The first path that we are to travel in our deepening journey into spirituality and into God is the pathway of creation.
Matthew Fox, Passion for Creation, loc 1304
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

Blessed Friends, I invite you to walk the Via Positiva with me, it is the Path of Bliss and Awe, the way of Righteousness (Tzedeq), where we pray at the The Altar of Promise and Praise.  Along this way, we encounter wonder and discover our destiny and purpose in this life.

There is no magic to this path.  It is way of the way into God.  As we enter the Light of the Divine through faith, compassion, and practice, we discover our interconnectedness and interdependence on all things.  We learn to see the world and our lives as they really are.

The Path of Bliss and Awe

Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: Sat-Chit-Ananda. The word “Sat” means being. “Chit” means consciousness. “Ananda” means bliss or rapture. I thought, “I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.” I think it worked.
— Joseph Campbell, Power of Myth, 120

You have three choices if you are going to find illumination in this life.  You can set out to perfect your existence, mind, or bliss.

Perfect Being?

Life is a messy business.  How can you perfect your existence, your very being?  Many who go this way, fall into the twin traps of fundamentalism and legalism.  They devise elaborate legal and moral systems to control themselves and the world around them.  They forget the words of Christ: "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life ; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling  to come to Me so that you may have life (John 5:39-40)."  They do not realize that they need to live with the life of Christ and not search the scriptures in fear that they are not perfectly performing every letter of the law to achieve the ideal of righteousness they feel is required from them.

How can any of us know that our being is perfect?  We cannot.  "I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind (Ec 1:14)."

Perfect Mind?

Can we then perfect our consciousness, our mind, to achieve illumination in this life?  Many follow after this path, falling into the twin traps of intellectualism and asceticism.  These are our sisters and brothers who who believe that all truth is available to the reason, and seek to focus their minds on logic, neglecting the emotions of the systems which exist as a check on our rationalism.

They deny the flesh, and set themselves to the perfection of the mind.  When we only perceive the world through the cold eyes of reason, we lose our connection with ourselves and our fellows.  Any act can be rationalized from genocide to torture of self and others.  Reason is a tool, but it cannot be used alone or we neglect the systems of interconnection that we live within and with which we must act in accord.

Can we perfect our mind alone?  How can we know when our consciousness is perfect?

"I said to myself, "Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge." And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly ; I realized that this also is striving after wind. Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain (Ec 1:16-18)."

Perfect Bliss

If we cannot know perfection in our body or our mind, can we really have perfect bliss?  Yes, as Jesus said: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10)."

The thief is the false teacher who takes your money or devotion, teaching sacrifice through violence, and destroying the hearts and lives of others, but Jesus came that we might have life (the absolute fulness of life) and have it more abundantly (over and above, more than is necessary, superadded; exceeding abundantly, supremely [The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon]).

What is Bliss?  "Bliss is a stage which is above any emotional state that is characterized as peace or happiness (feelings of enjoyment, pleasure, and satisfaction) (Wikipedia)."   That sounds like the absolute fulness of life to me.

How do you find and follow your Bliss?

Bliss is more than an emotion.  It is operating in a cooperation with the energies of your life, mind, and body in such a way that we find happiness, pleasure, and satisfaction. 

I was talking about this with a circle of friends one time and one of them said, "Sex is my bliss."  I couldn't have disagreed more.  Sex feeds the desire to have more sex.  It is not inherently satisfying. 

Another friend said, "Drugs are my bliss."  Again I had to disagree for the same reason.

My bliss is creativity.  I love to make pictures and stories.  I feel it down to my bones.  When I allow myself to be creative, I experience pleasure, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment I cannot find anywhere else.

You can discover your bliss, by discovering what it is you find a state of flow in.  "In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does (Wikipedia).'  Often it is something we first started doing as a child.  It is recognized by the fulfillment you find in the work.

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
— Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, 113

It can also be seen through the events that happen around you.  You will start surrounding yourself with people who support and encourage that life.  Hidden hands will support you in all that you do.

This is your path.  There is no one who can tell you what it is, and often you will have to cut your own way forward.  It is the work of your heart and the testimony of your spirit.  It is the way you were always meant to live.

The Wisdom of Righteousness

In Proverbs 1:2-7, we are taught the four pillars of wisdom.  In the Via Positiva, we build up the pillar of Righteousness (Tzedeq).  Tzedeq means "justice, rightness, righteousness; what is right or just or normal, rightness, justness (The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon)." 

Righteousness is Humble, Universalist, Trusting, and Holy through living out our Royal Personhood.

In the Ministry

The Via Positiva is the Way of the Apostle.  An Apostle is a messenger or delegate of the Fullness of the Godhead to the church. (Eph 4:11-13)

Symbolism

During his life, Father Abraham built 4 altars.  Each one represented a phase of his life.  In the Via Positiva, we visit the Altar of Promise and Praise at the Great Oak of the Teacher from Genesis 12:5-7.

The Winged Man represents the Gospel of Matthew, who focused on the Via Positiva through the humanity of Christ Jesus and his teaching of the Way of Light.


Yesh: The Being of God

Trust

Yetzer ha–Ra: Our Inclination for Separation

Panentheism

Our Royal Personhood

Realized Eschatology

Holiness as Cosmic Hospitality

Recovering the Art of Savor

Humility as Earthiness

Cosmic | Universalist