By Joe Perez
Some say the world needs more peace and others say the world needs less complacency.
Some say the world needs fewer carbon emissions and others say the world needs more jobs.
Some say the world needs less hunger and poverty and others say the world needs more gratitude.
Some say the world needs a cure for terrible diseases and others say all disease is in the mind.
Some say the world needs equal rights for women, racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities… and others say the world needs to recover a social order from ages past.
Some say the world needs more conservative solutions to problems, and definitely more individual liberty. But others say the world needs more progressive solutions to problems, and definitely more cooperation.
Some say the world needs people to feel more and get “out of our heads.” But others say the world needs people to be smarter, more rational, and moved less by irrational feelings.
Some say the world needs nothing: that it is perfect just the way it is.
So… What does the world most need now?
The principles of Integral Spirituality teach us that every one of these answers has a part of the truth. They all see the world from a different point of view. But not all windows on the world are equal; they don’t all have an equal part of the truth. There are many different levels of truth, if you will, as there are many different layers of an onion… and peeling back the easier, superficial answers isn’t for the faint of heart.
Also, the Integral toolset gives us a great starting point for organizing ideas about what the world needs now: it can help us to visualize how each of these issues involves many different dimensions, and it can tell us a great deal about how different people with different psychological profiles and intellectual worldviews make sense of these needs.
But in itself, the Integral Framework does little more than specify a range of possible answers to the question and frame the potential answers. It doesn’t actually answer the question in the abstract, absolute sense. An integral spiritual operating system requires the addition of an empowering and ennobling and wise vision within which to work its particular magic.
And it is this vision of an embodied Integral way of being human that people in the World Spirituality movement from around the world are articulating, learning about, putting into practice, and building community experiences around. It is one hugely important way God is speaking and Spirit is working in the world today.
World Spirituality is, as Marc Gafni frequently says, about democratizing enlightenment. World Spirituality affirms that no task is more important right now than enlightenment… and that this is not just a project for cave-dwelling monks but the highest and most profound calling direct for each and every one of us.
It also suggests the HOW of enlightenment in a wide variety of ways that do justice to all the complexity and developmental perspectives. This is important because adhering to the tenets of a World Spirituality based on Integral principles helps us to avoid making mistakes like lapsing into fundamentalism, scientism, postmodernism, or any other ideology masquerading as the Total Truth.
And one of the most central insights of all is that we all have a Unique Self, a personal face of essence, that is to say, an Ultimate Identity. Therefore we must all be our highest and wisest and truest Self, and not try to hide or diminish it. Our True Self knows needs that our body, feelings and mind do not by themselves apprehend.
So the answer to the question, “What does the world most need now?” begins with YOU.
Only and uniquely YOU.
If you are living from the True Self, that indistinct suchness that is All That Arises, then you are not acting selfishishly and egotistically or just concerned about the ideals of people just like you and the groups with which you associate. On the contrary, you are concerned about every sentient being and want the best for everyone and all creatures.
You need not concern yourself with all perspectives on the question, “What does the world most need now?”
You only need concern yourself with just enough perspectives to help you move forward step by step from where you are right at this moment. You need not be paralyzed by worrying that you won’t do the perfect thing. You need not be frantic, tossed about by haphazard winds of the power of self-will.
THE NEXT THING YOU DO is what the world most needs now, if you are practicing a genuine World Spirituality based on Integral principles.