It is with great pleasure that I introduce our July Reflections Parallel class to you entitled, Beyond Patriarchy: Recovering the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine and Why it Matters Today. This magnificent course will be taught by the renowned writer, mystic, and global teacher, Matthew Fox.
Before sharing the theme and write up of this course, I wanted to do a personal introduction to this class because of who Matt is to me. I was a student of Matt’s in graduate school in the late 1970’s. At that time, he was well on his way to earning his reputation as a renegade and dangerously brilliant Dominican priest who openly challenged some of the core doctrines of the Catholic Church, among them the archaic teaching of ‘original sin.’
Matt authored a book entitled, ‘Original Blessing,’ opposing the idea that any human being was flawed by the act of birth. Matt describes his theme in ‘Original Blessing’ in these stunning words: “In speaking of ‘original blessing,’ it is not solely about us humans but about the 13.8 billion years that brought us here. Since ‘blessing’ is the theological word for goodness, whatever the wild goings on in the universe from the fireball to today, the miracle is that we are here and ‘here’ is so special a place, the earth is such an ‘original blessing’ and the amazing critters we share it with from oranges to orangutans, from elephants to polar bears, rainforest, whales, plants, and all the rest that make our lives a blessing also. Actually, Genesis one, talks about ‘original blessing’ when it makes a mantra of how individual creations are ‘good’ (or the same word can be translated ‘beautiful’) and all together, at the end, with humans on board, it is ‘very good’ and/or ‘very beautiful’.”
Inner spiritual liberation is a very difficult sensation to describe, but listening to Matt, a Dominican priest at that time (he has since become an Episcopal priest) introduce cosmic-sized theological ideas as a student launched my inner world and my spiritual imagination. I would suddenly have this inner realization that it was ‘okay’ to feel that I was no longer Catholic or controlled by the parameters of Catholic dogma. I felt spiritually cosmic, not bound by the teachings of my youth.
Because of Matt’s outrageously controversial teachings on the cosmic design of the Divine, I exploded out of conventional Catholicism and began my exploration into the nature of human consciousness. I have memories of driving home from class so excited that I could not keep my attention on the road. My dreams exploded into cosmic night travels, waking up with wild symbolic images and questions already animated in my mind that I had no memory of asking.
Graduate school was my entrance into mystical consciousness, and I have never looked back. Let me add, I chose to study Theology in graduate school because I knew that I needed to break out of my own thinking patterns. I could sense my own intellectual boundaries and I knew I needed guidance to think ‘bigger.’ I didn’t know why I needed to find my way out of my ‘my own way,’ so to speak, but I knew that if I could not think in ‘whole’ thoughts, I would intellectually limp through my life.
It was Matt who told me years ago that I should read the work of Teresa of Avila, as her teachings on the seven mansions of the soul that she presents so stunningly in, The Interior Castle, would so perfectly align to what I had written in, Anatomy of the Spirit. Other than knowing her name, I was unfamiliar with the writings and teachings of Teresa of Avila at the time Matt made that suggestion, but because he pointed me in that direction, I purchased my first book on the writings of Teresa of Avila.
To say that I am delighted to have Matt present a Reflections Parallel course is a masterpiece of understatement. I am once again exploding with delight, enthusiasm, and respect for the subject matter that he has chosen to share. David and I asked him to teach the topic that he felt most enthusiastic about at this time, and he chose, Beyond Patriarchy.
Just as Matt once launched me into cosmic-sized thinking, I know his teachings on this topic will have the same impact on many – if not most – of you. We do not (in general) use the term ‘patriarchy’ to describe archetypal dynamic that is at play in our collective, but from a mystical and archetypal perspective, the powerful forces of the masculine and feminine archetypes are now blending toward the dynamic of holism. That is, the clear polarity between what is male and what is female is becoming unified in a way that we are experiencing in the expanding views of sexual identities, for example. And from another perspective, this blending of masculine and feminine is also creating enormous controversies, as all stages of evolution always do.
Everyone benefits, however, from gaining a higher – indeed cosmic – perspective on this collective and remarkable human journey of transformation that we are all sharing. And now, I will let Matt’s own words describe the class he is offering in July.
Overview of Our Cosmic Sacred Contract
Years ago, I introduced a body of work entitled, Sacred Contracts, in which I shared my perspective that each of our life paths is governed by patterns of power (aka archetypes), that constantly influence the experiences of our interior world. Everyone has a Child archetype, for example, and our inner Child expresses itself throughout our adult life. Our playfulness or our need for adult approval, or the sensation of intimidation that can overcome someone in a room full of adults, are intimately connected to our Child archetype patterns.
The influence of our archetypal patterns flows into our thoughts, emotions, dreams, ambitions, and intellectual ideas with every breath we take. Like a lens on a camera, each archetypal pattern has a way of forming a picture of what we see and why we interpret what we see as we do. Two people never see the same thing the same way, as each person is looking at the same thing through their archetypal pattern that is connected to a configuration of myths and beliefs that come from each person’s life journey. For example, I have a dominant Teacher archetype. Though I never wanted to be a teacher – ever – instructing, passing on knowledge, learning, and a love of sharing fascinating ideas came naturally to me. I have so many memories of wanting to learn everything I could about every subject that fascinated me, so I could report on that to others. I was always baffled as a young person – and today as a teacher and adult in the world – how people could not be interested in knowing the history of another country, or an area, or a different religion – or even the history of how an idea became so influential in the world. What makes the ideology of fascism, for instance, draw so many people to it like a magnet? One would think that after the horror of World War II under the Nazi regime that Fascism would be destroyed forever like the bubonic plague. Yet, amazingly, that pattern of power is once again animated and the many people who share archetypal patterns that make them susceptible to Fascist ideas of racial superiority are connecting to it and, consequently, to all those on the archetypal “inner net” who share in that pattern. The law of attraction is always in operation in our lives – make no mistake about that.
Likewise, we are now experiencing the emergence of new archetypes – or archetypes that are evolving to reflect the times in which we live, reflecting and inspiring positive forces of the soul in people everywhere. The Environmentalist, for example, is one such archetype, as is the Advocate. The Healer, one of the great celestial archetypes to be sure, has become a leading archetypal presence in our world yet again, forging new pathways of understanding health within an ever-expanding body/mind/spirit template.
It is life-changing to recognize a personal archetypal pattern. Once you connect with how a pattern functions within you, you start to identify the countless ways it influences your thinking, your emotions, how you see the world around you, how and why you are attracted to the people in your life, why you have the inner drives and appetites you do, why you are attracted to images of heroes or warriors or fashion models or wizards (among so many other caricatures), and why you believe what you do about virtually everything. Every single aspect of yourself is threaded in some way to one or more of your archetypal patterns.
In truth, our lives – and human evolution itself – is governed by the cosmic community of archetypes. Our personal lives are shaped by energetic or psychic content of our archetypes. And in turn, we, as members of the human community, co-create the events of our societies, reflecting the collective power and influence of the archetypal patterns that we share. Events do not just happen. We are participants in all acts of creation and all acts of creation are involved with archetypal influences.
Therefore, all that happens outside of us is also happening in some way because of us. Our personal archetypes are aligned or connected to the on-going dynamic of co-creation. As the mystics and spiritual teachers of all great traditions have long taught core wisdom that emphasizes the unity of all life: All life breathes together; What is in One, is in the Whole and As Above, So Below. We cannot separate ourselves from the vast network of life, or from each other, or from the vibrant, intimate fabric of creation comprised of the non-stop energy of all living beings.
In this workshop, I will explore the intimate relationship that exists between our personal archetypal patterns and our connection to the collective community of archetypes. It is one thing to imagine that you are a part of the whole. It is quite another to understand how that connection to the whole works, and the way in which you participate. We will explore questions in this workshop, such as: Is a pandemic an archetypal experience? What about the war in Ukraine? And what collective archetypal influences create climate change? How are you connected to these global dilemmas? Does the impersonal tension generated by global events affect your personal health? And can a collective archetypal response have a positive influence upon the future?
It truly is amazing to contemplate that we are the engines of the events that are created in this world – all events. Wars, space travel, medical discoveries, pandemics, environmental crises, accomplishments in science, entertainment, architecture – everything you can think of – happens because of the on-going collective dynamic of human choice and consequence. We are not accustomed to considering how our individual choices impact the whole global ecosystem of life – but we have arrived in that era of consciousness that beckons us to expand our thinking to consider the power of our individual choice as a force that is intimately connected to the whole.
Our Cosmic Sacred Contract
Archetypes and the Power in the Cosmic Field
In this first class, we will discuss the nature of archetypal patterns and their fascinating influence, highlighting how they work within our personal lives and the collective unconscious.
- As Above, So Below
- Archetypes as patterns of power
- Understanding life as the experience of co-creation and power
- The Phoenix
- Pythagoras and the archetypes of Math and Music
- The Ten Commandments
- Plato and the gods
How Co-Creation Works
Life is a well-ordered dynamic. Even chaos is an archetype that has rules and purpose. It functions within a cycle: Chaos and Calm, always repeating itself. God is hidden in the laws of the universe – ever present and ever consistent. Archetypal patterns of micro systems of power that allow us to learn the laws of the universe as they operate within the psychic field of creation.
- God’s new commandment: Grow up and take responsibility for creation
- A mystical view of life
- The Power of Choice
- The Languages of God: Light/Law/Love
- Health and Illness
SESSIONS THREE & FOUR
Sacred Contracts: Identifying Your Personal Archetypal Patterns
Sessions three and four will be devoted to the topic of Sacred Contracts. We have archetypal patterns that govern the parameters of our life path, and these patterns are with us from the second we are assigned this life.
Here are just a few of the questions that we will explore in our two sessions on Sacred Contracts:
- What is a Sacred Contract?
- How do I identify a personal archetype?
- Do my archetypes change during my life?
- Are some archetypes negative?
- Are some contracts difficult by design or karmic?
- Can I pick an archetype that I want?
You and the Co-Creation of Global Events
Global events are created by the collective choices and psychic energy field generated by humanity. Events do not just happen. Our energy is woven into the events that are unfolding around us. Your personal archetypal patterns are most definitely connected to the creation of all that is happening in the world.
- What is in One is in the Whole
- An Archetypal view of war
- An Archetypal view of climate change
- An Archetypal view of social conflict
- Identifying your archetypes to global events
The Archetype of Transformation
Transformation is itself an archetypal journey and we are all sharing that journey right now. Every aspect of life – from how we understand the workings of our consciousness to how we understand our place in the galactic community of life – is exploding with new possibilities.
- Global events that are transforming the human community
- The personal experience of transformation
- From five senses to a multi-sensory human being
- The holistic approach to life
- Why you need to understand your inner power as a transformational force
Yes - all lessons are recorded. Replays are available on our webinar platform immediately afterward. Within 48 hours, audio and video recordings are posted to myss.com, where you will have lifetime access to them.