RELIGION – Red, Amber, Orange, Green (pt. 3)

Posted: October 28, 2011 in Integral Studies, Religion

In Red and Amber, religious and spiritual life revolved around worship of a patriarchal divinity, supremacy of the church hierarchy and adherence to dogmatic doctrine.

In Orange, it shifted to a more rational, tempered regard of religion grounded in more personal spiritual development and relation to God.  The emphasis shifted to a more personal relationship and interpretation.

In Green, that personal spiritual development shifts again to realize that benefit can be attained from many of the world’s spiritual traditions.  It recognizes that a diversity of cultural world views contain valuable spirituality, with a common thread flowing through them.  Adherents to other religions are not going to hell because they don’t share one particular religious doctrine.  Christianity and Buddhism, for example, may share many common concepts and the techniques and perspectives of each may be very valuable to the other.  As such, the emphasis shifts entirely from the religious institution to the religious development of the individual.  Prayer is replaced with meditation.  A patriarchal God is replaced with a more mysterious divinity that is a subject rather than an object.  Scriptural resources are seen, not as dogmatic sources of doctrine, but as one of many resources to be used in a metaphorical way.  People don’t go to heaven or hell, but rather seek grace in the present.

With the jump to Teal comes the transfer to “Second Tier” developmental stages.  The big picture of evolution and Integral Theory begins to dominate the world view.  All of the stages we’ve talked about, from Red to Green, become clearly and importantly part of a continuum through which believers must progress.  Each level is essential and important, both as a necessary step and as a world view that has relevance to particular cultures or situations.  Each one had something to contribute in history, and still does for some people.

You can’t argue Orange with people who are Red.  You can’t march into a Red dominated country and demand that they start looking at things as if they were Green.  You can learn to relate to people at the developmental stage that they occupy and you can provide the impetus to transcend to the next level.

In fact Teal Spirituality is all about evolution.  It is about self development and increased awareness.  Part of that increased awareness is about non-physical ideas such as “being and non-being” or “non-duality”, but these still refer to the relationship between self and spirit.

With the acknowledgement of a spiritual continuum, evolution, development and progress is possible.  If that continuum is denied, as it is by many of the fundamentalist atheists, there are only two possibilities.  The first is that the Amber religious believer abandon all subjective spiritual connection to become locked into reason and scientific method, or they become frozen in their present state, unwilling to make that sacrifice and unable to move anywhere else.

Both of those possibilities are static rather than dynamic.

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