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  • Rick Bonetti

Science and Interspirituality


David Sloan Wilson introduced Kurt Johnson on the ProSocial World YouTube Channel to discuss interspirituality.


Today was the final session of a 10-week Master Class on the Science of the Noosphere organized by the Human Energy Project. David Sloan Wilson (an evolutionary biologist who advanced multilevel selection theory) assembled an impressive collection of scientists, scholars, futurists, artists, and storytellers and over 60 participants. The syllabus was challenging with twice-a-week 2-hour Zoom sessions plus several hours of preparation watching pre-recorded video interviews with various scientists. The participants were varied, but also impressive intellectually and spiritually.


Human Energy Project is promoting a Third Story, which draws on the world's wisdom traditions in a way that is consistent with the latest scientific understanding of evolution, biology, chemistry, physics, cosmology, anthropology, sociology, and psychology, providing "a source of meaning for future generations in our globalizing world."


The First Story of the Universe, based on traditional beliefs, has been eroded by science. The Second Story of the Universe based on relativity and quantum mechanics has led many to believe in a random universe and purposeless evolution. A Third Story of the Universe is based on Teilhard de Chardin’s notion of the Noosphere, his scientific work, and the work of other scientists with compatible theories such as Terrence Deacon, Francis Heylighen, and David Sloan Wilson.


One of the Master Class participants and the Spirituality of the Noosphere small group leader was Dr. Kurt Johnson, who has worked in professional science and comparative religion for over 40 years. He served on the faculty of New York’s Interfaith Seminary for 12 years and, for 25 years, was associated with the American Museum of Natural History, also in New York. He is the author of The Coming Interspiritual Age (2013) and Our Moment of Choice (2020).

"Interspirituallity" is part of the "great intersubjective discussion" the world so desperately needs but to a great extent has never had. Science is a part of this discussion, as to how reality is experienced, observed, and described." ~ Dr. Kurt Johnson
 

Dr. Kurt Johnson's Impressive Background


Kurt Johnson is both a scientist (entomologist) and a recognized interspiritual leader.

He has been deeply influenced by his mentor Brother Wayne Teasdale, and five other interfaith luminaries including Matthew Fox, Thich Nhat Hanh, Raimon Panikkar, Thomas Merton, and Bede Griffiths.


Teasdale, who originated the word "interspirituality" is famous for saying "The only viable religion for the Third Millennium is spirituality itself." By that, he meant "the deepest of subjective and objective experiences that lead to pro-social behavior." Prosocial is the opposite of antisocial. It is an important part of this discussion as its goal is to promulgate prosocial behavior, and behavior is greatly affected by the stories we tell and accept.

Johnson is a founder of Light on Light Press. which publishes Light on Light (emphasizing spiritual practices and inspired lifestyles), Yoga, Healing and Peace, and Conscious Business (emphasizing conscious business, economics, and policy), The family of publications began with specialty publications from their media as well as interspiritual, and social activist partnerships initiated with VoiceAmerica and Unity Earth.


Johnson was the host for The Convergence, a 13-episode radio series in 2016-17 through VoiceAmerica; the emphasis was on sacred activism. VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network identifies itself as "the leading producer, distributor, and online broadcaster of original live and on-demand talk radio, programming worldwide... They deliver hundreds of original programs weekly through five branded channels: VoiceAmerica Variety, VoiceAmerica Empowerment, VoiceAmerica Health & Wellness, VoiceAmerica Business, and VoiceAmerica INFLUENCERS."


A partner in UNITY EARTH, Kurt is ordained, or certified, in five religious traditions. He has a Ph.D. in Evolution and Ecology and is the author of over 200 scientific articles and seven technical books. UNITY EARTH is "a global network on a mission to accelerate the realization of unity and peace on Earth. Inspired by the world’s wisdom traditions and born out of the desire to meet global-sized challenges with global-sized solutions, the network is built to amplify the reach and impact of peace-aligned organizations and individuals. UNITY EARTH’s programs and activities focus on the intersection of spirituality, science, technology, transformative practices, and the arts, to engage people across cultures, generations, and geographical boundaries. UNITY EARTH grows community by sharing stories and experiences to create a new story for humanity."


A former monastic, Kurt Johnson is a founder of the Evolutionary Leaders, which includes the Evolutionary Leaders Synergy Circle, the Association of Transformational Leaders, and the Transformational Leadership Council. The TLC was originally convened in 2004 by Jack Canfield when he called colleagues together who were engaged in doing transformational work on the planet.




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