The Logos Continuum: The Incarnation
The term "Cosmic Christ" is a theoretical concept of the Logos. Historically it applied to a particular person, Jesus of Nazareth, who some early Christian philosophers declared the "Incarnation of the Logos." Hence the idea of the Cosmic Christ began to take shape.
During the Fourth century c.e., Christian philosophers (while evolving a Christology) pondered upon the ancient pagan concept of the Logos. They began to apply the title of Logos to Jesus. This was a profound development according to the Yale church historian Jaroslav Pelikan:
"For by applying this title to Jesus, the Christian philosophers...were trying to give an account of who he was and what he had done, and were enabled to interpret him as the divine clue to the structure of reality (metaphysics) and, within metaphysics, to the riddle of being (ontology)-- in a word, as the Cosmic Christ." [Jaroslav Pelikan, JESUS THROUGH THE CENTURIES, Yale University Press, 1985, p. 59]
Also these early Christian thinkers looked at the Logos as the Reason of the Universe, a Reason that structures it into an orderly cosmos:
"God guides [the Universe] by the Logos, so that by the direction, providence, and ordering of the Logos, the creation may be illumined and enabled to abide always securely." [Athanasius, AGAINST THE HEATHEN, p. 41]
The idea that Jesus as the Incarnate Logos had come to *illuminate* creation is indeed fascinating! By becoming incarnate in Jesus, the Logos had enabled human beings to transcend themselves and, in a pregnant phrase of the New Testament, "to become partakers in the divine nature" [2 Pet. 1:4]. The Logos of God has become human, "so that you might learn from a human being how a human being may become divine." [Clement of Alexandria, EXHORTATION TO THE GREEKS, 1.8.4]
Indeed, the Logos was "the true light that enlightens every man!" To quote: "As the Word of God, the Logos has spoken in creation...in the life and teachings of Jesus. As the Reason of God, the Logos made sense out of the maddness of the world and the power of evil. As the structure of the Cosmos, the Logos held forth the promise that there could be a *system* and a connection between the disparate elements of the Universe as it was experienced. As the Savior of the Cosmos, the Logos had not snatched humanity out of the goodness of the created order, but had transformed the created order into a fit setting for a *transformed humanity.*" [JESUS THROUGH THE CENTURIES, P. 69; and Gregory of Nyssa, ON THE MAKING OF MAN, 22.5]
Thus pondering over the idea of the Christ as the Incarnate Logos, perhaps St. Paul sums it up most magnificently:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all Creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." [Col. 1: 15-19]Alas, this majestic concept of the Cosmic Christ has seemed slowly lost to the Church and in particular to general Christianity. But there was one small current of Christianity that kept alive Christ, the Incarnate Logos: the great medieval mystic Meister Eckhart.
Eckhart considered the Incarnate Logos to be the Christ. More so, he believed that *all of existence* was an expression of the Word of God. "All creatures are words of God. My mouth expresses and reveals God but the existence of a stone does the same and people often recognize more from actions than from words." [Matthew Fox, THE COMING OF THE COSMIC CHRIST, Harper & Row, 1988, p. 121]
Beyond this, Eckhart stresses that we have the responsibility to help this Incarnate Logos, this Christ, to attain his full growth. Matthew Fox, a priest and commentator of Eckhart, elaborates that we are all called to "birth the Cosmic Christ in self and society." [Ibid, p. 137]
Eckhart believed that the Christ, the Incarnate Logos, was the "Word of God" calling us to be words of God." For him Christ was the pattern which we were to follow. Fox considered that this Word, this Logos, is a "power that has nothing at all in common with anything else." And this power, this Logos, is in the ground of all our minds. The Cosmic Christ is a blueprint! [Matthew Fox (commentator), BREAKTHROUGH: MEISTER ECKHART'S CREATION SPIRITUALITY IN NEW TRANSLATION, Image Books, 1980, p. 47]
The Logos is the hidden illimination deep in the depths of the Cosmos. And according to Fox's commentary, the "making visible is the work of the Word, the work of revelation." For us this revelation is a breakthrough. When we finally discover the Logos dwelling within us, it is at this point that we "not only give birth to the Son of God but that we, in fact, are reborn as sons of God." Commenting further, Fox stresses that "through our breakthrough we learn not only that we are in God the Creator and in God the Son but also that we are in God the Spirit." [Ibid, pp. 307 & 310]
Through this breakthrough, too, Fox believes that in a sense we are divinized--in that "God the Father actually bestows upon us his own life and being and his Godhead in truth and entirety." [Ibid, p. 346]
For both Eckhart and Fox, it is the Logos who is the hidden Ground of All Creation. It is the Cosmic Christ who is the Living Word, the Incarnation of the Logos. It is all of existence, too, which images the Word. The Word is in the depths of All. The Word is within us. Upon hearing and recognizing this Word, having this breakthrough, it is *we* who further the Word as "words." It is *we* who will sculpt our lives, who will sculpt our Universe, and thus bring forth the Cosmic Christ unto completion.
"From eternity, in the beginning, he created me, and for eternity I shall remain... I am like a vine putting out graceful shoots, my blossoms bear the fruit of glory and wealth... [Sirach 24: 9, 17, 19-20]
But how can the Cosmic Christ be transformed into a *universal* Logos concept, standing far and beyond particular religious institutions and creeds? Matthew Fox returns to the Cosmic Christ as Divine Wisdom calling all the children of God together" "Come, children, drink of my waters which are all common waters. They are free and available to all my children. Drink of my wisdom from your own unique well." [THE COMING OF THE COSMIC CHRIST, pp. 243-244]
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