Spirituality and Citizenship

October 2, 2012 Leave a comment

I recently had the privilege of engaging in a public dialogue with Amy Edelstein, senior teacher of Evolutionary Enlightenment.  We were brought together to talk about the relationship between active citizenship and active spirituality.

The very idea of citizenship emerges in the context of a trajectory, a movement from less freedom to more freedom.  There is something aspirational in it, it is supposed to help us move towards an unfinished project – an ideal.

Many forms of spirituality are also informed by this directionality, a movement that is supposed to make us better – to grow, to engage life more fully.

Unfortunately, as is the case with so many aspects of an industrial mindset, we have fallen into quite a limited binary when it comes to spirituality and politics.  We are either trying to turn the state into some sort of fundamentalist religious entity or we are doing our very best to keep those forces at bay through a rigid separation of the spiritual and the political.

Citizenship and spirituality are both manifest within our cultural commons.  A spirituality that seeks to define why we are here in ways that inform our engagement with the future is a spirituality that becomes inherently political.

We are being called to move beyond the consumer identity that has shaped our generation.  We are being called to reclaim our citizenship in ways that actively shape our future.  We are being called to stake our claim upon the commons and tend to the evolution of culture itself.  We are being called to lift the banner of freedom in such a way that the experience can be more widely shared by more humans in our planet.

We cannot respond to this calling without engaging the totality of ourselves.  And the totality of ourselves includes our spirit.  Spirituality is evolving.  Does your spirituality provide some sort of peaceful safe haven for your soul or is it the fertile ground from which the future will emerge?

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