I can hardly believe we’re almost two weeks into Beyond Awakening and I’m just now catching my breath and posting this—it’s my first blog post since we launched. Thanks for your many comments. I wish I had time to engage more here. But I’ve begun, and will continue to blog regularly.
I hope you’re having fun participating in this amazing conversation.
I sure am!
It’s a whole new world — Internet radio, webcasts, downloads. The Evolutionary movement is rapidly clarifying its perspectives, finding its voices, and in the process I’m involved in another fresh, evolving form of expression. It’s a steep learning curve, and I’ve just begun, but I’m proud of what I think has been an amazing beginning:
- In the series introduction, I laid out the evolutionary context. I set forth the amazing and inspiring nature of our current evolutionary moment, describing the profound spiritual context of this “big conversation” about where we’re heading, why it matters, and how.
- Philosopher Ken Wilber delivered a tyro performance in week two, offering, in just 90-minutes, a powerful summary of Integral theory and some of its clarifying, sobering, and extremely inspiring implications.
- Esalen founder, Michael Murphy, talked about the “evolutionary panentheist” worldview he sees emerging, or rather “meandering” forward, and yet he sees current culture being much more powerfully transformed by practices than by ideas.
- Evolutionary spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen invoked the ecstatic urgency of the evolutionary impulse, being clear to distinguish it from fear-based responses to our world crises, and he and I had some fun wading into various controversies, over topics ranging from A (anxiety) to (Z) (zeal) including love and hate of the E-word (“Enlightenment”).
Each of those I’ve interviewed so far is a major figure — and each is hero to me — brilliant, articulate, original and profoundly influential. They helped me frame a deep inquiry into many of the real issues involved in bringing higher consciousness to human affairs.
Many key questions that contribute to the “big conversation” are now on the table:
- Is the essence of spirituality timeless or is it evolving?
- Is our interruption-driven postmodern lifestyle only an entirely negative obstacle to sanity and growth, or does it contain a silver lining?
- Can we awaken together in ways that enhance and go beyond how we can awaken individually?
- How much spiritual intensity is healthy? Does more = better? If not, exactly how do we avoid mediocrity?
- What did you think of Michael Murphy’s stand that an “incarnational spirituality” must practice with and transform our very bodies?
- This week I also visited a conference of social activists where I encountered tremendous pessimism about humanity’s prospects. However, everyone I have interviewed so far on Beyond Awakening has struck a distinctly optimistic tone. Why the big difference?
- How do we establish such strong and important agreements that they enable us to hold together despite our many disagreements? Will this enable us to establish the “big tent” of a new cultural movement?
What’s coming up for you as you listen to these dialogs? I’m curious to hear from you!
PS: I just finished a conversation with Claire Zammit in which she described her personal story and recent work catalyzing an explosive community centering on feminine power and spirituality. We waded into what is sometimes “dangerous territory”— what sometimes makes things difficult between men and women, and how women becoming empowered can paradoxically open up new co-creative synergies between men and women. Check it out here!