Lightmind Extract 014
yeah! so glad my earlier post evoked the discussion below. of course, the discussion has a life of it’s own, but glad to see it associated with my comments…..thanks, dudes.
jim thanks for your endless patience in attempting to clarify and disentangle. heruka thanks for your enthusiasm and willingess to commit to a position and keep going. you are good companions on the virtual path.
i wanted to expand a little and then ask you each (or any others reading) for comments on your experience/ideas about the “initiations” i am describing and if they have shown up in your own experience and how.
then perhaps any comments on the process/integration phase and any realizations around inflation/delusional beliefs etc……… sound interesting?
also any comments on the chain of realizations that i go off on at the end and the central premise around “eating the transformational/integral/psychospiritual pie!”
ok so here is what i was saying:
basically there are direct experiences or initiations that give dimensional reality to what are otherwise flat concepts about growth, healing, transformation, enlightenment etc….
it is important to grasp that any valuable concept or theory about this realm is an attempt to make sense of the experience that one has been initiated into.
if the theory, concept or belief being espoused is not an attempt to translate or make sense of an actual experience, it is nothing but a flat abstraction or a way of posturing around being identified with what one thinks the concepts mean.
i was postulating three major initiations:
a) into direct experience of the primal emotional layer of the psyche
b) into the direct experience of the bioenergetic/pranic nature of the bodymind
c) into the direct experience of the psyche’s transpersonal archetypal dynamics
i was suggesting that these three initiations are, respectively:
a) the holy grail of any “therapy”
b) the holy grail of any movement, touch and/or breath based practice
c) the holy grail of what i awkwardly called “psychospiritual practice”
i said that meditation, breathwork, bodywork, yoga, tantric sex, intentional psychedelic use, ecstatic dance, shamanic journeying and other pursuits, if practiced consistently and bravely would lead (often sequentially) to these initiatory “peak experiences”, and that the peak experiences would then have to be processed and integrated.
also that at each stage of growth, the resulting inflations and misguided beliefs generated by the peak experience’s interaction with the current “shape” of one’s psyche would have to be analyzed and often surrendered in order for the next initiation to occur.
without the practices, 99% of the time, the initiatory experiences do not occur. without the process/integration piece, they 99% of the time will be only passing fancies that trickle through the psyche’s widely spaced fingers.
three things actually seem necessary to me:
1) dedicated practice
2) guides who will help with making sense off the experiences and keeping the inflation tendency in check
3) ongoing study that is informed by the actual initiatory experiences that the flat conceptual maps are pointing out, SO THAT these two modalities (conceptual and experiential) can have the kind of relationship that generates meaning rather than posturing, identification, and arrogant immature inflation….(which we are all susceptible to).
so it’s not enough to just have read and formed an opinion about transformational practices; one must then engage in them ( and the wise will drop all a priori opinions upon acknowledging beginner status!)
it’s not enough just to have a PEAK EXPERIENCE or two (wether or not this is the result of a practice or therapy); one must then PROCESS and INTEGRATE the experience with a guide who is familiar with the territory and it’s myriad pitfalls.
it’s not enough just to choose one practice/therapy and guide; one must (to be integral/transpersonal/psychospiritual) realize that certain practices/therapies will address certain blocks in consciousness, but not others, in fact they may be DETRIMENTAL/REPRESSIVE/DISHONORING of others!
this realization must lead to a desire to investigate experientially each of the layers of consciousness or being and discover the DISCRETE TRUTHS that each discloses….
this exploration leads to the understanding that there are many partial understandings out there and that this is fine, but it is a BIG PROBLEM when the partial understanding claims TOTAL TRUTH, or that wonderful red herring: “enlightenment”.
from an integral/transpersonal/psychospritual perspective (especially one that is based in the direct expereince and initiatory revelations of ACTUAL PRACTICE) any concept of enlightenment would have to be expanded to include illuminating every compartment of the psyche as it lives in the body and in it’s inter-relations with the world at large.
this is post freud AND post buddha, transcending and including both and embracing all their descendents…
no more “transcending” emotions, desires, politics, the shadow. this is understood as a well-meaning but ultimately failed hypothesis that needs to be rooted out in all of it’s virulent forms as anti-humanistic and inherently pathological.
no more puffed up authoritarian teachers claiming absolute enlightenment while acting like psychopathic 12 year olds when off (and often on) the teaching podium…osho, trungpa, da, etc etc – thanks so much for your brilliant but incomplete revelations, what a pity so much harm came to so many from your socially sanctioned unchecked narcissism! shame.
no more people practicing one approach for twenty years and then proclaiming themselves enlightened and saying there is no need for anyone else to do that or any practice or therapy because basically there never was a problem any way dude, just drop your frickin story…..and be happy! isn’t that enlightenment after all? (well, it’ll certainly keep one dude in the guru role – if no-one else is doing genuine transformational practice….)
no more half ass wannabees reading some books, going to satsang for while and then announcing their identity with pure consciousness, their penetrating insight into the nature of absolute truth and their generous williness to share this enlightenment with others who are usually unsuspecting, wounded folk with very little discrimination or critical thinking and end up even more confused after giving their energy to massaging the self made guru’s substantial ego! (& being told that they just need to drop it and wake up to be over their seperation – simple as that…what a distorted ashamed dissociated mess that creates )o;..)
people like grof and kornfield, wilber and welwood, (i would even include jung here actually) are serious scholars and serious practitioners. they have done tons of research, all except wilber have tons of clinical experience working with others and applying and fine tuning their ideas. they have all spent so many hours in altered states induced by psychedelics or breathwork (active imagination for jung), on meditation cushions, in deep courageous therapy……their theorizing and creation of a synthesis of east and west has been hard won, gruellingly……they have had to realize the incompletnesss of the various theories through their own intense trial and error exploration in order to start to bring together what used to be thought of as contradictory schools. they are the modern heretics of consiousness research and they back up their ideas brilliantly, they point to a way out of a laybrinthine knot that they have all journeyed themselves.
all of them are writing books as companion pieces to actual initiatory direct experiences. practice/therapy generates the experience, then it must be processed and integrated, without guidance this is very treacherous territory. one walks a razors edge through all of this. without the kneading of the experienced baker and the experiential filling of the pie, it’s all crust. & crumbly at that!
so the call is: take up the injunctions, drop your egoic opinions, discover the humble dignity of beginners mind again and again. assume that the scholar trailblazers are referring to something experiential and find out for yourself. discover the dimensions of the literature that will not be disclosed by simply reading and thinking about it…..confront your own unconscious with the extraordinary tools that have been developed and refined by many communities of the adequate and then revised and refined by each successive iteration and integration. don’t be fooled by easy answers and beginners hubris!
Filed under: Bodywork, Jack Kornfield, John Welwood, Jung, Ken Wilber, Lightmind Extracts, Meditation, Psychophysical Energies (Kundalini...Shakti...etc...), Psychospiritual Growth, Stanislav Grof | Leave a Comment