From Amnesia about the Cosmic Christ to Holding Earth Sacred

What is lost when Christianity undergoes amnesia about its rich tradition of the Cosmic Christ?  An amnesia brought about by putting all its Christological eggs into a basket dictated by the imperial theology launched in the Nicene Creed of the fourth century?

Photo of The Figure of Christ above the Iconostasis in the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. Image by Sergey Platonov on Pexels

One thing that is lost is the interest and understanding of mysticism.  This is a major reason that the West and the church itself is mystically illiterate today.  A distortion of what mysticism means was in vogue during the modern era.

After all, the Cosmic Christ is the richest archetype for mysticism that the Christian tradition holds. 

If Thomas Berry is correct—that the only way to save the earth is to recover a sense of the sacred—and this happens by recovering the sense of the “numinosity” of the cosmos and therefore the earth–then clearly the return of the archetype of the Cosmic Christ is paramount in our time.  (And the return of the Buddha Nature and of the Tselem or image of God in Judaism and Buddhism respectively.)

All is imbued with Divinity. Photo by Cynthia Greb

The Cosmic Christ is about recognizing the sacred everywhere.  Chenu names this as the “continuous creation.”  Wisdom and the Cosmic Christ and the “Word” or Logos are all there at the beginning of the world—and are still present in the continued unfolding or evolution of our sacred universe.   That is continuous creation.

Chenu also names the “continuous incarnation.”  That means Divinity is imbuing the Earth and all flesh with the divine—a continuous incarnation.  Light and Spirit becoming flesh dwell among us—once initiated it never ceases.

We are light and spirit, enfleshed. Photo by Jack Krzysik on Pexels

Following are some testimonies to this awareness that antedate the anti-mystical and grossly narcissistic mindset of the modern era, an era that killed the Cosmic Christ and the sense of nature’s sacredness and is therefore currently killing the planet.

In him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible.  (Col 1:16)

The Logos of God has become human so that you might learn from a human being how a human being may become divine.  (Clement of Alexandria, 150-c. 215) 

Christ exists in all things that are.  (Gregory of Nazianzus, 329-390)  

To be continued


Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, p. 75.

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

Banner image: Christ the Redeemer. Photo by 4FLY RJ on Pexels.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize Christ existing in all things that are?  And the Buddha Nature?  And the Image of God or Tselem?  Then you are a mystic.


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.

Stations of the Cosmic Christ
By Matthew Fox and Bishop Marc Andrus.

This is a book of meditations on the Cosmic Christ, accompanying the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Together, these images and meditations go far beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross to inspire 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.
“A divinely inspired book that must be read by every human being devoted to spiritual and global survival. It is cosmically brilliant.” — Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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8 thoughts on “From Amnesia about the Cosmic Christ to Holding Earth Sacred”

  1. Richard E Reich

    Matthew, Today you ask: “What is lost when Christianity undergoes amnesia about its rich tradition of the Cosmic Christ? An amnesia brought about by putting all its Christological eggs into a basket dictated by the imperial theology launched in the Nicene Creed of the fourth century? One thing that is lost is the interest and understanding of mysticism.” Then you write of Thomas Berry and the Cosmic Christ, and Chenu and “continuous creation” and “continuous incarnation.” Then you end your meditation with these three quotations:
    “In him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible.” (Col 1:16)
    “The Logos of God has become human so that you might learn from a human being how a human being may become divine.” (Clement of Alexandria, 150-c. 215)
    “Christ exists in all things that are.” (Gregory of Nazianzus, 329-390)
    Today you ask us: “Do you recognize Christ existing in all things that are? And the Buddha Nature? And the Image of God or Tselem?” If so then you say, “Then you are a mystic.” And that I am…

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    If we are to say, “Do you recognize Christ in all things?” are we as seekers most apt to say, yes with some certainty and maybe be somewhat reserved when it comes to those people we don’t care for or whose behaviour is abhorrent? Should we ask rather, “Do you ‘experience’ Christ in all things?” It is our experience of Christ on the path of the Way, the Life and the Truth, is it not that matters more so than an intellectual concept of Christ in all things? There is a fundamental difference between our eager ‘lip’ service and what it may take to put ourselves out there, ‘on the line’, out of our comfort zone and, into the transformative ‘walk of faith’.

    God’s Kingdom or realm if we are to be in it ‘is not of this world’ is it not? Did Jesus not speak of such when He faced an immanent and tortuous death? But like Jesus, we are asked to ‘be in and walk in this world’. Jesus shows us how to live in HIs realm of love, joy, peace and unity, while enduring and bringing truth to the pain, suffering and injustices ‘of the world’. To do this then is to ‘experience’ the Sacred Heart. If we dare and have the courage to go there, that is to be our ‘experience’ of Christ in all things is it not? Is that not what it means then, to pick up and carry our Cross every day no matter how heavy it appears and might be at times? — BB.

    1. Richard E Reich

      Bill, Thank you for your comment. Today you ask: “If we are to say, ‘Do you recognize Christ in all things?'” And then you ask: “Should we ask rather, ‘Do you “experience” Christ in all things?’” Once again I don’t think this is an either/or question, but here it is really a sequential issue. That is, we cannot experience Christ in all things unless we first recognize Christ in all things. Then you ask: “God’s Kingdom or realm if we are to be in it ‘is not of this world’ is it not?” If God’s “kindom” is not of this world, then we live in a very dualistic cosmos, because there is then the reality of the cosmos, and then the reality of heaven. Two different places/locations. Creation Spirituality teaches that creation is good, and there is to be a New Heavens (everything above us) and a New earth everything below us. All creation will be redeemed for “as of yet all creation groans in travail” (Romans 8:22).

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    I know that I am a mystic. The difficulty for me in engaging in relationship with what we are calling… the presence and essence of the Cosmic Christ in all of creation… is that I empathically feel not only the beauty, joy and goodness of this reality, but also the pain, the suffering and the sorrow. It’s really hard to live open hearted to both/and/all… in the tensions of what Mathew refers to as the Via Negativa and the Via Positiva… so that one can move into the unfolding, evolving emergence of the Via Creativa and the Via Transformativa. I sometimes get stuck in the tensions of the first two parts of this movement… being tossed to and fro between them.

    What I’ve been trying as of late… to move out of this tension… is accessing some form of creative self expression, to shift and transform the energy. Recently I’ve been engaging in expressive art therapy, including nature… connecting these together… through watercolor painting… and then journaling with the art. Drumming, singing and spending time in nature, helps too.

    However, as of late, it’s been particularly challenging, as an empathic mystic, to maintain and sustain a sense of balance… due to all of what’s emerging within the collective of the all and the everything of creation. I often feel like the disciples, in the boat, during the storm… trying to step out into the waters in faith, surrendered in trust… but often sinking into the depths of the emotional waves.

    1. Richard E Reich

      Jeanette, Today you write of the: “tensions of what Mathew refers to as the Via Negativa and the Via Positiva…” and how you “sometimes get stuck in the tensions of the first two parts of this movement… being tossed to and fro between them.” Well, do not fear! You are a mystic! And I think all of us deal with the tension between these two poles–even non believers, non mystics, and even totally secular people with no interest in religion or spirituality !

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    Yes, Matthew, thank you for reminding us that in our Christian mystical tradition, like most genuine mystical traditions, we are called to recognize our own divinity within us, the Cosmic Christ. It’s profoundly sad in human history that most of us have been ignorant and not aware of our divine nature, thus through egocentricity we have been lost to our true nature and created a lot of destructiveness/suffering/injustices up to the present day. Fortunately, there have also been mystics, saints, prophets, justice and light workers, ordinary compassion people, spiritual truth seekers… in the past and present who have developed and kept this Divine Nature/Love alive in their eternal hearts~souls among us in their lives, with Sacred Mother Nature/Earth, and as co-Creators in our evolving sacred multidimensional-multiverse Cosmos of Diverse Loving Oneness….
    ????

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    Richard: you requested an independent (scholastic) source for Eckhart’s Neoplatonism:
    The Classics of Western Spirituality – Meister Eckhart — The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, and Defense. Translation and Introduction by Edmund Colledge, O.S.A. and Bernard McGinn. Paulist Press.1981.
    And I’ve given ample information that provides proof that Eckhart was Neoplatonic (and also the Gospel of John)
    (Matthew hinted that he conceded the point last spring…)

    In Neoplatonism (including, especially, Eckhart), there’s vital information in their texts beyond the surface wording. Texts are CODED in philosophy/theology for how to deeply relate to G*d, valued practices of the mystical Path and, often, exquisitely thorough details of the unfolding of this distinctive, universal mystical experience, Every nuance of the Path and Revelation was recorded/analyzed as a SACRED, vitally important message from/REVELATION OF G*D. We need to know what we’re looking at when we read Neoplatonic texts. Also: some aspects found in old Neoplatonic texts — i.e. “dualistic” vestiges of ancient thought — are NOT ESSENTIAL elements of Neoplatonism (were not a part of Eckhart’s, most Neoplatonists’, or my personal experience).

    1. Richard E Reich

      Melinda, We have went around and around on Neoplatonism on this site and I don’t understand why you feel you need to keep on pushing it! Are you “born again” with Plotinus ? And feel that you must convert us to your way of thinking or else we will be lost ??? I certainly have no problem with you believing in and being inspired by Neoplatonism, but should we have everyone who is into another philosophy just use this as a platform for pushing their ideas ??? How about Existentialism, or Gnosticism or Neopaganism, or even Fundamentalist Christianity ??? NO, this is a Creation Spirituality site, and if you can’t discuss what we are talking about without pushing your own agenda, then maybe you should seek another site to comment on–perhaps a Neoplatonist site.

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