Pastor Kaye's Blog

The Cosmic Christ

It’s time we move beyond the ancient cosmology to a new one that tells the story of the explosion that created all the energy and particles known to exist anywhere. It’s time to embrace the concept that we are created of the energy and matter there at the beginning. And that energy, present in everything is what we call the Divine Essence, Source, Spirit, God, Goddess, Ground of our Being. Yes, we are all star dust, but we’ve forgotten.

(For the full video version, click here.)

All we have to do is look around us to see that the world is out of balance. We’re a top spinning drunkenly until someday we’ll simply stop. It seems like all of our issues – from global warming to suicide bombers to an opiate crisis – stem from one problem.

We’ve forgotten that we’re all connected.

Theologians like Matthew Fox, believe embracing the Cosmic Christ cosmoscould help to change this. He says,

The premise of the Cosmic Christ is that it is an archetype of the human-divine connection linking all things together.

Last week we talked about the difference between the pre-Easter Jesus and the Post-Easter Jesus. The pre-Easter Jesus, or historical person of Jesus who walked the earth for 30 years was a finite, deeply spiritual Jewish man. The post-Easter Jesus (Jesus as he has come to be known in the decades and centuries after his death) was divine, one with God, infinite and eternal, and was addressed as Lord, Savior, King, Prince of Peace, Son of God.

While all of this perhaps helps us to understand the evolution of the experience of Jesus and the images, metaphors, and symbols used to describe that experience, it stops short of the step we need to take in order to bring harmony and unity to creation.

The pre- and post-Easter Jesus concept still leaves us with a dualistic understanding between body and spirit, between humanity and divinity, between Jesus and us.

Richard Rohr says, “Christians formally believed that somehow Jesus was “fully human and fully divine” at the same time. But with dualistic thinking, the best most of us could do was to see ourselves as only human and Jesus, for all practical purposes, as only divine. We thus missed the whole point, which was to put the two together in him and then dare to discover the same mystery in ourselves and in all of creation!”

The theology of the Cosmic Christ says that the oneness Jesus achieved with the divine which transcended death, was not unique to him. He wasn’t meant to be the one and only who could achieve this connection with God. He was to be the model, the example, the blueprint, for how everyone could connect to God.

Over and over again in scripture are references to Christ as the one who was not only in the beginning before all things, but in whom all was brought to life, in whom all still exists, and in whom all things are held together.

Separation seems to be our greatest challenge in our age. We perpetuate a separation from others as we assert our individuality and independence, have taken “don’t talk to strangers” to the nth degree, communicate via text and email instead face-to-face. And we are more separated from nature than in any other time in history.  We simply go to the grocery store for all our food, instead of growing it ourselves, and we stay inside when it is too hot or too cold. What we need something to remind us that separation is the illusion and that oneness is the reality.

In his book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Matthew Fox tells the story of astronaut Rusty Schweikert:

During the Apollo mission in 1969, astronaut Rusty Schweikert was let out of the capsule on an umbilical cord… Just as he emerged from the capsule, something went wrong within the capsule… and this left Rusty all alone floating around Mother Earth in complete cosmic silence. During this time he had two profound conversion experiences [or awakenings]. He looked back on Mother Earth, “a shining gem against a totally black backdrop,” and realized everything he cherished was on that gem – his family and land, music, and human history with its folly and its grandeur; he was so overcome that he wanted to “hug and kiss that gem like a mother does her firstborn child.” Trained as a jet fighter pilot, he was a typical “macho man,” but a breakthrough of his own powers of maternity came washing over him at that moment in space… Schweikert’s second awakening in space was a political one. He was a red, white, and blue American who believed what he had always been taught – that the world is divided between the “communist world and the free world.” Yet, while floating around Mother Earth he saw that the rivers flowed indiscriminately between Russia and Europe; that ocean currents served communist, socialist, and capitalist nations alike; that clouds did not stop at borders to test for political ideology; and that there are no nations. Nations exist in the mind of the human race alone… Interdependence is what really exists.”

On returning home, Rusty wandered around in a fog for six months, bumping into walls while continuing to ask himself: “Why did God do this to me?” Finally, he concluded that God did this through him so that others might hear the message: compassion, interdependence, shared beauty, oneness.

This was a Cosmic Christ experience.

It’s hard to get past “Christ” as being a name/title for Jesus alone, but what if we started to think of “Christ” as the state we reach when we’ve achieved wholeness – an awareness of the unity that exists between ourselves, the Divine Essence and all things?

What if we understood that being Christ transcends all religions?

What if we understood that being Christ transcends all divisions?

What if we understood this as the pinnacle of the spiritual journey, the goal we seek?

We were not to stand apart from Jesus as observers and say, “wow, look at what he can do!” We were to be participants, true learners of the way to wholeness. And when he said “follow me” it didn’t just mean “hey, I’m going to Galilee, why don’t you come along.” It meant “follow my example, do what I do so that you may experience the kingdom of God, the oneness that exists even if you can’t see it.”

Perhaps we’ve stopped short of believing that we are all capable of the relationship Jesus had with God because it’s much easier to believe that Jesus was unusual and far advanced or beyond our meager capabilities, than to do the work to achieve what he achieved.

It’s never too late to start, though, by practicing mindfulness and opening ourselves to awe and wonder, by a tweak of our perspectives so that we aren’t observers walking through the world, but participants in a huge eco-spiritual-system. It’s never to late to practice compassion and empathy, to learn to walk a mile in another’s shoes before judging. It’s never too late to awaken to the Cosmic Christ – the divine/human/creation connection – within each of us.

Love & Light!

Kaye