The Philosophies of Higher Conciousness
the aftermath of stubborn ‘traditional religions’
is crippling our average ‘Joe’ citizen.
We are collectively throwing out the spiritual baby…
With the dirty bathwater of church dogma.
points out his Integral perspectives of Transcend and Include can bring about
a much more in-depth and refined Buddhism,
taking it and many seekers of Higher Consciousness to more sensible fulfillment.
These very important concepts can be and really should be
applied to all the ‘great spiritual traditions’
in order to not only save the core spirituality of those traditions
by bringing them into our current world view and thus becoming
the ‘conveyer belt’ for many
to find their ‘Way’ within Spirituality.
Now is absolutely the time that the world’s core religions should
get serious about updating their fundamental dogmas and dharmas and gospels.
It has been over a thousand years, at least,
since virtually all of them added significant ideas and practices to their main teachings—teachings that themselves, virtually without exception,
were originally created when men and women
literally believed that the earth was flat;
that slavery was considered the normal state of nature;
that women and other minorities were considered
second-class citizens, if citizens at all;
that evolution had not yet been discovered,
nor most of the modern sciences
and thus the principle source of serious knowledge was considered to be
by ethic revelation, not scientific experiment.
and that the multicultural nature of so much knowledge
was completely unheard of.
My thesis is that the core ideas of the Great Traditions
can literally and seriously be retained, but
re-interpreted and included
in a much more Inclusive Framework, often called an
that adds to those core doctrines the many new discoveries about
spiritual experience, spiritual intelligence, and spiritual development
that have been discovered during those thousand years.
is a spiritual framework that “transcends and includes”
the central teachings of the Traditions,
including the old but also adding a significant amount of new material
that is fully compatible with the old, but that, in essence,
brings it up to date in the modern and postmodern world.
Such updating Integral approaches to the Great Traditions
have already begun in many of them, including Christianity…
See, for example
Paul Smith’s Integral Christianity;
Tom Thresher, Reverent Irreverence;
Bruce Sanguin, The Emerging Church;
Gary Simmons’ work at Unity Church;
and the work of Chris Dierkes, Rollie Stanich,
Father Thomas Keating, and numerous others…
Dustin DiPerna, who has also done significant Integral work
on many of the other Great Traditions,
Islam Amir Ahmad Nasr, My Islam,
Judaism Marc Gafni’s Radical Kabbalah,
as well as Buddhism Jun Po Roshi, the dharma heir to Eido Roshi;
Jun Po’s main student, Doshin; Diane Musho Hamilton;
Patrick Sweeney, a lineage heir to Chögyam Trungpa; and Traleg Rinpoche, and work such as The Coming Interspatial Age
The excitement caused by such updating has been considerable, particularly considering that it can be done, indeed,
while retaining the core teachings of the original Tradition—
including ways to rather seamlessly
integrate the religious tradition with modern science.
This overall approach is achieved by noticing several fundamental items about how spiritual experience and spiritual intelligence is created in the first place, items that were already demonstrably present in the original Teachings,
items that can be expanded and updated while not violating
the essentials of the original Teachings themselves in the least.
No matter what your faith ,
including atheistic or agnostic, and theistic or nontheistic,
I believe a study of Ken Wilber’s philosophies and books
have a great deal to offer.
You will find ways to return spirituality to the central and fundamental place
it has had in human life for most of our existence on earth,
although it has, for the last few hundred yrears, increasingly been losing respect.
May this help you locat your own faith again…
atheistic or agnostic,
and theistic or nontheistic…
In this wondrous, amazing, mysterious, miraculous place we call the
~ ~ ~
This was the preface for an introduction to a body of work called:
The Fourth Turing:
Imagine the Evolution of an Integral Buddhism
This intro ebook of the same title, brings up a serious topic that is
Spiritually, as it has become from the aftermath of stubborn ‘traditional religions’ is crippling our average ‘Joe’ citizen.
We are collectively throwing out the spiritual baby…
With the dirty bathwater of church dogma.
By pointing out where Buddhism itself is unfolding…
With three major ‘turning perspectives of the Dharma wheel’ to date…
A Fourth Turning is due… and essential.
Many Buddhist teachers are agreeing with psychologists and sociologist
that the world itself, at least in several important ways,
is undergoing a global transformation,
believe that this transformation will impact Buddhism itself,
adding yet newer an more significant truths, and resulting in yet
A Fourth Great Turning of Buddhism,
But adds newer finding from fields as diverse as evolutionary biology
and developmental psychology…but all of which
are directly and significantly relevant to the field of spirituality itself.
The universal concepts in a Fourth Turning of Buddhist teachings,
Transcends yet includes it’s predecessors,
adding new material while retain all essentials.
The Dalai Lama has said that
‘Buddhism must keep pace with modern science of it will grow old and obsolete.
All Spiritual Traditions will face this challenge with Grace
Highlights of Ken Wilber's Fourth Turning of Buddhism
eBook Location 164
The goal is no longer the isolated saint or arhat, but the socially and environmentally engaged bodhisattva— which literally means
“being of Enlightened mind”—
whose vow is not to get off samsara and retreat into an isolated nirvana,
but to fully embrace samsara and vow to gain Enlightenment
as quickly as possible so as to help all sentient beings
recognize their own deepest spiritual nature, or Buddha-nature,
is a Sanskrit word that means
"wandering" or "world",
with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change.
It also refers to the theory of rebirth and
"cyclicality of all life, matter, existence",
a fundamental assumption of all Indian religions.
Saṃsāra is sometimes referred to with terms or phrases such as
Transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation, and "cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence".
The concept of Saṃsāra has roots in the Vedic literature,
but the theory is not discussed there. It appears in developed form,
but without mechanistic details, in the early Upanishads.
The full exposition of the Saṃsāra doctrine is found in Sramanic religions
such as Buddhism and Jainism, as well as the various schools of Hindu philosophy, after about mid 1st millennium BCE.
The Saṃsāra doctrine is tied to the Karma theory of Indian religions,
and the liberation from Saṃsāra has been at the core of the spiritual quest of Indian traditions, as well as their internal disagreements.
The liberation from Saṃsāra is called
Moksha, Nirvana, Mukti or Kaivalya.
While Yogachara wouldn’t specifically disagree,
it more positively defines Emptiness and nonduality as
“the absence of duality between
perceiving subject and the perceived object.”
but seeing phenomena as objects,
as items set apart from consciousness or the subject,
and existing as independent entities out there.
Once they are separated from us,
then we can either desire them or fear them,
both eventually causing
suffering, alienation, and bondage.
The motto here is “Bring everything to the Path.
Nothing—absolutely nothing—is taboo—
Food, alcohol, sex, money—
all are to be deeply befriended and lovingly embraced
(within, of course, sane limits) as being ornaments of Spirit itself,
direct manifestations of the ultimate Divine or Dharmakay.
all of this because the sacred and the profane, the infinite and the finite,
nirvana and samsara, Emptiness and Form,
are not two different and separate and fragmented realms,
but co-arising, mutually existing complementary aspect of one Whole Reality, equally to be embraced and cherished.
a small but significant percentage of the human population
is going through a profound transformation.
In many ways, it is a global transformation—
“global” not just because it is affecting people around the world,
but because individual consciousness itself
is developing into global dimensions—
not egocentric, not ethnocentric, but worldcentric
and even Kosmocentric in its identity, its motivations, its desires, its viewpoints and perspectives and capacities.
at this particular time in history or evolution
.covers 95% of the world’s population—
humanity is destined to disagreement, conflict, terrorism, and warfare.
But then Graves found an astonishing fact—
at the next basic levels of development,
which he called systemic and others have called holistic or integral—
there occurs what Graves called “a momentous leap in meaning.
” The integral levels—or 2nd tier—
find some value and partial truth in all of the preceding levels,
and it befriends them all in its overall worldview.
Its consciousness has indeed become global in its dimensions,
including insights and truths from all cultures, all religion, all science—
and seeing a profound importance and value in all previous levels—
archaic, magic, mythic, rational, and pluralistic.
This integral level of perspectives is indeed something new in human evolution.
While some brilliant pioneering geniuses have demonstrated integral thinking—Plotinus, Shankara, some Yogachara thinkers—
for most of human history not more than
one-tenth of 1% of the population reached these levels.
over the past several decades,
thought leaders in virtually every field of human endeavor
have developed these 2nd-tier, integral values, or what Maslow called
based on abundance, embrace, and inclusion.
Up to 5% of the worldwide population has now reached these integral levels,
and some developmentalists see this increasing to 10% within the decade,
and this, beyond a doubt,
would change everything.
As a universal growth level, it is a stage to which and through
which every human being the world over is destined to grow,
if grow they do.
The human race, in other words,
is heading toward a world beyond major and deep-seated conflict,
and toward one marked more and more often by mutual
tolerance, embrace, peace, inclusion, and compassion.
Literally hundreds and hundreds of research projects
have investigated these types of stages of development.
We now know that there are multiple intelligences—not just cognitive intelligence, but also
emotional intelligence, moral intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, aesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, mathematicological intelligence, and so on.
And as different as these intelligences are—
they are also called developmental lines—
what research shows is that they all develop
through the same basic developmental levels which we have been referring to as archaic, magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, integral, and super-integral.
In our common human growth development,
an infant generally starts out in a state of fusion or indissociation
with the surrounding world –
it can’t tell where its self end and the environment bebigns.
This is classic Archaic View.
At around 18 months the infiant develops a separate emothional self
that can distinguish from its surrounding.
The thought process is still fused with the environment,
but develops fantasy-dominated and superstitious traits…
“Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back”…
This is the ‘Magic’ stage
Which is characterized with thoughts of
“If is see something I want, I take it”
As the child develops and enters the “Mythical stage”, they reach a point where they believe ‘they’ don’t really have magic, but others can;
“If mommy wanted she could turn this spinach into candy”… and,
God or some other supernatural heavenly being knows everything I’m thinking
and will punish me for bad thoughts.
This is the emergence of the “Mythic View”, which brings in group thinking, identity with groups – my family, my clan, my tribe, my religion, my nation…
By the time of adolescence, thought begins to operate on thought,
and we get the emergence of the rational stage of development –
in cognition, morals, interpersonal intelligence, and multiple intelligences
in which ‘reason’ begins to emerge…
scientific thinking becomes possible and common. –
This is the ‘Rational View’.
It tends to mark the switch from very conformist types of thinking
to very reflective and critical thing – criticizing and judging
my character, my thoughts, my idea, my values…
By early adulthood, thought begins to operate on this rational thinking itself,
and starts to see many other viewpoints than the merely rational or scientific one.
The importance of culture creating interpretations of Reality
becomes significantly noticed and emphasized,
and a multicultural, many-valued stage emerges,
known generally as ‘Pluralistic (or postmodern) View.
This view famously sees separate, isolated, discontinuous cultures and ideas and individuals, and finds very few common or universal traits …
so much so, the world becomes a
fragmented, disjointed, partial, and broken affair,
it’s not until the emergence of a higher, broader, wider mode of cognition –
2tire or Integral…
that awareness can look at all the broken fragments
and start to find universal, uniting, common patterns
that connect various cultures, individuals, and phenomena in general
This is the Integral View.
This marks the emergence that Clare Graves referred to as that
“monumental leap in meaning” –
From broken and fragmented - to unified and synthesizing.
And if development continues…
Awareness itself starts to become transpersonal, spiritual, universal, Kosmocentric,
connect to various types of direct spiritual experience.
We have 2 major axes of spiritual development.
In addition to meditative states of consciousness -
starting with gross egoic thoughts,
moving through subtle illumination and insight,
and culminating in a nondual Great Perfection –
we have the growth of structures of consciousness
– such as:
Magic to Mythic to Rational to Pluralistic to Integral.
A person will largely interpret the meditative state experience
according to the structure of the major stage of development they are at.
Structures are also responsible for the patterns of our
major multiple intelligences:
Cognitive intelligence, emotional, moral, aesthetic, and so on…
All of which are composed not of states,
but of Structures.
Structures are how we GROW UP,
and states are how we WAKE UP.
Any Fourth Turning of Buddhism or any major Spiritual Tradition,
Will need to take both of those forms into account.
Most meditation, for example,
works by helping us dis-identify or detach from the body and mind,
from personal thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Adding some simple and widely accepted
psychotherapeutic techniques to meditation practice
can not only help handle any ‘shadow elements,
but make meditation itself cleaner and more efficient and effective.
STATES AND STRUCTURES
States of consciousness
have been generally known by humankind for thousands of years.
As 1st-person, direct, immediate experiences, they are open to
introspection, meditation, vision quest, and other direct experiential modes.
Structures of consciousness,
on the other hand,
are the implicit, embedded, 3rd-person mental patterns or structures
through which the mind views and interprets the world,
Things like multiple intelligences are made of mental structures.
Things like experiences, religious experiences, day-today feelings,
and meditative states are made of, well, states.
And, as I said,
since states of consciousness are direct, immediate, 1st-person experiences,
they have been understood, or at least known, for thousands of years;
whereas structures, as implicit, embedded, 3rd-person patterns
that are not usually looked at but looked through,
have to be deduced from experimental setups, and thus weren’t really known or understood until the modern era, a few hundred years ago at most.
both are absolutely crucial for understanding the
mind, awareness, consciousness, and the mind’s functioning, in everything from worldviews to spirituality to science.
States and Vantage Points
The great contemplative traditions generally list 4 or 5 major,
natural states of consciousness available to all humans
virtually from birth and forward,
Waking, Dreaming, Deep formless sleep, Witnessing or unqualifiable Awareness, and nondual awakened Suchness.
The goal of meditation
is to discover pure Emptiness, the void Godhead, Ayin,
pure Nothingness or the Plenum/ Void—by whatever name—
cease identifying with the small, finite, mortal, skinbounded ego
and find instead what the Sufis call the Supreme Identity,
or Zen calls our Original Face, or Christians call Christ Consciousness.
Our True Self and ultimate nondual Spirit that is
radically free from an identity to any particular finite thing or event
or, put from another angle—
is One with absolutely the entire manifest and unmanifest realm,
radically One with the All,
One with the entire Ground of Being.
Being One with everything that arises moment to moment,
there is literally nothing outside of us that we could want or desire,
nor anything outside us that we could smash into—
No fear, no anxiety, no angst.
As the Upanishads say,
“Wherever there is other, there is fear”—
when we are One with All,
there is no Other that is not our own True Self,
we are liberated, enlightened, free from torment and suffering
and Awakened to the ultimate Goodness, Truth,
Fiercely free and alive, joyously One and blissfully All,
Radiantly infinite and timelessly eternal –
a state known variously as
Enlightenment, Awakening, Moksha (or liberated), metanoia (or transformed),
Wu (or transparently Open, Free and Full”
The aim of meditation is to
move through these states in Awareness or in consciousness or in Wakefulness – Transcending and Including all of them –
or moving through each, first identifying with it in Wakefulness, and then transcending or dis-identifying with it as we
move to the next deeper or higher state,
until we have transcended or moved beyond all of them
to the ultimate nondual state,
include all of them in our Awareness.
Virtually all the great meditation traditions the world over
follow the 4 or 5 major natural states of consciousness given cross=culturally
and universally to all human beings:
Gross, subtle, causal, Witnessing, and Suchness… they are all variations on:
Waking, Dreaming, Deep Sleep, Witnessing, and Nondual.
No matter what structural center of gravity a person has
when they start meditation, they typically start at the gross waking state,
this will largly determine how the various meditative state-stages are interpreted.
Statewide, at the grows waking realm,
the individual is identified with the physical body and the gross-reflecting mind – the chaotic ‘monkey mond’ –
the stream of thoughts, feelings, emotion and sensations
centered on the egoic state and reflecting the material realm and its desires.
In mindfulness form of mediation,
the person is told to simply witness the stream of events
without judgment, condemnation or identification.
After several months of this ,
the monkey mind will begin to calm down, and one’s awareness will open to
subtler dimension of mind and being – perhaps subtle states of loving-kindness, states of luminosity and almost infinite illumination, stretches of profoundly peaceful stillness and mental quite, experiences of expanding beyond the ego into deeper and deeper states of I AMness…
often referred to as the subtle soul;
as for ‘soul’ Buddhists should realize that, like the ego,
the soul has merely a conventional reality, not an ultimate reality;
but at this state-stage, as with the ego at the gross-state/ realm,
the soul has a conventionally real reality, an exclusive identity
with which will eventually have to be ‘died to’.
As meditative awareness deepens into the causal/witness itself,
stretches of pure transpersonal identity of True Self of infinite I AMness
can increasingly occur;
universal love, bliss, happiness, and joy can arise;
identity with the finite bodymind can drop altogether, to be replaced with anything from Christ Consciousness to Buddha-mind to Eiin Sof.
And if awareness deepens even further, from causal/witnessing to
ultimate unity or nonduality,
the sense of subject-object duality –
the sense of a Witness of Looker witnessing phenomena—drops out entirely,
and instead of looking at a mountain, you are the mountain;
instead of feeling the earth, you are the earth;
instead of being aware of clouds floating by in the sky,
the clouds float by in you, in your own awareness.
As a Zen Master put it upon his awakening,
“When I heard the sound of the bell ringing, there was no bell and no I,
just the ringing.”
When that state becomes more or less permanent,
one’s state center of gravity has gone from gross to subtle to
causal/witnessing to nondual suchness—
and you are the Supreme Identity—
One with Spirit, and One with the entire manifest world
Whatever it is that the world consists of for you —
which, as we will see,
changes and expands from structure to structure to structure
In structure development, we have a metaphor we call
’ladder, climber, View’.
The ladder is the spectrum of basic structures of consciousness,
or the basic rungs in the ladder.
Once they emerge, they stay in existence.
The climber is the self-system.
As it climbs the basic rung of existence, it temporarily and exclusively
identifies with each rung in turn
and sees the world through the eyes of that rung.
During the course of structure and strccture-stage development,
as the self or climber steps from one stage to the next higher stge,
2 important things happen:
1- The self drops or loses the View from the lower rung
and replaces it with the View from the next rung.
In each stage of structure development,
the basic rung remains in existence
and is included,
But the View from that rung is lost, transcended, negated:
it is replaced by the View from the next higher rung
as the self exclusively identifies with that.
is to Transcend and Include.
As the central self develops through the state realms,
successfully identifying and then dis-identifying its exclusive state identity
from state-stage to state-stage…
State-realms are preserved and included;
Vantage points are transcended and negated.
Geshe Kelang Gyatso gives the following 6 stages to mahamudra meditation:
1- Identifying our gross mind
2- Realizing our gross mind directly
3- Identifying our subtle mind
4- Realizing our subtle mind directly
5- Identifying our causal/nondual mind
6- Realizing our causdal/nondual mind directly
The subtle personality (what Christian contemplatives call the “soul”).
Brown calls this stage “Awareness,”
since it is the first stage free of gross rambling thoughts and emotions,
and is more in touch with pure Awareness.
At the next state-stage, the causal state-stage,
the subtle personality, soul, or Vantage Point is dismantled, and what remains
are the very subtlest (or ‘causal’) form of manifestation itself –
namely, space and time.
Dan Brown calls this causal stage “Awareness-itself.”
As development continues into the next state-stage, that of
one ceases to identify exclusively with the causal and its Vantage Point,
transcends space and time to find a pure timeless Now
an Awareness that focuses on the pure Present.
Brown calls this “Awareness-in and-of-itself.”
Three sublevels of no-duality emerge:
Recognizing nonduality after a thing arises, while it arises,
and before it arises,
only the last one of which is true Enlightenment or Awakening.
Awakened Nondual Awareness of the True Self or Real Self—
an “individuality” that finally must be transcended for
ultimate nondual unity or Suchness,
which sees the world as a seamless (not featureless) Wholeness, or nondual Reality, where a person’s Awareness is one with all gross, subtle, and causal phenomena, but exclusively identified with none of them.
American adept Adi Da, who maintains,
“To Realize Most Perfect Divine Enlightenment,
the ego must be transcended through three distinct phases—
First at the gross]physical level, the level of “money, food, and sex”,
then at the subtle level
the level of internal visions, auditions,
and all kinds of mystical experience
and finally at the causal level, the root-level of conscious existence,
wherein the sense of “I” and “other,” or the subject-object dichotomy,
seems to arise in Consciousness”
The fourth phase for Adi Da is the Realization of “Always-Already Truth,”
the ever-present Goal, Ground, and Condition of all existence, high or low,
sacred or profane, manifest or unmanifest—
gross, subtle, causal (implicit root witnessing), nondual.
The point of the overall meditative path is to have
Wakefulness (or Consciousness as Such)
transcend and include all state-realms,
so it ceases to “black out” or “forget” various changes of state
(such as dreaming and deep sleep), and instead
recognizes a “constant Consciousness” or ever-present nondual Awareness,
the union (and transcendence) of individual finite self and infinite Spirit.
Many Eastern teachers, who arrive with
a very highly developed state axis-causal or nondual –
but a rather poorly developed structure axis,
often reflecting the Mythic structure view of the culture they just came from. And when they interact with their sudents,
the majority of whome are often from the
higher structure of Pluralistic View,
the results are severely confusing.
The teachers’ advice when it comes to states is often brilliant;
their advice when it comes from their structure View is often embarrassing,
being homophobic, xenophobic, patriarchal, sexist, highly authoritarian,
and rigidly hierarchical.
Until both structures and states are taken into account,
students will be left in these types of utterly confusing situations,
and spiritual development itself will often be dysfunctional.
The two major types of spiritual awareness –
Spiritual Intelligence - Spiritual Experience
These determine how we ‘Wake up’ and then contemplate the question:
“What is it that is of ultimate concern to me?”
For someone at rung 1, archaic, it’s food and survival.
For someone at rung 2, magic, it’s sex and emotional pleasure.
For someone at rung 3, magic-mythic, it’s power and security.
For rung 4, group mythic, it’s love and conformist belongingness.
For rung 5, rational, it’s achievement and excellence.
For rung 6, pluralistic, it’s sensitivity and caring.
For rungs 7 and 8, 2nd tier, it’s loving embrace and inclusion.
For 3rd tier, it’s pure self-transcendence and mystical oneness—
working with level after level of increasing wholeness.
a person can be at virtually any of those levels or structures
while being at virtually any state or realm—
the dual center of gravity—the structure-stage and the state-stage,
or View and Vantage Point.
The higher the level of consciousness,
the greater the number and types of phenomena that can occur on that rung,
with the number becoming greater and greater
with each increasing level of development
greater consciousness, greater love, greater moral capacity, greater creativity, greater spiritual inclusiveness, greater expanse of values,
greater capacity for emotional intelligence, and so on,
all of which have been thoroughly and empirically tested and found true
Fowler was one of the first to show, with substantial evidence and research,
that a person’s spiritual orientation also depends on
structure-stages of development.
These, of course, were variations on
the standard, general levels of development—
whose Views we have been calling
archaic, magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, and integral.
But his actual research and realms of data relating specifically to
were what made his efforts so pioneering.
The Mythic View, or amber structure-stage,
Fowler calls “synthetic-conventional,”
“conventional” because the basic structure-rung can take the role of others—
can adopt a 2nd-person perspective—
one’s View switches from egocentric to ethnocentric,
and one’s identity expands from the individual self to the group—
the clan, the tribe, the religion, community, nation.
One’s morality likewise shifts from egocentric to strongly conformist—
“my county, right or wrong;
my religion, right or wrong;
my group, right or wrong.”
Strong boundaries are drawn between “Us” and “Them,”
and religiously, my group is God’s “chosen people.”
My life becomes devoted to jihad, by whatever name,
or the desire to either convert or kill nonbelievers.
Killing nonbelievers is not a sin; it’s a promotion,
a religious promotion.
There is a strong desire to understand God’s truth,
which is often believed to be contained in one book
(the Bible, Koran, Pure Land Sutra, Mao’s Little Red Book),
which is often a mythic narrative
taken to be absolutely and literally "true"
…Elijah really did ascend into Heaven in a chariot while still alive;
God really did rain locusts on the Egyptians and kill all of their firstborn males;
Lao Tzu really was 900 years old when he was born,,,
and so on.
Those who believe in God’s word are destined for Heaven,
those who don’t… everlasting hellfire.
The concrete operational or rule/role mind supporting this View
makes both the rules and one’s roles very important,
to be rigidly followed.
Breaking the rules or violating the roles can lead to damnation
(if this stage is institutionalized, excommunication).
Rigid social hierarchies, and religious hierarchies, are common,
such as the caste system or the Church.
For those within a chosen group,
Love and compassion are recommended,
since these are all God’s chosen children.
For those outside the group,
conversion, torture, or murder ...
are a few of the options.
For more moderate believers, charity and good works are common,
since the implicit belief is that the recipients are at least
potential converts to the chosen group.
The Modern-Rational View, or orange structure-stage, Fowler calls
“reflective” because the basic rung of formal operational
has added a 3rd-person perspective,
from which an individual can take up a more
reflective, objective, critical, even skeptical view
of his or her experiences and beliefs.
as the general name of this View, doesn’t mean
dry, abstract, distanced, viciously analytical, or such.
it means it can understand conditional worlds—“
what if” and “as if”—
and thus begin not only to question the literal truth of mythic religious beliefs,
to read them with more symbolic and metaphoric meanings.
Thus - Transcending to Higher and Deeper connections
When Thomas Jefferson sat on the White House steps
and furiously cut up his Bible with a pair of scissors,
he was leaving those sections that passed these tests
and rejecting the others.
When Bishop Shelby Spong, a well known Christian theologian,
does essentially the same thing with his Bible,
he’s subjecting his religious beliefs to those based less on child-like myths
and more on reason and evidence,
and still coming out the other side a strong and devoted believer
in the essentials of the Christian faith,
as seen through the Rational and Pluralistic Views.
from the start, has been at least a Rational View,
based not on dogma, authority, or mere faith —
and containing little if any mythological gods and goddesses—
but based instead directly
on one’s own experience and reason
with this “almost Integral” or “half Integral” stance, if you will,
the Pluralistic View sees important truths in all religions,
even if it feels most comfortable in its own,
and often seeks to incorporate aspects of other religions into its own.
It deconstructs traditional hierarchies;
speaks out strongly for the oppressed and disadvantaged;
has a strongly planetary and environmental sensibility;
is particularly open to nature mysticism and spirit in 3rd person
as the Great Web of Life and the Universe Story.
It is socially engaged, actively supports minority rights,
and advocates for sustainability in all walks of life.
This is a relatively new View,
with its supporting basic structure of the pluralistic mind having itself evolved
in any significant degree only beginning during the student revolutions of the ’60s, themselves driven largely by this stage.
A person at this level of spiritual intelligence can be
theistic, nontheistic, atheistic, agnostic, or odd combinations thereof,
as long as they are conclusions reached by this altitude of development.
One of its most notable characteristics is
its denial and condemnation of every form of hierarchy.
it fails to distinguish between dominator hierarchies
which are indeed loathsome
and actualization hierarchies
which are the form of most growth processes in nature, including humans.
In dominator hierarchies, with each higher level,
the few dominate and oppress the many.
In growth hierarchies,
each higher level is more and more inclusive.
First and foremost, it’s 2nd tier; unlike each 1st-tier View
that believes its truths and values are the only real truths and values in existence, 2nd tier sees important contributions made by all previous
stages, rungs, and Views.
If nothing else, each junior level becomes a component or subholon
in each succeeding senior level,
as each stage of evolution transcends and includes its predecessor.
A whole proton becomes part of an atom;
a whole atom becomes part of a molecule;
a whole molecule becomes part of a cell;
a whole cell becomes part of a whole organism.
Each stage is a whole/part, or holon, and the resultant nested hierarchy
is a growth holarchy.
The Integral stages intuit this,
and thus see the importance of every preceding stage of development,
not just in humans, but in the Kosmos at large,
going all the way back to the Big Bang.
a person has the right to stop growing at virtually any View,
each particular View will become, for some people,
an actual station in Life,
and their values, needs, and motivations
will be expressions of that particular View in Life.
a truly enlightened, inclusive society
will make some sort of room for traditional
values, modern values, postmodern values, and so on.
Everybody is born at square 1
and thus begins their development of Views
at the lowest rung and continues from there,
so every society will consist of a different mix of percentages of people
at different altitude rungs and Views of the overall spectrum.
In most Western countries, for example—
and this varies depending on exactly how you measure it—but generally,
about 10% of the population is at Magic,
40% at traditional Mythic,
40%–50% at modern Rational,
20% at postmodern Pluralistic,
5% at Holistic/Integral,
and less than 1% at Super-Integral.
(This doesn’t add up exactly to 100%, because there is some overlap.)
As far as spirituality and spiritual intelligence go,
an Integral spiritual intelligence doesn’t mean that
all religions will be melted down into one, single, universal religion
any more than the international style of cooking means all food becomes Italian...
It does mean, however,
that individuals at the Integral stages of spiritual intelligence
will demand Integral versions of their own faith.
An example of a more Integral Spirituality
Ken Wilber has compiled an extensive framework of
Spirituality essential perspectives that would help all spiritual traditions
transcend to this ever present moment,
while Including their core contemplative insights.
Bringing them up to date, more inclusive, more integral, to make spirituality compatible with the modern and postmodern world
Rungs and Views –
Address each stage growth with appropriate ways to relate…
Archaic, magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, Integral…
Allow for an upgrade path that transcends yet includes the others .
The presence of consciousness as an undeniable reality throughout the universe;
and most significantly,
the experimental and injunctive proof of Spirit’s existence
by following paradigms, practices, and exemplars, from contemplation
to highest yoga—
this is not God taken on faith
but based on direct personal experience.
A significant characteristic of the Rational View,
which is what makes it so important for today’s world,
is the introduction of a 3rd-person perspective, which moves the religion
from an ethnocentric “us versus them” …to a worldcentric “all of us,”
where all humans are treated the same, regardless of
race, color, sex, or creed.
A major aim of the Rational stage of spiritual intelligence is to
demythologize the tradition,
cleaning it of magic and mythic elements
characteristic of the childhood of humanity,
a childhood experienced not only today but several thousand years ago
when many of the world’s major religions themselves were being laid down.
Spirit has continued to evolve...
and so should spirituality.
A human being literally enfolds and embraces
all the major transformative unfoldings of the entire Kosmic history—
Strings to quarks to subatomic particles to atoms
to molecules to cells, all the way through the Tree of Life
up to its latest evolutionary emergent,
the triune brain,
the most complex structure in the known natural world.
in any given individual, is experienced as a type of “omniscience”—
the supermind, since it transcends and includes all of the previous structure-rungs,
and inherently is conjoined with the highest nondual Suchness state,
has a full and complete knowledge of all of the potentials in that person.
It literally “knows all,” at least for that individual.
The whole point of understanding the different forms spirituality takes
at each major View of development is to create, in each tradition,
a conveyor belt of spiritual teaching and practice—
with different forms of teaching and practice at
magic, magic-mythic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, holistic, and integral
(and super-integral increasingly common in the future).
This conveyor belt would pick an individual up in his or her early years,
and transform with them—and help them transform—
at each succeeding rung and View - helping them move from
magic to mythic to rational to pluralistic to integral to super-integral.
As it is now,
most religions are stuck at some form of mythic View,
while the other intelligences are free to move into rational, pluralistic, holistic,
and integral Views (occasionally higher).
This spiritually arrested development is a cultural catastrophe
of the first magnitude.
Spiritual intelligence is the only multiple intelligence that evolved to
interact with ultimate reality and ultimate truth and ultimate goodness.
All other intelligences interact only with relative truth;
spiritual intelligence interacts with absolute truth.
It ought to be leading the other intelligences by a stage or two,
acting as a guiding beacon for all of them.
As it is,
stuck at mythic,
it generally lags a stage or two behind most other intelligences,
so that our growth and evolution is being
hampered by our very View of Spirit itself,
an infinitely heavy lead albatross hanging around our developmental necks.
God itself is slowing our evolution (when in reality, God is creating it!).
No wonder it’s so easy for the “new atheists” to make so much fun of religion.
In its typical mythic-literal form, for adults it’s indeed laughable
(although perfectly appropriate for a school-age child, as we saw).
A fully mature spirituality is not only one where we have largely experienced
a complete Enlightenment or WAKING UP in our state development,
but that such an Enlightenment is experienced,
not in childish or adolescent ways or Views,
but in a profoundly GROWN UP fashion or View,
significantly matured into the wiser, more-perspective-containing,
more inclusive and tolerant and integral structures that have recently emerged
and been discovered by humankind.
This new version of Enlightenment (or full development)
of both of our dual centers of gravity
(structure View and state Vantage Point)
becomes a new bar for the measurement of human
growth, development, and evolution.
although he is also an original and creative theorist in his own right.
In 2 volumes—In Streams of Wisdom:
An Integral Approach to Spiritual Development and The Rainbow of Enactment:
Transforming Our World’s Religious Traditions into Conveyor Belts of Evolution—
he sets out to supply extra evidence to some of the key tenets of
including the 4 major vectors of development
structures and structure stages or
Views, states and state-stages or Vantage Points.
He uses Magic, Mythic, Rational, Pluralistic, and Integral Views;
gross, subtle, causal, Witnessing, and Nondual state-realms
and their Vantage Points; and gives examples of all 5 stages of Views in
Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
Buddhism began as a Rational system,
one of the few world religions to do so.
Buddhism is closer to a psychology than a typical religion.
Nibbanic Buddhism –
Inspired in attaining Nirvana through state-realization as descried by Theravada.
This Rational Buddhism is probably the closest thing we have to
Gautama Buddha’s original teaching.
The Rational nature of Early Buddhism also meant it was
not ethnocentric, as Mythic is,
world-centric, which treats all people not as being a member of an “in group” versus an “out group” but equally,
regardless of race, color, sex, or creed.
The Pluralistic View is marked by deep social concern
and powerful drives of social justice;
is egalitarian and antihierarchical;
is seriously concerned with environmental and ecological issues;
argues for sustainability and renewable energy;
downplays any sort of ranking; is antipatriarchal and antiwar;
is pro-feminist; and is profoundly socially engaged.
It is, in other words,
the standard form of Buddhism in the Western world.
Dustin gives socially engaged Buddhism as a prime example.
As I mentioned earlier,
this led to all manner of difficulties with the first wave of
Eastern teachers in the 1960s and 1970s.
Most of them had come from Mythic cultures and ethnocentric backgrounds; accordingly they were often extremely authoritarian;
very hierarchical; often patriarchal
Most forms of Western religion today
lack any direct spiritual peak experiences,
let alone contemplative systems spanning the entire spectrum
from gross to nondual.
This is odd, in many ways,
because virtually all forms of Western (and Eastern) religions
began as a series of mystical states and peak experiences
in the founder of the religion.
For the first several hundred years,
mystical experience defined Christian awareness
“Let this consciousness be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
that we all may be one”
Christianity increasingly switched from direct mystical experiences
to mythic narratives, beliefs, and legalistic creeds.
Mouthing the creeds replaced experiencing Spirit.
By the time of the counter-Reformation,
virtually all the contemplative branches of Christianity had been severely curtailed,
and the Spanish Inquisition was fully in place
to guard against any experiences of the Supreme Identity,
or identity of subtle soul
and causal God in nondual Godhead.
Saints like Giordano Bruno were burned at the stake for stepping over the line,
not to mention upwards of perhaps 300,000 women
burned for their experiential revels, charged with “witchcraft.”
The mythic structures of spiritual intelligence at that time—
which were still adequate, as structures, for that
prerational, pre–Western Enlightenment era—were, alas,
permanently moved into place,
and states were in essence banned across the board,
especially since states, unlike mythic creed-beliefs,
could not be controlled by the Church.
The double problem with this move, in addition to losing states,
was that the Mythic-Literal View of spiritual intelligence
was frozen into place
and made everlasting dogma,
never to be questioned henceforth.
As the other intelligences—
in the sciences, in medicine, in law, in art, in education and politics—
moved into modern rational, then postmodern pluralistic,
then possibly even unifying Integral,
religion remained frozen at mythic-literal—
ethnocentric, racist, sexist, patriarchal, dogmatic, unquestionable.
The previous pope, Benedict XVI, announced that
having women admitted as priests would be equivalent to the sin of pederasty.
No offense, but
which of those two has he experienced
such as to be able to make such a judgment?
The Western world, in effect, ceased its spiritual growth.
the way we GROW UP—
was frozen at mythic,
that today of a typical 7-year old:
And spiritual states
- the way we WAKE UP - were banned.
This is, in essence,
the anemic state of Western spirituality today.
A person at, say, rational nondual, will indeed discover
a pure union with his or her world
—a nonduality of Emptiness and Form—
that person’s world of Form
only includes all phenomena up to rational.
There are still “over his head” and not available in his awareness
the entire pluralistic world, holistic world, integral world,
and super-integral world.
The individual will NOT be one with those worlds
because they are completely beyond the reach of his awareness.
You can’t be one with that which doesn’t exist in any way for you.
over the head of this individual—
who is one with the entire physical world, one with the entire biological world,
and one with the mental world from sensorimotor to emotional-sexual
to conceptual to concrete operational to formal operational—
are the entire worlds of the pluralistic realm, the holistic realm,
the vision-logic realm, and super-integral realm.
If objects from any of those realms enter his awareness,
he simply won’t recognize them,
or they will appear puzzling and nonsensical,
or in other ways they just won’t register.
this person having a nondual unity experience—
but at mythic, rational, pluralistic, and so forth—
is not actually one with the entire world
and is thus not having a complete unity
because there are over his head entire structure-worlds
of which he is completely unaware, even though otherwise
he is in a genuine nondual state of the unity of Emptiness and Form—
with the caveat,
“one with all of the Form that is actually in his world.”
Spirit in 2nd person is Spirit conceived as a Great Thou or Great Intelligence,
the universe as a living, breathing, vital, alive Reality,
with which you can have a living relationship.
It is also a reminder that
Ultimate Reality will always be, in some ways,
a Great Mystery, a Great Other,
that can never be known or directly identified.
Spirit can be found as
The Ground and Nature of all dimensions in the Kosmos—
of all 4 quadrants.
And to the extent we visualize, imagine, or characterize Spirit,
we need to include all available perspectives and dimensions,
starting with the 4 quadrants or the Big 3.
God in 2nd person simply reminds us that
Spirit can be found in every relationship we humans have,
and that every conversation we have is the sincerest form of worship.
Now imagine that Intelligence—which gave rise to the Big Bang,
and evolved into atoms and molecules and cells and living organisms,
and explodes throughout the heavens as supernovas and star dust,
that gave rise to Magic and Mythic and Rational and Pluralistic
and Integral realms of culture,
that pulses in each raindrop,
shines in every moonbeam, cascades in every snowflake,
and breathes in the Life of every sentient being,
looking directly out of your eyes, touching with your fingers,
listening with your ears, feeling with your senses,
observing through your very Awareness—
This is Spirit in 1st person, Spirit as your one and only True Self,
The same and only Spirit looking out from the eyes of every sentient being alive—
the same True Self (there is only one in the entire Kosmos)
beating in the Heart and riding the breath of every being in existence.
The very sense in you of ‘I AMness’ is the same
“Before Abraham was, I AM,”
the same I AMness prior even to the Big Bang,
the I AMness that never enters the stream of time,
is found only in the timeless Now, and hence is
Unborn and Undying, Uncreated and Unmade, Unformed and Un-fashioned,
the same I AMness that is the Spirit and Self of the entire Kosmos,
even until the ends of the worlds.
And may I introduce you?
This is your Real Self. You can find this Real Self very simply:
right now, simply be aware of what you feel is your self—
your typical, ordinary, everyday self, simply be aware of it.
But as you do so,
notice there are actually 2 selves involved.
There is the self you are aware of—
you’re this tall, you weigh this much, you have this job,
you’re in this relationship, and so on.
But then there is
the Self actually aware of all those objects—
there is the Observing Self, the Witness, the Seer, the Looker.
the Seer cannot itself be seen.
If you see anything, that’s just another object, it’s not a true subject,
not the Real Self, not the true Seer.
This Observing Self or Real Seer can never be seen as an object.
As you look for the Real Seer, the true Witnessing Self—
realizing it’s “neti, neti”—“not this, not that”—
not any object that can be seen but the Seer itself—
all you will find is a sense of
Freedom, of Release, of Liberation—
liberation from an identity with any bunch of small finite objects.
This small objective self, which can be seen and felt,
isn’t even a real Self, a real Subject,
just a bunch of objects that you have mistakenly identified with.
It is this case of mistaken identity—
identity with the skin-encapsulated ego,
the separate-self sense, the self-contraction, instead of our
open, infinite, free, liberated, empty Self-awareness—
that is the ultimate cause of all
suffering, fear, angst, torment, turmoil, torture, terror, tears.
As Philosophia said to Boethius in his distress,
“You have forgotten who you are.”
Pure Consciousness without an object;
the pure Subject or Self-aware of small subjects and objects;
or as Madhyamika-Yogachara has it,
pure unqualifiable Awareness as pure radical Emptiness,
or ultimate Freedom, Liberation, 1Release—
open, transparent, naked, radiant, luminous, infinite, timeless, eternal,
separation, limitation, lack, want, desire, or fear.
Integral Theory adds, it is a holon
a whole that is a part of other wholes
which gives it 4 drives—
agency, or the drive to be an autonomous whole, and communion,
or the drive to be a part, to be in relationship,
are the two “horizontal” drives, operating on the same level of
development, complexity, and consciousness.
The two vertical drives are
the drive to move upward into higher levels of
wholeness, complexity, and consciousness, and
the drive to embrace and include junior levels of
wholeness, complexity, and consciousness.
If a thought occurs anywhere near the leading edge of evolution—
in today’s world, around turquoise, or vision-logic,
or an Integral View—
it will directly help determine the very structure of that level itself,
and be passed on to all future generations as
a relatively fixed level of consciousness.
And that leads to a new moral or categorical imperative for each of us:
act as if your behavior were to become part of
a fixed structure governing all future human behavior.
The form of future evolution is literally up to us:
the more a particular thought or action is repeated,
the stronger its morphogenetic field becomes,
the more likely it will be sedimented as a relatively fixed Kosmic groove,
an actual, ontologically real groove cut into the very structure of the universe
for all future generations.
it’s important, as with structure Views,
If you have an important message— or spiritual teaching—
that you express what its central tenets look like
at each type, as with each View.
Only in this way can it be assured that the most number of individuals possible
will be able to actually hear and understand the message or teaching
Gilligan’s work suggested that men tend to reason in terms of
autonomy, rights, agency, justice, and ranking;
and women in terms of
relationship, care, responsibility, communion, and nonranking.
Use the Enneagram or similar typologies to help understand exactly
where the student is in his or her overall development,
and tailor the teachings and practices to fit the particular personality type,
so that spiritual practice isn’t wasted on trying to change things that,
in most cases,
are just not open to change,
any more than the student’s height or ethnic origin is.
The Enneagram of Personality, or simply the Enneagram
(from the Greek words ἐννέα [ennea, meaning "nine"]
and γράμμα [gramma, meaning something "written" or "drawn"]),
is a model of human personality which is principally understood
and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.
David Bohm, who maintained, in his book On Dialogue,
that the world is in the dire state it is because of
Too much self-centered, fractured, fragmented thinking,
and a new way of thinking—driven by dialogue,
where we suspend assumptions and judgments, participate honestly
and transparently, and stay connected—
would open the door to more authentic, real, creative thinking
capable of dealing with the world crisis.
“Integral Trans-Rhetorical Praxis,”
which focuses on “uplift” and “deepening”
rather than “persuading” or even “teaching.”
those doing both meditation and weight-lifting progressed more rapidly
and to a greater extent in meditation
than those doing meditation alone.
“Cross-training” seems to accelerate both dimensions.
Evolution, like so many learning processes, operates through trial and error—
and so, across the Integral board—
we are seeing many trials, many errors—
and a slow, inexorable growth to greater
Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
The premier requirement of the group:
the establishment of trust.
This particularly demands individuals at 2nd tier development,
because those at 1st tier will not fundamentally respect anybody
at any level other than their own,
a “rolled eyeball” group is what you get with mixed 1st-tier collectives.
The capacity for “Witnessing” is also crucial,
given that most “We” practices ask members to
drop subject/object awareness and
“surrender into Witnessing” or even Nondual states,
be able to remain focused and centered in the timeless
and the presence of the freshness, aliveness, and novelty of the
With these types of prerequisites largely met,
a fruitful “We” group exploration, experimentation, and learning process
YOU, my friend, are—by every Integral thought that you have, or conceive,
or read, or write, or share, or hear,
or pass on, or dream, or envision—
by the very fact of your interiorly entertaining that
Integral object of awareness—
are driving a progress that will one day
bring the world to a shuddering surrender of
Gratitude and Grace
and all-caring embrace.
That’s the thing about stages of human development—
real stages are given, they cannot be skipped, bypassed,
or altered by social conditioning.
Their deep structures are Kosmic grooves—
actual ontological grooves cut into the universe by repeated human actions—
and are as real—and unalterable—as Jupiter’s orbit, an electron’s structure,
or the mechanism of DNA action.
What can you do to help bring this historical revolution?
Right now, this moment?
Every time you think an Integral thought;
Every time you conceive an Integral idea;
Every time your pulse quickens with the thought of a more beautiful,
more truthful, more ethical world tomorrow;
Every time you read and study, or create and write, of Integral notions;
Every time you even ask, “What can I do to bring this about, to speed this up?”;
Every time you dream the dream of a more inclusive tomorrow,
the dream of a more harmonious future, the dream of a more
balanced and cherished Earth,
the dream of a Spirituality
that touches the God in each and every being alive,
gives that God an embodied home in your own being;
Every time you reach out for a future that is
Even just a little more Whole
than the one today;
Every time you imagine any human activity—from education to parenting
to medicine to government to law—
Redrawn in a more inclusive and Integral fashion;
Every time you look into the eyes of a young child,
perhaps even your own,
and wish for them a future of greater love and compassion and care and concern,
and see them smile in the radiant halo of that embracing tomorrow;
Every time you think a moment a little more Whole than the previous one,
or see partialities brought together in the patterns that connect,
or reach out to a future where all God’s children are judged in Kosmic terms
not parochial or prejudiced ones;
Every time you make a choice that is in favor of the betterment of humankind
and all living beings in their entirety
Every time you see broken pieces and fractured shards
and torn and tortured human beings
in a more unified and inclusive and caring embrace;
Every time you yearn for a tomorrow
even slightly more unified and inclusive and embracing than today—
Every time, every single time, you do anything like any of those,
you are yourself
Directly, immediately, and irrevocably
Building interior Integral objects
that are instantly being stored in the real Kosmos,
adding a few inches to the size of that tsunami racing in our direction now.
Doing so, as we noted once before,
welcome to your place in history.
It is richly deserved.
As more and more people enter the Integral stages themselves,
there will be a greater and greater demand for all things Integral—
Integral business, Integral education, Integral medicine,
Integral politics, Integral spirituality.
The demands to move from the limitations of 1st-tier stages
(Mythic to Rational to Pluralistic)
to the fullness of a 2nd-tier Integral View
will become greater and greater.
It’s hard to believe they are both referred to by the same terms,
“religion” and “spirituality.”
The same is true of structures themselves in general,
and of states
You can see this evolution of Views in the Bible itself,
where in the early sections of the Old Testament, God is
Mean-spirited, Vengeful, hostile, murderous, jealous, racist, sexist,
and generally malicious.
There are over 600 passages alone where God
Directly recommends violence or murder, a
nd He plays with people’s lives—like Job’s or those of Abraham
and his son
As the world’s sciences, arts, and humanities
race through Rational and Pluralistic,
now stand on the verge of a revolutionary Integral,
Most religions have proudly dug in their heels at
Mythic and ethnocentric,
Guaranteeing that it is the case that
religion will remain the world’s single greatest force
—beyond even racism—
for conflict, disharmony, lack of love
(despite their public relations to the contrary),
war, and terrorism.
in fact, for the last 30 years, has been religiously driven, not politically.
Going back 30 or 40 years ago, almost any time terrorism was committed,
it was by groups such as the Red Army Faction, the Baader Meinhof Gang,
or the Palestine Liberation Army.
Starting about that time,
the organizations committing terrorism
were more often religious fundamentalists—
including groups like Hamas and al Qaeda as well as
members of virtually every major religion:
Southern Baptists bombing abortion clinics;
Buddhists putting sarin gas in the Tokyo subway system;
Sikhs and Hindus fighting over Pakistani borders;
Buddhists and Tamil Hindus fighting over the real spiritual truth.
Science takes up a stance on this side of the rational worldcentric divide,
and religion a stance on the lower side, as mythic ethnocentric,
that utterly ridiculous debate
rational science versus mythic religion
is at the very core of our culture wars,
when the religious faction doesn’t spill over into actual terrorism.
(and other equally comprehensive spiritual systems)
would thus play an important, even central, role
not only in helping humans Wake Up,
but also in helping them Grow Up.
And most importantly,
by including an understanding of structures and structure-stages,
Buddhism would be open to moving into 2nd tier
and thus be
an intrinsic part of the revolutionary integral transformation
starting to sweep the planet.
If it fails to do so, and remains at 1st tier,
it risks running the disaster, in relationship to science,
that the Christian Church did (and still does).
as the worldcentric Rational structure emerged,
the Catholic Church remained behind at Mythic,
becoming the laughingstock of reasonable men and women everywhere
(Parted the Red Sea? Born of a virgin? Rained down blood?
You’ve got to be kidding me!)
Science (and art and ethics, etc.) moved forward,
religion remained behind,
and began mostly appealing to
lesser-developed and lesser-evolved souls ever since.
That’s the point of the AQAL Framework—
to use the fewest number of dimensions
to explain the most amount of reality.
In the ultimate Nondual traditions,
Nonduality is metaphorically described as
the nonduality of subject and object,
or infinite and finite, or eternity and time,
or samsara and nirvana, or
ultimate and relative, or Spirit and matter,
One and Many, or—perhaps most often—
the nonduality of Emptiness and Form.
As the Heart Sutra puts it,
“That which is Emptiness is not other than Form;
that which is Form is not other than Emptiness.”
Emptiness is a state discovery.
by moving through and transcending all lower or junior states,
until all phenomena—
gross, subtle, and causal—are transcended,
all that is left in the highest state-condition is—metaphorically—pure
Emptiness, Openness, Transparency, Nothingness, Vast Spaciousness:
the discovery of which confers ultimate
Freedom, Liberation, Release, moksha, wu, metanoia, Liberty—
Unbound, Uncreate, Unborn, Unmade, Undying.
The discovery of this Emptiness is
Infinite Freedom from all finite objects
and any identity with, or grasping of, those objects—
whether gross objects, subtle objects, or causal objects:
all are transcended and let go.
But this Emptiness is not-two with the world of Form—
the ultimate Nondual estate transcends and includes
the entire world of Form.
And where Emptiness is a matter of states and Freedom,
Form is a matter of structures and Fullness.
And while Emptiness has not changed since the Big Bang or before,
Form and Fullness have changed,
as the universe continued to evolve into more and more complex Forms,
hence becoming Fuller and Fuller.
As we noted earlier,
we can see the universe get Fuller and Fuller as it evolves from subatomic particles
to atoms to molecules to cells to organisms, and from there
to photosynthetic organisms, to organisms with neural nets,
to ones with reptilian brain stems, to limbic systems,
to the triune brain, whose neural synapses
outnumber all the stars in the universe.
The interiors of these holons have been
evolving into more and more complex, Fuller and Fuller forms,
as well, from prehension, to protoplasmic irritability, to sensation, perception, impulse, image, emotion, to—with humans—
concepts, schema, rules, formal meta-rules, vision-logic, paramind,
meta-mind, and higher (pushing into overmind and supermind).
These basic holons supported various
worldviews, as we have seen, starting, in humans, at image and impulse with Archaic, and moving to Magic,
Mythic, Rational, Pluralistic, Integral, and Super-Integral.
this leads to an inescapable conclusion:
When compared to the Enlightened sages of, say, 3,000 years ago,
whose dual center of gravity was generally Mythic,
Nondual—giving them the benefit of the doubt about being Nondual
instead of the more common causal at that time—
a fully Enlightened sage of today is not more Free
(Emptiness is still the same Emptiness, and hence the same Freedom),
but he or she is Fuller
Since there have evolved, from the time Mythic was the highest structure,
at least 3 new and higher structures—Rational, Pluralistic, and Integral—
which today’s fully evolved sage would include
Enlightenment, in other words,
is being one with both the highest state
and the highest structure to emerge at a given time in history.
Assuming both sages achieved the Nondual state
(although it is more likely the early sage achieved causal at best),
the earlier sage achieved at best Mythic, and there are, “over his head,”
so to speak, at least 3 higher very real structures of the Kosmos
(Rational, Pluralistic, and Integral)
the earlier sages are not one with,
because those haven’t emerged or evolved yet in any significant fashion.
Today’s sage, on the other hand,
Realizing the same nondual Emptiness,
is no Freer than the early sage,
but is definitely Fuller,
having included in his Supreme Identity
at least 3 higher ontologically real levels of the Kosmos.
The Emptiness of both confers the same Freedom,
but the greater and more complex Form of the latter
gives the modern sage
a significantly greater Fullness,
or more Being.
this is something a Fourth Turning of the Wheel would want to take advantage of. Emptiness and Form are still nondual or not-two,
the world of Form has evolved, following that inexorable
“creative advance into novelty,” and therefore
the very identity of our modern sage is Fuller—
actually contains in his or her being up to 3 or 4 greater levels of Reality,
and a correspondingly greater, Fuller degree of
our modern sage might only be at Magic structurally,
and hence would have less Fullness then our ancient Mythic sage.
But by defining “Enlightenment”
as being one with all states and all structures that have
emerged and evolved at a given point in history,
the evolved sage of today would be no Freer,
significantly Fuller, then yesterday’s sage.
that is perhaps the last item that we would want to include
in any Buddhism undergoing a Fourth Turning.
Evolution carries on.
Spirit-in-action carries on.
The unfolding of higher and higher,
more complex and more complex, structures of Reality
since Enlightenment involves a oneness with the entire universe,
Enlightenment itself becomes richer and richer,
what Whitehead called
(in contrast to the “Primordial Nature of God,” or unchanging Emptiness)
the Consequent Nature of God,” which becomes Fuller and Fuller,
so does a oneness (or not-twoness) with that God
While the Freedom with the Primordial Nature of God remains unchanging
By including structure-rungs and their Views, the Fullness of Buddhanature
(and not just its Freedom) becomes able to be tracked,
increasing the Depth of our Enlightenment and the Degree of our Awakening,
one of the primary goals of Buddhism from its very inception.
A Fourth Turning of Buddhism is consistent with its history
and its own self-understanding, and has much to recommend it.
I join those students and teachers who argue that
the time is ripe for such a Turning.
The world is on the verge of a major transformation
to an entirely unprecedented and radically novel level and type of awareness,
which research after research indicates is—
to use common terms—
systemic, unified, holistic, integral, inclusive, embracing,
Let us be sure that not just our sciences but our
humanities and spiritualties are part of that radical transformation.
Let us take the very best of our paths of the
into the modern and postmodern world,
preparing them for the leap into this new transformation as well.
Buddhism would then be prepared to even more often
offer humanity what it has always excelled at offering.
And that is?
When Fa-chang was dying,
a squirrel screeched out on the temple roof.
“It’s just this,” he said, “and nothing more.”
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Main course Instructions