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Questions for John Kesler?

This week on Integral Spiritual Center....

Religious, but not Spiritual?
- Fr. Thomas Keating / Ken Wilber

Integral Art and "The World of the Terribly Obvious" - Seth Rowanwood / Ken Wilber

ISC Teacher Discussion Series

Our ISC Teacher Discussion Series continues on Saturday, September 15th at 1PM Mountain time.  Next up is John Kesler!  If you have a question for John and Ken, please send it to [email protected], for your chance to participate on the call.  As always, all ISC Members are invited to listen in to the live web stream.

Religious, but not Spiritual? (video)

It takes a moment to reconcile oneself to the fact that the religious tradition of St. Francis and Mother Teresa is also the tradition of the Crusades and the Inquisition.  Fr. Thomas Keating, considered one of the great contemplatives of our time, has spent a lifetime in the practice of Christianity, seeking and sharing its depths.  The goal of the tradition, suggests Fr. Thomas in this week's video, is transformation—but transformation into what? 

The answer depends on what stage of development you're at.  Beyond becoming a better person (though your family and friends may thank you profusely), beyond even becoming a saint, Fr. Thomas suggests that the goal of the mature Christian life is to become no thing.  As with any developmental sequence, the subject of one stage becomes the object of the subject of the next—in this case, until absolute Subjectivity itself.  The problem—and the challenge—lie in the fact that, among its 2 billion adherents, relatively few are aware of Christianity’s mystical tradition and contemplative path.  Statements like “I’m spiritual, but not religious” actually come from a fairly evolved place, from which one rejects external aspects of the tradition, while still longing for its esoteric wisdom.

Integral spirituality offers an entirely new perspective on this question.  From this perspective, we can see that although the stories of the world’s religious traditions vary wildly, the contemplative experience is essentially similar.  And from Integral, we can appreciate the stories for what they are, the first rung in a ladder of development—both our own development, and that of anyone on a similar path.  In the end, no matter how profound the state in which we experience the divine, it is always interpreted from our stage of development.

Integral also points to the reality of our shadow, and points out that we might need something other than our contemplative practice to bring it into the light.  Finally, Integral can help us both to transform into deeper stages of awareness and compassion, and to translate our current stage in the healthiest way possible.

Integral Art and "The World of the Terribly Obvious" (audio)

The theory of Integral art provides a beautiful synthesis of modernity, with its claim to objective reality, and postmodernity, which emphasizes cultural context.  Rather than a pre-given world, stage-specific worldspaces arise, from which all phenomena are experienced and interpreted.  Art, like any form of communication, is a product of the symbols used by the communicator (in this case, the artist) and that which is evoked in the observer.  In this week’s audio, Ken and Toronto’s Seth Rowanwood explore Integral Art and its relationship to modernity—The World of the Terribly Obvious—from the March discussion of Chapter 7 of Integral Spirituality.


Preparations are underway for the third gathering of the teachers of Integral Spiritual Center!  The extraordinary space that arose in the first two gatherings can only be described as “a miracle called We.” And we are delighted to offer you an opportunity to join us for the third day of the gathering, as the ISC Teachers guide participants in an exploration of "The Religion of Tomorrow."  For registration information, click here.

Published Saturday, September 08, 2021 5:44 AM by rollie


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