Sun, 15 November 2009
"Right relationship with Reality" is how Dowd defines, what he calls, the Big Integrity model of evolutionary spirituality, which he regards as a secular (nonmetaphysical) expression of human universals, grounded in our best scientific understandings of both objective and subjective realities. The bedrock understanding is that individuals and humanity as a whole are expressions of the universe, 14 billion years in the making. Consequently, an ultimate concern of those on this path is "leaving a positive legacy." Personal challenges, however, can sabotage that endeavor, so adopting an appreciative stance ("making life right") and looking for "what's possible now" when an inner or outer breakdown occurs are primary spiritual practices. Dowd suggests that eastern "enlightenment" and western "salvation" are ineffectual if personal "unfinished business" remains uncleared. Foremost, we must let go of resentments and acknowledge that we are always interpreting -- and that our own interpretations are not the only valid ones. Barlow punctuates Dowd's assertions with a call for honoring feelings and gut instincts, and for an "ecosystem" approach to pursuing Great Work, such that "each of our personal gifts are called forth, while minimizing our foibles."