Creation Spirituality

Exploring the relationship between the paths of Creation Spirituality with the reformation of the Christian Faith. For those in exile, we are looking for a home here.

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Location: Poplar Bluff, Missouri, United States

C.E. Dorsett was a storyteller since childhood from Poplar Bluff, MO, to Frederick, MD, immersing himself in mythology from around the world. An artist, a writer, and a dabbler in electronic music, he has been working hard to harness the full power of his imagination. His love of Science Fiction / Fantasy / Horror and all things gothic have been his guide. One night, in a small apartment in Oakland, CA, he awoke from a dream with the idea for the novel, Liquid Sky, now available.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Via Negativa

There are times in our life when we feel like God is absent. We feel pain, isolation, and perhaps even terror. Many times we react to these experiences as if they are alien forces intruding on our life. While it is true we should do everything in our power to rid the world of suffering and isolation, we must realize that solitude, silence, and trust in the unseen are the counterparts of all that we fear and dread. This is shadow and darkness in everything. This is the Via Negativa: the Way of Silence.

In silence and meditation, we experience the depth of God, and come closest to the ineffable Maker of all things. Our Jewish brothers and sisters call meditation, "hitbodedut," which means self seclusion. If we do not accept Silence, we will not hear God. If we do not accept our pain, we will suffer rather than grow. The Prophet Elijah weighted for the silence to hear the voice of God. St Bernadette and St Julian of Norwich endured their pain , and brought blessings to us all.

I am not encouraging isolation. I am to encouraging people to ignore their pain or the pain of others. Until we accept silence, emptiness, and even pain as a valid part of our spiritual journey, we cannot do anything about them.

Where can God be found? "In the Via Negativa. In darkness and nothingness, in the silence and emptying, in the letting go and letting be, and in the pain and suffering that constitute an equally real part of our spiritual journey. This is Path Two (Fox, Creation Spirituality, 18)."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Via Positiva

“The Via Positiva represents a new power, in the sense that it has been forgotten; the power that pleasure is and that wisdom is (Fox, Original Blessing.34).” I often refer to the Via Positiva as the Way of Bliss. It is the experience of Bliss in the world, and the direct experience of the Beatific Vision. Heaven is right here; God is right here. In the midst of wherever we are, we can find the glorious Beatific Vision, the vision of Heaven and the Glory of God. Here, in the Via Positiva, we can easily encounter the aspect of God that is open, infinite, and immanent.

Looking out at the world, we learn to see it as a tapestry of relationships. Wisdom is learning how to live within this web of relationships, and trusting that these unseen hands will guide us along the way. The Via Positiva is not passive; it is the active pursuit of wisdom and God. All too often, we sit and wait for the world to come to our rescue. If we are not active participants in the mysteries of life, we deny ourselves the blessings of the world.

“The Via Positiva is a way of tasting the beauties and cosmic depths of creation, which means us and everything else (Fox, Original Blessing.34).” This Path is the foundation for all the others. This is the place where we receive the tools to sharpen our encounter with all of the other mysteries set before us.

Where can God be found? “In the Via Positiva. In awe, wonder, and mystery of nature and all beings, each of whom is a ‘word of God,’ a ‘mirror of God that glistens and glitters,’ as Hildegard of Bingen put it. This is Path One (Fox, Creation Spirituality.18).” Many stop here and go no further, but the spirit moves us forward.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

What is Creation Spirituality?

“The fall/redemption spiritual tradition is not nearly as ancient as is the creation-centered one. The former goes back principally to St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.); to Thomas a Kempis, who said, ‘Every time I go into creation, I withdraw from God’; to Cardinal Bossuet; Cotton Mather; and Father Tanquerry. The creation-centered tradition traces its roots to the ninth century B.C., with the very first author of the Bible, the Yahwist or J source, to the psalms, to wisdom books of the Bible, to much of the prophets, to Jesus and much of the New Testament, and to the very first Christian theologian in the West, St. Irenaeous (c. 130-200 A.D.) (Fox, Original Blessing.11).”

Creation Spirituality is a living alternative to the fall/redemption tradition. Matthew Fox has been very active in naming this path, and helping to bring more attention to this much-neglected aspect of our tradition. Now I have to say, I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Fox, but I have to warn you, I am not a cheerleader for his books. While I do encourage you to read his books, and check him out for yourself, I do have a few disagreements with him. Now don’t take me wrong, I agree with him more often than not, but I approach Creation Spirituality from a different angle than he does.

The Via Media of Creation Spirituality
The power of Creation Spirituality is the naming of the Via Media (Middle Way) of the life of faith in four part.

Via Positiva (The Affirmative Way)

The affirmation, trust in, and use of religious metaphor to enrich and guide the faithful. This is the path of study.

Via Negativa (The Silent Way)
The negative confession: the denial of permanence and separateness, and acceptance of the cloud of unknowing. This is the path of mediation.

Via Creativa (The Creative Way)
The acceptance of our nature as co-creators with God of the world in which we live. This is the path of creativity.

Via Transformativa (The Transformative Way)
The activism for justice the grows out of the life of faith. This is the path of liberation.

The Four in One
These four paths are the heart of Creation Spirituality. Through an understanding of these paths, we gain a better understanding of the journey of faith. This is the missing heart of the faith.