1. Introduction

Modern technology continues to make the world a smaller place. Today one can reach anywhere on the globe within a short span of time and communicate instantly with practically anybody. In order for humankind to benefit optimally from these developments, it is important to have a wholesome world view. A person’s world view influences inner motivations and outer behavior. Spiritual thinking based on the principle of unity in diversity reaches out to all humanity, and provides a sound basis for developing a healthy world view.

2. Mission

The mission of the proposed Spiritual Heritage Education Network is to provide easy access to the thinking and findings of people who have spent their lives studying the nature of humankind and its relationships in the universe. The motivation behind the mission is to assist humankind in realizing its full potential by understanding and living by the spiritual principles discovered by such people.

People, who have realized such a spirituality as envisioned herein, agree about its fundamental nature. They declare that the immanent self is the same as, or at least akin to, the Universal Principle. They also say that the innermost desire of everyone is to personally discover this Truth. Once such a spirituality is experienced, one recognizes the Ultimate Truth in all things and feels a sense of self in everything. This recognition has the potential of helping human beings become better by observing the ethic of unity of all creation. Such spiritual discoveries comprise a human heritage worth preserving and promoting. They are the source of all ethics and people’s only hope towards realizing true understanding, peace, equanimity, justice, and harmony.

3. Proposal

To achieve the stated mission, a network of interested people worldwide to promote education, research, dialogue, and reflection in this spiritual heritage using the medium of the Internet is proposed. This medium has the potential to permeate the world by transcending geographical boundaries and is certainly fit for promoting the idea of “unity in diversity”.

4. Organization

The Spiritual Heritage Education Network is to be founded, organized and operated by interested volunteers world wide. The Network shall be administered by a steering committee. The primary responsibility of this committee is to see that the volunteer activities stay focused on the stated mission. Specifically, the role of the steering committee will be as follows:

  1. To develop, amend and maintain editorial policies from time to time for material to be published or promoted on the web site;
  2. To appoint committees to ensure compliance of editorial policies;
  3. To receive material from volunteer contributors world wide and to direct it through the editorial process before acceptance for publication;
  4. To publish the accepted material on the web site;
  5. To raise the required funds;
  6. To develop and apply copyright protection policies with respect to material published or promoted on the web site;
  7. To buy, rent or lease tools, buildings and plant necessary to fulfill the aims and objectives of the network; and
  8. To appoint working committees, to hire staff, and to take all actions considered necessary from time to time to meet the aims and objectives of the network.

5. Web Site Contents

It is proposed that the Spiritual Heritage Education Network be setup and operated on an Internet web site. It shall organize, promote, and provide down-loadable material, dialogues, chat and discussion sessions, and the like in a focused and disciplined manner. Such a web site will contain a library and shall deliver courses on spirituality and ethics at different levels. Specifically the following types of content are envisioned:

  1. Originals of spiritual heritage literature (technology permitting) for scholars and research workers at universities, research centers, and institutions of higher learning;
  2. Related study and learning resources to facilitate study of heritage literature in its original form;
  3. Commentaries and interpretations of heritage literature in English in order to facilitate understanding of the fundamental spiritual principles from non-English sources;
  4. Commentaries and interpretations of heritage literature in other popular languages (technology permitting) in order to facilitate understanding of the fundamental spiritual principles in other countries;
  5. Publications, novels, plays, stories, and anecdotes based on truth or fiction, exemplifying spiritual principles in life;
  6. Audio, video and other material illustrating spiritual principles and ethical conduct in life related to business, commerce, scientific, and technological activities;
  7. Essay competitions and other activities from youth to promote spiritual living and spiritual development;
  8. Syllabi and educational material for courses on spiritual and ethical education in primary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities;
  9. Delivery of such courses on the Internet in distance education mode;
  10. Investigations of different spiritual and ethical lifestyles;
  11. Links to other web sites and Internet initiatives with similar goals to help, support, and promote them.

6. Policies

It is proposed that the network pursue its goals and objectives while adhering to the following policies:

  1. The editorial policies shall ensure that the published material refrains from referring to any religion or organization in any negative manner or with any negative connotation, direct or implied;
  2. Due credits shall be acknowledged to authors, publishers, and sources of material, when known;
  3. All third party copyrights shall be respected;
  4. The published material shall strictly avoid ritualistic and other detail irrelevant to spiritual and ethical goals of the network; and
  5. Funds considered surplus to the mission of the network, from time to time, shall be used for the following purposes:
    1. To provide bursaries and scholarships to deserving young students in accordance with the current network policies and practices governing such disbursements; and
    2. To institute Chairs at universities to promote education in spirituality as envisioned herein.

7. Administration

The proposed network shall be administered by the steering committee under the direction of a board of advisors who will set broad policy directions. All founders and stakeholders shall meet yearly to review the progress and direction of the network and to appoint the steering committee and the board of advisors. Major criteria in appointment of people on the steering committee and the board of advisors would be the availability to attend personal meetings at the head office in addition to a demonstrated interest in furthering the aims and objectives of the network.

The registered head office of Spiritual Heritage Education Network will be located in Kitchener/Waterloo area in the Province of Ontario in Canada.

If you have any question or suggestion regarding the SHEN Concept, please e-mail now.