The Authenticity Proof of Your Current Spiritual Practices
The practice of an authentic and Integral Spirituality (Aka evolutionary spirituality, evolution spirituality,) in significant part includes and synthesizes the best of all previous spiritual wisdom while pruning out that which is no longer applicable. As such an integral spirituality would naturally include the single most time-tested and commonly accepted community validity test for spiritual authenticity from humanity’s trans-denominational religious history.
The single most commonly accepted trans-denominational community validity test for manifesting an authentic spiritual life is demonstrated by the evolving quality of your current life relationships. Another way to say this is that your current relationships are continuing to evolve toward greater truth, beauty, goodness and, demonstrate within them an increased consciousness of the Great Mystery that includes and interconnects all things. These four things are often abbreviated to their most simple result, which is acting with authentic love and experiencing more delight in your relationships.
The spiritual authenticity proof of the quality or improvement of your relationships can be most practically evaluated by how well you are actually living the virtues in a balanced way within your existing relationships. A balanced living of the traditional, modern, postmodern and new integral virtues can be seen as the multiple petal flowering and natural expansion of the basic virtues of truth, beauty, goodness and, ever increasing consciousness of the Great Mystery that includes and interconnects all things.
If in your life and personal relationships you do not tangibly manifest acting with authentic love and experiencing increasing delight in your life from the increased living of the traditional, modern, postmodern and new integral virtues in a balanced way, then you are either incorrectly interpreting, practicing (or not practicing your spiritual beliefs) or, your current spiritual beliefs or practices are inherently incapable of producing a balanced living of the virtues and consequently improving relationships. (Yes, there are many pathological, ineffective, time or situation inappropriate or theoretical unworkable spiritual beliefs and practices inherently incapable of improving your life and relationships.)
In an authentic integral spirituality, effective spiritual theory, beliefs and spiritual
practices are integrated, congruent, balanced and, most importantly actually spiritually effective and transforming. This complete combination is what then produces the core basics of an authentic spirituality --- namely the improvement of your life relationships in ways that demonstrate a balanced application of the virtues.
No matter how much time you spend reading about, doing workshops, discussing integral and evolution concept-specific terminology or complex theories or doing the practices of your spirituality, if you find that your current relationships are still generally lacking, not regularly improving or even getting worse --- and you are not experiencing the most basic proven spiritual authenticity proof of improved life quality through the balanced living of the virtues in your relationships, then it is definitely time to take a very hard look at your fundamentally non-delivering current spiritual beliefs and practices to find out exactly what is wrong.
If your current, correctly applied spiritual beliefs and practices are not delivering the single most commonly agreed upon core result and proof of authentic spirituality (quality or improving relationships,) then they are neither working or authentic in the most spiritually fundamental and essential ways or they are directed toward producing the core results that do not deliver in real life --- no matter how nice they sound or who is espousing them! So, be brave and read and take the following tests!
To help you evaluate quality of your current relationships please find below three virtue and spiritual qualities evaluation exercises. These exercises are helpful because if you can see exactly where you are weak in living a balanced application of the virtues, you can not only see where you can immediately improve your relationships --- you will also have an indirect pointer to where your current spiritual beliefs or practices are sorely lacking. In the lists below you will find some new virtues and values from the:
not specifically mentioned in many earlier classical or traditional lists of virtues and values. Look over the expanded virtues listed below and take the following test.
The Virtues Test Part One
Honestly ask yourself are you manifesting the virtues listed on this virtues list page in a balanced way in your current relationships and life. At the end of the first test you will find an additional test to evaluate and quantify how your current spiritual beliefs and practices are bearing the most valid and fundamental spiritual results of spiritual authenticity.
Keep in mind that the three virtues tests below not only signal an authentic personal spirituality. They also can be used as a good indicator of what is and what is not an authentic spiritual organization. For instance, if a spiritual organization, its leaders or its staff do not manifest a balanced living of the virtues in their dealings with their visitors, members or with the world in significant and consistent ways, this would be a powerful indicator that this spiritual organization is itself inauthentic.
What do you do if you have discovered that you are lacking in some or many of the virtues or that you find that you do not apply the virtues in a balanced way?
For more recently added information on the inclusive and integrated developmental (meme,) values of an integral spiritual citizen in the integral age, click here.
The Virtues Test Part Two
In addition to improving relationships manifesting the virtues in a balanced way there are other qualities that are manifested at increasing levels in an authentic spirituality and from authentic spiritual practice. Read the list below and ask yourself if you are experiencing these things in your life. If you are, it’s a good sign if not, maybe its time to take another look at your current beliefs and practices.
- A more fulfilling personal spirituality, which includes experiencing a new and expanded sense of:
- Ultimate Reality connection
- delight (a conscious celebration of the adventure of life in the here and now)
- one’s most authentic identity (Essence, spirit, soul, consciousness, Atman etc.)
- life purpose and meaning
- autonomy, freedom and dignity
- compassion, empathy, and peace
- emotional and mental balance
- renewed or expanded hope in or about life
- physical well being
- personal re-vitalization, (paradoxically feeling younger in heart and energy as you get older)
- a natural inclination to serve the needs of the world in sustainable, effective, life-affirming and balanced ways
- Greater personal empowerment and effectiveness manifesting in making one’s life into a collage of ethical and successful relationships, partnerships and experiences on spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual levels in the variety of arenas in which human beings engage (personal, social, economic, political, spiritual, etc.)
- Greater personal wholeness (the spiritual life and values you desire to live and your normal daily life become more congruent and less fragmented,)
- More actively co-creating a just, sustainable and equitable world for all alive today—as well as for the generations to come, and
- Greater interconnectedness as a kindred spiritual adventurer and life co-creator within dynamically evolving spiritual and secular communities.
The Virtues Test Part Three: Something About Inauthentic Spirituality
If you would like to know more about the specific unhealthy spiritual virtues, practices or values that can hinder your manifesting an authentic integral spirituality or your living the virtues in a balanced way click here to review more community validity tests and spiritual safeguards for authentic spiritual practices and authentic spiritual organizations.
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Executive Director for Universe Spirit