Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber

Dustin DiPernaDustin DiPerna is founder of Bright Alliance ( and Co-Founder of Synergy Forum ( He is an entrepreneur, thought leader, group facilitator, and meditation instructor. For the past decade he has been a student of Integral Theory and has practiced in the spiritual lineages of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. Dustin received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Master of Liberal Arts degree in Religion from Harvard University. His released his first two books, The Coming Waves and Streams of Wisdom, earlier this year. He lives in California with his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Jaya.


Wake Up, Grow Up,
Clean Up, Show Up

Excerpt from The Coming Waves

Dustin DiPerna

In this time of spiritual growth and awakening on Earth, it is helpful to have a framework that can orient our practice and our progress.

There is much reason for celebration. A bright alliance of awake human beings is beginning to form. Like a bolt of lightning flashing forth in the night, these exemplars of human potential are radiating their light in the darkest corners of the globe.

As more and more of us begin to find ourselves surfing the coming waves of Integral consciousness, the patterns that connect us and the Kosmic laws that govern our interactions are being revealed. Although it would be presumptuous to assume a position of representation for this group, I do feel that I can speak to some of the guiding realizations that move our hearts and in doing so, I provided with an opportunity to point to the motivating framework that lead me to gather the authors in this book.

For many of us, it has become clear that the self-organizing force of Reality is clustering us together in unstoppable proportions. Synchronicity has become the drum-beat of our inter-generational coordination. We trust in the guidance of the Kosmos as each new step is revealed. And as hubris as it might sound, we know that as we manifest the unified force of our will together, we will bring a massive stream of goodness and healing to our Earth. For all of these reasons, we there is a sense that we already stand in the future and we know that it is bright.

As the light of this new dawn breaks, we give thanks for the flourishing of each living stream of wisdom carried forward by the world's great spiritual traditions. Through the distribution channels enabled by the Internet, new media, and social networking, these streams of truth are readily accessible to nearly all of humanity. Our world's great lineages teach us not only of the true nature of Reality but also how to stabilize the recognition of this true nature persistently from moment to moment without end. How incredible! We pay homage to all of the great masters that have come before and know that the work that we are here to do is only possible through the humble recognition that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

In this time of spiritual growth and awakening on Earth, it is helpful to have a framework that can orient our practice and our progress. For this purpose, a few years ago, I introduced a frame into the Integral lexicon called “wake up, grow up, clean up, show up”. I am pleased to say that the frame has gone viral. And although it is now being used in ways that are not totally aligned with my original intention, I am delighted that so many (both teachers and students alike) have benefited from its use. It is with this frame that I set the context for this book, and it is the unpacking of this frame that I explain in brief in the following pages.

Wake Up

Whether conscious of it or not, all members of humanity have the heart-desire to return Home; to return to the glorious abode of Ultimate Reality. All human beings have an intrinsic desire to know the single, indivisible, Great Sphere of Love from which, into which, and as which all of existence shines forth. All human beings have the desire and opportunity to “wake up” and realize that their very own awareness is none other than the single Bright Sphere that is Reality-Itself.

Within the context of Integral Theory, we speak about “waking up” as it relates to various state-stages of consciousness. As one awakens, one's exclusive identification with gross, subtle, and causal layers of reality are dismantled. One moves beyond an exclusive identification with thought (gross), beyond an exclusive identification with personal identity (subtle), beyond an exclusive identification with the coming and going of time and space (causal), and even beyond an exclusive identification with individual consciousness (witness). With all the layers of obscuration removed, one can affirm what remains -- the non-dual base of awareness; a base that naturally and spontaneously manifests as all relative form.

Waking up to this base awareness is fundamental to the New Civilization now emerging on Earth. Waking up to this single sphere, always already perfect exactly as it is, must be our most prominent priority.

Grow Up

With all that said, let it be clear that waking up to the true nature of Reality is only part of our duty. The single abode of Awakened Awareness, intrinsically good by its very nature, shines forth and refracts through manifold aspects of Itself. This refraction of perfect light forms seemingly individual constellations of consciousness. We commonly call these relative vortices of consciousness “selves”. We give them names, social status, and roles. In Integral circles, we even say that each self has Four Quadrants, with various degrees of developmental capacity and a whole matrix of qualities. Each unique expression deserves our recognition. Each unique expression deserves dignity and respect. At the same time, it is also true that each of these selves, whether we speak of you, me, your mother, your father, your son, or your daughter, is simply an expression of the very same base. Each refraction of light is part of one occurrence; the single gesture of Life-Itself.

From the Absolute perspective, Reality is in perfect coherence with Itself unconditionally. Simultaneously, it is also true that all of the entities and individuals that we conventionally call relative selves, create the contours through which Ultimate Reality can play, dance, and create with Itself. The natural state of Reality, can only use what it has available in each unique constellation of consciousness to interact and communicate its message with other beings in relative time. The non-dual base of all, can only use what the relative self has at its disposal to breathe its blessings into the dimensions of time and space. From this relative perspective, you and I are simply sacred instruments Divinity uses to play the symphony of life. As such, it matters how finely tuned we are as instruments.

All of this means that no matter how awake you are, your individual development and psychological health make a difference. Everything you are, and everything you do, either enhances or dampens the potential of Reality to express itself through you, as you, for the benefit of the whole. So even if Reality needs no affirmation to Itself, relative selves who are not awake to Reality need you to be as healthy and as developed as possible. Other relative selves depend upon you as a portal to access the single Great Sphere.

The more we “grow up” through varying structures of consciousness (from red to amber to orange to green to teal to turquoise, etc.) the more perspectives we can take, the more complexity we can hold, and the more care we can release in the world. Reality can flash forth even more effectively in the world as it comes through more developed structures of mind and more developed sensitivities of the heart. A commitment to “growing up”, in all dimensions of life, becomes a sacred vow one takes to allow Reality to incarnate through us to the fullest degree possible.

Clean Up

In a similar way, the more integrated each of us is, the more whole and psychologically healthy we are, the less dusty the glass is in our stain glass window of life. The less dusty our window, the more brightly the Light of Reality can shine. This means we all have a responsibility to “clean up” anything that might be clouding our transmission. If the process of “growing up” helps to provide more tools in the toolkit of life, “cleaning up” gives us more refined skills and more potent energy for how we actually use those tools. At a certain point in practice, we no longer do psychological work for our own benefit. Rather, because we know that Reality can touch more people through us the cleaner we are, we clean up to be of deeper service. Cleaning up shadows and integrating all relative dimensions of self allows us to purify the signal from Source as it broadcasts out into the world.

Show Up

Finally, all of this, whether we speak of waking up, growing up, or cleaning up, is used in service of the whole. The entire frame is just a skillful way to catalyze your maximum potential to “show up” in all of your glory, as a true emanation of Source. As we move beyond individual paradigms of isolation and separation, humanity will more fully discover the power and potential of shared unified intention. Then with this understanding at heart and with each of us exemplifying a unique expression of intrinsic unity, “We” can, together, rain-down the blessings on the Earth that we have come here to give. May this be an invitation and activation of all that necessary for us to show up together as the single unified force of Reality that we truly are.

And with that, a simple outline is offered: Wake up. Grow up. Clean up. Show up. We explore each of these concepts in detail throughout the book The Coming Waves.


Dustin DiPerna & H.B. Augustine (eds.), (2014), The Coming Waves: Evolution, Transformation and Action in an Integral Age, Integral Publishing House. (Contributing Authors: Michael Wombacher, Jeff Carreira, Dustin DiPerna, John Churchill, Clint Fuhs, Michael Brabant, Andrew Venezia, H.B. Augustine, Thomas Huebl, Rob McNamara, Jana Espiritu Santo, Eliot Bissey, Gail Hochachka, Mikyö Clark, Mick Quinn, Debora Prieto.)

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