Beyond Kali: Via Negativa Yielding to the Via Creativa, Transformativa

One wonders if the coronavirus crisis that our species is facing today might be an ultimate example of the Via Negativa in practice—one that leads to much deeper personal and social, indeed species, transformation. 

Earthrise, taken December 24, 1968 by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders (photograph:

Just as the photos from space 45 years ago made clear that our nations are in our heads (and not in the earth), so too the challenges we face might be more in our heads and hearts than in the earth as such.

If so, the solution to global climate change is to be found in our heads and hearts where transformation happens and structures are birthed and let go of.  This is where the spirit acts, this is where the Divine Mother, Kali, Hag, Black Madonna, Kwan Yin—however we name her—does her work.  And her work is one of creativity and birthing (thus “spirit” is feminine in Hebrew and therefore in the Bible). 

The Via Creativa is so often born of the Via Negativa, suffering precedes birthing just as an emptying precedes a filling.   Or as Meister Eckhart put it, “I once had a dream, though a man I was pregnant, pregnant with nothingness.  And out of this Nothingness God was born.”

Before and after photos of a Brazilian couple’s 20-year project to plant 2 million trees restoring a clear-cut 17,000-acre forest. Photos by Sebastião Salgado; from “Photographer And His Wife Plant 2 Million Trees In 20 Years To Restore A Destroyed Forest And Even The Animals Have Returned” on

Might Divinity or Spirit or Unity be born out of the crisis we find ourselves in today as a  species?  Here is one way it could happen: Why not gather the truths we are learning about the suffering of Mother Earth (climate change) and all her creatures, so threatened by extinction in our time; and the suffering of humanity from the coronavirus and do the following: Declare war on those dangers. 

Has the time arrived to replace a militaristic paranoia of war against one another fueled by nationalism, jingoism, xenophobia, hatred, or some idolatrous ideology and to stop feeding our military machines for a doomsday confrontation and instead put that money toward a pool that researches and supports standing up to climate change as well as to coronavirus? 

Historical Defense Spending, 1970-2019. Data from the United States Office of Management and Budget archives, on Wikimedia Commons.

Money to research our common survival therefore.  A true emergency—like WWII was—but one aimed not at one another but at our common enemies as a species: namely, ourselves.  Our Narcissism as a species.  Our hatred toward Mother Earth. 

The money we would save to invest in this new battle would be $56,000 per second!  That is what we are currently spending on military expenditures as a species (of that, 51% is being spent by the USA).  We might keep a modest amount for policing purposes (maybe 10%?) to support peace where strife raises its head around the world or to assist in emergencies often exacerbated by human folly such as hurricanes, rising seas, etc.

This might prove to be a Via Creativa and Transformativa born of a genuine Via Negativa we are undergoing that respects no gender, class, ideology, nation or culture.   Kali would have woken us up.  (to be continued)

See Andrew Harvey, The Return of the Mother

Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.

Banner Image: Jimboomba Police rescued a koala and her joey from fire in the Gold Coast hinterland as wild fires spread across Queensland State. Roughly 1 billion animals perished in the 2019-2020 bushfires; 25,000 koalas are estimated to have survived. Photo from “Australian fires have devastated koala population. Could they be introduced in New Zealand to prevent extinction?” on South China Morning Post, 1/13/2020.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you also recognize in the current coronavirus plague an invitation to change our ways as a species?  An invitation to transformation of self and structures to align more readily with Mother Earth?  What follows from that awakening?

Recommended Reading

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

Your Music Your Way Summit

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5 thoughts on “Beyond Kali: Via Negativa Yielding to the Via Creativa, Transformativa”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you Matthew for this. We are so on the same page. Yesterday, sequestered, I wrote the first draft of a 10-minute play connecting the ideas of no borders seen from space (“Earthrise”) and none respected by the coronavirus. My main character is an astronaut–inspired by your conviction that, “There are more mystic astronauts than mystic Christians.” I’m not happy with the final third; and your reminder that climate change, too, respects no borders may help me on my second draft! Thanks for all you do, for the creativity you inspire in us, the fortification you give us to use our gifts toward transformative action.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Michele,
      I am glad that this Nagativa experience has brought out your Creativa! A ten minute play is the perfect length for Instagram or a YouTUBE video. I hope you find a way to share your work with the rest of the world.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Avatar
    Gregory Chaney Ph.D.

    Thank You, Matthew, for inspiring a Mantra.

    To save Mother Earth here’s where we start:

    “Change the Climate in your Head & Heart!”

    Plotting A Way (In The City of Motherly Love)

    Gregory Chaney
    League of Visionary Artists
    The Mammoth Arts MotherHouse
    Louisville, KY

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Gregory,
      Thank you for sharing the words to your chant. Creativity does come out of negative situations, when we let the loss and darkness speak. I hope that you will find a tune if you haven’t already and will share this chant on the internet. It is an important message that many would find clarifying at this time.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditations Team

  3. Pingback: The Evolutionary Virus? | Seeking the Spirit in the Everyday

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