Tag Archives: Matthew Fox

May 26 – Let Me Not Despair

despair, sadness icon @ http://www.iconfinder.com

Eagerly looking forward to a special day and then life intervened; plans upended. So, now what?

Today’s senryu: Let Me Not Despair

life sucks then I’ll die

or let go and practice love

let me not despair

Reality has a way of “robbing our joy” but we don’t have to surrender to pessimism. Here are four references that informed the senryu above:

First is the continuation of Matthew Fox’ message on how to “move from pessimism to creativity

“Where true self-love is meager, our love of the world will be meager. “Love others as you love yourself,” advised Jesus. But if our love of self is shallow, the love we put into the world will be also. And the world is so strong in its various misdirected loves that our weak and shallow love will be easily drowned in the energies of that world.” from Rank and Rich on Moving from Pessimism to Creativity, Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox, May 26, 2023 (https://dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org/2023/05/26/rank-and-rich-on-moving-from-pessimism-to-creativity/)

Second is an Al Jazeera video on how advertising sells us through low self-esteem.

We are told 3500 times a day how deficient and lame we are.” quote from Jonah Sachs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urny4oFBbto)

Third, a motivational quote from JFK.


Finally, a favorite album.


May 26 – The Separation Union Spectrum

Looking for a little “light” reading for this holiday weekend? How ’bout this?

PushmePullyou – Why bother with either or both of these signs @ http://www.flickr.com

Today’s love poem: The Separation Union Spectrum

I’d rather cling to you than cling to the past:

…. how does here and now rank for you?

…….. how will we creatively experience our one life?

………… how will we assert our relationship?


So, yesterday’s Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox was especially provocative for me. (see https://dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org/2023/05/25/searching-the-roots-of-fear-and-pessimism/)

Fox’s message is a synthesis of Otto Rank, Aquinas, Rumi, Meister Eckhart and Julian of Norwich wisdom with the “throat grabbing” hook: “pessimism is a philosophy of hatred that springs from self-hate.” Wow, “must read” or “must listen” for me!

Matthew’s reflections also led to a wonderful “rabbit hole” to the Otto Rank Wikipedia page. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Rank).

Otto Rank, aka the “father of humanistic psychology“, is known for his writings on creative will and relationship & existential therapy. Something else worth checking out when you have the time.

Mar 19 – Note-to-Self: The Purpose of Life is Joy

The Benefits of Laughing at Yourself @ shondaland.com

Here is today’s senryu: NTS – The Purpose of Life Is Joy

Ha! You make me laugh.

Laughing is such a relief.

Do it more often.

Below is a repost of Matthew Fox’ message from last Monday (which I just read today, ha)

Joy! Why We Are All Here.

The Divine Joy.  Did you ever consider that maybe the “Big Bang” was a Big Laugh?  Or a Big Shout of Joy?  That the Trinity could not take it any more—that is the joy of being, the joy of existence, the joy that is the joie d’vivere, the celebration of a universe where “existence itself is the miracle.”  (Rilke).  Or—even more likely because scientists tell us there was no sound at all when the universe began–a big, quiet smile of mischief when the Creator came up with the crazy idea to birth a universe (and put homo sapiens into it)? 

The Big Laugh, the Big Smile. Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Why is there a universe?  In order to share the joy, of course!  A new and unheard of surprise to launch a universe smaller than a zygote that would expand over 14 billion years into two trillion galaxies?  Each with hundreds of billions of stars?  And would include giraffes and hippos and forests and oceans, mountains and rivers, fishes and birds, flowers, plants and human beings—all born from 13.8 billion years of birthing from the time of the Big Laugh, Big Smile, overflowing exuberance, playfulness and the bubbling over of divine Joy? 

Thomas Aquinas had such an idea when he proposed that “Sheer Joy is God’s and this demands companionship.”  The purpose of the universe is Joy.  Ours and the Creator’s.  Joy does not want to be contained, it demands to be shared, like fire or like a laugh.  It wants company and nurtures community.  Which was very dear to the Trinity which ultimately birthed all of creation.  And the beauty and original blessing of it all started things off with, as we say, a big bang, a big laugh, a bursting joy, a twinkling and mischievous smile matched only by unbounded beauty and wonder.

Photo by Competitive Insight on Unsplash

For this reason, “joy is the human’s noblest act” and “God is supremely joyful and therefore supremely conscious.”  (Aquinas)  If Joy—ours and God’s—renders us ever more conscious, can we spread the joy? 

Welcome aboard!  Welcome to existence, to creation, to the universe, your home.

Wouldn’t it be good to teach this to our children very early and before and instead of teaching them about divine wrath or a place called hell or original sin or guilt or shame or despair?

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 33-40.  

And Fox, In the Beginning there Was Joy: A Celebration of Creation for Children of All Ages. (Coming soon!)