since 1976
CENTER of PERSONAL GROWTH and SCHOOL of INTEGRAL STUDIES

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Romero M. T. y Albareda R. V. (2001)
"Born on Earth: Sexuality, Spirituality, and Human Evolution"

Ferrer, J. N. (Ed.) (2001)
New Horizons in Contemporary Spirituality
.
ReVision: The Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, 24(2), fall.
Washington: Heldreff Publications.

BACK COVER

New Horizons in Contemporary Spirituality
Edited by Jorge N. Ferrer

In a world of rich spiritual diversity and innovation, spiritual traditions offer disparate and often conflicting visions of reality and human nature. To the modern mind, such contradictions can be profoundly perplexing: How can we account for important differences between traditions when each is supposedly depicting universal and ultimate truths? In this context, it is both tempting and comforting to embrace perennialist or universalist visions of human spirituality that -in their claim to honor all truths- seem to bring order to religious chaos.

Despite their professed inclusivist stance, most traditional and modern universalist visions tend to privilege certain human qualities and spiritual paths over others. This is neither sensitive to the diversity of individual spiritual needs, dispositions, and developmental dynamics, nor generous to the infinite creativity of Spirit. To often, contemporary seekers struggle to make their lives conform to a pregiven spiritual ideal or path, which they have adopted from a tradition, teacher, or universalist scheme. Doing so, however, can unconsciously sabotage the natural process of their own unique spiritual unfolding in addition to constraining the creative potential of the spiritual power that can manifest through them. Although fruits can be obtained from a commitment to almost any spiritual practice, the end result of these endeavors is often a spiritual life that is devitalized, stagnated, dissociated, or conflicted.

The fall issue of ReVision explores a number of emerging spiritual perspectives that may be conducive to a richer spiritual harvest. Some of the perspectives provide the means for expanding the range of our spiritual choices and rooting them in our unique psychospiritual dispositions. Others help us to appreciate that there are a variety of spiritual pathways that can equally lead us to developing and expressing love and wisdom. Still others call us to engage in spiritual lives that allow us to be fully embodied human beings with a greater sense of discernment, wholeness, and vitality. Taken together, these new horizons in contemporary spirituality unequivocally augur the emergence of more optimal conditions for a fuller manifestation of the endless creativity of Spirit on Earth.

In their opening assey, Marina T. Romero and Ramon V. Albareda stress the importance of grounding our spiritual life in our own unique vital potentials. From the perspective of several decades of lived, practically based inquiry, they discuss how the integration of our primary and spiritual dimensions leads to the rise of a fully embodied and vitalized spiritual life in which sexuality naturally becomes an incarnational doorway for the Divine to enter into this concrete world. Jorge N. Ferrer suggests that human spirituality emerges from our cocreative participation in an eternally dynamic and indeterminate spiritual power. This understanding not only dispels the notion of universal spiritual hierarchies, but also reestablishes our direct connection with the source of our being and expands our range of valid spiritual choices.

Kaisa Puhakka evocatively explores how the meaning of gender changes as we shift from personal or egoic to transpersonal modes of experience and knowing. She explains how, in transpersonal growth, gender differences become more fluid and eventually transform into simple movements of being that play together in a game of sheer delight. John Heron presents the idea of the individual as a distinct spiritual presence who, grounded in immanent life and informed by transcendent consciousness, participates in divine becoming through enacting a world. This allows each inquirer to generate, in cooperation with immanent spirit, an innovative path within divine becoming. Jenny Wade's findings suggest that, contrary to our suspicions, ordinary sexuality can be a legitimate spiritual path. In her article, she presents a number of moving narratives of spiritual sexual experiences and their emancipating effect on the people who have had them.

Finally, Mariana Caplan issues a call for spiritual discernment, warning seekers to be aware of the trappings of spiritual materialism, egoic comfort, and socioeconomic trends. She discusses a number of cutting edge topics, such as the myth of the new age, the question of a spiritual teacher, and the quest for mystical experiences.

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