The Zem Conversation:

An Invitation to Discuss Crucial Living Aspects of the  Global Transformation of Consciousness


 
It has been more than 10 years since the conception of the Zemlyanin Project first germinated in San Francisco and then developed, evolved, and grew in scope with participants communicating via the internet between Moscow and the USA. The seminal ideas were formulated and emerged as a result of intense, thought provoking, and engaged debates and discussions.  These “Conversations” were expressions of our individual world views and the sharing of our deep personal concerns regarding critical global issues as we understood them at the time. Zem’s foundational issues and problematics were perceived as being a web of contemporary intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual constraints;. deep psychological and cultural barriers; and a growing sophistication of political, socio-economic, and environmental agendas and impositions. The consciousness manipulations and deliberate inter-relatedness of these issues we saw as both potential and potent threats to humanity’s highest aspirations at the beginning of the 21th century.  The global desire for all of humanity to be free to engage living to ones full unique, creative, and spiritual being - and in turn, to contribute to this ideal on behalf of others - this became our commitment - these aspirations for a common humanity formed the foundation - the grounding -  the  'earth'  of the Zemlyanin Project

 

As usual, political, social, spiritual, cultural, and personal history is never solely the result of singular nor communal intentions or projects.  Both the world’s stage and our personal stories and understandings have changed dramatically.  Some of these changes were anticipated by ourselves and others similarly concerned with our common global condition. Yes, occasionally mortals can image and create a familiar future- mostly due to our penchant to be predictable and our hesitant efforts to engage the unknown or alter our comfortable paradigms.. But far more important than our occasionally successful predictive ideas are the unexpected and surprising confrontations with the emerging world.  The unexpected and unknown is ultimately what challenges us all toward new thinking - new ways of being -  and hopefully, deepens our maturity and wisdom as individuals and as global spirits.

 

This is our current attempt at intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual synthesis. New conversations and ideas represent an on-going struggle with the unfolding of the unexpected as well as our attempt to integrate personal understandings and insights that have held true for us over time.  As unique, creative, and spiritually concerned persons wanting to continue to contribute to Zemlyanin - these are the concerns and tasks that engage our highest considerations and aspirations: to promote a globally conscious humanity that embraces, encourages, and enriches the best of all our selves.

 

 

 

Conversation 1

J.C. - We have spent many interesting days thinking and conversing about the global issues we have considered while writing Part 1 of  Zemlyanin .

It appears that what is emerging  is a dialogue among three philosophical and spiritually distinct perspectives:

1) a spiritual humanist - (JC)

2) a Christian deeply committed to a traditional orthodoxy - (Andrei)

3) a Christian raised in the Protestant holiness movement- (Marsha)

A. - I agree that we need to clarify our positions now in order to go further and deeper into the Zemlyanin concept.  In Part 1 we discussed more general issues of our global concern. I think the main interest for readers will be to see certain global issues from different cultural perspectives, as well as what is common.

J.C. - We have reached a point in our discussions where a fundamental philosophical commitment or position is required. You take the position that, although humankind may not understand, your God or the evolutionary process of Christianity will prevail in all matters. Whether it is the role of Good and Evil that you perceive functioning in the world, or your characterization of humanity’s mistakes (such as deviant human behaviors), you revert back to the orthodoxy and morality of your religion. It has become evident, at least from my perspective, your views of psychology, sociology, history - in fact, your every intellectual endeavor - is filtered by your faith. I admire your conviction even if I admonish your predilection.

A. - Yes, one's world outlook is a prism, filtering his cognition. I see it as natural. Look at the history of philosophy. But I want to say that I feel myself a Christian-orientated philosopher, but not in with the negative connotation Westerners usually assign to Orthodox Christianity. I like and appreciate Russian religious philosophy. It is very deep. And it is sad that it is not known well in the world. But I realize the problems of any paradigm limiting the realities and options one considers. However, my personal challenge is to reach from my Christian foundation to embrace new knowledge, new opportunities, new awareness. Not to step off of my foundation, but to extend the edges of my paradigm without compromising it. Then to offer others, particularly Westerners, the opportunity to share this experience of appreciating and understanding Orthodox contributions.

Basic truths don’t change . . . and this is what Orthodoxy means . . . but as we become aware of radically new situations for humanity, these eternal principles will blend with fresh awareness. The traditional and the new enriching each other. This is part of the transfiguration process. It is an error, as we’ve mentioned previously, to toss out legitimate learning, true wisdom, and attempt to recreate the human spirit from zero. It is arrogant. We need, in this amazing epoch, to be more sophisticated . . . more complex . . . less lazy . . . more simple, really. It is as aspect of maturity, I think. Now we must move beyond the adolescent notions that we can suddenly conceive of a wholly new notion of the meaning of life and convert all of human culture to its support. We need to discern that truth which we have learned in the past and use it as a basis, while we discover and develop new awareness. We need to accept this challenge of integrating history as we reach out for global transformation.

My general position is that the New Epoch requires new consciousness. But this means first a consciousness which can embrace and reflect reality more adequately - events in subtle reality, beings of the invisible world, rules of the universe. A new consciousness for me is impossible without acknowledging such esoteric concepts. For me, a new consciousness couldn’t be atheistic, that is, fragmented to a great extent.

You mentioned Good and Evil. I know that this dimension is not popular in the West. But that is your cultural position. It doesn’t prove that these things don’t exist. Esoteric knowledge, mystical traditions, all over the world say that evil does exist. Different traditions define evil differently, of course, as a principle, or energy, or personal beings. Why the West is not comfortable with the concept of evil is interesting for me. We will speak more about this, later. For now, I suggest we acknowledge this issue to be a real philosophical problem without a finished solution

J.C. - I can admire your commitment of seeking a personal spiritual identity through your faith. But I want you to realize that this may be a severe impediment in articulating a global vision.

A. - I see that. Thank you. It’s an exciting inner experience when, on one hand I see the limits of Orthodox traditional vision, but on the other, that some traditional statements are essential - maybe only small elements, but useful for understanding. And I have only expressed the essence of my position - like an image of my position. The form of my religious world outlook, yes, tends to Russian Orthodox Christianity. But the essence of my perspective is a desire to synthesize diverse elements into some global religious knowledge. So take me as a representative of people who feel and know, subjectively, the existence of the Highest Reality’s influence on our visible reality. That is, a general non-atheistic perception of life.

M. - It seems important to place some emphasis on the phrases you have expressed, on the particular wording: to indicate a "desire to synthesize diverse elements into some global religious knowledge", not a desire to unify diverse religions into one global faith. That is an important distinction. I agree that there is much we can learn about diverse cultures and their concomitant perspectives from comparing their various religious values and views and how these impact the cultures. This diversity historically has been an ignition point for conflict. It is challenging, and the time is right to discover ways to use this diversity for creating harmony among humanity rather than for dividing us. But my own vision does not sacrifice the diversity in order to achieve the harmony. The challenge is far greater and more complex than that.

Also, what we have seen in our discussions is the foundational difference of perspectives between those who acknowledge the existence of a spiritual dimension to life and those who feel this to be utter illusion. It is another aspect of the challenge of the Zemlyanin concept to engage this divergence in the process of planetarization of consciousness. For myself, I don’t think such planetarization is possible to reach outside of a frame of reference stemming from and based upon spiritual reality; however, clearly this will never be a universal view. I am glad we have the opportunity to incorporate with this difference here.

J.C. - I understand your perspectives as an individuals - but as advocates for raising a new social consciousness how does your personal faith operate? And I think more needs to be said regarding the dangers of any orthodoxy, of any dogma, whether personally endorsed or institutionally sanctioned. Let us suppose that there were no disagreements among persons of any culture or society in the areas of political justice and freedoms. Let us further envision a world where the basic needs of food, shelter, health care and education, were equitably distributed to everyone with no one in need. What would your global citizen then look like?

A. - It looks like Communism. I am tired of this. And nobody knows the answer. From the Western perspective, because you will not share your food, money and life standard with the rest of the world, you don’t know this. In Russia we don’t have a vision of where to go after our great experiment. But that was really a great experience. Maybe we can talk about that later. It is more important to discuss what restrictions on personal behavior and morality would anyone’s orthodoxy impose? How does religion in general and Christian Orthodoxy in particular view Deep Democracy, race, gender equity, sexuality, social privilege and alternative moral postures? And what is the alternative vision, the atheistic one? We started this series of dialogues to clarify, if possible, this issue. I don’t know the answer to many of these questions.

J.C. - I agree. Until we include these fundamental issues, how can we presume to represent a future vision? But it appears that you desire a future that takes an orthodoxy from the past hoping that - if it were only implemented more fully or successfully - it would address the ills of the present and be the grounding for the globalization of the future.

A. - No. You are over-generalizing and over-simplifying my position. I don’t advocate taking an orthodoxy from the past as a whole, but using humanity’s total experience. Also, I want to stress that I am trying to synthesize my own ideas with esoteric knowledge. And my spiritual director, being rigidly Orthodox, does not approve of that. I appreciate that you deeply question the idea that our present institutions can promote the goals and meet the needs of our future.

J.C. - Leslie Lipson, in The Ethical Crises of Civilization, suggests that, unlike any time in the past, every civilization today confronts a group of problems that effects us all in much the same way. Some of these are ancient issues, coexisting with civilization itself. Others are the peculiar products of this century. In the first group belong the inequalities between individuals and groups that have persisted throughout recorded history, the cruelties that we inflict on others who are different from ourselves and the wars in which we regularly destroy our fellow creatures. From the annals of every stage of every civilization those evils can be cited. In the 20th Century, however, we have introduced our own specialized evils, most of them due to our reckless methods of applying technology to practical uses: the nuclear weapons, the pollution and destruction of our physical environment, and the increase of population in areas already suffering from desperately low standards of living. These are problems that, if they are not rectified, will lead to one of two results - either the quality of civilization will decline in all regions of the planet, including those that at present are the most affluent or the planet itself could become unlivable.

A. - I absolutely agree with this position. The question then arises for anyone who tries to deal with global issues - what is it that should be done to prevent such outcomes?

J.C. - In my judgment, the changes required of us are radical, in the literal sense that they reach to the roots of our civilization as we know it. But that is inherent in the logic of humanity's present day condition. Only a breakthrough that is truly radical in depth and dimension can rescue us from breakdown. For it to occur, this breakthrough has two prerequisites. One will involve a revolution in our institutions; the other, a revolution in our values. Both must go hand in hand, if civilization is to be preserved and then advance to new heights.

A. - What I am afraid of is this ‘breakthrough’. Is it possible to create absolutely new moral values? Without guidelines humanity will have even more chances to collapse. While it is necessary to go into the unknown, we should take our experience with us on the journey. In Russia, for example, we tried to create equality and brotherhood; we found despotism and lost 90 million people in the experiment. Our grandparents had the crazy idea that it is possible to create something absolutely new in social life. No, it didn’t work in the past. No, it can’t work for the present. So for me as a Russian, it is obvious we must be careful in creating a ‘breakthrough’ to the unknown.

M. - This current work of Zemlyanin is not advocating designing some utopian future based on entirely new definitions of values or a new cosmology. This should be stated clearly. The Zemlyanin concept is not seeding a revolution, but seeks to actively and discriminately cooperate with the flow of history currently beginning to occur. We are seeking to discover the appropriate leverage at critical moments which can support humanity in this enormous transition to a unique epoch. Not unlike identifying and using the flow of energy in martial arts, we are attempting to recognize and identify a phenomenon already in the process of occurring. The more clearly humanity can do so, the better our opportunity of consciously, actively cooperating with this ‘evolution’ to minimize its negatives and to support its positives. For the first time in history humanity itself has the opportunity, in a global sense, to consciously influence the direction of humanity as-a-whole. It is an extraordinary and exciting opportunity for mankind. And an enormous responsibility.

But clearly one essential element of the phenomenon we are calling ‘evolution of consciousness’ is that we are not, as individuals or globally, existing in a vacuum. How could we find a new system of values without a plumb line against which to judge the proposed values? And how could we determine that appropriate criteria without essential values already in place? It is not possible. We are functioning already from a complex system of values and presumptions, even faith. We cannot ‘start over’. As was stressed so potently in Part 1, there are an extraordinary number of multifactored, multi-variant influences on civilization and on each of us. An important aspect of the planetarization of consciousness is to be as aware as possible, as realistic as possible of all these influences. We cannot step out of these influences. Nor should we attempt it. We can only attempt to understand them and hopefully modify their impact where it is destructive. In a very real sense, we are the ‘product of’, influenced by, the entire history of mankind as well as immediate cultural and familial factors. This includes ‘overt’ as well as ‘subtle reality’ influences. And the spiritual realm is, I believe, the most important and essential, foundational and effectual of all aspects.

J.C. - The argument and content of the real historical experience is important. But we need an adaptable methodology for the New Epoch. The institutions that need to be revolutionized, or made over, are those that currently shape much of the conduct of humanity everywhere on this planet. I refer to the political structures of the various states and the religious organizations of the world’s many faiths. Both sets of structures, as managed by their respective governments and as fortified by doctrine and dogma, produce the same negative effect. They divide humanity into segments and infuse them with a consciousness of being separate and distinct. Then on this foundation of separate organizations, they erect a superstructure of parochial attitudes, provincial loyalties, and partisan emotions. These divisions foment the opposition between the familiar and the strange, the friendly and the hostile, the citizen and the foreigner, the faithful and the infidel. What has always followed from those dichotomies is rivalry, distrust, competition, aggression, and war. And these are caused - indeed, they are provoked - by the maintenance of divisions that the institutions themselves create and perpetuate.

A. - I agree absolutely with what you have said. Let us evaluate historical dogmas only as ideas which humanity has tested. And for a time, let us discuss issues without immediate reference to the spiritual aspect. Whether one accepts this level of reality or not, for the moment let us discuss issues a bit less abstract, then return to exploring how these fit into a spiritual vision.

M. - As a discipline, we can do this. I just want to say that the spiritual is intrinsic in anything we discuss. It’s influence, the views and values which we gain from it and bring to it is an undeniable aspect of any other issue. And some issues, such as value criteria, make no sense outside of this framework. This, I think, will become clear as our discussions continue.

J.C. - Another important thing Leslie Lipson speaks about is that the governance of the present-day world is one of protective nation-states. This system has lasted for some four and a half centuries. In the closing decade of this century some 180 states, so-called, of similar character, are functioning, or non-functioning, on the globe.

A. - Lipson is right also in saying that this system, a welcome innovation at the time it replaced the feudal units and church-state dualism of medieval Europe, has outlived its usefulness. In this day, it is manifestly obsolescent and rapidly becoming obsolete.

J.C. - I agree, partially because the boundary lines within which the nation-states exercise their jurisdiction establish areas that are not coterminous with the territorial range of the problems that governments are supposed to resolve. The nation-state centralizes power within their capital cities/institutions - powers that may be needed in the localities - all the while externally asserting its oversight, control, and if necessary, independence of legal or moral restraints, which it then uses to justify nearly any action through the pretentious doctrine of ‘State Sovereignty’.

A. - The usual consequence is that contemporary states are too small for some of the functions they should perform and are too large for others. Nowadays, their smallness renders them inadequate to cope with the problems of military defense and economic policy. National frontiers are utterly indefensible against nuclear bombs and the missiles that deliver them.

J.C. - In the same fashion, vital economic relationships fly over national boundaries and operate supra-nationally, as is evident in the cases of markets, capital flows, technology transfers, and manufacturing. An international economy has emerged in direct contradiction to the national confines of the political system.

M. - The single most important market element today is information. And it recognizes no border at all.

A. - When a unit of government is so structured that it can no longer cope successfully with the basic needs of economic well-being and military protection, it is doomed to disappear.

J.C. - This happened earlier in the history of the West, when the polis gave way to the imperium, and again when the latter was replaced by the feudalism and church-state dualism, and once more when these were succeeded by the nation-state itself. Now the time is due for this unit in turn to give way to socio-political structures more appropriate to our social needs.

A. - But how do you see it happening? Do you think that the leaders of states all over the world have an overwhelming desire to acquire global vision? To the contrary, as we wrote in Part 1, we can see the trend of an emerging global totalitarianism.

J.C. - The new governance process has already appeared, a phenomenon Lipson and Foucoult refer to as the ‘metanational region-state’. But I suggest using the term ‘global corporate councils’. In any case, there are emerging examples of governing units now being created in Western Europe under the title of the European Community, and in the America’s, NAFTA - North American Free Trade Association. Also, the internationally sponsored World Trade Association, GATT, the World Bank, the United Nations PeaceKeeping Force - the list goes on . . . . I do not see these processes/institutions as particularly responsive to individual human needs, but rather extraordinarily effective at coercive control of human activity for self-serving corporate and state agendas.

This same process holds all too true for the other major social/cultural institutions that, like the state, divide human beings from one another. Here I refer to the organized world religions that, as Leslie Lipson states, "...accomplish good by bringing people together within the embrace of a common faith; but they do commensurate harm by separating each group from the rest. Dogmatism and intolerance are the unavoidable outcomes of doctrines that claim to be divine truth. That is why some of history’s bloodiest wars have been waged under the banner of religious belief. Even today, the tragic instances multiply of human beings destroying each other through enmities that in part have religion at their base... In plain truth, organizations which arouse in their followers such a degree of fanaticism that they are ready to kill those who believe in other gods are a menace to civilization."

A. - I realize their social impact, like that of the states, is very mixed. They accomplish good by bringing people together within the embrace of a common faith; but they do commensurate harm by separating each group from the rest. Dogmatism and intolerance are the unavoidable outcomes of doctrines that claim to be divine truth. Humanity cannot unite until the divisive influences of organized religions are eradicated. To counteract the separatist influence of both the prevailing political systems and the religious institutions will be a Herculean task. Interconfessional ‘polylogue’ will be a special and vital aspect of planetarization.

M. - I agree that "dogmatism and intolerance" are the human tendency arising from following what is considered divine revelation of truth. However, despite overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary, I do not feel it is the necessary and inevitable consequence. Why cannot we accept as an essential part of the planetarization of consciousness the element of mutual honoring religious/spiritual diversity - diversity of divine revelation? This challenge seems no more difficult than the other intrinsic elements of planetarization we are discussing. I am not in favor of such arbitrary conclusions as you have both stated. We must be careful to avoid oversimplifying and thereby lose significant elements of truth with which global citizens must deal. Eradicating doctrines of faith is not the solution to the false separation among the human family these doctrines have created historically. Rather, we must use current and new knowledge and methodologies to discover and create bridges which encourage mutual respect (at least in terms of human rights, if not mutual respect for the alternate doctrines themselves), while sustaining freedom of choice among diverse doctrines.

J.C. - That will be a challenge never before accomplished. The Zemlyanin concept must encourage interconfessional dialogue. But here it is important for me to stress that until the task of countervailing religion’s divisive role is accomplished, to again quote Lipson ". . . humanity will never reach the needed global consensus on issues of universal scope. Parochial minds cannot solve planetary problems."

M. - This I agree with.

A. - I will try to avoid my personal faith binding me to the past and blinding our vision of the future. In my mind, this is an important element of a very complicated ‘alchemical process’. I see that my deep spiritual convictions based on Orthodox, but not dogmatic, views are important to our joint work. Let us try together to see how the world’s religious orthodoxies and spiritual/religious organizational structures - churches, temples, synagogues, mosques - having on one hand a vested interest in keeping their vision unique and believing their answers are the ‘right and true’ answers, could on the other hand contribute positive ideas to the planetarization of consciousness. As I understand the concept of Zemlyanin, dogma and separatism run totally counter to the acceptance of diversity and global consciousness that we wish to promote. I seek to find an invariant spiritual knowledge.

M. - I think we are seeing both phenomena occur. Something like a market psychology is at work: if traditional religion doesn’t meet a perceived need, it will tend to be replaced by, first, modified forms and - if these experiments fail - wholly new organizations. This is most easily seen in Protestantism, where there is a surge of new interpretations of traditional beliefs, a throwing out of most traditional beliefs while retaining some of the traditional vocabulary, and a mixture of New Age perspectives with traditional Protestantism. Most (not all) western Protestant and Catholic churches currently teach a generous mixture of psychology and philosophy more than Holy Scripture. These new doctrines are not exclusive to America, though perhaps are most rambunctious here. They are world wide, including in Russia. It would be interesting to me to discuss with orthodox believers of non-Christian faiths whether this same ‘watering down’ is occurring in their doctrines. It would also be interesting to discover whether a foundation of mutual respect for human rights can be created among a diversity of orthodox doctrines or, to the contrary, if grafting of secular psychological/spiritual views and values is necessary. I think a way can be found to respect human rights and respect orthodox doctrines - at least those that don’t call for killing ‘unbelievers’.

J.C. - I think I understand and agree with Andrei if by ‘invariant spiritual knowledge’ he means humankind’s capacity to reach beyond our self-imposed limitations and open ourselves to the kind of transformative experience that allows us to embrace and celebrate our human differences; dignify and support the aspirations of our fellow world citizens; and protect and advocate for the rights of those who less able to defend their own interests and needs.

More specific to the point of spirituality as represented by religion I would like to refer to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the former Chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. He has authored two very influential books in America: Flow and The Evolving Self - A Psychology for the Third Millennium. He suggests, as you do, that the historical and evolutionary processes of societal structures do hold important keys to our future understandings. He further suggests that when the experiences and thoughts of a culture began to coalesce into a systematic view of what life and the world are about, religions made their first appearance on the stage of social and cultural evolution. He maintains that it is no exaggeration to say that religions have been the most important extrasomatic organs of knowledge created by humans up to now - with the possible exception of science. Science, he feels, has adopted a self-sustaining paradigm which provides one with a way of checking objectively the information one obtains, and so allows its users to systematically reject erroneous and/or meaningless conclusions - or develop/ adopt a new paradigm that accounts for unexpected or unaccountable experimental outcomes.

A. - It is also important that he stresses that although religions lack science’s self-correcting feature, and thus generally fail to adapt to new knowledge and to grow with time, they do have certain other advantages over science that should not be dismissed. Perhaps the most important is the fact that religions have existed for centuries and have had a chance to retain information that is important for human survival for a longer time than science. For this reason alone it would be fatuous to ignore religious insights.

M. - And I disagree with the premise itself. All religions/cosmologies which I’ve studied do evolve over time. If they remain ‘orthodox’, that is remain true to the originating vision, they mature through increased subtlety in application of the doctrines to daily life. This is also the path whereby religions lose their connection with the originating revelation, but that does not necessarily happen. And it is a mistake to compare the rate of religious incorporation of new awareness over the thousands of years of any major religion’s history with the rate and objectivity of science over the last few hundred years. The rate of discovery and dispensation of new information has been vastly different across the ages.

In the West, science has become the substitute and perhaps largest ‘religion’. Western societies have to an extraordinary degree accepted the ‘objectivity’ of science with dogmatic faith. But there is significant evidence to demonstrate that bias effects any scientific work rising from the presumptions and focus of the scientists themselves. I am not denigrating the value of science. I am suggesting we not be naive about its ‘objective’ discovery of ‘truth’. How many scientific theories have been proven inaccurate or incomplete by later discoveries? And I think this ‘science as religion’ is one important element of Western psychology.

J.C. - As important as religious insights may have been historically, to my mind they have failed to fully foster individual freedom because structured religions ultimately disallow individual spirituality and are threatened by the power of individual consciousness. I am more sympathetic with the ideas of George Land and Beth Jarman in their book Breakpoint and Beyond. They have compared what they call the three phases of civilization in the following way:

1. Phase I, Spirit Survival - characterized by intuitive thought with the past, present and future an undifferentiated continuum; power is assumed by the most skilled members; nature and spirit worship; humans are in awe of nature and are born into the spiritual tradition of their clan.

2. Phase II, Logical Growth - characterized by rational thought, with the past causing the present and future; power is assumed by physical force or inherited or is bestowed by a hierarchical structure; god(s) are identified and worshipped; humans glory in conquering nature; membership is extended by commonalities and shared differences.

3. Phase III, Creative Fulfillment - characterized by a creative vision of the future, which drives present decisions and values; power is shared and individuals are empowered; spirituality is highly individualized and nature is held in a sense of stewardship through ecological values; membership is enriched through diversity.

M. - M. Scott Peck, Ken Wilber, James Fowler and others have identified stages of spiritual maturity as reflecting a similar psycho-spiritual evolution. Scott simplified what can be a much more subtle and complicated set of categories into four stages: (1) Chaotic/Antisocial (no control or values, no submission to order); (2) Formal/Institutional (severe, though superficial rules of conduct accompanied by a need to feel separate from those not conforming to the same religion and condemnation of those in the next two stages, because they cannot understand them; an easier compassion for stage 1 people, because they do understand them; a terror of falling (back-sliding) into stage 1, thus extremely dogmatic attitudes of right and wrong; about rules more than principles); (3) Skeptic/Individualistic (usually people raised in a stage 2 environment, who are comfortable enough in their own perspective that they are not afraid of falling back into chaos, thus they begin to question the severe rules and regulations of their environment; see and question the gap between rules and life; no conscious religion. Scott considers this much more advanced spiritually than phase 2; (4) Mystical (independent and individualized experience with the divine, with great tolerance for others knowing God in their own way; deeply question and value the interconnectedness of all things.)

A. - Let us move beyond these initial general discussions to more specific topics. How does Zemlyanin effect democracy, especially ‘Deep Democracy’ and how is it effected by this?