Introduction to the P2P Foundation Wiki Material about Spirituality

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Introductory Citation

* Peer production as the consciousness of the new civilization:

"peer production and the emerging economy of the Commons may (and already do) provide the material conditions of an alternative future spirituality and self. An identity based on networks of cooperation rather than competition, and common property and sharing rather than privatization and commodification, has no need to generate a collective will that puts human systems in balance with eco-systems because that will is already built-in to the foundation of the consciousness and practices of peer production as a collective, commons project. There is no sense of the individual part standing separate from the collective whole or in a dominant relation to others, so there is no gap to mend and heal, there is only an in-built spiritual consciousness and self practice of ‘We’ and ‘I’ in nature and society as a unified (yet diverse) integral practice."

- Joe Corbett [1]


  • Learn about the three basic principles of participatory spirituality:
  1. Equipotentiality;
  2. Equiplurality
  3. Equiprimacy

How could we call a coming age of participation?

Philippe Van Nedervelde suggests two possible names, both drawn from classical Greek:

  1. Synergos, from "sun/syn" = together; "ergos" = work
  2. Metechos, denotes sharing/participating

I (Michel Bauwens) fully endorse this as the spiritual theory behind an integrative p2p theory for social and personal change: A P2P Interpretation of Soul as Intersubjective Reality and Spirit as Interobjective Reality. By Joe Corbett.



For an intro, read Michel Bauwens on the Great Cosmic Mash-Up, which focuses on P2P and common projects and their role in the construction of our identity:

"Postmodernism was all about deconstructing oppressive mental structures that we inherited from modernity. Amongst other things the Cartesian subject/object split and the alienating effects of Kantian's impossibility of knowing true reality; it was a necessary destructive passage, a cleaning out process, but it didn't, as its names "post"- indicate, construct anything. So in my view, if modernity was about constructing the individual (along subject/object divisions), and postmodernity about deconstructing this, then this new era, which I'ld like to call the era of participation, is about constructing relationality or participation. We are not going back to the premodern wholistic era and feelings, but just as modernity was about rigorously individualising everything, eventually reaching the current dead-end of hyper-individualism, we are now just as rigorously 'relationising' everything. If in premodernity we thought, we are parts of a whole that is one and above us, and in modernity we thought we are separate and unified individuals, a world onto ourselves, and in postmodernity saw ourselves fragmenting, and pretty much lamented this, then this is the mash-up era. We now know that all this fragments can be reconstructed with the zillions of fragment of the others, into zillions of commonalities, into temporary wholes that are so many new creative projects, but all united in a ever-moving Commons that is open to all of us..

So the fragmentation of postmodernity is a given for us now, but we are no longer lamenting, we are discovering the technologies (infrastructural, collaborative-software-ish, political, but above all the mental and epistemological) that allow us to use this fragmentation to create the Great Cosmic Mash-Up. That is the historical task of the emerging Peer to Peer Era."

2. From: The Next Buddha Will Be A Collective. By Michel Bauwens

"the 3 paradigm shifts (open/free, participatory, commons), although only emerging as seed forms at this stage, are letting themselves be felt through contemporary spiritual practices. It suggests a new approach to spirituality which I would like to call a contributory spirituality. This approach would consider that each tradition is a set of injunctions set from within a specific framework, and which can disclose different facets of reality. This framework may be influenced by a set of values (patriarchy, exclusive truth doctrines, etc…), which might be rejected today, but also contains psycho-spiritual practices which disclose particular truths about our relationship with the universe. Discovering spiritual truth then, requires at least a partial exposure to these differential methods of truth discovery, within a comparative framework, but it also requires intersubjective feedback, so it is a quest that cannot be undertaken alone, but along with others on the same path. Tradition is thereby not rejected, but critically experienced and evaluated. The modern spiritual practicioner can hold himself beholden to such a particular tradition, but need not feel confined to it. He/she can create spiritual inquiry circles that approach the different traditions with an open mind, experience them individually and collectively, and where the different individual experiences can be exchanged. In this way, a new collective body of spiritual experiences is created, which is continuously co-created by the inquiring spiritual communities and individuals. The outcome of that process will be a co-created reality that is unpredictable and will create new, as yet unpredictable spiritual formats. But one thing is sure: it will be an open, participatory, approach leading to a commons of spiritual knowledge, from which all humanity can draw from."

3. Key Essay: The relational ground of human consciousness. John Heron: Notes on Spiritual Leadership and Relational Spirituality

John Heron:

"I prefer to think of the spiritual development of human culture as rooted in degrees of relational, moral insight and not in an evolutionary logic. Evolution as a concept seems best left to natural processes. Otherwise intellectual bids to know what evolution is up to and what is coming next culturally, rapidly convert into hegemonic arrogance and attempts at social and intellectual control. The developing of the human spirit in cultural forms is a different category and is very close in my view to the way in which our realization of an extended doctrine of rights, in theory and practice, unfolds.

There seem to be at least four degrees of such unfolding:

  1. Autocratic cultures which define rights in a limited and oppressive way and there are no rights of political participation.
  2. Narrow democratic cultures which practise political participation through representation, but have no or very limited participation of people in decision-making in all other realms, such as research, religion, education, industry, etc.
  3. Wider democratic cultures which practice both political participation and varying degree of wider kinds of participation.
  4. Commons peer-to-peer cultures in a libertarian and abundance-oriented global network with equipotential rights of participation in decision-making of everyone in every field of human endeavour, in relation to nature, culture, the subtle and the spiritual.

These four degrees could be stated in terms of the relations between hierarchy, co-operation and autonomy (deciding for others, deciding with others, deciding by oneself).

  1. Hierarchy defines, controls and constrains co-operation and autonomy.
  2. Hierarchy empowers a measure of co-operation and autonomy in the political sphere only.
  3. Hierarchy empowers a measure of co-operation and autonomy in the political sphere and in varying degrees in other spheres.
  4. The sole role of hierarchy is in its spontaneous emergence in (a) the initiation , and (b) the continuous flowering, of autonomy-in-co-operation, of spirit-in-manifestation, in all spheres of human endeavour."


The Fourteen Precepts of Interbeing

Read also: Gebser’s 19 Criteria to Appraise Aperspectival Movements and Tendencies!

As proposed by Thich Nhat Hanh:

  1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology
  2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth
  3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views
  4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering
  5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry
  6. Do not maintain anger or hatred
  7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings
  8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break
  9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people
  10. Do not use the community for personal gain or profit
  11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature
  12. Do not kill, do not let others kill
  13. Possess nothing that should belong to others
  14. Do not mistreat your body, learn to handle it with respect"

Source: Thich Nhat Hanh, The Fourteen Precepts from Interbeing , 2003

Thich Nhat Hanh also explains:

"Emptiness does not mean nothingness. Saying that we are empty does not mean that we do not exist. No matter if something is full or empty, that thing clearly needs to be there in the first place. When we say a cup is empty, the cup must be there in order to be empty. When we say that we are empty, it means that we must be there in order to be empty of a permanent, separate self. About thirty years ago I was looking for an English word to describe our deep interconnection with everything else. I liked the word “togetherness,” but I finally came up with the word “interbeing.” The verb “to be” can be misleading, because we cannot be by ourselves, alone. “To be” is always to “inter-be.” If we combine the prefix “inter” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, “inter-be.” To inter-be and the action of interbeing reflects reality more accurately. We inter-are with one another and with all life." (

Gebser’s 19 Criteria to Appraise Aperspectival Movements and Tendencies

For background:

Peter Pogany:

  1. "The whole: Originary givenness spiritually awared.
  2. Integrity: Harmonious coexistence among all structures in the lived experience of integral consciousness.
  3. Transparency: Based on the thermodynamic worldview, the individual sees, senses, and feels the unity of past, present, and future. Such a synairetic way of “understanding” becomes the permanent backdrop in dealing with all problems of human life.
  4. The spiritual: Excessively ambitious calculative deficiency withdraws in the face of originary presence. The intellect is no longer dominated by a compulsion to squeeze the world into categories; quantifying, tabulating, and formalizing every aspect of it. Primal trust overcomes primal fear.
  5. Supersession of the ego: Reduction of egoity -- Ichhaftigkeit. (Feuerstein describes the outward manifestations of integral consciousness. See, Feuerstein, 1987, p. 170).
  6. Realization of timelessness: Connection between archaic-magic preconceptual and integral postconceptual “being-without-time.”
  7. Realization of temporicity: Recognition of mythical elements (e.g., cyclicality and destiny) in the structure of consciousness.
  8. Realization of the concept of time: While becoming the integrating factor of all dimensions, time itself disappears (becomes amension) both as an absolute scientific/philosophical concept and as the Molach of daily life.
  9. Realization of time-freedom: The integrative vantage point renders individual, community, and cosmic existence transparent.
  10. Disruption of the merely systematic: Freedom from mental-rationally perceived causality, liberation of creativity.
  11. Incursion of dynamics: Conscious appreciation that ceaseless animation is a fundamental aspect of all forms of existence, including human thought.
  12. Recognition of energy: The science of thermodynamics absorbs and reinterprets conceptualizations and characterizations of time.
  13. Mastery of movement: Transformation of consciousness begins to take an outward shape.
  14. Fourth dimension: Conscious absorption that Being is temporally dimensionless.
  15. Supersession of patriarchy: Movement toward integrum is catalyzed by the elimination of man/woman duality in the socioeconomic sphere; decline in the relevance of masculine symbolism in theological metanarratives.
  16. Renunciation of dominance and power: Discovery that imbalances in personal and social relations are ultimately futile, collectively harmful, and consequently, untenable in the long run.
  17. Acquisition of intensity: The presentiation of “Itself” (Sich) as internal transcendence in opposition to the mere expansion of consciousness. (This theme is too abstractly related to economic theory to make a plausible connection.)
  18. Clarity (instead of mere wakefulness): Recognition through a “systatic act” that the outer-related (exhaling) mental-rational world of wakefulness, buffeted by previously dominant structures, is insufficient to achieve true freedom.
  19. Transformation of the creative inceptual basis: History is no longer viewed as a path of some linearly imaged progress; the future as an unlimited design of human volition."


Long Quotes

The liberation of the self involves, above all, a social process. In a society that has shriveled the self into a commodity — into an object manufactured for exchange — there can be no fulfilled self. There can only be the beginnings of selfhood, the emergence of a self that seeks fulfillment — a self that is largely defined by the obstacles it must overcome to achieve realization.

— Murray Bookchin [3]

"The reference to “northward arm” and “southward arm” is typically Wintu, and its usage suggests a cultural wisdom so deep and unconscious that it was embedded in the very structure of language. In English we refer to the right arm and left arm, and we might describe a certain mountain as being to our right or left, in front or in back of us depending on which way we are facing at the moment. We use the body — the self — as the point of reference against which we describe the world. The Wintu would never do this, and indeed the Wintu language would not permit it. If a certain mountain was to the north, say, the arm nearest that mountain would be called the northward arm. If the Wintu turned around, the arm that had previously been referred to as the northward arm would now be called the southward arm. In other words, the features of the world remained the constant reference, the sense of self was what changed — a self that continually accommodated and adjusted to a world in which the individual was not the center of all creation."

— From the Book: The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs and Reminiscences. [4]

Jesus, in the Gospel, did not say, "My kingdom is not of this world; that was the bad translators who, by suppressing three words in one phrase of St. John, have made it say this. Jesus said literally, "My kingdom is not yet of these times." And as his kingdom, as it is explained in the same passage, is the reign of justice and truth, and as it adds that this kingdom will come on the earth, it follows that, very far from have prophesied that the principles of equality will never be realized on earth, Jesus on the contrary prophesied their realization, their reign, their arrival.

— Pierre Leroux [5]

"If what we are calling the ontology of the One rejects what is not itself – by positing a radical commensurability by which only that which is its Self is valued, and all that is Other is devalued – and what we are calling the ontology of the Zero rejects everything – by positing a radical incommensurability by which nothing can be valued at all – then the ontology of the Many succeeds because it rejects nothing (out of hand) – by positing a perpetual flux of commensurables and incommensurables by which subjects/objects, Nature/Society, humans/nonhumans, are continually constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed, in other words, e-value-ated."

— Paul B. Hartzog

“The time has come to realise that an interpretation of the universe—even a positivist one—remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.”

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin [6]

William Irwin Thompson: Transitions are Catastrophes


"The transition from one World to another is a catastrophe, in the sense of the catastrophe theory of René Thom. Indeed, a catastrophe is the making conscious of an Unconscious Polity; it is the feeling in Being of a domain that is unknown to thinking. Catastrophes are often stimulated by the failure to feel the emergence of a domain, and so what cannot be felt in the imagination is experienced as embodied sensation in the catastrophe. When rational knowing and political governance no longer serve to feel the actual life of a World, then consciousness becomes embodied in experience outside the world-picture but still within the invisible meta-domain. The conscious process is reflected in the imagination; the unconscious process is expressed as karma, the generation of actions divorced from thinking and alienated from feeling. Catastrophes are discontinuous transitions in Culture- Nature through which knowing has an opening to Being. This moment of passing-together through a catastrophe, this occasion of com-passionate participation, presents an opportunity for a shift from karmic activity to Enlightenment. Thus the transition from one World-Structure to another is characterized by catastrophes in which the Unconscious Polities become visible. At such times there can be a rapid flip-over or reversal in which the unthinkable becomes possible.

No governing elite will allow us to think this transition from one World-Structure to another, but imagination and compassion will allow us to feel what we cannot understand. As "Nature" comes to its end in our scientific culture, the relationship between conscious and unconscious will change and the awareness of immanent mind in bacteria and of autopoesis in devices of Artificial Intelligence will give us a new appreciation of the animism of ancient world-picture. The "Man" of the historical set of Culture-Nature will come to his end in a new irrational world of angels and devils, elementals and cyborgs. In this science fiction landscape, this invisible meta-domain in which we already live, the end of Nature as unconscious karma makes of Enlightenment and Compassion a new political possibility."


2. The death of traditional religions ?

"In the shift from religion to post-religious spirituality, the unique individual fractal mind experiences the Big Mind of the universe directly and has no need of the authoritarian mediations of religion. In the age of the Abrahamic religions--from Judaism to Christianity to Islam--the individual had to surrender his mind to a system of belief in doctrine. (The literal meaning of Islam is submission.) As the new spirituality becomes the efficient form, the old religions become the deficient form, and so all the old religions now are dying, and that is why they have become so desperate, violent, and destructive. Of course, like neutron stars after a supernova, the religions can continue their densely compressed life for aeons. Voodoo is still with us, so I expect that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam will still be with us as organelles within planetary culture as planetization advances to the next step as climate collapse and catastrophes force us to shift from global industrial development to ecological stewardship in the Living Machines and ecological design."


Peer production as a mode of consciousness

"peer production and the emerging economy of the Commons may (and already do) provide the material conditions of an alternative future spirituality and self. An identity based on networks of cooperation rather than competition, and common property and sharing rather than privatization and commodification, has no need to generate a collective will that puts human systems in balance with eco-systems because that will is already built-in to the foundation of the consciousness and practices of peer production as a collective, commons project. There is no sense of the individual part standing separate from the collective whole or in a dominant relation to others, so there is no gap to mend and heal, there is only an in-built spiritual consciousness and self practice of ‘We’ and ‘I’ in nature and society as a unified (yet diverse) integral practice."

— Joe Corbett [7]

The Cognitive Line of Self-Development vs the Collective Line of Collective Development

""While Wilber says that “the cognitive line leads,” this is an axiom of self development. For collective development, “the moral line leads,” that is, how we evaluate how respectful, trustworthy, reciprocating, and empathetic each other are, is the underlying theme. For me, an enlightened person is someone who demonstrates those four qualities appropriate to this or that relationship. Note that dogs and elephants can do that, so this is a competency that has zero to do with levels of self development. Since no definition of “spiritual” that lacks those four qualities is worthy of the name, any definition of enlightenment or self development that lacks them is not to be taken seriously."

Joseph Dillard [8]

Richard Tarnas on Participatory Knowing

"“In this view, the essential reality of nature is not separate, self-contained, and complete in itself, so that the human mind can examine it “objectively” and register it from without. Rather, nature’s unfolding truth emerges only with the active participation of the human mind. Nature’s reality is not merely phenomenal, nor is it independent and objective; rather, it is something that comes into being through the very act of human cognition. Nature becomes intelligible to itself through the human mind. In this perspective, nature pervades everything, and the human mind in all its fullness is itself an expression of nature’s essential being.”

— Richard Tarnas, 1996, p.434 [9]

Jean Gebser on Origin vs the Modes of Consciousness

“The realisation/awaring of the origin is only possible if, when we look backwards and into ourselves, neither the darkness of the magical, the twilight of the mythical or the current daylight of the mental–rational are obstacles (cage bars). Compared to the structure of simultaneity (the ever presence of the past and future in the present), darkness, twilight and daylight are impenetrable and non–transparent walls; where however the three grades of darkness and light of the consciousness structures have become transparent, there also the walls become illusory; a more powerful consciousness, the integral, which life and spirit supporting, transcends and is not overwhelmed by all previous consciousness structures, makes it possible to become aware of the origin, through darkness, twilight and perhaps dazzle, to see the original consciousness, or to use Sri Aurobindo’s term, the universal consciousness. Where this happens, due to its partaking of the origin, our consciousness changes into the integral consciousness and gives up its bar–like compulsive images.”

- Jean Gebser [10]

When all religions are available to everyone, the time of no religion has arrived

" All the forms of Buddhism that have ever been put into written form (or electronic media) are now simultaneously available to everyone in the world who can read and has a connection to the internet. There are no more boundaries between forms of Buddhism, which were formerly divided and contained by historic period, sect, culture, language, etc. You are free to learn any kind of Buddhist dharma or practice you can lay eyes on. The historical sangha, which was an enclosed society based on “secret” teachings and practices, is gone. There are no secrets anymore. Anyone can learn any kind of Buddhism, anywhere, any time. The Buddhisms we practice now are forms of a global Buddhism that is growing, spreading and intensifying: it is not scarce, it is ubiquitous."

— Shaun Bartone [11]

Jorge Ferrer on Dismantling Rankism and the Comparing Mind

"Integrative and embodied spirituality would effectively undermine the current model of human relations based on comparison, which easily leads to competition, rivalry, envy, jealousy, conflict, and hatred. When individuals develop in harmony with their most genuine vital potentials, human relationships characterized by mutual exchange and enrichment would naturally emerge because people would not need to project their own needs and lacks onto others. More specifically, the turning off of the comparing mind would dismantle the prevalent hierarchical mode of social interaction paradoxically so extended in spiritual circles in which people automatically look upon others as being either superior or inferior, as a whole or in some privileged respect. This model which ultimately leads to inauthentic and unfulfilling relationships, not to mention hubris and spiritual narcissism would naturally pave the way for an I-Thou mode of encounter in which people would experience others as equals in the sense of their being both superior and inferior to themselves in varying skills and areas of endeavor (intellectually, emotionally, artistically, mechanically, interpersonally, and so forth), but with none of those skills being absolutely higher or better than others. It is important to experience human equality from this perspective to avoid trivializing our encounter with others as being merely equal. It also would bring a renewed sense of significance and excitement to our interactions because we would be genuinely open to the fact that not only can everybody learn something important from us, but we can learn from them as well. In sum, an integral development of the person would lead to a horizontalization of love.? We would see others not as rivals or competitors but as unique embodiments of the Mystery, in both its immanent and transcendent dimension, who could offer us something that no one else could offer and to whom we could give something that no one else could give." — Jorge Ferrer [12]

Jeff Meyerhoff on a ethics of consequences

"I advocate a shift in emphasis from the epistemological talk of mystically “being in touch with Reality” and “knowing the Truth” and a greater emphasis on the ethical by asking what kind of person we become through whatever self-development practices we do. If a fundamentalist Christian - who thinks a non-believer like myself is going to burn in hell - spends their days helping people then I like that latter part of what their religion leads them to, while fearing that their anti-scientific, literal reading of the Bible has bad consequences for society's fruitful understanding of the world. The results of people's actions should concern us more than the content of their beliefs; unless the content of their beliefs result in bad consequences." (

Dana Klisanin on Transception

"It is not surprising then, that as our sphere of concern expands (i.e., from the personal to the global-planetary) we are creating technological means through which to address those concerns. Transception, described as, “Internet technologies fused with moral concerns,” is one embodiment of that evolution (Klisanin, 2005; 2007). Transception enables digital altruism, for example through websites designed to support caring and sharing behaviors, i.e., the ability to add content to informational sites such as Wikipedia (2011); the ability to contribute to charity through viewing advertisements via “click-to-donate” formats such as available at (2011); the ability to help solve complex problems through donating unused (idle) computer time to scientific research, for example, through the World Community Grid (2011). Transception enables individuals to reach beyond the confines of the physical body not simply to act, but to act compassionately on behalf of other sentient beings."

— Dana Klisanin [13]

On the Circle in Worship

"The Quaker choice of being in a circle, seated around a table on which one may find a bible or a bunch of flowers, corresponds to an ancient human custom of meeting to communicate with each other at the same level. It is not a gimmick, trying to be different, or just another form of religious suggestion: it is a proven means of communion between people in a relationship that is closer together, more aware, more tightly bound. Those of different social backgrounds or levels of cultural experience feel themselves more equal with each other, more humble and more open, and all equally placed before God. The distances between the pulpit, the preacher, the front pews, the back pews, which imply separation between people and an (even if slight) suggestion of who presides over the worship; the isolation of the anguished individual who does not manage to communicate from his static Sunday place; these have vanished when one worships in a circle. There is no pulpit except the ideal one of Christ; there are no elements of distraction."

— Davide Melodia [14] ; translation from Italian by Simon Grant

Adam Miller on Peer to Peer Grace

"I want to operationalize grace. I want to port it out of a traditional theistic frame-work and into the immanent domain of a non-theistic ontology. Doing so will involve a shift from thinking about grace in terms of unavailable and transcendent "large-scale forces of cosmic progress" to treating it as a palpable, ubiquitous, and available "small-scale force." Rather than being an unknowable force operating behind the scenes, might grace instead be what characterizes-- here and now and in plain sight-- the whole of this world's self-organizing complexity? Is grace such a thing that its real power could only come via a supernatural investment of divine, theistic intent? Or is grace such that, in its small scale, localized, and temporally distended operation is hidden, as with natural selection, a world-shaping strength?"

— Adam Miller, "Speculative Grace" [15]

Mark Pesce on Global Interconnection

"Now there are five billion of us, directly connected, none of us further apart than the time it takes to type a short string of digits. Even the Urban Revolution did not bring us together like this: individuals on opposite sides of a great city might never meet. We continuously carry with us a connection to the greater part of humanity, and the greater part of humanity, likewise equipped, connects to us. This is not a conurbation; this is a zero-dimension humanity, every point directly connected to every other point, because there is only a single point, pervasive and unified.

Dunbar’s Number has been both amplified and extended beyond any human capacity ever imagined. We moved from hundreds to billions in a single gesture, a quantum leap which in retrospect will appear nearly instantaneous. We enjoy the curious privilege of being part of this transition, the generations experiencing life before, during and after the billion seconds which encompass the entire scope of this transition. A billion seconds is sufficient to change everything.

We are already connected. This amplification and extension has already happened., an event that lies behind us, in our history, a fait accompli. That may be the most shocking feature of the present moment: we think ourselves striding confidently on the ground, only to look down and find ourselves in orbit. How did we get here? We do not remember feeling the blast rocket engines lifting us above the atmosphere. Everything seemed so gradual, we failed to note the gentle but steady tug of acceleration which led inexorably to liftoff, pushing us ever higher.

Yet here we are, far out of our depth, each of us connected, sharing with and learning from five billion others. By itself, this would be among the most remarkable events in human history. But past is prologue. We each now have the learning and experience of five billion others to draw upon" (via fb, no source)

Meta-theory as humanity’s vocabulary of self-transformation

[With] self-consciousness comes the possibility of transforming ourselves by adopting new vocabularies, redescribing, and so reconstructing our selves and discursive institutions. While all of us are in some sense consumers of such new vocabularies, it is the special calling of some to produce them. And among those producers some take the construction of unique, potentially transformative vocabularies as the project by commitment to which they understand and define themselves. Among that group, some seek to produce those new vocabularies precisely by trying to understated the phenomena of sapience, normativity, conceptuality, reason, freedom, expression, self-consciousness, self-constitution, and historical transformation by subversive, empowering vocabularies. Those are the philosophers. They are charged neither with simply understanding human nature (human history), nor with simply changing it, but with changing it by understanding it.

— Robert B. Brandom (2009, p. 150) [16]

Fritjof Capra on the Unity of All Things in Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism

(...) "Although the spiritual traditions described in the last five chapters differ in many details, their view of the world is essentially the same. It is a view which is based on mystical experience - on a direct non-intellectual experience of reality - and this experience has a number of fundamental characteristics which are independent of the mystic’s geographical, historical, or cultural background.

A Hindu and a Taoist may stress different aspects of the experience; a Japanese Buddhist may interpret his or her experience in terms which are very different from those used by an Indian Buddhist; but the basic elements of the world view which has been developed in all these traditions are the same. These elements also seem to be the fundamental features of the world view emerging from modern physics.

The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view - one could almost say the essence of it - is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality.

The Eastern traditions constantly refer to this ultimate, indivisible reality which manifests itself in all things, and of which all things are parts. It is called 'Brahman' in Hinduism, 'Dharmakaya' in Buddhism, 'Tao' in Taoism. Because it transcends all concepts and categories, Buddhists also call it 'Tathata', or 'Suchness':

- 'What is meant by the soul as suchness, is the oneness of the totality of all things, the great all-including whole.’

In ordinary life, we are not aware of this unity of all things, but divide the world into separate objects and events. This division is, of course, useful and necessary to cope with our everyday environment, but it is not a fundamental feature of reality. It is an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorizing intellect. To believe that our abstract concepts of separate ‘things’ and ‘events’ are realities of nature is an illusion. Hindus and Buddhists tell us that this illusion is based on 'avidya', or 'ignorance', produced by a mind under the spell of 'maya'.

The principal aim of the Eastern mystical traditions is therefore to readjust the mind by centering and quietening it through meditation. The Sanskrit term for meditation - samadhi - means literally ‘mental equilibrium’.

It refers to the balanced and tranquil state of mind in which the basic unity of the universe is experienced:

- 'Entering into the samadhi of purity, (one obtains) all-penetrating insight that enables one to become conscious of the absolute oneness of the universe.'

The basic oneness of the universe is not only the central characteristic of the mystical experience, but is also one of the most important revelations of modern physics. It becomes apparent at the atomic level and manifests itself more and more as one penetrates deeper into matter, down into the realm of subatomic particles.

The unity of all things and events will be a recurring theme throughout our comparison of modern physics and Eastern philosophy. As we study the various models of subatomic physics we shall see that they express again and again, in different ways, the same insight - that the constituents of matter and the basic phenomena involving them are all interconnected, interrelated and interdependent; that they cannot be understood as isolated entities, but only as integrated parts of the whole."

(Source: 'The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism', Fritjof Capra, Shambhala Publications, 1975)

Individuals can't think non-linearly, only collectives can

"By yourself, you can’t think non-linearly. This isn’t your fault. Individual human beings can’t think non-linearly. Only “collective intelligences,” those agents of “inter-subjective consciousness” can. To put it more simply, we implement and do things as individuals. We innovate as tribes. And the world we live in today — the world of the 21st Century — is a world of continuous innovation. In this environment, for the first time ever in history, the ability to innovate is decisively superior to the ability to deploy power."

— Jordan Hall [17]

Clare Graves on the Spiral Process of psycho-spiritual development

“Briefly what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiralling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower order behavioural systems to newer, higher-order systems as an individual’s existential problems change. Each successive stage, wave, or level of existence is a state through which people pass on their way to other stages of being. When the human is centralized in one state of existence, he or she has a psychology which is particular to that state. His or her feelings, motivations, ethics and values, biochemistry, degree of neurological activation, learning system, belief system, conception of mental health, ideas to what mental illness is and how it should be treated, conceptions of and preferences for management, education, economics, political theory and practice are all appropriate to that stage”

— Clare Graves [18]

Andreas Weber on Animism as Reciprocity

"Animism, the cosmology of indigenous peoples, is the most radical form to think and to enact reciprocity among human and non-human persons. To understand the full scope of this radicality, we need to rediscover what animism is. It has suffered a long time of misrepresentation within the western cognitive empire. The idea that naïve “native” humans live in a Hobbesian natural state adulating spirits and demons in trees, rivers, and mountains is a false myth. This misrepresentation stems from projecting the western cognitive mindset on what the so-called “primitive people” are doing, when they, for instance, ritually give thanks to a tree-being. It comes from not getting the radical reciprocity animism is engaged in." (

Raimon Panikkar on the Relation between Mythos and Logos

“Mythos and logos go together, but their relationship is neither dialectic nor mythic; it is rather a mutually constitutive relationship. If it were logical, the spirit would be drowned in the logos. Were it mythical, the logos would be reduced to the spirit. Put another way, there is no logos without mythos – of which the logos is language – and there is no mythos without logos – of which the myth is the foundation … Only the pratîtyasamutpâda, the radical relativity of all that is, can maintain the harmony without domination between the mythos and the logos” (Intellectual autobiography”).

The reunion between mythos and logos is one that must also take place between subjectivity and objectivity, between the heart and mind, between rational thought and the spirit that flies free. This reunion is necessary so as to avoid falling either into the ancient submission to myth or into the submission of myth to logos, namely, falling into the present day logo-monism: “Reality is not given to us as logos, but rather offers itself to us as mythos, as that horizon against which we place our own idea of the world… Our world is given to us in mythos, and that world, equally ours, is discovered by the logos” (Pensamiento científico y pensamiento cristiano, Madrid 1994). Panikkar describes this double faceted reality as follows:

“Myth is not the object of discourse, but the expression of a kind of sui generis awareness. Myth and knowledge go together... A living myth does not leave room for interpretation, inasmuch as there is no need for an intermediary. The hermeneutic of a myth is in no way myth, but rather its logos … The myth is transparent like light, and the mythic story is only the form, the covering with which the myth finds itself expressed, concealed, illuminated. This does not at all mean we have to disregard, much less belittle, the value of thinking and ignore the realm and inviolable rights of the logos. I simply mean that man cannot be reduced to the logos, nor can awareness be reduced to reflexive consciousness” (Myth, Faith and Hermeneutics).

The theme of myth and its place in relation to religion and human thinking in general has greatly occupied Panikkar and has given rise to the publication of numerous works of his. He himself came to say, “It is necessary to rediscover the place and function of myth in human life and to situate rationality in the total human context.” (Blessed Simplicity).

An open dialogue between myth and logos is the foundation of his dialogical dialogue as the force for opening oneself to the other and respectfully entering into his reality."

- Raimon Panikkar [19]

Raimon Panikkar on Why Relativity Is not the Same as Relativism

"Facing the predominant absolutism of a certain aspect of reality, RP proposes a radical relativity, a total reciprocity, relationship. As he constantly repeats, however, relativity is not the same as relativism; each part of the whole has its particular value: “The dilemma is not relativism or absolutism, but rather the recognition of the radical relativity of all of Reality” (The Trinity. Una experiencia humana primordial). This concept, which has an equivalent in the Buddhist Pratītyasamutpāda , should be applied to our human relationship, to our relationship with the world to the relationship of God with that world, and even to the divine reality itself. Panikkar makes this radical relativity, total reciprocity or relationship into something constitutive of all of reality, including Divinity itself: “Everything is related to everything”, he affirms following a maxim of Shivaism. Therefore, he comes to affirm that God is pure relation: “genitive relation constitutive of reality", “the genitive constitutive and engendering of all things" (Ibid)."

- Raimon Panikkar [20]

Eric Voegelin on the Postulate of the Balance of Consciousness

"The balance of consciousness is what might be called the primary virtue of differentiated consciousness. It consists in not letting the discovery, or the suspicion of the existence, of transcendent being disorient and frighten one in such a way that it lead one to devalue or reject either the immanent or the transcendent pole of being. In other words, one does not let the world as it is be degraded into 'an untruth to be overcome by the truth of transfigured reality'; but neither is the fact and the perfection of transcendent being denied. Rather, one accepts that the meaning of the finite cosmos is incomplete, but fittingly so, as well as that a transcendent fulfillment of that meaning is really discerned in human consciousness. And one accepts, therefore, the life of reason and spirit as that of mediating, of being intermediate between, the truths of finite and of transcendent being, and consequently one accepts also the task of understanding and sanctifying the conditions of finite existence that make it possible to fulfill this function."

- Eric Voegelin [21]

Denial is central to who we are as a species

"I used to believe denial was caused by a lack of awareness and understanding, but having made an effort to educate many people, and observing that they almost always aggressively choose not to understand, I began to look for a different explanation.

I concluded that denial must be an inherited behavior because every country, culture, political party, and religion is in denial. And denial must be central to who we are as a species because of its depth, breadth, and aggressiveness."

Un-Denial [22]

The Evolution of Consciousness According to Owen Barfield

"Having established that the world consists in collective representations, Barfield goes on to demonstrate the manner in which the mode of collective representation has undergone a metamorphosis through history.

He establishes three general epochs in the evolution of consciousness:

(i) the “Original Participation” of Ancient and Primordial peoples

(ii) the “Onlooker Consciousness” of Modern post-scientific cultures, and

(iii) the “Final Participation” of the age to come."

- Max Leyf Treinen [23]

Short Quotes

Man, derived from the Sanskrit word manas meaning the consciousness that can reflect upon itself.

The universe is not a collection of objects but a communion of subjects.

— Thomas Berry [24]

“Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come to being.”

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man [25]

"Moral insight is not, like mathematics, a product of rational reflection. It is instead a matter of imagining a better future, and observing the results of attempts to bring that future into existence."

— Richard Rorty [26]

There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.

— Hindu Proverb

Simply I learned about her, and ungrudgingly do I share -- her riches I do not hide away

— Old Testament, The Book of Wisdom 7,13 [27]

Technology and Spiritual Traditions

See also: Neotraditional Economics

Secular Humanism

Read this interview on the New Desires of Post-Capitalism:



"Notwithstanding his rather bleak diagnosis of contemporary society, Stiegler is not pessimistic with regard to the future. Whereas today’s capitalism is headed for destruction, it is precisely in the digitalized networks through which it tries to control the populations that a new kind of economy is emerging, one that is not only inventing new modes of production like open source and peer-to-peer, but that is also slowly creating a new economy of desire that could lead to the invention of new ways of life, new modes of individual and collective existence. A new society could arise on the same technological base that is now still predominantly destroying the social bonds. The digital networks might be the prime catalysts in the transformation from today’s consumer society into what he calls a ‘society of contribution’. In this context he talks in this interview about technologies in terms of pharmaka (a term derived from Plato and from his teacher Derrida) that can act both as a poison, destroying sociality and proletarianizing human existence, as well as a medicine, producing social ties and deproletarianzing human existence."


To be done


  1. Participative Technology and the Ecclesial Revolution, book
  2. Episcopal Theological Support for the Free Software Movement
  3. Hacking the Way to Heaven. Julian Fox. Lulu, 2009.
  4. Open Anabaptism
  5. Sabbath Economics Collaborative ; Sabbath Economics and Community Investing
  6. Sister Judith Zoebelein on the Virtual, the Actual, and the Spiritual
  7. Christianity and the History of Technology. By Michael Sacasas.
  8. Ethics in Internet: statement by the PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS


See our entry: Paganism


A warning, be aware of the dangers of Spiritual Authoritarianism. Here's a good article to avoid pitfalls on the path of any searcher:

Key Articles

Our own contribution:

Gregory Wilpert wrote: Consciousness and the Post-Capitalist Commons, see in particular:

  1. Forms of Consciousness and the Forms of the Commons‎
  2. On the Differences between the Pre-Capitalist Commons and the Post-Capitalist Commons

Some warnings though:


Further reading

  1. Bruce Aldermann's three part introduction to intersubjective spirituality [29]
  2. Gregg Lahood and John Heron with a case study of Collaborative Charismatic Inquiry
  3. Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue: Yochai Benkler and Hellen Nissenbaum on the ethical values underlying peer production.
  4. Commentary on the above Benkler/Nissenbaum text by catholic author Julian Fox: Virtue and the Digital Commons
  5. John Heron warns us of the dangers of spiritual authoritarianism. Read Spiritual Projection and Authority, chapter 14 of his foundational book on Participatory Spirituality; also: Chapter 13: The Authoritarian Blight in Spirituality
  6. Jean-Francois Noubel: Creating Invisible Architectures for Collective Wisdom
  7. Nova Spivack: Towards Healthy Virtual Selves for Collective Groups [30]
  8. John Stewart: The evolution of consciousness, rooted in complexity and cognitive sciences. See Stewart, J. E. (2007) The future evolution of consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 14, No. 8, Pp. 58-92.
  9. Stuart Kauffman: A Shareable God
  10. Madronna Holden on the Agency of Nature and the Partnership View
  11. The Revival of Peering with Nature. By James William Gibson
  12. Jorge Ferrer: Participatory Vision of the Future of Religion: on "The Plurality of Religions and the Spirit of Pluralism"
  13. Paul Hartzog: Oneness, Nihilism, and the Multitude
  14. Denis Postle: Psychological Commons, Peer to Peer Networks and Post-Professional Psychopractice
  15. Micheal Daniels: The Difference between Descending Depth-Psychological vs. Relational-Participatory Extending Aprroach to Spirituality. From the Paper: Perspectives and vectors in transpersonal development. Michael Daniels. Transpersonal Psychology Review, Vol 13, No. 1, 87-99. (April, 2009)
  16. Kingsley Dennis: How the Internet Creates Relational/Ecological Forms of Awareness
  17. The Broken Bridge between Rationality and Meta-Rationality. By David Chapman. (background: the five stages in developing ethical, social and cognitive competetence)
  18. Cynthia Bourgeault: Understanding the Difference Between Ken Wilber's Developmental Stages and Jean Gebser's Unfolding Structures of Consciousness.


  1. Read our entries on Relational Spirituality and Participatory Spirituality
  2. Participative Epistemology, and Transdisciplinarity

Key Approaches

The emergence of interspiritual wisdom:

- Hans Kung's proposal for Global Ethics - Brother Wayne Teasdale proposal for a universal mysticism grounded in the practice of 'interspirituality' - Beverly Lanzetta's proposal for an 'intercontemplative global spirituality' - Robert Forman's 'trans-traditional spirituality'

(suggestions from Jorge Ferrer)

Key Books

Spiritual Theory:

  1. John Heron's Participatory Spirituality - A Farewell to Authoritarian Religion.
  2. John Heron's Sacred Science
  3. Jorge Ferrer's Revisioning Transpersonal Psychology.
  4. Christian De Quincey. Radical Knowing
  5. Beatrice Bruteau. The Many and the One
  6. The Participatory Mind
  7. Evolution's Arrow. John Stewart (the evolution of cooperation as rooted in science)
  8. Robert Wright. The Evolution of God: how the image of the divine humanizes in the course of history, under the influence of increased human cooperation.
  9. A Reenchanted World: The Quest For A New Kinship With Nature by James William Gibson. Metropolitan Books, 2009
  10. Richard Tarnas. The Passion of the Western Mind — Understanding the ideas that have shaped our world view: how separation and participation can be integrated.
  11. Human Minds. By Margaret Donaldson. (' a remarkable book ',cfr From Intersubjectivity to Interbeing ): introduces the scientific basis for the Value Sensing Transcendent Mode, i.e. the basis of religious experience.

Sociological/Descriptive Approaches:

  1. Participative Technology and the Ecclesial Revolution: technology and the global church
  2. Sorokin, Pitirim A. The Ways and Power of Love: Types, Factors, and Techniques of Moral Transformation. Boston: Beacon Press, 1954; SEE ALSO: Explorations in Altruistic Love and Behavior. Ed. by Pitirim Sorokin.

Also of note:

  1. The Alphabet versus the Goddess
  2. The Ascent of Humanity
  3. Digital Dharma. Steven Vedro.
  4. Occupy Consciousness: Essays on the Global Insurrection. Evolver, 2012. [31]

Key Resources

  1. A Catholic approach to ICT

Key Thematic Issues of P2P News

Key Webcasts

(For the directory, see Category: Spirituality)