Samadhi Chronicles -
Maya Gaia - Evolution Involution
MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP Page Update 08 24 07
Note:My Anthropic Trilogy web-book, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion
through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
Epistemology and Ontology references for the Concurrent, Two-Tier, Dual-Nondual, 200 Percent Model of Reality
A presentation of various resources and issues that were involved prior to my creating the dual nondual model of reality.
Virtually all the accounts of Nirvikalpa Samadhi- both archived and contemporary- describe the experience only from the moment at which consciousness is transformed directly from a state of phenomenal duality to the non-duality of samadhi and thence back directly to phenomenal duality.
Not only was my Nirvikalpa Samadhi experienced as a destination within a complete scenario of a round-trip journey- but during my travel in a state of mystical duality- I encountered a separate "gatekeeper" God consciousness. The Nirvikalpa part of my samadhi conforms in all respect to Advaita's non-dual, monistic prescription however the state of duality in which I traveled and encountered God consciousness suggests Dvaita's concept of duality in the relationship between self - atman - God: Vishnu/Gaia/Shakti/Ishvara and the One Brahman is essentially correct- but only insofar as we are alive. There are after events relating to my experience that support the notion of a living (albeit sporadic) dual relationship between God and ourselves manifested in occasional episodes of unqualified Grace. The reality model that my experience reveals is that while we are alive we (atman) have free will and a dual relationship with a God (Ishvara) consciousness and after death- atman and Ishvara join the One Brahman in absolute non-duality. Obviously I personally do not hold to any of the formal dharma of Dvaita such as the need for salvation via bhakti of Vishnu/Ishvara or similar prerequisite in other doctrines. Thus conscious reality is two-tiered- with duality while we are alive and non-duality beyond life. Of course this can cascade into concepts, koans and entire paradigms as our intellects invent ways to accommodate such paradoxes as- the world is both real while we live and maya when we die.
Alan Watts advised John Selby that the way to integrate the Maya (detachment) versus Gaia (engagement) dilemma was to- "expand your consciousness so that you realize you are living within a two hundred percent universe. Just expand your mind to include both these traditions as one hundred percent true in and of themselves. Let your concept of reality expand to two hundred percent. Then both traditions can live harmoniously within you."
How this model relates to theories of quantum reality I leave to those who have wrestled with the paradox of Schrodinger's cat which involves "dead" and "alive" as metaphors for two states of reality. Since I'm unqualified, my hope is that some erudite philosopher will address this issue to determine if it's a superficial coincidence or a substantive consilience. It's possible that a mind experiment in which we are the cat- the experimentor is God and the observer is Brahman could be an analogy for quantum reality.
Physical cosmological theories regarding singularities suggest an even more intriguing analogy or synchronicity to the role of Nirvikalpa Samadhi realization and its relationship to the phenomenal, material world in which we are born, live in and die. It provides a state of consciousness by which a consciousness singularity (see symbolic illustration like - the cosmological naked singularity - is exposed to our view and we are returned to tell the tale.
Naked Singularity Scientific American January, 2009 Do Naked Singularities Break the Rules of Physics? The black hole has a troublesome sibling, the naked singularity. Physicists have long thought--hoped--it could never exist. But could it? All kinds of processes unknown to science may occur at the singularity, yet they have no effect on the outside world. Astronomers plotting the orbits of planets and stars can safely ignore the uncertainties introduced by singularities and apply the standard laws of physics with confidence. Whatever happens in a black hole stays in a black hole. Yet a growing body of research calls this working assumption into question. Researchers have found a wide variety of stellar collapse scenarios in which an event horizon does not in fact form, so that the singularity remains exposed to our view. Physicists call it a naked singularity. Matter and radiation can both fall in and come out. Whereas visiting the singularity inside a black hole would be a one-way trip, you could in principle come as close as you like to a naked singularity and return to tell the tale.
Update 02 28 07 I just became aware of the dvaitaadvaita Vishishtadvaita school of Hinduism which has the greatest similarity of all the darhmic philosophies to my dual-nondual model.
Sri Aurobindo was skeptical that science could contribute to the Vedanta-based enlightenment his Integral Yoga liberated. "They proved to me by convincing reasons that God does not exist; Afterwards I saw God, for he came and embraced me. And now what am I to believe- the reasoning of others or my own experience? Truth is what the soul has seen and experienced; the rest is appearance, prejudice and opinion." -from The Hour of God
Exerpts of Some Related Views With My Comments (in red).
Nonduality tradition edited by James Traverse - In philosophical terms, Nondualism is monism, which means that reality is one with no independent parts. By implication, God is not "other." God is just another term for nondual reality. In other words, God is existence itself, God is all that there is. And, since reality has no separate parts, you cannot be separate either. When you realize that your true identity must be that nondual reality, you will simultaneously realize that you are the God you have been looking for and the only God you will ever know.
The declaration that "you are God" is a fundamental theme in the non-dualism tradition and one which my experience suggests is inaccurate in that while you exist you are in a dual relationship with God and at death "your" previous consciousness dissolves into non-dual Brahman. Although rare- the transcendent journey into Nirvikalpa Samadhi can reveal both dual and non-dual states in which God is first manifest but then embraces the separate consciousness into the acosmic.
David Loy- Are Nirvana (Buddhism) and Moksha (Vedanta) the Same?
So the debate between Mahayana and Vedanta often resembles a fight where the two boxers are tied together back-to-back. Yet there is undeniably a serious difference between early Buddhism and Vedanta: the first says there is no self and the other says everything is the self; there is apparently no consciousness in nirvana, but everything is consciousness in moksha.
Buddhism says there is no self, there is only the world (dharmas), Shankara says the world is the Self. To say that there is no self, or that everything is the self, would also then be equally correct -- or false, depending on how one looks at it. Both descriptions amount to the same thing; what is clear in each case is that there is no longer a duality between an object which is observed and a consciousness which observes it; or between the external world and the self which confronts it.
Ishvara (a personal God) is the appearance of Brahman to the individual self, but this last bit of subject-object duality is still illusory; when ignorance and illusion completely disappear, there is neither Ishvara nor self. Shankara is saying something quite extraordinary: God is God only in relation to man; when the two finally dissolve back into each other, there is only Brahman. To realize God is to become aware of a consciousness pervading everywhere; to become Brahman is to realize that that is my consciousness.
Shankara comes very close to the two-tier reality but never qualifies it in terms of life and death. His philosophy closely fits my experience but leaves out accounting for the entire dynamic that manifested in my dual relations with God- the confrontation with the gatekeeper, the assurance that I was returning, answering my prayer to remember and the trickster confirmation that it would be OK to tell my story. The dvaita of Ramanuja's Visishtadvaita- subscribing to a dual relationship between God and atman is an even closer fit to my living experience with God consciousness.
David Bohm's Two Tier Reality
C: More exclusive-OR thinking by Bohm. There is no 'illusion': the (subjective) world is made up of separate (albeit interdependent) 'fragments' (i.e. things), and that world and its things are just as real as the underlying wholeness of primary reality. Reality has two very different aspects or levels: primary reality, existing independently of (but including) mankind, and secondary reality, created by and dependent on human beings. There is no need to establish a hierarchy of realities, however tempting this may be for hierarchy-obsessed humans convinced that the universe must reflect their own cultural values and beliefs.
C: The 'immeasurable' (i.e. primary reality) is not 'out there', something to be 'reached'. It is here, there and everywhere, and the mystic (himself an aspect or feature of primary reality) seeks integration, temporarily losing his feeling of separation and personal identity by absorption into the greater whole. Temporarily, because some feeling of separation and personal identity is an essential aspect of human life. 'Permanent integration' would doubtless be what we call 'death'.
Update: 02 20 07- I just googled "two tier reality" and came up with this reference to David Bohm's view of reality. I have to research more to see how Bohm's tiers relate to his implicate and explicate orders and to my model in terms of duality-nonduality and to what extent he refers to any relationship we have with a God consciousness.
Physical dualism may be a low energy approximation to a deeper monism of cosmic consciousness called "the super-implicate order. A super-implicate order is related to the implicate. order as the implicate order is related to the explicate order.
Jack Sarfatti on Bohm and physical duality
So far, I take it that Bohm's tiers differ from mine in that primary reality represents the entire 'immeasurable' noumenal estate from ESP to Brahman and the secondary is our self-consciousness and everything in the phenomenal universe with no concept of maya or dual relationship with a God consciousness.
Following links relate to notion of concurrent dual/nondual states of reality and Bohm's concepts
David Bohm, Implicate Order and Holomovement by David Storoy. Here I discover that Bohm conceived of a third class of orders- the holomovement which may be synonomous with Sarfatti's super-implicate order. In any event this could be the ultimate reality that I describe in my dual-nondual model.
Stapp's Mindful Universe, Zurek's Quantum Darwinism and the Buddhist Mind-Only Ground Consciousness by Graham P. Smetham - Abstract: The fundamental Buddhist definition of consciousness is 'clarity that cognizes'. This primordial nature is an essentially unified field of clarity, or emptiness, which is not the same as nothingness but, rather can be conceived of as a field of potential experience, which has the core function of perception or cognition. Because of this fundamental nature there is a fundamental tension at the heart of reality. The fundamental nature of awareness-consciousness is undivided (jnana) but it's function is cognition, and cognition is a process which involves duality. ...Within this paradoxical nature of the self-perceiving ground of reality lies the riddle of existence. Keywords: quantum karma, David Bohm, implicate order, John Wheeler, participatory universe, Henry Stapp, mindful universe, Wojciech Zurek, quantum Darwinism
Concurrent Being A Philosophic Perspective on Pluralistic Status and Its Radically Complex Realities by Leslie Emery, 2002. One essay of many at Mythos-Logos that lends perspective to the notion of simultaneous reality tiers- which I have to revisit to attempt to digest.
Philosophies of Cosmic Consciousness Alan Kazlev presents an article distinguishing among the variety of traditions alluded to by cosmic conscousness- Monism, Monistic as Opposed to Theistic Cosmology, Pantheism and Acosmism and Panetheism.
Here he draws a clear separation between the pantheism of Ramanuja and the panentheism of Shaivism: "Panentheism is the view of Reality according to which the Godhead or Absolute not only includes and is the Cosmos (as in
Pantheism) but also transcends it (as in Acosmism). The Godhead does not reside dualistically or even holistically in the universe as a soul in the body (as Ramanuja and other Theistic pantheists assert), but rather monistically as the universe itself...That is the paradox of reality, that the one and same Reality can be both and equally unchanging, infinite, eternal, etc and also changing, finite etc. This paradox is reconciled through the fact of emanation - the one transforms itself into the Many, while not diminishing its status as the One. The best, clearest and most lucid example of this sort of Panentheistic philosophy is the Indian monistic philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism."
Dueling With Dualism Chapter 4 from Yoga: The Indian Tradition By Ian Whicher, David Carpenter. A scholarly examination of the dynamic revisionism in yoga starting from a comparison between the disciplines of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and the Samkhya Karika of Isvarakrsna (and more modern appropriations of yoga). Patanjali's jnana path poses a razor sharp dualism between spirit and matter, purusa and prakrti and proscribes an uncompromising, austere vision for the detached yogi. On the other side- a philosophy for the householder- the clear, unequivocal promise of liberation from all suffering.
The Samkhya Samkhya is strongly dualist. Sāmkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities, puruṣa (consciousness) and prakṛti (matter). Jiva (a living being) is that state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakṛti in some form. This fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of buddhi ("intellect") and ahaṅkāra (ego consciousness). The universe is described by this school as one created by purusa-prakṛti entities infused with various permutations and combinations of variously enumerated elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind. During the state of imbalance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage, particularly of the mind. The end of this imbalance, bondage is called liberation, or kaivalya, by the Samkhya school. The existence of God or supreme being is not directly asserted, nor considered relevant by the Samkhya philosophers. Sāṃkhya denies the final cause of Ishvara (God). While the Samkhya school considers the Vedas as a reliable source of knowledge, it is an atheistic philosophy according to Paul Deussen and other scholars.
Physics and Metaphysics by Swami B. B. Vishnu Maharaja. Examining the notion put forth by Richard L. Thompson, Ph.D. Mechanistic and Non-mechanistic Science of achintya bhedabheda (trancendental conception) a hypothesis of "creation through sound" from The Vedic Paradigm- an alternative view of transcendence- acintya bedhabedha- meaning reality is ultimately, inconceivablly one and different at the same time. (Concept (may be) more thoroughly presented in Thompson's latest book
Maya -The World as Virtual Reality.) Note: Bohm is an adherent of advaita vedanta or non-dualism- perceiving reality as one homogeneous substance and monistic or atheistic while acintya bedjabedja is a theistic conception.
non-duality or duality? This from a thread in sciforum- post by duendy: I understand you to say that Advaita or Dvaita do not have to be chosen. Is this because there is more to them than simple dualism/nondualism? Would you say that dualism and nondualism are not mutually exclusive, and can contain elements of one another?
I believe Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba agrees with you.
"In his commentary on Gita, Adi Sankara has explained that there is Advaita in Dvaita and Dvaita in Advaita. Further, the Visishtadvaita contains both Advaita and Dvaita concepts as well. All the three schools of philosophy, therefore lead to the same goal and their underlying meaning is Brahma Sathyam Jaganmithya (Brahman alone is the truth and the world is illusory). The whole world appears as containing innumerable names and forms. One should not be enmeshed with these names and forms. It is only when the names and forms are set aside and the underlying source is identified that it is possible to recognize the truth. And that truth is Tattwamasi (That Thou Art)."
Here Shankara comes even closer to allowing, at least in general terms, the possibility that there is duality in our living relationship with God - Vishnu. (The foregoing summation regarding the sameness of the underlying meaning in the three Great Acharyas of Hindu Vedanta is somewhat inaccurate in that while the tenant that an impersonal Brahman alone is the truth is shared by all- that the world is illusory only applies to Advaita. In Dvaita- Maha Vishnu is the Supreme Being and in both Dvaita and Visishtadvaita there is a personal relationship with God and the world is real satya and not an illusion.)
Dual/Nondual related links continue at Dual Nondual Reality Model
Dvaita Vedanta- Sri Madhvacarya (Madhva) 13th century - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In the Dvaita or "dualist" school of Hindu Vedanta- Madhva argued that a body of canonical texts called the "Vedanta" or "end of the Veda" taught the fundamental difference between the individual self or atman and the ultimate reality, brahman. According to Madhva there are two orders of reality: 1. svatantra, independent reality, which consists of Brahman alone and 2. paratantra, dependent reality, which consists of jivas (souls) and jada (lifeless objects). He attacked Sankara's A-dvaita or "non-dualist" Vedanta (9th century) which argued that the atman is completely identical with brahman. According to Sankara, the atman experiences a false sense of plurality and individuality when under the influence of the delusive power of maya. While maya has the ambiguous ontological status of being neither real nor unreal, the only true reality is brahman.
Update: 02 22 07:
My search for sources that provide correlations to my experience is an amateur version of the process that Ken Wilber and all the editors in the 'Integral Movement' have adopted. They draw on the vast literature of the dharma traditions and their direct experiences to intellectually extrapolate and interpolate via the concepts and vocabulary of transpersonal psychology, consciousness science, ontology, epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy. Although I've a huge disadvantage working in isolation with modest intellect and communication skills and no training- I believe God inspired me with such richness in my direct experience- that even with these limitations- my report is a rare instance where 'effing' the ineffible makes a positive contribution to our understanding of Being. So the focus of my mission is narrowing to simply transmit the essence of the received Word- not to accomodate an infinity of intellectual distractions or conform to any esteemed traditions. I'd hope my revelation could be incorporated into the metaparadigm the integral community is evolving, and invite any input via Email from its members towards that end.
Update 02 24 07: Soul-Making Dynamics:
The Synthesis, Evolution, and Destiny of the Human Soul Byron Belitsos comments on a point Wilber makes that is highly relevant to my model. "Supporters of the mission of Integrative Spirituality (IS) should be gratified to see that- among these rich insights- Wilber evokes the supreme importance of the Great Thou, the notion of a personally contactable Absolute Personality who is worthy of devotion and worship, or "Spirit in 2nd-person". He goes so far as to point out that: "Today in America, the repression of the Great Thou goes hand in hand with boomeritis." We at IS are moved by Ken’s inclusive reach into a realm of religious observance that has not heretofore been prominent in the integral movement."
Update 02 28 07: I've belatedly just discovered a Hindu philosophy that gets very close to my two-tier model and am just starting to sort out it's relevant features. Here is an outline adapted from various sources.
A broader neo integrative perspective Duality and Non-Duality: Awakening to Unified Perspective by Donna M. Brown. The Ageless Wisdom is predicated on the idea that all life is fundamentally One, that duality has no permanent existence and only emerges in the transition from the One to the Many. Although dualism is basic and necessary to manifestation, it has major limitations that do not account for gradations of perception or the continuum that exists between polarities or opposites. This article explores the dual and non-dual nature of existence and their reflection in human thinking. It provides an overview of non-duality as it has been expressed in diverse religious traditions, esoteric philosophy and science, and concludes with some thoughts on how nondual or unitive consciousness unfolds.
The following primarily an adaptation from Sri Ramanuja and the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya
Buddhism arose to stop the sacrifice of animals but Shankara used the authority of the Upanishads to fight the atheistic Buddhist doctrines and established the doctrine of non-dualism, advaita-vedanta, stating that all living entities were on an equal level with God. He prominently stressed those texts which afforded an answer to the rationalistic atheism of the Buddhists, yet the teachings of Shankara were also not wholly theistic, and thus a further unveiling of the ultimate reality was destined. That destiny was fulfilled through Sri Ramanujacharya.
Ramanuja- the most important acharya amongst the Shri Vaishnavas, and the founder of what later became known as the Vishishtadvaita school which qualified Shankara's monistic doctrine taught devotion to a personal God, Vishnu, and proposed that the universe is the Lord's body. His philosophy is also known as the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya, dvaitaadvaita, qualified non-dualism, qualified monism or pan-organismal monism. An expression that better approximates the concept of Vishistadvaita is pan-en-theism which refers to the view that 'deity as eternal is distinguishable from and independent of any and all relative items and yet as an actual whole it includes all relative items.
Neither the material world nor the living entities are conceived of as being independent of the Supreme Personality in the system of visishtadvaita philosophy. There are three fundamental realities i.e. Ishvara (personal God), cit (individual souls) and acit (universal matter) that are attributes of the one absolute reality or Brahman- in a universe that is real - not maya. The living entities are a different manifestation of the Supreme due to their being endowed with free will, whereas the material energy is manifest directly under the will of the Supreme. The free will of the living entity is an all-important factor, since that free will is considered to be the basic principle of reciprocal relations between Godhead and the living entity. Although the philosophy of Vaishnavism includes dualism of Madhva, qualified dualism of Ramanuja, and nearly monistic views of Vallabha, the predominant philosophy of Vaishnavism is dualism. According to this doctrine, there are two categories of the Ultimate Reality. Lord Vishnu as personal God is the Absolute Reality, and the Atmans (individuals souls) are the relative realities, eternally distinct from each other and Lord Vishnu, but dependent on Him.
It is in this last point that my model either has a major conflict- in that my Atman experienced absolute non-duality with Brahman or that last point was not an accurate translation of the doctrine in regards to the fate of Atman (consciousness) at death.
So it seems my model could be called neo qualified monism or Neo-Visishtadvaita in that it dispenses with the proprietary Hindu features of practice, dharma and certainties about the nature of God but retains many aspects including a relation with a personal God while we are alive who is loved, honored and capable of granting unconditional grace; free will of the living soul and ultimate reality of Being (Brahman) into which we dissolve at death- joining an acosmic consciousness of light, bliss and love. I have no revelation that illuminates how God's mind works in bestowing unqualified grace; whether incidents of synchronicity or "trickster" scenarios are caused by intervention in the material universe; whether reality is or is not maya or if God manifests from Being or visa versa. There appears to be a numinous astral system whereby finite consciousness can be transformed and transported which suggests some degree of reincarnation is a possibility.
Further thoughts: Two of the most revered rishis, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo [Collected Works of the Mother- from Volume 8, Questions and Answers 1956, p.275-6 (22 August 1956) Conversation with Aurobindo in which he reveals his inexperience with samadhi] and other rishis have applied the terms "trance" and "unconsciousness" to characterize Nirvikalpa Samadhi and Ramana in particular seemed to regard what he called "trance" as inadequate and vastly inferior to his practice of recognition of the Self as a means of attaining realization.
I am perplexed that rishis would apply either of these terms as synonomous with the state of absolute nondual awareness in Nirvikalpa Samadhi as I experienced it as a supreme awakenedness of light, bliss and love and in conrast to Ramana's contention that "it has no value" found it profoundly contributed to my ongoing realization. In my view, the terms are only appropriate from the perspective of an external someone observing the experiencer as object- who might indeed appear to be in a state of unconsciousness or trance.
Update: 07 03 07 The synchronicity of how photons function as waves until they interact with matter and the fact that everything our consciousness touches turns to matter suggests a linkage between our consciousness and photons. Add to this the fact that the Copenhagen interpretation proposes that human consciousness is necessary for the collapse of the wave function in a quantum event and it is reasonable to speculate that photons are quanta constituting a panpsychic conscious cosmic matrix. The alleged properties of photons which manifest both wave and particle forms give credence to an understanding of reality which is simultaneously substance (matter) and illusion (maya). While alive our brains orchestrate collapse of the photon wave function to perceive reality as matter. When dead we are unified in the cosmic conscious matrix absent the illusion of a substantive reality. This defines reality as simultaneously two-tiered- a material duality while alive and maya nonduality when dead (or temporarily experiencing Nirvikalpa Samadhi).
If while we are alive, everything we humans see turns to matter (collapse of the wave function) what is the logic in relating to the phenomenal world as maya- as if we're already dead? Why not live engaged with God manifested in Gaia and the tangible universe- yet aware of our ultimate liberation in the non-duality of Brahman?
It may be that I am approaching that stage of introspective burnout referred to in Open Integral Forum No views is good views? March 7th, 2007 (posted by Edward Berge) Bonnie said the following in discussing Aurobindo over at the ARINA forum:
"You can see in the diagrams that as the self becomes more aware, it tries to chase a ‘basis’ into the ontological depths, and at the psychic level, it has a choice - the big question mark - to forego this process. This is how I’ve come to personally feel lately about taking a view or perspective. I’m losing the desire to "chase a basis into the ontological depths," but am more comfortable finding meaning in my samadhi and composing a model or theory to account for my experience with a more phenomenological and intuitive approach.
Update 07 31 2011: I am currently evolving a Primordial Rhythm Meditation page outlining a tentative model for an active meditation by which I can practice communion with my Panendeism God. I've created a youtube audio/video in which I perform a synopsis demo of the sounds and moves in my meditation. End Update
Of course the scholarly folks in the Integral Community are wrestling with far more profound, multidimensional issues than I in their quest for a Theory of Everything as this excerpt from their ARINA Forum suggests: "What is necessary today to turn the tide of our situation are not new philosophemes like the phenomenological, ontological, or existential, but eteologemes. Eteology must replace philosophy just as philosophy once replaced the myths. In the eteologemes, the eteon or being-in-truth comes to veracity or statement of truth, and the "wares" or guards verity and conveys the "verition" which arises from the a-waring and imparting of truth. Eteology, then, is neither a mere ontology, that is, theory of being, nor is it a theory of existence. The dualistic question of being versus non-being which is commensurate only with the mental structure is superseded by eteology, together with the secularized question as to being, whose content - or more exactly whose vacuity - is nothing more than existence." This makes no more sense to me than the parodies created by the postmodern essay generator which is why I'll have to wait for the Integral TOE for Dummies version to see how my model compares.
Update 11 22 08: My take on the various Integral Forums is that unless you are already fluent in the theories and jargon of 'integral' plus familiar with the work of Wilber, Gebser, Graves, Beck, Whitehead, Bakhtin, Saussure, Loy, Da, Suzuki; the sages Shankara, Bhavaviveka, Kashmiri Shaiva, Abhinavagupta, Abhinava, Vivekananada, Nagarjuna, Plotinus, Ramana, Aurobindo and Yogananda; the numerous scriptures and sutras of Buddha and Hinduism such as The Gita, Prajnaparamita, Pantageli and all the Upanishads along with the post-modern Heidegger, Hegel, Bataille, Derrida, Foucault, Jung, Mindell, etc. and etc.- like me, you may find the discourse hard to follow.
I get the feeling that despite the vast body of integral opinion that is evolving, the order of discourse is not much advanced beyond pure philosophy wherein Kierkegaard regarded Hegel as a fool and suffers comparison to pre-enlightenment arguments regarding how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Of course this may be just my defensiveness over the fact that the conversation is simply way over my head. Although ephemeral realities arise not just in consciousness theory but in all the sciences particularly in theoretical cosmological physics where Smolin and Suskind conflict over whether the anthropic principle is philosophy or science. Theoretical cosmology may have begun its testable limits back in 1919 when Einstein's concept of gravity causing a spacetime warp of the path of light was verified during the sun's eclipse. John Horgan says contemporary theoretical physicists like Stephen Hawking are regularly creating ironic science- theories like loop quantum gravity and string theory that- like those about consciousness conceived by the intergralists- probably will never be subjected to empirical proof. On the other hand there is hope that the new Cern collider may verify the existence of the Higgs boson (the God particle) before it creates micro black holes that devour the Earth.
Here's another example of Integral discourse>
Integral Post-Metaphysical Spirituality - an open forum at Gaia.com - This forum is for anyone interested in exploring and tracing out the horizons of this topic. Discusses the works of visionary thinkers and practitioners who have contributed, or who are contributing, to the emergence of authentic integral/post-metaphysical spirituality. What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions - independently, or within our respective traditions that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times? ... Integral is a way of life, a stage in the evolution of consciousness, a worldview. To regard it as an academic (i.e. intellectual) matter or, even worse, a THEORY, is to do it a great disservice.
I do not want followers and I mean this. The moment you follow someone, you cease to follow truth. I desire those who seek to understand me to be free, not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect. . .You think and hope that another can, by his extraordinary powers - a miracle - transport you to this realm of eternal freedom which is happiness . . . You have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold that Key. - J. Krishnamurti
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