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 .

Open Source
Integral Spirituality

Why it is Needed and how it Could Work

Lawrence Wollersheim

What is Open Source Integral Spirituality?

Open Source is a revolutionary idea born recently in the software development world. It means that the underlying software source code is accessible, open, transparent, and free for all to see, use and improve. (Software source code is the internal programming code that has been assembled by a programmer that makes the software work, useful and effective for a specific task)

What is unique about open source software code as opposed to closed proprietary software code is that it can be improved by any person who reads the code and knows what to do, providing only that they too make their software source code improvements accessible, open, transparent and free for all to see use and improve. Open source software code accessibility, transparency, and free sharing has created a veritable revolution in new software capacities and services of all kinds on and off the internet. The results of the open source software revolution also have been a great facilitator for the democratization and empowerment of the flow of information around the world via the internet and, a vital resource-leveraging aid for the empowerment of non profit and non governmental organizations everywhere to share their messages.

What Open Source Means when Applied to a (R)evolutionary Integral Spirituality

The open source concept and part of the (r)evolutionary integral spirituality process and definition can be stated in many parallel concepts to how traditional open source software functions:

  1. A. For its "source code" the open source integral spirituality movement uses all the available sources from humanity's great heritage of spiritual wisdom. Because of this quality it naturally is creating and evolving the next evolutionary step in spirituality and religion beyond denominational sectarianism ---the era of the new omni-denominational spiritualities and religions. Like programmers who collect any formulas they might need to perform open source software code processes, open source spirituality collaborators and co-creators collect and organize the formulas and principles from humanity's spiritual wisdom with the intention of sharing wisdom related to performing life's most vital spiritual tasks as effectively as possible. Specifically, helping the individual expand their direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin, improve their balanced practice of the virtues and achieve spiritual completeness.
  2. B. Just as programmers need to know the minimum technical principles for creating effective software code to make effective software products, individuals in the open source integral spirituality co-creative collaboration need to know the minimum spiritual and administrative principles and processes to work effectively to help expand the global spiritual commons and to emerge or create effective new spiritual visions, perspectives and contributions that can be used by anyone to forward their personal spirituality. The global spiritual commons will be defined in more detail shortly.
  3. C. This assembled open source heritage of spiritual wisdom is then made open, easily accessible, transparent, and free in various online data bases for the spiritual wisdom cross-pollenization benefits for all individuals and all organization to use and further expand, add to, edit and improve. All originators of these collected spiritual source "code" materials can share (cross-pollinate) their spiritual wisdom additions or improvements in this open source collaboration and even be recognized for their contributions, thereby helping to co-create and expand a new type of global spiritual wisdom commons. This collaboration for expanding the global spiritual commons is greatly aided by the fact that there is no requirement of allegiance to some particular religious or cultural ism or particular religious authority to use it, add to it, edit or improve it (This is another significant advance beyond the current functional limits of today's Interfaith movement). Inside the global spiritual commons is a new supportive global spiritual culture where individuals can, as they so decide, evolve or modify their current beliefs, practices or even denominations to expand and improve their own personal spirituality. This occurs because of wisdom cross-pollenization and graceful questioning interactions with humanity's vast spiritual heritage.
  4. D. Just as open source software is continually being upgraded with new improvements or capacities as new information is being discovered, the open source integral spirituality process is also a process of never ending integrally-informed upgrades.

In summary, in addition to the benefits mentioned above, omni-denominational, open source integral spirituality is a new means of open co-creation to actively co-evolve the collective spirituality of humanity assist each individual expand their personal spirituality, create a better world and improve understanding and tolerance between the religious organizations of the world. Any individual of any denomination or organization who understands the spiritual and administrative principles of omni-denominational, open source integral spirituality and the materials that they would like to work on or contribute to can co-create with all other co-creators and contribute their spiritual wisdom, ideas and principles to help co-evolve this new form of integral spirituality and thereby expand the global spiritual commons. This also implies that in an omni-denominational, open source integral spirituality, there always will be many different harmonics of spiritual messages and types of spiritual teachers presenting spiritual wisdom from many different evolutionary perspectives. This is exactly as it should be because spiritual wisdom needs to be presented in a digestible manner that is tailored to the differences in individual abilities, learning styles and personality types as well as differences in religious or cultural backgrounds and psychological developmental perspectives.

For more detailed information about the spiritual working principles of the open source part of an integral spirituality, click here.

For more detailed information about the administrative working principles of the open source part of an integral spirituality, click here.

For more detailed information about the Integral Spirituality part of the definition of open source integral spirituality, click here.

Creating a Global Spiritual Commons

A Global Spiritual Commons is defined as a common and free access spiritual wisdom resource, cyber hub and network created and expanded by any and all individuals or organizations who wish to share their spiritual wisdom and experience in an open source collaboration and co-creation. The Open Source Integral Spirituality process and spiritual and administrative principles listed below this section facilitate the expansion, maintenance and the free and open use of the Global Spiritual Commons.

What is most exciting about the results of these online and offline open source integral spirituality collaborations is that they not only expand the Global Spiritual Commons, but they also create a place where you will find both a place and process where everyone can share in the spiritual wisdom from humanity's vast heritage or add and share the wisdom from their own spirituality or personal experience to help emerge new visions and perspectives of the Divine. The global spiritual commons is becoming humanity's vast central knowledge base of all spiritual wisdom, which can be more fully collected, organized and, freely distributed through multiple system and multiple channel delivery systems. The multiple delivery systems and channels will specifically adapt this continuously expanding spiritual knowledge base for more effective and easier user assimilation by tailoring the presentation of this wisdom specifically to an individual's unique learning style, personality, current psychological development level, culture or other important isms.

In the dynamic, integrally-informed evolutionary synthesis process of the co-creative assembly and inclusion of all of humankind's spiritual wisdom in this global spiritual commons, there is a natural pruning that occurs resulting in the emergence of more useful and/or appropriate spiritual wisdom. In some cases this newly emerged wisdom will transcend earlier spiritual wisdom in its universality, inclusiveness, meanings, values, or in the way that it better integrates all spiritual and physical life wisdom into more useful maps and metaphors for not only the co-creators and participants in the global spiritual commons, but for all of humankind. In the following Principles for Building an Open Source Integral Spirituality section much more will be said to help define what is the Global Spiritual Commons, what it specifically does and what are the Open Source Integral Spirituality processes and principles.

If you are already wondering about the many exciting goals that could be advanced, achieved or greatly facilitated by the processes of an open source integral spirituality helping to expand the global spiritual commons click here.

Principles for Building an Open Source Integral Spirituality

The common global spiritual culture is now expanding at a faster level than ever before in history. a global spiritual commons supported by the processes of open source integral spirituality described in this document is intended to co-create and expand the global spiritual commons where all individuals can be part of a common culture of spiritual experience and spiritual wisdom. It is also a place where people can feel a tangible interconnectedness to each other through recognition of their common spiritual Origin and the commonality found within their highest spiritual intentions as well as their common inter-religious moral values such as justice, love, mercy, kindness and compassion.

The global spiritual commons is a place for the collection, consolidation and distribution of all of humanity's spiritual wisdom that is life-affirming, universal, inclusive and hopefully also often even empirical (as it relates to the common spiritual experiences of the members of the world's spiritual communities and religions.) It is also a place for the collection, discovery and sharing the most universal common denominators of authentic spirituality, new evolutionary disclosures about the Divine and, yet is still appreciative and respectful our many denominational diversities. It is created by a process that is self-organizing, dynamic and that already has shown it has a self propagating life of its own.

Below are the essential minimum values and principles of the open source integral spirituality collabotation process that will facilitate expanding the global spiritual commons. This list will be amended or upgraded as needed as would be expected in any evolving and yet incomplete new movement:

1.) On Its Prime Focus

The most important focus of open source integral spirituality is the common core and essence of all religion. It is one's continually expanding and deepening direct personal experiences with the Ever Present Origin of All Reality, improving one's balanced practice of the virtues, and achieving spiritual completeness. (Spirituality is the innermost and most critical essence of all religion as opposed to religion's outermost characteristics such as its social beliefs, doctrines, rituals and organizational structures, authorities and hierarchies.)

2.) On Diversity

This is an open source movement! It encourages many individuals, organizations and teachers of spiritual wisdom to contribute their wisdom to the open source integral spirituality collaboration.

This diversity is essential to an unending search for additional and broader spiritual truth and is vital for making spiritual wisdom accessible to the great variety of personalities, learning styles, psychological developmental levels and cultures. Though different in abilities, all are equal in spiritual dignity and can act as co-creators of the global spiritual commons.

3.) On Personal Spiritual Choice and Authority

Every mentally sound person already possesses the internal means to be their own highest spiritual authority for discerning spiritual truth for their own spiritual path. This implies that each individual is their own highest spiritual authority.

4.) On Organizational Spiritual Authority and Revelation

In the global spiritual commons and in the open source integral spirituality movement it is necessary that there are no highest Popes, Bishops, Avatars, Gurus, Rabbis, Imams, etc. or, any religious hierarchy of final spiritual authority or religious orthodoxy outside the spiritual authority of the individual. No one spiritual source, spiritual teacher, founder, leader or organization has the universal or final spiritual authority on what is authentic or appropriate spiritual wisdom, spiritual truth or spiritual law for anyone other than themselves.

From this date of this original declaration's creation forward, the above paragraph naturally infers that there is also no longer recognition of special, exclusive, ongoing or final spiritual revelation being presented by the Ever Present Origin uniquely or solely to one individual or to one organization that is applicable to or for anyone beyond the specific individual who received it. While we do accept the possibility of unique personal revelation/guidance in terms of the communication quality possible within the relationship of the individual to the Ever Present Origin, we do not hold that this unique personal revelation/guidance can or should be held out as authentic or final religious or spiritual truth, law or authority for anyone or any organization except possible for the individual who received it and, then only if they themselves judge and accept it to be religious or spiritual truth, law or authority for themselves.

Religious revelation intended or decreed as final, authoritative or as religious law for anyone or any group other than for the unique, single individual who received it is an area of religion and spirituality historically fraught with abuse and misuse and the source of much of the current religious strive in the world today. Furthermore, by its very claim to be authentic or final religious/spiritual revelation for a group or mankind there is not only no real objective way to disprove it, there is also no real objective way to prove it either.

Revelation because it cannot be proven or un-proven, has most often been something that not only divides people, but often historically has served as the rational for violence against disbelievers of some particular revelation. Revelation that confers special or exclusive privileges, rights, roles, responsibilities, religious law, authority or property on or over a select few or special group is even further suspect in that the message of the revelation is not inclusive, universal or just and, by its nature congruent with those prime qualities within the Ever Present Origin.

If you do believe that Divinity will in fact, continue to disclose more of its infinite self and aspects to humanity in revelation as time goes on, maybe the Divine when the time was right has always intended to eventually disclose more of itself through a new multi-religious open source, co-creative process where the combination of insights and wisdom from all religions will offer a bigger, broader and, more clear and accurate picture of Divinity than the revelational perspective of any one religion. Maybe, at this time in history we have finally now both become and really are all vital spiritual and moral partners who are equal-opportunity, (open source) co-revealers of the endless and expanding truths about Divinity.

Maybe for our post-postmodern times, the revealing of the endless and expanding truths about Divinity is now better executed by a continuous and collaborative group effort rather than by only a progressive or exclusive single revelatory effort by any one religion. Maybe, continuous group efforts to accelerate the revealing of the expanding new truths about Divinity is the appropriate evolutionary step ladder now needed for these times for our new revelations where later revelations are no longer viewed as either final or even necessarily superior to earlier revelations, but instead new revelations are viewed as a just another beautiful pearl to be added to a string of pearls that can grow into endless strands.

Maybe, from the very beginning of our spiritual history (although we did not know it then,) the endless expanding truth about infinite Divinity has always been far, far too great for any one religion to hold. And just maybe, while the absolute truth of Divinity may always be one, we still may need the many different religious paths to start us out, but then it will be the combined best wisdom from all the religions that will keep us on our way most effectively and efficiently to the greatest spiritual heights possible.

In dealing with all previous spiritual claims by individuals or religious organizations that that they have received a special, exclusive, ongoing, authoritative or final spiritual revelation that does or does not bind or confer special or exclusive privileges, rights, roles, responsibilities, laws, authority or property on or over a select few or special group (other than over only the unique individual receiver of that revelation) the open source movement intentionally does not at this time address the validity of such claims and takes no official position toward such claims of past revelation. The global spiritual commons will provide additional insights on this, but we leave this for each individual to work out as an issue of personal faith for themselves.

5.) On Miracles

In open source integral spirituality, miracles that defy the natural laws are treated as a personal issue of faith. Miracles may not be used as proof of spiritual authority or spiritual truth for anyone other than the individual experiencing the miracle even if the miracle has been subjected to rigorous scientific investigation. This is because even in the most rigorous of scientific investigation although the fact that an event has occurred might be ascertained with a high degree of certainty, why or what caused that event to occur is far harder to discern, especially when a spiritual cause is being assigned or attributed to that event.

Open source integral spirituality has been birthed in the 21st century where there is a new emphasis on the reintegration of the values and wisdom of spirituality with the fact and rationality of science. Looking at the deepest cause and effect patterns of our 13 billion year evolution and the beauty and order it has created, it easy to see from a spiritual perspective that "miracles" are found everywhere in the most ordinary of events in our everyday lives. Spectacular or simple personal miracles that supposedly supersede the laws of nature are of minor and tangential interest to the Open Source Integral Spirituality movement compared to what best helps individuals connect directly to the Ever Present Origin, grow towards spiritual completion and live lives of balanced virtue.

6.) On the Questioning of Faith Beliefs and Practices

We have come to a new point in humanity's spiritual history where if individuals or religious organization's assert to another that their own faith beliefs or practices should be believed or followed as fact and/or that specific behavior is dictated or ordered by those faith beliefs or practices, then those faith beliefs or practices should be open to a gracious public questioning and dialog on their factuality and/or usefulness in directing specific behaviors. Religious pathology, abuse, fundamentalism and religious terrorism are not just matters of history, but fill the pages of our daily media. The only way many of these issues will heal is by open, candid and gracious dialog concerning the faith beliefs or practices that may be instrumental to creating these situations.

This does not imply that private individuals who are not asserting to another that their own faith beliefs or practices should be believed or followed as fact and/or that specific behavior is dictated or ordered by those faith beliefs or practices should be questioned on their faith beliefs or practices. In this situation the individual is fully entitled to believe whatever they privately chose to believe much as a person is entitled to speak or hold their opinions and cannot be sued for libel or slander if they are just expressing opinions and not presenting their opinions as facts.

Many religions already encourage their members to sincerely examine and reality test the faith beliefs or practices being presented to them. An open source integral spirituality just extends and expands the sanction and healthy practice of a sincere and gracious questioning and reality testing of faith beliefs for the benefit of both society and religion itself.

Additionally, if we do not allow for gracious questioning of faith beliefs and faith practices it closes off the possibilities for addressing behaviors that perpetuate historic unfairness. Tolerance and diversity can be used quite well by the clever to perpetuate all types of injustice and cruelty in the name of religion.

7.) On Personalities in the Movement

The open source integral spirituality movement gladly accepts the co-creational assistance from anyone, but it gives no inappropriate or special attention, honor, position or consideration to any person or organization involved because they are personalities or organizations of wealth, fame, power, specialized influence, celebrity or pre-existing ecclesiastical authority in a religious or spiritual organization.

8.) On the Non-Equality of All Spiritual Wisdom

Not all spiritual wisdom is equal. The inclusive collection of all of mankind's spiritual wisdom as part of any synthesis process will naturally involve both general categorization and then some pruning of this wisdom from our combined spiritual heritage.

Some spiritual wisdom will be more widely applicable, inclusive, universal, life affirming and even empirical. Some spiritual wisdom will be more useful than others in that it is more effective or efficient in producing the fruits of authentic spiritual growth in more people with various personality types, psychological developmental levels, learning styles, cultural backgrounds, etc. in a safe and balanced way.

The fruits and the time proven community validity tests of authentic spirituality and spiritual growth from humankind's spiritual heritage are held in the open source movement to be the life results of the individual or organization that demonstrate the balanced application of the virtues. These time proven community validity tests are a principled focus for the movement to use for categorizing and evaluating the effectiveness or the partial usefulness of various pieces of spiritual wisdom.

Sincere spiritual inquiry, the sharing of all spiritual wisdom (without regard to culture or religious ism,) and the search for spiritual wisdom that is more universal, inclusive and life affirming inspires the open source spirituality movement toward the discovery of more useful and applicable spiritual wisdom, more universal statements of the nature and purposes of the Ever Present Origin and, of the evolving nature of life itself.

The continuous process of co-operation and collaboration for collecting and expanding humanity's spiritual wisdom in the open source spirituality movement between the many individual or organizational efforts to know the Ever Present Origin, holds the promise of expanding humanity's spiritual knowledge base, assembling spiritual wisdom of a complementary nature and, expanding the free and open spiritual commons for all humanity. This evolutionary process also does much to reveal a greater vision of the Ever Present Origin's wholeness, truth, beauty, goodness, nature and purposes, which then has the potential of translating directly into better processes for direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin for more individuals, for a better world.

9.) On the Process Itself

As in open source software, where software development is an unending process of continual upgrades, open source integral spirituality processes for expanding the global spiritual commons is also more of an ongoing evolving, integrally-informed collaborative process than any final result. It too will be constantly upgraded.

As more wisdom is included and synthesized in the expanding global spiritual commons new synchronicities and connections within this accumulating wisdom will point to, hint at or disclose additional new wisdom that sometimes will naturally transcend earlier spiritual wisdom. Co-creators should expect many pleasant and exciting surprises as new transcending spiritual wisdom is discovered or naturally emerges disclosing new perspectives and metaphors of the Divine.

It will always be a continuous, evolving process of expanding the spiritual wisdom knowledge base of humanity's spiritual commons. One of the prime reasons for this unending quality of the process is that the collaborative assembling and search for new or more universal, inclusive and life affirming spiritual wisdom concerning the Ever Present Origin is itself an unending process. And, the Ever Present Origin can never be fully knowable in its entire infinite splendor.

All efforts to fully know or disclose the infiniteness of its nature and purposes will at best be partial maps or metaphors. No matter how much we can know about the Ever Present Origin it will always be a partial and incomplete representation of its infinite potentials and its infinite realized aspects.

Individuals and organizations within the open source integral spirituality movement always stand in openness, awe and humility to new surprises concerning the Infinite Spiritual Mystery continually unveiling itself to each individual personality and successive generation through any and all means, sources or circumstances regarding its ultimate and complete truth, beauty and goodness. From the above, it is reasonable to deduce that one religion or one religious perspective alone will not have all the answers and all current religions might be partial or complementary views of the infinite wholeness and unfathomable Mysteries, which will forever surround the infiniteness and absoluteness of God and/or the Buddha.-

10.) On Polarization

Polarization in the global spiritual commons and the open source integral spirituality movement is avoided by the recognition that humanity's vast heritage of spiritual wisdom is partial, evolving and, has its own appropriate time, way, place, and target audience for specific applications. In this movement our combined heritage of spiritual wisdom is appreciated in the context of:

a. the age and scope of spiritual or social problems this wisdom was intended to solve,

b. the culture it came from and for what types of personalities, learning styles and psychological developmental levels it was intended to reach and serve, and

c. its effectiveness in a specific situation,

d. does it cause any consequent harm or conflicts,

e. does it create non-inclusive, unfair benefits for one individual/group over another group/individual or

f. how congruent is it with the body of other spiritual wisdom found on our "shrinking" planet and within the global spiritual commons.

Our evolving heritage of spiritual wisdom can be thought of as existing in an ever widening and ever deepening spiral of wisdom. Because of the perspective on wisdom appreciation (af above) open source integral spirituality participants can discuss, evaluate, classify, categorize and organize this heritage of spiritual wisdom while valuing any particular piece of spiritual wisdom for just for what is. Open source spirituality participants recognize that a particular piece of spiritual wisdom has an inalienable right to be exactly just what it is and to play only the specific role that it has played in humankind's spiritual history. With this attitude and perspective of appreciation, the polarization of competing spiritual wisdom or spiritual wisdom systems within this movement and the global spiritual commons should be naturally minimal and easily defused.

11.) On Organization and Distribution

Humanity's vast knowledge base of spiritual wisdom will be collected, organized and, distributed through free multi-channel delivery systems. This will help adapt the expanded human spiritual wisdom knowledge base for delivery to each individual's unique learning style, personality, current psychological development level, culture or other isms. This will increase the ease, speed and efficiency with which individuals can assimilate this wisdom to improve their lives.

12.) On Other Open Source Integral Spirituality and Global Wisdom Commons Process Objectives

There are many possible objectives and goals that an open source integral spirituality could and will engage upon. To see just a few of those possible goals, click here.

13). On Ownership, Patents and Trademarks applied to Spiritual Wisdom and the Global Spiritual Commons

Spiritual Wisdom is made freely available by the Ever Present Origin at all times, in all places and, in all circumstances to anyone who seeks and looks for it. Therefore the expanding, current collection of humanity's spiritual wisdom is always held in trust within the global spiritual commons. This collection is always "owned" by all who will ever use it.

Patents and Trademarks when applied to such a collection of spiritual wisdom are misplaced as only the true author and original creator, the Ever Present Origin, could lay valid claim to such rights. This does not mean that original descriptions of this wisdom cannot be copyrighted as part of a right livelihood, but trying to patent or trademark this spiritual wisdom is contrary to the most fundamental principles of open source spirituality and a global spiritual commons in which all can participate freely and all feel a common ownership.

14.) On No Requirement of Allegiance

There is no denominational or, authoritative religious book or authoritative religious personality ecclesial authority allegiance required to participate in open source spirituality and to help expand the global spiritual commons. In fact, any of the preceding allegiance requirements would be counter to the nature of an open co-creation of a global spiritual commons. The only participant allegiance of open source spirituality co-creators should be towards including all spiritual wisdom and helping to delineate the most universal spiritual wisdom.

15.) On Expanding our Common Core of Moral Values

The world's major religions already share a common core of moral values such as justice, compassion, mercy, love and kindness. Expanding the global spiritual commons through an open source collaboration holds the promise of disclosing new common values and finding new ways for the world's great religions to work together from those common moral values to collectively resolve the greatest problems the world faces today, such as a sustainable environment and a place where people were safe from the threats of war and injustice.

16.) On the Pathologies and Abuses of Religion

An Open Source Integral Spirituality that will help expand the global spiritual commons will need to confront and deal with the issues of the pathologies and abuses of religion within its knowledge base in a forthright and honest way. For many of the estimated 30% of the population that calls itself spiritual, but not religious the very word religion creates an unpleasant and aversive reaction. One does not have to go back in history very far to see the pathologies, excesses and abuses of religion that are still occurring in many places today.

Doing everything possible to deal with and educate about the pathologies and abuses of past religions and the critical spiritual safeguards that are necessary to prevent them from occurring in our new religion again is a natural aspect of the global spiritual commons work. Some, but by no means all of the pathologies of institutionalized religion that the global spiritual commons will eventually have to address are: fixation of beliefs; establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority; religious fundamentalism; tendency to standardize and fossilize truth; diversion of religion from the service of the Divine to the service of the church; fund raising focus in place of a humble spiritual service focus; creating discriminatory religious castes; becoming an intolerant judge of orthodoxy; creation of the aristocratic "chosen-people" attitude; sexual and financial abuse of members, undue psycho/spiritual influence or coercive influence over members negating or debilitating their ability to exercise spiritual free will; fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness; routinizing of religion; accepting religious symbols and ceremonies in place of authentic direct spiritual experience of and with the Divine, using blind or absolutist faith to override proper faith balance with rationality or scientific facts; preventing or slowing members progressing through Fowler's natural stages of spiritual growth ; tendency to form sects and competitive divisions; petrification of meditation/worship; venerating the past while ignoring present demands; failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion's messages; entanglement with functions of secular institutions; inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers; accumulation of vested interests toward increased secularization; failing to hold the interest of adventurous youth and losing the hope renewing wisdom from ongoing personal direct spiritual experience with the Divine.

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

17.) Other Probable Administrative Principles of an Open Source Expanding Global Spiritual Commons

The evolving administrative qualities of the Global Spiritual Commons community are envisioned to be created, achieved and improved though the process of inclusion, synthesis and transcendence. They are intended to always spiritually empower the expansion of the commons and each step of the adventurous journey and process of getting there.

The Probable Administrative Principles are:

a. Facilitating Intention and Action: The Global Spiritual Commons community holds the position that all co-creators of the Global Spiritual Commons intend to help people of diverse personality types, denominations, developmental or consciousness levels, cultures, ethnicities or isms to work toward achieving direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin as well as the expansion of the Global Spiritual Commons.

b. Collaborative: The Global Spiritual Commons community is a place of collaboration enhanced by openness, shared spiritual intention and attention, trust, authentic listening, speaking and participating from our experiences, intimacy, vulnerability, knowing and where one can suspend strongly held ideas and look beyond personal preconceptions to enable the process of true learning and gaining new insights.

c. Self organizing: The Global Spiritual Commons community will naturally operate on many of the principles of systems theory, particularly that of self organizing systems. For example, those who show up are the "right" persons for the work. The commons promotes bottom up created and managed solutions. Volunteers have the self-empowering freedom and autonomy in selecting and managing (self organizing) their own projects and resources.

d. Interdependent: The Global Spiritual Commons community fosters inter-dependence between independent individuals and organizations.

e. Balanced: The Global Spiritual Commons community seeks to create an enlightened win, win, win balance where individual, community and (where applicable,) environmental interests are mutually forwarded, balanced and upheld.

f. Cooperative and Co-creative: The Global Spiritual Commons community is intended to be cooperative and co-creative with all organizations and individuals with compatible missions. As a non commercial global commons it does not compete with anyone.

g. Diversity Honoring: Because the Ever Present Origin appears to love novelty and diversity in evolution, the Global Spiritual Commons community seeks to utilize the life affirming information from a multiplicity of cultural, ethnic, racial, spiritual and scientific perspectives to evolve and expand and attract co-creators from all walks of life. To expand the Global Spiritual Commons many spiritual and non-spiritual perspectives are woven into a fabric that still maintains its distinct, diverse individual visible textures and colors. The commons sees diversity as both essential to better more inclusive solutions, complementary strength and creative opportunity.

h. Safe: The Global Spiritual Commons community seeks to create and maintain an environment where all people can feel safe spiritually, socially and physically. The concept of building a safe space also means that only those minimum healthy boundaries and policies necessary to protect the open Global Spiritual Commons from unhealthy, unethical practices of individuals, businesses or organizations who would unfairly or harmfully exploit it are created.

i. Appropriate, practical solution focused: The Global Spiritual Commons community seeks to create solutions that are personalized to specific individuals and groups, integral, sufficient, scalable practical and non-authoritarian.

j. Internet centered: The Global Spiritual Commons community will be facilitated by many free, multi-language websites serving a global community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The free access web sites allow all members access to all of spiritual wisdom whenever and wherever they are needed.

k. Non-Adversarial: The Global Spiritual Commons community has no adversaries. We work toward reducing ignorance and inappropriate or disproportionate fear.

l. Integral: The Global Spiritual Commons is being significantly expanded by the Integral Worldview. This means many administration practices and other spiritual aspects of the Global Spiritual Commons community will often reflect an integral-informed perspective. As such it operates from a "both and" perspective, not an either or view. Paradox is embraced.

m. Universal and Inclusive: The Global Spiritual Commons community is an ecumenical, global and universal spiritual vehicle and movement. It promotes understanding, tolerance and unity among all religions and individuals.

n. Flow State: Control and resources flow to where they are natural or needed within the Global Spiritual Commons community. Flow usually exists as a relative dynamic balance created from continuous re-balancing adjustments to exterior evolutionary stress and/or internal tensions.

o. "Quality of Being" Focused: Unlike commercial entities the Global Spiritual Commons community intends to make any key internal administrative decisions from both a "quality of spiritual being" and a quality of physical existence focus vs. a solitary physical survival focus.

p. Healthy Boundaries: The Global Spiritual Commons community strives to set only the flexible, healthy and the most minimal boundaries necessary to maintain the quality our spiritual space necessary to expand the global spiritual commons. These boundaries will be derived or tested by historic spiritual and social "community validity tests" or safeguards that are also relevant to the conditions of the current situation.

q. Neutral Space: The Global Spiritual Commons is a neutral, nondenominational space and sanctuary where all authentic spiritual expressions from all developmental levels, cultures, or personality styles found within the spiral of life can just be, co-exist and feel comfortable in a global spiritual community. In this spiritual sanctuary for the diversity of spiritual wisdom and expression no one expression may dominate, claim final authority or attempt to inappropriately diminish another.

r. Competent, Productive, Responsible and Ethical: Those who co-create within the Global Spiritual Commons community are stewards of any support the Global Spiritual Commons receives and do so at the highest standards of efficiency. They demonstrate and uphold both personally and with their peers the creation of a meritocracy of the highest standards of work competence, productivity, responsibility and integrity and view their service to the Global Spiritual Commons community as both an honor and a privilege.

Beauty and Art: Any physical spaces used within the Global Spiritual Commons community are intended to be physically beautiful and filled with all forms of art and creativity. Beauty in art reflects the Ever Present Origin.

How Open Source Integral Spirituality has Gradually Emerged

Open Source integral spirituality is an inevitable development in the evolution of religion and spirituality. It is also the evolving child of multiple parents and co-parents from different eras of human development.

Open Source Integral Spirituality was or is parented:

a. in its most rudimentary form by the earliest sincere spiritual seekers who collected and shared spiritual wisdom without regard to originating religion or individual source, authority, culture and/or without undue religious allegiance to where this spiritual wisdom came from.

b. by the Internet and globalized media where these new technologies have not only "shrunk" the size of the interacting world as we perceive it, but they have also leveraged information sharing and a global information cross-pollenization to a level never seen before in human history.

c. by the 21st century information age central value that having access to all relevant information needed to make the most effective and efficient choices is both today's definition of power as well as the optimal way to increase the probability of success in any endeavor.

d. partially by the postmodernism worldview where it can be found in another evolving antecedent form called the interfaith dialog movement. (Interfaith dialog helped to expand a spiritual commons where spiritual diversity was celebrated, dialog was encouraged and individuals were exposed to the theology of other religions. While this was certainly another positive step towards improving religious tolerance, reducing religious violence and in the evolution towards the evolutionary emergence of open source spirituality, such dialog rarely expanded, changed or improved anyone's individual spiritual beliefs or practices and, in spite of the best efforts by the interfaith facilitators often turned into subtle recruitment for one faith or another. In Interfaith, people came together committed to maintaining their respective religions and spiritual paths. Like many of the other maladies of postmodernism this lack of true spiritual openness made interfaith impotent as a tool for the active assembly, expansion and/or cross-pollination of humanity's spiritual wisdom into an evolving and dynamic global spiritual commons --- a place where individuals could be part of a common culture of spiritual experience and feel unity in their common spiritual Origin and the commonality of their highest shared spiritual intentions.

e. by the new Integral Philosophy and Integral worldview. Integral philosophy is helping to define the emerging and implied values of the open source integral spirituality movement and the expanding global spiritual commons it is co-creating.

f. by the current stewarding of the Integrative Spirituality organization where the first declaration and position paper of the Open Source Integral Spirituality movement was published and distributed.

g. by those individuals who have become so spiritually transformed by their respective spiritual paths that the love flowing out and through them naturally motivates them to a place where their ego needs are appropriately balanced with their highest desires to support every individual's process of direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin. These individuals also realize as fellow journeyers on the spiritual path that there are as many different spiritual paths as there are individuals, and that open source spirituality and the global spiritual commons can make the discovery of one's most optimal individual spiritual path easier and faster because the knowledge base of all of humanity's spiritual wisdom is being accumulated there and is freely accessible.

The Benefits of Open Source Integral Spirituality

There are many important results that can be anticipated with the expansion of the open source integral spirituality movement and its resultant further expansion of the global spiritual commons. It will:

1.) Increase speed, ease and efficiency for distributing spiritual wisdom and personal spirituality support tools for growth toward spiritual completeness and a balanced living of the virtues. This will happen because of the increase in usable spiritual wisdom in the form of ever improving tools and process to help the individual achieve spiritual growth through direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin.

Direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin is the treasure of treasures. This is because when you are evolving toward and with Absolute Spirit through this process, you are on the greatest and single most rewarding adventure in the evolving universe. It is the most primal, purposeful and only adventure in all of existence that will:

a. create every single thing that is worthwhile to be or become,

b. help you to do every single thing worthwhile that could be done and,

c. eventually create every single thing that is worth having --- both now and throughout eternity!

Through the use of computers, wisely categorized data bases, free internet distribution and the expansion of the global spiritual commons, ever improving spiritual wisdom delivery tools and processes are possible in part because the spiritual wisdom within the global spiritual commons will be designed and specifically personally tailored for delivery to individuals of every:

i. personality type,

ii. learning style,

iii. culture,

iv. psychological or cognitive development level, or

v. consciousness meme level within any level, wave and stage of consciousness development

This will make it ever easier for the individual to successfully find and use the most timely and individually appropriate spiritual wisdom needed to further expand their spiritual understanding, their direct spiritual experiences of the Ever Present Origin and, their growth towards spiritual completeness.

2.) Help individuals resolve more of their personal problems from a spiritualized perspective.

3.) Help individuals resolve more of our global problems from a spiritualized perspective.

4.) Help co-create and expand a global spiritual commons that is open to the wisdom and truths of all individuals and organizations without bias or allegiance restrictions.

5.) Improve the democratization and open flow of spiritual wisdom around the world. (This is similar to what happened with the advent of open source software, which has demonstrated itself to be a powerful tool for the democratization and open flow of all types of other information and capacities around the world.)

6.) Help further reduce religious conflicts and tensions due the very existence of a free and easily accessible expanding global spiritual commons. This naturally mitigates the effects of violence or intolerance due to competing spiritual revelations and/or miracles that allegedly authenticate one religious organization over another.

7.) Improve global spiritual evolution by the consequent emergence of new and transcending spiritual wisdom though expansion of the global spiritual commons by the process of including and synthesizing more of humanity's spiritual wisdom.

8.) Expand and increase the effectiveness and reach of the personal spirituality movement,

9.) Improve the integration of the wisdom and values of spirituality with the fact and rationality of science. (The forward most edges of civilization are just entering the age of the Integral Worldview and gradually moving out of the previous forward most edge, the postmodern age. Open Source Integral Spirituality is an early product of this emerging integral worldview. When one looks at integrating the deepest patterns of evolution, the deepest rationality and facts of science with the wisdom and values of spirituality as the Integral worldview is engaged upon, one does not find increasing conflict as much as one finds new forms of cross confirmation that not surprisingly, these two areas have great alignment at their deepest most universal levels.)

10.) Soon be found on and in many other websites and spiritual organizations. Others will be stewarding and expanding this movement in a similar fashion to how rapidly the idea and use of open source software spread around the world.

Who is Most Involved with the Open Source Integral Spirituality Movement

Spiritual Creatives are the individuals who are currently most interested in open source spirituality or who are the evolutionary impetus behind the flowering of open source spirituality and the expansion of the global spiritual commons. Spiritual Creatives are sincere spiritual seekers, explorers, pioneers, futurists, teachers, adventurers and artists of all types who:

a. come from many religious backgrounds,

b. value their personal spiritual freedom and autonomy,

c. value the adventure and creative journey of developing their unique spirituality into its completeness, and

d. value the inclusive and universal aspects of spirituality.

In one way or another, Spiritual Creatives are seeking to discover and/or help define for themselves the qualities of a truly universal personal spirituality --- one that most reflects the authentic and timeless nature, purposes and universalness of the Ever Present Origin of all Reality.

They are spiritually courageous individuals who also may feel one or more of the following:

1. They want to customize or re-energize their religion or personal spirituality by picking and choosing ideas and practices from the best wisdom of the world's greatest religions and spiritual traditions (or from any other source for that matter,) often without any particular attachment to the doctrine or allegiance for that particular source. For some, this process merely adds on to their original religion or spirituality. For others, while this process includes their original religion, it also transcends it and becomes a revitalizing new synthesis of both their original religion or spirituality and the wisdom from the other spiritual sources.

2. They sense that the main goal of all religions is basically the same (expanding direct spiritual experiences of God and/or the Buddha) and, only the paths to getting there are different.

3. They sense that one religion or one religious perspective alone might not have all the answers or, that all current religions might be partial or complementary views of the Infinite Wholeness and unfathomable mysteries, which will forever surround the infiniteness of God and/or the Buddha. Consequently they seek to integrate the partial or complementary views to gain a more complete spiritual perspective.

4. They want to discover their own personal spirituality and/or their direct relationship with God and/or the Buddha rather than be told by others or traditional religious authorities what it should be or look like.

5. They sense that the direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin of All Reality in the form of God and/or the Buddha (the Infinite Mystery and Oneness we all exist within no matter what you call it) is the core essence of all religion as well as religion's single most powerful resource and tool for personal transformation. To them expanding direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin is the near ultimate destination of authentic spirituality. Consequently, it is only logical, spiritually enlightened self-interest to seek out all of the most enduring, useful and effective spiritual wisdom concerning the expansion of one's direct spiritual experience of God and/or the Buddha no matter what religion or other source that spiritual wisdom may come from.

6. They sense that the deep personal spiritual transformation that comes from the direct spiritual experience of God and/or the Buddha also happens to be the most effective internal source for social improvement and global healing and transformation.

7. They sense that direct spiritual experience of God and/or the Buddha as the original core essence of religion is always equally, freely and directly available to anyone anywhere at any time in or through almost any experience.

8. Because they sense that the direct spiritual experience of the Ever Present Origin of All Reality in the form of God and/or the Buddha is the core essence of all religion and one of the best ways to transform the world for the better, as fellow spiritual journeyers on the path they want to share humanity's spiritual wisdom about the most balanced safe and effective ways to directly experience of the Ever Present Origin of All Reality. (This is being done in part by the network of spiritual creatives expanding the global spiritual commons though the open source spirituality movement and the interactive wisdom sharing and collaboration tools found on this website.)

9. While at the same time still appreciating and honoring that their specific denominational beliefs and doctrines may be different, they also sense that they share a common spiritual bond with each other, and want to be a part of or co-create a common spiritual culture, with in a free and open global spiritual commons that values spiritual experience, common spiritual origin and common and aligned highest spiritual intentions for justice, compassion, truth, beauty and goodness etc.

10. They may be involved with the new consciousness or spiritual movements that are just emerging and converging in what is now being called a global second enlightenment. Some of these movements are the Integral and Spiral consciousness movements, the evolutionary spirituality and process theology movements which are attempting to help re-integrate the fact and rationality of science with the wisdom and most universal values of religion.

11. They can be those individuals intensely and tangibly in love with Ever Present Origin to such various intense degrees as being the lover, the love, the object of love and/or the very space in which this love occurs. Because of the intensity of this love for Ever Present Origin they are authentically transformed and filled with delight, creativity and the ability to co-create an abundance and sufficiency of solutions for their lives as well as being a real source of support to their fellow adventurers on the spiritual path.

The Future of Religion and Spirituality

Open source integral spirituality is the next step in the evolution of religion beyond the postmodern interfaith processes. In the history of religion, open source integral spirituality appears to hold the promise of being the next logical evolutionary step beyond the interfaith movement not just because it allows for the active expansion and/or cross-pollination of humanity's spiritual wisdom into a evolving global spiritual commons, but also because it expands and supports personal spirituality.

Open source integral spirituality is a new, evolutionary spiritual process as logical in its appearance at this time as was the evolutionary emergence of open source software. It is an idea whose time has come, and has come just in time to deal with the major religious, environmental, social, economic and political challenges of a "shrinking" world in the 21st century. It holds a real promise of becoming a significant evolutionary trend in the future of religion. It's free internet based easy access knowledge base for all of humanity's collected spiritual wisdom, (which can be distributed through multiple delivery systems and channels that will specifically adapt this continuously expanding spiritual knowledge base for more effective and easier user assimilation by tailoring the presentation of this wisdom specifically to an individual's unique learning style, personality, current psychological development perspectives, culture or other important isms) --- may just be be a significant part of a great supportive world-healing spiritual work for our post-postmodern new Integral Age.

Can you imagine how the spread of open source integral spirituality and the global spiritual commons can help the world religions to grow and work together in new ways? Can you imagine how the powerful ideal and values of this collaboration can improve individual lives as well as the world? Well, you too can be a part of a great spiritual work and adventure for our time. Click the What's Next link and help us use these tools to realize the promise of bringing about both the next step in the evolution of personal spirituality and religion as well as the next logical step beyond today's interfaith movement.

Join in the Open Source Integral Spirituality Collaboration Now

Integrative Spirituality has spent the last three years building the online interactive tools to become a key first website to support open source integral spirituality collaborations and the online data base expansion of the global spiritual commons. There are over 24 interactive open source software tools on our website for you to use.

If you are an individual:

1. Enter the open source integral spirituality collaboration and add your spiritual wisdom to the global spiritual commons by clicking here.

If you are an organization:

1. Distribute this declaration on open source integral spirituality within your organization, then

2. As an organization enter the open source integral spirituality collaboration and add your spiritual wisdom to expand the global spiritual commons by clicking here.

For additional perspectives on the expansion of the Global Spiritual Commons within our organizations principles click here.


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