Late one night in February 2017, Phil ‘Philosofree’ Cheney had a dream.
In the dream a vision expanded of a radical new approach to connecting humans to themselves and each other. It presented an opportunity to define spirituality for each individual, and at the same time to identify and befriend those of a like spirit geographically near to them. The vision was big, and somewhat confronting in its scope, but it became named the Linked In Spirit Network, or LISN. (LinkedInSpirit.Net)
LISN holds that every human is rooted in the majestic tree of humanity, the deep subconscious roots that tap into our inner water, our inner dirt, and allow us to grow our branches to reach up with blossoms and fruit of virtue and compassion, to give back the oxygen of freedom to share with the universe, and to experience our own individual fragrance as a leaf or a bud in the organic whole. As such LISN is religion-neutral, respecting each religion, but also observing that the deep needs of humanity are to find connection, not difference.
Phil’s experience and background of 40 years of IT consulting, analysis, and corporate systems design, along with the experience of being a senior lecturer in Enterprise Integration at Flinders University in South Australia, enabled a clear system specification to be written by the end April. By then a team of support had been assembled, including a development relationship with an IT training institute in Kenya called Tunapanda.
“My heart has led me to care for the many who do not have a safe place for their soul, especially in the realm of social media. That is not good for spirit awareness or self-care.”
The tabs explain the LISN Vision & Values, the compelling case advantages, and the current status and functionality.
Below the tabs there is an expandable list of examples of LISN usage stories of how LISN can help people.
LISN vision is to positively influence a significant percentage of the world’s population with optimism for peace and abundance, an understanding of how much our spirits all have in common, a new self-defined language for exploring individual spirituality in safety, and new ways to connect to each other without telling, commenting, explaining, opinion or coercion.
Based on the work of Parker J Palmer ”
I have always been impressed by the ‘alchemy’ of the human heart – by its capacity to transform the suffering that comes to us all, into compassion and generosity of spirit.
I know so many people who have used their own wounds to become ‘wounded healers’.“
The LISN values and ethics are based on the premises of:
The Charter for Compassion – we are all equal and on a journey of discovery that involves relationships that will improve as we empathize and care.
The Golden Rule, to have compassion for oneself and then to play that compassion forward in a practical way to every person encountered.
Inner Learning through inner LISNing to one’s own spirit, not by being told what to believe.
Questions, not answers. An individual is encouraged to go to a religious group to discuss belief, LISN attends to what is behind the intent of belief.
Encouragement to LISN to the common mystic wisdom of the ages through art, poetry, music etc. LISN seeks to expand compassion for our common human desire to belong, to have meaning, love and happiness, through understanding of other people’s longings.
Confidentiality, with the choice of each member to befriend others if they wish.
Community service. LISN offers supporting frameworks for spiritual groups to get connected to members worldwide in efficient, integrated and helpful ways.
It is really important that the uniting strength of human spirituality be understood and promoted in order to move towards peace.
LISN has a fully integrated Learning Resource System (LRS) which can feed a Google Analytics type data warehouse to show the extent and influence of the universal human soul.
This reporting can also provide spiritual leaders with unbiased analyses of where human experience today is trending, without the ego of other international social platforms, yet without compromising personal confidentiality.
LISN will also support spiritual surveys and analysis of these.
The diagram on the right is a flow map of the ways LISN maps the human spirit…
LISN encourages each user to make their own confidential hero’s journey into their own experiences and life meaning.
Each step on the way to defining individual terms also contributes to the mapping of common spiritual resonances, which in turn gives LISN a better chance to link spirits who are on similar parts of their spiritual path, and so can be more empathetic to each other.
As a free membership service, LISN offers all humans a place to register and review their own spiritual journey. In obtaining membership they are required to provide thier name, a location and email verification.
If they wish to form or register in groups, sub-groups or organizations, this is also supported, with the ability to provide membership integration to existing websites, while maintaining data integrity and independence for each group and it’s subgroups.
The enterprise level structure allows LISN to cater for every organizational type, from a small spiritual-not-religious home group, to a global framework for an entire religion or corporate endeavor.
Adam has been hurt from his experience of being suppressed in a fundamentalist religious environment. He wanted to find local friendship of people who, like him, care deeply about their souls, but do not want to be told by others how to do that.
When Adam found LISN as a guest, he was able to experiment, with the words and meaning for spirituality that worked for him individually. He found that defining his own terms and meanings was rewarding and encouraging and so he registered as a member of LISN, where he found a mapping feature. On the mapping he discovered people and groups who were at a similar season in their spiritual journey and
1 They were near where he lived (within a defined distance)
2 they had a similar outlook and background and were able to help him feel a sense of belonging.
As a result Adam is now part of a group of spiritual friends whose open conversations allow him to explore questions he always wanted to, and he is delighted with how freedom has allowed new explorations into relationship and his own sense of self-worth.
Annabel has been through a stage of significant loss. A member of one of the ‘big 5’ religions, she and Joe, her husband, were staunch members of their congregation. However the death of both her mother and her daughter led her to look for a different level of connection to what she gained from her weekend religious activities. Through LISN membership Annabel found inspiration from others who have had similar losses, and who were nearby.
Some time later Annabel searched for spirit groups in her area and found to her delight that the ones which appeared offered grief support, one was government run, and one was based in a religious environment she felt comfortable with. After attending both groups she and Joe discovered that their experience had led them to pay forward the compassion they received, so they set up a group of their own and others soon joined them and were cared for by them.
Annabel still does not understand how LISN was able to filter people and groups to match her own personal needs, as she did not have to fill out a form describing what she wanted. All she did was respond to her own definitions of where she was at on the LISN website.
Steve and Karen have three kids who are teenagers. They want their children to think about more than social media but have had trouble connecting with language that unites them. After working through their own definitions using LISNlanguage, they shared their terms with their children.
The teenagers liked the interactive cellphone paths to understanding what they themselves believed – and the sharing of different viewpoints led to new communication paths between them and their parents.
As a result, Steve and Karen became more open to dialog with others, including their children’s friends. This expanded into an inter-faith dialogue after they changed their LISN definitions to reflect new preferences to be contacted by a wider range of people than their traditions would have allowed. One couple befriended through LISN are refugees recently arrived from Somalia. Other couples also became friends and Steve and Karen were encouraged to create a new group that reaches out to newcomers to their neighbourhood.
To their surprise, their own children resonated with their new found openness and joined their group. They have lots of laughter when they communicate in their own LISNlanguage of the spirit.
Ethelia is lonely, new to her new village, and with specific spiritual interests which could be called ‘mystic’. Her country does not permit views contrary to the national religion. Ethelia longs for people to explore questions and inspiration with, and finds LISN.
LISN offers Ethelia the chance to define her own spirit language, and in doing so she also discovered others in her country who are of a like heart. She is able to form friendships and starts to offer poetry to LISN from her own soul. After moderation her work is accepted and is part of LISN. Friendships blossom from this and soon she feels a freedom she wanted to chat with people across the world about her questions and experiences.
Ethelia’s poetry is safe on LISN, because no online commenting is allowed and she is able to remain anonymous. Still, people who like her work appear in the searches she does, and she likes that they have been encouraged by her art. Her spirit feels it now has connection and belonging across the world, and that she is ‘heard’
Ethelia then discovered that her contributions to LISN poetry can be ‘translated’ if she chooses, into the language of the reader, using the words and definitions that the reader has defined. She likes that idea, and gives LISN permission to publish her work in that form.
Frederick has been told what to believe his whole life. He found on LISN a place where he can define his own views without anyone else knowing what they are. He likes that.
After some months of following the inspiring learning tracks (which do not have religious teachings in them) Frederick finds the confidence to reach out to others. Whe he searches for friends he finds, to his amazement, that LISN has filtered possible friends who seem just like him, though he does not know how LISN did it, since his work on the site is confidential and not released.
Father Chris, a priest/imam/rabbi had a look at LISN and loved it. He joined LISN and then discovered he can also upload his entire cohort of parishioners as users, so that they are part of the membership of LISN, but specifically assigned to his care group.
Now his organization members can login and maintain their small groups online, while keeping informed and involved. New people from outside his groups are joining by resonating with people within his group and Father Chris is really pleased about that.
Catherine is one of the 25% of North Americans who categorize themselves as ‘spiritual not religious’.
She wants to expand her small group and found that LISN worked for her. After becoming a member and registering and profiling her small group, she was befriended by two local families who were searching for what she offered. All love the ability to find local resonance. Catherine loves that without cost she is able to have a group forum online for her group members.
Interested in knowing more about how spiritual people gather in today’s fast paced world? how-we-gather is a PDF that describes millennials deepening community in new ways across America.
Archbishop Clancy wanted some way of knowing who was in his diocese, and how they were grouped. He had recently found a number of small groups existed that he did not know about. His attempts to get people to let him know had not worked, probably because things were constantly changing and there was no online method for people to update their own connections.
Then Clancy found LISN, and by asking each congregation to upload and involve their members to update their own profiles and association with small groups he is now able to see growth in spiritual development he had not even been aware of.
Then new people started to come out of the blue from outside his religious boundaries!!
Beth wanted to find a spiritual director. She looked online and found lots of offerings but no indication if they would match what she was looking for. By registering and defining membership with LISN she was able to define her own spiritual expectations in a fun way, and in doing so the list of local Spiritual Directors was somehow narrowed down to those who matched her needs and style. She loved not having to research a whole lot of options and found it easy to choose one that works well with her spirit.
Every organization offering spiritual services can benefit from the LISN front end.
LISN allows organizational control to remain with the organization, yet offers a global perspective that anyone can join at the same time. How?
The key to the LISN strategic membership platform is the ability to create memberships that are private subsets of a bigger whole. We are all human, so LISN starts there. If you have no other affiliation you can still join. However if you are part of an organization such as a service provider, your membership can be accessed securely and separately. This applies to a religious structure such as Christian or Buddhist, as well as specific non-affiliated or multi-faith spiritual organizations such as Spiritual Directors International. When you log in as a member, you get the choice to decide which of the groups you belong to you wish to work with during that session. You may select a private meditation group you have joined. You may select your local congregation or temple community. You may select the organizational structure you are a service provider for (eg SDI), or you may just want to look for people from a particular religion that you are affiliated with.
In the case of a service provider, the level of membership will determine what you are entitled to see and do.
Of course all members have their own personal dashboard. However membership has multiple levels.
Here are some examples of membership levels:
A group admin for a service provider will be able to structure country, region and specific groups, upload and manage memberships.
A specific service member will be able to access all the people who are connected to them, either individually, or in an affiliated group. The service member can then contact their clients via LISNchat or post information (eg upcoming vacation times, or a pending retreat) onto the group forum which is available (optional)
From a group administrator perspective, logging into the sub-domain for the service group (E.g. sdi.linkedinspirit.net) automatically provides a private network environment for the SDI group and all its sub-groups and members.
Secure and private access to this group is provided with all the LISN search features, inspiration, profiling etc, without having to develop these specifically for that one organization.
What is even more important, however, is that because any other individuals can become members of LISN, they can register, request friendship with a service provider (e.g. a spiritual director) and filter as per Beth’s example above!
Once connected to any individual, the ability to be recommended or referred for friendship is automatic.
Guests can come onto LISN and find matching service providers without having to be limited to a specific organization. While this may sound negative, it is in fact a positive for the enquirer, and will in the long run demonstrate the service strengths of any provider.
LISN recommends that you have a good look at the upcoming developments for surveys, spiritual analysis, mapping etc. These features and benefits can be applied to the subset of data that applies to you, your service providers and all the clients that are affiliated to them!
Best of all, LISN is not for profit, and seeks to provide a service to all spiritual ventures at cost.
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