Walk in Love and Beauty: A Touchstone for Healing by Carol P. Christ


Nurture life.

Walk in love and beauty.

Trust the knowledge that comes through the body.

Speak the truth about conflict, pain, and suffering.

Take only what you need.

Think about the consequences of your actions for seven generations.

Approach the taking of life with great restraint.

Practice great generosity.

Repair the web

 

In Rebirth of the Goddess, I offered Nine Touchstones of Goddess Spirituality as an alternative to the Ten Commandments. The Nine Touchstones are intended to inform all our relationships, whether personal, communal, social, or political.

The second touchstone, “Walk in love and beauty,” derives from the insight that love and beauty are the great gifts of bounteous earth. Just recently at a meeting of the Green Party Greece, one of our representatives in Parliament, Giorgos Dimaras, said to me, “It all begins with love.” He understands that our Green Party principles of environmental sustainability, social justice, no violence, and participatory democracy are rooted in the prior value of love. If we do not love nature, then why would we care about saving it? If we do not love others, why would we care about injustice and suffering? If we do not love the world, why would we care about creating peace on earth? If we do love others, why would we care about creating ways to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard in our families, communities, and societies?

It unusual to hear love spoken about in a political context. We have learned that love belongs in the realm of the personal or the spiritual, but certainly not in political realm where “hard” decisions have to be made. We have been told that politics must be based in reason, not emotion. I wonder if our Green Party representative would dare to say “it all begins with love” in Parliament. And if he did, who would listen?

Some believe love is a strictly human feeling, but most of us know that animals love and respond to love. Those who speak to plants, including many traditional farmers, as well as urban and suburban gardeners, know that plants also respond to love. It is increasingly understood that the cells of our bodies respond to the conscious and unconscious feelings and thoughts we have about our bodies. Some of us have been taught to think romantic love is the most important form of love. But other forms of love, including mother love and the love of friends, are equally valuable and often more sustaining.

Beauty is a complicated issue in modern societies because we have been taught that female beauty is to be judged by a beauty standard against which most of us are found wanting. “5’2” and eyes of blue” was the beauty standard in my youth, while today the ideal is super thin and androgynous. No matter what the current standard, most of us fail to measure up. Some of us come closer than others. Dark skin has rarely been viewed as the most beautiful.

The Navajo Beauty Way has nothing to do with beauty standards. When the Navajos speak of walking in beauty, they refer to a way of being in the world in which one takes time to appreciate the beauty of every living thing in its uniqueness. A tall redwood tree is beautiful, but just as beautiful are the ferns that grow and its feet, and the moss that grows on its bark. A child is beautiful in innocence, and an elder is beautiful in wisdom. The spring flowers are beautiful, but so is the more barren winter landscape.

When we walk in beauty we also want to create beautiful things. We want our homes and workplaces to be beautiful, we want our streets and community spaces to be beautiful, we want the world to be beautiful. One of my Cretan friends, Nikos Markakis, was fond of saying, “People never created anything as beautiful as nature.” I believe he was right. The only things that are truly ugly in our world are created by people: decaying cities, oceans filled with garbage, the devastation of war. When we walk the beauty way, we are inspired to create beauty all around us.

Sometimes we respond to beauty by grasping. We say, “I want to have that.” “Or can I have that?” Just this morning when I was appreciating blue corn flowers growing in an untended area in front of the house I was renting, I thought of picking them. Instead, I decided to leave them where they were, hoping I would see them in the same place another day. Love is the appropriate response to the perception of beauty. And sometimes the best way to love is simply to appreciate.

It goes without saying that the world would be very different if we all walked in love and beauty every day and in every way. We would not tolerate the violation of beauty. We would not tolerate the violation of love. We would not tolerate the violation of life.

 

Also see: Ethics of Goddess Religion: Healing the World and Nurture Life: Ethics of Goddess Spirituality

 

Carol P. Christ is an internationally known feminist writer and educator currently living in Lasithi Prefecture, Crete. Carol’s recent book written with Judith Plaskow, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology, is on Amazon. A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess is on sale for $10.98 on Amazon. Carol  has been leading Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete for over twenty years: join her in Crete. Carol’s photo by Michael Honegger.

 

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Categories: Activism, Earth-based spirituality, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, Feminist Ethics

Tags: , , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. Well well well FB has banned me from posting this blog on my timelines and others have the same problem. What content on FAR is so offensive? If you want to repost you can copy the URL:but of course the photo won’t show. https://feminismandreligion.com/2018/07/09/walk-in-love-and-beauty-by-carol-p-christ/

    I did report the issue o fb and maybe the problem will be resolved???

    Liked by 1 person

    • OH my I just found this on my timeline, could this be the reason FAR is blocked?

      A dream leads to a journey into the history of slavery and slave rebellion, submerged in the waters.
      feminismandreligion.com
      Following My Dreams by Natalie Weaver
      Dreaming has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a little girl, I would run to my mom in the morning, before I was even completely awake, and tell her what I had been dreaming, It woul…
      caution-triangle
      We removed this post because it looks like spam and doesn’t follow our Community Standards.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carol, the last time I posted one of FAR’s posts on the divine feminine app’s facebook page, they did the same thing (gave me a notice saying they had removed it as it looked like spam … say what??) … anyhow, I just marked it ‘not spam’ and it was fine .. but odd that it’s not posting on anyone’s timelines/groups/etc. I think FAR has been ‘tagged’ somehow. Silly facebook with its algorithms, lack of common sense and consumer driven focus! (and Why I am working on a news section for the next version of the app that will have none of the former!) … enjoyed the article. – Karen Moon

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nuts to Facebook. I have never been a big fan and am less now. What are FB’s so-called community standards when people have posted so many hateful messages and videos? I believe–and I’m pretty sure the FAR community will agree –that people need to read “Nurture Life” and the rest of what looks to me like a poem.

        Blessings to us all. Even (I guess) the nice folks at Facebook who may need to learn to read past specific words.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’M ENRAGED – WHAT THE HELL IS SO OFFENSIVE????

        Like

    • WHAT????? A RESPECTFUL AND MEANINGFUL BLOG IS BANNED ON FACEBOOK??? HOW CAN THIS CONCEIVABLY BE?

      Like

  2. Thank you, Carol. Your alternative to the Ten Commandments is most welcome, and I was delighted to realize that I have walked in beauty all my life. As a child I even took note of sun-struck dewdrops on blades of grass, thinking they looked like diamonds.

    Growing older has meant extending great love to my grandchildren and friends as well as family. It seems the more love I feel, the more love I have to give.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed reading this post.

    “When we walk in beauty, we want to create beautiful things”. This is so true, but unfortunately, I have found that, for whatever reason, there are people around us, certainly me, at the moment, that will do their very best to destroy that beauty, purely for the delight they get in causing ugliness.

    There is one thing they can never destroy though, and that is inner beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like Helen, this line touched me at my core: “When we walk in beauty we also want to create beautiful things.” YES. Thank you for this beautiful meditation to start my day–and the challenge to live in love always and in all things.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this beautiful post! May FaceBook stop blocking the love and beauty that is the FAR community!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love this post too, and will post it on our Green Party page.

    I think that the people screening posts at FB have certain words that get tagged. They never read the whole article or the context the word is used in. Or someone has reported the page as spam because they don’t like what they read, or in error by hitting the wrong link. When one of my posts is blocked I just send off a little note that I’m not a spammer, but thanks for being watchful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is no option to comment back, the link on this and other blogs on this site to fb are simply blocked.

      Like

      • I just copied and pasted this url on my page and it said it couldn’t be retrieved. I said to the spirit of FB: “Yes it can” and tried again! It’s up, but without the preview. I tested the link and it works.
        There is a way to contact them but it’s hidden deep – FB loves you but “go away”! There is a “report a problem” link under the ?button on the home page. Hope this helps.

        Like

  7. This post was just “liked” by my friend (politician) in Kenya! You can’t keep a good post “down”, even if you are “F.B.”! :-)
    Thanks again Carol!

    Like

  8. Oh Carol, you are so right. We will NOT save what we do not love. LOVE is the emotion that grounds us, and Nature loves appreciation… Without love reason is meaningless…

    Like

  9. Since reading this post, I felt drawn to listen to an audio CD I have, of John O’Donohue, called ‘Beauty – the invisible embrace’

    Two sentences I feel drawn to share are:

    “Beauty dwells in the palace of broken tenderness and no life is without its broken empty spaces”

    and

    “Beauty shines with the light from beyond itself, and love is the name of that light”

    Like

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