Yesterday we spoke of the “throne of glory” from which the stern warrior and wisdom leap in the silence and darkness of Christmas eve “to a doomed land” as well as into our own souls whenever we listen deeply to and birth the divine.
Let us meditate this Christmas on this important word glory or doxa. Consider the important role it plays in John 1’s creation story. First, we are told that “in the beginning was the Word” which came to set up its tent among us. The Word was a light that “enlightens all people” and was a “glory full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1. 4, 14.)
Whenever we see the word doxa or glory in Scriptures we are seeing the Cosmic Christ, the presence of the radiance of Divinity found in all beings (science today tells us every atom contains photons or light waves and John 1 says Christ is the light of the world). Yesterday we saw how this radiance applies to Wisdom herself.
Thus divine wisdom leapt from a throne of glory as a stern warrior who stands up for justice. During our Advent meditations we have been meditating on a great Coming, a great leap.
A great leap for human kind? Is that what Christmas promises this year, 2020, when in so many ways we feel like we are living in a ‘doomed land’ and even a ‘doomed species’ due to the grave mistakes of our species that even before covid 19 threatens us and many other species with extinction?
To speak of “glory” is to speak of better news, of the divine-among-us. Emmanuel. Among us not as an object but a presence, a “reign of God” that is “neither here nor there,” which is to say is not an object. Instead, it is a way of seeing the world through the eyes of light a radiance, Christ, Buddha, image of God. The Sacred.
Catholic monk Thomas Merton, when crossing the street at noon rush hour in downtown Louisville, saw all people as lit up. He wrote: “how is it possible to tell everyone they are all walking around shining like the sun?” His was an awakening to doxa or the Cosmic Christ.
Not just all human beings, but all beings are walking around shining like the sun. We are surrounded by the omnipresence of doxa or glory al around us. Do we see it?
I shared this understanding of the Cosmic Christ with artist and painter M. C. Richards and she was so taken with it that she started painting barns and animals and beings with golden halos. (Her Christmas painting of angels announcing “Glory” to shepherds appears as the banner above.)
On the special occasion of her 80th birthday, M. C. offered a poem that tells of how she painted hills and clouds and crevices with golden halos.
She understood the meaning of the birth of the Cosmic Christ among us, how it changes our way of seeing the world.
A Blessed and Glorious and Golden Christmas to you all.
See Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 95f., 99-101. See Matthew Fox, A Way To God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey, pp. 225-241.
Banner Image: “Doxa” by M.C. Richards (first in a series, gifted to Matthew Fox)
Do you see the beings of creation with golden haloes? Humans too all lit up from the inside? When that day comes, what will change?
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.
A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey
In A Way to God, Fox explores Merton’s pioneering work in interfaith, his essential teachings on mixing contemplation and action, and how the vision of Meister Eckhart profoundly influenced Merton in what Fox calls his Creation Spirituality journey.
“This wise and marvelous book will profoundly inspire all those who love Merton and want to know him more deeply.” — Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart
Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.” — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.
Bruce Chilton investigates the Easter event of Jesus in Resurrection Logic. He undertakes his close reading of the New Testament texts without privileging the exact nature of the resurrection, but rather begins by situating his study of the resurrection in the context of Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Syrian conceptions of the afterlife. He then identifies Jewish monotheistic affirmations of bodily resurrection in the Second Temple period as the most immediate context for early Christian claims. Chilton surveys first-generation accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and finds a pluriform–and even at times seemingly contradictory–range of testimony from Jesus’ first followers. This diversity, as Chilton demonstrates, prompted early Christianity to interpret the resurrection traditions by means of prophecy and coordinated narrative.
December 22, 2020 — January 1, 2021
Tuition: $50-450 sliding scale
Join us this holiday season for our online Unity in Diversity Symposium: Let the Light Shine. World-renowned spiritual leaders, musicians and artists from different religions and spiritual traditions will inspire us and help us navigate this time of transition.
Matthew will be speaking: December 30, 2020 (Wed) Online Event – Sivananda Ashram Bahamas: Christmas & New Year Unity in Diversity Symposium: Let the Light Shine
5:30pm-6:45pm PT– Lecture Q&A – Moving from an “Old Normal” to a New Normal: Wisdom from the Mystics