Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sri Aurobindo: Ripples and Waves

When the overmind descends, the predominance of the centralizing ego-sense
is entirely SUBORDINATED, lost in largeness of being and finally abolished;
a wide cosmic perception and feeling of a boundless universal self and
movement replaces it: many motions that were formerly ego-centric may still
continue, but they occur as currents or RIPPLES in the cosmic wideness.
Thought, for the most part, no longer seems to originate individually in the
body or the person but manifests from above or comes in upon the cosmic
mind-WAVES: all inner individual sight or intelligence of things is now a
revelation or illumination of what is seen or comprehended, but the source
of the revelation is not in one's separate self but in the universal
knowledge; the feelings, emotions, sensations are similarly felt as waves
from the same cosmic immensity breaking upon the subtle and the gross body
and responded to in kind by the individual centre of the universality; for
the body is only a small support or even less, a point of relation, for the
action of a vast cosmic instrumentation. In this boundless largeness, not
only the separate ego but all sense of individuality, even of a subordinated
or instrumental individuality, may entirely disappear; the cosmic existence,
the cosmic consciousness, the cosmic delight, the play of cosmic forces are
alone left: if the delight or the centre of Force is felt in what was the
personal mind, life or body, it is not with a sense of personality but as a
field of manifestation, and this sense of delight or of the action of Force
is not confined to the person or the body but can be felt at all points in
an unlimited consciousness of unity which pervades everywhere.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Henry David Thoreau Quotes: "As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
Henry David Thoreau "

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Aurobindo: pre-echo of Ken Wilber

An external unity with others must always be an outward joining and association of external lives with a minor inner result; the mind and heart attach their movements to this common life and the beings whom we meet there; but the common external life remains the foundation, the inward constructed unity, or so much of it as can persist in spite of mutual ignorance and discordant egoisms, conflict of minds, conflict of hearts, conflict of vital temperaments, conflict of interests, is a partial and insecure superstructure. The spiritual consciousness, the spiritual life REVERSES this principle of building; it bases its action in the collective life upon an inner experience and inclusion of others in our own being, an inner sense and reality of oneness. The spiritual individual acts out of that sense of oneness which gives him immediate and direct perception of the demand of self on other self, the need of the life, the good, the work of love and sympathy that can truly be done. A realization of spiritual unity, a dynamization of the intimate consciousness of one-being, of one self in all beings, can alone found and govern by its truth the action of the divine life.

Sri Aurobindo literally predated Ken Wilber. Ken is now reknown as the foremost philosopher from the US. The above passage is but one example that Sri Aurobindo had things pretty much figured out. The references to inner, outer as well as individual and community is the AQAL framework of Ken.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is the Buddha in Hell?

Is the Buddha in Hell?:
A story I heard from a Buddhist Bhante in Bihar, India.

'I sat in a train station waiting for the train and fell asleep. In my dream the train came and the sign said it was going to Heaven. So with delight I got on. When I arrived in Heaven, it was just as I expected Heaven. Soft music, plenty of food, wonderful weather, lots of happy peaceful people. As I walked around, I stopped a man and asked where I could meet the Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed?

The man smiled and asked me go the train station and take the next train. At the train station there was a train waiting and the sign said it was going to Hell. With trepidation I got on.

Upon arriving in Hell, it was also exactly as I expected. Horrible weather, starving people, screeches and noises everywhere. Walking around, I saw Buddha addressing a gathering, I saw Jesus making a garland of flowers and Mohammed was holding a broom and sweeping a courtyard. When Buddha had finished his sermon I expressed my surprise that he, Jesus and Mohammed had not gone to Heaven. He replied, 'Oh, of what use could we be in Heaven. We are here to make Heaven in Hell'.

That is why the Buddha is in Hell.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Science and religion must go hand in hand

By Michael Gonsalves, Pune: A science-religion dialogue is key to the future shape of the cosmos and in addressing sensitive issues like cloning and genetic engineering, say scientists attending a global meeting near here.

"Whether cloning, biotechnology, genetic engineering and genome research will lead to a boom or will spell doom is the million dollar question confronting humanity," Job Kozhamthadam, president of the Indian Institute of Science and Religion (IISR) here, told IANS.

Kozhamthadam said therapeutic cloning was good for humanity but reproductive cloning - to create super human beings with distinct features like blue eyes or possessing super intelligence by sequencing genes - would create immense problems.

"By tinkering with the genetic structure, it is possible today to create a distinct clan of people," he said, pointing out that a company had cloned a cow with a human egg.

"In some behaviour, the transgenic animal will be a cow and a human being as well," Kozhamthadam said on the sidelines of an international symposium on "Science: Religion Dialogue and Cosmic Future" organised by IISR at Lonavla near Pune.

The meeting, being attended by 16 Indian and foreign scientists and various religious thinkers, is to end Friday. IISR, launched five years ago, is an institute to promote constructive and creative interaction between science and religion in India.

Quoting Albert Einstein who said "science without religion is blind and religion without science is lame", Kuruvilla Pandikattu, associate president of IISR, said the world's problems were so gigantic that science and religion had to work hand in hand for the betterment of humanity.

He said science alone could not solve problems, and the values and vision provided by religion were needed to give direction to the future of mankind.

Kozhamthadam, author of "Modern Science, Religion and The Quest For Unity", said in principle anything was possible in genetic engineering. But some experiments could lead to abuses.

On the other hand, the beneficial side of biotechnology was also evident.

For instance, metal-eating and oil-eating bacteria developed by biotechnology had been effective in cleaning the ocean bed and even recovering oil, said A.G. Bansode, a biotechnology scientist.

"Science gives technology and enables us to move forward but it does not give us a vision or direction. Therefore, while science is the means, it does not know the end that has to be provided by religion," he said.

"But religion alone cannot take us to our goal either," said Pandikattu, author of the book "Bliss of Being Human".

Since cosmic destiny is inextricably interlinked with human destiny, Kozhamthadam said, the science-religion dialogue could play a key role in giving shape to the future of the cosmos.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Aurobindo and Dwarkoji

Sri Aurobindo's "Life Divine" p 1025
"All being is one and to be fully is to be all that is. To be in the being of all and to include all in one¹s being, to be conscious of the consciousness of all, to be integrated in force with the universal force, to carry all action and experience in oneself and feel it as one¹s own action and experience, to feel all selves as one¹s own self, to feel all delight of being as one¹s own delight of being is a necessary condition of the integral divine living."
[Sri] The more occasions I have of sharing Dwarkoji's living philosophy-in-action through stories, the more I feel what Sri Aurobindo is saying is precisely what Dwarkoji is enacting.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Integral Life Practice

Practices That Transform Us, All In One Place
The Ultimate in Body-Mind-Spirit Cross-Training

Ken Wilber / Philosophy

Description of Integral Life Practice Starter Kit

Based on the acclaimed AQAL (All Quadrants, All Levels) map of reality and human potential, Integral Life Practice is a breakthrough program for evolving body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature. The Integral Life Practice Starter Kit is a fast and easy way to learn ILP, giving you the tools to practice in your own home.

The ILP Kit consists of 4 DVDs, 2 CDs, 3 booklets, and the Essential ILP Poster. Each DVD covers one of ILP's four core modules —Spiritual, Body, Shadow, and Framework—by teaching a "gold star" practice in that module.

  • DVD 1, Spiritual: Big Mind™, with Genpo Roshi, is a fast and effective approach to experiencing your highest self and biggest heart, using an elegant integration of Zen and western psychology.
  • DVD 2, Body: 3-Body Workout, with Huy Lam, Terry Patten, and Rob McNamara, introduces a "3-body" daily practice, integrating strength training (physical body), energy practice (subtle body), and open awareness (causal body).
  • DVD 3, Shadow: 3-2-1 Process™, with Diane Musho Hamilton, is a quick and powerful technique for revealing—and integrating—hidden aspects of yourself.
  • DVD 4, Framework: AQAL™ Framework, with Ken Wilber, presents the most comprehensive map of human potential available—a "big picture" of reality that includes East and West, traditional and cutting-edge.

The CDs give you a way to learn ILP anywhere you have an audio player:

  • CD 1, Meditation With Form, with Terry Patten and Willow Pearson, features guided meditations for actualizing Ever-present Awareness and Universal Love.
  • CD 2, Fitting It All Together, with Ken Wilber, features in-depth explanations of all the basic concepts in ILP, from exclusive tele-sessions with Wilber.

The ILP Starter Kit booklets provide important background to what you'll learn from the DVDs and CDs, and include the Welcome to Integral Life Practice booklet, the My ILP Handbook, and Introducing AQAL, by Ken Wilber.

Integral Life Practice is not just a combination of practices, it is an integration of practices, the ultimate in body-mind-spirit cross training. This radically unified approach multiplies the effect of any practice you choose to engage. Besides optimizing time and energy, ILP delivers deeper results because it is individually tailored. Integral practice broadens the "practice field" with as many options as there are disciplines. It helps you avoid the dead ends and burnout common to stand-alone exercises, and is exponentially more interesting, since so much more of yourself is awake and on-line in the process. You will see more clearly and feel more deeply into the texture of your own being. This in turn leads to actualizing greater capacities of your body, mind, heart, and soul, opening up entire new ways of living and being in the world.

4 DVDs
2 CDs
2 Booklets
My ILP Handbook
The Essential ILP Poster

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Einstein and spirituality

This story came via David Heyl, but he is citing an anonymous source.

"An ordained Rabbi had written explaining that he had sought to comfort his 19-year-old daughter over the death of her sister, `a sinless, beautiful, 16-year-old child.' The surviving daughter found no comfort `based on traditional religious grounds,' the Rabbi said, but had told her mother that perhaps a scientist could help.

`A human being,' wrote Einstein in reply, `is a part of the whole, called by us `Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, and his thoughts, and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.'"

Monday, July 11, 2005

How To Stop Terrorism

"How do we stop terrorism? Renounce every trace of violence in your heart and your life. Adopt the wisdom and practice of active nonviolence, as Gandhi and Dr. King taught. Beg the God of peace for the gift of peace."
Read this most compelling narrative by John Dear
Rev. John Dear is a Catholic peace, peace activist, and coordinator of Pax Christi New Mexico, a Catholic peace group. He is the author/editor of 20 books on peace and nonviolence, including two books just published from Doubleday, “Living Peace” and “The Questions of Jesus”.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Aurobindo on "surrender of will"

For a real transformation there must be a direct and unveiled intervention from above; there would be necessary too a total submission and surrender of the lower consciousness, a cessation of its insistence, a will in it for its separate law of action to be completely annulled by transformation and lose all rights over our being. If these two conditions can be achieved even now by a conscious call and will in the spirit and a participation of our whole manifested and inner being in its change and elevation, the evolution, the transformation can take place by a comparatively swift conscious change; the supramental Consciousness-Force from above and the evolving Consciousness-Force from behind the veil acting on the awakened awareness and will of the mental human being would accomplish by their united power the momentous transition.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Unity, mutuality, harmony - Sri Aurobindo

A spiritual or gnostic being would feel his harmony with the whole gnostic life around him, whatever his position in the whole. According to his place in it he would know how to lead or to rule, but also how to subordinate himself; both would be to him an equal delight: for the spirit¹s freedom, because it is eternal, self-existent and inalienable, can be felt as much in service and willing subordination and adjustment with other selves as in power and rule. An inner spiritual freedom can accept its place in the truth of an inner spiritual hierarchy as well as in the truth, not incompatible with it, of a fundamental spiritual equality. It is this self-arrangement of Truth, a natural order of the spirit, that would exist in a common life of different degrees and stages of the evolving gnostic being. Unity is the basis of the gnostic consciousness, mutuality the natural result of its direct awareness of oneness in diversity, harmony the inevitable power of the working of its force. Unity, mutuality and harmony must therefore be the inescapable law of a common or collective gnostic life. What forms it might take would depend upon the will of evolutionary manifestation of the Supernature, but this would be its general character and principle.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Jacob the teacher

Jacob, almost seventy, was in the midstages of Alzheimer's disease. A clinical psychologist by profession and a meditator for more than twenty years, he was well aware that his faculties were deteriorating. On occasion his mind would go totally blank; he would have no access to words for several minutes and become completely disoriented. He often forgot what he was doing and usually needed assistance with basic tasks-cutting his food, putting on clothes, bathing, getting from place to place.

Jacob had occasionally given talks about Buddhism to local groups and had accepted an invitation to address a gathering of over a hundred meditation students. He arrived at the event feeling alert and eager to share the teachings he love. Taking his seat in front of the hall, Jacob looked out at the expectant faces before him . and suddenly he didn't know what he was supposed to say or do. He didn't know where he was or why he was there. All he knew was that his heart was pounding furiously and his mind was spinning in confusion.

Putting his palms together at his heart, Jacob started naming out loud what was happening: 'Afraid, embarrassed, confused, feeling like I'm falling, powerless, shaking, sense of dying, sinking, lost.' For several more minutes he sat, head slightly bowed, continuing to name his experience. As his body began to relax and his mind grew calmer, he also noted that aloud.

At last Jacob lifted his head, looked slowly around at those gathered,
and apologized.
Many of the students were in tears. As one put it, 'No one has ever taught us like this. Your presence has been the deepest teaching.' Rather than pushing away his experience and deepening his agitation, Jacob had the courage and training simply to name what he was aware of, and, most significantly, to bow to his experience. In some fundamental way he didn't create an adversary out of feelings of fear and confusion. *He didn't make anything wrong.*

~ from *Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha,* by Tara Brach, Ph.D."

Meditation - visual experiments on monks

The monks - who carried out 'one-point' meditation, where they focus attention on a single object or thought - were able to focus on one image.

Monks who had undergone the longest and most intense meditative training were able to focus their attention on just one of the images for up to 12 minutes.

Olivia Carter, of the University of Queensland, said: 'The monks showed they were able to block out external information.

'This is an initial step in understanding how their brains work.

'It would now be good to carry out further tests using imaging techniques to see exactly what the differences are in the brains of the monks.'"

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Live for Others by Sarah Belle Dougherty

From "Inducing Altered States" by Sarah Belle Dougherty
"The most powerful purifying influence is to live for others, making altruism the basis of life. Hand in hand with this goes finding one's own dharma -- both the overall reason for one's existence and the most immediate duty at any given moment. Performing one's dharma can become a continuous meditation. Our growth as human beings ultimately depends on the unspectacular accomplishment of the tasks of daily life, on controlling and improving our character, and on our relationships with others. Various states of consciousness will appear naturally in time."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Lynds: Time's Up, Einstein

Wired 13.06: Time's Up, Einstein:

"1687: Isaac Newton

The universe has one absolute clock:
• Time and space are independant of the observer.
• Time's arrow points forward; events move ahead from the now.

1905: Albert Einstein

every observer has his or her own (accurate) clock:
• The universe exists in a space-time manifold.
• Everyone's 'now' is different.
• Acceleration affects time.

2003: Peter Lynds

There is no clock; 'time' is an illusion
• Time has no indivisible unit.
• There is no 'now,' only sequences of events."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"The Path of the Here and Now" by Bill Dougherty

"The Path of the Here and Now" by Bill Dougherty: "Yet there is a path of true spiritual development which has been universally recommended by the great teachers of mankind throughout the ages. It is a path which is as wonderful and simple, and as difficult, as each one of us. It tells us to forget entirely our own advancement and instead to begin right here and now to live up to the grand, selfless love within us; without seeking anything in return, but with only the welfare of others fixed firmly in the center of our consciousness. Naturally enough, the radical changes in our thoughts and feelings necessary to fully reorient ourselves along these lines will take a long, long time to accomplish. On the other hand, however far we may have wandered from this path, we can turn toward it at any moment. And with that very first step we instantly begin to move in sympathy with the highest aspects of ourselves and others. In this way we can do more real good in a day than we might achieve in lifetimes of struggling to overcome our particular weaknesses. For in following this path we are actually living the most sublimely beautiful and infinitely powerful mystery in the universe, the heart and root of us -- compassion."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

On the relationship between Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory

Link to Article:

The metaphor of the ocean and waves is quite an elegant to think about these two theories. - Sri

" One of the fundamental problems of modern Physics is that two theories that have been proven correct, Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory, are basically not compatible. If both are correct representations of nature, how can they be so different and even contradictory? Relativity prescribes a spacetime continuum, whereas Quantum Theory prescribes a discrete world. Relativity is deterministic, Quantum Theory is, at best, stochastic. How can one be derived from the other?

The best way to visualize my ideas is to think of relativistic spacetime as an ocean, and of quantum values as the ripples caused by an object moving through spacetime. The ocean is a continuum, but the ripples are discrete. Both the ocean and the ripples are real, and one can construct a theory to describe the ocean and a different theory to describe the ripples. To me, Relativity is the theory about the ocean, and Quantum Theory is the theory about the ripples.

In my opinion, Quantum Theory describes the ripples caused in spacetime by energy-matter in motion. Einstein's equations describe how spacetime warps because of matter. Schroedinger's equations describe the ripples caused by such matter.

If I am right, Relativity's space and time are different from Quantum Theory's space and time. We use the same name for two different things: Relativity's space is a dimension, an underlying framework, whereas Quantum Theory's space is about the 'size' of an object. Spacetime is the continuum that energy-matter interacts with. Quantum values are the results of measuring the ripples caused by that interaction. The reason that the ripples are discrete and not continuum is exactly the same that ripples form on a surface. Any attribute of an object over the ripples admits only some values, because it exists and it is measured only over the ripples.

I believe that the probabilistic nature of Quantum Theory emerges because of the translation from 'ocean' to 'ripples'. Ditto for the attributes (charge, spin, etc). They are all manifestations of the ripples."

An Integral Age at the Leading Edge

Ken Wilber

An odd fact about evolution is that species emerge, not just isolated individuals. For example, in bisexual specie, males and females originate; otherwise the specie cannot sustain itself. So another dimension to "specie selection" opens up when we contemplate this. The dimension is that somehow conditions in the environment treat populations or subpopulations together and not just Lamarckian individuals. This much biologists accept and can explain through Natural Selection alone. Cultural evolution has to go a bit farther. There are intangibles (values, norms) in culture and hence they must be present in the prior culture (the environment). Now as we move up our pondering to Spiritual Evolution, we are to examine what are the givens in Spiritual Evolution so that humanity as a whole takes the next step or next leap. In thinking about givens that are spiritual, we can speak of "evolutionary" givens and "Involutionary" givens. Here is an excerpt from Modern day philosopher Ken Wilber. I find his discussion interesting, even if he overlooks a key citation to Sri Aurobindo, who "saw" the involutionary givens directly. Enjoy - Sri

On the Nature of Involutionary Givens

Are there any givens (other than past inheritances) that determine the nature of
this moment's coming-to-be? Put differently, are there any givens that seem to
have existed prior to the Big Bang? Among the few theorists who have thought
clearly about this issue, the consensus seems to be yes.

Hereis a myth that is sometimes useful in suggesting notions that cannot be graspeddualistically or conceptually in any event: As Spirit throws itself outward (that's calledinvolution)to create this particular universe with this particular Big Bang, it leavestraces or echoes of its Kosmic exhalation. These traces constitute little inthe way of actual contents or forms or entities or levels, but rather a vastmorphogenetic field that exerts a gentle pull (orAgape) toward higher, wider, deeper occasions, a pull that shows up in manifest oractual occasions as the Erosin the agency of all holons. (We can think of this "pull" as thepull of all things back to Spirit; Whitehead called it "love" as"the gentle persuasion of God" toward unity; this love reaching downfrom the higher to the lower is called Agape, and when reaching up from the lower to the higher is called Eros: two sides of the same pull). This vast morphogenetic pull connects the potentials of the lowest holons (materially asleep) with the potentials of the highest (spiritually awakened). The involutionary given of this morphogenetic field is a gradient of potentials, not actuals, so that Agape works throughout the universe as a love of gentle persuasion, pulling the lower manifest forms of spirit toward higher manifest forms of spirit--a potential gradient that humans, once they emerged, would often conceptualize as matter to body to mind to soul to spirit.

"Spirit" (capital "S"), of course, was (and is) the ever-present ground of all of those manifest waves, equally and fully present in each, but "spirit" (small "s") is also a general stage or wave of evolution: spirit is the transpersonal stage(s) at which Spirit asground can be permanently realized.

The residue of this involutionary outpouring are various involutionary givens(or items that are given or deposited by involution, items that therefore pre-existed the big Bang and thus are already operating from the moment of the Big Bang forward), the most general of which is the great morphic field of evolutionary potential, a gentle gradient of persuasion pulling all manifest holons back to their ever-present Ground as Spirit--a Kosmic field of Agape, gently pulling evolution into greater and greater consciousness, embrace, inclusion. The universe, it appears, is tilted, and its entire contents are slowly sliding into the Source and Suchness of the entire display.

This tilt, this grain to the Kosmos, this Agape, this vast morphogenetic potential, exerts a tender pull on evolution to unfold in waves of greater complexity, greater inclusiveness, greater depth, until the entire Kosmos is included in a prehensive unification that can swallow the Pacific Ocean in a single gulp, hold Mount Everest in the palm of its hand, blink and bring nightfall to the entire universe, smile and bring forth the sun to shine on allcreatures great and small.

Are there involutionary givens other than the great Kosmic morphic field of Agape (appearing in all holons as Eros)? In other words, are there any a priori forms, not just in the evolutionary sequence, but in the involutionary sequence? We already saw that evolution inherits its previous moment as an a priori given. But those are not archetypal or timelessly pregiven forms, merely the past creative forms of evolutionary unfolding. We are now asking: are there
any forms that were laid down as "memory" in the involutionary sequence and which therefore show up as timelessly given forms that are present at the very start of evolution itself and operative at every point of evolution's unfolding? As involutionary givens, we have already postulated Eros/Agape and the morphogenetic tilt of manifestation. Are there any others?
(That is, are there any a priori forms that are a priori to evolution's a priori forms?)

Whitehead believed so: eternal objects, for example (these are things that you have to have before you can have anything else, such as shape, color, etc.).

Sheldrake implicitly has a set of involutionary givens. For Sheldrake, there are no archetypal constants or pregiven forms, but in fact he introduces several universal, pregiven constants in order to explain morphic resonance and its formative causation. By Sheldrake's own theory, there are certain categories that must always be the case in order for this theory of morphic resonance and formative causation to be true, and those a priori categories are in fact timeless (or archetypal in that sense). For example, Sheldrake sees the world as composed of energy and form; he sees energy causing energy and form causing form; he sees development occurring; and he sees creativity as essential. All of those--energy, form, causation, development, creativity--are seen to be present everywhere, timelessly, from the start--they do not themselves develop or evolve. They are therefore archetypal by his own standards, at least for this universe.

a priori for subsequent moments, and which do indeed exist; but these mathematical forms appear to be involutionary a priori--not anything created in the past but present all along).

All of these involutionary givens might be viewed as the patterns and constraints that are the residue of this particular round of involutionary creation: what's left of Spirit's exhalation that resulted in the Big Bang, which was therefore already following these patterns (or involutionary givens) when it arrived on the scene.

So it certainly seems that there are at least some forms of involutionary givens.
I would call these "archetypes," but that term has been so abused as to be perfectly meaningless. So let's call them "prototypes," or simply involutionary givens.

On the other hand, many theorists, such as Plotinus, Hegel, and Aurobindo, went a bit too far in trying to specify and determine the form and sometimes content of these involutionary givens. They tended to view these involutionary givens as consisting of actual levels, sometimes with actual contents, so that evolution is nothing much more than a rewinding of the involution videotape.

That view, I believe, does not easily withstand today's scrutiny. In fact, all of those great pioneers were presenting metaphysical, premodern (and certainly pre-postmodern) constructions. As such, they did not adequately grasp the AQAL nature of manifest spacetime; in particular, they did not grasp the formative power of the Lower-Left quadrant: the inescapably constitutive power of the cultural contexts and backgrounds with which all subjects and objects are indelibly meshed, to which they must initially conform, and within which certain of their prehensions necessarily arise. Put bluntly, even the staggering genius of these great pioneers could not escape their own cultural embeddedness enough to see that much of what they called "universal pregiven levels of being" were actually particular, socially constructed surface features. That is, most of what they ascribed to involutionary givens were really evolutionary inheritances. Not forms eternally given by Spirit on its way to material manifestation, but inherited forms of past manifestation on its return to Spirit. This is why we are attempting to construct a post-metaphysical, post-postmodern spirituality that honors the essentials of these masters, while setting them in a context more adequate to today's self-understanding (i.e., the form of Spirit's self-prehension at this particular wave of its own playful unfolding).

Still, these blindingly brilliant, philosophical avatars of Eros saw one, overwhelming, awe-inducing fact: Spirit is your own Original Face. It is not something that is socially constructed, or that is created for the first time when you happen to stumble on it, or that pops out at the end of a temporal sequence, or that is nothing but some sort of Omega that can only be realized at the end of the universe. Spirit is your own ever-present, radically all-inclusive, always-already-the-case reality, which is why some notion of involution, or return to a Spirit that was never lost, is an inescapable part of the theoria of every great philosopher-sage, bar none. There is one, staggering, screamingly undeniable involutionary given: the ever-present Ground of all grounds, Nature of all natures, Condition of all conditions.

Beyond that, the great philosopher-sages (premodern, modern, and postmodern) often disagree on the specifics of the other involutionary givens. Honorable men and women can do so. I have stated my own beliefs in this regard (and will summarize them below). But the notion of involutionary givens is a necessary framework with which the human mind, itself a product of evolution, must use in order to construe evolution in a noncontradictory way. As we saw, even the postmodernists, who deny any givens, actually present their own set of implicit givens to explain why there are no other givens.

Well, all of these theorists, it seems, are intuiting those faint traces and perfumed residues of Spirit's quiet exhalation--your own original breathing out--that created this particular manifest world and thus show up as involutionary givens, there to be interpreted by the AQAL matrix of this and every moment.

As I said, this is a useful myth.

* * * *

Within that myth, we can summarize. The postulated list of involutionary givens seems to include:

(1) Eros.
Eros basically is derived from one fact: Spirit creates the entire manifest world and every holon in it; in fact, every holon is Spirit-in-itself playing at being Other (e.g., the great nest of morphogenetic potential often summarized as matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit is actually
Spirit-as-matter, Spirit-as-body, Spirit-as-mind, Spirit-as-soul, and Spirit-as-spirit). Since the reality, suchness, or isness of every holon is actually Spirit, but because most holons do not realize that they are Spirit, then each holon, so to speak, has an itch for infinity: each holon has a drive, a desire, a push, a telos, a hankering for God--which means, a drive to realize Spirit-itself, a drive which ultimately wants to embrace the entire Kosmos itself. This is a drive toward higher unions, wider identities, greater inclusion--culminating in God-realization, or every holon's realization of Spirit, by Spirit, in Spirit, as Spirit. This ultimate realization, however,
is not a summation at the end of the line, or a culmination of temporal additions, or a finite sum of finite parts adding up to One Really Big Finite Thing, but rather the realization of the ever-present, spaceless and therefore infinite, timeless and therefore eternal, formless and therefore omnipresent, Condition of all conditions and Nature of all natures and radically groundless Ground of all grounds. Nevertheless, in the manifest realm, the paradoxical result is a drive toward greater unity among finite things themselves, yearning to be Free and Full. This drive toward greater unity and wholeness in the finite realm is called Eros: the drive of all finite things to find the infinite, which results in the increasing unification and differentiation-integration of finite occasions. In the temporal realm, the sequence of ever-increasing unifications is endless, stretching from the subtle into millions, billions, zillions of manifest realities in the future, as every moment transcends-and-includes its predecessors, thus bringing new truths, new experiences, new realities, and new integrations into being, with no discernible upward limit (because Spirit is not found as the upper limit of finite things but as their ever-present Ground, and therefore there is no final destination upward). At some point in this spiral of development and evolution, a holon becomes complex enough, differentiated-and-integrated enough, conscious enough, that it can begin to awaken to its ever-present Ground, even as the finite display continues on its agitated round of unifications. In that holon, Spirit then continues its play of manifestation, but now as a conscious, felt, vividly present Presence, a ray of infinity hooking out from that holon on the world that it created.

This drive--the drive of Eros--appears, to the third-person perspective of humans at or beyond the yellow wave, as a drive toward self-organization in all complex holons, a drive to create order out of chaos, a series of dissipative structures that eat energy and create unified form: against all scientific sensibilities (which see only "its" without intentionalities), and against every known law of physics (which imagines that "its" only run downhill), the material universe appears to be actively organizing itself into higher and more complex systems. Scientists scratch their heads. How can that be? The universe is self-winding. The universe seeks higher unions. The universe has a drive for self-organization. The universe... well, let us say plainly what the it-perspective misses: the universe is on fire with an unquenchable thirst for God. But however you wish to conceive this Eros, this drive to order-out-of-chaos, this astonishing autopoiesis at the very heart of matter, it is an uncontested pattern in evolution, and a pattern that cannot be accounted for by evolution itself.

Thus, Eros is postulated to be one of the involutionary givens: that is, one of the items present from the start of evolution, a deposit in the manifest realm of Spirit's involution into, and as, that realm--faint echoes of Spirit's sneeze that set this particular round of the Kosmic Game in motion.

(2) If all holons reach toward Spirit, Spirit reaches out to all holons. The first is called Eros, the second is called Agape. Two sides of the same pull.

(3) A morphogenetic gradient in the manifest realm. This refers to the curvature of spacetime across all possible forms of the manifest or AQAL matrix: Eros operates through a gradient of increasing embrace. This gradient (clumsily expressed by premodern traditions as a pregiven, fixed series of levels and planes stretching from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit--the so-called "great chain of being") actually represents the tilt of a universe looking for God. Involution creates, not a series of fixed planes and pregiven levels (there is no pregiven great chain), but a vast morphogenetic field of potentials, defined not by their fixed contents and forms but by their relative placement in the sliding field. (See "On the Nature of a Post-metaphysical Spirituality," posted on this site.)

(4) CertainPrototypical Forms or Patterns. If involution creates, not a series of pregiven fixed levels but a fluid morphogenetic field, the question remains: are there any fixed forms that are involutionary givens? We saw several: Whitehead's eternal objects, basic mathematical-physical laws, Sheldrake's implicitly postulated archetypes, and so on. A list of 20 proposed involutionary givens can be found in chapter 2 of SES. These 20 tenets are simply the residual forms of the Big Sleep, echoes of the Big Forgetting that set this round in motion, involutionary forms that were tattooed on the translucent skin of the radiant Kosmos in its coming-to-be. But aside from those relatively few involutionary givens, keep in mind that what most theorists postulate to be involutionary givens or eternal archetypes (i.e.
involutionary a priori, given for all time) are actually evolutionary a priori, or forms chaotically created in temporal unfolding and then handed to the future, not as forms that were predetermined even before they unfolded, but simply as Kosmic habits that various forms happened to take in their AQAL evolution, forms that were then handed as a priori
to the next moment, an a priori determined not by eternal archetypes but by temporal history.

Still, the point is that at least some patterns appear not to be merely historical--and that is where it is necessary to postulate involutionary givens. Of course, the theorists who do acknowledge involutionary givens, such as Whitehead, must then postulate that the actual emergence of a given occasion is somehow a mixture of involutionary givens, or timeless a priori, and evolutionarily-created or historical a priori, which are not determined prior to their emergence. For example, the early subatomic particles at the Big Bang were obeying various laws of physics, so their actual existence was a mysterious mesh of archetypal givens and historical contingencies. Some version of this mixture or concrescence of eternal objects and actual occasions is postulated by most philosophers who have thought carefully about issues of involution and evolution, and I accept the general outlines of these conclusions.

But two points: be as careful as you can that you are not confusing evolutionary givens--which are not eternally given but are created by temporal, chaotic, evolutionary history and bequeathed to the future as habits that are then givens or a priori in a temporal sense--and involutionary givens, which are what you must have before you can have anything else, and
which therefore appear to be exist at or before the Big Bang.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mishlove and Keleman - on the body/Soma and spirit

On Thinking Allowed [Click for full article]

Recently Richard Otto and I exchanged a couple of emails on the importance of body consciousness. The theme was that neither the denial of the material world (per pop-Vedantins) nor denial of the realms of Spirit (per pop-Scientism) is right - If we understand modern day Spirituality (for instance Sri Aurobindo) it is honoring both.

So read this interview with Stan Keleman by J Mishlove.KELEMAN: Well, in the sense that we should affirm that we are, all of us, a living matrix -- that the great gift of life to us is an embodied existence. And the perception of yourself, not as a mind that's capable of objectifying people, but of empathizing with people -- that we live in one world, and that we are all connected, and our problems are everybody's problems. So that is a felt perception that comes about through many of these exercises. It also makes us feel that we are a process seeking to deal with our life problems and share our solutions with others. People who work on themselves and feel themselves and overcome some of their own inhibited feeling about themselves, and find ways to express their life, are more in a position to love and to be involved with others, and to try to make the place that we live a more habitable place. I say in one of my books that that person who is capable and willing to be committed to their life feeling, I find it very hard to believe that that person can be a deliberate killer or a destroyer of life. I think that that doesn't happen -- that the sense of empathy with what is living is too strong of a message for them to be. And I think that's clear in, say, the old primitive tribes, in which they recognized that they had to eat other animals in order to live -- I mean, animals like themselves. They had elaborate rituals to greet the animal that they were going to slaughter, to make a ritual for them to pass from this life into the next life, and hoping that they could come back to this life.

MISHLOVE: Because they felt connected.

KELEMAN: They felt connected to the life. So that kind of perception, I think, is a loving perception, and I think does offer a hope based upon an emotional experience, rather than only a thinking experience.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Teilhard de Chardin: Truth, Science, Spirituality

"Everywhere on Earth, at this moment, in the new spiritual atmosphere created by the appearance of the idea of evolution, there float, in a state of extreme mutual sensitivity, love of God and faith in the world: the two essential components of the Ultra-human. These two components are everywhere 'in the air'; generally, however, they are not strong enough, both at the same time, to combine with one another in one and the same subject. In me, it happens by pure chance (temperament, upbringing, background) that the proportion of the one to the other is correct, and the fusion of the two has been effected spontaneously - not as yet with sufficient force to spread explosively - but strong enough nevertheless to make it clear that the process is possible - and that sooner or later there will be a chain-reaction.

This is one more proof that Truth has to appear only once, in one single mind, for it to be impossible for anything ever to prevent it from spreading universally and setting everything ablaze." -Teilhard de Chardin

Friday, May 13, 2005

Science, Consciousness and God by Peter Russell: science and spirituality are beginning to find common ground.

Science, Consciousness and God by Peter Russell: science and spirituality are beginning to find common ground.:
"A science that included deep mind would be a truly unified science. Such a science would understand the root of all our unnecessary fears, understand why we do not live life to its fullest potential, why we are not at peace inside. The consequence of such a science would be the development of inner technologies that help us quieten the mind and transcend our fears. It would be a science that helps us become masters rather than victims of our thinking, so that we can live with this accident of evolution, prosper from its benefits, but not let it so fill our minds that we lose awareness of other aspects of our reality�including our true inner nature. Now doesn�t that seem a worthwhile enterprise?"

Friday, April 29, 2005

How we get "On second thought" (may be?)

The thalamus and cortex convey information from the environment The thalamus to amygdala pathway carries information rapidly to the amygdala

The thalamus to cortex to amygdala pathway is slower but allows the external stimuli to be cognitively appraised.

The hippocampus is involved in memory and may store information about the emotional significance of external stimuli . Memories can elicit fear presumably through a hippocampus to amygdala pathway .

Source: LeDoux (Scientific American, 270(6), 50-57, 1994)

See also, Laura Arendal The Emotional Brain (2000). Discusses the idea that fear been hardwired into our brains over the course of evolution, and LeDoux's theory

It seems to me the "first thought" is the short path to amygdala; the "second thought" is via the cortex and takes memory and context into account. Living "in the moment" would mean staying with the first thought reaction. - Sri

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Intersubjective - collective soul force experiment

I was part of an experiment during 3 day retreat. On Apr 10th, there were about 15 people. We did a visualization and cleared the energy in
the room through collective movement and then sat down. The exercise that followed next was for each of us to link through feeling level
with someone in the group. The request was to feel the feeling someone is feeling at that moment. Or connect with a need that person is
feeling at that moment.

Later, we went around the room expressing what we felt another was feeling. My sense was that 8 out of 10 feelings were validated by the

If we can do this, in our present consciousness, with little training - imagine what we can really do if we practice this mode of
compassionate feeling the needs of others. - Sri