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Some Practices to Prepare for Facing Evil

 
We continue our meditations on Evil and Hatred.  To go deeper, to face these realities, we must become stronger.  How do we do that?
 
Just as one does not go into a mine without a lantern, so too, one does not take on Evil without preparation, inner preparation.  It is necessary to bring a lantern into the darkness that Evil and its shadow spread.  Here are some practices to consider. A light in the darkness.
Photo by Subhro Vision on Unsplash
 
1.    Root yourself in the Sacred.  Wherever you find it—in nature, in music, in prayer, in Scripture, in reading the mystics, in studying the stars, etc.

2.    Let the Sacred take you to the Source.  Aquinas: “God is a source without a source.”

3.    Remember Thomas Merton: “Every non-two-legged creature is a saint.”  Hang out with saints.  The more-than-two-legged ones like your dog or cat or horse or bird or plants or trees, etc.
 
4. Fill up on goodness.  Original Goodness (Aquinas).
Original Wisdom (Hildegard).
Original Blessing.
Original Buddha Nature (Buddhists).
Original Christ Nature, the Cosmic Christ in us (Christians).
Image of God (Jews).
Etc.
“Best friends.” Photo by Michael Walk

5.    Become a camel.  That means, learn to store your experiences of goodness and beauty, wisdom and insight, and the reverence and Joy that comes with them, the Trust and the Gratitude.  Be a camel carrying such memories and experiences into the desert, the void, the via negative that awaits you.

6.    Be a light. To yourself first.  Find the light within, the “spark of the soul” within that Eckhart talks about where a holy birth takes place constantly.

7.    Remember the Breakthroughs, the ecstasies, the Oneings, that generate in you experiences of Immensity, Intensity, and Intimacy.  Carry them with you wherever you go and wherever you find yourself whether among friends or foes, alone or with others.
 

8.    Practice emptying and taste Nothingness.  Bring Nothingness to the table.

9.    Practice subtracting, knowing that “the soul grows by subtraction, not by addition.” (Eckhart)

10.  Practice Forgiving.

11.   Call on the Black Madonna to assist your at-home-ness with darkness and mystics like Mechtild of Magdeburg, Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, Hafiz, Rumi and others familiar with the apophatic Divinity, the via negativa and dark night of the soul.

Photo by Essenj on Flickr.

12.  Roll up your sleeves and go to work.  “Hope is a verb with the sleeves rolled up.” (David Orr)  Work like hell—and with imagination and creativity—for Justice.  And for healing.

Visit Matthew Fox’s website here. 

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