How to Build a Conscious Community


What Would a Genuinely Integral Spiritual Community Look Like?

You may be surprised to learn one is actually being built -- and launched -- right now!

Keith Martin-Smith talks with Dr. John Churchill about the themes in Keith’s latest book, When the Buddha Needs Therapy: shadow and awakening, the problem and promise of spiritual communities, the state-stage model as it relates to trauma and growth, narcissism and other personality disorders inside of spirituality, the power and trap of lineage, and what a fully Western version of an awakened spiritual path might look like.


In reading through most of the information, there was very little direction presented.

With the large volumes of information generated in this community over the years, might there be a tighter framework proffered. Maybe start with the popular topics already discussed here among members?

Are there any acknowledgements on some agreed to direction? Maybe a survey with tough honest questions? Allow long form answers beyond multiple choice, that might glean insights on the better way to reach people, focusing on what interests them?

Start with Marketing 101 … create excitement. Yes! I am certain the irony is not missed among this group of intellectuals. :slight_smile:

Rather than trying to meet our own expectations, would we be better off getting everyone else’s input on what they might desire?


I am 100% with you on this one @Sidra … I call this the spiritual quest and I co-authored a book with other like minded spiritually minded thinkers to identify a path of personal development/discovery to fix ourselves first, before we try and fix society.

My ideas and thinking are shared throughout this community forum. Ken Wilber and Integral played a major role in it for us. Sadly, my partner in this project died half way through and I alone attempted to pick up the pieces. I worked to complete the first phase of our project by completing the book on my own.

I’d sure love it if you were open to participating with me in real one-on-one conversations? You can find my contact information in my profile to reach out if that’s the case. ~ Peace :slight_smile:


I’d like to challenge the premise presented in the first 5 minutes of the discussion:
“There is a Deep need for a spiritual community.”

Indeed - but at what level does the need for belonging to a community manifest itself most strongly?
I don’t believe that this is a deep core need at second Tier. Obviously from a First Tier ethnocentric perspective this need for community will be very strong while from a more individualistic First Tier perspective virtually no community is needed.

At second Tier of course these two conflicting extremes would “subsume and include” the need for community and the need for individuality. What I gather from this is that it would not be a “strong need” for community at 2nd Tier, but also neither an aversion to community.

Here’s probably the bottom line about a “Conscious Community” - most people think they are higher on the tier than they actually are and believe they somehow “deserve” or “belong” in a Conscious community when the reality is they probably do not. The reason is pretty obvious when you think about it - at 2nd Tier one no longer needs to block themselves off from “unconscious” communities. The desire to block out unpleasantness is not “consciousness”.
I would venture that consciousness is the ability to remain conscious regardless of whatever someone else is doing.
So where does this lead us? A community that gets together because “we are sooo much more conscious than other people” is already doomed to fail because it’s being formed by individuals who are deluded that they are more conscious than they actually are.
On the other hand - individuals who are conscious would do better joining or forming communities that are filled mostly with individuals who are not conscious - and work to elevate them and the community as a whole to a higher level.


After listening about halfway through, a blaring question arose in my mind I simply cannot ignore:
“So how far have they progressed in building Conscious Communities?”

It appears to me that they are discussing theory and not actually “How to”. They are talking about all the complicated structures that are needed - and I believe the more complicated you make it, the less likely anyone will be to actually “build” it.

This is something that often makes me roll my eyes at a lot of “Integral” content. Quite a lot of it seems to be just making endlessly more complicated theories and models of things that will never actually have a practical application.