Proof of item:
Redefining the Masculine: Strength & Confidence for Enduring a Dark Night of the Soul
As a spiritual seeker, you may have been focusing on accessing or cultivating the Divine Feminine within you. Yet to act, to manifest and to truly create the change we so desperately need at this time, we are all (women and men) being called to embrace the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine within us — to become Spiritual Warriors in our communities and our world.
Many spiritual leaders and mystics are calling this time a “Dark Night of the Soul” for all humanity. You may be personally experiencing profound challenges in your own life and relationships, or in attempting to manifest your highest calling and transform old ways of thinking, doing and being.
In these uncertain times, and with all the creative energy that change stirs within us, it takes strong energy to stay focused and act with courage and confidence.
This kind of strength is often drawn from the Sacred Masculine, yet many of us have been exposed to an unhealthy, toxic masculinity that reinforces oppressive, damaging patriarchal systems.
During these times we do not need soldiers, we need warriors… Spiritual Warriors whose orders come from the soul, not an external commander. A soldier delivers or falls in pain, but a warrior does everything with love, facing pain head on.
Matthew Fox, an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, episcopal priest and activist, explains that the Sacred Masculine (and therefore the Spiritual Warrior) is largely unacknowledged and unexpressed “because Western culture is still dualistic and values thinking over feeling, material wealth over spiritual growth, scientific fact over intuitive knowledge, men over women, and heterosexul over homosexual.”
The answer to this separation is in the union of the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine — as expressed through the archetype of the Spiritual Warrior.
The qualities of the Spiritual Warrior are essential for navigating the complexities of modern life, standing confidently in your truth, and championing changes that are needed in your relationships, work life and society.
To embody these qualities is to act with an open heart, channel anger effectively, and to be willing to “go to the edge” spiritually to benefit your own and others’ growth.
What You’ll Discover in These 7 Weeks
Course sessions are on Thursdays at Noon Pacific.
In this 7-week transformational intensive, Matthew will guide you through the fundamental principles and qualities of Spiritual Warriorship. Each weekly LIVE contemplation and training session will build harmoniously upon the preceding sessions. You’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of the practices, tools and principles that will enable you to unite within you the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine and fully activate your gifts in service to the world.
Module 1: Defining the Spiritual Warrior (September 7)
The Sufi Mystic Hafiz celebrates the Spiritual Warrior who sticks around during the dark periods of our lives or in our culture known as the Dark Night of the Soul (and what we may also call the “Dark Night of Our Species”). A warrior does not run away, go into denial, or commit to addictions.
In this first session, you’ll explore Hafiz’s teachings and those of Meister Eckhart, Joanna Macy and others who speak to developing the mystic warrior or prophet who, as Rabbi Heschel teaches, is not afraid to “interfere.”
- What the mystical traditions teach about the Dark Night
- The value of the Dark Night when you can face it wisely
- The archetype of the Spiritual Warrior, and your capacity to develop this inner strength and courage
- How teachings from the mystic Meister Eckhart and the Buddhist teacher Joanna Macy can support cultivation of the Spiritual Warrior
Module 2: Sources of the Sacred Masculine (September 14)
Father Sky, the Green Man, Blue Man, Hunter Gatherer and other archetypes rarely addressed in a patriarchal society are actually “spiritual springs” that can nourish a healthy and sacred masculinity. Defining masculinity in terms of the reptilian brain (being number one and dominating others) rather than in terms of cooperation, serves empires but not the planet nor deepening human relationships, which is one of the gifts of the Sacred Masculine.
- The deepening of the Sacred Masculine archetype of Father Sky
- The deepening of the Sacred Masculine archetype of the Green Man
- The deepening of the Sacred Masculine archetype of the Blue Man
- The deepening of the Sacred Masculine archetype of the Hunter Gatherer
- Practices to develop these archetypes in yourself and with others
Module 3: The Inner Mystic
Your Foundation of the Sacred Masculine (September 21)
Hafiz teaches that one becomes a sacred warrior “only if you and God become sweet lovers.” This means a warrior must be a mystic, for the mystic in us is a lover. A lover of earth, life, animals, beauty, health, children, people not yet born, poems and music and all the rest of creation. How do the mystic poets lead us to this kind of love?
Here, we call on mystics such as Mary Oliver, Thomas Merton, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Berry and others who light the fire of mysticism within us all. This awakening of eros is at the heart of the return of the Sacred Masculine.
- How we are all mystics and how YOU can deepen your mysticism
- Teachings of contemporary mystics that can ignite your inner mystic
- Teachings of pre-modern mystics that can affirm and deepen your own mysticism
- The return of the Sacred Masculine as the prerequisite of a mystical awakening
Module 4: The Sacred Marriage of the Divine Feminine & Sacred Masculine (September 28)
Theologians Dorothy Soelle and Father Bede Griffiths identify mysticism with the Divine Feminine. Exploring the Divine Feminine provides a bridge to the Sacred Masculine.
In this session, Matthew will guide you to consider Meister Eckhart and Adrienne Rich; Julian of Norwich and M.C. Richards; the Wild Woman as practiced by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Hildegard of Bingen; the marriage of the Green Man and the Black Madonna; and other mystics and myths.
- Why wise people teach that the return of the Divine Feminine spells also the return of mysticism
- How women poets and philosophers such as Adrienne Rich and M.C. Richards awaken within us the meaning of a deep feminism
- Meister Eckhart and Thomas Merton’s teachings of the Divine Feminine
- How to engage in the Sacred Marriage of the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine
Module 5: Taking on Powers of Evil (October 5)
Religion in the West has oversold sin, requiring a new language for understanding and debating in greater depth the presence of evil in our lives and society. Psychologist M. Scott Peck said that our language about evil is at a mere “primitive” stage.
In Matthew Fox’s book on evil, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, he proposes a new language born of marrying Eastern teachings about the seven chakras with Western teachings about the seven capital sins. In the foreward to this book, Deepak Chopra calls evil, “the number one spiritual issue for the 21st century.”
Developing your powers of the Sacred Masculine along with the energy of the Divine Feminine can prepare you to face evil and do something constructive about it.
- A new language taken from East and West to discuss and debate evil
- How the 7 chakras of the East correspond to power places in your body and psyche
- How the 7 capital sins of the West correspond to the chakras when they are off-center
- How sin is different from evil but opens the door to it
- How you can stand strong against powers of evil in society and in self
Module 6: Creativity
Where the Divine & the Human Meet (October 12) (Pre-recorded)
Pre-modern thinkers and mystics like Thomas Aquinas, Hildegard of Bingen and Meister Eckhart instruct us that we co-create with the spirit of creation. Today’s anthropology operates on the assumption that the very definition of a human being is a “bi-ped who makes things.”
Is society putting creativity first in our educational and religious communities? Why not? What’s holding us back? How can human creativity heal and deal with the great problems facing our species today? Where does our creativity come from? How do we reconnect to it? How do we release that creativity? How do we move from disempowerment to empowerment?
- Sources of your creativity
- How your creativity (developing the Blue Man within you) is, as the mystics teach, a de facto an experience of Spirit
- How your creativity can be utilized for good or for evil
- Ways to unleash your creativity and move from disempowerment to empowerment
Module 7: The Recovery of the Sacred & Return of Hope
Hope is not optimism; it’s hard work, both inner and outer — work that confronts injustice and evil in and around us.
This work demands the recovery of the sacred in which you exist and move. It requires that you fully enliven the mystic within, nourishing your inner warrior or prophet… and it requires the Sacred Marriage of the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine within a cosmology that arouses awe and wonder.
In this final session, you’ll explore modern prophets Naomi Klein, Scott Sanders, Howard Thurman, Thomas Berry, Joanna Macy and others who bring hope alive, and who have themselves developed the Spiritual Warrior in deep and useful ways.
- How to recover a sense of the sacred
- Why despair and denial don’t have the last word even in times of darkness
- How mystic-warriors and prophets of our day such as Naomi Klein and Scott Sanders, Howard Thurman and Joanna Macy and others are urging us on
- Teachings of these prophets that interfere with despair, denial and addictions
- How David Orr’s “sleeves-rolled-up” definition of hope can awaken the Sacred Masculine, connected anew to the Divine Feminine in life and practice