February 7, 2024
Science and Spirituality with Deepak Chopra

Beyond Naive Realism With Special Guest, Matthew Fox.

In this captivating conversation, Deepak Chopra and Matthew Fox challenge our assumptions about reality and embark on a profound exploration of spirituality in the 21st century. Deepak, disillusioned with the limitations of scientific materialism, shares his journey into the “formless” experience of the divine and his newfound embrace of surrender. Matthew, a theologian and author of “Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality,” offers a vibrant alternative to traditional Christianity, grounded in nature, wisdom, and compassion.

Listen to the podcast here

Beyond Naive Realism With Special Guest, Matthew Fox

Creation Spirituality, Compassion, And Surrender In A Universe We Dream

My special guest is Matthew Fox. He’s a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest, and an activist for gender justice and eco-justice. He has written a number of books, including Original Blessing, The Coming of The Cosmic Christ, and many more. You’ll find a link to his several publications on his website. We are going to talk about this wonderful book that I received. It’s called Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality. He is also a friend of Ruper Sheldrake, whom I have admired for decades. Thank you for joining me, Matthew.

Thank you, Deepak. Thank you for having me and having a program like this and for writing the Forward to my book a couple of years ago.

Let’s talk about this book. I’ve been going through it and found some interesting insights here. I’m learning a lot. Let’s start with, what is creation spirituality?

Creation spirituality is the stepsister in Christianity. It has been overrun by a fall redemption approach to religion that begins with sin and with the human, therefore, because only human sin. Meanwhile, creation spirituality begins with creation with the universe, and with 13.8 billion years of unfolding of the universe that brought our beautiful earth here and brought us here. It’s a blessing. Blessing is the word for goodness.

If you check out the Bible, the first chapter of the Bible doesn’t mention sin once. It’s all about how good this is, how good the sun is, how good the plants are, and how good the animals are. When humans come on board, it’s called very good. That word in Hebrew can also be translated as beautiful. Everything is beautiful and very beautiful. The first writer in the Hebrew Bible is a Jewish source, and he’s Christ-centered. The whole Jewish tradition is this way. They don’t believe in original sin. Eli Riesel says, “Original sin is not only not in the Bible. It’s alien to Jewish thinking.” The idea is that humans have come into the world guilty of something.

We have plenty of troubles, that’s for sure, but how are you going to release the energy of the beautiful, the good, the compassion, the healing, and the creativity without believing and teaching our children to believe in their powers, beauty, and gifts? Jesus himself comes from the wisdom tradition of Israel. All scholars agree. That tradition is nature-centered. Many scholars believe that Jesus was considered illegitimate in his village. He was not allowed in the synagogue on the Sabbath. When others went to the synagogue to pray, he went out into nature to pray.

This shows in all of his parables. They’re all about keen observation of nature. The seed, mustard plant, trees, sparrows that fall from trees, wheat, chaff, goats, and sheep. He’s seeing it all. He’s a peasant farmer. Beginning with blessing is the Jewish way, to begin with the goodness of the world. We have the muscles to deal with evil and the bad choices that our species makes. That’s the heart of it.

It’s feminist because it is nature-based and wisdom-based, not just knowledge. Wisdom around the world is feminine. In the Bible, she’s feminine. In Hebrew, Sophia in Greek, and Guanyin in the East is feminine. Wisdom is feminine around the world, and the banishment of wisdom and modern consciousness is the banishment of the feminine. It’s the overtaking by the patriarchy of our capacities to learn.

Tweet: The wisdom of the world is feminist. It is based not just on knowledge alone.

Recovering wisdom and the divine feminine is essential. The great mystics whom I’ve tried to recover, like Hildegard of Bingen in the 12th century, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, and Meister Eckhart, who had a tremendous connection to the East without knowing it, but the East knows it. Kumar Swami, the great Hindu thinker and artist who was fluent in 36 languages, and Julian of Norwich. She developed some motherhood of God in the 15th century during the Bubonic plague, which she lived through for 72 years of her life. She develops a whole feminine side of God, more fully than anyone, up until the late 20th century.

Because creation is about nature, science is important in this tradition. Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century, brought Aristotle into the whole Western consciousness and theological consciousness. He was vilified for it. The fundamentalist said, “Who needs science? All the answers are in the Bible.” Aquinas said, “Revelation comes in two volumes, the Bible and nature.” We go to scientists to know that other revelation. Science nowadays is unveiling. That’s what revelation means, the unveiling of the patterns of the universe, such as interdependence and so forth. The mystics have always been talking about it too. We’ve got science and spirituality together. Maybe we can avoid our extinction after all.

That’s the grace spirituality story. It’s been condemned often. I talk about original blessings. Original sin was first mentioned in the fourth century by St. Augustine, a dualist. That was the same century that Christianity inherited the empire, and it’s all connected, the politics and the predominance. Jesus never heard of original sin. He’s Jewish. He never heard of it. What are we doing running a religion on a concept that Jesus has never heard of? I’ll tell you what we’re doing. We’re running empires and keeping people feeling shame, guilt, or confusion about why they’re here because we’re denying them the basic beauty and blessing they are as our species has entered this marvelous theater, drama, and story that we call the universe.

Naive Realism: We are running empires that make people feel shame, guilt, or confusion. We deny others of the basic beauty and blessing in this marvelous theater dream we call the universe.


Let’s go back a bit. I know you were once part of the Roman Catholic Church, and you were either asked to leave or you left. It doesn’t matter. I’ve made visits to the Vatican with the Pope. There’s a big interest in science. They have cosmologists, biologists, and geneticists. It goes with the times.

This Pope is not the Pope who expelled me. He’s of another ilk. He’s Jesuit. He chose the name Francis. His wonderful encyclical is huge. One scientist told me it was the best document ever written on science from the Vatican. One of my students wrote it. I’m proud of that. I lived long enough to see two popes call my work “dangerous and deviant.” A third is to plagiarize it by hiring one of my students. I’m glad I’ve lived that long.

The Roman Catholic Church does have a history that has been diabolical at times with the burning of Giordano Bruno, the banishment of Galileo, and much more. Notwithstanding that, we start looking at the Bible. I want clarity on this. I have my own opinion. We talk about the Garden of Eden and how God forbids the eating of the apple and the banishment. The way I interpret that is that it’s a loss of innocence by knowing the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It’s not an original sin, but it does introduce duality.

That’s the loss of grace and innocence because as humans, even science, nowadays, all the things we’ve done in science. Science has good aspects, its divine aspects, but there is going to be an extinction. It is scientific technology. It’s everything from global warming, climate change, extinction of species, and destruction of the ecosystem. This is a scientific method. There is some truth to that original story. Am I misinterpreting that story at all?

It is a myth. In different eras, it will have interpretations. That’s what a good myth is. It is archetypal. Not to begin with the original sin, I’m not saying to ignore the fall. The Jews created a story about the fall. Your interpretation is wise about how the more we increase in knowledge, the more dangerous we become. We have to get smarter about the choices we make.

Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century, said, “One human being can do more evil than all the other species put together.” When I first read that, my back went straight. I said, “There’s something for us to be proud of.” Imagine that he said that 700 years before Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or Putin. How did he know that? It’s because he respected our powers of creativity and intelligence. He realized, “With these powers, we can go the demonic route or the divine route.” It underscores the choices we make not just as individuals but as cultures.

Think about our educational systems. Are we teaching values? Albert Einstein said, “I abhor American education.” Why? He said, “We’ve been given two gifts, the gift of our rationality and the gift of our intuition. The first should serve the second because our values do not come from rationality. The intellect gives us methods but not values. Values come from intuition or deep feelings, which are the same thing. We live in a society where we honor the first gift, the rational, and we ignore the second, the intuitive.” I think he’s right.

I’ve been struggling not only with religion for several years but with education because I learned earlier that you can’t teach spirituality in a European model of education. It ignores intuition, creativity, and the mystical brain in the body. It’s all this rational brain part of our head. It ignores the other chakras of our body. I designed programs that include artist meditation, where we do play as meditation, dance, music, or painting. We got tremendous results. When you bring together both the rational and the intuitive brain, people come alive. Their lives start over. These are the adults I was dealing with.

Tweet: America honors rationality but ignores the intuitive.

I took it to inner-city kids because 64% of Black boys in America were dropping out of high school several years ago when I did this experiment. I brought it there, and I had these inner-city kids in public schools making movies, poetry, and rap. Their lives were changed. It was astounding what happened. They said at the end of the class, “We don’t want to drop out of school.” They learned the joy of learning and that learning is what food is to the stomach and to the mind. It’s delicious, joyful, wonderful, and empowering.

This is not what happens in education for the most part in America. It’s been rational. Thomas Berry says, “Most of the destruction of the planet is happening at the hands of people with PhDs.” That’s a warning. We give PhDs for the left hemisphere of the brain or the rational side. What are we doing for that value side of our brain? This is what has to wake up fast since science tells us we have several years left.

My special guest is Matthew Fox. We are talking about insights from his book, Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality. You’ve read the explanation. There are a lot of pearls of wisdom in this book. We are not going to be able to go through everything, but to give you a bit of an idea, Matthew Fox discusses everything from feminism to eco science, to the Big Bang, to values, to science, and creation spirituality.

He has a great chapter on Christian Mystic, some of whom he mentioned earlier, including Julian of Norwich and Meister Eckhart. There’s a lot to be done here. He talks about youth education and work, social, political, ecological activism, and church and beyond. I recommend this book highly. For the remaining part of our talk, I’d like to address 1 or 2 things that I found interesting in the book. Here is a chapter that I found fascinating and intriguing. It’s about the four parts of a paradigm shift. The four parts say four commandments. Let’s go through these four parts because I have a deep interest in them. Why don’t you go ahead, Matthew?

Traditionally, in the West, we define the spiritual journey as purgation, illumination, and union. I fill that out. To me, it’s not biblical or what Jesus was about. It came from another place. I replace him with the four paths, the via positive. That’s the experience of joy, awe, and wonder. From that comes reverence and gratitude. That’s the first step in the mystical and the joy of life. Most of us have that as children unless we’ve had unruly parenting. We have to return to that because that’s where the energy comes from our level of life.

The comparable commandment is to fall in love at least three times a day. I’m not trying to threaten anyone’s marriage or relationship, but we have to get beyond the meaning of falling in love. We can fall in love with wildflowers, animals, trees, rocks, galaxies, planets, music, and poetry. There are many ways to fall in love. We should be teaching that all along.

Naive Realism: Love at least three times a day. Fall in love with nature, the planets, music, or poetry. There are so many ways to fall in love.


The second path is via negativa. That has two dimensions. One is stillness and silence. The mind-emptying that precedes the mind-filling. That’s important. Meister Eckhart says, “Nothing in all creation is like God as silence.” It is finding that and quieting that heart. This is how we calm that reptilian brain, which is out of control in our time because reptiles are solitudes. They’re not good at bonding, but they love to lie alone in the sun. I derive from that. We can calm the reptilian brain, a nice crocodile, by learning to be still. The word monk comes with the word for monos or solitude. Our crocodile brain is a monk, but it needs attention. We have to teach ourselves to be still. We have to teach our children.

The third path is via creativa, which I love. I once had a dream. Even though a man, I was pregnant with nothingness. Out of this nothingness, God was born. He builds this whole theology on this. He talks a lot about how we are to give birth to Christ, the Buddha, the image of God, or whatever tradition you have to name it. He said this at a Christmas sermon in the 14th century. He said, “What good is it to me if Mary gave birth to the son of God 1,400 years ago, and I don’t do it in my own person, time, and culture?” He gets it. That’s what it’s about. Instead of putting Mary on a pedestal, she’s showing us the way you do it. I’m not doing it for you.

The fourth path is via transformativa. It’s the path of compassion, celebration, healing, and justice making. It’s one of joy and creativity with all that divine power. We can use it for good or ill. We can use it to build death camps or ovens to burn human beings or nuclear weapons. That goes on and on what we can do with it. That’s evil. We need a guide. We need to steer it. That’s where justice comes in.

Justice and compassion are the gatherers of the energy of the previous three paths. They also form the parameter. Douglas Roche said, “Do you create or do you destroy? Is this serving justice? Is this serving love and compassion or something else?” I’ve tested them for several years in classes and my writing. I’ve gotten a deluge of responses from people about how they work. They’re practical. They make sense. I’ll give you one example.

One of our students in my Master’s program went on after our program to his doctorate in English Literature, and he did it on Walt Whitman. He took the four paths to interpret Walt Whitman. He got a summa cum laude for that. They said, “There are all these interpretations of Whitman. He’s Buddhist,” and this and that. These four paths bring out of him.

A musician taught classes with us on the four paths.It’s called The Musician as a Spiritual Director. You do a class on Mozart and Mahler using the four paths and bringing out these themes that are evident in these great musicians of our culture. They are dealing with the via positiva, via negativa, via creativa, and via transformative in their music. That helps you to appreciate that musicians are not about getting people to go to opera or symphony. They’re trying to present a language for this spiritual journey that we are all on.

Naive Realism: The greatest musicians of our culture create transformation through their music. They do not only invite people to opera houses but also present a language for the spiritual journey we are all in.


Those are the four paths laid out that way. I don’t see them as a ladder. I see it as a spiral that is continually expanding. It’s an open-ended spiral. You can go through all four paths in one day, a particularly busy day, or your partner can. It helps to know where you are on the journey. I don’t know if I mentioned this. The second part of the via negativa is stress the stillness. The second part is grief and suffering. That is everywhere, as the Buddhists will remind us. It is, as the mystics would tell us about the dark nights of the soul, which we’re all in the darkness of our species, it’s a place of learning. Suffering has something to teach us. It teaches us things.

We learn things in the dark. We don’t learn in the light, especially wisdom and compassion, beginning with ourselves. Eckhart says, “Compassion begins at home with your own body and soul.” That’s practical and real. It fits into what Jesus said, “Love others as you love yourself.” If we’re not learning how to love ourselves in good times and bad times, we don’t have that much to offer to others. Those are the four paths. They form the backbone of a creation spirituality. It is a paradigm shift.

Say a little bit about feminism and the feminine archetypes and why you think that’s such an important part of our spiritual experience.

For one thing, they’ve been missing for about 500 years. Julian of Norwich, in the 15th century, was the first woman to write a book in English. It wasn’t published for 300 years, which is a long time to wait for your first book. It’s because she was a woman and creation-centered. She develops a whole mother of God. She says, “God is delighted to be a father, and God is delighted to be your mother.” She has that balance. She talks about how Christ is a mother because he’s going around teaching the values that mothers know. Compassion is the key to it. The word compassion in both Hebrew and Arabic comes from the word for womb. Compassion is maternal energy, but men have it too. This is what Jesus was preaching about.

That’s the essence of all healthy religions. Dalai Lama said, “We can do away with all religion, but we can’t do away with compassion. Compassion is my religion.” In Luke 6, Jesus said, “Be compassionate as your creator in heaven is compassionate.” That’s bringing heaven to earth. Jesus got it from his Jewish tradition. In the Jewish tradition, compassion was the secret name for God. Jesus let the secret out of the bay. In the Quran, by far, the most common adjective for Allah is Allah, the compassionate one.

It’s everywhere, and yet it’s rare. How many courses do we teach on compassion in our schools? I’m talking about our law schools, medical schools, educational schools, and business schools, not just sixth grade. We have to learn it. We have these great figures. We have Gandhi, King, and Mother Teresa. We recognize it after they’re dead, but we’re capable of it. That’s the next leap for our species.

Essence is living out our interdependence. Eckhart says, “What happens to another, whether it be a joy or a sorrow, happens to me.” I love that. Compassion is about joy and celebration, and the empowerment of joy and celebration is as much about relieving one another’s pain. We can focus on the pain and forget that the joy and via positiva are that energy that feeds us, makes us strong, and grows our hearts so that we have the courage, the big heart, and the generosity to put justice and compassion into the world. Look what’s happening in Ukraine. In Poland, people are taking in all these refugees. That’s the growth of the soul. That’s beautiful to see at the same time that we’re seeing the horrors of war.

Tweet: Compassion is about joy and the celebration of empowerment. We focus so much on the pain that we sometimes forget the positivity that makes us strong.

Matthew, for the last part of this book, let me share something I’ve been going through. I would love to hear your comments. For a few decades, I’ve had confrontations with and sometimes very nasty confrontations with militant atheists. The most important one is Richard Dawkins. He says that if you believe in the scientific method, you’re stupid if you believe in God. I don’t want to go into the whole history of my issues with him and the contentious debates we had.

Some time ago, I got interested in the scientific method. I lost my faith in science as a methodology, not only to understand truths but even rational values, even rationality as a method to understand the truth. What happened was when I was researching the book, You Are the Universe, which I wrote to the physicist, I came across a conversation between Einstein and the Indian sage poet. They met in Berlin in 1930. That conversation is interesting. If you go on the internet, you’ll find it. Einstein says, “There’s the human quest for knowledge.” There’s something called objective truth, which is science. What you call objective truth is human truth. The scientific method is that of the scientific human being. The conversation ends with Einstein saying, “Science is my religion.”

Since then, I’ve been talking to a lot of people who understand consciousness, including Don Hoffman, who wrote a book called The Case Against Reality. Here is what science represents, in my view. Science represents what I would call naive realism. This is not a condescending term. It’s also referred to as scientific realism.

Scientific realism and naive realism mean the same thing. The philosophy of naive realism says that what we experience through the five human senses is objective reality. We know that from the five human senses, we only experience a narrow bandwidth of what we call the electromagnetic field. Other species have different avenues to experience the electromagnetic field. What does the world look like to an insect with 100 eyes? What does it look like to an insect that navigates through ultraviolet experience? What is the experience of a bat that knows only the echo of ultrasound? Is there an objective world?

Science is based on the idea that there is an objective world, but it’s becoming clear to those of us who study perception that the objective world is an interpretation of a narrow bandwidth of human perceptual activity, which in turn is an activity of consciousness. Consciousness modifies itself as a perceptual activity. We call it the objective world, but that’s naive realism. Furthermore, science is based on subject objects split right from the start, which is artificial, me and the universe. The third thing is science presumes the existence of a fundamental substance called matter. No one’s ever found that substance. We call our perceptual activity matter.

I have had these problems. As a result of these problems, I also had my own issues with my own experience of the dark night of this soul because I asked myself, “Who am I? I can’t find an answer with a fixed identity. I do not have a fixed identity.” At every level, I was a fertilized egg. I was a zygote. I was an embryo. I was a baby teenager. Which one of these is me, which body, mind, and personality? I can’t find an identity. That’s my version of the dark night of the soul.

I would go back to my own practice, which includes meditation, prayer, reflection, and inquiry, but also a lot of yoga. In the yogic tradition, there are certain things called yamas and yamas. Yamas are rules of social intelligence. The first one is peace consciousness. There are a few. The last yamas are rules of emotional intelligence. The last one is surrender to the divine. Everything, those two book ends.

It starts with peace, and the end is surrender to the divine because the divine is unfathomable. How do you even perceptually, cognitively, or in imagination, experience or know the infinite? It’s impossible. The infinite, by definition, is also formless. It’s what you call emptiness. Without that formless experience of existence, there’s no form. To go to the same point I was quoting, he said, “In this playhouse of infinite forms, I caught sight of the formless. My life was blessed.” To me, the only formless is real.

The Sermon on the Mount says it all. I don’t need to know anything other than the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. There are three episodes when Christ is going to his crucifixion or during the crucifixion. Correct me if I’m wrong because I’m not an expert. The first instance is when he falters. I believe Joseph of Arimathea tries to help him. The story is Jesus says, “I must bear my own cross.” We must all bear our own cross. The second episode is when he looks up to God and says, “Why did you desert me?” The third is when he says, “Forgive them. They know not what they do.”

In those three episodes, there is the teaching that we must all bear our own cross. The second is the dark night of the soul. The third is, in a way, redemption and forgiveness because everyone’s doing the best they can from the state of consciousness they’re in. Where I am now, I believe that there is no choice other than to surrender to divinity because science is misleading. It takes perceptual activity, we call it matter, and separates the subject from the object, which is artificial nature. It is one activity.

Therefore, the scientific method, while it can help us create technology, doesn’t reveal the truth. It hides the truth. What we call empirical evidence is a species-specific perceptual activity. By the time you see a Higgs boson, it doesn’t exist. By the time you have any experience, it doesn’t exist. By the time you hear my words, they’re gone.

Wittgenstein said, “A life is a dream. We are asleep. Once in a while, we wake up enough to know we are dreaming.” When we wake up, there’s no choice but to surrender to what we call the divine, God, Allah, non-local consciousness, or the infinite being that is continually modifying itself into all these species that see different worlds, modes of knowing, and all things known. It is a huge mystery. There’s no choice other than surrendering to this mystery. In the remaining few moments that we have, because we can’t go over an hour and we have to post it all over social media, we reach millions. I want you to comment on what I said.

It cheers your life journey, the enemies you’ve made, and the struggles you’ve had because it’s real. It’s the search for truth. Therefore, it’s the search for the divine. I applaud that. Aquinas said, “We do not know what God is. We only know what God is not.” In a way, you’re saying that. God is not scientific realism, among other things.

I wrote a short book a few years ago on the names of God because it’s important. What is our version of God? I call that Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God. One of the names in there is consciousness. I cite you in that passage. Each page has a different name. I was invited to speak to a unitarian church a couple of years ago when that book came out. They wanted me to talk about that book. Unitarian church always has some atheists in the crowd. They’re the scientific type.

They gave me 25 minutes to talk. At the end, I said, “If there are any atheists here, listen up. Be a smart atheist. Don’t be a dumb atheist. Don’t spend your life putting down an 18th-century or 19th-century version of God. Consider all these names I wrote. I wrote names like flow, energy, consciousness, joy, justice, and compassion. Consider these, and prove God doesn’t exist.”

Afterward, because it was two sermons in a row, I had a break from signing books. A man comes up. He is about 42. He said, “I came to church an atheist this morning, and I’m not an atheist anymore.” I said, “You weren’t devoted to drop it after a twenty-minute sermon.” He said, “You were talking to me. I’ve been fighting my whole life against a 19th-century version of God.”

Quantum physics is more honest in your use of that term. It’s back to mystery again. It’s not the dig on. It’s a relationship. Eckhart said that in the 14th century, “The essence of everything is relation.” That’s part of feminist thinking. We shift from thing to relation. In the microcosm of reality and the macrocosm of the great 2 trillion galaxy universe, it is about relations. Therefore, we’re back to love, aren’t we?

Over my back, there’s a picture of Julian. That painting was the cover of my book that I did several years ago. It’s a vision she had. She had a vision of a small ball the size of a hazelnut glowing in her hand. She said, “What is this?” The answer was, “This is everything that is created.” The whole cosmos was in her hand. She said, “It’s fragile. How will it hold together?” The answer was love keeps it together. That cosmic vision is the cosmic Christ and cosmic Buddha. We give these names. They’re all inadequate, but it’s beyond names. It’s an affable. William James’ definition of mysticism is ineffability. It’s beyond words. That’s why we dance. That’s why we make music. That’s why we feel we put it into other forms than words or poetry, which is more than words.

It’s a huge message. I also want to mention angels. You talked about these 100-eye beings. One of the books I did with your friend and mine, Rupert Sheldrake, was on angels. I found that exciting working with the scientists about angels. He’s open-minded. He asked such good, tough questions. We took three thinkers. All of them were not about angels. Aquinas said, “If you substitute the word quanta, every time Aquinas uses the word angel, you’re talking about quantum physicists.” You’re asking the same questions Aquinas was asking, “How fast do angels move?” It is a speed of light.

I was stunned by what Rupert had to say about angels working with the mystics of the West, but he also made the point, which you know of a few others do, that the companion and peer to Charles Darwin was Wallace. They worked together side by side until late in their relationship. They broke over the issue of angels. Darwin said, “It’s all blind chance.” Wallace insisted, “No.” There are too many wonderful things that happen in a short time, like the invention of the eye, for example. He said, “There must be guiding intelligence to have guided evolution.” The traditional word for that is angels.

We want to call on the angels, especially now that they’re here to help us. Aquinas says, “Angels can’t help but love. They’re extremely intelligent and they learn entirely by intuition.” As we develop our intuitions, we will come across angels hitchhiking on the highway of intuition. We have many names for angels. They are invisible beings. They’re also part of our worlds.

Tweet: As we develop our intuition, we come across angels hitchhiking on the highway of intuition.

All traditions teach us the spirits. The indigenous people call it spirits. This helps us stretch our minds about how we talk about the divine and creatures. I meet crowds. I have people shut their eyes and raise their hands, “How many of you have experienced angels?” Eighty percent. “How many of you are friends who aren’t crazy and have told you it was angels?” 75% to 80%. This is a human phenomenon, but our culture dictated to by 18th-century science, materialism, and forms of education doesn’t even invite the question.

People are having these experiences. The East, where you come from, is more open. You’ve been wrestling with the stuff out in the open for centuries. The West was for a while until science came. I’m glad you mentioned Giordano Bruno because I was a Dominican that he was. They cut his tongue out before they burned him. First, they tortured him. What was his sin? He was trying to bring Copernicus into theology in the early 17th century. They killed them in the year 1600.

That’s when religion and science split. Science said, “These believers can be dangerous. Why don’t you guys take the soul, and we’ll take the universe?” Religious thought, “What a deal.” Science dashes off and discovers the powers of the universe, atomic and nuclear, without much conscience or wisdom. Religion gets more introspective and silly. We’ve had this bifurcated and schizophrenic culture since. Hopefully, with your work, it’s healing.

My special guest has been Matthew Fox. The book is called Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality. Matthew, thank you so much.

It’s been a pleasure. Blessings in your journey.

Thank you for this beautiful conversation.


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