Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love


Billings Conference Notes

Posted by Rick Crotts on May 16, 2013 at 1:35 AM

Sponsored by Rob Hunter, Board Member for Presence International.




Doug King



We are people of the biblical narrative but what name do we embrace?


The NT language, especially that of Jesus, is decidedly different from OT language. It reflects a God without form.


Complexity and Unity are flip sides to the same coin.


Truth is not static as one experiences spiritual or consciousness evolution. Growth in truth cannot happen as long as we defend the old truth.


Teilhard de Chardin said "Humanity is an embarrassment to science, meaning that science cannot explain the mental/spiritual component of humanness. Doug contended that the evolution of the mind occurred while the physical brain remained essentially static in its genetic structure.


Jesus did not exhibit the "fight or flight" reaction.

Judgment requires form and labels. Violate the boundary of form and miss the mark.


Promise fulfillment is deterministic but leads to co-creation which is open ended.


Law cannot legislate fruits of the spirit. These come directly from God- I will write my laws on their heart.


Unity of the spirit is the only basis for unity. External circumstances are inherently unstable. How do I refuse to be defined by my life situation or condition?


We move from law (form) to unity. From entities to non-entities.


Robert Kegan- Adult Developmental Psychologist at Harvard.



Tom Thresher



Wrote Reverent Irreverence


How do we transform consciousness? Tom, a UCC minister, had no church affiliation growing up. He got into Integral Theory before getting into the ministry. He then became interested in how to use Integral Theory in the church.


Along with Robert Kegan, above, he has developed the idea of Transformational Inquiry, which strives to make us more resilient, comfortable, and trusting.


Rebecca Costa- As societies become more complex they hit a cognitive threshold and must evolve or die.


Al Gore's book- The Future.


Faith communities can lead the transformation of consciousness, teaching and using the "How" of transformation.


To change the unconscious, you must bring the unconscious to consciousness.


Transformation is a series of slow, small steps.


A technical change strives to fix or modify a system.

An adaptive change transforms me.


The five steps to Transformational Inquiry


Complaints or frustrations

Noble Commitment

What am I doing or not doing instead that negates this commitment

Hidden competing commitments

Big assumptions that underlie these competing commitments


Somewhat similar to Byron Katie's "doing the work" in Loving What Is. What do I fear will happen?. Is that really true? What is the worst that could happen?


Rob Hunter


Getting to Better


Challenges propel progress


The Noosphere is the sphere of human consciousness or thought


True North- the transcendental value is "liberty for all". It reminds us of the declaration of independence which identified the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It also resonates in the pledge of allegiance- liberty and justice for all.


Kenosis- emptying


Liberty for more produces liberty for more.


The Quakers have a book called "If Grace Is True"


The life description of Epicurus, 4th century BC, parallels that of the story of Jesus in many respects.


Jesus' Mission Statement in Isaiah 42- Good News, freedom, sight, divine favor


The 2nd day of creation was not declared good because it involved separation, which leads to a feeling of superiority.


Jesus redefined man's problem.

The end of religious suffering required the end of separation. The end of separation required the end of sin. The end of sin required the end of the law.


Jesus' message: God as parent- present, not separate


The misconception of God is a blasphemy or sin which must be corrected before forgiveness can happen, before I can forgive myself.


The Transcendent Values- Beauty, Truth, and Goodness

God is light, good, spirit, love



Doug King



The Gospel of God


The Purpose of Evolution by Steve McIntosh


Truth- Thought (Mind)

Beauty- Feelings (hear)

Goodness- Will (Behavior)


What propels the evolution of consciousness? Love and imagination


What does the biblical narrative add to the evolutionary process?

There are two possible sources to inform human consciousness- ego or self and spirit


The Fall was Adam's recognition of individuation and concurrently the "other" (Ego). Adam came to believe he was separate and comprised of ego only.


How does one sin? God gave Adam a concept of boundary. There are two sides to a boundary and they are separate. Adam desired to be like God which meant he was separate from God. Both God and Adam became forms in Adam's mind.


The definitions of beauty, goodness, and truth evolve.


The ego covets in order to protect or enhance the identity. Adam coveted the status of God.


What is the source of righteousness- God or self. Comparison requires form.


The ego is purely biological- self protective and drives the biological imperative of self preservation


My will (ego)- Thy Will (spirit)


Jesus launched second tier consciousness.


Form is required to ultimately understand formlessness.


The Christian/Jewish Complimentary identities:

Exclusive by obedience

Exclusive by birth


The dynamic that drives evolution is the dialectic- two opposing forces (ego and spirit)


Ego sees only self. Spirit looks outside.


Chris Dimmock



His company is "Elation"


A new way of doing business- not maximizing profits.


The goal of business should be to elevate the lives of people, including employees.


Chris' ideas in "Elation" mirror those of Ken Turbock, a log home builder. The goal of education is to teach a successful mindset, the ability to think successfully, and not to instill facts.


Business's must be fueled by purpose and driven by passion.


Chris introduced the idea of conscious capitalism, a movement embraced by several big corporations.


Panel Discussion


A debate about Steve McIntosh's book and whether evolution had a direction or purpose.

Participants: Michael Dennis, Phd Biologist; Lionel Tapia, pediatrician; Doug King; Ed Stickley, MD, Family Practice.


Doug introduced the question of why evolution generate complexity when simplicity seems to impart resiliency and the ability to survive harsh circumstances, i.e. bacteria. The biologist admitted that complexity could cause survival problems.


What drives changes in consciousness? Could it be a survival instinct?

The biologist contended that altruism has a genetic basis, implying that altruism was a factor in survival and therefore an altruism gene was propagated among those best able to survive.


Biologist- evolution always solves problems but cannot be said to be purposeful. Natural law draws it deterministically.


The Nature/ Nurture Debate was noted along with the issue of free will. The biologist seemed to attributed human behavior to 50% nature and 50% nurture with little or no room for the exercise of free will.


The most important note of his whole discussion was the admission by everyone that we don't have a good definition of the words mind and consciousness, words which are essential to this entire discussion. We may have an intuitive understanding but it is difficult to verbalize that understanding. The spiritually minded conclude that science will never define and therefore understand the mind/consciouness because it exists in another non-physical realm. The scientist denies that saying, in effect, that science will ultimately solve the enigma of the mind and consciousness in purely physical and therefore scientific terms, just like it has successfully explained many previous seemingly intractable issues. Each position has its evidence and presumptions.



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