My Integral Community Listening Tour Begins
What Do Integralists Want?
I’d Like to Know What You Want to See Happen in the Integral Community’s Future
One of the first tasks on my plate as a new minister is identifying who is the community that I’m serving and what their needs are. To do that, I need to begin a listening tour.
In the integral, metamodern, and evolutionary spirituality communities there are certain clearly identifiable leading voices: authors, organization heads, podcasters, and influencers in social media. But these are just the people with a megaphone.
So I ask: what about the people who read books, belong to integral organizations, listen to metamodern podcasts, or consume social media? What do they think of this spiritual scene? Where do they fit in? What do they want to have happen in its future?
I don’t know any easy way to find out except to ask them. I got the ball rolling recently with three posts to popular social media groups, and I collected about a dozen replies to a few basic questions. I posted those replies to a website especially designed for this listening tour (more about the website later in this newsletter).
These are the sorts of questions that I want to see answers to:
How do you identify yourself: integral? metamodern? evolutionary? something else?
Do you consider yourself a member of the integral community or metamodern community?
What do you think this philosophy or spirituality is all about?
What advice would you give the leaders of this community? What do you want to see more of? Less of?
What do you want to see happen in the future for the community?
In order to try to get answers to these questions, I intend to ask them out loud in social media groups (a few times). Within the limits of my time available, I also plan to reach out directly to people who are members of integral community forums who aren’t the loudest voices in the room (or who never seem to speak up at all).
And finally, I’m also asking you, the reader of this newsletter. Would you take a few minutes to answer some or all of these questions and send me your reply to email@example.com?
This Newsletter Will Soon Change Its Name
There are so many things to be done when starting something as challenging as opening a ministry. There’s the question about whether to attend divinity school. There are finances to be arranged. There are supporters to line up. And then there’s the matter of setting the date for the first event.
I now have all of these things in progress with very few things completely answered. I have applied to graduate school but won’t have admissions decisions until March. I have a list of people to call. I have a date in mind for that all-important first event, but it’s tentative so I can’t announce it yet.
One of the few things that I can announce with certainty is that the name for the spiritual organization that will house my ministry is set. It will be called The Pavilion. And while it may informally be called a church or sangha, I’m calling it a “house of spirit.”
The Pavilion’s website is at OurPavilion.org, and you can go there right now and find some basic information about our approach to spirituality and contact us with your answers to the listening tour questions. You can also see our logo (which is final) and tagline (which may change).
OurPavilion.org isn’t the final website design because I won’t create one until after the listening tour is done. The whole point of the listening tour is that I can know who I’m speaking to so that I can speak with confidence that I understand where many people in my audience are coming from. When I’ve done that, then I can build a website that many of them will feel resonates with their own perspective.
I’ll see you next time.
Sounds like you are off on an intriguing journey. Your listening stance has obliged me to say something.
My integral perspectives emerged out Maslow, Richard Bucke's "Cosmic Consciousness," Teilhard's Noosphere, Buckminster Fuller's comprehensive anticipatory design science, and Evelyn Underhill's stages of spiritual development in her book "Mysticism." The various threads of integral & metamodern perspectives continue to nourish my perspective.
What I would like to see out of the integral and metamodern thought is a unifying superordinate objective that would energize people across worldviews to collaborative and cooperative action. It needs to be expressed in the form of a sentence, an elevator speech, and long works of complexity.