to Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, a
till-recently hidden, yet
quite coherent subculture comprised of about 50 million Americans [publ.
2000], with comparable, recognized populations in other countries.
The "Cultural Creatives"
[CCs], mentioned frequently on Ahhh-TheLight.com, comprise a
population of U.S. citizens with recognized parallel constituents in other countries as
group identified by the two authors cited above. The authors' demographics
suggest they numbered about 50 million adults in the USA in 2000. If
anything, especially given a host of events that have occurred since the
publishing date of this book [such as 9-11; the acute indifference and lack of support to those whose lives
were devastated by Hurricane Katrina; the sudden acceleration of the melting of
the polar caps] and the increasing of knowledge and world-wide
acknowledgement and pro-action taken [such as, re: worldwide efforts to
curb the greenhouse effect, genuine strides forward to move away from the
multi-destructive reality of a petroleum-driven economy, technologies and
society; conflict transformation as a virtual social movement],
this number has probably grown substantially since then.
Creatives compare very closely to EHEers and EHE-empaths as a whole. This
is an exact match in their description of the "core" Cultural
Creatives which then made up about half this population as a whole. Ray
and Anderson delineate the values that define Cultural Creatives as follows:
living a life exemplary of the core values of who and what one
believes -- talking the talk, walking the walk with heart and
fearless integrity. One's outer and communal life is a clear
reflection of one's equally important inner life. One's life
and words reflect a luminous self honesty and simultaneous concern
for the greater whole]
Action and Whole-Process Learning ["where they can
be part of creating something from the beginning, middle, end,
and through to the new beginning"]
and Activism [living the talk, being personally engaged
in causes and in work that makes a contribution to society and to
and Ecology [very attuned to a whole-systems, big-picture
approach; "they want to see all the parts spread out side by
side and trace the interconnections"; they are "very or
extremely concerned about 'problems of the global
Importance of Women [What politicians often refer to as
"women's issues" are a key to understanding Cultural
Creatives. They see women's ways of knowing as valid:
feeling empathy and sympathy for others, taking the viewpoint of the
one who speaks, seeing personal experiences and first-person stories
as important ways of learning, and embracing an ethic of caring.
They are distressed about violence and abuse" and not to mention
activism -- advocacy for the equal rights of all people,
["Commitment to a sustainable
of: "'owning more stuff,' materialism, greed,
me-firstism, status display, glaring social inequalities of race and
class, society's failure to care adequately for elders, women, and
children, and the hedonism and cynicism that pass for realism
in modern society"; "the intolerance and narrowness of
social conservatives and the Religious Right"; "almost
every big institution in modern society"; "narrow analyses
and are sick of fragmentary and superficial glosses in the media
that doesn't depict what they see, or
explain what they know from their own direct experience.*"
Self-Actualization, Spirituality [Although all Cultural
Creatives "have a well-developed social conscience and a sturdy
but guarded optimism about the future," only about half of them
are committed to the cultivation of a spiritual life.]
Ray and Anderson differentiate between two basic interest groups among the
CCs. Both groups have the above list of characteristics in common, except
for the last one [re: spirituality and
self-actualization]. There is a "Core"
group of slightly less than half their number that as a whole is probably better
off financially, since they tend to be better equipped educationally. This
population is comprised of "a huge proportion," say the authors,
"of published writers, artists, musicians, psychotherapists,
environmentalists, feminists, alternative health care providers, and other
professionals." The second subgroup, which the authors term "Green," statistically pans out as more secular and/or to have more
traditional religious values. Their numbers indicate "an average
interest in other kinds of spirituality and in psychology and person-centered
values." Although they clearly align themselves with the
ideologies of the Core group, especially those of environmental concern, they
are not nearly as "intense" or accomplished as activists who tend to
be more populated by the Core CCs.
As you can see from the list of what CCs have in common as a whole, they are all
noted among the aftereffects of EHEers. Something unique to the Core group
-- and of particular interest here -- is their strong commitment to spirituality
and self actualization [and decidedly not based in exclusivistic traditional
religions] that is mirrored in / balanced by enduring and committed social activism
and a passionate interest in ecological sustainability.
It would be
interesting to learn how many of either group have been influenced by
spiritually transformative experiences, whether as experiencers or as EHE
empaths. There is a fascinating parallel relationship in evidence
between the core group and their green counterparts, with the greens as less committed but clearly led by the
core group values and behavior [such as activism] on the one hand, and on the
other, EHEers and their similarly inspired EHE Empaths. Empaths share essentially the same
consciousness shift point of view, yet, as a
whole they are probably not as consistently or determinedly "charged"
by all this as Experiencers would tend to be. Of special note is the
crucial activism and committed concern for environmental and social issues
important to all four groups [it was noted by Ray and Anderson that the
"greens" have less interest in social rights problems].
I suspect we would find a large number of EHEers among the core CCs.
*Emphasis on 'direct experience': needless to say, that's a major factor on this
experience- focused website.
Culture, context, and origin of EHEs can play a powerful role in how
we may be enabled [or sometimes less-abled] toward
understanding, accepting, integrating, valuing, and utilizing such
Gifts as EEs/EHEs. Compare these several different
experiential points of view, which basically all point to the
same characteristics of shifted consciousness, which PMH Atwater
describes as "Brain Shift / Spirit Shift":
overview of the five-stage EHE Process: Drs.
Rhea White and Suzanne Brown, as a result of their
research and an exhaustive review of the pertinent literature
in the early 1990s, identify five stages within the EHE
process itself. Two other short articles delineate the
whole 5-stage EHE Process. One by R.
A. White offers an objective view, and S.
V. Brown counterbalances
with a subjective view. Another even more direct
trait-related article by White is this one: Brief
Overview of Exceptional Human Experiences.
Experiences model [Kenneth
Ring ; Evelyn
Creatives' Values [Paul
H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson]
long-studied observations of the Spiritual
Emergence Network [Stanislav
and Christina Grof]
/ Presence [Peter M.
Otto Scharmer, Joseph
Sue Flowers, and also Eleanor Rosch, whose work
extensively supports this perspective.]
U [C. Otto Scharmer;
this and Presence (#7) are closely related.]
Shift / Spirit Shift [PMH
Atwater's NDE-based model describes these
aftereffects in the context of an explicitly unique
collaborative, life-long lived inquiry and experiences of Sri
Aurobindo Ghose and Mirra Alfasa [aka, The Mother] [see Satprem,
essential biographer for both]
The surprisingly universal focus, by the time one has made a
clear commitment suggestive of the values and meaning-filled lives
shared with such emphasis, regardless of whichever "lens"
one might look through, is about a lifepath of service to others, to
the good of the whole, and to the Earth as a sacred being.
What particularly stands out is the reverence for all life that lives
in Experiencers [EHEers, no matter which model you use], as well as in
EHE Empaths, and their passionate and compassionate altruistic
instrumentality within community and for the world, which could be
deemed an active expression of "moral consciousness."
The more profoundly Shifting the experience, the more fully the
Experiencer recognizes the sacredness of all life as a Living Whole.
Such EHEers live and speak and act within the perceived context of
[our] ONENESS, as if there is a Singular Consciousness that pervades
and is recognizable, accessible, and communicative from within all
beings and being, even the most seemingly inanimate.