Aquinas on Angels, Love and Intuition

According to Aquinas, “angels cannot help loving, by force of nature. The will of angels is by nature loving.”  The universe, inhabited by angels, is neither impersonal nor neutral. There is a lot of love going on. Angels are compassionate beings that care and love.

Close up of bee pollinating a flower. Photo by ANGELO CASTO on Unsplash.

Sheldrake observes that the gravitational field unifies the whole universe. Like love, it is unifying by its nature. But we usually think of gravitational attraction as a completely unconscious process. To introduce this element of consciousness [that Aquinas does] goes far beyond the field concept of contemporary science.

We have metaphors that connect gravity and love, such as “falling in love.” It is good to know that we are loved by cosmic forces like angels, since there are times when human love fails us. 

Aquinas was convinced that angels or spirits play an important role in bringing the prophetic imagination alive in people. He believed that angels learn exclusively by intuition and a lot of prophetic insight derives from intuition. “The divine enlightenments and revelations are conveyed from God to humans by the angels. . . . Prophetic revelation which is conveyed by the ministry of the angels, is said to be divine [revelations].” Dreams often play a part in the process of waking prophets up, and Aquinas recognized that explicitly. This is why he insisted that “angels carry thoughts from prophet to prophet.” The image I get from this observation is that of bees carrying pollen from flower to flower.

Rev. Matthew Fox, interviews Lorna Byrne, in San Francisco’s Grace Catherdral. Originally posted to YouTube by The Cosmic Mass TCM.

Since Aquinas teaches that angels learn exclusively by intuition—they don’t need schools, teachers, or books—it follows that when we become more in touch with our intuition or mysticism, it is very likely that we will come into contact with angels. As we mature into our mystical brain you can expect more encounters with angels. Einstein says that intuition and deep feeling are the same thing. Angels “hitchhike” on the highway of intuition.

After all, the word “muse”—from which we get “music” and “museum”—refers to those angels that accompany us during our most creative times. Many artists encounter angels or spirits in their creative moments. It wouldn’t hurt to invite angels into one’s life when one is busy solving problems or creating art.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas, pp. 159-164.

See also Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake, The Physics of Angels.

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

Banner Image: The insights of divinely inspired intuition. Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

What follows from Aquinas’s teachings that angels cannot help but love?  And that angels learn exclusively from intuition?

Recommended Reading

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book!  Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science & Spirit Meet
By Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake

When was the last time a scientist and a theologian discussed angels together? What are angels? Many people believe in angels, but few can define these enigmatic spirits. Now visionary theologian Matthew Fox and acclaimed biologist Rupert Sheldrake—pioneers in modern religious thinking and scientific theory—launch a groundbreaking exploration into the ancient concept of the angel and restore dignity, meaning, and joy to our time-honored belief in these heavenly beings.

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13 thoughts on “Aquinas on Angels, Love and Intuition”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, This was a very interesting DM in your series on angels! I especially enjoyed your interview with Lorna Byrne. Our Queries for Contemplation today naturally follows in asking:
    “What follows from Aquinas’s teachings that angels cannot help but love?”
    “And that angels learn exclusively from intuition?”
    First of all, what follows from Aquinas’ teaching that angels cannot help but love. According to Aquinas, “angels cannot help loving, by force of nature. The will of angels is by nature loving.” Sheldrake observes that the gravitational field unifies the whole universe. “Like love, it is unifying by its nature.” If this is true, then it seems to me that saying love is unifying by its very nature, is just substituting the word “gravitation” with the word with “love.” If so, is the relationship between gravity and love real in any sense, or is the relationship purely metaphorical?
    “And that angels learn exclusively from intuition?” Aquinas was convinced that angels or spirits play an important role in bringing the prophetic imagination alive in people. He believed that angels learn exclusively by intuition and therefore, prophetic insight derives from intuition via the work of angels. And so if we wish to become mystic-prophets we need to become more in touch with our intuition.

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    Theology and philosophy are speculative disciplines that substitute for the physics we haven’t yet known. Look no further than Nikola Tesla for an understanding of how the gravitational force (love) and the electromagnetic force (light) unify to hold all things together at all scales at their center point (or singularity). This infers that light, love, gravity (gravitas), Spirit, and God are different terms for one and the same phenomenon. In his day, Tesla termed it ‘Akasha,’ the “secret fire” or “luminous ether” which science has since identified as quanta. That is, everything in the universe is “quantized” (spiritualized) from its center point at all scales, quark to quasar. According to Tesla, all perceptible and ponderable matter is plastic, formable, and transformable beneath this primary universal substance that fills all space. Contrary to Einstein’s notions, Tesla taught that there is no gravitational force per se. Rather, objects merely are attracted to, fall in with, (“fall in love with”), or free-fall toward the greatest energy at the center of things. In the religious world, such is called Spirit. Tesla is to Einstein and physics, what Matthew Fox and Creation Spirituality are to traditional Christian theology. As an innovative genius in unifying all the forces in the universe early last century, Tesla was blackballed by the power brokers of his day, robbed of the Nobel Prize, and became a footnote in history. In all fields, the ruling powers that be hate innovative genius the way monasteries hate saints. Fractacally replicated in the human frame, this cosmic still point is also known as the “axis mundi” (world axis), the rotating axis on which all things everywhere center and pivot. Like chakras to the spinal column, this axis is the vertical line that represents the soul’s connection to the visible and invisible worlds, joining its entire being to the universe and world around them. The earth, galaxy, and all celestial spheres rotate on this invisible magnetic axis. So in this regard, Sheldrake’s notions are not new. Again, the only thing new in the world is the history that you don’t know. On that count, Einstein was once asked what it felt like to be the smartest man on the planet. His answer, “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Nikola Tesla.” Gravity, electromagnetism (light), quanta, the axis mundi, the Holy Spirit, the magnetic stillpoint, the zero-point, Buddha, the vacuum state, Christ, etc., are virtually identical, one and the same person and energy known by different names. This July 4th, while watching fireworks blossom and unfold like so many incandescent flowers from the ‘secret fire’ of their compact center points (mimicking the Big Bang creation of the universe), you might give a prayerful nod to Nikola Tesla, and all unheralded Christ figures (light beings) in history who died unrecognized for who they were, and what they contributed as the “better angels” of our nature. “At the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that center is really everywhere. It is within each of us. The Holy Land is everywhere” (Black Elk).

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    Jeanette Metler

    I am particularly inspired by the statement in today’s DM, regarding the connections of intuition, Angels/Spirit’s, and the mystic/prophet. Who better to help me learn to awaken and to deeply trust my intuitive gifts… then the Angels/Spirit’s… assisting me in claiming my soul self, as mystic/prophet… and knowing that they willingly offer to do so… out of love.

    My heartfelt longing and prayer, is to experience more deeply and intimately, this spiritual reality, for myself. My hope is, that Mathew will allow us to rest at this pool of living water, a little longer… perhaps sharing more on this topic… as well as sharing some of his own personal stories and experiences. I know that I am being encouraged to trust more, in this relationship of companionship and friendship with the Angels/Spirit’s that are with me… and the ways that I am learning to intuit the messages I am receiving through my sacred journaling… and how this is awakening me to the mystic that I am. I also know that I am being encouraged to really TRUST in my own experience, my own unique pathway, of being and living in this spiritual reality… and it is this that I sometimes struggle with. Perhaps others have something to share about this?

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      Jeanette, you definitely seem to be well on your sacred spiritual journey of Oneness with-in God’s Divine Love with the love, guidance, and support of your spirit guides and Angels! Love and blessings from a fellow lightworker!

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    Matthew, I appreciate your DMs recently on the mystical spiritual theme of Angels because it helps our humanness become more aware of our conscious divine eternal souls (within our human bodies on our earthly journeys with one another), and our deeper connection to God’s Loving Being Consciousness with-in All co-Creation~Evolution in our spiritual multidimensions / multiverse Cosmos. Along with Mother Earth, our Living Cosmos, light spirit beings and Angels, our eternal evolving conscious souls are also a special sacred part of God’s Loving Consciousness Diverse Oneness ~ Beloved Cosmic Christ Consciousness….

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    Thank you Matthew for this today. I too am very concerned about everything you mention here. I am a working studio artist and walking through a narrow passage at this time in my life. My daily creative practice for warming up and connecting to my intuition is a free-form intuitive mark-making process in charcoal, ink or other water-soluble medium where I allow my body, mind, spirit to bring into form whatever marks want to come through. It’s deeply personal and deeply intuitive. Most of the time these papers end up being substrates for other work, or cut up for collage work, or otherwise filed and forgotten. Sometimes Grace and the muse dance together and I am left stunned by what emerges. For the past 4 to 5 months the spontaneous mark making has given me angels. Many many angels. They have appeared occasionally in my work throughout my life but not as prolific as now. I’m experiencing this differently. I have a growing library of these Beings which are very quickly sketched spontaneously. It has been a remarkable experience. I just get out of my way and they come through with the force of a fire hose. I have just begun bringing them into my canvas work in oils. Thank you so much for today’s meditation and teaching. My dreams have always leaned toward the prophetic for as long as I can remember, but they are particularly so this year and coming in abundance. I am so grateful and humbled by this Divinity right now and leaning into trusting it so much more deeply and truly. I am certain this experience I am having has a lot to do with this particularly narrow passage in my book of life journey. Thank you again Matthew. I look forward to tomorrows DM. – Michelle Brightstar

      1. Avatar

        Greetings Matthew ? I would love to share them with the DM. How do I do that?
        Great meditation today on Angels as announcers of Divine Silence. My angel artwork “Contemplation Before Flight” (which you have added as my avatar, thank you!) is exactly this message.
        Let me know how I can upload some of my angel ink sketches. Maybe I can email them to you ?

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