Our Vision and Mission
"Instead of a bottom-line based on money and power, we need a new bottom-line that judges corporations, governments, schools, public institutions, and social practices as efficient, rational and productive not only to the extent they maximize money and power, but to the extent they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and our capacity to respond with awe and wonder at the grandeur of creation."
- Rabbi Michael Lerner
Our Vision and Mission
The Network of Spiritual Progressives welcomes secular humanists, atheists and people who are “spiritual but not religious” as well as people from every religious community who share the values of love, generosity, creativity, wonder and a commitment to respect one another.
Spirituality is personal but not a private matter; it is about how we treat each other and how we live our lives.
OUR VALUES AND VISION
We recognize that our well being depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet and the well being of the Earth. We seek a world in which all of life is shaped by peace, fairness, environmental sanity, love, care for one another, care for the Earth, generosity, compassion, respect for diversity and differences, and celebration of the miraculous universe shape.
To realize such a world, we seek a New Bottom Line so that institutions, corporations, social practices, government policies, our educational system, our legal system, our medical system and even our personal behavior is judged efficient, rational and productive to the extent that each one maximizes love, caring, kindness, generosity, ethical and ecologically sensitive behavior and enhances both our capacity to respond to others as embodiments of the sacred and to the universe with awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of all being.
We understand that getting these kinds of changes requires a deep understanding of the individualism, materialism and ethos of “looking out for number one” that is daily infused into people by our need to adjust our consciousness to the dynamics of the world of work where we make a living for ourselves and families, and by the cheerleaders for the established order who shape our educational and media institutions. Yet we also know that there is a deep yearning in most people for a world of love and real human connection, a yearning for a meaning to life that transcends material well-being and ties us to the ongoing unfolding of spirit and consciousness and to the inherent interdependence and love that permeates and inspires all being. We affirm this hunger for meaning and purpose in life, and we endeavor to help secular progressives understand the vital importance of explicitly addressing those yearnings which are at this point largely being addressed (although in distorted form) only by the most ultra-nationalist, materialist and militarist forces in our society. We are optimistic that this hunger for authentic being can empower a majority of people in the United States and in the world to break out of the illusions that we are fed daily by the powerful.
We exist to reassure people that as they take steps in that direction, and inevitably face critiques from others who tell them that their desire for a world of love and generosity is a utopian illusion that is totally “unrealistic,” they will be able to find support from a group of spiritual progressives who realize that the goal is not to be “realistic” and accommodate to “what is,” but rather to transform ‘what is’ into what is actually needed – environmental sanity, fairness, non-violence and love – in order for us and the Earth to survive in the 21st century.
By whatever name you call the sacred, or whether for you the sacred has no name, if you share the values at the heart of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, you’re welcome here.
“Love and kindness, radical amazement, peace and generosity!”
Members of the Network of Spiritual Progressives passionately seek to manifest our values in the world by inspiring leaders, influencing legislation and incarnating community.
- INSPIRING LEADERS – As the Network of Spiritual Progressives, we exist to inspire one another and all people to think and act beyond what’s culturally and politically “realistic.” Our theme song says, “Don’t let them tell you to be realistic in a world full of war and poverty!” With some of the most astute and thoughtful intellectuals and activists, we look squarely at what’s really going on and then, with creativity and hope, elevate the conversation beyond what’s ‘realistic’ to envision and embody a spiritual awakening that enlivens minds and hearts and manifests our values.
- INFLUENCING LEGISLATION – As the Network of Spiritual Progressives, we exist to change public consciousness, the public conversation and public policy. We advocate and call for the US Congress to ratify the Global Marshal Plan as the only real avenue to homeland security. We advocate and call for an Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment (ESRA) to our constitution to reclaim our democracy from the corporations whose charters require them to prioritize profits above all other values. And we stand for peace as both process and outcome, in the Middle East and around the world.
- INCARNATING COMMUNITY – As the Network of Spiritual Progressives, we exist to catalyze and strengthen the experience of a “parallel universe” of love and kindness in our relationships, organizations, events and communities. We behold one another. We hear and speak the truth in love. And we involve minds and hearts in intellectual reflection, playful, sacred creativity and purposeful action.
These are the goals at the heart of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. And they’re goals that run counter to the prevailing political and cultural climate. The Network of Spiritual Progressives brings to the national conversation a vital voice for moving our country (and world) towards the profound spiritual awakening necessary for us to reverse the environmental destruction and build a world of love and peace. And we can do it!
With you. With one another. Join now to build the kind of world that we truly want to live in!
“I love the NSP because it’s intelligent, full of heart, solution oriented, full of learning. It’s the perfect way to bring everything together – and that’s what needs to happen.”
- Sharon (Environmental Educator)
“The NSP works not only on current issues, but the underlying factors that hinder us from making real progress. It’s inspiring to be part of an organization that envisions world peace in such a systematic and realistic way. And then to actually witness measurable progress in making that vision come to fruition…? It’s pretty amazing.”
- Seanathan (Social Entrepreneur)
“The Network of Spiritual Progressives calls me to be the kind of person I want to be while I do the work that I feel called to do to build the beloved community on earth.”
– Ama (Not-for-profit Leader)
The Network of Spiritual Progressives is the best thing that our church has been involved with for years. It gives us an avenue to put our faith in to practice.”
– Dave (Pastor)
I have been so impressed by the quality of people that I’ve met through the Network. It renews my faith in humanity and in what’s possible when we join together.
– Michele (Author)
As someone who’s been an activist for many years, I find the commitment to loving kindness that runs throughout the Network – including in our attitudes towards people with whom we strongly disagree – to be spiritually uplifting, refreshing and energizing.
– Barbara (Designer)
We need you. Together, we can! Don’t settle for the world as it is. Join now to help create the world as it could be.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives grew out of the Tikkun Community that formed around the creation of the Tikkun Magazine.
The NSP was founded based on three basic tenets:
- Changing the Bottom Line in America Today, institutions and social practices are judged efficient, rational and productive to the extent that they maximize money and power. That’s the Old Bottom Line. We advocate for a NEW BOTTOM LINE: We believe that they should be judged rational, efficient and productive not only to the extent that they maximize money and power, but also to the extent that they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity and behavior, kindness and generosity, non-violence and peace, and to the extent that they enhance our capacities to respond to other human beings in a way that honors them as embodiments of the sacred, and enhances our capacities to respond to the earth and the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement.
- Challenging the misuse of religion, God and Spirit We cultivate the understanding and the practice both within and about people of faith that a serious commitment to God, religion and spirit should manifest in social activism aimed at peace, universal disarmament, social justice with a preferential option for the needs of the poor and oppressed, a commitment to end poverty, hunger, homelessness, inadequate education and inadequate health care all around the world, and a commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, environmental protection and repair of the damage done to the planet by 150 years of environmentally irresponsible behavior in industrializing societies.
- Challenging the many anti-religious and anti-spiritual assumptions and behaviors that have increasingly become part of the liberal culture We challenge as well the extreme individualism and me-first-ism that permeate all parts of the global market culture. We call for people in social change movements to carefully distinguish between legitimate critiques of religious organizations and practices, and the illegitimate generalizing of those criticisms to all religious or spiritual beliefs and practices. We lift up the stories of social change elevated and empowered by spiritual strength – from the progressive summer camps that fueled the civil rights movement, to the communitarian aspirations of the 30s and 60s, to the women’s spirituality movement and many more. We help social change activists and others in the liberal and progressive culture become more conscious of and less afraid to affirm their own inner spiritual yearnings. And we invite all to reconstitute a visionary progressive social movement that incorporates the spiritual dimension – including healing, caring, creativity, community, interdependence and joy.If you want to be part of building a Spiritual Progressive movement, come on board! Join now. Together, we can!