Unique Self and Evolutionary Spirituality are profoundly related. In truth, World Spirituality transcends and includes Evolutionary Spirituality. That’s the way that my close friend, integral mentor, and good friend Ken Wilber said in a call that Ken and I and a third leading figure in the Evolutionary/Integral world had—that’s how he framed it.
Evolutionary Spirituality is the emphasis on the evolutionary impulse, as Barbara Marx Hubbard says.
Integral Spirituality is a set of pointing-out instructions which allow us to make distinctions, help us make discernment in spirit, between pre-personal and trans-personal, between states of consciousness and stages of consciousness, between levels of development and lines of development, between four quadrants, between different typologies. Integral is an operating system of integral pointing-out instructions. It points out something about the nature of enlightenment, something you already know that’s there, that is always already present in you, that is enlightenment.
Integral as I’m talking about it is pointing-out instructions in first, second, and third person. First person—reality and enlightenment; second person—relationship and reality and enlightenment; third person—relationship, reality, and enlightenment. One of the pointing-out instructions is precisely the distinction between these.
Integral spirituality is an operating system of integral pointing-out instructions in first, second, and third person. Evolutionary spirituality is the emphasis on identifying with the evolutionary impulse and living with the evolutionary impulse that lives within you and through you, not ego.
World Spirituality incorporates both the operating system of integral Spirituality, its pointing-out instructions, and clearly incorporates the evolutionary dimension of evolutionary spirituality.
What World Spirituality seeks to do at every level of consciousness is offer a full expression of living—body, heart, mind, and soul—at every level of consciousness at its own level.
At its highest level of consciousness—Kosmocentric consciousness, in which I feel identified with all sentient beings—I’ve identified with the Divine perspective that lives as my Unique Self. I feel responsible for past, present, and future.
At every level of consciousness, there will be an expression of World Spirituality. At its highest level, World Spirituality lives in an evolutionary context. It is an expression of evolution awakened to itself.
World Spirituality calls every human being to live as an evolutionary Unique Self—a Unique Self who lives in an evolutionary context and feels the unique evolutionary impulse which is your Unique Self, which is the personal face of essence. It’s a popular movement. It seeks to make the fullness of enlightenment available as a genuine option to every human being. It includes the evolutionary impulse imperative. It is based on the operating system of integral spirituality and it moves outwards. It develops a whole new set of teachings – Unique Self teachings, democratization of enlightenment teachings, and others – and begins to become an essential feature of the public culture. It becomes a place where people at every level of consciousness can identify and begin to enact at their level of consciousness a World Spirituality.
Proponents of Evolutionary Spirituality—some are close friends—talk about evolutionary spirituality as being at the leading edge. That’s important and good. World Spirituality may be a leading edge expression—Spirit’s next move—but it is meant to embrace not only the leading edge, but it’s meant to become a democratized genuine option for every person at their level of consciousness.
So this begins to give you a sense of the relationship between Evolutionary Spirituality, World Spirituality, and Integral Spirituality, from my perspective where I’m sitting as one of the leadership group in the enactment of World Spirituality. It’s an ongoing conversation. This holy trinity—World, Evolutionary, Integral Spirituality—has a different unique gift to give to the conversation, and they all influence each other.
If we can all move beyond egoic branding issues—which I think everyone across the board is doing in all three of those systems—then we experience ourselves as part of the evolutionary process, as personal unique irreducible essences (from my perspective). When we apply appropriately Integral principles and discernments, we will create a movement of spirit which will completely reshape—in the most positive, enlivened, loving, ethical, compassionate way—all of tomorrow.