Eckhart on Creativity and Incorporating the Divine Feminine

Who can deny that Eckhart, with his immense celebration of our divine powers of creativity, is a man like Rich spoke of in yesterday’s DM– one who has “learned to gestate and give birth to his own subjectivity”? 

Lost in the spiral of creativity. Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash.

In fact, he invites everyone, women and men alike, to do the same. In my collection of 37 of his sermons and treatises that I gathered in my book Passion for Creation, nine of his sermons explicitly focus on the Via Creativa, the call to creativity and birthing.  They encapsulate how Eckhart honors the creativity of the Divine Feminine. 

Eckhart develops an entire philosophy of art and creativity.  A few of his teachings follow:

The maternity bed is in the Godhead. . . . God lies like a woman on a maternity bed who has given birth in every good soul that has learned to let go and is initiated.  

Dance of the divine feminine and sacred masculine. Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash.

For Eckhart, creativity is ongoing, perpetual, divine, and highly personal. In one Christmas sermon he speaks to that “eternal birth” that God “accomplishes unceasingly in eternity.” But, he also asks, What does it avail me if this birth takes place unceasingly and yet does not take place within myself? It is quite fitting, however, that it should take place within me. 

What is this birth; who is this birth? 

Not only is the Son of the heavenly Father born in this darkness, but you also are born there as a child of the same Father and none other; and he also gives that power to you. He ends this Christmas sermon with a prayer: May the God who was reborn today as a human being help us in this birth! May he/she eternally help us weak human beings so that we may be born in him/her in a divine way. 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, pp. 57, 66f. 

See also, Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 293-337, 363-379, 397-413.

See also: Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet. 

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Dawning light. Photo by Syahirah Salleh on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

How does Eckhart’s teaching on the primacy of the Via Creativa bring life and hope and challenge to you?

Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time

While Matthew Fox recognizes that Meister Eckhart has influenced thinkers throughout history, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
“Matthew Fox is perhaps the greatest writer on Meister Eckhart that has ever existed. (He) has successfully bridged a gap between Eckhart as a shamanistic personality and Eckhart as a post-modern mentor to the Inter-faith movement, to reveal just how cosmic Eckhart really is, and how remarkably relevant to today’s religious crisis! ” — Steven Herrmann, Author of Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward

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.  

Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet

Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow.  Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from FundamentalismLiving in Sin

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8 thoughts on “Eckhart on Creativity and Incorporating the Divine Feminine”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, First I would add another Eckhart quote that would be good here, and that is: “From all eternity God lies on a maternity bed giving birth. The essence of God is birthing.” Then, as to your question for the day: “How does Eckhart’s teaching on the primacy of the Via Creativa bring life and hope and challenge to you?” First, it affirms the hope in me, that by spending so much time doing my creative works, I am making the best use of my time. I live most of my life on the Via Creativa because in addition to being an ordained minister and theologian, I am also an author, singer-songwriter, and an artist. My challenge, as you ask it, is to manage my time well between these three different artistic expressions–writing, playing music, or painting. Because I do all three, like I said, I spend most of my time on the Via Creativa, but at times I am lopsided, writing for months without playing my music for months–and this week I paid for it when I started practicing my music again, and saw how out of shape I was. Thank you again for todays meditation, and let me give a plug for your book, CREATIVITY–all those who read or listen to your daily meditations should get a copy for themselves, it is a gem!

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      Richard, I totally relate to your concern about not “playing my music for months”….I haven’t played mine since January 1/22 … your comment prompts me to start again today… but am sure my fingers will “stutter over the keyboard”….

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    I’m interested in the virtual retreat on March 10 ( Julian of Norwich). It’s says to click “here” to register. When I do it says page not found. Can you help me?

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    What I here in today’s DM is that the essence and presence of the creative birthing Spirit of the Divine Feminine has already been given, as a gift to each soul. However, there are things that are asked of us, in order to experience the incorporation of this reality, of this divinity within our humanity. One, is to let go, which is an invitation and an initiation to trust the perpetual unfolding of the creative process taking place within oneself and one’s life. Secondly, this creative, birthing movement of the essence and presence of the Spirit of the Divine Mother within and the experience of this, is highly personal… unique to each soul and the life of each individual… hence the diversity within creativity. This leads us further into a deeper level of trust. Thirdly, which for myself is the most challenging movements of the initiation into this river of creativity, is birthing our truth, based on what we have experienced and encountered for ourselves. This truth in reality is not our own, but rather is a collaboration of creatively contributing our part within the context of a much larger truth; therefore expanding upon this. This birthing creates a momentum we experience as evolution emerging… the unfolding manifestation of creatively expressing our true divinity within our humanity.

    What I see in Mathew, is what we too are being carried along in, which is this creative evolutionary energy of the Cosmic Christ… that fountain of fullness, the eternal wellspring that flows outwards to many rivers, the true nature of Divine Love being incorporated into our humanity. We relate to those whom have gone before us in this journey… connecting with those saintly souls who have responded to the invitation and gone through the initiations of the colabrative co-creative process, those great cloud of witnesses whom have left us their own testimonies through their sacred writings. We discover the inclusivity of being incorporated into something much larger than ourselves. We learn that we are all a unique thread, woven into a grand tapestry, expanding upon remnants of the past, birthing this creatively in new, diverse and unique ways. There is no need to get entangled in the knots of duality amongst all the diverse threads being woven together within this tapestry… for there is really only an evolutionary continuity unfolding creatively… which weaves it way, into the collective community of humanity… a mantle offered as a gift, yet to be claimed… the clothing of our divinity wrapping itself within and around our humanity.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, Today you say that in birthing the Divine Feminine a number of things are asked of us in order to incorporate this gift into our lives. You list the following: (1) Letting go (which is a basic experience of the Via Negativa), and trusting the perpetual unfolding of the creative process taking place within oneself and one’s life. (2) this creative, birthing movement of the essence and presence of the Spirit of the Divine Mother within is highly personal and unique to each individual, and finally (3) birthing our truth, based on what we have experienced and encountered for ourselves. I also appreciate the fact that you also see us being carried along in the creative evolutionary energy of the Cosmic Christ, which is our true nature, just as in Buddhism it is the “Buddha Nature.”.

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    My poem ca. 1985

    What is a Child?

    A child is a
    point in time
    where Spirit and
    Matter converge to
    weave around
    ineffable eye-nodes
    charged with light
    Spirit/Mater coding
    sounds and
    the Eternal message
    of the moment….

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