Creation Spirituality Communities

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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 Vestalilla on March 4, 2010 at 7:47am
PS, I saw some familiar names there in the credits to your link! Amazing collaboration!
Comment by Vestalilla on March 4, 2010 at 7:32am
Anne, I had the chance to listen to your music today, and thank you so much for sharing this with me - and with the world through youtube (I'll just speak on behalf of the world, I'm sure it won't mind ;)
I listened to all your Ave Marias and other contributions - MsRefiye is my codename on Youtube, at least since I forgot my other User ID. I have often thought that if I could have one gift, I would love to be able to sing. I'm okay for a lullaby here and there, but to be able to really sing - that must be an amazing feeling. Such a release and joy - to have your voice come from your thoughts and your heart and to be able to evoke feelings and emotion in others. Wow. My early forays into the performing arts were just terrifying. I had never associated images of the cosmos with the divine feminine before, and found this so interesting and freeing. I keep thinking of (here I go again) Joseph Campbell's invocations to "hear the music of the spheres" which, to simply his ideas ridiculously, I always took to mean to work to develop your own mythology, cosmology, so that you felt you had a place within the universe. Thank you for sharing your gift with us so that we may move forward in our own work towards this goal.
Comment by Vestalilla on March 3, 2010 at 9:49pm
PS, Welcome to Mary too! I honored by your interest and Anne's even though this page was a big blank!
Comment by Vestalilla on March 3, 2010 at 9:48pm
Thanks for your comments, Anne! I will give this a listen tomorrow when I won't wake my daughter up! I woke up in the middle of the night, as usual, and thought, I just have to respond. I didn't have the chance to delve into this after starting up the group yesterday, but I wanted to at least say hello.

Here's where I'm at - I had been about to join the "Death, An Original Blessing" group but found that it had disappeared into the ether. I just finished reading "Original Blessing" - had read "Cosmic Christ" and "Whee" a while back. I have been doing a lot of reading, thinking, exploring, etc. because I am currently dealing with my father's terminal illness and trying to process this experience, learn from it, and hopefully in some positive way, be transformed by it. I was having trouble getting what I needed from my church community. I turned to my little library of earth-based spirituality books to try to find some perspective. I was woefully disappointed in what I could find out there - other than a book by (surprise!) Starhawk called The Pagan Book of Living and Dying - which I am currently reading. All this rumination led me to this group, delving back into Fox's works, and so forth. Other than being blown away by the entirety of Original Blessing, the part that kind of "stuck in my craw" as the path I am really encountering/working with now is the Via Negativa, and I love that Fox provides a framework and ideas for this part of the life journey, and that he acknowledges how crucial and formative time spent exploring this path can be.

I have been so frustrated because I believe that any spiritual philosophy/concept/community needs to really, fully address death, grief, grieving, loss, depression - all these good things. I believe that encounters with Via Negativa is how human spirituality developed hundreds of thousands of years ago - by humans attempting to come to terms with these great forces. I think Joseph Campbell talks about examples of this human drive to make sense of death through spirituality (and the subsequently developed mythologies of various cultures) in his Primitive Mythology book - can't remember specifics and will need to pull it out, because, being Joseph Campbell, he puts it so eloquently. There is a reason that people turn to the church in need – it is because dealing with issues of grief, grieving, death, loss are fundamental to our life experience and self-concept. And, sadly, our culture does not allow us a lot of room in any other place to explore sadness. It is something to be hidden, medicated away, not talked about. I had this experience recently with a friend I see once a week. She told me, “Last week we talked about funeral homes, this week we talked about hospice. Next week, I don’t want to talk about any of this – we’re just going to talk about vacation.” This was her attempt to help me feel better – and maybe herself too. We brush these things under the rug because we don’t have practice in what to say – we need magazines with bullet point lists to tell us “How to talk to your grieving friend.” That is how far we have come as a culture – that we lack the resources to talk about the most fundamental, formative experiences in life and must resort to bullet points. And where all does this repressed emotion end up? It has to go somewhere, and I think we can probably all come up with ideas about where it spurts up since it isn’t getting addressed in a proper and healthy way.

For me, and I am assuming therefore also for others, following the Via Negativa consciously, mindfully, may be one of the more difficult paths we travel. However, I feel very strongly that for me individually, it is absolutely crucial to try to – wrestle? Submit? Appreciate? this path now. And, I feel that there needs to be a place in any spiritual community to do this, so I took the leap to start this group even though I’m new to the Creation Spirituality group as a whole. Maybe it was just timing, because in terms of Via Negativa, I’m right in the thick of it now and I’m dealing with these issues and thoughts on an hourly basis.

So, I hope that as people look at this page, and hopefully join in, they will talk about what they are looking for, start discussions, and share. I will try to think of some good discussion prompts and look forward to some good reflection. And I will express my gratitude now, in advance, for a community that is committed to following the Via Negativa with mindfulness. Thanks!
 

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