Jeff begins this first podcast of the 2015 Spring season by talking about the relationships we have with every precious form of life, from his garden tulips with their sensual unfolding in his ikebana arrangements … to the Great Mystery, the loving intelligence at the center and circumference of the Kosmos.

“One of the projects of being an integral spiritual practitioner is to re-enchant the world. To see that everything that is alive is also conscious; it has awareness, volition and yes, even longing,” Jeff says.

He reports on last weekend’s Return to the Heart of Christ Consciousness conference, put on by Integral Life, which drew over 250 people (plus several hundred more via the web) to the St. Julien Hotel here in Boulder, all of them looking at this question of how we humans relate to a personal divinity.

The 2nd person relationship with Spirit changes dramatically as individuals and cultures develop. Generally, our connection to the spiritual realm is lost when we move from the traditional stage of development (the amber altitude) to the modern stage of development (the orange altitude). We are unable to reconcile God’s presence with science and rational thought.

And then comes post-modern (green altitude) spirituality, which embraces first-person, nondual spiritual practices like meditation. It also embraces third-person spirituality such as deep ecology and nature mysticism. But God as creator, friend, lover? Not so much. There are still a lot of allergies, even with integralists, to the idea of a personal God.

Excerpt | Losing your religion

In the second half of the show Jeff is joined by Steve McIntosh, author of Integral Consciousness, Evolution’s Purpose, and his new book The Presence of the Infinite, which will be coming out later this year.

Steve describes post-modern spirituality as progressive spirituality, and explains that it favors the nondual conception of ultimate reality. Evolutionary spirituality, which emerges at  integral consciousness, is a dialectical step beyond the postmodern worldview, and reintroduces us to a theistic, 2nd person relationship with the divine — but one that is post-mythic and trans-rational.

Steve says, “… nonduality is based on a very deep, real, replicable, and ancient spiritual experience. But the theistic side also has its own sort of spiritual experience, which is not the same thing. This is the experience, as I argue, of the love of God. The love of a universe that cares. The love of a higher transcendent form of reality that exists within you. It’s immanent and transcendent.”

But then, if God is so loving why is there so much suffering? Jeff wants to know. Steve says “the shadow of consciousness is suffering,” and does his best in the last part of the show to address the philosophical problem of evil–in five minutes!

Check it out, and join us on Tuesday evening for The Daily Evolver Live on Integral Radio.