Here is the story of how Quadratos was rediscovered.

Alexander John at home

It was around 11 p.m., November 1, 2000 on a cold, clear, starry night in Northern New Mexico. I was up late reading…

In the early 1970s, I had begun learning of the four-path journey for growth and transformation. The evidence came from anthropologists studying indigenous rites of passage, mythologists mapping epic stories, psychologists using various healing modalities, and mystics across world traditions describing their experience.

Soon I began to teach about the four-paths. But something puzzled me. The paths were evident across human history and world cultures. Yet I could not find them in my own tradition. Were they mysteriously not part of Christian practice?

What did lay behind the early Christians’ choice of precisely four gospels? Were these four texts more than just winners in a protracted theological tussle? Did they truly believe these were the only accurate eyewitness accounts? Or was there a missing key to understand their choices?

Intuitively I sensed there must be a connection between the four paths of transformation, and Christianity’s choice of four gospel texts along with their original—but largely forgotten—reading sequence: Matthew, Mark, John, then Luke. 

On that cold, clear, starry night in Northern New Mexico, I was up late reading Robin Griffith-Jones’ book, The Four Witnesses. Suddenly an answer arrived for my long-held queries, an answer that satisfied both my critical mind and longing heart.

I reached for a legal pad and furiously wrote in a first attempt to describe the contour of this new landscape. Pieces gathered over a lifetime of research, study and prayer fell into a new picture. Like the moment of seeing the shape of a constellation emerge from a hundred scattered stars in the night sky, I was seeing the four-path journey clearly delineated within precisely these four gospels and their reading sequence.

What followed was ten years of further research, questioning, challenging the premise, traveling thousands of miles, addressing hundreds of communities, leading seminars with clergy and spiritual leaders across the world and writing, writing, refining and rewriting.

At last, I became convinced that the four-path journey was the missing key in understanding the early Christians’ choice of precisely four gospels and the original reading sequence.

Walking on sand

Today, this restored key is revitalizing Christian thought and practice.

So in 2005, after decades of teaching about the four-path journey, I decided to give this overarching, universal framework a formal name—Quadratos.

On that clear cold starry night, an answer arrived that holds a rediscovered paradigm for Christianity. But, I believe, its significance does not stop there.  

Quadratos offers a fresh dialogue for world spirituality and indigenous cultures, as well as a new lens on the arts, creativity, psychology, and even science.