by Terry Patten

Integral Spiritual Practice: Evolving Spirituality for the 21st Century

Integral Spiritual Practice: Evolving Spirituality for the 21st Century

Dear ___________ (fill in the blank),

What a wild time! Amidst it, a lot of people are bringing forward a very loaded word: “Apocalypse.” That word summons images of the end of the world, but the root meaning of “Apocalypse” has nothing to do with destruction—it simply means “the unveiling.”
 
This is certainly a time in which much that was formerly hidden is being “unveiled”—what was in shadow is now subjected to the light of day. And that unveiling is a spiritual event, an initiatory process of the maturation of our species.
 
All of us—and human civilization itself—are clearly in the midst of a stark confrontation with our mind of separation, and especially our addiction to consumption, growth, comfort and everything else we tend to feel entitled to. Meanwhile, the structures that held us for generations seem to be falling apart — culturally, politically, and ecologically. We’re called to pay attention to much that we have avoided facing, as hidden truths about ourselves and each other are being “unveiled.”
 
I recently discussed this great unveiling with my friend Eivind F Skjellum (founder of the Reclaim your Inner Throne training) during a webinar which we recorded and which you can access here. Using an archetypal lens, we explored how a whole series of memes, myths, and patterns of consciousness operate to rob good people of sanity and energy.
 
Much of our anger, pain and grief over all that is unhealthy in human affairs is patterned by the character of “the Dark King,” the shadow of the sovereign archetype.
 
For many of us, it is personified by Donald Trump. Many of us see in him all seven of the “Seven Deadly Sins.” We intend to resist and oppose him. But we are often unconsciously colluding in the spread of the same “darkness” we think we are resisting. In our outrage and disgust, we actually become agents, spreading the psychic energy of the Dark King instead of communicating our health, wisdom, compassion and creativity.
 
Following national and world events via the news is a tricky matter. At its core, news is a business — one that competes in a crowded marketplace for our attention.
 
State-of-the-art graphics, ominous dramatic musical themes, attractive, authoritative journalists, and alarming sound bites and headlines trigger hardwired responses in our nervous system. This can destroy our focus and concentration, heighten fear and anxiety, and engage the reward circuits in the brain so we become addicted to the news.
 
Our ability to critically discern facts is also impaired.
 
If we fall prey to such reactivity (and it’s epidemic now among those organizing against Donald Trump—just as it is among those supporting him), we actually end up being patterned by that energy. The Dark King’s forces of Chaos usurp our inner sovereignty and divinity. We may think we’re opposing everything this archetypal king represents, but we’re actually propagating the mind of division, conflict and strife that feeds his power.
 
Luckily, this is not inevitable. We have the power to relate consciously to the fear-making mechanisms in the media. We can discipline our relationship to news—when and how often we take it in, where, how, and what we do next. We can become unreasonably happy, and take charge of our information diets, requiring our “news diet” to support our health and our deeper purpose. We can reclaim our inner sovereignty (individually and mutually) and become active participants in the emergence of a healthier future—through our relationships and by creating an evolutionary culture.
 
We can enter into relationship with each other in new ways, stretching into the creative leading edges of what is just now becoming possible and emerging. I can listen deeply and behold the unknowable “miracle of you.” And you can do the same with me. Together, we can learn to see and activate more of each other’s gifts and greatness. This can begin to restore our personal sanity and open up creative possibilities in our relationships. Then, together in mutuality, in communities of practice, we can begin to “be the change” we wish to see.
 
At this critical time in the history of our species, what we do matters. That requires our best spiritual wisdom. So I hope you will begin freeing yourself up from the Dark King.
 
Let’s choose happiness, not for any particular reason, but for no reason in particular. That fierce, unreasonable happiness shows the way to love on a whole new level, drawing upon our integral heart intelligence.
 
Slowly and humbly, heart by heart, this can give birth to a new level of cultural development. An integral revolution of the heart starts with our next breath.
 
To our evolution,
Terry
 
PS: I go into many of these ideas and practices in more depth and detail in my new online course, Awakening Your Revolutionary Heart. It started last week, but there is still time to enroll. You’ll have access to last week’s session as all session are recorded. Learn more and register here.