Integral Christianity


#1

Hello lovely people,

Any Integral Christians out there? I would love to connect and share ideas so drop me a line.

Kinga


#2

Hello. I was wondering if you read the book Integral Christianity?


#3

Yes, In fact that is what inspired me to try to reach out to some Integral Christians - if there are any others out there. It would be nice to connect.


#4

I am lacking an integral spiritual community in my local area like a church. One of my hopes of joining this site is to increase my connect with others that are like minded. Aka I don’t go to church. I was raised Catholic. I haven’t abandoned the framework but I would like to think I added more rooms. How about you?


#5

Hi Everyone,

I’m a New Thought minister-in-training with Centers for Spiritual Living. I was actually introduced to Spiral Dynamics and Integralism through my ministerial program at the Holmes Institute (the graduate-level teaching body of CSL).

While I don’t identify as Christian, I do draw much of my own personal values from Jesus of Nazareth; in fact, I wrote a paper in my Understanding the Bible class on how the Bible is an example of the spiral evolution of consciousness, and how Jesus himself exhibited many Integral traits and a major paradigm shift in the Western worldviews of the time.

In any case, I’m always willing to go down the spiritual rabbit hole on this particular topic :slight_smile: I’m also a big fan of Fr. Paul Smith’s work on building an Integral framework for Christianity. His book Is Your God Big Enough changed the way I view the Divine.


#6

Hey Matt,

Thanks for reaching out. I was raised in Christian Churches of various denominations and consider myself a follower of Christ but since I take a very internal perspective on religions on general I do not fit into a traditional Church structure.

I like the metaphor you used of ‘adding rooms’. Beautifully put! If you would like to get in touch and chat live my email is kinga.balint@gmail.com - feel free to contact me there. I prefer to share ideas and talk to humans live :wink:

Kinga


#7

Hello Russ,

You sound like a very interesting person to share ideas with! If you would like to get in touch and exchange ideas please email me at kinga.balint@gmail.com. I prefer to talk in person rather than text messaging here.

Drop me me a line,

Kinga


#8

my email is matthewhudkins@gmail.com.


#9

How would I recognise an Integral Christian?


#10

I think a start is whether someone recognizes it as myth or the Word as literal. That gives a clue as to what stage they are in.


#11

Just throwing one in here, am willing to be told I’m talking rubbish. Is there a difference between a Christian taking an Integral perspective of Christianity and being an Integral Christian? Could Integral Christianity be an oxymoron? If you are a Christian functioning healthily at red, whilst having an intellectual capacity to take a 3rd person perspective of Christianity, does that mean you are an Integral Christian? Can Christianity still retain its “Christianness” if it evolves beyond Green, can that which makes Christianity Christianity, still make sense within a Teal perspective?


#12

I am not sure what a healthy Christian red (as an adult) would look like. The first image comes that comes to mind are the people that shoot people outside of abortion clinics or those who stand outside of a gay person’s funeral who was beaten to death with placards saying “Gays go to hell”.
Christ like consciousness is the goal. I see it very similarly as Buddha consciousness. Identification with the transcendent as the goal rather than the mythic image, historical references, etc.


#13

Hmmm, I think your examples would be an unhealthy red attitude. Would a healthy red be where Christ is literally Lord and Master, Onward Christian Soldiers etc?

Again, I may be wrong here but my recollection of the scholarship about Christianity is that when it was at the healthy red stage there weren’t the literal beliefs that the blue stage now have. i.e.it was before the enlightenment and so before black and white ideas of right and wrong. I seem to remember, for example, that Papal infallibility is a fairly recent invention.The Spanish Inquisition, for example, was an unhealthy red response to the growth required of Christianity brought about by the enlightenment. There is stuff out there in academia which traces the evolution of Christianity which has tended to lag behind the evolution of the society it serves.

So just as orange weapons are extraordinarily dangerous in the hands of an unhealthy red society , blue fundamentalist beliefs are dangerous in the hands of an unhealthily red stage group of Christians doing what they believe to be right in an orange society.


#14

I’ve reflected on this. And I haven’t referenced the Integral Christianity book on this. I’ve thought of my own identification growing up Catholic and my understanding of Integral. You referenced historical moments but I am thinking of present day.
Healthy red is the self emerging from the tribe. Using your example “Christ is literally Lord and Master, Onward Christian soldiers” I guess I can see that. But I think it would need to transform to healthy amber pretty fast in today’s cultural world. How long can I stay healthy as a Red Christian if I don’t assimilate to an Amber Christian, at a minimum?


#15

I just wanted to chime in on the Red vs. Amber conversation a little here (and apologies if I misinterpret anything, it’s Friday and I am fried):

In regards to religion, it’s entirely possible that Red wouldn’t adhere to any kind of religion that isn’t self-serving. Even healthy Red will be focused on themselves and their ego’s development as an individual persona. If Red adheres to any sort of religion, it will be for personal gain, and likely they won’t adhere to any religious tenets or rules that conflict with their personal ego’s desires (take, for example, Donald Trump’s assertion that he is Christian).

Typically where biblical literalism lands is with Amber. Amber doesn’t do metaphor, and is very future focused (ie, do good things now to avoid going to hell / heaven in the future). The “good things” of Amber are what are necessary to avoid stigmatization from the main group to which someone in Amber belongs. Amber is about rules and order (to stem the chaos that was felt with Red’s egocentrism). Amber is also about authority, and a “one true God” is the ultimate authority.

Red will still be very present for an Amber dominant culture, specifically around the authority and the way Amber enforces its rules. Since the ego gets repressed, it starts acting through the shadow, and that’s where the bizarreness of Amber comes from (ie, when a higher stage looks at them and wonders “why are they doing something so hypocritical?” it’s probably because their Red ego shadow is coming out). This is also, I think, one of the precursors to Orange as the ethnocentric tendencies of Amber don’t work very well when faced with a global community and the demonstrable facts that come out of Orange materialism.

Orange is the first level that can approach the abstract, and hence, metaphor. But the materialism at the center of Orange’s worldview makes adhering to anything like a mythic-literal Christianity very problematic (indeed, Orange, in my experience, is typically where you’re going to find atheism). Moving further to Green is when we start to see the currently dominant (at least in scholarly circles and more liberal churches) cultural-metaphorical interpretations of the Bible.

The point of Integralism’s approach to spirituality, I believe, is to take what is good and true about each level’s interpretation of spiritual texts and beliefs and integrate them in a way that expresses true holism, and to leave behind the things that cause damage to the system as a whole. There is also a resurgence of the “perennial wisdom,” which advocates Oneness with the Divine and Love, among other things, that we find at the core of the texts in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, etc.

Slightly off topic:

If you want to go for a fun Spiral Dynamics trip, try interpreting the Bible metaphysically. What this means is that you interpret the Bible stories as taking place purely in the consciousness of the reader. In that way, you can see how the stories relate to a specific stage of development of consciousness. Using the Book of Joshua as an example (a text that tends to turn Green in particular off from Christianity, given its violence), you would interpret it as the need to effectively purge the thoughts and beliefs from your mind that are out of alignment with Divine Truth (this is not an Amber Divine Truth that is “in the eye of the beholder,” either, but rather the absolute that Integralism seeks to honor at Tier 2). Exodus also shows how one may evolve from one stage to the next, and the plagues in particular illustrate the shadow and resistance we face when dealing with the cognitive dissonance that crops up when we are presented with a more evolved worldview.

You can also read the Bible through historical context with a focus on consciousness development, which is even more fun. In that way, as a historical document, the Bible actually chronicles the stage development of the Israelite consciousness as they progress through their trials to form a viable nation. For example, you could read the Book of Joshua as an example of the Red tendencies of the nation of Israel (not the Israelites themselves, as they’re just now turning Amber) as they invade Canaan (the dominant Red phrase here would be “My way or the highway”). In this way, the community of Israel is operating at Red, whereas the individuals (evidenced by their zealotry) are very much at Amber. Or you could see the Book of Leviticus and the Ten Commandments in Exodus as the budding expression of Amber, given their focus on rules by which one should live.

Anyway, this is all fascinating stuff. Hopefully this post was helpful :slight_smile:


#16

Hey everyone–I haven’t been on here as much as I’d like, but I am the point person for the pioneering effort to connect a network of Integral Christian practitioners. I’m working with Paul Smith, author of Integral Christianity (and more). I started this work from the very same question, how can I connect with other integral christians? Most of us experience a lack of like-minded others in our local environments.

Our primary focus right now is developing online WeSpace groups to further connection and practice together. In addition, I really want to deepen the network, creating new systems and avenues for the evolution of Christianity beyond the systemic limitations of much traditional church.

Anyway, the website is: www.integralchristiannetwork.org

Please drop in and sign up for anything that interests you–especially a WeSpace group if you want!


#17

Hi Kinga,

See my comment below about connecting integral christians, but I’d also love to connect personally and talk more if you’re up for it. My email is lehealy@gmail.com

Luke


#18

Hello Luke,

Thank you so much, it delights my heart to know that such a community exist. Wow, I am so excited to explore it.

I’ll email you personally.

Kinga