Here is the article I submitted May 15, 2010 in conjunction with my presentation at the 2010 Integral Theory Conference.
As culture rapidly evolves, so does leading-edge spirituality. Integral Evolutionary Spirituality manifests in all 4 quadrants, as free consciousness, effective action, awakened culture, and transformed human systems—implicitly calling for higher consciousness, or “enlightenment” in action. Simultaneously, a new ecology of pedagogical roles is emerging, including integral evolutionary coaches, mentors, and teachers. The free availability of many transformational offerings effectively shifts what was once “the path” into an ecology or marketplace consisting of many synergistic and/or divergent processes cultivating multiple subjective and objective capacities. Evolutionary tension may ask these emergent pedagogies for convergence, possibly engendering new forms of mutual support and cooperative accountability among teachers, coaches, and schools.
First Excerpt (on the character of integral evolutionary sangha and what supports its emergence)
The support and kinds of pedagogy needed to serve [the emergence of integral evolutionary spiritual culture] are … co-evolving, emergent,
novel and indeterminate. Certain elements are clear. One task is that of building a more and more robust integral evolutionary “culture of expectation” in which shared understandings function as a cultural attractor. Another task is developing a more mature capacity to manage the tension between democratizing spiritual realization and honoring verticality, the importance of the differences between more and less mature or advanced individuals. These tasks are complicated by the fact that they must take place in a cultural environment in which postmodern sensibilities are hypersensitive and resistive to any further vertical pull, creating real cultural dangers, including punitive constraints on those who would defy the fundamentalism of post-modern egalitarianism. What’s called for is a flexible integral clarity that can meet postmodern resistance with a skillful combination of clarity, security, authoritativeness, compassion, and generosity.
What is the character of the emerging integral evolutionary sangha? It is in service of rapid spiritual and cultural transformation by supporting aspirants to become awakened co-creators. This supercedes and replaces the priorities of traditional spiritual teachers who built
schools and traditions that created and reinforced a rigid qualitative division between teachers and students. A coherent awakened culture is now the intended outcome. Integral evolutionary spiritual teachers and coaches succeed when our students become our peers and colleagues. Our success is the emergence of a larger integral evolutionary culture. In this context, skillful teachers offer students opportunities to practice co-creative participation as responsible peers, not only always frustrating their egoic aspiration to transcend the student role.
An integral evolutionary cultural container for transformation must honor both the self-transcending intensity of the ancient lineage transmission paths and the free, evidence-based, open-source exchange of best practices and latest emergents that is the essence of a post
Second Excerpt (on the qualifications of an integral evolutionary coach or teacher
An active, regular practice: Integral evolutionary coaches must sincerely attempt to practice what they preach, embodying regular Integral practices supporting holistic hygiene, including a conscious diet, exercise regime, conscious relationship to sleep, competent self-management practices, and regular study and growth of perspective. They don’t have to be perfect, but they must keep working sincerely to walk their talk.
- Light in shadow: Integral evolutionary coaches must have deep self-awareness and a history and ongoing practice of doing serious shadow work, deepening their self-awareness, psychological self-understanding, and somatic integration.
- Self-responsible and successful: Coaches must have met the challenges of survival and have achieved at least basic functional success. They must have used their will and self-management to empower themselves, so they can take effective stands, enroll others, and manifest results in their lives and work. Thus they can speak with authority in coaching clients to master this same curriculum.
- High level of maturity: Their center of gravity must have achieved at least stable 2nd tier development in terms of vertical “structure-stage” growth, embodying the lived experience of having freed themselves from limiting perspectives and grown their capacity to take more complex meta-perspectives. This should be evident in their cognition, identity, values, morals, and additional lines of development.
- Spiritual practice and realization: They must embody real experience with and understanding of meditation, communion, contemplation, Samadhi, and self-transcending service. Coaches should be characterized by enough spiritual maturity in terms of “state-stage” development that they regularly inhabit transpersonal perspectives in a way that exerts an ongoing active teleological pull and guidance.
- Knowledge of all aspects of practice: They must understand the nature and terrain of the five kinds of practice and growth, and be able to direct their clients to the best available supportive resources (in all five areas) that may be of assistance to them.
- The presence and skills of a coach, mentor, and spiritual guide: They must have an authentic impulse to help others, must have studied, practiced and mastered the art, craft, and science of doing it well, and they must have integrated their learning so that they show up in a way that is sufficiently transparent to be catalytic and instructive.
- Transmission: Their spiritual realization must have sufficient depth that they are able to transmit a field of awareness that catalyzes greater freedom and contact with high subtle, causal, and/or nondual awareness in others.
- Evolutionary Activation: They must have established an authentic vocational connection to serving the emergence of a positive evolutionary future through their work with others so that they can embody that commitment in a way that can transmit it to others.