At the core of World Spirituality teaching is what’s been called wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, and open up. That’s the whole teaching.
And I want to talk to you about what each of those means.
Wake up means to move beyond narcissistic self-involvement with your own contracted story. Most people live lives around their contracted self, thinking about the petty details of their story. They are their own self-context. But when you wake up, you wake up to a deeper truth. You wake up to the truth that I am not merely a skin-encapsulated ego.
I am sitting here with my friend Eric. If I said my name is Eric, he would think it was a joke. But if I keep doing it for an hour, he calls my good friend Chahat and says he’s insane. He think’s he’s Eric. Then Chahat says I’m really insane. To be insane is to not know your identity. To actually think that I’m only a skin-encapsulated ego, separate from All That Is, and to not know that my True Self is THE True Self, Essence, inextricable indivisible part of All That Is, not to realize that all the love-intelligence of the All flows through me, but to think that I am apart … that is to be asleep. So to wake up is to wake up to the true nature of reality, to blow up your mind as a separate mind, alienated, and to wake up to your enlightenment.
That’s the first step: waking up as True Self.
In World Spirituality, you can adopt or deploy any number of practices which will be outlined in the World Spirituality practice book – which I am co-writing with Tom Goddard – 10 major practices for this bucket of wake up practice.
The second major dimension of World Spirituality is grow up.
Growing up means to grow up to higher levels of consciousness. For example, at one level of consciousness, I might have a magical interpretation based on bloodlines and magical relationships between people, the clan, and the Earth which gives me protection (legitimate but partial insights). But by itself, a magical interpretation of the world is insufficient. At a higher level, I might move to a mythical interpretation. And then I might move to a rational interpretation of reality when I move beyond identifying myself by my membership in a particular church but I am governed by universal principles, and then I might move from there to a perspective which is far more multi-cultural, which recognizes the unique contributions of every culture and honors them in a new way, and then I might move to an integral consciousness in which I take the best of every level of consciousness and integrate it at a higher level, the best of pre-modern, modern, and post-modern consciousness and integrate it and act at a higher level.
Or, in moral development, you go from ego-development to ethno-centric to world-centric to cosmo-centric. Those are expanding or ascending levels of moral consciousness.
To grow up is to grow to higher levels of consciousness, emotional consciousness—actually measured development in all lines—the most important being moral development. I might also develop cognitively. Piaget measured those lines of development. I might develop to higher stages of leadership. The core growing up is to grow to higher levels of consciousness in an ever deeper view of the world: from magic to mythical to rational to pluralistic to integral. Each of those represents a higher level of consciousness.
How? We are now developing new practices that allow you to grow up. In the World Spirituality practice book, we are developing growing up practices.
The third facet of World Spirituality practice is show up. To identify your Unique Gifts. To fulfill your Unique Obligation. To see through the eyes of God in your Unique Perspective. Of course these are related because when you wake up as True Self at world-centric and above you realize that your True Self is unique. But doing the work to clarify your unique perspective, gifts, and responding to your unique needs, that’s the work of show up.
Lighten up, number four, is shadow work. It’s to identify the unique way you mess up—how to follow your unique shadow back to your Unique Self. Everyone has a unique wound, and when you identify it this allows you to bring your Unique Self back online. So we identify practices in the World Spirituality practice book both for showing up and lightening up.
Finally, there’s open up: to open up as love in the world as an embodied self. Your sensuality. Your sexuality. In whatever is for you the right committed context for love and sensuality and the full range of emotion to express itself. Here, again, there is a series of understandings and technologies. There is a teaching that I have developed from my lineage tradition called the three stations of love. There is understanding the nature of Love as perception, giving, and openness (the trinity in understanding the nature of love). There are the three faces of Love: love in the first person (living as love), second person (being in love with other), and third person (love as the Eros of evolution, the love that moves the suns and the stars which moves atoms to become molecules…) Within open up, there are three trinities: the three faces of love, the three means of love (giving, opening, perception), and the three stations of love (falling in love, individuation, and re-falling in love). … Submission, Separation, and Sweetness.
Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up. These are the core structures of World Spirituality teaching. The names aren’t that important. They’re labels to allow someone to hold easily the teaching. The teaching comes from two core places: Unique Self teaching and Love teaching, which I’ve developed over the years with wonderful interactions with many people, and Integral Theory. They come together to form the matrix of World Spirituality practice which is exciting and fantastic.
In each of these five buckets, you need practices. Each person is going to do different practices. At different times in a person’s life they might focus on a different area. There is a profoundly Unique Self dimension. You actually wake up to your unique eyes which is the full awakening. You grow up into Unique Self. You show up as Unique Self. You lighten up by following your Unique Shadow back to Unique Self. And Love is a Unique Self perception; you live uniquely as Love; you are a unique expression of the love-intellligence of All-That-Is.
Unique Self is the animating teaching of all five and you begin to see how Unique Self and Integral Theory come together in this larger frame. That’s the cornerstone of World Spirituality practice.