A Primer in Creation SpiritualityPresented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions

 

Revised and Updated Edition:

Unspools an adventuresome new paradigm for Christianity.

Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

 

Original edition:

Original Blessing makes available to the Christian World and to the human community a radical cure for all dark and derogatory views of the natural world wherever these may have originated.

--Thomas Berry author, The Dream of the Earth; The Great Work; co-author, The Universe Story

 

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Original Blessing is a revolutionary event in the spiritual life of our people.  It takes our habitual religious notions and turns them over, turns them around.  Like a revolving wheel, it sweeps us back to the past and then up and over into the future—back to recapture treasures of forgotten wisdom, forward to fresh insights and creativity.  This revolutionary event can be dated ten year ago, with the publication of Original Blessing, or dated now, or tomorrow, for it keeps on happening each day with each fresh encounter with what Matthew Fox is saying.  Once set in motion, the wheel keeps turning.

The image of wheel comes naturally to me, for it is central to the Buddhist tradition, my spiritual path.  It symbolizes the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha about the dynamic interdependence of all things. When the Buddha gave his teachings, say the scriptures, he “turned the wheel of the Dharma.”  And his followers today keep the wheel in motion, like Tibetan folk reaching out to spin their temple’s prayer wheels as they pass by.

OB reminds me of the Dharma wheel because it brings a similar shift of focus—a radical shift from substance to process.  The Buddha shocked ancient India by refusing to acknowledge an immutable god, a divinity aloof from the world. He focused instead on the presence of mind in every action, every breath.  His teachings did not call people to seek a supernatural haven for the sinful, suffering self, but to recognize their interdependence with this imperfect world and to follow a magga or path where the self dissolves into aware and compassionate intention.

The spirituality of OB has the same kind of revolutionary thrust.  It delivers us from theological hair splitting and from preoccupation with our separate selves, however sinful or noble we may deem them, and summons us into an invigorating flow of spirit-experience.  It suggests that we are not entities to be perfected so much as processes to be valued and enlivened. As Buckminster Fuller exclaimed, “I seem to be a verb!” As verbs we want trajectories, ways to go, paths for exploring and unfolding

Consonant with science and crisis.

In OB I find myself again as verb, as a going on the path—and the path is multiple, complete in its fourfold multiplicity.  In celebration and gratitude, I recall elements of each as I have lived them with Matthew Fox.

~ Joanna Macy, author: Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World;
World as Lover, World as Self: A Guide to Living Fully in Turbulent Times

Fox’s accomplishment in Original Blessing…. showed us how deeply we in the West have bought into an understanding of Christianity based on the fall-redemption paradigm.... Gradually the book is assuming the status of a classic.  In due course, it will take its place in the history of spirituality and indeed in the history of theology.

--John Cobb, Jr. professor emeritus at The School of Theology at Claremont , California co-author, The Liberation of Life and For the Common Good.

Only in an addictive society that demands that we split the sacred from the secular could the call for an awareness of our original blessing be viewed as political.  How strange that our experience of wholeness, oneness, a spirituality that celebrates all life, can be viewed as a political threat.  This, to me, clearly shows how important these ideas are.

--Anne Wilson Schaef, Ph.D author, Beyond Therapy/Beyond Science; Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much; When Society Becomes an Addict

 

For me, Creation Spirituality as Matthew Fox talks about it, is like the Dreamtime in the way that it brings the entire cosmos into our lives, making it a part of us and us a part of it.

--Eddie Kneebone Aboriginal teacher and activist

Fox has done important work in this book and many of his other books to demonstrate there are strong themes of “Original Blessing” and “Creation Spirituality” throughout Christian history particularly in the Bible and in major Christian figures such as Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) and Meister Eckhart (1260-1329).

-- Carl Gregg, Patheos.com