Using education as its means, the CSSA will seek to help create a more just, sacred and sustainable world by developing and teaching the theory and practice of social-spiritual activism.
The CSSA is rooted in healing alienation from, and fear of, the other through mutual recognition of our common social being. The Center for Social Spiritual Activism integrates practices that ennoble affection and recognition of the other; thereby transforming our collective internal experience and its manifestation in the external physical world.
ABOUT THE CSSA
“But the main point for us to grasp is that a transformative politics capable of generating social change requires an emergence into connection with each other, through a coming into mutual recognition, that dissolves the moat that otherwise separates us and allows us to rotate a new “we” into being out of what had been our rotating otherness, the patterning of our mutual withdrawnness.” ~ Peter Gabel, The Desire for Mutual Recognition (2016)
“Spirituality, Tools of the Mind and the Social Brain was a two-year project funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the Touchstone Trust. The project’s main aim was to … re-conceive the nature and value of spiritual perspectives, practices and experiences. Our objective was to help give the idea of spirituality improved intellectual grounding, so it could speak more directly to issues of shared personal and public concern.” ~ RSA Research & Action Centre 2014
The CSSA at WISR seeks to help create a movement for a Just, Sacred and Sustainable world. Impressed and inspired by the quotes above, we begin by developing and teaching a theory and practice of Social-Spiritual Activism rooted in the Mutual Recognition that our core and common Being is ecological and social. Our activism then is to heal our alienation from and fear of ‘the Other’ and each other manifesting a ‘politics of affection’ integrated with a ‘politics of solidarity’ in an activism that heals the ‘moat of separation’ between us as well as nature.
Through this work, we hope to contribute immediately to efficacious and sustainable social change, provide a legacy of these ideas and actions for use by future activists and identify and educate that next generation of social-spiritual activists.
WISR/CSSA Objectives to achieve CSSA goals:
1. Education for Consciousness Change
Scholarship to continuously develop the theory and praxis of S-SA through Social-
Spiritual Activism Salons & Study groups and CSSA Participatory Action Research.
Higher Education through WISR Academic ‘Specialization Areas’ within existing
WISR BS, MS & EdD programs as well as offering CEU’s (MFT, LPCC, LCSW &
RN’S) and CME’s through collaboration with other institutions; as well as developing
a WISR/CSSA Popular Education Program/Storefront Classroom offerings to the
Public Intellectualism or ‘Organic’ Intellectualism a la Gramsci through Writing &
Publishing (WISR Press) books, articles, blogs, etc.
2. Education for Healing Personal/Social Trauma & Building Character
Development of theory and practice for personal and social healing from alienation trauma
Develop site(s) of healing practice/s (clinical & other-wise ways)
Educate for necessary ‘New Social-Spiritual knowledge, skills & values’ for
successful and sustainable living-together, acquiring and manifesting moral presence
and engaging in social spiritual activism
Develop WISR Popular Education programming e.g Highlander Folk
School, Storefront Classroom, ‘Floating Classrooms + School of Life, …Create “Laboratories of Change” e.g.
‘Movement Halfway Houses’
3. Education for Resilience in the Dominant Culture:
Resilience is a Necessary, Progressive/Reform, but is not the
Resistance (Non-violent) is necessary to halt injustice, desecration,
Spiritualizing’ of Social Policies e.g. Healthcare, Social Security, Foreign
Socializing of Pain/Trauma and the Existing Resources for dealing with it
4. Education for Creating Just, Sacred & Sustainable Alternatives
Develop and teach academic WISR ‘Specialty Areas’ for creating Just,
Sacred & Sustainable Systems, Institutions, Organizations (Sustainable
Economics; Eco-agriculture; ‘Liberation’ Narrative Health, Medicine, &
Psychology; Spirit & Law; Eco-Dwelling (Alt. Architecture/Green Building);
Alternative/Appropriate Technology & Energy; Intentional Communities;
Offer these as WISR Academic Specialty Areas at all degree levels
Develop Social-Spiritual Activism ‘Hubs’
(as) Incubators, Accelerators
5. Education for a Parallel-Universe Oriented Social Change Movement
Engage ‘the Eros Effect’ (George Katsiaficas)
Practice ‘Horizontalism’ strategy of Social Movement i.e. a Politics of
Affection + a Politics of Solidarity (Marina Sitrin)
Parallel Universe Social Movement is a Process of ‘Attraction’ not
‘Overthrow & Seizure of power’
Develop “Movement Halfway Houses’
Communities of Reconciliation
6. Using above (1-5), Educate and Create, Occupy & Manifest ‘Beloved’ Communities
of Recognition, Reconciliation, Solidarity and Affection