When anthropocentric religion lacks a cosmology, it has very little to tell us that is good news about sexuality, which is so special a gift of the cosmos.  When this happens, pornography substitutes for mysticism and becomes a huge industry. 

Initiation through The Book: “Bar Mitzvah.” Photo by Michele Pace, Flickr

What religion teaches us about sexuality is often two things.  The first, paradoxically, is silence: no effective rites of passage for our young to celebrate the immense news that they are now fit and able to pass on the mystery of human life.  A tap on the cheek at confirmation or a room full of presents at bar mitzvah rarely makes up for this cosmic silence. 

A group of young men attends a months-long Basotho initiation to adulthood in the bush near Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Leo Moko, Unsplash

A second teaching from our religions is often moralizing.  Telling us all the sins we are capable of performing with our sexual organs does not enlighten us about our sexuality.  French philosopher Gabriel Marcel says that those who reduce a mystery to a problem are guilty of “intellectual perversion.”  In the name of moralizing, the mystery of sexuality has often been reduced to problems of morality.

The message I often hear from religion about sexuality is: regret.  In the spirit of St. Augustine, we are often instructed to regret the fact that we are sexual, sensual creatures.  “If only sexuality would go away,” the message goes, “we could get on with important issues.”  It is time that we join the voices of the other creatures to praise the Creator for the surprising and imaginative gift of our sexuality.  A living cosmology can and will elicit this praise and render sexuality sacred once again. 

Love across the spectrum. Photo by Renee Fisher, Unsplash

The Cosmic Christ archetype (or Buddha Nature or Image of God) is radically present to our sexuality in all its dimensions and possibilities.  The Cosmic Christ celebrates sexual diversity–“in Christ there is neither male nor female,” says Paul (Gal. 3:28).  The Cosmic Christ is not obsessed with sexual identity.  The Cosmic Christ can be both female and male, heterosexual and homosexual.  This is the way nature made the human species, and nothing that is natural to the cosmos is foreign to the Cosmic Christ. 

The Cosmic Christ rejoices and is intimately at work and play when lovers make love.  Angels flap their wings in envy at those times.  The Cosmic Christ is ecstatic and excited when babies are born–each one a new expression of the Image of God or Buddha Nature. 

The sexual act is a giving of oneself in a very deep way, a deliberate giving of the “I am” that is oneself.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance, pp. 163-164
Banner image: “Rainbow Eyes” Photo by Sharon McCutcheo from Pexels

For Deeper Contemplation

Think on how your sexuality is related to your spirituality.

Read the Song of Songs.  How does it enhance your sense of the Sacred dimension of your sexuality?  Notice that it is set in a new Garden of Eden, in the fuller context of the generativity of nature.

Recommended Reading

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
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6 thoughts on “The Cosmic Christ and Sexuality”

  1. Avatar

    So incredibly important to reclaim sexuality and sensuality as sacred blessings–to move sacred sexual expression from the gutter to the altar of life. I have often thought that the writers–mostly male–who have proclaimed sexuality to be sinful and shameful must never have experienced truly ecstatic and sacred intimacy with anyone–not even their god. Therein I find compassion for them, which resides in my heart along with a fair amount of annoyance at everyone who ever elevated their teachings to gospel.

  2. Avatar

    There’s so much richness in today’s meditation. First, I love Marcel’s statement that ” those who reduce a mystery to a problem are guilty of ‘intellectual perversion.'” How clear and insightful, and I’m sure Marcel’s declaration has to do with more than sexuality alone. There are many mysteries that some preachers and churchgoers try to reduce to pronouncements. Second, how did we miss what the statement, “in Christ there is neither male nor female” might mean. Could it be more than the equality of male and female in God’s eyes, but that, yeah, there really is no “male” or “female”? Sociologists (or anthropologists?) are now saying that we all live within a spectrum of gender. Third, suddenly, Matthew’s teaching on the Song of Songs has made me think of something kind of funny. In my experience, literalists are eager to read the Song of Songs as a metaphor for love of God instead of literally as erotic love. Yet when it comes to most other scripture, they read passages literally–the first two chapters of Genesis, the plagues in Egypt, the Flood. I believe the Song of Songs can be read as both, and I think most of use would agree–but how convenient and how silly that this is the one book of the Bible that is “meant to be metaphorical,” while all the others are to be taken as history or literal teachings and not metaphor. Makes me chuckle.

  3. Avatar

    All morality is based on justice and forgiveness. This being said an example would be committed LGBT or hetersexual persons cheating on their partners would be unjust and forgiveness is the Cosmic Christ asserting our interdependence. .I learned a lot from our young people boohing on the Gerry Springer show, when people were exposed cheating on their parttners. Deacon’82 Environment and Global Interdependence.

  4. Avatar
    John Worcester

    Please say more regarding those who choose not to procreate, or maybe better to say, were born not to create more babies, who have chosen intimacy without coitus. How do we recognize the gifts of sexuality in your meditation in such a way that recognizes such beautiful same sex relationships as equally gifted, not second-class human beings? Thank you for your creative, challenging words and thoughts!

  5. Avatar

    I am for appreciating sexuality as a gift from God. However, many girls these days are going through puberty at 9 or 10. Also, girls are not actually biologically ready to have a child without it taking a real toll on their bodies. They are still emotionally children and still developing into their adults selves, as are boys when they do. Ideally, there would be a process for children. It would be great if they were encouraged to go through a series of middle school years exploring their own physical capacities, including the sexual. It would be grand if they were encouraged to wait to be sexual with another until they were capable of truly caring about that person and taking joint responsibility for outcomes, or in the case of heterosexual couples, using birth control until and unless they were both willing to care for a child. All this could be coupled with education about eros in its many forms, not only through sex, but in a relationship to the via positiva and as a calling to the journey and to finding purpose and calling. The crisis in the Catholic church cannot even be solved by allowing priests to marry, although that would help. It would need to be solved by exploring eros as a spiritual principle in all of its forms, and training people to differentiate an erotic call that should be acting upon physically and one that is a call, say, to mentor or care for, or a substitute for a call to mysticism. That crisis is a sign of a spiritual crisis in our whole culture that comes from the devaluing or even demonization of sexuality that has driven it underground, emerging in forms that take people over.
    Carol Pearson

    1. Gail Ransom

      Dear Carol,
      You argue beautifully about taking time, years actually, to live into our sexuality. In this present culture, teens and even pre-teens are surrounded by a barrage of hyper-sexual images, music, and dance. They, we actually, are robbed of the beauty of discovering eros as divine blessing and experiencing the wonder of it through mutual love. OH, how I wish I could wave a wand to make what you suggest come true!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the DM Team

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