A Concert with Yuval Ron and the Guibord CenterSaturday, October 19th, 2013, 7pm
St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles, California
Dialogue, Reception & Book SigningMonday, October 21st, 2013, 7pm
USC, Los Angeles, California
Seven Pillars’ founder and board member, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, recently sent a letter to Adam Bucko and Zachary Markwith, two individuals with “a deep sense of the sacred, but…quite different approaches to religion and tradition,” inviting them to participate in a dialogue about the relationship between religion and spirituality. Pir Zia was inspired to send the invitation after reading the recently published manifesto, “New Monasticism,” written by Rory McEntee and Adam Bucko. Both Adam and Zachary embraced the opportunity to discuss this question and the first installment of their correspondence is published herein.
Several years ago we made a new friend. Pir Zia Inayat-Khan had been reading the writings of William Irwin Thompson, the oracular cultural historian, and invited him to visit. This was in 2007, at the very beginning of Seven Pillars’ life, and it quickly became evident that our work descends from a long lineage of individuals and groups dedicated to the realization of a new planetary culture.
When I was living in Toronto in the late sixties and early seventies, I had the good fortune to go to the University of Toronto’s Coach House where Marshall McLuhan performed for one evening a week. I say “performed” because McLuhan was a brilliant aphorist and artistic master of what he called “probes”—a kind of blast-off into outer space that most academics could not manage, and one that gave us a new look back at life on Earth.
With the advent of modern science, the spiritual side of the pre-modern paradigm was cast aside. The cosmology of the great chain of being, our heritage of 5000 years from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, was broken. The main advantage of the great chain is its vision of the interconnection of all things in the universe, and the intelligence manifest in the evolution and animation of all beings on the great stage of life.
The execution of the Mughal crown prince Dara Shikuh by order of his brother Aurangzib was a crime that sent ripples down through the ages. A religious pluralist with a deep commitment to mystical hermeneutics, Dara Shikuh had the makings of a brilliant ‘philosopher king.’ His religious, cultural, and political outlook was profoundly imbued with the legacy of his great-grandfather Akbar, who elevated the Mughal Empire to the status of a premodern superpower by uniting Hindus and Muslims under the principle of sulh-i kull, ‘universal peace.’ As heir apparent, Dara Shikuh awaited the day when he would mount the Peacock Throne and revive Akbar’s syncretic vision.
We live in a culture of religious diversity that is at present experiencing a reawakening of interest in spirituality.
Trying to explain the core beliefs of Hinduism to an interested observer can be challenging to say the least.
Part 3: Institutions, Planetary Rights, Mystical Economics
Part 2: Wonder, Interconnectivity, A New Universe Story
Through my collaboration with the chaos mathematician Ralph Abraham in designing an evolution of consciousness curriculum for the Ross School in East Hampton, New York, I began to understand that the shift from the linear causation of Galilean dynamics in the early modern era to the complex dynamical systems of our era also expressed a shift from linear modernist ideologies and religions to planetary ecologies of consciousness in which diversity was affirmed...
This discussion with the cultural historian Thomas Berry about his cosmological and geologian worldview with philosophy professor Ashok Gangadean was originally published in a slightly longer form in Elixir: A Journal of Consciousness and Conscience no. 2 (Spring 2007). For background on Thomas Berry and his contribution to a New Story about the cosmos, see Mary Evelyn Tucker’s "Thomas Berry, A Profile" Ashok Gangadean is a professor of philosophy at Haverford College.
Pir Zia Inayat-Khan speaks about interreligious reconciliation inspired by a vision of the underlying unity of religious ideals. Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Seven Pillars' President, is the spiritual leader of the Sufi Order International, a mystical and ecumenical fellowship rooted in the visionary legacy of his grandfather, Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is also the President of the Suluk Academy and founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. Pir Zia holds a Doctoral degree in Religion from Duke University and is a recipient of the U Thant Peace Award.