Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I saw this issue of the Watkins Review linked on a recent blog by Diane Hamilton, and wanted to share it here. The Watkins Review has come out with a list of the 100 most influential living spiritual teachers or figures. Ken Wilber made number nine on the list, just beaten out by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey!
What were their criteria? From their website:
1) The person has to be alive
2) The person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale
3) The person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, and highlighted throughout the blogosphere
Read the list and check out the issue here.
(I wasn't familiar with the Watkins Review, but it looks like it's a magazine put out by a metaphysical bookseller, Watkins Books, so it looks like their list includes only those likely to show up on New Age or quasi-New Age radar).
Here we are Kelito
all these yogis Muktananda described in his "play of consciousness" covering themselves with shit just for showing they are unidentified with the gross body. hahahahhah these idiots!!
Adi Da is still a peanut in numbers of bonked Gopis compared to Sri Krishna Govinda, He can´t be the FLO.
But Shri Yuketeswar DOES still exist -- in his light body! And what about Mahavatar Babaji?! I strongly object to this list. It is grossly prejudicial against beings who live in light bodies, but live all the same. And what about St. Germaine, the Seven Hidden Masters of Tibet, and the Enlightened Copachabra Masters of the Yucatan pennisula? The compilers apparently still live in the old paradigm, but hopefully with the galatic convergence and singularity that will occur in 2012, they will see the light and recognize these Great Masters. Xibalba!
Whoa: K.W. just barely beat Rhonda Byrne, author of "The Secret."
And Rhonda Byrne beat out Desmond Tutu, the Pope, Pema Chodron, and Karen Armstrong . . . ?
One wonders about the criteria for the idea of "influence," here.
I find it somewhat odd, and rather disconcerting, to see a respected scholar like Elaine Pagels on the same list as Eric von Daniken, the quack. But if we're talking mere influence then it may as well contain crackpots like David Icke, too, eh? Why is he not on the list? He and reference to him certainly appears online alot.
Then there is the matter of the list consisting of a hodgepodge of individuals from different backgrounds occuring on the same list -- the Dalai Lama, a religious leader, then Oprah Winfrey, a talk show host, then Nelson Mandela, a politician. If the list is this this going to be eclectic, why these individuals and not others?
All of this begs the question: what do they mean by "spiritually" influential, anyway? Why not religiously influential?
I also notice that there are large number of people from Asian traditions. Does this mean that Asian traditions are more "spiritual?" Again, this strikes me as yet another one of those enduring stereotypes. And why is the Dalai Lama called the Dalai Lama, or Adyashanti or Pema Chodron called by their "spiritual names," and Pope Benedict merely referred to as Joseph Ratzinger?
And "spiritual" can't simply mean the esoteric, here, either. Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela's teachings have little to nothing to do with esotericism or mysticism.
Spiritual leaders ? that there can be an authority in spiritual matters of for that matter any intelligible form of which in any matter is , as the situation favors lately , scary. sometimes two negatives are such a rush, the conservative, hierarchical leader fetish , gets its nose ahead of the scare. Neat eh?
Question is how does such relentless idiocy prevail, lasting such memorable civilizational lengths ? political, economic, academic, whatever, every assortment or institution has a hierarchical bias , which makes it conservative first and every thing else it assumes to be a sham. Underlying inspiration is flat or a flatter land . often fatter . ahaha! oh lord what are we to do?
The frenzy mounts, wildly swinging between contemptible and boring. Irrelevance is fun enough, given the advantage of its fringe potential. However let me roll a simple vibe. Given the spectacular success of misnomers in every influential world view – whatever spirit is supposed to be – it’s a good fall guy mostly. The embarrassment and fuss it takes to finger through, still sort of leaves intelligence with no scars. Which is what it is , or supposed to be, no?
Sort of hilarious. It was hilariouser, when I was thinking about it . wonder why ?
Edward, you wrote: I'm not particularly "spiritual" and mine would be more political influencers like Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, George Lakoff, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, Arianna Huffington, Ed Shultz, Alan Grayson, Stephanie Miller, Dylan Rattigan, Jim Hightower, Mike Malloy, Bernie Sanders, Barney Frank.
I actually consider these folks "spiritual" -- because, IMO, engaged loving action in support of the common good is as an aspect of embodied spirituality. These folks are some of our contemporary prophets (and prophetic court jesters, in a couple of cases) -- speaking truth to power. Rachel, Keith, Jon, and Stephen (who actually is a practicing Catholic) might make my list too. (I'm still pondering who would be on my top 10 or top 20 "list"). I also like Jim Hightower, whom I got to see in person when he was giving an anti-war talk at a local Unitarian Universalist church...
Edward -- Yes. (I think we discussed this on Gaia a while back). Back in the mid-1990s, when I was feeling drawn back to Christianity but simultaneously resistant because I loathed church legalism & dogma, I discovered a tiny congregation in my neighborhood called the Liberal Catholic Church International, with presiding Bishop Dean Bekken (who has now gone on to start another church in Arizona, the Universal Catholic Church). I started going to the LCC for a while, and loved its openness to seekers who were feeling alienated from the Roman church because of its take on women, sexual orientation, independent mindedness, etc. The pastor there eventually broke with the LCC and opened a branch of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America. We had a nice thing going for a little while there, but we were too small and at a certain point could no longer pay the rent for the storefront space. I eventually found a Jesuit-run parish that was wonderfully broad-minded and rejoined the Roman church.
Have you checked out Austin's Church of Conscious Harmony? It is an independent church rooted in two "legs" -- contemplative Christianity (as taught by Thomas Keating and others associated with the the centering prayer and Christian meditation movements) and the esoteric Fourth Way "Work" (as taught by Gurdjieff and others). I've never been there myself, but met some members when there was a Contemplative Outreach gathering in San Diego. That's probably where I'd be going if I were in Austin.
Well, this is not exhaustive, (and I'm not sure if this is what you were asking for, Edward), but here is a list of some of the major influences on my own spiritual thinking over the years that spring easily to mind -- naming spiritual teachers, here, specifically, rather than a broader list of intellectual influences. I'm also naming only living or recently living teachers (all within the last hundred years or so, save one that goes back a little further). For those of you who know me, many of these names will be no surprise.
David Michael Levin
Henryk Skolimowski (really only one text; a number of his other texts have failed to speak to me)
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
Anne C. Klein
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Rainer Maria Rilke