Is A New God Emerging?
Recorded 9.4.2014

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On this Integral Living Room community call we engage a fascinating and important question: how can rational people relate to God?

For most of us progressive, educated and thoroughly modern folk God is a delusion, a vestige of earlier magic and mythic structures of consciousness that naturally falls away as we learn scientific explanations about the great mysteries of existence.

People at every stage of human development grapple with the same ultimate questions: what is the nature of reality, of life…of us? Integral theory tells us that the kosmos consists of matter (3rd person), relationship (2nd person) and awareness (1st person).

Yet we live in a world that is dominated by science, which tends to collapse reality into 3rd person “stuff.”  While science reveals breathtaking truths about what the universe is made of and how it evolves, it tells us nothing about why we are here or the meaning of it all.

For science, truth can only be seen, measured and verified by experimentation and evidence. But at the integral stage of consciousness something new happens: we see that there are different kinds of truth and evidence that are equally valid, and thus a new, richer experience of existence begins to emerge.

On this community call we share an excerpt from a fascinating conversation we’ve been having on this topic with integral philosopher Ken Wilber.

As he points out, human beings – and cultures – grow from a magic and mythic world where God is everywhere (pre-modern) to a scientific world where God is nowhere (modern) to…who and what is God in the post-modern and integral worlds?

Ken argues that “God is coming back,” not in the old pre-rational form but in a super-conscious, trans-rational form that has yet to take shape. And, he says, we need a new language to talk about the divine dimensions of reality.

Exploring this new language and new ways of seeing, feeling and talking about the divine dimensions of life is our intention for the Integral Living Room gathering that is coming up in a few weeks (October 9 – 12) at the Integral Center in Boulder, Colorado. As always our main practice at the Living Room is conversation — we believe that every thought and interaction that originate from the higher structures of our consciousness add to the emerging collective wisdom of the world.

We are using the popular documentary television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, which is a brilliant exposition of the scientific view of our universal origins, to get the conversation going (you can stream all 13 episodes from Amazon or read the synopses on Wikipedia). But our integral odyssey will go much further than science, into the realms of consciousness, awareness, meaning and love.   

We hope you enjoy the recorded conversation and join in as the conversation continues at the Integral Living Room in Boulder.

3 Responses to “Is A New God Emerging?”
  1. Walt Bryant

    Ken Wilber has restated the classical question of,”Is there reality beyond the observable “universe”? I suggest that there is one. This reality however is outside language. Ken is right. We have to invent a new language, a label to this emerging realization. The mystics are right. This “reality” is unnameable. This unnameable reality is the direct perception with our human sensors without the distorting effects of language description of this direct experience. This is the human experience prior to mastery of language. I suggest that this could be the reality of animals without the comparable human language which is a human cultural invention. Language discussion about this subject will be very fluid until a speech community with enough influence has emerged to come out with the new “label” about this emerging perception of “god”.

    Walt Bryant
    waltbry@gmail.com

    Reply
  2. Jim Ryder

    Good Morning Jeff, Diane, and Terry,

    I am hoping to make the conference and will need to clarify a few things before knowing whether it will be possible to attend.

    Here are a few thoughts from someone who has been inspired by your conversation:

    I think and feel, while appreciating the stimulating formulation, “Is A New God Emerging”, there may be a more accurate or intelligent way we could formulate the question. Perhaps we could give God a little more credit and consider the possibility that what is emerging is a progressing understanding on behalf of human beings and those who are in the practicing lineages of what and who God is, and what that means in terms of our experience and realization in life.

    Another way of saying this, responding to Diane’s assertion that was something to the effect of, “It’s all there in the Buddhist Tantra”, is for the sake of openness and discovery, consider the possibility that it’s not all there in the Buddhist Tantra. How could it be? How could God be fully understood or articulated within a non-godly religion or perspective? Of course the Buddhist Tantra is complete, but only within itself; outside of itself, is the place and location for our most intelligent and fruitful inquiry I think. In terms of the beautiful language of Diane’s tradition, that Buddhist Tantra could grasp the full divinity that is not expounded within the Buddha Dharma, is like “A mosquito biting an iron bull”!

    Another way of saying this, in a more colorful folklorean manner, is that Shayamuni Buddha and his teaching was a precocious emergence of a perspective that was needed to restore dharma in that particular time and place; and that while perhaps adding something new to the conversation, not yet including the fullness of the tradition he emerged from, the Sanatan Dharma.

    Another way of saying this, is many of my friends and associates in the Buddha Dharma, there was and remains to be what might be called a petulant rebellion to the idea of God because of trauma and abuse and lack of a more comprehensive and inspiring view in their (our) childhoods. The work of Dawkins, Hitchens, and fellows like that, many of them seem to be men from Oxford for some strange reason, are only really refuting a more mythic and immature understanding of God. All that intelligence focused on refuting something so small; what rascals they are, but as perhaps maybe you know within the Integral Community, men from Oxford can be quite rascals! Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, another rascal from Oxford so to speak, perhaps had a more developed refutation in his writing of the “Sadhana of the Mahamudra”, which included a critique of the deity outside of ourselves. But it is my conviction that as our dialogue continues over the years we will be discovering within the theistic traditions the possibility of finding a precise and overwhelming love within ourselves that grows and is supported by a relationship with divine forms.

    A very superficial psudo/neo popular wisdom of our times might be the response, “But isn’t that being dualistic?” Well….yes it is and maybe we all could get in there and party with that. A term from the Sanatan Dharma is something like, “Achintiya Beda Beda Vad”, meaning something like the inconceivable simultaneous mono/dualistic experience and realization.

    Sooner or later I think this is where the inquiry in the Living Room will be taking us, and how exciting this is and will be, the emerging forms that support a more developing human being with the realization of forms that have already been around outside of a time or linear perspective forever.

    I hope this hasn’t been too much!

    Yours,

    Jim

    Reply
  3. Jeffery DeCelles

    Hi Folks! Though a scheduling conflict prevents my attending this ILR, I’m following the recorded calls with rapt enjoyment, all of them receiving multiple listens.
    The ontological trinity laid out above, of “matter (3rd person), relationship (2nd person) and awareness (1st person)” seems to me a superbly succinct statement of process cosmology.
    My deepest appreciation is extended to all who contribute to these delicious discussions and their propagation!

    Warmly,

    JED

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