Events by EventfulA Weekend with Matthew Fox
Workshop presented by Rev Dr Matthew Fox:
The Teachings of the Mystics: Poets of Expanded Consciousness and Perception
The mystics offer us an alternative perception from that of everyday society–at least society as Western culture currently defines it. Instead of leading with rationality and differences, the mystic leads with intuition and unitive experiences or what Julian of Norwich called "oneing." We are all mystics if we allow ourselves to be such.
Human consciousness needs to expand if we are to survive as a species. Carl Jung says that it is to the mystics that we owe what is best in humanity and that mystics bring creativity to religion itself. When an aging Albert Einstein was asked if he had any regrets, he replied "I wish I had read more of the mystics earlier in my life." In this immersion into the teachings of the mystics, we will explore some of the deep, challenging, and delightful teachings of the Western mystics about personal and societal transformation. We will focus in particular on Western mystics because they have been so sorely ignored even by Western culture and religion. As Ted Roszak put it, "The Enlightenment held mystics up for ridicule as the worst offense against science and reason." It is time to heed the mystics again and to search out their powers of wisdom and transformation-and above all to awaken the mystic that is each one of us.
We will delve into the teachings of Einstein and Hildegard of Bingen, Adrienne Rich and Meister Eckhart among others. We will also learn practices that awaken the mystic in ourselves, including chanting, circle dancing, and more. In addition, we will outline the four paths of creation spirituality that help us to name the deep experience of our mystical lives by way of the via positiva (joy and delight), the via negativa (silence and letting go, but also including suffering and the dark night of the soul), the via creativa (creativity), and the via transformativa (compassion and social justice). And we will become familiar again with the oldest Christian archetype for mysticism, the "Cosmic Christ" developed at length in the earliest writer in the Christian Bible, St. Paul.