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Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

Last post 03-20-2007, 1:14 PM by ralphweidner. 46 replies.
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  •  06-27-2006, 1:45 PM 556 in reply to 547

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    yschachter:

     Those are the sorts of descriptions I was asking for. They're a different sort of knowledge than the experience itself (call it an outside view of zone 1 instead of inside view of zone 1, or 3p*1p*1p*1-p instead of 1p*1p*1p*1-p if you're into that), but both are helpful and valid.

     

    isn't a description of zone 1 simply zone 2?

     

    later,

    gene

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  •  06-28-2006, 1:02 AM 568 in reply to 460

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi, all,

    I previously posted my ongoing question about the PTF and how to tell useful meditative experiences from lesser experiences, e.g., a non-ego state of Bernadette Roberts' no-self, Huckabees Pillowed Face Blank Mind, and the psychological defense of depersonalization (cf. Wikipedia on this).  (I'd like to table the question of pathology vs. development for now--fascinating question.)

    Question:  How shall I best prepare myself to increase chances of experiencing something like "the unbearable lightness of being"? Assumption:  When we meditate, we hope to put ourselves in a position most likely to beget deeper and deepest experiences of the sacred/divine.  Ken prescribes this (growth to goodness, Atman as ultimate attractor, "significance hierarchy").

    In "What is Integral Spirituality?" (WIIS) (http://integralspiritualcenter.org/Integral%20Spirituality.pdf),
    he lists meditative practices aiding levels of satori which are hierarchical/developmental, "moving from gross experience to subtle...to causal...to nondual...."(p. 42).

    As per the Wilber Combs Matrix (p. 52), although waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states are not developmental and occur at every level, there's still a developmental component, which is the spiritual line of development, a developmental spiritual capacity. (p. 41, involving "attention deployment").

    P. 41: "...When states unfold in some sort of sequence, we call them state-stages."  Earlier on that page: "...many types of meditation are said to unfold from gross...('I see rocks') to subtle...('I see light and bliss, I feel expansive love'), to causal...('There is only vast emptiness, an infinite abyss') to nondual ('Divine Emptiness and relative Form at not two'). 

    If you have an experience in which "There is only vast emptiness, an infinite abyss", when you're in it, you can't tell from the content of the experience itself, whether it's, say, depersonalization or pillow face or Buddhaville. Ken says this in WIIS.  He says that an infant can't happen upon rational self-reflection (a basic stage) but can happen upon causal (a state-stage).  (I suspect that what's developmental is not waking, dreaming, or deep sleep, but being voluntarily able to bring waking consciousness into the other two, but only after the first is developed enough).

    Back to my bottom line question:  If highest spirituality and consciousness is the target, is there a way to know from the CONTENT of a meditative experience, whether we're moving our practice in the right direction?

    Maybe, strictly speaking, he's saying that we can't tell from the content if we're going the right way (developmentally).  But maybe he's really saying that if we develop our other lines, according to the WilberCombs Matrix, we'll be sophisticated enough to discern better, because of our other lines/intelligences, whether we're in real bliss or just in New Age grandiosity.  I suspect that the details will come in the fleshing out of the W-C Matrix.

    Best,
    Joanne

    What does your enlightenment feel like?












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  •  06-29-2006, 9:50 AM 629 in reply to 556

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Not quite. Zone 1 and Zone 2 are perspectives that take objects in the UL. What I'm talking about is two different perspectives that take as their object the Zone 1 perspective itself (or the experience of taking a Zone 1 perspective). So we're still talking about knowledge you can acquire by sitting on your yoga mat, we're just talking two differen ways of looking at that knowledge.
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  •  06-29-2006, 3:18 PM 641 in reply to 85

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    hi folks,

    i just wanted to get on and say "hi," it is so cool to see all these amazing threads and posts, and the incredily keen, smart, integral responses.  isn't it fantastic to have a group of peers that we can see, hear, touch, love, loathe, criticize, appreciate, and in all ways go intersubjective?  it's a miracle, this thing called 'we' and this beautiful space we have to see and touch each other.

    i'd love to be able to post more, but right now anyway, boy have i got my hands full.  but it's wonderful to be a part of this community and the growing tip that it is....

    much love to all of you!  ken

     

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  •  06-30-2006, 12:57 PM 674 in reply to 629

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    sorry if i'm dense, but you still are describing zone 2, as far as i can tell.  the integral calculus is something i am interested in, so use that if you have to.

    anyhow, zone 1, to me, is the first person view of a first person reality. (simple two term integral calculus 1p x 1p).  zone 2 methodology (e.g. spiral dynamics) is a third person view of a first person perspective, e.g. observing that a first person evolves through stages.  zone 2 also applies to the lower left quadrant, e.g. cultural studies.

    what are two different perspectives that take as their object the zone 1 perspective, if not third person and first person (if not 1p x 1p, or 3p x 1p)?

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  •  06-30-2006, 2:54 PM 684 in reply to 674

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    1 - so long as the territory I'm talking about is clear (phenomenological descriptions of states), that's a good thing. But I'm happy enough to argue about terminology, too. Gently. I tend to get very wordy, though, and I use a bunch of different arguments because I'm not sure which one will convince you. I think that part 3 might be a load of crap, though. Please forgive.

    2 - with the way you're understanding zone 1, could zone 1 knowledge ever be written down without becoming zone 2 knowledge?

    3 - part of the difficulty with all of this is that Ken gives one Zones system in the excerpts at wilber.shambala.com, a different version in the old rough draft of Integral Spritituality which you can find by googling, and a third version in the current Integral Spirituality (which now has 8 zones instead of 4). And the integral math description he gives of zones changes, too.

    So in the excerpts, Zone 1 is 1p x 1p. In the rough draft of IS it's 1-p x 1-p x 1p. The math expression I gave before used the latter version. I'm talking about 3-p x 1-p x 1-p x 1p as compared to 1-p x 1-p x 1-p x 1p. (I put the hyphens in the wrong place before, and I apologize, but I would be very sad if that's what threw you off.)

    The idea here is this. Using zone 1 one arives at knowledge. This is different knowledge than one arives at using zone 2. I now want to take this knowledge as an object. I can do this in one of two ways. I can either just experience it, feel the knowing of it, etc. This seems like a 1-p of that knowledge. Or I can put that knowledge into words, and make the knower a 3rd person, instead of a 1st person.

    Examples are good. Bad examples are okay, too, so here's one of those. You know what it's like to see the color red. The experience of seeing red generates zone 1 knowledge. Zone 2 here would study, for instance, the psychological effects of red on you, or perhaps even the associations it arose in you. It seems to be a consensus that one usefully can't put express in words what seeing red is like. So the zone 1 knowledge (1-p x 1-p x 1p) can only be taken as an object by the knower, the 1st person. hence (1-p x 1-p x 1-p x 1p). I'm speculating that for some other experiences, the knowledge can be expressed in words, however imperfectly. This would be (3-p x 1-p x 1-p x 1p).

    4 - Here's my effort at sympathy with your point. Tell me if this resonates. Regardless of all the messy bull I've written up there, the sort of perspective I'm talking about is still looking at an individual's upper left from the outside, right? If that's what you mean, I kind of agree. And that's frustrating. But I think that the difference is that Zone 1 knowledge originates from direct experience by the first person, while zone 2 knowledge originates from study of the first person. And the knowledge I'm proposing here originates in someone's direct experience, but is transformed to be passed on to a different first person. Does that make any sense?

    If I still haven't won you over, I think I may have to agree to disagree, terminology-wise. I would really like to have convinced somebody that the sorts of descriptions I'm talking about are possible, though, regardless of the words for them.

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  •  07-01-2006, 10:35 AM 718 in reply to 489

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi, all, 

    In response to Post #489, the proposition I’ve been offering here is the probability that shadow—unconscious defenses—can distort what we think might be subtle, causal, or nondual experiences.  Tying one of my seeming causal experiences to Ken's or someone's written description invites a PTF distortion.  I'll repeat my suggestion for people's consideration, that an experience can also contain some pre-conventional aspect that need to be watched for.   (Yotam, I understand what you wrote about separating pathology from levels, but see two paragraphs down).

    I was suggesting that if we can give thought to this dilemma for a while, we won’t build ourselves a spiritual house of cards, which will someday collapse into disillusionment and unnecessary meaninglessness later. 

    Yotam, perhaps our meeting place of agreement on this point is that when we have what apears to be a spiritual or higher consciousness experience, there are three aspects:  the pure experience of it; HOW it seemed (Jesus vs. pure light/sound vs. luminous tree); and how we would immediately thereafter describe it. 

    Regardless of how psychopathology, level, and line are defined (which is only beginning to be fleshed out), I'm trying to open up for discussion (not close down with easy answers) the question of how we best (most growthfully) work with altered state experiences that might come up.

    Thank you,
    Joanne

     



     

     


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  •  07-04-2006, 12:52 PM 914 in reply to 641

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    In response to Ken's post,



    mmmmmmmmmmmmm

    :)

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  •  07-04-2006, 12:57 PM 915 in reply to 914

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    What do folks think/feel about this:


    1.  Cognition and/or awareness is fundamental to other lines.

    2.  We often see things as we need to see them (and the converse too, of course).

    J

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  •  07-05-2006, 2:14 PM 970 in reply to 684

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    << The idea here is this. Using zone 1 one arives at knowledge. This is different knowledge than one arives at using zone 2. I now want to take this knowledge as an object. I can do this in one of two ways. I can either just experience it, feel the knowing of it, etc. This seems like a 1-p of that knowledge. Or I can put that knowledge into words, and make the knower a 3rd person, instead of a 1st person. >>

     

    ok, i think i got crossed up with the terminology.  spiral dynamics, as a zone 2 approach, can describe 1st person experiences/stages without having experienced them, rather, just by observing others.  You are talking about a person having experienced them and describing what it's like to experience them, right?

    i think your other point is that, for example, spiral dynamics does not attempt to induce an observed experience in the reader, rather, it is a factual "outsider" description.  you are talking about writing that attempts to induce the zone 1 experience in the reader, yes?  it's like a question of how to make an effective flight simulator (if we were talking about 1p experience of flying an airplane) but using only words. 

    here's another conundrum: if you've taken the iWET weekend course, you might know that the instructor uses a rose to demonstrate the four quadrants. the UR includes red petals, sharp thorns on smooth green stem, etc.   per the course, the UL includes beauty, romantic ideas, etc.   note how they have switched from the UR of the rose to the UL of the person!!  my idea of the UL (of the cut rose) is "i am dying of thirst".   what kind of perspective is that, using integral calculus?  is it different from "roses without water will wither"? 

     

    later,

    gene

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  •  07-05-2006, 3:36 PM 982 in reply to 970

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Wow. We're getting close. I'm sorry that I'm not quite saying this right. I'd like to be one of those people who can just drop the one sentence wisdom and blow people's minds, but apparently that goes on the list with six-pack abs and a good poker face. Thanks for bearing with me.

    "You are talking about a person having experienced them and describing what it's like to experience them, right?"

    YES!

    "you are talking about writing that attempts to induce the zone 1 experience in the reader, yes?" no.

    consider this:

    If you relax into present experience in that fashion, the separate self-sense will uncoil; you will stop standing back from life; you will not have experience, you will suddenly become all experience; you will not be "in here" looking "out there" - in here and out there are one, so you are no longer trapped "in here."

    And so suddenly, you are not in the bodymind. suddenly the bodymind has dropped. Suddenly the wind doesn't blow on you, it blows through you, within you. You are not looking at the mountain, you are the mountain - the mountain in closer to you than your own skin. You are that, and there is no you - just this entire luminous display spontaneously arising moment to momeny. The separate self is nowhere to be found.

    This is Ken describing a non-dual experience (BHOE chapter 13). I assume it's an accurate description. Thus, in reading it, I know somthing about non-dual experience.

    In the last chapter of EoS, he gives a "pointing out instruction" that brings one to recognize that good old one taste. I'd copy it out here, but it's too long. I really encourage anyone to go to a library or bookstore and read it. It works very well, and thus brings one to experience, a little, the non-dual. Afterward you have a different sort of knowledge than comes of reading the paragraphs above.

    I'll grant that the line between these is a bit blurry, but can you see what I'm getting at? The first kind describes, but does not induce a state. That's what I'm trying to find more of.

    I don't know of any way to explain why I think this is Zone 1 other than what I've said already. It's essentially because the knowledge originates with someone looking at herself, rather than with someone looking at someone else (the knowledge is then conveyed to someone who could not find it by looking at himself, because he hasn't experienced the state). How about we call it Zone 1.5 and let it be, eh?

    I'm really enjoying this conversation. My apologies to anyone reading on flat view who'd has to skip past it to seeother subthreads.

    PS - regarding the other conundrum, I've made a new thread about it, (see UR of What???) instead of continuing in this one. I often have similar confusions, and this has come up in the "Explaining AQAL to beginners" thread, too.

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  •  07-06-2006, 7:33 AM 1014 in reply to 982

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    << This is Ken describing a non-dual experience (BHOE chapter 13). I assume it's an accurate description. Thus, in reading it, I know somthing about non-dual experience. >>

    here's where i was getting crossed up with your (previous) use of "knowing" and "taking as an object", etc.  to my way of writing/thinking, "knowing" and "experiencing" are one and the same.  i usually do not entertain the thought that i know something about non-dual merely by reading ken's description.  to that extent, spiral dynamics and ken's writing are similar zone 2 examples.  the difference between them, for me, is that ken is writing about a very specific example whereas spiral dynamics is describing with broad brush strokes entire realms of experience without focusing on a very specific example.

    it's the specificity of ken's description that allows me to induce, in myself, some state that is described. if i cannot induce it, then it remains an object for me to look at and understand mentally (symbolically).  when i can induce such a state, i am the state-subject (it's no longer an object) and only then do i know it.  prior to that i can mentally/verbally replay or translate the descriptions.

    that's the relative explanation.  there is also the fact that we can communicate about this (a miracle in itself) which, i believe, happens only because we are aspects of the same unity of Reality, and so i have to concede that reading (symbolic communication) can be a mode of "knowing", though not as direct (1p) as experiencing.

    ken's piece is written in second person.  there are various mystical writings describing first person ecstatic revelations.  i'm not sure what the point of that is, but there you go---is there another slicing and dicing of perspective to be had there?

    << I'll grant that the line between these is a bit blurry, but can you see what I'm getting at? The first kind describes, but does not induce a state. That's what I'm trying to find more of. >>

    my take is that the inducement of a state is based on the intention of the reader.  i can induce a state in myself whether the writer intended it or not.  writing a piece with the intention of inducement (depending on the writer's skill) may not help me induce a state in myself as well as another writer's unintentional piece.

    << I don't know of any way to explain why I think this is Zone 1 other than what I've said already. It's essentially because the knowledge originates with someone looking at herself, rather than with someone looking at someone else (the knowledge is then conveyed to someone who could not find it by looking at himself, because he hasn't experienced the state). How about we call it Zone 1.5 and let it be, eh?

    I'm really enjoying this conversation. My apologies to anyone reading on flat view who'd has to skip past it to seeother subthreads. >>

    same here.  we should probably carry on elwewhere.

     

    later,

    gene

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  •  07-06-2006, 5:14 PM 1064 in reply to 1014

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

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  •  07-07-2006, 9:08 AM 1086 in reply to 718

    • slbrown is not online. Last active: 10-26-2006, 10:30 AM slbrown
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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi Joanne,

    I appreciate your questions and think that exploring them is quite important to spiritual development.

    >>the proposition I’ve been offering here is the probability that shadow—unconscious defenses—can distort what we think might be subtle, causal, or nondual experiences.<<

    I think this is very probable.

    In chapter 2 of IS (particularly pgs 70-71) I believe Ken's descriptions show how important it is to have our practice based in all quardants and to include as many lines as possible. For example, cognitive is needed so we can analyze the experience, spiritual is needed so we can have the experience, moral is needed to know how to act from the experience. The quadrants/zones are needed so we can view the experience from expanding persepctives and have others help us look at the experience from their perspecitves.

    Our egos also love to grab hold of these different state experiences and say "look at me! Look at what I can do!" I am wondering if ego attachment is shadow or something else.

    What say you?

    Sue


    And right there was everything I knew and I could not say what that was. - Natalie Goldberg
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  •  07-07-2006, 10:37 AM 1093 in reply to 1086

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi, Sue,

    Nice to hear from you.  You're from Florida, Mass., and there's an Indiana, Pennsylvania. Did they run out of ideas for cities? 

    Thought-provoking question you asked:  " Our egos also love to grab hold of these different state experiences and say "look at me! Look at what I can do!" I am wondering if ego attachment is shadow or something else.  What say you?"

    OK, we want ego development at lower stages.  We want babies and young adults to develop not just a "healthy" ego or self, but also a realistically positive evaluation of the self they develop.  Only later do we surpass our own need to be cool.

    The terms - ego, self, identity, self-system, self-esteem, and more, still need "fleshing out", as Ken says.  The already-existing literature, past and present, defining "self" and "ego" needs to be synthesized into I-theory, so we all know we're talking about the same things.  (I took just a tip off the iceberg in a short collection of literature at www.kenwilber.meetup.com/241/files/  -  called "Background on Loevinger from Questia"). 

    In common sense terms for the question (is ego attachment shadow, or something else?), we've got ego as organizer of experience (with both cognitive and affective components).  We've got an implicit self-awareness that we operate out of, without reflection (e.g., I know where my gross body ends and thus don't try walking into walls).  We've got simple reflection:  "this is me; I think X; etc." Then we've got: "I value my opinions and also that I'm open to new information; I'm the type of person who...."  (Good ref. on many aspects of ego:  George Vaillant: "The Wisdom of the Ego".)

    So now there are different kinds of ego attachment, each with implications for the question (is ego attachment shadow, or something else?). 

    "Shadow" needs a clearer definition too.  Jung at least partly says it's always negative, like a demon.  Depth therapies, like bioenergetics or Gestalt, see shadow as tentative denying reality, to ease or anesthetize pain.  But if we carefully, gently, decipher the hidden info, there's important, real, right truth in there for the person.  Our unconscious is our best friend, if we learn how to decipher and validate its info correctly.  (On I-N, Ken and Fr. Thomas Keating further define shadow not as just unconscious knowledge, but as disguised information.)

    Another question:  Does the literature support the idea that shadows need to be brought to conscious light in order for us to have genuine (not PTF-clouded) spiritual experiences and to help those become a more pervasive part of our being.  (It seems intuitively right on, but we can learn more about how it's true.)  (But the question wasn't about spiritual experience, exactly.)

    In Integral developmental psychology, ego attachment becomes less important at higher healthy development.

    Is ego attachment shadow?  Depends on one's definitions, I guess.  Maybe it's not, IF ego is simply how we organize reality, and, as some writers say, our ego grows big enough to hold the whole wide world and more in it. 

    But, if we think we're the center of the universe, in our value and worth, compared to everything else, then it's probably covering up some kind of shadowy lack of self-esteem somewhere and compensating for that. 

    What do you or others think? 

    Best,
    Joanne









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