Psyche, Cosmos, and the Return of the Sacred

Why is reuniting the psyche and the cosmos so important?  Many people when they hear such talk will say “it sounds abstract”; or “I have more important things to do”; or “my children are calling to me”; or “I have to get back to my job”.

“Marching: About 10,000 people marched from Queen’s Park to Nathan Philips Square, Toronto, demanding action on the 215 children found in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Residential School in B.C.” Thus far 1505 children’s bodies have been found at seven schools. Between Canada and the U.S., 497 schools remain to be searched. Photo by Michael_Swan on Flickr.

This is your job.  This is about your children and their future and your children’s future.  This is job # 1 for our species.  For this is how we save the earth an prevent many extinctions including our own. 

A few days ago, a new report came from the UN about climate change detailing the immediate future of our species and millions of other species and of Earth herself.  It is not good news.  (click here)

Why is connecting psyche and cosmos so important, as Eddie Kneebone knew and all indigenous people know?  It is the basis of all true spirituality and of all true worship.  Ramadan and Passover and Easter seasons are with us this month and they all depend on the cosmos for their power and celebration and spiritual practices of fasting and letting go.  For the moon’s ways determines the timing of Ramadan, Passover and Easter.  “Look up” as they say.

Elder in Residence, Donna LaChapelle, gives a tutorial on how to harvest our sacred medicine Bashkodajiibik (Sage). Donna is Anishinaabe/Dakota and an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation. Originally posted on YouTube by Native American Community Clinic.

The Sacred returns when we connect the universe to the human soul.  As Thomas Berry reminds us: 

We will recover our sense of wonder and our sense of the sacred only if we appreciate the universe beyond ourselves as a revelatory experience of that numinous presence whence all things come into being.  Indeed, the universe is the primary sacred reality.  We become sacred by our participating in this more sublime dimension of the world about us.   

That is why the re-marriage of sky and soul is so primal.  Father Sky needs to return for us to honor Mother Earth properly, to move from matricide to mother love. 

Father and daughter walking on beach at sunset. Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash.

To move from Patriarchy to a healthy masculine in balance with a healthy feminine. 

To move from anthropocentrism and narcissism to caring for the Earth and future generations and all the beings on this splendid planet. 

To move from extractive and consumer capitalism to an economic system that is sustainable and works for all, not just a few. 

To move from hatred and war, violence and evil, from fatalistic self-hatred to love-justice and compassion, joy, celebration and sharing.


See Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics, p. 361.  

And Matthew Fox, Original Blessing.

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

Banner Image: The Veil Nebula, 2,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus (the Swan), photographed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Z. Levay. Image on NASA.gov.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you experience the universe as the primary sacred reality?  How many times a day to you recognize that?  How many ways is the universe (and the Earth, its child) a primary sacred reality for you?

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10 thoughts on “Psyche, Cosmos, and the Return of the Sacred”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, You ask us today in our Queries for Contemplation: “Do you experience the universe as the primary sacred reality?” I believe the universe is sacred, but not Divine as God is. I don’t pray to the universe or worship it. I believe in panentheism where the universe is not God, but God is in the universe and the universe is in God!
    “How many times a day to you recognize that?” Probably only two or three times…
    “How many ways is the universe (and the Earth, its child) a primary sacred reality for you?” When I think of how many ways the universe is sacred to me, this is what comes to me: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use in my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose with my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43). And that is many of the ways in which the universe is sacred to me.

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    Sheila O'Handley

    The Earth has always loved me….in my dog, in the noon that streams in my window as she comes delivering her fullness, the sea baptizes me againa and again as I swim in the Altantic ocean just beside my home and in that love I experiene the Divine that loves me and everyone else over and over and over.

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    Thank you, Richard. Appreciate your truth. Your words bring to mind one important thing for me, to me, sacred simply implies that the Divine is present … eg the Holy said to Moses take off your “shoes” for the ground is sacred (or you are in The Presence). So, yes I can gaze into the sky and worship, and gaze at the miracles of earth and worship but do agree that I do not worship the stars and the planets and / or the flowers or animals … Peace brother. John

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    We must fill ourselves up with the Via Positiva if we are to be able to face the Via Negativa and the horrors of our present world. This is the emerging theme of my newest work-in-progress, “This One Wild and Precious Life.” “If we don’t take in the ‘awesomeness’ of the universe, we often create the ‘awful.'” Thank you for your words, Matthew. They continually guide my playwriting and my life.

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    I do indeed experience the Universe as the “primary sacred reality.” The thousand times a day I think of this sacredness and its imminent peril, I hope is prayer—to what or whom, I don’t know. I just hope the love and the desire for preservation is a prayer of thanksgiving to whomever hears it.
    Meanwhile, I offer Art, Garden, and Study as gifts to Creator.

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    The psyche, to me, seems to have become such an abstract, complex and often incomprehensible concept. We hear the words… conscious self, unconscious self, subconscious self, superconscious self, and then the collective aspects of these. Then we hear also the words… lower self, higher self, ego self, false self, true self, shadow self, light self, human nature, and divine nature. Humanity has so compartmentalized the psyche, breaking it down into so many fragmented parts… it’s no wonder that this has resulted in disconnection and separation. All of these abstractions have also led to dualities, paradoxes and contradictions, resulting in divisions… rather than unification of wholeness and oneness.

    Perhaps it’s time to return to the simplicity of our six senses… of simply seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and imaginatively and creatively intuiting… our experiences of the all and the everything of creation. Perhaps in rediscovering and engaging with the simplicity of our human senses… we will recover and reconnect to the sacred reality of that inherent goodness and beauty within the all and the everything of creation… and in and through this simplicity learn to become aware, accepting and responsive to the primordial sacred community… that great webb of life that we are all intimately, personally and uniquely apart of. In and through the simplicity of these sensed experiences we can rediscover and reclaim being and living in right relationship with… by becoming and being experientially aroused and awakened to the sacred reality of our interconnections, our interrelationships and our interdependence with, to and for, the all and the everything of creation… a simple human sensing of our oneness and wholeness. Could this be then, the pathway that Christ spoke of… of becoming like a child once again… being born again in the Spirit of this inherent goodness and the simple beauty of this sacred reality… ever present in its presence, to be experienced.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, Today you speak of the how it distresses you that we’ve made the self so abstract and complicated. You say, “We hear the words… conscious self, unconscious self, subconscious self, superconscious self, and then the collective aspects of these. Then we hear also the words… lower self, higher self, ego self, false self, true self, shadow self, light self, human nature, and divine nature.” When you say things all at once it does seem complicated, however we don’t normally use them all together. It’s like if we talk a bout the body it would be very complicated if when you talked about the body you had to mention every organ.” Matthew today asks the question: “Why is reuniting the psyche and the cosmos so important? Many people when they hear such talk will say ‘it sounds abstract’; or ‘I have more important things to do’; or ‘my children are calling to me’; or ‘I have to get back to my job’.” But then he says emphatically: “This is your job.” Our job is to reunite psyche and the cosmos–mind and the universe, because many of our minds separate the two or, as Matthew says, they just ignore the question. I do appreciate your focus on the five senses and your reference of coming to Christ as a child…

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    In my daily silent contemplative prayer I try to be open in my body, heart, mind, soul…
    to a greater awareness/consciousness of my deeper connection, relation, transformation…
    to the grace of Eternal Divine Loving Oneness with-in ongoing Sacred Creation and Source Spirit of the Universe~Cosmos, including the Presence of Sacred Love, Wisdom, Creativity, Beauty, Joy, and Compassionate Action in my daily human life with others and nature….
    ?❤️?

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