Saturday, 19 January 2013

Category:Spirituality from the p2p Foundation

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How could we call a coming age of participation?
Philippe Van Nedervelde suggests two possible names, both drawn from classical Greek:

1) Synergos, from "sun/syn" = together; "ergos" = work
2) Metechos, denotes sharing/participating

Inspired by the work of Dana Klisanin, the P2P Foundation favors the development of Evolutionary Guidance Media which posits the pairing of compassionate-seeing/action with that of Cyberception, or humankind’s rapidly advancing technological abilities, resulting in Transception, [1]




For an intro, read Michel Bauwens on the Great Cosmic Mash-Up, which focuses on P2P and common projects and their role in the construction of our identity:
"Postmodernism was all about deconstructing oppressive mental structures that we inherited from modernity. Amongst other things the Cartesian subject/object split and the alienating effects of Kantian's impossibility of knowing true reality; it was a necessary destructive passage, a cleaning out process, but it didn't, as its names "post"- indicate, construct anything. So in my view, if modernity was about constructing the individual (along subject/object divisions), and postmodernity about deconstructing this, then this new era, which I'ld like to call the era of participation, is about constructing relationality or participation. We are not going back to the premodern wholistic era and feelings, but just as modernity was about rigorously individualising everything, eventually reaching the current dead-end of hyper-individualism, we are now just as rigorously 'relationising' everything. If in premodernity we thought, we are parts of a whole that is one and above us, and in modernity we thought we are separate and unified individuals, a world onto ourselves, and in postmodernity saw ourselves fragmenting, and pretty much lamented this, then this is the mash-up era. We now know that all this fragments can be reconstructed with the zillions of fragment of the others, into zillions of commonalities, into temporary wholes that are so many new creative projects, but all united in a ever-moving Commons that is open to all of us..
So the fragmentation of postmodernity is a given for us now, but we are no longer lamenting, we are discovering the technologies (infrastructural, collaborative-software-ish, political, but above all the mental and epistemological) that allow us to use this fragmentation to create the Great Cosmic Mash-Up. That is the historical task of the emerging Peer to Peer Era."

2. From: The Next Buddha Will Be a Collective. By Michel Bauwens
"the 3 paradigm shifts (open/free, participatory, commons), although only emerging as seed forms at this stage, are letting themselves be felt through contemporary spiritual practices. It suggests a new approach to spirituality which I would like to call a contributory spirituality. This approach would consider that each tradition is a set of injunctions set from within a specific framework, and which can disclose different facets of reality. This framework may be influenced by a set of values (patriarchy, exclusive truth doctrines, etc…), which might be rejected today, but also contains psycho-spiritual practices which disclose particular truths about our relationship with the universe. Discovering spiritual truth then, requires at least a partial exposure to these differential methods of truth discovery, within a comparative framework, but it also requires intersubjective feedback, so it is a quest that cannot be undertaken alone, but along with others on the same path. Tradition is thereby not rejected, but critically experienced and evaluated. The modern spiritual practicioner can hold himself beholden to such a particular tradition, but need not feel confined to it. He/she can create spiritual inquiry circles that approach the different traditions with an open mind, experience them individually and collectively, and where the different individual experiences can be exchanged. In this way, a new collective body of spiritual experiences is created, which is continuously co-created by the inquiring spiritual communities and individuals. The outcome of that process will be a co-created reality that is unpredictable and will create new, as yet unpredictable spiritual formats. But one thing is sure: it will be an open, participatory, approach leading to a commons of spiritual knowledge, from which all humanity can draw from."

John Heron:
"I prefer to think of the spiritual development of human culture as rooted in degrees of relational, moral insight and not in an evolutionary logic. Evolution as a concept seems best left to natural processes. Otherwise intellectual bids to know what evolution is up to and what is coming next culturally, rapidly convert into hegemonic arrogance and attempts at social and intellectual control. The developing of the human spirit in cultural forms is a different category and is very close in my view to the way in which our realization of an extended doctrine of rights, in theory and practice, unfolds.

There seem to be at least four degrees of such unfolding:
1. Autocratic cultures which define rights in a limited and oppressive way and there are no rights of political participation.
2. Narrow democratic cultures which practise political participation through representation, but have no or very limited participation of people in decision-making in all other realms, such as research, religion, education, industry, etc.
3. Wider democratic cultures which practice both political participation and varying degree of wider kinds of participation.
4. Commons peer-to-peer cultures in a libertarian and abundance-oriented global network with equipotential rights of participation in decision-making of everyone in every field of  human endeavour, in relation to nature, culture, the subtle and the spiritual.

These four degrees could be stated in terms of the relations between hierarchy, co-operation and autonomy (deciding for others, deciding with others, deciding by oneself).
1.Hierarchy defines, controls and constrains co-operation and autonomy.
2. Hierarchy empowers a measure of co-operation and autonomy in the political sphere only.
3. Hierarchy empowers a measure of co-operation and autonomy in the political sphere and in varying degrees in other spheres.
4. The sole role of hierarchy is in its spontaneous emergence in (a) the initiation , and (b) the continuous flowering, of autonomy-in-co-operation, of spirit-in-manifestation, in all spheres of human endeavour." (

The Fourteen Precepts of Interbeing

As proposed by Thich Nhat Hanh:
  • 1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology
  • 2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth
  • 3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views
  • 4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering
  • 5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry
  • 6. Do not maintain anger or hatred
  • 7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings
  • 8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break
  • 9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people
  • 10. Do not use the community for personal gain or profit
  • 11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature
  • 12. Do not kill, do not let others kill
  • 13. Possess nothing that should belong to others
  • 14. Do not mistreat your body, learn to handle it with respect"
Source: Thich Nhat Hanh, The Fourteen Precepts from Interbeing , 2003

Long Citations

The liberation of the self involves, above all, a social process. In a society that has shriveled the self into a commodity — into an object manufactured for exchange — there can be no fulfilled self. There can only be the beginnings of selfhood, the emergence of a self that seeks fulfillment — a self that is largely defined by the obstacles it must overcome to achieve realization.
- Murray Bookchin [2]

"The reference to “northward arm” and “southward arm” is typically Wintu, and its usage suggests a cultural wisdom so deep and unconscious that it was embedded in the very structure of language. In English we refer to the right arm and left arm, and we might describe a certain mountain as being to our right or left, in front or in back of us depending on which way we are facing at the moment. We use the body — the self — as the point of reference against which we describe the world. The Wintu would never do this, and indeed the Wintu language would not permit it. If a certain mountain was to the north, say, the arm nearest that mountain would be called the northward arm. If the Wintu turned around, the arm that had previously been referred to as the northward arm would now be called the southward arm. In other words, the features of the world remained the constant reference, the sense of self was what changed — a self that continually accommodated and adjusted to a world in which the individual was not the center of all creation."
- From the Book: The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs and Reminiscences. [3]

Jesus, in the Gospel, did not say, "My kingdom is not of this world; that was the bad translators who, by suppressing three words in one phrase of St. John, have made it say this. Jesus said literally, "My kingdom is not yet of these times." And as his kingdom, as it is explained in the same passage, is the reign of justice and truth, and as it adds that this kingdom will come on the earth, it follows that, very far from have prophesied that the principles of equality will never be realized on earth, Jesus on the contrary prophesied their realization, their reign, their arrival.
- Pierre Leroux [4]

"If what we are calling the ontology of the One rejects what is not itself – by positing a radical commensurability by which only that which is its Self is valued, and all that is Other is devalued – and what we are calling the ontology of the Zero rejects everything – by positing a radical incommensurability by which nothing can be valued at all – then the ontology of the Many succeeds because it rejects nothing (out of hand) – by positing a perpetual flux of commensurables and incommensurables by which subjects/objects, Nature/Society, humans/nonhumans, are continually constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed, in other words, e-value-ated."
- Paul B. Hartzog

Dana Klisanin on Transception

"It is not surprising then, that as our sphere of concern expands (i.e., from the personal to the global-planetary) we are creating technological means through which to address those concerns. Transception, described as, “Internet technologies fused with moral concerns,” is one embodiment of that evolution (Klisanin, 2005; 2007). Transception enables digital altruism, for example through websites designed to support caring and sharing behaviors, i.e., the ability to add content to informational sites such as Wikipedia (2011); the ability to contribute to charity through viewing advertisements via “click-to-donate” formats such as available at (2011); the ability to help solve complex problems through donating unused (idle) computer time to scientific research, for example, through the World Community Grid (2011). Transception enables individuals to reach beyond the confines of the physical body not simply to act, but to act compassionately on behalf of other sentient beings."
- Dana Klisanin [5]

On the Circle in Worship

"The Quaker choice of being in a circle, seated around a table on which one may find a bible or a bunch of flowers, corresponds to an ancient human custom of meeting to communicate with each other at the same level. It is not a gimmick, trying to be different, or just another form of religious suggestion: it is a proven means of communion between people in a relationship that is closer together, more aware, more tightly bound. Those of different social backgrounds or levels of cultural experience feel themselves more equal with each other, more humble and more open, and all equally placed before God. The distances between the pulpit, the preacher, the front pews, the back pews, which imply separation between people and an (even if slight) suggestion of who presides over the worship; the isolation of the anguished individual who does not manage to communicate from his static Sunday place; these have vanished when one worships in a circle. There is no pulpit except the ideal one of Christ; there are no elements of distraction."
- Davide Melodia [6] ; translation from Italian by Simon Grant

Short Citations

Man, derived from the Sanskrit word manas meaning the consciousness that can reflect upon itself.
"Moral insight is not, like mathematics, a product of rational reflection. It is instead a matter of imagining a better future, and observing the results of attempts to bring that future into existence."
- Richard Rorty [7]

There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.
- Hindu Proverb

Simply I learned about her, and ungrudgingly do I share -- her riches I do not hide away
- Old Testament, The Book of Wisdom 7,13 [8]

Technology and Spiritual Traditions

See also: Neotraditional Economics


To be done


  1. Participative_Technology_and_the_Ecclesial_Revolution, book
  2. Episcopal Theological Support for the Free Software Movement
  3. Hacking the Way to Heaven. Julian Fox. Lulu, 2009.
  4. Open Anabaptism
  5. Sabbath Economics Collaborative ; Sabbath Economics and Community Investing
  6. Sister Judith Zoebelein on the Virtual, the Actual, and the Spiritual
  7. Christianity and the History of Technology. By Michael Sacasas.
  8. Ethics in Internet: statement by the PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS


See our entry: Paganism


Key Articles

Our own contribution:


Further reading:
  1. Bruce Aldermann's three part introduction to intersubjective spirituality [10]
  2. Gregg Lahood and John Heron with a case study of Collaborative Charismatic Inquiry
  3. Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue: Yochai Benkler and Hellen Nissenbaum on the ethical values underlying peer production.
  4. Commentary on the above Benkler/Nissenbaum text by catholic author Julian Fox: Virtue and the Digital Commons
  5. John Heron warns us of the dangers of spiritual authoritarianism. Read Spiritual Projection and Authority, chapter 14 of his foundational book on Participatory Spirituality; also: Chapter 13: The Authoritarian Blight in Spirituality
  6. Jean-Francois Noubel: Creating Invisible Architectures for Collective Wisdom
  7. Nova Spivack: Towards Healthy Virtual Selves for Collective Groups [11]
  8. John Stewart: The evolution of consciousness, rooted in complexity and cognitive sciences. See Stewart, J. E. (2007) The future evolution of consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 14, No. 8, Pp. 58-92.
  9. Stuart Kauffman: A Shareable God
  10. Madronna Holden on the Agency of Nature and the Partnership View
  11. The Revival of Peering with Nature. By James William Gibson
  12. Jorge Ferrer: Participatory Vision of the Future of Religion: on "The Plurality of Religions and the Spirit of Pluralism"
  13. Paul Hartzog: Oneness, Nihilism, and the Multitude
  14. Denis Postle: Psychological Commons, Peer to Peer Networks and Post-Professional Psychopractice
  15. Micheal Daniels: The Difference between Descending Depth-Psychological vs. Relational-Participatory Extending Aprroach to Spirituality. From the Paper: Perspectives and vectors in transpersonal development. Michael Daniels. Transpersonal Psychology Review, Vol 13, No. 1, 87-99. (April, 2009)
  16. Wolfgang Hoeschele on the Art of Living Abundantly
  17. Kingsley Dennis: How the Internet Creates Relational/Ecological Forms of Awareness

  1. Read our entries on Relational Spirituality and Participatory Spirituality
  2. Participative Epistemology, and Transdisciplinarity

Key Books

Spiritual Theory:
  1. John Heron's Participatory Spirituality - A Farewell to Authoritarian Religion.
  2. John Heron's Sacred Science
  3. Jorge Ferrer's Revisioning Transpersonal Psychology.
  4. Christian De Quincey. Radical Knowing
  5. Beatrice Bruteau. The Many and the One
  6. The Participatory Mind
  7. Evolution's Arrow. John Stewart (the evolution of cooperation as rooted in science)
  8. Robert Wright. The Evolution of God: how the image of the divine humanizes in the course of history, under the influence of increased human cooperation.
  9. A Reenchanted World: The Quest For A New Kinship With Nature by James William Gibson. Metropolitan Books, 2009

Sociological/Descriptive Approaches:
  1. Participative Technology and the Ecclesial Revolution: technology and the global church

Also of note:
  1. The Alphabet and the Goddess
  2. The Ascent of Humanity
  3. Digital Dharma. Steven Vedro.
  4. Occupy Consciousness: Essays on the Global Insurrection. Evolver, 2012. [12]

Key Resources

  1. A Catholic approach to ICT

Key Thematic Issues of P2P News

P2P and Nature, Issue 96 of P2P News at,
P2P Epistemology, Issue 89 of P2P News, at
P2P Spirituality, Issue 88 of P2P News, at
P2P Epistemology, Issue of P2P News, at

Key Webcasts

  1. Sister Judith Zoebelein on the Virtual, the Actual, and the Spiritual. Sister Judith Zoebelein is Editorial director at Internet Office of the Holy See.


Pages in category "Spirituality"

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