Thursday, February 11, 2010

Experiencing God

In church on Sunday, the pastor mentioned Matthew Fox, a former priest who now runs a seminary in California that focuses on experiencing God over necessarily learning doctrine. It's a point you could argue back and forth for quite a while, but what I found interesting was a list of four ways that most people experience God. I've put his Latin terms in parenthesis, and I've given them my own names, because I can remember them better, all starting with the same letter. These appealed mightily to me as a poet. If nothing else during the day, I always say a prayer before I start writing...

Wonder (Via Positiva)
-and here is a way that poetry can be deeply spiritual. Or, if you're a friend
of mine, watching nature shows, or looking at images of space...anything to
slow us down, fill us with awe, reset perspective.
Wilderness (Via Negativa)
-for some, their most powerful experience of God is during the hardest times.
I think of when I've moved to a new city and been deeply lonely. God has seemed
more present, bigger...I found it easier to be grateful...
Writing/Creative Works (Via Creativa)
-okay, so this "W" reveals personal bias. Any act of creating fits in this
World Transformation (Via Transformativa)
-social justice, environmental restoration, hands-in-the-dirt, feet-on-the-
ground, hopes-held-high world transformation.

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