I ended yesterday’s DM with the observation that the Cosmic Christ is the oldest Christology in the New Testament.  Why is that so?  Because Paul and the Gospel of Thomas initiate that awareness of the omnipresence of Christ in the microcosm and macrocosm of the universe. 

The monogram of Christ surrounded by four archangels, mosaic vault, Archiepiscopal Chapel, Ravenna, c. 500 C.E. (photo: GFreihalter, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, cropped).

It is truly interesting to me that Teilhard de Chardin, having rescued the archetype of the Cosmic Christ in the 20th century, observed that he could not find anyone—theologians or lay people—who wanted to explore with him this “third nature of Christ.” 

Thomas Merton made a similar observation when he noted that the “cosmic mediation of Christ” as found, for example in Paul’s letter to the Colossians (1:15-17) left him “astounded that they receive so little attention from Christians today.” 

I offer the following list of Scriptural references to the Cosmic Christ in the New Testament.  Among the following passages, many are most likely hymns in the first century of Christianity: Philippians 2:1-24; Romans 8:14-39; Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 1: 3-14; Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1: 1-18.  And throughout the Book of Revelation including 1:5-7; 5:13f; 11:15-18; 12:1-17; 21:1-6 and more.

I offer a basic exegesis and explanation of each of these rich teachings on the Cosmic Christ in my book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ

“The Cosmic Christ” by Ullrrich Javier Lemus. Used with permission.

In addition, the Cosmic Christ is found in the Gospels and Acts mostly as themes and stories and experiences such as Bishop Marc Andrus and myself gathered and artists M C. Richards and Ullrrich Javier Lemus depicted in clay tablets in our book, The Stations of the Cosmic Christ

Themes such as these: the Birth Narratives; the Baptism and Temptation in the Desert; the Transfiguration; The Crucifixion; the Resurrection; the Ascension; the Pentecost; and the “I am” sayings found in John’s gospel.

This adds up to no small amount of the Christian Bible. 

I also include in The Coming of the Cosmic Christ how theologians of other eras, both the Greek Fathers of the Church and especially the Middle Ages have so much to say about the Cosmic Christ.

Given all this evidence of the Cosmic Christ in Christian history it is astounding how the modern era was able to practically snuff out the riches of that lineage and render Christianity sentimental, violent, flat, boring, insipid, and hostile to indigenous wisdom that begins religion not with the human but with the sacredness of creation (as does Genesis one).


Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 83-128.

And Matthew Fox, A Way To God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey, p. 236.

And Matthew Fox and Marc Andrus, Stations of the Cosmic Christ.

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

Banner Image: Mosaic of Christ on High with Book of Life, Early Byzantine c.549, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, Italy. Public Domain, WikiArt.

Queries for Contemplation

Take any one of the Scriptural references above and read the text and meditate on it.


Recommended Reading

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.

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

Stations of the Cosmic Christ Meditation Cards and Guide Booklet

Beautiful full-color cards from Stations of the Cosmic Christ to aid in your meditations on the Cosmic Christ, featuring the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Step beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross and experience a spirit awakening and understanding of the cosmic Christ Consciousness, Buddha consciousness, and consciousness of the image of God in all beings, so needed in our times. Includes an instruction booklet containing suggestions on how to use the cards.


Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation

Facebook
Twitter
Email

Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations

Categories

Categories

Archives

Archives

Receive our daily meditations

12 thoughts on “On the Cosmic Christ in Early Christianity”

  1. Richard E Reich

    Matthew, Today you write: “the Cosmic Christ is the oldest Christology in the New Testament. Why is that so? Because Paul and the Gospel of Thomas initiate that awareness of the omnipresence of Christ in the microcosm and macrocosm of the universe.” And then give examples of those who have also seen the ancient Cosmic Christ–in people like: Teilhard de Chardin, who rescued the archetype of the Cosmic Christ in the 20th century, and Thomas Merton noted that the “cosmic mediation of Christ” as found, for example in Paul’s letter to the Colossians (1:15-17) left him “astounded that they receive so little attention from Christians today.” Beyond the passage of scripture that Merton offered, you provided us with even more passages from the New Testament: Philippians 2:1-24; Romans 8:14-39; Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 1: 3-14; Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1: 1-18. And throughout the Book of Revelation including 1:5-7; 5:13f; 11:15-18; 12:1-17; 21:1-6 and more. You offer a basic exegesis and explanation of each of these rich teachings on the Cosmic Christ in your book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. A book which was my first introduction to you and your writings–which I highly recommend. My choice for meditation is Philippians 2:1-24, but I want to meditate on the the “two sides of the coin” in this text. Because on the one hand it reveals the Cosmic Christ, but on the other it shows the kenosis or self-emptying of Christ…

  2. Avatar

    Cosmic Christ, refers to the state of being and living consciously aware of the reality of matter and spirit as One. All matter is incarnate with the Holy Spirit… the Nature of the Divine… of the Great Mystery, the Creator of the all and the everything. All matter is therefore sacred, holy ground, all our relations, all Oned With this nature. As human beings, we experience this through our five human senses, and also through our intuition, imagination and creativity… rooted in sacred relationship with the presence and essence of the Nature of the Divine within all matter of existence. The mystics, and the Indigenious people, exemplified this reality, showing the wisdom way of being and living in this microcosmic/macrocosmic reality.

    Hence, now I sense the essential importance of Creation Spirituality evolving and emerging, from within the hidden mystical pathway of Christianity in our times. Within the roots of this mystical wisdom, the “Coming of the Cosmic Christ”… is at last beginning to be revealed. Slowly through this transformational process, what is being made known, is the intended true meaning of the “Incarnation” as the embodiment of Spirit within the matter of the all and the everything of creation… which is cultivated through right relationship with the sacredness, beauty and goodness of this inherent spiritual pressence, essence and nature, in all matter that exists… often referred to universally as Light… Glory… or Doxa.

    1. Richard E Reich

      Jeanette, Today you write: “now I sense the essential importance of Creation Spirituality evolving and emerging, from within the hidden mystical pathway of Christianity in our times. Within the roots of this mystical wisdom, the ‘Coming of the Cosmic Christ’…” WELCOME ! You have arrived !!!

  3. Avatar

    Please clarify the name of the artist who painted the most contemporary image of the Cosmic Christ which appears to be 20th-21st century (with notation “Bamboo and Chrysanthemum). I viewed several works by the monk Shitao, which are from the 17th century.
    In recognition of the role of visual artists of all eras in contemplation and prayer.
    Thank you.

  4. Avatar

    Revelation 21: “The New Heaven and the New Earth”:
    “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. She~He will dwell with them and they will be Her~His people and God Her~His Self will always be with them (as their God). She~He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away.” The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
    For me this is the Faith, Hope, Healing, Transformation, Compassionate Eternal Presence of Divine Love~Christ Consciousness within, through, and among us in our ongoing co-Creation~Evolution with our Sacred Mother Nature/Earth and in our sacred multidimensional-multiverse Cosmos in Diverse Loving Oneness….
    ????

  5. Avatar

    Mysticism was “lost” because the training of “how to uncode mystical language” was secret and then forgotten.

    Long after my astonishing, mind-boggling mystical experience, I finally found a “clue” about it when I read in a book that ” unitive experiences = mysticism,” I spent quite a while scouring through anthologies of mysticism for all their unitive experiences, trying to find one “like mine,” more complex than just pantheistic unitive awareness. I finally realized, while reading a selection from Eckhart’s THEOLOGY, that it described/encoded my mystical experience. I also read that Eckhart was a “Neoplatonic” mystic — another clue! Sure enough, I read quotes from Plotinus and others, and found my mystical experience, coded into theology, in texts stretching back into ancient history. I learned that this specific, unique mystical experience is SACRED. As such, every detail, every nuance, both of the revelation’s unfolding and its Path, is absolutely significant because it is ALL a gift, a message from G*d/ through the Holy Spirit/Wisdom, telling believers vitally important information about their religions and how to relate to G*d.
    I’m trying to ensure that the wisdom of this Mysticism isn’t lost again. We need to re-learn how to recognize it so we can unwrap all the layers of teachings and wisdom encoded into the language of these mystical texts.

    1. Richard E Reich

      Melinda, You seem to have had a truly mystical experience, and you seem to see this experience through Neoplatonist eyes, and that is perfectly fine. But I would personally not put Eckhart in the same sentence with Neoplatonism. You say: “I also read that Eckhart was a “Neoplatonic” mystic.” I would like to know where you read that this, and who it was that wrote that, because I seriously doubt that Matthew would agree with this, and he is one of the top Eckhart scholars in the world, having translated from the original many of Eckhart’s writings… However, don’t get me wrong, I do not doubt the reality of your experience, I just think that when we have experiences that are so out of the ordinary, that we try hard to find others who confirm the experience for us, and Neoplatonism seems top do that for you…

      1. Avatar

        I’ve read Eckhart’s name listed as “Neoplatonic” in MANY sources over the years, but the source I have now is from “The Classics of Western Spirituality” series of scholastic translations.
        “Meister Eckhart– The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, and Defense” Translarion and Introduction by Edmund Colledge, O.S.A. and Bernard McGinn, preface by Huston Smith. from the Paulist Press, 1981.
        Read the Introduction for a scholastic analysis of Eckhart’s texts.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: