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The History of the Ideas and Organization of the Universe Spirit Organization and Universe Spirituality

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Universe Spirit (originally called Integrative Spirituality on the website,) was formed in 2002 in part because it was believed that a new type of trans-denominational, meta-religion and meta-spirituality created in the post-postmodern age with post-postmodern technologies and information could do many of the following spiritual activities and services in new and better ways and, that this reasonably would better benefit both the individual and the world. It was also believed that older forms of religion created with pre-modern, traditional and even modern or post modern thinking or technologies were inherently flawed for use at this critical post-postmodern time in history and, they inadvertently help to cause many global religious problems such as religious intolerance, which could easily be solved if a whole new type of post-postmodern integrative spirituality would come into being. (Since 2002 we have evolved our purposes and focus considerably. For historic reasons only here is what our original purposes were. See our mission statement for our updated purposes.)

The post-postmodern spiritual purposes of our organization are:

To collect and make available the totality of humankind’s spiritual wisdom in a free, multi-language online Global Spiritual Commons to individuals to:

1.) expand their transformative, direct spiritual experience of the Ultimate Reality, which as a result

2.) maximizes their spiritual growth, which causes them to

3.) make better decisions and act more effectively to resolve personal and societal challenges.

4.) realize the three purposes above through a collaboration to co-create a post-postmodern new type of nondenominational, spiritual organization and self organizing network that is evolutionary, global and open to all life affirming sources of spiritual wisdom, teaching and leadership.

5.) be a spiritual organization facilitating:

a.) the integration of life-affirming male and female spirituality,

b.) the integration of the values and wisdom of spirituality with the rationality and fact of science,

c.) the integration of the values and wisdom of spirituality with the rationality and fact of science,

d.) the integration of the life affirming spiritual wisdom from earlier eras (pre-modern, traditional, modern and post modern with the spiritual wisdom of the post-postmodern integral era of the present.

e.) the presentation of our spiritual wisdom collections in such a way that individuals from any psychological development level, personality type or culture can find this wisdom in ways they can learn easily.

f.) the integration of western and eastern spirituality, (Eastern spirituality often characterizes the Infinite in the impersonal absolutes of Buddhahood, Consciousness or the unifying Chi creative life force in Nature. Western spirituality often characterizes the Infinite in the personal absolutes of God, Allah, Jehovah, the Trinity, or one of many other both personal sacred names given to the creator and origin of all reality. At Integrative Spirituality we embrace and integrate both the personal and impersonal absolutes of the Infinite into and as one. We believe they both are a dual non-dual paradoxical and mystical unity reflecting unique yet completely unified absolutes within the Infinite.

g.) To support the process of making widely known an emerging "new" state or quality of Ultimate Reality (depending on your current spiritual perspective,) that is concerned exclusively with the evolutionary progress and success of mankind as a group and whole. This group Ultimate Reality of evolution is a Ultimate Reality evolutionary state dedicated to wellbeing of mankind as a collective that is also an active co-creative partner to mankind in the evolutionary process through each individual. At this time in history, in spiritual individuals all over the planet, this unique group Ultimate Reality state is emerging into our spiritual consciousness’s in direct response to the serious global challenges mankind as a collective now faces. This "new" emerging state of group Ultimate Reality is just another part of the long historic process of ever new states of Ultimate Reality coming into the consciousness of increasing numbers of spiritual individuals as is appropriate to meet the critical needs and circumstances of their times and eras. Until now, almost all of these emerging new states or qualities of Ultimate Reality were directly or mostly related to the spiritual needs and wellbeing of the individual. This is likely the first time in history that large numbers of spiritual individuals have ever been aware of this emerging Ultimate Reality state --- a state dedicated exclusively to the critical needs and spiritual wellbeing of mankind as a collective and whole.

Universe Spirit is doing its best to collect and systemize the most practical and life affirming knowledge from every religion, culture and physical and social science about wisely and safely experiencing Ultimate Reality so that the individual spiritual seeker has available everything essential for their unique journey to spiritual completeness. We provide this wealth of spiritual information and support free because of our belief that everyone is included in the great evolutionary adventure of co-creational partnership with Ultimate Reality.

We believe that it is through the individual's transformative, direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality that they both discover and transform into their fullest and highest spiritual selves. This spiritual transformation then results in the best possible relations to other selves, all other life forms and a better world more reflective of their highest selves and truth of Ultimate Reality.

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Integrative Spirituality’s Chronological History for the Eventual Development into Universe Spirit

From 1980- 2001: The universal and inclusive spiritual concepts and principles for the creation and substance of Integrative Spirituality first began being discussed by a group of individuals dedicated to personal spiritual growth through direct experience of Ultimate Reality in the early 1980s. These individuals communicated over the internet from locations in and out of the US and occasionally met in spiritual salon or study group type meetings.

All of the founding individuals who were instrumental in creating or assembling the original spiritual ideas and processes behind the final creation of Integrative Spirituality or who supported creating this open source spirituality over the last 20 years have chosen to keep their good works anonymous within our spiritual community. They wish not to have the current community’s management or membership focused on the founding organizational or teaching personalities, but rather on the work of our purposes and mission and their own personal spiritual growth.

Over these 20 years many ideas about the most practical and life affirming ways to improve self directed individual spiritual growth and then improve the world though such spiritually transformed individuals were reviewed and discussed and evaluated for use in creating the foundational principles and ideas used in what was to become Integrative Spirituality. We used information from mankind’s spiritual heritage that was relevant and available while doing this work.

Our goal was to have our spiritual materials and processes strive to both integrate and contain the unbroken lineage of humankind's most successful spiritual efforts to understand and directly experience Ultimate Reality. In this way, Integrative Spirituality, because of the way it was created, carries on the unbroken spiritual wisdom tradition of all religions derived from the totality of humankind's spiritual heritage and the mission and principles you see today at Integrative Spirituality are largely the results of the work of this group of anonymous individuals.

2002: During early 2002 we began a 6 month survey of the best location in the world to establish this new spiritual organization. After traveling to many countries to see which one would best support our global mission we decided that the US would be the optimal location for our founding international organization. In late December 2002 Integrative Spirituality formed a non profit religious corporation in the USA in the State of Colorado.

2003-2004: We next began the physical work on building our multi-language, spiritual website. We have made our interactive and innovative website our main international spiritual center for our global community. We realized that because our website would be the center of our spiritual organization and we intended to provide spiritual services online that that no other religion had ever done, it would take us several years of construction of the website spiritual center before we could officially launch our organization to the public.

We created this online spiritual center for our organization because we believe that the many new group and individual interactivity web tools of the Internet far better serves the needs of our scattered members or potential new members than any traditional brick and mortar physical center. Our interactive online spiritual center allows our global spiritual community to meet and connect to each other for spiritual support, spiritual services and education 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with little effort or potential difficulty associated with travel to a physical spiritual center.

Even though our interactive online spiritual center has taken almost 3 years to build and has cost several hundred thousand dollars, (even with much donated labor,) compared to the costs of setting up and maintaining physical spiritual centers all over the world, it is by far the most cost effective manner to recruit new members and spiritually educate and serve our members and potential new members. There is of course a role for having physical spiritual centers in key areas as we grow, but the role of these centers will always be of localized importance compared with the global importance of the founding international community via the Internet.

The initial design work on the website entailed seamlessly integrating over 24 different open source collaboration web software programs together for the first time to create a global spiritual community capable of interacting in our online sanctuary and spiritual services center in 11 of the world’s major languages. This project of making over 24 different open source software programs work together as one integrated seamless website was a major building project in many ways, perhaps equivalent to building an actual religious cathedral from the foundation up.

On a full time basis with three programming staff we continued to work on building our multi-language, spiritual website, which is, as of February 10, 2005, now over 36,000 pages. We placed 1,000 of the most important sacred spiritual books of spiritual wisdom ever written on our website and for the first time ever made all 1000 books electronically searchable without charge.

We created a member online prayer room, meditation room worship chapel, spiritual education lesson classroom, an event calendar and other interactive tools to help educate and serve our members spiritual needs. We started adding hundreds of spiritually uplifting news stories and articles to educate and inspire our members.

To us our most important place of worship is our sacred website UniverseSpirit.org which has prayer, meditation and worship rooms as well as online spiritual reading rooms and classrooms as well as many other interactive spiritual learning services being delivered online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 11 languages. We believe that the cyber space of our website is sacred because there is within a unique yet non-exclusive sacred presence of a newly emerged humanity/group concerned state of Ultimate Reality. Because of this sacred Presence, the cyber space of our web site is as sacred to us as the physical space of a mother church, founding temple, headquarters mosque or first established or most holy shrine is to the followers of any other religion. We further believe that each TV and computer screen in the world potentially becomes a special doorway to and seat in our sacred cyber temple and the conduit for the Sacred Presence to be quickened within and with the individual through this electronic channel and the new spiritual information flowing through it. This unique time and location independent quality of our web site will allow us to potentially expand our spiritual services more efficiently and more cost effectively than any non post-postmodern internet centered spiritual organization in history.

During this time we also created the Wisdom Wiki, another online tool for members to co-create our wisdom collection and we hired and began training the first administrative staff to set up all of the administrative systems for an effective spiritual organization that can achieve its mission. We worked extensively on getting hundreds of pages of our spiritual principles, doctrine, creeds and other spiritual positions up on the website. We currently have two near full time administrative staff and 2 part time staff.

In July of 2004, even though our organization was still in development and not yet officially open to or serving the public we sent a representative to the Barcelona Parliament of World Religions where 6000 leaders of the various world religions met to promote a better world and peace. Our organization provided online support using our many new web tools for the conference. This service to our fellow religious leaders also gave us an opportunity to live and volume-test the many spiritual collaboration software programs on the website that we had been designing and building for several years.

Throughout the rest of 2004 we worked on building the website and getting all or our evolving spiritual material up on it.

2005: On January 1, 2005 we celebrated the first World Spirituality Day at our still incomplete San Francisco Spiritual Center with about 75 people. From November 2004 to Feb 9 2005 (the date of this document was prepared) we went from no members to 260 members. Without having officially open the organization’s website we are currently adding about 20-30 new members every month.

In February of 2005 we added a new search tool that allows visitors and members to better search all of the spiritual wisdom and spiritual experiences being shared on our website.  Almost daily we are also continuing to add spiritually uplifting news stories and articles to educate and inspire our members.

In late March of 2005 our website and our first physical spiritual center location in San Francisco is finally scheduled to officially open to the public. Our new spiritual center has a physical worship and meditation chapel, some rooms for retreat participants, a salon type spiritual discussion classroom area and a food preparation area for larger spiritual events. Here we will also train our new Life and Spirit facilitators.

In March we will also begin a regular newsletter to our members and a public relations program in to let people know all of the online and off line spiritual services we provide. The following is our first calendar of regular monthly spiritual events at our San Francisco center. This schedule will be fairly typical for 2005 and will be carried out by our Life and Spirit facilitators and administrative staff where needed:

  1. The weekly Celebration of Life. This is our form of weekly spiritual service/worship that occurs early each Saturday evening and always ends before 8 pm. Community members meet to share their spiritual successes and challenges, as well as food, usually in the form of a pot luck dinner. There is the sharing of some form of community member art such as music, comedy or poetry and each service then concludes with a spiritual meditation and gratitude/worship affirmation.
  2. Each month on the second Thursday we have a spiritual salon. This salon is a discussion and educational presentation of some aspect of spirituality and or art and spirituality that will help our community members grow personally and spiritually. Each salon has a lead presenter who opens with a 10-20 minute presentation on that month’s topic. The remaining discussion is then open to the questions and comments of the other spiritual salon attendees.
  3. Each month on the first and/or third Thursday, during the late afternoon after school, spiritual instruction for children and young adults takes place.
  4. Weddings, christenings, new member joining ceremonies, events for single members, funerals, seasonal spiritual holidays like World Spirituality Day (Dec 31/January 1,) spiritual retreats ministerial training and other spiritual events of Integrative Spirituality will take place naturally as they arise in each monthly calendar for the rest of the year.

Throughout the balance of 2005: We will be completing other minor features on our website by adding new content and tools to further support our members. We will be providing regular spiritual services and will for the first time be seeking support donations from our new membership.

By late March we will have a large enough membership to officially launch our website and open our physical center to the public, we will be administratively set up to do fund raising campaigns and, we will be delivering needed spiritual services to our members. Our new members will both want and be able to donate to us so that we are able to fund member services and the spiritual organization. From March 31, 2005 through March 31, 2010 we will demonstrate that our members are providing all the needed donations to both keep the organization achieving its mission and meeting the criteria of the IRS.

We are also still continuing with the basic steps needed to realize our spiritual mission:

  1. Gathering all of humankind's life affirming, collective spiritual wisdom into one searchable multi-language database.
  2. Organizing this spiritual wisdom for the easiest learning and assimilation by humankind’s diverse personality types, learning styles, developmental levels and cultures.
  3. Expanding our dissemination and distribution efforts of this spiritual wisdom in all ways possible to make this wisdom easily and freely available to everyone.

All of the above work on our spiritual website and all of the services we deliver either on our website or at our center in San Francisco directly further our spiritual mission and purposes.

Throughout 2005 about 65% of our staff’s time will be spent on providing and maintaining as well as expanding the delivery of spiritual services on our website. The remaining 35% of our staff’s time will be spent delivering the monthly spiritual services to our members in our San Francisco center.

In 2006-2007: We hope to set up our first annual conference to bring together all global members who can make it, to one location, as well as continue all of our other spiritual services. We will continue to gather all of the best of humankind's collective spiritual wisdom into one searchable multi-language database. We will continue to integrate that information where possible with the best of the wisdom of the sciences and then organize and sequence that synthesis of spiritual and scientific wisdom for easiest learning and assimilation by humankind’s diverse personality types, learning styles, developmental levels and cultures. And finally we will continue to expand our dissemination and distribution efforts in all ways possible to make this spiritual wisdom easily and freely available to all.

From 2008 - 2010

This period was the period of greatest spiritual and theological evolution in our organization. It was during this period that Universe Spirit as new spiritual movement emerged. This was the period of creation of the New Universe Principles and the first statement of the New Universe Worldview

It was in this period that the greatest strides were made to integrate science and spirituality and the New Genesis story for Universe Spirit and all of humanity fully emerged. During this period The Three Great Spiritual Adventures of Life were formulated and a vast amount of work was done in re-aligning Universe Spirit and all its values, ethics, policies and organizational structure to the New Universe Worldview perspectives.

2011 and 2012

Our organization focuses on the new Job One for Humanity program using the Universe Principles of Life as Job One is critical to current and future life on the planet!

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The Many Paradoxes of our New Type of Spiritual Vision and Organization

When one tries to describe the infinite and absolute Ultimate Reality (the ultimate object of every spirituality) with relative terms and relative fields certain paradoxes result. Mankind has used all kinds of myths and metaphors (often called religious doctrine) to describe in relative terms, that which is not relative but absolute and infinite.

Although Universe Spirit has many of the characteristics of traditional religion, many of these paradoxes also appear in very new, almost unrecognizable forms because Universe Spirit is literally a new type of spiritual movement that has never existed before:

  1. It is still a distinct spirituality with its own principles and culture, yet anyone from any other religion may be a member without having to give up their former religious affiliation.
  2. Because we were born as a global spiritual movement of the post-postmodern era, we are one of the first spiritual organizations to be delivering almost all of our services primarily on and from the Internet. Our physical spiritual centers and locations play a significantly lesser role.
  3. We are an open sourced spirituality where we are open to spiritual wisdom from any source even if the wisdom is found where one would expect to find such wisdom.
  4. It was born in post-postmodern times. In many ways it looks quite different than traditional, hierarchal, and closed source religions because most major religions where born in pre-modern, traditional or early modern eras where our knowledge about ourselves, optimal organizational structures and our universe was very limited or often just wrong.
  5. It has an ecclesiastical structure, yet not one like any other religion that has ever existed. Our organization also does not have a Pope or final ecclesiastical authority because our belief is that final spiritual truth and authority is determined and held by the individual with the assistance of the Presence within them. We do not recognize anyone in our centers who have been specially or uniquely appointed by Ultimate Reality or that have an exclusive claim to the authority of divine leadership or special spiritual revelation that must or should now become a new or senior truth for all of our other center members to abide by. Our organization believes that the combined group spiritual wisdom of our membership and the already existing spiritual validity tests of the existing spiritual heritage of mankind is fully sufficient for our organization to evolve and grow in the optimal spiritual way. We also believe that No one individual perspective or group created ecclesial statement of spiritual principle or conscience will completely define or limit the possible future spiritual development of the organization. We further believe that the ultimate mysteries of Ultimate Reality may never be fully knowable. Humility toward this unknowable element of Ultimate Reality the Great Mystery will always exist in any authentic spirituality and it is healthy for this to be recognized openly in our community.
  6. It has ordained ministers, but those ministers are better thought of as Life and Spirit facilitators, which is our actual name for our ministers, rabbis or imams. While they perform all the functions of traditional ministers they do it in new ways that look very different from ministerial systems created in pre-modern or traditional eras. Our board members or officers of any center are the public day-to-day business administrators for that center. They may or may not also be Life and Spirit facilitators.
  7. We choose to keep our founders anonymous because our spirituality has chosen not to emphasize these personalities. We have chosen to focus on teaching science-grounded universal spiritual wisdom and supporting each member’s unique spiritual journey to completeness. Because of this choice, in the future there will be no personalities to deify or divert member attention away from their personal spiritual journey or their direct experience of Ultimate Reality or, to have religious wars and conflicts over. Only the first founders of our International founding center will, because of the above and by their own request, remain anonymous. All of the board members and officers of the founding international center are public persons visible to our members in our organization’s day- to-day operations. All of our ordained or recognized Life and Spirit facilitators are public persons visible and accessible to our members in our organization. All of the board members, officers and Life and Spirit facilitators of future centers will be visible public persons in their centers.

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The Spiritual Roots of Universe Spirit

Because Universe Spirit includes, synthesizes and integrates all of the essential and life-affirming spiritual wisdom of mankind’s spiritual heritage, the spiritual roots of Universe Spirit go back to and begin with mankind’s first spiritual urges and spiritual ideas. Having said that there are some dominant ancient western and eastern spiritual traditions carried forward in our organization that help to explain our spiritual roots (our Science roots are another path of themselves. Spiritually:

  1. First and foremost we promote the direct transformative, spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality for optimal and balanced spiritual growth and transformation. The mystics and saints in both eastern and western religions have repeatedly confirmed this as the most important essence and purpose for all religions.
  2. In the mostly western spiritualities of a personal Absolute God we carry forward the traditions of Creation Spirituality --- the spirituality of creativity joy, original blessings instead of original sin and celebration. Creation Spirituality has its roots going back to 900 BC and a continuous spiritual tradition up to this day. Its principles are well summarized and documented in the book, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions -- by Matthew Fox.
  3. In the mostly eastern spiritualities of an Impersonal Absolute most often in the forms of Brahma or Buddha our tradition traces its roots beginning long before 900 BC of Creation Spirituality. Its principles are well summarized and documented in the books, Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo and God Speaks by Meher Baba.
  4. We also paradoxically carry forward the newer tradition of science influenced and grounded spiritualities in the form of Evolutionary Spirituality and Process Theology that began in part during the age of Enlightenment and more specifically with Darwin’s theory of evolution. The Process Theology principles are well summarized and documented in the book, Religion and Scientific Naturalism: Overcoming the Conflicts by David Ray Griffin.
  5. In addition to the above we treat the new cosmology and the new science on progressive evolution as generating a new form of common meta-spirituality based on its new genesis story.

Integrating all of the above spiritual traditions into our organization has been greatly aided by the post-postmodern lenses and principles of the Integral and Spiral consciousness movements.

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