Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Money and Spirituality | The Mythos of Conflict

Money and Spirituality | The Mythos of Conflict

One of the things that I am committed to changing in the world is the painful separation of Spirit and wealth acquisition.

So many people think they have to sacrifice their spiritual life to make money or they think they have to sacrifice wealth to be truly spiritual.The truth is quite the opposite. Not only can we integrate them, but we must.

I think we can all agree, that if these were integrated--if people were acquiring wealth AND living a robust spiritual life in the same time -- then so much of the unethical stuff we have seen in the financial markets in the last few years would not have happened. 

For our world to solve so many problems it has, not only can we integrate spiritual sensibilities and wealth acquisition--we must. Integrate your purpose and prosperity. End the suffering of this painful separation by integrating your purpose and your prosperity.

That is the what and the why of Evolutionary Sales. The course teaches you the how. February 28th, March 1st and 2nd in San Francisco. 

Watch the 14 minute video about the course »here«:
http://evolutionarysales.com

 
Come to the free evening introduction for the course in San Francsico next Tuesday. Details on Facebook »here«.
 
In Service,
 
Jason
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Money and Spirituality | The Mythos of Conflict

Money and Spirituality | The Mythos of Conflict

One of the things that I am committed to changing in the world is the painful separation of Spirit and wealth acquisition.

So many people think they have to sacrifice their spiritual life to make money or they think they have to sacrifice wealth to be truly spiritual.The truth is quite the opposite. Not only can we integrate them, but we must.

I think we can all agree, that if these were integrated--if people were acquiring wealth AND living a robust spiritual life in the same time -- then so much of the unethical stuff we have seen in the financial markets in the last few years would not have happened. 

For our world to solve so many problems it has, not only can we integrate spiritual sensibilities and wealth acquisition--we must. Integrate your purpose and prosperity. End the suffering of this painful separation by integrating your purpose and your prosperity.

That is the what and the why of Evolutionary Sales. The course teaches you the how. February 28th, March 1st and 2nd in San Francisco. 

Watch the 14 minute video about the course »here«:
http://evolutionarysales.com

 
Come to the free evening introduction for the course in San Francsico next Tuesday. Details on Facebook »here«.
 
In Service,
 
Jason
Continue reading
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Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 2)

Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 2)

Be sure that you've read Part 1 » here «.

[Note to the reader: "God" is used throughout as a signifier to point to wherever you put your worship. It could be conventional religions as I will mainly address, but you could just as easily replace it with Gaia if you "put your worship" there--if the environment is your ultimate concern. or you could replace it with polytheistic beliefs such as Hinduism. Or maybe you put your worship in the Universe, consciousness, or Community. Consider that whatever your ultimate concern is, the concepts in this article can apply to that thing as "God" for you. Doing this will allow you to get the most from this article. -Jason D McClain]

 

As I asked in Part 1:


"...was Jesus really born of the Virgin Mary? Was Lao Tzu really born as a 900 year-old man? Is the earth really resting on the head of a giant serpent (or the shell of a giant tortoise)? And of course, the subject of great debate most recently it seems: is the Earth really only 6,000 years old? Are these facts—with belief in them required to enter into the afterlife? Or are they gorgeous and useful poetic metaphors pointing to a greater truth in a way that people at the time could accept, pointing to Divine power?"

These metaphors are a testament to belief in stunningly powerful, mystical, and magical forces embodied in "Spirit". Stories told to good common folk of those eras. Metpahors they could relate to. This was useful and good—in fact, it could have been no other way at the time. However, the vast majority that number themselves among the world’s religions have lost touch with this simple wisdom: that metaphors of their spiritual traditions do indeed hold tremendous aesthetic value and inspirational mytho-poetic beauty, however, they are not the Truths themselves.

Nor should they really matter when discussing spiritual merit. Would we say someone was not a good person if they acted with love, grace and charity all of their life, dedicated to the service of others, but rejected the idea of the Virgin Birth? Of course not.

Sadly, focusing on the details of the metaphoric stories as a basis for “faith” rather than the individual relationship with the Universal Truths results in losing access to Divinity and Spirit. Ending up, in turn, hopelessly (and endlessly) arguing over details of form and presentation-details of stories told long ago so that simple people could easily have access to God. These arguments aren’t just friendly disagreements or intellectual debates engaged in among scholars; they have split families and divided congregations--and sent nations to war on too many occasions for us to want to list here.

The fact that this is so, and that is springs from traditions that were and are meant to free the spirit, spread love and acceptance, and give hope to the hopeless, is no less than tragic.

So that we can attempt to avoid the same pitfalls, let us set aside what is “true” or “false” about these mytho-poetic themes and focus instead on the more personal and individual experience. This is what is relevant for our discussion that is focused on the context of personal evolution.

For that, we need to address not the truth, but the utility of our relationship to the Divine--"to" vs. "with." This “to vs with” business is not just fun with prepositions. It has a very practical impact on our internal life and emotional experience.

The manner in which we relate to anything determines its meaning and importance in our lives. Whether that thing is a significant other, a new career opportunity, a rainy day, traffic on the highway, and/or yes, even “God”. Perhaps we should even say In fact, especially God—not because that is accurate, but simply because of the impact that our personal relationship with God has on our real-life happiness.

Let’s take traffic.

We have all experienced traffic on a highway. How do you relate to it? What is your interpretation of it? Do you view it as a waste of time? A hassle? An increase in vehicular pollution? Or perhaps you see it as a welcome break and use it to unwind on your way home listening to relaxing music or an opportunity to listen to a favorite book on audio? The obvious point is that how you “hold” this experience we call “traffic” in your subjective world will give rise to a specific and tangible emotional experience around it, or what we will call an “atmosphere”.

 “It is never the thing it self, but rather your relationship to it”.

Knowing that, let’s take it out another level: it is not just how you relate “to” traffic that will determine your experience. While this is true, we could take one more step and realize that we are not just in traffic--if you are in your car in the middle of traffic, you are the traffic. You are at the very least a component part of it as a whole.

Think about that the next time you are cursing the traffic you are in.

You can see what we have done there, and you are likely already familiar with the importance of and the ability to “frame” your experience described in the above paragraphs. This is nothing new. Most of the wisdom traditions teach that how you interpret an event will determine your emotional experience around it—and with regular practice you can discipline your mind to interpret your experience in a way that leads you to have the emotional experience of life that you desire. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

And yet, when we get to the context of God—we go all whacky. As if it somehow no longer applies.

Just as we examined if your relationship to traffic serves you, we will examine the same of your relationship to God.

I was with a client and we chased the source of his "issue" to a particular construction he has of God—and God and spirituality is very important to him.

His particular construction of God—and one that many people hold as “true”—was that God was an external force or being that he was beholden and subservient to. The source of most of his suffering was that there was a great deal of shame if he did not live up to God’s expectations—or rather what he believed God’s expectations to be. Sadly, this created separation between himself and God.

In his experience, this relationship to God would in turn produce certain predicable results; a pattern emerged .He would engage in behaviors or thoughts (or not engage in them as was the case sometimes) and then as a result of his relationship to God, he would then retreat into the shadows—he would leave the light and attempt to hide away; hiding away from his responsibilities, playing the game of life at a much reduced level of vibrancy, and/or slipping occasionally into darker emotional episodes.

As we rigorously and fearlessly examined this in our session, we discovered that it was not his behaviors that created this negative experience—after all, he was not really engaged in any behavior that was truly wrong or bad; he was not harming anyone. Rather it was his holding God as something external to him and “above/having authority over him” that led to the experience. This ironically, in turn, had him operating out of communion with God; that is to say: his relationship to God was damaging his relationship with God. This, in turn, led to a great deal of unnecessary suffering for him.

The question became: what alternative ways of viewing and experiencing God could we construct for him that would honor the deepest truth of God as he understands him, that would also, in turn, predictably lead to a more joyous spiritual experience more consistently?

Moving from a relationship "to" God to a relationship "with" God

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
 –Luke 7:21

What if “God” were simply a force or light that flowed through you? Or “that which flows through you, which is greater than you?” Or God as a primary and fundamental animating spirit and force? “The light behind—and shining through—our eyes?” How would that framing, that relationship with God change our experience of life?

As quoted above, this idea is not inconsistent with the more mystical passages in both the Old and New Testaments in the Christian-Judeo religious traditions about the nature of God—and it is in alignment with the non-dual traditions of the East.

But again, even if it is in conflict for you, let’s leave the theological debate of ”true” to the theologians and remind ourselves that what matters is what could be true and is also useful.

For you and I who have to live and thrive in the manifest world——our greatest model of who we are to be when we are at our highest, deepest, and best,—the most joyous and inspirational experience possible while forever reaching towards the heavens within us … Perhaps the relationship to God that would most serve us is not one of separation, but rather one of being … One … with God.

For some, this is a radical idea; for others, it is blasphemy. Some understand this intellectually, but are struggling to achieve it fully—as a matter of not just knowing but being -- especially closing the gap between the two.

For still others—including the client I was working with when we experimented with these relationship dynamics in our session—it is a tremendous relief. It can be tremendously freeing to know that we are not beholden to God in subservient worship, but rather invited to become one with God in divine union.

I understand that for many, this is no simple endeavor. We have to shed the very idea of Original Sin and replace it with one of true and full self-acceptance--acceptance of our Universal Innocence. We have to believe, and then accept, that we are “good”. This does not mean that we will not make mistakes and engage in bad behaviors—or that we accept our behaviors that harm others without caring about how it impacts them. Quite the contrary; allowing acceptance allows us to more easily and more rapidly examine our faults.

However, what this also will allow for us a truly healthy relationship with God that will remove any obstacles to our Union with God, and leave only the light to shine on the shadows to chase them away—rather than leaving the shadows as a place for us to retreat into and hide away in shame. This will allow us to be the light.

As we return to where we began in Part 1—return to stages of egoic development—we can examine how stages of development apply in the context of this question of the Divine and our relationship to and with God. From pre-rational to rational to trans-rational; from pre-conventional to conventional to post-conventional.

From being in relationship to God to being in relationship with God to being in relationship … as God; from Union to Communion to ... Identification.

For many of us, that last stage will simply be too much to comprehend and may be beyond what we can allow ourselves to accept.

But what we can accept—and many of the wisdom traditions and religious teachings will remind us—is that humans will never be able to fully comprehend God. In saying so, we can also reason that the anthropomorphic or external authority-based attempts to give God form have had their uses—but also that God is not that. God is at least far more than that. And we have also demonstrated that those forms produce predicable results. Many of them less than optimal.

Knowing that, let us all turn inward and examine how we construct and hold God. Challenge its degree of health and vitality. Notice its predicable results. And in doing so, engage in the endeavor of living with a wider embrace of existence--a fuller, more vibrant expression of Spirit in the highest and deepest sense. In doing so, we will have access to, and be bathed in, the kind of spiritual meaning and fulfillment we all yearn for whether we believe in a "God" or "Goddess" or not. The kind of transcendent spirituality the world needs to heal fractured sectarianism and to appeal to those with more emergent stages of consciousness. A flavor of spirituality than can and will unite rather than divide.

Let us not stop at having a relationship to God in Divine Communion, but let us go further--delving into a relationship with God, allowing us to be not just a recipient or a servant, but more—allowing us to become a channel or a conduit so that we are not just living for some greater good, but that we are, in fact being that greater good--bearing the full and ripe fruits of Divine Union and allowing it to flow forth--through and from us all.

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Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 1)

Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 1)

[Note to the reader: "God" is used throughout as a signifier to point to wherever you put your worship. It could be conventional religions as I will mainly address, but you could just as easily replace it with Gaia if you "put your worship" there--if the environment is your ultimate concern. or you could replace it with polytheistic beliefs such as Hinduism. Or maybe you put your worship in the Universe, consciousness, or Community. Consider that whatever your ultimate concern is, the concepts in this article can apply to that thing as "God" for you. Doing this will allow you to get the most from this article. -Jason D McClain]

Is Your Relationship to God Wrecking Your Relationship With God?

It’s a provocative question, isn’t it?

Why even ask it? It is fraught with predicable emotional triggers and will produce reactions that may blur the importance and the point of the topic at hand.

We could use your relationship to your "self" or your relationship to others or even your relationship to money. The fact remains that we could use any of those concepts--any of those signifiers--to get to what we are pointing at and we will use a couple of them as lead-in examples because of their familiarity--but it would not be as effective to stop there for our larger conversation; not as effective as getting to the very root of our relationship to and with our deepest and highest stages. But even more to the practical: we will use God for the simple fact that there is no concept or question more galvanizing—making us sit up in our chair and pay attention--than questioning our very relationship to and with the Divine.

So we use “God”.

Before we begin to explore the question, we need to lay the ground on which we will stand: stages of egoic and emotional development. Stages that we interpret the world through and react emotionally from.  Stages through which we will interpret every aspect of our lives--events occurring around us, the actions of others as they relate to us, the world we navigate through politically, economically, romantically, and, yes, our spirituality and the nature of the Divine.

So if we are to examine our relationship to God (or “the Divine) then we must begin with an understanding of the lens we gaze through.

"God is like a mirror. The mirror never changes, but everybody who looks at it sees something different."  --Rabbi Harold Kushner

From pre-personal to personal to trans-personal. From vengeance to justice to grace. From pre-rational to rational to trans-rational. From ego-centric to enthno-centric or gender-centric or nationalistic to world-centric. From unconscious to conscious to super-conscious. These are just some of the ways we can label the grossest stages of development of the Self—and they are stages of increasing wholeness and increasing embrace. Each stage transcends, yet also include the benefits of the former. Each is noted for its increase in capacities and increase in the ability to hold an ever-increasing number of perspectives. We could also think about these stages as an expansion of what an individual can identify with or as. From ego-centric to ethno-centric / gender-centric / nationalistic to world-centric; identifying as just an individual to identifying as a member of a community or collective of individuals to identifying as a member of a global community—a citizen of the planet and a member of its ecosystem. Plainly put: our stage of self-development will determine our world-view—and that world-view will evolve over time. And that evolution will have a directionality.

Human development can be divided into three major phases: pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional, or pre-personal, personal and transpersonal (Wilber, et.al., 1986). This applies to the development of cognition, morality, faith, motivation and the selfsense. The infant enters the world unsocialized, at a pre-conventional stage, and is gradually acculturated into a conventional world-view, whether it be religious or secular. A few individuals develop further into post-conventional stages of post-formal operational cognition (Pfaffenberger, et.al., 2009), post-conventional morality (Sinnott, 1994;), universalizing faith (Fowler, 1995), self-actualizing and self-transcending motives (Maslow, 1971), and a transpersonal self-sense (Cook-Greuter, 1994; Wilber, 1980, 1983, 20001).

-Frances Vaughn, Journal of Transpersonal Research, 2010

We could say that one of the primary practices (as well as one of the primary indicators of personal evolution) is the ability to take on an ever-increasing number of perspectives; the ability to understand—even if not agreeing with—an ever-increasing number of perspectives or “views” of or “from” a given place.

And that lens—or lenses—is the filter through which we view the world as well as being the platform we will likely react from. This is not a box we can put ourselves or others in. It is not a classification as rigid as a “type”. Think of it more as a probability: a weather forecast, or a general orientation within high odds. Think of it more as a lump or a wave. But even still, the fact that we will likely interpret through and react from our “stage” of development of the “self” is hard-wired as a probability can get.

And, the endeavor we call “personal evolution” is the process of activating movement and moving through those stages.

Why is this important?

In the process of personal evolution we have both the mechanisms to create, and the path to enjoy, true peace within--and to reduce conflict without. An ever-expanding ability to hold an ever-increasing number of perspectives leads to a life that experiences greater ease, reduced fear and reduced anger, greater empathetic capacities, increased self-acceptance, increased capacities to handle whatever life may throw at you—and respond more resourcefully, and ultimately, leads to an aligned, purpose-filled and full-filled life.

As within, so without.

In recent history, it has become commonplace in personal development circles and communities for us to realize that our relationship to ourselves is very important—it is an accepted fact that it will determine a great deal of our experience materially, inter-personally, and emotionally. It may be thought of as self-concept, or self-esteem and self-acceptance, self-care, and self-love. This shows up in particularly high-relief/ particularly sharp in contrast in work with relationships where it is clear to more and more people (whether we like it or not) that our relationship with our self will determine our relationship dynamics with others: how well do we honor boundaries both for ourselves and for others? Do we feel we deserve to be happy and deserve to have a relationship in which we are treated well—with kindness and respect and love? How easily and openly do we communicate?

In essense: the degree of health we enjoy in our relationship with ourselves (and to our “self”) will have a great deal of influence on the degree of heath an vitality we enjoy in relationships with others—and life in general.

We can usually boil it down to the essence of: “you can’t have a loving relationship with another if you don’t love yourself”. There is more granularity more recently in some of the distinctions applied by the Integral community using the stages we laid out at the beginning of this writing applied to relationships; what are the qualities and characteristics of a “Stage 2 relationship, a “Stage 3 relationship” and so on.

This is relevant for precisely the reason that for many of us, our relationship to the Divine may be the most important relationship of all.

Which brings us to the question posed in the title of this article: “is our relationship to God wrecking our relationship with God?

It is an existential spiritual question. The very nature of how we experience Divinity is at stake. Examining this question will not only allow us to see where we limit ourselves spiritually, but also give us access to improving our state of health and vitality in the spiritual domain—determining to what degree we can shine the Light in the world in a way that transcends religion, allowing us to achieve our highest spiritual ambitions. In essence to become the highest within us—to emulate and embody more consistently our most precious qualities, characteristics, and spiritual ideals of universal love, compassion, and acceptance as taught by all of the world’s great spiritual traditions; to close the gap between who we are and who we strive to emulate and … to be.

If we are to realize our highest spiritual potentiality, our relationship to God is something that not only can and will be examined in the process, but must be examined.

As above, so below.

“God” is simultaneously personal and public, internal and external, and it is one of the hottest potatoes to throw around these days. Not just because for a growing number of people, belief in a God has fallen out of fashion—that would be the easiest hurdle to clear—but even worse, we have the full spectrum of religious beliefs on parade from Christian fundamentalists to radical Islam. “Spiritual but not religious” is a categorization that over 20% of the population in America now identifies as—and it is a category that is growing amongst the younger generations with 30% of the people under 30 years of age identifying themselves in this way.

The “problem” of religion has never been more obvious., Even those who are among the same mono-theistic traditions are in vigorous disagreement about the "true interpretation" of their sacred texts, how to worship, and who should be allowed within the flock (or not allowed within the flock as the case more often occurs).

What is true for one group—or one individual—is seldom true for another.

And that is before we even get to the discussion of the mytho-poetic themes of the world’s great religious traditions; was Jesus really born of the Virgin Mary? Was Lao Tzu really born as a 900 year-old man? Is the earth really resting on the head of a giant serpent (or the shell of a giant tortoise)? And of course, the subject of great debate most recently it seems: is the Earth really only 6,000 years old? Are these facts—with belief in them required to enter into the afterlife? Or are they gorgeous and useful poetic metaphors pointing to a greater truth in a way that people at the time could accept, pointing to Divine power.

But the real question to ask is: does any of that really matter? Should it?

A large enough number of people take the sacred texts literally that they must be honored in the conversation. Still others—and an ever-increasing number—do not, and look more to the teachings and the higher principles at play, shedding more and more of the convention, the traditions and, yes, the dogma. We do so because we are moving in a direction that we all do in our lives, and as groups in general—a direction of increasing wholeness, and ever-increasing embrace and acceptance of ourselves—and differences we have with others.

And there are some who are looking beyond the differences the great spiritual traditions have to the universals truths that they all share.

We really only have two choices when we are faced with facts that do not fit our belief structures, and this is most glaring when it comes to religious beliefs.. We can either expand our beliefs to include the facts on the ground, or we can dig in and regress and become more insular, ejecting the facts and reinforcing our belief structures.

This expansion is another way to point to the activity of personal evolution actually occurring. We could say the same about regression, truthfully, as it is included in the over-all process, even knowing that the direction we hope to move is one of expansion. But, the eventual expansion is what leads to peace, ease, increased capacities, and all the other goodies we get to experience, even if it comes as the result of moving through the death-throes, and for some, the process as we shed the limitations of our previous preciously-held beliefs is a painful process that can give some an experience that ranges from confusion for some to grief for others.

A process we will confront together in Part 2 of this piece.

You can find Part 2 » here « now.

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Tom Hoobyar

9.27.2011 ::: Update: Tom Hoobyar has passed on to another plane. Now, Vikki needs your help. At times, his care was costing upwards of $5K a day. Please follow the link near the bottom of this post to contribute to the medicals bills she now faces in this time of grief.


Tom Hoobyar has pancreatic cancer. Stage 4. He is on full life-support in Reno in ICU. He is in a semi-comatose state.

As of this writing, I was with Tom in the ICU in Reno, NV Monday night with others from his community. 

Many of you know Tom, or know of him--particularly if you are in the NLP community. He is an iconic figure. A true gift and a treasure and a resource. He is the reason the NLP Cafes exist.

You can keep up-to-date on the Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/250177441679151/

 

More directly, please go to this link and support Tom [and regardless of the medical outcome, Vikki, his gracious and adoring wife]:

http://www.gofundme.com/for-the-love-of-tomborder=border="0"border="0"http://www.gofundme.com/for-the-love-of-tom

What is there to say about Tom?

Tom Hoobyar. They just don't make 'em like that any more. Heart of gold. Mind of steel. Hands of gentle power.

Tom gave and gave and gave. Tom's the kind of guy you can call and you know you can count on him to just ... be there.

His love and his true love [Vikki Hoobyar] are such lights in the world. Lights that will continue to flicker and shine and cast shadows and chase shadows away. And no matter how weak or strong that flame, even just the thought of him/her/them/it brings warmth to the heart that comforts deeper than the sun ever could.

I love you Tom. I love you Vikki. You are loved. You are cherished. In this life and on this plane ... and on others.

*humble and deep bow*

Go here now:
http://www.gofundme.com/for-the-love-of-tomborder=border="0"border="0"http://www.gofundme.com/for-the-love-of-tom

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Sam Rosen on Conversion vs. Consciousness

It is exceedingly rare that another writer captures my sensibilities perfectly. Sam Rosen has done just that in his article on Consciousness vs. Conversions. Hop on over and check it out.

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Who [or What] is Your God ::: Transcending Religiosity Through Spiral Dynamics

Who or What do You Worship? The purpose of this writing is to lay out different “gods” or objects of worship as an outgrowth and/or expression of the mimetic stage [meme codes within values spheres] of individuals and groups using a rough sketch of the Spiral Dynamics model.

Be forewarned ::: this is serious personal evolution geek stuff.

I am also going to make the unusual move of saying the very premise of what I am about to lay out is inaccurate. That’s right. I am beginning by saying I am wrong in my assertion that there is an individual relationship between mimetic stage and what one “worships”. Why? Because we experience / interpret through and emotionally react from our stage of development—and an individual can therefore have an experience of a particular spirituality or spiritual expression that is the same religion and same “god” as another at a radically different stage and therefore experience it differently. However, I have noticed cultural clumps that gives us enough evidence to make these generalizations below for the purpose of engaging in this thought experiment. To understand some of what I will say in this writing, one must have an at least basic grasp of the Spiral Dynamics model. There are two summaries attached for your downloading HEREHEREHERE and HEREHERE. Source ::: LINKLINKLINK. Review those before reading further.

My favorite way of representing Spiral Dynamics comes from Dr. Claire Graves himself: The memes are “degrees of activation of the nervous system”. These are not types of people but rather ways of thinking that are holarchically emergent within people. Having established all of the above as our foundation...

The status of the world today is precarious.

All we need to do is turn on the television or spend a day reading the New York Times, WaPo, The Wall Street Journal, Instapundit, or google news, to see some article about humans attempting to force their value system—often expressed through religiosity—onto others. Whether you are a Israeli having to worry about your existential existence while others in the name of Allah want to push you to the sea, or a secular humanist fearful of the Christian Right in America and some Nation States in Europe, or you are a secular Jew shaking your head at the expansion of settlements deeper into “Palestine”…or you were a New York Resident who watched the twin towers fall you are probably--to varying degrees—aware of and worried about religious fundamentalism and its perilous impact on the global web of life.

But there are other forms that are not as obvious and are more popularly accepted and advocated in today’s media and the latest social mimetic in vogue.

Regardless of which belief system you call your own, the dangers of religious fundamentalism are undeniable. In all likelihood, you just think it is the fundamentalism of the Other that is dangerous. But what of your own? You may or may not worship a traditional god, but there is a 98% chance you worship something—and have your own attachment and identification to it. Who or what do you worship? It may not be a god, a goddess, or a Great Spirit but it is something. Is it success, achievement, or the all-mighty dollar? Is it Gaia, Mother Earth, the biosphere? Is it the Nation State, government, or the democratic process? What do you surrender your mind to? What are you an activist for? Put your worship into? Become irrational over or about? Deny evidence to the contrary for/of? Once someone says anything is a settled matter—and are closed to debate or dialogue—and go so far as to say that those who do not agree should be tried and hanged, that, my friends, is religious fundamentalism regardless of the form of the deity. In fact, here is an organization advocating Nuremburg-Style Trials for Global Warming Skeptics.Nuremburg-Style Trials for Global Warming Skeptics. Lovely. Lovely example of fundamentalism, that is. Gaia as God/dess. Apparently we are going back to burning people at the stake for being heretics. Only the deity has changed.

 

Now that I have your attention, the rest of this piece will be a geek-out session of personal evolution and the emergent in spiral dynamics coupled with cultural clumps and the waves a particular god/dess or “deity” is most inclined towards.

Purple or “magic/mythic” will worship nature and the spirits in nature. The trees talk to Purple. So does the wind. They may worship the great Spirit or the Directions and their elements. Red worships power, respect, might, and most notably, blows things up in the name of Allah. Their “gods” may be the gang, the dictator, the Authoritarian State and so on. Blue/Conventional is likely to worship a Christian/Judeo god in a fundamentalist way—taking the bible or the Torah literally. Orange will worship the all-mighty dollar, success, status, and achievement, and/or hard science. Green will worship Gaia or Community or Multiculturalism and "Diversity" with great fervor and no regard for real-world results.

And thus ends Tier 1, where the “Momentous Leap”, as Dr Claire Graves called it, emerges and occurs. At Yellow, or Integral—the first stage in Tier 2, there is little or no “worship”, but rather an appreciation of all forms of worship and all metaphors [yes I said it] for the highest form of consciousness; what some refer to as “God” or Goddess”.

Having said all that, it is possible for someone to rise through these emergent stages in one of any of the religions or forms of worship listed above—but the way they interpret it moves from maniacal and fervent to literal to obedient to questioning to rejecting to appreciating it for its metaphorical value--yet having choice around it. And as one rises through those waves, stages, or levels of development in relationship to it, its grasp and its “Truth-ness” becomes less and less rigid and less and less fundamentalist and therefore less and less violent both physically and metaphorically. We hold our beliefs less rigidly and in relationship with them, our beliefs do not hold onto us quite so rigidly either. They lose their grip on us.

So…who—or what—do you worship? Each memetic stage in the evolution of values [another way of thinking about and representing SD] has its own fixation and spiritual expression. Is it God? Jehovah? Allah? Is it the Market? is it Gaia? Is it Community or the State?

Consider this ::: your view, while accurate and valid, is incomplete. It is partial. It must be. They all are. I look forward to a day when we can all truly appreciate the value and beauty in all beliefs while creating a stable and sustainable dialogue between all of them as we transcend our fundamentalism in all forms and create an Integral and integrated world.

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