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The Second Face

This Week on Integral Spiritual Center....

Perspectives and Practices - Gabriel Nossovitch/Ken Wilber

An Integral Sangha - Diane Hamilton

Perspectives and Practices (audio)

Quadrants and levels are two of the most fundamental insights of the AQAL model.  With the very first emanation—i.e. level—of absolute, unqualifiable spirit into the relative, manifest realm, the quadrants arise.  In this week’s featured audio, Ken Wilber and Gabriel Nossovitch discuss this first emanation and arising, and their profound implications for spiritual practice. 

The arising of the quadrants forms the basis of the Three Faces of Spirit meditation.  As Ken points out, the quadrants go all the way down and all the way up.  And, looking all the way up through any of the quadrants (or all the way up in your 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-person perspective), you will behold one of the Faces of Spirit.  Depending on which perspective you take, you might encounter Spirit as the Buddha within or IAMness (1st-person), your Divine Beloved (2nd-person), or the Great Perfection or ISness of all that is arising (3rd-person). 

With each of these Faces of Spirit comes a set a practices, across traditions, for bringing them into view.  Sitting in meditation, for example, you might begin to have a very real experience of witnessing all that is arising as a texture of your own Self (1st-person), or simply as it is (3rd-person).  But, urges Ken, don’t stop there!  It can be an exquisite practice to take the self, whichever self that arises—the causal Self, the subtle soul, the gross ego—and offer it to an Other, in love.   

To practice in the 2nd-person is to come before your Beloved with your very self, and to place that self before them as gift, as offering.  And then to allow yourself to be beheld—with all your imperfections—and to be known—with all your secrets—in the Light of Love.  To surrender all of that to your Beloved, and to know that you are forgiven.  Out of this practice, says Ken, comes a sublime sense of gratitude, beatitude, and blessedness.  “All shall be well,” exclaims Julian of Norwich, “and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well….” 

This practice takes on a slight nuance depending on the realization of the practitioner.  If one has gone beyond the causal Self to nondual suchness, then that Self will arise, not as a contraction, but simply and perfectly as the finite Self.  From this place, you have a gross self, but you are not that; you have a subtle self, but you are not that; you have a causal self, but you are not that.  And yet, you come back as these selves, first as Shiva (Emptiness) or Shakti (Form), and eventually spilling into manifestation as what Buddhists call "the ten thousand things.”  As soon as there is manifestation, concludes Ken, there is an I, and there is a We.  If you want to be in love, you need to have a self with which to fall….

An Integral Sangha (video)

Diane Hamilton kicks off an ISC seminar by leading the group into the inquiry:  why are we here?  The answers, though mysterious and elusive, seem to point to a subtle longing for an Integral Sangha.

Published Saturday, August 23, 2008 11:50 PM by rollie



claudia said:

I love this call with Gabriel and Ken. I am a little confused about why Suchness is from the 3rd person perspective only and does not include 1st, 2nd and 3rd person perspectives as it is all that is arising including the gross ego, suble soul and causal Self.

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