I am one of those integralists who longs for the arrival of a more substantial integral community, one based on Integral Spirituality and branching out into all aspects of our interconnected lives. I’m convinced that the early Second-Tier (Green) rejection of organized religion in favor of spirituality is a temporary phenomenon; that Integral calls us to both/and solutions that will eventually put spirituality and religion back together again.
I’m also slowly becoming convinced that the church walls that enclose the world religions today will eventually become too confining for second-tier individuals as they continue to evolve; that they will increasingly gravitate towards interfaith, interspiritual, and translineage approaches to spirit… and therefore could very well find themselves on the outside of the old faith structures by choice or excommunication. So it’s good to start thinking ahead to what possibilities exist for community when we start to look ahead to what may be coming.
In reply to “Is the ‘Integral movement’ basically about ‘individual attainment’?”, Aleta S. writes:
I collaborated with the late Rev. Tom Thresher at Integral Spiritual Nexus. Tom once said that “faith communities have an essential role to play in helping individuals develop the kind of interior resilience that they’re going to need in this world. This kind of resilience will allow them to participate deeply in communities of trust and caring. From that foundation they can go out and help make the changes in the world that are so essential…Faith communities have something no other institution has. We own the great stories that give our lives meaning. We have society’s permission to change people at the level of their soul. And, perhaps most important, we have time to work with people to make the deep changes that are required by our world.”
While I was working to bring various faith communities together to work on the world problems, Tom cautioned me that I was wasting my time until people were able to change the interior individual quadrant. Perhaps we both suffered from a form of quadrant absolutism. Or we may have BENEFITED from a coherent we space.
Does resilience come before communities of trust and caring or with such communities?
Great question. I don’t know the answer, though I’m passionately concerned that the Integral movement find out the answer for itself. As you know, I’ve had an interest in the topic of “Integral spiritual community” for several years now and have hoped that I would see something come into the world. I’m still watching and waiting, and writing and “righting the way” if it’s meant to come to pass.
For what it’s worth, there’s some imagery around the appearance of Sacred Words in The Kalendar that give food for thought to those whose imagination/intuition is ready. Three such words appear in the Season of Yin — which I associate with the second-tier of consciousness (green, teal, turquoise, and indigo): Sangha, Community, and Church. Let me tell fables about these Sacred Words and see if they resonate with you on some level. (Technically, these fables are called Ngoungong, or “new stories about the elemental energies of thought” or simply “meta-mind fables”).
Fable One: Sangha. Sangha appears at the start of the Season of Yin, at the very first Seat (the Seat of Basis at the Letter of Self-Sensing). The story told by the word Sangha is mainly that of a base for the self in its quest for enlightenment. The Sangha is at the “root” of the entire Season of Yin, so every aspect of the self’s enlightenment including its work in the world and its development of powers of the siddha are all connected and supported and reinforced from the Sangha.
Sangha is the yung to the yin of the Sacred and the Spirit at the Letter of Self-Sensing, so it is always already with us. As yung, it joins us to the yang of Safety, spiritual safety. It is one with the Svaadhiʃθaanə(self’s root) to six marks of subtlety. It doesn’t have to be established. It already exists.
Fable Two: Community. Community appears at the very middle of the Season of Yin, the Seat of Concern at the Letter of Constructing. Its story is that of the Container in which the Ethos (social soul) is taken up. The White Horse (turquoise) is the carrier that brings the Goose which lays The Golden Eggs (green/teal), and the Community is its essence. The Goose who lays the Golden Egg is nowhere in sight during the Month of the Golden Egg; it appears in the following month, as the yin to the yung of God/Goddess and the yang of Advaita (Vedantic nonduality). The self is completely faded away in Community, but it is accepted through Agape. The Community is the carrier of the Culture and the hub of Communication at the Season of Yin, but it is also the Keeper of Occult knowledge, so don’t assume that all wisdom is transparent at this point in time.
Although it is common for people today to speak of “the Integral community” it is also common to hear other people deny the existence of any such thing. I think today it may be more accurate to say that the Integral movement has an Ethos (a social soul), but that soul is still rather incorporeal. The Ethos is at the cross-point between Green and Teal, but before a solid Community can emerge, the challenges suggested by several words must be faced and overcome: Shadow, Emptiness, Enlightenment, Enfolding, Upright, Goodness, Government, Advaita (Vedantic nonduality), Attentiveness, Gunas (a ternary model of subtle energy), God, and Guru (or Guardian). Perhaps when enough people come together who have a common understanding of terms such as these, and the emotional and spiritual capacity to bring complex responses to them into the world, we will finally have the preconditions of Community. If we fail to achieve that, well then, it’s (literally) Chaos.
Fable Three: Church. Church appears in the central part of the final chapter of the Season of Yin, at the Seat of Concern in the Letter of Challenge (the middle part of indigo). Its archetypal story is similar to that of King Arthur and the Holy Grail: an exceptional person, a group of committed disciples or acolytes (the Knights of the Round Table), and a quest for the Holy Grail (Chalice). The Church does not form without a need; it must first be presented with a Challenge, an Existential crisis or perhaps even the threat of Extinction for our species. It arises in response to the yang of the Ethos (social soul) and yin of Community as the yung of Church.
It works like a butter churn at a dairy farm: through cranking motions it converts cream into butter. The social soul and community are made thicker, richer, and more potent in their essence. But whereas a churn makes butter that is consumed, a Church makes… the Letter of Challenge itself. Phonosementically, Church is self-reflexive (the /ch/ sound repeated at front and end). The goal of Church is to Challenge those within it and those who are not a part of it. The Holy Grail is always beckoning, never finally confiscated.
There’s one more word that I haven’t told a fable about, and that’s Organization. This word waits until the final Throne — 27 out of 27 — in the Season of Yin before it appears. It is literally the yin to the yang of Order in the world at the Seat of Actualization at the Throne of Jazz/Order; it is adorned in the perfume of Jasmine and likes to dance to Jazz and get jacked. It is one with the subtle energy of the Organism to an astonishing 18 marks of subtlety. Its mode of knowing is a yung form of oracular knowing that enfolds both the yang of meta-systemic empiricism and the yin of cross-paradigmatic cognition. Its activity is governered by the yang of the OM/AUM (Shakti) of Yoga, the revelations of Oomoto of Shinto, and the Omphalos of Delphi, mediated through Jesus (who we may think of, for these purposes, with the English pronunciation of /jizəz/, indicative of the spirit of Generosity and Generativity that is yung to the yang of the Jeopardy of Existence, past the yin of Owiazka, the Polish word for Sacrificial Lamb, at the Seat of Structure of the Letter of Generativity. If the Season of Yin began with a repudiation of old forms of organized religion (Satan and Iblis as the challengers at Throne 1 of 27, an assertion of Science and Evolution to oppose the first-tier concepts of god, the rise of the actualized self, etc.), the Season of Yin will end with the formation of new Organizations that are difficult for us to characterize at this time. Really, no one knows what they will look like.
So, such fables aside, I understand you are contemplating the nature of resilience and whether it comes before or after the arrival of spiritual community. Can you stand one more little parable? I think we already have the “zilience” within us all. When we feel ourselves emptied to zilch –there’s that /ch/ phoneme again! — we find ourselves filled with unitive energy within us … and we keep doing it again and again, at whatever station we find ourselves.