"Transcend and include... this is the self-transcending drive of the Kosmos—to go beyond what went before and yet include what went before... to open into the very heart of Spirit-in-action." Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if a group of people somewhere were for something and against nothing?" Ernest Holmes

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Film from the Spiral Dynamics Blender: Elmore Leonard's "Touch"

What do you get when a defunct, "Uni-Faith" evangelist and a militant Catholic traditionalist discover, at the same time, a simple Franciscan monk who heals by touch?  A very funny and sweet commentary on values that makes a yummy meal for fans of Spiral Dynamics.

Author Elmore Leonard is best known for suspense thrillers of gritty realism like Get Shorty. But in his 1997 film Touch, he makes us laugh while also honoring a simple spirituality outside traditional religion. The plot makes for a tutti-fruity mashup of the values memes that Spiral Dynamics calls us to master.

In a sweet coincidence, my husband Andy stumbled on this movie just as I was preparing to take a class on Spiral Dynamics from Jim Lockard. Lockard is a retired New Thought Minister who has helped my congregation think in evolutionary terms about our future. And he had just published a blog post on ministering to outrage. In "Touch," the Catholic militant leads a group called "Outrage." The best laugh of the movie comes when the militant reveals the name's meaning, "Organization Unifying for Traditional Rites as God Expects." 

The militant does some buffoonish and dangerous acts. Yet the movie lends him some dignity for the caring behind his convictions.  I'm thinking that might just make it second tier. 

Check out this movie. You'll be touched.

Friday, January 1, 2016

God, Science, and Sexy Bananas

My banana's tail stretched five feet.
This one is from Malaysian photographer

A Poolside Contemplation of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness

On a recent trip to Florida, I stood awestruck before a banana palm by my hotel room door. I'd seen bananas on the hoof before, but I'd never seen the long tail that proceeds from the bottom of a bunch and ends in a dangling, pointed, orb of smoky-crimson, looking like God's hypnosis pendant or the devil's tail. The tail on this baby was five feet long. I wanted to fall to my knees in adoration.

God or evolution? From Wikipedia I learned that the orb is a flower spike known as the inflorescence. Seeking a photo, I misspelled it as "fluorescence." That led me to an article proving that ripe bananas glow in the dark, but only if they're sexy. The article was an absolutely delightful example of the scientific method at work. Author Carolyn Tepolt described her persistent quest as her first several experiments failed to produce glowing bananas. Just as I had been enthralled by the beauty of God's creation, now I was enchanted by the scientist's devotion to truth.

Terry Patten's Integral Spiritual Practice tells us that contemplation is the preferred spiritual practice for both nature worshipers and scientist philosophers. So I chose a poolside-table with a view of the tree and ordered a banana daquiri from the tiki bar. And it was good.

Travel note: You, too, can contemplate fluorescence and inflorescence at the Dolphin Key Resort in Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Florida.