How do we defend our Mother Earth who is struggling due in great part to the narcissism of our species? By becoming the mystics we are and are meant to be. Mystics are lovers, lovers who return to the source. Is that not all of us? Do we all not seek to be lovers in our way? Are we not all rooted in the source and continually drawn back to it?
I often define mysticism as A Return to the Source. Mysticism demands a return to our origins. Meister Eckhart says,
Everything is full and pure in its source and precisely there, not outside.
O seekers, remember, all distances are traversed by those who yearn to be near the source of their being.
If you have ever yearned to be “near the source of your being,” you have had mystical yearnings!
Meister Eckhart is constantly talking about this return to the source,
When I dwelt in the ground, in the bottom, in the stream and in the source of the Godhead, no one asked me where I was going or what I was doing.
He invites us to
…return to God and the core, the soil, the ground, the stream and the source of the Godhead.
When we do that, we derive a living energy for our work and recover our work as an expression of our truest self, our deepest being. Eckhart promises:
When word and work are returned to their source and origin, then all work is accomplished divinely.
This hints that we get lost in the source, lost in enchantment and grace, even in the midst of our toughest work.
John of the Cross celebrates mysticism as a return to our source and its mystery when he writes of a “spring that brims and flows.”
Its source I do not know because it has none
And yet from this, I know, all sources come,
Although by night.
I know that no created thing could be so fair
And that both earth and heaven drink from there,
Although by night.
Its radiance is never clouded and in this
I know that all light has its genesis,
Although by night….
The current welling from this fountain’s source
I know to be as mighty as its force,
Although by night.
The emphasis by John of the Cross on our knowing “although by night” underscores the ever presence of the via negativa, the unknowing, the darkness.
There is a knowing in the unknowing, a wisdom deeper than knowledge, a truth that comes through in ignorance, a light that emerges behind darkness and times of uncertainty and chaos, the dark night of the soul or of our times and cultures. The Source is often accessed at such dark times.
In understanding mysticism as a “return to our source,” we recover the etymological meaning of the word religion itself. The word “religion” is derived from the Latin word religare, meaning “to bind again or to bind back.” Mysticism is a binding back or a rebonding with our very source.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 55-56. See also: Matthew Fox, Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 427, 77, 170-176.
Banner image: Pilgrim walking the Monumento de Monte do Gozo, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Photo by Jorge Luis Ojeda Flota on Unsplash.
Queries for Contemplation
Be with these teachings of our Returning to the Source. What are they saying to you and your experience? How do you return to the Source?
The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance
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.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.
Conversations on Aquinas: Jerry Maynard
As Matthew Fox’s travels have been curtailed due to the coronavirus, he is sharing a series of conversations with revolutionary thinkers and spiritual teachers on the topics explored in his latest book, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times. In this video, he and Rev. Jerry Maynard, O.M.M., Founding Pastor of the People’s Church in Houston, TX, have an inter-generational conversation on Thomas Aquinas and his wisdom for sacred activism today.