Each human being is an original blessing. I believe that the work of God is compassion – we, who are all original blessings and sons and daughters of the Divine, are called to compassion – as the religious and spiritual elder Matthew Fox says, “Mother Earth has birthed our bodies and rendered them holy over 4.5 billion years of trial and error.”
In my own journey of delving into thinking more deeply about the modern dilemmas surrounding masculinity that men are grappling with, I started writing this last year about how to embrace compassion rather than the toxic conquest behavior that has seemed to define and limit male culture today. I believe such a path that embraces compassion is rooted in our connection to the Earth, and I am often reminded of Fox’s book Original Blessing because it offers a pathway for people to seek wholeness in their life journey. I first attempted to absorb Fox’s writings almost 30 years ago, and it had a pivotal influence on me. As a young man, I was searching desperately for a way to live my life in a non-destructive way attuned to the Earth. This book held the testaments to a spiritually grounded, Earth-honoring way of living and seeing the world that was also linked to early Christian mystics. The book became like an elder to me. I didn’t always grasp the entire message due to my lack of life experience, and I had to go back to read anew many times as I embraced my intuition about this journey. Over the last year as I am entering my own phase of becoming an elder, I have revisited and communed with the teachings from Original Blessing. I’ve been reminded of the deep understanding and integration of spiritual wisdom and religious tradition through what is known as Creation Spirituality (not to be confused with creationism).
The main message is that we are born into the world as an original blessing – not in ‘original sin’. Original sin is what many of our modern religious teachings are steeped in still today. This way of viewing humanity and the essence of being human as inherently sinful has been destructive and devastating to humanity and to the Earth. Original blessing as a way of being in the world changed everything for me in the ways I think about my own and others’ humanity. For each of us, our birth is our invitation to become co-creators with the Divine, and caretakers of our home, the Earth. In doing so, we are continually reborn, or, born again.
“Remember that all of Nature – 13.8 billion years of it has brought us here, this vast universe with two trillion galaxies, each with billions of stars, all of this is an original blessing. As are we. Our time is a blessing; our bodies are a blessing; our minds and imaginations are a blessing; our hands and feet are blessings; our capacity for work, play, love, lovemaking, birthing, parenting, interacting, serving – it is all a blessing. Even our suffering and our grief can be a blessing.” ~ Matthew Fox
As I continue to share about my own journey and thoughts on re-imagining masculinity that embraces compassion in an age of conquest, I will be weaving into the narrative teachings from Creation Spirituality. Because we are so much more than we have been told we are, we must start believing once again that humanity is not hopelessly selfish and greedy. There is a way forward where we can reclaim our wholeness as people, and our birthright as caretakers of each other, the Earth, and all her creatures. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.