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Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

Last post 10-10-2006, 12:39 PM by maryw. 80 replies.
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  •  09-08-2006, 6:50 AM 7240 in reply to 7229

    • JaneMc is not online. Last active: 10-19-2006, 11:49 AM JaneMc
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    David(and Steve)

    So far in my dog history, including five years with a team, there has been: Flossie, Katie, Emily, Eddie, Harry, Hannah,  Bill, Bob, Nanook, Nanook, and now Rosie……but I must agree, Steve is an excellent name.  I suspect he would have had a good time drinking beer with Bill and Bob….ahh, but I digress

     

    Under the Mental Health Act, I often enough signed people into the ‘lock-up’ for their dangerous behaviours to self or others……but even that is interesting….the behaviours that will get a person’s civil rights taken away from them include, as you know, suicidal gestures, threats, and psychotic behaviours.  Usually, these behaviours arise from pretty low-level functioning.  Sometimes, though, people undergoing profound spiritual emergencies—shifts into non-dual awareness—are also mopped up under the mental health act.  The Spiritual Emergency network(I don’t know how it is functioning now) that is related to Stan Groff’s work, has been at least one attempt to recognize that the same Line/Level Fallacy that has stymied ‘religious development’ is also having its day in the psychiatric realm. In the other forums, Jana Dixon’s work on kundalini is really pioneer work (1PX3P)in trying to keep the space open to investigate what is happening without succumbing to the limited psychiatric models of the orange-scientific paradigm...  So, I think, is the work of RD Laing and Groff……

     

    I  can regale dinner parties with personal stories of my own exploits as I rubbed against this wall. I only do with certain people mind you.(although, perhaps I will tell all in a forthright bestseller in the near future! J)  I can also preserve my ‘reputation’ by calling my adventures into non-dual consciousness “a result of post traumatic stress”, and I can list a suitable list of traumatic horrors which would satisfy most skeptics….but still, the bottle neck that happens in the  blue/amber religious line, is directly related to the phenomenon in the orange psychiatric line where spiritual experiences, states of non-dual consciousness particularly, can only be diagnosed as some manic/psychotic flare-up.  Actually, I think this is where meditation practice comes in handy, (not necessarily making these states more accessible but rather building strength and knowledge to actually have a framework to be quiet and secure in this kind of state of ecstasy, and even create a community of people around an initiate who recognize what is going on.  This allows for this type of experience without feeling the need to single handedly proclaim to the world through the effusive state of the open secret, that everything is beautiful, that they are beautiful, that all there is is love, not to worry etc, I am that, you are this, ahh the suchness of it all…blessed be etc…….I tell ya, ya can get locked up for that sort of thing(just look at how we have been trying to curtail Helene-the cute little nuisance!) …..

     

    Our discussion here so far, has not so much been about these extreme states, both pathologically psychotic or wonderfully ecstatic, as about  the regular meat and potatoes of ordinary life and strife.  It is interesting the stuff that keeps blinding us, is perhaps also the stuff that will eventually become the fuel to allow us to SEE…..this is a paradox…..and I must remain very humble about this, I must quelch my arrogance, I must gently retreat when my help has been refused….I must nurse my heartbreak….remain vigilant….and wait.

     

    **

    So then, I am brought around to considering what this chapter is really about.  Suddenly, I am thinking about the ‘underground railroad’…..which in a way is really the spiritual network, and mapping, and exploration that all of us here are involved in…..it is likened to when the Great Conveyor Belts of our traditional religions have delivered us into a state of ridiculous slavery, and the only sanctioned gate out of this slavery is one where you can only leave if you leave everything you value most behind(the ultimate questions, the spirit part of our bio-spiritual nature) …..Hmmmm, now ain’t that a paradox—a handy little alchemical crucible where the only hope is to sit in the mess until something else happens!  And indeed, I have to agree, that this would appear to reflect the state of the world’s conundrums—the terrorism, the environmental catastrophe…the whole ball game….

     

    I am also thinking that a two ended approach is necessary to improve the ‘underground rail road’ while at the same time laying the ground work for open above-ground conduits.

    Those in the religious institutions, Spong et al. need to be encouraged.  More than that too though.  If there has been one major issue that has disturbed me about the integral institute, it is that so many fabulous thinkers, people with networks extending around the world, have been alienated (I am assuming) or at least not engaged and brought on board, and allowed to pollinate the Integral Movement….it may be that some of my favourites are ‘the jeered boomeritis crowd’ but I figure that if I can be hauled safely out of that situation with the integral maps, then surely many people far brighter than I can be too….

    In strengthening the integral movement, it is time to consolidate all of my favourite people---I don’t think there would be much resistance.  Where are Charlene Spretnak, Starhawk, Matthew Fox, John O’Donnahue, Kirpatrick Sale, Brian Swimme, Satish Kumar, Deepak Chopra, Riane Eisler, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Paul Hawkins, John Todd, Amory Lovins, Gunter Pauli, David Peat, John Spong, William Irwin Thompson, the Findehorne Crowd, Francis Lappe, Noam Chomsky, the Omega Institute Crowd…..all of the people in the new age/self-help movement that may have temporarily been stalled out by the pre/transfallacy-but maybe ready for a shift…Charlotte Kasals, Andrew Weil, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Maude Barlow, Tony Clarke, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and on and on…….the list is huge and impressive… some of these people have been dreaded list of boomeritis exponents, but boomeritis too is a state ripe for change.  Some of these people are at the leading edge of transforming our understanding of what is ‘acceptable and allowable’ as our spiritual inheritance.  As well, on the ‘delivery’ side of the underground rail road, the people who ‘own’ the psychiatric models, the medical schools, the orange drenched neuro-psychiatrists….we need to figure out how to legitimize and explore the work that Jana Dixon has done, that the DSM IV has opened a crack, by having a ‘spiritual disorder’ as a possible diagnosis.

     

    I am only one person who has flown over the cuckoo’s nest…..there are many, many more of us…..maybe everybody who has really gotten beyond the first tier has flown over.….

     

    It occurs to me that the major limiting factor in our bio-spiritual emergence is our belief in what is possible and 'legitimate'...what can we do, while still remaining on this side of being a 'nutbar'.  Just like running the 4 minute mile…. I think Ken talks about this in one of his books….. Our religious traditions are a great limiting step, even as they have been important for bringing us this far….. and so now do our western psychiatric traditions take over as the ‘rate limiting step’…… Strangely too, the horror and mayhem that we are now experiencing in this world is the deep groaning pains of the transitional stage just before birth, and at this point, it is not clear that the baby will arrive safely…The conveyor belt malfunction—most beautifully articulated by the pre/trans fallacy, and the level/line fallacy--- needs a couple of road repair crews, and this repair work is already being supported by the underground railroad…the way ahead is being cleared….... It, however, does not help to have dissent and bickering among the various midwives in the delivery room…..and that is part of what our present challenge is…..it is time to send out the olive branches and heal boomeritis…..we need all of the brilliant people who have been working so hard from their best intention on board…they are part of the team on this adventure….many of them have helped me.

     

    Another beautiful day here in Labrador…..Rosie and I have been out for coffee on the beach already, and my sorting and organizing continues…..if the wind doesn’t pick up, I might have to go off in the canoe, around the river, and up into Little Lake---maybe get an icecream at the Hudson’s  Bay Store on my way by…..

     

    This is very exciting for me to be participating in this discussion, such as I am…..I am very grateful for this…..I love that everybody is here.  It is very comforting to me.

    Jane

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    The fabric of my life is the cloth with which it is my responsibility to polish the lens of my own perception
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  •  09-09-2006, 3:52 AM 7377 in reply to 7240

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    Attachment: Steve.jpg
    JaneMc:

    It occurs to me that the major limiting factor in our bio-spiritual emergence is our belief in what is possible and 'legitimate'...what can we do, while still remaining on this side of being a 'nutbar'.  Just like running the 4 minute mile…. I think Ken talks about this in one of his books….. Our religious traditions are a great limiting step, even as they have been important for bringing us this far….. and so now do our western psychiatric traditions take over as the ‘rate limiting step’…… Strangely too, the horror and mayhem that we are now experiencing in this world is the deep groaning pains of the transitional stage just before birth, and at this point, it is not clear that the baby will arrive safely… 

     

     

    Yes, Jane, Ken claims that 'Kosmic habits' are laid down by creative pioneers who do the 'impossible' and that this makes it easier for others to follow on after, exactly as you say with the 4 minute mile.  He often invokes Rupert Sheldrake's idea of morphic fields to explain this. Its entirely natural, isn't it, that people fear and resist change, that they lump pioneering 'translaws' in with subversive 'prelaws' and crucify and restrain and oppress them?   Just as its natural for childbirth to involve pain.  Its the dynamic of evolution, that this must happen and also that, nevertheless, change happens and we lay posthumous garlands on the graves of the heroes in whose steps we follow....   

     

    Loved hearing about your canine friends...click on mine, wet from the waves...

     

    Smile [:)]

     


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  •  09-10-2006, 10:14 AM 7507 in reply to 7377

    • JaneMc is not online. Last active: 10-19-2006, 11:49 AM JaneMc
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    "Its entirely natural, isn't it, that people fear and resist change, that they lump pioneering 'translaws' in with subversive 'prelaws' and crucify and restrain and oppress them?"

    I am thinking about this further.....about the pain in birthing less-painful ways of birthing..the repair work or extension work of the conveyor belt...it is one thing to be frightened of change, it is another for FEAR to derrange and destroy the process of change all together.  Indeed, a lot of the popular self-help literature is about fear, about how it creates blocks, about how to learn to cosy up to it, remain honest, and not become frozen in it or by it.

    I was watching the V for Vendetta movie last night....it is about this very thing, about ideas, transformative imagination, fears, stuckness, tyranny, the left side of the quadrants, the courage behind the persona to stand up and be counted........What makes any of us courageous, I wonder?  In my experience, the worst has already happened, is already happening.  As such, it is only dedication to the ever-expanding Truth that will set us free.  To this I am committed.  Still, I often feel lonely and confused……I would like to find a Colony of Fearless Truth Seekers, or figure out how to establish one…..In truth, this is what my River Song Project is about, however fledgling it now appears….I want to walk fearlessly  on this earth…..

     (I am trying to post a picture of Rosie...alas no success, so I will go off on a walk with her instead--fearlessly!)


    The fabric of my life is the cloth with which it is my responsibility to polish the lens of my own perception
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  •  09-10-2006, 1:03 PM 7520 in reply to 7507

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    JaneMc:

    "I am thinking about this further.....about the pain in birthing less-painful ways of birthing..the repair work or extension work of the conveyor belt...it is one thing to be frightened of change, it is another for FEAR to derrange and destroy the process of change all together.  Indeed, a lot of the popular self-help literature is about fear, about how it creates blocks, about how to learn to cosy up to it, remain honest, and not become frozen in it or by it.

    I was watching the V for Vendetta movie last night....it is about this very thing, about ideas, transformative imagination, fears, stuckness, tyranny, the left side of the quadrants, the courage behind the persona to stand up and be counted........What makes any of us courageous, I wonder?  In my experience, the worst has already happened, is already happening.  As such, it is only dedication to the ever-expanding Truth that will set us free.  To this I am committed.  Still, I often feel lonely and confused……I would like to find a Colony of Fearless Truth Seekers, or figure out how to establish one…..In truth, this is what my River Song Project is about, however fledgling it now appears….I want to walk fearlessly  on this earth…..

    I'm very clear that you at least are not a fearful person, Jane...Smile [:)] For myself, I mull over the various models of consciousness in this book, those upward spirals, and wonder what inhibits the spiralling.  Its not just 'pathologies', is it?  Even without obvious pathologies of consciousness, its my impression that people don't seem to fundamentally change much.  Sure, they change superficially all the time, and its easy to observe change in regard to say, the cognitive line, or they get more appreciative of art (aesthetic line), etc.  Major changes in consciousness - from First to Second Tier, for example, as those models envisage it, or progression from Orange to Green to Teal or whatever - well, I can't bring anyone at all to mind who I would use as an example of that.  Perhaps I'm not making enough allowance for the length of time involved.  And I don't say that people don't:  just that I haven't noticed it.   The exception, of course, is children:  they transform rapidly right before our eyes from baby Infrared upwards in many different lines.  But then, with adulthood, if these major shifts happen, they sure seem to be slow...

    If I'm right, then what is inhibiting this growth/development/evolution?  What slows down the converyer belt?  Surely not just the inadequacies of religion.  Isn't it, at least partly, fear?  Clinging to the comfort zone, holding on to habit - easy to mock, but I used the word 'natural' before, and again it seems to apply:  don't most non-human beings 'naturally' stick to what they know?  A tiger may seem fearless, but wouldn't it feel fear if it escaped into a traffic-filled road?  And that's the kind of challenge we're talking about in expecting people to embrace consciousness change by dealing with their Shadow and so on. 

    It seems to me that this is why the call for consciousness change has to be compassionate, and involve awareness of the intense difficulties involved - a compassion actually missing from Green vMeme, according to Boomeritis:

    'green claims to be inclusive and nonmarginalizing, but in fact it will not let red be red, or blue be blue, or orange be orange, or yellow be yellow--in many cases, it despises those values and will tell you so in no uncertain terms! (The green meme is uncomfortable with red drives, it has a hard time with blue Republican values, it often reviles orange capitalism, it abhors yellow hierarchies, it recoils at turquoise universals, and so on.) The Prime Directive of second-tier consciousness, on the other hand, realizes that healthy red must be allowed to be red in its own way, healthy blue must be allowed to be blue, orange must be orange, green must be green, and so on--and in this way alone can there emerge an integral awareness that spans the entire spectrum of consciousness and does not unduly privilege the values of only one meme, in this case, green.'

    And I guess that this also addresses the issue of 'rights' too:  we can't get to Blue, any of us, without going through Red.  We can't get to Second Tier without going through Green and despising other levels of consciousness.  But they're not despicable.  And its not that they're attractive, or worthy!  Its that they're necessary.

    Thoughts anyway.

    ~ David

     

     

     

     

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  •  09-10-2006, 1:17 PM 7523 in reply to 7520

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    I hope I'm not repeating a point but the truth of the matter in developmental studies is that we do not at this time know exactly why development occurs at all. Ken says this in one othe chapters of this book, other places and then there is a nice quote in Eye to Eye which I will look for. It could be any number of factors, probably a whole combination but then even all of that does not seem to tell or fit the whole story.

    I personally feel, from a compassionate view, that we do come into this life with some certain amount of "momentum" -perhaps due to past lives, perhaps just due to what is here and now, whatever Spirit has unfolding in each and evey individual. And if you have ever really tried or made the conscious intention to kind of "make" someone grow . . . well, I know that I have and have always eventually realized it is not a very nice thing to do. It becomes very filled with ego too. Ultimately it comes down to an acceptence of what is.


    I wish I could have writte this with my cool, black -I+I- pen! . . . but now the INK is running out! Drat.
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  •  09-10-2006, 5:57 PM 7547 in reply to 7520

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    Davidd:
     For myself, I mull over the various models of consciousness in this book, those upward spirals, and wonder what inhibits the spiralling.  Its not just 'pathologies', is it?  Even without obvious pathologies of consciousness, its my impression that people don't seem to fundamentally change much. 

    I would say that it isn't just pathologies, no.  I think everyone has an upper limit to how high their cognitive development can go, regardless of any external hindrances.  Meaning, some people, even if given an absolutely ideal environment, will never be particularly bright.  And limited cognitive development means limited development in other areas as well.

    Davidd:
    Sure, they change superficially all the time, and its easy to observe change in regard to say, the cognitive line, or they get more appreciative of art (aesthetic line), etc.  Major changes in consciousness - from First to Second Tier, for example, as those models envisage it, or progression from Orange to Green to Teal or whatever - well, I can't bring anyone at all to mind who I would use as an example of that.

    I think it's important to separate these stages from the somewhat extreme examples given by Wilber of what these stages look like in actual people.

    For example, Wilber is fond of describing people at the amber altitude as "Nazis."  Was I ever a "Nazi," or anything like one?  No -- and it's not 'cause I'm not there yet, either!  I personally was raised in a moderately liberal Catholic home, where it was taken for granted that women should be allowed to be priests, where disagreeing with church leaders was perfectly okay, and where non-Catholics were in no greater danger of being condemned than Catholics.  In other words, a pretty orange-level kind of religion, with some residual amber-level mythical beliefs thrown in.

    But, someone raised to believe such things will, at the amber stage, absolutize that orange-level religion.  It is often pointed out that those at the amber stage are very deferential to authority, which is true.  And one might think that someone who is raised as a Catholic, for example, would therefore defer to the pope, or one's parish priest, or whoever.  But the real authorities for any kid are the parents, and their school teachers.

    Now, one of the characteristics of the amber stage, as far as religious development goes, is a tendency not to question.  I personally was encouraged to question my beliefs, by my religion teachers.  One of them said that we have a responsibility to question our beliefs.  So getting out of amber was no difficulty.  But this tendency can become a pathological aversion if someone gets the opposite message.  And in that case, a person will likely be frozen in amber, so to speak.

    Davidd:
    What slows down the converyer belt?  Surely not just the inadequacies of religion.  Isn't it, at least partly, fear?

    Obviously "the inadequacies of religion" and "fear" are not mutually exclusive, in that the latter is often a direct result of the former.  For many Christians, especially, there is a lot riding on one's ability to keep believing what one has been taught as a child.  No less than the eternal salvation of one's soul is at stake.  So there is little incentive to question it, or to even consider alternative possibilities.  One might become quite rational in most aspects of one's life, but will not apply that rationality to one's faith. 

    But more than that, I think for a lot of people it just isn't that important.  I went out with a woman not too long ago who identified herself as Catholic, but for whom religion was not an important part of her life.  And yet when the subject came up (and when you're a religion teacher, the subject always comes up, even when you don't want it to, i.e., on a first date), I found that she had really conservative beliefs.  But they weren't important enough to her to actually think through them and possibly develop into something else.

    Davidd:
    It seems to me that this is why the call for consciousness change has to be compassionate, and involve awareness of the intense difficulties involved - a compassion actually missing from Green vMeme

    Personally, I think encouraging adults to "change" is a non-starter.  I think the extent to which one can develop is determined largely in childhood.  Or, more accurately, I think the likelihood that one will develop to a very high stage is determined by factors in childhood.

    Having said that, the problems associated with the "green meme," it seems to me, are not due to some missing cognitive ability, but is simply the fact that the individual has bought into some bad ideas.  But I'm still a little skeptical about the existence of stages higher than formal operations, at least as "stages" in the proper sense of the term.


    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
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  •  09-10-2006, 7:59 PM 7549 in reply to 7547

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    Anyone familiar with Dostoyevsky’s grand inquisitor?  He makes a great point that the church’s main roll is to make the masses comfortable, which does NOT involve challenging their way of thinking.  So the Jesus figure has to be executed, again.  The grand inquisitor was higher level, but felt the overwhelming need to “protect” the people in spite of his sadness.  Others may interpret this story differently.

     

    I was lucky enough to take catechism at a military academy.  They were very progressive and encouraged us to question everything and accept all others.  I was invited to supper at the rectory, an honor, and found out that I was the only Catholic cadet there.  The priest wanted to talk to people they thought were interesting and would challenge them.  People who regurgitated memorized answers would not help them grow.

     

    Unfortunately I never found that environment after graduation.  I quit going to church, which is quite alright as I live in the Deep South now and everyone knows that Catholics are going to hell, as is anyone from any other church.  Evolution is a four letter word (counting isn’t a strong point).  Jesus was a Christian and read from the King James Version of the Bible.  Yep, I’ve been told all of these things by coworkers who truly believed them.  Suggest that Jesus was raised Jewish and you can kiss your yearly ratings at work goodbye.   I once made the statement that racism was pointless as none of us are pure anything anymore.  I was glad to get home that day.  My family has been here since the 1830’s and I love these people dearly.  If you have a flat you’ll have 4 or 5 pickups pull over to help fix it and someone will bring food and beer before you pull out again.  Nobody locks their doors and we don’t even take the keys out of our cars, but my coworkers honestly print out a sheet from their church to take to the voting booths.  There is NO individual thought and no questioning.  All about comfort of the masses. 

     

    I’ve lived all over GA, MS, AL, & FL and most places are a lot more progressive in the South.  Small towns where I lived in NM and TX were just as anti-progress, but I despair at the strong center of gravity here and can only participate in subversive acts, like leaving Ken’s books in public places and the local library.  My family is proof that people can change.  I’m not sure why, but my mom & her sisters did.  When one of them went to nursing school in her 40’s my grandfather wanted to know if “those people” were really the same inside as we (so called white) people are.  He was dead serious.  We were horrified.  Somehow my parents changed what they were raised to be and raised us to believe that all people are equal and all have good points, somewhere.

     

    Ken’s writing, what all of you write, and my family help keep my coworkers and neighbors from dragging me down.  This chapter hit home.

     

    Any ideas for further subversive acts?  Out of selfish interest I'd like for those here with the ability to grow to have the tools.

     

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  •  09-11-2006, 3:43 AM 7568 in reply to 7523

    • JaneMc is not online. Last active: 10-19-2006, 11:49 AM JaneMc
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    tim wrote: "And if you have ever really tried or made the conscious intention to kind of "make" someone grow . . . well, I know that I have and have always eventually realized it is not a very nice thing to do. It becomes very filled with ego too. Ultimately it comes down to an acceptence of what is."

     

    David and Tim,

    I continue to ponder. The forced change, ‘making someone grow’….it is not as you say Tim, ‘a very nice thing to do’. I think we all agree, I doesn’t work anyway, and we all agree that it smacks on some level, however well-meaning, of a maniacal ego lurking somewhere…..as if, well, somewhere, I really am the general manager of the universe, and nobody else really knows this.

     

    I am thinking again about ‘acceptance’….maybe this needs to be teased out…..and maybe this is what confuses me…..perhaps David you mentioned this before….active acceptance and passive acceptance.

     

    Passive acceptance is what happens most often leading up to the worst atrocities.  When presented with a situation that is not ‘good enough’— sexual molesting of children by the clergy for instance.  How could this continue for so long, while blind eyes were cast, and beliefs were such that this could really not even be conceived to be happening, even though it was.  I have a friend who was sodomized at the age of twelve by the local catholic priest and when he reported this to his parents, they beat him up for saying such things!  This kind of situation is not uncommon.  Nor is it my ego that cries out with terror and the need to act.  It is my heart! And it is true that heroes, young and old, have brought light to horror.

     

    I believe that there is nothing that cannot be healed when brought to the altar.  Yet what makes us brave enough to bear witness….to actively accept what is going on, without turning our heads, and shriveling in fear.

     

    Sometimes, I think about the stuff I have in my house, this computer for instance.  What environmental disaster did it spring from, what poorly paid worker in a sweatshop came from its production, what toxic chemicals are now in some toxic river….. Or a pineapple from Ecuador…..what old person tended the field, what youngster is hungry because of the inequity….what is the real cost of the pineapple on my counter?

     

    Perhaps ‘active acceptance’ is about doing a fearless inventory….looking at the hidden costs, not being prepared to slump off in denial of girls having clitorectomies, and child labour, and environmental destruction……maybe it is about a deep investigation and accounting of the real costs of doing business.  And this includes my shadow work…an inventory of my shadows……

     

    And maybe this inventory can be done without seeking revenge or justice. Indeed, maybe it can be done with a total detachment from the outcome.  I am thinking again of those words: “show up, pay attention, speak the truth, and let go of the outcome.”  I cannot force anyone else to speak the truth, nor can I make them brave enough to do so.  But I can speak my Truth.  Perhaps this is active acceptance.  Perhaps this is all there is to it.

    Jane

     


    The fabric of my life is the cloth with which it is my responsibility to polish the lens of my own perception
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  •  09-11-2006, 5:04 AM 7569 in reply to 7568

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    JaneMc:

     

    I am thinking again about ‘acceptance’….maybe this needs to be teased out…..and maybe this is what confuses me…..perhaps David you mentioned this before….active acceptance and passive acceptance.

     

    Passive acceptance is what happens most often leading up to the worst atrocities.  When presented with a situation that is not ‘good enough’— sexual molesting of children by the clergy for instance.  How could this continue for so long, while blind eyes were cast, and beliefs were such that this could really not even be conceived to be happening, even though it was.  I have a friend who was sodomized at the age of twelve by the local catholic priest and when he reported this to his parents, they beat him up for saying such things!  This kind of situation is not uncommon.  Nor is it my ego that cries out with terror and the need to act.  It is my heart! And it is true that heroes, young and old, have brought light to horror.

      

    Sometimes, I think about the stuff I have in my house, this computer for instance.  What environmental disaster did it spring from, what poorly paid worker in a sweatshop came from its production, what toxic chemicals are now in some toxic river….. Or a pineapple from Ecuador…..what old person tended the field, what youngster is hungry because of the inequity….what is the real cost of the pineapple on my counter?

     

    Perhaps ‘active acceptance’ is about doing a fearless inventory….looking at the hidden costs, not being prepared to slump off in denial of girls having clitorectomies, and child labour, and environmental destruction……maybe it is about a deep investigation and accounting of the real costs of doing business.  And this includes my shadow work…an inventory of my shadows……

     

    And maybe this inventory can be done without seeking revenge or justice. Indeed, maybe it can be done with a total detachment from the outcome.  I am thinking again of those words: “show up, pay attention, speak the truth, and let go of the outcome.”  I cannot force anyone else to speak the truth, nor can I make them brave enough to do so.  But I can speak my Truth.  Perhaps this is active acceptance.  Perhaps this is all there is to it.

     

     

    I need to respond to PP, but just on this, Jane:

     

    Personally, I'd call 'passive acceptance' denial.  Say, the mother of a girl who is being abused by her father, and who knows in her heart what is going on but turns her face away (its been known to happen): that's acceptance through denial. As you say, that situation is replicated in a million different scenarios...

     

    Your example of your computer and the pineapple is excellent.  To take in the context of each moment.  This is integral vision.   For me, acceptance is accepting that this IS. Having the courage to see what is, to look and not look away.  This is the passionate heartbeat.   Each moment we live, to allow ourselves to be aware of what is happening:  how the sadness in that face has arisen, how this product has been made and at what cost to other beings...this is why Wilber is so strong about there being no givens, no simple moments.  Integral chat is often about being smarter, more cognitively equipped.  But that's not it:  cognition is only one small part of the awareness which can bring the world to life for us.  Its about engaging each moment with the whole of ourselves, loving the Lord with our whole heart and body and mind...  Otherwise, our experience shrinks to immediate personal needs and gratification.   Even watching the news on TV is an exercise in filtering reality, allowing through a small amount of what is already filtered for our consumption.  Surely, consciousness development is about opening up our awareness more and more to embrace the world we are co-creating in all its beauty and pain?    Supposedly, there are limits on that, on what we can allow in, before we become overwhelmed by it and cease to function.  But that's not the integral vision.  Ascending the spiral seems to be involve nothing but opening and developing the ability to open ever more....

     

    Smile [:)]

     

     

     

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  •  09-11-2006, 1:27 PM 7593 in reply to 7547

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    PP and Tim

    Yes, I find myself in agreement:  we can't mind other peoples' business.  Their consciousness is their business.  And yes, I do tend to find that the most we can hope for is to fulfil our existing potential, cognitively and in other ways.  Though - and this is where I'm with Jane - that is also a far greater potential than we often believe, of ourselves and of others.

    Smile [:)]

    btw, I take his Nazi line (oft repeated as you say, PP) as one of Ken's witty one-liner ways of over-stating to make a point...  I guess you could belabour it a little, and argue that ethnocentric amber German support for the Nazi's could be repeated by ethnocentric amber given other historical settings. And on a micro level, the petty Fuhrer in some amber families at any time?

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  •  09-11-2006, 2:42 PM 7598 in reply to 7549

    • JaneMc is not online. Last active: 10-19-2006, 11:49 AM JaneMc
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    PP wrote" "Personally, I think encouraging adults to "change" is a non-starter.  I think the extent to which one can develop is determined largely in childhood.  Or, more accurately, I think the likelihood that one will develop to a very high stage is determined by factors in childhood."

     I have to agree that there are given limations—the walls of which are rubbed up against very quickly on meeting many people.  My Auntie Ann, for instance, had Down’s Syndrome so was thus ‘limited’.  She wasn’t much for cognition, and she could speak only the truth as she saw it. She literally was unable to abstract into a lie. Auntie Ann was, for my father, the deepest embarrassment through all of his formative years, even well into his adulthood.  All these years later, something has changed in him-- his mortification at her imperfection perhaps, more importantly, at his own imperfection, has melted and disappeared…. He has gentled, I don’t know why-- deaths and sadnesses of people that he has loved, including Ann, perhaps.  Just recently he wrote to me something about my sister: “i will love her just the same.   I really like that expression.  It was Ann's.   "well I love you just the same".   She had the best nature of anyone in the family and i wish that in some ways that i could have been more like that.  She was a Friday's  child.   "Friday's child is loving and giving'.   Actually i am not sure .  she may have been a Sundays child.” Those sweet words-- yet, my father-- I am sure he was a Nazi in my youth…..Now he breaks my heart, his gentleness and kindness… Perhaps his own mortification has been over powered by his love….or maybe it has been smashed by time and consequence. Maybe having a few brave mentors by his side, prepared to witness his shadows, bear their brunt and keep on loving him has factored in as well.  People do change, the fearfulness fades, they realize there is nothing to lose, and eventually their best approximation of the Truth is all that is left.  My grandmother said, demented and nearing her death, smiling and almost ethereal, “All of my judgments, now nothing but a hill of beans.”

     I think sometimes of the word ‘petrified’.  Hardened, to turn to stone, petrified, like the petrified forests.  People become petrified. Scary religions and horrible life traumas can petrify a person. When I meet someone armored and stiff, their biography written all across their biology, I wonder what has happened to petrify them…..And then conversely I wonder what make people resilient, and further what makes them soften again, and re-inhabit their lives…what is that magic potion.... And like 1235813 has written, some of these petrified people, are very specific about what has them scared stiff…racist, homophobic, religion whatever..otherwise they are the kindest, sweetest souls you could ever imagine… ‘fix the flat and bring on the beer.’  It almost is incongruent.

    Certainly, having our religious institutions mentoring openness and free thinking, would make a difference.  Alas, these institutions seem to be the repositories of some of the greatest fear mongering… Similarly, our schools can be terrible for children, and of course, petrified parents seem to be less than ideal. (though all of this sometimes backfires… and sometimes in the most wonderful way) So what makes resilience? And what are the glimmers in the petrified masses that need to be gently fanned by the gentle breath of my own fearless Truth?

    I am thinking about your predicament in the South, 1235813… it is sort of the same here, but in many ways the code has been cracked…nothing is working here, and there is so much sadness that either death or change is knocking at the door daily…. I like that you leave KW books around. I guess for me, I have tried to learn to speak without judgment, appreciative inquiry, just finding and sharing ‘facts and information’ about what is actually coming down the pipe, without drawing conclusions on the next action step. I have a hard time with this though…I am a compulsive fixer… and I need to let this go.

    I am thinking suddenly of a stupid joke my father tells;“doctor doctor, every time I drink coffee, I get a pain in my right eye.”“oh, maybe you should take the spoon out before you have a drink”It seems that ‘the terribly obvious’ is often not obvious at all to many petrified people, and the fact that it is not obvious at all, is not obvious at many of the rest of us.  And thusly, we braille ourselves along…. And ‘in the land of blind, he with one eye is king.”

    Love Jane

     


    The fabric of my life is the cloth with which it is my responsibility to polish the lens of my own perception
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  •  09-13-2006, 4:39 PM 7753 in reply to 7598

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    Jane, that's a beautiful and moving evocation of your family.  I recognise a lot of what you say in my own.  Yes, fear is what inhibits change.  And the 'cognitive' line, as it develops through a lifetime and integrates with the whole being, leads - as you show so well - not to 'super-intelligence' (whatever that might be) but to wisdom.

    Smile [:)]

     

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  •  09-16-2006, 7:29 AM 8059 in reply to 7753

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    So, some interesting thoughts here after reading Appendix II.

    First, going back to earlier topics in the thread, as Ken demonstrates (so well) in Up from Eden, both Jesus and Buddha were among those advanced to orange during their time periods and in their respective cultures. This is what is really sad when you think about it with regard to the LLF. First, I was going to say this above in response to Balder's questions/ideas about relationship with God. The Orange level relationship with God, even while it may still be in 2nd person, is "I and my Father are One." This is exactly what I experienced in my own life at around the age of 14. As I said this did not detract from the humility of 2nd person at all -it in fact strengthened it!-but a 1st person and 3rd person was now included and added confidence, self-esteem, individual choice, all orange things. Whatever I really was, was of God, inseparable from God.

    And yet, this is the great dilemma, where now move to the more recent discussion about development. It would be another 1700 years before a significant portion of the population would evolve to orange . . . at which point, we begin to arrive at the LLF in large part, if not in its entirety, caused by a dominating, oppressive amber interpretation of Jesus. It's also quite clear that the amber portions "won" the battle for Christianity in the early years after Jesus' death. By 3-400ce Jesus was fully amber, and worldcentric meant imposing this religion on the entire world.

    I honestly believe this highlights the importance of what we are doing here now. Everyone starts out at square one. But for centuries amber dominated, marginalized, oppressed and even killed orange. And there is so much evidence for this too.

    Some might be or have us inclined to believe that running water was an invention of a hundred or so years ago. The Romans had running water. And hot water too! (among so many other things) In studying theatre history of recent it is so obvious what happened there as well. Orange is what brings theatre (and movies, the dramatic art) about, and it has historically only even been allowed in culture/societies where there was a leading edge of orange. Hence Ancient Greece, Rome . . . and then it all but disappeared until the European Enlightenment.

    And so, I sometimes wonder that about this Integral work and the Integral movement. What guarantee is there that it will last beyond us? Will it be another 1700 years before a few might again discover "the works of Ken Wilber" from the 20th-21st century and say "Look! These people were doing this and thinking like this 2000 years ago! There were thousands of people involved!"

    I think this highlights the importance of orange, because it offers for the first time something which might be called the "great freedom" to be creative. This is why it has been so deeply frightening of recent to see the massive amber surge in America. So, in some very real sense Jane is right!

    Maybe we don't have to go directly to people, be we must do so indirectly, providing and creating the structures, in the LL, LR quadrants that will, indeed, act as a Conveyor Belt -a gentle "pacer of transformation" if desired or needed or simply act as (don't really have the right word here) a healthy, holistic, Integral structure for all of the stations in life; providing and encouraging health, as well as safety for the whole of the Spiral. Which does mean holding the lowever waves in their safest and healthiest places.

    Hmm. still doesn’t sound like an east task . . .

     


    I wish I could have writte this with my cool, black -I+I- pen! . . . but now the INK is running out! Drat.
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  •  09-16-2006, 10:41 AM 8071 in reply to 8059

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    hi tim,

    i really enjoy just about everything you write, so, maybe, the time has come to begin expressing this openly. i'm going to be so bold, though, as to try to add to what you've just written.

    i just listened to part 2 of the 9/02 teleconference, which was prompted by john baker's questions. in it ken reiterates comments he's frequently made in the past about the grooves in the kosmos, their depths and how they're formed. in particular, he laments that the orange groove (sorry! no colors) has already been suffiently carved out that it's going to be very hard to alter in any substantial way, but the green groove, which fell subject to some mean carving in the 90's, has yet to be substantially carved out, and we (integral) need and can do alot about that.

    so, what about the conveyor belt? my guess is that it constitutes a much longer term project, something we need to begin working on, but that work will still need to go on long after our finite existence (yeah! even you young guys) has ended. that said, i think you guys (and gals, should i say?) are doing a great job getting it started.

    another thought: the grooves are, of course, deep structure. won't the conveyor belt be providing, at least initially, better surface structure, which will look quite different in afro-asian islam than in american christian, for example?

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  •  09-17-2006, 4:40 AM 8128 in reply to 8071

    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch. 9: The Conveyor Belt

    ralphweidner:
    . i just listened to part 2 of the 9/02 teleconference, which was prompted by john baker's questions. in it ken reiterates comments he's frequently made in the past about the grooves in the kosmos, their depths and how they're formed. in particular, he laments that the orange groove (sorry! no colors) has already been suffiently carved out that it's going to be very hard to alter in any substantial way, but the green groove, which fell subject to some mean carving in the 90's, has yet to be substantially carved out, and we (integral) need and can do alot about that.

    Hi Ralph, Tim and all

    Jane and I had a brief exchange earlier in the thread about this 'grooves' idea.  Ken is very fond of it and often refers to morphic fields and morphic resonance as though they are empirically substantiated.  Personally, I adore the idea - I mean, its so neat.  But we do have to remember that its just an idea.  Even Rupert Sheldrake, my compatriot and the guy who came up with the theory (he was on TV here propagating his latest telepathy notions only last week), will cheerfully admit that morphic resonance remains speculation.   Ken has no inhibitions about throwing grooves and morphic fields into his books as if they are established facts, and I do have to say - as Balder points out on another thread - that this is the kind of thing which keeps his work at the 'pop' level when someone like Jurgen Habermas, who ploughs some of the same fields as Ken, is revered worldwide as a 'serious' philosopher. 

    Sure, it could be that new developments carve out grooves in the Kosmos which make it easier for others to follow.  Simpler explanations tend to raise their hands for attention first, though.  Like: did Roger Bannister, the first man to break 4 minutes for running a mile, lay down a Kosmic groove?  Is that the explanation for the fact that soon afterwards, sub-4 minutes became more and more common?  Or are there simpler explanations, like - a psychological barrier was broken, and it doesn't seem impossible now?   Ah, one might say, but that doesn't explain how barriers seem to be broken when the parties know nothing of each other.   No, but coincidence might, and parallel cultural developments might.  Actually, this idea of non-coincidental simultaneous changes by parties not in contact is thought to derive from the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon, first purveyed by the popular biology writer, Lyall Watson.   He was writing about Japanese Macaque monkeys who liked to eat sweet potatoes.  Instead of eating the potatoes as they found them, some of the monkeys started to wash them:

    'as near as I can tell, this is what seems to have happened. In the autumn of that year an unspecified number of monkeys on Koshima were washing sweet potatoes in the sea. . . . Let us say, for argument's sake, that the number was ninety-nine and that at eleven o'clock on a Tuesday morning, one further convert was added to the fold in the usual way. But the addition of the hundredth monkey apparently carried the number across some sort of threshold, pushing it through a kind of critical mass, because by that evening almost everyone was doing it. Not only that, but the habit seems to have jumped natural barriers and to have appeared spontaneously, like glycerine crystals in sealed laboratory jars, in colonies on other islands and on the mainland in a troop at Takasakiyama'

    So, there we have it, an example of morphic resonance, a potato washing groove.  Except....When this intriguing story - of profound importance if it was true - was followed up, it turned out that Watson himself didn't observe this.  He was reporting the observations of some Japanese biologists.  These guys looked blank when asked about it, and explained that the monkeys on the island had simply been imitating each other, that some of the monkeys never did learn to wash the potatoes, and - most importantly - there was no evidence that washing behaviour had spread elsewhere.  Watson had made it up.

    Its a pity, right... It made such a great story.  As Watson himself admitted when challenged about it - he was unrepentant and writes on his website - 'I still think its a good idea!' 

    So, we may be laying down Kosmic grooves.  But that may just be no more than a good idea.  As Tim's post indicates, the theory isn't given unequivocal support by a glance at history.   Many wonderful advances by past civilisations disappeared without trace.  What happened to their grooves?   The innovations had to be re-discovered centuries later.  And however consciousness 'evolves', it sure does it the hard way.  Orange gets pulled down by Amber, Amber by Red, civilisations rise and civilisations fall.  If only we could find a groove and relax as it takes us onward!

    ~ David

     

     

     

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