Going Integral in Spiritual Organization

The idea of “Integral” – or the recognition that evolution is the process by which new ideas/concepts/actualities emerge into form through people, organizations and cultures, is new in many spiritual circles. It is, however, a factor that we cannot ignore any longer.

The very definition of evolution is changing (actually evolving) on a continual and accelerating basis. Our cultural experience is one of increasingly rapid change. As the other galaxies in the Universe are speeding away from the Milky Way at increasing speed, so is our experience of life becoming both more complex and evolving at an increasingly rapid pace.

What this means for spiritual community and organization is that spiritual leaders need to teach their members how to exist in such a reality. As Bruce Sanguin wrote in THE EMERGING CHURCH, spiritual leaders must have “. . .“the capacity and the willingness to pre-sense and presence the future that needs [their] congregation in order to emerge.”

Recognize that he speaks of the “future that needs (their) congregation in order to emerge” – here, Bruce recognizes the mystical concept of Oneness and that we human beings are vessels for the emergence of what is ready to actualize next. If we are in alignment with our deepest nature – with the LOVE that we are – then this actualization process produces heaven; is we are not in alignment – through ignorance and fear – then it produces hell (or, at least Purgatory, a less permanent condition).

The challenge for the contemporary spiritual leader is to develop a working awareness of these new concepts and to work to develop them in the congregation. To do this, the resources are the Spiral Dynamics model, Ken Wilber’s AQAL model, Cindy Wigglesworth’s SQ21 Spiritual Intelligence process, and others.

A more complex world requires that we weave the profound principles of our ancestors into the more expansive fabric of modern society. There is no place to go but forward.


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