Week of 2/13-2/18/2023: The Cosmic Christ and Sacred Light

February 13, 2023. Sacred Light & Creation in Buddhism, Christianity, Science
Buddha said, “Be ye lamps unto yourselves.” Meanwhile, in the Bible we are told not to hide our light under a bushel. If Christ, or the Cosmic Christ, is the light in all beings, and if science says that light is present in every atom of the universe, what does Buddhism say? Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that the Buddha is always shining, always enlightening trees, grass, birds, human beings, and so on, always emitting light. 

Sunrise above peak in Himalayan range, Nepal. Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

February 14, 2023. The Light in all Things: Buddhism, Christianity, Science – continued.
Christ said, “I am the Light of the World.” While in Buddhism, Vidya or understanding means “made of light.” Meanwhile, science has finally come to the conclusion that light is both particle and wave. Perhaps then it can be said that the historical Jesus is a particle of light (or a particle of light made up of particles of light) while the Christ is a wave of light, coursing through nature and history. The same can be said for the historical Buddha and the Buddha Nature. Buddha was an enlightened particle, but the Buddha Nature lives on as a wave of light.

Jon Kabat Zinn on being Buddha Nature. Originally posted to YouTube by Wisdom 2.0.

February 15, 2023. On the Cosmic Christ in Early Christianity
Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Merton lament that so few people are willing to acknowledge and explore the Cosmic Christ. In his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Matthew presents scriptural evidence pointing to the Cosmic Christ, which demonstrates how the Cosmic Christ is the oldest Christology in Christianity, 300 years older than the Nicene Creed.  The Greek Fathers and medieval theologians celebrated the Cosmic Christ.  The modern era snuffed it out and turned religion into something anthropocentric.

February 16, 2023. On the Cosmic Christ in Early Christianity, part ii
Modern consciousness is no longer steeped in mysticism and the ecstasies of the Cosmic Christ, instead it focuses on individualism and egoism. Instead of being cosmically oriented, we tend to be human-centric. Descartes said, “I think therefore I am.” Frances Bacon said, “We shall torture Mother Earth for her secrets.” And Pope Francis decries our “species narcissism.” A desacralized and desecrated Earth that exists only for human exploitation is devoid of awe, enchantment, joy, balance, harmony, and justice. And is unsustainable as we know it.

February 17, 2023. From Amnesia about the Cosmic Christ to Holding Earth Sacred
If Thomas Berry is right, that the only way to save the Earth is to recover a sense of the sacred, then it is essential that we revive the archetype of the Cosmic Christ. The Cosmic Christ is about recognizing the sacred everywhere. It’s what Chenu called “continuous creation.” Chenu also uses the phrase “continuous incarnation,” meaning everything on Earth is imbued with the Divine.

Everything is imbued with the Light of the Divine.
Photo by Cynthia Greb

February 18, 2023. Medieval Mystics on the Cosmic Christ & Sacredness of Nature
Here we feature a sampling of excerpts from creation spirituality mystics who knew well the Biblical tradition of the Cosmic Christ: It is God whom human beings know in every creature. (Hildegard of Bingen) Each creature’s beauty is a witness to the divine wisdom…. Every creature participates in some way in the likeness of the Divine Essence…. (Thomas Aquinas) God’s speaking is one thing.  In this one utterance God speaks the Son and at the same time the Holy Spirit and all creatures. (Meister Eckhart)

Dancing hummingbirds’ wings refract rainbows in this trailer to The Dance of Time, a celebration of the beauty of nature. Video by Christian Spencer. YouTube

Banner image: Light streaming from the heavens, Iceland. Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

Recommended Reading

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

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.

Christian Mystics: 365 Readings & Meditations

As Matthew Fox notes, when an aging Albert Einstein was asked if he had any regrets, he replied, “I wish I had read more of the mystics earlier in my life.” The 365 writings in Christian Mystics represent a wide-ranging sampling of these readings for modern-day seekers of all faiths — or no faith. The visionaries quoted range from Julian of Norwich to Martin Luther King, Jr., from Thomas Merton to Dorothee Soelle and Thomas Berry.
“Our world is in crisis, and we need road maps that can ground us in wisdom, inspire us to action, and help us gather our talents in service of compassion and justice.  This revolutionary book does just that.  Matthew Fox takes some of the most profound spiritual teachings of the West and translates them into practical daily mediations.  Study and practice these teachings.  Take what’s in this book and teach it to the youth because the new generation cannot afford to suffer the spirit and ethical illiteracy of the past.” — Adam Bucko, spiritual activist and co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation for Homeless Youth.

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug

In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.”  ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.

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7 thoughts on “Week of 2/13-2/18/2023: The Cosmic Christ and Sacred Light”

  1. Richard E Reich

    This week I chose to comment on February 15, 2023: On the Cosmic Christ in Early Christianity. On this day Matthew wrote: “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 he gave examples of others who have also seen the ancient Cosmic Christ–people like: Teilhard de Chardin, who rescued the archetype of the Cosmic Christ in the 20th century, and Thomas Merton who 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, Matthew 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. Matthew offers a basic exegesis and explanation of each of these rich teachings on the Cosmic Christ in his book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ–a book which was my first introduction to Matthew and his writings–which I highly recommend! My choice for meditation was Philippians 2:1-24, because I wanted 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. This is one of the paradoxes of the gospel–sayings like: “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first,” and “let he that is great among you, become servant to you all.” etc. That’s what the story about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet on the night of the Last Supper was all about. And that is what Matthew 25:31-46′ judgment scene [READ IT] is also all about.

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    If we accept the Trinity, do we not accept the three parts as being, the Father (some call the Mother), the Son being Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Are not all from time eternal? To say otherwise then is to say that One is superior to the other and gave birth to the other. Then we no longer have the triune God.
    The Christ is a descriptor of Jesus, meaning the Saviour. We have made Jesus the unreachable one, a historic in time God that was here, gone and will only come back again in the Second Coming. Because of us, yes us, creating this ‘unreality’, we create ‘the Cosmic Christ’. If we just started treating Jesus as in the here and now and not as ‘the untouchable’, ‘the inaccessible’, ‘the unreachable’, we would not have to create ‘the Cosmic Christ’. Are we so afraid to say that a personal ‘Jesus is in the here and now, in that we will be ostracized for it? Or does creating the fourth of the Trinity make us feel edgy, one of the chosen few and help us sell books?
    Isn’t Jesus just plain and simple asking us to ‘see’, ‘hear’ and ‘experience’ His presence, His actual existence in the here and now? It is those who don’t have this ‘experience’ feel the need to create compelling arguments, scriptural & ‘saintly’ support for the fourth in the Trinity, elsewise we are only left with a ‘historic’ and forgotten Jesus? The ‘Living Triune God’, all three, is alive in ourselves in the here and now. — BB.

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      YES. Absolutely, G*d/Christ/Spirit is One IN us, IN Creation, and transcends time and space. We keep turning away from that Oneness/Love/Wisdom and lose that intimate connection. NOW, each moment, is when we choose to align with and walk the teachings of Jesus and the Wisdom-teachers in the Bible. This is precisely what was demonstrated BY Jesus, a living exemplar of this message. “Mystical Christ/The One” is not about shimmering visions of an “Other-Jesus”, but instead about how WE can live deeply, truly and intimately, IN Christ NOW.

    2. Richard E Reich

      Bill, Today you write: “We have made Jesus the unreachable one, a historic in time God that was here, gone and will only come back again in the Second Coming. Because of us, yes us, creating this ‘unreality’, we create ‘the Cosmic Christ’. We have made Jesus the unreachable one, a historic in time God that was here, gone and will only come back again in the Second Coming. Because of us, yes us, creating this ‘unreality’, we create ‘the Cosmic Christ’.” You call the Cosmic Christ something that we made up to make up for a lost historical Jesus. The truth of the matter, according to trinitarian theology is that all three persons are coeternal and omniscient and omnipresent. In his omnipresent aspect the Christ of the trinity is the Cosmic Christ who is in all things and all things are in him–just as it is in the other two persons of the trinity. We don’t have to worry about “our own personal Jesus” because we know the Cosmic Christ is in us.

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    Humans have the opportunity and potential daily, again and again, of meeting the Sacred, the Nature of the Divine… the Light, the Spirit… the Cosmic Christ, the Great Mystery, within all matter; through the gifts given us… that being the capacity of our creativity, imagination, intuition, contemplation, and reflection. As we open ourselves up to discovering and claiming, the beauty and goodness of these inherent gifts… we begin to see the unfolding, evolving emergence… the Nature of the Sacred and Divine presence and essence, incarnate within the all and the everything of creation… both in the visible and invisible realms.

    The Nature of the Divine Holy Spirit, hovers over the life giving waters of these precious gifts given… stirring within each one of us a sacred descent into the vast opportunities of diverse expressions and potential manifestations of these inherent gifts… co-partnering and collaborating with and inspiring us all… to cultivate and nurture this creativity, imagination, intuition, contemplation and reflection and the goodness of this… that the beauty and nature of this, may be broken open and poured out in service, for the communual good of the whole of the all and the everything of creation. This is the sacred movement, the true nature within the heart of all matter… the hymn of the universe being sung.

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    “The Cosmic Christ is about recognizing the sacred everywhere”. Might that also include those we fear are killing the planet?

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