INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber



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Lawrence Wollersheim is the Executive Director of Integrative Spirituality. He brings an extensive 30-year background in day-to-day technology and business operations across profit and non-profit sectors to his work at IS. Comments on the essay below are deeply appreciated and can be sent to: manage@IntegrativeSpirituality.org .

The Goals of an
Integrative and Integral
Spirituality

Lawrence Wollersheim

Introduction:

At Integrative Spirituality (IntegrativeSpirituality.org) we practice open source, integral spirituality. We hope that the vision of Integral Spirituality that has evolved in our organization will assist others in developing their personal integral spiritual practices.

In the last 3 years on line our membership has grown to almost 4,000 members. We have refined a clear set of goals that we believe are natural and essential to being an authentic integral spirituality. Those goals listed below fall into four main areas, spiritual, social, library and knowledge base and organizational. We have provided links in the document to specific definitions and related materials wherever necessary to enhance clarity.

Our Spiritual Teaching Goals:

  1. Re-integrate the life-affirming values and wisdom of spirituality/religion with the facts of science and the beauty of philosophical inquiry.
  2. Integrating art and beauty back into its vital role within spirituality and religion.
  3. Re-integrate and re-balance the qualities of feminine spirituality with masculine spirituality by both including both the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine in our new integral spirituality and then also transcending both of these Divinity genderizations in a new appreciation of the Divine Oneness.
  4. Provide integrally-informed deeper, broader and more universal answers to the ultimate spiritual questions of life, such as:
    1. Who and what is the Divine and what are his/her/its purposes?
    2. How is the Divine experienced and realized in our individual and collective lives?
    3. What is the true origin and essence of the individual, humanity, the planet and the living and non living systems of life?
    4. What is the highest purpose and destiny for the existence of the individual, humanity, the planet, the living and non living systems of life and the universe?
    5. What is the best way to devote ourselves to forwarding those purposes and destinies?
    6. How do we best live our lives with nature and our fellow beings?
    7. What is our spiritual responsibility in co-creating a better world in the here and now?
    8. How do we understand our relationships in relation to the dualities of life that so often seem to cause relational conflict?
    9. Is there an afterlife, and if so, how do we prepare for it and seek a greater understanding of all the spiritually classic, scientific and yet unknown aspects of the afterlife?
  5. Create integrally-informed spiritual metaphors, rituals, ceremonies and sacraments, and a new genesis story that embraces all humankind and life.
  6. Offer new integrally-informed perspectives on spiritualized ethics and morality.
  7. Help unify eastern, western and scientific based spiritualities by integrating the highest spiritual wisdom of the West and East with the facts of science to expand the individual's direct spiritual experience(s) with each and all of the Divine co-absolutes of the Oneness. This tripartite of Divine co-absolutes within the Oneness are sometimes called the "I" the "We" and the "It" co-absolutes of Divinity.

    They are also known as:
    • The Personal Absolute (an actual personal God/Goddess absolute being. This would also include our direct personal relation to this absolute personal being)
    • The Evolutionary Absolute (God/Goddess evolving through and in the universe with us as partners. This form of Deity is both science-revealed and humanly co-evolved in time. This co-absolute form contains both personal and impersonal aspects)
    • The Impersonal Absolute (concepts such as the non-personal Buddhist Emptiness, Brahman, the Tao or the “I am witness” as offered by many forms of eastern spirituality).


    For one's spiritual life to grow to its fullest heights and the world to flourish in the most life-affirming ways, one's spiritual path is most optimally served by regular and balanced evolutionary and panentheistic direct spiritual experiences with each and all of the co-absolutes of Divine Oneness (Personal, Impersonal and Evolutionary).
  8. Honor relationship as an end in itself achievable in each now moment.
  9. Promote the critical importance of doing spiritual growth work along with psychological shadow-work. The effectiveness of this combination can be demonstrated through the classic spiritual community validity test for authentic spiritual practice, which is demonstrated by a balanced living of the virtues.
  10. Teach that there is no wrong form of spirituality or religion because every human being must grow perspective by perspective from birth through the entire spiral of developmental perspectives of consciousness. Authentic Divinity and spiritual expression will always look significantly different from each human developmental perspective. Additionally, everyone has a right to be and remain at any developmental perspective for as long as they wish. No personal or cultural developmental perspective holds an intrinsic or naturally inherent authority or superiority over any other.
  11. Teach and integrate the spiritual wisdom found within humankind's developmental perspectives of consciousness (archaic, magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, integral, and super-integral) and then being an effective spiraling platform for educational and experiential evolution through those developmental perspectives.
  12. Teach that our perceptions of any given spiritual reality are also conceptions that are at least partially constructed and created by us. At a particular time they can be good and useful interpretations or metaphors, but as we evolve, and as deeper and broader structure is uncovered, those perceptions will or could evolve too.
  13. Doing everything possible to educate our members about the many pathologies and abuses of past religions and the necessary critical spiritual safeguards (community validly tests) to prevent them from occurring in a new open source integral spirituality and integral religion. Some, but by no means all of the pathologies of institutionalized religion have been:
    1. fixation of beliefs;
    2. establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority;
    3. religious fundamentalism;
    4. tendency to standardize and fossilize truth;
    5. diversion of religion from the service of God to the service of the church;
    6. fund raising focus in place of a humble spiritual service focus;
    7. creating discriminatory religious castes;
    8. becoming an intolerant judge of orthodoxy;
    9. creation of the aristocratic "chosen-people" attitude;
    10. sexual and financial abuse of members or diversion of donations;
    11. undue psycho/spiritual influence or coercive influence over members negating or debilitating their ability to exercise spiritual free will;
    12. fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness;
    13. routinizing of religion;
    14. accepting or foisting religious symbols, ritual and ceremonies in place of authentic direct spiritual experience of and with the Divine;
    15. using blind or absolutist faith to override proper faith balance with rationality or scientific facts;
    16. preventing or slowing members progressing spiritually through Fowler's natural stages of spiritual growth;
    17. tendency to form sects and competitive divisions;
    18. petrification of meditation/worship;
    19. venerating the past while ignoring present demands;
    20. failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion's messages;
    21. entanglement with functions of secular institutions;
    22. inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers;
    23. accumulation of vested interests toward increased secularization;
    24. failing to hold the interest of adventurous youth;
    25. losing the hope renewing wisdom derived from ongoing personal direct spiritual experience with the Divine.


    Click here to learn more about our spiritual safeguards against other religious pathologies and abuses.

Our Spiritual Social Goals:

  1. Promote social service to community and society that is informed by the integral spirituality worldview.
  2. Be a fertile spiritual incubator for the emergence of enlightened, service motivated leaders informed by an integral spiritual perspective --- leaders who will inspire by example and lead the world toward a more life-affirming and sustainable evolution in all areas and walks of life. We intend to do this in part by creating ongoing educational programs to educate and train these enlightened new leaders. To more realistically achieve this mission goal we will also create educational programs to provide ongoing spiritual and leadership training for children, teens and young adults--the next generation of enlightened leaders.
  3. Grow integral open source, spiritual communities globally.
  4. Use open source integral spirituality to assist other religions in integralizing their faiths, i.e., assisting in the evolution of a more integral Judaism, integral Christianity, integral Islam, integral Buddhism, integral Hinduism, etc. We can thus facilitate the spiritual growth of billions of individuals through the spiraling developmental perspectives of consciousness to create a more tolerant and life-affirming world for all.
  5. Expand the global spiritual commons (that is the integral worldview and movement as a whole, which will also help spread the ideas of a (r)evolutionary, open source integral spirituality.

Our Spiritual Knowledge Base and Library and Knowledge Base Goals:

  1. Collect and provide all of the most universally applicable spiritual wisdom and processes from humankind's vast spiritual heritage to help individuals achieve:
    1. direct spiritual experience(s) of the Divine
    2. successful spiritual lives
    3. co-creation of a better world.
  2. Present the collected spiritual wisdom of humankind in such a way that it is coherent and internally consistent.
  3. Present the collected spiritual wisdom and processes of humankind in such a way that it can easily be assimilated at every meme perspective of consciousness by any personality type, learning style, culture, race or ethnicity in every culture through…

Our Organizational Goals:

Be a spiritual organization evolving and envisioning administrative systems to support:

  1. what the next optimal spiritual system will be to support how Highest Divinity is now spiritually appearing to partner with us to resolve the most serious challenges of our times.
  2. how we can best show up in spiritual partnership with Highest Divinity and in relationship and community with our brothers and sisters to do the same.

How We Intend To Reach Our Integral Spirituality Goals:

  1. While many religious orthodoxies proclaim that they are the only way and complete truth, we intend to be a gracious organization. Our educational attitude is, “Yes, you're currently right and that is always true, but it is partial rightness in an evolving universe. And, there is more wisdom available to increase the current wisdom rightness of your life or orgaqnization.”
  2. Be a both/and unity and solution-creating organization versus an either/or duality creating organization.
  3. Stay humble by not forgetting that our perceptions of any given spiritual reality are also conceptions that are at least partially constructed and created by us. At a particular time they can be good and useful interpretations or metaphors, but as we evolve, and as deeper and broader structure is uncovered, those perceptions will evolve too.
  4. Have most of our spiritual education materials, organizational policy and operational direction be co-created by a spiritually mature community of self-organizing individuals operating from an integral informed worldview to the best of our ability.
  5. We will always function as a non profit religious organization rather than as any type of organization.
  6. For details about our spiritual and administrative principles for how we intend on reaching our Integral Spirituality goals above click here.



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