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Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution …

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"Having traveled a path himself from atheist to young earth creationist to evolutionary creationist, Denis Lamoureux has thought deeply about the intersection of the truths of the Book of Nature and the Book of the Bible. In this remarkable and courageous analysis, he describes how he has found compelling harmony between these worldviews. Though certain literal interpretations of Genesis are rendered untenable, open-minded believers will emerge with their faith refined in the fire of rigorous but loving intellectual argument." -Francis Collins, Director, Human Genome Project, author of The Language of God (2006) "Here is a book that takes both science and Scripture seriously. In this fascinating guide to Biblical interpretation, Denis Lamoureux argues that the Bible doesn't lie even if the episodes in the first eleven chapters of Genesis never happened. As with a good detective story, it's no fair here to peek at the end without first considering the clues." -Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science, Harvard University, author of God's Universe (2006) "Denis Lamoureux is a person of faith and of intellectual integrity. His holistic and integrated view of science and Christian theology springs from both his broad academic training and his deeply held evangelical faith. This book is notable for the manner in which it forthrightly and unflinchingly addresses difficult issues at the interface of science and theology. In doing so, it remains faithful to the authority of scripture, the historical testimony of the church, and the observed record of Creation's history. Denis Lamoureux joins an increasingly long list of evangelical scholars who have shown the the divisive 'warfare' of evolution and Christian faith to be without justification." -Keith Miller, Research Assistant Professor of Geology, Kansas State University, editor of Perspectives on an Evolving Creation (2003) "Lamoureux seeks to move the public debate on origins beyond the two simplistic choices of either 'evolution' or 'creation.' His passion for deep Christian faith and commitment to Scripture and integrity in science render his bold and provocative synthesis worthy of consideration." -Randy Isaac, Executive Director, American Scientific Affiliation "What a magnificent understanding of God's creatively sustaining presence reaching far beyond stereotypical received views on evolution and Christianity! This well-informed case, with teeth, defends the compatible and inclusive relationship between revelation and the findings of natural science while exposing false-choice barriers, albeit sincerely erected, between evolution and religious faith." -Thaddeus J. Trenn, President, Canadian Science and Christian Affiliation 'Lamoureux's book reflects years of study in what is a well-argued and insightful book that eschews simplistic answers.' Stephen Lloyd, Origins, No 55, November 2011 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Denis O. Lamoureux is Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph's College, part of the University of Alberta. He holds three doctoral degrees--in dentistry, theology, and biology. He coauthored, with Philip E. Johnson, Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins (1999). Lamoureux is a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation, a member of the Executive Council of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation, and a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.

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Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution ...

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May 18th, 2016 at 11:17 am

God and the Evolutionary Mind: The God Who Beckons …

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Joan Chittister, O.S.B., spoke at the annual James W. White Lecture April 20, 2011 in Shove Chapel at The Colorado College. A Benedictine nun, Chittister is an internationally known author and speaker on subjects such as contemporary spirituality, peace, justice and human rights.

In her presentation, entitled God and the Evolutionary Mind: The God Who Beckons, Chittister will discuss her current thinking on contemporary spirituality and how it relates to both international and national peace and justice issues.

The J.W. White Lectureship Committee of First Congregational Church (UCC) Colorado Springs has sought for several years to schedule Joan Chittister, O.S.B., to deliver the annual endowed lecture that began in honor of former FCC lead minister Jim White upon his retirement. Her appearance was in cooperation with The Colorado College Paul Sheffer for Catholic Studies.

Her presentation, titled "God and the Evolutionary Mind: The God Who Beckons," focused on how to integrate one's spirituality with peace and justice issues.

Chittister, a Benedictine nun, is the author of more than 40 books and writes a monthly column, "Where I Stand," for The National Catholic Reporter. She is founder and executive director of Benetvision , a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality, located in Erie, PA. She is co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the United Nations, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, particularly in Israel and Palestine.

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God and the Evolutionary Mind: The God Who Beckons ...

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May 18th, 2016 at 11:17 am

Agape Live – Agape International Spiritual Center

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week of November 8, 2015

Each one of us has a unique pattern for evolving our spiritual passion and power as we co-create life with our Source. All aspects of our being play their essential part physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We may ascend the evolutionary spiral by tapping into the vital healing forces that sustain and support us.

- Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Today I lift my vibration, expand my horizons and set myself free!

God is the unfailing, unlimited source of my supply! I believe and I receive!

I am a global citizen anchoring peace and oneness everywhere I go!

Revelations of health and wholeness vitalize my body temple!

My authentic aliveness inspires me to claim my true identity!

I am a descended master here to reveal heaven on earth!

Gratefully I give my gifts and live these words of truth! And so it is! Amen!

Your donations keep the Streaming Archives available free of charge, and support the services that Agape provides to the community through its ministries, programs and services.

Donate / Tithe

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Agape Live - Agape International Spiritual Center

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May 18th, 2016 at 11:17 am

Dr. Marc Gafnis Biography | Marc Gafni

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Dr. Marc Gafni is a visionary thinker, social activist, passionate philosopher, and author of ten books, including the award-winning Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, the two-volume Radical Kabbalah, the recently published Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter and Tears: Reclaiming Ritual, Integral Religion, and Rosh Hashana.

He holds his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University, and received rabbinic certification from the chief rabbinate in Israel, as well private rabbinic ordination. He teaches on the cutting edge of philosophy in the West, helping to evolve a new 'dharma,' or meta-theory of Integral meaning that is helping to re-shape key pivoting points in consciousness and culture.

He has been a guest editor of the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice on issues of integral spirituality, and a faculty member of JFK University. He is the co-founder, together with Ken Wilber, of The Center for Integral Wisdom, a leading activist think tank dedicated to articulating a practical politics of love, and to catalyzing an emergent personal and global vision of ethics, Eros and meaning.

Together with author and social innovator Barbara Marx Hubbard, he is working on a series of new works revolving around Evolutionary Spirituality. He is the Integral Wisdom Scholar in Residence at the Agape International Spiritual Center (Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, president).

As co-initiator in 2014 of the Success 3.0 Summit with John Mackey of Whole Foods Market and entrepreneur Kate Maloney, Gafni is known for his visionary work on evolving a post-dogmatic shared language of meaning and success, rooted in the entrepreneurial values of Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up and Outrageous Love. The Success 3.0 Summit's method and movement is to bring together key thought leaders and change-agents to collaboratively evolve a bold new Integral vision of Success. The event hosted key business and thought leaders including, Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos Inc), Arianna Huffington (Editor in Chief, Huffington Post), Alanis Morissette (Singer/Songwriter & Activist), Blake Mycoskie (Founder, TOMS Shoes), Barbara Marx Hubbard (Author, Social Innovator, Evolutionary Thought Leader), Michael Franti (Lead Vocalist of Spearhead & Activist), Casey Sheahan (former CEO, Patagonia), Lynne Twist (Global Activist & Author), Adam Bellow (Vice President, Harper Collins), Ben Jealous (former President & CEO of the NAACP), DJ Spooky (Composer, Musician & National Geographic Emerging Explorer), Tom Chi (Innovator & Founder, Google Glass), Jack Canfield (Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul), and many others.

Known for his rare combination of brilliant mind and overflowing heart, Gafni is a leading public intellectual impacting the source code of global culture, and has been called a trail-blazing visionary in opening up new possibilities for love, Eros and relationship. He has led international spiritual movements and learning communities, as well as created and hosted for several seasons a popular national Israeli television program on culture, meaning, and spirit on Israels leading network.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Gafni has developed educational programs and workshops rooted in traditional wisdom and yet fully adapted to the needs of the contemporary world.

Gafni is well known for his love of Integral Theory and its profound importance. As an expression of that importance, he has engaged with Ken Wilber over the last twelve years in dozens of discussions designed to clarify and evolve key dimensions of Integral Theory in relation to Unique Self, World Spirituality, Prayer and the Second Person of God, Evil, Eros and the the Future of Love and Relationship.

Wilber, in his introduction to the Your Unique Self book, called Unique Self "a new chapter in Integral Theory."

Similarly JITP devoted an entire issue to Unique Self with the leading article by Gafni entitled "The Evolutionary Emergent of Unique Self: A New Chapter in Integral Theory".

Sean Esbjrn-Hargens in his preface to Radical Kabbalah has already noted Gafni's important contributions to Integral theory.

It is worth adding that Gafni has contributed to evolving Integral theory in terms of emergent understandings of what he has called "the democratization of enlightenment," a second tier theory of moral obligation, a second tier realization of prayer, of what he has called World Spirituality, Evolutionary Eros, Integral Sexuality, Conscious Entrepreneurship, Theodicy, and the beginning of an Integral theory of Unique Self.

[Click here for Dr. Marc Gafni's in-depth autobiography...]

[For more about Marc visit the Center for Integral Wisdom website...]

Barbara Marx Hubbard, Founder of The Foundation for Conscious Evolution, about Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom:

Marc Gafni is a rising star attracting us toward a future of outrageous love, creativity, wisdom and pleasure as our Unique Selves. He is paving the way for a new psychology and spirituality for evolving humanity to fulfill our enormous potential. He has incorporated the 13.8 billion year Evolutionary Impulse of Creation directly in the heart of humanity as our motivation to love, to grow to become our Unique Selves, the future human. It is a joy to work with Marc. He combines kindness, humor, great erudition and a passionate desire to draw us together in a movement for positive self and social actualization. He is inspiring us to change the "source code of success" as winning over one another, to the new source code of co-creating and co-evolving with one another for the good, the true and the beautiful. He radiates the joy of "joining genius to co-create."

I very much enjoy working with Marc and Daniel Schmachtenberger on a course to be offered through the Center from Integral Wisdom, "Becoming a Future Human," on exploring with him sacred texts, (as I am publishing a new book: Evolutionary Testament of Co-Creation: The Promise Will Be Kept-- an evolutionary perspective on the Gospels, Acts and Epistles), and co-conceiving with him and others some remarkable initiatives that have the possibility of truly serving the world. I look forward to working with Marc and others at the Center for Integral Wisdom. For me, as a life long advocate of the world view of Conscious Evolution it is like home coming within an evolutionary family.

Barbara Marx Hubbard, Founder of The Foundation for Conscious Evolution

Sally Kempton introducing Marc Gafni on the Integral Spiritual Experience 2 - The Future of Love:

Marc's prayerful commitment is to participate in and help to catalyze the articulation of a shared global framework of meaning and responsibility--which is the urgent need and great planetary adventure of our time. Such a framework honors the singularity of every great wisdom tradition, even as it identifies the underlying depth structures and unique contributions of each. When taken together, these begin to articulate an authentic users guide to the universe. The Center for Integral Wisdom is the great renaissance project of our time, inviting outrageous love in response to outrageous pain, audaciously and lovingly demanding that each of us step up to being All In For All Life.

The Center for Integral Wisdom is engaged in a series of "source code evolving" landmark projects in the areas of Conscious Capitalism & Entrepreneurship, Unique Self, Eros, World Spirituality, Gender, Relationship, Medicine, Education and Psychology. We believe that these projects will help to unfold--for the first time in the post-modern era--a shared vision of meaning: an authentic world philosophy based on Integral Unique Self principles.

Our work in the world is focused in several areas: leading-edge scholarship, books & white papers, large scale virtual courses and public events, and other projects which are collectively re-shaping key pivoting points in consciousness and culture.

Marc's favorite quote:

There is nothing more whole than a broken heart.

Marc's favorite "little-known" book:

Ecclesiastes: Written by King Solomon chalk full of stunning advice on life, relationships and business.

Also Available: Marc Gafni's Intellectual Biography

Additional Information: Marc Gafni Facts

Testimonials about Marc>>>

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Dr. Marc Gafnis Biography | Marc Gafni

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May 18th, 2016 at 11:17 am

Evolutionary Psychology – Evolution Definition

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The brain as a maze. Getty/PASIEKA

By Heather Scoville

Updated January 25, 2015.


Evolutionary psychology is a relatively new scientific discipline that looks at how human nature has evolved over time as a series of built up psychological adaptations. Many evolutionary biologists and other scientists are still reluctant to recognize evolutionary psychology as a valid science.

Much like Charles Darwin's ideas about natural selection, evolutionary psychology focuses on how favorable adaptations of human nature are selected for over less favorable adaptations.

In the scope of psychology, these adaptations could be in the form of emotions or problem solving skills.

Evolutionary psychology is related to both macroevolution in the sense that it looks at how the human species, especially the brain, has changed over time, and it is also rooted in the ideas attributed to microevolution. These microevolutionary topics include changes at the gene level of DNA.

Attempting to link the discipline of psychology to the theory of evolution via biological evolution is the aim of evolutionary psychology. In particular, evolutionary psychologists study how the human brain has evolved.

The different regions of the brain control different parts of human nature and the physiology of the body. Evolutionary psychologists believe that the brain evolved in response to solving very specific problems.

The Six Core Principles of Evolutionary Psychology

The discipline of Evolutionary Psychology was founded on six core principles that combine traditional understanding of psychology along with evolutionary biology ideas of how the brain functions.

These principles are as follows:

Areas of Evolutionary Psychology Research

The theory of evolution lends itself to several areas where psychological adaptations must occur in order for species to develop. The first is basic survival skills like consciousness, responding to stimuli, learning and motivation. Emotions and personality also fall into this category, although their evolution is much more complex than basic instinctual survival skills. The use of language is also linked as a survival skill on the evolutionary scale within psychology.

Another major area of evolutionary psychology research is the propagation of the species, or mating. Based on observations of other species in their natural environments, the evolutionary psychology of human mating tends to lean toward the idea that females are more selective in their partners than males. Since males are instinctively wired spread their seed to any available female, the male human brain has evolved to be less selective than that of the female.

The last major area of evolutionary psychology research centers on human interaction with other humans. This large research area includes research into parenting, interactions within families and relations, interactions with people that are not related and the combination of similar ideas to establish a culture. Emotions and language greatly influence these interactions, as does geography. Interactions occur more frequently between people living in the same area, which eventually leads to the creation of a specific culture that evolves based on immigration and emigration in the area.

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Evolutionary Psychology - Evolution Definition

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May 18th, 2016 at 11:17 am

Reincarnation: the 35 steps of – Personality & Spirituality

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According to many spiritual teachers, all human beings are, in reality, spiritual beings on a human journey. We reincarnate as human beings in order to evolve as souls.

Our ultimate aim is to become fully conscious and capable as unique individual expressions of All That Is.

It is a long journey, but thats okay because the soul is eternal.

The souls journey is really a process of evolving. This means growing in consciousness, steadily progressing through different levels or stages of consciousness.

How do we grow in consciousness? Through taking on challenging experiences in physical form. These cause us to make important, soul-searching choices and call upon us to discover our inner resources.

But why in physical form? Why would a perfectly happy spiritual being decide to inhabit the physical realm with all of its limitations and difficulties?

It is precisely so that we can experience the state of what feels like total separation from others and from the rest of reality. Only by going into this physically separated human form can we know ourselves as beings in our own right, and not just as well undifferentiated blobs of energy. Being physical throws our experiences and choices into extremely sharp relief in a way that is not possible otherwise. This is how we learn who we are and how to become all that we are.

In other words:

Choice and the ramifications of choice provide the essential lessons of life. In a very real sense, you choose to be here in order to make choices.

Messages from Michael

a d v e r t i s e m e n t

We are here to know ourselves and be all we can be, step by step. And according to the teachings of the entity known as Michael, there are 35 steps to the reincarnational process. The body and personality you have now are merely the vehicles you have chosen for this latest step in your journey.

But why 35 steps?Why not 36 steps? Or 10? Or 100?

It is simply because, according to Michael, we go through five major stages of evolution through reincarnation. And, within each stage there are seven increments or levels to be completed. (Yes, it is rather like a computer game.)

5 x 7 = 35.

Each single step requires a whole lifetime to complete. In fact, each step usually requires more than one lifetime. Typically, the entire journey of 35 steps takes well over a hundred lifetimes.

So lets look at the journey in more detail. Well start with the five major stages of soul evolution through reincarnation.

The Michael teachings describe a sequence of five cycles or stages of soul evolution. They are named after the stages of human development:

Each of these five corresponds to a specific level of development in capability and self-awareness within the individual soul.As the soul goes through each stage, thefocuschanges,moreexperience is gained, and consciousness expands.

Incidentally, the same pattern of soul evolution has been identified by the hypnotherapist Michael Newton (right). His groundbreaking research was published in the best-selling book Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives (Llewellyn, 1994).

The books by Newton and his students draw upon thousands of transcripts of people who, under hypnotic regression, have re-experienced being between lives. From the higher perspective of their soul they are able to explain what happens after death and before birth. This includes information about the levels of consciousness through which reincarnating souls evolve.

What Newton and others have discovered is that souls between lives exist in light-form, and that each soul emanates a particular colour of the spectrum which indicates its current level of consciousness.

The spectrum begins at white (all colours) but then goes through red, yellow, green, blue, to deep purple and violet. From low frequency to high frequency. The least evolved souls the newbies have a pinkish hue. The oldest souls those nearing the end of the whole reincarnational cycle have a blueish hue.

Although the spectrum is a continuum, Dr. Newton has found that it can be divided into five distinct stages or levels of evolvement, from Level I to Level V. These can be mapped onto the five stages given in the Michael teachings, from Infant soul to Old soul.

So, for example, souls in the middle (or third) stage of reincarnation are referred to as Young souls in the Michael teachings and they are at what Newton would call Level III. They will have a yellowish or golden hue.

(As an aside, both Newton and the Michael entity also identify higher levels of soul evolution which do not involve reincarnation.)

The stages of reincarnation (or soul age) can also be likened to the stages of metamorphosis we see in nature, such as egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. In reincarnation, though, what changes is not the physical form but the mode of consciousness, especially the form of self-awareness and as a result the way of relating to others.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Soul age affects how anindividual lives, thinks, acts, andcomes across to others.

Stage 1 Infant Souls

Infant souls focus on immediate survival needs.They flourish in simple environments close to nature, such as remote tribes or rural, pastoral settings.

In the context of modern society, however, they can come across as uncivilised simpletons or yokels, and may even be deemed to be psychopathic or have some sort of developmental disorder.

Psychologically, infant soulsare naive, impulsive and pre-conventional, acting on impulse or habit with little or no thought for consequences.

Because they lack both social understanding and self-inhibition, they are capable of committing antisocial or immoral acts without any sense of wrongdoing. As such, they do not fit well within modern society and may end up in prison or in psychiatric units.

While they may lack the moral principles, social graces and cultural understanding of older souls,Infant souls are in a sense completely innocent, being without pretense or agenda.

Stage 2 Baby Souls

In contrast to Infant souls, Baby souls think a great deal about the rights and wrongs of their actions.Their lives are about safety, security, structure and order rigidly so.They like to live incommunities that arehighly principled and civilized (think of the Amish).

Baby souls come across to older souls as rather square strictlyconventional and conformist. Both their beliefs and their actions are largely rule-bound, so they are often ultra-conservative, traditionalist, orthodox, upright, moralistic, religiously devout, and mindful of law and order.

That said, they will occasionally give in to temptation, or temper tantrum, and break the rules themselves but then might find themselves tortured with guilt and shame.

They are acutely aware of the rights and wrongs of peoples actions, including their own, though they have little insight into the motives behind them. Bad behaviour is sinful, and thats that.

Stage 3 Young Souls

Young souls tend to be extravert, outward-bound, worldly, frenetically energetic, brash, competitive, political, ambitious and individualistic. Life at this stage is about thinking for oneself andassertingoneself as an individual.

Young soulsare more ego-driven than others, keen to make their markin the world. They are generally attracted to some form of worldly success fame, fortune, power, glory. In fact, they are more fearful of death than souls at other stages, and those who arent sure about life after death may be anxious to make a big impact on the world stage, to create some kind of symbolic immortality for themselves.

Young souls cling to their ownopinions, with a certainty that their own perspective is the right perspective, and their way ahead is by far the best way.Theyare veryaware of their own agendabut do not really question it.

Stage 4 Mature souls

Mature souls tend to be more reflectivethan younger souls, with a growingunderstandingof self, growingempathyfor others, and a desire for authenticity in both. Life is less about proving oneself, and more about exploring right relationship.

Mature soulconsciousness is no longer egocentric, in the sense of being limited to ones ownperspective and agenda, but is capable of accommodating multiple perspectives and different agendas. In fact, there is now atension between what I want and appreciating what you want, or between the personal and the interpersonal.

Thismakes life much more complicated sometimes overwhelmingly so. On the one hand, mature souls reject narrow-minded values. Yet on the other hand, they are able toempathise with whoever holds those same values. Fixed opinions are replaced by a sense of ever-shifting perspectives It all depends on how you look at it.

This disappearance of solid ground can behugely stressful, but it kicks off a search for deeper meaning and self-understanding, whether through art, psychology, philosophy or spirituality.

Mature soulstend to question everything, including their own motives, and are prone to do a lot of soul-searching (literally).

Stage 5 Old Souls

Old souls tend to exude some degree of depth, gravitas or wisdom that is quite obvious. In children, it can be most striking (think: old head on young shoulders) For having moved beyond the stresses and conflicts of the Mature soul, Old soulshave a growing sense of inner peaceand freedom the freedom to enjoy being very much in the world, but not of it.

Compared to younger souls theyare relatively calm, measured, untroubled and stable, unattached to social structures and cultural expectations, being sure of their own existence and inner strengths and their compassion for others.

On the other hand, finding themselvesin a world that is so conflicted, chaotic, frantic, and superficial can be utterlydepressing.

ForOld souls, the aimof life is to findtrue self-expression and fulfillment. As such, they tend to go their own unique way in life, letting go and letting be, in a detached way that may seem very weird and eccentric to younger souls.

Late-stage old souls find themselvesconsciously participating in the evolution of all-that-is, and often focus on teaching spiritual wisdom with great compassion.

Note: These descriptions emphasise the differences between stages. In reality, though, there is a gradual blend from one stage to the next. A person at the start of the Mature stage, for example, will act mostly like a Young soul but with elements of Mature soul nature beginning to emerge.

Here are the five stages of soul evolution through human reincarnation, together with the typical learning experiences associated with each stage:

So we begin reincarnating as Infant souls, complete novices at physical existence. At this first stage we are largely in a state of incompetence and terror, frankly. But through experiences and choices we learn and grow. We steadily progress from being Infant souls to Baby souls to Young souls to Mature souls. Finally, we enter the fifth stage as accomplished Old souls, the experts of human existence.

As infant souls we learned about choices having to do with survival, as baby souls choices having to do with moral codes and ethics, as young souls choices having to do with mastery of achievement, as mature souls choices having to do with relationships, and as old souls choices having to do with the nature of oneness with the Tao. An infant soul would therefore not understand the choices of an old soul although an older soul would likely have more understanding of the nature of younger soul choice having had them.

Michael, via Victoria Marina

To look at each stage in more detail see:

Stage 1. The Infant Soul

Stage 2. The Baby Soul

Stage 3. The Young Soul

Stage 4. The Mature Soul

Stage 5. The Old Soul

The six or seven billion people on the planet span the whole range of stages, but the average is said to be somewhere just past the mid-point of stage 3 (see chart below). In other words, this world is currently dominated by Young souls whose primary focus is competitive self-advancement.

Within each stage there are seven discrete steps to go through. In the Michael teachings, they are called levels, so in each stage we proceed from 1st level to 7th level. Calling these levels can be a bit confusing (since Newton refers to the five major stages as levels), so I sometimes prefer to call them steps.

So each stage of reincarnation has seven distinct learning steps. For example, we begin the whole journey at step 1 as Infant souls, learn that lesson, then undertake step 2 as Infant souls, and so on. On completing the 7th step of the Infant stage, we then begin the 1st step of the Baby stage.

The early steps in any stage are about experiencing life at this new stage of evolution, learning the essential lessons through appropriate experiences.

The later steps are about expressing those lessons, demonstrating this level of consciousness in action.

For example, in the Young soul stage, the first three steps from 1st level Young soul to 3rd level Young soul are about discovering the meaning of free will and self-determination; the last three steps 5th level Young soul to 7th level Young soul are about demonstrating the meaning of free will and self-determination in action. (The middle step 4th level Young soul is about consolidating the lessons learned.)

The first step or level of any stage is like putting a toe in the water; the final step is like teaching others how to swim:

This sequence of seven steps is repeated through each stage, making 35 steps in all from the beginning of reincarnation to the end.

In case youre wondering, Im at the 5th level of the Mature soul stage. My current lifes lesson is about outwardly expressing my Mature soul consciousness.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t

So, we start our evolutionary journey at level 1 of stage I (as 1st Level Infant souls) and end it at level 7 of stage 5 (as 7th Level Old souls).

There are 35 steps in all. And each single step requires at least one lifetime to complete.

A single step can be done in one lifetime but often thats too big a stretch, so an initial life may undertaken as a taster, followed by one or two more which really go for it.

Sometimes a life is interrupted, and the soul will just have to start over in the next life. Also, some lives are undertaken for reasons other than the specific intent to develop. For example, one lifetime might be undertaken primarily to assist another soul in their development. And some lives are taken on primarily for the death experience, for karmic reasons. These can be very short, of the order of days, weeks or months.

Taking into account all the gaps spent in the non-physical state between lives, a single step is typically accomplished in about 100-300 years of Earth time.

The whole journey of 35 steps usually takes well over 100 lifetimes. Hence, the whole journey is likely to take of the order of 7,000-8,000 years, but possibly a lot more if the population is low and opportunities to incarnate are few.

You cannot skip any of the steps, nor would you want to (from the souls perspective). You wouldnt rent a movie but then skip to the final credits just to avoid the whole process of sitting through the movie. In fact, its more like a computer game. You are playing the game because you want to, and at some level you actually love it. And you know perfectly well that you need to master one level before you can move on to the next level. Thats what the game is all about.

Theres no tyrannical deity controlling the game, forcing you to keep at it, deciding who gets to graduate and who doesnt. Its just the natural dynamic of life and the evolution of consciousness. A tadpole cannot suddenly transform into a full-grown frog. A baby human cannot suddenly take on a professional career or family responsibilities. Theres a natural, inevitable sequence to go through. And weve all signed up for it.

Well, at the level of spirit or essence, all is one, all is love, all is joy. This is all very nice, but consciousness longs to experience more and more of what there is to experience, the utter richness and fullness of life.

By fragmenting into zillions of conscious entities, each of whom has its own experiences and perspective, and each of whom can make its own choices about what to experience. Any soul can choose to continue being submerged in all-that-is, albeit with little sense of self. Alternatively, any soul can choose to undergo the experience of life in a separate physical form, interacting with other souls in their own physical forms. This is the ultimate way to experience oneself as a self.

We have all made this choice: to use the human form as a vehicle to help us become more conscious of ourselves as the amazing beings we are. The aim is to experience every possible experience that enables us to emerge more and more consciously and fearlessly as ourselves. We begin as helpless infants for whom the experience of separate existence is quite terrifying. But we end as autonomous, self-realised beings for whom human existence is the most amazing way of being, feeling joyful and free and sharing love with the whole of life.

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May 18th, 2016 at 11:17 am

itinerary – The Great Story Website created by Connie Barlow

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Rev. Michael Dowd is a former pastor, sustainable communities organizer, and bestselling pro-future evangelist, whosework has been featured inThe New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Discover, and on television nationally. His book, Thank God for Evolution, was endorsed by 6 Nobel Prize-winning scientists, noted skeptics, and religious leaders across the spectrum. Michael has delivered two TEDx talks and a program at the United Nations. He has also conducted two acclaimed online conversation series: "The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity" and "The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness". Dowd's passion for proclaiming a pro-science and Nature-honoring message of inspiration what he calls "the gospel of right relationship to Reality" has earned him the moniker 'Rev. Reality', as he speaks prophetically in secular and religious settings about our sacred responsibility to future generations.

Connie Barlow is a science writer, evolutionary educator, and professional audio, video, and text editor. Her 2001 book, The Ghosts of Evolution (Basic Books), was's top-recommended science book for several months. Her previous books, Green Space, Green Time: The Way of Science (Copernicus Books), Evolution Extended: Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life (MIT Press), and From Gaia to Selfish Genes: Selected Writings in the Life Sciences (MIT Press), all explore the nexus of science, meaning, and inspiration. Now mostly retired from speaking, Connie is a leader in the rapidly emerging field of assisted migration. (See her "Climate, Trees, and Legacy" video blog.)

Michael and Connie both climate hawks have spoken to more than 2,000 groups throughout North America since 2002: from Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical Christian churches; to skeptic, freethinker, and atheist gatherings; to grade school, high school, college, and university classrooms; to New Thought, New Age, Pagan, and Eastern Spirituality venues. They have had an especially large impact within the Unitarian Universalist Association, as they've spoken in nearly half of all the UU churches and fellowships in the United States (450+) and their work was featured on the cover of the UUA national membership magazine, the UU WORLD, twice: in 1997 and again in 2006.


BASECAMPS... - Michael: January 1 - March 18, 2016 - Salt Lake City, UT - Connie: January 1 - March 21, 2016 - Fort Payne, AL - Both MD & CB: March 21 - April 14, 2016 - Fort Payne, AL - Both MD & CB: April 17 - May 31 - Cullowhee, NC





BASECAMP: March 21 - April 14 - Ft. Payne, AL (Lookout Mountain)



BASECAMP: April 17 - May 31 - Cullowhee, NC




We expect to either be based in New Mexico (July-Aug-Sept) and then the Pacific Northwest (Oct-Nov-Dec) OR be based in Michigan (July-Dec). We probably won't know one way or the other, however, until April.

For the list of speaking engagements already completed, click: PAST ITINERARY.

To invite us to present in your community, visit our PROGRAMS page or click to SEND US AN EMAIL.

Excerpt from:
itinerary - The Great Story Website created by Connie Barlow

Written by grays

May 18th, 2016 at 11:17 am

Evolutionary Spirituality | Dr David G Benner

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Posted on December 30, 2014 by DGB

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Recently someone wrote me and said that since my last couple of books were full of talk of becoming and unfolding, he was beginning to sense a lurking presence of evolutionary theology. Apparently he thought this was a bad thing.

My interest in the natural sciences predated my interest in the human ones, although both interests have seamlessly intermingled since my undergraduate years at university. At age fourteen I won a provincial public speaking contest with a talk on evolution so it should not be any surprise to say that I have long been strongly influenced by evolutionary thought. However, it is not the details of evolution that are of primary interest to me. That I happily leave to biologists. My interest is in the meaning and significance of the fact that the universe and everything within it is constantly evolving. To fail to noticethisunfolding tendency is simply to fail to be fully in touch with reality.

Theology has not only the right but also the responsibility to engage with the same data as science. But their perspectives are and should be quite different. Science seeks to explain facts while theology seeks or should seek to understand their meaning. Each does one thing well and the other very poorly.

My approach to understanding the theologicaland spiritual implicationsof evolution draws on the work of the Jesuit palaeontologist and cosmologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He viewed evolution as a divine strategy for birthing and growing a world under the non-interfering, yet persuasive influence of the mystery many of us call God. He described evolution as the movement toward increasing wholeness. It is the process of the complexification of energy that results in a rise of consciousness this eventually expressing itself in awareness. It is the growing of smaller wholes into larger wholes. It is a cosmic journey of becoming. And, from a monotheistic religious point of view, all of this happens under the dynamic impulse of Gods creative power and love God being at the heart of the evolutionary process, empowering it from within.

If something like this is the fundamental nature of the universe, what then are the implications for spirituality? Evolution paints a picture of the universe that is deeply congruent with the picture presented by the mystics that is, that reality is One. Humans are an expression of that unity manifest in awesome diversity. We are embodied and personalized expressions of an underlying current of the universe drawing all things toward increased wholeness and consciousness. The goal of this is something much larger than personal growth or fulfilment. The goal is that everything and everyone find its place within the wholeness in which it is already held everything and everyone then participating in the divine promise of greater freedom and fullness of life.

In his book, Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos, Bruce Sanguin describes evolutionary spirituality as persons on the path of Christ, consciously evolving in community, one with the evolving cosmos, and one with the divine Heart andMind, in loving service to our one Earth community. This is a spirituality that is both personal and transpersonal. It is a spirituality that is grounded in materiality and the body but clearly oriented toward the transcendent horizon within which we exist. And because, in the words of Teilhard de Chardin, humans are the arrow of evolution and the direction of its future, it is a spirituality that will make a difference to not only our personal lives but also the unfolding of the universe and the Divine plan for its wholeness. In all these ways of understanding the term, I easily accept the description of my theology and spirituality as evolutionary. To me its the only way to bring science and religion into a harmonious relationship.

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Evolutionary Spirituality | Dr David G Benner

Written by grays

May 18th, 2016 at 11:16 am

Evolutionary Psychology Definition and Examples

Posted: October 25, 2015 at 11:49 am

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Updated November 25, 2014.


Evolutionary psychology is a theory of human behavior that incorporates the effects of evolution. As our ancestors confronted problems, they developed ways of solving those problems. Over time, the most successful solutions developed into basic instincts. We no longer need to consciously think about certain behaviors, as they simply come naturally. Those behaviors are tempered by input from our culture, family, and individual factors, but the underlying behaviors are instinctual.

At its most basic level, evolutionary psychology explains relatively simply topics. A common example is language acquisition. All humans, assuming normal physical structure, are capable of learning language. At some point in history, early man developed language skills beyond grunting and pointing. The ability to communicate complex thoughts was important for survival, and so language acquisition abilities evolved.

Which language or languages are learned depends on the language spoken in the home and neighborhood, demonstrating the importance of cultural input.

More complex evolutionary psychology theories attempt to explain more complicated behaviors. For example, many research studies have shown that we are more likely to fear snakes and spiders than other predatory animals such as lions and tigers. From an evolutionary point of view, this may be due to the fact that snakes and spiders are more difficult to spot. It made sense to our ancestors to look carefully for poisonous creatures before sticking their hands into woodpiles or overgrown brush (still a good idea today!). Over time, that caution became an instinctive human reaction.

Examples: Jill has been afraid of spiders since she was a toddler. After determining that she had never been bitten or seen someone bitten by a spider, her therapist explained that according to evolutionary psychology, Jill's fear might be an instinctive reaction.

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Evolutionary Psychology Definition and Examples

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October 25th, 2015 at 11:49 am

Spiritual Competency Online CE resources for Psychologists …

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Andrew Weil, MD The Future of Psychedelic and Medical Marijuana Research | CE hours: 1.0 | fee: $10.00

Ben Sessa, M.D., History of Psychedelic Research in the United Kingdom | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Charles Grob, M.D., Alicia Danforth, MA Harbor-UCLA Study of Psilocybin Treatment for Anxiety in Advanced-Stage Cancer Patients | CE hours: 1.0 | fee: $10.00

Christopher Wiegand, M.D Results from a Study of Psilocybin to Treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Human | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Clinical Applications of Psychedelics | CE hours: 1.0 | fee: $10.00

David Nichols, Ph.D. Advances In Understanding How Psychedelics Work In The Brain | CE hours: 1.0 | fee: $10.00

Ilsa Jerome Ph.D., Mining MDMA Literature: Finding Gems in the Rough | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

James Fadiman, Ph. D. Psychedelics as Entheogens: How to Create and Guide Successful Sessions. | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Jeffrey Guss, M.D., The NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Research Projects Psychedelic Psychotherapy Training Program | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

MDMA in Clinical Practice | CE hours: 1.5 | fee: $15.00

Michael Mithoefer, MD: MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Treatment of PTSD: Results from US Pilot Study | CE hours: 1.0 | fee: $10.00

Michael Montagne Ph.D., Metaphors and Meanings: How We Interpret and Understand Psychedelic Drug Experiences | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Neal Goldsmith, Ph. D., Psychedelic Therapy and Change: Research, Challenges, Implications | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Psychedelics & MDMA as Potential Supplements to Treatment for High-Functioning Autism & Aspergers Syndrome | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Psychedelics in End of Life Psychotherapy | CE hours: 1.0 | fee: $10.00

Ralph Metzner, PhD Psychedelic, Psychoactive and Addictive Drugs and States of Consciousness | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Richard Yensen, Ph.D., History of Psychedelic Research at Maryland Psychiatric Research Center | CE hours: 0.3 | fee: $5.00

Robin Carhart-Harris, Ph.D. Using fMRI to investigate the effects of psilocybin on brain activation and blood flow: rationale, hypotheses and progress | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

Stan Grof, MD, PhD Implications of Psychedelic Research for Psychology & Psychiatry | CE hours: 1.5 | fee: $15.00

Tom Kingsley Brown, Ph.D. Ibogaine Treatment for Drug Dependence:A Study of Quality of Life | CE hours: 0.5 | fee: $5.00

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Spiritual Competency Online CE resources for Psychologists ...

Written by grays

October 25th, 2015 at 11:49 am

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