|The Transformational Perspective: An Emerging Worldview - Page 5|
|Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:25|
Page 5 of 8
A Spiritual Revolution
It has been my experience that modern mystics tend to develop in isolation, becoming deeply immersed in personal, spiritual studies that are often triggered by paranormal experiences that society at large has taught them to conceal. An oft-cited Gallup Poll revealed more than a decade ago that as many as forty-three percent of the general population in the United States has had such experiences, revealing that this pool may be even deeper than Paul Ray has suggested. Modern mystics tend to be individualists, people with very full lives who like to gather in local meetings or spend their vacation time attending conferences and workshops in which they can acquire direct experience of such practically useful subjects as qigong and reiki, psychic healing and shamanism, meditation and yoga to name only a few. They then tend to disperse back into the wider society where they utilize what they have learned to benefit themselves, their networks of family and friends, and their communities at large. (7)
Beyond these general contours, it is easier to describe what modern mystics are not, rather than to accurately define what they are, and perhaps this is just as it should be because it is much in keeping with the nature of transitional, evolutionary events. For example, most of these individualist seekers are not religious ascetics, shutting themselves away in monasteries, ashrams, or remote mountain caves. They are not involved in practicing austerities and enduring endless periods of deep meditation. They are not religious extremists, invoking fundamentalist belief systems in search of their own exclusive connection with the godhead. Nor are they outright religious wackos, embracing recently uncovered secret doctrines, hidden away for ages and proclaimed as divine revelation by some smooth-talking New Age charismatic. Modern mystics are not involved in cults, nor are they the least bit interested in turning their power over to some holy so-and-so who claims to have the inside corner on the market of spiritual truth. The time of the guru is over.
It has been my experience that contemporary spiritual seekers are interested in spiritual liberation, not repressive or rigid dogma, and they tend to be deeply distrustful of any organized religious hierarchy. Because of this, steadily increasing numbers are leaving our mainstream religions in droves. In their search for authenticity, they are quietly, yet definitively, gaining a level of spiritual freedom that has not been experienced in the West for almost two thousand years.
Ray and Anderson's research reveals that these transformationals are evenly distributed throughout the general population, suggesting that they are everywhere, in every community, and at every level of society. In short, this quietly and steadily escalating social phenomenon has all the appearances of a spiritual revolution.
Let us now have a closer look at these transformationals, examining their beliefs and values in particular. And as we do, we must keep in mind that these individuals are the seed people who may well determine the shape and orientation of spiritual practice in the Western world for much of the next two thousand years.