December 19, 2022. Advent, Solstice, and the Apophatic Divinity.
Today we explore the Divinity of mystery, that Divinity of which the less we speak and the more we listen, the better. We also explore the opposite energies–for instance, emperors who claimed to be the “son of God” and used that title to rule with power and oppression. Matthew closes with: “The repose and darkness of Advent invite us into the mystery of the Godhead but also into the apophatic Divinity, the holiness of darkness.”
December 20, 2022. Advent, Solstice, Eckhart on the Apophatic God.
We reflect on some of the wisdom Meister Eckhart shares with us about the Apophatic God. God is a being beyond all being; God is a beingless being. And God is neither this thing nor that thing that we can express. And, referring to the verse in John 1:5, The final goal of being is the darkness and the unknowability of the hidden divinity, which is that light which shines ‘but the darkness cannot comprehend it.’
December 21, 2022. Winter Solstice, 2022: The Apophatic and Uncreated God.
If God is uncreated, then we can never really know Divinity. Deepak Chopra puts it this way: “God is uncreated. The universe cannot reveal God, since everything that exists is created.” We also explore the theme of God as “superessential darkness” and “darkness beyond light,” as proposed by 6th century Syrian monk Denis the Areopagite. Perhaps this deep darkness, the mystery that is God, is also the dark matter and dark energy of the Universe.
December 22, 2022. Apophatic Divinity, continued.
Today we reflect on the ineffability and unnameability of God. If God is unnameable, perhaps we can stop projecting on him all the time! Perhaps instead of talking about God, we can learn to experience him. Matthew reminds us that “Words fail us in the face of mystery.” Meanwhile Thich Naht Hanh told us, “we know the Holy Spirit as energy and not as notions and words.”
December 23, 2022. Apophatic Divinity: God as Nothingness.
This theme of God as nothingness can be a difficult concept to grasp. But Father Bede Griffiths does well when he refers to Hindu thought. He said, We cannot name Brahman. It is ‘not this, not this.’ Whatever word we use, whatever image, whatever concept, we have always to go beyond…One cannot stop with any name of God….We are all seeing that inexpressible mystery beyond, and that is Brahman, which is neti, neti, ‘not this, not this.‘ We also look to the Kabbalah which has a word called Ayin, meaning “mystical nothingness.” Ayin, Nothingness, is more existent than all the being of the world….
December 24, 2022. From Advent to Christmas Eve & the Birth of the Rebel Jesus.
Today we begin the journey from darkness to light as the days begin to gradually get longer and longer. On this Christmas Eve, we honor the holiness of the dark night which yields to the light of the Christchild. Meanwhile, there is also a more unsentimental depiction of Jesus, that of a rebel committed to justice and compassion. Jackson Browne sings about it in his song, “Rebel Jesus.” From Matthew: We move from expectancy and pregnancy to the birth of something new, from darkness and silence to light and joy. And promise of much work ahead.
December 25, 2022. Christmas 2022: Doxa and Moxa.
The first word spoken to the poor shepherds by the angels on a cold winter night is: “Glory,” doxa in Greek, the language in which the Gospels were written. And doxa is always about cosmic wisdom, the Cosmic Christ, and the light in all things. Even physicists tell us there are photons or light waves in every atom of the universe. The Gospel of John tells us that “The Word was God” was “a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower….” And “the Word was made flesh, and lived among us, and we saw its glory, full of grace and truth.” So, on this Christmas day, may we celebrate both the doxa and the moxa. (Matthew’s word for the moxie of the historical prophetic Jesus.
Banner image: Madonna and Child, Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset England. Scuptor: Eric Gill. Flickr
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.
Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God …Including the Unnameable God
Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview. In Naming the Unnameable, renowned theologian and author Matthew Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colorful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.
“This book is timely, important and admirably brief; it is also open ended—there are always more names to come, and none can exhaust God’s nature.” -Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, author of Science Set Free and The Presence of the Past