A Bold Experiment in the Emerging Gift Economy

Dear Friends of Creation Spirituality: Some VERY exciting news! As announced earlier Andrew Harvey and myself are teaming up to try to resurrect Christianity in a series of weekend seminars/initiations called the Christ Path. This series is now offered at an unprecedented gift economy price of $50 registration per workshop, whether offered onsite or online!

Our first weekend is with Joanna Macy presenting "Cosmic Christ as Doorway into Deep Time.” The March 8-10, 2013 seminar is called Cosmic Christ and the New Humanity and will be in Oakland, CA on 2141 Broadway at the former UCS location.

We, like all of you, recognize what a sorry state our species finds itself in these days, from endless war games (we are spending $39,000 per second on war) to playing the usual fiddles while the planet burns and goes mad with increased storms and the plague of consumer gluttony eating up souls and defining our very economic system through an addiction called consumeritis. Just this morning I received a letter from an active Christian who tells me her young adult children are far more at home calling themselves “atheist” than believers since religion has sold out so boldly to fascism, sexism and more.

Andrew and I feel that a healthy Cosmic Christ spirituality—one that fuses action and contemplation, mysticism and prophecy, masculine and feminine, science and consciousness—can make all the difference. That the revolution unleashed by Jesus might still happen even with time running out, indeed especially with time running out.

Just as the Jesus seminar discovered much that was valuable and useful for those who know and want to know the Jesus story, so too the Christ Path Initiation will offer an awakening that is both substantial and practical to reinvent religion and Christianity. The discovery of the Cosmic Christ tradition helps us to do that. Here is how we describe our audience:

For spiritual seekers who want a comprehensive and living vision of Christian mysticism.

For mystics in the church who yearn for authentic mystical teaching and practice.

For those who have left the Christian church and yet long for a deep, direct connection with Jesus and the message.

For those within the church who are deeply disturbed by the narrowness of church doctrine and church corruption.

We will be conducting four events per year for three years. We meet Friday evenings to Sunday, 1PM. Most events will include a visiting lecturer who will speak Saturday night and interact with myself and Andrew Sunday mornings. Guest Speakers the first year include the following: Joanna Macy; Bruce Chilton; Adam Bucko; Brian Swimme. Second year: David Korten; Caroline Myss (and more).

Andrew sees this series as an opportunity to “distill” our work in the context of providing a spiritual substructure to the social movements of our time. Between us we have written over 60 books on spirituality and culture. Our weekends will give considerable attention to spiritual practices new and ancient, and “distilled” for our times as well as intellectual heft. People can participate in person or by teleconferencing —or some of both.

Please Spread the Word! And come yourselves!

Details are found in the website: www.christpathseminar.org.

Here's to a Birth of the Cosmic Christ in our time,

Matt Fox


Why Such a Low Registration Fee for the Christ Path Seminar? – A Bold Experiment in the Emerging Gift Economy

A Note from Matthew Fox and Andrew Harvey

Dear friends,

We have received your feedback and taken it to heart. We have decided to shift our consciousness around payment options for “Cosmic Christ and the New Humanity.” We want these teachings to be accessible to everyone.

So we are experimenting with a bold approach from the principles of a Gift Economy: we ask that all participants contribute a minimal registration fee of $50 (whether they are attending in person or on line). Beyond that, we intend to experiment in the spirit of the growing “gift economy” consciousness: we will be offering the seminar as a gift.

Rather than assuming people want to maximize self-interest, our starting place is that people want to behave selflessly–with a consciousness of abundance as shown by the Gospel story of the loaves and fishes.

What would it look like if we shared our resources so that everyone’s needs were met? How can a gift economy move us toward this end? What would our lives be like if money were a factor, but not a barrier? We find this opens up huge possibilities for creative co-responsibility and transformative action that is in alignment with the Cosmic Christ consciousness.

As we are doing this within the current economy, and are not seeking any external sources of revenue, we would also like each participant to come mindful of some of the practical aspects of such a strategy.

The seminar is not free. Rather we believe that it is priceless, because how can we possibly measure in money gifts of wisdom, of insight, of prayer, of an engaged learning community, of shared responsibility, of personal and collective transformation?

It’s important for us to have a sense of confidence that when people say they plan to attend, they really mean it. The on-site seminar will be limited to 100 participants. The usual way of getting this kind of commitment is to ask for a non-refundable deposit. If you are willing to demonstrate your clear intention to join us in this way, then please make a payment of $50. If this is an obstacle to your participation, please send us an email so we can engage with you around other options.

If you are moved to make a financial contribution in advance of the seminar, it will be gratefully received and contribute to our current costs.

At the end of the event, we will together look at questions such as: how will we be able to cover the costs of live streaming, facility rental, publicity, travel, as well as stipends to sustain the three teachers?

We will connect in gratitude for all that we have received and then invite each participant either to make a voluntary financial contribution to the real expenses of the seminar, or to move the gift forward through some other way of their choosing.

We view this as an experiment that reflects the new model of workshop we are co-creating with you: an ongoing, creative process of dialogue and transformation.

Blessings, Matthew Fox and Andrew Harvey

“Unlike a modern money transaction, which is closed and leaves no obligation, a gift transaction is open-ended, creating an ongoing tie between the participants. Another way of looking at it is that the gift partakes of the giver, and that when we give a gift, we give something of ourselves. This is the opposite of a modern commodity transaction, in which goods sold are mere property, separate from the one who sells them. We all can feel the difference.”

–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics