A new integral approach to religion


I’ll also toss in a little New Age Religion:

*sometimes I wonder⁣
if Mary breastfed Jesus.⁣
if she cried out when he bit her⁣
or if she sobbed when he would not latch.⁣
and sometimes I wonder⁣

if this is all too vulgar⁣
to ask in a church⁣
full of men⁣
without milk stains on their shirts⁣
or coconut oil on their breasts⁣
preaching from pulpits off limits to the Mother of God.⁣
but then i think of feeding Jesus,⁣
birthing Jesus,⁣
the expulsion of blood⁣
and smell of sweat,⁣
the salt of a mother’s tears⁣
onto the soft head of the Salt of the Earth,⁣
feeling lonely⁣
and tired⁣
and i think,⁣
if the vulgarity of birth is not⁣
honestly preached⁣
by men who carry power but not burden,⁣
who carry privilege but not labor,⁣
who carry authority but not submission,⁣
then it should not be preached at all.⁣
because the real scandal of the Birth of God⁣
lies in the cracked nipples of a⁣
14 year old⁣
and not in the sermons of ministers⁣
who say women⁣
are too delicate⁣
to lead.*

-Kaitlin Hardy Shetler [Kaitlin Shetler Poetry]
IG @kaitlinshetler

  • Group C attends a 12 day silent monastic retreat with 30 other men or women or couples, returning back into a large supportive community.

Which group experiences a more lasting transformation?


Try all three and let me know.
I don’t know what the purpose of attending a silent retreat with 30 other people is - especially if the purpose is self transformation or connecting with some kind of “God” but ok. It’s usually done for the convenience of the “Master” - he can “touch” more people at one time.
The exception to this is more “ecstatic” types of experiences where people lose themselves in various kinds of emotion. These have a role in transformation, but when these emotional “purgings” are presented as ultimate transformation itself it’s unfortunate, because it’s more a preparation for transformation.


Also agree the the focused emotional purgings are of great value also.
I see each modality as having value, perhaps influencing/opening us in different ways, and likely all permutations as well.
Do you not see much value in common shared experiences?
As an example, it’s kind of interesting in church to wonder if the old lady next to me, or the child on his mother’s lap, is getting out of church what I’m getting? Probably not, but at least we have something that is shared, even if just a little bit.

Perhaps it’s in the religious practice, not the demonstrable level we attain that’s the greatest gift?


Not in “ultimate transformation”, no. At least not in my way I envision it.
They are useful in building a community of shared interest and mutual support.

For me it’s far more profound to wonder about my own emotional reactions to a beggar on the street (for example) than anyone in church.


You think they are mutually exclusive?


You asked “Do you see much value”
I said “I see more value”

Do you understand the meaning of “much” & “more”, and in your understanding are they words that mean all or nothing / “mutually exclusive”?

The way I use “more”, and the way it is used in common usage - it does not mean excluding all other things.

I don’t get value out of wondering how my transformational experience is stacking up against another person’s. If it sparked a transformation in you, then that is fine, but the question was if I saw much value in it, and I don’t actually. It doesn’t mean you can’t - but that wasn’t the question.


Your distinction between “emergent integral” and “universal donor integral” looks useful. If the argument in my essay is sound, it would, I believe, be an example of the former. I’m not sure I understand “universal donor integral” very well. Could you cite a few examples for me?