Cooperative Spirituality… a beginning

Picture by lorretineChildren at play
The summer group from July 1st untill 9th is behind us now. It was the first group after I definetly distanced myself from the ‘vertical spirituality’ which is how I now call the way that I myself have been taking for more than two decades; and it was the first group in which we could experiment with the new ways and means and most of all a new perspective on experience and life…
The spiritual crisis that I passed through these last two months (and which brought forth the posting “Abuse in spiritual circles” in June) has flowered into what I now call ‘cooperative spirituality’ since it isn’t fixed on some individual or collective ultimate (like enlightenemnt for instance) but rather proceeds from the understanding that life can be a continual development of ever widening horizons in which we are all participating as co-creators appreciating and honoring (German “wrdigen”) each other.
Therefor it is a deeply humane spirituality because it meets both the most divine of experiences as the divine in the other openly and compassionatly, without any bias. This is also based on the reckognition that I can only really meet others (men and gods alike) if I do not have an agenda, if I do not put them into some prefabricated structure in which one has IT and the other doesn’t (whatever IT might be).
The divine – or whatever one wants to call the ground of being (German “Urgrund”) – is inherent in all and everyone, it is immanent throughout. This is also a claim of vertical spirituality but it is hardly, if ever, put into practise. Yet in cooperative spirituality this goes without saying – due to the prime directive: Honor, appreciate (“wrdige”) all beings and phenomena as they appear.
In the summer group this manifested as growing trust, and very, very deep experiences that we now could regard and inquire to in mutual respect and appreciation. And because we didn’t come from any prefabricated opinion or perspective or some spiritual teaching and point of view but rather supported each other in the art of dignifying inquiry and interpretation a great and hitherto unknown richness could unfold.
And we could see how this cooperative sprituality is also an emancipated spirituality in which one rediscoveres one’s own authority, power, love and intelligence and experiences that one can actually trust it. This shows the unending diversity as much as what connects us – the unity of being – and it also reveals the different poles of being human.
I learned how much a vertical spirituality protects against feeling my own vulnerability. Emptiness, not knowing, feeling powerless and vulnerable – all of this opens one to the present if one doesn’t strive for anything ‘higher’, if the journey doesn’t orient towards infinity but is open to the finite, impermanent and meeting the unknown in one self and the other.
And the beauty of all this is that none of the valuable experiences of vertical spirituality is lost – enlightenments, Satoris, catharsis, revelations, insights, realisations, unconditional love, streams of energy, experiencing beings of light, seeing auras. etc. all the true, beautiful and good is still there, and, or so it seemed to me, even with greater depth and intensity.
So with cooperative spirituality we can enter into the inheritance of the great vertical traditions (like Buddhism, Vedanta, Zen, etc.) without taking on their vertical, patriarchal top-down structures in teaching and being with each other.The transition is not always simple – one of my oldest students in the Czech Rep. said that he was irritated and even frustrated in the beginning by me not leading but much rather facilitating the seminar. But, he then added, what he had always wanted had now become a reality: a meeting from heart to heart and soul to soul, and a communion and communication beyond words, concepts and forms.

3 Replies to “Cooperative Spirituality… a beginning”

  1. thanks for the link. will check it out.

    “it is very clear that there is not much work done in the lower left Q.”

    well, that’s what we’re here for 🙂

    ~C

  2. thanx for that pointer.

    and I’ve just discovered John Herons Intro to Facilitation which actually now provides me with a sliding scale for acting/non-acting within groups.

    And also, in my studies of Wilber, and especially when meeting some “Wilberians” (or should it be Wilberites… would nicely flow over to “Wilberitis” which is what you get when people are being integrated without their, hmmm, consent. Like: We are the Borg, you shall be assimilated…) it is very clear that there is not much work done in the lower left Q.

  3. “And we could see how this cooperative sprituality is also an emancipated spirituality in which one rediscoveres ones own authority, power, love and intelligence and experiences that one can actually trust it. This shows the unending diversity as much as what connects us – the unity of being – and it also reveals the different poles of being human.”

    i love this! exactly! spirituality should not be contained in the vacuum of an elite group or one’s hermit’s cave 🙂

    allow me to give a shout out for some of the people who are just discussing and working forward on this same topic: http://pods.zaadz.com/pods/topic/spiritual

    thanks for posting this. godspeed.

    ~C (for Cooperative spirituality)

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