Joseph M. Perez, M.Div., Integral Minister
This is an online ministry in action for more than a decade. As one of the integral community’s most dedicated writers, I help folks at all stations of life, and especially those on the frothy forward edge of a postmodern worldview, to see new possibilities for themselves as individuals and intrinsically social beings. My books have shaped the discourse around same-sex love, theology as autobiography, and I have pioneered metalanguage as a territory for mysticism.
Joe’s life is being artfully lived in the very fact of its truthfulness, its deep embrace, shadows and warts and worms and all, woven unhesitatingly into the tapestry of a lustrous display, a deep peace, an abiding love… and therein, surely, a lesson for us all.
Ken Wilber, from the Foreword to Soulfully Gay
I began calling my creative work an “online ministry” with a blog post in July of 2018 and was ordained by the Esoteric Interfaith Church in that same year. Today, I study, research, and write content that can advance the integral metamodern evolutionary movement. As time goes by, I also intend to support integralists in navigating their spiritual journeys, with particular focus on members of the LGBTQ community, persons suffering from mental health issues, as well as addicts in recovery who want to use Integral principles in their personal growth.
The ministry is in an experimental phase (“the ministry that is not a ministry”) . The term “ministry” is itself vague and arguably problematic. It is seldomly used in some of the Abrahamic faiths and Daoist Confucianism, two of the major resources that I draw upon. I sometimes feel more like a monk or priest without a frock than a minister, actually. Although perhaps nothing is more profound as authentic spiritual work, I am asking you to take the labels that I wear lightly.
My Letter to Integralists
You know the score if you’ve been paying attention: the world is facing multiple simultaneous catastrophes and nobody has all the answers. Those that say they do usually offer obsolete paradigms or rigid ideas that are woefully inadequate for so many wicked problems: the cruelties of late-stage capitalism, environmental wreckage, social isolation, and a decay in values such as honesty, fairness, and altruism.
Many of us can imagine a better world filled with smarter, more ethical individuals and more enlightened communities that love one another, forgive one another, and live in harmony with the Earth and the Transcendent Spirit. So why don’t more of us do what we can to create that better world and a brighter future?
For a long time, I have been thinking about these things as a failure of imagination and a crisis of consciousness. But I refuse to remain powerless in the face of our nightmarish landscape. Fortunately, some years ago I discovered the existence of a movement of people called Integralists or Metamodernists or Evolutionaries who are meeting these challenges head-on, and they welcomed me in.
We are calming down by embracing the Ground of Being and rising up to meet the Spirit of Conscious Evolution. It’s as if there’s a mysterious Daoist principle at work that is uniting the yang of our spiritual aspirations with the yin of the world’s urgent cries. I have been actively working to address these concerns and have chosen ordination as an Integral Minister so that — with the help of the Spirit — I can do my best work going forward for everyone and everything that needs it.
Give the Gift of Light and Hope in a World of Unconsciousness and Fragmentation
Instead of trying to “selling you” on making a donation or convincing you to subscribe to this blog, I’ll speak to the already convinced. Here are a few of the ways that I will put your donations to work in the world:
Give salary replacement (the freedom to take leaves from work so I have more time for writing books, reading, researching, and blogging).
Provide support to allow me to give pro bono pastoral services for low-income or disabled persons.
Support me to encourage and mentor other Integral Ministers and help them to get set up successfully in their own ministry.
Help pay for Internet, web hosting, phone, Zoom, and software expenses.
Offset book-related expenses (graphic design, desktop publishing, editing, proofreading, book promotions, book tours, etc.)
Want to Talk to an Integral Minister?
If you want to talk to someone about taking a more integral metamodern evolutionary approach to life and spirit, reach out today.