OK, so here are the links to my recent teaching on Wilber. The audio is about 50 min. long, plus there were the two youtube segments. Thanks to all who participated in the discussion leading up to this.
The handout: http://heartlandspirituality.o...12/class9/wilber.pdf
The mp3 file for podcasts: http://heartlandspirituality.o...12/class9/wilber.mp3
The first video segment was of a teaching by Wilber on 4QAL and the grid plotting stages and states.
- see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...GEs8&feature=related (first 10 min. or so)
The second video segment gave an example of Wilber as spiritual teacher:
- see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAqfrxjexXk
Happy Easter, Pop. Hope you and all those who read this had a blessed Easter today.
Funny thing . . . the resurrection is either the most important religious event in the history of the human race or the greatest hoax/fraud ever proposed. . . and Wilber does not ever address this issue anywhere that I'm aware of (someone point me to it if you know of something). The implications for spirituality and the general direction of human history are enormous -- beyond anything to be found in any other religion . . . and this apparently doesn't interest him. The light shone by the resurrection on the deeper meanings of human nature, individuality, and our ultimate destiny are so profound that one could spend a lifetime doing theological reflection to mine these topics. Wilber has no comment. For him, Christianity is primarily a Blue-meme phenomena and that's about all he cares about, except, perhaps, for a few gnostic writers. Amazing, isn't it?
I think we've posted some significant criticisms of Wilber's work, at least from the vantage of Christian theology, and from other angles as well. That doesn't mean there's nothing of value to be found in his writings. Same with Cynthia Bourgeault, Bernadette Roberts and others whom we've critiqued on this board.
If you all have an interest in this, take a little time to listen to my presentation and review the handouts that went with it. The links for it are posted at the top of this page.
Thanks Phil, I listened last week and thought your presentation was well delivered, informative and fair. Thanks for making it available to us.
You're welcome, Jacques.
I'll leave this discussion of Wilber open, for now, but have opened a complementary thread that may interest some of you.
Like Phil said, there is very interesting and beneficial teachings for Christians that is outside of Christianity. After becoming a Christian, then studying other religions, transpersonal psychology, philosophy, & nonduality has enriched my walk with Christ in a way that would have been impossible had I not done these studies.
We have to be careful of the type of Christianity that says that anything outside of the Bible, "is of the Devil", and yet at the same time those who say this will pick up a cook book, or an owner's manual to fix their vehicle, or a modern psychology book (all of the Devil?)
In my case, Jesus saying "The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You" helped me to study what world religions say about "going within" and across the board I find the same set of inner life blueprints which match up exactly with those of the Christian Saints/Mystic/Monks/Hermits.
I do understand where you are coming from, however having had Profound Mystical experiences thrusted upon me after getting re-baptized, was something that also put me at odds with the Church, in the same way that Jesus was at odds w/ the Temples of his day. I sadly found that there is an extremely high percentage of folks who have never started a direct experiential transformative process which comes through Grace/God/Christ/Holy Spirit. "We" can only do so much to change our ways, which is were God steps in with the experiences and gives strength beyond measure.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
Thats been my case. The Holy Spirit has shown me transcendent things. I now operate from a timeless Now and find that as long as Christ remains my anchor, I am allowed to study other subjects which help me on my path. Nonduality has been particularly vital to me as of the last few years.
There's a fine line though. Its easy to get wrapped in other religions and think that they "got it" and be lead astray. At other times its necessary like in the example of Christ telling us the Kingdom of heaven is within us, but having no elaborations on "within" requires extensive outside study on the inner realms.
ALso in my case I remember clearly that I had pre-existed which begs the question, "Was I a sinner in my pre-existant state? Especially considering that I was without Body and without Ego and have ever since rediscovered that part of myself that has existed before earth. In this sense its necessary for me to study which other Christians have remembered pre-existing and I ultimately come down to Eastern Orthodox monks, many saints, mystics, and hermits who also have these kind of rememberings. These are folks who were working on their relationship w/ God 24/7 and getting direct experiences and insights, while the rest of the Church, (as we see today), remains on a somewhat surface level of going to service on Sundays and remaining as they always are w/ little inner change. With the latter, I have met countless folks who go to service because its what everyone does, or because their significant other goes (but they themselves could care less), or they are just passing through.
I think we are justified to study other teachings, religions, psychologies, philosophies, but we are to tread carefully.
Dominicus, I'll get back to you on the nonduality thread, as you've made some interesting observations.
In the context of this discussion on Wilber, the term, "the Kingdom of heaven is within you," has come up several times (and on other threads as well). That's a common translation of Luke 17:21, but it can also mean "the Kingdom of heaven is among you" or "in your midst." The Greek word, entos carries all these meanings, and it seems that what Jesus may have been referring to was not so much the indwelling Spirit as himself, his person, present among the people.
- see http://www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/17_20-25.htm for a commentary on this.
Historically, the gnostics have taken off with this saying and trumpeted it as an indication that Jesus was pointing people to an inner mystical experience that would bring them liberation. The orthodox (Apostolic) tradition took this to mean that we are saved through the person of the incarnate Word, who does indeed dwell within, but also among us in community ("where two or more are gathered in my name . . .), and in the Sacraments ("unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you). I think the orthodox interpretation is richer and more complete, encompassing Christian community as well as inner experience. Wilber and those who make use of his works in teaching spirituality tend to emphasize the inner while giving little attention to the Christic presence manifest in community and Sacrament.
I've never been convinced by translators who want to put "among" in Luke 17:21.
"Within" makes more sense in the context, and the mystical tradition, as far back as you go, has always understood "within."
I think it's possible that an ambiguous word choice was made when the source saying was translated from Aramaic into Greek.
"Within" is also supported by a comparison with the Syriac version and by a parallel in the Gospel of Thomas. See Ilaria Rameli, "Luke 17:21: 'The Kingdom of God Is Inside You,' the Ancient Syriac Versions in Support of the Correct Translation," Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies, Vol. 12:2, pp. 259-286.
Maybe so, Derek, but some very decent Scripture translations use "among us" (Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible). There are world-class scholars who worked with those translations, and on others that use "in your midst."
Doesn't matter much to me, however, as it's clear that God does dwell within us (immanence), among us (in community), beyond us (transcendence), etc. One can find the New Testament supporting all these positions. When people seize upon one emphasis to the exclusion of others, that can become a problem.
I just realized you are the same Dominicus who started the thread called "Christian Mystic Seeking Guidance....." in 2008. Since this recent discussion is primarily a continuation of that thread, why don't we carry on over there? You bring up a lot of good issues that are relevant perhaps to a number of us, and we may all benefit from sharing of our mystical experiences and how they can bless us and even sometimes mislead us...
Here's the link to that thread:
Yes, we're way off of W-i-l-b-E-r, but the discussion is relevant in many ways.
Dominicus, I have a few more replies to some of what you've posted. Let's see where it all goes, so keep hanging in there, as you've been doing so far.
Earlier, you wrote:
This is a good example of how you are sometimes just a tad overconfident in your thinking:
1. The awareness by means of which the Ego itself is aware is not a different awareness from the awareness by means of which an awakened person is aware. It's just reflected and refracted more in the Ego, usually by the attachments the Ego has been conditioned to pursue. Remove these attachments and the intentionality of Ego and the deeper awareness of Self begin to work more harmoniously.
2. Nondual philosophy/spirituality/mysticism is by no means a preventative for inappropriate sexual acting out. There have been many examples of nondual gurus and even "avatars" sexually exploiting their followers/devotees. E.g., Adi Da, whose "crazy wisdom" involved teaching husbands that their pretty wives didn't really belong to them so much as to God (i.e., him). Also - Muktananda, Ramakrishna and Chogyam Trungpa, who was, additionally, an alcoholic and dope addict. Alan Watts was also a big nondual kind of guy and a womanizer and alcoholic. Ram Dass had his flings as well. So nondual philosophy doesn't necessarily resolve psychological and other issues, as even WilbEr came to acknowledge about Adi Da, whom he once affirmed to be the most spiritually realized person on the planet (Da said he lived in a higher stage of development than even Jesus!).
- see http://www.strippingthegurus.com/ for more examples.
That's why I keep speaking of the importance of integration!
After my own awakenings in the mid-80s, I jotted down all sorts of "realizations" I was having. Many of these are published in my book, The Logic of Happiness, but some will never be published as they turned out to be rubbish. Thankfully, I had a spiritual director to help me sort things out; I'd also had some good theological formation and had developed critical thinking skills as well. But I still felt like I now knew everything -- much like a teenager who's accessing deeper potentials of their own intellect. There's the same kind of "I'm different and I know better than anyone else" attitude, and "I don't fit in with this group so why stay with it?" sort of thing. Spiritual awakening needs to be integrated intellectually, morally, psychologically and socially -- even physically, as the kundalini process insists. This takes time. I think you are doing this kind of work, but you strike me as one who is still in the early stages of doing so.
You are again confusing truth and experience in these remarks and others you've made about church and doctrine. Enjoy your experiences -- yes! -- but the Church isn't merely "man-made". The Church is Christ's Mystical Body, willed by Christ, nurtured by Him, fed by Him, led by Him, etc. It is a continuing mode of His presence, and the primary means by which and through which He extends his salvation to the world.
- see conferences H and I http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/frm/f/211107858
OK, got to go. Hope this is helpful, somehow.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Phil,
I was going to jump in with the same point. Swami Muktananda (Baba) was a champion of non-dual consciousness! He was a kundalini master, a Siddha, the cream of the crop in guru circles of enlightenment! Yet, somehow... statutory rape landed him in a NY state court! At one of his ashrams, Baba had multiple underground tunnels to various bedrooms where he'd slither around to fornicate with devotees.
His devotees had the moral intelligence to suggest that owing to Baba's past lives as a king, he couldn't really help his proclivity to keeping multiple wives, some of them under age 16. In Baba's defense, still other Siddha, non-dual devotees swimming in the ocean of pure Awareness, explained that his behavior was not really sex, per se, but worshipping the Goddess, ya see?
I think this is why Saints like Teresa of Avila repeatedly pronounced and warned of our vital need for humility in spiritual growth.
Part of a song came to me this morning by John M. Talbot.
...But the tree must be brought down,
humbled to the Earth
in the dust of the ground.
Then the tree might be used
to form an instrument of love.
Shasha, I'd heard about Muktananda's sexploits. In a link above, I referenced Geoffrey Falk's Stripping the Gurus, which is quite an eye opener. I'm not doubting that any of them people discussed in that book had profound spiritual experiences. Their common downfall seemed to be that they didn't consider themselves to be subject to the same kinds of principles they taught their followers -- "do as I say, not as I do." It's difficult to be humble when one is a guru, I guess.
Jacques and others, I'm going to be starting up a new discussion in the Christian Morality and Theology forum and moving posts that are discussing church and doctrine in general. We've drifted quite a ways from evaluating Wilber, and for many posts now.
- - -
See http://shalomplace.org/eve/for...2410135/m/4114056818 for the new discussion.
I'll be moving some of the discussion of nonduality that has no reference to Wilber as well.
Years back, when Ariel Jaffe used to post at SP, we had some discussion of operant conditioning and how it was equivalent to Pennsylove in her view.
The other day I was advised of some new material that KW was promoting on his website. This stuff seems scary to me! I question whether these proffered materials in ‘brain entrainment’ as it is referred to there (profound meditation bundles they are called), are just a self-administered form of operant conditioning.
What I wonder about is what might go on in a practitioner when an external source of the stimulus comes into play. If I have conditioned myself (entrained my brain) to respond at home in a certain way to the designed stimulus I have purchased and trained with, do I lose some freedom of will when subjected to the stimulus in unanticipated situations wherein I encounter the stimulus in a public setting – a situation wherein I am not able to turn-off the stimulus, a situation in which my response to the stimulus would be inappropriate to the then present moment?
I had similar concerns about the use of mantras and visual aids (mandalas) recommended for stimulating the various chakras in a book on kundalini that I had read.
Can one unwittingly train oneself to be a zombie and easily manipulated? Some of us may be more susceptible than others in this regard, in different areas based upon our dysfunction and areas of weakness.
Any thoughts from you readers concerning these things?
The graces of infused contemplation are divinely given us, not something that we acquire via our assaulting. That’s what I’ve consistently read in books on contemplation. Is one really seeking God when using a ‘profound meditation bundle’? Will such activity lead to spiritual life or spiritual death? Can we get to God without Him? Is He or self one’s focus? Is this stuff for Christians to grow closer to Christ with, or to fool ourselves with?
Audio Serenity, Audio Chi, and Neurocharger are the three meditation bundles being offered.
Is all this true spirituality?
I had heard on public TV or radio a while back, about the existence of digital drugs and their use on some college campuses (not every MP3 player is playing music). Evidently the law hasn’t caught up with what young adults are getting a buzz from these days.
Science is learning a lot about the brain, and as in all things, one can use or abuse, be ‘master of’ or ‘enslaved to’.
Anyway, any thoughts? Is this merely my Pop-poppian paranoia? ….. Evidently, KW feels such materials offer Integral Life. (What’s that – yellow or turquoise?)
p.s. Is Pennsylvania the state of brotherly love …… or sisterly conditioning?
Yes, I know I never thoroughly explained operant conditioning to you, but you are misunderstanding it. I'm working with a couple of deadlines and still have some tendonitis in my wrist, but I guess I owe you that explanation when I have time.
Completely off the subject, as of yesterday I'm now the proud overseer of 4 long-legged killdeer chicks.
Pop or anyone else: could you post a link to what Wilber is promoting?
I, too, would surely make a distinction between contemplation and states of consciousness derived from directly influencing brain wave patterns. I don't think these practices are necessarily harmful, however.
Here is Ken Wilber talking about holosync / binaural beats / brain entrainment:
This page includes samples of the Audio Serenity, Audio Chi, and Neuro Charger that PP referred to:
I know a Christian minister who uses these kinds of audio meditations and he finds them helpful to reduce stress, relax, and to promote clear awareness. He's very clear to himself that this is not about realizing divine consciousness, but stimulating brain waves. I don't know that he uses these precise meditations linked to above, however. I guess like anything else, one needs to be clear about what's going on, and alert for any dangerous consequences that might ensue.
Okay. Thanks, Phil & Derek!
By their fruits then. When data becomes available.
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