With the World Parliament of Religions meeting October 16-18, and with our meditations lately on Nicolas of Cusa, who says all religions are about a “supreme and terrible beauty” called Wisdom, Deep Ecumenism is on my mind.
Buddhist teacher and eco-activist Joanna Macy sounds a lot like Nicolas of Cusa.
She writes: From Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Native American and Goddess religions, each offers images of the sacred web into which we are woven. We are called children of one God and “Members of one body;” we are seen as drops in the ocean of Brahman; we are pictures as jewels in the Net of Indra. We interexist–like synapses in the mind of an all-encompassing being.
Buddhism, like its Western counterpart Sophia, speaks of wisdom as female–she is the “Mother of all Buddhas” and teacher and nourisher of compassion. She is immeasurable, incalculable and deep like space itself, yet she is also the “ground of being” (a term Hildegard uses for Mary in the West). She is also the void, the hole in the nave of the wheel through which the axle can turn.
She is also a defender of the oppressed. She announces the bodhisattva path for the first time in Buddhist history, which is the path of the prophet, the path of the via transformativa, the path of acting boldly, simply, courageously for the sake of justice and peace for all creatures.
In this dwelling of Perfect Wisdom… you shall become a saviour of the helpless, a defender of the defenseless… a light to the blind, and you shall guide to the path those who have lost it, and you shall become a support to those who are without support.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 229-231.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Worshippers dancing in a Cosmic Mass.
Queries for Contemplation
How important is it that Wisdom is female and she is the ground of deep ecumenism for Macy and Cusa? Is her emergence in our time a necessary prelude to deep ecumenism and a deeper understanding of world religions and spirituality working together to heal Mother Earth?
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.