Many of us are devoted to our spiritual path and belief systems, but is it time for a new spirituality? Is it time for us to allow spirituality to evolve? Do some of us acknowledge what we may have been sensing for a while: that our spiritual belief systems have great beauty and value, but also may have some blind spots that cause us and others damage? Can we embrace The New Spirituality or integrate it into our own belief systems and come to a new synthesis that works for us?
At the heart of any spirituality is the connection to God, the Source, the universe or Higher Consciousness. (For simplicity, I will call this God.) But, then, what is God? Many spiritual systems have different concepts of God, but at the core of them tends to be the concept of God the father, a God that is above us, separate from us, static, perfect and serene. Does that concept of God create in us feelings of shame and imperfection? Does the concept of the perfect Creator contradict our common sense in the light of a world dominated by violence and fear? When we look at the pain in our world, who do we blame? Are we afraid to ask about the nature of a Creator who has manifested this world? Do we, therefore, blame ourselves or each other? Or do we go into denial and pretend that everything is "perfect" anyway? Doesn't the belief in God, the father, keep us like children? And despite what we say and think we mean, except in moments of spiritual high, how many of us still feel separate from God? Is this what we want?
Do you feel called to a different kind of relationship with a different kind of "God," where we are more adult than children, where "God" is not static, but dynamic and evolving and with whom we co-create? Are we ready to consider letting go of our concept of God the father and embrace a relationship with a God to which we are integral, a God that is the totality of all consciousness at its highest level of integration, a God that is not perfect, but evolving as are we, a God that is more about a field of consciousness and less about a being, an entity, a protector? If we open our minds and hearts, isn't it possible that this radical but common sense view of the Divine answers some nagging questions that may have been bothering us for a long time?
The concept of God as an ever-evolving, moment-by-moment integration of consciousness in the process of evolution is one part of what I call The New Spirituality, which also includes two other fundamental components: the importance of healing and wellbeing on ALL levels -- body, mind and spirit -- and the need for us to train ourselves to overcome ego domination so we may live Oneness consciousness for real. Bringing together these three components -- wholeness within ourselves, Oneness consciousness with others, and integration with an evolving God -- is the essence of The New Spirituality. And, again, it differs with some aspects of many of our spiritual belief systems.
Let's look at the second component of The New Spirituality, which is wholeness and well-being at all levels, body, mind and spirit. Some of our spiritual systems emphasize the spirit over the body or the physical plane, which may cause us to become unhealthy, out-of-balance or even shame-based. Some systems emphasize the mind, focusing on meditation or thought, for example, but denying the need for further tools for emotional healing if needed. Some systems focus on the body and neglect the mind. Some focus on magical thinking, which leave us in a sad heap when we return to reality. Some of us think that our spiritual beliefs and practices should make us better or more successful people. What happens when these beliefs contrast with reality? Do we question our beliefs, or do we blame ourselves? How can we be well and whole when our bodies are neglected or our emotions are out of whack? And if we are not well and whole, how are we going to stop being reactive and destructive to ourselves and others?
The third fundamental component of The New Spirituality is the need for training to live in Oneness consciousness. While many of our spiritual belief systems emphasize Oneness, how many can teach us how? How many of us have the wellbeing or sufficient concrete, workable tools or processes to live in harmony? And while we may have the experience of Oneness in high spiritual experiences while alone or in community, how many of us have been trained to think and live according to this aspiration? How much shame or denial does that cause? Are some of these tools and processes missing from our spiritual belief systems?
If we look around the world today, we see a lot of people sincerely walking a spiritual path. At the same time, many of us are unhealthy and unhappy people, who are confused, angry, full of shame, riddled with all kinds of addictions, in denial or emotionally, if not physically, violent toward ourselves and one another. These conditions do not exist because of the absence of spirituality. They exist in tandem with our current forms of spirituality. What does that tell us?
We need a new spirituality, one which unites, rather than divides us. We need a new spirituality to unite us within ourselves -- body, mind and spirit, to unite us with one another, to unite us with the Divine. We need a new spirituality that heals us, as well as points out our weaknesses, teaches us, as well as inspires us;, and finally offers a common sense view of the Divine, which helps us feel at One with God without making us God, and which sustains and guides us every minute of every day.
The Stream Center for The New Spirituality is offering tools, teachings and healings related to The New Spirituality. But what will that accomplish? Not much, unless people hear the message and resonate with it. And that won't happen unless we are ready to re-evaluate our current beliefs.
Beliefs are just beliefs. None of us is smart enough to know the truth. None of us has the capacity to integrate all the world's knowledge in an objective way while simultaneously freeing ourselves from fear. Perhaps, in fact, truth is unknowable as well as changing. In the absence of truth, we have opinions and beliefs masquerading as truth. And while opinions and beliefs have usefulness in terms of living in the world (yes, it's good to believe that there will be a tomorrow, because that motivates us to go food shopping today), those opinions and beliefs should never be confused with truth.
So what of our spiritual beliefs? Are they supporting or hurting us? Do they need to evolve? Will we let them? History is not made by individuals. Only the collective can create a movement, and only a movement can change history. Let's be part of making history. Let's co-create a movement to change the way we think, feel and exist. Let's allow our spirituality to evolve.
Bring your comments, questions and energy to the launch of The New Spirituality on Sunday, July 14, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., in person or via the Internet. Beth Green will speaking at this free event, plus there will be music, theater, honest sharing, LifeForce (a mind-body-spirit exercise) and light refreshments. You can participate in person by coming to Streamhaven, a gorgeous natural sanctuary at The Stream Center in Northern San Diego County, or you can participate live via interactive internet as well! You may also watch the whole event via videostreaming live or in recorded form. To RSVP and for more information, call Helen, 760 941-8215, or go to www.thestream.org. Click here for the flyer. And watch out for her new, exciting internet radio program called Inside Out with Beth Green, Turning God Upside Down & Humanity Inside Out. To be broadcast on VoiceAmerica, the first show will air live Tuesday, August 6, at 3 pm Pacific Time, but you can listen any time afterward. It's going to be like no other spiritual show, so tune in. For more information about these and the many programs of The Stream Center for The New Spirituality, check out its newly revised website: www.thestream.org.
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