T H E G L O B A L S P I R I T U A L I T Y R E P O R T
United Communities of Spirit, http://www.silcom.com/~origin/ucs.html
The Isbourne Foundation, http://www.isbourne.org
Vol. 1, No. 6, March 3, 1997
"Love, and do what thou wilt."
- Saint Augustine
1. THIS WEEK
2. THREE FINE ONLINE NEWSLETTERS
* Center of Joy
* Spirit to Spirit Webletter
* The Search for Center
3. SPIRITUAL DINING, by Rev. Kythera Ann Grunge
4. PERENNIAL AS THE GRASS, by Anonymous
5. GLOBAL SPIRITUALITY AND THE UCS POLL
1. THIS WEEK
Things have been busy. There's a lot to do, and a million angles. Are
they coming together, or running side by side, in parallel? Maybe a bit
of both, I'd say, and it feels to me like a good time to let go a bit, to
let the natural drive of the network unfold itself, and let the voices
speak as they will.
So, this week, I am including mostly material from the net, that has
been sent to me from friends, and I'm adding a little discussion of the
UCS poll -- "what do you believe, in your own words?" -- and want to
comment on where I think this is going.
This newsletter is off to a good start, and its growth is steady. But
it depends on volunteers, and can take a lot of time. So, for right now,
I am going to shift over to an "occasional" publication schedule, which
takes off all the pressure, and lets this work unfold as the spirit moves.
This makes more sense, I think, and will keep this entire project happy.
As we continue to build -- and there is every reason to think we will,
since the subscriptions keep coming in steadily, and very few sign off --
we can build our range of contacts and correspondents, and keep unfolding
what appears to us to be a sound vision of global spirituality.
In this issue, I want to lean a little towards the heart. There are
some heavy intellectual aspects to this work, but in the end, it's about
feeling, and intuition, and love, and sharing, and the deep wisdom that
arises within every human soul. So, I've included a charming little piece
sent to me by Kythera Grunge, who teaches metaphysics and spirituality in
Boulder Creek, California. And I've put together a little article on basic
spirituality taken from some private email a friend has sent me, a voice
"crying in the wilderness". It's basic and very primal, representing the
fundamental drive in all spiritual persons who are reaching towards
freedom and light.
In my view, this primal force is the universal drive to spirituality and
truth. It takes on innumerable forms in the religions of the world, but
in the end, it is simply a profound human instinct. Our global networks
are meant to interconnect the forces of this instinct, in a larger
holistic pattern that is just as instinctual, just as primal, and just as
fundamental to human survival and well-being.
Thanks for being here, and do let me know if you want to contribute your
views or an article to this publication. Let's be a "community", and grow
and unfold together, sharing what we know, reaching out from our
particular angles in the larger continuum, and linking energy in a primal
process that leads to freedom and the realization of our own highest potential.
2. THREE FINE ONLINE NEWSLETTERS
Three of our network friends have created very nice online letters
dealing with spiritual subjects. A lot of work and heart goes into these
publications, and they are very much worth your time. As the GSR
continues to grow, and our network expands, we may become acquainted with
many other such newsletters, and we will keep track of them, and their
special range of expertise. These three are a strong start.
CENTER OF JOY, Carolyn Odom Burleson
"The new day does not begin at dawn but grows out of the darkest hour of
the night. To evolve a new life, a new hope, a new ray of light there must
first be the darkness. This is the essence of initiation. It is the
beginning of something new. Each new life must dwell first in the darkness
before it comes forth and makes its way toward the light. . ."
SPIRIT TO SPIRIT WEBLETTER, Sandi Daine
Highlights this month include: Attitudelessness: 7 Dynamics of Change,
an article by Gene Oliver Your Pathway to Enlightenment: Who Are You? an
article by Petey Stevens The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of, a book-length
feature by Brad Jensen A salute to astronaut and visionary Edgar Mitchell
Regular columns include Poet's Peek by Bob Laird, Spirit in the
Workplace by Beth L. Evard, Imagine That by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, and Nature
Spirits by Janet Dane.
THE SEARCH FOR CENTER, Dawn Kalin
The Search for Center Newsletter is meant to open an avenue for
communication and information exchange so that we can gather Knowledge and
learn from each other. We all are teachers and students of life. So let's
come together and live life and express spirit to the fullest. This
Newsletter can also be used for exchanging resources and services and
making connections. Please JOIN US and participate.
3. SPIRITUAL DINING
by Rev. Kythera Ann Grunge
Feel Empty? Try Spiritual Dining...
There is a smorgasbord of information and techniques available to the
public concerning ways to be at one with Spirit. Just like a real
smorgasbord, people will find things they like, and things they don't. One
should utilize discernment when one is sampling. Many offerings on the
smorgasbord were not created by a "Spiritual Nutritionist." At best they
leave you feeling empty. Sampling can also lead to an upset stomach,
cavities in your spiritual understanding or the excess fat of useless and
Here is a suggested essential vitamin list of a "Spiritual
Nutritionist." Be sure to ask about ingredients when sampling, and make
sure of purity before investing in large quantities.
LOVE: This is the #1 essential ingredient of all spiritual food.
HARMONY: This ingredient allows the information to be easily assimilated
into your current belief structure.
TRUTH: Beware of substitutes. Listen to your "inner voice."
JOY: One should be happy after eating, not have indigestion.
ENERGY: True Spirit is tireless; with this ingredient you gain enthusiasm
KINDNESS: The vitamin "K" acts as a buffer for easy processing of all
PEACE: This vitamin alleviates heartburn and acid indigestion.
One also needs to pay attention to the "Food Preparers." This is a
guideline of "Spiritual Food Preparer" ethics:
CLEANLINESS: Only use the purest ingredients and vitamins; don't use
substitutes because of expediency or ego.
FOCUS: Always pay attention to what you are creating, why and for whom.
INTENT: Don't get greedy, one must always prepare the food with love, not
COMMITMENT: You are on call to prepare appetizers, snacks and meals twenty
four hours a day. Don't get cranky...you volunteered.
WISDOM: Never serve a dish, even if nutritionally perfect, to someone who
has a history of allergic reactions to the ingredients.
SHARING: Never covet your recipes or diners...all of Spirit's cooks need
to work together to create balanced meals.
If you check the vitamin content and preparers, you may look forward to a
tasty and fulfilling meal in an ambient atmosphere. There are many
smorgasbords around, as well as dining rooms that specialize in adding
certain spices and ingredients to the essential vitamins. Remember that
"Spiritual Food" is available 24 hours a day. Whether you dine at home, go
to a smorgasbord, or choose a culinary specialty house that serves many
courses, you need never go hungry.
Author of Songs of Light, Reverend Kythera Ann founded the School of
Spiritual Integrity . The school is an outreach program of hands on
courses designed to strengthen the "voice within."
4. PERENNIAL AS THE GRASS
I feel that the world has lost track of the reason we are here -- to
become, once again, at one with God. So many have gone on to seek the
sensational. So few are still in touch with learning to recognize
themselves as a part of the collective consciousness. We are all a part of
that whole. The chain is never broken. Every thought, every action causes
ripples and ripples of energy waves that touch every corner of the globe.
We are all a part of the same God energy.
We are a part of God, therefore we are God. None of us are separate
beings. We have our own personality and egos but we are not separate from
the source. If anyone in the US has a bad day, that energy is felt by
everyone around the world. Sometimes we have received negative energy and
we don't know where it came from. We are all connected to each other.
I'm not preparing for the last few days on earth. I don't know when that
will be and I don't think anyone else does either. I don't happen to
believe in the chosen few. I believe that we are all equal and we all have
the power to connect with our higher selves and get our own information
that's meant for us.
To love ourselves is the first step in loving others. We need to accept
ourselves before we can accept others. We owe nothing to anyone but love.
If we learn to love, then karma is out the window.
Karma? Karma is self inflicted debt we owe ourselves, nothing more. But
if we have the right attitude and approach, we can rid ourselves of all
this debt. Through love and meditation we can rid ourselves of the sins of
a thousand lifetimes.
Together let's become our dream of spreading the good stuff. But before
we can do that, we have to face ourselves. It's our own insecurities that
stop us from doing what we want. We can fill our lives with book learning
and we can argue all kinds of points, but everything is so hollow if we
don't live what we believe. Fear is the only thing that holds us back.
5. GLOBAL SPIRITUALITY AND THE UCS POLL
For the last few months, we've had a little poll on "basic beliefs" on
the UCS web site. It's proved to be very popular, and people have been
quite willing to fill out this questionnaire on their basic spiritual
orientation. The form asks people whether they "believe in God or some
kind of 'supreme being' or 'higher power' -- as you understand the meaning
of these terms", and then questions them regarding the "names" they use
for this God, and what they perceive to be its characteristics.
Perhaps surprisingly, there seems to be a reasonably consistent array of
responses to these questions. Most people, of course (since this is a
"spiritual" web site) do answer that they believe in God -- though some
assert that they are atheists. In fact, some atheists go ahead and join
UCS, by affirming their belief in the UCS credo.
Since we began this "basic beliefs" poll, we've had several hundred
responses. Perhaps giving people an opportunity to express themselves
online helps them overcome the information overload that assaults web
browsers. There's too much out there, and it is overwhelming. So, it's my
guess that people welcome the chance to let the information flow the other
way, allowing them to express what they have learned, what they believe,
what seems to them to be true, as a result of their search.
So far, we don't have any automatic way to process all this data we are
receiving, and for now, these forms are just stacking up, waiting to be
studied and compiled. But the information we're getting seems very
promising. The people that enter the UCS web site come from an amazingly
diverse array of backgrounds -- as the introductions from new UCS members
make clear. We have mainstream church members from a wide range of
Christian denominations, members of many other world religions -- Islam,
Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., plus members of various "pagan"
traditions -- and many cutting edge explorers who might be called "new
age", or "next age", who proclaim themselves to be "channels" or psychics
But in all of this, there seems to be an underlying consistency of
fundamentals. Most respondents do reply that "God is love" -- though one
recently told me that "love is not God". In the names for God, we get
them all, ranging from the Tao to Light to energy to pure consciousness to
names from various traditions and denominations. This data reminds me of
Arthur C. Clarke's short story, "The Nine Billion Names of God". Through
UCS, we're making progress on collecting them all. And one of these days,
we're going to start assembling and correlating the statistics on this
People approach the holy in innumerable ways. But their understanding
of it is often remarkably similar. I recently heard the Dalai Lama
interviewed about his relationship with the Christian monk Thomas Merton,
and the supposed "common ground" that existed between them. The Dalai
Lama is cautious on this point, as is natural for the leader of a specific
world religion, but in his interview, he talked about the look in the eye,
the awareness, that he was able to share with Merton. It seems that
there's a special kind of human contact that can be shared across all
borders of tradition and concept and "outer form".
Yes, we can enumerate the differences, and we don't want to obscure
them, or pretend they don't exist. They do, and it's healthy that they
do. But at the same time, there's a common core of spiritual vitality
and vibrancy, an awareness, a consciousness, a "beingness", if you will,
that is shared by illuminated and loving minds, from all traditions.
From my point of view, this is the energy of the "universal holy
spirit", the bond that interconnects souls at a level beyond or above the
conceptual systems that separate human beings, and narrow their
viewpoints. This spirit -- this "LifeStream" -- is the common ground that
interconnects all souls in the great singular matrix of divine unity,
through which all mystic communications take place.
Through UCS, we continue to define and develop this matrix. One of
these days, we'll begin to build a high-powered database system that will
allow our participants to express themselves in any desired degree of
detail, in their own terms, as unique individuals expressing the
particulars of their private beliefs. In this system, what some
"religion" believes won't be a factor. The question will be, what do you,
as a unique individual, believe?
When we get this information loaded into our database, we will begin to
have a full expression of the underlying common ground and conceptual
interconnectivity that links all spiritual beings through a common matrix,
regardless of their differences. And doing this work in the context of
the Internet will allow us to build instant electronic interconnectivity
between these souls, in any way, or in terms of any dimension, they may
Our new matrix will be the essence of "unity in diversity". We will
have devised a way to approach this problem in an entirely democratic and
"bottom up" way, that places complete freedom of expression in the hands of the
individual, and defines the characteristics and beliefs of the group
entirely in the terms defined by its actual participants.
This is a powerful approach to the synthesis and fusion of spiritual
unity. It is accurate, sensitive to the finest nuance, imposes nothing on
the individual, yet still provides a means to synthesize unity out of
diversity. This approach truly and fairly empowers the ancient dictum, E
Pluribus Unum -- "Out of Many, One".
Our little web poll is just a start. But it's growing, and we'll have
the database technology one of these days. In the meantime, thanks to
everybody. That glint in the eye is getting brighter.
The "Apocalypse Designs" web site, http://www.silcom.com/~origin/ad.html
discusses further details of this approach.
* * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Jon Twigge is establishing a fast web site for spiritual and religious
news, at http://www.he.net/~rnews/. Send your news articles and event
announcements to Jon, email@example.com
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