Integral Ageing2017-01-07T00:06:17+01:00

Here is a survey about YOUR future when you get older: How do you see the second half of life?

Please go to


Hear our presentation at the INTEGRAL EUROPEAN CONFERENCE in Hungary,

May 6th, 2016

We were pleased and grateful to witness a lively interest in the topic.

You are invited to join the discussion by filling in the survey above and by joining our Facebook Group

Hear our pre-conference talk about what we will be talking about on May 6th, 2016 in Siofok/Hungary.

Ageing is a spiritual process

CONSCIOUS AGEING: Seasonv#6, Episode 12

Ageing, a spiritual process with Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a Christian mystic, author, and retired Baptist minister. For the last twenty years he has taught about Integral Christianity. At age 82 he is still pioneering in the further evolution of Christianity in the creation of a world-wide network of small “WeSpace” groups.


All religious traditions were born because of the mystical experience of their founder. In these experiences they met God without any doubt. They understood life and death and the deeper reality of the Kosmos, our planet, Nature and ourselves. As long as the followers could tap into the same source of knowing and wisdom, the religions were practiced in a life enhancing way. As soon as there was the need of just BELIEVE what others told about their experience and a hierarchical structure began to form inside the religious communities, the legitimacy of the religions diminished more and more, to the point when people are naturally growing out of the dependency.

Since the enlightenment, people started to be sceptical of religious beliefs. In modern culture religions are seen as superstitions and therefore not acceptable as any form of guidance. Instead of the “old man with beard sitting on a cloud in the sky”, the new emerging God was SCIENCE, the idea that everything could be explicable by a scientific approach. Materialistic science pretended to be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, as well as what is doable and what not.

Ken Wilber and his 4 Quadrant model of reality shows clearly, that this cannot work. While previously the “left hand quadrants” (the interior perspective) believed to be authorized to decide what is right in the material world – remember Galileo and his fight for the recognition of the earth being round, not flat -, the scientific era tried, and still tries to a certain extent, to colonize the interior world with its exclusive exterior perspective. Only what can be measured is real. Feelings, for example, cannot be measured, and therefore they are not real, they are negligible, they don’t really exist.

It is time now to see reality from all 4 perspectives!

The Christian Church has lasted for 2ooo years. It has created institutions and rules which were crucial for the people to grow up, especially from the highly destructive and war loving egocentric stage to the conventional stage, where morality appeared and the individual responsibility of the people for their actions in the world. It was a huge step “up the spiral” (See “Spiral Dynamics”). It was widely based on suppression of lived impulses by the leading powers. With modernity people started to refuse to be dominated by religious powers and established wordly power systems which went into clear competition, about the meaning of life and how to act in the world.

Growing up into modernity people lost their faith into a higher power. The technological progress proposed to the powerful humans to consider themselves as almighty entities. No God in the skies needed, now we play God ourselves! In the next developmental stage, the post-modern stage, the lack of a reality greater than our small selves became evident and people searched for something which could “bind them back” (=re-legare = religion). The spiritual quest began, mainly by trying out exotic types of religions because Christianity carried the stigma of a suppressing super power which we didn’t want to re-embrace.

We Westerners are deeply imprinted by Christian culture. All achievements today are based on these 2000 years of Christianity in our countries. Adopting foreign religions seems to be more like a band aid on the deep wound which the shadow of the past is still casting on our hearts. Real growth happens by transcending and including what was before. We have transcended Christianity successfully, but we have missed out the second part, the inclusion.

It is time to do so, for our own sake, as a person and as a member of the world society.

Thanks to INTEGRAL THEORY we have a map to guide us in this process. We can learn to discriminate between the essence of the spiritual message and the structure which has been built around it. Stripping away dogmatism and power hierarchies, we can get back to the practices of the first time of the religious movement when community and experience were in the forefront, instead of organisation and power expression. We can go back to experience God ourselves, we do not depend on priests who pretend to tell us what God wants us to do, we are autonomous and independent of dogma in our research for the sacred.

Having said all this, I want to address human life, especially the ageing process. People in our culture are afraid of death. The menaces of our church authorities, their keeping us obedient by attributing us hell after death if we don’t obey their ideas, has created a deep collective fear of what will happen when we die. We do not know how to address this fear, and therefore we try to ignore the existence of death as long as possible. We try to hide that we are getting older, we try to “stay young”, for not being reminded that we don’t have an answer for the ultimate question. Nevertheless, it happens often that people in later years or even shortly before dying have an epiphany of recognition of the Sacred. Where to go with that? Who can help to integrate this experience?

Some people go back to the traditional church after such spiritual experiences. Professional religious people are not necessarily the right conversation partners. Their professional training still excludes the inner experience of God which is accessible to everybody. They are mainly living in their heads, hardly in their hearts, and that is the place where mystical experience would be located. Thanks to Integral Theory we now know about the “Three Faces of God” and evolved people recognise them, practice them and teach them to others. This is a new form of “CHURCH”, very different from what we have known so far. It is especially helpful for the deep existential questions in people who have outgrown their childhood religion and now want to be “bound back” to something higher and bigger than themselves.

Where to go?

Paul Smith, the guest in this episode, has written several books on the topic. “Integral Christianity” has aroused a lot of attention inside the integral community, as well as the German based book “God 9.0” written by a team of German theologians. Both books resolve the felt contradictions of Christianity by explaining the evolution of faith alongside with the personal development. And both bring back the mystical element into spiritual/religious practice. They are real treasures for everyone who is curious about who we are, where we come from and where we are going, in search of the meaning of human life on earth.

Paul Smith, in collaboration with Luke Healey (watch my conversation with Luke HERE) have founded the “Integral Christian Network” and offer regular practice groups for people who want to dive deeper into spiritual experience, together with others. Presently a German speaking group has started to come together with huge enthusiasm and dedication, everyone happy to finally get back “their Jesus” in a way which is right for them. I am sure that, pretty soon, other groups in other languages will be formed in exploration of Christian spirituality. This is a great gift for us individuals and also for our Christianity-based culture which can turn to its roots as renewed fundaments.

Videopost published for November 27th, 2019


0:00 Heidi’s intro

2:10 Paul introduces himself, his background and life and work –  evolution.

4:15 “Is it ok to call God Mother?” Paul’s first book

5:15 Paul meets Ken Wilber’s work. Helped him in his own ageing. 

Definition of God: God beyond us, God beyond our understanding. God is with us and beside us. God is in us. The “three faces of God”. revolutionized Paul’s spiritual life.

8:15 Is your God big enough for your mind? Is your God close enough for your heart, is your God you enough for your deepest identity?

9:42 Heidi’s question: The God beyond us – far away from us. God is BEING itself. Paul’s relationship with Jesus. God as the loving father and mother. Jesus was a model for who we are. I am eternal – takes away the fear of death.

14:50 Teihard de Chardin: we are spiritual beings on a human journey

15:30 Heidi asks: why are people in our society so much in fear of death. Paul explains how Jesus and followers were inbedded in mystical experience. Establishment of the church controlled people with creating fear of punishment. Push back of mystical experience to maintain control and power over the people.

18:40 Prayer as state of awareness. Spiritual knowing. Higher consciousness. The story of Paul’s first experience of higher consciousness and a divine being. Before Abraham was I AM. experience of ONENESS and God’s love.

21:30 Heidi’s questions. When was experience of God allowed? How can we come to have such an experience.

23:00 Paul starts to explain. Pasters are trained to think about God, but not to experience God! Mystics always have a difficult relation ship with the church: spiritual experience makes people courageous and disobedience.

25:20 New groups are forming outside the church. “Integral Christian Network” founded by Paul. “Whole body mystical awakening”. The move into the heart space. A story.

29:10 Heidi: Singing and music has the power to bring you into the feeling space. Spiritual practices: children’s prayer versus meditative prayer.

31:15 Paul’s resources: website and books and groupm practices. Guided meditation on the website. Mystical space.

33:50 Heidi: the obstacle for modern people: states of consciousness and the fear of losing control.

35:40 Consciousness enters into the science community. Consciousness is at the bottom of everything. Heart Math measures fields of consciousness. Non-physical reality.

38:02 Testimony of Paul about a severely ill person who is in touch with that other reality.

40:00 How to pray. 

42:10 Science is changing: Ervin Lazlo: Akashic fields. When dying you are still part of these fields.

45:00 Paul is a fan of Lazlo. And  Information fields. Early Christians were tuning into the Akashik fields. The body becomes an antenna for the field of information. PAul: “The field of spiritual knowing”. The Universe is built of In-Formation.

48:35 The We-space groups, Heidi’s experience.  Integral theory made un-understandable things understandable! With religion same things can happen. The building of a German speaking We-space Group. Heidi invites people into that. Heidi’s interview with Luke, Paul’s young collaborator.

51:55 Paul on Wilber: we need new versions of the old religions, no new religions needed. Progressive version of higher consciousness as new version of religion. to contact groups for your participation.

53:50 The “new church” probably is not to be found in your local church, we need to find other places – like our conversation on the internet. Sending out love = a new version of Church. Heidi talks about groups she is leading, e.g. the womens’ group in German.

56:35 For ageing process: the technology is a gift to stay together and connected.  Shout out to people to connect!

59:00 Still evolving: life is exciting! 

End of season 6  of CONSCIOUS AGEING

About Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a Christian mystic, author, and retired Baptist minister.

As a pastor of Broadway Church in Kansas City, Missouri for forty-nine years, he led the traditional Southern Baptist congregation in evolving into an inclusive, progressive, integral church focused on following the Jesus path in deeply spiritual and relevant ways in today’s world.

For the last twenty years he has taught about Integral Christianity at many venues around the country, as well as in numerous TV, radio, newspaper, internet interviews, and journals such as Tikkun and the Integral Life website. He is the author of Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve and the recent Is Your God Big Enough? Close Enough? You Enough? Jesus and the Three Faces of God.

At age 82 he is still pioneering in the further evolution of Christianity in the creation of a world-wide network of small “WeSpace” groups. The groups meet every other week on Zoom to share and engage in the Whole Body Mystical Awakening that is the heart of the WeSpace spiritual practice.

His websites are and


Paul Smith, author of “Integral Christianity”

Discovering Integral Christianity with Luke Healey

Embracing the Ageing Process with Toni LaMotta


Embracing the Ageing process

We have the chance to change perspective on Ageing. It is widely a taboo and everyone tries to stay as young as possible. But what if we embraced the gifts which come with ageing? Yes, there are gifts, and embracing them allows us to lose the constant fear which is so pervasive in our society.


In former times, ageing and death were considered normal parts of life. Nobody questioned them. You just got old and had to die. In the Christian belief you would be resurrected one day. People were able to find consolation in this idea, as well as in the certainty of the love of God.

With the renaissance, this certainty started to wither. Even more people no longer believed in a God in the sky somewhere. They became atheists, and with that lost the spiritual way of dealing with death. Our Western societies are still caught in this denial of a higher power – and in the fear of death. They believe in a “Human Almighty”, and the outburst of incredible technology seems to confirm this assumption.

Believing in God, or in any form of higher power, became considered primitive or old fashioned. Nevertheless, when approaching death, many hard core atheists are reported to have converted their ideas, they have become religious. Why?

We humans are wired to ask these questions: “why am I here, where do I come from, where will I be after death?” When we go deeper and deeper with these questions which, traditionally, the church was expected to give the right answers to, we are finding meaning in our lives. Today, we have to find the “right” answers ourselves. There are many, many spiritual teachers and communities where we can flock to, hoping to find what we are looking for.

This happens sometimes in younger years, but older people are coming inevitably in direct touch with death, their own or that of their loved ones, and so they are pushed into these questions naturally. From there the next questions arise: “How shall I now lead the rest of my life? What is really important to me and how can I cope with the many obvious changes which ageing is bringing along?”

These, ultimately, are spiritual questions. Spirituality becomes a real concern. We might find these answers, but this is not the point. What we really do is integrating a part of ourselves which we seemed to have lost. We have the chance to loosen the fear and to lead a life of joy and fulfilment, where death is the ultimate amazing experience for our existence on this planet. But how can we do that?

Our guest today, Toni LaMotta, has written many books on conscious ageing and is offering courses for the difficult time of transition into elderhood. Officially there is little support in our societies. Ageing is a taboo, don’t talk about it, don’t ask questions and try to appear externally as young as possible in order to mask the fact that the years are passing.

So what to do and where to go when we are interested in knowing ourselves better and mastering the unavoidable challenges? Thank God, we have those pioneers who have dedicated their lives to help with the ageing process, as well as with the dying process. They certainly don’t get rich by what they are doing. People seem to be ashamed to ask for help in their situation, they think to have to go through these life challenges with closed eyes and some magical beliefs that they can somehow get out of it by “hiding before God and the death angel”.

How sad is that!

Living in constant fear of the future and engaging with all sorts of things which can occupy their heads in order to not ask the important questions, is cutting down the quality of our lives. We could learn to live in love and confidence, if we wanted to. Yes, some inner work is needed. But isn’t that the real task and meaning of our lives: to get to know ourselves in a deep way and live our purpose – instead of passing our time with trifles and external glory ?

Published for November 20th, 2019

0:00 Heidi short Intro
0:40 The Background of Toni. From Catholic nun to “New thought Minister” and a passion for speaking. Coaching people in spiritual development. Doctorate, studies in adult development leads to Ken Wilber, Terry O’Fallon.
4:45 “The Midlife Mentor”, What does the adult development mean for Ageing? How to embrace the ageing process? A book and a course.
7:50 4 aspects. First: Looking at the fear and learning “Treatment” to work through fears.
8:40 Paul Smith (Integral Christianity)? 3-faces of God was enlightening for her and taught the idea of a personal God. Involved in the we-Space groups. Coming back to her personal roots. “Religious Science” doesn’t always call itself Christian, Learning now to integrate Christian roots.
11:00 Heidi: we threw out the baby with the bathwater when abandoning the traditional church. Coming back by Jordan Peterson’s “Biblical Lectures”.
12:39 Toni: She teaches Pauls work to Ministerial students- several of whom are former Baptists. Transcend and include
13:40 Ageing process: We come to know who we really are. Less eyesight = more insight. Opportunity to look at the gift!
15:45 Ageing consciously = growing spiritually. Letting go and learning to be, stop all the doing.
16:30 Heidi: the gift:questions of who we really are. Calming the fear, impacting our present life. Becoming “being”
18:30 Toni: Illness experience, the challenges leading to “nowhere to go, nothing to do” became her mantra. Prioritizes what is important in life.
19:44 Heidi: Keeping oneself busy. Going inside, developing spiritually, we can also contribute
21: Just being, the presence, means a lot.
Second aspect: doing a life review Ira Progoff. “The intensive journal”. What does my life wish to become? Has previous life still potential? Going back to the roots, also Jane Fonda recommends life review
23:30 Often we see only the negative things in the past. Here: “Failing means the first attempt in learning”. Look for the same experience
26:30 Whatever you wanted to do, still do it at any age. Heidi going back to singing? Toni can listen instead of singing herself to enjoy the same passion: same experience, different way.
Fourth aspect: preparing for death: what do I really want to become? Write your own obituary: what do you want others to say about you?
31:10 Typology: Celebrating differences; Recognizing oneness.
32:50 Let life happen.
34:30 Techniques of the journaling. Stepping stones which change in time. In dialogue. Etc. dreams.
38:99 An example
40:15 Life review is self therapy with the right tools. Can you do it online? Example. The more time you work, the deeper you go.
44:05 Twilight imaging. Dealing with concrete things which are happening, and look at the spiritual realm, the meaning dimension, what’s the gift.
46:00 Making peace with one’s life before dying. Forgiveness, no judgement
47 Several versions of oneself, need of new things in life.
49:45 Similarities between Heidi and Toni.
50:30 Heidi about how Conscious Ageing in the Wisdom Factory developed.
52:00 Need of changing how people see ageing.
53:30 starting to wrap up: final question: what can you recommend?
54:25 Instead of looking for what’s wrong, look for the gift in what is happening.
56:20 Heidi: surround us with people who are positive”
57:20 Info about Toni:, several Books on Amazon (see below)
58:55 Call to action: Express your interest in a life review course, so we will create it more easily.

Books on Ageing – Books by Dr. Toni 

About Dr. Toni LaMotta

Toni is a provocative, inspiring speaker, best-selling author & life coach. Her vision is to change the way the world views midlife & ageing. She inspires people to explore what they can be when they operate authentically and consciously at every age.

She is the author of RECOGNITION: The Quality Way, the #1 best-selling book: What You REALLY Want, Wants You and several works on Conscious Ageing.

Toni holds a Doctorate in Religious Studies, a Doctor of Divinity degree; three Masters Degrees – in Pastoral Ministry, Adult Education, and Mathematics. (a truly whole-brain individual.) Her wit and wisdom speak to both the head and the heart.

Toni’s website


Paul Smith, author of “Integral Christianity”

Luke Haley explaines the we-space groups

Ageing with elegance and grace

November 13th 2019

Ageing with Elegance and Grace – with Raquel Torrent

An inspiration for all of us when getting older: live the beauty, bring your energy up and engage in daily practicing your connection with yourself and the divine in order to become blessed with grace.


What counts in our society is youth, effectiveness, speed and making it all. We teach our children a lot of – ultimately – useless stuff. They are filling their heads and they try to keep up with the expectations, and we fail to teach them the true value of life itself. We even don’t realise how much being in balance is important for our own health and wellbeing. We are too much absorbed in doing things which seem to be important and urgent. Most of the times they are not and we are wasting our life time on what others find we should do.

For a long time we know that our brain has two parts and that one is more active when we learn and are engaged in mental processes, while the other is creative, agile and open and adds the juice to our lives. Unfortunately this is seldom heard and followed by mainstream education. Music and arts are still considered as a more or less useless extra which we can cancel from the curriculum without problems. Really?

In my opinion it is not by chance that depression has become a huge issue in our societies. We have cut out the nurturing elements, our brain has become lopsided, we have lost balance. When we approach the third act of our lives, such a situation is not helpful for enjoying the years which are given to us thanks to modern medicine and technical progress. We ignore the power of our mind, the power of beauty to enhance our energy level – very much to our detriment.
With spiritual practice of any kind we have the chance to lift ourselves up, to see the beauty around us, to create beauty in ourselves and in what we do, and we allow grace to enter into our lives.
We have the power to choose how we want to live: depressed or joyful. We might need the help of others to keep us up, and when we watch out, we can find this support everywhere.

Our guest Raquel Torrent has chosen to live the life of beauty, elegance and grace. In our conversation she expresses herself in this way and we hope to inspire you to do alike!


Raquel  has been called the “midwife of the Spirit” by many people, who, over the years, have benefited from her Psychotherapy consultations, Coaching sessions or Workshops, Articles, and Annual Seminars. She is more than just an outstanding integral psychologist in four languages, she is a spiritual teacher, mentor, and guide for individuals and groups who are ready to take the next steps in their personal development and evolution to enjoy a valuable life.

0:00 Intro Heidi – The Feminine in Integral
0:50 “Ageing with elegance and grace”, Raquel introduces herself: looking back – recognition of grace. Education and further studies. Psychology and spirituality. In research of the wisdom of the soul.
4:00 Behaviorist teachings > humanistic>humanistic> integral psychology
6:00 Getting older is a journey – getting older makes us more quiet, not necessaily at the outside, but inside. Maintaining the inner peace. Letting things be. Inner elegancy, also showing outside.
10:30 Resting attitude when there is no need for action. Trying to see the bigger picture. Believing in grace = arrive in the consciousness of living in an energetic world of everything there is. Connected with something bigger than me, as well as myself.
14:45 Sensing in what is the right thing to do, knowing yourself deeply. CAn be learned by “elegantly resting”, laying back (inside of us) and act from there.
17:30 Older people are not superfluous, but serve for something! Letting the space to the younger generation, but be here as an energetic backup, holding the space for them.
20:30 The clue is Forgiveness. Letting go of resentments. Cleaning up with the blocking energies.
22:00 What to do to arrive at these insights of ageing with grace? Daily practice. Forgiveness. Re-sent-ment = feel over and over again a lie. Recognising the lie: the process. Seeing the reality of the person and looking for the love in me. Keeping the energy flowing.
30:00 Handling emotions: recognise the hurt and the negative charge. I can change the polarity. Negative emotions crystallize and create physical problems. Transmuting the polarity of the energy.
35:30 3 types of medicine. Physical, psychological, energetic. Feeling ill in older age: you can do something, (energy work). Recognition of the lack of balance: > stop! >Start connecting with breath > reconnect with life. 40:25 Looking for the root cause. An example: Raquel’s experience in the voice contest. The information of her body. Asking the pain: when did it start? What is the symptom telling me? >>energetic consciousness of how to cope with the situation.
48:00 Heidi’s story of the day before leaving for Italy.
49:50 The need of discernment: Is it in alignment with what I really want. The call of the soul.
53:05 FInd something to have fun and find out what your possibilities are. Do things just for the experience, not for career or money reasons! Step out of the comfort zone. We need a challenge to keep staying alive.
55:00 Don’t just do nothing, but resting doesn’t mean to do anything, but to step up and do, while maintaining the inner rest. Elegance and Grace: be it ease with oneself, wherever we are. Have a presence which is nice to be around. Don’t become negative, grumpy or blaming!


Karen Voorhees

November 6th 2019

Death doesn’t exist – with Karen Voorhees

Karen Voorhees
I experienced death 4 times in the past 15 months. It is hard to let go of a beloved person and also of beloved pets. Death is real, they are buried, not part of our everyday life like they were before. But still, the notion that death doesn’t exist is intriguing and a deep intuition of our soul.


We all, everyone of us, has the experience that someone in their family or community died. So how can we dare to say that death doesn’t exist? People die and then they are gone, we don’t see them around us any more and no-one ever came back. That’s what we are taught to think inside our predominant materialist worldview. But what if it is wrong?

What does “death” mean, and what does “life” mean? Is it possible that our life continues in some way even when we have done our last breath and our body is buried? All spiritual traditions talk about eternal life or some continuum after the physical death. People who were dead and then brought back into life report about their death experience – or near death experience, depending how death is defined. So what shall we believe?

Science defines death for its purposes – to recover organs for transplantation the body is declared “dead” despite a beating heart, which not long ago was considered a sign of being alive. The body, once “really” dead is declaring the absolute end of a person’s life. This is the logical consequence of a worldview which recognises one body alone, the physical, and ignore all the others which are known for thousands of years and studied by many spiritual traditions.

Ken Wilber talks about the “right quadrants absolutism”. People who can see the world only from the outside perspective deny interiority because it is not measurable with materialist measurement systems. The quick conclusion: what we cannot measure doesn’t exist – despite the experience of millions and millions of people shows clearly that the immeasurable internal dimension exist and is very important for our wellbeing and balance in life.

So why can we say that death doesn’t exist? If we believe in an afterlife, in re-incarnation, in the existence of a transcendent soul which last even if the body has died, life, or better “existence” continues. It just transcends into a different form. Science denies this possibility, but it cannot prove that it doesn’t exist. Does that really mean that we are wrong in believing? Or does it just mean that science believes as well, only the opposite idea? Only because the scientific method of exteriors doesn’t work on the interiors, there is no justification to doubt the phenomena, but merely to change the scientific tools for the inquiry.

In our conversation, Karen Voorhees develops her ideas from her background in spiritual practice, using the integral model for her considerations. We also shared some stories about life and death and how we, personally, deal with the question. It was a rich and fruitful conversation on a topic which so many of us try to avoid – which is not a good idea, as seen in an example given by Karen.


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