Lightmind Extract 067
I don’t think transcendence is the problem, but blind ignore-ance…
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Power and spirituality are anti-thetical.
Do you see any solution to this problem?
Transcendence is quite problematical in that most proponents of transcendence harbor assumptions and attitudes that bear looking into, to say the least. As it’s actually deployed, it’s the high-octane version of a top-down, mind-over-matter, one-way imposition, conceived as the via regia, the sovereign hope of solving or vanquishing into inconsequence the distress of human life. In practice if not explicitly in stated theory, there’s plenty of evidence demonstrating the long-held conception of the ‘lower-self’ as an intractable and ugly problem child, the convenient and tidy locus of all unwanted qualities and unworthy motives with no real intrinsic value for the spirit. From there it is a short and ineluctable step to the conclusion that it either must submit to the higher self’s directives (if not downright ‘forceful’ regulation, so artlessly and candidly admitted by Wilber) or is altogether such a lost cause that it must simply be reduced to a meaningless apparition and left behind as efficiently as possible. And of course, the spiritual viewpoint considers itself wholly innocent of having fomented any of the crippling aberration apparent in the lower chakras through its repressive policies, subtle violence, manipulative tactics, devaluing and general back-turning. This is a highly stinky ignorance, at best.
No solution is in principle possible so long as a problem is misconceived, its nature and foundations misconstrued. Nor can a decent pot be made if the clay has not first been placed in the center of the potter’s wheel. The following from Jorge Ferrer, although much milder in his criticism of the top-down approach, offers a perspective on our human situation that puts the clay considerably closer to the wheel’s center.
I believe the greatest tragedy of cognicentrism, however, is that it generates a vicious circle that justifies itself: Because modern education does not create spaces for the autonomous maturation of the body, the instincts, and the heart, it becomes true that these worlds cannot participate in an evolutionary path if they are not mentally or externally guided. The problem is that insofar as they are always mentally or externally guided, these human dimensions cannot mature autonomously, and thus the need for their mental or external direction becomes permanently justified.
Complicating this situation further is that, after many generations of mind-centered education and life, often combined with the control or inhibition of the body, instincts, sexuality, and passions, these non-discursive worlds may be not only undeveloped but frequently wounded, distorted, or manifesting regressive tendencies. Thus, when such an individual seeks guidance in these worlds, the first thing that he or she typically finds is a layer of conflicts, fears, or confusion that perpetuates the deep-seated belief that these worlds need to be mentally regulated in order to be wholesome or evolutionary. What is normally overlooked, however, is an essential primary intelligence that lies beneath this layer which, if accessed, can heal the root of the conflict while fostering the maturation and evolution of these worlds from within.
What is needed, then, is to create spaces in which these human dimensions can heal and mature according to their own developmental principles and dynamics, not according to the ones that the mind thinks are most adequate. Only when our body, instincts, sexuality, and heart are allowed to mature autonomously, will they be able to sit at the same table with our minds and co-create a truly integral development and spiritual life.
Most psychospiritual practices and techniques are intentional in that they shape and direct human experience and growth in specific directions (see, for example, Fenton, 1995). While surely beneficial in some regards, however, engaging intentional practices before the maturation of our somatic, instinctive, and emotional worlds may not only hinder the emergence of their most unique potentials, but also leave untouched many wounds or conflicts.
Integral growth is co-created by all dimensions of human nature. A genuine process of integral growth cannot be exclusively directed by the mind, but emerges from the collaborative participation and creative power of all human dimensions: body, instincts, heart, mind, and consciousness.
Integral growth unfolds from within, grounded in our most vital potentials. When the various human dimensions mature and co-creatively participate in a developmental path, integral growth organically unfolds from within. A genuine integral growth that is grounded in our most unique potentials rarely follows a pregiven path already traveled by others, nor can it be directed by external standards. External sources of guidance can be essential reference points at certain junctures of the journey, but the path towards the emergence of our most unique qualities cannot be directed from outside of us.
Besides the energy of transcendent consciousness, Romero and Albareda (2001) suggest that there is an immanent spiritual source in the cosmos: the dark energy. The adjective “dark” does not have negative connotations, but simply refers to an energetic state in which all potentialities are still undifferentiated and, therefore, cannot be seen by the “light” of consciousness. The dark energy is considered to be inherent spiritual life that dwells within the manifest and is the source of genuine innovation and creativity at all levels (cf. Heron, 1998). In other words, the dark energy is spiritual prima materia — that is, spiritual energy in state of transformation, still not actualized, saturated with potentials and possibilities. In human reality, they add, this energy is the source of our sense of vitality and natural wisdom, as well as the organizing principle of our embodiment, sexuality, and instinctive life. For these authors, the energy of consciousness and the dark energy are ultimately the same energy but in different states. Whereas the dark energy is dense, amorphous, and undifferentiated, the energy of consciousness is subtle, luminous, and infinitely differentiated.
This distinction may have important implications for spiritual praxis and creativity. For example, it can liberate us from traditional “monopolar” spiritual visions, which understand spirituality as emerging exclusively from the interaction of our immediate present experience and subtle or transcendent forms of spiritual consciousness (see Heron, 1998). In this context, spiritual practice is aimed either at accessing such overriding realities (“ascent” paths) or at bringing such spiritual energies down to Earth to transfigure human nature and/or the world (“descent” paths). The problem with this “monopolar” understanding is that it may ignore the existence of a second spiritual pole – the dark energy — whose engagement may catalyze a spontaneous and creative spiritual unfolding from within.
In their view, due to their consecutive emergence in human development – from soma to instinct to heart to mind – each dimension grows by taking root in the previous one(s). This developmental sequence should not be confused with a hierarchy, where dimensions that emerge later in time are seen as necessarily higher, more evolved, or more integrative than earlier ones. One of the orienting principles of Holistic Integration is that all human dimensions, especially when mature, are equally valuable for individual and collective health, growth, and evolution.
Leonard and Murphy (1995) share a similar view: “body, mind, heart, and soul [are] coequal manifestations of the human essence. But where deep down human change is concerned, there is no more effective teacher than the body”
According to Washburn (1995, in press), the power of the Ground or primordial source of life – the dark energy, in Albareda and Romero’s terms – undergoes a primal repression in early childhood that allows the resolution of the preoedipal stage and the emergence of a differentiated mental ego. Despite its benefits, primal repression not only causes “a loss of plenipotent energy, fully alive corporeality, imaginal creativity, and rootedness in the Ground” (in press, n. p.) but also confines the power of the Ground to the sexual system and genito-pelvic area of the body. “In restricting the power of the Ground to an instinctual organization,” Washburn (1995) explains, primal repression “makes the instincts the gateway to spirit” (p. 199). For Washburn, then, a genuine spiritual regeneration can only occur when this previously repressed primary energy is reawakened and gradually assimilated into a higher level of instinctual-spiritual integration.
Albareda and Romero believe that human consciousness has the capability to impregnate the energetic seeds of our somatic, instinctive, and emotional dimensions, catalyzing a process of conception, gestation, and emergence of new life within. In their experience, this process can have two different, but not mutually exclusive, outcomes. On the one hand, it can engender new qualities, capabilities, or potentials within these worlds (“feminine” phase), some of which may require intentional development, elaboration, training, and/or communal legitimization to become fully installed in the person (“masculine” phase). On the other hand, and perhaps more strikingly, the presence of consciousness can impregnate so deeply the essence of those worlds that they can become aligned with the conscious spiritual orientation of the person, spontaneously and creatively collaborating in his or her integral evolution (see Romero & Albareda, 2001).
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