Overview of the Transmodern Spirituality Paradigm

                        

 Introduction

The following is a brief description of the paradigm employed in Transmodern Spiritual Life Consultation. This is to provide a more complete understanding of its conceptualization of reality and its implications for spiritual practice. Additionally, it is hoped this explanation will build upon your understanding of the relationship between consciousness, behavior, and spirituality to better address challenges inherent to living in the mundane world heavily influenced by scientism. Hopefully it will enhance your wisdom, enabling you to evaluate and if desired refine your spiritual practice, helping you to progress on your spiritual journey. The description should also serve to help you decide what essays, articles, and reflections you may find useful on this website.

Basic Principles

Transmodern Spirituality is founded on several basic principles. The primary one is that integration provides a better means of knowing truth than does the divisiveness of postmodern pluralism. It respects the truth and diversity of scientific, religious, and spiritual worldviews while also integrating the principles and practices from different religious and spiritual traditions. In doing so it provides a common language to understand, translate, and integrate these different paradigms. This integration emphasizes their commonalities, and reconciles them with the conflicting differences inherent in these paradigms. Given that so many of us use everyday psychology to comprehend our world this proves especially important regarding spirituality and psychology. The second principle inherent in Transmodern Spirituality is the recognition that psychology’s concept of self-actualization must be reconciled with spirituality’s concept of self-realization. They often support one another in healthy human development, and this health contributes to one being the best human being one can be, both personally and socially. In this regard one’s personal growth and wellbeing is an integral part of spiritual practice. Satisfaction and fulfillment in one’s daily routine, including wellbeing in family, vocation, and community, with development toward self-actualization are elements of this model. An emphasis is placed on monitoring one’s mental-emotional-behavioral wellbeing and spiritual health, improving one’s personal life skills, refining one’s spiritual beliefs and practices, and coping with or solving the challenges, impasses, and crises inherent in life and in spiritual practice. Thirdly, because of its diverse, yet integrated nature Transmodern Spirituality can stand alone as a method of spiritual practice or it can be used to comprehend the theology and practice of other traditions. In this regard it can be understood as a meta-model, i.e. a model of models, that can be used to improve one’s traditional practice in Transmodern times or successfully organize one’s eclectic personal theology and practice. Furthermore it recognizes that all religious and spiritual practices are personal and unique, and that as long as they meet pragmatic criteria of wellbeing, spiritual development, and no harm to self or others, personal interpretations and unique practice of one’s spirituality are valid. This idea is consistent with Participatory Spirituality (J. Ferrer, 2002) and readers are encouraged to explore this work.

Basic Elements

Transmodern Spirituality can be summarized in six basic elements relevant to all traditions and four major psychospiritual conditions that describe awareness, identity, spiritual development, and practice. These are aspects believed to be essential to understanding truth from both the mundane and spiritual worldviews, and can be applied to any personal growth or wellbeing model, and to most if not all major religious traditions and their practices.

The six elements Transmodern Spirituality emphasizes are: 1) singularity; 2) two origins of consciousness; 3) three forms of God; 4) four types or aspects of spiritual practice; 5) five elements of all religious traditions; and 6) six components of an integral practice. 1) Singularity or nonduality is the principle that everything, all beings and objects, are not connected but rather are the one and very same thing. It is not stated as the belief that all is in union but instead as “not-two”. Not an arbitrary distinction because two beings or objects joining is a different subjective experience than the expansive subjectivity of being (all and eternally). 2) The element of two origins of consciousness is a simple means of remembering there are two distinct positions on the relationship between mind and matter. One is that human consciousness, and hence awareness and personality, can be understood to be strictly the result of the bio-chemical processes of the neurological system of the human body: no body, no consciousness, no self. The other perspective is that Consciousness, sometimes referred to as Awareness (1), is the building block, the origin of matter that creates the world and all in it. This means that one’s consciousness and awareness exist prior to and independently of one’s body. And also that in certain spiritual states of awareness one simultaneously participates in and witnesses manifestation. This is the singular or nondual experience in which these origins of consciousness are recognized as one process. 3) Three forms of God refers to the observation that when someone uses the term “god” that person is referring to one, two, or three versions of the Divine (K. Wilber, 2006). These three are a) the Source from which all originates, the stuff of existence; and/or b) the reified concept of “god” with whom one has relationship, a personified Other to which one prays, honors, etc.; and/or c) the nondual condition frequently labeled as some form of highest human awareness or highest self with which we associate enlightened consciousness/awareness, wisdom, and our highest standard of behavior. 4) Regardless of one’s religious tradition or spirituality it is believed there are four aspects of practice, sometimes described as spiritual types (C. Ware, 1995). These are a) an intellectual type that studies theology, worships regularly in a formal setting, and anticipates a good life as a result; b) a feeling type that emphasizes and seeks personal change and transformation from a relationship with God; c) the mystic type who has as the single goal of practice being in union with or being God (cf. singularity and forms of God); and, d) the service type who emphasizes service to others to improve the world. As aspects of practice it is believed it is best to expand your practice to the ones you do not emphasize. 5) With all the diversity in major religions there are five components that all share, usually expressed as their theology. These are a) a comprehensive statement about the nature of reality, b) a definition of the self, c) standards of personal and social behavior, d) a philosophy of what follows after bodily death, and e) the means to practice the tradition. 6) K. Wilber (2006) and others have proposed that the character change sought in spiritual practice is never guaranteed but its possibility increased if one attends to the following six areas of practice: a) meditation/prayer or a similar activity; b) personal growth through psychotherapy or other forms of self examination and change; c) energy work; d) service to others; e) time in nature; and, f) involvement in a spiritual community.

The “1-2-3-4-5-6” of Transmodern Spirituality is a simple reference to consult as you live your spirituality, providing the words to describe your practice and your experience. In addition to these six basic elements, Transmodern Spirituality practice postulates four conditions: the ego condition, existential condition, transpersonal condition, and the nondual condition. Employed with the basic elements they assist in assessing and improving your health and wellbeing, your spiritual development and practice, and in understanding another’s worldview, whether religious, spiritual, or not. These conditions describe the nature of one’s awareness, qualities of one’s psychological and spiritual character, and the attributes of one’s practice. In the literature these conditions are often referred to as stages of development, or as a type of self or identity. Valid terms, but ones that emphasize particular conceptual bias of which one must be aware because of limitations or misunderstandings that may result.

Psychospiritual Conditions

Transmodern Spirituality conditions are to be used simultaneously in two different but integrated ways. The most common and easiest is as a hierarchy of developmental growth and spiritual progress. But equally as important, conditions must be understood as holons in which all conditions contain aspects of all the other conditions, but which are not as operative as the identified primary condition. Like nesting dolls containing one another within, the more advanced or comprehensive conditions have transcended the less advanced and comprehensive but also include them, e.g. the transpersonal condition includes ego and existential conditions but experience is primarily influenced by the transpersonal. Additionally, the less advanced or less comprehensive conditions also include qualities of the more advanced, e.g. the ego condition includes aspects of the existential, transpersonal, and nondual conditions with the ego dominating experience and character.

          Ego Condition

The individual ego condition is one in which the mind is rooted in the world and feels itself contained in the body as an individual separate agent. Awareness is primarily a subjective feeling of self with logical reasoning and includes working toward personal goals. Individuality, competition, and allegiance to one’s group are emphasized and valued. Caring about the members of one’s group and respecting the values and social norms of the group determine much of one’s behavior, with one acting as prescribed by the group. The individual ego self seeks satisfaction in life, wants to be happy, and as J. Campbell (1988) has stated seeks the culturally conditioned health, wealth, progeny, and fun as the criteria for success in life. Additionally the healthy ego condition is characterized by balance in the life one lives. This is best defined as harmony among the major areas of life: emotional, physical, social, familial, spiritual, vocational, and economic. This means not overdoing any one area at the expense of another, possessing the necessary skills to accomplish in any given area, and understanding and respecting social norms and responsibilities in one’s efforts to succeed. Identity, self-worth, and esteem are determined by what one can do, has done, and has, as well as acceptance by one’s group.

          Existential Condition

The existential condition is one of self-actualization (A. Maslow, 1968) in which one cultivates one’s authentic self, doing what is meaningful and fulfilling, resulting in one feeling whole and complete, characterized by authentic happiness (M. Seligman, 2002). It includes the ego condition and much of its individual orientation. However fulfillment, not satisfaction is thought to bring happiness. Ego’s outsight (i.e., knowing one’s identity from others’ verbal feedback and treatment of one) is now enhanced by one’s own analysis of self, resulting in insight. Now, what is meaningful is more personally and uniquely determined, with a more comprehensive and complex connection with oneself and others. These form one’s personal destiny and legacy and are now understood and valued as related to, and as a part of humanity’s collective existence or mythology; this is often labeled one’s personal mythology (D. Feinstein and S. Krippner, 1988). A more positive self-worth and esteem, along with a stronger self-compassion are now associated with this perspective on self and life. Existentially one may live this life with or without spirituality. If without spirituality there is generally a worldview that explains reality, gives direction, etc. just as religion does. If there is spirituality, there is a connection with more than just humanity, and now includes a Source or deity.

Awareness in the existential condition is characterized by more subconscious and metaphorical cognition and by symbol. There is greater use of abstract reasoning and intuition, one more often feels whole and complete in the moment, and awareness is less self-conscious because one is absorbed in meaningful activity. It is important to note there is an enlarged definition of the individual self as a function of identification with culture and humanity, and also from access to more comprehensive and previously unconscious information about oneself. It may be said there is a transcendence of ego of sorts but it is not the one associated with the transpersonal condition. This is because one remains believing and feeling one is a separate individual agent. Together the ego and existential conditions are what most refer to as the “ego”, the self of the mundane world that is the false self that is to be “destroyed”, transcended, etc. in spiritual practice.

          Transpersonal Condition

The transpersonal condition’s defining characteristic is of experiencing oneself merging with another object (i.e., person, place, thing, event). This simultaneously feels like one’s body-encased self expands into the object while one’s mind enters into a deep state of awareness and wisdom. One can also experience varying degrees of unconditional peace and love, bliss. Characterized by quiet stillness and focused concentration, one’s thinking emerges from points on the spectrum of subconscious to superconscious and organizes information in an integral fashion. Though often described as ineffable, transcendence can leave one with the impression one has come to know the Mystery, and therefore has discovered one’s own true identity, the transpersonal self. Another significant aspect of this condition is regularly experiencing spiritual moments of extraordinary human experience and subtle-psychic phenomena (2). Because these spiritual moments inform the practitioner about reality, alter character toward purity and virtue, and strengthen one’s spiritual identity they are sought after by the spiritual practitioner. It is important to dispel the belief that a transcendent or spiritual moment suddenly and radically produces permanent change, when in fact it usually requires experiencing altered states, then returning to usual states repeatedly before lasting change, that is the nondual condition, becomes permanent. The transpersonal condition is one of variable experience that fluctuates among the ego and existential identities and the transpersonal identity.

Regularly experiencing transcendence and spiritual moments, along with willful efforts to behave virtuously result in character change toward altruism. In this condition one is developing a spiritual identity that creates and supports a more unconditional generalized happiness and fulfillment. With this transpersonal identity there is significant emphasis placed on service to others, either professionally as a teacher or healer, or personally as part of formal or informal spiritual generosity. Self-worth and esteem are present in a paradoxical form: first from the existential appreciation of oneself in the world, second from an appreciation of one’s improved altruistic character and behavior, and third from the nonattachment to any form of individual identity, whether associated with ego, existential, or transpersonal conditions. Most spiritual practitioners sustain this condition for the rest of their lives out of choice while satisfying worldly and spiritual priorities. For others this choice is a function of limited opportunity and/or ignorance of what to do next, or of what is now spiritually possible beyond this condition. However as long as one’s ego and existential conditions are healthy, the transpersonal condition can support further spiritual development or emergence and lead to the nondual condition.

          Nondual Condition

The nondual condition is probably the most difficult to comprehend. There is a little understood but clear demarcation between the transpersonal and nondual conditions. The nondual condition is that of the singularity of form and formlessness and spans the spectrum of awareness from witnessing to enlightenment as an abiding in Being, not of individual or existential doing, or of transcending into union. This Being is: Source consciousness as awareness witnessing itself creating and participating in reality arising in the moment, claircognizance or direct knowing cognition (not reasoned-abstracted-intuited thinking), and subjectively being unconditional love, peace, and joy. There is a nondual cosmology regarding identity, time and space, and life and death that are founded on the nonduality of matter and consciousness and on the nonduality of world and spirit. Most believe they can continue practice as they have been doing and will reach this as a dominant awareness condition. In actuality most do not make the commitment and sacrifices required because most misunderstand the effort and practices necessary, first to experience witnessing and then to be enlightened. Additionally, the transpersonal condition offers aspects of the nondual condition, thereby confirming and offering hope that action currently taken will lead to this nondual condition. Approaching practice in this manner after once having experienced witnessing one will most likely continue to experience witnessing states of awareness but these will revert back to the other conditions rather than immediately become the dominant awareness of enlightenment in which witnessing gives way to complete Being with the already mentioned qualities.

Whether the witness or enlightened state of awareness in the nondual condition there are several other distinguishing characteristics worth noting. Primary is the reliance on the Source. In ever increasing ways one perceives and acts in the world as if one were the world and simultaneously its creator. With this identification with Source/God there is a strengthening of genuine renunciation, not rejection, of the ways of the world. Simply stated one participates in the world based on spiritual principles and mandates of practice that translate to different daily requirements and priorities. Altruism now goes beyond easily given kindness, generosity, and service to surrendering in the moment. Now, just as the ways of the world have been renounced, the various forms of self and doing are renounced. This altruism of surrender to the moment follows the claircognizant guidance of the Source or God experienced within, and accepts consequences of all else that has preceded the present moment as being the perfect circumstances of now. All is experienced as nondual Self and therefore benign, so love is one’s natural response, and service is provided to the world. When the emphasis is placed on an individual’s dealing with a personal hardship or crisis this is often referred to as faith or faith consciousness. In the transpersonal condition there is much reassuring self-talk to remind oneself of the truth of reality usually based on nonattachment, disowning the ego-existential self, and karmic principles, augmented by meditative experience that brings peace, etc. But in the nondual condition this Truth is felt and known as an absolute fact and action is determined accordingly, suffering lessened or eliminated, and lessons are not learned but life simply is. Very importantly altruism and faith provide one with a liberated conscience (3). One’s choices and actions are infinite in any given circumstance but are determined by the wisdom of Being, not from limited awareness of the lesser conditions. With the unconditional love inherent in this condition, and being singularly the world and the Source, one naturally and easily acts altruistically with virtue and doing no harm insured in most all circumstances. Demonstrated in this altruism, faith, and liberated conscience is renunciation of all forms of self and of doing. There is a reconciliation of self-actualization with self-realization with both now abandoned to Being. There is but one self, the All, experienced as Being.

Spiritual Practice

The six elements and four conditions of Transmodern Spirituality can serve as a meta-model from which to consider anew one’s spiritual beliefs and practice. From this perspective some aspects of spiritual practice as they pertain to the ego, existential, transpersonal, and nondual conditions will be offered. This will only serve to illustrate techniques, strategies, and routines of practice, therefore is limited in scope, and is offered solely as a means to further reflect on one’s religious-spiritual tradition and practices. Given the infinitely possible variations on practice, with the principle that all psychospiritual experience is personal and unique, it can be no other way. And if one has not done so already, it is hoped one will consider the practices one already employs, align them with the elements and conditions of one’s own tradition, and determine whether one’s efforts are furthering one’s spiritual development.

          Ego Condition Practice

Practice associated with the ego condition may be considered good basic psychological hygiene. There is an identity that is supported by personal action, while one learns more about the self and world so one may be successful and happy. At its core this entails practice at observing oneself as one interacts in the world, and adjusting one’s beliefs, feelings, or actions if one deems it necessary. The methodology is one of attending to one’s internal world, body sensations to feelings, and thoughts to beliefs. One also monitors the external by attending to the cause and effect of one’s actions in the public and private situations of one’s life. Repetitive patterns of the internal and external are monitored, as are exceptions to what is usual or common. Conclusions are drawn regarding goal achievement, interpersonal effectiveness, and personal wellbeing.

Awareness of the content of one’s body-mind and its relation to action requires practice learning to identify conscious and subconscious thoughts and feelings, while observing one’s behavior (4). Cultivating the habit of reflection is necessary, preferably throughout the day, and most usefully by some form of journaling at the end of the day. Journaling would be a chronological accounting of the day with emphasis on your thoughts, feelings, and actions as they relate to your daily objectives or long-term goals associated with the major areas of your life. Making intention statements to do something differently or to maintain one’s present strategy is necessary. An attitude of empiricism is absolutely required in this practice if it is to benefit one’s growth or healing.

How one feels provides useful information about one’s life experience, motivation, and character. Monitoring bodily sensations, labeling them using the language of feelings, and identifying perceptions and thoughts associated with them is a necessary practice. It entails the recognition, management, and/or resolution of what one feels. The practice of managing feelings is varied, and two of the easiest are to label the feeling, often resulting in it passing, or breathing deeply to calm oneself, the simple antidote to any feeling, positive or negative. The greatest challenge to most is resolving strong and complex feelings, for example grief associated with hardship or trauma. Practice involves the technique of expression in an animated manner (e.g. verbally or by crying) so there is release from the body (physically and biochemically) to a point of relief (e.g. calm) resulting in the mind becoming clear in thinking and once again feeling in control of oneself. Knowing the stages of grieving as one experiences them is useful in monitoring the process as one moves through it. The now classic stages or aspects of grief are denial (shock, disbelief), anger (frustration, rage, fear), bargaining (attempting to understand why, what to do next, what might have been done to prevent an event), depression (sadness, loss, loneliness), and acceptance (emotional upheaval is over and no further attempt to reconcile to crisis is needed). An important component of addressing emotions, and also physical discomfort, is to not allow pain to become suffering. As is often said, “pain is mandatory but suffering is optional”. Not dwelling on or overly identifying with the pain can accomplish this. Also, experiencing the sensations without labeling enables one to detach from pain, reducing the subjective experience, thereby lessening the suffering. Learning a relaxation technique proficiently so one may bring on feeling relaxed at will when needed is useful for addressing both feelings (as previously noted with deep breathing), and also to reduce the sensation of physical pain.

Practicing good communication skills enables one to participate in healthy relationships. Not because they guarantee them but because one easily recognizes whether one wants to be in a relationship and/or if one’s wants or needs are being met in relationship. From an informed position regarding the important areas of one’s life and goals, one practices being neither submissive nor aggressive but chooses to be assertive. This can be defined simply as being direct and open in one’s communication. One practices “saying what one means and meaning what one says”. This also requires cultivating good listening skills characterized by curiosity about, and receptivity to what another communicates, and responding with empathy that conveys understanding. This includes resolving conflict in a win-win fashion by collaboratively problem-solving with another (See R. Bolton, 1986).

          Existential Condition Practice

Practice associated with the existential condition goes beyond and incorporates the beginning level self-examination of the ego condition. Ego practice matures into existential practice by emphasizing meaning and authenticity. Practice now goes beyond seeking the common health, wealth, progeny, and fun goals to discovering what is personally meaningful to one in this life, and in doing so creates an authentic and unique identity, and provides purpose in life. Practice includes making use of information from one’s personal, and sometimes the collective unconscious. Analyzing dreams, recognizing slips of the tongue, observing personal body language, and understanding accidental behavior as purposeful are some means of accessing information previously out of one’s awareness. Incorporating it with consciously known information about oneself forms a basis for an authentic identity, and guides one in behaving genuinely in the world. Considering the feedback one receives when doing so is a major aspect of practice because it teaches one about the world and one’s unique relationship to it when one is authentically oneself and not doing as most others do. Often called shadow work (though not limited to negative or dark aspects of oneself), one seeks to discover what one does not know about one’s habits, biases, and character traits. One simple technique is to analyze an interaction one has had with another, whether positive or negative, observing one’s reaction to the other to identify how the other’s actions resulted in one’s feelings and actions. This is especially informative if one has reacted strongly to the other person. Different from ego analysis, regardless of the acceptability of the other’s behavior the objective is discovering one’s own vulnerabilities, motivations, and ethics.

Additional practice involves attending to all objects in one’s world (people, places, things, events), recognizing that their characteristics (e.g. color, shape, value, size, location, use, similarities, relationship to oneself, sound, texture) represent oneself in some fashion (literally, symbolically or metaphorically), and are extensions of one’s personality. In addition to the observational analysis described one uses expressive nonverbal means, e.g. play, visual art, music, dance, in this practice to further explore one’s condition. Analysis is then extended to the cultural significance of oneself and one’s objects, linking the authentic self to the collective condition and mythological stories of humankind. Considering one’s relationship to the collective mythology in this manner enables one to explore and create one’s personal mythology. With this information one is able to articulate and be guided by one’s place in the universe, one’s journey, and one’s legacy (D. Feinstein and S. Krippner, 1988).

          Transpersonal Condition Practice

Just as the four conditions described in Transmodern Spirituality are holons it must be stated that practices from the different conditions carry into the other conditions. With ego and existential practice supporting living in an authentic manner it is now easier to regularly devote more of one’s practice time and energy to the transpersonal condition. Practice now centers on developing and living a transpersonal identity with an emphasis on experiencing transcendence. Religious traditions and Transpersonal Psychology are very clear on this; one can only develop a true transpersonal self through the character change facilitated by experiencing transcendent states of awareness, will power alone does not suffice. Therefore, an important aspect of practice is a lifestyle and routine that supports these transpersonal states.

Mentioned as part of the six elements of Transmodern Spirituality the model proposed by K. Wilber (2006) details aspects of practice that all spiritual practitioners would benefit from employing. With that as a background it can be said that one must learn to distinguish transcendent states of awareness from other states, especially states that are from a disorganized or troubled self, e.g. hallucinations, panic attacks, and also from ordinary states of awareness in which transcendence can be imagined, e.g. closeness between two people. This requires clear judgment when experiencing altered states and discussion with others in one’s spiritual network. Given that practitioners often experience psychic phenomena and extraordinary human experiences in this transpersonal condition it is necessary to be familiar with what others have experienced. There is a taxonomy of these experiences grouped according to time- space boundaries and psychoid events presented by S. Grof (1988). Experiencing altered states of awareness or spiritual moments requires a minimum debriefing according to their teaching about reality, one’s identity, and one’s practice. This is so one may clarify one’s theology, assess spiritual development, and set intentions regarding future practice, e.g. reminders needed, effective rituals. This also supports an ongoing cognizance of one’s spiritual goals.

Practices described emphasize experiencing and conceptualizing transcendence and therefore support the maintenance of the transpersonal condition. Additionally, it is necessary to willfully employ the new worldview that one is beginning to embrace. This often means resisting thinking and acting in ways of separation, even though it remains the most natural action to take, especially because one does not remain in the transpersonal awareness of union, peace, love, etc. Commitment to service of some kind is part of this transpersonal condition and is helpful practice but it is often a public activity that needs to be expanded upon. Privately and personally is where the empathy, giving, surrendering, and compassion need to be most diligently lived. This may be the most challenging aspect of practice in the transpersonal condition because sacrifice is now being asked of the practitioner. What might have been acceptable to say or do before is no longer considered right or virtuous, and though one attempts to refrain, it is most difficult to act differently, and one might find oneself rationalizing away the necessity of doing so. Practices that sustain, or can easily be drawn upon to engender union with the world or transcendence beyond individuality are helpful in this regard. Carrying the small object or wearing jewelry that facilitates this is an approach used by many. Another practice is to pray ceaselessly or to engage in walking meditation whenever one thinks to do so. The overall objective of these efforts is to never be consciously removed from one’s transpersonal condition so one will act from one’s truer identity.

          Nondual Condition Practice

Many practices remain while extending practice of the transpersonal condition to the nondual condition. But the emphasis shifts to a stronger and more complex commitment to spiritual goals and these are intertwined with Being in a way in which any definition of self, whether actualized or realized is forsaken. In this reconciliation of self-actualization with self-realization, self-actualization first supports movement toward self-realization, i.e. nondual Being, but it too is abandoned as a form of self or spiritual goal. Practice now involves commitment to Being, with not-two, nondual Being defined as being God, being in the present Now, and being all of existence. The spectrum of Witness to enlightenment awareness naturally provides this experience, but just as in the transpersonal condition practice is required to regularly maintain and refine this awareness, though the latter is a goal to which one remains nonattached when in nondual Witnessing awareness. With this in mind, practice consists of efforts to act unwaveringly altruistically and to live with a liberated conscience.

Being God means treating all others as one’s tradition teaches God treats you. In this context “God” is being used as both Source and deity. Worded differently one is to treat others as one would like to be treated because one recognizes one is always interacting with an aspect of the nondual self. Regardless of referent, one is called upon to behave altruistically in the way in which others are unconditionally loved and one surrenders to unwanted situations faithfully. Traditions emphasize there is no self to act or to be treated a particular way, that one gives up the right to oneself. In unconditionally surrendering while unconditionally loving one submits to, and obeys spiritual teachings reflected in the claircognizant directive provided by Witness awareness, the Source, or God. This practice requires that one identify and remain in Witness awareness as frequently as possible, and that one act from it as often as possible, rejecting other thinking in matters of importance. Additionally, one practices perceiving the entire world as the nondual self in one’s evaluation and response to all aspects of the world. Prayer, mantras, teaching stories, and meditative awareness are all useful in this regard if one remembers Truth. The Direct Path practice suggests constant reminding oneself of nondual principles, frequent meditating throughout the day, and adhering to observing awareness manifest reality. One is to live in Being as thinking without thinking, feeling without feeling, and action without action. (See G. Goode, 2009).

One practice of the nondual condition is renouncing the ways of the world. This is something one does naturally and intentionally because of the change in one’s identity that results in different preferences, priorities, and ethics. Returning all blessings, or worded another way, being grateful and then forgetting miracles and blessing received is another means of Being. This involves recognizing and accepting the karmic and nondual nature of reality. Taken together these approaches to practice result in the liberated conscience in which one naturally acts from Being awareness in a fashion that honors nondual Truth and Beauty and in doing so is believed to provide the world with Goodness.

Conclusion

Transmodern Spirituality offers a means for the individual to determine for oneself the manner in which one will practice spiritually. Religious traditions and spiritual practices differ. Some call themselves religions and others insist they are a philosophy. Some require gods and goddesses and others emphasize love, light, or energy. Some practices emphasize purity of character, while others let human character flaws stand. Some traditions say we co-create with the Source, others that only God creates. Some promise everlasting heaven or hell, yet others offer rebirth or reincarnation. None know the Truth but all point to some aspect of it. All can be misunderstood and used in the wrong ways. Practice can emphasize renouncing the ways of the world or remaining involved in the ways most others do. All say service is important but allow personal interpretation ranging from bake sales to religious wars, to compassion and altruism, to Being as God in the world. Traditions offer different embodiments and enactments of the Source or God, and also of different spiritual types, practices, or goals. With a pragmatic approach involving co-creation and doing no harm Transmodern Spirituality acknowledges these and other differences, appreciates the commonalities, and respects the infinite practice options available to all individuals. One may be a monastic or householder, teacher, mystic, healer, theologian, or congregant. Knowing one’s practice is what matters.

                                                                NOTES

(1) See “Consciousness and Awareness” on Consciousness and Awareness page.

(2) See “The Subtle in Spirituality” on Consciousness and Awareness page.

(3) See “Liberated Conscience” on Spiritual and Religious Experience page.

(4) See “Conscious, Subconscious, Unconscious, and Superconscious” on Consciousness and Awareness page.