John Fetzer on Love

Connections | founder, love, legacy

March 25, 2016

John E. Fetzer

Today we celebrate the birth of our founder, John Fetzer, who was born on this day in 1901 in Decatur, Indiana.

His roots were in the Christian faith, but through his lifetime he explored and embraced the wisdom of many other great traditions. He was committed to living in close, daily communion with the divine mystery, which he was equally comfortable calling “God,” the “Holy Spirit,” or simply “Love.”

“Love,” he said, “is the core energy that rules everything. Love is the one ingredient that holds us all together.” Realizing this expansive notion of love became his vision for all beings and all things. He believed that his purpose in life was to help catalyze and support this spiritual transformation.

Mr. Fetzer knew that this would not be the work of a single lifetime, but rather of many lifetimes. After setting up the Institute late in his life, it was with great humility and generosity of spirit that John Fetzer shared his final words of counsel with the Institute trustees.

“I am sure that as you listen, you will hear the ring of truth, first and foremost trying to create a community of freedom….” In this community of freedom, he said, the Institute would discover the particular focus of its work in the world.

And, he concluded,

“whatever the final verdict will be, its summary will be unconditional love.”

As we celebrate John Fetzer’s birth, our gift from and to him is to continue to live into this work and to join with others to carry it forward. Happy Birthday, Mr. Fetzer!