November 17, 2017

You Are God’s Unique Intimacy – Marc Gafni’s Passover Sermon at Pacific Coast Church

Wisdom for Your Week

Watch this beautiful excerpt from a Sermon with Dr. Marc Gafni at the Pacific Coast Church in 2014.

By listening to this rich talk that uses storytelling, inquiry, and sacred text reading to transmit the deep wisdom of the lineage masters, you will learn:

– Why God is not only the Infinity of Power but also the Infinity of Intimacy

– What it means to live in an Intimate Universe

– How Christ incarnated to be an expression of that Infinity of Intimacy

– Why Being God’s Unique Intimacy is our greatest Joy and deepest Obligation in our daily lives

[Read more…]

Wishing you all a wonderful and joyous Christmas

image002You are here to be the poem only you can be.
You are here to sing the song only you can sing.
You are here to be the Unique Presence of Being and Becoming in the world that no one else but YOU can be!

Classical enlightenment, the old enlightenment, viewed uniqueness as the enemy. The belief was that your experience of uniqueness would obscure the realization of your identity with All-That-Is. That ego or separate self is something to be surrendered, pushed aside, utterly dissolved in the timeless Absolute. There is an element of truth to this—the ego must be trance-ended. You must end the trance of the ego.

You will always experience yourself in part as a separate self—that is as it should be. If you did not, you would be psychotic or otherwise deranged. What you need to trance-end is your exclusive identification with your egoic separate self. For it is your sense of being, but a skin-encapsulated ego, that creates the sense of suffocation, fear, and drabness that passes as your life. This fundamental error in identity is the root of virtually all suffering. Your disconnection from your larger context, and the aliveness it holds for you, gives birth to every form of egoic grasping and addiction.

But the ego contains within it more than a glimmer of truth. As we’ll see later, the ego bears gifts that require clarification.

Clarification takes place through contact with the transcendent, resulting in the revelation of the larger whole of which the separate self ego is but a part. The gifts of the ego, which are the intimations of your infinitely valuable uniqueness, can then flower in your higher realization as Unique Self.

We must love and nourish our egos, not destroy them altogether. Ego prefigures and points toward Unique Self.

Dr. Marc Gafni
Your Unique Self, The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment
page 9 and page 16

Also Sharing With You this awesome audio/music clip from Dr. Marc Gafni that tells us that the only answer to outrageous pain is outrageous LOVE.

Poem: “Nativity”

nativitystar5Nativity
By Li-Young Lee
(1957 – )

In the dark, a child might ask, What is the world?
just to hear his sister
promise, An unfinished wing of heaven,
just to hear his brother say,
A house inside a house,
but most of all to hear his mother answer,
One more song, then you go to sleep.

How could anyone in that bed guess
the question finds its beginning
in the answer long growing
inside the one who asked, that restless boy,
the night’s darling?

Later, a man lying awake,
he might ask it again,
just to hear the silence
charge him, This night
arching over your sleepless wondering,

this night, the near ground
every reaching-out-to overreaches,

just to remind himself
out of what little earth and duration,
out of what immense good-bye,

each must make a safe place of his heart,
before so strange and wild a guest
as God approaches.


Li-Young Lee is an American poet.

Would Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha have been best friends?

Note: The following dialogue transcript is taken from the conversation between Marc Gafni and Dada conducted in December 2012. The entire dialogue is currently available for a very limited time at the Imaginal World website.

We need to actually grow up to higher and higher levels of consciousness. The way we do it is we have to tell the story. We need to teach about levels of consciousness. People don’t even know they exist. There are clear and distinct stages of consciousness. That needs to become part of our vocabulary.

We need to being looking at where are we on the map. Where’s my people? Am I egocentric? Ethnocentric? Worldcentric? Cosmocentric? That’s just one simple way of talking about levels of consciousness. It’s really easy. Every one of our holy listeners, who are awesome and thank you and deep bow, can get that.

Egocentric: my felt sense of concern is me and my people, my family, people who help me survive.

Ethnocentric, which is a leap of consciousness: I have expanded my circle of care and concern to those in my circle, my country, my tribe, my religion.

Worldcentric: I actually have a felt sense of caring and concern for actually every human being in the world.

Cosmocentric: I’m even wider and more expanded. I have a felt sense of care and concern for every sentient being, for the cosmos, for past, present, and future, and I’m awakened to the divine in me and I’m acting as a divine agent catalyzing and taking the responsibility for this whole story that we’re in, because you started the story. You were there at the Big Bang. Where else could you have been? Because it’s your story, step up, take responsibility for it, play in it, in all the ways you can in your life.

Those four levels of consciousness, ego-, ethno-, world-, and cosmo-centric: that’w what I mean by levels of consciousness. it’s just a simple way to talk about it. We’ve got to grow up, and we need to wake up.

[Read more…]

Marc Gafni and Charles Randall Paul: The Roots of Individuality

Charles Randall Paul, Ph.D., is one of the most creative leading edge orthodox theologians in the world today. He is board chair, founder, and president of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He has lectured widely and written numerous articles on healthy methods for engaging differences in religions and ideologies, and he is currently completing two books: Fighting about God: Why We Do It and How to Do It Better and Converting the Saints: An American Religious Conflict. He is on the board of editors for the International Journal of Decision Ethics. Charles is also a member of the Wisdom Council of the Center for World Spirituality.

Today the Spirit’s Next Move blog features a 25-minute audio conversation between Dr. Charles Randall Paul and Dr. Marc Gafni, director of CWS and scholar-in-residence. In this segment, Gafni establishes the essential contours of Unique Self teaching on enlightenment and Paul asks for clarification regarding its implications for Eastern enlightenment. Gafni says that unattachment is a higher integral embrace of East and West, and its general position is that nobody is entirely wrong. Every great system has its own understanding that is true and partial, he says. The great understanding of the East is that to move beyond suffering, you have to move beyond your identity as a separate self. And Unique Self retains that central insight by incorporating the teaching that separateness is the source of suffering but it is different from uniqueness.

Charles takes issue with Marc at times, as their exchange on the nature of Western enlightenment in the Renaissance shows, along a path towards a greater shared understanding. They agree that the roots of Western individualism can be traced back both to Christianity as well as the Judaism’s teaching of Imago Dei, but neither religion fully escaped ethnocentrism. It was not until the Renaissance, Marc says, that the individual is given dignity qua individual without being located in a particular religious context.

Listen to the audio: [Read more…]

Launch of new interfaith center in Vienna raises hopes

Rabbi David Rosen, writing in Huffington Post, explains the importance of the launch on Monday of the King Abdullah Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. The initiative was launched jointly by Austria, Spain, and Saudi Arabia, as well as an international organization headed by a nine-member board. Saudi King Abdullah played a key role in its founding including the enlistment of the Vatican as a partner in the center.

Rosen writes:

What makes this interfaith initiative so special is not just that it has been established by three governments or that it has a multifaith board. Rather, it is the fact that this initiative has come from the very heart of the Muslim world — from the custodian of the two holiest shrines of Islam. This gives it a unique standing and, hopefully, the potential to contribute globally.

While the center seeks to be a hub for interfaith work internationally and to provide state-of-the-art technology to help empower this work, it also explicitly seeks to address situations where religion is abused and exploited for violence and conflict, and to ensure that religion is part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

[Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Alexander and the Eye of Acquisition

A Story from Marc Gafni:

The rapist, the corporate raider, the Don Juan, and the conqueror are always taking. The sad result is that they never give and therefore never receive. Therefore, the more they take, the less they have. As a result they always remain empty. For many of the biblical mystics, the symbol of conquest was Alexander the Great. He took almost the entire known world of his day. Yet, insisted the masters, without becoming a lover, Alexander would necessarily remain empty.

The legend tells of Alexander finding the Garden of Eden, symbol of all fulfillment, on the African continent. Now the Talmudic masters have a little bit of a soft spot for Alexander. They saw in him not only a conqueror but also a wisdom seeker. So along the way to Eden, Alexander is depicted as growing wiser and slowly divesting the personality of a pure taker.

In one of his adventures Alexander is confronted by an army of women warriors – mythological symbols of Eros and Shechina. They say to him, “It is not worth your while to attack us. For if we kill  you – you will be known as ‘the king killed by women,’ and if you kill us you will be known as ‘the cruel king who killed women.’” A lesson in the futility of taking.

[Read more…]

Self-confidence: a sign that you have arrived spiritually

Andy Houghton

Photo Credit: Andy Houghton

 

By Joe Perez

Self-confidence is a sign that you have arrived spiritually, according to syndicated columnist Norris Burkes. In “Spirituality: Be your own person,” the Air National Guard chaplain writes:

Jesus …  flat out ask[ed] his adoring crowds, “Who do people say that I am?”

The throng fired back some wild-eyed guesses, as some even said he was the ghost of an old prophet.

Others said he was a lunatic, but Jesus brushed those speculations aside and turned to those who were important in his life, his students, and asked, “Who do you say that I am?”

Peter stood and set it straight. “You da man!”

OK, he didn’t exactly say that. Peter said, “You’re the Christ.”

Jesus responded to this astute conclusion with an astounding command. He told them to not tell a soul.

Why would Jesus ask for such anonymity? Some scholars say that he was trying to avoid being crucified prematurely.

I think it was much more.

I think Jesus had arrived at the moment in his life where he knew that he didn’t need to “proclaim” who he was.

His walk, his breath, his talk exuded the confidence of one who was truly different.

He knew his purpose, and he knew he was the only one who needed to feel contentment in that purpose.

Read the whole thing.

World Spirituality suggests that Burkes has identified an important principal of enlightenment, that moment which he says you stop trying to proclaim who you are and just put your effort into being who God wants you to be. Of course, there are many different ways of interpreting what God wants, and I am using this expression as another way of pointing to the Thou in the I/Thou relationship we all have with All That Is.

Norris says of Jesus: “His walk, his breath, his talk exuded the confidence of one who was truly different.”

Or … He exuded the confidence of one who was truly himself, fully realized in Unique Self.

 

Where Americans import conservatives from overseas

Gay Methodist

Photo Credit: Religion News Service

 

By Joe Perez

In certain places in America, conservatives are so scarce they’ve begun to import them from abroad. Specifically, in Tampa, Florida, where 1,000 delegates gathered for the United Methodist Church’s General Conference. While liberal American Methodists pleaded for tolerance for gay people, conservatives from overseas compared homosexuality to bestiality. [Read more…]

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

Easter

By Joe Perez

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

[Read more…]

Resonance and Dissonance Between the World’s Great Religions (By Sam Alexander)

Methodist Church By Sam Alexander

Religion. The very word strikes fear in the hearts of your average citizen…or boredom, or maybe confusion. My Uncle Joel, a Chemistry professor at UC Berkeley, kept a scrapbook of clippings he said proved religion to be the root cause of humanity’s ills. And who could blame him? The traditionalist mindset holds tight to its religious construct, sure he is right and others wrong, convinced his life depends upon it. Wars are fought, atrocities excused, fear promulgated year after year, all in the name of a god. Humbug.

It’s understandable that culture heaves a deep sigh of relief as the modernist mindset deconstructs the traditional religious myths. The archeologist, the geologist, and the historian of religion all play their part in unraveling the context of meaning which has sustained humanity for 4000 years.

[Read more…]

God 9.0: Does Christianity Have a Future? by Tilmann Haberer

By Tilmann Haberer

‘I am spiritual, but not religious‘– many people make this distinction. They describe themselves as spiritual and maybe they mean by this that they follow a more or less intensive discipline such as Yoga, Vipassana or Zen. Or maybe they lay the Tarot. Perhaps they also believe that, for them, the existence of a higher order is self-understood. However, this higher order has little to do with the god spoken about in religion. For the established religions – in particular Christianity, Islam and Judaism in our part of the world – have gambled away our trust, which, for centuries, was taken for granted. Of course there are reasons for this. One of the most important of these must be that, historically, the churches often played a very disreputable role. Crusades, burning of witches, persecution of heretics and those with different beliefs, religious wars, the conquering of Middle and South America with fire and sword! The list is endless, as endless as the streams of blood and tears that the churches have caused over the course of the centuries. This list carries forward to the present day; the abuse scandals scream to heaven. [Read more…]

Lord of the Rings, the Stanley Cup, and the Virgin Mary – Reflections on the Call by Trevor Malkinson

by Trevor Malkinson

“To refuse the call means stagnation. What you don’t experience positively, you will experience negatively” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

In the Hero’s Journey ‘monomyth’ that Joseph Campbell discovered scattered throughout the world’s mythological traditions, the journey always starts with the call to adventure. The hero or heroine, often an average unsuspecting person, is summoned to leave the safe confines of their world and journey into the unknown on a quest they don’t yet understand. In the 20th century, two major motion picture trilogies- Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings– gave epic representations of the hero’s journey, and people flocked to these films en masse. Why are we so drawn to these depictions of the hero’s journey and the adventure of taking up ‘the call’? What exactly is the calling, where is it emanating from, and why are we so attracted to it?  This article is an extended reflection on the nature of the call and how it shows up in our religion, our art, our culture, and perhaps most importantly, in ourselves.

*******

[Read more…]

What’s Wrong With Martyrdom? – Lessons from Mohamed Bouazizi, Socrates, and Obi-Wan Kenobi

by Trevor Malkinson

A Spark Can Set a Field on Fire

On December 17, 2010, a Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. Bouazizi had been the main provider for his family since the age of 10, selling vegetables everyday in the market (1). For years he’d been bullied, harassed and humiliated by police; it was almost a daily occurrence. They would take away his scales or his produce, or fine him for not having a permit, which was basically a bribe because no permit was officially needed. The country of Tunisia had been under an authoritarian regime for twenty-five years, and corruption and nepotism were rampant. A vast majority of the country’s wealth was in the hands of a small elite group, most of whom were blood relatives of President Ben Ali. On December 17 Bouazzi was harassed again, this time physically. And this time he’d had enough. After his request to speak to a local official was denied (as usual), Bouazzi bought some paint fuel, sat down outside the government building of the same unavailable state official, doused himself in the flammable liquid, and lit a match heard round the world.

As we all know now, this act by Bouazzi sparked an immediate uprising in Tunisia, one that spread to many other countries in the region and, at the time of writing, continues to spread. The conditions for this revolutionary outpouring have been in place for some time. The people of Tunisia, and Egypt, have long been disgruntled, and opposition groups had been quietly forming on sites like Facebook and elsewhere for several years (2). But it was Bouazzi’s desperate act of self-immolation that broke the dam open into virtual release. It’s hard for us to fully grasp the severity and totality of this kind of deed; it seems so radical and so awful. In one single snap of the fingers, this action negates all the core fears of our self-interested separate self- fear of pain, fear of suffering, and ultimately, fear of death. This horrific display of burning oneself alive in protest throws into stark relief the total commitment of the person doing it, and the total rejection of the injustice he and others had endured. Something sonic radiated outward on the day of December 17, 2010; in this act of self-negation, in this horrendous self-sacrifice, Mohamed Bouazzi managed to ignite a brush fire throughout the wider whole.

 

Socrates and the Seeds of the Modern World

In this article, I’m attempting to inquire into the troubled notion of martyrdom, and asking what role it might still possibly play in our lives as evolutionaries today. I should make it clear in advance that I’m not championing sacrificial death as a recommended method of social transformation, and/or the final goal of the spiritual journey! However, since martyrdom has taken this particular form many times in the past, we need to explore what’s been at play and at stake in this history. As good integralists, we should be able to enter into that territory and strip out the intelligence and wisdom involved, while simultaneously rejecting any outmoded forms of its expression.

There are many definitions of martyrdom and most define bodily death as its essential characteristic, yet this hasn’t always historically been the case. Not all martyrdom has this final result. Here’s a working definition of martyrdom that I think is realistic in its generality: “In its purest form, martyrdom is a voluntary, conscious, and altruistic readiness to suffer and offer one’s life for a cause” (3).

Let’s consider a couple more famous examples of martyrdom to further inquire into what’s involved, and why it still might be an important concept for us today.

One of the most celebrated examples of self-sacrifice in history is that of Socrates. Socrates was the great “gadfly” to the people of ancient Athens; in his bare feet and robe, he relentlessly questioned all the assumptions of his day. He dared those around him to question their lives, to take nothing for granted, to accept no authority but that of their own minds (ie. he rejected the authority of the gods). “The unexamined life is not worth living”. It’s hard to truly capture how radical this statement was in 5th century Greece. For all his rabble rousing, for all his disruption of the status quo, Socrates was eventually put on trial for “impiety” and “corrupting the youth of Athens”.

When the court found Socrates guilty and asked him what he thought his own punishment should be, Socrates goaded the jury by saying he should given free meals for the rest of his life, in the manner of an Athenian hero. It’s likely that this unapologetic irreverence resulted in the jury’s final choice of death as the penalty. Later, while awaiting execution, Socrates’ friend Crito came to him with a plan to break him out of jail and help him flee into exile. Socrates refused. He believed in the values that he’d lived by and espoused- the examined life, justice, freedom of speech, civic virtue- and he was going to stand by them to the final moment, no matter what the consequence.

Why have these defiant actions by Socrates inspired so many writers, artists and philosophers down through the ages? The famous painting of ‘The Death of Socrates’ by Jacques-Louis David (1787) is only but one manifestation of this enduring inspiration. I know this story of Socrates stirred me when I first encountered it. There was so much courage and commitment, so much inner strength and integrity, such a total unwillingness to buckle in the face of adversity and hardship. It’s hard to be at the forefront of evolution, outside of the center, alone on the curve. Much of what Socrates fought and gave his life for we all now enjoy as our cultural backdrop today. It’s worth asking ourselves, what role did Socrates’ heroic example play in helping the values he espoused to overcome the dominance of the traditional mythic worldview? In what way did his sacrificial act help usher in the next emerging world? Could we do the same?

 

 

 

Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Strengthening of the Force

There’s another famous example of sacrifice that comes to us from the cinema. Late in the movie Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi is engaged in a light saber duel with Darth Vader in a critical scene aboard the Death Star. During this battle Obi-Wan chooses to sacrifice himself in front of a watching Luke Skywalker, his young Jedi pupil in training. Why does he do this?

The key to this question seems to me to be twofold. First, just before Obi-Wan Kenobi lets himself be killed, he says to Darth Vader, “If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”. Obi-Wan seems to sense that this act will somehow strengthen the power of the Force. And perhaps it’s in this very moment that Luke- seeing his mentor being slain- finally commits to do his training, finally makes the full inward choice to become a Jedi and defeat the Empire. Thus, Obi-Wan’s act was a self-sacrifice intended to give strength and hopefully victory to the Force in its struggle against darkness and evil. It’s interesting to note that Kenobi’s bodily form simply dissipates into thin air when struck by Vader’s light saber. This seems to symbolically indicate that through this act he’s returned to the Source.

This is, of course, only a scene from a movie and we needn’t spend too much time arguing the finer points of this fictional episode. However, our art can (at its best) be a voice for some of our deeper yearnings and potentials, and this famous scene might be worth a moment of contemplation. Just before Obi-Wan is struck down he smiles warmly, gathers himself inwardly, closes his eyes and awaits his destiny. We can ask ourselves, could we find such strength and such inner grace in a moment of our own self-sacrifice? And from what or where does such peace emanate?

Whole System Transition and A New Political Martyrdom

As many of us are becoming increasingly aware, the modern world-system has reached a crisis point (4). We’ve reached the limits of our ever expansive growth, and many of the natural systems on which we depend are in increasing danger of collapse. We’ve hit what systems theorists call a bifurcation point– a point of overwhelm where a system either starts to disintegrate into its previous forms, or emerges, through evolution, into a higher and more complex level of organization and control (5). Author Jean Houston describes the process we’re undergoing as whole system transition, and we can all feel the turbulence and uncertainty of this unique evolutionary passage.

One of the things that’s helping to destabilize the world-system is a current form of unrestricted free market capitalism, sometimes called neoliberalism (6). Under this economic policy, dominant for almost thirty years now, an extreme and unsustainable portion of the world’s wealth has become concentrated in the hands of a privileged few. Just a few weeks ago, both The Atlantic and The Economist ran cover stories discussing a new global elite (7). The situation has become so stark and unavoidable that this sort of talk has officially moved outside of small groups of leftists, and has entered the mainstream. It’s into this overall context- threats of systemic collapse, great disparities of wealth, continuing war- that the political theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have proposed to reclaim the notion of martyrdom as a viable political concept and course of political action. In their 2004 text called Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, they describe two forms of martyrdom:

The one form [of martyrdom], which is exemplified by the suicide bomber, poses martyrdom as a response of destruction, including self-destruction, to an act of injustice. The other form of martyrdom, however, is completely different. In this form the martyr does not seek destruction but is rather struck down by the violence of the powerful. Martyrdom in this form is really a kind of testimony– testimony not so much to the injustices of power but to the possibility of a new world, an alternative not only to that specific destructive power but to every such power…This martyrdom is really an act of love; a constituent act aimed at the future and against the sovereignty of the present. (8).

In Hardt and Negri’s call for a nonviolent testimony we can hear the echo of Percy Shelley’s famous political poem The Masque of Anarchy (1819), said to be one of the first modern statements of the principle of nonviolent resistance. Shelley writes:

Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.

And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew,
What they like, that let them do

With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away

 

‘Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek
.’

Hardt and Negri are quick to point out that we shouldn’t go seeking out this kind of martyrdom. They write that “this martyrdom, when it arrives, [is] only a by-product of real action and the reactions of sovereignty against it”. We can again inquire within ourselves, at this critical moment in history, what are we willing to sacrifice to help enable a successful transition to a new phase in human history? In the face of likely reactions from the dominant status quo, what are we willing to risk in our lives to secure the future health of the global whole (9)? As evolutionaries, what practices must we undertake in order to ready ourselves for such martyrdom?

Evolutionary Spirituality and The Return to the Whole

“It’s the central urge in every atom, To return to its divine source and origin, however distant, Latent the same in subject and in object, without one exception”. Walt Whitman, A Persian Lesson

The demands of this world historical moment might seem daunting, but there’s reason to be hopeful as we continue to wake up and grow up within this context (10).  When it comes to growing up– or the process by which we evolve through waves of psychosocial development- the folks at Spiral Dynamics Integral have some interesting clues as to what might lie ahead. According SDi, the turquoise value-meme (or “the Globalist”) is characterized by what they call a  “Sacrifice-self”. Here’s some further data about the emerging worldview of the turquoise value-meme:

Sees self as part of a larger, conscious whole; feels responsible to the overall good; motivated by survival of life on the planet; political form is whole-Earth networks and interconnections; motivated towards the macro management of all life forms toward common good in response to macro problems; complex, multidimensional thinking; motivated to find unity and ideas and goals of whole-Earth impact (11).

This made me realize that under the prevailing planetary life conditions- the globalization of economy, culture, travel and media, and the globalization of crises- a corresponding worldview is arising within many people, one that I can feel arising within myself too. And what’s interesting about this new expanded sense of identity is that working for the health of the greater whole doesn’t feel like a ‘sacrifice’ at all.  Martyrdom only feels like a burden or a loss when we feel like we’re sacrificing for something outside of ourselves. And this is precisely the predicament of the hyper-individualized self that was born in the post/modern era. This historic differentiation out from Earth and culture is a beautiful thing; but the next move in the dialectical dance of history is to re-integrate that newly autonomous individual back within the larger wholes of which it’s always already a-part. The modern self cannot sacrifice for that which it is separate from.

However, when nothing is outside of ourselves- when we shift to an identity with the global whole- then making sacrifices in our life and actions becomes simply a natural extension of who we are. There’s no sense of loss, only of a love that radiates outwards. We naturally become willing martyr’s testifying for the new future wanting to emerge through us.

And we can take this expanded sense of identity even one step further. In our process of waking up, we can start to become identified with the cosmos as a whole. As a practitioner-student of both Andrew Cohen’s evolutionary enlightenment, and Revered Bruce Sanguin’s evolutionary Christianity, I’ve begun to contact within myself the core evolutionary current animating the cosmos (12). I learn to be a living vehicle for this Spirit as it lives through and as me; I learn to serve Thy will instead of my will. Grounded in Source, from which this creative impulse forever flows, I learn to become a conscious and willing agent of the evolutionary process. In this alignment with the ultimate whole, we forever break the chains of exile and separation, so typical and costly in our modern times. We come to complete what Ken Wilber once called ‘The Atman Project’.

When the good folks at iEvolve generously asked me to write an article for their site, I listened deep inside to what I was being called to communicate, and the notes for this article began to flow. I felt an urgency to speak of the critical time we live in, and how we’re all called to be martyrs in the birth of the next stage in human civilization. In this project we can be inspired by Mohamed Bouazizi, by the Egyptians, by Socrates and the countless others who’ve sacrificed before us on the alter of evolution. And we can also inspire others ourselves. We can lead by example, through our effort and determination, through our courage to speak up for new higher values, and through our commitment to always live from what we most know to be true. We can do the practices necessary to widen our sense of identity, and to align with the deeper currents that run through it all. The journey ahead might demand great risks and great sacrifices, but through this sacrificial effort we’ll be willing and ready. Let us come together now, and usher in that future through the testimonies of our own lives. The time is at hand.

Trevor MalkinsonTrevor MalkinsonTrevor Malkinson grew up in Victoria, BC. He did a double undergraduate degree in philosophy and environmental studies at the University of Victoria, and then did a graduate degree in philosophy at Brock University. He will be entering the Vancouver School of Theology in fall 2011, wih the intention of going into ministry in the United Church of Canada. As a chef by trade, he has a passionate interest in food and in supporting the development of a post-industrial food culture. He also has a passionate interest in evolutionary spirituality, and how the Christian tradition can live anew within this emerging worldview. Trevor is a founding member of www.beamsandstruts.com where he writes regularly.

Endnotes

(1) http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/01/201111684242518839.html

(2) http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/02/22/egypt-social-media-in-the-middle-east-as-a-tool-for-incremental-change/

(3) http://www.cqpress.com/incontext/terrorism/links/epr_martyrdom.html

(4) “The modern world-system in which we are now living, had its origins in the long sixteenth century in Europe in the Americas. The modern world-system is a capitalist world-economy…The modern world-system is a spatial/temporal zone which cuts across many political and cultural units, and represents an integrated zone of activity and institutions which obey certain systemic rules”. Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. US: Duke University Press, 2007. p. 95,17.

(5) Capra, Fritjof. The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems. New York: Anchor Books, 1996. p.136-137.

(6) cf. Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.   Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

(7) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/8343/

(8) Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire. New York: Penguin Press, 2004. p.346-47.

(9) In this article the author argues that protests in the West (particularly North America) are no longer effective because people are willing to risk much less (esp. jail time). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11849259

(10) This is a catchy phrase of Ken Wilber’s to describe the dual process of:  a) “Waking up”: The stages of consciousness that lead to non-dual realization; and b) “Growing up”: The essential structures of social, cognitive, and moral evolution. Wilber uses these terms in various places, but I most recently heard them while relistening to the first interview of The Future of Love Tele-series (Week 1). http://integrallife.com/futureofloveteleseriescontent

(11) All the data on the turquoise value-meme comes from the course pack to the Spiral Dynamics Integral Level 1 Training program.

(12) The Reverend Bruce Sanguin’s writings and teachings on evolutionary Christianity can be found at:  http://ifdarwinprayed.com