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The Coming Interspiritual Age


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Contents Acknowledgments 1 The Horizon An Uptick in Consciousness The Arising Globalization and Multiculturalism Religion and Spirituality What Is Interspirituality? Differences Why Humans Disagree Healthy Change, Unhealthy Change 2 The Modern Discussion The Essence of Interspirituality Isn't New The Core of Deepest Spiritual Experience Is Always the Same Needed Shifts in Global Awareness A Final Marker Taking Wing 3 Everyone Is a Mystic The Everyday Reality of "I," "We," and "It" Fruits of the Integrative View How Religion and Spirituality Differ It's Ultimately the Same Experience The Mystical Pursuit Reversing a Dangerous Course Centuries of the Materialistic and Mental 4 Framing the Big Picture Process and Common Sense The Two Cultures of Knowing Pattern Versus Process What's There to See in the Pattern? 5 Fourteen Billion Years in a Few Pages After the Big Bang The Arising of Life on Earth Earth's First Green Revolution Disaster Leads to new Opportunities The Advent of Intelligent Life The Riddle of Humankind Kinds of Creationism The God of the Gaps A Biological Endgame? A Happy Ending? 6 The Dawn of Spirituality Consciousness--the Power of a Name Toolmaking, Use of Fire, and the Growth of Consciousness Consciousness and Language: the Pivotal Connection Early Evidence for Spirituality 7 Evolution and Revolution From Cosmology to the Challenge of Human History The Crossover Between Scientific and Religious Insight The Origin of Spirituality--the Experience of "the Gods" An Integrated View 8 The Great Advances in Human History Let's Eat: Farming Is Invented Our Heritage from these Early Eras The Second Great Advance: from Towns to Cities and Empires The Emergence of the God-Kings The Transition from God-Kings to Totalitarian Empires The Epoch of Totalitarian Empires Patriotism Is Born The Great Religions Arise Advances in Thinking Foreshadow a New Epoch 9 The Dawn of the Rational Epoch Authoritarianism Breaks Down A Global Plague Spurs a Renaissance in Consciousness From Renaissance to European Enlightenment Consciousness in the Renaissance and European Enlightenment Today's Heritage from the Rational Epoch 10 The Coming of Worldwide Civilization The Beginning of Modernism Competition Leads to Calamity: the World Wars A World Pluralism Emerges Beginning of the Integrative Epoch Cold War, Space Race, and Culture War East-West Spiritual Cross-Pollination Fifth Great Advance: Automation and the Emerging Dream of Holism Holism and Interspirituality 11 The Field Disagreement about Consciousness Two Different Ideas The Great "Pass Around" The Philosophical Debate What Is Consciousness? Changes in Scientific Thinking The Qualities of Consciousness Definitions of Consciousness 12 Taking Spiritual Experiences Seriously Why People Believe What They Believe What People Say They have Experienced Religion and Spirituality's Common Ground on Consciousness The Source of Division The Spiritual Experience of Consciousness The Genie in the Icebox Experience Always Seems to Rule 13 Scientific Consciousness Studies Quantum Ideas of Consciousness The Future of Consciousness 14 The Spiritual World The Historical Breadth of Spirit World Experience The Spirit Realms Become Divided as Heaven and Hell Ancient Notions Persist into the Modern Day Modern Settings and Modern Academic Study It Takes Big Minds to See Big Pictures What People Actually Believe about the Spirit World Who Goes to Whose Heaven or Whose Hell? Better than Heaven and Hell 15 The Spirit Realms in Everyday Experience The Levels of Experience We Have Every Day Some Enchanted Evening A Collective View Honest Skepticism from Both Sides If Real, How Is the Spirit World Structured? Is it Actual Structures or Just Our Lens? Narratives of Spiritual, Astral, and Subtle Bodies Aren't Going Away Descriptions of the Spirit Body Spirit Body East and West 16 Stories of Spirit Levels, Planes, and Realms Nondual Plane and Archetypal or Shamanic Plane The Problem of Experience Chasing Spirit Realms in the Great Traditions Higher Realms, East and West The Spirit World Is Probably Already Interspiritual Where the Rubber Meets the Road What Validates Claims of Mystical Experience? Spirituality and Our Current Evolutionary Threshold 17 Early Pioneers of Interspirituality Early Pioneers Early Eastern Interspiritual Pioneers Early Western Interspiritual Pioneers Celebrities Light the Way Iconic Figures of East and West Usher in the Interspiritual Age An Icon of the West: Scientist and Priest Teilhard de Chardin Icons of the East" India's Sri Aurobindo and The Mother 18 Toward Unity Consciousness 200 Years and 2,000 Books Origins of the Evolutionary Consciousness Movement Evolutionary Consciousness in Popular Culture Coming of Age in the Holistic Era Selected Developments During the Emerging Holistic Epoch The Evolutionary Consciousness Movement Today From Shamans to Scientists 19 The Great Coming Together Where Does the Great Coming Together Take Us? The Solution: a Challenge as Old as Archimedes The Wiener in the Warp Drive Let's Not Be Naive 20 Seeing What's Coming An Ever-Evolving Landscape The Ascending Tree of World Religions World Religions by Popularity Religions by What They Do Exploring the Branches The Biggest Boughs 21 How Religions Operate Today The Top World Religions by Wealth Today's Challenge: the Tangled Web at the Top of the Tree 22 Embracing the Tree as One Awakening: the Shared Heritage of Unity Consciousness Historical Ironies and Paradoxes of a World Awakening The Ultimate Meaning of the Tree 23 The Meaning of 2012 The Source of the 2012 Scenarios The Magic-Mythic Lens Is Still Compelling for Our Species Why All the Fuss? Non-apocalyptic Holistic Views of 2012 Have a Party on December 21, 2012 24 Moving Toward the World-Centric What Kind of Globalization? The Mystical Pursuit and Social Transformation The Collective World of "We" "We" and the Advancing Consciousness Failure Always Came Down to the Lack of an Integral Approach You Have to Admit It's Getting Better Growth in Quality 25 Dark Visions Interrupted The Crucial Emergence of the Feminine Voice The Arising of Patriarchy The Beginning of Transformation The Feminine Voice Today 26 Building and Living Interspirituality Spirituality as Religion Centering Religion on Consciousness Itself A Convergence of Faiths From Interfaith to Interspirituality 27 Interspirituality Before Interspirituality The Roots of Interspirituality Variety and Interspirituality The Message of Interspirituality After The Mystic Heart 28 Interspiritual Life and Practice Interspirituality Isn't a New "Blend Religion" Holarchy and Hierarchy Circles in Practice: the Creation of Effective Collectives Democratizing Spirituality: Everyone Is a Pioneer Organizing the Interspiritual Dream 29 Conclusion: Reflections on Today's Interspirituality Redefining Spiritual Commitment and Lifestyle Interspiritual Education A Call to Universal Exploration Appendix I Synopsis of the Developmental Periods Appendix II Magic-Mythic and Apocalyptic Views of 2012 Bibliography

About the Author

Kurt Johnson, PhD, is well known internationally as a scientist, comparative religionist, social activist and former monastic. PhD in evolution, ecology, systematics and comparative biology and extensive training in comparative religion and philosophy. Author of 7 books on ecology and evolution. David Robert Ord is a former Presbyterian (USA) minister and Graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary. Coauthor with Dr Robert B. Coote of The Bible's First History, In the Beginning, Is the Bible True, Understanding the Bible Today, Your Forgotten Self.

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