Over the next four weeks, we are going to be looking at the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality in Matthew’s own words, beginning with his definition of the concept.
For instance, he writes in Matthew Fox: Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality:
The four paths of creation spirituality first emerged for me on examining my own experiences and on encountering Eckhart. It is one thing to talk about the Via Positiva and the Via Negativa, but if you put them together, they are like an electric charge—the positive and negative make sparks; they make a third thing—the Via Creativa. And that in turn gives birth to a fourth thing: Compassion, Justice, Celebration… The naming of the journey in four paths constitutes the very backbone or structure of creation spirituality.
In A New Reformation, he writes:
The Four Paths
named in the creation spiritual tradition
more fully name the mystical/prophetic spiritual journey
of Jesus and the Jewish tradition
than do the three paths
of purgation, illumination, and union,
which do not derive
from the Jewish and biblical tradition.
THE VIA POSITIVA
… God is experienced through
ecstasy, joy, wonder, and delight
And in The A.W. E. Project, he brings it into a cosmological context:
Without knowing where we come from or when
(that is, how long it took)–we are lost.
Cosmology teaches us where we come from,
where ‘here’ is,
and therefore gives us a hint
as to where we are headed.
If we don’t know our origins,
it is very difficult to be clear on our goals.
Cosmology is about time and space.
See Matthew Fox, Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality, p. 53
See also Matthew Fox, A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity, p. 85
Also Matthew Fox, The A. W. E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human, p. 104
Banner Image: “Four Paths” Via Positiva: “Sunset Radiance” by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash. Via Negativa: A firefighter and koala stand before a bushfire near Lobethal, South Australia. Photo from Eden Hills Country Fire Service . Via Creativa: Dancers, Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash. Via Transformativa: A vicar is arrested during the Extinction Rebellion protests, London, UK October 2019. Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash.
Queries for Contemplation
Over the next four weeks, chart yourself on a calendar as to what path you were walking on a given day.
Matthew Fox: Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality
Selected with an Introduction by Charles Burack
To encapsulate the life and work of Matthew Fox would be a daunting task for any save his colleague Dr. Charles Burack, who had the full cooperation of his subject. Fox has devoted 50 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality and in doing so has reinvented forms of education and worship. His more than 40 books, translated into 78 languages, are inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions and have awakened millions to the much neglected earth-based mystical tradition of the West. Essential Writings begins by exploring the influences on Fox’s life and spirituality, then presents selections from all Fox’s major works in 10 sections.
“The critical insights, the creative connections, the centrality of Matthew Fox’s writings and teaching are second to none for the radical renewal of Christianity.” ~~ Richard Rohr, OFM.
A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality & The Transformation of Christianity
A modern-day theologian’s call for the radical transformation of Christianity that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality. A New Reformation echoes the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517 and offers a new vision of Christianity that values the Earth, honors the feminine, and respects science and deep ecumenism.
“This is a deep and forceful book….With prophetic insight, Matthew Fox reveals what has corrupted religion in the West and the therapy for its healing.” ~Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography
The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human
The A.W.E. Project reminds us that awe is the appropriate response to the unfathomable wonder that is creation… A.W.E. is also the acronym for Fox’s proposed style of learning – an approach to balance the three R’s. This approach to learning, eldering, and mentoring is intelligent enough to honor the teachings of the Ancestors, to nurture Wisdom in addition to imparting knowledge, and to Educate through Fox’s 10 C’s. The 10 C’s are the core of the A.W.E. philosophy and process of education, and include: compassion, contemplation, and creativity. The A.W.E. Project does for the vast subject of “learning” what Fox’s Reinvention of Work did for vocation and Original Blessing did for theology. Included in the book is a dvd of the 10 C’s put to 10 video raps created and performed by Professor Pitt.
“An awe-based vision of educational renewal.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.