Ahhhhhh….. Birthday Cake! How sweet it is! Today marks Big Love’s “First Birthday”. A year ago today we posted our first “blog”. While time (allegedly) flies, it seems like quite a long time ago. Much has happened — and we know much is still to come.
For those of you who follow our posts, you’ve perhaps noticed their absence since late October. It’s not that we haven’t had things to say. Big Love is always on our mind. But, we felt it was time for some private consolidation, regrouping, and more research before taking next steps.
Our initial work on Big Love centered on “infrastructure” activities. We created a baseline conceptual design of consciousness practices. We called those “Five Heartbeats” : Wisdom, Wholeness, Oneness, Co-Creation, and Nitty-Gritty. They provide a framework for orienting day-to-day living and for guiding personal spiritual development.
We announced that work in our first post a year ago — introducing Big Love 1.0 on our website www.TheBigLove.org. Two months later (on April 18th) , just as we ended our “House-Sabbatical” in Redmond, WA, Big Love 2.0 introduced a major overhaul of the website.
After returning to San Diego in the Spring, our next step was to establish the “legal container” for Big Love — incorporating, obtaining IRS approval as a 501.c.3 entity, getting insurance, etc. That’s all in place now.
Next, we convened some initial “live” meetings — calling people together to explore mutual interest in the Big Love idea. Before holding those gatherings, we knew that we had more work to do to fully articulate what Big Love was all about. We’d hoped that work might be done collaboratively in the gatherings. But it soon became readily apparent that our foundation wasn’t sufficiently developed. And, that’s what led us into the quiet period that followed.
Since then, we’ve been researching and reflecting on two main topics for Big Love: “Vision” and “Story”. While both remain very much “Works In Process”, we’re now far enough along to begin to re-activate Big Love in the public eye.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more about both our Vision and our Story. Both are beginning to come into into focus as we deepen our understanding of the depth, breadth, and extent of the tremendous global transition that is happening in all realms — and particularly in the dimension of spirituality.
The need for a practical, palatable, and unifying approach to ethics and spirituality that engages — but also transcends and includes — peoples of the world’s great traditions is becoming ever more imperative. That requires Vision. Our intent is that Big Love, in its own way, might contribute its own visionary ideas.
In support of such a Vision, we also need a new story. The great religious traditions of the world emerged in the Axial age — starting about 2500 years ago with parallel religious developments in various geographic areas. The traditions emerged in agrarian societies — sustaining themselves in relative isolation, except for interactions associated with limited trading and intermittent “imperial” warfare.
Today globalization is leveling boundaries via interdependent economies, advanced travel and telecommunication technologies, and a population that has exploded from 2 billion humans to 7+ billion in the past 100 years. Cross-cultural interactions and the astounding increase in scientific knowledge are changing our perspectives daily. And, perhaps most importantly, day-to-day human experience of life is radically different from the Axial age.
Ultimately, spirituality and religion is all about “meaning making” — of making meaning out of life experience (“Our Story”) and providing a platform for life-guidance (“Our Vision”). As profound and beautiful as our religious traditions may be, their underlying structure reflects the consciousness of an agrarian state of mind.
But we live in a post-industrial, globalized, post-modern world. And that’s why we need new visions, stories, and infrastructures. That’s the work that needs to be done. Our intention, desire, and hope is that Big Love might contribute to this process. …and we hope that you’ll share your Big Love with us in collaborative ways!
Happy Birthday to the Big Love In You!
Olivia and Steve
We purposely “birthed” Big Love on Valentine’s Day (because its a day when we celebrate love!). Think about how love is growing in you. What’s your vision for more love in your life? What’s your “story” about love? Feel free to consider love on as many levels as you wish … but on this special day, let those thoughts melt in your mouth like a chocolate-covered strawberry (Yums!).
If you’re willing, please share your responses in the comment section under this blogpost as it appears on the Big Love Community Facebook page.
We recently read a “new” book by HH The Dalai Lama titled An Appeal to the World. In it, he reiterates his call for global attention to “Secular Ethics” — basically the values that are mutually held by all of humanity. If you’re so inclined, we recommend reading this small book. Who knows …. perhaps one day soon we’ll be offering a study of this book — either in-person or on-line (or both). Stay tuned for further info!
If there are topics you’d like us to address, please send us an email from our “Contact Us” web page.