Can a Solar Eclipse Assist in Making Mystics & Lovers of Us All?

Called “the most viewed astronomical event in history,” the solar eclipse on April 8 for those who were in its path did not disappoint.  People said they were “wowed” and “moved deeply” and underwent an “unforgettable experience.” 

Thousands of people along Waterfront Park in Burlington were in awe as the total solar eclipse brought parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine into total darkness. WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Another way to talk about it is that they had a mystical experience.  Humans tend to undergo mystical experiences when they are awakened by Father Sky doing its wonders.  It translates into psyche and cosmos connecting. 

Such experiences touch on all three I’s that a mystical experience is about: Immensity; Intensity; and Intimacy, a reality that humans are hardwired for.  The mystics offer their own one-word definitions of a mystical experience this way:  Ecstasy (Thomas Aquinas); Breakthrough (Meister Eckhart); Oneing (Julian of Norwich); Radical Amazement (Rabbi Heschel).

The mystic remembers the marvels (i.e. miracles) of our existence and how Father Sky interacts with Mother Earth in special ways such as solar eclipses but also in everyday ways such as providing healthy sunshine, protection from radiation, fresh air and fine-tuned atmosphere so suitable for life on earth.

The eclipse brought together gatherings all across North Texas and other communities along its path on Monday afternoon.

It is good when humans are awakened by the cosmos and our relationship to it.  Maybe such an event can move us beyond our pettiness that makes for war, violence, revenge, and strutting to be Number One to being what we really are—brothers and sisters and kin.  

A common and endangered humanity with common goals and a common origin and common needs and a striving for the common good.

One common good also in the news on April 8 was this: The good of a healthy planet.  If a mystic is a lover, then we need to fall in love all over again with Mother Earth and that includes defending her–from ourselves.

A group of older Swiss women have won the first climate case victory in the European Court of Human Rights, charging that their age and gender made them particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate-driven heatwaves. BBC News

An international court in France ruled Tuesday that Switzerland’s failure to adequately tackle the climate crisis is a crime.  The case was brought by more than 2,000 Swiss women, most in their 70s, against the Swiss government. They argued that climate change fueled heat waves and undermined their health and quality of life and put them at risk of dying.  A failure to meet past climate targets was such a violation. 

This decision “sets a historic precedent that applies to all European countries….This is a massive win for all generations,” commented a lawyer with Global Legal Action Network.* 

* See Laura Paddison, “International court rules Switzerland violated human rights in landmark climate case brought by 2,000 women,” CNN, Tues., April 9, 2024

See Matthew Fox, Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality.

And Fox, Christian Mystics: 365 Readings & Meditations.

And Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

Banner Image: A collage of the many phases of the solar eclipse as seen from Pittsburg, New Hampshire, which was the only town in New Hampshire to experience Totality for more than three minutes. Image by KMHTSpotter on Wikimedia Commons.

Queries for Contemplation

Were you moved by the solar eclipse or hear from others who were?  Do you think it fulfills the dimensions of the “3 I’s” that characterize a mystical experience?  Do you think the decision of the international court can inspire many more people and their governments to assert their prophetic vocations to stand up for Mother Earth?

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.

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.

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

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3 thoughts on “Can a Solar Eclipse Assist in Making Mystics & Lovers of Us All?”

  1. Avatar

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Beautiful DM Matthew & DM team, and thanks for reminding us of the Loving Mystical connections between Our Sacred Mother Earth and the COSMOS, Our Unique Inner Sacred Microcosm (Eternal Souls) and Our Outer Sacred Macrocosm — Our SOURCE~CREATOR’S LOVING BEAUTIFUL FLOW of DIVERSE ONENESS….

  2. Avatar

    Yes Love turns us on to see and experience the delicate and awesome beauty of this Life, in all its subtle and powerful cycles of life and death, so we can release our fears and come to Love Life and Live in Life
    with open hearts, honoring the sanctity of who we are, from the tiniest seed to the lightest breath sustaining you and me.
    Just imagine how things would change if we valued everything.
    The Solar eclipse awakened many of us because it united us and showed us how much we are given and how much we share Life on this planet with each other.
    If there is anything we can do it is to take better care of it and love one another.

    Thank you so much Matthew and DM for the light you shine on us.

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for the video of the eclipse. Even watching a recording of it brings tears to my eyes. Let us pray that the impression and experience of awe and oneing touches us all deeply and bears the fruit of unity.

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