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Via Negativa

An exploration of the second path - how we encounter it, how we deal with the challenges it presents, how we learn to appreciate it

Participants: 27
Latest Activity: Oct 18, 2014

back around

Hi, I started this group a while back - I was dealing with the impending death of my father.  Going through the dying process with him was a really profound experience - I hadn't even begun to process everything following his death when I found, literally within two to three weeks, that I was pregnant.  I ended up having a boy right after last Christmas, and I named him for my father.  Interestingly, he looked like my father from birth.  I definitely feel as though some part of my father is with me in the form of my son.  As soon as he was born, I went through several months of health problems with both him and my daughter.  Again, I felt like I was thrust back into some dark level of experience  for months as I struggled to figure out treatment plans for both kids, fighting to get into doctors, get medications adjusted, etc..  Eventually, everything worked itself out (for now!), but I feel like my life has been a crazy ride the past couple of years of ups and downs.  And I think sometimes when we most need it, we lack the ability to receive helpful messages - or to be able to communicate.  But, maybe that is what the essence of via negativa is, being within yourself for however long it takes to process the experience, only to emerge a changed person, like some kind of chrysalis. Anyhow, I just wanted to say hello - I have been thinking about this group as I have been struggling with what meaning I place on the holiday season (other than that it is just a giant pain having to organize so much with 2 kids).  It seems like it should be more than that!  

Discussion Forum

TEETH EXTRACTION - WHAT A TEACHER 4 Replies

Talk about your via negativia!  I just had all my upper teeth and lower right bottom teeth and talk about pain and the healing process...thank gawd for drugs!  I'm T3'd out to tell you the…Continue

Started by Bruce Ferguson. Last reply by Bruce Ferguson Nov 25, 2011.

VIa Negativia - Can It Be Applied to A Peoples Experience

Hello all.  I am embarking on an interesting journey..and that is to explore how the via negativia can be used as part of a healing/reconciliation process or project through the Cosmic mass for…Continue

Started by Bruce Ferguson Nov 14, 2011.

Sources of wisdom 2 Replies

Hi, I wanted to start this discussion to get some thoughts from people on various books, songs, poems, etc. that have been helpful in either opening up the ability to stay in a moment of grief and…Continue

Started by Vestalilla. Last reply by Liz Shaw Sep 18, 2010.

ANGER! 6 Replies

The past few days I've been dealing with a lot of anger.  If I've always had a pretty solid relationship with my father, I've definitely had a more tumultuous relationship with my mother.  Lately, I…Continue

Started by Vestalilla. Last reply by Áine Máire Bríd, OAK Mar 18, 2010.

Comment Wall

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Comment by Ed on March 7, 2010 at 11:29pm
Hi Matt, just to clarify, I was thinking of the analogy only as far as you can't have one without the other. If you think about it, if you're painting on a canvas, you also have to have light to show darkness.
Comment by Vestalilla on March 7, 2010 at 1:42pm
Welcome to Cheryl! Thanks for joing us -
Vestalilla
Comment by Vestalilla on March 7, 2010 at 6:05am
Anne, that is beautiful, thank you so much.
Comment by Vestalilla on March 7, 2010 at 3:07am
Thanks, Matt and Carl for your thoughts - it is very helpful to hear how others define via negativa. the more ways we have to frame the concept, the more ways we have to enter into this time and honor it.
Comment by the rev Carl Freeman Reynolds on March 7, 2010 at 2:17am
Our perception of darkness is defined by the limitations of our ability to "see" in what we know as visible light. We can artificially "see" in xrays, ultra-violet and other radiations, of which visible light is but a minute spectrum, within a huge spectrum. If we could "see" in the entire spectrum, there would no darkness at all, just various shades, hues, tones, etc. of "light". My experiences with Via Negativa is that though it may appear to be dark at times, the light is still there. Wonderful site!!! Carl
Comment by Matt Henry on March 6, 2010 at 11:03am
Hi Ed, I think your analogy (below) is accurate (though I think analogies are never "adequate" in the sense of "sufficient"). There's aspects the Via Negativa, and there's more, too. There's also the importance of letting the darkness be, for its own sake, and not just as a bridesmaid to light. The cosmos, after all, is more dark than light. But certainly, your analogy is one that honours darkness so much more than, say, "every rose has its thorn," which makes the negativa aspect necessary yet unwelcomed. The challenge of the via negativa, I think, is to welcome the darkness.

An accompanying analogy from the field of music would the "rests" which sit amongst the "notes", but not just the rests "in" the music, but also the vast silence that precedes and follows the music. I suppose, likewise in writing, the negativa aspects includes all that is unsaid, and that includes before the beginning and after the end of the writing, too. I think via negativais much larger than via positiva, in this sense, and the former gives birth to the latter.
Comment by Vestalilla on March 6, 2010 at 11:01am
Welcome, Ed, welcome, Matt! Ed, I think that's a great analogy. Literally, for me, I know that I always add elements of light as the last stage of a digital piece of art. But, the important thing I think is - do you think it's an adequate analogy? :) I say that since I know I'm not the expert!
My dad and I were talking about "Original Blessing" today and I said that one thing I love about Fox's work is that he gives you his message in different ways, using different analogies and quotes from different thinkers. Thanks for sharing this great analogy with us!
Comment by Ed on March 6, 2010 at 9:17am
A thought just popped into my head... When talking about painting and how to paint, I've heard a some artists say that you have to have darkness to show light. Is this an adequate analogy for Via Negativa?
Comment by Vestalilla on March 5, 2010 at 3:32pm
Welcome to neverness and Molly - I hope that you both will find something of value here and look forward to getting to know you better -
Vestalilla
Comment by Vestalilla on March 4, 2010 at 2:00pm
Welcome, welcome Aine and Rev. Carl! Thank you for joining us. Please start a discussion, make yourselves at home! Just got my Elisabeth Kubler Ross books in, so am going to delve in...
 

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