Jesus said:

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one come to the Father, except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.
— John 14:6-7

Our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the way, but the issue facing us is how do we to follow him? Jesus is more than just an example of life, love, and being that we are to follow. He left us is teachings and the guiding light of the Holy Spirit. As the unprejudiced mirror of the Divine, he shows us how to see and experience the unity of all things in God.

Over the centuries, we have accumulated the tradition of the Prophets, Sages, Evangelists, and mystics. Large parts of these traditions were clouded by the Fall/Redemption beliefs which empowered institutional hierarchies that allowed small groups of people to claim power for themselves in the name of God. To solidify their reign, they taught that there are three paths to God: Purgation, Sanctification, and Illumination. Each of these stages were gated by either the necessity for a priesthood or a rigid adherence to sets of rules that concentrate power in the hands of some righteous few while contrasting themselves with a defined other.

The problem is that Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matt 5:9).” So if we want to be called the children of God, we must be peacemakers.

But wait, the fall/redemption tradition says, didn’t Jesus also say:

Don’t think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn’t come to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at odds against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me. He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
— Jesus, Matthew 10:34-39

Yes, he did, but those words shouldn’t be taken out of context.

Jesus is the literal Son of God, and as such is the perfect peacemaker, so why would he set people against each other? The basic truth that we are all interconnected and should love one another is the sword, and if you don’t believe that then look at what happens when anyone says people should help each other and get along. The diabolical impulse is one that wishes to set people at odds with each other. It divides and sets some people apart from and superior to others.

When we take up our cross and find our lives, we have seen through the lies of superior/inferior, us/them, and leader/follower. Those who benefit from these systems will not tolerate their power being dismantled by anyone, not even Christ Jesus. The Romans crucified him, a man who said his kingdom was not of this world, as King of the Jews because they saw the threat to their power.

So when Jesus tell us:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree can’t bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.
— Jesus, Matthew 7:15-19

We see the problems in the fall/redemption doctrine through its history of justifying slavery, racism, war, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. A good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit.

Along side the fall/redemption tradition, the wisdom or Creation Spirituality tradition as Matthew Fox called it, grew up and taught us how to live in the heart of Christ’s teachings, as humble peacemakers who refuse to make idols of our culture, prejudices, and systems of power.

Unlike the three paths of the fall/redemption tradition, we call the Paths of the Middle Way: The Path of Awe (Via Postitiva), The Path of Silence (Via Negativa), The Path of Creation/Creativity (Via Creativa), and The Path of Transformation (Via Transformativa).

We see life as a great spiral dance between these four paths. As we follow the light of the Holy Spirit to listen for the voice of Divine Wisdom wherever we can find it, we seek to sow peace through practicing mindfulness, compassion, and creativity to forge a path to more just and peaceful world.


What is Creation Spirituality?


The Four Paths are:

The Path of Awe

(Via Postiva)

“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.”

-Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality, 18

This is the Path of Bliss and Awe, the way of Righteousness (Tzedeq), where we pray at the The Altar of Promise and Praise.

The Path of Transformation

(Via Transformativa)

“In the Via Transformativa.  In the relief of suffering, in the combating of injustice, in the struggle for homeostasis, for balance in society and history, and in the celebration that happens when persons struggling for justice and trying to live in mutuality come together to praise and give thanks for the gift of being and being together.  This is Path Four."

-Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality, 18

This is the Path of Transformation and Celebration, the way of Justice (Mishpat), where we pray at The Altar of The God who Provides.

 
 

The Path of Silence

(Via Negativa)

"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."

-Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality, 18

This is the Path of Silence and Letting Go, the way of Equity (Meyshar), where we pray at The Altar of Intimacy and Returning.

The Path of Creativity

(Via Creativa)

“In the Via Creativa.  In our generativity we co-create with God; in our imaginative output, we trust our images enough to birth them and ride them into existence.  This is Path Three."

-Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality, 18

This is the Path of Creation and Creativity, the way of Wise Behavior (Sakal), where we pray at The Altar of the Walk of Faith.