The 'Politics and Spirit Network' is a forum to develop the growing movement to unite visionary new political *and* spiritual thinking - through discussion, debate, brainstorming ideas and projects, networking and publicising events.
Its launch was inspired by US visionary Rabbi Michael Lerner's packed and ground-breaking London lecture in Oct 2001 on 'The Globalisation of Capital vs the Globalisation of Spirit - a new strategy for radical social transformation', which was introduced by Matthew Taylor, head of leading think-tank IPPR and advisor to Tony Blair. (His recent research on the family, going well beyond Blairism, looks at how modern consumer capitalism undermines the unselfish care and commitment needed for families, and society, to thrive.)
Lerner's inspiring message is that we can create a real alternative to society's ethos of selfishness, materialism and cynicism and transform the bottom line of politics. He recently launched the Tikkun Community (e-mail RabbiLerner@tikkun.org; see also www.tikkun.org, his magazine).
This wider framework is certainly not only for the spiritual or religious, it's equally open to humanists.
A different approach to these issues - still mostly a suggestive framework - is Ken Wilber's 'Integral Politics' (wilber.shambhala.com; www.worldofkenwilber.com).
All talk about meaning and purpose, values, spirituality - even community - need not be left in the hands of - sometimes ethnocentric - conservatives: remember Martin Luther King Jnr. We should champion our values of global tolerance and compassion, social justice, ecological sanity and world peace, avoiding the postmodern dead-end where all values are equal, which short-circuits inner development.
Narrow, materialistic strategies are unlikely to inspire the solidarity needed for an unstoppable new movement combining outer and inner change: be realistic, demand the impossible!
*Please limit use of the list as a soapbox for single-issue campaigns etc.