The horrific events that we read about and view in vivid television reports hardly testify to an imminent state of spiritual elevation. Conflict, greed, self-interest, divisiveness, warfare and even genocide are as prevalent on the world stage today as they have ever been. Even religions and sects of religions that worship the same God are torn by strife and violence.
So when I first heard about the new book by Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord, The Coming Interspiritual Age, I was understandably skeptical. But when I read the endorsements by notables like Ken Wilbur, Andrew Harvey and Matthew Fox, I thought, “Maybe Johnson and Ord are on to something.” And indeed they are.
Kurt Johnson, a monastic for more than a decade who later became an evolutionary biologist, and David Robert Ord, a Presbyterian minster bring both a spiritual and scientific perspective to their vision of a new spiritual age. Inspiration for their book was sparked by the teachings and writngs of Catholic Brother Wayne Teasdale. Johnson was a close associate of Teasdale, who coined the words “interspirituality” and “interspiritual age” in 1999 in his now classic book The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions. Teasdale, Thomas Merton, Raimon Panikkar, Matthew Fox and other western ecumenical thinkers began their work in response to the call of the historical Vatican II Council (1962-1965), which spawned a new dialogue across all of the world's religions, a process richly described by Johnson and Ord.
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Contributing to the likelihood of this new age is that fact that science is loosening its long-standing commitment to rigid materialism and reductionism in favor of “an all-inclusive quantum reality in which everything is made of the same thing.” These changes are moving human consciousness toward a we-oneness universal state and away from the I-me consciousness that has hampered our spiritual growth.
Phi Beta Iota: Secular corruption is the fatal cancer that is preventing inter-faith harmony as well as the unleashing of the entrepreneurial energy of the five billion poor. Science today — as with government — is retarded. While there are moves toward multi-disciplinary research, neither the funding nor the publishers are anywhere near where they need to be. Here to the side is a current depiction of the fragmentation of the scientific disciplines and sub-disciplines — in one word: incoherent. Absent a wide-spread understanding of the craft of intelligence as it must be practiced in the 21st Century; absent an Open Source Agency (OSA) or a United Nations Open-Source Decision-Support Information Network (UNODIN), absent a commitment to Open Source Everything and M4IS2 (Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making, there is absolutely no prospect of significant advance in the next five to ten years. Beyond that, if there is an advance, it will come from the bottom up — from people routing around and away from governments and corporations. “The truth at any cost lowers all others costs.” Any country whose leadership does not understand and demand this simple precept, is inherent corrupt and not serving the public interest.