Resurrection as Expansion of Consciousness in Dickinson, Aquinas, and Us

In his study on Emily Dickinson, Steven Herrmann reminds us that expansion of consciousness is a deep part of resurrecting in this lifetime.*  Part of the shamanic experience of dying, waking up, and resurrecting is connecting to the vast universe that is our home. 

Connecting with the Infinite. Photo by Vincent Ledvina on Unsplash

We find this expansion in Aquinas, Dickinson and the 19th century cosmologist Humbolt, who deeply influenced her, Whitman, Emerson and others.  For him, the cosmos calls us to “the feeling of the infinite” and “the sublime.”** 

Father Sky is an important archetype for a healthy and sacred masculinity.  For that reason, I put it first among the ten archetypes for recovering the sacred masculine in my book, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.

“Father Sky” is an ancient archetype found among indigenous peoples such as those in South America who have a saying: “To be human one must make room in one’s heart for the wonders of the universe.”  This call to relate to the wonders of the universe is found among many religions including the people of the Bible–Jews, Christians and Muslims.  And certainly in today’s science. 

The modern era thought of the sky as a “machine” and in doing so shut down “Father Sky,” and left the term practically meaningless.  It left the male heart bereft and potentially more violent, for men had no place to invest their sky-sized hearts and souls. 

Jon Anderson (YES) meditation on Father Sky, from the Tour of the Universe (2004). Uploaded to YouTube by dvo.

D. H. Lawrence sensed this when he wrote:

What a catastrophe, what a maiming of life when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox!  This is what is the matter with us, we are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of life, and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table. 

What happens when cosmology is replaced by psychology?  When cosmic connections are displaced by shopping malls, tv sitcoms and social media trivia?  The heart shrivels.  Men’s souls shrink.  And untold violence goes through their heads.

“Father Sky: For thousands of years humans have looked up at the sky and wondered if the sky was staring back at them.” Visual/poetic meditation by Diana Nunes.

It was not always this way.  Nor does it always have to be this way. Today’s post-modern cosmology opens the sky up again to amazing goings on, and in the process invites men and women alike to rediscover the Sacred Masculine. 

Aquinas taught extensively about the sacred sky and sacred cosmos.  In considering some of Aquinas’s many teachings on this important subject, we will recognize a deep connection between Aquinas’s and Dickinson’s view of spirituality—but also that of Albert Einstein who said that the future of religion will be a “cosmic religion” that represents a new, “third stage” in the human understanding of religion. 

Aquinas and Dickinson are very much a part of that emerging “new stage” of religion. 

To be continued

*Steven Herrmann, Emily Dickinson: A Medicine Woman for Our Times, p. 18.

**Ibid., p. 244.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 3f. 

And from Matthew Fox and Bishop Marc Andrus, Stations of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 21ff

Banner Image: “Cosmic Consciousness: The more you know about consciousness, the more you know about Buddha or God.” Image by Hartwig HKD on Flickr.

Have you made room in your heart for the wonders of the universe?  Do you believe our education does that? Our professions?  Our media?  If not, does that mean that we are not yet human, that we are less than human?

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

Stations of the Cosmic Christ
By Matthew Fox and Bishop Marc Andrus.

This is a book of meditations on the Cosmic Christ, accompanying the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Together, these images and meditations go far beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross to inspire a spirit awakening and understanding of the cosmic Christ Consciousness, Buddha consciousness, and consciousness of the image of God in all beings, so needed in our times.
“A divinely inspired book that must be read by every human being devoted to spiritual and global survival. It is cosmically brilliant.” — Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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9 thoughts on “Resurrection as Expansion of Consciousness in Dickinson, Aquinas, and Us”

  1. Avatar

    I totally agree with todays meditation, we are so cut off from our roots, maybe this is what Thomas Berry refers to when he suggest a return is needed to recognize our cosmic DNA rather than cultural DNA.
    The DNA that includes all atoms and molecules in time and space which were present at the fireball and still burn in you and me.
    I feel perhaps that if culture could embrace and relearn, recall this micro and macro reality in its education, arts and communities then a true renaissance will occur.
    This I,m sure is where healthy rituals can lead us deeper.
    Otherwise as you mentioned we will continue to “bleed at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars”.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Steve, thanks for your comment. You’re right as Matthew that we need to recognize our cosmic DNA as our roots and thereby reconnect! Thanks again!

  2. Avatar

    The more you purify/clean your individual temple, the more you understand the collective temples who are all of us. The purification process is the natural house cleaning process that guides us to being Universally and/or Cosmically awake. We all have to be aware of our masculine and feminine characteristics. I was arranging my books yesterday and I ran across Matt’s book, THE HIDDEN SPIRUALITY OF MEN Ten Metaphors To Awaken the Sacred Masculine and on page 222 Matt states, ” As men if we have a healthy Sacred Masculine inside of us, then we are ready to incorporate the Divine Feminine inside of us;”… In the temple cleaning that I mentioned this process is done by both women and men. Matt also explains the reality of this Universal/Cosmic process when he also states on page 222, ” …when we speak of “Sacred Marriages,” that we are talking in metaphorical terms of what takes place in the soul of every one of us, be we male or female, gay or straight. This is not about our actual gender, and these archetypes are in no way restricted by our gender or our gender preference.” This process is a “must” if we are to awaken to the “Individual Self” that is also our “Collective Self,” that is also our Universal/Cosmic Self – then we got it. The transvestite is acting out this process.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Gary, thank you for your insights on purifying our temples. Matthew’s book, THE HIDDEN SPIRITUALITY OF MEN i s a true gift. So much in recent years has been written on the women’s movement and the goddess movement that it was time for some teachings on the way to a healthy sacred masculine. And you’re right. “Archetypes are in no way restricted by our gender or our gender preference.”

  3. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    The sense of experiencing the all and the everything of creation with an awakening sense of wonder and awe regarding the great web of life, that mystery that intricately connects us all in interreliable and interdependent ways, many of which we have yet to discover and fully understand and respectively appreciate….has often been silenced, devalued and gone unacknowledged…replaced with a hardened mentality of possession and profitability at all costs. This sense of wonder and awe oppressed and suppressed by the illusion that we possess the all and the everything of creation as a resource for financial profit or power is not only destroying the all and the everything of creation, but is utterly tearing apart the very frabic of all existence. Not only has the wonder and awe of planet earth itself been polluted, but now we are polluting the cosmic space that surrounds us all, with massive amounts of what’s been called space junk, as well as numerous satilights that are designed supposedly to technologically connect us together in high speed ways. We need to awaken and reclaim that which we have lost…a true sense of wonder and awe that the creation of the all and the everything offers, as a gift of itself, that is to be treasured, valued, respected, cared for and tended to with a genuine sense of reverence, gratitude and deep love. More than ever we need to not only hear the voices of the mystics, the shamans, the prophets of old…but we also need to become and be these same voices that once again awaken the hearts minds and souls of humanity to the meaning, value, and purpose of true awe and wonder rooted in the sacred, the sacredness of all life. Resurrecting ceremony, rituals and rites of passages… in new and creative ways, that are experiential is one way that we can awaken and reclaim our sense of awe, wonder and reverence for the all and the everything of creation, that mystery awaiting and longing to be made known… to those whom have eyes to see and ears to hear.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, there is so much in what you have to say… The experience of what you describe, I will name as the Via Positiva. And this experience has been devalued and gone unacknowledged at times. And as in everything in our culture, financial profits always come in for consideration. The question is what can we do about it? I think you’ve said it when you speak of resurrecting ceremony and as a matter of fact, I just painted a painting titled “Ceremony” this week! We need rituals and rites of passages in new creative ways–and so we’re back to the Via Creativa. And yes, as Jesus said, “Let those who have eyes to see, see, and ears to hear, hear…”

      1. Avatar
        Jeanette Metler

        Richard. I would really like to see your painting, titled Ceremony. That is if you up to sharing it with us.

        1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
          Richard Reich-Kuykendall

          Thank you Jeanette for your interest. Maybe some time it will be used in a Daily Meditation!

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