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History of Evolutionary Spirituality

Evolutionary Spirituality: The History of Evolutionary Spirituality

The most ground breaking basic concepts of evolutionary spirituality were first stated in the west by the French Jesuit priest who unfortunately was later silenced by the Pope, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Not until after his death were his writings allowed to be published by the Catholic Church. In the east the ideas of evolutionary spirituality were first stated by Sri Aurobindo. It is not known if these men ever read each other's work. 

Evolutionary spirituality was further forwarded early on in part by the progressive Christian process theology movement particularly the science and spirituality writings of John B. Cobb and David Ray Griffin.

The new writings of Ken Wilber and Lawrence Wollersheim (here on this website in the new Universe Worldview, the Universe Principles of Life, etc.,) have refocused some new attention on science and evolution as a teacher of spiritual principles for anyone on a post post-modern and integral spiritual path. Barbara Marx Hubbard and Andrew Cohen have also created organizations focusing on forwarding variations of evolutionary spirituality. 

The most popular books and thinkers on the science aspects and implications of an evolutionary spirituality are:

1.) The Universe StoryFrom the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era--A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos by Brian Swimme. (It is the Genesis Story that we use in our organization.)

2.) View from the Center of the Universe by Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams.

3.) Evolution's ArrowThe Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity, by John Stewart. It is an early summary of the directions and "intentions" of evolution and what understanding evolution in new ways could mean to the destiny of the individual in the modern and post modern world.

4.) The Evolutionary Epic, Science's Story and Humanity's Response, by Russell Genet, Brian Swimme, Linda Palmer and Linda Gibler.

5.) Maps of Time, An Introduction to Big History by David Christian (and his CD lecture series called Big History.) 

7.) The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution, Erich Janstch.

8.) Design for Evolution: Self-Organization and Planning in the Life of Human Systems, Erich Janstch.

The most popular books on the spiritual and/or science aspects of evolutionary spirituality are:

1.) The Future of Man, Teilhard de Chardin. This was one of his many books on aspects of progressive evolution.

2.)  The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo, He was an Oxford Scholar who discusses the progressive evolution of life and spirit in the universe. 

3.) Thank God for Evolution! How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World by Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow.

4.)  The Great Work, Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry.

5.)  The Living Universe, Where Are We? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? By Duane Elgin.

6.) The Evolution of Religion, Studies, Theories and Critiques, Richard Sosis, Erica Harris, Russell Genet, Cheryl Genet, and Karen Wyman Joseph Bulbulia. Understanding evolutionary spirituality also implies understanding in part the evolution of religion. 


7.) Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution, Steve McIntosh.


8.) Conscious Evolution: Examining humanity's next step, Barbara Marx Hubbard. Also particularly see the article by her called, Evolutionary Spirituality, the Soul of Evolution.


9.) A Brief History of Everything, Ken Wilber.


11.) Andrew Cohen's lectures on Evolutionary Partnership and the Evolutionary Impulse. 


Anticipated New books Related to Evolutionary Spirituality

The Universe Manifesto, Lawrence Wollersheim Late 2011 or 2012.  

Most of these books or articles above are greatly expanding the ideas of how to use the wisdom treasure contained within evolution and the deepest reoccurring patterns (laws,) of our 14 billion years of evolution to make a more successful spiritual and personal life and world. (We highly recommend that you get all of these books, but suggest that you read the Universe Story and View from the Center of the Universe first if you are more science oriented, eastern spirituality oriented or, you are agnostic, atheist or less religious.

If you have a Judeo-Christian background, a more religious background or, want less of the detailed science, we recommend that you start with Michael Dowd's book first. Once you have read either of these, you are then most ready to read the other books and articles. (Please note there is another new book coming out on this area called "The Universe Manifesto, How the New Universe Worldview and Progressive Evolution Re-Aligns Everything." It was written by a teacher in our organization and will soon be released. It will help expand upon the concepts found upon these pages and elsewhere on this web site!)

The new ideas of evolutionary spirituality are just now beginning to be picked up and taught by both progressive and liberal religious groups as well as secular groups all over the world. Many individuals and organizations are becoming enlightened as to its value for creating a vastly greater sense of unity and common identity, origin, nature, purposes, motivation as well as tolerance for life's differences. One such group doing this is the Craig Hamilton's Evolutionary Spirituality group.

Evolutionary spirituality is what may soon be called one of the most primal of all spiritualities. If at all possible, it is the post big bang spirituality that ideally should be studied first. But, it is by no means the last form of spirituality that one should study. There are the many pre-big bang mystical and traditional spiritualities that should also be studied in addition to the evolutionary spirituality to make one's spiritual journey and adventure as full, complete and balanced as possible. Post big bang evolutionary spirituality is a new, solid and necessary spiritual base, which enhances the power, truth and effectiveness of all other authentic pre big bang spiritualities when viewed at and from their deepest and broadest levels.

Universe Spirituality and Evolutionary Spirituality's Other Variations

There are several current variations of Evolutionary Spirituality being practiced today around the world. The variation of Evolutionary Spirituality that is practiced within the practice of Universe Spirit began in 2002 focused upon the relation of Ultimate Reality with the physical universe as explained by Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo. From 2005-2007 our variation of Universe Spirituality moved toward more of the science grounding of progressive evolution. In 2009 that science grounding integration was expanded with the New Universe Principles and the new Universe Worldview.

Today some of the other variations of Evolutionary Spirituality focus more on only the consciousness, self reflection, self awareness and being an intentional social and spiritual partner with evolution to evolve yourself and evolve your world aspects of evolution. Other variations focus on integrating the principles of progressive evolution and spirituality with a particular faith such as in what process theology does for the Christian faith. These variations of Evolutionary Spirituality sometimes call their members conscious evolutionaries, evolutionaries, process theology practitioners or Evolutionary Spirituality members.

While Universe Spirituality also includes and forwards these other aspects of Evolutionary Spirituality as well, it has a much stronger focus on the integration of the other important science aspects of progressive evolution as well. These other science focused progressive evolution aspects (as expressed within the New Universe Principles,) provide a significant expansion and grounding balance to the consciousness, self reflection, self awareness and being an intentional partner with evolution aspects of other variations of Evolutionary Spirituality.  

What's Next 

Universe Spirit within its online Universe College currently offers many courses incorporation all of the aspects listed above on Evolutionary Spirituality in courses like How to be A Universe Evolutionary etc. 

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