Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
Spirituality and Higher Education
by R. Michael Fisher - Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 06:53 AM

CSIIE is a growing entity, in ways I cannot predict or control. Yet, as founder and a visionary kind of guy that I am (as current Director), there is a sense of a building model for what higher education has to do with Spirit. Now, I am not obviously talking about "higher education" as conventionally constructed in our society and around the world. There has also been in the liminal margins of conventional societies, always, a group of people of one kind or another who construct their own version of "higher education" and often they were called Mystery Schools, to classify them. Many weren't called schools at all. And many are likely not even known to us in the history we have recorded. That said, CSIIE is uniquely forging its own identity within this stream of (integral) schools and institutions throughout time, and across cultures.

I've begun to take on a serious project to write about Spirituality and of course, that involves our CSIIE organization. What does it mean to do spiritual inquiry? That question is inevitably based on what is Spirit and/or where do we locate it in some kind of relative, developmental, evolutionary sense. I for one am not going to try to define spirit or spirituality under one concept or meaning, and then claim it is the right one. That's hardly integral. However, that doesn't mean that one ought to avoid clarity in articulating a vision of spirituality (and Spirit) in terms of higher education. That's the business we are in at CSIIE and that is where I will be writing a few serious essays from (to be published here on the CSIIE Forum).

To kick-start the essays I've created a model for how CSIIE could operate (below). I have been stimulated by various conflicts with some others, and a general sense of dissatisfaction with how I see spirituality construed by all sorts of people (including popular culture, including traditions, religions)--stimulated to bring more clarity than I see out there often. Of course, clarity ought to have both wisdom and compassion, or its not going to be very innovative, alive, or even useful. I ask you contemplate this map, and join the conversation. Enjoy.