Core Vision of the Network of Spiritual Progressives
(December 07 2006)
Many of us are involved in or greatly admire the accomplishments of social change movements like the peace movement, the women's movement, the environmental movement, the movement for economic justice, the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, the labor movement, struggles for civil liberties, and the disability rights movement, to name just a few.
And yet, we believe that these movements have tended to underplay or even deny a very important dimension of human lifethe spiritual dimension. And this deficit has limited the potential impact that all these movements could have. It will take a very different kind of movementone founded on and giving central focus to a spiritual vision--to create a real alternative to the political Right, to the fundamentalists (religious and political), and to our society's ethos of selfishness, materialism, and cynicism.
We seek to create that alternative. We are a community of people from many faiths and traditions, called together by the Spiritual Covenant with America (see www.spiritualprogressives.org) and its vision of healing and transforming our world. We include in this call both the outer transformation needed to achieve social justice, ecological sanity, and world peace, and the inner healing needed to foster loving relationships, a generous attitude toward the world and toward others unimpeded by the distortions of our egos. Our movement will encourage a habit of generosity and trust, and the ability to respond to the grandeur of creation with awe, wonder and radical amazement.
We are guided in our work by our belief in the principle of solidarity. For some of us, this principle has spiritual roots in the Jewish commandment to remember that we were all slaves in Egypt; we believe that we are all harmed by oppression directed at any group or individual. This is a message which is common to most of the religious and spiritual traditions of the human race for the past several thousand years, and is part of the tradition also of many secular and even "orthodox atheist" groups that came into existence in the past few hundred years when the religious and spiritual communities that supposedly were committed to these values actually failed to take them seriously and became, instead, embedded in economic and political realities that were oppressive.
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