Sunday, September 20, 2009

Religion: Evolution's Greatest Ally

The basic idea is this....

Currently our religious traditions are stuck at a pre-modern level of expression and interpretation. That is to say, many traditions still hold a position that is in direct contradiction to modern forms of reason and analysis. In many cases, blind faith not evidence is the basis of religious adherence. For those of us who have developed psychologically beyond pre-modern stages of awareness to fully saturate ourselves in a modern and post-modern paradigm, truth claims without support are simply not ideologies that we aspire to hold. Even worse, locking religion to a pre-modern level of consciousness has three disastrous side-effects.

1) Because so many people around the globe identify with a religious tradition, religions, in their current forms, are serving as barriers that prevent individuals (and culture) from moving to higher stages of development.

2) Because religious traditions have yet to adequately express themselves through higher levels of development, vast amounts of the human population are unable to tap into the amazing practices that they do offer (i.e. meditation) because most people cant see beyond the mythic baggage.

3) Because the pre-modern framework is ethno-centric in nature, it automatically creates animosity and conflict between individuals of differing religious and/or civilizational communities. Each assuming that their own system is right, while others are wrong.

In Wilber's book Integral Spirituality, he introduces an idea called the conveyor belt .The notion of the conveyor belt explains that there is an appropriate form of religion for every new stage of psychological development. There is a pre-modern version of Christianity, a modern version of Christianity, a postmodern version, an integral version, etc.

Currently, pre-modern interpreters and religious leaders have the market cornered.

All of us who care about evolution and the well being of humanity, must ensure that religious freedom is institutionalized for each stage of development.

If the full conveyor belt of development is illuminated in each tradition -- religion will no longer serve as a barrier to evolutionary growth. In fact, even more importantly, if each stage of development is successfully articulated in each tradition, the religious traditions themselves can actually serve as vehicles (or a conveyor belt) ushering both consciousness and culture up the evolutionary spectrum. With this new understanding -- religion becomes the most powerful ally of all of those who care deeply about evolution.

I describe all this in detail in my forthcoming book: Developmental Religious Pluralism. Stay tuned...


David Martin said...

Thank you for this piece. One dimension that you may find interesting to explore is the role that religion has played to both develop and regulate financial gains. If one looks at the role Pope Innocent III played in establishing the "manifest destiny" of monetary systems and intangible valuation for taxation purposes, one can quickly see that religion has been the handmaiden of those who see currency as a surrogate measure of power and influence.

Dustin DiPerna said...

Thanks, David! Your comment reminds me how much I still have to learn (and integrate).

Any reading recommendations?