new level with consumerism and greed is a quest for the infinite in the wrong place – the human soul yearns for the infinite and in terms of stuffing ourselves or our closets or what have you with goodies, it doesn’t work. Pretty soon you have to buy a new house with bigger closets – I saw a statistic recently about how many Americans have storage spaces for their stuff –so they not only have houses with their closets for their stuff they also have these storage spaces – stuff on top of stuff on top of stuff.

So simplicity has something to do with saying no to the addiction of consumerism. That has tremendous implications. The American economic system as I understand it, 80 percent of it runs on consumerism, so that means that if we could cut back drastically on the consumer addiction, and that’s what it is, gluttony, it’s the gluttony of consumerism, we could release our economic system so it could serve more important services than just for filling our closets and stuffing our bodies. Which purposes of course a world that works for everybody and economics that works for everybody. And if we had an economics that works for everybody, we wouldn’t have wars. At least we’d have far fewer wars – we wouldn’t have envy, and we wouldn’t have a lot of things that are still running the human enterprise.

Greed is real – it’s a spiritual addiction and the fact is, it’s becoming reincarnated and blessed by the raining economic ideology and we do have to stand up to that. Part of the struggle is one’s own lifestyle, what one can do to live more simply and um, and part of it is thinking differently, like Franklin D. said, don’t change the world, change worlds. By that I think he said, change the way you see the world, the perspective on the world. As we learn to think more interdependently and realize that um, Americans who comprise 4 percent of the worlds population are using about 25-30 percent of the worlds energy, where’s the balance there and how long can that persist, go on.

We can live more simply, but it takes a combination of community willpower and it’s about values getting into the community. And when we see the impact of a greed based economic system and a gluttony based system, and we see that impact on ourselves and our own health and on the earth and so forth. That aughta be enough to move us in another direction.”

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What’s God Have to Do With It?

I recently gave a talk at the Ryerson United Church, a place renouned for it’s progressive congregation. Although I am not a Christian, I dig Jesus Christ – He was most definitely a Fierce Love revolutionary. However, I am deeply saddened by the atrocities that have been committed in His name. Even yesterday, a doctor was murdered by a fundamentalist Christian. Can you imagine JC killing someone who disagreed with him? I don’t think so.

But a tremendous amount of good has also been done in the name of the Prince of Peace, and I’ll take goodness wherever I can find it. We need people of all walks of life, of all faiths, and non-faiths, to come together now, and work towards a future of harmony and sustainability. The time for division, for us and them – ing, has come to an end. It’s time for unity. Which does not mean sameness! Unity is strengthened by diversity.

I actually quite enjoyed talking to a congregation of spiritually focused, socially conscious people, even if most of the rituals didn’t have a resonance for me. Because I felt an authentic celebration of community, an authentic celebration of Love, and an authentic love of God.

I don’t use the G word that often, because it has been so abused and confused and misused in todays society. Some would prefer to just skip it altogether. When I do use it, I tend to write “G~d,” because that leaves some of the mystery intact.

G~d is not an old man with a white beard sitting on a cloud. G~d is not mean, judgmental or short tempered. G~d is not a human being, with all our limitations and emotions.

But G~d is something I sense, I feel, I Know, and I value. G~d offers me a sense of higher meaning – G~d for me is the totalility of all that is, was and ever will be, the “I Am” that shines behind the small me, the vast Field that connects everything, and the sum total of those connections. The source of it all.

I communicate with G~d all the time, and in fact, when I’m running a little ragged, when I’m pushing myself a little too hard, all I need to do to recharge deeply is to pause for a breath or two, center myself, and invite the divine in. Reconnect with my highest calling, my highest motivation, the source.

My understanding is rooted in a direct connection, a direct Knowing, or “gnosis.” It is not something I have read about or heard about, or speculate about. It is intrinsic to who I am, a constant wellspring of Love that brings meaning, celebration, and endless reservoirs of positive energy to my life. For me, G~d is the life force herself, G~d is Love herself.

At the end of our discussion, the minister at the United Church asked me if there was anything I wanted to add, and I thought for a moment, and said, “I’d just like to say the word God out loud, because so often, in my public life, I don’t use that word, because I don’t want to be misunderstood. So let me just say it now, three times: God, God, God. Yay!!!”

It felt good to say God. It’s a word that has to be reclaimed from all who misuse it, from the George Bush’s and the Jimmy Swaggerts, from the Jihadists and the fundamentalists of every creed.

But a relationship with G~d is not for everyone, and is not a necessary part of spirituality. You can get by fine without it – there are other ways to find meaning. The debate over the “existence of G~d” can become a smokescreen and an energy sucking diversion, and for that reason, I don’t engage in the debate. It’s enough just to Love- yourself, each other, and this planet. If we could just start from there, everything else will fall into place.