Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Spirituality in the Workplace: Quo Vadis?

praying at work

The Journal of Business Research and Development

San Beda College Graduate School of Business

May-December 2014



Modern management has emerged from an industrial revolution paradigm of productivity to an admission of spirituality as a relational dimension in the workplace. But Western management is extremely cautious in discussing spirituality at the workplace as an extension of religiosity. It is comfortable in mentioning the importance of superior human relations, work values and the ultimate meaning of work. Eastern management, in search for spirituality, asks the question if “the divine is operative” in the workplace and if “work is worship”. A human race church, modelled after Ken Wilbur’s AQAL superstructure, is presented as an integrative paradigm that serves as an encompassing framework which includes all religious beliefs and tenets of spirituality that are operative in a globalized workplace. Hence, the discussion on Spiritual at the Workplace includes: spirituality in the Philippines, Catholic mainstream spirituality. culture-based Catholic spirituality, avant-garde spirituality and upstream spirituality. With these spirituality variants, the corporate management practitioner may consider the question: Spirituality in the workplace, quo vadis?


Key words: Spirituality, transcendence, workplace, human race church, folk Christianity, integral spirituality,

newstream spirituality, and spiritual intelligence.



On March 30, 2012 Cardinal Peter Turkson (2012), president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, at the 14th International Christian Union of Business Executives World Congress in Lyon, France acknowledged that the common malady that afflicts many, particularly businesspeople, is the “tendency to separate one’s faith from one’s work,” resulting to a modern affliction of a divided life. But an incarnational worldview tells us that a redemptive process is going on in the world of business because God’s presence is operative. (Alford & Naughton, 2001; Naughton, 2006; Stabile, 2005)).


This presence is made manifest and recognized through one’s a spirituality in the workplace. In fact, Richard Watson (2011) in Future Files predicted that in the next 50 years man’s search for meaning will intensify and that there will be “an increase in spirituality (people searching for the answer to question of how to live their life) and a search for experiences that transcend everyday life.” Interestingly, Peter Singer (1993) has answered the ‘how’ in his book, How are we to live? and Viktor Frankl’s (1970) Will to Meaning proved that the human spirit transcends life threatening circumstances. At work, Dave Ulrich and Wendy Ulrich (2010) introduce the meaning in The Why of Work by posing a serious challenge to organization leaders to become meaning makers.


Spirituality has found its way into Western business management and Laura Nash (2011) of Harvard University announced that spirituality in the workplace is exploding. Likewise, Newstorm (2011) observed that “A new term has crept into the managerial vocabulary – spirituality. Management textbook authors Dyck and Neubert include ‘spirituality’ as legitimate management concern. David RJ Powell (2003) has introduced a spirit intelligence at the workplace, using physics and metaphysics as platforms. In effect, it provides a springboard for a theological discourse on spirituality in the workplace.


The inception of spirituality in the workplace will drive leaders and managers to answer the question: Quo vadis? In particular, what path are they taking or will take for their own spirituality? How can they encourage spiritual development across the organization? What kind of corporate spirituality will eventually emerge and thrive in the work place?



This paper is structured around two questions: What is spirituality in the workplace and where is it headed in the third millennium? It provides an initial road map for spirituality in corporate setting and it attempts to situate Filipino spirituality in the workplace. And because Philippine business can not escape a globalized environment, it also attempts to present spirituality concepts gleaned from some Western and Eastern cultures. Western spirituality in this paper is represented largely by the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern spirituality is gleaned from some Indian Vedic writings. This east-west divide is patterned after Ian Morris’ (2011) geographical determinism whose social development index earmarked the United States of America as the West and China as the East. Here, the West is Anglo-American management and the East is Asian, primarily Indian, management.

Strategic management tells us that business has to plan its pathway from where it is to where it wants to go. A strategic road map for the development of spirituality at the workplace is yet to be drawn in terms of personal and corporate journey. As such, there are two spiritual directions presented in terms of polarities: 1. Mainstream Catholic teachings and Newstream progressive concepts and 2. Mainstream inculturation processes and Upstream integral system. While Mainstream spirituality is rooted in Catholic teachings classified as dogma, moral, and worship, Newstream spiritual perspective comes from varied human experiences that are articulated outside the realm of Church domain. These new spiritual hermeneutics are driven by social, environmental, global and cosmic issues in the 21st century.


This study, as shown in Figure 1 presents two linear tendencies: 1. From Mainstream dogma-based spirituality that is moving horizontally towards a Newstream experience-based direction and 2. From mainstream inculturation spiritual process that is moving vertically towards Upstream integral spirituality. The intersection of these two linear tendencies creates a quadrant in which a spiritual practitioner in the workplace will be able to position and situate personal growth and development. The quadrants as spirituality roadmap may yet help corporate decision makers do a mission re-visioning and re-alignment of goals and values to articulate and support spirituality in the workplace.

Figure 1. Ideographic streams of spirituality in the workplace: Catholic Mainstream,

Progressive Newstream, and Integral Upstream


Spirituality movements in Figure 1 show a mainstream Catholic Church lay spirituality and culture-driven spirituality which includes new hermeneutics of culture, religious language, and evolutionary perspective on Filipino popular spirituality. Variants of Catholic mainstream spirituality and contemporary issue-driven newstream spirituality are converging towards a Human Race Church spirituality. An integral spiritual system of All Quadrant All Levels (AQAL) provides an encompassing universal spirituality platform which embraces both Catholic and non-catholic spiritual movements.


Spirituality in the Workplace

The foothold of ethics (Brown and Trevino, 2002; Trevino and Nielsen, 2004; Velasquez, 2006) and corporate social responsibility (Carroll, 1999; Joyner and Payne, 2002; Friedman, Mackey, and Rodgers, 2005; Kotler and Lee, 2005) in business management prepared a fertile ground for cultivating more transcendental concepts in profit-oriented organizations. Since the declaration of the triple bottom-line of profit, people, and planet by the World Council on Economic Development in 1987, business has over a period of 25 years been enlightened and has made so much progress in pursuing the three Ps (WCED, 1987). The new challenge is pushing business to embrace spirituality in the workplace and make it work for the benefit of all stakeholders.


For the past 16 years, spirituality has been discussed in global business circles. The Conference of the International Society for Business, Economics, and Ethics was held in 1996 Tokyo and in 2002 in San Paolo. In 1998, a National Conference on Spirituality, Leadership and Management in Sydney; from 1999-2002 Annual Conferences on business and spirituality, and business and consciousness in Mexico; in 2000 a Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Business at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana; and in 2001, the International Conference on Spirituality and Management in Budapest.


Western Work Spirituality

Spirituality is “a state or quality of a heightened sensitivity to one’s human or transcendent spirit” (Dyck & Neubert, 2012). It is argued that while spirituality in the workplace is not always related to a specific faith or religious lifestyle, it can focus on what it is to be full human and alive. By encouraging more spiritual expression in organizations, spiritual motivations and values are becoming critical to the overall well-being of the corporation and its members (Gunther, 2001; Nash and McLenna, 2001; Fry, 2003).


Spirituality in the workplace “focuses on the desire for employees to know their deepest selves better, to grow personally, to make a meaningful contribution to society, and to demonstrate integrity in every action taken” (Newstorm, 2011). Spirituality incorporates the principle of self-awareness and encourages people to know themselves better and the same time it honors and respects the diverse moral and religious beliefs of others.


A heightened sense of one’s ‘transcendent spirit’ evokes something that is “beyond the limits of ordinary experience or being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge or beyond material existence” (Merriam-Webster, 2000). Spirituality viewed as transcendent experience opens a Pandora box of multiple perspectives. According to Brian Hall (c. 1991) transcendence, as value, is awareness of human issues in context of “the finite and the infinite so that one can influence changes that promote greater human equality.”


Dubecq (2000) supposed that “if all people are called to a life of full spirituality and holiness, then it must be possible to live a full spiritual life while in business.” Costa J. Dala (2004) believes that “souls in business are hungry, sometimes agonizingly so, for models or guides to enmesh the interior desire to live in God’s embrace with exterior desire to make successful contribution as professionals.” Martin Rutte (1996) announced that “the next phase of evolution of work has begun and spirituality is becoming more openly recognized as an integral part of work.” He explained that a spiritual workplace is where “work would move from merely a place to get enough money to survive – from just earning our daily bread – to being a place of livelihood…Livelihood has. at its core, three meanings for work: survival (you’re alive), enlivening of the individual Self (your alivenes)s), and enlivening of the collective Self (their aliveness).”


Elmer H. Burack (1999) observed that the rapid growth of spirituality in the workplace is of major importance to business leader leaders, HR managers, organization members and change agents. Michael J. Naughton (1996; 2006) a proponent and advocate of Catholic social teachings endorsed the integration of business and spiritual matters in Catholic schools of management in an effort to address the divided life of a businessman. Catholic schools of business are challenged to help students to address the integrity of their intellect, faith, profession and service as a manager (Naughton & Bauch, n.d.).


Judith A. Neal (1997) in her review of related literature on spirituality for management educators from 1972 – 1997 concluded that classroom discussion spiritual matters in American educational institutions is a sensitive issue. She proposes five principles for management educators to follow: 1. Know thyself; 2. Act with authenticity and congruency; 3. Respect and honor the beliefs of others; 4. Be as trusting as you can be; and 5. Maintain a spiritual practice.


White and Renesch (1994) international study showed that through work respondents experienced “personal transformation” and majority expressed desire to be part of “a humanistic formal organization to further ‘new thinking’ and humanistic values in the workplace.”


John Ranesch (1992), editor of New Traditions in Business: Spirit and Leadership in the 21st Century, presented the emerging views of 15 authors on the “why and how” of spirituality in a larger societal and global context and the role of business in creating congruence of personal and organizational values.


Philip Juico (2008) proposed an integration of social responsibility and Catholic social teachings in management education at the De La Salle University Ramon V. del Rosario Sr Graduate School of Business (DLSU RVR GSB) to enhance delivery of Lasallian core values, academic learning and service learning. Mary Margaret Que (2010) did a case study on the integration of Catholic social teachings in business practices and decision-making of two entrepreneurs in Metro Manila. Practices like pasasalamat and paghahandog in Eucharist celebration and best effort plus strong faith in God are examples of entrepreneurial Filipino spirituality. However, she noted in her review of related literature that “There is very little mention of other studies on spirituality in the workplace, and attempts to measure the same.”


Eastern Work Spirituality

Eastern spirituality of Vedic tradition is coming to the fore. Jack Hawley (1993), in Reawakening the Spirit in Work: The Power of Dharmic Management is an example of an Eastern thought that found its way into Western management practice. Having lived in an ashram in India, he opines that “The key questions for today’s managers and leaders are no longer issues of task and structure but are questions of the spirit.” Thus, he presents to his business associates concepts such as “spiritual awareness”, “revering”, and “dharma”.


Sri Aubindo views spirituality as “recognition of something greater than mind and life, the aspiration to a consciousness pure, great, driven beyond our normal mental and vital nature, a surge and rising of the soul in man of the littleness and bondages of our lower parts towards a greater thing secret within him.” This narrative description comes closer to the ‘transcendent spirit’ of Dyck and Neubert and approximates the value definition of transcendence by Brian Hall (c.1991).


Eastern management writers are very direct in considering the role of God and worship in the workplace. Singh, Bhatnagar, and Bhandarker (2006) in Future of Work: Mastering Change published a collection of various studies that include among many non-Western concept of spirituality. Elkin and Sharma’s (2006) study on Preserving Humanity in the Confluence of Change concludes that “The west would benefit from examining its fundamental assumptions about people in the light of non-western views of people and could consider embracing a people-centered and organic way of managing, that allows human potential to develop through authentic relationships.”


The study of Singh, Bhatnagar, and Bhandarker (2006) on the Meaning of Work in Corporate India shows that young Indian executives view work as something that energizes and provides opportunity to fulfill various needs for social interaction, societal contribution, influencing others and spiritual fulfillment. The spiritual meaning of work is captured in a questionnaire which asks the respondents if: Work is worship for me and Work is important in my life.


Choudhary and Prasad (2006) observe that the knowledge workers and the employees of tomorrow are increasingly responding to “the purpose and meaning, contribution to society, human values, understanding and spirituality” as motivators beyond monetary incentives. They predict that “In an environment of relentless global competition, the winners will be the organizations that are able to harness the emotion and spiritual energy of the employees”.


Chakraborty and Chakraborty’s (2004) study on the Theory of Non-attachment indicated that 90 percent of the respondents “worship God through work” and 90 percent experience “spiritual satisfaction through work.” They explained that the Yoga Vedanta management model, requires the leaders to identify his transcendent self with Vedanta law as guide and practice Yoga to achieve spiritual communion at the workplace.


Spirituality in Philippine Context


Philippine Constitution and Family Code

Governance in the Philippine provides a fertile ground for spiritual growth and development. It begins with the spiritual formation of the youth at home and in school. The 1987 Philippine Constitution, Sec. 12 states that the “right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character.” Art. 356 of the Family Code stipulates that parents provide every child “moral and civic training …in an atmosphere conducive to his physical, moral and intellectual development.” In addition, Art. 358 states that public schools provide “optional religious instruction shall be taught as part of the curriculum at the option of the parent or guardian.” Republic Act No. 8990: An act promulgating a comprehensive policy and a national system for early childhood care, Sec. 3 (b) specifically mentions ‘spiritual development’ together with the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, psychological, and language development of young children.


From Philippine governance perspective, the spiritual dimension of child development is underscored as part of a total human development perspective. Thus, parents are duty-bound for the spiritual life, of their children. As children reach school age, our system of education shifts the moral and spiritual responsibility to the teachers. As they become corporate citizens, their spiritual development at the workplace needs to be addressed.


However, religious instruction and spiritual development of our youth are relinquished to school teachers who, “in loco parentis” act for and in behalf of the parents and guardian. After schooling, the responsibility shifts to corporate institutions to provide opportunity for adult Christian life formation (Gonzalez, 2002) of young Catholic professionals.


Further, Sec. 13 of the Philippine Constitution states that “The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social wellbeing.” The government needs the business sector to promote total human development in the workplace. Business corporations may explore spirituality as a dimension of peak employee performance by promoting transcendental values as productivity drivers.


While the Constitution has no specific provision on the practice of spirituality, Art III, Sec. 4 under the Bill of Rights allows “The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference.”  Consequently, religious freedom presupposes exercise and enjoyment of religious profession, worship and spirituality at the workplace. In most Catholic establishments, it has become a common practice to provide religious services and more often there is an altar or a chapel intended for corporate private and public worship.


Code of Ethics and Christian Brotherhood

The Bishops-Businessmen Code of Ethics, promulgated in 1973 and updated in 1991, does not directly mention the development and practice of spirituality in the workplace it upholds “the right ethical attitudes essential for business to effectively promote total human development”. In 1994, the Code’s preamble stressed the fundamental of “the character of its people” in business. Character development is an on-going process and in a corporate setting this means growth in personhood based on personal belief and spiritual perspective.


A professional whose early formative years began with good manner and right conduct (GMRC) in school needs a developmental program for continued spiritual growth in the workplace. While the BBC Code of Ethics does not directly mention corporate spiritual development, it envisions the modern manager to be “a strategist for human development” who builds “an enterprise oriented to the development of man.” As strategist for human development, it is incumbent upon today’s manager to plan, lead, and organize a spirituality program in corporate setting aimed at total human development in the workplace. This program needs a strategic roadmap for sustainable spiritual development.

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) Code of Ethics under the heading Stewardship and Self-Improvement gives some direction towards spirituality. Its member makes a pledge, “I acknowledge that I am but a steward of all the talents, abilities and resources placed by Almighty God in my possession, and at my disposal. Therefore, I must use these always in a manner that glorifies Him who is the source of all good things, in accordance to His good purpose.” MAP Code of Ethics encourages professional development from a theological perspective. It states, “I take it as my personal obligation as a steward to keep on improving and enhancing my God-given talents and abilities, through continuing self-education, and I shall provide opportunities in my organization for my co-workers to improve and enhance their own talents and abilities.”


The Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) was founded in Makati, Philippines by twenty-four professional who were “inspired by the success of the Word of God community in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA in attracting businessmen and professionals into Christian renewals through breakfast sessions.” With 180 chapters in the Philippines, they are driven by the love for God, commitment to the Lord’s work, love for country, and love for community in bringing “Christ into the marketplace” and win “the marketplace for Christ” (BCBP, 2012). For the past 32 years, BCBP has helped develop the spiritual life of its members through basic ecclesial fellowship and brotherhood.


Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) is a born again Christian group that is popular with professionals, entrepreneurs and young college students. CCF got its name from Matthew 28:19 when Christ commissioned the disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations.”  The members of CCF strive to be “ethical businessmen who live by the commandment of God, who study and apply the teachings of Christ” as they struggle “not to compromise their relationship with God with blind pursuit of earthly power or money” (Chanco, 2012).


The BBC and MAP code of ethics reflect the influence of the social teachings of the Catholic Church in corporate setting; the Brotherhood of Businessmen and Christian Professionals and Christ’s Commission Fellowship, among others, show how gospel-based principles can drive business in the marketplace. As business takes to heart the 3P bottom line of profit, people and planet, it now embarks on a new challenge to include a fourth P – prayer, a transcendent dimension of business as a human enterprise (Hudtohan, 2011).


  1. Catholic Mainstream Spirituality

The Bishops-Businessmen Code of Ethics, the Management Association of the Philippines Code of Ethics, the Brotherhood of Christian and Professional Businessmen and Christ’s Commission Fellowship may be considered as forerunners of spirituality in the workplace. These post-Vatican II initiatives are fueling interest in applying the Christian teachings in the arena of business. Mainstream Catholic spirituality includes Catholic lay spirituality, spirituality of social transformation and marriage spirituality.


Catholic Lay Spirituality

Among Catholics, the decree on the apostolate of the laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem, 1965) highlights the “special and indispensable” role of the lay persons in the life of the Catholic Church in Christianizing the modern world. The Second Plenary Council of the Philippine (PCP II) in 1991 indicates that lay spirituality is a class of its own. Section 441 states that:

Lay spirituality consists in being able to see the will of God operating, precisely in one’s secular

duties, in the ordinary things that one does, and in fulfilling them with as much love as one can muster.

It is not a devotional escape or a pietistic flight from the problems of human work, from the problems

of politics, business and family relationships. Lay spirituality is deeply rooted in the secular, in the ‘Father’s business’ in the fields, in the factories, in schools, in offices and homes. It is to lead to an unselfish, other-centered and Christ-centered life in the world and in the Church (PCP II, 1991).


The National Catechetical Directory of the Philippines (1984) suggests that Filipino Catholic spirituality is socially oriented. This spirituality respects the indigenous cultural aspect of a popular religiosity, includes social concern for justice and the poor as an integral component, unifies all dimensions of personal and family life, stresses the participation of lay leaders in the spiritual mission of the clergy and religious and brings out a missionary consciousness and is open to the Asian ways of prayer and mysticism.


Of the five predominant characteristics of a Filipino, The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC, 1991) two these are significant to our understanding of our transcendent Self. First, the Filipino is “kundiman-oriented” and his feelings are “naturally attracted to heroic acts of sacrifice, manifesting a deep, positive spiritual value of kalooban” and second, he is “spirit-oriented” and is naturally drawn “to sense the ephemeral because we have a deep sense of belief in the supernatural and other spirits which we recognize dwelling in persons, places and things.”


Spirituality of Social Transformation.

Mysticism and action are correlatives. Christian believers encounter the divine by involving themselves in world and in particular the workplace. Since “the transcendent mystery is operative in the promised transformation of human life, personal and social, it is here, in active engagement and contemplative presence to this engagement, that believers encounter the living God” (Baum, 1975).


PCP II conceives of spirituality of work as part of a Spirituality of Social Transformation (PCP II 317) for the reason that “First, through work we share in the activity of the Creator, and within the limits of own human capabilities, continue to develop and perfect that activity and Second, by enduring the toil of work in union with Christ, we collaborate with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity.” The Spirituality of Social Transformation springs from a vision that all may have life (Mabigyan ng Buhay). It envisions to:

… create a free nation:

where human dignity and solidarity are respected and promoted;

where moral principles prevail in socio-economic life and structures;

where justice, love, and solidarity are the inner driving force of development.


… build a sovereign nation:

where every tribe and faith are respected;

where diverse tongues and traditions work together for the good of all;

where membership is a call to participation and involvement

and leadership a summon to generous service.


… be a people:

in harmony with one another through unity in diversity;

in harmony with creation and

in harmony with God.


… be a civilization of life and love. (PCP II, 253-55).



Marriage Spirituality


The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC, 1997) Article 2010 of Chapter 28 asks: What is meant by Marriage Spirituality? The answer is: “Married couples and parents have their own path to holiness through their faithful love. Like that of all Christians, this path includes: inheriting Christ’s mission in fostering the Kingdom through the ministry of loving service of each other, their children and the wider community; in the pattern of Christ’s Paschal Mystery; and constantly inspired by the Holy Spirit and nourished by the Eucharist.”


The authentic and profound conjugal and family spirituality (Familiaris Consortio, 1981) is experienced in the quality of the married and family relationships marked by fidelity, a spirit of mutual respect, forgiveness, service and prayer. In support of marriage spirituality, PCP II decreed that family centers be established to develop “the Filipino elements of a general spirituality of Christian marriage (PCP II Decrees, Art. 46.2) such that “the spirituality of the Christian is nurtured and rooted in the Word of God and finds its Filipino expression” (PCPII 421).


Accordingly, Filipino Catholics have a special role in Asia: “We are called both personally, as believers, and ecclesially, as members of the Church, to share Jesus Christ with our Asian brethrens by word and witness, through active commitment to truth, justice, freedom and universal Christian love” (CFC, 2002) We are called to go forth in-spirited to renew the face of the world – the wider world of Asia and beyond, giving of ourselves unto the renewal and unity of God’s whole creation” (PCP II 7).


The documents of the Catholic Church, local and international, point towards a spirituality that is considered mainstream spirituality. It is Christ-centered and evangelical in nature. Based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, a Filipino Catholic brings to the workplace a lay spirituality, a family spirituality, and a spirituality of social transformation.


  1. Culture-based Catholic Spirituality

Split Level Spirituality

The Hispanic spiritual experience of the Philippines provides a fertile ground for propagating spirituality at the workplace. The dominance of Spanish Catholicism for more than 400 years has made Philippines a Western anomaly. As a nation, its Asian ethnic and cosmic constellation of Bathala, diwata, anito, and babaylan were rendered inutile outside the mainstream Catholic belief system. As such, the pre-Spanish cultural elements of Filipino indigenous self has been suppressed and transgressed by a Roman Catholic system. Suppression and transgression do not necessarily obliterate the origins of Filipino ethnic DNA. The labas and loob of Filipino spirituality was hermeneutically declared as ‘split level Christianity’ (Bulatao, 1966). As a result, there exists a ‘split level spirituality.’ He describes a split-level person as someone who:

“[P]rofesses allegiance to ideas, attitudes and ways of behaving which are mainly borrowed

from the Christian West” and in another level “he upholds convictions which are more properly

his ‘own’ ways of living and believing which were handed down from his ancestors…they

may be described as two value systems, differing from each other in explicitation, one more

abstract than the other, one of them coming to the fore under certain circumstances and

receding to the background at other times (Bulatao, 1996).


As early at the 16th century, Juan de Oliver, author of Doctrina Christiana already detected the problematic impact of the Roman Catholic doctrines on among Filipino. Medieval Thomistic body and spirit concepts were entirely alien to ethnic Filipino orientation of katawan (body) and kalooban (inner consciousness). Oliver’s 16th century Doctrina Christiana defined loob as a personhood which “cannot be satisfied by all that the body experiences or by all that constitutes the whole world” (Francisco, 2001). Doctrina, 92 states that:

Sa lahat na malaim, ualang capara ang loob nang tauo, uala ring caloang cumbaga sa Tubig na

indi maarocan, indi rin mapopono ang ano ano mang ysilir natin doos, at colang din ditto sa

lupa; ang dilan nadaramdaman nang atin cataoan na magaling, ang dilan naquiquita nang ating

mata, ang nadiriing nang ating tyinga, and naamoy nang ating ilong, ang ynam nang ating bibig,

pati nang lahat na nahihipo nang ating catoan, ualang cabosog ysa man sa ating loob, nang laquing

ybig niya; ano pa; ysilir man natin yaring sanglibutan bayan sa loob natin, indi rin mapopono.


[The loob of humans has no eual in terms of depth or breadth like unfathomable Water; neither can

it be filled by anything there or here on earth. All good our bodies eel, all our eyes can see, all our

ears hear, all our nose smells, all taste in our mouth, even all that our bodies touch, nothing can

truly satisfy our loob in the immensity of its desire; even if we put the whole universe in our loob,

it will still not be filled.]


Landa Jocano (2000) encourages modern Filipinos dig deep into their cultural heritage and rely on their ethnic DNA. There is a need to revisit “our value system in terms of the logic and moral authority of our tradition and not rely solely on exogenous models.” Our ethnic DNA enables to transform ourselves through the hidden power of our diwa (potentials) and manifest our bisa (inner strength) in dealing with social realities.


Our pristine diwa as gift of Bathala was once nurtured by our babaylans, katalonans and baylans. Tatang Banahaw asserts, “Ang bathala ay siya nating kataalan at katalagahan. Ang lahat ng mga gampanin natin ay dapat kabatay sa kataalan at katalagahan ng Bathala, at iyan ay paglikha, kalikhaan, at kalikasan” (Diaz, 1998). [Bathala is our origin and destiny. All our actions and concerns should be based on the essential and indigenous attributes of Bathala which is creativity, creation and nature.] We need to re-establish our link with our ethnic past in order to discover our real identity and to draw from our DNA the humane and the sacred of our transcendent self. During fiesta we glamorize our ethnic cultural heritage, but behind the painted masks, colorful costumes and delirious rhythmic sounds that transport us to our katutubo culture, are we in touch with the diwa of our transcendent self?


Self-reliance: Makinugalingon

Eastern Visayan nationalist Rosendo Mejica believed that makinaugalingon (self-reliance) springs from one’s love for native dialect (Hudtohan, 2011). He said: “Ang paalam kag pag-tuon sang pulong sang iban indi malain, kag kon mahimo nga ma-alaman ta ang tanan nga labi na gid nga maayo; apan labi sa tanan pakahimpiton ta kag pakamahalon ang aton pulong nga isa man kita sang banwa nga makinaugalingon” (Mejica, n.d.). [To know someone else’s language is not bad; it would be better if we could learn all languages, but above all, let us try to purify ourselves and love our native tongue if we want ourselves to be considered as a free (self-reliant) country.] George Guanzon (personal communication, 2004) of San Jose, Antique recounts a self-reliant maxim which he received from the gurangs (elders) of Antique, “Imo ulo, imo kulo; imo kalag, imo bakero”. [Your head is your concern; you shepherd your own soul.]


Filipino hospitality as a relational loob is demonstrated in a social invitation that expresses the depth of Filipino gallantry and delicate charm. It says: “Ang di maikublig bulak ng pag-ibig alon ng ligayang umapaw sa dibdib, siyang nagging hagdang tulay sa pag-tawid ng puso sa linab ng tuwang lalanip…Doon sa mayamang araw na sasadsad sa ikatatlog pu nitong lumalakad, kayo’t ang familia’y hin tay kong malimbag sa intuan naming ang bakas ng yapak” (Kalaw. n.d.). The invitation is a poetic expression of a heart that anticipates with joy the presence of house guests.


Traditional Visayan fellowship goes beyond partaking in a household family meal. The guest is addressed as brother [igsoon}, “Igsoon sa tabuk nayon hapit anay sa amon; bisan waay bugas nga kan-on may buyo nga pagamaman-on.” [My brother, cross (the river) and drop by for a while; even though we have no rice to eat, still we have buyo (leaf) to chew].


The depth of Filipino kalooban has been greatly under-rated by exogenous writers whose Western cultural and religious standards were pitted against Filipino Christian faith practices. To the rescue are pro-culture like Jocano (2000, 2001, 2005); experience-based theologians like Belita (2006) De Mesa (2004, 2003), Mercado (1999), Bevans (2000), and Ebner (1977, 1975); religious-linguistic author Gonzalez (2006, 2002); and metaphysical writers like O’Murchu (1998), Wheatley (2000), (Page, 2000), and Myss (2000). Their theological, sociological and metaphysical insights put into positive light cultural and ancestral beliefs and systems of thought.


Our Filipino ancestors after all were advanced in accepting the realities of the upper world, middle world and underworld. When the friars evangelized our ancestors they considered our ancestral worship animistic and superstitious. What was magical for our ancestors was simply a way of understanding their natural connection with the universe. Had the Jesuits succeeded in incorporating the word ‘diwata’ as related to the Christian God (Alcinas, 1664) the process of spiritual inculturation in the Philippines would have had a different direction and the split because of culture-faith duality may have been avoided.


Self-reliant and Relational Loob Belita (2006) religious evolutionary theory clears the way for a balance between organized religion and ethnic tradition. He says, “There is room for religion and morality in the [evolutionary] process without having to choose for an intrusive and interventionist model in presenting God’s relationship with the world of nature and humanity.” He believes that the moral sophistication of Filipinos maybe attributed to the Spanish conquistadores who brought the Catholic moral system to the Philippines. According to Belita, the ethical norms that came with Church’s doctrines directed at human rationality did not get registered in the neurons of the body’s nervous system and therefore failed to draw correspondent emotions which the individual needs in moral decisions. In the ethnic worldview of pre-Spanish era, freedom had practically no role and this seems to dominate in the psycho of the Filipino today. However, in the natural law theory of the Church, freedom plays a role in making a person grow through a series of acts and habits called virtues (Belita: 2006).


Belita’s progressive view on popular religion (the development of Christian faith from the Filipino ancestral and ethnic spiritual system) follows the anthropological model of Bevans (2000) which allows the recipient of faith and doctrine according to one’s cultural givens. On the other hand, Bulatao calls for authentic Christianity based on Roman orthodoxy, calling for adherence to the basic tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. Gonzalez (2002) in Adult Faith strikes a balance of allowing the adult Christian to assert one’s conviction without discarding the traditions and teachings of the Church. He says, “The adult believer has figured things out for himself based on his experience of life and the sacred in human existence. His beliefs and values are self-determined and have become a source of liberation” (Gonzalez: 2002)


Beck (2008) observes that: “Most Asian cultures see human beings as innately good…The Judeo-Christian tradition that undergirds Western philosophy sees humans as innately imperfect, born with all sorts of problems (original sin, carnal nature, ignorance of God’s laws) that must be rectified and controlled if we are to become worthy. From a Western perspective, setting the original self free is shocking and dangerous.”


Christine Page (2005) notes that “it is helpful to examine which ancestral beliefs support your soul’s path and which limit it and as you carefully remove the latter, recognize that they may have been appropriate for their time but not for now.” But she does not completely cut ancestral connections; she invites working with labyrinths if ancient cultures for these represent the spiral creativity of birth and rebirth of the spiritual self.


Culture-based mainstream spirituality continues to struggle to integrate Filipino culture and Catholic faith. In this perspective, spirituality will always be articulated by the hermeneutics of process theology, trying to make culture ‘fit’ within a framework of mainstream Catholic doctrines. This is a two-way process: one, reading culture with the eyes of Catholic tradition and reading that faith with the eyes of Filipino cultural DNA.


  1. Avant-Guarde Mainstream Spirituality

Years back, Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin asked, “Is De La Salle University Catholic?” (R. Montanano personal communication, April 18, 2012). In March 2012, Msgr. Joselito de Asis, Secretary General of CBCP, gave an answer to the Cardinal’s question. At the Pastoral Management Program for Parish Priest (PMP4PP) seminar in Makati City, he noted the contribution of the De La Salle University to the management development of the clergy and, at the same time, he acknowledged that the university is “still Catholic.”


Avant-Guarde Spirituality

Pastorally, De La Salle University as a ‘Catholic’ institution has an endearing relationship with the Archdiocese of Manila not only because it is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the archdiocese, but more importantly because the Brothers follow the tradition of St. John Baptist de la Salle, himself a priest, who remained ever faithful to the Catholic Church. Academically, De La Salle University may have created an impression through its research and other fora that it propounds Church hermeneutics that are not necessarily mainstream. This ‘still’ Catholic impression may have been shaped by some theologians and professors of the University whose avante guarde academic views on related Church issues are published in research journals and books that do not bear an imprimatur and a nihil obstat from the Catholic hierarchy. Among Catholics, the imprimatur and nihil obstat give assurance that the publication has the approval of the hierarchy and that none of the ideas are contrary to Catholic teachings.


The relationship between the De La Salle University and the Archdiocese of Manila is better appreciated in Article 28 of Ex Corde Ecclessiae. It states that “bishops have a particular responsibility to promote Catholic universities…achieved more effectively if close personal and pastoral relationships exist between university and Church authorities characterized by mutual trust, close and consistent cooperation and continuing dialogue. Even when they do not enter directly into the internal governance of the university, bishops should be seen not as external agents but as participants at the life of the Catholic university.” We must take note that the general norms governing Catholic universities are subject to the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church (CIC, Chapter 4) and norms of the apostolic constitution of Sapientia Christiana (CIC, Sec. 2).


Mainstream avante guarde Catholic spirituality espoused by Catholic theologians and writers does break away from the traditional concepts and religious practices of the Church but, in many ways, enrich the understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith. To name a few, foreign authors are Karl Rahner (1968), Gregory Baum (1969), Gabriel Moran (1970), James Ebner (1975, 1977) and O’Murchu (1998); and Filipino authors are Andrew Gonzalez (2002, 2006) , De Mesa (2003,2004), Mercado (1972, 1975, 1992, Jimmy Belita (2006, 2010), and Mary Mananzan (2004). While these writers push a new hermeneutics on Catholicism and Catholic spirituality to the edge, they themselves remain faithful by staying within the fold of Catholic Church. Their writings create a tension between the traditional teachings of the Church and their perceived new vision that gives contemporary hermeneutics and relevant meaning to a spiritual experience.


Adult Spirituality

Who is an adult believer at the workplace? An employee carries with him his worldview and religious beliefs whether he is at home or work. As such, he operates in the office and he is guided by his spirit intelligence. But who is this adult believer?


According to Andrew Gonzalez (2002), the adult believer is someone who “has figured things out for himself based on his experience of life and the sacred in human existence. His beliefs and values are self-determined and have become a source of liberation. He believes certain principles and events on the basis of his own convictions and no longer based on what others have said. He acts and lives his life accordingly, respecting traditions and even Church official teachings, but transcending them based on his own conviction and commitments.” Believing in Bernard Haring’s dictum on the primacy of love, he believes that the Ten Commandments are no longer a viable way around which to organize our moral life.


The adult believer needs a new of reference on which to base his moral conduct and become aware of the behavioral imperatives arising from his faith, beliefs and values. He suggests going beyond the minimum limits of the Commandments by exploring the possibilities of love’s unlimited boundaries and using various relational models with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Gonzalez, 2006). He needs to sense and recognize a mysterious force in the core of his being – that underlying and integrating principle of unity that gives a new and profound meaning to his life. This mysterious force is the secret ground of his peace of heart and mind, the wellspring of his joy and courage throughout all adversity (Van Kaam, 1964).


In a discussion on spirituality and religiosity among young adult MBA believers, representing some 18 Catholic parishes in Metro Manila revealed that Generation X and Y professionals, revealed that they prefer homilies that are “attuned to modern times, adapting to the changing culture, and respecting other people’s preferences” (DLSU FGD, 2012). They have an adverse reaction to homilies that are pegged to biblical context with no gospel relevance to the life of the community, in particular to them, as professionals. They recommended celebration of mass for specific age groups, including the children.   They prefer freedom to exercise common sense and sense of the sacred as guide to entering the house of worship. They expressed a desire for personal freedom in exploring a dynamic and meaningful development of their spirituality. In conclusion, they are searching for an authentic, spiritual experience, beyond a religious compliance to a Sunday precept.


The challenge for Catholics is how to make holy the Lord’s Day. Sunday compliance shows religiosity on a Sunday and nothing else from Monday to Saturday – an image of a split level Christian as earlier observed by Bulatao. Gregory Baum’ hermeneutics of grace shows no split in human activity. He asserts that the first and foremost means of grace is life itself, “For what God is doing through the sacraments in an explicit fashion, he is doing in amore implicit manner through the words and gestures that are part of life itself. There is a good dogmatic basis for the shocking statement that there may be more communion taking place in the tavern on Saturday night than in the church on a Sunday morning” (Baum, 1969).


A proper understanding of life activity as a sacramental channel of God’s grace could revolutionize our secular perspective of work as a spiritual human function. Would it not be a great social transformation to see a 7/24 spirituality at work on a weekday? Would it not be a great Christian transformation of the Philippine Church if we succeed in bringing about corporate spirituality practice based on a new spiritual understanding?


Ebner’s (1978) personalist Yes Theology simplifies the complex hermeneutics of being spiritual and religious when he advocates openness to an experience of a Yes to our daily life. God as Mystery Present is experience- based and is aligned with Martin Buber’s (1958) I-Thou formula of God-man encounter in the here and now. When applied to spirituality in the workplace this personalist theology is more appropriate for Filipinos who are culturally inclined to be highly relational in their worldview. Filipino personalist pakikipagkapwa is a cultural metaphor of God as Mystery Present in all our interpersonal dialogue whether at work or at home. It allows a Filipino Christian to have an immediate experience of the divine. This is in contrast to process theology which struggles to define and refine Filipino culture within the framework of Christian dogmas with a hope for an authentic merger of and synergy between Filipino culture and the Roman Catholic faith.


Spirituality of the Moment

Further, Ebner (1977) asserts that God as mystery present makes it less necessary to visualize a third something between God and humanity. The spiritual Presence is immediate, without need to talk of grace and of finding God. One becomes aware of the Presence, which is also known implicitly as truth, suffering, joy, etc. and explicitly as the Holy, each person is invited to say ‘Yes’ to whatever circumstances that person face. In a more radical perspective, the centrality of Jesus as mediator is downplayed by Joseph Jungmann (1964) who said that, “Jesus is not the ultimate in Christianity” and Sloyan (1980) tells us that our spirituality should consider first who Jesus Christ is to us personally he boldly concludes that Jesus “is not central to the our faith and prayer: God alone is.” Christine Page (1999) asserts “once each of us is able to tap into our higher wisdom then there will be less need for the middle man, such as those found within religious organizations, who for so long have been the mediator between the Creator and ourselves.”


For example, Alvin Quirong (2012), an adult believer, relates why a “third something” between God and him is not necessary to experience the presence of God. He says, “I don’t go to church; I don’t pray the rosary; I don’t pray the novena. What I do is study the Bible [and] spread the Gospel in a not-forceful way.” He sums up his life-work spirituality: “A true Christian works hard at work because this is also an act of worship – your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with your talents is your gift to God.”


Buddhist Okawa Rhyho (2005) opines that “God and human beings are not separate into one who saves and the ones who are saved but that humans can actively save themselves, which is synonymous with achieving divinity. So human beings can become divine.” He echoes what Catholic theologian Karl Rahner (1968) said half a century years ago, “All men are divine.” Linda Grabhorn (1992) reassures us that our self-esteem is at its best because of our connectivity with the divine. She says, “We can’t separate ourselves from who we are already are. We realize we are just as much a part of God as a leaf of its tree.”


But there is a need to recognize that we are immersed in a divine environment. Lasallian spirituality of the moment (De Mesa, 2004) is an effective formula which allows us to connect to our transcendent self by pausing and invoking the holy and sacred in the midst of a work environment. John Baptist de la Salle’s prayer invocation, “Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God” formulated some 300 years age is practiced globally among Lasallian institutions, including the 17 Lasallian institutions and affiliates in the Philippines. The idea is to sanctify our most ordinary human activity, an antidote to modern life characterized by speed, materialism and external focus. In contrast, the Carmelites spend their life in prayer and contemplation; the Bedans and Scholasticans of Benedictine tradition balance their life of prayer (ora) and work (labora); and the De La Salle Brothers live an active life in the service of education.


John Baptist de La Salle made sure every moment of the Brothers’ active life, especially in the classroom is made holy – sacralization of the moment. Thus, the Lasallian formula, “Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God” indicates that every moment of a teaching activity is in fact taking place in God’s Holy Presence. Lasallian spirituality makes every active moment, and all moments, thereafter sacred in the formula: “I will continue, O my God, to do all my actions for the love of you.” The “butterfly effect” of this formula after De La Salle’s presence in the Philippines for 100 years has yet to be seen from the classroom to the boardroom


  1. Human Race Church Spirituality

Exposed to a global business environment, it is important for corporate members to consider the Human Race Church (Ebner, 1975). This new Church model consists of three circles wherein the Christian and Catholic churches are subsumed. The Human Race Church is the primary agency for salvation wherein all men are considered members of God’s kingdom; this church is operational wherever men and women say some kind of ‘yes’ to self, others and the Other. According to Ebner, the Christian Church, distinguished by its adherence to the papacy, is not the center of God’s plan, not the ordinary means of salvation. The Human Race Church includes members who live ethical lives of constant ‘yes’ are “anonymous Christians” (Rahner, 1968)

Schlette (1966) admonishes Christian believers to consider the great religions as the “normal” or ordinary way to salvation and not the Catholic Church. In fact, John Hick (1987) proposed a Copernican revolution for Christian theology to renounce its claims for religious superiority and move from being exclusive to that of being genuinely plural.


Consequently, in a workplace with different nationalities, the Human Race Church model becomes a compelling perspective for managers to consider that colleagues and subordinates with varied religious affiliations are not only corporate members but also global spiritual family members. A Human Race Church spirituality allows Filipino Catholics to bring forth and bring about the fulfillment of the reason why the Philippines is Christian nation in Asia whose Abrahamic, Sinic, and Vedic cultures are distinct from the Hellenic Roman Catholic tradition (Marinoff, 2009).


Spiritual Human Conversation

Schleck (1967) reminds us that the “vocation to which God calls us is simply [being] a man who is on the way to being restored in his normal human nature. Thus, the accent has changed: before we used to say that the human culminates in the Christian; now we say that he Christian culminates in the human. The true Christian is simply the true man.” Therefore, humanism which shows an unlimited concern that man continually discovers truth and what he is potentially, is Christianity without all the proper names. The return to humanistic management and the promptings of the social teachings of the Church signify how every corporate member is expected to be living the ethical code of conduct. By so doing, in humanistic and anthropocentric theology, that person is acting in a truly spiritual fashion.


Spirituality in the workplace need not be expressed as religious and even pious conversation revolving about God, the saints and the scripture. According to Gregory Baum, (1969) “The word of God is not only recorded in scriptures and proclaimed in the community, it also addresses us through people and the experiences of life itself. Gabriel Moran (1967) believes thatAll of creation speaks of God and that God is revealed in the letting be of being, that is, in things simply being themselves”. As a manager plans, leads, organizes and controls at the workplace, he is, theologically speaking, sacralizing the workplace. Team problem-solving and decision-making is a creative exercise where synergy manifests as an expression of team spirit and more importantly, the spirit of wisdom where “two or three are gathered in His name.”


In Ebner’s spiritual paradigm, the very existence of a ‘problem’ is a condition of God is present as mystery and throughout the problem-solving process His presence is in the midst of the discussants. In one sense, all communication and conversation involved in a creative process of arriving at a solution are revelatory of God’s presence. And when a solution is arrived at, team spirit is not only a human spirit made manifest, it is a manifestation of a transcendent Spirit. The Lasallian presence of remembering the Holy Presence of God is a pleading for a Spirit that makes all authentic human endeavors truly spiritual in the workplace. Spirituality in the workplace may consider hard work as avcalling, a career summoned by God (Velasquez, 2006).



  1. Newstream Spirituality



According to Penn, “Religion is fractionalizing, and the ability to bring together many people under a single religious banner is dwindling…These days you choose your faith and your prayer community in practically as many varieties as you can choose your morning coffee. It means smaller crowds in the pew, but presumably happier ones.” (Penn, 2009). As there are variants of religious affiliations, there is on the rise new trends in spirituality.


Progressive Spirituality


Gordo Lynch (2007) has observed four progressive spirituality is driven by spiritual ideologies that comprise contemporary progressive belief in the 21st century. The issues of well-being in the modern world, concern of women, conciliation between religion and science and ecology and survival are driving contemporary and futurist thinkers to create a new spiritual perspective.


Progressive spirituality is driven by: 1. The desire to find new ways of religious thinking and new resources for spiritual growth that truly connects with people’s belief, values and experience in modern, liberal societies. 2. The initiatives to develop a spirituality that is relevant and liberating resource for women. 3. The grounding of spirituality in a contemporary scientific cosmology. 4. The need to develop a spirituality which reflects a healthy understanding of the relationship of humanity to the wider natural order and which motivates constructive action to prevent ecolological catastrophe. This section limits the discussion on two spiritual drivers: contemporary feminist spirituality in order highlight the glass ceiling set for leadership of women and ecological spirituality in order to expand our understanding of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.


Feminist Spirituality

The rise of feminist movement and liberation movement came about from a realization that women have rights and the fullness of their feminism is separate and distinct from men. Feminist ethics gave rise to ethics of care (Gilligan, 1982) in contrast to Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarianism,   Immanuel Kant’s rights, and John Rawl’s justice (Rawls). It is assumed that feminist ethics of care, feminist theology, and psychological theory are based on personal experience of the heart, and that these experiences are valid and that women have the power to articulate these unexpressed experiences (Chinnici, 1992).


Shakti Gawain (2000) in The Path of Transformation believes that “Humanity is in the process of conscious evolution…we are taking a great step in consciousness – a great leap in our evolutionary process” (Gawain, 2000 & 1998). At a soul level, the energies and forces in women are at work not only for “personal healing, but for the healing of our planet.” In the future men will “finally learn to follow women as leaders” because they are “way ahead in the soul department” in bringing about change and transformation (Budapest, 1998).


Gawain (1998) forewarns spiritual practitioners to be aware of duality that exists in the real world. She says many people doing spiritual work have “identified with those qualities that we think of as ‘spiritual,’ like being loving and giving, kind, considerate, and peaceful, that we think the way to make the world peaceful is to be those qualities. But we don’t understand the principle of duality that exists in the world that you have to always embrace the opposite. You have to embrace the paradox. That’s where peace comes from.”


Sjoo and Mor (1991) argued that historical evidence of religious shrines and devotional statues of the female body is indicative that “the first ‘God’ was female” which had been a popular concept during the first 200,000 years of human life on Earth. They concluded that the Greco-Judeo-Roman tradition in the West replaced the female God with a male God.


Rosemary Radford Ruther (1981) proposed a feminist theology from within institutional religion and announced that “The God(ess) who is both male and female, neither male or female, points to an unrealized new humanity.” Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (1985) rallied Christian women to protest and struggle for “women‘s liberation inspired by Christian feminist vision of the discipleship of equals.” Carol Christ (1997) and Zsuzsanna Budapest rejected institutional religion and turned to goddess spirituality and feminist Wicca (Lynch, 2007).


Goddess Spirituality

Feminist advocates like Elizabeth Radford Ruther (2005) and Mary Daly (1986) agree that their struggle for women’s liberation and empowerment need to be anchored on goddess spirituality. Grounded in the historical goddess myth, feminist spirituality will have a more valuable impact on the lives of women, beyond the linguistic arguments of doing a transsexual operation on the patriarchal god that would result to a matriarchal goddess.

According to Starhawk (1998), an American Indian feminist, “witchcraft is the old spiritual tradition rooted in the goddess, who is the living Earth…based on the understanding that the Earth is a living being that we name sacred.” The practice of earth spirituality happens:

When you have a tradition that names the Earth and nature as sacred; when you celebrate that

in ritual; when you make your spiritual practice center on learning about nature and how to live

in balance; when you take that into your daily so it’s not just an abstraction or a meditation, but

gets down to things like composting your garbage or making sure that you turn the lights off

when you/re not in the room, naming those as spiritual acts – then you begin to develop the kind

of integration and the kind of understanding we really need to shift the way we live in this



Matthew Fox’s (1991) creation spirituality honors the soil of Earth as a locus of God’s. Based on Christian mysticism and on nature-related religions, he proposed that “Humanity becomes co-creators in the ongoing divine process of creation in the emerging cosmos.” At the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality, he employed Starhawk as tutor and upon investigation by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XIII; he was dismissed from the Dominican Order in 1993. This is indicative that the mainline Catholic spirituality is not yet ready to embrace and integrate other expressions of spirituality. And yet, Shaman Kristin Madden (2006) observed that “Many studies have shown that people with a spiritual connection to Great Spirit and the natural world may heal more quickly and resist illness more effectively that other people. These studies have usually focused on the manifestation of this connection as prayer or meditation.” According to Samuels and Lane (2003) shamanism is a sacred calling by “God, the universe, the world, the people” and is related to the Judeo-Christian religious forms.

The relationship between shamanism and contemporary religions is deep. Shamanism was the form

That underlay the mystical and visionary experiential part of any religion. The form of the ancient

Shamanistic religion Bon cam from Buddhist and Sufi ritual, and it flowed into the ecstatic Jewish

Kabbalistic and Christian mystical practices (Samuels & Lane, 2003).


The 21st has been declared as the millennium of feminine influence (Page, 2011). She declared in 2012 the sun will be in alignment with the Galactic Center and will conclude in 2023 which presents a window of opportunity for humanity to participate in a new era of expanded consciousness and spiritual transformation that will allow us to experience our spiritual self.   A super-macro perspective on sustainable human development of Christine Page is the image of Gaia, the Great Mother. In modern science, Gaia is “the planet earth, a living being who creates for herself the conditions that nourish and sustain life…She is feminine energy that compels us to care about the Earth…She is the feminine voice that years to speak through us of the law of love” (Wheatley 1998).


Our planetary journey, according to Christian Page (2008), is akin to a woman in menstruation who “she enters the void and taps into this immense power of the feminine before emerging newly born. And so we return from our journey into the Great Mother having surrendered ourselves for the opportunity to experience her trinity: the void, the elixir of creative power and her powerful breath which expels us back out into the world to commence the next cycle.”


She continues to remark that the new cycle marked by the Mayan calendar “is about our Earth, a vital being in its own, raising its frequency to join with the other planets so that our solar system can take its place in the greater scheme of the galaxy and the Universe, this is its destiny.” The 3rd millennium has been declared by feminist advocates as a millennium of women. The challenge to male leaders is first to relocate the feminine energy within his masculine consciousness and relearn to navigate himself from the vantage view point of feminine consciousness. It is not a matter of shedding the macho image and consciousness, it a matter of getting into the feminine spirit for in every male there exists a male and female energy, the yin and yang forces that must be re-discovered at a spiritual level.


Ecologic Spirituality

Biospheric democracy calls for cosmic-centered ethics. Man is not the center of ethical concern but the whole universe. Thomas Berry (1994) creates a new perspective that puts the universe above and beyond human concern. He says, “The human community is subordinate to the ecological community. The ecological imperative is not derivative from human ethics. Human ethics is derivative from the ecological imperative. The basic ethical norms is the well-being of the comprehensive community, not the well-being of the human community. The earth is a single ethical system, as the universe itself is a single ethical system.”


According to Ebner (1978), the theory of evolution and our heightened awareness of ecology have shown us the continuity and relationship between human and subhuman and sometimes we are so concentrated on our inward relation to Mystery Present that we forget the meaning of nature and its relation to God. Thus, we need a theology of nature as well as of human beings. (Barbour, 1974).


Christian ecology advocates suggest ecological practice and activism within the context of Church dogmatic and liturgical framework. Craig Sorley (2008), an eco-evangelist, calls upon believers to care for God’s creation. He say, “Our worldview on this topic is still more often defined by politics, by secular economic thought, by our materialistic culture, and by a knee-jerk reaction to the extreme ends of the environmental movement, than it is by Scripture”. Prisco Cajes (2002) suggests a Trinitarian ecological theology + theology of stewardship + theology of communion. Georg Ziselsberger’s (2003) ecological theology framework be reflected in the liturgy and orship Liturgy through prayers forms the conscience and consciousness of the people .


Marcos Borg (1997) considers the universe as a unified entity with God and argues that God is the nonmaterial ground of all that is. Thus, the universe becomes an ongoing expression of the work of the divine spirit (Lynch, 2007). Moore, Thomas (2010) believes that to be spiritual on has to become an ecologist. For him, “spirituality is not abstract and ethereal and the planet is perhaps the first object” of the transcendent self, believing that “the cosmic self and human self are like two sides of a coin”.


While we do not abandon the traditional position of the Church on human dignity, biospheric democracy calls for respect for all of creation – living and non-living. And this calls for a new spirituality that must be embraced at the corporate level and in the workplace in view of global warming and impending ecological imbalance.


  1. Upstream Spirituality and Integral Vision

Mananzan (2004) proposed an inter-religious, integral spirituality for women in Asia with Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, and Confucian orientation. This integral movement is an acknowledgement that “other religions which are found throughout the world attempt in their own ways to calm the hearts of men by outlining a program of life covering doctrines, moral precepts and sacred rites” (Nostra Aetate, 1965). In fact, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions urges “collaboration with other religions.” Mananzan’s integral spirituality invites Asian women to embrace a spirituality that is compassionate, prophetic, life-giving and contemplative. Her spiritual framework is aligned to Ebner’s Human Race Church and a step closer to Ken Wilber’s Integral vision of spirituality.



Integral Framework


Ken Wilbur’s (2000) integral vision in All Quadrants All Lines (AQAL) creates an encompassing framework spirituality. For him, integral means “to integrate, to bring together, to join, to link, to embrace. Not in the sense of uniformity, and not in the sense of ironing out all of the wonderful differences, colors, zigs and zags of a rainbow hued humanity, but in the sense of unity-in-diversity, shared commonalities along with our wonderful differences. And not just in humanity, but in the Kosmos at large: finding a more comprehensive view – a Theory of Everything (T.O.E.) – that makes legitimate room for art, morals, science, and religion, and doesn’t merely attempt to reduce them all to one’s favorite slice of the Kosmic pie.”


He further explains spirituality at various levels of human consciousness:

Some levels of consciousness have spiritual aspects that are best approached through image

and metaphor; some through rational and academic discourse; and some through direct practice

and realization. My approach attempts to include and honor all of those. At the same time, a

critical integral theory does indeed make suggestions about which of those approaches are more

authentic than others, and the conclusion is that different types of spirituality are appropriate at

different stages of consciousness development. There are different types of spirituality found at

virtually every level of the spectrum of consciousness, using “spirituality” or “religion”

interchangeably in this case to mean that which is one’s ultimate concern and that in which

one puts ultimate faith (Wilber, n.d.)


Today, real and virtual work relationships across continents via internet require more than social intelligence (Coleman, 2007) and cultural intelligence (Livermore, 2010). Cultural sensitivity has gone much deeper to include religious sensitivity that calls for an integral spiritual intelligence (Wilber, 2007). Globally, the great religions are invited to “act as facilitators of human development from magic to mythic to rational to pluralistic to integral and to a global society that honors and includes all stations of life along the way” (Wilber, 2007a).


Ken Wilber (n.d.) “My view has been summarized as “quadrants, waves, streams, states, types, self”–and of those, only waves and streams (or levels and lines) are essentially developmental or evolutionary.” He explains integral spirituality as the convergence of the East and the West:

If we take all of the truths that have been advanced–in the West and the East; in premodern,          modern, and postmodern times–and we put them all together, then what system of thought can          honor, acknowledge, and integrate the most number of truths from the most number of traditions?”    Thus, where myth and dogma are the material of metaphysical, pre-Kantian spirituality, direct    experience and deep science are the materials of post-metaphysical spirituality (Ken Wilber, n.d.).

As integral spiritual practice he “I believe that the integral system that I have suggested can honor and include more truths from more traditions, and therefore it is a system that can better offer people a way to open their minds and hearts to the vast array of the Kosmos–its goodness, its beauty, and its many truths. But for the details, as always, we must immerse ourselves in the concrete realities and particularities of this moment. When it comes to spiritual practice, this means studying with a teacher whom you trust and working out your own salvation with care.”

Spiritual Intelligence

According to Wiggleworth (2009) spiritual intelligence is one’s “ability to behave with compassion and wisdom, while maintaining inner and outer Peace” regardless of the circumstances. “It transcends religion from skill to work – organization as well; It is a tool to shift from ego-self to higher self.


James Fowler (1981) stages of faith development is interpreted by Ken Wilber (2007b) as stages of spiritual intelligence in the light of his AQAL framework: 1. preverbal, predifferentiated, 2. projective-magical, 1st person dominated, 3. mythic-literal concrete myths and stories, 3. conventional, conformist, 2ne person dominated, 4. individual reflexive, beginning of 3rd person, 5. conjunctive pluralistic, dialectical, multicultrually sensitive, 6. postconventional, universal commonwealth and 7. transpersonal or non-dual commonwealth.


At the social level, our identity unfolds through 5 nested levels of consciousness: 1. Embedded: consciousness shaped without our awareness of social, cultural and biological factors; 2. Self-reflective: people gain awareness how their experiences are conditioned by the social world; 3. Engaged social consciousness: we are aware of our social environment; we mobilize our intention to contribute to the greater good; movement from ‘me’ to ‘we.’ Our brains are social organs; 4. Collaborative social consciousness: awareness of social world lead us to participate in co-creating the world; and 5. Resonant consciousness: experience a sense of essential interrelatedness with others; a ‘field’ of shared experience and emergence is felt and expresses in social groups.

This mystical states of interconnectiveness expressed by spiritual teachers, educators and psychologists (Schlitz, 2010).


Spirituality Road Map



Based on Wilber’s integral spirituality which encompasses all forms of spiritualities of the East and the West, a spirituality road map may be laid out at the microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic levels of development. These levels of development original intended to embed corporate ethics and good governance proposed by Zimmerli, Richter, and Holzinger (2007) may now be adapted as overall road map for spiritual development in business.


The systematic development of spirituality in the workplace would eventually create a butterfly effect on the economic if and when the following questions are addressed: 1. At the micro level, how does a professional business person practice spirituality? 2. At the meso level, how does a corporation promote and manage its spiritual culture? and 3. At the macro level, how can spirituality influence the global economic system?


From a quantum perspective (O’Murchu, 1998), new theology moves much closer to an integral spirituality as described by Ken Wilbur. The 11th principle of quantum theology states the “Extinction and transformation, the evolutionary process of Calvary and resurrection, are central coordinates of cosmic and planetary evolution. Their interplay as the history moment – our ‘kairos’ – provides the primary locus for the praxis of quantum theologian.” O’Murchu believes that theology no longer belongs to Christianity, not even to formal religion; instead, we are invited to do theology at the heart of the world and not within the confines of the church or formal religion; and the theological encounter becomes most creative when we engage with the pressing global issue of our time (O’Murchu, 1998).


Spirituality in the workplace: Quo Vadis? The three levels of spiritual development within the economic and business frameworks may yet provide some directions for managing this new dimension of business management. A plethora of research opportunities awaits those who wish to validate the influence of mainstream spirituality, newstream spirituality, and upstream spirituality in the workplace. With the rise of China and India as economic centers in the East, management practitioners need to take a deeper look at their cultural and ‘spiritual’ influence. This shift of global economic power to the East coincides which ends the long Mayan calendar cycle 5, 125 years on December 21, 2012, China and India bring to the world and in particular to the workplace a new spirituality influenced by Sinic and Vedic traditions.


I conclude with a final question. Gregg Braden (2009) asks, “Can we recognize that our greatest threats to our familiar way of life are really nature’s nudge towards a new way of being? … [A]re we ready to receive the greatest gift of all: the inner change that comes from responding to life’s challenges with cooperation and nurturing of a heart-based way of life?”





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