The Interspirit Foundation From: Bruce Schuman
Date: Friday, November 20, 2009
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Dear Interspirit --

Greetings from Santa Barbara -- and welcome to the 10 or more new people who joined us over the last couple of months, and whose membership in this network I just now confirmed (if you are surprised to receive this email, you might not remember joining this group).

My reason for sending this message -- is mostly just to say hello, and to briefly review some of what has been happening in my little creative world...

As our collective situation in the USA and the world continues to evolve, the forces that tend to drive us apart, and make us angry and frustrated with one another continue to unfold and expand. At the same time, the counter-force, something innate in all of us that is arising as a deep instinct towards unity and shared understanding, is also growing. I feel a strong push in the direction of this counter- force...

The idea I have been looking at lately is simply this concept of an "integral coalition" -- the idea that it should be possible to develop a collaborative framework for hundreds or thousands of organizations to successfully work together in an "integral" way -- while not adopting any single shared set of objectives or standards that extend much beyond mutual respect.

A couple of projects continue to emerge. One is the USA.CAN network, mentioned below in previous emails, which is now also running on the domain, and has been active recently at -- in the same format as this message.

I've posted quite a bit of information there, regarding the possibilities for an emerging "third force" in USA politics. Not a "third party" -- but some new medium -- generally based on the internet -- that gives voice to the people, and helps us all overcome a variety of limitations that seem to be seriously gumming up our national politics. I've felt strongly that this can happen, and should happen. HOW it can happen -- is not yet entirely clear -- maybe that is one reason for posting this message -- just to incite creative responses....

One other framework for these issues is the web domain, where I have begun some initial development of what I call an "Integral Coalition". The idea there -- is to convene social activist groups and organizations and individuals all across the political and social spectrum, with the grand idea of magnetizing a kind of "unified force for good" that takes on every aspect of our collective life.

Some of this stuff can become a bit complicated, so I have been doing what I can to make it simple -- which probably depends on me seeing the details clearly. I've had one or two conversations on the subject with friends -- maybe others on the network here will have constructive thoughts...

Below I include is a screen-shot from a 6-page article I wrote today, not quite finished.

For those new to the Interspirit framework, thanks for your presence, and for your patience, since some of you may be expecting ideas of a slightly more traditionally "spiritual" character. So let me just say -- that after 20 or 30 years of looking at religious and spiritual and metaphysical philosophy, I have just more or less come to the conclusion that the entire subject is really very simple, and mostly based on just a few virtues. Practice those virtues, I believe -- and the need for complex rituals and belief systems and institutions ("mumbo-jumbo") just mostly goes away. The Beatles said it in the 60's -- "All you need is love."

But think about love in politics. Unheard of, right? Well, maybe we got to encourage it somehow.

One People, One Planet, One Spirit, One Love...

If it's authoritative spirituality you are looking for -- this library of quotes (IMHO) settles the whole issue...

Here's the article screen-shot:



--- On Mon, May 18, 2009, in msg267977, Ron Robinson wrote ---

HI Bruce,

Great ideas here. I would also recommend contacts in Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Religious and Global Studies Depts. etc. as well as University Student organizations and government. However, I would also offer this caveat - that there are people in these Departments that are nominally "liberal" and "progressive" etc., but who don't support Obama for various reasons and resist efforts that might be supportive (obviously, the more conservative elements are even more resistant). I'd also suggest that a new interspirit politics be based on empathy, compassion, and connectedness, i.e., one based on the ethic/ethos of: "I am because we are, and since we are, therefore, I am."

I believe this is especially important now because  aspects of the "new-age" religious/self- empowerment movement (including Scientology/Landmark Forum etc.) run directly counter to this ethic. Yet, they have attracted many people who consider themselves liberals and Obama supporters. The roots and foundations of this movement are Ayn Rand/L.Ron Hubbard/Werner Earhardt/Rupert Murdoch etc. and are hyper individualistic, self oriented, and based on classic Eurologic psychoanalytic foundations that have the potential of derailing Obama's agenda and turning it into a  more conservative, "blame the victim" approach to addressing socially and historically structured problems that disproportionately affect certain groups.

I applaud your efforts and hope to be able to positively contribute to them.

Best, Ron

--- On Mon, May 18, 2009, in msg267972, Bruce Schuman wrote ---

Dear Interspirit --

Hello from Santa Barbara -- and thanks for being there.

I wanted to mention a new project that has been emerging for the past month or six weeks -- a new political action system that is generally intended to dovetail with the Obama administration and the emerging "Organizing for America" network project ("OFA") that is growing out of the big "MyBO" ( web system that helped elect our president.

There is a lot to say about this project, and how it fits in to this evolving Interspirit concept.  Yesterday, President Obama delivered another remarkable speech, at Notre Dame, and we could discuss in some detail how his vision combines the deepest sort of interfaith wisdom with the realities of an applied real-world political philosophy.  You can view the transcript here: login=463443&messageid=267963&mo=1&bt=100074

Our new project is called "USA.CAN" -- and it's still in a very early stage, as it emerges from its initial development in MyBO. 

So, we're still shaking out the details, and exactly how this project will unfold is not yet entirely clear.  But generally, I am expecting that we will be working on a "new politics", that is inherently driven by universal spiritual values and a sense of national community.

We now have about 2,000 members in our network, and are getting ready to start moving it into the world.  Most basic network features run on the LightPages system, but we are also developing a dedicated web site, where I expect to build a series of organizing tools intended to support and strengthen this vision.  A couple of things I would like to see would include a database of contacts at university political science departments around the country, and a database of media contacts, probably organized by locale.

For now, just to introduce this project, here is most of a message I posted yesterday, to another group called "Dawn's Early Light" -- intended as a harbinger of a new spirit-guided politics.


The USA.CAN network continues its steady and interesting growth, as we continue to expand the concept of "spiritual activism" into the mainstream roots of real-world political activism.

We have over 2,000 members now, and our dedicated web platform is growing, as we add new features, such as "My Friends" (a common social network feature, that allows participants to create their own network of contacts and mailing list).


The core of the USA.CAN network is intended to support on-the-ground political action in local communities.

It's true, of course, that as a political action network, this project is but a barest beginning, an organizational shell for a promise to be kept.  But it feels important to me, because the project is conceptualized in a way that feels very powerful, and because it connects in one integral design so many critical elements in this emerging "Shift" concept that is driving so much social change.

One recent book that reviews this process of change:


The concepts of sacred activism and spiritual democracy are central to a conference being held soon, that includes Barbara Marx Hubbard and Andrew Harvey.  This video from Andrew Harvey reviews some of these critical elements, and describes sacred activism as the core force that is motivating the shift.  This understanding feels powerful and fascinating, and is right at the core of the energy driving our USA.CAN project, and an expression of my own personal motivation.

Given the great diversity and social fragmentation that we see in the world today, where almost everyone has become some kind of narrow specialist, with a limited ability to understand what is going on in other sectors of human mind-space, it's not so easy to pull all these pieces together into one integral framework.  Through our networking system, we ARE doing that, in a way that feels highly coherent and well-ordered -- but there are not many people out there prepared to digest and comprehend how these pieces come together or why this is so important and powerful.  So, for that reason, it still makes more sense to build aspects of this work in separate but interrelated networks -- rather than attempt to pull them all together in one blindingly integrated system that almost no-one can understand.

But it is happening, and the pieces are coming together.  For me personally, the USA.CAN framework seems essential, a basic grounding for all the transformative and cocreative/collaborative spiritual work we have been doing together for the past ten or twenty years.  It all fits into the matrix, in a way that feels graceful, organic, and natural.