For thousands of years, in almost all parts of the globe, human beings have engaged in practices to transform and balance their lives. From the magical rituals of ancient shamans, to the contemplative science of the mystical traditions, to the latest scientific breakthroughs in health, nutrition, and physical exercise—we have always sought a way to connect with deeper truths, to achieve well-being and harmony, and to realize our highest potentials.
Now, in the information age, this incredible wealth of knowledge, teachings, and techniques—our evolutionary human legacy—is available to us like never before. The question is, how can we best use it? How can we put it all together? How can we make sense of the myriad approaches, from such diverse places and times, in a way that’s relevant to our individual and collective lives?
Wilber, Ken; Patten, Terry; Leonard, Adam; Morelli, Marco. Integral Life Practice (p. 1). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.
We are exploring the various spiritual practices that are used to facilitate the spiritual development of Unitarian Universalists. We are attempting to use the seven principles and the six sources to guide our exploration. Are there spiritual practices uniquely relevant to people who identify as Unitarian Universalist?
Using the model of levels of consciousness: egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric, and integral Unitarian Universalism is clearly a second tier religion based on worldcentric and integral levels of consciousness as compared to first tier religions which are based on egocentric and ethnocentric levels of consciousness.
All levels of consciousness are necessary for complete spiritual development and ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny meaning that individuals grow through all the stages of consciousness just as societies can evolve through all levels of consciousness.
Reflecting on UU principles, they all pertain to a worldcentric view. The first principle for example states that UUs affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person not just some people. This is a very unusual position to take in this day of identity politics and a resurgence of nationalism. The practice accompanying this principle is the adoption of curiosity about people different from oneself and one’s group. The unique practice of UUs is inclusion and not exclusion.
Have you explored today people different from yourself with an attitude of curiosity which leads to greater understanding of differences and similarities? You will know you are growing when you stretch outside your comfort zone.