Lawrence Wollersheim on Open Sourcing Spirituality (3): Values and Principles

Continuing our series on the foundations of a participatory spirituality practice and movement, by Larry Wollersheim.

Below are the essential minimum values and principles of the open source integral spirituality collabotation process that will facilitate expanding the global spiritual commons. This list will be amended or upgraded as needed as would be expected in any evolving and yet incomplete new movement:

1.) On Its Prime Focus

The most important focus of open source integral spirituality is the common core and essence of all religion. It is one’s continually expanding and deepening direct personal experiences with the Ever Present Origin of All Reality, improving one’s balanced practice of the virtues, and achieving spiritual completeness. (Spirituality is the innermost and most critical essence of all religion as opposed to religion’s outermost characteristics such as its social beliefs, doctrines, rituals and organizational structures, authorities and hierarchies.)

2.) On Diversity

This is an open source movement! It encourages many individuals, organizations and teachers of spiritual wisdom to contribute their wisdom to the open source integral spirituality collaboration.

This diversity is essential to an unending search for additional and broader spiritual truth and is vital for making spiritual wisdom accessible to the great variety of personalities, learning styles, psychological developmental levels and cultures. Though different in abilities, all are equal in spiritual dignity and can act as co-creators of the global spiritual commons. – Back to Top

3.) On Personal Spiritual Choice and Authority

Every mentally sound person already possesses the internal means to be their own highest spiritual authority for discerning spiritual truth for their own spiritual path. This implies that each individual is their own highest spiritual authority. – Back to

4.) On Organizational Spiritual Authority and Revelation

In the global spiritual commons and in the open source integral spirituality movement it is necessary that there are no highest Popes, Bishops, Avatars, Gurus, Rabbis, Imams, etc. or, any religious hierarchy of final spiritual authority or religious orthodoxy outside the spiritual authority of the individual. No one spiritual source, spiritual teacher, founder, leader or organization has the universal or final spiritual authority on what is authentic or appropriate spiritual wisdom, spiritual truth or spiritual law for anyone other than themselves. – Back to Top – Back to Values and Principles –

From this date of this original declaration’s creation forward, the above paragraph naturally infers that there is also no longer recognition of special, exclusive, ongoing or final spiritual revelation being presented by the Ever Present Origin uniquely or solely to one individual or to one organization that is applicable to or for anyone beyond the specific individual who received it. While we do accept the possibility of unique personal revelation/guidance in terms of the communication quality possible within the relationship of the individual to the Ever Present Origin, we do not hold that this unique personal revelation/guidance can or should be held out as authentic or final religious or spiritual truth, law or authority for anyone or any organization except possible for the individual who received it and, then only if they themselves judge and accept it to be religious or spiritual truth, law or authority for themselves.

Religious revelation intended or decreed as final, authoritative or as religious law for anyone or any group other than for the unique, single individual who received it is an area of religion and spirituality historically fraught with abuse and misuse and the source of much of the current religious strive in the world today. Furthermore, by its very claim to be authentic or final religious/spiritual revelation for a group or mankind there is not only no real objective way to disprove it, there is also no real objective way to prove it either.

Revelation because it cannot be proven or un-proven, has most often been something that not only divides people, but often historically has served as the rational for violence against disbelievers of some particular revelation. Revelation that confers special or exclusive privileges, rights, roles, responsibilities, religious law, authority or property on or over a select few or special group is even further suspect in that the message of the revelation is not inclusive, universal or just and, by its nature congruent with those prime qualities within the Ever Present Origin.

If you do believe that Divinity will in fact, continue to disclose more of its infinite self and aspects to humanity in revelation as time goes on, maybe the Divine when the time was right has always intended to eventually disclose more of itself through a new multi-religious open source, co-creative process where the combination of insights and wisdom from all religions will offer a bigger, broader and, more clear and accurate picture of Divinity than the revelational perspective of any one religion. Maybe, at this time in history we have finally now both become and really are all vital spiritual and moral partners who are equal-opportunity, (open source) co-revealers of the endless and expanding truths about Divinity.

Maybe for our post-postmodern times, the revealing of the endless and expanding truths about Divinity is now better executed by a continuous and collaborative group effort rather than by only a progressive or exclusive single revelatory effort by any one religion. Maybe, continuous group efforts to accelerate the revealing of the expanding new truths about Divinity is the appropriate evolutionary step ladder now needed for these times for our new revelations where later revelations are no longer viewed as either final or even necessarily superior to earlier revelations, but instead new revelations are viewed as a just another beautiful pearl to be added to a string of pearls that can grow into endless strands.

Maybe, from the very beginning of our spiritual history (although we did not know it then,) the endless expanding truth about infinite Divinity has always been far, far too great for any one religion to hold. And just maybe, while the absolute truth of Divinity may always be one, we still may need the many different religious paths to start us out, but then it will be the combined best wisdom from all the religions that will keep us on our way most effectively and efficiently to the greatest spiritual heights possible.

In dealing with all previous spiritual claims by individuals or religious organizations that that they have received a special, exclusive, ongoing, authoritative or final spiritual revelation that does or does not bind or confer special or exclusive privileges, rights, roles, responsibilities, laws, authority or property on or over a select few or special group (other than over only the unique individual receiver of that revelation) the open source movement intentionally does not at this time address the validity of such claims and takes no official position toward such claims of past revelation. The global spiritual commons will provide additional insights on this, but we leave this for each individual to work out as an issue of personal faith for themselves.

5.) On Miracles

In open source integral spirituality, miracles that defy the natural laws are treated as a personal issue of faith. Miracles may not be used as proof of spiritual authority or spiritual truth for anyone other than the individual experiencing the miracle even if the miracle has been subjected to rigorous scientific investigation. This is because even in the most rigorous of scientific investigation although the fact that an event has occurred might be ascertained with a high degree of certainty, why or what caused that event to occur is far harder to discern, especially when a spiritual cause is being assigned or attributed to that event.

Open source integral spirituality has been birthed in the 21st century where there is a new emphasis on the reintegration of the values and wisdom of spirituality with the fact and rationality of science. Looking at the deepest cause and effect patterns of our 13 billion year evolution and the beauty and order it has created, it easy to see from a spiritual perspective that “miracles” are found everywhere in the most ordinary of events in our everyday lives. Spectacular or simple personal miracles that supposedly supersede the laws of nature are of minor and tangential interest to the Open Source Integral Spirituality movement compared to what best helps individuals connect directly to the Ever Present Origin, grow towards spiritual completion and live lives of balanced virtue.

1 Comment Lawrence Wollersheim on Open Sourcing Spirituality (3): Values and Principles

  1. AvatarDaniel Gustav Anderson

    On Miracles:

    I think that depends on the kind of miracle or the scale of miracle you mean. Example: Chagdud Tulku’s name literally translates to “iron knot nirmanayaka.” The “iron knot” may or may not be apocryphal. It refers to the ability to tie knots in a hunk of iron. (I was not there to see it.) Literally. As if to say, “what don’t you understand about emptiness now?”

    What is a miracle like that for? I submit it is to bring about a smaller-scale but much more important miracle. That miracle is recognition. One sees that this world is not what McDonald’s and Wal-Mart say it is. It is an intervention into the mechanical world of meat-stuff of Something Else. That intervention can be developed into Something Bigger.

    Si, se puede.

    Body awareness or mindfulness is a miracle. The 1977 Portland TrailBlazers? A collective miracle. (That may seem like a silly example, and I will stand fire for that, but I submit that athletics can be as significant aesthetically as, say, ballet or any other performance art.) How about the 1970 election in Chile? There are other examples.

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