NEWSLETTER #7 January 2020

Sacred Science Circle # 8
February 2021


The Sacred Science Circle gathers a sacred circle of individuals and groups that honor the “fires” of transformation implicit in all scientific, scholarly, and artistic endeavors. Our mission is to further that profound route to wisdom that the confluence of science and the Sacred can bring to us and our modern world. In pursuing sacred science, the Sacred Science Circle and our partner institution, the Alef Trust, aspire to transform both ourselves and the world.

In service to the Sacred,
Rosemarie Anderson & Les Lancaster, Sacred Science Circle, Co-Directors




Reflections by

  • Rosemarie Anderson: The Ordinariness of Peace in the Tao Te Ching
  • Kiran Kumar Salagame: COVID 19 – India’s multipronged approach

Upcoming Events & Conferences:

  • Common Good Film Festival, February 12-15, 2021
  • Fourth Integral European Conference, May 19-22, 2021
  • International Network for the Study of Spirituality Conference, June 7-8, 2021
  • Eurotas Conference, September 22-26, 2021
  • Journal for the Study of Spirituality (JSS)
  • New Sarum Press: Publisher, New Press Offering Books on Spirituality
  • Podcast on the Invisible Woman of World War II




The Ordinariness of Peace in the
Tao Te Ching
by Rosemarie Anderson, PhD
In the Tao Te Ching, peace is thought simple, ordinary, and the highest purpose of good government. To be at peace in the world is to privilege what is most necessary for the greater good. For example, Poem 8 details what is “good” in everyday life, as follows:
In the Tao Te Ching, peace is thought simple, ordinary, and the highest purpose of good government. To be at peace in the world is to privilege what is most necessary for the greater good. For example, Poem 8 details what is “good” in everyday life, as follows:
The highest good is like water
Bringing goodness to all things without struggle
In seeking low places spurned by others
The Tao resembles water

For a house, the good is the land
For the mind, the good is depth
For relationships, the good is kindness
For speech, the good is trustworthiness
In government, the good is peace
In work, the good is skill
In actions, the good is timing

Above all do not struggle
Remain without blame

Aligning with the Tao is to enact a path of wei wu wei, meaning to act without acting. In so doing, actions arise naturally and spontaneously to meet circumstances without plotting in advance or invoking personal or political gain of any sort. Indeed, over time, enacting this wei wu wei path of selfless action will impact all our relations with others, including animals and other species, our families and communities, the conduct of governments, relationships between nations and peoples, and with planet Earth herself.
Regarding war, use of weapons, and military action, the Tao Te Ching is uncompromising. War is a last resort and enemies are to be respected. Poem 69 puts the matter directly:
Military strategists have a saying
Dare not host a war
But be the guest
Dare not advance an inch
But retreat a foot

This is called
Advancing without advancing
Seizing without arms
Taking without weapons
Confronting without attacking

No misfortune is greater than not honoring antagonists
Not to honor antagonists is to lose virtue
Therefore when antagonists are well matched
The grieving one wins 

Similarly, Poem 31 depicts weapons as “ugly-hearted”: Poem 31 could not be more direct:

Surely weapons augur peril
Some things are just ugly-hearted
Hence those living the Tao resist using them
At home rulers favor the vulnerable
And only in war favor strength

Weapons are not auspicious
Wise rulers use them as a last resort and privilege restraint
Best to remain peaceful and calm
Even in victory they do not delight in them
To delight in them is to enjoy killing
Those who enjoy killing
Gain nothing in this world!

Having lived for several years on US military bases in Asia and Europe, I know that caution and restraint toward military action is common and well understood among US high-ranking military officers. High-ranking military officers are alert and careful; they know in their bones that life is at stake. This was particularly true on US military bases not far from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in South Korea where I lived off and on for two years. When these bases were on “high alert,” the usual tumult and noise in the officers’ clubs chilled down to a standstill. Sometimes, I thought I could hear a pin drop. High-ranking officers are ready for war but not enthusiastic—unless they are very young (and fortunately not in charge).

While wei wu wei of Poem 8 is challenging enough, Poem 79 stopped me in my tracks. The context of Poem 79 is the settlement of a hatred or injury in ancient China. Once a settlement was agreed to, the agreement was inscribed on a bamboo stick and the stick broken in two. By tradition, the one to make payment takes the left side and the one to receive payment takes the right side. But, in Lines 4 and 5, “the wise grasp the side of debtor and make no claims on others.” I have translated Poem 79 as below:
When a great hatred is reconciled
Usually hatred lingers
How can this be good?
Thus the wise grasp the side of the debtor
And make no claims on others
The virtuous manage the accounts
And those without virtue insist on payment

The Tao of Heaven is without favorites
Yet always aligns with the good

Perhaps you feel that taking the side of the debtor is an astonishing way to settle disputes. Indeed, Poem 79 contrasts markedly with modern ideas about demanding payment for debts, holding on to one’s own equity, paying off a “war debt” as the nation that lost a war, and so on. The point being made is that the wise assume they are the one indebted and, therefore, make no claims on others. Otherwise, hatred remains.
In musing on Poem 79, I kept on wondering how could I possibly do this? How could I assume I am the debtor in conflicts and disputes with others and not go broke? How could a country behave as the debtor in international conflicts and so on? But then I started thinking about the value of apologies and forgiveness. Every time I have sincerely apologized to another or they to me, mystery abounds. What was under dispute disappears from awareness and often even from memory. Yet more, the energy returned to both parties is often astonishing and humbling. Similarly, in family and communal affairs, if parents and political leaders looked more to what we mutually owe one another rather than what others owe us, family and communal values would be very different than they are.
Optimistic as enacting the wei wu wei of peace may seem, we might generate a culture of generosity. What a concept! And, similarly, if we truly valued earth, air, fire, and water for their life-giving properties and we humans as the debtors, would that not turn around the menacing ecological disasters toward which we are heading? This is precisely what native and indigenous people have done since ancient times and often still do. Perhaps now is the time to generate a culture of unshakable indebtedness because such is the truth of what is.
Rosemarie Anderson, Ph.D. is an author, artist, Professor Emerita of Psychology, and an Episcopal priest. With permission from the publisher Inner Traditions,, this article quotes from her forthcoming book, The Divine Feminine Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary. Contact her at
COVID 19 – India’s multipronged approach:
A cultural perspective
Kiran Kumar K. Salagame, PhD
The Corona virus pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt in the past 12 months. Some countries, including China which was the epicenter of the pandemic, have been experiencing second and third waves forcing them to declare total lockdown of many of the provinces or regions or states. Authorities in the Netherlands have imposed night curfew to contain the spread of virus, for the first time after World War II in recent years. Many European nations have suspended international travel. Many other countries have been still firefighting to control the damage. In this alarming situation all over the globe, there are quite a few countries who have fared better both in limiting the damage done by the virus and also in taking primary care through the production of vaccine and its use. Comparatively India seems to have fared better on both these counts. The country described as “filthy”
( seems to have emerged as “healthy” (see the table below copied from the webpage – (information downloaded on 27th January 2021 @ 11 am).





























Not only has India been able to contain the damage done, even in producing, injecting, and exporting vaccines to other countries it has done well ( India has more resilience and has shown recovery signs to pre-pandemic level (
           How could India fare better? What strategies did it developed and executed? What vision guided it? In my view, as a psychologist with transpersonal orientation, who is involved in understanding the uniqueness of Indian culture and its psychology, all this has been possible due to the Indian spiritual worldview. The cumulative wisdom of several eons of the Indian ethos in meeting the challenges of life guided by the spiritual worldview has helped us. Not only that but India has seen many natural calamities throughout its recorded history in the ancient, medieval, and modern period. Just in the past century itself India has experienced many epidemics ( and that has resulted in some kind of psychological strength or “hardiness” to face such adversities. Thus, many strategies to deal with them have evolved, which is a blend of ancient cultural practices and of modern scientific approach. One can say that the contemporary leadership of the country has utilized this wisely and effectively in dealing with this unexpected situation. Let me elaborate on them from the perspective of Indian worldview.
[As per the Indian thought traditions all kinds of human suffering are traced back to the three primary sources. They are ādi bhautika, ādi daivika, and ādhyātmika. Ādi in Sanskrit means ‘origin,’ and ‘first.’ In terms of causal attribution, the term ādi stands for origin. Used as a prefix with bhautika the origin is physical/material, daivika is supernatural/divine, and ātmika is within self. The diagnostic categories of ‘organic’ or ‘functional’ that are employed in modern medicine, corresponds to bhautika and ātmika. It does not take into account the supernatural (daivika) because of the limitation of the scientific worldview. But Indian tradition has given equal importance to all three. Accordingly, the strategies for coping and with any crisis, be it personal or collective, always follows a three-pronged approach addressing the issues at more than one level simultaneously. This seemed to have occurred here also.
  • At the physical level, the medical interventions as per the WHO norms and guidelines to arrest the spread of the virus and to treat those infected were implemented by the center and state governments in the right time taking appropriate measures. Besides dealing with medical aspects, India also dealt fairly effectively with the economic and social impact of this crisis through various measures. Many good Samaritans and NGOs extended their services by providing all kinds of physical help. In the process the ancient Ayurvedic remedies and Yoga procedures to enhance the strength of the immune system, to treat the infected, and to maintain stability of the system got a boost.


  • At the psychological/self-level, people were educated through the electronic and print media about the virus, its effects, and the safety measures to be adopted. Citizens followed the restrictions, regulations, and the safety measures with responsibility. The ‘collectivist orientation’ of Indian society as against the ‘individualist orientation’ of many Western nations seems to have helped in this. It was reported in the newspapers and electronic media that the people in those countries felt their autonomy and freedom are restricted by the safety norms imposed by the authorities and refused to wear masks or went on strike opposing such measures. By and large Indian citizens, illiterate or literate, poor or rich, followed the safety norms and in many places even now they have been doing so. In addition, those who recovered from the virus diseases were given supportive counseling – individual and group – employing psychological counseling strategies.
  • To boost the morale of the “Corona Warriors” and to appreciate their services “clapping of the hands” on a particular day and time was suggested by the Prime Minister, which was quite innovative. It was done with cheer throughout the country. Even England adopted this strategy taking a cue from India! Health and life insurance covers were also provided to them by the government.
  •  At the supernatural/divine level, generally the interventions happen from two perspectives. Light and darkness are respectively associated with the benevolent and malevolent forces. Therefore, lighting of the lamp with oil is always associated with ‘introducing light to remove darkness.’ During daily prayer and worship, it is a routine practice in India to offer ārati in temples and houses. Ārati involves burning camphor along with ringing of the bell. A Sanskrit mantra chanted at that time translated to English means, ‘we are offering this burning camphor light along with ringing of the bell, in order to drive away the dark forces and to invite divine forces.’ A significant initiative to “light the lamp” and “ring the bells and gongs” in the evening on a particular day was suggested by the leadership of the country. That was enthusiastically embraced and followed by the citizens all across the country. That instilled faith and hope. From another perspective, it is also the cultural belief that epidemic diseases in particular occur mostly due to the wrath of female deities and dark forces. It was also reported in the media from across the country that proprietary rites were performed and prayers were offered in some religious places and by certain communities to such deities and forces. Thus, Indian worldview upholds a “transpersonal locus of control belief” in which both the personal effort and the divine aid are considered relevant and important for the outcome of any action and in mitigating the suffering (Kiran Kumar, 1986). How effective such measures are in reducing the effect of the virus from an empirical view point is a matter of transpersonal research that can be taken up. 
  • Similarly, even in, the production of vaccine and its first use there was a systematic planning and execution of trial run to identify and plug the loopholes, before the actual corona vaccine was injected to identified front line health workers and the other corona warriors. Not only did India take care of its population but also extended help by way of exporting hydro chloroquine, masks, and other necessary aids in the past, it also exported vaccines to Brazil and other seven countries in the neighborhood. There is a famous Upanishadic saying which when translated in English reads as follows:
  • One who has a limited awareness makes the distinction about others as ‘belonging to self’ and as ‘not belonging.’ On the other hand, for a person of unbounded awareness the whole earth is a family.
  • It is this universal outlook of Indian culture and the sense of brotherhood upheld in the Indian worldview, that made Swami Vivekananda, the great spiritual leader and social reformer of India to address the delegates in the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, in 1893, as “brothers and sisters of America.” It is this global outlook and the spiritual legacy of India that is being carried on till date. It is that which has shaped the strategies of management of the pandemic in accordance with the cultural worldview and belief systems.




Kiran Kumar S. K. (1986). Are Indians transpersonal in their locus of control belief? Indian J. Behaviour, 10(4), p. 25-32.

Kiran Kumar K. Salagame, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist. Currently he is the Vice-President, International Transpersonal Association. He served as Professor of Psychology in the University of Mysore, India, was a Fulbright scholar, and authored Psychology of Meditation: A contextual approach. He has been engaged in developing Indian psychological perspectives and integrating them with mainstream psychology. He lives with his wife in Mysuru, India.

Have compassion for everyone you meet
Even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manner or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
Down there where the spirit meets the bone.
By Miller Williams
The Ways We Touch: Poems. (University of Illinois Press, 1997)

Common Good International Film Festival 2021

The Center for Process Studies and Common Good Films will offer four days of films and discussions from February 12-15, 2021 that elicit common sense, and common decency, while celebrating the wisdom of Alfred North Whitehead. The ten films are meant to inform, inspire, and celebrate the work of filmmakers that tell the stories of those dedicated to the benefit of humanity. Due to Covid-19, the film festival with be online. Watch for details at and




Integral European Conference 2021


Held biennially in Europe, the Integral European Conference has been postponed to May 17-23, 2021. Due to Covid-19, the conference will be held online. Watch for details at



International Network for the Study of Spirituality (INSS)


He Los Angeles Count Psychological Association’s Arts, Creativity and Culture Committee continues to harness the power of arts created by clinicians to educate, inspire, and promote reflection and dialogue about power, privilege, racism, protest, and social justice. We believe in the liberating power of the arts to promote empathy, be a catalyst for social healing, and provide us a greater sense of interconnectedness.

Go to the LACPA website at to access the Registration Form and Prospectus, which includes artist guidelines and the rules for submission.


International Network for the Study of Spirituality (INSS)

INSS is a unique international network for people interested in bringing the study of spirituality to life through research, scholarship, education and practice. Founded in 2010 as the British Association for the Study of Spirituality (BASS), INSS seeks to facilitate the critical exploration of spirituality within the theory and practice of a wide range of academic and applied disciplines, offering a venue where multi-disciplinary research and conversations in the field of spirituality studies may come together to contribute both to a better understanding of spirituality and the development of new theoretical frameworks.

The next biennial conference ‘Spirituality in Research, Professional Practice and Education’ will take place online, June 7-8, 2021. See details at


EUROTAS Conference 2021

The next EUROTAS Conference has been rescheduled for September 22-26, 2021 in Tallinn, Estonia. The topic for the conference is Inner Ecology & Transpersonal Education will be developed by transpersonal psychotherapists, artists, researchers and teachers. Watch for details at for further details.






New Sarum Press: New Press Offering Books on Spirituality


New Sarum Press is a newly-launched publisher offering books addressing the dialogue between the traditions of Eastern wisdom and Western philosophy and psychology in ways free of extraneous, religious trappings. Established by Julian and Catherine Noyce in the United Kingdom, New Sarum is their second publishing venture, having sold their first company, Non-Duality Press to New Harbinger in 2015. New Sarum Press now offers authors many years of experience in this niche publishing field. The question asked of submitted manuscripts is, “is this book accessible and relevant to our readers?” And, “is this an original and positive contribution to personal growth and wellbeing as well as the wider healing of the planet?” See for more information.


Podcast on the Invisible Women of World War II

Invisible Women is a podcast about women in espionage behind enemy lines in World War II. Based on her research and in-person interviews, Dr. Diane Greig hosts this podcast about 8 women from different cultures and backgrounds who worked undercover between 1939-1946 in countries such as Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Holland, India and Poland. The podcast invites discussion about the feminine cultural shadow from cultural and spiritual perspectives.
The podcast launches Nov 11, 2020. Episodes will be available at For more information, visit

Journal for the Study of Spirituality

The International Network for the Study of Spirituality (INSS) publishes the Journal for the Study of Spirituality, a peer-reviewed journal which creates a unique interdisciplinary, inter-professional and cross-cultural forum where researchers, scholars and others engaged in the study and practices of spirituality can share and debate the research, knowledge, wisdom and insight associated with spirituality and contemporary spirituality studies. See






IAlef Trust is pleased to announce the launch of its new scholarly journal Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology. The journal is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal publishing original empirical articles based on Alef Trust graduate students’ research projects within the MSc programme in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology. Published annually, the journal features research on diverse topics in transpersonal psychology and related fields. Topics covered in the inaugural issue include:
  • The transformative potential of Nia®, a holistic dance practice
  • The transpersonal benefits of travel
  • Healing effects of wild swimming
  • Practices designed to enhance our earth connection
  • The place of altered consciousness states in psychotherapy
  • The role that open awareness can play in combatting stress and burnout
  • Transpersonal aspects of retirement
  • The transformational face of loss, focusing on the effects of a mine closure on the local community