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.
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.
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.
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
Join Matthew Fox for a free, thought-provoking hour and Find Inspiration & Healing in the Radical Teachings of St. Hildegard: Discover the Uncommon Life of This 12th-Century Mystic to Reconnect to Nature & the Divine. Saturday, May 29, at 1:00 pm Eastern (GMT/UTC-4). Register HERE.