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Entries in Carter Phipps (5)


An Invitation to Explore Evolutionary Consciousness On-line!

If you have ever wondered “Who are we?”, “Why are we here?” and “Where are we going?” you may be interested in exploring “Evolutionary Consciousness”.

We’ve all heard about fossils and fruit flies, Darwin and Dawkins. But what if our current scientific understanding of evolution was just the tip of the iceberg?  What if there’s a way to see evolution that could transform not just our understanding of the physical world, but also our most fundamental sense of who we are?

Today a movement of visionary scientists, philosophers and spiritual thinkers is forging a new understanding of evolution that honours science, reframes culture and radically updates spirituality. New inspiration, meaning and hope for the future can result.

That’s what you’ll discover in Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea, a book by Carter Phipps, former Executive Editor of Enlighten Next magazine.

We are pleased to offer you an on-line book study of Carter Phipps’ book. This online course is set to launch on October 7th, 2014 through the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada website. This web-based version of a previous book study will help to explain and provide a better understanding of the Integral Worldview Carter discusses; how this is emerging and why this new worldview is so critical today.


TIME FRAME:  October 7 – November 11, 2014

FORMAT:  You will be provided with six multi-media sessions, one per week over six weeks. The sessions will include:

  • narrated PowerPoint slideshows
  • slide handouts
  • transcripts
  • reflection questions
  • illustrations and articles based on the book
  • as well as several Michael Dowd video clips.

 The content does not take the place of reading the book but helps assimilate the book. There will also be opportunity to comment and ask questions on-line.

PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS:  An open mind and a desire to explore plus the purchase and reading of the book (available through your local bookstore or online for as little as $12.99. Please note that there is no cost for registering and participating!

REGISTRATION:  For registration please email Kathleen Robbins at krobbins@csjcanada.org. Once registered, a participant will receive login and password information which will allow access to the study sessions week by week. This on-line offering will be retained on the website until the end of December 2014.

ORIGINATORS:  The course was conceptualized and the script written by Mary Vandersteen, CSJ.  It has been illustrated and produced by Ann Steadman, Associate and narrated by Valerie Cauwenberghe, CSJ.

Please print the FLYER for posting.

Mary Vandersteen, CSJ & Ann Steadman, Associate



Evolutionary Consciousness & Last Call for Symposium 2014

What comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘evolution’ and ‘consciousness’? According to the Merriam -Webster dictionary, evolution means “a process of slow change and development” while consciousness is “a person's mind and thoughts or knowledge that is shared by a group of people”.

Evolutionary consciousness simply means becoming aware of and embracing the reality that the cosmos, our world, and we human beings are engulfed in constant change.  And, it is suggested, that we are called to do our own part to move things forward, just as Jesus did.

Different times use different terms to express the same reality.  However, there is a thread that runs from the beginnings of the Sisters’ founding in 1650 at LePuy in France to our present living in 2014. The founding community was guided by Jean Pierre Medaille, http://www.csj-to.ca/jean-pierre-medaille-sj , a Jesuit of great spiritual depth. He counseled the early members to strive constantly for “the More” – being more and becoming more in their personal and relational lives with one another and among the people with whom they worked. This was and is an on-going developmental day-by-day process. This was and is evolutionary consciousness in action!

The Sisters of St. Joseph hold oneness with others and all of created reality to be the heart of evolutionary striving as the future calls us forward to “the More”.  Becoming more inclusive and enlarging our heart calls for self-emptying and letting go of fear, limitation and narrow interests just as God or Spirit did and continues to do in entering into the created world.

Medaille's concept of "the More", from 1650, seems to have similarities with the vision of Teilhard de Chardin, http://www.teilharddechardin.org/index.php/biography, another Jesuit. Teilhard , as scientist and priest-visionary in the 20th century, had the realization that “we are moving” and that “Love” is the heart and direction of cosmic, cultural and personal evolution calling us forward.  We are “on the way” led by a Great Love.

As S. Margo Ritchie has said, “The movement of evolutionary consciousness calls for deepened personal responsibility for moving beyond the places of impasse in our shared life on the planet.”  Please check out Margo’s blog at http://www.csjcanada.org/blog/2014/5/28/nothing-elitist-about-it.html

To learn more please join us at the Summer Symposium 2014, ‘Becoming Agents of Evolutionary Change’.  For details go to https://www.etouches.com/ehome/79110. Carter Phipps’ public keynote address at 7 pm Friday night will be held at the Kenny Auditorium, Kings’ College, London.

Mary Vandersteen, CSJ and Ann Steadman, Associate



Worldviews Matter

Have you ever wondered why there is such political deadlock between Republicans and Democrats in the United States today or such great disconnect between the Western and Developing Worlds? 

The short one word answer is “worldviews”. In his book Evolutionaries, Carter Phipps says that a “worldview” is:

  • a conglomeration of conclusions about the world
  • an invisible scaffolding in our consciousness
  • the way the world looks from a particular level of consciousness
  • a core conviction or set of convictions about the nature of what is real, true, and important. 

Our worldview, heavily influenced by our culture, determines the very way we make meaning.

Just as individuals evolve in consciousness, so too does human culture. Spiral Dynamics, a powerful theory by Clare Graves and Don Beck, calls the major cultural worldviews developed over the course of human evolution “Value memes”.  There are currently 8 stages or “value systems” which have been identified and given both names and colours. Here’s a quick overview of the four largest ones operating in today’s world (adapted from  http://dedroidify.blogspot.ca/2008/04/spiral-dynamics.html) :

RED - TRIBAL. Think: Terrible twos, Gangs, Tribal Warlords. 

BLUE -TRADITIONAL. Think: Boy Scouts, Fundamentalist anything. Rules are paramount.

ORANGE - MODERN. Think: Wall Street, Academia, Science, Individual ambition.

GREEN – POST-MODERN. Think: Environmentalism, Pluralism, All are equal, Non-violence.

Although each of these worldviews is very different, the one thing they have in common is the inability to see the validity of the other perspectives.  For instance: GREEN looks at ORANGE and says, “You greedy capitalists! You’re totally destroying our planet!” ORANGE looks at GREEN it says, “You tree-hugging, New Age hippies! Get a job and contribute to the economy!?” BLUE looks at everyone and says, “You’re all going to hell because you don’t believe in [insert favorite God here]!” RED looks at everyone and says, "I don’t like you so I’m blowing you up!”

To solve the complex and challenging crises facing our world today we need to consciously evolve as individuals and as a culture to a “second-tier” or “integral” level of consciousness. Here, for the first time, we can hold multiple perspectives.

What would that look like?

Well, we would be able to see the truth in the need to take care of our environment AND the need for a powerful economy AND the need for rules and regulations AND the need to take aggressive action when the situation demands it. This will be VERY powerful and VERY needed and you can be a part of it. See Ken Wilber’s comments @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0NhASbzFxo

Carter Phipps and Sue Wilson, csj will be addressing this very issue at our Summer Symposium: Becoming Agents of Evolutionary Change (follow the link to view the Symposium brochure)Please join us!

Ann Steadman, Associate


Boundaries and Bridges

Science and religion can be bridged. Michael Dowd, author and evolutionary evangelist interviewed Richard Rohr, a Franciscan who leads the Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico. The interview focused on the evolution of the Christian tradition and on science.

Richard Rohr suggested that science can be empirical theology, i.e., things in their bare existence become revelation - that we all share a global heart with care and commitment to a larger global life on which we all depend. Science need not be an enemy. It can teach us not only relative truth, but humility, patience and willingness to live with less certitude in always anticipating further insight and development. The cosmic dance is a global dance not only a sacred dance for my group - we must stop seeing our religion as in competition and instead see ourselves and Christianity as gift.

Richard Rohr goes on to say that our pioneer Jesus crossed boundaries and built bridges. He was inclusive. We “Catholics” in his honour became exclusive. Too long have we been tribal and addicted to group think whereas there is one God for all. Even atheists have a role helping us evolve by rejecting gods that are unbelievable. Richard Rohr’s alternative is to see Jesus, not as exclusive, not as a product, to be reproduced thus setting up boundaries. Instead, he suggested, “be Jesus” and be pioneers who build bridges. Bridges to what?

The sciences are discovering that there are no boundaries because there exists an interconnectedness at levels not available to the naked eye. Yet that is not what most humans at this point in history believe or accept.

Watch The Science of Interconnectedness  


Interconnectedness already exists. We, as humans need to wake up and “realize” it. Moreover, we also need to help one another wake up.  

Do you want to ‘wake up’, to help change our world? 

If so, you are invited to the Symposium “Becoming Agents of Evolutionary Change” July 4-6, 2014. Carter Phipps is the keynote speaker and will be presenting with Sue Wilson, CSJ.  Click HERE for more information.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog.

Mary Vandersteen, csj and Ann Steadman, Associate







What inspires people to join in the common cause for a life-giving future?

What can inspire billions of people with very different worldviews to join in the common cause of a just and healthy, beautiful, and life-giving future?

Happening, right now, there is a fresh way of identifying who and what we are and why we are here in this universe as humans. This is a way that makes sense both scientifically and spiritually.

What is this new way or perspective? It is an evolutionary awareness that affects everything that exists within and around us from the personal to the cosmic.

David Sloan Wilson, evolutionary biologist and a pioneer in the evolution of religion, writes, “I look forward to the day when evolutionary theory becomes part of the basic training for all people who study and run our governments and economics”.

It is not only government and economic leaders but also all those who influence others in any capacity who are now becoming involved in this evolutionary (or integral) approach. Would you like to:

  • Deal differently with polarization?
  • Engage conflict in new ways?
  • Learn to live differently?


Becoming Agents of Evolutionary Change’

The Symposium, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada, in partnership with King’s University College will be held July 4-6, 2014 at King’s, UWO, 266 Epworth Avenue, London ON. This event is planned to include a wide variety of participants such as teachers, school principals, chaplains, social workers, spiritual directors, Associates/Companions, community leaders etc.

The Keynote speaker, Carter Phipps, is author of the book Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea. He is also a journalist and leading voice in the emerging “evolutionary worldview” which combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, the social sciences, and evolutionary spirituality.

Our other presenter is Sue Wilson, csj. Sue is the Director of the Office for Systemic Justice for the Canadian Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph where she is involved in research, advocacy, education and activism on a variety of justice issues. She has a Ph.D. in moral theology with a focus on social ethics.

To view a brochure, to register and to find out about accommodation possibilities please visit the Symposium 2014 webpage at http://www.etouches.com/ehome/79110.To follow us on Facebook connect at https://www.facebook.com/summersymposium2014.

We look forward to meeting and having you participate in this exciting new venture!

Mary Vandersteen, csj & Ann Steadman, Associate




Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.