Stephen Dinan on a Sacred Vision for America
Jun 30, 2020 08:30AM
By Linda Sechrist
Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network, is committed to creating a healthy, sustainable, peaceful and prosperous world, as are the 200,000 members of his worldwide organization. Interested in personal growth and spirituality since his early 20s, Dinan’s core passion has been to shift society, not just the individual. In his book Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All, Dinan harvests the world’s wisdom and his own experiences to show how humans can grow, evolve and mature psychologically and spiritually, laying out an envisioning process for what’s possible when America achieves its full potential.
Positing that envisioning is not only the work of leaders but of all of America’s citizens, Dinan sheds light on a new sacred conversation and overriding vision that can guide us to finding the will and the way to midwife a new chapter in American history.
What is a sacred worldview?
We have a lot of forces pulling us into our separate identities, whether this is as Americans, Democrats, Republicans or identifying as counterculture or mainstream culture. Bifurcations, which happen when we identify with a part of reality and make the rest wrong, bad or problematic, keep us in a state of suffering.
A sacred worldview means living in reverence for all humanity and all life; seeing divinity in all people and things, not just in a few people, a group or political party; seeing the higher, nobler and deeper dimension to all manifest reality that is expressed in humanity’s spiritual and religious impulses. A different way of engaging each other and designing how life works flows out of seeing life as the great mystics do; from a higher vantage point of interconnectedness.
At its heart, what is Sacred America about?
Sacred America, Sacred World is about recognizing our role within the larger whole. It’s about our unity as one human family. When we can redesign our society from this standpoint, we’re fulfilling the deepest principles upon which this country was based. Part of the fulfillment of a sacred vision for our country is building upon our most ancient principles. For example, “E pluribus unum” is a deep metaphysical concept meaning out of many, one. It’s not that all is oneness. This principle tells us that we evolve out of our “manyness” into our oneness, with each of us having a different role. Our manyness, our individuality, the unique flavors of life, different cultures and languages, is not something we want to erase. We do want to remember that we share this unitive ground and vision, as well as the powerful founding code of liberty, equality and justice for all.
Our country is coded with a mission to lean toward unity, to lean toward oneness. As the melting pot for the world, we integrate more cultures than any other country, creating unity from a great diversity of traditions, cultures, philosophies and religions. This is our shared inheritance.
Ultimately, Sacred America, Sacred World is about building a movement of awake, conscious and caring citizens who are powerfully committed to building a new era for America.
How do we do this?
America can fulfill its higher potential and promise in the way that parallels how an individual matures to his or her next level of development. I believe that America’s next level of expression is within each of us, but it requires that we do some internal housecleaning, clearing out the past, letting go of our different political polarizations, being more solutions-focused and more focused on fulfilling our larger mission in service to the globe, rather than just in service to ourselves.
We have to go beyond partisan warfare to embrace those with other political views as our deepest allies. They are also part of the team that is here to help America shine; yes, even the people you can’t stand. In short, we need to open to a vision of possibility for our country, one in which we successfully navigate the crises, polarizations and political warfare of today to create a country that reflects our highest ideals and that truly serves the birth of a new, global era for humanity, one that is peaceful, sustainable, healthy and prosperous.
Why are the largest demonstrations in our history against racial discrimination not only an issue for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), but also for all of humanity?
Living in a culture that accepts oppression of others holds back the development of everyone. It increases fear, decreases compassion and leads us to think more of personal safety than the good of the whole. If we are to move toward being a global society that honors the sanctity of all life, racism and the effects of racism must stop. Doing so creates a context in which we can all raise conscious children, and black, indigenous and other people of color can have the opportunity to make their full creative contribution to the whole as well.
Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Listen to the full interview below.