Welcome to Presence
A Global Conversation for a new earth…..
Welcome to Presence. 2013 continues to be a time of significant development for all of us at Presence. Those of you who have been partners over the years can appreciate the experience of continual growth in thinking, understanding, and living. Our mutual path has been one of transition from belief systems that were tied to the particularism of organized religion (church/institution) into an expansive world that is nothing less than a new heaven and earth, whose nature reflects an all-in-all God. This dimension makes all things new.
Our transition in thinking came from substantial study and consideration of the Biblical narrative. In this sense Presence will always be the same at our core; we are narrative-based in our approach to understanding the One who is all in all and yet above all. Narrative for us is the Biblical cannon of Genesis through Revelation serving as an authentic witness to that which defines humanity in light of the One.
The thoughts and ideas generated by continued study have led to new levels of growth. One crucial area of breakthrough for us has been an understanding of Integral Theory and its yielding what we can only call Integral Theology. So what is this all about? Why is Presence interested in all things Integral?
Presence has always been grounded in the concept of Relationship. We want to know our place on the planet as moms, dads, children, neighbors, friends, citizens, etc. This will always be based on how we understand the Creator and the Creator’s divine nature. Remember, for instance, what changed in you when you first considered an all-in-all God. This very thought has already caused you to rethink your relationship with everyone you know. The way you view yourself and others is rooted in a living experience with the paradigm-shifting idea of a loving, trans/personal God who doesn’t end where you begin, but who permeates all existence.
So What Is Integral?
If an all-in-all God changed everything for you, hold onto your seats – Integral Theory promises to build on this insight and transform everything all over again!
Integral Theory, in development worldwide for over 25 years but having roots in centuries-old understandings, is a philosophical field that maps human cultures and their associated consciousness. This social science uses empirical data to explain how humanity has grown from initial, archaic consciousness to higher stages of conscious development in a stage-by-stage process.
Integral Theology, in ‘incubation stage’ for only about five years but now breaking out in a major way, maps how humanity has grown or evolved through the aforementioned stages of development, but with particular attention to their spiritual aspect. By spending time with our introductory article on Integral Theory (coming soon!) you will have the necessary foundation for seeing the biblical narrative in a new and (we think) more powerful light. Why? Because Integral Theology “tracks” beautifully with the overall flow and trajectory of human development, pointing us to the power that is all-in-all and yet above all.
Integral Theory looks at human development from the lens of biological and cultural evolution. Integral Theology traces the way humanity has viewed itself in relation to God from the beginning of our sacred narrative with Adam, continuing with Moses and Israel and finding maturity in Christ. Integral Theology will map the developmental levels of understanding that are illustrated throughout the Narrative as they lead to an end (eschatology) of one way of seeing God and into a beginning of a more generous, generative, empowering and empathetic vision of an all-in-all God. Truly, this is a more glorious way!
Integral Theology will be the basis for future articles on our mutual experiences here on planet earth. We will take these core concepts into the biblical text and attempt to uncover new ways of seeing the relationships we referenced above. This will lead to nothing less than Integral Spirituality, which will round out our trio of new emphases here at Presence.
In summary, Presence is integrating our view of God into all things. We begin with an introduction of the philosophical field of Integral Theory. But Integral Theory is not separate from the activity of God; thus our exploration of Integral Theology will show how God has worked in the Biblical Narrative from a historical point of view, confirming the same growth continuum of growth that Integral Theory so compellingly lays out. This will make way for our ‘Introduction To Integral Spirituality’, which will examine the day-to-day inner lives of our thoughts, feelings and will. This is where we meet or connect with the God we love.