October 1, 2016

The scalability of enlightenment

Jenga

By Joe Perez

Bestselling author Seth Godin describes “the scalability of money” on his blog. He writes:

You’re not half as annoyed when you get a $25 parking ticket as you are when the fine is $50.

An investment banker isn’t twice as excited about a $20 million bonus as she is about a $10 million one.

There are threshholds that determine how we feel about money-related events (good and bad), but beyond those threshholds, the relationships get all out of whack. Being a million dollars in debt feels about the same as being five million in the hole.

The way you feel about more (or less) of something probably doesn’t rise or fall based on how much it cost to produce that feeling.

Read the whole thing.

Here’s my follow-up question: Is there something related like “the scalability of enlightenment”?

If you are generally pretty convinced that life is meaningful, what you do is purposeful, and you trust in the universe or God, does it really matter where you rank in a diagnostic scale of ego-development maturity?

If you have mastered one spiritual technologies, one from your home religious tradition (meditation, scripture memorization, chanting, Aikido, etc.), does it really matter if you have mastered 3 or 4 of them? What if you mastered two different technologies from two different traditions? Does it matter that you haven’t mastered 10?

I suspect Seth Godin’s point has a correlate in spirituality. There are threshholds that determine how we feel about spiritual achievements, but beyond a certain point, it just doesn’t matter any more. Our spiritual homes are comfortably furnished, and we have little interest in remodeling or moving homes every few years.

What matters most perhaps is that we feel that our journey of seeking has gone out of the “lost in the woods” phase into the “accumulating wisdom and giving My Unique Gift” phase.

It’s time to stop talking about Enlightenment as if it were an Either/Or state of being. Ther is no such thing as, “I am Enlightened,” or “I’m not Enlightened.” There are degrees of brightness, fathoms of depth, arrays of lightness, and all the Levels, Quadrants, Lines, Types, and States of  Integral Spirituality (AQAL).

A better question is, “Is Our Enlightenment ‘enough’?”

And looking around at a world in disarray, with war, famine, gross inequality, gross lack of healthfulness, fear of death, fear of living fully, filled with destructive ideologies and -isms, and so on… the answer is definitely Not.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Joe Camosy says:

    Personal development can move in leaps and so is not a linear progression like the utility of money to an organization. Between leaps or milestones there is relative stability and resistance to change, while across a leap or milestone there are great differences. This is analogous to the difference between the stability of an attractor in a non-chaotic system vs. the strange attractor of a chaotic one. Scaling enlightenment then, becomes analogous to the problem of how to transition a particular system from the stable periodic behavior of an attractor into chaos. Here’s a hint: certain (personal and cultural) complexes (the attractors) need to be dissolved.

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