Hardcore Spirit

September 16, 2016 by Chris Grosso


Chris Grosso and Ken Wilber explore a radical new evolution of the spiritual life that is much better adapted to the needs and pressures of the 21st century world. It is a spirituality that is so all-inclusive, nothing gets left out. So all-embracing, it literally has no opposite. So all-pervading, even sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll can find their rightful place on the altar. This is not your grandma’s spirituality. These aren’t the crusty moralizations of traditional religion, or the saccharine pablum of New Age narcissism. This is Hardcore Spirit.

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Written by Corey deVos
Image by Ashley Thomas

Chris Grosso, celebrated author of Indie Spiritualist and Everything Mind, is doing a masterful job of delivering the tremendous wisdom and insight of the world’s spiritual traditions to a whole new generation of seekers, finders, and consciousness hackers, while offering the rest of us a long overdue punch in the Original Face. His “no bullshit” approach to spirituality has inspired young people all around the world to begin carving out their own contemplative practices, giving them permission to talk honestly about the spiritual life without angst or irony.

Chris was asked by Ken Wilber to compile a list of questions from his friends and peers about their most pressing spiritual questions, concerns, and challenges, resulting in this stunning 6-hour Q&A series. The conversation ranges from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the unique to the universal, from the practical to the Ultimate, helping you pave a new path to your deepest and most timeless heart.

About Hardcore Spirit

The world is changing, and so is our spirituality.

After centuries of cultural isolation, all the world’s greatest spiritual traditions are now being exposed to one another, and have begun cross-pollinating in very interesting and even surprising ways. And all of them are struggling to adapt and survive the pressures of life in the 21st century.

A new spotlight is being shone upon our most venerable religious traditions, and almost across the board they are found lacking. Yesterday’s moral platitudes are trivialized by the fast-moving complexity of today’s world, and in many cases are actually contributing to suffering by dampening our social progress. And the wishful thinking of new age spirituality offers little comfort when the real world crashes down around us and shatters our spiritually-inflated egos into smithereens.

But evolution is not done with us yet. On the contrary, it is still very much alive in humanity’s tireless quest for greater meaning, greater purpose, and greater sophistication. It is this evolutionary impulse that keeps us moving forward, allowing modern science to emerge from magic and superstition, modern medicine from leeching and bloodletting, chemistry from alchemy, psychology from phrenology, astronomy from astrology, democracy from theocracy, and the list goes on. Every field of human inquiry continues to move through wave upon wave of increasing accuracy, fidelity, and applicability. “Integral” is the next wave, and is already dramatically enhancing each of these fields — art, medicine, psychology, spirituality, sustainability, leadership, and many more — while also showing how they all fit together in a seamless totality of knowledge and understanding.

We have allowed almost every other field of human inquiry to mature out of the magic and mythic backwaters. But why not spirituality? To this day, spirituality seems to belong mostly to the zealots, the fanatics, and the charlatans, and is largely dismissed by the modern rational world (to the detriment of us all). But spirituality is not the product of superstition, magic, and mythology — it just simply has not been allowed to evolve beyond superstitious, magical, and mythological interpretations. And it is these interpretations — not spirituality itself — that make easy targets for writers like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris.

Because spirituality has not been given an opportunity to shift from belief to direct experience and truly thrive in the rational and postmodern world, we have been a bit too eager to eliminate the dogma, the myths, the “us vs. them” xenophobia and ethnocentricity — and as a result have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Fortunately, Integral spirituality can help save the baby.

Not only does an integral approach to spirituality offer a way to evolve each of the major spiritual traditions (e.g. Integral Christianity, Integral Buddhism, Integral Judaism, Integral Sufism, etc.), but it also allows for the most inspiring and fruitful interfaith dialogues we have ever seen as we continue to explore how the experiences of awakening, enlightenment, and atonement have been interpreted from person to person, culture to culture, all across the ages — and then reinterpreting these experiences to not just survive today’s 21st-century world, but to deeply enrich it as well. These are without a doubt the most intelligent and insightful discussions of spirituality you will find anywhere on the planet.

Most importantly, Integral spirituality helps to distill the wisdom, transmission, and transformative potential contained within these ancient traditions, bringing more freedom, consciousness, and compassion to your life than you ever thought possible.

It is truly an extraordinary time to be alive. We are witnessing the emergence of something historic: the rise of integral consciousness. This is our very best shot to create a more peaceful and sustainable world, to awaken from the violent slumber of humanity’s adolescence, and to align ourselves with the future of evolution in this backward corner of the Milky Way.

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Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I've Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, Celebrate Your Life and more. Chris is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinner.