We are holding up the all-important scientific discovery of our time that can put an end to the dangerous dualism of matter vs. spirit that haunts spirituality and upholds patriarchy.
Among the Celtic peoples, the most venerated among the ancient gods was Lugh, the god of light and giftedness. Says John O’Donohue, “the Celtic mind adored the light…Ultimately light is the mother of life.”
Without light, life dwindles.
Where there is no light there can be no life. If the angel of the sun were to turn away from the earth, all human, animal , and vegetative life as we know it would disappear. Ice would freeze the earth again. Light is the secret presence of the divine. It keeps life awake.
The ancient poem “The Deer’s Cry” celebrates light:
Strength of heaven,
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire.
O’Donohue acclaims how
…the sun brings light or color. It causes grasses, crops, leaves, and flowers to grow. The sun brings forth the erotic charge of the curved earth; it awakens her wild sensuousness.
A Gaelic poem celebrates the sun as the eye and face of God.
The eye of the great God,
The eye of the God of glory,
The eye of the king of hosts,
The eye of the king of the living
Pouring upon us
at each time and season,
Pouring upon us
gently and generously
Glory to thee
Thou glorious sun
Glory to thee, thou son
Face of the God of life.
The Bhagavad Gita honors the divine origin of Light. Krishna speaks:
The splendor of the sun, which dissipates the darkness of this whole world, comes from Me. And the splendor of the moon and the splendor of fire are also from Me.
Krishna is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested He is knowledge. He is the object of knowledge, and he is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone’s heart.
In the Vedas, Brahman is celebrated as Light.
The cosmic waters glow. I am Light!
The light glows. I am Brahman!
Light glows within the human too and resides inside of us.
There is a Light that shines above this heaven, above all worlds, above everything that exists in the highest world beyond which there are no higher—this is the Light that shines within humans.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 56f., 63.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Celtic solar cross capturing the sun. Photo by Funk Dooby on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Do these poems from the Celtic and Hindu traditions speak to you? Do they remind you of other teachings from Scriptures or saints?
One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths
Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit