Two days ago we celebrated Christmas in our DM with a meditation on what I called Doxa and Moxa, which become simple and direct ways to talk of the Cosmic Christ and the prophetic and historical Jesus respectively.
Doxa is the word Glory in Greek, the basic language of the Christian Scriptures. It is one of the keys to the meaning of the mystical archetype of the Cosmic Christ.
Whenever we deal with the word glory in the Bible we are being alerted to the Divine Presence in the cosmos.
Hildegard of Bingen teaches that “there is no creature that lacks a radiance” and Thomas Aquinas follows suit when he talks about the radiance of the Divine in all things.
The Catholic monk and ecumenical pioneer Thomas Merton, friend to both the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn, had a mystical experience one day while crossing the street in downtown Louisville at noon rush hour when he saw all these “strangers” as beaming light from within them.
In his journal the next day, he wrote, “How is it possible to tell everyone they are all walking around shining like the sun?”
The way we tell them is through naming the Cosmic Christ. “We are all other Christs,” says Merton and Dorothy Day. St. Paul says “it is not I who live, but Christ who lives within me.”
We are all carrying the doxa or glory of the Christ within us. We can also use the language of the Buddha nature or Buddhahood or, in Judaism, Tselem meaning image of God.
Merton does so when he says We are other Christs…In us, the image of God, which is complete and entire in each individual soul, is also in all of us ‘the image of God.’
Moxa is a word I have invented from the word moxie which according to Webster’s dictionary means courage and energy and pep.
It summarizes the human person that Jesus was, what incarnation means—what becoming flesh and Homo sapiens means–joining the caravan of flesh that began with the original fireball 13.8 billion years ago and morphed into every galaxy and planet, supernova and star in our universe of two trillion galaxies and that includes also our home, Earth, so abundant with multiple gifts of flesh we call elephants, lions, polar bears, rainforests, whales, sharks and so much more.
All God’s creatures. All our relations. All sacred flesh.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, A Way To God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey, pp. 225-241.
See Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 21-130.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: The Divine embodied in all beings, in harmony: “Garden of Eden.” Detail of a painting by David Paladin. Published with permission.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you sometimes feel that you are walking around shining like the sun? And other creatures too? And other humans also?
A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey
In A Way to God, Fox explores Merton’s pioneering work in interfaith, his essential teachings on mixing contemplation and action, and how the vision of Meister Eckhart profoundly influenced Merton in what Fox calls his Creation Spirituality journey.
“This wise and marvelous book will profoundly inspire all those who love Merton and want to know him more deeply.” — Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society
Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science. A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics