It was also natural that these societies placed their religious institutions in the care of men—who in turn found that it best served their political interests to favor the distant sky father over the imminent Earth Mother and to dismiss goddess worship as primitive and. The priestly class further strengthened its power and authority by affirming sacred ancient texts interpreted by religious scholars as the sole authority on the will of God. Eventually, the keepers of the faith conveniently forgot that the image of the distant Patriarch was only a metaphor for the unity and order of the Integral Spirit from which all being manifests. In its contemporary expression, the cosmology of the Integral Spirit embraces and melds insights from the frontiers of scientific observation, the worlds major religions, and the experience of indigenous peoples and mystics. Separation of the material and spiritual worlds, rejection of the feminine, and a reliance on ancient texts as the primary (if not sole) source of human knowledge and moral authority, in denial of the data of the senses, became a serious barrier to the advancement. As the world divided into a multitude of institutionalized religious sects and subsects, the underlying stories of the spiritual unity of creation gave way to often violent competition for market share based on "my god is the real God" product differentiation.
Nobody's Mother: Life without Kids: Lynne van luven
Consequently, they sought to communicate their mystical insights through easily understood stories and familiar images. Not surprisingly, the intended messages have been subject to omission and distortion as they pass from generation to generation. Generally, for early indigenous peoples the deeper truth of creation as the expression of an integral spiritual consciousness translated into stories of an enchanted world inhabited by spirits essay of diverse motives and magical abilities. Matrilineal societies tended toward feminine imagery and worshiped images of the goddess. More gender-balanced societies worshiped both a sky father and an Earth Mother. With time, human societies developed large-scale institutional structures that supported powerful political and religious rulers with a considerable interest in shaping stories of divine power to serve their political interests. Stories and images of gods and goddesses as larger-than-life versions of their earthly essay rulers served them better than stories and images of an enchanted world of spirit beings. The Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—were each built on the foundation of a deep and profound sense of the integral spiritual unity and order of creation. Each emerged within male-dominated societies in which patriarchs were familiar figures and symbols. They naturally looked to the patriarch as their symbol for an all-knowing, all-powerful spiritual consciousness.
The fourth feels a leg and insists, An elephant is like a tree. The fifth feels its ear and pronounces it to be like a fan. The sixth grasps the tail and says Nonsense, an elephant is like a rope. We understand and relate to our world largely through our basic senses. The spiritual dimension, however, lies beyond our limited direct sensory experience. When we seek to describe it, like the blind men groping the elephant, we turn to familiar imagery. This story is a warning that any interpretation of the infinite is likely to capture only a part of a much larger reality. The politics of Story power, the mystics among the prophets, brief sages, and wisdom keepers of all times and traditions have discerned a spiritual order and unity in creation they could make intelligible to their followers only through metaphor.
Largely invisible in the public forum, it is not included in public opinion polls, leaving us with little idea of how widespread its acceptance actually. Consequently, those of us who align with its foundational insights have no way to assess whether we are just cultural outliers or members of what may quite possibly be a cultural majority. Intimidated by our isolation, we may be reluctant to share the truth in our hearts, thus limiting our ability to share and deepen our insights and to join with others to fulfill the responsibilities to which the insights of this story call. Six Blind Men Describe an Elephant. Reflecting on the relationship between these three seemingly mutually exclusive cosmologies brings to mind the story of the six blind men describing an elephant. The first feels its side and proclaims, An elephant is like lab a wall. The second report gropes its tusk and counters, no, it is like a spear. The third feels the trunk and says, Truly it is like a snake.
The Integral Spirit story, by contrast, infuses all we behold in this life and beyond with profound meaning. All of creation is a sacred and ultimately unified expression of an eternal and intimately present divine will. As participants in and contributors to the ongoing process of creation, we each bear a sacred responsibility. Our lives take on profound meaning and purpose in relationship and service to the sacred whole. This cosmology has the elements of the needed story for our time. It remains, however, largely a private story without the institutional sponsors that give the distant Patriarch and Grand Machine cosmologies authority and public presence. The absence of institutional sponsorship helps to secure its authenticity, but the absence of public visibility limits its influence as a guide to rethinking and restructuring our human relationships with one another and nature.
Erik erikson - shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
I find that Integral Spirit is the underlying cosmology of a reassuring number of religious leaders and devout members of many faiths, including a great many catholic nuns, as well as most people who define themselves as spiritual, but not necessarily religious. Why Creation Stories Matter, our creation stories have powerful paper implications for our understanding of our place in the cosmos and thereby shape our most foundational values, our politics, and the distribution of power in society. The distant Patriarch story characterizes our earthly existence as a separation from the divine goodness and grace of heaven. Our experience in this life becomes a test of faith, a burden to be endured and ultimately left behind in an eventual ascent of the righteous to reside with the creator in paradise. This cosmology reduces the purpose of life in the present to a fear-based quest to earn credits toward a divine judgment that will determine whether our fate after death will be to join the saved or the damned.
It is a perfect setup for the manipulation and exploitation of believers by demagogues. All beings are interconnected and our fates are inextricably intertwined. The Grand Machine story strips our existence of meaning and purpose. In so doing, it supports consumerism and an ethic of individual material gratification as a distraction from the terrifying loneliness and despair of an otherwise meaningless existence. By characterizing life as inherently competitive, it provides a pseudo-scientific justification for social Darwinism, colonial imperialism, racial domination, and the unrestrained competition of market fundamentalism. It neglects the far greater role of cooperation and synergy on which all living systems—and human society, civilization, and culture—depend. Though sharply at odds regarding the presence or absence of a spiritual intelligence, both the distant Patriarch and Grand Machine cosmologies affirm the self-destructive individualism and separation that lead us to behave in ways that threaten Earths biosphere and our future as a species.
Contrary to prevailing theories of social Darwinism, the Integral Spirit cosmology recognizes that life is a fundamentally cooperative enterprise. Indigenous wisdom keepers speak of the creators original instructions to humans to get along with one another and nature. Brain scientists tell us the human brain evolved to reward cooperation, service, and compassion —suggesting that the creative processes of evolution have programmed these original instructions into our brains and dna. Extreme individualism, greed, and violence are pathological and signs of physical, developmental, cultural, and/or institutional system failure. Caring relationships are the foundation of healthy families and communities.
The golden Rule common to all major faiths is a better guide to appropriate moral behavior than mechanistic rules are. The Integral Spirit cosmology postulates that we humans participate in and contribute to the divine journey. We can apply our distinctive capacities for reflective consciousness and choice either to advance creations evolutionary thrust toward ever more creative possibility, or to disrupt. Together, our individual choices determine our collective fate and shape the course of the journey far beyond our time. We find threads of this story in the traditional wisdom teachings of indigenous peoples and the mystical traditions of all faiths, including the Abrahamic faiths. In his expression of his Jewish faith, jesus taught, The kingdom is within. Muhammad taught, Wherever you turn, there is the face of Allah.". The Integral Spirit cosmology is consistent with the findings of quantum physics, which reveals that the apparent solidity of matter is an illusion and at the deepest level of understanding only relationships are real.
Mother Tongue, by Amy tan - olyPen
By its reckoning, all of creation is the expression of an integral spiritual intelligence engaged in a sacred journey to discover and actualize its possibilities through an ongoing process of becoming. Our world and the material universe of our experience are more than God's creation—they are god made flesh. God is in the world and the world is in God, yet they are not identical. Although the spirit is imminent, it is also transcendent, a concept religious scholars refer to as panentheism. Brain scientists tell us the human brain evolved to reward cooperation, service, and compassion. We come to know the nature, purpose, and intention of this feasibility divine force through both our inner experience and our observation of its physical manifestation. All beings, stars, planets, humans, paperwork animals, plants, rocks, and rivers are expressions of this divine force—each with its place and function in the journey of the whole.
By this reckoning, the cosmos paper is much like a mechanical clock-works gradually running down as its spring unwinds. Building on the mechanistic determinism of classical physics, classical biology holds that life evolves through a combination of chance genetic mutation and a competitive struggle by which the fitter survive and flourish as the weaker perish. According to the Grand Machine cosmology, a brutal competition for survival, territory, and reproductive advantage is the basic law of nature, and these same instincts define our human nature. Indeed, as economists of a social Darwinist perspective assure us, our competitive instinct is the primary and essential driver of human prosperity and progress. The defining debate turns on the question of whether this instinct best serves society when free from government interference or when guided by public regulation and incentives. The cosmos is a manifestation of Integral Spirit. This cosmology has ancient roots and a significant modern following, but lacks institutional support and public visibility.
way station on the path. Nature exists for our temporary human use and comfort. Those who demonstrate their closeness to god by their pious religious observance and special knowledge of His intention properly exercise authority over the rest. The cosmos is a grand Machine. This is the cosmology commonly associated with science. It is the standard story of Newtonian physics, evolutionary biology, and the institutions of secular academia. In this cosmology only the material is real. The formation and function of the cosmos and the evolution of life are consequences of a combination of physical mechanism and random chance. Life is an accidental outcome of material complexity and has no larger meaning or purpose. Consciousness and free will are illusions.
The third—and most relevant to the task at hand—has ancient roots, and may in one form or another be the most widely held. It has virtually no public presence. The cosmos is created and ruled by a distant Patriarch. This is the cosmology most commonly associated with the institutions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It views creation as the work of an all-knowing, all-powerful God. From his home in a separate, sacred dimension called heaven, he observes and judges our obedience british to his commandments handed down to us through sacred texts and interpreted by his anointed religious authorities. This cosmology focuses attention on our individual relationship with a personal but distant God, as expressed in Michelangelos famous rendering of a god portrayed in the image of man. By implication, our human relationships with one another and with nature are secondary to this primary relationship.
Women suffrage in american essay writers: Creative writing
For people, generally, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value, thomas Berry wrote. The Dream of the earth. The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival demands of a present situation. The challenge before us is to create a new civilization based on a cosmology—a story of the origin, nature, and purpose of creation that reflects the fullness of our current human knowledge. We live at such a moment. Humanitys current behavior threatens Earths capacity to support life and relegates more than a billion people to lives of destitution. This self-destructive behavior and our seeming inability to change have deep roots in the stories by which we understand the nature and meaning of our existence. The challenge before us is to create a new civilization based on a cosmology—a story of the origin, nature, and purpose of creation—that reflects the fullness of our current human knowledge; a story to guide us to mature relationships with one another and a living. Three cosmologies, three distinct cosmologies business have each had their influence in shaping the western worldview.