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THE GLOBAL SPIRITUALITY REPORT
Voices of the Light | The Global Spirituality Report

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GSR - 8 - MARCH 28, 1997

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

Published by
United Communities of Spirit, http://www.silcom.com/~origin/ucs.html
The Isbourne Foundation, http://www.isbourne.org

Vol. 1, No. 8, March 28, 1997
Good Friday


   Whosoever shall be sore wounded by love
   Will never become whole
   Save he embrace the self-same love
   Which wounded him.
              --Mechthild of Magdeburg (*)
 

1. THIS WEEK
2. INTERNET AND COSMIC CHRIST
    * Between Two Ages?
    * Internet Community, Internet Communion
    * Dialogue, Democracy and Science
    * Realizing the One


  1. THIS WEEK

  In the context of today's millennial fever and the Heaven's Gate
suicide, the Hale-Bopp comet and the ancient human travail, what seems
important to me today is the spirit of Easter -- the meaning of the
Crucifixion and the power of the Resurrection.

  There is much that is uncertain in the mysteries of religion.  We don't
truly know what a "soul" is, or whether human beings are reincarnated or
not, or what "heaven" is -- much less whether the advanced spiritual
personalities who have most strongly influenced global civilization
somehow arrived on this planet by extra-terrestrial means.

  Do we truly need to know these things?  Gautama Buddha was once asked
some advanced metaphysical question, and replied by saying that there was
a special pit in hell reserved for people concerned with such esoterica.

  But the human race does need answers to its basic spiritual questions.
We need to know how to remain solidly connected to our "divine source",
and to one another.  We need to heal our hurts, learn to live together,
and be able to unfold the fullest potentials of our being.

  And perhaps continued study and evolution will make clearer to us
exactly what meaning if any UFOs might have for the spiritual life,
whether groups of souls have incarnated on this planet intentionally to
fulfill various missions, or whether biblical prophecy, or other
prophecies, have any real and reliable meaning.

  In the context of our normal lives, we need a basic and vital doctrine,
that supports life, that blesses and heals, that provides a framework of
meaning through which we can interpret our existence.   In a global
context, we need a shared framework, that supports the most diverse
interpretations, yet remains cohesive and unified.

  In the spirit of Easter, and in response to this need, today I want to
offer a brief sketch of my vision for the "Coming of the Cosmic Christ".

  This article was written yesterday for the MERTON-L@wvnvm.wvnet.edu
listserv network, and I want to repost it here.  The Cosmic Christ image
is a reliable and trustworthy beacon of light, hope and truth, and a
simple yet highly sophisticated concept of the highest spiritual order.  I
present it here as my own highest vision for the future of the human race.

  In a global social context that can be cacophonous and chaotic, highly
uncertain, and at times terrifyingly dangerous, I am yet convinced we are
witness to the emergence of a sublime potential, which, if we choose, we
will be able to unfold, in our own individual lives, and across this
planet.

  Whether the suicide in San Diego is spiritual tragedy or triumph, we
cannot really know.  But for those of us who wish to affirm with passion
the value and meaning of human life here on this planet, the Cosmic
Christ, and its possible unfolding through the Internet, offers a powerful
and inspiring vision of hope and transfiguration, that embraces every
human being who wishes to be included.  It is a classical model of
spiritual truth, consistent with the great teachings of East and West, and
aligned with centrist and mainstream philosophies from every culture.  The
message of the Cosmic Christ is simple and direct, humble, joyful and
serene.  It is life-affirming, all-embracing, and universal.  Out of the
mists of cultural fragmentation and collision, the Cosmic Christ emerges
as the form of the One -- eternal, invariant, bottomlessly peaceful,
perfectly ordered, loving and safe.


  2. INTERNET AND COSMIC CHRIST

  I began sensing the potential for global electronic networks more than
twenty years ago, and I wrote essays and articles on this subject as early
as 1973.  Those initial speculations have unfolded since then, into a
vision for online networks that I believe can profoundly impact our world
for the better.   In this brief sketch, I want to overview my ideas for
the "deliverance of the Cosmic Christ through the Internet", in ways which
are essentially communal, scientific, and democratic, and based on an arr
ay of well-defined and classical methods, and mainstream and centrist
philosophical and theological positions.

  This is a complicated topic, and I am approaching it from a top-down
"mountain top" perspective, synthetically combining hundreds of
potentially controversial assumptions and predicates, into a few large
simple statements.   I understand that there are many views on these
subjects, and I'm simply going to outline mine here.  This statement isn't
complete, skips over many aspects of the theology, and doesn't even begin
to articulate the scientific or technical aspects..


  Between Two Ages?

  Is world civilization undergoing an exceptional period of transition,
from one historical phase to another?  An answer to this question depends
on exactly what we mean by these terms -- but in general, for a lot of
reasons, I am convinced it is reasonable to answer "yes".

  We are experiencing a period of intense "globalization", of many aspects
of culture.  Transportation, economics, communication, and immigration,
among others, are factors which contribute to this process. New
perspectives in science, a dispersion of spiritual and religious ideas
from every culture in the world, the popularization of esoteric
philosophies, and the explosive growth of the Internet, are contributing
to the emergence of what is often popularly called a "new paradigm".

  There are many ways to interpret this process, and there is no doubt
that this period of social transition can be chaotic and uncertain.  Moral
and ethical codes are disrupted, traditional philosophies and ideologies
are challenged, social institutions are revolutionized, economic systems
are forced to adapt, culture tends to fragment, and there are casualities
along the way.  But at the same time, the opportunity for spiritual growth
in individuals and in entire cultures has never been greater.  This per
iod of social change is highly motivating and challenging, and we have
never been better informed.  Mysteries that were once hidden are now
commonplace, and the spiritual seeker today is likely to be overwhelmed by
the vast array of alternatives and choices, many of which are untested,
and possibly even dangerous.  Yet this "revealing of the truth", even if
in bits and pieces, does provide an opportunity for a grand synthesis, a
coming- together of a wide array of simultaneous facets of truth, that
combine into new philosophies and insights in the minds of conscious human
beings who are paying attention, who are motivated, and who see in this
emerging situation an opportunity for something brilliantly positive.


  Internet Community, Internet Communion

  For me, this emerging opportunity appears profoundly spiritual, and
involves the unfolding expression of a new interpretation, a new theology,
a "new paradigm".  This new theology combines the best of many traditions,
is tempered by an array of sciences, introduces the methods of democracy,
and enters the world as an inspiring principle of "communion in
community". Through a process of global communication, we are
cooperatively striving to uncover and articulate the laws of this new
universal communion, a nd of all the means through which this process of
discovery can be conducted, the Internet is by far the most powerful.

  Through the Internet, the human community has the opportunity to
organize its resources of wisdom and insight, in a way that is more
efficient by orders of magnitude than any previous approach. We can
combine the insights of every major world religion, from a wide spectrum
of esoteric traditions, and from indigenous peoples, in ways which
profoundly validate a few important ideas regarding the "divine ground" of
human experience.  We can interpret the meaning of these ideas in
scientific terms, particular ly involving psychology and anthropology and
semantics, but also incorporating physics and cosmology and a variety of
empirical sciences.  Through the Internet, in a process of large-scale
communal dialogue, we can work together to explicitly identify the common
semantics and meaning inherent in this many-aspected conjunctive process,
in ways which can lead to a profoundly authentic consensual reality and
understanding.  We can synthesize and negotiate a new model of our common
reality -- in terms which are inspiring, uplifting, healing, truly
nurturing, less controversial and divisive, and more reliable and
immediately practical than has ever been previously feasible.

  This is my perception.  When I look at the world, this is what I see.
When I explore the Internet, this is what I see happening.  When I strive
to understand, this is what appears to me.  This view seems reasonable,
grounded in testable experience, consistent with credible and responsible
social commentary, aligned in the classical spirit of truth and virtue,
and a trustworthy interpretation of the human condition.  And for me, it
seems reasonable to summarize and interpret this entire process in terms
of a single and integral emerging "new paradigm", which takes the
conceptual form of an "archetype", and which I believe I can reasonably
name "Cosmic Christ".


  Dialogue, Democracy and Science

  Thus my thesis: Through the Internet, and a process of dialogue,
democracy, and science, the human community can cooperatively articulate
and unfold the universal meaning of the Cosmic Christ.  This universal
matrix can be understood in ways which intimately link into most major
religions, can serve as a unifying foundation for an inspired global
society, and can provide a means of direct divine connectivity for
individual human beings.

  We can understand Cosmic Christ as an articulation of "the One".  It is
Logos, it is "spiritual law", it is the divine form of order, it is the
fundamental principle of rationality and wholeness, and it is the key to
the integration of the human mind and spirit.  Through Cosmic Christ, all
things are interconnected in a vast ecological web that links all that is
and breathes.  Through it, individual human beings organize their minds
and understanding, in an ordered cascade that weaves the many into one,
and links mind and soul and body, directly into the cosmic energy of truth
and the divine ground of being.

  Cosmic Christ is the "master concept", the "concept of all concepts" --
and all other concepts are nested within it and ordered by it, in ways
which we will eventually identify and articulate in scientific and
mathematical terms.  Through Cosmic Christ, we experience the integral
simultaneity of "all aspects at once", by which all the contingent forces
I have outlined here are combined in a focused and whole state of
conscious awareness, directly linked to the divine source in the One.

  Through Cosmic Christ, the human community, as a network of individuals,
and all our ideas, as a network of thoughts, are linked and connected and
integrated into a single vast multi-level holistic framework.  We can know
the form of this framework, precisely articulate our individuality within
it, see ourselves positioned within its all-embracing and inclusive
context, and find ourselves healed and loved by the energy flow which is
motivated through the natural grace of its Oneness.

  Our task is to recognize this potential, to seize it, and to build with
the tools and technologies we have at our disposal the most potent and
directly useful systems and networks and institutions we can conceive, in
ways that actualize and empower this potential, and directly uplift human
beings into a higher state of grace and wholeness.


  Realizing the One

  The most powerful tool in the world for accomplishing this task is the
Internet.  It does not reach everybody, but it reaches a vast network of
motivated and talented human beings, who are among the most creative and
responsible in the human community, who bring passion and vision to their
networking, and who have the maturity and insight to make valuable
contributions to the world.

  Through the Internet, we can organize the fullest meaning of the Cosmic
Christ, articulating its form, universalizing its implications, and
building its meaning into our networks and institutions.  We can build
direct explicit interconnectivity between ideas, between individual human
beings, and between institutions.  Though the unfolding of its particular
implications, we can work to heal and integrate the social fabric of the
world, in ways which are spiritually uplifting and inspired.

  The Cosmic Christ/Logos is the universal archetype of wholeness and the
One, the link from humanity to God, between individual human beings, and
between all once-independent phases of human thought.  We can explicitly
identify the logical/rational form of this Christ, and become personally
identified with it, in ways which intimately link us to the universe and
our fellow human beings.  The form of the Cosmic Christ is reason and
logic, its content is love and vitality.

  The Cosmic Christ is the form of deliverance. It is God-in-man, unfolded
in practical terms.  It is the key to wholeness, and the foundation for
the social order of the next millennium.

  The Cosmic Christ motivates human cooperation, understanding and love.
It disarms conflicts, dissolves unnatural boundaries and borders, and
fuses community into communion.  It is the goal of evolution, and the
fundamental principle of human freedom.  It is the "pattern that connects"
all that is diverse, scattered, and fragmentary, in individuals, and in
societies, into a single integral wholeness and state of grace.  It is the
supreme concept, containing all others, and ordering their
interrelationship. Through it, we are blessed, uplifted, interconnected,
healed, and made One.


  References
  * Sacred Confluence: Interreligious Networking on the Global Internet
  http://www.rain.org/~origin/vision/vis006.html
  * The Pattern That Connects . . .
  http://www.rain.org/~origin/one/pattern.html
  * Utopian Computer Networking: America's New Central Project
  http://www.rain.org/~origin/vision/utopia.html
  * Synthetic Dimensionality
  http://www.rain.org/~origin/syndim.html
  * Science and Religion Bibliography (Science Without Bounds)
  http://www.silcom.com/~origin/swb/swb17
  * Technical Bibliography
  http://www.silcom.com/~origin/or/biblio.htm
  
* * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  (*) Quote from Whitall Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom, p617

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