October 28, 2020

Daily Wisdom: First things first

From Ken Wilber’s “A Spirituality That Transforms”:

Even though you and I might deeply believe that the most important function we can perform is to offer auhentic transformative spirituality, the fact is, much of what we have to do, in our capacity to bring decent spirituality into the world, is actually to offer more benign and helpful modes of translation. In other words, even if we ourselves are practicing, or offering, authentic transformative spirituality, nonetheless much of what we must first do is provide most people with a more adequate way to translate their condition. We must start with helpful translations, before we can effectively offer authentic transformations.

The reason is that if translation is too quickly, or too abruptly, or too ineptly taken away from an individual (or culture), the result, once again, is not breakthrough but breakdown, not relapse but collapse.

To read the whole article, see KenWilber.com.

Unique Self Dialogue: Ken Wilber & Marc Gafni, Part 3

What is the difference between the True Self and Unique Self? Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni approach this topic in the third part of the dialogue on Unique Self (about 24 minutes). Early in the conversation, Ken says:

Ken Wilber: The egoic self still has not yet passed through Emptiness, so it still believes it has a real existence and is something that is permanently everlastingly existing instead of something that is timelessly existing, and its specialness comes from the way it is different from other egos, and it still hasn’t experienced the True Self. At most, it exists at the soul level. The soul still exists — the soul is essentially the self in subtle realms. In the causal realms, it’s the True Self. The whole point that making sure you’ve passed through Emptiness is to strip through the soul of the separate self at that level.

Marc coined the term “Unique Self” in his book Soul Prints, and has been working to develop the Unique Self teaching for over two decades. Marc’s latest book, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, explores and unpacks it even further. For a timeline of the Unique Self’s development, see the Unique Self Timeline.

Listen and read more… [Read more…]

Unique Self Dialogue: Ken Wilber & Marc Gafni, Part 2

This week we are presenting the second in a multi-part dialogue series on Unique Self featuring Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni (a series which will continue all autumn). In this second clip (about 20 minutes), Ken and Marc situate the Unique Self within the context of Integral Theory, in particular the differentiation between structures or stages of consciousness on the one hand and states on the other. They conclude by differentiating between specialness as an egoic claiming of place, which is competitive and aggressive, and a Unique Self specialness which is “the currency of connction.”

Marc coined the term “Unique Self” in his book Soul Prints, and has been working to develop the Unique Self teaching for over two decades. Marc’s latest book, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, explores and unpacks it even further. For a timeline of the Unique Self’s development, see the Unique Self Timeline.

Listen to the audio and read the partial transcript as well as some Background Material below… [Read more…]

Unique Self Dialogue: Ken Wilber & Marc Gafni, Part 1

The Center for World Spirituality is very pleased to present a new dialogue series on Unique Self featuring Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni. In this first clip (about 26 minutes), Marc and Ken each offer their own introductions to the Unique Self concept. Thereafter they discuss some of the contemporary context of the teaching which sets the stage for the conversation to follow.

Marc coined the term “Unique Self” in his book Soul Prints, and has been working to develop the Unique Self teaching for over two decades. Marc’s latest book, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, explores and unpacks it even further.

Marc and Ken began discussing the idea of perspectives and Unique Self back in 2004. For more context, see Intellectual History of Unique Self and Unique Self Timeline. Marc originally sourced the notion of enlightenment plus perspective in Hebrew mystical texts and Ken brought to bear the postmodern and post-postmodern notions of perspectives. From this emerged one of the core Unique Self formulas that Ken refers to in the beginning of this dialogue. For both Marc and Ken, perspectives were foundational. Together, in a series of groundbreaking conversations, they clarified and evolved the Unique Self teaching.

Listen to the audio and read a partial transcript: [Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Ken Wilber on spiritual realization

Ken Wilber writes in “A Spirituality That Transforms”:

World Spirituality is not only about coping with life, but about transforming it through mystical realization.

I once asked Katigiri Roshi, with whom I had my first breakthrough (hopefully, not a breakdown), how many truly great Ch’an and Zen masters there have historically been. Without hesitating, he said “Maybe one thousand altogether.” I asked another Zen master how many truly enlightened–deeply enlightened–Japanese Zen masters there were alive today, and he said “Not more than a dozen.”

Let us simply assume, for the sake of argument, that those are vaguely accurate answers. Even if we say there were only one billion Chinese over the course of its history (an extremely low estimate), that still means that only one thousand out of one billion had graduated into an authentic, transformative spirituality. Run the numbers… that’s 0.0000001 of the total population.

read more…

Daily Wisdom: Translation v. Transformation

Photo: victorcamilo

In a series of books (e.g., A Sociable God, Up from Eden, and The Eye of Spirit), I have tried to show that religion itself has always performed two very important, but very different, functions. One, it acts as a way of creating meaning for the separate self: it offers myths and stories and tales and narratives and rituals and revivals that, taken together, help the separate self make sense of, and endure, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. This function of religion does not usually or necessarily change the level of consciousness in a person; it does not deliver radical transformation. Nor does it deliver a shattering liberation from the separate self altogether. Rather, it consoles the self, fortifies the self, defends the self, promotes the self. As long as the separate self believes the myths, performs the rituals, mouths the prayers, or embraces the dogma, then the self, it is fervently believed, will be “saved”–either now in the glory of being God-saved or Goddess-favored, or in an after-life that insures eternal wonderment.

But two, religion has also served–in a usually very, very small minority–the function of radical transformation and liberation. This function of religion does not fortify the separate self, but utterly shatters it–not consolation but devastation, not entrenchment but emptiness, not complacency but explosion, not comfort but revolution–in short, not a conventional bolstering of consciousness but a radical transmutation and transformation at the deepest seat of consciousness itself.

There are several different ways that we can state these two important functions of religion. The first function–that of creating meaning for the self–is a type of horizontal movement; the second function–that of transcending the self–is a type of vertical movement (higher or deeper, depending on your metaphor). The first I have named translation; the second, transformation.

from “A Spirituality that Transforms”

 

Daily Wisdom: On the importance of taking into account different meanings of “religious” and “spiritual”

Photo: Marseille Cathedral Ceiling, by papalars

There are at least a dozen different meanings of “religious” or “spiritual,” and we need to take these different meanings into account if our discussions of those topics are to make any sense at all. Most conversations about religion and spirituality proceed as if those words were transparent, whereas they are anything but. At the very least, there is a profound difference between a spirituality that helps one translate and a spirituality that helps one transform. Some types of religion obfuscate, some oppress, some liberate. At any given moment, which function of religion are we discussing?

~ Ken Wilber, Foreword to the Paperback Edition of A Sociable God

 

 

Foreward to Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez: Integral Spirituality in Real Life ~ Foreward by Ken Wilber

by Ken Wilber

I would like to take a slightly different approach to this month’s column, and instead of continuing to outline an integral approach to spirituality, give an example of its use in the real world. What I am doing in this column is quite different from the other columns on Beliefnet (namely, give a serialized overview of an integral spirituality, which can get somewhat tedious). So, let’s take a break.

What follows is a foreword I wrote for a not-yet-published book called Soulfully Gay, by Joe Perez. Joe is just now seeking a publisher, so you won’t yet find his work on Amazon. I won’t spoil what he’s written by telling you the plot, but I hope you enjoy this note from the heart and see it as an example of integral thinking in action. [Read more…]