Eckhart, Hildegard and Returning to Creation as Source

The sacredness of creation is further celebrated by Meister Eckhart and Hildegard of Bingen.  Eckhart teaches that all beings are words of God and books about God.

The Predigerkirche in Erfurt, Germany, where Meister Eckhart worshiped and taught.

Notice what he is saying: God is not just in the book of the Bible but in every creature and every creature is a “bible” in the sense of a “book about God.”

He goes on:

My mouth expresses and reveals God but the existence of a stone does the same and people often recognize more from actions than from words.

Moreover, Eckhart assures us that all creatures are gladly doing the best they can to express God. For Eckhart:

God is constantly speaking only one thing…. In this one utterance he speaks his Son and at the same time the Holy Spirit and all creatures…. There where God speaks the creatures, there God is.

“Tending the Cosmic Tree” by Hildegard von Bingen, reproduced in Matthew Fox’s book Illuminations.

Thus Eckhart is linking creation and creatures with the one word of God, the Logos.  This is of course Cosmic Christ language wherein each creature is another Christ, a word of God.  A parallel teaching is found in Judaism, namely that each creature is an image of God.  And also in Buddhism, namely that each creature is another Buddha, a Buddha Nature.  All these efforts at naming the divine presence in creatures and in creation as a whole is an effort, however imperfect, of reminding us of the sacredness of creation. 

Hildegard of Bingen pictures Divinity and creation as lovers.  She names the relationship in the following manner.

Gazing at the sun. Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Creation is allowed in intimate love
to speak to the Creator as if to a lover.

The relationship of these lovers is mutual.

As the Creator loves his/her creation,
so Creation loves the Creator.
Creation, of course, was fashioned to be adorned,
to be showered, to be gifted with the love of the Creator.
The entire world has been embraced by this kiss.
God has gifted Creation with everything that is necessary.

She elaborates on the “lover” motif between God and creation this way:

I compare the great love of Creator and creation to the same love and fidelity with which God binds woman and man together.  This is so that together they might be creatively fruitful.

Art piece entitled, “Ex Nihilo” (Out of Nothing) by Richard Reich -Kuykendall who is an Author, Artist, and graduate of Matthew Fox‘s University of Creation Spirituality.

For Hildegard, as for Eckhart, Divinity or Logos is found everywhere in Creation.

God’s Word is in all Creation, visible and invisible.
The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening,
all creativity….
This Word manifests in every creature….
Now this is how the spirit is in the flesh—the Word is indivisible from God.

This is her manifesto on the Incarnation, of how Divinity and flesh, eternity and history, meld and reveal themselves to us in time and place, in spirit and matter.  Here we experience non-dualism in action. 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 31, 33. 

Banner Image: “Gazing on the Road Ahead”. Ceteria Siria, Arad, Romania. Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Have you experienced a stone as a revealer of the Divine?  How?  When?  Under what circumstances? 

Do you agree that “every being is doing its best to gladly talk about God?” What follows from that?

Do you experience the Word manifesting in every creature?  It is a good antidote to Jesusolatry isn’t it?

Recommended Reading

One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths

Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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4 thoughts on “Eckhart, Hildegard and Returning to Creation as Source”

  1. Avatar

    I have experienced the street I was walking on, the trees, the grass, EVERYTHING, as being sacred, including myself: the Word “I Am, I Am, I Am” kept playing in my mind over and over as I walked along. It was a delightful experience and filled me with joy for the longest time. I shared this happening later on at a group meeting, and was met with total silence, but for one woman who smiled at me as I left the group.
    I am still working at seeing everything as sacred and beautiful and greeting all I see on my daily walks and in my house with love. I hope to become as totally taken up with God as the little 4 year-old girl in the book “Mr. God, This is Anna,” was. She literally saw Everything as God . . . even the dirt on her hands: Why should she wash off the dirt, since it, too, was God! Her words to Fynn and to anyone she saw were a joyful: “Ain’t Mr. God wonderful!” (True story, by the way. Anna died before she turned 8. Her work on earth, done.)
    As for Jesusology that you mention, I have a very hard time listening to how Jesus’ Name is used and abused in fundamentalism! Here’s where compassion comes in!
    Have a blessed day.

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for your wonderful sharing
      I’ve experienced the same thing (the sacredness of walking )
      I to look at the trees,grass,the ,sky ,people on buses,cars bycicles,birds,pig ions sittings on rooftops,
      Mothers and fathers walking to school
      Yes everything is sacred,it takes awareness aliveness everyday
      Yes yes you are brave shareing you’re experience with others!!!!!
      But they don’t get it
      I to shared with some folk at the swimming,sauna
      That I talk to trees,hug trees
      Yes you can guess
      They laughed
      A couple of weeks later a lady came up to me while walking her dog in the park
      She hugged a tree
      Anyway Vivian
      I became aware awake call it what you like
      Through my journey in and through creation
      Thich Nhat Hanh,
      Matthew fox
      Thomas Merton
      St. John gospel
      And many more who has helped me in my journey/experience
      I could go on,I’ll stop there

      Aint mr god wonderful
      Ilove that

      You too have a blessed day

    2. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Vivian, You continue to throw yourself into the maelstrom of spiritual transformation in today’s world. It takes the kind of work you are doing to change things on the mystical level. You are a brave woman! Keep at it!


  2. Avatar

    Thank you Billy, for your enthusiastic response! It is lovely to hear from others who experience our loving Father’s Presence in this world and who are willing to share with people around them and with animals and all of nature as well. Let’s together keep it up, and again, thanks for sharing! And yes! “Ain’t Mr. God Wonderful!”
    Love and blessings,

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