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