Robert McNamara: More integrated muscle building gets better results

Robert McNaughton

Robert McNamara’s approach to resistance training, as described in his book Strength to Awaken, is grounded on integral principles… and he views muscle building as a spiritual discipline. On his Embodied. Evolution. blog, the author explains why people over the age of 22 to 24 need to build muscle:

Muscle strength cannot be reduced to a “macho” thing that you may or may not not be attracted to. The larger truth relevant for everyone is this: You need muscle strength, this is a pragmatic fact. If you don’t believe me go volunteer at a nursing home for a week. It will dramatically change your perception of strength and what happens to your quality of life when you can’t move around freely. Muscle strength determines freedom of movement perhaps more than any other single factor and science tells us that strength is positively correlated with quality of life. When you lose strength you also lose quality of your life. It’s that simple.

One of the questions everyone must address is this: Does your day to day lifestyle increase your capacity to move about freely with greater ease and more flexibility? If you can not say yes to this, consider breaking out of your conditioned lifestyle that presently holds you. If you are not moving towards becoming more, then you’re slowly, or perhaps not so slowly, eroding the quality of your life.

Strength and metabolism do not have to decline with age. In fact, it appears that these decline more in concert with lifestyle than with your chronological age. Strength training is a massively (perhaps the most) powerful way to reverse both of these measures as you grow older.

Strength To Awaken is the most integrated approach to strength training you will find on the planet. Greater integration means greater results. Train smart, learn to engage whole-heartedly into the discipline of strength training as this book does and you will enjoy multifaceted adaptations that will likely serve every facet of your life.

Read the whole thing.

Photo Credit: ccdoh1

Quote of the Day: Joe Perez

Lesbian Wedding

“Given enough time, modernity is enough to show traditional churches that homosexuality is not an illness or disorder, and ought to be tolerated. Given enough time, postmodernism is enough to show modernist churches that they need to accept gays, lesbians, and other sexual and gender minorities for the diversity they bring. Given enough time, an integral wave of consciousness — a World Spirituality — will be enough to show traditional churches that they have held an honorable role by keeping the flame burning which knows the inner divinity of gays and lesbians; it will be enough to show modernist churches and secular organizations the ways in which gay/straight differences in perspective offer many fruitful new avenues for investigation of  the interior life of all sentient beings; it will be enough to show postmodern churches, spirituality-based, and mission-driven organizations the best ways to bring homophiles and heterophiles and all people within whom gender/sexual/energetic polarities exist into a constructive theology of interrelationship, marriage, and social ethics. All this is within our reach in the stratums of pre-modern, modern, and post-modern life-worlds in which we dwell, but it most definitely requires a World Spirituality.” — Joe Perez

Recently on Sprit’s Next Move: Towards a World Spirituality theology of gay marriage

Joe Perez is an author who has published books on Gay and Bi Men’s Spirituality.

The price of limerence

Men at Lunch
Hoot! The Price of Limerence

Let’s leave aside for a moment all the mushy poetic and theological language about love. Let’s put on Ebeneezer Scrooge’s worldview and simply ask: how much money is love worth?

Well here’s a short YouTube video that explores that very question. Among the interesting findings: Hearing that someone loves you for the first time is worth the equivalent happiness of $267,000. Being married is the equivalent of receiving an extra $100,000 per year. Committed long-term love live on average 15% longer, so finding a relationship that lasts per life is the equivalent of making another $23,000 to $30,000 extra per year.

The speaker says, “Love is democratic. No matter who you are or how much money you have, people all over the world are feeling it.” Amen.

(Hat tip: The Daily Dish.)

Hoot! Working at your desk sucks. Americans should take lunches like the French do.

Orion Jones writes on Big Think:

By deciding to take a midday break, and taste the food you are going to eat anyway, you will refresh your mind and have the opportunity to mingle with co-workers. You may even get some sunshine. “By taking those few moments to breathe,” said Levy, “you come out feeling refreshed and invigorated. At work, time spent chatting with colleagues can lead to great ideas and cross-pollination between departments. And if you’ve broken bread with colleagues at lunch, it’s going to be easier to approach them in the professional sphere.” Giving yourself a half-hour lunch will increase your productivity, not decrease it.

Paying attention to our daily routine, making it more harmonious with our True Self — or at least make our ego a bit happier and more well-adjusted — is one of the surest routes to finding divinity in the ordinary.

Hoot! Want to know what Barack Obama really thinks about religion?

Religion writer Jeffrey Weiss has followed Barack Obama’s statements on religion from the beginning, and he says there’s no better statement of what he really believes than this:

On the one hand, among the oldest and most complete texts are Obama’s two memoirs. Dreams From My Father has a long account of his journey of faith — from the child and grandchild of people who were indifferent or hostile to organized religion to crying in the pew of a Chicago church. The Audacity of Hope has an entire chapter titled, simply “Faith.”

But for me, the uber-source is a remarkable interview Obama gave in 2004, when he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate and long before he was even whispered about as presidential timber.

He sat down with Cathleen Falsani, then a religion reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. She did a news story off the interview at the time. Later, when Obama became a bit more important than a mere senate candidate, Falsani posted the entire transcript of the interview on her own website. You can read it here.

Here’s how Obama explained his approach to his faith back then:

“I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith. On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences. I lived in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, between the ages of six and 10. My father was from Kenya, and although he was probably most accurately labeled an agnostic, his father was Muslim. And I’d say, probably, intellectually I’ve drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith.”

And here is how he explains his attitude toward specific doctrines:

“I’m a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it’s best comes with a big dose of doubt. I’m suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.”

And here is where he starts to explain how his understanding of his faith helps inform his ideas about governance:

“I think it’s perfectly consistent to say that I want my government to be operating for all faiths and all peoples, including atheists and agnostics, while also insisting that there are values that inform my politics that are appropriate to talk about… I can give religious expression to that. I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, we are all children of God. Or I can express it in secular terms. But the basic premise remains the same.”

For the next eight years, he’s come back to the same basic themes: That he’s motivated by his understanding of the Christian social gospel as an inspiration for his personal service and as a guide for the kinds of policies that he pursues. But he rejects narrow and sure interpretations of religion. And he’s careful to say that government policy must not be narrowly tailored for any faith or none.

But what nobody seems to have done (yet) is to ask Obama about his own spiritual experiences, prayer life, and any mystical intuitions. Has he had any experiences of divinity or enlightenment, and what conclusions has he drawn about that?

Or, if no journalist wants to go on the record asking about that, why not simply ask him: What does “spirituality” mean to you?

Photo Credit: MR MARK BEK

Why people dwell on tragedy


By Joe Perez

Ruth Franklin, a senior editor at The New Republic, tries to explain why people seek for meaning in tragedies. The victims of tragedies, Franklin says, remind us that they were once like us, but now emptied of significance on account of their tragic end:

To look at the video of Anne Frank, or a slideshow of the Titanic’s ephemera—an alligator handbag, a water-crumpled top hat and dress shoes—is to know for certain that the girl leaning off the balcony, or the people to whom these objects belonged, were once like us. In their deaths they became myth, but in life they were unexceptional: The video shows Anne Frank, as one of my Twitter correspondents put it, “before she was Anne Frank.” We know that Anne Frank was real; we don’t need a video for that. But we long for artifacts because they seem to offer a route to authenticity, a direct access to the moment of disaster that we obsessively replay. As such, they become repositories of meaning—empty of their own significance, but imbued with it by virtue of their context. And for historical catastrophes such as the Titanic or the Holocaust, the desire for an object to convey meaning is particularly acute, since otherwise the event feels morally empty, and thus dangerous…

I think it’s really hard to make generalizations so baldly as Franklin does. People make meaning of Anne Frank or Titanic relics for a wide array of reasons, pre-modern magical thinking or myth making, modern rationalism, and post-modern existentialism, for example. Franklin’s effort to claim that tragedy victims become placeholders emptied of their own significance, a “route to authenticity,” is a narrowly postmodern concern (I believe), projected onto every possible onlooker.

Thus, I can’t really agree with Ruth’s conclusion, that contemplation of tragedy allows us to “relive” them so as to keep death abay:

An extreme catastrophe affords us a kind of luxury: a comfortable perch from which to reflect upon our own mortality. We don’t know what will finally happen to us, but whatever it is, it won’t be that. We will not go down with the Titanic; we will not be murdered by the Nazis. We speak of the contemplation of these stories—as historical events or as something close to myth—as “reliving” them. But in fact it is death to which they bring us safely closer.

Which is a perfectly fine way to look at tragedy if you are Ruth Franklin. But a more integral perspective must not impose any one rubric for interpreting tragedy for all people — especially if it means elevating postmodern interpretation to the pinnacle of human wisdom. But World Spirituality is not without its own rich perspective on tragedy.

World Spirituality acknowledges a deep brokenness at the heart of Reality — samsara, the Cross of Christ, Original Sin, chaos and incompleteness, what have you — and insists that authenticity to our True Self is to affirm such brokenness by living into it and through it with courage and love … not to deny the brokenness in favor of fake grace or spiritual bypassing. To reflect on an icon of such brokenness — a picture of Anne Frank or the purse of a Titanic victim — is to encounter suffering that is not separate from our own (or to resist the suffering, falling away from True Self, in an inauthentic pose).

I would not say, as Franklin does, that we “relive” tragedies vicariously in order to be brought closer to death, but in a safe way. Perhaps that is so for some selves. But I would say that our Unique Self encounters in a relic of the Titanic or a Holocaust survivor its own likeness in partiality and wholeness, and — unless its feeling is set aside in favor of the False Self — finds freedom from death with each effortless, instantly arising act of continued contemplation.

The march to spiritual marketization

According to an article by Harvard’s Michael Sandel at The Huffington Post:

At a time of rising inequality, the marketization of everything means that people of affluence and people of modest means lead increasingly separate lives. We live and work and shop and play in different places. Our children go to different schools. You might call it the skyboxification of American life. It’s not good for democracy, nor is it a satisfying way to live.

Democracy does not require perfect equality, but it does require that citizens share in a common life. What matters is that people of different backgrounds and social positions encounter one another, and bump up against one another, in the course of everyday life. For this is how we learn to negotiate and abide our differences, and how we come to care for the common good.

And so, the question of markets is really a question about how we want to live together. Do we want a society where everything is up for sale? Or are there certain moral and civic goods that markets do not honor and money cannot buy?

Is it really so that the marketization of everything leads to greater class stratification? Will Wilkinson, criticizing Michael Sandel on Big Think, doesn’t think so. But Sandel may be correct, it seems to me. Money buys many things, including the ability to live one’s life without other people around. Having no money, you don’t have that option.

And so on this inaugural expedition of The Daily Hoot, I invite us into a dream-like visualization:

First, everything in the world is “fully marketized,” as Michael Sandel fears, (let that term stir up whatever it does for you). The markets define the conditions of our citizenship and common life together. Almost everything is up for sale. 

One definition of “marketization” is simply “The exposure of an industry or service to market forces.” At a minimum, everything is registered by the market, located within its own value coordinates.

BUT… Dystopia is not the world we find. Instead, we find a Utopian world in which people of all means share a common life and care deeply about their history as a species and as a people, and how they came to live together in peace. Market forces helped to create the delicate balance, because they evolved from the rudimentary capitalist measurements we use today into instruments capable of transferring all measure of value — aesthetic, moral, and spiritual. 

Can we imagine that? Remember that the process towards gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. The process towards a sort of spiritual and aesthetic marketization will not happen overnight, if it happens at all.

It happens not in the skies but in the choices we make, starting with the choice to let our soul slumber a slave to industry and capital forces or to awaken as a Unique Self alive with the creative power of the stars. It happens in the choice to heed the call of Utopia rather than succumb to fears of Dystopia.

Spirit’s Next Move: My Own Next Step

Joe PerezToday the new Spirit’s Next Move blog, still in a “beta testing” mode, moves closer to its official launch. It’s my first group blog in many years, and one that I have a great deal of enthusiasm about. Not only because it suits the next step in my development, but because I think it’s what the world is calling for at this moment in time.

When I’ve been involved in collaborative blogging endeavors in the past, they always seemed to blow up or fizzle out after a while. Partly this is because frankly my blogging style is pretty direct and prolific, and there’s the risk that other contributors will feel crowded out or that I will feel constricted if I have to keep to a pace that doesn’t suit me.

Spirit’s Next Move shows no signs that this is going to be a problem. Serving as Executive Editor with Marc Gafni as Editor-in-Chief, we are designing a collaborative arrangement that will allow both of us to pursue our aligned visions as freely as we desire while supporting the other’s vision. Our backgrounds complement each other, each bringing different comfort areas and a willingness to blog outside of our zones of familiarity.

Moreover, we have from the outset involved other key supporters and voices within the Center for World Spirituality in holding and strengthening the container we wish to create. Already Chahat Corten, Sally Kempton, Dr. Mariana Caplan, and Kathleen Brownback have contributed posts to the new blog… and that’s one power-house line up of brilliant talent. I am looking forward to publishing more of their writings on the blog and original content as well. And we have barely even begun to approach a few other individuals to join the blogging team as regular contributors.

Why is Spirit’s Next Move important? Just take a look at what we are doing and learn for yourself. I hope you’ll see a bunch of smart, good writers who are deeply engaged in spiritual practice, richly bestowed with wisdom from years of searching and practicing in a huge variety of disciplines, and a group who share a common knowledge system of World Spirituality based on Integral Spirituality (AQAL) principles.

That’s what I see, in any case, and why I’m looking forward to knocking our readers’ socks off, month after month. It’s going to take a while to get fully ramped up. There’s a lot of painstaking detail work that needs to be done to get the Center for World Spirituality’s various websites and multimedia assets properly organized and accessible so they’re easy to find and utilize. There’s a lot of work in terms of getting a new blogging team working together cohesively.

But the payoff, if we are successful, will be a beacon of light on the Frontier of 21st Century Spirituality. Our vision is world transformatioinal: we believe there is a global opportunity and necessity for the emergence of a worldcentric approach to spirituality grounded in the best wisdom of pre-modernity, modernity, and post-modernity. And if it’s not clear exactly what that means, then you can look to this blog and the many books and other projects coming down the road from CWS to make the picture clearer.

Sadly, I am signing off Awake, Aware & Alive less than a year after the blog’s launch. I’m just going on indefinite sabbatical, not demolishing the territory. I loved the experience of writing this blog over these past months, enjoying experimenting with new styles of writing and ways of thinking about the Integral enterprise and human existence. Rather than re-post my Spirit’s Next Move blog posts here, I’m going to selectively post them to my Facebook page and only update this blog on very special occasions.

And I love each and every reader who has helped my growth over this period of time. I would say, “I’ll miss you!” except that I am confident many of you will join me over at Spirit’s Next Move.

Faithful, expansive perspectives on Easter as a super-natural event


On the If Darwin Prayed blog, Bruce Sanguin asks himself good, tough questions about belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He says:

Recently, I heard biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris, offer a great analogy that helps me to interpret the Easter story. Noting that physicists talk about sound vibrations at various frequencies as constitutive of the universe, she employs the image of a cosmic keyboard. Science deals with the low and mid-range frequencies, matter and electro-magnetic energy. Religion plays on the higher part of the keyboard in the realm of Spirit. Spiritual folk tend to make sense of the world by starting at the top end and working their way down, while scientists tend to start at the low-end and work their way up. But for decades science and religion got stuck, playing only one part of the keyboard and making the claim that only the music that came from their part of the keyboard was legitimate. To dance well and sing on key, we need to hear the music of the the whole keyboard.

But the “key” point is that there is only one cosmic keyboard. Nature is One. Reality is a single-story universe of infinite depth and height. The Easter story is not the story of a supernatural God, who intervened in Jerusalem 2000 years, suspending the laws of nature with a supernatural miracle.  Rather, it is a story that encapsulates and catalyzes the story of a resurrection impulse that is active at all levels of creation, cosmological, biological, social and spiritual. Science is particularly focused on the first three. The spiritual frequency is a dimension of Nature/Reality that eludes easy measurement. If you intend to hear it, you need to spend time training the ear of your heart.

Read the whole thing, including Bruce’s answer to the question, “Do I believe that an iPhone camera pointed at Jesus on Easter morning would have captured him rising up?”

If Bruce’s question sounds familiar to my readers, it’s because I give three different answers to this question at different stages in my spiritual autobiographical chronicle Soulfully Gay (three different answers at three distinct periods of time). Without spoiling too much of the book’s surprise ending, I will add that my final response is different than Bruce’s, although we both affirm a belief in Christ’s resurrection. My belief was grounded on an actual physical visitation of a spiritual being who I came to identify with the Christ, and of which the book is eyewitness testimony.

Today, my belief in the resurrection is not dependent on assent to any particular notion of the transmigration of souls or belief in the Hindu tales of gurus who reappear to their flock following death. World Spirituality does not throw out the baby (abiding mysteries of Spirit, uniquely and irreplaceably expressed in religious gnosis) with the bathwater (superstitious or uncritical belief) in making space for pre-modern traditional knowledge.

Instead, it is grounded in my experience of a Unique Self which exists beyond the distinctions of space, time, and thought. From this abiding personal essence, I know of an awareness of a Self existing beyond the boundary of death, however imperfectly I am able to express this belief in words such as “resurrection of Christ.”

A new chapter opens for Awake, Alive & Aware

Chapter HouseDear Reader,

I’m excited to announce that I am joining the Center for World Spirituality team in the role of Director of Communications and Scholar-in-Residence. Furthermore, once our work is underway I expect to take on the responsibility of Editor-in-Chief for a new blog devoted to World Spirituality based on Integral principles.

With these developments in mind, I intend to re-calibrate Awake, Alive & Aware so it aligns with my new responsibilities. There are four areas of particular significance:

  1. Posts on Awake, Aware & Alive represent my own views and are not necessarily reflective of my employer or any other organization with which I am affiliated. “The buck stops with me.”
  2. Posts which apply broadly to an audience with an interest in World Spirituality or Integral philosophy will generally be posted instead to the CWS blog and Facebook Page. In these posts, I will take care to speak from a world-centric self as best as I embody it, allowing my own views to harmonize with those of a broader spiritual movement.
  3. Events such as my workshops and private classes will be posted at least on my own blog and may also be cross-posted on CWS-related blogs.
  4. My E-mail newsletter with exclusive information about my work and upcoming events will be sent specifically to individuals who have requested to be included (see the “Subscribe to my newsletter:” link at right).

Meanwhile, as and after these changes take effect, you may be seeing fewer posts than my usual amount. The process of experimentation goes on, with Awake, Alive & Aware devoted to embodying my own individual Unique Self perspective on the world … and my blogs elsewhere exploring my efforts to cultivate a “We Space” of Unique Selves highly engaged with contemporary affairs, news events, and the world’s wisdom and spiritual traditions.

Thank you for your continued support along the journey!

Many blessings and much love,


P.S.: You can read my updated biographical profile if you’re curious.

How not to explain the QWERTY Effect

Cross-posted from my Facebook Page.

Andrew Sullivan today passes along a link to a study on the QWERTY Effect with a false, inane comment.

Here’s my reply to him:

These authors of the QWERTY Effect have identified a valid phenomenon, but they are utterly clueless as to the explanation (as I wrote the other day on my blog when I first read the report). Just think about it: does it make *any* sense at all that letter combinations on the right side of a keyboard are “easier to type” and therefore words that contain those letters have a more positive feeling? It’s preposterous.

It’s an utterly thoughtless hypothesis to explain something whose explanation would have been obvious if the authors had considered one shred of evidence from the study of sound symbolism or phonosemantics. (Google “sound symbolism” or Margaret Magnus, Ph.D., the MIT-educated linguist who demonstrated the essential validity of Plato’s sound symbolism hypothesis that’s 2,000 years old in her groundbreaking doctoral dissertation.)

Even if you only accept a weak version of the phonosemantic hypothesis and not a strong version (e.g., quasi-Platonic), it’s more than adequate to explain the QWERTY effect. There are more vowels on the right than the left, and vowels generally are more positive than consonants, with unrestricted airflow giving the sounds a more Divine quality according to sacred word traditions in various esoteric religious traditions.

The letters on the right hand side of the keyboard have sounds which happen to be associated with more positive affects (the soft, more precise, particular, and peculiar unvoiced labial “p,” on the right contrasted to the brutish, bawdy, and blasting sound of the voiced “b.” The words which are comprised of sounds carry an emotional or subtle resonance with the sound’s symbol — e.g., stopped consonants tending somewhat to refer more to endings and disruptions and glides tending to refer to sustained patterns.)

You don’t have to be a Kabbalist to see the ridiculousness of this paper’s explanation (although the Kabbalists know a lot more about sound than these scientists seemingly ignorant of the relevant literature).

I’m giving you, Andrew, a break because your post consisted in only one word — “Explained” — but it was a very poor choice of word.


Marc Gafni and Joe Perez in Dialogue, Part 2: Where is the World Spirituality Movement at Today?

CWS Board Retreat 2012

CWS Board Retreat 2012

This is the second post in a series on Awake, Alive & Aware featuring short dialogues with some of the leaders of the World Spirituality movement. Today there is a transcript of a telephone call with Marc Gafni, Director of the Center for World Spirituality.

Continued from Part 1: “Marc Gafni and Joe Perez in Dialogue: What is World Spirituality?”

Joe: Where is the World Spirituality movement today?

Marc: The World Spirituality movement has many expressions in the world. There are many people practicing World Spirituality not in an organized way, not in a theoretically consistent way, often not in a dharmically completely sound way, but they have this core intuition and they are grasping and looking for ways to express it. At some point, we are looking to develop means to allow this grassroots world movement expression, and the book you’re working on, The Rise of World Spirituality, I hope will at least in part, the way you described it to me which sounds really exciting, you’ll be able to point to this, that it’s already happening.

The leading institution in the movement is the Center for World Spirituality. We just finished our second annual board meeting. I want to give you a sense of where we are because it’s really exciting. We’ve decided that our mission, our mantle, is to shift something in the source code of consciousness. The evolution of the source code of consciousness is our core mission statement. Some of our board members, Tom Goddard and Kathleen Brownback, are heading a group to work on this. It’s a fantastic board of people from around the world.

What we’ve done is identify what we’re going to do. We identified two things at the meeting. One, what is the theoretical framework of World Sprituality? And two, what are the action items? The theoretical framework is different, so I’ll talk about the action items.

Joe: So by “action items,” just so my readers are clear, you’re talking about this organization, called the Center for World Spirituality, you’re talking about what this organization has in store for the near future. Is that right?

Marc: That’s correct. The Center is one I founded a few years ago with Mariana Caplan and Sally Kempton, and Ken Wilber was involved as a very important member on the Council, and any number of fantastic leaders and teachers from around the world. We’re partnering with our friends who have a Global Spirituality website and we will be integrating that into the Center in a very deep way.

The center is both a lower-left and lower-right expression, actually an all-four-quadrant expression now that I think about it, whose prime purpose is to articulate the dharma of a World Spirituality and to evolve the dharma of a World Spirituality. That’s the job of the Center. The job of World Spirituality itself is to evolve the source code of consciousness.

What are the methods for doing this mission? We’re focusing on three major areas.

First, the Center has decided to focus on acting as a think tank / publishing concern. We actually chartered approximately 12 – 15 major projects of different natures.

Joe: I’m glad you were able to keep track of them. There were about 25 different people in attendance, and just about all of them committed to some sort of project or other key way of supporting World Spirituality. That’s more than I expected. I heard that too from some of the other board members, the newer ones who didn’t know quite what to expect. Once we engaged with the rest of the board, we got a feel for the caliber of the people in attendance, our expectations were exceeded, and we ended up feeling more optimistic than when we sat in our first meeting.

Marc: That’s great feedback to receive. Even though I knew going into the meeting all of the different pieces, but just hearing all the pieces spoken aloud into the room, hearing the interaction of the board community. Of the 20 projects, if the top 10 happen, we’re in really good shape. The top 10 include a book on The Rise of World Spirituality, a collection of essays on the Enlightenment of Fullness. There will be a major book on World Spirituality based on Integral Principles with Ken Wilber. There will be a book on shadow work – Lighten Up. There will be a World Spirituality practice book. Without going down the entire list, there’s … people like yourself, to Kathy Brownback, to Ken Wilber, to Warren Farrell, Wyatt Woodsmall, Helen, Tom, Mariana. And there were some board members who weren’t there who all have fantastic contributions to make. So we’re very excited about the think tank / publishing dimension.

The second dimension is training. We’re working on creating a new series of trainings which are rooted in World Spirituality and Unique Self technology.

And third we are calling “community lab.” Instead of creating one big World Spirituality Center or Church, there will be smaller circles meeting around the world, circles of people. That’s a big deal, that’s exciting, that’s good. At least at first, those circles will be circles of study – whether in Holland at Venwoude or Shalom Mountain or San Francisco, perhaps in Seattle something will emerge.

And finally a very strong Web presence which we are going to be working on in the next six months. I hope by six months from now the Web presence will reflect this vision of World Spirituality, its five-part theoretical framework – which we won’t get into on this phone call – but which is a beautiful, modular way of understanding the core principles, which you can understand on a popular level and a deep mystical level, will appear as the core of the website as the core module of all the books. It’s a lot.

Joe: We’re running out of time today. On this topic, we could drill into detail on all of these and talk much longer, so we’ll need to look for updates on the CWS website, watching for news as it develops. I know there’s a lot of information coming in the future. But if somebody wants to get started today practicing World Spirituality in Toledo, Ohio, or the jungles of the Amazon, what are they to do?

Marc: We’re not completely yet prepared to fully receive that question, meaning, the framework is not yet completely articulated. I would say, go to the website, go to the teaching tab – “Core Teachings” – and they’ll be able to read the basic principles of World Spirituality, which will give someone a framework for practice which they can immediately implement.

Joe: What about the book Unique Self which we’re all waiting for?

Marc: I don’t have a final word. But the last word I have as of a few days ago is that it’s supposed to come out in mid-June or July. The latest it would come out is the fall. We’ve just completed the transactional pieces of that book. We’re very excited that Your Unique Self: the Democratization of Enlightenment, will be out by the summer. And there’s already some key pieces on the Web. On our website, there’s a keynote address I gave at J.F.K. on Unique Self, and there’s the Journal of Integral Theory & Practice, Vol. 6, 1, on Unique Self. There’s a core article there, a 40 or 50 page article there, which gives you the core of the teaching, which is already available and will be fully fleshed out over the book. We hope over the next 18 months there will be about 5 volumes coming out covering these dimensions even as we’re writing the next stage for the library.

Addition: I found an additional post by Marc Gafni called “Notes on comparing Interfaith spirituality, inter-religious diplomacy, Dalai Lama’s views, interspirituality, perennial philosophy, and world spirituality” that are relevant in this context.

Joe: Thank you for your time today. I’m excited to be working with you on this movement.