“The crises we find ourselves in as a species require that as a species we shake up all our institutions—including our religious ones—and reinvent them. Change is necessary for our survival, and we often turn to the mystics at critical times like this. Jung said: “Only the mystics bring creativity into religion.”  Jesus was a mystic shaking up his religion and the Roman empire; Buddha was a mystic who shook up the prevailing Hinduism of his day; Gandhi was a mystic shaking up Hinduism and challenging the British Empire; and Martin Luther King, Jr. shook up his tradition and America’s segregationist society. The mystics walk their talk and talk (often in memorable poetic phraseology) their walk.” MATTHEW FOX cac.org – Richard Rohr
Do I do that – walk the talk and talk the walk? How about you? Those of you who have read my ramblings over the past few years probably realize I have a serious issue with religion and religionists. Many of them talk a great spiel from the pulpit and the pews of their churches, but then don’t walk it in their lives or in their behaviors. That is not real; it is not empowering. If not embraced in lifestyle this pretty rhetoric becomes just more trash on the pile of religious deceit. Preachers are guilty, parishioners are guilty, black and white are equally guilty, politicians are guilty. Me too. I do not always walk the talk.
But I highly esteem those mystics who have. The four named in the introductory quote are just a few of the many men and women who discovered their inner truth and then lived lives accordingly. Buddha was human, Jesus was human, Gandhi was human, and Martin Luther King was human, all acclaimed mystics were humans who acknowledged the Divine center of their beings as the most consequential and significant reason to talk the walk and walk the talk.
Our world is racing to the annihilation of the human species. Accompanied by rabid politics, fear-mongering politicians, greedy capitalism and heretical religions, the voices of those who pursue social justice, peace, and inner searching seem lost in the insanity. That which could turn the tide and redeem civilization from a sure demise is often obscured by conversations of victory at any cost rather than sensible compromise embracing the rights of all mankind and all earth’s natural resources.
We must come to realize and surrender to the premise that this planet is not a hodgepodge of several billion humans intent on survival as individuals, but rather, an ecosystem which includes all mankind, all animals, all plant life, all resources interdependent on one another and living together as one cohesive environment.
Learning to love ourselves and others begins from a place of reverence for all of life. This reverence flows forward in the Buddhist greeting, “Namaste”, I honor the divine in you. Not only other brothers and sisters on this earth, but every part of creation should be viewed and greeted with namaste.
“Honor the sacred.
Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we share the Earth.
Four-leggeds, winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.”
(Native American prayer for the earth)