We are spiraling toward something…do we know what that something is? Do we have a choice?
Rosemary uses the digital age of recording advances; 1.0, 2.0…she claims:
Each of us is ever evolving into the next version of ourselves – Me 2.0, Me 3.0, etc. Are you making conscious choices about your own evolutionary process or are you reacting to what is happening around you and evolving unconsciously into the next you?
Sometimes I wonder if each of us is truly evolving. Or are some of our fellows content to have things remain just as they are; content with the status quo? Are you evolving consciously or are you content to maintain your position and standing in life? Can you maintain it without changing?
I spent a good part of this past weekend immersed in Integral Theory, as best articulated by Ken Wilber. The specific topic of this Integral Life conference was “The Fourth Turning.” This “Turning” refers to the evolution of Buddhism. To summarize the background, there have been three “turnings” of Buddhism, or evolutions of the movement: there are three current forms or “schools”, namely the Theravada School, the Mahayana School and the Vajrayana School. The first school, or turning, is closely associated with the Buddhism originated by Gautama Buddha about 2600 years ago. About 200 AD the Mahayana School evolved out of and included original Buddhism. And in the 8th Century AD Vajrayana evolved out of and included Mahayana Buddhism.
Integral Life is proposing it is time for a “fourth turning” – a next generation of Buddhism; think of this as a progression from Buddhism 1.0 (Theravada) to Buddhism 2.0 (Mahayana) to Buddhism 3.0 Vajrayana to Buddhism 4.0! (A name or “yana” for this 4.0 was not offered!)
Here is the main point and argument: there has not been a real evolution in religion (any version, any sect, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Judaism, Hinduism…) for at least a thousand years. Perhaps it is time for an advance in spirituality.
I am not writing here to support or deny the specifics of what I heard at the “Fourth Turning Conference.” The specifics while interesting are not my point. The point is to support Rosemary’s premise:
The important aspect of humanity’s interaction with change is that we must be conscious of the choices we are making to bring about change, in ourselves and in the world around us.
Ken Wilber and company are making a conscious effort to define a New Spirituality, to embrace scientific, sociological and psychological advancements and to expand Consciousness and celebrate Humanity. They chose Buddhism because it has demonstrated an ability to evolve over its 2600-year history. And it already offers a high degree of advanced spiritual technology on which to build.
They are making conscious choices; they are looking forward and embracing the past; they are leveraging the advances in all areas of human technology to create a robust Spirituality to help carry humanity forward into its uncertain future.
I welcome and applaud this effort. Yes, we are spiraling toward something; and it can be of our choosing, if we choose to be involved!