Welcome to Quadratos

Fall Leaves
Winter Leaf

Quadratos is...

. . . a new name for the ancient four-fold journey of spirit and transformation.

The journey is universal, sequential, and cyclical. It is recognized by every major religious faith and school of psychology and forms the very heart of Christian belief and practice.

At its most universal, the pattern of Quadratos is found in our experience of the four seasons and their cycle.

Within Christianity, Quadratos provides a deeper understanding of Jesus the Christ and a new foundation for affirming early Christianity's choice of four gospels and the ancient - now restored - gospel reading sequence for Sunday worship.

The four progressive paths of Quadratos correspond to the four gospels and the four great questions of the spiritual life.

Each gospel's question and practice is revealed within a particular landscape and its human experience.

The Journey of Quadratos

First Path: How do we face change?
Climbing the Great Mountain of Matthew

How do we face change?

First Path: How do we face change?
Climbing the Great Mountain of Matthew

Across time and culture, people have felt a desire for permanence.

In reflections of their desire, they have imbued physical landscapes - particularly high mountains and standing stones - with meaning. Mountains connote the eternal; they represent basic and unchanging security.

Nonetheless, at some point, even rocks crumble. All of us come to the experience of enormous loss.

Whatever it is that we believed would stand forever, trembles and falls. Dark chasms and precipices appear with the suddenness and drama of a volcanic eruption. It is precisely at this point that we find ourselves standing on the first path, barefoot and covered in ashes.

This is where the millennia disappear and we are on "common ground." Our hearts could as well be in first-century Antioch on the Orontes, in the days following the destruction of the Great Temple in Jerusalem and the massacre of the Jewish priests and their families.

Perhaps our rocks that crumble are not as dramatic. Yet as the Messianic Christians did, we may also turn to the Gospel of Matthew seeking answers.

How do we face change?

Question: How do we face change?

Emotion: Feelings of betrayal

Season: Autumn

Time: Sunset to late evening

Gospel Metaphor: Climbing the Great Mountain of Matthew

Second Path: How do we move through suffering?
Crossing Mark's Stormy Sea

How do we move through suffering?

Second Path: How do we move through suffering?
Crossing Mark's Stormy Sea

The second path is without a doubt the most agonizing of the four paths.

We feel as though we are in a small boat on a stormy sea - terrified, exhausted, fragile. The winds and water lash us as we are tossed about in a gray, horizonless, directionless world. Is help coming?

On the first path, we chose to thrust ourselves directly back into our greatest fears and insecurities. Now, on the second path, they fight back.

Although we are in a time of great discovery, our revelations happen in an environment of terrific emotional and spiritual trial.

The bleak condition in which we find ourselves now is precisely the same condition in which the early Christians of Rome in the middle of the first century found themselves - lost, alone, struggling to have hope.

Falsely condemned for setting the great city on fire, the Emperor Nero ordered the execution of all Christians and their families. They turned to the Gospel of Mark for consolation. So may we.

How do we move through suffering?

Question: How do we move through suffering?

Emotion: Feelings of isolation, abandonment

Season: Winter

Time: Late evening to dawn

Gospel Metaphor: Crossing Mark's Stormy Sea

Third Path: How do we receive joy?
Resting in John's Glorious Garden

How do we receive joy?

Third Path: How do we receive joy?
Resting in John's Glorious Garden

In one electric, life-changing instant, it seems as though everything in us shifts and a blinding new reality enters.

Until this point, so much has been struggle. Nonetheless, we remained faithful through all the difficulties and missteps.

Now what arrives and opens in us feels like the everlasting embrace of an eternal guardian or an intimate lover.

It is as though we have walked through a gate into the most beautiful springtime garden imaginable. Immeasurable beauty and bounty surround us.

We are filled with an immediate and unexpected experience of union - full, unreflected, visionary, totally indescribable. The sensations of this moment will be different for each of us. Some of us will be aware of a new energy; we may tingle or tremble. Some will feel a deep stillness. A great calm - or exuberance - may arise. Yet almost universally, we will perceive everything as gift.

This is the experience of the blossoming Christian community in the teeming complexity of the Aegean port of Ephesus, at the end of the first century. John's gospel provided answers on how to take former enemies and create a diverse community of oneness. Its answers on ecstasy, diversity, and union remain wisdom for us today.

How do we receive joy?

Question: How do we receive joy?

Emotion: Feelings of ecstasy, joy, union, and that 'all is well', and 'will be well’.

Season: Spring

Time: Dawn to late morning

Gospel Metaphor: Resting in John's Glorious Garden

Fourth Path: How do we mature in service?
Walking Luke's Road of Riches

How do we mature in service?

Fourth Path: How do we mature in service?
Walking Luke's Road of Riches

Where is this road of riches? Gradually, step by step, we make the fourth path as we walk.

Slowly, we learn how to traverse a landscape that is our own singular and original life. And through patient trial and error, we come to know a life of service - service of others and ourselves. One would think everyone on the planet would be lining up to make this walk. Instead, the fourth path is largely neglected and often omitted as a formal part of most spiritual and psychological processes.

The problem is that no fundamental change actually occurred on the third path.

We had a wonderful revelatory moment, but it has thus far served only one purpose. It has made us more conscious.

Nonetheless, filled with new energy and excitement about our fresh insights, we confidently stride out of the safety of the third path's garden and into what we are certain will be our renewed and joyous life. However, the realities of the fourth path - real life - come charging straight at us the minute we take our first steps.

But as we stand in the courage of our journey, remaining steadfast no matter what difficulties we encounter, we find much more joy than we have ever known to be possible.

Luke's communities in the mid-80s of the first century were beset by many problems. They had been formally removed from Judaism, and the Roman Emperor decreed them to be illegals. How were they to maintain perseverance and equanimity in face of such opposition? Though our social and planetary difficulties are different, Luke's answers are timeless.

How do we mature in service?

Question: How do we mature in service?

Emotion: Feelings of patience, unshakeable knowing, equanimity and unbounded love

Season: Summer

Time: Late morning to sunset

Gospel Metaphor: Walking Luke's Road of Riches