Psyche and Cosmos, Ceremony
and Science 

Ceremony is where the human psyche links up again with the cosmos.  This is so important.  The cultural historian and psychologist Otto Rank tells us that when religion lost the cosmos in the West, the whole culture became neurotic and we had to invent psychology to heal the neurosis. 

“Communion.” Photo by 3MotionalStudio, Pexels

He also says that there is no true ritual that does not connect psyche and cosmos, microcosm and macrocosm.

The indigenous peoples among us have so much to teach us at this critical moment in human and planetary evolution about ceremony and therefore about being human.  After all, they have been doing it for tens of thousands of years longer than other religions on earth.  And they have been doing it within a consciousness of all of nature, of our relationship to Father Sky and Mother Earth, to the cosmos therefore.

Speaking of cosmology, my friend Rupert Sheldrake has just published an article about the universe that is fresh and startling and quite unprecedented in previous scientific discussion.  He had brought up the subject previously in two books we wrote together, but now he has flushed it out and found a scientific journal that has dared to put it into the more scientific mainstream.  The issue is this: Might the sun be alive and conscious?

Click HERE to read Rupert Sheldrake’s groundbreaking article on the consciousness of the sun.

We had discussed this idea in our book Physics of Angels, but here is how he summarizes it in a recent correspondence to me.

Yes, the ideas come quite a long way since we first discussed it together, thanks to developments in consciousness studies, theories about the relationship of the mind to the brain and now with these electromagnetic field theories of consciousness.  All of them are still more or less physicalistic, but pointing way beyond the narrow limits of conventional physicalism.  I’m very pleased that it’s possible to get this discussion into the scientific arena and who knows where it will go from here.

This telling of a new cosmology based on science parallels in many ways the indigenous telling of creation stories.  For them too, as well as for ancient Greeks and many others, the sky is alive with beings.

In her fine book on The Power of Ceremony, Linda Neale, wife of Native American elder, Rod McAfee cites Sun Bear, a Chippewa teacher and author:

While the Coronavirus lockdown prevented the 2020 summer solstice gathering at Stonehenge, Arch Druid Rollo Maughfling explains and performs the traditional sunrise ritual. Video by Bubbapix.

When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space.  Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance.  Time takes on a different dimension.  Emotions flow more freely.  The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them.  All is made new; everything becomes sacred.

In the ancient days, we connected to the cosmos through ceremonies.  Stonehenge in England as a ritual place to respond to the summer and winter solstices, Newgrange in Ireland built around the winter solstice, are fine examples of the attraction humans hold to the universe and ceremonies held there are about re-connecting psyche and cosmos.

This is how we wake one another up. 

To be continued

See Rupert Sheldrake, “Is the Sun Conscious?”  in Journal of Consciousness Studies, 28, No. 3-4, 2021, pp 8-28. 

See also: Linda Neale, The Power of Ceremony: Restoring the Sacred in Our Selves, Our Families, Our Communities (Portland, Or: Eagle Spirit Press, 2011).

See also Matthew Fox, “The Cosmic Christ—Redeemer of Worship,” in Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 211-227.

See also Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake, The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet.

Banner Image: A sacred ritual site in Namibia, closely resembling a traditional Lakota Sundance ground, halfway around the world. Image by Jacques Pugin, Wikimedia Commons.

How do you connect your psyche to the cosmos?  How often does that happen for you?  Is it often enough?

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.

The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science & Spirit Meet
By Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake

When was the last time a scientist and a theologian discussed angels together? What are angels? Many people believe in angels, but few can define these enigmatic spirits. Now visionary theologian Matthew Fox and acclaimed biologist Rupert Sheldrake—pioneers in modern religious thinking and scientific theory—launch a groundbreaking exploration into the ancient concept of the angel and restore dignity, meaning, and joy to our time-honored belief in these heavenly beings.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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1 thought on “Psyche and Cosmos, Ceremony <br>and Science ”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Phila, Thank you sooo much for your sense of beauty and spirit. I always love to see the pictures you select each day!!!

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