Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Divine Feminine

"As much as I love you, we are not alone. Through loving you, I have learned to open my heart and feel everyone's heart. Their love is my love, as is yours. Their suffering is my suffering, as is yours. Just as I am committed to loving you open to God, I am compelled to claim the world as my lover who I must do my best to enter and open to God "- From Dear Lover, a book by David Deida

This is Agape. The Goddess. The feminine face of Spirit, the descending, immanent and "manifesting current of the Kosmos, the principle of embodiment, and bodily incarnation, and relationship, and relational and manifest embrace, touching each and every being with perfect and equal grace, rejecting nothing, embracing all." (Wilber, A Brief History of Everything)

Where Eros strives for the Good of the One in transcendental wisdom, Agape embraces the Many with Goodness and immanent care.

Agape and Eros drive each other nuts, and yet, they generate each other, depend on each other, and cannot exist without the other.

I have fallen in love with a Goddess.

I called her into my life, as she called me into hers. The ascendent and the decedent. Agape and Eros. She pushes me, demanding that I step up to meet her, as I do with her. And yet, we meet at a place neither us have been before, using relationship to expand our sense of ourselves, individually and together, wisdom and compassion, emptiness and form, Shiva and Shakti, finding our own true being, perfectly and blissfully united in One Taste.

Her love holds a universe...loving everything and everyone in perfect embodiment. My love holds one, rejecting the shallower in search of the deeper, and the search for purpose. And yet....we come together, breathing as one, moment to moment, hearts radiating creation.

It is my challenge. it is stepping up to holding myself as the biggest being I possibly can. This agape that loves all as she loves me. It is the future of women, of the Goddess, of Agape. They are becoming bigger and bigger.

How is it that women are stepping up and beginning to demand that men meet them at a more conscious place?

"When you feel deep into your heart, you feel love. Most deeply, you are love. This love shines as light, and so you want to be truly seen. This light flows as energy, and so you want to offer yourself completely. Your heart wants to give and receive love fully. This is your heart's deepest desire." - David Deida

Some ways are offered at David Deida's Blue truth website and programs for women like this one featured there that fully reawaken women to who they are.

I can feel me getting bigger.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dominate Modes of Discourse, Part II

A new posting on Dominate Modes of Discourse is right after the posting on Feminism , here.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

From Feminism to the Divine Feminist: An Integral Male Perspective

There can be little doubt that, except to the most hardened and fearful traditionalists, we are moving into a new age. Many are calling this the Integral Age, based on both the philosophy that drives it and the consciousness that arises through, and with, it.

One of many ways that this new age of integralism shows up is in the rise of feminism and the apparent (and welcome to many) decline of patriarchy. Patriarchy, and its opposite, Matriarchy, are perhaps both worn out systems in the Integral Age....or at least are beginning to partner in sacred marriage.

When we look at the predominant "worldviews" of the various epochs of human development, we can readily summarize them as archaic, magic, mythic, rational, and existential. These developmental stages correlate with the major stages of technological/economic development of foraging, horticultural, agrarian, industrial, and informational.

In each of these stages, we can further outline the types of economic production, the worldview, the modes of technology, the moral codes, the legal codes, the types of religions, and even Gods....and Goddesses (A Brief History of Everything, Wilber, pg 41).

It is here where we can also begin to look at the status of men and women in each of those stages, and based on the work of recent feminist researchers, reconstruct the relative status of men and women in each of the five or so major evolutionary stages of human development and more important, we can isolate the factors that have contributed to these differences in status....including patriarchy and matriarchy.

We now know that in foraging societies, men did most of the hunting, and women did the gathering and child rearing. An astonishing 97% of foraging societies followed this pattern. they were patriarchal in nature, and men had to hunt, whether they wanted to, or not. In addition, the Gods were masculine or nature ordered.

Foraging eventually gave way to horticulture, and women could handle a digging stick as well as men, and with about 80% of foodstuffs being produced by women, these societies became predominantly matriarchal, or mother-dominate, although in reality, they were mostly egalitarian, with equal status among men and women. This was the birthplace of The Goddess, and about one-third of these societies had female-only deities, and are sometimes called the Great Mother societies.

Without going into too much detail, horticultures eventually shifted to Agrarian, or hoe-to-plow, and another shift in Gods occurred. Where a pregnant woman could handle a digging stick, she could not handle an animal drawn plow: significant rates of miscarriages. It was advantageous for women not to plow, and both men and women decided that the heavy plow was men's work. This was a conscious creation of patriarchy in partnership with women. Unfortunately, this also caused the most highly polarized sexual structure ever, but it was the best they could do at the time. Over 90% of agrarian societies had male deities.

Agrarian finally shifted to the beginning of modernity, or industrialization, and the shift once again moved to gender-neutral machinery and the start of the rise of the women's movement, the first major feminist movement anywhere in history.

The Feminist Movement continues today, into, and beyond the industrial age, into modernity and post-modernity, and with it comes the rise of the Goddess once again. Women are rightfully proclaiming that patriarchy doesn't work. But then, neither does matriarchy by itself. In the last 50 years, we've gone from radical extreme deep eco-feminism to the divine feminism of today: A feminism that recognizes not only the divine feminine, but the divine masculine, as well, partnering in sacred marriage. It's time for us to step up, guys.

Women all over the world are claiming their right to independence, sexual power, and their very life forces with intention and an ecstatic connection their, and to men's, sacredness. Internally, women and men who see the world from an Integral (integrated) perspective, are also partnering with their own inner masculines and feminines, and the result is an honoring of sexes that will eventually take us to the next stage of consciousness, the Transpersonal.

Within a few short centuries - a blink in evolutionary times - women have gone from being subject to patriarchy's whims to standing completely on their own - not because they weren't smart enough before, but because the societal and evolutionary structures are in place that support them...and men...and we move toward, not patriarchy or matriarchy, but full partnership and the sacred marriage of the masculine and the feminine in the Integral Age.

May we all stand as sacred healers of the wounds of the past, and then as co-creators with Spirit at this great turning of the age.

More on Women's Sexual Healing: From Feminism to the Divine Feminist here.

Painting: Saltatus Aeternum, by A. Andrew Gonzalez. click image to enlarge

Dominate Modes of Discourse, Part II

I wrote about Dominant Modes of Discourse back in October on this blog (read it here) and not everyone had a positive reaction. A brief discussion took place on the Denver Meetup site and can be found here. One of the comments was that the posting had a "tone of altitudism -- a tendency to use Altitude to rank, or classify the perspectives of others in a limiting way rather than to enhance dialogue and understanding."

Yes, I would agree that there is "altitudism" at work, but we can choose to use "altitudism" in either a negative or positive way. I prefer to think of it in terms of discerning awareness as opposed to elitist judgementalism. Also, the terms "altitudism" and being "judgemental" have a bit of egalitarianism and relativism. Isn't making claims of "Altitudism" and "judgemental" an altitude judgement? We make judgements, no matter, whenever we are thinking, wherever we are.

In that thread Doug, who I don't know, but am sure I would like, asks "Just what is a First Tier (1T) conversation and should I be embarrassed to be having one? Is it unfortunate if we have a 1T conversation?"

As members of integral communities, if we have the means to have, or to steer towards, a second tier conversation, why would we want to have a first tier one? It doesn't mean that we're not including first tier folks in the conversation, or that we're not seeing the value of what they have to say. It just means that, as integral leaders, we want to have the skillful means to allow the conversation to come from the highest (latest, and most mature) place possible. We want to pull people forward, not get pulled back into the food fight. Using skillful means to assess where someone is coming from (translatively or transformatively) before speaking with them is wisdom. That way, we know how to speak, and not to speak, accordingly. It is, quite frankly, one of the hallmarks of second tier: appreciatiating all of the contributions of the earlier levels.

The benefit of trying to keep the conversation at the highest possible altitude should be fairly obvious: Fake it until we make it. We continue to allow ourselves to dip into higher stages so that we eventually begin to embody what we've been faking.

I'm also quoted and then responded to"

Gary quoted: "Now, there are some things you can do about that: be aware of the dominant monads of the individuals attending your meeting, if possible (you'll learn who is what very quickly in these situations, but it may take several meetings), and set up your meeting accordingly. Second tier, or teal/turquoise can skillfully guide the conversation by setting the tone of the meeting response before that participation begins."

the response: "Starting to sound a little heavy handed to me."

I can't imagine what sounds heavy handed about skillfully guiding a conversation through awareness of the 4 quadrants and varying altitudes. In SeattleIntegral, which may be very different from other groups, while we're still learning how to do this, it's been working quite well.

When we continually place ourselves in first tier, make observations from that perspective, even in a joking, self-deprecating manner, is it possible we're really saying, "well, my perspective is better, because I don't have arrogance and altitude problems?"

Wanting to have a conversation in the most mature mode of discourse possible with whomever we can seems reasonable, and necessary, especially in a salon atmosphere. Like many of my teachers, I prefer "earlier" and "later" in terms of transformational development (maturity) as opposed to "higher" and "lower". The relativistic/egalitarian types seem allergic to vertical metaphors--"Earlier" and "later" are an example of more skillful means.

I agree there's nothing wrong with green, or any other level of development, as long as it's manifested in a healthy manner. Perhaps the world could use a lot more green, but I also believe the world needs better translation at every stage. We are consciously trying to hold space for both translation and transformation, and it's a challenge because who's done it before?

(Note: My friend Tom Mull contributed to this article)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Chasing the Shadow

What happens when we focus on our shadows? Constantly looking for the bad things? Can we eliminate them? Is our job ever done?

Desire, and wanting, is a gift from the Kosmos. Our desires define us, and make us the unique individuals we are. It's not desire in and of itself that needs to be suppressed, the problem is in not realizing that we will never have everything we want. Oh, we may get what we want right now, but then we're going to want something else, and when we have that, something else again. It never ends.

Let's say someone wanted to be in a relationship. Once they get that desire and they're in a relationship, they may want to move in together, or get married, and get a place of their own. A couple of years go by and they want a house. Then they may want a bigger house....or a smaller house. The point is, once one desire is fulfilled, others eventually move in to take its place.

The trick with desire is realizing we will never get everything we want.

It seems to me the same thing is true with my quest to expose my shadows. I may bring some to light and lessen the impact of that particular shadow on me, but there's always another one right behind it....and another..and another.....We are always going to have shadows. It's how we're made and how we work and don't work.

Shadow awareness is all about shifting our vantage point, to put the ego in perspective, and to turn the disassociated into the differentiated. The problem is, even shadow awareness appears to have a shadow.

I know Ken Wilber has said that our shadows are the single most important block in our transformation, and that we need to pay attention there can be no doubt. But recently I find myself paying so much attention to the shadow, I'm beginning to wonder what part my shadow is playing in the desire to disidentify with my shadow and bring it into the light?

In his recent teleconference call, Integral Institute's David Zeitler said there's an obsession within the integral community around transformation.

I wonder how much of that obsession is our shadow chasing our shadow? Like desire, there is no bottom, no ending to our shadows.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Shamanic Breathwork Vision

Digital painting by Gary Stamper (click for a larger version)
I recently wrote about my first experience with Shamanic Breathwork. Since then, I 've had two more sessions, both ecstatic. In the second, I found myself supporting other friends who were also going through the process with me. In my third experience, a few days ago, I was 'breathed" again by Anyaa, who, among many other talents and gifts, is a Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator.

Ever since Ken Wilber recently asserted that our shadow is the number one block to our transformation, I've been working hard at examining my own shadows, and it appears to a never-ending quest, and I'm going to write about that in a future blog.

Still chasing my shadow, for this latest breathwork I set my intentions to try to visit the darker aspects of my subconscious. However, that is not what I experienced. This time I had what I can only interpret as a vision.

I'm assuming you've read my earlier blog on Shamanic Breathwork and at least have a basic understanding of it's origins with Stan Grof and Holotropic Breathwork, but I'd like to lay some groundwork of the process for you.

To begin, I was blindfolded and "cocooned" on the floor in warm blankets and pillows behind my head and knees. Anyaa then set the tone of the process, based on my intentions and her years of experience, in an almost prayer-like induction. Once the induction was completed, breathing and a musical journey through each of the Chakras began and lasted about 80 minutes. The combination of music and breathing creates a deeply altered state of consciosness in which whatever needs to arise, will.

For what seemed like a long time, nothing happened to me....then, for whatever reason, I began crying softly, not feeling sadness or joy, but just releasing. Under Anyaa's guidance, I was encouraged to "just let it go," and began sobbing and wailing, literally yelling, as I released tensions and pressures from my deepest being.

Eventually, I calmed and my father came into my consciousnessness, and I continued gently crying. Now, my father and I have always had a great relationship, and what I experienced was just pure, deep love for him. At 88, and so far healthy, I am blessed to still have him in my life, and there was just pure gratitude.

Then, the vision portion of my breathwork kicked in.

As the music continued to move me emotionally though the Chakras, I had a vision of standing in what I can only describe as a giant hall, open to the universe above, with streaming white light on both sides of me, travelling and moving toward a point in front of me, leading me to the end of the "hall." Also on both sides, were rows of spiritual beings (Shamans?) welcoming me on my journey through the lights. At the end of the hall, bathed in white light, stood Anyaa, in her Priestess robes, also welcoming me....and as I moved forward, she gently took my hand, and began guiding me to what I believe was a possible future. The digital painting I created at the top of this blog piece is almost exactly what I saw in this process. Anyaa eventually led me out of the breathwork and I just laid there for a while.

Later, while deconstructing my vision, I asked, "how much of what I saw was ego-induced?" Anyaa replied that, if you're truly immersed in the process, you can't manifest through your ego from those deep places: ego doesn't exist there.

Now I'm left with interpreting my vision, and while I won't share all of my interpretation, I can tell you that I believe a path was further opened for me, and that it was both a description of what is already happening in my life and a continuation and affirmation of what is possible for me. I believe it's time for me to start stepping out more as a teacher, sharing my gifts with others, and that the teachings I bring will be of service and value to others. I also believe that this is the right time for this to manifest, because it is manifesting in my life. Right now.

I'm going to continue doing the Shamanic Breathwork, and I'm producing a SeattleIntegral Shamanic Breathwork weekend event here in Seattle in June with Anyaa and her fellow teacher, Jeff Berger, who lives here in the northwest. I'm going to meet Jeff in April, when I travel to North Carolina to do an eight-day intensive on Shamanic Breathwork, as I'm considering becoming a facilitator.

Anyaa McAndrew is a licensed psychotherapist and resides in Western North Carolina. Her work is grounded in Transpersonal and Shamanic psychology as she walks the spiritual path of the Goddess. As an ordained Madonna Ministry Bishop and a Magdalene High Priestess, she has birthed the Mystery School of Life Force Energy, encompassing the Scorpio-Taurus Mysteries. Her Priestess Circles empower women to reclaim the lost soul essence of the priestess within.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Going to the REALLY Dark Places

We all have them.....especially those of us who say we don't (actually, I don't know if that's true, but it should be). I'm talking about the interior places that, for whatever reason, we would usually only visit dragged kicking and screaming, or after several visits to a really good therapists' couch.

I have one (actually, more than one, but we're only going to talk about one). A dark place. It has been excruciating for me, largely because I never, ever, wanted to go there, but found myself staring it right in(side) the(my) face. It's been a case of either dealing with it or possibly having to walk away from something that is very important to me. You've surely figured out I'm not going to give away any specifics, but the specifics aren't important to the teaching.

Having decided to face this dark place did not solve the problem. It just put it squarely in my face and made it worse. None of my bullshit could make it smaller, easier, or less painful. What to do? My transformations over the past few years seemed to be completely ineffective.


Out of desperation, I decided to try something I'd heard others had done when faced with their own dark places. Instead of just facing and acknowledging it, I decided to dive into it as deeply as I could. Not only to face it, but to embrace it fully, and slam my consciousness with it, inundating myself with the feelings, with the images I didn't want to consider, placing myself not as an observer, but in the midst, and part of, the nightmare.

While there, I was able to not only face, but totally diffuse the dark place that had a hold of me. Relief was immediate. It was no longer this bad, disturbing place, it just was....and it ceased having power over me.

Thomas Moore, author of Dark Nights of the Soul, 2004, says the dark night is a passage. "To keep the unfolding self alive, you have to open yourself to change, every step of the way"...."to be a person means to be faced every nminute with the decision to live or die, to accept the invitations for yet more vitaklity or to decline them out of fear and lethargy. Dark nights of the soul seem to seek out this unfolding self and create a mood in which the necessary developments can take place."

Not only is Enlightment not cheap, it can also be painful, even when approached with awareness and consciousness.

Note added 1/23/07: One of the hardest elements of all of this process was the feeling that my heart was shutting down around this. I have to stop, breathe, and remind myself to keep my heart open, constantly reciting, "I open my heart to all that arises." This is hard stuff.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Let me be perfectly clear.  I am so jumping on the bandwagon, here, but it's more about an orange/acheiver/expert level of taking an unabashed leap into an opportunity (hey...it's transcend and include, right?). So, buy a B'ROCK ON T-shirt and help support my wannabe integral lifestyle!

So let me state right right up front that this is about selling T-shirts, plain and simple. Integrity maintained.

I don't know where I stand on the candidate Barack Obama. Although hopeful, I've been down that road before. Hmmmm...integrity...experience...where's my scale, and will it continue to weigh out until I actually know how much of value is one side or the other?

I-I and Ken apparently think The Audacity of Hope is a second tier work. I haven't read it, but they call the ILP KIT Indigo, and there's no community practice. Still, it's nice to hope...and pray? Manifest? Call out to the Universe? Awaken to Spirit?

Here's a quote from Barack: "I think the country recognizes that the challenges we face aren't amenable to sound-bite solutions. People are looking for serious solutions to complex problems. I don't think we need more moderation per se--I think we should be bolder in promoting universal health care, or dealing with global warming. We just need to understand that actually solving these problems won't be easy, and that whatever solutions we come up with will require consensus among groups with divergent interests. That means everybody has to listen, and everybody has to give a little. That's not easy to do."

For now, B'Rock on! (pretty clever, huh?)

T-shirt design copyright gary stamper 2007. Get it here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Manifesting Skeptic

This post is for all the skeptics who read the last post on "Manifesting Through Intention" and say to themselves, "Oh, brother, what a bunch of new-age garbage. You're telling me I create my own reality with my thoughts?"

Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you.

Don't believe me? Then I challenge you to a little experiment. Tomorrow morning, when you get up, I want you to take ten minutes, sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes and repeat to yourself over and over, "My life sucks....My life sucks....My life sucks...." over and over for only for ten minutes! No more! I want you to do that every day for a week. One week. Just ten minutes out of twenty-four hours. That's all. Every day, for one week.

Don't believe our thoughts manifest who we are? Oh, sure, you could fake it, and come back and say, 'You were wrong, Gary, it didn't change me at all." But will you? Should you?

Don't want to do it? Why take a chance, you say? Exactly! You know we are what we think we are, and if you can lie to yourself everyday, and it might affect you negatively, why would you do it?

So what if you chose something you really wanted, like happiness, or health, or abundance...or even love....and you got really clear on what you wanted and why, and you sat down for ten minutes a day, and said to the universe: "Health, Happiness, Abundance, Love....Health, Happiness, Abundance, Love....?"

If lying to yourself in a negative manner creates negativity, what do you think lying (if you have to) to your self in a positive manner will do for you? Is there any question which path is best?

After Anyaa and I had been seeing each other for a couple of months, she said she wanted me to come out to North Carolina to spend New Years with her. After initially saying yes, I had to recant and say "no" because of the time off, travel, expense, and general lack of resources. We both knew I'd need $1,000 to do it.

After we had worked through the disappointment, Anyaa challenged me to write myself a check from the universe for $1,000 and post it over my computer where I could see it everyday. She did the same thing. Within a week, I had $400 come my way I hadn't expected. She then had $500 she hadn't expected, and a few weeks later I received another $1000 dollars from an unexpected source.

I immediately bought her a plane ticket for New Years, and she didn't even have to spend her money! Soon after I got a nice bonus from work. Wow! I had cashed that check from the universe....twice!

What do you suppose would have happened if I'd just said, "I can't," and let it go at that?

I don't know. Why don't you go sit for ten minutes a week and say to yourself. "My life sucks....My life sucks....My life sucks...."

See the T-Shirt at the iBoutique

Manifesting Through Intention

I used to dismiss the possibility that I could actually manifest something by, or through, my intention. Not any more. In the last few years, I've had some first hand experiences that have opened my mind, and more recently, a life changing experience that I believe came about by me, and another person, putting our intentions out there. More about that below.

Here's the premise by which I believe we can manifest that which we seek through our intentions, and why I believe it works.

If you accept, as I do, that there is a oneness in the universe that we are a part of, and that the universe is alive with this connectedness, then you're already closer to this manifestation than you may know. If you are the universe, and the universe is you, and you have the best of intentions for you, the universe, which is actually you, wants to give you what you want. In fact, it can hardly refuse!

Stay with me, here. By putting your intentions out to the universe, you are asking the universe to partner with you on these intentions, and the first step is to bring your vision of what you want to manifest into clear focus. Also, it's extremely important that you are crystal clear that you actually want your intentions to manifest, and that you are prepared to meet them.

I did this years ago when I decided I needed to be the kind of person I wanted to meet.

The second step is taking appropriate and effective actions that will turn your dreams into realities. You'll also need to eliminate obstacles and barriers such as limiting beliefs, self-doubts, self-criticism, judgements, distractions, and resistance.

You can do this through a meditative process, or by the affirmations of an Integral Transformative Practice, or any of a dozen other paths that can change your life.

I said above that I'd talk more about my experiences in manifesting. I first became aware of the importance of Manifesting through Intention while writing this blog on Integral Relationship. I had to call me on my own bullshit. Well, I did step up to it and put myself, and my intentions, out there for all to see. I first pictured (visual intention) myself in the perfect (for me) relationship, co-created on the idea that "we" would use relationship, and the difficulties therein, to bring out our finest qualities and to expand our sense of ourselves. In other words, I visualized what my life would be like in that perfect relationship as if it had already manifested. Then I wrote what I felt was the perfect description of who I am and what I was looking for. Boy, did I get mail!!!! Lots of mail! I can't tell you how many times I heard what an incredible profile I had written.

Still.....no answer from the universe.

Until...One day I was experiencing negative thoughts about not being able to find what I was looking for, so I decided to expand my search and look across the entire country. I did this because I knew this person I was looking for existed, I just needed to be reminded.

And then I came across her profile. What an amazing profile! Her words, her photos, and description spoke to me, no, captivated me! Problem was, she lived in North Carolina. North Carolina? Didn't the universe know I needed someone close to home? I wrote her anyway to tell her I saw her, recognized her for who she was, wished her luck and commented that I knew it would be difficult for her to find a man who could meet here where she was at.

Long story short, Anyaa wrote me back, and I discovered she travelled to Portland once a month. We talked on the phone for almost two months before we finally met on one of her trips out here. We've now been seeing each other for close to five months, and I flew her out for New Years (another conscious manifestation of the money it took to do that!). The point is, that we each had the same intentions that we were able to manifest for, and with, each other. It is a conscious, mind expanding relationship that is taking me deeper than I've ever been in relationship before. She reminds me frequently when she calls me on my stuff that I got I what I wished for.

I firmly believe we manifested each other through our conscious intentions. In a sense, I just kept pitching balls to the universe until it finally hit a home run for me.

Here are some ways in which you might manifest your own intentions. Notice I cite them as if they exist now, not in the future.
  • I experience Love and Healing in my life.
  • I accept and forgive myself and all those around me.
  • I see the Beauty and Goodness around me everyday.
  • I fill my mind with positive and nurturing thoughts.
  • I release all guilt, shame and blame resulting from my past thoughts and actions.
  • I gratefully accept the abundance of life which has been presented to me.
For more information on one way to manifest through your intentions, visit Steve Pavlina's blog.

Buy the T-Shirt at the iBoutique

Friday, January 12, 2007

Blogging From All Four Quadrants

Could it be this simple? Yes.

I blog.
The blog.
How I blog.
You read my blog.

The challenge has been met. More at Integral Practice.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cohen and Wilber: States, Stages, and Ego?

In the new issue of What is Enlightenment (issue 35, Jan 07, pg 47), Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen continue the central theme of their guru/pandit dialogues on States and Stages.

Cohen says that the "birth of evelutionary enlightenment" began with a discussion with Ken in 2001, and that since that first significant emergence, "this potential has revealed itself through a series of eruptions of of collective enlightened or nondual awareness among different groups of my students."

Although I agree that these nondual states can be intoxicating, and that continually dipping into these profound shared states of experience (I've been there) through a community of consciousness can help sustain them, I continue to have a "guru allergy" around Cohen. That Cohen thinks that the significant emergence of evolutionary enlightenment began at that point seems self-serving and egoic to me.

Of course, I've always had guru allergies, and want to be careful that I'm not projecting onto him.....still......More disturbing stuff on AC at Integral Practice the Blog by ebuddha.

In the meantime, I resonate with the idea of morphic fields, and maybe what we're doing in our work around SeattleIntegral's Core Group, the Pacific Integral learning community, and Cohen's group experiences are all connected, each making it easier to get into this palpable Kosmic Morphogenetic Groove.

Over at Open Integral, Edward Berge has this to say:

"There is much validity to what they say in this dialog. But at the same time I can’t help the feeling that there are two elephants in the room, and because they have some of the same blind spots they don’t see their own elephantness. For example, the lead-in to the dialog says the following:"

The leading edge of evolution can be a pretty lonely place. How many are willing to step out where the crowds thin, reaching for potentials barely forming on the brink of the future? How many have the courage to ask the kind of questions that open doors to tomorrow? Pioneers of consciousness have always been few—that just seems to be the way it works. But if the past has anything to teach us, perhaps it is that those few have made all the difference.

Berge goes on to say:

"It is similar to the Earpy episode in that there’s this unacknowleged engagment with delusions of grandeur, that we are the leading edge, we know the way and if you don’t listen to us you are a MGM out to destroy us and our grand mission to save the world. Am I just projecting here? Or hallucinating pink elephants with purple polka dots? Excuse me, it’s time for my medication.
In any event, I’d agree it is time for a new moral compass. So what is this compass? How do we create new moral and ethical codes that are relevant to a postmodern context? What do you think of Wilber and Cohen’s solution? Ken again reiterates the absolute/relative dichotomy in discussing this. Is this valid?"

Could the Moral compass be, as Ray Harris says, the "Prime Directive - that we do whatever promotes development through the spectrum, that we develop human potential in the various streams?"

For the entire blog, go here.

Here's Another Fine Myth You Got Us Into....

Evolutionary Metaphysics means “to contemplate the existence of the universe in light of the theory of evolution”.

Natural evolution depends on random mutation, and some people believe this proves that consciousness has no higher purpose. According to this book, this might be true, but there are other important concepts that need to be considered before committing to any particular belief about our existence.

Throughout history and still today, the vast majority of people have been conditioned to believe in religious myths and philosophical ideals that may seem very real but which in fact have no basis in reality (Myth of the Given).

This (mostly online) book, Shattering The Sacred Myths,  from the Academy of Evolutionary Metaphysics, attempts to explain why these myths and misconceptions are still so popular. And it will try to convince you not to commit to any belief about our existence that cannot be proven beyond doubt.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sex and the AQAL Model

First, I love the title of this post, and I'm wondering where I get one of those AQAL models. I guess it goes hand in hand with the "where are all the integral women?" question. Fortunately, I already know the answer to that: they are in Seattle. Out of the nineteen people we had at our last Ken Wilber Meetup, half were women. Really.....smart....women.

But back to the sex. After all, that's what caught your attention, isn't it?

I'm not necessarily talking about sex in the "integral relationship" aspect. I'm just talking about good, old fashioned sex. Why? Because I haven't seen it done before (this is not a David Deida moment), and it came up during a particularly appropriate moment afterwards (don't ask).

Using sex to explain Wilber's 4-quadrant model seems like a great idea! I mean, how many times have you tried to explain the model, only to have your listeners eyes glaze over right before they fall asleep? Tag something they nothing about onto something they're extremely interested in (but probably still know nothing about!), and I think you've got a winner!

Okay, so let's assume there are two of you (unless you're having sex alone, which is a different conversation, entirely, and eliminates the LL quadrant). You already have a lower left quadrant "we." Let's assume you find the other person particularly attractive and desirable. This comes from some part of your interior (something inside is turned on by this person), or upper left quadrant "I", or "Who," stuff. Let's also say the other person also finds you attractive. This is good.....She/he knows, as do you, that you find her/him attractive, and you know that she knows (oh, God, get Don Rumsfield out of my fantasy!) you're/she's/he's attractive. More upper left quadrant stuff: fantasy, desire, lust, love, some, or all, of it.

Suddenly, all these changes start taking place in your body: Release of pheromones, chemicals in the brain, breathing increases, etc., whatever comes up (sorry....). This is all Upper Right Quadrant "it" stuff, along with other URQ "its" that might arise in this situation......I think you get it.

So you both (LL "we") individually decide (interior UL) to act (exterior UR) in a particular manner (exterior LR). The LR quadrant is the "how" of sex in the four quadrants...."how to" this, "how to" that......Half the fun is figuring out the "how to's"....

These are the "who," "what," "how," and "why" of sex in the 4 quadrants.

I haven't touched on the "why", you say? If I have to tell you that, this entire article has been totally wasted on you. The important thing here is that, like everything that can be broken down into the 4 quadrant map (and the map is really very much not the territory), it all tetra-arises.

Thank God.......

Integral Sex 4-quadrant map by Gary Stamper. Get the t-shirt here.

What We Might Not Know About Evolution

Newspapers, TV programs, and other media have often inadvertently circulated inaccurate information about evolution. As a result, many myths have been established as truth in the minds of the public. To sort out fact from fiction, check out the misconceptions and corrections from the website Evolving Planet

For instance:

  • Misconception: Evolution is just a theory, just as intelligent design and creationism are theories.

    Answer: False. Evolution is a scientific theory based on the scientific method, which involves systematic data collection of observable phenomena and scientific experiments that can be accurately replicated. Intelligent design and creationism are faith-based belief systems—not testable scientific theories—that offer non-scientific explanations for life’s origins and the diversity of life forms.

  • Misconception: If you accept evolution to be a well-supported theory, you can’t believe in God.

    Answer: False. Many scientists who accept evolution as a well-supported theory have religious beliefs that are perfectly compatible with their work as scientists. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive.
  • Sunday, January 07, 2007

    How Much Would You Pay?

    In Fact, it can be downright expensive! I spent over $7,000 last year doing stuff to raise my consciousness, and I'm still not enlightened......Okay, I'm a lot farther than I thought I'd ever be, and that's worth a lot, but I won't be spending that much this year. I plan to keep it under three grand, if I can!

    For most of us, we do this stuff as our soul work (we tell ourselves) for free. Well, we've just got to get over this aversion to making money off of our increased awareness. it just ain't.....integral!

    Or is it just a matter of dying to our small "s" selves to get to the big 'S" Self? Might born-agains be on to something, here (translated from their own perspective, of course....)?

    We've got to stop looking at paid group membership hierarchies (membership truly does have priviledges! Transcend and include Orange!) as bad.....groups are hierachical, as they should be. I mean, at SeattleIntegral, , a really small number of people do the vast majority of work. We've got to stop looking at expensive seminars and trainings as over priced (expensive, yes....over priced, hardly!). You go out and try to teach this stuff!

    I am now manifesting my way into having an integral lifestyle support me. My thoughts control the universe. And you need to buy an "Enlightenment ain't cheap" T-Shirt...or make a donation, because the shirt (and others) are really cool, and my writing is worth it, and makes you think, whether you agree with me or not.

    Don't think about what you should do....what do you want to do? Now, if you aren't already, go out and manifest your own dream.

    logo for t-shirt by gary Stamper