By Rabbi Rami Shapiro
In the current issue of Kosmos (Fall/Winter 2009) Mark Gerzon offers a two-part exploration of global citizenship. Using the analogy of upgraded computer software, Mark identifies five iterations of citizenship:
Citizen 1.0— Worldview based on one’s self (egocentric).
Citizen 2.0— Worldview based on one’s group (ideocentric).
Citizen 3.0— Worldview based on one’s nation (sociocentric).
Citizen 4.0— Worldview based on multiple cultures (multicentric).
Citizen 5.0— Worldview based on the whole earth (geocentric).
While Mark’s metaphor may be original to him, the idea itself is not. Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics, for example, is a more complex and perhaps more complete version of Mark Gerzon’s citizenship idea; but Mark’s has the distinct advantage of being easily articulated.
When I read his essay it clearly exposed my own inner struggle with the issue of backward compatibility. The more globally oriented I become, the more difficult it is for me to identify with this or that religion, ethnic group, or nationality.
At the corporate level, most religions operate at Citizen 2.0. The primary focus of the religion is who is in and who is out. Yes, there are other concerns such as justice and compassion, and there are progressive 5.0 thinkers within these religions whose focus is elsewhere, but the primary concern of corporate religion and corporate religious leaders is with market share and branding—who is in and who is out.
My question is this: as more and more of us become Citizen 5.0, what will happen to Religion 2.0? As I become more geocentric, can I maintain Zionism? As I recognize the blending of many spiritual teachings in my own life can I maintain Judaism as my singular religious identity?
For me, the answer is clearly “no.” The more global I become, the less exclusively anything I become. The more global I become, the more I find myself articulating what I believe to be true using metaphors drawn from all the world’s religions. The more I live with Citizen 5.0, the more I experience Religion 5.0 and refuse to be limited to any one faith. My loyalty is to truth, and no religion has a monopoly on that. I draw from art, literature, philosophy, science, music, mysticism, myth, etc., to create a rich 5.0 tapestry of reality reflecting what I experience as real. And I no longer care where it comes from.
My guess is that Jews are at the forefront of Citizen 5.0. If Judaism is going to survive Jews 5.0, it will have to remake itself into Judaism 5.0. I am not sure it can. I am not sure it matters. But I am sure it matters to me. Ah, the blessed unrest of inner turmoil.
re-printed from Rami’s blog.