Thursday, June 5, 2014

Redefining spirituality and religion for the Commons

Layman Pascal started an IPS thread on an integral religion and my latest comments follow from this post, responding to the inclusion of economic systems in religious considerations. See the discussion for further context.

The various aspects you list could be considered 'lines' in the kennilingus sense, lines in the various quadrants/zones. While religion per se could be considered its own line, they way you're doing it could be viewed as how the other lines intersect/overlap with the religion line. Which of course is how I see the integral level, as integrating the various lines rather than merely keeping them in their strict quadrant/zone sets. I.e., 1) the lines can still be autonomous paradigms with their own validity criteria, yet there are both interactions between them through their somewhat porous boundaries, and 2) there are some universal principles that govern such interactions as well as how each internal mereological structure is organized: aka differance. See e.g. the nature of endo- and exo-relations via intension and extension for different kinds of mereology in this thread. All of which is a long-winded preamble to including economic systems in your religious categories.

Recall our discussion in the anti-capitalism thread where I agreed with the Lingam that the economic paradigm is likely the most significant for how most of us shape our consciousness and daily lives.
It questions the notion that all of the quadrants/zones arise co-equally and suggest that perhaps for most of us (there are exceptions) our consciousness and worldviews are strongly shaped by our economic circumstances. Providing one with infrastructural opportunities like a higher education through loans, grants and scholarships make it possible to change our consciousness and worldviews. Even then though there are strong infrastructural forces at play to counteract that, like big money from capitalistic corps that feed a media machine to inundate us with ads, as well as lies and deception to buy into not only the consumer lifestyle but to accept capitalism per se as the way life should naturally be organized. One can through education and training develop something like an 'integral' view but still want to earn lots of money to buy lots of toys and consume lots of energy even though they know they are contributing to slave-wage laborers and environmental degradation. Recall this recent post where Sloterdijk calls it cynical reason, and Bryant explains the inadequacy of trying to ameleriote the problem with just modes or representation. The situation requires real changes in the Real domain of economic regimes of attraction.

Hence we get the likes of Scharmer showing the relationship of the spiritual with the economic, in that oligarchy and private property rights separates our current self's economic situation with our future self's values of justice, equal opportunity, sharing resources, stewarding a sustainable environment etc. I.e, our integral values are our future self's desires calling to our present self locked in a degrading job that keeps us from living those values fully in our daily lives. Hence we develop cynicism due to the lack of the wherewithal to do so, believing we cannot change the system, that we must accept it. And worst of all, that perhaps such an integral vision is just a pipe dream and that we should give it up and just soldier on in the capitalist grindstone. Why go on like who's that guys that continually pushes up the rock but never gets anywhere?

Perhaps instead our cynicism finds ways to rationalize the capitalist system, coming up with things like conscious capitalism? And ignoring how it continues to generate the same inequalities and environmental destruction as always? Good think the Commons is emerging and its infrastructure is being laid. So how we can participate in that, once again aligning our economic and spiritual values? And setting the stage for many others with such infrastructure, thus providing the spiritual values inherent to it from the start?

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