Even since I heard Doug Pagitt talk about the application of open source within the realms of Christian tradition, I was immediately inspired by the thought of how this might play out in the plethora of spiritual traditions that are currently available to us today. What I envision is the dissemination of modern spiritual practices licensed under Creative Commons, which allows for attribution to the original author and the right to create derivative works. Wikipedia is the best example I can think of for this process – pages can be added by anyone, and modified by anyone – and like the scientific community, the work undergoes the jurisdiction of the majority (although this can be a slow process given the vast amount of information added to regularly).
I’d like to see us get beyond the written word to embrace a multimedia approach to engaging the spiritual life. Think of YouTube with more substance and less noise. A well-formed community, not tied to any one website but comprised of a network of sites, could bring to life several different perspectives that allow for the application of spiritual practice relevant to this day and age. I believe that it is in our consistent practices that we will mature, grow, and evolve from our present stage of development, and if these are disseminated in a form accessible to all, the potential is there to strengthen the evolution of the world’s traditions.
Obviously, this is not the creation of another form of spirituality; rather, it is an effort to make current and immediate forms of practice that would be both engaging and inspiring. My heart yearns for this since I don’t currently have a regular spiritual practice. I did at one stage of my life, when as a fervent believer in Christ I would read the Bible daily and pray regularly. My devotional times were sacred, and I cherished them within the context of my faith and life in the Christian community. Now outside of a community of faith I have so many options and so little inspiration. How I long for such inspiration yet again! This open source spirituality approach may just allow for that inspiration both online and offline. Without commercial interest, and within a model of evolutionary spirituality such as that described by Michael Dowd, the world could truly be blessed through such an effort.
May the inspiration continue.