|Nun in Shining Armor: 4/15/13|
CC Jean Stimmell
Friday, November 29, 2013
I’ve just ordered Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (Sacred Activism) by Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox.
From reading the reviews, Matthew Fox’s concept of “spiritual warriorship”resonates with my dream image of a Buddhest nun’s fierce compassion; in fact, in the dream she was wearing a warrior’s armor.
There is also a synchronicity with the book I found at the beginning of our Oregon vacation: A Terrible Love of War; reading it wrapped me in knots for two weeks until I finally was able to get out some of my thoughts and feeling in my first blog on the subject.
But it didn’t really come together for me until after Dwight Grave’s death, when in an aha moment, I saw he was the very epitome of what it means to be a spiritual warrior.
Matthew Fox makes clear in his Shambhala interview with Amanda Hester 1that his concept of spiritual warrior “is not just about male warrior-hood, it is about the strength in all of us, how the demands of our time are calling us forward, beyond just inner peace.
“Warriorship takes you into the chaos, into the conflicts and confusion. It is about focussing and committing. It is about tapping into the ‘Sacred Masculine’. It is the strength in spirituality, which is not only needed, but is also what we admire in people like Dorothy Day, or Ghandi. They stay true to their values. That is warriorship: developing an inner light that can deal with pain, suffering, and doubt.”
While, indeed, both Bucko and Fox recognize the need for a re-emergence of the feminine, the wisdom principle, and the importance of household and community, they say in this book what they are attempting to do is to define the relationship between contemplation and action in our contemporary world.
Fox and Bucko say, the question becomes, how is it is possible to act in the world so that your actions become contemplation.
Amanda, the interviewer, asks, “How can we have spiritually grounded activism without arrogance, aggression, and dualism. How can we engage that wisdom element to transform the system of aggression through a new paradigm of gentleness?”
Fox answers: “The shadow side of activism is that it can turn into further conflict. The question is profound: is there a way to move into a broader circle, where everyone is included? The practice of meditation and deep listening is something that we need to bring to the struggle.
It is important not to turn things into us vs. them, and that’s tricky, because you still have to designate what your differences are. But it is about making a distinction between people’s positions, roles, or ideologies, and the person themselves. It is about people’s hearts and the wisdom that is latent inside all of us.”
In a video of another interview,2 Fox talks about how we must learn to wrap compassion around our moral outrage. He talks about how the activist has to become the contemplative and the contemplative has to become the activist: we must learn to meld the two.
By merging the two, Jim Burklo writes in yet another review of this book that “[Matthew Fox] and Adam Bucko and millions like him are fulfilling a prognostication of Walt Whitman, quoted in the book.
Long ago Whitman said: “There will soon be no more priests…. The gangs of kosmos and prophets en masse shall take their place. A new order shall rise and they shall be the priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest.”3
Much to chew on in this book.