Integral City how do I capture your spirit? Map 5 gives us a glimpse into the spiritual energy of love, that is ever-present in the Human Hive, as we live on the edge of evolution.
Where is it possible to sense the spirit of a city? Is it in the quiet of a chapel, or the chanting on a prayer mat? Is it from a vista that discloses the miracle of light and form that is the city at night? Is it while doing good deeds in the service of those in need? Or is it in the tumult and din of a play-off game for our favourite sport?
Of course, spirit is expressed in all of these ways because spirituality is a universal life force that cycles through existence as an involutionary and evolutionary impulse (Wilber, 1995). The first stage of the cycle, called involution, originates at the non-dual “source” that lies at the centre of existence where it descends from the invisible to the visible; from the immanent to that which is presenced; from the unmanifest source to manifest “re-sources”. The second stage of the cycle, called evolution, attracts all creation back to source so that it ascends from the manifest to the source; from the visible to the invisible; from gross physical bodies to subtle and causal energy fields to non-dual source. Spirituality is not outside of city creation but embedded in it as the source, flowing through it as energetic fields and manifest in its emergent re-sources (Hamilton, 2012).
James Lovelock has called humans Gaia’s Reflective Organ. I take his insight one step further and suggest that cities are the actual organs and individuals are cells within it.
As Reflective Organs we may know spirituality (or God) in all four quadrants of our integral reality (reflected in Integral City Map 1) as: spiritual experience (UL) ; action flow state (UR); collective ecstasy or ethos (LL); and collective creation (LR). Spirituality is also an UL and LL intelligence (or line) that is capable of growing from ego to ethno to world to kosmic levels of development for individuals and cultures. As well (paradoxically), it is the Absolute source of stillness at the centre of existence (Map 1) and the Relative evolutionary impulse that drives all city manifestation (Maps 2, 3, 4).
The city as spiritual container holds not only the spiritual lives of citizens at three scales (Self, Culture and Nature), but also the artefacts of spiritual expression including all the systems, structures and infrastructures within the LR built city. Ironically, although we tend to point at the physical cathedrals, mosques and synagogues as centres of spiritual life, in fact these are mere expressions of the mystical “soul” of the city in all its built form and business. But it is this very busy-ness that incites people to seek the Space, Place and Grace in a spiritual refuge where coherence can emerge from the over-stimulation of the senses, and spiritual reconnection can occur.
As the city matures through the exchange of energy between spiritual Source and Re-Source a spiritual energy Field emerges. Evidence about spiritual behaviors, attitudes, shared practices and systems, suggest that a field effect is emerging in the city (McTaggart, 2001; Sheldrake, 1988). The field probably arises because the city as container causes the multiplicity of chaotic exchanges (Map 3) within and across holons and social holons to converge into patterns that sustain. A kind of “spiritual groove” becomes carved in the energetic field, that through repetition reinforces itself.
The perennial values that all spiritual wisdoms share appear to contribute to the human hive as a Reflective Organ. Spiritual guides see Beauty, Goodness and Truth as core values that imbue spiritual life at all expressions of Self, Culture and Nature (DeKay, 2011, p. xxvii; McIntosh, 2007, p. 300; Wilber, 2007, p. 70).
Within an integral frame these values co-arise and their interior and exterior modes seem to cross-connect and rotate or even interchange as they stimulate multiple routes to the emergence of Grace, Place and Space. In tracing the cycle of spirituality in the human hive, we come to a final spirituality map that reveals Grace, Place and Space as outcomes from the dynamic interconnections of Beauty, Goodness and Truth. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the integration of these core spiritual values is apprehended as the meta-value of Love in all the horizontal and vertical zones of the Integral City (as illustrated in Map 5)?
The Source Zone of city spirituality exists as the Absolute, ever-present non-dual infinite ground of spiritual abundance. Here the core value of Beauty may be accessed through the Interior Portal of Appreciation and enacted through the Exterior Practice of Expression. This results in the spiritual outcome of Grace.
The Field Zone of city spirituality arises through the subtle and causal memory patterns created by evolutionary spiritual practise. Here the core value of Goodness may be accessed through the Interior Portal of Stillness and enacted through the Exterior Practice of Service. This results in the spiritual outcome of Place.
At the Resource Zone of city spirituality emerges the relative manifest qualities of the evolutionary container of the human hive. Here the core value of Truth may be accessed through the Interior Portal of Learning and enacted through the Exterior Practice of Teaching and Construction. This results in the spiritual outcome of Space.
Integral City how do I not just capture your spirit – but embrace it?? Map 5 suggests Love is the spiritual pulse through which Gaia’s Reflective Organ makes:
Grace – In Taking Care of Yourself.
Place – In Taking Care of Each Other.
Space – In Taking Care of This City.
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