Terms like "Postmaterialism", "cultural creatives", "participatory approach", "integral consciousness", "planetary consciousness", "new age", "new paradigm", "holistic", "sustainable", and "transluscent revolution" are among the many convenient labels that can be applied to the current social, cultural, and/or spiritual, individual and/or collective, evolutionary development of consciousness and society beyond, or rejecting, both reductionistic materialism (and its counterpart, exoteric, literalist religion), and materialism in the sense of soul-destroying and ecologically unsustainable consumerism, superficiality, and monolithic capitalism.
Individually, postmaterialistic consciousness can be defined physically, emotionally, and mentally, although these are three interrelated perspectives on the same thing, not three separate things.
Physically it corresponds to conscious evolution or evolutionary or secular spirituality, which means taking progress into our own hands, rather than follwing narcissistic greed, hierarchically authoritarianism, and the destructive pattern of naked ape politics and competiveness.
Emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, it means is moving beyond ego-shadow (I-It) duality to empathic (I-Thou) wholeness.
And as far as mental worldviews and understanding goes, it equally reiects both the consensus paradigm of secular materialism, agnosticism, reductionism, and relativism (modernity) and institutionalized religion. At the same time it is not yet at the level of gnosis. So on the one hand it is no longer really exoteric and yet it isn't quite esoteric; although on the other hand if esoteric is equated with gnosis, and exoteric with lack of gnosis, then it is still very much exoteric. Indeed my feelings when encountering this material and these subcultures is that they are exoteric, but a wholesome and socially and ecologically sustainable exoteric.
Socially, culturally, and collectively, the challenge at present is to attain a post-materialistic society (sometimes called integral society, rising culture, etc). I do not believe it is possible for humanity as a whole to attain gnosis or a gnostic society at this stage; indeed there has never been a collectively gnostic or esoteric society on Earth, even in ancient Egyptians and traditional Tibetan society most of society would have been on a self-serving and surface consciousness level, and gnosis mixed up with mythological thinking, politics, ignorance, duality, etc.
I find it significant that even the majority of the "new consciousness" New Age / Cultural Creative / Alternative movements today (obviously there are exceptions!) seems to have been barely penetraded by sentientist awareness, and instead buy into the meat, dairy, poultry, etc industries, thus helping to perpetuate the torture of countless innocent beings. Without consideration for all sentient beings on Earth, how can the collective karma be addressed and a new world created? This is the great taboo in the New Age/Integral/etc movement. One of the things I would like to do is create a new esoteric system based on sentientist insights. Of course I'm not the first, Mahatma Gandhi has already done so. This is a work for true visionaries, and the most radical moral challenge of our age.
Also, in contrast to the standard idea of gradual evolutionary progress (Theosophy, Spiral dynamics, Wilberian Integralism, etc), I do not consider that higher consciousness and a truely spiritual and gnostic society will evolve or appear through a simple, gradual, and linear progression. Those worldviews are still caught up in the 19th and early 20th century "myth of progress" idea. Instead I like to believe in a series of transitions centered around locii of radical individual and collective Divinization, and this will have a backward effect of gnosticising a proportion of the population. This seems to be what Sri Aurobindo is describing when he refers to a ladder of degrees of consciousness from ordinary consciousness to the Supramental (in The Life Divine, pp.968-9) that develops after supramentalisation (i.e. among those beings and nature that has not yet been supramentalised).
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