Friday, November 14, 2008

A new way of thinking is required

I've been upgrading my website, adding some new sections and going over earlier stuff; particularily my pages on gurus and on the integral movement. It's amazing how my understand of both these themes has changed; a lot of my earlier material now seems to be very dated, even though it was only written a couple of years ago.

For example, my early views on "abusive gurus" I now feel are much too simplistic. Certainly there are some gurus who are genuinely abusive, and the situation regarding the paradoxical nature of the Intermediate Zone still holds. But for most I feel the situation is much more ambiguous. So I want to revise my pages in the light of this insight.

Regarding the "integral paradigm", my current insight is inspired by sentientism and Jainism as much as by the standard big names of the movement. At the same time it may not be possible to distinguish between Integral Movement, Global Mindshift, New Paradigm, New Age, etc, if one considers the phenomenon as a process of global spiritual renewal and restitution. So it would be better to talk of an emergent global phenomenon of spiritual awakening and renewal, triggered by the current planetary environmental crisis, and ultimately perhaps by the Supramental Descent of 1956 and later activity (this last theme of course would be rejected out of hand by mainstream conservative materialism and religionism; but such biases are little importance; what is required is creating a whole radically new way of thinking and doing.

By radical new way of thinking I mean new even beyond the the current external New Age/Mew Paradigm/Global Mindshift/Integral Movement. For example,

o there is still very little, if any, concept of Sentientism (the movement ranging from biocentric ("Green") to biocentric and anthropocentric).
o There is still the idea of a linear "map" of Reality, whether it be the Wilberians with their stages and quadrants, the Great Story process philosophers, or the Theosophically-inspired New Age movement
o there is still very little insight into the dynamics of Spiritual teachers and Realisation, with the old dichotomy (evident even in my previous writing) of good versus bad, or else the naive all good (New Age) or all bad (sceptical materiualism and fundamentalist religionism). Neither duality (good vs bad) nor all good, (no such thing as abusive guru) nor all bad (no such thing as genuine guru) is subtle enough
o Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's more radical Teachings are very slow to filter through to the rest of the movement, assuming they filter through at all. Instead, much of the New Age/New paradigm/Integral movement is still based on the outmoded "yoga of ascent" (world-negating). At the same time, within the Integral Yoga community itself there is a tendency among many (but not all) to descend into religionism and literalism.

So for those involved in the "frothy edge" (as the Wilberians would say) of planetary awakening, there is much to be challenged, and much to be done. Indeed, we live in interesting times!

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Blogger saartama said...

Abusive gurus - it is good that you have been writing about them as a kind of warning or reminder for those seeking. But there is also the question that who are the perfect students who can learn only from the perfect guru..?

12:10 AM  
Blogger m alan kazlev said...

But the students don't have to perfect, that's the thing. Although a perfect student could benefit even from an abusive guru, but then maybe a perfect student wouldn't need a guru at all.

The whole idea of Guru Yoga is to see the Divine in and as the Guru (and vice-versa). Where the guru is perfect - Ramana, Nityananda, Ramsuratkumar, etc - then it is actually a statement of fact, because the completely Enlightened Guru is transparent to the Divine. But where they are imperfect, then you get all their personal delusions and ignorance and narcissism, in which case Guru Yoga is absolutely the thing you don't want to do!

What I am interested in is the paradoxical gradation betwene these two extremes, what Sri Aurobindo calls the Intermediate Zone. How does Guru Yoga work in that case? Is it beneficial at all? Does it only work as long as you don't get too close or involved? Certainly it is simplistic to just adopt a dualistic clasisfication.

4:09 PM  
Blogger saartama said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:27 AM  
Blogger R. T said...

much of what you say here is what I also came to conclude. I think the abusive gurus have to be seen parallel with the "age" og nothingness, i.e. a climax of negation before a rebirth of all natures forces and consciousness naturally. Look at all the shamans: They lost "power" to decend into underworlds/galactic centre in the period just before WW1. Its possible to still find shamans ofcourse but they are just shadows of their intensely mystical ancestors

12:28 AM  
Blogger Arsalan said...

This is really excellent stuff. Agree with the topic and we need to think in the different situation in the usual life.

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9:55 PM  

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