The Via Creativa and the Via Transformativa Intertwining, part 1

The more deeply we journey together into the Via Creativa, the more I see the Via Transformativa.  There lies such a deep interaction between the two paths one might say they are “kissing cousins” or that the Via Creativa is baked within the Via Transformativa. 

The Bread and Puppet Why Cheap Art Manifesto. Photo by robotika on Flickr

How can we possibly approach social change and the paths to justice (and dismantling of injustice) without creativity as our tool?  Not only Moral Imagination is necessary but political imagination, economic imagination, imagination about work and relationships and forgiveness and celebration and grieving (rituals anybody?) and so much else.

At this stage of our Daily Meditations I want to call your attention to some previous meditations we did on “The practice of Art as Meditation as the ‘Way of the Prophets.’”  This was so central to our purpose for launching these meditations that the subject came up early and before we launched into the Four Paths that we find ourselves in at this time. 

I refer especially to the following meditations that you can access easily under “Archives.”  Consider especially the DMs for June 14, 15, 17, 18.  And also September 20, 23, 24.

“Make Art Not War” by street artist/social activist Shepard Fairey 

Also, a number of you participants have come on board after we first dealt with “Art as Meditation, the Way of the Prophets,” you especially I refer to these early essays.  But for others who were with us way back in June these meditations are worth revisiting in the present context of our journey, namely the Via Creativa. 

Creativity become a springboard for the Via Transformativa that is always with us (with every day the news throws us into reflection on the Via Transformativa—the painful realization that injustice and human malfeasance continues on so many fronts.)

In today’s and tomorrow’s DM I would like to offer a bit of “enticement” to check out those previous meditations with just a few citations from them (in italics) worthy of consideration anew. 

Psychologists Naranjo and Ornstein call art as meditation “the way of the prophets.” Isn’t this something very important? 

Excerpt from Fools for Christ, on the life and work of Ken Feit.

Art as meditation is about birthing and doing and reaching deep within ourselves where the true self lives.  Art as meditation trains and disciplines us in seeing what is and in what M. C. Richards calls the “moral imagination.”  She says when love seems distant “we may behave imaginatively: envisioning and eventually creating what is not yet present.”  We can imagine beyond the status quo and beyond injustice. 

See, June 14, 15, 17, 18.  Also September 20, 23, 24.
Also see Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 188-201, 250-256.

Banner Image: A Bread and Puppet Theater protest, September 14, 2012. Photo by Bill Benzon on Flickr,

Queries for Contemplation

Are you sensing, as we go through the Via Creativa in its broadest sense, deeper and deeper reasons why the VC is the “linchpin” among the Four Paths and why it is a springboard to the effective action of Justice, Compassion, Celebration and Healing that mark the Via Transformativa?  What are the implications of this for our personal and social growing up?

Do you agree that the VC and VT are “kissing cousins” and the Via Creativa is baked into the Via Transformativa?

Recommended Reading

Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

In this book Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology). Here Fox lays out the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.

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3 thoughts on “The Via Creativa and the Via Transformativa Intertwining, part 1”

  1. Avatar

    This morning, I am following Matthew’s suggestion and reading previous DM’s, beginning with June 14th, 2019; and yes, there have been times when a poem, art piece, or psalm inspires my own creative response. I wrote this poem in response to Mary Oliver’s poem “Making the House Ready for the Lord.”

    “Fixing the Fence”

    Yesterday I was fixing the fence.
    Instead of nails
    This time with a power drill and brass screws
    Because they make for a stronger fence.

    You see the deer
    Or some critters
    Had come in over the weekend
    And eaten the tops off all my tomatoes
    Nibbled all my flowering pansies down to the roots

    I mean I need to eat
    And I deserve to enjoy the neat, trim beauty
    Of my Independence Day garden

    In solitude, or with,
    You know, my friends.

    It’s not that I don’t like wildlife
    I mean it’s fine for them to stay out there
    Beyond the fence

    And the birds
    They’re lovely
    When they sing their mariachi songs

    They are, after all, temporary visitors
    And lovely
    As long as there aren’t too many of them
    And they don’t stay too long

    But the deer and the jackrabbits
    Bringing with them their hungry children
    The skunks and raccoons
    Plundering the woods as they
    Wander into my space
    All their children in tow

    I mean this plot of land is mine
    Didn’t I buy it from God?

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Michele,
      Thank you for the poem. I liked the way you connected us to your winged and furry brothers and sister on your way to connecting us to our true relationship to Earth. How presumptuous of us to say that we own our real estate, that bits of land belong to one human or another…..except in our hearts! Earth is a single organism with many legs, plenty of wings, waterfalls, deserts, and appetites for tomatoes.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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