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Layman Pascal’s


An Evocation of Integral Doves and Hawks

(this phrase is from an oracular pronouncement

in the film 300: Rise of an Empire)

The ancient oracle foretold that the terrible Persian army would burn and trample Athens into the dirt. All those proud and beautifully hewn stone temples of early democracy, theater & philosophy would be torn down into smouldering ruins. And once it had fallen only the free people of Athens will remain. They would have only their creative intelligence, political solidarity and stout wooden ships to drive back the invading hordes from the East. But what does all this have to do with us?

We are also citizens of a Wisdom-city (athens). We too are proud of our advanced philosophy, our humanist empathy and our voluntary submission to social rituals of enhanced collective intelligence. Like the noble Athenians we share a patriotism for the deep spirit of cultural life and a powerful wish to preserve it from primitivism and pathology.

And we too have no stable city to rely upon...

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As is no doubt already obvious, I am a fighter. But the fight for me is not so much to protect the integralites but a slide away from democracy. As you well note, a lot of people died to instill democracy, and it required that sort of fight. And we are losing that democracy to the regressive forces from which we forged it in blood in the first place. So I fight tooth and nail, at least with words at this point, in the hopes that through motivating people to political action this will be enough. Even on this level it has cost me dearly, in terms of losing and/or getting jobs for being so outspoken. But it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. And yes, even to go to actual war and die if necessary. If we don't win this war you can forget any highfalutin ideas about an integral culture emerging. This is the war to be won here and now. We are still Athenians fighting off the Persians.

I'm also reminded of my passionate rhetoric in this post.

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

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