Love is “the very physical structure of the Universe:” on giving up our separation, superiority, privilege and control

From Richard Rohr, Julian of Norwich, and Teilhard de Chardin

The third [revelation] is that our Lord God, almighty wisdom, all love, just as truly as [God] has made everything that is, so truly [God] does and brings about all that is done . . . we are securely protected through love, in joy and sorrow, by the goodness of God. . . . All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. —Julian of Norwich [1]

For Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955), a French Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist, love is “the very physical structure of the Universe.” [2] That is a very daring statement, especially for a scientist to make. Yet for Teilhard, gravity, atomic bonding, orbits, cycles, photosynthesis, ecosystems, force fields, electromagnetic fields, sexuality, human friendship, animal instinct, and evolution all reveal an energy that is attracting all things and beings to one another, in a movement toward ever greater complexity and diversity—and yet ironically also toward unification at ever deeper levels. This energy is quite simply love under many different forms. (You can use another word if it works better for you.)

Love, the attraction of all things toward all things, is a universal language and underlying energy that keeps showing itself despite our best efforts to resist it. It is so simple that it is hard to teach, yet we all know love when we see it. After all, there is not a Native, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, or Christian way of loving. There is not a Methodist, Lutheran, or Orthodox way of running a soup kitchen. There is not a gay or straight way of being faithful, nor a Black or Caucasian way of hoping. We all know positive flow when we see it, and we all recognize resistance and coldness when we feel it. All the rest are mere labels.

When we are truly “in love,” we move out of our small, individual selves to unite with another, whether in companionship, friendship, marriage, or any other trustful relationship. Have you ever deliberately befriended a person standing alone at a party? Perhaps someone who was in no way attractive to you or with whom you shared no common interests? That would be a small but real example of divine love flowing. Don’t dismiss it as insignificant. That is how the flow starts, even if the encounter doesn’t change anyone’s life on the spot. To move beyond our small-minded uniformity, we have to extend ourselves outward, which our egos always find a threat, because it means giving up our separation, superiority, and control.

Christena Cleveland recognizes that so much is lost when we refuse to cross the “borders” that keep us apart.

How much are the people for whom Christ died suffering because we remain paralyzed and divided by our differences when we should be working together as the hands and feet of Jesus in the world? There must be a better and more efficient way to carry out our roles within the mission of God. Surely, we can do better.

**

White dominant culture has been alive and well for centuries, and its grasp for power is only growing more desperate. Today we see unabashed racism, classism, and sexism at the highest levels of the United States government. How naïve many of us were to think we lived in a post-racial society after the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and after we saw an African American president and his family in the White House. Now our collective shadow has again come out in the open for all to see.

It seems every generation must be newly converted. While we seek to transform individual hearts and minds we must also work to create change our systems. Until a full vision of equity is realized, we must continue naming and resisting the ways in which so many people are excluded and oppressed. Author and activist adrienne maree brown writes:

Separation weakens. It is the main way we are kept (and keep each other) in conditions of oppression. . . . Where we are born into privilege, we are charged with dismantling any myth of supremacy. Where we are born into struggle, we are charged with claiming our dignity, joy and liberation. . . . From that deep place of belonging to ourselves, we can understand that we are inherently worthy of each other. Even when we make mistakes, harm each other, lose our way, we are worthy. [1]    

I believe the problem of otherness and separation is so foundational to all of reality that it had to be overcome in the very nature of God—from the very beginning—and in all things created in the image of God, which is exactly all things. God has to include otherness—diversity, if you will—but God also has to be diversity overcome and resolved, first inside of the Deity Itself (the Trinity), and then in all those created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), who are imprinted, marked, and “turned into the image that they reflect” (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).

The members of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are the Christian placeholder names for clear distinction, pluriformity, and otherness. You can use other words if you want; what’s important is distinction and diversity in loving relationship. The three must be maintained as three and understood as different from one another. Yet the infinite trust and flow between them is so constant, so reliable, so true, and so faithful that they are also completely one. They must be diverse, and they must be one—at the same time. The glue that preserves both truths at the same time is Infinite Love.

Our basic human problem of unity and diversity has been resolved in the very nature of God, but unless we allow ourselves inside of that Infinite flow, we ourselves will always remain the three but never the one. If we remain exclusive monotheists, like Judaism, Islam, and much of Christianity up to now, we normally try to impose a false uniformity on others but rarely know how to love, honor, and respect diversity. We remain in competing tribes and colonies.

**

May 30, 2019 by Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams

 

Let’s Be Clear, Says Mexico Environment Minister, ‘Parasitic and Predatory Neoliberalism’ to Blame for Climate Crisis

“Human beings are not responsible for global warming,” said Secretary Víctor Manuel Toledo Manzur, but elite capitalists and industry powerbrokers are.

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Mexico’s Environment Secretary Víctor Manuel Toledo Manzur speaking on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. “Human beings are not responsible for global warming, as a superficial environmentalism and uncritical science would like to tell us,” said Toledo. “The responsible are a parasitic and predatory minority, and that minority has a name: neoliberalism.” (Photo: Screenshot/Youtube)
In a scathing rebuke to the elite capitalists and politicians who largely control the global economic and energy systems, Mexico’s newly-appointed environment secretary on Wednesday pointed a stern finger at the “parasitic and predatory neoliberals” for being the key culprits behind the planetary climate crisis.

“We can defend life, or we can continue destroying it in the name of the market, technology, progress, development, [and] economic growth.”
—Mexico Environment Secretary Víctor Manuel Toledo Manzur

As the Mexico News Daily reports, the public comments by Secretary Víctor Manuel Toledo Manzur were his first since his appointment by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador earlier this week and seen as a direct challenge to previous Mexican governments which sacrificed the nation’s environment to the interests of industry.

“Human beings are not responsible for global warming, as a superficial environmentalism and uncritical science would like to tell us,” said Toledo. “The responsible are a parasitic and predatory minority, and that minority has a name: neoliberalism.”

According to the News Daily, Toledo vowed “to ‘take back’ the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (Semarnat), which he said had been controlled by ‘merchants from the automotive sector,’ and involve citizens in policy making.

He also vowed to put ecological and human concerns above the demands of capitalism and industrial powerbrokers.

“We can defend life, or we can continue destroying it in the name of the market, technology, progress, development, economic growth, etc.,” he said.

Watch the full speech (in Spanish):

>

In addition to a ban on fracking, Toledo said there was an urgent need to find replacement sources for all fossil fuels and also issued warnings about the use of genetically-modified crops.

Not a new concept, proponents of bold climate action and experts on the geopolitics of global warming have long noted that the rise of neoliberalism as the dominant political force in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere correlates in troubling ways with the rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2015, as Common Dreams reported at the time, the model of neoliberal capitalism was blamed for the looming destruction of the world’s natural systems in a pair of groundbreaking studies.

“It is difficult to overestimate the scale and speed of change,” said Professor Will Steffen, a researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre who was involved with both studies. “In a single lifetime humanity has become a geological force at the planetary-scale.”

And as journalist Naomi Klein wrote in her 2014 book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, humanity over the last 30 years has  “not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis.”

“We are stuck,” Klein writes in the book, “because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe—and would benefit the vast majority—are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.”

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

 

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