Shuck and Jive

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Via Positiva in Greencastle

I just returned from an AWEsome few days at Depauw University (Greencastle, Indiana) to celebrate 25 years of Matthew Fox's book, Original Blessing. It was the second annual Creation Spirituality Communities Conference.

I have read Matt Fox's books since seminary, but it was the first time I had a chance to hear him speak and to meet him in person. I also had a chance to meet Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams. They wrote The View from the Center of the Universe in 2006. Check this two minute preview.

It was just what I needed following the events in Knoxville.

Trivia: Joel Primack and John Shuck (yeah, me) went to the same primary school, Whittier Elementary, in Butte, Montana.

I knew you would want to file that information away.

I have pics and more details about the weekend on future posts, but I leave you tonight with twelve principles of Creation Spirituality.

Twelve Principles of Creation Spirituality:

1. The Universe, and all within it, is fundamentally a blessing.

Our relationship with the Universe fills us with awe.

In Creation, God is both immanent and transcendent. This is panentheism which is not theism (God out there) and not atheism (no God anywhere).

We experience that the Divine is in all things and all things are in the Divine.

God is as much Mother as Father, as much Child as Parent, as much God in mystery as the God in history, as much beyond all words and images as in all forms and beings.

We are liberated from the need to cling to God in one form or one literal name.

In our lives, it is through the work of spiritual practice that we find our deep and true selves.

Through the arts of meditation and silence we cultivate a clarity of mind and move beyond fear into compassion and community.

Our inner work can be understood as a four-fold journey involving:

  1. awe, delight, amazement (known as the Via Positiva)
  2. uncertainty, darkness, suffering, letting go (Via Negativa)
  3. birthing, creativity, passion (Via Creativa)
  4. justice, healing, celebration (Via Transformativa)

We weave through these paths like a spiral danced not a ladder climbed.

6. Every one of us is a mystic.

We can enter the mystical as much through beauty (Via Positiva) as through contemplation and suffering (Via Negativa). We are born full of wonder and can recover it at any age.

7. Every one of us is an artist.

Whatever the expression of our creativity, it is our prayer and praise (Via Creativa).

8. Every one of us is a prophet.

Our prophetic work is to interfere with all forms of injustice and that which interrupts authentic life (Via Transformativa).

9. Diversity is the nature of the Universe.

We rejoice in and courageously honor the rich diversity within the Cosmos and expressed among individuals and across multiple cultures, religions and ancestral traditions.

10. The basic work of God is compassion and we, who are all original blessings and sons and daughters of the Divine, are called to compassion.

We acknowledge our shared interdependence; we rejoice at one another's joys and grieve at one another's sorrows and labor to heal the causes of those sorrows.

There are many wells of faith and knowledge drawing from one underground river of Divine wisdom. The practice of honoring, learning and celebrating the wisdom collected from these wells is Deep Ecumenism.

We respect and embrace the wisdom and oneness that arises from the diverse wells of all the sacred traditions of the world.

Ecological justice is essential for the sustainability of life on Earth.

Ecology is the local expression of cosmology and so we commit to live in light of this value: to pass on the beauty and health of creation to future generations.

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