SPIRITUAL PERSISTENCE and THE PARADIGM SHIFT
Many things are happening at once. We live in a complex universe. But, out of those many occurrences several strands of similarity have been appearing with greater and greater frequency. One of those strands has been the growing emergence of a global spiritual quest. Another strand is the perception that a shift of our basic perceptions, a paradigm shift, will be needed to respond to that quest. Another strand has been offered by the work in Spiritual Persistence as its offer up a new paradigm.
The new spiritual quest seems to be an outgrowth of the diminished power of existing predominate modes to truly animate the beings of more and more people. Or, in other words, the old religious answers no longer seem to answer many people's questions about life and death in ways that bring meaning. The views which were excitingly new two or five thousand years ago have been exploited by institutions and made irrelevant by change. People hunger for something more meaningful than what is usually offered.
That spiritual hunger has been growing for many years. Some, feeling it, have maintained their silence. Some, feeling it, have turned in fright backwards to pre-existing structures of meaning. Other, feeling it, have been courageous: willing to risk scanning the horizon for new understandings and giving voice to both their questioning and their discoveries.
The Internet has become both a means for voicing those questions and discoveries and a means for sensing how global the hunger is. Never before has the world been able to be in truly global discussion without barriers of nation, wealth, class, gender, or any other arbitrary division of humanity. On our recent Spiritual Persistence Seminar Series, we welcomed guests (according to their Internet addresses) from at least 4 continents. The old walls are falling.... and we are seeking the new paths across the formerly divided territories of body and spirit.
The notion of "paradigm" is simply described as the prevailing filters and blinders we wear. For example, there was a time when the cultural paradigm said that women were inferior to men and those filters and blinders influenced the way that all people viewed the world. It is often easiest to see a paradigm once it has been discarded, for it can be very hard to know when our spiritual and cultural vision is being limited or colored or distorted until we can see more widely, more accurately, more clearly.
Out of the global quest for spiritual meaning comes a sense that change of paradigms is needed if we are going to satisfy the growing spiritual hunger. The old limits keep us from what we sense we need.
Many people have found that what we have been sharing as Spiritual Persistence materials has become instrumental in the development of their own opening of perspective, their own beginning paradigm shift. From the discussions I have had with people who have begun to encounter the materials through our web site: http://www.widomaker.com/~bishopbeck/SpiritualPersistence.htm they sense that the thoughts shared by Rikkity almost immediately make intuitive sense. I keep hearing people say, "Well, of course, but I never thought of it like that." What intrigues me is that such a reaction comes from across the spectrum of religious thought a cultural setting.
I think the reason for this is that Spiritual Persistence is less about the content of the world that is to come and more about the way we need to perceive life, death, and spiritual existence so that our perceptions are wider, more accurate, clearer. As contrasted to philosophies that speak of what one will find in the future, Spiritual Persistence suggests a path that will take one to her or his future, and more importantly to our collective future of growing spiritual complexity.
The paradigm shift that increasing numbers of people worldwide are seeking to help satisfy their spiritual hunger for more inclusive, more meaningful answers will not be realized by talking about what it will be like. It will be realized as we find paths appropriate to our beings that will us move past the old filters and blinders. I know for me (and for many, many others) the insights in Spiritual Persistence help me make that move from what has been (and been limited) to what will be (and is limitless).
Come join me in the journey.