Monday, July 14, 2014

Political economy as spiritual practice

*Updated below with more material.
I was re-reading the IPS thread on Otto Scharmer and this post refers to one of his blog posts. I noted that in figure 1 he correlates the spiritual divide with our current governance systems not giving voice to the people (aka fascist oligarchy) and private property rights. That's right, these are his spiritual issues. Figure 3 shows to what we are moving in the spiritual areas noted above, toward awareness based collective action and commons based ownership. Which supports my thesis in the dialogue with Mark (here and following) that these are spiritual issues. And that Warren moves in this direction while Clinton does not. Hence my focus in this blog on political-economic enaction as spiritual practice.

Also recall this post on Panikkar regarding religion and politics. (The whole thread is also relevant.) An excerpt:

"As he notes, various developments in our time warrant the conclusion that 'we are approaching the close of the modern Western dichotomy between religion and politics, and we are coming nearer to a nondualistic relation between the two.' [...] Politics is concerned with the 'realization of a human order,' while religion aims at 'the realization of the ultimate order'—with the two concerns highlighting the tensional polarity (though not segregation) between politics and religion. [...] The task today is to move beyond these dualisms without lapsing into monistic coincidence: 'God and the world are not two realities, nor are they one and the same. Moreover, to return to our subject, politics and religion are not two independent activities, nor are they one indiscriminate thing. There is no politics separate from religion. There is no religious factor that is not at the same time a political factor…The divine tabernacle is to be found among men; the earthly city is a divine happening.' [...] For today, people speak of a 'politics of engagement' and a 'religion of incarnation;' in doing so, people are discovering 'the sacred character of secular engagement and the political aspect of religious life.'"

Also recall the thread on Ferrer's spiritual pluralism, from this post:

"It will no longer be a contested issue whether practitioners endorse a theistic, nondual, or naturalistic account of the mystery, or whether their chosen path of spiritual cultivation is meditation, social engagement, conscious parenting, entheogenic shamanism, or communion with nature. The new spiritual bottom line, in contrast, will be the degree into which each spiritual path fosters both an overcoming of self-centeredness and a fully embodied integration that make us not only more sensitive to the needs of others, nature, and the world, but also more effective cultural and planetary transformative agents in whatever contexts and measure life or spirit calls us to be" (146).

Ferrer allows that one form of this might express as a postformal, postmetaphysical, naturalistic and nondual secular humanism whose 'spiritual' practice might be, for example, social engagement with no meditation or contemplative practice whatsoever. Ferrer allows for this kind of 'atheistic' expression as long as it overcomes self-centeredness and lends itself to being a 'more effective cultural or planetary transformative agent.' At least he doesn’t trash this as some form of materialist reductionism or lower-level meme. Good for him and good for the rest of us non-religious types.

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