Via Positiva

Nature Mysticism    Nature Spirits  

Spirituality and Gardening     NeoPaganism


Research by Michael P. Garofalo
The Librarian of Gushen Grove


Bibliography      Links      Quotations      Home 





Via Positiva  
Bibliography, Links, Resources, Research



Authentic Happiness: Postive Psychology Center, Dr. Martin Seligman 

The Catapathic and Apophatic Ways 

Cataphatic and Apophatic Discourse: Islamic Perspective


Nature Mysticism

One Old Druid's Final Journey: The Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions.   By Matthew Fox. 

The Spirit of Gardening   Over 3,500 Quotes Arranged by 140 Topics



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Via Positiva  
Quotations, Sayings, Wisdom



"I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe,
and am not contain'd between my hat and boots,
And I peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good."
-   Walt Whitman, Song Of Myself, v. 7


"This is the way of celebrating life, of seeing the world with its beauty and goodness, its grace and generosity—and being open to seeing more. This is the way of reverence, respect and gratitude. It’s the way of original blessing, whereby we live out the truth that the universe and life itself, for all the struggle and pain they dispense, have birthed us as individuals and communities with what we need for happiness and for sharing joy."
-   Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men


"Just to be is a blessing.
Just to live is holy."
-   Abraham Heschel 



"The via positiva turns the telescope around and looks through the other end. By active engagement in art, music, dance, movement, theater, and high play, our perception is extended to the world without and the world within, our senses sharpened so that we bathe in multisensory delight. Through heightening our awareness, bringing more and more content into consciousness, and opening to the entire spectrum of emotions, sensations, and ideas, we come to the realization that all things are interdependent and part of the living life of the Metaverse. We celebrate the particle in order to catch the wave.  One way of sorting through the various methods of contemplative practice available today is to divide them into two broad categories, which we might term "the way in" and "the way out." "The way in," or via negativa, is traditionally described as the way of negation. On this path, we retreat progressively from the circumference to the center, clearing the muchness to get to the suchness. "The way out," or via positiva, is the way of fullness. This path takes us out into the world to experience its richness, conscious of developing more and more hooks and eyes to catch the Universe.  What’s different in Jump Time is that the spiritual technologies at our disposal can be harvested from the whole world: Christian centering prayer, Buddhist mindfulness and visualization practices, African trance dancing, Tantra and sacred sexuality, Native American pow wows and sweat lodges, shamanic spirit journeys, Asian martial arts, Jungian dreamwork, as well as for some, the neo-mystical study of quantum realities. All of these rework the landscapes of the subliminal mind so that there are channels and riverbeds in which a deeper spiritual consciousness can flow."
-   Jean Houston, Spirituality in Jump Time



“Wildness we might consider as the root of the authentic spontaneities of any being.  It is that wellspring of creativity whence comes the instinctive activates that enable all living beings to obtain their food, to find shelter, to bring forth their young: to sing and dance and fly through the air and swim through the depths of the sea. This is the same inner tendency that evokes the insight of the poet, the skill of the artist and the power of the shaman.”
-  Thomas Berry



"The objects of cataphatic mystical experiences are familiar elements of religious imagery. No one has to be a mystic in order to understand the religious meaning of deities, saints and spiritual symbols, or to be able to listen to voices and music that lead the mind to religious contemplation. Unlike ordinary believers, however, cataphatic mystics seem to encounter these things ‘directly’ in certain states of mind. Their experiences do not depend on the presence of material paintings and statues, of real voices and real musical performances. In addition, cataphatic mystical experiences may show a higher complexity and intensity than the experiences caused by objects of every-day religious life. Mystical sensations are often too rich to be integrated into a logical framework. They are sometimes described as fullness beyond the limits of comprehension and as causing overwhelming feelings of glory and joy."
-   Ars Disputandi: The Online Journal of the Philosophy of Religion 



"Beauty crowds me till I die
Beauty mercy have on me
But if I expire today
Let it be in sight of thee."
-   Emily Dickinson  



"Cataphatic Theology describes God positively according to what He has revealed of Himself to humanity in Scripture and nature. The word comes from the Greek preposition “kata” meaning “down from” or “down into.”  The word “phatic” comes from Greek “phasis” (“utterance”) and refers to communication which expresses feelings rather than propositions. (In fact, most human communication is “phatic”, not propositional - that it, it seeks to establish relationships rather than to convey ideas. One of the characteristics of autism - and the societal or cultural version of this malady which is distinguished by isolationism - is a deficit in phatic communication.) According to the cataphatic perspective, God can be known to humans through what He manifests of Himself in His Signs, which is another way of saying that humans can experience a direct relationship with God.  Cataphatic Theology could be defined in terms of Arabic tashbih (“similarity”) - i.e. God “closer to you than your jugular vein” (Qur’an 50:16).  It therefore inclines towards Beauty and Mercy rather than Majesty and Justice, and towards diversity rather than singularity."
The American Muslim









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Mysticism, Theological Discourse, Via Positiva, Via Negativa, Cataphatic, Apophatic 
Nature Spirituality, Nature Mysticism, Polytheism, Ecology

Last updated on August 20, 2010

First published on the Internet on August 20, 2010. 

Send email to Mike Garofalo





Wheel of the Year, A Multi-Faith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Eqalitarian Spirituality, 2010.  By Marija Miovski