Four Paths


Four Paths

The “Four Paths Suite” of abstract oil paintings were created specifically as springboards for personal reflection and meditation on the mystic's journey along the Four Paths of Matthew Fox’s Creation Spirituality.

This suite of paintings combines references to the natural elements (Air, Water, Earth, Fire) with the Four Paths of Matthew Fox’s Creation Spirituality: the via positiva, via negativa, via creativa, and via transformativa.

Their shapes, colors, and textures are meant to evoke the dance of spirit and matter. By summoning natural forces yet keeping the imagery in flux, the paintings aim to facilitate meditation on an archetypal level.

A “Pathworker” (as we might call someone doing personally reflective work with a particular path of Creation Spirituality) can use the corresponding painting’s ambiguous yet evocative symbolism and mood as a portal to contemplation.

The “I Am” Freewrite Exercise

The purpose of this meditation is self-discovery, an invitation to deepen your relationship with a chosen Path.

Ask yourself which image embodies a quality you associate with one of the Paths, e.g. awe, grief, creativity, or transformation.

Using one of the images as a starting point, begin a free association starting with “I am _____,” where you creatively embody your Path as in terms of the natural elements. For example, “I am Fire, the blaze of Transformation (Via Transformativa). I bring the heat of justice that burns away wrongs born of fear. I am change and transfiguration, the light that reveals truths and the blaze that scorches the ground for new growth…”

Don’t overthink – just write. Keep your pen moving continually, fast enough to stop your critical brain from getting in the way. There is no strict correspondence of a particular Path with a particular painting; choose what resonates for you. Write a screed, a poem in prose, an autobiographical fragment, a haiku, a spell for self-transformation, a manifesto and a calling.

Feel free to depart entirely from the image once you get going; should you find yourself leaving the image far behind, that’s fine. See where your meditation takes you.