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By Tilmann Haberer

”˜I am spiritual, but not religious”˜– many people make this distinction. They describe themselves as spiritual and maybe they mean by this that they follow a more or less intensive discipline such as Yoga, Vipassana or Zen. Or maybe they lay the Tarot. Perhaps they also believe that, for them, the existence of a higher order is self-understood. However, this higher order has little to do with the god spoken about in religion. For the established religions - in particular Christianity, Islam and Judaism in our part of the world - have gambled away our trust, which, for centuries, was taken for granted. Of course there are reasons for this. One of the most important of these must be that, historically, the churches often played a very disreputable role. Crusades, burning of witches, persecution of heretics and those with different beliefs, religious wars, the conquering of Middle and South America with fire and sword! The list is endless, as endless as the streams of blood and tears that the churches have caused over the course of the centuries. This list carries forward to the present day; the abuse scandals scream to heaven.

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10 Responses to “God 9.0: Does Christianity Have a Future? by Tilmann Haberer”

  1. Hans Jecklin

    @Tilmann Haberer: You write “Christ in EACH person. Jesus as a model for the god-humanity of EACH individual”. Don’t you think that, by imposing christian terminology on all of humanity, you are just continuing the old game of separation and/or religious colonialism?

  2. Tilmann Haberer

    @Hans Jecklin – Thank you for your good question. In fact I think you were right if a christian person would use this christian terminology out of a “blue” perspective. Unfortunately, far too many Christians do so up to now. But speaking out of second tier perspective (yellow, turquoise and higher), “Christ” is understood as one of the names for that which also can be called the Higher Self, the True Self, Buddha Nature or God in 1st person. So in my view it is not separatioon but unification, not colonialism but the realization that we all are one.

  3. Karen

    Thank you for this article on the hope for Christianity. I am a post-evangelical Christian with an Integral view of life. I have many, many friends who are still believing the mythical view of their religion and I honor that. There are some who are ’emergent’ and might hear an article like this, however, often articles like this are written to the ‘choir’ and would be offensive to the religious sensibilities of these folks. I would love to read an article that asks deep inquiry questions…much like Jesus did in his teachings…questions that would leave someone in the blue/orange strata of religion with their own deep questions to come to grips with.

  4. Thomas Frankovich

    There are NO SACRED COWS! Everything is on the block. Even this ‘Integral’ teaching must eventually go. No exceptions. All colors of the rainbow radiate by one Light. Any true “spiritual” man/woman must be ready to face the ulitimate Truth:(Music). Of course, nothing can speak the whole Truth. As Truth is beyond sound. Yes, even the well rehearsed march from cave-man belief thru to the Absolute Truth has to go. Everything that was, is, or will be, springs from one Singularity. The One. Absolute. Pure Awareness united as Oneness. This then, when actualized-Self-realized is nonduality.

    Perhaps,in addition, this blog in asking about: What is Truth? As clearly, the words speak of axioms that are use in the Integral System of teaching founded on the current level of the founders consciousness and perceptions of the Real. Ultimately the Truth seeker, regardless of “color” will arrive at precisely the same answer. Truth is the Absolute Fact that is beyond all things relative. How could it be otherwise? All forms of this relative world are merely fragments of the Real. Fragments are still fragments, no matter how brilliantly assembled. Truth is wholly True, Absolutely. The Real is Absolutely Real, always. Only the Real knows Truth.

    What if, for the human being, truth is a symbol that means the perfect nobility of Self? Maximum integrity of the Real? One being as self-sufficiency? No-thing else needed to be perfectly complete? Total equilibrium? Living a life to ones’ highest Principles and Virtues? With each breath manifesting the ideal of Oneness united as One? Absolute Mindfulness? All inclusive pure Awareness beyond space and time abiding as Be-ness within the Infinite? The transcendent fact of what is? Truth is, this moment, just this….?

    Don’t know.

  5. Hans Jecklin

    Then, why don’t you say it or change into a trans-religious language anyway? Using a “blue” language from a turquoise or higher perspective does not seem a convincing solution to me? Using a concise language you can even drop the color scheme, because everyone will understand where you are speaking from!

  6. Michael DeBaets

    Hans, I disagree. Transcending and including necessarily involves including the language and stories of the previous stages. When a person transcends but does not include the language of the tradition, then they choose to be heard outside the tradition.

    This is fine and surely helpful. I’m reminded of Emerson in particular, who began as a pastor but instead chose language like “transparent eyeball” to describe his experiences.

    I’m called to inhabit the Body of Christ from the inside. Like in yoga, it’s usually not that helpful to go too deep into a stretch (a stretch, in this case, of ideas or doctrines) if the deepness of the stretch has you close down your receptivity to your sensations. Far more sustainable that you go half as far as you think you need, and you never close down. (at least this is often my experience)

    Preaching that Christ is identical with Atman is a lie from all first tier perspectives except green. To say that non-duality is the goal of Christian practice is not integral, as it transcends but does not include blue (amber). To truly make sustainable gains within our tradition, we must bear the weight of that tradition. If we don’t, who else will?

    We ultimately can’t leave *anyone* behind.

    In Christ 😉
    Michael

  7. Tilmann Haberer

    Thank you, Michael,

    that’s just about what I was going to write myself (except the yoga example as I’m not too deep into yoga…).

    @Hans: I definitely would agree if everybody was in second tier. But since every human is born at Beige and must develop through the stages we need the language of the traditions. As Michael wrote, we must eventually transcend the separate religious traditions but not without including the former.

    And, by the way: Would you also object if I had not written about Christ in every person but about the Buddha nature?

  8. Hans Jecklin

    I absolutely agree with your language as long as you are speaking to Christians. But by saying “Jesus as a model for the god-humanity of EACH individual” you are going beyond. Of course this would be the same if a Buddhist said that Buddha nature is the model for god-humanity in EACH individual.

    As soon as we transcend religions we must choose a language that includes all of them. That is new territory, I agree, but I think that’s where we want to go when we truly speak about second tier.

    wwww.global-spirituality.info shows a possible way to go. There may be others.

  9. Heinz Robert

    If Christ is to be understood as Buddha Nature, True Self or God in 1st Person, where is then the God in 2nd and 3rd person, when I look at the trinity of God, Christ and the Holy Ghost?
    I understand that the nature of these all three is One but why we have then all this different names?

    I agree with Michael that we have to include as well the Blue meme here if we speak with people who are close to a tradition. People with a second tier center of gravity should have the ability to talk in the language of the 1st tier memes. Sometimes it’s hard.

    I agree with Hans, that using words like God, Christ or what every can be irritating for some people who are not familiar with terms of that specific tradition. And at the same time I find it easier to use such terms if I know the person I am speaking to for a better understanding.

    To find new names for God in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person can be difficult, because can you name the unnameable?

  10. Hans Jecklin

    Thank you, Heinz! Of course second tier people will be able to speak to every level in the appropriate language. But my citation of Tilmann’s are from his description of “turquoise” and this requires a different language.

    In the process of this discussion a different question came up: If we take the Absolute as pure light, all cultural projections of holy figures are masks of the Absolute. They are all to different extent masking the pureness of the Absolute. Spiritual evolution – in all religions – would then mean proceeding to ever more transparent masks – including Christ, Buddha Nature, Shiva and the like – until there is nothing but the Absolute. In one way, this is transcending and letting go. In an another when we still want to retain the ability to assist others in going this way, we need to include the knowledge and the language of the past, but the images will have lost their immediate transformative power, because our experienced reality has become wider.

    While in some aspects of conscious evolution, I will want to fully retain earlier levels (like vital, body, emotional, mental), in spirituality, I see no need to immerse into levels of lesser knowing.

    Maybe that “transcend and include” has a different significance in spiritual evolution than in other areas of conscious evolution?

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