So now we’ve looked at two of the paths of Creation Spirituality as we walk them on the Christ Path. We begin with the Via Positiva – the path of awe, wonder, and conscious connection to the cosmos. And then there is the Via Negativa – the path of grief, loss, silence and letting go.
And part of the Via Negativa, besides listening, besides grieving, is also an experience of shakeup, chaos, being turned upside-down to shake the nonsense out. That’s part of the dark night of the soul. All kinds of people are responding to the dark night that we are experiencing now in our souls, in our culture and on this planet.
For example, Pancho Ramos-Stierle – the fellow who was arrested while meditating at Occupy Oakland – said: “It is time for spiritual people to get active and activist people to get spiritual so that we can have total revolution of the human spirit. Because we have the idea that the self-indulgent people are just meditating—they are going to caves and meditation centers while all this madness is happening, or you have people at these meditation centers that are asking how can you bring peace and calm and harmony to the world if you do not have that in your heart? I think that we need both now, and that we need to combine this inner revolution with the outer revolution to have the total revolution of the spirit. Then you can build the alternatives to a collapsing system built on structural violence” (from “Arrested For Meditating? Why It’s Radical To Stay Nonviolent In The Face Of State-Sponsored Brutality” in The Oldspeak Journal, March 4, 2012).
He says, “I believe that nine out of ten actions must be creating the community that we want to live in.” Nine out of our ten actions should be creating the communities we want—that’s the Via Creativa, the path of co-creating with the Divine, out of the wisdom and compassion we gain in the Via Negativa. Creating communities in this context, he says, means “permaculture, independent media, restorative justice, gift economies, free currencies, and preventive medicine. By doing all that, we make ourselves stronger.”
He adds, “One out of ten actions should be obstructive—that is, boycotts and protests and marches and nonviolent civil disobedience…. We must spend a couple of hours each day in receptive silence—any silent spiritual practice that brings awareness and equanimity to our hearts and minds.” Think of it: one out of ten actions has to be about standing up to forces and speaking truth to power. This is the inner revolution.
.He concludes, “Sometimes the most radical thing to do in a polluted violence-based system is to be still. The mud settles to the bottom and we then have a clearer vision about our next steps…. We are the early adopters of a revolution of values, and we are the evidence that the totalitarianism of corporate capitalism—the machine that has devastated the planet and human beings—we are the demonstration that system doesn’t work,” and we can give birth to a new system.
Rabbi Heschel says: “There lies in the recesses of every human existence a prophet.” There lies in the recesses of every human existence a prophet—or, if you will, a warrior. This is such important information, because I said earlier that there lies in the recesses of every one of us a mystic. Yes, we’re all lovers— and we’re all prophets. How do we get to those recesses where the prophet is born?
This is what I think the four paths of Creation Spirituality do for us. From falling in love in the Via Positiva, to the letting go of the Via Negativa, to the birthing of the Via Creativa—all those things. Falling in love, experiencing joy is very, very deep in your recesses. So is grief and sorrow and anger and moral outrage that you feel in the Via Negativa. That’s a recess. As is silence and emptying. But so too is your creativity, when you choose to give birth to anything, it comes from your depths. It comes from your depths. It is your motherhood, your fatherhood. It’s a recess.
So what are you doing on the paths of Creation Spirituality? As you would in a dream, you’re going down, you’re going down into the recesses, into the depths; you’re stirring things up. And out of that a warrior is born, out of that a warrior is nurtured and nourished, and your strength comes through, because you’re in love. In love with people, animals, the forests and the ocean, art, music, poetry, the cosmos.
All four paths feed each other. Not only in love, but you’ve got your imagination going. That’s what creativity is about, isn’t it? Moral imagination. And then you can apply that—you apply Mechtild’s white wine of joy and red wine of suffering, and the creative birthing to the work of healing and justice and compassion.
But it doesn’t stop there, because the goal of justice is not justice. The goal of justice is the Via Positiva: to make life beautiful again for more and more people, to include more at the table of the banquet of life. And that’s why the image we use is the spiral, the open-ended spiral, for this journey. It’s not climbing a ladder to God. It is dancing that spiral – an open-ended spiral, because each path feeds the other, and the Via Transformativa then goes back to the Via Positiva, and celebration gets that much fuller; the round gets fuller and fuller.
To register for the “Cosmic Christ and Youth: The Occupy Generation,” the Christ Path Seminar weekend taking place online and on-site in Burlingame, CA, 10/11-13, see http://www.christpathseminar.org/ai1ec_event/cosmic-christ-and-youth-the-occupy-generation/?instance_id=99
To order the complete 12-DVD set of recordings from the first Christ Path Seminar weekend, “Cosmic Christ and the New Humanity”– including Dr. Fox’s delivery of the Saturday afternoon lecture from which this post is clipped, seehttp://www.christpathseminar.org/participate-by-dvd/
Be sure to sign up on the Christ Path Seminar mailing list to receive word when the DVDs from the second weekend, “Cosmic Christ and the Historical Jesus,” are released!