Values and Wisdom from the Cosmos: A Lead-In to Christmas and Chanukah

What we call Christmas is meant to be a celebration of the birth of Wisdom.  Might this Christmas be for us a new birth of wisdom?  Chanukah too is a celebration of the coming of light.  Might this season be a remembrance of light amidst all the darkness?

Hanukkah lights. Photo by Tim Sackton on Flickr.

We promised in the last meditation to highlight the lessons from the new cosmology about values.  Something education is very remiss at teaching.

Following are some lessons on values from the new cosmology:

Extravagance or openhandedness, bigheartedness and large-soulness—magnanimity therefore to match the abundance of the universe. This is clearly the opposite of capitalism’s miserliness and hoarding.

Handclasp. Image by James Chan from Pixabay

Interconnectivity.  Interconnectivity is in fact the basis of compassion.  As Meister Eckhart put it: “What happens to another, whether it be a joy or a sorrow, happens to me.”

Expansion.  Ernesto Cardinal (whom I spent time with in his home where he showed me he was studying the new cosmology) writes that “the greatest discovery of the twentieth century is the expanding universe.” 

But while the universe is expanding, are we?  If not, we are contracting.  Love and courage expand; fear contracts.  Of course there is a rhythm of expansion and contraction in our lives, but the rule emerges: “When in doubt, expand.”  Love expands.

Mosses further decomposition on a dead stump, opening the way to more plant life taking root. Photo by Timotheus Fröbel on Unsplash

Variety.  The universe celebrates diversity and variety.  When it invented sexuality about 1.2 billion years ago it ushered in an unprecedented celebration of diversity.  As scientist Erich Jantsch put it, “extraordinary genetic variety” resulted and with it a “unique explosion of life forms. ” Novelty expands because of sexual transfer.  Individuation deepens and develops.

Creativity.  How unlike Newton’s universe is the creative universe we now recognize.  As British biologist Rupert Sheldrake put it, “there was no freedom or spontaneity anywhere in nature.  Everything had already been perfectly designed” in Newton’s view of the universe.  But now we know birthing, begetting, dying and being born occurs with stars, planets, galaxies, microbes, plants, birds, animals and humans.  Of course the divine and the demonic meet in human creativity.

“Solitude.” Photo by Tim Bogdanov on Unsplash

Emptiness. Emptiness, nothingness, spaciousness are everywhere in the universe: black holes, empty wombs, hollow spaces.  An atom is empty space wherein fields of energy can dance.  Our bodies alone are 99 percent empty space.  All atoms are.  How about our minds even our souls?  Healthy mysticism praises acts of letting go, of being emptied.  Humans need our solitude, our getting in touch with emptiness.

Justice is the quest for balance and symmetry, for equilibrium and dialectic, for homeostasis.  It is central to the universe.  By justice-making we bring together the broken, neglected, cut-off, impoverished parts of the universe to render them whole again.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth, pp. 44-48.

Banner Image: “Frigid Sunrise” by Beverly Pearl on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Meditations: Which of these values speak most deeply to you personally?  Which do you think our culture is most in need of developing more?  And which ones are you working on the most personally speaking?

Recommended Reading

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.

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1 thought on “Values and Wisdom from the Cosmos: A Lead-In to Christmas and Chanukah”

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    Wonderful , in the uk we are doing an artist led multi media event science and spirituality the great dialect next year these meditations always provide invaluable wisdom for us
    . Thank you so much Matt. Mort

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