Thomas Aquinas & Deepak Chopra on “the Glory of Existence”

In a time of struggle and darkness, with lies and false prophets with very large megaphones and audiences, it helps to call on the wisdom of great souls and minds who will give us grounding and perspective. 

This is the Carina Nebula. The Webb Space Telescope reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth. Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

Such people can call us back to the basics, to how our existence after 13.8 billion years of the universe unfolding (today’s science) is, as poet Rilke named it, a “miracle,” that is a wonder or marvel.  Something worth marveling about and responding to with awe that in turn fills us with more wonder.

Deeper than human folly after all is the wisdom of the universe and creation and Creator.  Following are some insights from Thomas Aquinas, who is a wise ancestor, about the presence of divinity among us:  God is in all things in the most intimate way. Insofar as a thing has existence, it is like God. Just as flaming up comes with fire, so the existence of any creature comes with the divine presence. The first fruit of God’s activity in things is existence itself. All other fruits presuppose this one, namely, existence.

God is in all things in the most intimate way. Photo by Laura College on Unsplash

Aquinas is so confident about the absolute holiness and divinity of existence itself. Where does he derive this confidence about the graced mystery of existence?  Says he: God is pure existence. The existence of all other things partakes of God’s. God is essential existence, and all other things are beings by participation. The essence of God is God’s existence.

Moses was taught this sublime truth when he asked: “If the children of Israel say to me, ‘What is God’s name?’ what shall I answer them? The Lord replied: ‘I am who am; so shalt thou say to the children of Israel: The One who is has sent me to you’ (Exod. 3:13-14).’

Turning from a Christian theologian of the 13th century to a Hindu philosopher and medical doctor of the 21st century, Deepak Chopra  writes: “God is not a mythical person—he is Being itself.”

“God is pure awareness” by Deepak Chopra. (One excerpt: “The physical body is recycled cosmic stardust.”) The Chopra Well on YouTube

He elaborates:  The vast physical mechanism we call the universe behaves more like a mind than like a machine.  How did mind ever find a way to manifest as the physical world?…The very fact that anything exists is supernatural—literally beyond the rules of the natural world.  Yes, the true miracle is existence itself.  

To be continued

Adapted from Charles Burack, ed., Matthew Fox: Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality, p. 100

And Fox, Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality, pp. 99f.  

And Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God, p. 5.

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

Banner image: The Glory of Existence. Photo by Laura Ferreira on Flickr

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree that the vast universe behaves more like a mind than a machine? And that “the very fact that anything exists is” is the miracle?  And that existence precedes all other activities? What follows from that?

Recommended Reading

Matthew Fox: Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality
Selected with an Introduction by Charles Burack

To encapsulate the life and work of Matthew Fox would be a daunting task for any save his colleague Dr. Charles Burack, who had the full cooperation of his subject. Fox has devoted 50 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality and in doing so has reinvented forms of education and worship.  His more than 40 books, translated into 78 languages, are inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions and have awakened millions to the much neglected earth-based mystical tradition of the West. Essential Writings begins by exploring the influences on Fox’s life and spirituality, then presents selections from all Fox’s major works in 10 sections.
“The critical insights, the creative connections, the centrality of Matthew Fox’s writings and teaching are second to none for the radical renewal of Christianity.” ~~ Richard Rohr, OFM.

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12 thoughts on “Thomas Aquinas & Deepak Chopra on “the Glory of Existence””

  1. Avatar
    Linda Chamberlain

    In the Daily meditation which I have been receiving for years I am no longer able to click on any part of it to open any window or Matthew’s comments.

    1. Avatar

      I was having a similar problem and e-mailed “reply” at the bottom of the e-mail to explain the problem and received help. I hope that you can get assistance also. These DM’s are important to me and are part of my daily routine.

  2. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    I do agree that the vast Universe behaves like a mind… in which I would add… in communion with the heart and spirit. I see this as Consciousness being the gracious exchange of LOVE energy. Love is the divine exchange, the unfolding, evolving emergence and convergence of interrelationships; of sacred conscious communion with this Divine Love… present in its essence within all that which exists…which draws all creation into a vital union of living Oneness and Wholeness.

    We are all BEING loved TO love… each one evolving in our capacity to more consciously love ourselves, others and the all and the everything of creation… each one on the journey of becoming and being a fuller expression, manifestation and incarnation of this LOVE… through sacred communion with.

    We are all in the midst of this mysterious movement… all being drawn into one dynamic, extravagant, glorious single LIVING BEING. The whole universe is imprinted with the same desire… to share in the transformative process of becoming and being this LOVE… to unite in the bonds of conscious creative communion with this LOVE… forming new ways of consciously converging with this LOVE… birthing, nurturing, cultivating, kindling this continuous incarnation of Divine LOVE of God, all in all.

    This is the Grand Option we are all invited and called to consciously participate in, with, for and through the sacred journey of life.

  3. Avatar

    It is a beautiful mystery that God is the Source, Creator and Presence of All Being and Existence, and that our unique eternal souls, our microcosm, are co-Creator~Evolutionary parts of that macrocosm Loving~Wisdom Mother~Father Creator… The awareness of our unique living physical reality and human identity in this physical world has to be integrated with our cosmic consciousness of Being also in Sacred Loving Oneness within God’s Being and within All God’s ongoing co-Creation~ Existence….

  4. Avatar

    The “mind” that Mr. Chopra is talking about is what has always been referred to as the “Mind of God.” The Mind of God is Pure Spirit along with our ego (everyday mind). Our egos morph away from Pure Spirit and can be referred to as “impure spirit.” The Mind of God is in us and is our Universal Consciousness, God Consciousness, Universal Self, Oversoul, Group Soul, Great Spirit-Holy Spirit-Christ-Krishna-Buddha-Yahweh-Allah-Consciousness. This Spirit to mind force is in all of us as our Holy Spirit and is capable of manifesting in us through our bodies and personalities. Our Pure Spirit Consciousness along with ego is our group psychology within the overall Cosmic Christ energy.

    1. Avatar

      Such beautiful quotes by Thomas Aquinas! And let’s not forget the famous Hindu saying, that God is Sat-Chit-Ananda, meaning Being-Consciousness-Bliss. God is not only pure Being but also pure Bliss, the bliss of manifesting the universe and everything in it, the bliss of the One expressing itself in the manifold. And we can partake of this blissful consciousness too, by attuning to it, or simply by contemplating the awesome beauty of nature.

  5. Avatar

    Ice argued that it’s superior to mere water.
    Water argued that it’s better than stupid hydrogen and oxygen.
    Hydrogen and oxygen argued that they’re classier than just any old elements of the universe.
    The universe’s elements argued,,,

    Meanwhile, I drank a nice cup of ice water
    and gave it an identity crisis.

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