Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Jesus: Our Guide to Mystical Love in Action

Part 2

The Wild Reed's 2017 Holy Week series continues with a second excerpt from "Resurrecting the Authentic Christ: Jesus as Guide to Mystical Love in Action," an interview with scholar and teacher Andrew Harvey published in the 2012 collection of Harvey's works entitled Radical Passion: Sacred Love and Wisdom in Action. (For Part 1, click here.)

This year's series also includes images that seek to depict Jesus as the embodiment of the Cosmic Christ, which, says Harvey, is an expression in the West for the universal force of divine love, "the force of active, divine love that streams from the godhead to the creation."

One of the things that you discover in mystical experience is that the universe is alive in its ultimate depths. There's a very astonishing correspondence between the human consciousness and the divine consciousness. The whole that is the universe is both utterly impersonal and utterly and totally personal. In many mystical traditions the personal aspect is said to be a person. In Hinduism it's said to be the Purusha. In Sufism it's said to be the Friend or the Beloved; and in Christianity it's said to be the Cosmic Christ.

Everyone who's had a mystical experience has come into contact with what you could call the Cosmic Christ, but a very important way of connecting with the fullness of the Cosmic Christ is, I believe, looking at how the Cosmic Christ expressed his or her nature in the life of Jesus. Why this is important is, I believe, because Jesus brought a unique intensity of justice to the world's experience of God.

Other great liberators have helped us to see the nature of desire, to see how we must deal with our emotions, to see the nature of the illusion of the world, but I think Jesus, more than any of the great liberators, wanted to use this power of awakening to transform the existing conditions of the world, to create what he calls the Kingdom on earth. This Kingdom is the kingdom of justice, mercy, and radical equality. It's this kingdom that we need to create on the planet now if it's going to be preserved. We need a mystical awakening that's simultaneously an opening to the highest transcendent godhead and the mystical awakening that makes us aware that we are committed, through that awakening, to act responsibly at every level in society, to change society. We need an awakening, in other words, that's political and active and social and economic as well as purely personal. Jesus is a tremendous guide to the radical inclusiveness of such an awakening.

– Andrew Harvey
Excerpted from "Resurrecting the Authentic Christ:
Jesus as Guide to Mystical Love in Action"
in Radical Passion: Sacred Love & Wisdom in Action
pp. 231-232

NEXT: Part 3

For more of Andrew Harvey's writing at The Wild Reed, see:
Jesus: Our Guide to Mystical Love in Action (Part 1)
The Cosmic Christ: Brother, Lover, Friend, Divine and Tender Guide
Jesus: Path-Blazer of Radical Transformation
The Essential Christ
Andrew Harvey on Radical, Divine Passion in Action
In the Garden of Spirituality – Andrew Harvey
Toby Johnson on the Mysticism of Andrew Harvey
A Dance of Divine Light
Reclaiming a Wise, Spacious, and Holy Understanding of Homosexuality

See also:
The Passion: "A Sacred Path to Liberation"
A Uniquely Liberated Man
Liberated to Be Together
Sufism: Way of Love, Tradition of Enlightenment, and Antidote to Fanaticism
Sufism: A Call to Awaken
Don't Go Back to Sleep
In the Garden of Spirituality – Kabir Helminski
In the Garden of Spirituality – Hazrat Inayat Khan
"Joined at the Heart": Robert Thompson on Christianity and Sufism

Images: Doyle Chappell. About Chappell's depictions of the Cosmic Christ, Kittredge Cherry of Jesus in Love Blog writes:

A Cosmic Christ appears with subtle LGBT symbolism in the work of Chicago artist Doyle Chappell.

He has done variations on the Cosmic Christ theme for years – most recently in colorful windows dedicated Sept. 20, 2015 at A Church 4 Me Metropolitan Community Church where he is a member. The phrase “Cosmic Christ” refers to Christ who is continually incarnated in all creation.

“In the windows for A Church 4 Me in Chicago, the Christ wears a diamond earring on the left ear which for me is a bit of a gay reference,” Chappell told the Jesus in Love Blog.

Multiple intersecting and nested pink triangles within triangles repeat a symbol imposed on gay prisoners in Nazi Germany and later reclaimed by the LGBT community.

“The triangle is more than a gay symbol,” Chappell explained. “It is to me a symbol of ancient wisdom that points to a higher level of consciousness toward the ‘Omega Point’ as expressed by the philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, one of the first theologians to show interest in the ‘Cosmic Christ.’”

Chappell’s art is also inspired by the book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance by Matthew Fox, a Dominican friar who became an Episcopal priest and helped launch the Creation Spirituality movement.

Ultimately Chappell used LGBT imagery to enhance his vision of a Cosmic Christ for everybody. “My main intent was to honor the idea that ‘The Cosmic Christ’ is in all that has been created since the Big Bang and beyond our concepts of Christianity . . . in all particles of creation and certainly all life and honors all who seek to connect with the sacred wisdom,” he said.

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