Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Upstream Spirituality in the Workplace

Manila Standard Today

Published  August 27, 2012  Upstream spirituality is progressive spirituality which, according to Gordo Lynch, is driven by new beliefs in the 21st century.  It is driven by feminist advocacies, environmental and ecological concerns, and quest for well-being technology-wired society.

Goddess Spirituality
The feminist movement came about from a realization that women have rights. Carol Gilligan’s ethics of care is distinct from Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarianism,   Immanuel Kant’s rights, and John Rawl’s justice.  Feminist ethics and spirituality are based on the experience of the heart, rather than logic of the mind. Z Budapest believes that in the future men will “finally learn to follow women as leaders” because they are “way ahead in the soul department” in bringing about human transformation.
Sjoo and Mor cite historical evidence of female shrines and statues, indicating that “the first God was female” during the first 200,000 years of human life on Earth. Rosemary Radford Ruther proposes a God(ess) who is neither male nor female; Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza calls for “liberation inspired by Christian feminist vision of the discipleship of equals.” Carol Christ and Z. Budapest reject institutional religion by turning to goddess spirituality.Rosemary Radford Ruther and Mary Daly anchor their spirituality “beyond the linguistic transsexual operation on the patriarchal god that would result to a matriarchal goddess.” Starhawk, an American Indian feminist, bravely declares witchcraft as a “spiritual tradition rooted in the goddess, who is the living Earth and the Earth is a living being that [is] sacred.”

Ecologic Spirituality
Thomas Berry 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 norm 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.”
Craig Sorley calls for a worldview on “ecology driven by Scripture”.  Prisco Cajes suggests a Trinitarian approach: ecological theology + theology of stewardship + theology of communion.  Georg Ziselsberger seeks ecological liturgy and prayers that raise the level of ecological conscience of Christians.
Ecologic spirituality may give depth to corporate concern for environmental advocacy; in the workplace  corporate members are challenged to connect social responsibility with global warming and ecological imbalances as a matter of spiritual activism.

Spiritual Convergence
In 2004, Sr. Mananzan proposed an inter-religious, integral spirituality for women in Asia.  It affirmed that “other religions which are found throughout the world attempt in their own ways to calm the hearts of men [and women] by outlining a program of life covering doctrines, moral precepts and sacred rites” (Nostra Aetate). The Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions urges “collaboration with other religions.” Mananzan’s spirituality that is compassionate, prophetic, life-giving and contemplative is a precursor of Ebner’s human race spirituality and Ken Wilber’s integral vision.

Web of Spirituality
Ken Wilbur’s integral vision in All Quadrants All Lines (AQAL) is a web that seeks “to integrate, to bring together, to join, to link, to embrace…unity-in-diversity, shared commonalities along with our wonderful differences.  And not just in humanity, but in the Kosmos at large… 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.”  For him, great religions need 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.”
Viewed as “quadrants, waves, streams” of integral spirituality, he sees the convergence of the East and West where all of the truths that have been advanced in the West and the East in premodern, modern, and postmodern times are put together, so that a system of thought can honor, acknowledge, and integrate the most number of truths from the most number of traditions.  He opines, “[W]here myth and dogma are the material of metaphysical, pre-Kantian spirituality, direct experience and deep science are [now] the materials of post-metaphysical spirituality.”

Cosmic Spirituality
He believes that “[T]he integral system…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.”
Quantum theologian O’Murchu propounds that the evolutionary process of the resurrection is a central coordinate of cosmic and planetary evolution. As such, “theology no longer belongs to Christianity, not even to formal religion; [instead] we are invited to do theology at the heart of the world. [T]he theological encounter becomes most creative when we engage with the pressing global issue of our time.”

Spirituality Road Map
We need a spiritual intelligence that allows us “to behave with compassion and wisdom, while maintaining inner and outer peace; it is a tool to shift from ego-self to higher self.”  This shift or development, according to James Fowler, goes through 7 stages. A spirituality that is: 1. preverbal/pre-differentiated, 2. projective/magical through 1st person, 3. mythic-literal/conventional-conformity dominated by 2nd person, 4. reflexive experience of a 3rd person, 5. conjunctive-multicultural sensing, 6. postconventional-universal consciousness, and 7. transpersonal experience.
Corporate citizens may charter a ‘butterfly’ spirituality road map by answering the following questions: 1. At the micro level, how does a professional business person practice spirituality? 2. At the meso level, how does management promote a corporate spiritual culture? and 3. At the macro level, how can spirituality influence the global economic system?

Spirituality in the workplace: Quo Vadis? A plethora of research opportunities awaits those who wish to validate the influence of mainstream, newstream, and upstream spirituality in the workplace.
As China and India become global economic giants, management practitioners need to take a deeper look at the cultural and ‘spiritual’ influence of these two giants. This shift, which coincides with the end of Mayan calendar cycle of 5, 125 years on December 21, 2012, brings with it a shift in our consciousness. Will the East, in particular Catholic Philippines, be able to model a work spirituality that will enable us counter-balance Western materiality?

Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan teaches at the Management and Organization Department. Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. College of Business and College of Education of De La Salle University, Manila; Graduate School of De La Salle Araneta University, Malabon; Far Eastern University-Makati; and Graduate School of Social Development, Philippine Women’s University, Manila. He holds a doctorate in religious and values formation from De La Salle University. For comments  address to dr.eth2008@gmail.com and visit www/emilianohudtohan.com.

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