Celebration & Reflection on the Four Paths

devised by a GreenSpirit group in Devon
Celebrating the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality; via positiva, via negativa, via creativa and via transformativa, can provide a useful way of encompassing different aspects of the spiritual journey. Here are some resources and poems.

 Via Positiva

Be still
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try
To speak your
Listen to the living walls.
Are you?
Silence are you?  ~Thomas Merton

The earth is not a dead body, but is inhabited by a spirit that is life and soul. All created things, minerals included, draw their strength from the earth spirit. The spirit is life, it is nourished by the stars: and it gives nourishment to all the living things it shelters in its womb. Through the spirit received from on high, the earth hatches the minerals in her womb as the mother her unborn child ~ Basilius Valentinus

I feel the water flowing
I feel the water flowing,
Underneath the ground;
I hear the grasses growing
Without a sound.
I see the trees so tall
In the sunlit skies;
I’m thankful to the Earth for growing
Right before my eyes. ~Connie Berens


Via Negativa

The ground of the soul is dark
Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness. ~ Meister Eckhart

Yet no matter how deeply I go down into myself
My God is dark, and like a webbing made
Of a hundred roots, that drink in silence. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
We have forgotten who we are
We have alienated ourselves from the unfolding
Of the cosmos.
We have become estranged from the movements
Of the earth
We have turned our backs on the cycles of life.
We have forgotten who we are.
Now the forests are dying
And the creatures are disappearing,
And humans are despairing .
We have forgotten who we are.
We ask forgiveness
We ask for the gift of remembering
We ask for strength to change.
We have forgotten who we are ~ United Nations Environmental Sabbath Programme
You are the last whale,
Washed up on a far beach.
The waves are pushing against you,
Your brothers and sisters are gone.
The light is too bright for your eyes.
You cannot breathe,
Small children are throwing rocks and laughing,
Climbing on your body;
You die alone, your ears are full of wind.
You are the last buffalo,
The sun is setting over the plains.
You stand alone, enormous,
Heavy with fur, lonely.
You are tired of running, tired of running.
All your friends have gone
It seems even the earth has turned against you.
There is no-one to say goodbye.
You rest, listening to the wind.
When the time is right,
The spirit of the wolf returns. ~ Gary Lawless.


Via Creativa

Flame-dancing Spirit, come
Sweep us off our feet and
Dance us through our days.
Surprise us with your rhythms;
Dare us to try new steps, explore
New patterns and new partnerships;
Release us from old routines
To swing in abandoned joy and
Fearful adventure. And
In the intervals,
Rest us
In your still centre. ~ Collect from ‘Women Included’

The violence of the Universe is everywhere. Out of that violence galaxies were born, and we need to learn to use it creatively, not let it paralyse us, to act our part in the cosmic drama.
The earth has lost its story, but perhaps a new story is emerging out of the depths of the universe. Ideas are pressing from the future, and need to be explored. Comfort doesn’t help, strength is needed. We must chose our world from the source of our dreams, to enter the world of love and wisdom, and that will shape our world ~ Brian Swimme

Something is afoot in the universe, a result is working out which can be best compared to a gestation and a birth: the birth of a new spiritual reality formed by souls and the matter they draw after them. Laboriously, by way of human activity and thanks to it, the new earth is gathering, isolating and purifying itself. No, we are not like flowers in a bunch, but the leaves and flowers of a great tree, on which each appears at its time and place, according to the demands of the All. ~ Teilhard de Chardin. Human Energy


Via Transformativa

My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely,
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world . ~ Adrienne Rich. The Dream of a Common Language.

When we get out of the glass bottles of our own ego,
and when we escape like squirrels from turning in the cages of our personality
and get into the forest again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don’t know ourselves.
Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down, we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like
burnt paper. ~ D.H.Lawrence

Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.    ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Never before has the human community been confronted with a situation that required such sudden and radical change in lifestyle under the threat of the comprehensive degradation of the planet and its major life systems….When we hear corporations speak of “feeding the world” as a global enterprise, we can only reflect that feeding themselves belongs to each local community. It belongs to any people to be intimately related to the region of their dwelling. This includes a mutual nourishment…..We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation. ~Thomas Berry. ‘The Great Work’