In interacting with students and retreatants in my teaching over the years, and in responses to my writings, I have witnessed how deeply peoples’ lives can be affected by concepts like the Four Paths of creation spirituality. How naming and offering concepts can enhance one’s spiritual journey and vocation and work. And also, one’s understanding of others who are on their particular journeys.
Also, such concepts can assist to interpret the mystics of old and invite them into the 21st century. They furnish a welcome hermeneutic or method for interpretation of our deepest experiences, what Rabbi Heschel called “the recesses of our soul” where the prophet lies in each of us. I have applied them in my writings and teachings on Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, John of the Cross and elsewhere with exciting results.
I have also seen other concepts assist the naming of the journey and therefore the expansion of it. Concepts like: “Panentheism” (all in God and God in all) that deconstructs theism and is the way of mystics and mysticism. The “Cosmic Christ” that names so richly the Living Christ, the Resurrected Christ, the sacredness of the universe both in its macrocosmic reality and its microcosmic reality and that names how all beings are other Christs, ourselves included.
And that corresponds to the “Buddha Nature” in Buddhism and the Tselem or “image of God” in Judaism. We can also call it “cosmic wisdom” and is thus ecumenical.
Père Chenu, who named the creation spirituality tradition for me when I studied with him in Paris in Spring, 1968, talks about both “Continuous Creation” and “Continuous Incarnation.” Both of these are named in the archetype of the “Cosmic Christ.”
Concepts like “Realized Eschatology” and our “Royal Personhood” are found in the Scriptures and also in the mystics and can lead to a new sense of time and of our dignity and responsibility in making justice happen in the world.
So too the recovery of the divine feminine or “motherhood of God” and a refreshed grasp and application of “the sacred masculine” can assist to deconstruct Patriarchy and get us on a healthier path to sanity and survival assisting Mother Earth, not making war with her.
These are just a few concepts that can uplift our spiritual journeys and urge them on, feeding and nourishing them in good times and in bad.
See Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 88-107.
Also see Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ
Also see Fox and Andrus, The Stations of the Cosmic Christ.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: “Reflection of the Cosmic Moment” window by Doyle Chappell, inspired by The Coming of the Cosmic Christ at aChurch4Me, Metropolitan Community Church, Chicago. Published with permission of the artist.
Queries for Contemplation
What concepts do you play with and pray with that refresh your soul and your work?
Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality
Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology): the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.
“Original Blessing makes available to the Christian world and to the human community a radical cure for all dark and derogatory views of the natural world wherever these may have originated.” –Thomas Berry, author, The Dream of the Earth; The Great Work; co-author, The Universe Story
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