In the type of creation spirituality advocated by Matthew Fox and Wisdom University, the Via Positiva, way of the positive, is the basic path for the human being. When left to his or her own devices, usually, before a person is tainted and scared with ill beliefs about themselves through traditional stories, or the conditioning that teaches her or him that he or she must look, feel or act a certain way to be worthy or beautiful, one dwells in the path of Via Positiva.Even in the midst of problems during every day life there are times when one reaches the point of Via Positiva. You have probably done so yourself. During Via Positiva you are at a place of equanimity and internal balance.
You feel connected with the world and with the Divine. You can look at life introspectively. You can see the positives and negatives and accept them readily. Many people have implied through various writings, speeches, etc., throughout human history, that he nature of the universe is chaotic.
In Sigmund Freud's view of the mind when he talks about the id, we can see where he has been influenced by western thought. Greek thought, in particular, and most of the western thought that developed as a result of drawing on it understand the world to be chaos. According to such thinking nature, animals, even people who don't act and think like the dominate group often need to be controlled and brought back into order.Watching the news, listening to reporters, listening to certain talk shows?every type of news from the media that is supposed to be intellectual, often presents us with the idea that western civilization is all that stops chaos from occurring.
We often hear the phrase, "democracy may not be the best system, but it's the best that we have." One need not ask why. When one hears this one usually nods in agreement thinking about all of the fighting and chaos that would take place if it was not in place.
In most places in the world, unfortunately, this is an accurate assessment. I don't think that it has anything to do with participatory democracy though. Creation Spirituality, however, does not understand the universe to be in chaos, or the nature of the human being chaotic without the influence of western socialization.
In view of Creation Spirituality the universe is orderly. We only recognize this when we align ourselves with the workings of the universe and work along with it instead of trying to conquer it. The same is true about people. We don't need to conquer people to maintain order, we need to work with people so we are moving in the same direction. This is the idea behind justice in the Hebrew tradition.
It isn't a set of scales, that comes from the Greeks; it is everyone moving in one direction.We also don't fight against what is knows as id or collective subconscious, as it is called by Carl Jung. We align ourselves with it knowing that within it lies every thought, feeling and memory that we've had during our lives, and possibly memories that existed before we were born. When we are aligned with the collective unconscious and connected to the greater universe, we are at peace. We are in our natural state.As we do Karmic Yoga it is important to work at staying in our natural state.
Realizing that we are not doing our work in order to turn chaos into order, or to change the state of the poor people that we are working with to a state like us is first and most important. Staying centered, being at peace, using prayer and meditation to maintain that connection with the Divine and all the people with which we are working are important. As we do this, work so that we are all moving together in one direction, we are creating justice in the biblical sense according to the Hebrew Scripture.
When we can't do this. When things get hard, or when we get tired and discouraged, we move into the second path of creation spirituality, the Via Negativa. In the next article we will discuss Via Negativa and how to deal with our passage into what many call the dark night of the soul..Dr. John Gilmore is a writer, spiritual coach, martial artist, a healer and ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister living in Costa Rica.
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By: John Gilmore