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The Fierce Urgency of Now

This Week on Integral Spiritual Center....

Why Practice? - Diane Hamilton/Ken Wilber
Why Wait? - Fr. Thomas Keating

Why Practice? (audio)
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.  You are the way and the wayfarers.  And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.  Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
Kahlil Gibran
“As a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,” says the Lebanese poet Gibran, so too do we share in the development of our brothers and sisters (and we are all brothers and sisters!).  Their journey is our journey.  In this week’s featured audio, ISC Teachers Ken Wilber and Diane Hamilton discuss the remarkable ways in which our own development affects the development of those who follow in our footsteps.

Ken points out that developmental altitudes constitute a sort of history of consciousness.  The magenta and red altitudes, with their corresponding magical worldviews, began as rivulets tens of thousands of years ago and are now something akin to the Grand Canyon, cut a mile deep. At this point, their features are largely defined, for better or for worse.  What seems “given” to us was in fact laid down by the first humans who blazed those trails.  The universe has picked up these “Kosmic habits” or “Kosmic grooves,” and those who journey through them now experience them in a fairly predictable way.  Each subsequent altitude (amber/mythic beginning about 3000 years ago, orange/rational beginning about 300 years ago, green/pluralistic beginning about 30 years ago) is less well defined, and in fact, is being defined by those who journey there now.

From the integral altitude, our responsibility becomes clear.  To the extent that we identify with some form of the Bodhisattva vow (to become awakened as soon as possible, for the benefit of all beings), our practice becomes incredibly important.  We must not delay (acting, as Martin Luther King put it, with the “fierce urgency of now”).  And we must walk softly, for the ground on which we tread is sacred ground, for the countless others who will follow in our footsteps.

Diane points to an intuition that sometimes, during her practice, she is mysteriously working through some knot (or karma) of another person from another place and time.  Indeed, says Ken, Alfred North Whitehead warned against the danger of “simple location”—that is, that a given phenomenon can be definitively located in a particular time and place.  Where is the red altitude?  We can’t really say—but in the light of AQAL, we know that it arises in four quadrants.  And in four quadrants, our own actions influence it, for better or for worse.

Why practice?  For the good of all beings, who will benefit from the perspectives we will be able to take—and the “right action” that we can take from those perspectives.  And for the good of the path itself, so that, laid down with deep intention and great care, those who follow may have safe passage into greater freedom and greater fullness.

Why Wait? (video)

As we deepen in practice, we deepen also in our realization of how important it actually is.  This excerpt is taken from the autumn 2006 Integral Contemplative Christianity seminar.
Published Saturday, April 19, 2008 5:22 AM by rollie

Comments

 

ats said:

You should edit your comment "Diane points to an intuition that sometimes, during her practice, she is mysteriously working through some knot (or karma) of another person from another place and time."

This statement seems full of a pre/trans fallacy.  Is she talking of some Magenta magic here?  She never used the word "intuituin".  I had to listen to the dialog to see if that's what she really meant.

The actual quote directly from the dialog is:  "Part of our practice becomes liberating some of the knots or the places or the pains...confusions of the past that arise in our practice, and some people will talk about it as a bloodline..."

She goes on to say "you may be actually liberating something for your people, not just for yourself."  This was the reason for bringing up the former statement.

She later states, "What I am doing now in my integral practice is maybe liberating something on the other side of the globe or throught space and time that just needs to be liberated, and it's my job to do it."

She doesn't mention working on any person at all, as you state.
April 19, 2008 9:25 PM
 

jondavi said:

When placed in the context of an "engraving" of the Grand Canyon,  we are either contributing to greater accessibility to higher altitudes for others who will traverse the path, or we are inhibiting that accessibility.  The impressions that spontaneously arose while listening to the clip as a whole correlated with a kind of categorical imperative that, when we practice, is activated and can assist in ever-increasing availability of these higher altitudes.  Rupert Sheldrake's notion of "morphogenetic fields" (M-Fields), as invisible organizing patterns that have their own representations in the external world appears to be a variation on Kant's categorical imperative in a very physical way.  When applied to consciousness, M-Fields have their correlates within the AQAL framework when we recognize Altitude as a qualitative state that can become a permanent stage through repetitively accessing these higher levels.
April 20, 2008 8:35 AM
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