INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
is an author and futurist filmmaker. He earned
his Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from Columbia University
and has an extensive background as an independent scholar. He has
studied Chinese, Tibetan and Indian meditation, yoga and martial arts
traditions for more than 30 years. Powers is currently releasing
multiple media projects worldwide in film and print, related to the
evolution of consciousness based on his studies with numerous
masters of ancient wisdom traditions. His most recent film, The Lost
Secret of Immortality, based on his book, won best
spiritual/religious/Christian film at the Great Lakes International Film
Festival, 2012, the Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film
Festival, 2012 and best spiritual documentary at the New York
International Film Festival, 2011. See his website at
for information on the book,
graphic novel and film.
SEE MORE ESSAYS WRITTEN BY BARCLAY POWERS
Tantric Buddhahood and the Evolution of Non-Duality
Is Integral Evolutionary Enlightenment
The central problem of Integral Theory is its omission of the subtle body hypothesis of the Golden Flower.
There are a number of significant problems with the current
models of the evolution of spirituality as described by Integral Theory.
There are major differences between Tantric non-duality and the
conventional Integral definitions of the evolution of consciousness.
The subtle body frameworks, which result in non-duality according to
the contemplative traditions, are completely denied by science.
Kundalini theory, for example, seeks to activate a dormant reptilian
reproductive mechanism at the base of the spine to enlighten the
brain. Many ancient religions call this dormant point the divine spark
within man. It is well known in Chinese medical qi gong traditions
that the pre-birth reproductive mechanism of the human body is still
connected to an enlightened unified field underlying reality. Modern
qi gong experts claim that the true inner alchemical firing process,
which unites yin and yang subtle bodies, alters the DNA structure of
the body. Whether these changes can be measured by science needs
to be determined.
The contemplative traditions, which Integral Theory accepts as
evolutionary, are all based on a story of enlightened origin. This is
because the human body contains a mechanism within its
reproductive system that can stimulate higher brain function and the
evolution of consciousness if the process of Tantric alchemy works
correctly. Gopi Krishna, the kundalini adept, called this the genius
within man. The story of non-duality can be reduced to its essence –
human beings have an enlightened point of origin both in historical
time and within the body in the present in a dormant form. This
means that the progression of the evolution of consciousness within
the contemplative traditions requires a return to origin that is
incompatible with both Integral and scientific evolutionary worldviews
in their current form. It should be noted that medical science cannot
explain how a Tibetan who has mastered tummo heat yoga can
meditate all night in the snow without freezing to death. This practice
is based on activating the original reproductive energy of the body
using an inner alchemical firing process. It is this firing process,
which results in non-dual consciousness evolution that has been
inadequately addressed by Integral Theory.
Integral models are definitely necessary to create rational
explanations of superconsciousness, scientific creativity or insight,
and the real changes in the brain and body that occur when Tantric
Buddhahood is achieved. Often essential conflicts between Eastern
and Western definitions of consciousness evolution and
enlightenment become confused and further distorted by incomplete
Integral definitions of higher stages. Since the goal of cross training is
a greater integration of perspectives, leading to faster and higher
stages, let us use a more complete model of consciousness evolution.
Shamanism, yoga and inner alchemy cannot be separated into higher
and lower stages. They form a core spiritual narrative that must be
integrated for Tantric Buddhahood to be understood as the gold
standard of fully awakened non-duality. Enlightenment can be
defined as the Trikaya, the union of the three bodies, in the 21st
Since we are seeking the creation of a fully integrated scientific
understanding of non-duality, it is necessary to point out the
significant omissions which have resulted in distorted Integral Vedic
models of yoga being combined with evolution and defined as
scientific theistic fact. Unfortunately there is no scientific theistic fact
and the essence of Buddhahood, real non-duality, is the rejection of
theistic explanations of awakening. This is why it is so incredibly
dishonest to tell the Integral audience that the Godhead becomes real
at the non-dual stage. No Buddha in the last 3,000 years would
explain enlightenment from a theistic Vedic perspective. This is what
happens when you can’t tell the difference between your Original Face
and Turiya. Buddhahood has nothing to do with Turiya.
Even more importantly, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi,
Gebser and Wilber have all excluded the Coniunctio, the union of
solar and lunar subtle bodies from their descriptions of the evolution
of consciousness because they are unaware of its historical
significance. The current model of Integral spirituality has not
understood the union of the three bodies. It doesn’t even know the
Dharmakaya or Original Face is the solar subtle body/golden embryo.
The Integral elite omits Gnosis, the Golden Flower and the Hermetic
Androgyne from its confused Vedic model of non-duality although
they are fully explained by Tantric Buddhahood. Returning the
Dharmakaya to Void, the goal of meditation, means that the
enlightened point of origin within the human body has been dissolved
into emptiness by the completion of the inner alchemical firing
process which unites the three bodies.
There are a number of major concepts of Integral Theory that
set it apart and above conventional frameworks of the evolution of
consciousness. The most important is the concept of the three
It is the purpose of this article to describe a non-theistic
scientific explanation of non-duality, which omits the current Vedic
model and defines it as incomplete. Enlightenment or Tantric
Buddhahood will be defined as the union of the three bodies –
physical corpus, lunar anima and solar spiritus. The goal of
meditation, which results in non-duality, is the Coniunctio, the union
of the yin lunar anima, and the yang solar spiritus, within the physical
body corpus. The end result is the Trikaya - the complete evolution of
consciousness. The Trikaya represents a non-theistic, non-dual
multidimensional Buddhafield that results from the complete
integration of the three bodies. Tantric Buddhism has always
described the ever-present point of origin within each human being
as the embryo of Buddhahood.
The greatest success of Integral Theory is the combination of
the concept of the evolution of consciousness with the evolution of
culture, using the classical model of the Mahasiddha as the fully
evolved human being that has achieved complete non-duality, Tantric
Buddhahood. Unfortunately, confusing the causal body with the
Dharmakaya and describing them as merely emptiness omits the
entire alchemical firing process of the Coniunctio that results in
golden non-duality. The key idea is that the Coniunctio is called the
union of mother and son lights in the Indo-Tibetan Tantric model.
The mother light is also known as the Dharmakaya or embryo of
Enlightenment. As Jung discovered the Coniunctio represents the
ultimate evolution of consciousness in numerous civilizations. The
early scientists described the alchemical marriage of corpus, anima
and spiritus as the reversal of the fall of man. The Hieros Gamos
represents the key insight that becomes obvious when Tantric
Buddhahood is achieved. The human reproductive system is designed
to enable consciousness to self-replicate (multiplicatio) as its primary
function. Its secondary function is to physically reproduce.
At first a yogi feels his mind is tumbling like a waterfall;
In mid-course, like the Ganges, it flows on slow and gentle;
In the end, it is a great vast ocean,
Where the lights of Mother and Son merge into one.
The alchemical idea that each human being contains a divine
spark of light is actually scientific fact. The first stage of embryonic
development is the Prima Materia, the embryo of Buddhahood. This is
the ever-present point of origin, the solar yang subtle body, called
the Anthropos in Gnosticism, Adam Kadmon in the Kabbalah and the
Hermetic Androgyne in the Greco-Egyptian system. There can be no
doubt that science will discover that the ancient Chinese medical
model of enlightenment is accurate and that Tantric Buddhahood
represents real Integral non-duality. The complete evolution of
consciousness is both the end of the future and the beginning of the
past. The current understanding of the evolution of consciousness is
backwards according to Tantric alchemical theory and practice.
Recently I heard a Tibetan monk describe his teacher’s favorite
saying, “Don’t confuse understanding with realization, and don't
confuse realization with liberation.” Let us discuss these distinctions
from a post-Tantric Buddhahood perspective, leaving the current
Vedic model of Integral non-duality out of the conversation in the
same way that the Vedic model currently, unknowingly, excludes
Taoist, Buddhist, Gnostic and Hermetic models of the complete
evolution of consciousness. This exclusion is caused by an
incomplete theistic definition of enlightenment, which continuously
confuses fact and fiction because the Integral elite has not achieved
either realization or liberation – golden non-duality.
Real enlightened non-duality can only be experienced after the
Trikaya is achieved. Just talking about non-duality doesn’t make it
happen because you already are a Buddha. You actually have to unite
the three bodies through the Coniunctio for the Trikaya to instantly
evolve from fiction to fact. A lineage transmission is necessary for this
to occur. It is this evolution from human to Buddhafield, which
represents a new revolution in Integral Theory. Tantric Buddhahood is
actually the non-dual origin of the species when evolutionary
enlightenment is correctly understood from the perspective of the
enlightened point of origin, not from the current Integral model of the
evolution of consciousness.
The Integral Evolution of Superconsciousness: The Three-Body Theory of Enlightenment
The central problem of Integral Theory is its omission of the
subtle body hypothesis of the Golden Flower. Chinese inner
alchemical consciousness evolution has not been included because of
the inability of Western writers to accurately translate the theory and
practice of the Golden Elixir. The Golden Elixir is a metaphor for the
Coniunctio, the union of solar and lunar subtle bodies, the legendary
conjunction of opposites.
Golden Flower Embryo of Buddhahood
The most dramatic leap in the evolution of Integral Theory is
the idea that the golden, solar, yang subtle body is the origin point of
the human reproductive system. The human reproductive system has
a dormant mechanism of inner illumination which can render a
normal person superconscious when fully activated.
Superconsciousness can be defined as the complete union of the
three bodies – the physical body, corpus, the yin lunar anima, and the
solar yang spiritus. The complete evolution of consciousness is
achieved when the Coniunctio transforms the yin subtle body to yang.
The following points seek to help create a scientific nontheistic
explanation of inner alchemy, which results in a clear
evolutionary model of superconsciousness.
- You have a physical body, corpus. The body you are in during a lucid dream is your yin anima. Your yang subtle body spiritus is a dormant point of energy in your body – the ever-present point of origin.
- The current Vedic model of non-duality has omitted the concept of Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Embryo as the originator of yoga. This becomes the embryo of Buddhahood in Buddhism, the dormant solar subtle body that hatches like an egg when correctly incubated.
- The classical Chinese qi gong model of enlightenment is much more accurate than the kundalini definition of realization. The gold serpent or dragon is a metaphor for spiritus, the yang subtle body that is dormant within the starting point of the physical body.
- The Coniunctio is a scientific experiment that results in superconsciousness – the Trikaya, the union of the three bodies, corpus, anima and spiritus.
- The reproductive system of the human body contains a mechanism for superconsciousness mutation according to both Chinese and Indian medical systems.
- None of the current models of consciousness evolution have recognized the Coniunctio as the core spiritual experience in the lives of many sages, siddhas and philosophers of ancient civilizations.
- Inner alchemy based on the union of the three bodies is the real spiritual evolution of superconsciousness and represents the future of Integral Theory.
- The Golden Elixir, spiritus, the solar subtle body is the most evolutionary worldview because it means that Buddhahood is the enlightened origin of consciousness.
- Since the Coniunctio is the goal of meditation, yoga and qi gong it represents the real Integral Theory of everything related to the ultimate evolution of consciousness.
- The oroborus is the oldest universal symbolic depiction of the Coniunctio when the anima and spiritus unite within the corpus. The serpent swallowing its tail has always symbolized the ultimate experience of superconsciousness. The origin point of the human body is Buddhahood itself. When it is returned to Void the Golden Flower becomes the vanishing point of time.
- A new Integral definition of enlightened non-duality is inevitable because conventional descriptions of the evolution of consciousness are incomplete according to Tantric alchemical theory. Tantric Buddhahood reverses the fall of man because the first human being is actually an enlightened Buddha.
The Origin of Enlightened Consciousness: A Mythic Journey of Evolutionary Non-Duality
Is there a core spiritual experience that is independent of
culture, language and religion?
Does the human body have a reproductive system designed to
permanently transform the structure of consciousness?
Is there a fully illuminated original state of consciousness?
Nuwa and Fuxi
(Chinese Adam and Eve)
The Coniunctio, the union of solar and lunar subtle bodies, was
the original goal of Western science and the core spiritual experience
in the lives of the founders of many ancient religions. The Coniunctio
is the recreation of conception (palingenesis), a scientific experiment
that has been successfully repeated in multiple civilizations for
thousands of years. This union is the original alchemical goal of yoga
and meditation, as well as certain systems of Tantric shamanism.
Chinese shamanism describes this inner alchemical conjunction
as the union of dragon and tiger, solar and lunar subtle bodies.
Adepts use the term “hidden dragon” to describe the secretive
individual that has united the yin and yang inner bodies. This is why
Confucius is said to have described Lao Tsu as a dragon. Chinese
shamanism is based on this experience of the Coniunctio, and it is
why the Chinese refer to themselves as descendants of the dragon.
A classical alchemical saying is “reverse the cycle of the five elements
and the golden dragon appears in the fire.” This yang solar subtle
body is the legendary divine spark of light, which lies dormant within
all human beings. In India this is described as a small gold serpent
coiled at the base of the spine also known as the kundalini.
The Coniunctio represents an ancient multicultural tradition of
Tantric shamanism. It is a subtle body time travel thought
experiment, which actually results in a causality violation, a
permanent restructuring of space/time. When the pineal gland is
permanently activated by this experience the shift in perception is so
great it is like going from black and white to full color. Chinese
adepts describe this as shattering space.
The oroborus, the serpent swallowing its tail, is one of the most
universal archaic symbols of the Coniunctio, the union of solar and
lunar subtle bodies. Meditation traditions sometimes describe the
experience as “seeing your original face, embracing singularity or
swallowing the universe.” The solar subtle body is holographic.
It is the point of origin, which contains the whole, the tiny mustard
seed that contains the polar mountain in Buddhist terminology. The
Anthropos, Adam Kadmon and the Dharmakaya are ancient
descriptions of the solar subtle body, the primordial microcosmic
human point of origin, which contains the macrocosm of the universe
when fully activated and united with the lunar subtle body.
Each time in history that an individual achieves the Coniunctio it
radically expands the narrative of the human race by recreating the
primordial experience of origin. Each individual is entangled with the
collective unconscious. A complete kundalini activation, which unites
the solar and lunar subtle bodies, restores higher dimensional
consciousness to the global collective in the language of the culture
and time period in which it occurs.
The universe we perceive is created by the words and
conceptual frameworks that are used to describe it. When the truth is
described accurately at any point in history everything changes. The
Dharmakaya can be translated as the body of truth. When human
consciousness fully unites with its original source an enlightened
Buddhafield is created.
Tantric Buddhist non-dual theory regards this union as both
nirvana and the origin of your own present awareness simultaneously.
The legendary life of Nagarjuna, a Buddhist alchemist, is a clear
example of the power of the experience of retrieving golden nonduality
from the realm of the Nagas. Nagarjuna is called Dragon Tree
The Renaissance and the Hermetic tradition would appear to be
the result of the Coniunctio experience secretly creating progressive
revolutionary changes in art, science and consciousness. The
Renaissance classical concept that man is the measure of all things
originates from the Hieros Gamos, the alchemical marriage that was
the original goal of Western medical science. The caduceus, the
symbol of Mercury, is also an alchemical depiction of kundalini
Inner illumination, also known as the quest for enlightenment
or immortality, has always been the driving force of the evolution of
consciousness. The experience of the conjunction of opposites, which
permanently alters space/time, has been lost and rediscovered
repeatedly throughout man’s history. Palingenesis, the recreation of
conception, appears to be in the process of becoming a global
scientific paradigm of the ultimate evolution of human consciousness
in the 21st century.
The Rosarium Philosophorum are 21 illustrations which were
published in Frankfurt, Germany in 1550. They describe a European
karmamudra tradition in which sexual yoga creates the Hermetic
Androgyne, which results in Christ Consciousness. The origin of
Western science is an experiment, which unites body corpus, anima
the lunar soul, and spiritus the solar spirit and reverses the fall of
man by the restoration of the original enlightened consciousness.
When spiritus is activated by the inner alchemical firing process it
appears as the Hermetic Androgyne. It is embraced and swallowed by
the anima, like a serpent swallowing its tail, during the conjunction of
solar and lunar subtle bodies.
A revolution in consciousness created by the Coniunctio also
rapidly changed India during the Tantric period. It should be noted
that liberation or enlightenment using sexual yoga was known in
India as the Chinese Method. The Coniunctio was the origin of the
Chinese medical system. When it reached India it created a new model
of Tantric Buddhahood based on inner subtle body union. The Six
Yogas of Naropa or Niguma are a collection of techniques passed
down by Tantric shamans or Mahasiddhas, which turned many
couples into enlightened Buddhas. Many other countries had
alchemical combinations of yoga, meditation, qi gong and
shamanism. The union of solar and lunar subtle bodies was the core
enlightenment experience in many ancient civilizations.
This is still true of modern Bhutan, a country based on Tantric
shamanism, which describes itself as the Land of the Thunder
The art of Himalayan countries revolves around images of the
Coniunctio titled yab/yum. Yab/yum is translated as father/mother,
and is a central Asian translation of yin and yang. The images of the
primordial Buddhas, Samantabhadra and Vajradhara, depict subtle
body union as the origin of Buddhahood. Both the Tibetan Dzogchen
and Mahamudra systems are based on achieving the Coniunctio,
which is called, metaphorically, the union of mother and son lights.
Samantabhadra (the Primordial Dharmakaya Buddha)
This image is a visual depiction of the “union of mother and son lights” at
the completion stage of the Thogal practice of Dzogchen meditation.
The Dzogchen thogal leaping over practice uses space, light or
darkness to achieve the conjunction of subtle bodies. This process is
a causality violation that results in the primordial enlightenment of
original consciousness. The complete experience is described as a
child spontaneously leaping to embrace its mother. Adepts call this
fourth and final vision the exhaustion of phenomena although they
are not always experienced sequentially. Many Asian cultures use the
concept of emptiness as a metaphor for returning to the source,
enlightened consciousness. Returning the original spirit or
Dharmakaya to Void means that the solar subtle body has fully
dissolved into the lunar subtle body erasing the beginning of time
itself permanently. This is the reason for the Buddhist concept of
anatman, the concept of non-self.
China, India, Tibet, and Europe are all civilizations, which have
used the metaphor of the union of mother and son to describe the
Coniunctio experience. This process was the “pearl beyond price,” the
most valuable treasure on the face of the earth which resulted in the
enlightened state of consciousness, the return to origin. Often it was
lost in translation because of the twilight language of metaphor,
which was designed to be readable by initiates alone.
The mystery of alchemy was the true identity of the Prima
Materia, the first matter, the origin point of time itself. Within the
lower torso of every human being the kundalini/golden embryo lies
dormant. This is the real causal body and it’s created at the time of
conception prior to the embryo becoming a mammal. To see your
original face dissolve into nothingness is to recognize the original
you. This primordial Buddha is the origin of who you really are.
Buddha with Naga
Subtle body time travel, the rediscovery of the Coniunctio, is
the ultimate paradigm shift of the 21st century. The Mahasiddha
represents an individual that has actually journeyed to the beginning
of time, the true enlightened origin of consciousness. The first Tantric
Buddha represents an archaic enlightened human being that has
successfully returned to the Garden of Eden, the pineal gland nihuan
point of East Asian medicine. Nihuan is the Chinese pronunciation of
nirvana. Buddhahood is the result.
Since consciousness and space/time are inseparably entangled,
each individual that achieves the Coniunctio radically expands the
entire cosmic mind. When the anima and spiritus are conjoined within
the corpus the inner illumination of the real Mahasiddha awakens the
collective unconscious of the time. Eastern and Western medical
definitions of the complete evolution of consciousness will become
unified in the 21st century. The purpose of medical science will
eventually be redefined as a means of enabling human beings to
achieve full spectrum inner illumination.
The key to returning the human mind to its true enlightened
source is the use of shamanic, alchemical, and yogic methods of
generating inner heat. The basic concept is that the energy meridians
of the body are open during the embryonic evolution of the human
fetus. These channels gradually close when the infant begins to
breath after birth. Fully reopening the energy centers of the body
restores the natural state of illuminated pre-birth consciousness.
Chinese medicine describes the Coniunctio as the union of pre-birth
and post-birth consciousness. Pre-birth consciousness is considered
to be the enlightened energetic source within all human beings.
To transform oneself into an enlightened adept through a
complete kundalini activation is to energetically reverse the entire
process of fetal development until conception itself is recreated. This
can be achieved by using either sexual or celibate cultivation
methods. If sexual yoga/karmamudra is used the golden face of nonduality
is a perfectly integrated primordial composite of the male and
female adept’s faces.
Tantric Buddhahood means that the starting point of your body
is a living Buddha both in the present and in the beginning of the
past. There is an enlightened point of origin within the human body,
and the origin of the species is enlightened according to Tantric nondual
theory. The figure of the Mahasiddha represents the archetypal
integral origin, which unites conventional and esoteric models of
consciousness evolution. This suggests that the future is an
enlightened Buddhafield of multi-dimensional superconsciousness,
which exists outside of space and time as their non-dual source.
Tantric Buddhahood means that you have become this field while still
in the body, identical to the first Buddha.
The true post-enlightenment non-dual view has always been
that the future projects the past.