Spiritual Agreement

I’m reading “Sense & Soul“, an essay by Ken Wilber, over at One Mind Village. I have a great admiration for his ability to condense his unparalleled knowledge and expansive theories into expressions that can be grasped quickly. His presentation of the core agreements of the great wisdom traditions, as also found in Integral Spirituality, is a telling example of this.

1. Spirit, by whatever name, exists.
2. Spirit, although existing “out there,” is found “in here,” or revealed within to the open heart and mind.
3. Most of us don’t realize this Spirit within, however, because we are living in a world of sin, separation, or duality-that is, we are living in a fallen, illusory, or fragmented state.
4. There is a way out of this fallen state (of sin or illusion or disharmony), there is a Path to our liberation.
5. If we follow this Path to its conclusion, the result is a Rebirth or Enlightenment, a direct experience of Spirit within and without, a Supreme Liberation, which
6. marks the end of sin and suffering, and
7. manifests in social action of mercy and compassion on behalf of all sentient beings.

While the emergence of integral is new territory only a tiny portion of us are exploring, the truths we return with can help us ease the suffering and halt some of the blunders taking place in this world. We can apply our understanding when interacting with all others, bringing greater skillfulness to navigating the myriad of quirks we humans have. But to do this we have to have the humility to meet people where they are, using maps like this to inhabit common ground; Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Baha’is, and people of other faiths can agree on these terms, and this is a valuable starting point.

Joe Perez has been doing commendable work in this area at his site Until. He has given us a look at Integral Christianity both as lived and as theory. His exploration of faith in his book Soulfully Gay (With a full title of Soulfully Gay: How Harvard, Sex, Drugs, and Integral Philosophy Drove Me Crazy and Brought Me Back to God, you know it’s gotta be plugged in.) is something I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while now, but I’ve been thrilled enough with his online writing. His look at “The Integral Christian and the 4 Quadrants” and “Salvation in 4 Quadrants” have allowed me to reflect on my early religious life in Christianity with greater clarity.

We each can help guide our faiths forward. Equipped with the tools to be competent leaders, loving fellows, humble students and evolving souls, we are given the opportunity to embody the highest ideals we have committed ourselves to in a way that has simply not been seen before. In light of the mystery before us, I’m moved to awe, action and surrender.

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