Our Cosmic Mother — Center for Action and Contemplation

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.

Our Cosmic Mother

The Cosmic Egg

Our Cosmic Mother
Thursday, January 28, 2021

The image of the “Cosmic Egg of Meaning” is in some sense maternal, with each dome nestled and held by something larger and more powerful than itself. This is an ancient idea that may be helpful to our postmodern psyches, allowing us to embrace the mutuality of all life. CAC teacher Barbara Holmes puts it this way:

Current science positions the universe as the birthing place of all entities and thus a cosmic mother. New perspectives on the birthing aspects of the universe may also help to depict the life space as one that is intended to nurture. The intricate balances of chemicals and stardust, which must occur for life to appear, mimic the process of human birth. Science provides the images of the universe as initiating/siring and as an expanding womb, ready to sustain life. The birthing is mathematical, complex, and necessary. We are made in the image of a parent/creator who invites us into a cosmic belonging. . . .

We need the embrace of a Cosmic Mother. [1]

My poetic friend and interspiritual teacher Mirabai Starr writes about our relationship and responsibility to the maternal energy of the universe in this way:  

She is your Mother the Earth, and you belong to her. She nurtured you in her dark belly, birthed you in joy, and sustains you at great cost to herself. You have slept in her forests, beneath the safety of her canopy. You have cupped her snowmelt in your hands. You have investigated the life hidden beneath the surface of her deserts, skied her alpine slopes, and biked her slickrock canyons. You have reveled in her generosity and been grateful.

She has never asked much of you in return. Up until now, your gratitude has been enough. Your delight has been her reward. Up until now, she has not needed you as you have needed her. But that is shifting. . . .

“Tell me what is troubling you, Mama,” you whisper, exactly as she always spoke to you when you were small and frightened and bleeding from some injury (real or imagined).

“Pretty much everything, honey,” she answers. . . . “I’ll get through this,” she says. “You’re not getting rid of your old Ma so easily.” She reaches down to smooth the crease between your brows. “It’s you kids I’m worried about.” [2]

Because we have been steeped in patriarchy, we may resist the idea of a “maternal” universe, yet the pattern it reveals—that all life is birthed, held, and nurtured within this cosmos—is undoubtedly true. A cosmic egg, tended, hatched, and nurtured over time is a much better image of all growth than any transactional notion of being saved.

[1] Barbara A. Holmes, Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently, 2nd ed. (CAC Publishing: 2020), 207, 208.

[2] Mirabai Starr, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics (Sounds True: 2019), 135–136.

Story from Our Community:
These words “If you don’t transform your pain, you transmit it” are a matter of life or death. You either get bitter or better. Meeting Jesus again at 40 took the blinders off my eyes and unveiled the tapestry of my story—redemptive suffering, salvation, a loving Father, unconditional love, eternal perspective, a purpose and new beginning. The truth will set you free. —Linda D.

Image credit: Branches and Leaves (detail), Photograph by Thomas Merton, copyright the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. Used with Permission.
Image inspiration: A tree with its leaves can only tell the cyclical story of life alongside a tree that is dying. Life and death in creation weave harmonies to share the rich this-ness of The Story.
Join Our Email Community

Stay up to date on the latest news and happenings from Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation.

HTML spacer