The Cosmic Christ is a concept of Christ preferred by Paul, in which “all things were created through Him and for Him”; "For in him all the fullness of God is pleased to dwell", "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." "He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power."
This view of Christ is slightly different from the Redemptive Christ, in that the Cosmic Christ would have become man out of love for man and to perfect the universe, regardless of whether Adam had committed original sin.
This is not to be confused with pantheism.
Teilhard de Chardin's Cosmic Christ
The French Jesuit priest and mystical visionary Pierre Teilhard de Chardin early in the 20th century redefined the idea of the Cosmic Christ. He sought to blend science and religion into a single theory of evolution with the postmodern insight that a scientific study of nature and psycho-spirituality cannot be separated.
On June 30, 1962 the Catholic Church warned against the theories of de Chardin in a monitum against his writings. The warning was again reiterated a few decades later in response to rumors that the monitum had been rescinded—it was not.
The esoteric Cosmic Christ
In contrast to Christianity, the pantheistic and monistic gnostic doctrines of Cosmic Humanism and the New age movement have redefined who and what Christ is, and the saving knowledge (gnosis) of Christ, "the light that enlightens every man".
These groups proclaim the doctrine that the Christ has illuminated and indwelt all of the mystical leaders of ancient and modern history: Abraham, Osiris, Hermes, Moses, Ihknaton, Solomon, Hyram from Tyre, Cyrus, Ezra, Krishna, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Buddha, Plotinus, Lao Tse and Kung fu tse, Jesus, Simon Magus, Celsus, the Rebbe Isaac the Blind (founder of medieval Kabbalah), St. Hildegard of Bingen, Guru Nanak, Isaac Newton, Roger Bacon, Cagliostro, St. Germain (Theosophy), St. Francis, Bahá'u'lláh, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Gandhi, Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and others.
The various forms of Mystery religion, from Zen Buddhism and Gnosticism in the first century to New Age Esotericism in the twentieth century and even now, promise their initiates an experiential (not intellectual) form of "illumination" of the whole mind and heart and spirit and body with a bright light like the sun, or brighter and more brilliant than the sun, which is a false light (2 Corinthians 11:14; Colossians 1:13), which rejects all the doctrines and tradition of Christianity, and actually has an intoxicating, exhilarating and addictive spiritual effect on the person. It appeals to and generates intellectual arrogance and elitism. Theistic forms often use biblical terms to promote their claims of offering "God Realization"—"Christ in you, the hope of glory"—"God indwelling the man"—"But we have the real light of Christ"—"You are God".
Against these conceits, which were current even in the first century, the Apostle Paul says, "But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- Colossians 1:12-20; 2:3
- Hebrews 1:2-4
- Hebrews John 1:1-4, Hebrews 14, Hebrews 17-18.
- Teilhard de Chardin: Cosmic Christ, Stephen B. Herrmann (springer.com)
Evolution and the Third Nature of Christ: A study of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's Cosmic Christ (catholicworld.info)
- Warning Regarding the Writings of Father Teilhard de Chardin, by Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (catholicculture.org)
- "the light"—An abbreviated form of John 1:9.