In a letter to Matthew Fox in 1967, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton commended him for getting to work on spiritual theology and added, "I do think that we are lying down on the job when we leave others to investigate mysticism while we concentrate on more 'practical' things. What people want of us, after all, is the way to God."
In this visionary and formidable work, Matthew Fox takes up the challenge offered by his friend to spell out the lineaments of a mystical journey to God. After studying Merton's journals and books, he identifies many connections between the spiritual musings on action and contemplation of the Trappist monk and the mysticism of the 13th century theologian Meister Eckhart, who has played such an important role in the flourishing of Creation Spirituality.
In his last book, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic Warrior for Our Times, Fox explored an ecumenical spirituality which speaks to those seeking pathways to new arenas of consciousness and spiritual activism. Now he shows how Merton and Eckhart merge in their appreciation of the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality: Via Positiva, Via Negativa, Via Creativa, and Via Transformativa.
Fox himself finds common ground with Merton in their mutual affirmation of feminism's advocacy of compassion and nonduality plus its mission of bringing "balance back to an excessively patriarchal and indeed reptilian brain-driven culture and religion." He also celebrates their convergence on the Motherhood of God, sexuality, Native Americans, ecology, the waywardness of religious fundamentalism, the Cosmic Christ, and much more.
Fox concludes with this wish:
"May we journey with the same candor, courage, and imagination as Merton mustered for his — with the same Spirit at our backs and in our hearts. May we, like he, journey back and forward to our true Source along a way of Creation Spirituality."