Global Transition & the Role of the Merchant Priesthood

by Immanuel Otto

“There is an almost sensual longing for communion with others who have a larger vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendships between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality almost impossible to describe.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Greetings Lucid Dreamers, Co-Creators, and Magi:

It is with a great sense of honor and gratitude that I look forward to our convening at Lucidity this year, in particular to blending hearts and minds with my co-panelists and all of you who attend the LUCIDITY UNIVERSE ~ Spiritual Economics Panel on Sunday at 1:30pm.

Sacred Commerce: The Rise of the Global Citizen by Ayman Sawaf and Rowan GabrielleOn the panel, I’ll be representing one of my most active current projects, Sacred Commerce: The Rise of the Global Citizen, the groundbreaking book by Ayman Sawaf and Rowan Gabrielle which explores the past and the future of commerce. This book introduces a profoundly compelling context for business and commerce that reverses the common assumption that business and spirituality are mutually opposed. This is done through an exploration of the “4th bottom line”—Spirituality. Ultimately, this is a context that elevates emerging conscious business visions and practices to their highest levels yet!

(download 1st edition on-line for free)

goodness, truth, and beauty graphicSacred Commerce, as a meme, advances the train of thought that commerce can be a vehicle to raise global consciousness as well as a path towards Self-realization. The authors give credence to this notion by showing us how the ancient lineage of the Merchant Priesthood (who practiced the skills of Emotional Alchemy and pursued the path of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth) shaped and influenced the forward movement of society with business and the basic function of exchanging goods and services. In doing so, they raised human culture to a level of sacredness that otherwise might not be attained, while placing those who practiced it on a trajectory of accelerated growth.

So, who are the modern day counter-parts of this ancient order of social stewards? We call them Global Citizens, and our “festival culture” abounds with them!

Your creative contributions are needed more than ever. If we are to survive and thrive throughout the monumental cultural and environmental transition in which our planet is currently engaged, humanity must become aware of — and act out of — the deeper dimensions of interconnectedness that fuels and drives our greatest potentials; our inherent spiritual nature.

Creative/inspired people of all kinds (including those who work primarily in the realm of business) can activate this in our species en masse.

To illustrate what I mean by this idea of the relationship between the creative individual and inner awareness, I quote here from one of the last books the American mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote before he passed away in 1987. The book is The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion. In Chapter 3, “The Way of Art,” Campbell writes, “My wife, Jean Erdman, who is a dancer, discussing one day the relevance of an appreciation of the psychological connotations of myth to the practice of an art, remarked: ‘The way of the mystic and the way of the artist are related, except that the mystic doesn’t have a craft.’” This concept of the artist as a mystic with a craft is a central theme in all of my work, whether it be with people who are involved in “the arts” or business people who seek to serve as vehicles through which a greater wisdom can be known and embodied in the world.

Gaia by Unknown
(artist unknown – please comment below if you know who it is)

The perspective from which I think and relate to life is fundamentally grounded in the idea that the earth is a living, self-regulating organism in its own right (this applies to the entire universe, as well). As most of us know, the ancient Greek goddess of the earth…that IS the earth, is called Gaia. In his classic video The Global Brain (1983), Peter Russell states:

“We might then consider our days and nights to be like the heartbeat of Gaia; the seasons to be her breaths; the tropical rainforests resemble her lungs; the oceans act like the circulatory system. So, if the whole planet does behave as a huge living system, what then, might we ask, are we doing here? What is humanity’s function in this system?”

He goes on to make a case that we might regard the whole of humanity to function as a crucial element of a planetary nervous system, an element that is capable of either being occupied by malignant or benign activities in relationship to the health of the entire organism, known mythopoetically as “Gaia.”

Many of us see a vision of Gaia where she is embraced by humanity in a manner that reflects love and honor of all life; “a world,” as Buckminster Fuller would say, “that works for everyone.” This long-term idealized vision of the future is an expression of what could be called an enlightened society. This is a level of cultural expression that requires us to consciously orient ourselves as sacred stewards of the present and the future, as did the merchant priesthood of ancient Egypt, and as is continued through their lineage that lives on in this era of time as expressed through many of you.

We are involved in a cultural (r)evolution! The spiritual hierarchy of love and support has awakened consciousness throughout the species so that we are now able to mentor one another.

In what way might we visionary artists, business people, community organizers, scientists, and engineers be contributing to the next major leap in the evolution of our species? This is a question to which we’ll never know the answers through mere speculation alone. Action is required. We have but to dream big enough and know that we are not alone.

“…For the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
—Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

We are SO excited to learn from and collaborate with you!

Love and Blessings,

Immanuel (and the entire Sacred Commerce team)

Immanuel Otto (photo: Otto
Consulting Publisher/Producer (Wisdom Content)

“I have known Immanuel Otto for a long time… long enough to know the depth of his soul, the sincerity of his search, and the excellence of his work.”
— Marianne Williamson

For fifteen years Immanuel Otto has worked with companies and clients who are engaged in raising consciousness through their products and services, for book/media initiatives and marketing campaigns raising awareness around spirituality, creativity, emotional intelligence, mindful business, eco-awareness & sustainability, meditation, healing, mindful body fitness, comparative religious studies, peaceful conflict resolution, conscious activism, psychology, relationships, progressive sciences, and more. Previous and current clients/projects include the Joseph Campbell Foundation, Gaiam’s Spiritual Cinema Circle, Sounds True Publishing, Divine Arts Media, Kids EQ (current), and Sacred Commerce (current).

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