Evolutionary Spirituality

This page is for community-wide proposals, discussions and debates. Past discussions can be found at the Consensus Track archive. NOTE FROM JON : This contains a lot of Old info - Should I get out the machete and beat back this jungle?

Getting what Lion's talking about[]

I've been reading Lion's latest links on the EvolutionaryNexus site and feel I'm on a steep almost overwhelming learning curve. It's like you are a precursor of the singularity, Lion, and I'm part of the leading edge of the old world which is still old world. You are trying to teach me existentialism and I'm still working on spelling "cat" correctly. There's a whole different way of being...

I no longer think of what you are suggesting as the "chaotic" section of this site. I now see the orderly -- even constructionist -- pattern you are trying to communicate to us.

I have a hunch that the way I am and the way you are are potentially complementary, still. I think Theory Building is such a powerful concept, and I definitely want to do it on this wiki, but I don't see why it can't occupy the same wiki along with the question pagenames and the big pre-established outlines (which can, of course, evolve). Some of us who "get" theory building could go around adding and revising links in -- and refactoring -- what other people write so that it weaves into the theory building aspects of the site.

Is there anything that prevents this from happening? Is it not possible for all these modes to co-exist, and for people to evolve from one mode to another as they learn what is possible and what the limits are in each mode?

Tomatlee 23:24, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Tom, Lion,

I'm totally okay with moving to a Community Wiki site. Now would be the time to do it, before we invite others to join us. It may seem a trivial thing but I really like the thumbnail pictures, among other things. And yes, I too feel I'm on a major learning curve. I'd really like to talk with you both, and perhaps with Jon too if he wants, in the not-too-distant future. My conference line is available anytime: 413-461-0333 pin: 408 Tuesday evening is the only time this week that does not work for me. (6pm-10pm Central time, that is.)

MBDowd 02:33, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The kind of Theory Building I would like to do -- the link language I would like to co-create -- has to do with evolutionary phenomena or evolutionary dynamics or evolutionary mechanics or evolutionary patterns -- you can see I'm already having a hard time thinking how to name things. Ultimately, I'm interested in how such things translate into evolutionary strategies, especially evolutionary social change strategies. Can't this be done on this mediawiki wikicities site?
Tomatlee 00:04, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Here are some relevant links from Lion on EvolutionaryNexus:

Tom Atlee -- 05:04, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Next meeting date[]

  • Jon -- evenings (after 10:30 for Lion)- Now, in general, most weeknights are OK - posted May 24, '06.
  • Lion -- indeterminant -- time is now utterly chaotic -- individual calls always always always ok, 206.427.2545 -- try to contact before conference call -- (now is: Apr 6)
  • Tom -- April: Any PST eve except Mondays. April 1 and 2nd possible. Not 3rd or 4th. Weds 5th any time except noon-3pm. Thurs Apr 6 early morning OK. Fri Apr 7th before 10 am. 8th not ok (my birthday). Sunday Apr 9th anytime. Monday Apr 10th after 1 pm.
  • Per -- Generally, any time except Monday, Wednesday and Thurs evenings and Sunday mornings (some weekends unavailable).
  • Michael Dowd -- the only times that DON'T work for me the first week of April are Saturday morning, Sunday morning, Monday morning, and Wednesday evening.
  • Whomever else --


  • -
    • 2. Another solution is to have weekend meetings (none of us have mentioned that yet).
    • 3. Another solution is to have meetings with Lion (who is the most knowledgeable among us, and is more deeply involved than Jon) and have one or more of us ensure Jon gets briefed and his views are represented in the dialogue (much of which will go on on the wiki, like this, anyway).

Quick poll:

(fill in w your opinion) From Jon- after 10:30 is OK with me. I'll just stay up for them. Weeknights are better for me until May. With all, since I'm not as involved (little spare time), I won't complain about any decision made. poll answers below.

  • plan 1. alternate times (Lion/Jon) -- Jon=ok; Lion=ok ; Tom=ok; Per=on retreat; Michael=ok
  • plan 2. weekend meetings -- Jon=so-so I'll have to miss some; Lion=LOVES IT!; Tom=ok; Per=on retreat; Michael=fine with me
  • plan 3. meet Lion, extend to Jon -- Jon=OK; Lion=hmm; Tom=ok; Per=on retreat; Michael=not ideal, but ok
  • added* 730 PST meeting weeknights (how about wednesday march 22) Jon=Best Lion=?; Tom=?; Per=on retreat; Michael=yes

What To Do with Wiki?[]

Note - is this section obsolete now? The split solution seems great, and Tom's new entry pages are cool. - posted by Jon, 5.24.06


  • 1. actually have two separate wiki, one for more exploratory conversation & open questions ("what exactly does it mean, to have a "conscious social system"?"), the other to have more encyclopedic material ("Evolutionary Christianity")
  • 2. have one wiki, but arrange things such that the exploratory & open is clearly different than the encyclopedic & clear
    • 2A. do it with categories
    • 2B. do it with some other technique
  • 3. something else, different, other

quick poll:

  • 1. two separate wiki -- Jon=preferred I think, Lion=ok, Tom=ok, Per=yes, Michael=okay
  • 2. one wiki, segregated content -- Jon=ok, Lion=ok, Tom=ok, Per=maybe, Michael=ok


Thanks, Lion - good idea!

I'll go with whatever you all decide, although I do have a slight preference for separate wikis that are interlinked on related topics. We could keep Wikicities for the encyclopedic wiki, and set up another (as Lion suggested) for the exploratory one. Seems that it would give us the best of both worlds, including allowing the exploratory wiki to evolve organically and freely independent of the encyclopedic one.

If a segregated wiki could be set up cleanly, elegantly and simply, and maintaining the freedom for the exploratory wiki to evolve on its own, that would be OK as well. Although this seems a little more difficult, and potentially confusing.

--Perkl 15:15, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I really like the mediawiki form, and I actually really do want to have an encyclopedia- (or manual-) like product, which has some solidity but is evolvable. AND I'd love to have an adventurous wiki space. I'm interested in seeing what Lion would set up (in CommunityWiki, or elsewhere?) and why there? This is a very good learning opportunity. I think of the solid one as evolving out of insights and perspectives that precipitate out of the supersaturated solution of the dialogue on the adventurous one, or something like that.

Tomatlee 03:00, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I can go either way. My natural inclination is to have one segragated wiki. But I really don't imagine I'd object to having two distinct ones. I trust y'all's judgement.

MBDowd 16:10, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm here talking with Per face-to-face (!!!) and we are looking at what we called the "encyclopedia" wiki as intended to record existing views and language being used by various leading theorists, visionaries, spokespeople for this movement and field. This is the common ground we'd like to gather people around, and provides a starting point for further exploration and introducing new people to the subject.
This mode of wiki is also very useful for collecting up different rituals, resources, ways of doing evolutionary groups, etc.
What I was calling the "wild" wiki isn't really wild but is exploring on the leading edge to create new theory, language, intellectual infrastructure, visions, etc. This may be more appropriate in a CommunityWiki location/format, but I'd like to hear more from Lion about why he would choose that format for this purpose rather than the MediaWiki format (a bulleted list of features pro and con would be great!).
Some of the stuff currently on this WikiCities wiki actually might be more appropriate for the TheoryBuilding wiki; that will take some review of the current content.
After the two modes get rolling in parallel, new consensuses (consensi?) emerging from the TheoryBuilding section could be entered into the encyclopedic section. For example, the material on conscious evolution seems to have a wide variety of interpretations. It would be interesting to see how they play out in the TheoryBuilding section and what, if anything, can be said at this time about this subject in the encyclopedic section. It may be that what is needed there is a summary of the different views and a reference to the emerging discussion on the TheoryBuilding site.
This seems to us like a good synergy. What do you folks think?
Tom Atlee 05:04, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Good comments all, I think I lean towards the two separate wikis because people tend to get confused easily, and if they are really obviously separate I think we'll get both kinds of posts on both wikis. -Jon 10 pm April 4 2006

'Scuse me jumping in here, but have you considered using namespaces to separate the two tracks? Custom namespaces are easy to set up in MediaWiki, and that pages would be easily identified in the same way help or user pages are now. I think the main disadvantage to splitting into two wikis, is that it means there are two places for people to check - they may forget or not get round to it and you may find that overall activity decreases. Alternatively, you might consider a second Wikia wiki. If the purpose is different enough then that could be possible. That way you would keep the hosting and shared log-in advantages. Just some more things to think about :) -- sannse (talk) 15:42, 6 April 2006 (UTC) (community team) (wikia user information)

Jon Moves Discussion to Wiki[]

Hi all-

From the discussion it sounds like a concensus to invite a few dozen people soon, and then let the site evolve over the next few months, and actively look for publicity only when we feel it is in good shape. If I read that right, I agree.

It also sounded like there wasn't a need for two wiki's but rather to keep doing what Tom and I found to work well - inclusive (but scientifically accurate) main pages, with links to more extreme pages.

I can't make it to a conference call this week. Almost any other week this year would be better. I'd love to hear everyone's voices and to move ahead too, and I hope to have future calls with everyone.

I roughly copied much of the conversation below, as Lion had suggested just to get it off from email and onto the wiki.

May our star warm your face- Equinox 19:18, 13 March 2006 (UTC) (Jon) 19:17, 13 March 2006 (UTC)


An Email[]

Virtually anytime tomorrow (Tue) or Wed can work for me for a conference call. I look forward to speaking with you all and actually hearing your voices! Let's do it! Just tell me when.

On 3/12/06 4:59 PM, "Tom Atlee" <cii@igc.org> wrote:

> I agree with Per, also.
> I am finally convinced that it is OK to open "soon" to a select group
> of 30-60 more or less expert people as an advance group to build the
> structured part of the wiki, and to invite a group of 10-30 more
> adventurous, wild-card people to build a more freely exploratory part
> of the wiki.

> I'm not sure Jon and Lion agree that both these wiki-modes exist, or
> should exist, or should be made explicit.  Per and Michael have both
> said on phone calls, I believe, that these two wiki modes are real to
> them.  But I'm very definitely feeling that those two energies --
> which can easily act like they are opposed to each other -- need to
> be creatively embraced and well served, both now and in the future.

> And that's what I'd like to do BEFORE we open the wiki up to the next
> wave of participants:  I want to develop -- in dialogue with you --
> introductory materials that clarify and welcome both the orderly
> legacy energy and the vibrantly creative energy, that encourage their
> co-existence and synergy, and that provide structures -- e.g.,
> perhaps two different portals; perhaps a policy or process for
> monitoring / editing / moving / deleting / etc. postings -- for
> supporting and sustaining those two energies.
> I'm finding I'm having a hard time getting that and other wikiwork
> done, with other demands on me.  This will be changing in a week when
> Peggy is done with her book deadline and can pick up some of the work
> in shared activities that I've had to carry.  Until then, I'd like
> our wiki to remain in planning and preparation mode, not launch mode.

> Perhaps most importantly:  I think it would be VERY good to have a
> phone call among at least Michael, Per, Lion, and I -- and Jon, John,
> and Connie if they'd like -- to discuss this and other issues in
> greater depth, and to grow into a team that can be the core wiki
> steward team for the next wave of invitees.  I would, as Michael
> suggests, like to make that a regular call and commitment.

> My Tues 14 and Weds 15 are unscheduled except for a 1-3pm PST phone
> appointment.  Are there times on those two days that each of you
> could join in an initial wiki team phone call?
> I think we can get our basics in place for a "barn raising" by the
> last week in March.  But I don't want to create unnecessary problems
> because we hurried into a premature launch in ways that will be hard
> to recover from later.
> Coheartedly,
> Tom

> At 2:59 PM -0600 3/12/06, Michael Dowd wrote:
>> PER,

>> On 3/12/06 10:31 AM, "Per Kielland-Lund" <putali@efn.org> wrote:
>> Hi Michael,
>> [For the conclusion, skip the rambling and go the end!]
>> I think I understand the reasoning behind it (allowing time 

for the
>> wiki to mature), but have some concerns:
>> 1.    It assumes that peoplewill be able to maintain interest in
>> this particular wiki for so long,with a limited amount of people
>> involved, and thus a limited amount ofperspectives (and juiciness)
>> included. For me personally, I think Iwould loose interest
>> relatively fast if there is a small/closed groupinvolved, but would
>> keep my interest over much longer time if there isa larger and more
>> diverse group involved - it would keep it fresh andinteresting to
>> me, and would keep me more on my toes.

>> 2.
>> 3.

>> 4.    With a limited amountof people included over so long, I am
>> concerned that the wiki will showsigns of inbreeding which is
>> invisible to those involved. The longerthe wiki evolves before
>> opening  up to a larger and more diverse group,the more a particular
>> culture will gain a foothold in the wiki,appropriate for this
>> limited group up people but maybe not for a largerand more diverse
>> group. This may make it unattractive to others when itopens up to a
>> larger group, even if we explicitly invite others to joinand modify
>> articles/organization of the wiki etc.
>> 5.

>> 6.

>> 7.    If a smaller groupstays involved with it for 2 or 3 years,
>> they may become reluctant tolarger changes created by newcomers.
>> They may feel that new folks don'tunderstand the culture they have
>> evolved over so long time, and may beattached to particular ways of
>> doing things and even the particularcontent and format of articles.
>> This goes against the primary intentionof the wiki, which is its
>> wild inclusiveness - combined with thetempering of gradual changes,
>> synthesis and inclusiveness of views,monitoring of quality etc.

>> 8.
>> 9.
>> 10.    Mainly, I see it ascompletely unrealistic - no matter what
>> our personal preferences may befor who or how many are included. It
>> is the nature of the internet ingeneral, and wikis in particular, to
>> be open to anyone who access theinternet. If the ES wiki is of
>> interest to people, then knowledge of itwill spread no matter what
>> we do or don't do. People involved willmention it to others if they
>> think they may be interested in it (Iprobably will no matter what
>> the official policy may be). People willstumble on it through
>> general internet searches. People will stumble onit through
>> wikicities searches. People will link to particular articlesin
>> emails, blogs and websites. If this wiki is a good (or maybe
>> thebest) source of ES related information available on the internet,
>> thenpeople will link to it, no matter what. The only way to
>> realistically limit access is through password protection.

>> That said, I am completely for an organic growth of the wiki, with
>> progressive phases of inclusion and publicity. It seems that the
>> first phase is coming to an end (initial skeleton of structure and
>> content). The second phase may be to invite a select group of people
>> to contribute. And when this phase has matured some, we may include
>> an even wider group of people. And at some point, we may start
>> posting links to it at blogs and websites and make it more public.
>> So I agree with the general idea behind it, but I think having a
>> particular timeframe in mind is unrealistic (who knows how fast it
>> will mature?), and I also think that expecting it to maintain it as
>> a "secret" for very long is unrealistic. We may choose to not
>> actively promote it, but after a relatively short time that will not
>> make much difference for who or how many knows about it.
>> I see that I agree with the general intention but not with having a
>> particular timeframe. I am all for organic growth of the wiki, which
>> in my mind includes having no particular timeframe but an ongoing
>> evaluating based on what is happening at any particular time. (How
>> mature is the wiki now? Would it be beneficial to allow the existing
>> group of participants to evolve the wiki further before next phase
>> of invitations? Are we ready to invite a larger group of people to
>> participate?) And doing this knowing that the nature of internet is
>> open access to information and the nature of wikis is its wild
>> inclusiveness.

>> Per
>> Michael Dowd wrote:
>> Tom, Per, Jon, Connie, and John
>> I had a great talk with Lion Kimbro last night, for over an hour.  I asked
>> him what he thought about my/our idea of, within the next few days
>> specifically inviting some 50 or so key people but not "announcing" the wiki
>> to the wider word or "opening it up" to the public for 3 weeks to 3 months.
>> His response was something like (not a direct quote, but close), "If you
>> want this thing to really be what I think it has the potential to be (a
>> word-class tool to support the emerging evolutionary spirituality movement
>> and THE place to go for the sharing best thinking and best practice, I
>> suspect you may want to keep it relatively closed - that is, not open to the
>> public in an indiscriminant way - for 3 years, rather than just a few weeks
>> or months."  He suggested that it will likely take it that long to truly
>> mature.

>> I must say, after talking with Lion, this makes a lot of sense to me.  I
>> like the idea of treating this wiki for the first two or three YEARS like an
>> extended Evolutionary Salon of the first (Hacienda) and fourth
>> (Philanthropy) kind.  Inviting key people to come and play and contribute
>> but NOT "telling the whole world about it" for a few years.
>> So here's my suggestion...let's SOON get an invitation together that:

>> A) Offers a kick-ass, alluring, inspiring vision of what this ES wiki can
>> become
>> B) Makes it REALLY easy to jump in and use
>> C) Invites and shows how to add content and become community
>> players/stewards
>> D) Offers times for regular conference calls (to share ideas, problems,
>> passions, etc)
>> E) Offers a strong rationale for NOT indiscriminantly telling others about
>> it or promoting it via mass distribution email lists, until mature, which
>> could take 2-3 years

>> Then let's invite JUST those people we think could potentially be major
>> contributors.

>> Lion also suggested beginning with a sort of online "barn raising,": "During
>> this week (date-to-date), we invite you to join us in the initial
>> co-creation/building of this wiki!"  And then have a celebrational phone
>> call or whatever at the end of that week or two weeks.

>> And for the first 2-3 years, until we collectively feel the wiki is strong
>> and mature, people are only individually invited.  In other words, NONE of
>> us simply put the word out on our mass distribution lists.  But we cultivate
>> the community and content for a few years first.
>> If we do this well, I sense this wiki could make a real and lasting
>> evolutionary impact in the world!

>> At any rate, just some ideas.
>> Hugs around,
>> Michael

Tom Atlee: A new proposal[]

I woke up at 6am with a vision of how it could all fit together -- the wild and the orderly -- totally within normal wiki functions. The key for me was how WIKI CATEGORIES create order out of totally wild wikipages. Lion: Does this wiki have the WIKI CATEGORIES function?
Here's what I saw, presented as if to a wiki visitor:

There are several ways to sort or find things on this wiki.

  • The evolving established outline: The ES Manual and its table of contents
  • The emergent order of assigned page categories
  • The FAQ
  • A regular site search
  • A random page search


When the wiki was formed, an outline was made of all the things the founders could imagine might be needed on it. Pages were then made and filled in with content, making a sort of Evolutionary Spirituality Manual. As new people and new perspectives have come along, this manual and its table of contents have expanded and changed to include emerging topics. The Manual is a simple way for newcomers to find information and guidance they want.


Many pages on the wiki have been assigned one or more categories by their authors or stewards. Those category links are then placed at the bottom of the page. If you click on a category link, you are taken to a page that lists all the pages which have been assigned that category. The list you see there is automatically generated by a special category search engine. Furthermore, the Category:Category link will take you to a page that lists all the categories in alphabetical order. Finally, the Organized Categories page shows you all the categories organized by subject. It is put together by hand (and brain) by wiki stewards, and evolves. (Actually, it co-evolves with the established outline, and they influence each other's content and organization.)


Wiki contributors and stewards have created a list of questions that people have asked or might ask about the organization of this wiki and how to participate in it, as well as about the theory and practice of evolutionary spirituality, evolutionary science, and evolutionary social creativity. These questions are links to pages that give short answers and provide further links to more information on that question.


If you are interested in a particular subject you can use the search engine in the left column to enter in a key word or phrase and have the site's search engine give you a list of pages that have that word or phrase in them. (Does this search engine search the entire wikicities site, or just our Evolutionary Spirituality wikicities site?)


If you just want to start somewhere in the middle of the wiki and see where it takes you, just as an adventure (like taking an unfamiliar bus at random in a city), just click the random page link and journey from there.

-- Tomatlee 00:38, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Lion responds to Tom[]


Yep! That's exactly it! You've got it! "The emergent order" is right, and it's fine to have some estimation, at the beginning, of how you think things might turn out.

Only a few minor trifling notes:

  • Back-links (clicking on a page title, and seeing all the references to it) doesn't work the same on MediaWiki (what this site runs) as it does on most other wiki. Instead, you have to click on: "What links here," which is in the "toolbox" in the left column.
  • The Wikicities search, sadly, searches through all wiki.
  • FAQ: I wouldn't put questions on separate pages. Just host the whole thing on one, single, page. Call the page "FAQ". One question per page is just too fragmented, and a maintenance & user interface hassle.

I am doubting the wisdom of my decision to recommend WikiCities. MediaWiki really is intended for making huge encyclopedias; Not projects like this. :P If people are up to it, we can migrate to another wiki. (I would recommend OddMuse, and can take care of the logistics of finding a solid host.)

LionKimbro 05:31, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Lion: Could you say more about how you see this wiki?

When I look at the other Wikicities wikis, most of them seem quite similar to this one in terms of focus - clearly defined and of interest to a smaller group of people, and size - from a few hundred to a few thousand articles.

For instance, the currently featured Wikicities wiki seems - in my mind - very similar to the ES wiki, although the focus is on Radio Control rather than ES!

Radio Control Wiki is a collaborative project to create the ultimate knowledge base on everything RC. Cars, boats, trucks, planes, bots, whatever you enjoy that happens to be radio controlled.
RC Wiki started on June 2, 2005, and moved to Wikicities on June 26, 2005. It currently has about 150 articles, and is still growing. It needs more users, especially those who can contribute their radio control knowledge.

Also, the Wikicities search does show hits from the current wiki first, and then other wikis. Seems good to me as it may serve as flypaper and catch some unsuspecting souls initially looking for something else :)

--Perkl 21:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Consensus Track & Archives[]

I have been out of the loop for one or two of days, and may have lost some of the conversation. A couple of brief comments for now:

First, about discussion and deletions.

  • I initially set up the Consensus Track page for these types of discussions. This page (speedy deletions) was meant for discussions on articles which should be quickly removed from the wiki due to inapropriate content etc. (not relevant now, but may become relevant in the future).
  • I feel it is important to archive these discussions, so that we can go back later on and refresh our memory, and so newcomers can go back and get a sense of the process of developing the wiki and the reasoning behind various decisions. The Consensus Track page is set up to be archived as we go along.

If others agree, I would be happy to move the content of this page over to Consensus Track, and also be responsible for archiving segments as appropriate.

--Perkl 21:25, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Structured & Wild[]

Then about the structured and wild dynamic.

My initial comment:

I need to allow the two forms of wikis to settle a little in me. But one possibility may be to have main articles as more structured, more wikipedia like, more consensus oriented, and then regular offshoots of each of these articles which are for the wildly exploratory.
Maybe a structure like this:
1. Core articles (structured, balanced, inclusive, wikipedia like)
2. To each of these core articles, there can be linked exploratory sections at the bottom, maybe below the resource section
  • Collaborative explorations, discussion, analysis, synthesis, etc. (maybe one shared page)
  • Individual takes on the topic (multiple individual pages)
If something emerges from these shared and individual explorations - a new perspective that is seen as a valuable contribution to the main topic, it could be included in the main article.

I realize that in my mind, it looked more like two partially independently evolving wikis, with connection points as mentioned above. The wild & exploratory wiki could have additional sections and articles indepedent of the structured wiki, and live its own organic life that way.

So two wikis, one structured and the public face, and one wild and exploratory for those who want to delve into it further. They would evolve relatively independent of each other, although there would also be points of connections (links) from structured articles to related wild/exploratory sections.

The wild/exploratory pages could be signified with a prefix of sorts. For instance "Exploratory: Evolutionary Christianity".

As Tom mentioned, Categories may also work well to differentiate the structured and wild ES wiki worlds (more elegant than the prefix idea).

--Perkl 21:25, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, one notable difference between this wiki and the RC wiki, is that a lot of the things we're talking about, we're not entirely clear what they are.

So, it seems we have two activities: building theory, and cataloging what exists.

Wikimedia is great for cataloging.

Cataloging things that are clear and distinct, that is, for which there is little difference or confusion. Like on the RC wiki.

But, more later.



Yes, Per, please move this discussion off Speedy Deletions to Consensus Track. MBDowd 14:07, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Additional Poll: open/exploratory vs. encyclopedic/clear[]

I've added a poll at the top of the page for both how people feel about meeting times, and how people feel about how we should handle the wiki.

This is just a poll to get a sense of how we feel, and not intended as a replacement for discussion & further ideas.

LionKimbro 08:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)