Reflections on Ken Wilber's The Religion of Tomorrow
(2017) - Parts
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
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Imre von Soos, architect, civil engineer, research scientist, philosopher and writer is a Hungarian born, Hungarian and Australian national. His anti-communist activities have forced him to escape from Hungary, and he lived and worked since in Australia, France, Germany, Austria, England, Switzerland, Brazil, the Czech Republic and now again in Austria. Read more...
for the Infinite I
Imre von Soos
There is a feeling. Greater than any religious ecstasy, any patriotic exaltation, any sensual enchantment: it is being. Not a mere superficial survival between two apparently accidental limiting events, called birth and death, but an illimitable existence in time and space, and all, in the physical plane unimaginable dimensions, as part of, but maybe even identical with a boundless, all-embracing consciousness: the Infinite I.
"There is a Spirit which is mind and life,
light and truth and vast spaces.
He contains all works and desires and perfumes and all tastes.
He enfolds the whole universe, and in silence is loving to all."
Neither in its intensity nor in its scale is this feeling permanent. The awareness atrophied into a carnal identity scans out at rare and precious occasions into an all-involving conception; from the infinite diversity towards the infinite unity.
And the residuals of these rare and precious lights crystallize into living knowledge. And the knowledge that is intuitive is looking for the arguments of the intellect. And the intellect assembles and reassembles all basic data according to the fundamental rules of human logic, and finds no answer. And the intuition comes to aid ones more, expressing loud and clear: "To understand how the things are constructed, you may have to let many special logic stand by."
And the first special logic concludes: human misconception of reality is not only of some parts, it is of the sum total; of man's relation to himself, to other men, to other life, to Nature, to this planet, to the Universe: on all physical, intellectual and spiritual planes.
The root of the anomaly lies in the invalidity of the interpretation of perceptive material, the invalidity of the propositions and the invalidity of the deductions, all powerfully tinted by anthropomorphism, that irresistible human tendency to measure, judge and force everything in nature according to human standards, like the station-hand, who, being told to let the cow be covered by the bull, proceeded by laying Daisy on her back.
With a Weltanschauung world-view based on the Daisy-syndrome and consolidated by what C.H. Waddington so strikingly called the Conventional Wisdom of the Dominant Group, and mighty pregnantly acronymed for COWDUNG, Homo sapiens created for himself a God, on his own, very inadequate image, and, as a natural reaction, started to fear him on the spot.
This almighty monarch, detached and separate for his creators could only think in dichotomy endowed with the seven deadly poisons, but maybe ignorance, created man, himself being anthropomorphic on his own image, and gave him by man's own decree the rest of creation to master and enjoy, exploit and abuse, if you wish.
This insatiable tyrant in constant need of sacrifices like the torturous killing of an innocent animal, but preferably one's own progeny has finally sent his own son, whose criminal execution by crucifixion has at last so satisfied him, that he immediately forgave all the past and future trespasses of every human being. No wonder, that in our own époque so many are waiting for the return of that Saviour, who while "would not find a stone to lay His head among them" (Vivekananda) would, by being no doubt crucified again one way or the other and without delay, once more deliver Homo sapiens from its sins.
Such is the impotents' non-imagination of the Omnipotent.
All they succeeded to create was Ozymandias; and for the dawn of Aquarius
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
From Shelley's Ozymandias
And the second special logic concludes: The Godhead not only does not play dice with the universe, but is logical in all His actions. In fact, He is Logic:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
The physical universe is the materialization of that Logos. No suggestion could stand up for a moment to critical thought, which states that this infinite complex was originated and developed by a Divine Mind with the single purpose, that one of its infinitesimal fractions should carry one day on its back a "featherless biped" (Socrates), who, given knowledge of good and evil, and free will to use it, should strive at nothing but either condemning it all return to his Creator; or in self-indulgent pleasure-seeking reject His existence altogether.
Yet this logic of the moron (who got up in the morning, saw how nice it is out, so has left it out all day) is joining the Daisy syndrome to become another self-inflicted yoke, that makes human hell within a universe that is in reality a paradise; a living presence of Divine Incarnation, an expression of Joy.
And the light shineth in darkness and
the darkness comprehended it not.
Evil is the dichotomy diabolism of the principles of carnate and spiritual existence, and the separation of the purpose of human and universal life, expressed in religious bigotry of spiritual lopsidedness, and materialistic myopia of purposeless chance-existence; both built on thoughts that blubber of ignorance. Salvation from this spiritual quagmire comes not through the union of philosophies, but through the philosophy of Union.
The universe in which the Godhead, the central light of space- and timeless Being, is immanent and which He transcends contains a purpose; a purpose that is universal; where every infinitesimal fraction it contains is an actor, not a backdrop; where man is a participant, but neither the centre nor the goal; and where the incarnate existence of all its fractions in the here and now is there for the fulfilling of that divine purpose whatever that purpose may be both as an individual and as a participating constituent of an infinite order.
Sic itur ad astra.
And the third special logic declares: non itur ad astra on piggy-back, neither with a conducted tour.
Solitary is the walk on the tight-rope.
The rope, stretching in mid-existence, stands emphatically not for the banal "narrow path of righteousness, with the abyss of sin gaping under." Sin, as this world comprehends it, makes no sense long before approaching the way. The sublime symbol represents the precarious state of dynamic equilibrium between the two fundamental principles of universal reality: spiritual and material existence. Here the Self and the Ego are one.
Solitary it is, because the traveller has to walk by the very nature of the Way infinitely alone. His balance and harmony between the body that is always in time, and the Spirit that is in eternity, only he and he alone can contemplate. He, the unique protagonist, defines the validity and weight of all and every information-impulse that comes to him through his own physical-sentient or intuitive-inspirational sources, by the measure of his own, individual and purely personal intellect, taking nothing for granted, but creating his own unmitigated reality; feeding exclusively on his own, self-generated resources.
The more differentiated is the consciousness, the higher is the evolutionary state and rate of progress of the individual, who, while cannot control how he is acted upon, is the unique master of his own reactions, and the unique agent for his own change, these being the reflections of his individual being. He readjusts and reorganizes himself constantly according to the external influences and his internal character. Within the interdependence of all forms and aspects of life, the onus lays on his capacity to grow beyond himself and his self-created limitations. Descartes comes to my mind in this relation stating, that "We shall not become mathematicians, even if we know by heart all the proofs that the others have elaborated, unless we have an intellectual talent that fits us to resolve difficulties of that kind. Neither, though we have mastered all the arguments of Plato and Aristotle, if we have not the capacity for forming a solid judgement on these matters, shall we become philosophers." Paraphrased to fit into this context and the following arguments, my Cartesian parastatement expressing a Natural Law asserts, that "No individual organism shall reach an evolutionary state even if he possesses and enjoys all the material benefits characteristic to that state that the others have conceived and elaborated, unless he has an intellectual talent that fits him to conceive and elaborate them, to resolve related difficulties and form solid judgements on these matters." "For only the man as Lama Govinda has put it who has conquered, gained this world spiritually, whose consciousness has reached this stage of knowledge, is capable of using sensibly the forces derived from it without misusing their power. Only such a one is entitled to use them. This discrepancy between perfection and power of the means created from a higher dimension of knowledge and the level of consciousness of those using them, must in the end result in schizophrenic civilization in which man no longer controls these means because he no longer understands the power at his disposal. He then resembles the magician's disciple who is no longer able to hold in check the powers which he has conjured up, because he is not related to their nature, he does not really know them." Only after the complete knowledge and understanding of his actual world is an individual qualified to transcend it, proceeding to the next one.
The way of existence belonging to a superior dimension of consciousness cannot be understood with the mental tools available on an inferior level, which is why scientists and philosophers, using the logic of present day physics and the building stones of earthly material existence, fail to solve metaphysical problems, which are, by their very nature, related to the superior dimensions.
As the evolution of a physical organ must be contemplated in the light of how that particular evolution has promoted the evolution of the organism it forms part of, so the evolution of every fraction must be regarded as the differential evolution of the whole, forming an inter-related open system, where each fraction is the subject, instrument and originator of Creation, that happens every time the fraction transcends itself.
The evolution that is particular but forms the evolution of the whole, originates from the very essence of the fraction; it must be self-generated and self-activated.
And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, shall not look for refuge to anyone beside themselves it is they who shall reach the very topmost height. But they must be anxious to learn.
Only in solitude can one perceive the grandeur of one's destiny, with an insight of spiritual depth transcending mere logic. One becomes more alive to the universe, obtains a spiritual vision of the unimaginable span of the full creation. A world where everything is alive with the mysticism of life, where everything that is natural is beautiful and significant. Where one can see things in much larger relations. This expanded consciousness reaches into the realm of abstractions which can only be perceived but are inexpressible through the references of quotidian reality, and thus incommunicable to others. It is a mystical state, a higher apprehension of Reality; "a flight of the alone to the Alone".
This simple participation is prayer. It contains neither service, nor sacrifice.
This is the practical action, reflecting the reality of integral universal existence, in which the inner harmony expresses itself in universal harmony, and inner growth causes the growth of the Universe.
This is where the Creator and the Created are one.
And as the Creator and the Created the whole and its parts the Infinite I and His fractions the Universe and its elements the originators, instruments and subjects substance accident and mode are One, no oppressor-oppressed and possessor-possessed relationship can exist nor fear, nor worship , for these concepts of the dichotomous thinking hold no meaning within an infinite unity. Only harmony prevails, and harmony is love.
The walk is solitary, but not without rich tenor. The loftier the path, the more abundant its revelation of Truth, Beauty and Goodness of the phenomenal and noumenal universe; all held bound into one volume by love:
For now my sight, clear and yet clearer grown,
Pierced through the ray of that exalted light,
Wherein, as if itself, the truth is known
In that abyss I saw how love held bound
Into one volume all the leaves whose flight
Is scattered through the universe around;
How substance, accident, and mode unite
Fused, so to speak, together, in such wise
That this I tell of is one simple light.
Yes, of this complex I believe mine eyes
Beheld the universal form
High phantasy lost power and here broke off;
Yet, as a wheel moves smoothly, free of jars,
My will and my desire were turned by love,
The love that moves the sun and all the stars.
from Dante's Paradise, Canto xxxiii
These riches are not rewards for this word has also long lost its meaning but like joy and harmony natural travelling companions.
'Exile from God' is an individual spiritual condition, not a place of existence. The Way not only leads home, it is home. The one who walks it is home in himself. The one who is home in himself, is home in the Universe.
Spirituality the re-connection, reconciliation of the principles of carnate and spiritual existence is not a fifteen-minutes-twice-a-day affair of knee-bent symbol-supplication, or cross-legged navel-watching. It is a twenty-four hour affair of a way of harmonious being and becoming; a way of thinking and a way of acting; a way of playing, a way of eating and a way of making love. It is a way of laughing and a way of crying; a way of growing and a way of creating. There is no need to find time for prayer or meditation: it is all you are doing.