The Scriptures abound with news of the Via Positiva! Just a few examples from the Hebrew Bible follow:
“God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31)
“When I look at your heavens,
the works of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you
what are human beings that you are
mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little
lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Ps. 8:3-5)
“The heavens are telling the glory of God;
And the firmament proclaims
The divine handiwork….
In the heavens God has set a tent
for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom
from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its
course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat. (Ps. 19:1-6)
“Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
you set the beams of your chambers
on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.
You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken….
You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills,
giving drink to every wild animal;
the wild asses quench their thirst.
By the streams the birds of the air
have their habitation;
they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water
the earth is satisfied with the
fruit of your work.
You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.
The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has its home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest
come creeping out.
The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises,
they withdraw and
lie down in their dens.
People go out to their work
and to their labor until the evening.” (Ps. 104:1-5; 10-23)
Take any phrase from these readings and be with it; let it wash over you and through you. Chant, draw, or dance it: what does it say to you?
Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.