Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My essay on Integral World

Finally my entire essay - Towards a Larger Definition of the Integral - An Aurobindonian vision and a critique of the Wilberian paradigm - is up on the Integral World website!

The entire series is:

Historical and Comparative use of “Integral”

The Wilberian Paradigm: A Fourfold Critique

An Aurobindonian Vision

Where To Now For The Integral Movement?

So far I have gotten some very positive feedback, also some critical comments, which I also greatly welcome.

I do get the impression from this feedback that there is a "silent majority" of people in the New consciousness / alternative paradigm /whatever we want to call it that are not as enamoured of Wilber as his publicists and PR machine would make out (although see Geoff Falk's blog if you really want some harsh comments on all this!).

On the other hand, the concept of Supramentalisation may be very hard for many people in the integral movement (whether Wilberian or ex-Wilberian) to understand; not surprisingly since their background, like Wilber's, is in Eastern philosophy and spirituality, especially Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism, and Transpersonal psychology (which again is based on the Eastern traditions). And sublime and profound as these great spiritual paths are, they still do not incorporate the understanding of a truly integral transformation of matter. See part 3 of my essay for more regarding this.

In view of this fact, it will be interesting to see what effect my essay has on the Integral community. The Integral World website is very much the home of Wilberians (although less now, given Frank's strong peer review stance against Ken, which led to the latter's vindictive sniping at him and at IW in his blog) and ex-Wilberians (more so now, for the same reasons). But the Aurobindonian vision of the divinisation of matter is another ball game altogether.

Despite this, I deliberately posted my essay there because I believe that the Integral movement has enormous potential; or at least the essence of this movement has. I feel a genuine light there. That's the reason I'm taking the time and trouble to do this, rather than simply working on my books.

And sure maybe i'm deluded and caught in some intermediate zone glamour, it all depends on the nature of the attractor behind Ken. It is so hard to be certain, and so easy to be caught up in glamour, in all these things. But until I'm otherwise persuaded, I'll continue along the present course.

Wilber's role in the integral movement seems to be as the anchor for the "attractor", to serve as a nucleus for these ideas and this discussion in the internet community. He has brought a lot of people together, got them talking and interested and networking. But his own approach is far too rigid and limited and cultic to be of any real use. It is not his side of the Integral movement, but the larger Integral movement, that I feel has this great potential.

But to advance to the next stage, the stage beyond where the Integral movement is now, requires incorporating the spiritual; the true spiritual, the spiritual that comes from the individual divine center, not the intellectual so-called spiritual such as Wilber propounds in his procrustean stages and states and SDi tiers of development.

This is why in my essay I refer to the need to go beyond the rational-mental understanding. Until one can do that, until one can feel the inner divinity, one cannot truly understand what real spirituality means. And for me the Integral movement is a spiritual movement, a movement pertaining to an integral transformation (i'll develop this theme in my follow-up essay). A purely rational-mental philosophy on its own is sterile, it leads only to one becoming trapped in one's own "mental fortress". It is only when reason is a servant of higher gnosis and inner spiritual wisdom that it attains value.

If the focus of the integral movement can shift from Wilber as exemplar, to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as exemplars, there will be a mighty change.

So we will see what happens.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Essay in progress

Well I'm still working on my follow-up essay for Integral World, which will probably be titled Towards a Larger Definition of Integral (II) - an Integral meta-paradigm. This will present a larger meta-picture oin which various integral philosophies and practices can, hopefully, be placed. Individual aspects of Integral will be able to be defined according to several parameters, such as theory and practice, esoteric and exoteric, and an ascending scale of spiritual insight and realisation.

This is again based on the Aurobindonian paradigm, I like S.A.'s teaching because even at the intellectual level (which is what I am talking about here, not the direct Soul insight beyond the mental) it so incredibly comprehensive; with only a little fiddling literally everything can be included there! Talk about integral, this is uber-integral! But I stress again I am in no way an orthodox aurobindonian; some of my interpretations may be considered strange. That is why, if anyone is interested in Sri Aurobindo, it's best to read his stuff yourself, not rely on my interpretations.

As for my essay already on Integral World (call it Towards a Larger Definition of Integral (I) ) , apparently Mark Edwards (a "strong positive" critic on the Visser scale) is going to write a reply refuting my assertion that Ken Wilber is a physicalist. Well, that should be intersting, because I have never seen anything in Wilber-V that indicates anything other than physicalism! So hopefully we'll get a nice debate going!

Monday, July 17, 2006

What this Blog is about

I already have a blog at Zaadz, which has been going quite well, and indeed encouraged me about all these things, but thought I should also join and post on the wider blogosphere.

I decided to call this blog Integral Transformation, because that is what it will be about, and what I am interested in. This will involve the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and divine, the individual and collective, the exoteric and esoteric, the secular and the sacred, the scientific and the occult, in fact all dichotomies, can and should be incorporated. In addition of course (although this is also part of the work of integral transformation) I'll also talk about general stuff, experiences with sadhana, what I'm doing at the moment writing-wise, and so on. Also will add pertinant quotes and passages, mostly from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and commentaries on them.

For an example of my recent work, see my essay (an Aurobindonian critque of Ken Wilber) on Frank Visser's Integral World - part one, part two (part three hasn't appeared yet). On my website, I am currently revising the Gurus and Spiritual Teachers section, which will deal with both true and fake gurus. I need to also find time for my revision of the Middle Permian on Palaeos.

That's all for now; will post more later!