I just came across this rather extraordinary account of a spiritual teacher, who realizes that he is operating under the feudal assumptions of a vertical spirituality, and goes through a period of soul searching in discovery of a “We Space”. Please do read the article in full by Mushin, but here are significant excerpts, since it is so close to our concerns at the P2P Foundation, where we think that there is no social change without change of self, and no change of self without social change.
The spiritual crises of vertical spirituality.
“That spring and summer I was in trouble because I started to see that I couldnâ€™t go on with my old way of teaching in which I was the one that â€œhas itâ€, and the people coming to me didnâ€™t – or where not conscious of it. Not, that I didnâ€™t feel connected anymore to the deep sources of life and being, not that there were no more Satoriâ€™s or deep mystical states – quite the contrary many of my days were spent in a very juicy sense of lightness, as if bubbles of champagne were coursing through my veins. But it was what I and others made out of this that was the trouble. It was the â€˜vertical spiritualityâ€™ in the patriarchal mode that I became wary of. It reminded me very much of feudalism, a social structure that I didnâ€™t want to be part of anymore.”
He then goes on to discover the participatory approaches that we have already covered (John Heron, Jorge Ferrer), but also approaches that I have yet to discover, such as Samuel Bonder’s awakening in mutuality.
After a deep spiritual crisis, Mushin encounters the various aspects of a new participative spirituality, which he describes thus.
The Four Aspects of We Space
“space is not empty at all; it is flowing over with the We that embraces all. And as I said, the We is making itself felt, understood, intuited all over this globe and is manifesting in many different ways – as people wanting to cooperate, to collaborate, to be in community and communion, seeing that the time of heroes (central suns) is definitely over, the time for the saviors and lone leaders that could set things right again. The world and its problems have become so complex that we can only hope to find adequate answers in â€œcirclesâ€of very different people where we can meet eye to eye and heart to heart – in a sort of collective leadership maybe. And this is underfoot already on a worldwide scale. The place here would not suffice to mention all the initiatives that are going on all over the world. Yet, this is one aspect of We manifesting.
Another aspect is the sense of spiritual or soul families or clans finding each other again across countries and continents. It is as if we have chosen ages ago to come together in this critical time on the planet to be midwives to what is wanting to emerge. What ever may be the case we do recognize each other and there is an immediate connection beyond words, even beyond understanding; all we do is accept it.
A third aspect manifests through what has been called the Circle Being, manifesting as a higher order of being together with an incredible coherence that draws in the individuals participating. This certainly is We, being highly coherent. (Helen has written about it here, and I have also reported a very strong experience here). The â€œbetween usâ€ can also come into being in what has been called â€œa silver momentâ€ or in German Sternstunde, â€œstellar hourâ€. In the Bible it has been alluded to – and much misinterpreted as only applying to the divine person of Jesus – as, â€œWhere two or three are gathered in My Name there am I am in their midst.â€ (Matth. 18:20)
A fourth aspect is the insight that our very consciousness itself can best be regarded as plural and not singular as a traditional mysticism has it. In the individual this shows itself as sub-personalities or the many voices that speak in us – for instance the ego, the inner child, the judge, the saboteur, the seeker, the achiever, the non-seeking mind, the inner master, the higher self etc.. So looking at our individual consciousness or psyche as a â€œweâ€ rather than as an â€œIâ€ would pave the way for a â€œcircle beingâ€ to manifest inside the mind of the individual. This to me at this moment is one of the most interesting aspect of the emerging archetype.”
Mushin then concludes:
“It seems obvious that the â€œinner Weâ€ does not dissolve individuality, I or ego; it rather enhances its possibilities and functionality, because as the so far dominant ego realizes its embeddedness it can let go much easier of its compulsory need to control, and become part of the conductorless orchestra of the â€œinner Weâ€ tuning in to the â€œlarger Weâ€ dawning on all of mankind and even, so I think, all beings and what we now still call derogatively â€˜dead matterâ€™.”