Cosmic Consciousness and Justice

I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Pax Christi Florida retreat directed by John and Martina Linnehan. The beginning activity was the cosmic walk. Various versions are available at ( The activity made me intensely aware that the universe flared forth from the Infinite Mystery some 15 billion years ago. Details of the emergence of the universe, such as the fact that oxygen initially caused a mass extinction, cause me to marvel at the Creator behind an intelligent, self-evolving universe. Everything that exists gives praise and glory and honor to the Creator from which it flared forth.
Essentially, biblical justice means right order, right relationships among the Creator, the universe and creatures. Reading Irish theologian Diarmuid Ó Murchú, I came across this line, “The capacity to relate may well be the most basic element of our spiritual makeup as a human species.” He goes on to say, “Could it be as anthropological studies increasingly verify, that co-operation is more innate to our evolution than competition?” Ó Murchú cites the mystic, Hildegarde of Bingen, “Everything that is in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.” He also recaptures the cosmic richness of Celtic spirituality which sees an intimate connection between creation, creatures and the Creator God.
With beginning of the agricultural revolution and continuing through the industrial revolution, we have morphed into a patriarchal society. We have lost our connected with the Mother Goddess, with the feminine. Patriarchy is about command and control, domination and exploitation. Reading Ó Murchú, I became increasingly aware of what male domination and patriarch have done to our spirituality and the fundamental biblical concept of justice.
Then, today, I was reading Ched Myers commentary on Mark’s Gospel—Binding the Strongman: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus. The commentary dwelt on the self-serving request of James and John to be seated at Jesus’ right hand in the coming kingdom. To soften the blow of this manifest self-seeking, Matthew ascribes the request to their mother. Not Mark—he tells it like it was! Jesus has just told the disciples that he must go up to Jerusalem where he will suffer, die and be put to an ignominious death as a capital criminal on the cross. It goes right over their heads. WIFM (What’s In It For Me?) rules supreme in a patriarchal society. Jesus has to stop, get the disciples’ collective attention and tell them that his kingdom is about service, the humble service symbolically represented in the washing of the feet. Myers concludes that the women around Jesus, not the men, were ready for the service demanded by the reign of God. I never realized that Mark tells us that Peter’s mother-in-law, rose up and served them when Jesus cured her (Mk. 1:31). Myers reminds us to fast forward to the crucifixion and the events that followed. The women who were capable of servanthood were the faithful witnesses at the crucifixion and were the heralds of the news of the resurrection. One other note that makes me reevaluate things is the comment that the people at the right and left hands of Jesus on the cross were the “criminals” who had challenged the empire.
Relations, relationships, right order, connectedness, and service are the ingredients of the evolving universe and the nonviolence of Jesus. Myers says that Jesus embodies “the way of nonviolence. . .He has come to serve. . .and also give his life, refusing to ‘save’ it (see 8:35).” Servanthood is the way to liberation, not domination, power and exploitation of creation or creatures. Nonviolence is about right order, right relationships, connectedness, service and cooperation.
Ó Murchú reminds us that creation is the first and primary revelation of the Creator. Religion has hijacked the spirituality of the Mother Goddess and converted it to serve patriarchy and domination. Much of our scriptures, not to mention the church that evolved, extols the values of domination, control and exploitation and projects them unto our concept of God. Ó Murchú says that we “are rediscovering our creative cosmos and reconnecting the innate sacredness of the planet earth itself.”
Spirituality supersedes religion. It is the task of spirituality, indeed the very task of justice seeking, to liberate us from paradigms which drag us down and blind us to the wonder and beauty and awe embedded in the “unfolding of divine co-creativity.”
Praise the creator who is still flashing forth in the evolving universe where destruction and creativity, death and resurrection, create a magnificent outflow of the wonder of the Great Mystery, the creator God who gives birth to the continual newness of life and the hope that accompanies it.
Thomas Keating, the wonderful Trappist monk from Snowmass, Colorado, teaches us about centering prayer ( In centering prayer we access the mystery of the Creator within us. We are grounded in relationship to the Creator. We are still and we know the Creator God who enlivens all that is and all that will be. Here is the connection between cosmic consciousness and justice seeking. We must enter into our “’inner room where we are the Creator God we encounter in the depths of our being. Silence, the silence that permeated the void before the universe flashed forth, is the language of the Creator. Entering into that silence grounds us in the Mystery of the evolving universe.

Leave a Reply