A Vision of the Spiritual Ecology of the Soul

Lake Michigan and sky as the storm approaches. Photo by Brent Thomas Ladd, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, August 20, 2019.

Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox’s phrase “super-sensual darkness*” reminds me of a vision I’ve carried with me most of my life of what the unnamable mysterious ‘Creator’ might be like. In my vision that I started to form as a young boy and continue to this day, I see a blue-grey-green warm light, similar to the gloaming period at twilight, or that just before daybreak. This gloaming light touches something very deep – it is wide and still, and blue-black like waters that are deep and moving, the depths of which I cannot fathom, and are as dark and unknowable as the darkest night sky, as the darkest center of old-growth forest on a new moon night.


I have a familiar sense of understanding but cannot capture in words alone the immense energy that is flowing over, touching, and uniting both light-tinged sky and dark ocean. It is an all-knowing, all-seeing presence, containing every emotion that human beings have ever felt and more, and its presence is like the deepest sense of peace one can know. It contains the beating heart of the universe. There is a whispering of sound, a light breeze is moving like one that brings anticipation just ahead of a summer thunderstorm where the birds retake their nests. It is directionless and formless and yet moves in all directions at once and has an immense presence.


I sense that my vision is something like what our soul is like, or perhaps what the soul reflects. It is not fully knowable, and yet is the deepest part of us. The same energy that created the Universe flows deep within each of us.
Such a vision not only has connected me with a spiritual sense of God and soul but also the waters and lands and skies that my life depends upon. It gives me a deep sense that I am made from the elements of Mother Earth and from the stars of the Universe, and so is every single human being, and everything on this planet. We breathe the same air and drink the same waters that our distant ancestors breathed and drank, and the creatures before them did likewise. These are truths we know from both wisdom teachings and from the science of elemental cycles. We all share in a sacred cycle of life that could unite friend and foe.


Such a vision of the soul connects me with my own birthright, which is to be a co-creator with the divine energy within me and outside of me to give birth to and create beauty, awareness, and insight.


“The same Spirit that hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation hovers over the artist’s mind at work.”  ~ Thomas Aquinas


As a people and culture so seemingly committed to self-destructive beliefs and actions, can we begin to acknowledge our own soul, and that the Earth is intimately woven into the fabric of our soul? Can we begin to tend both our soul and the Earth? I’ve come to understand that we as a people need a Spiritual Ecology** as a pathway home to our soul and a pathway forward to nourish a balance with ourselves and all of life.  This pathway home, like that of the prodigal son or daughter returning home, might help us regain our birthright as Earth keepers, co-creators, and celebrators of awe and joy for life.

*super-sensual darkness as a metaphor for the via Negativa path (one of the four paths of Creation Spirituality) that can then birth open into creativity – the via Creativa.  Mentioned during the Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox:https://dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org/2019/09/27/the-four-paths-are-non-linear-and-interdependent/
**Spiritual Ecology recognizes that there are spiritual elements at the roots of environmental crises. Spiritual Ecologists call for an integration of the spiritual with the science of ecology in order to birth resilient ecological wisdom; that conservation work, ecological restoration, and efforts to develop sustainable living include spiritual elements, and that contemporary religion and spirituality include awareness of and engagement in science and ecological issues.

What do you think?