Today, we finish a week on the Via Creativa. Among today’s quotations are some on learning and science, as well as quotations on diversity. After our summary tomorrow, next week we will look at the Via Transformativa. In the book, Matthew Fox: Essential Readings in Creation Spirituality, Fox writes, “Beauty, and our role in co-creating it, lies at the heart of the spiritual journey.”

Whether it’s a commissioned mural or graffiti, the impulse for creativity is strong in the human species. (This is in Lisbon, Portugal.) Photo by Jaime.Silva on Flickr.

It is my deepest conviction,
based on my own personal experience
as well as observation,
that learning is one of the most
spiritual, ecstatic, mystical, and prayerful experiences
available to us all. 
(CR, 174)

God loves all of creation,
and science can help us more deeply penetrate
and appreciate the mysteries and wisdom of God in creation.
Science is no enemy of true religion.
 (NR, 65)

The universal urge for diversity
does not extend to everything else except sexuality.
It extends across the board,
to everything,
including homosexual
and transgendered persons. 
(HSM, 149)

Our Lady of Atocha is patron of the Royal House of Spain, and she is housed in a basilica in Madrid. Image by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. in Flickr.

The Black Madonna,
the Great Mother,
is not homophobic.
She welcomes the diversity
of sexual preferences
that are also part of creation,
human and more than human. 
(HSM, 236)

See Charles Burach, ed., Matthew Fox: Essential Readings in Creation Spirituality, p. 58.

See also Matthew Fox, Creativity, p. 174.

See also Fox, A New Reformation, p. 65

See also Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, p. 149

Banner image: Mural of a whale: turning something unattractive into a thing of beauty and wonder. Image by adrimarie on Pixabay.

Queries for Contemplation

Among today’s quotations are some on learning and science, and also on diversity. Which speak to you at this point on your spiritual journey?

Recommended Reading

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.

Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet

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.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow.  Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from FundamentalismLiving in Sin

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 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

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5 thoughts on “Beauty Lies at the Heart of the Spiritual Journey”

  1. Avatar

    Science is always a step behind the ‘realized truth’. Human spirituality more often than not finds that the ‘realized truth’ is short of its grasp. Wisdom holds within it the ‘unending and immortal truth’. Science hypothesizes, formulates, postulates, validates and holds ‘its truth’ for a period of time, until it replaces that ‘truth’ with another. Science looks to validate the natural world and natural existence, whereas the Spirit cannot be poked or prodded as such. The ‘shapeless and formless’, both nothing and everything at the same time, is best experienced through passage of a particular way. The spiritual journey or passage is defined by a ‘divine spark’ in which is to be ignited.

    All meaning that our truth in the human realm, both scientific and spiritual, which is perceived truth, is always going to be short of the ‘realized and unending truth’. This is not to say that science is not useful as it has been shown to be more than useful and will continue to be so as it explores into the farther reaches and depths of ‘the truth’. Science is on a journey of continuous exploration as should be our own spiritual journey of realization. In that, both the scientific and spiritual cover a different dimension that run in parallel with and can crossover with the other. — BB.

  2. Avatar

    “Penetrate and appreciate the mysteries of wisdom in creation”, really speaks to me in my journey. This can and does take place not only through the methods of science. In my experience, spending time with the creation of the all and the everything; in an observant, reflective, meditative and contemplative relationship with; is another way of penetrating and appreciating the mysteries of wisdom in nature.

    Through this sacred communion with, I have learnt much of the mysteries of wisdom that each creature of creation carries within, as a gift given of itself to the common good of the whole. The beauty of this sacred communion with and the wisdom offered me through engaging with creation; has awakened me to co-create this same wisdom and the mystery of this beauty within myself; as I apply what I learn to my life.

    Through the diversity within nature, the creation of the all and the everything, the Great Mother welcomes me; sharing the mysteries of Her wisdom with me… and it is this sacred communion with, and the beauty of this, that lies at the heart of my spiritual journey.

  3. Avatar
    William H McLean

    I read these every morning and look forward to each post… Thank The Team for walking us through Creation Spirituality theme by theme. I have come to appreciate the concept of this being an alternative paradigm for our faith journey!

  4. Avatar

    SPIRIT of DIVINE LOVE~WISDOM~CREATIVITY is PRESENT within, through, among Us in our hearts and daily living giving Us Compassion, Truth, Justice, Healing, Creativity, Beauty, Joy… with one another and ALL of Living physical and non-physical Evolving COSMOS CREATION with-in our BELOVED Co-CREATOR~SOURCE’S LOVING Diverse ONENESS….

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