Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Stages of Evolution and SuperConsciousness

Dwarkoji spoke of developing Superconsciousness and doing it collectively. He also mentioned that many great people, in the past and also in this century achieved superconsciousness. The most recent one that I am aware of is Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry. His writings about developing superconsciousness are prolific. See http://www.mountainman.com.au/auro.html
 
All of the known saints and sages developed their SC individually, personally and usually in isolation from society, be it while wandering in the desert, living in a cave or cloistering themselves in a room as in the case of Sri Aurobindo. Now the path is to do this collectively. How to do this? Dwarko said he did not have any set path. But asked us each and collectively to inquire. So I am starting a thread of musings to help us along. Please add comments or become a blogger to start new threads.
 
Looking back over evolution, we passed from single cells to organisms; that is a cluster of cooperating cells. The early epochs of life evolving on earth are marked by intense cooperation within and intense competition without. Cooperation within an organism; also cooperation within specie by gene exchange. Some of the competition is with the environment, some with other organisms, some with other species - these combining to be called the "niche" in which the specie lives and evolves. With the advent of the animal kingdom, evolution shifted to a new pattern - that of "accessory development" in the terminology of Teilhard De Chardin. That is specialized claws, hooves, antlers, fangs, toxins, snouts, tails, wings, eyes to greater and greater functionality to aid in cooperation and competition.
 
When primates appeared, evolution shifted gears, so to speak, once more. The focus on accessories ends and enormous development in the nervous system and brain structure begins. With the advent of homo sapiens, the brain begins to dominate evolution, resulting in complex brain structure, especially a layered brain structure. The development of appendages seems to have been totally neglected. Only that instead of biological accessories, humans have gone on to creating technological accessories, which has demanded great integration of the physical and intellectual. Ergonomics is one of the outgrowths of this integration. Technology in this view is both the outgrowth of evolution and the stimulus for it.
 
Now thinking back to Superconsciousness. It might be greater integration of Dwarkoji's four parts: the physical/biological, the emotional/mind, the intellectual/technological and the spiritual/soul. His words echo strongly for me: "Going beyond the body, Going beyond the mind, Going beyond the intellect".
 
Each stage in the evolution of life represented greater degree of integration, role specialization (of cells, of organs, of societal roles), internal cooperation and increased domain of cooperation (greater number of cells, greater complexity of cooperation). Our steps to Superconsciousness might also involve greater differentiation, increasing range of cooperation and integration across functions and integration across individuals, groups, nations. At this point Bob Block's words at the Retreat echo in my mind, when he spoke not of homogeneity, but harmony; respecting differences, but loving one another.
 
In the next musing, I would like to begin some thinking on whether this achievement of Superconsciousness would be through deliberate effort or as before in evolution through a combination of events we have little control over. In other words, are we "doing" it or is it "happening" to us?
 
The answer, I am guessing, would be "both".
Au prochain, Sri

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Stories we tell; Stories that shape us

Stories shape our lives and our society. The stories we hear as well as the stories we tell. Korten leads us through stories of the American society and invokes us to construct stories of our future.

Believing as we do in stories, spirituality, scientific attitude, community - founded on principles of truth, nonviolence, compassion, love and freedom for all - what stories will we tell. - Sri

Renewing the American Experiment
- David Korten-
Read the full article by clicking this link
Stories of the Human Possible
If we are to renew the American Experiment we must enrich the mix of stories that define our lives and politics. It is not about finding a single story, which would be inconsistent with the Experiment�s democratic ideal. Our goal is to liberate the human spirit, not to confine it to a new ideological box.

We must be mindful, however, that renewing the national story is key to renewing the national commitment to the American Experiment. We must integrate the practical and the visionary in stories that express our vision of the human possible and provide real answers to serious questions.

We need prosperity stories that spell out a practical path to creating wealth and jobs for all within a framework of economic justice and environmental sustainability. We need security stories that address the reality of criminal elements, rogue states, and the need for a sense of safety within a framework of commitment to civil liberties for all and cooperation among the world�s peoples and nations. And we need sacred stories that address our need for meaning, moral guidance, and understanding of the infinite within a framework of mutual responsibility to one another and the living Earth. All must be stories that invite the imagination to soar in its search for an ever-expanding vision of the possible.

The demeaning and morally challenged stories of the neo-royalists achieved simple clarity only over time through the contributions of many people. So too, our stories will be collective creations that will take on clarity only through time and a broadly inclusive consensus-building process. It begins not with answers, but with questions around which we might engage in a dialogue of discovery � questions such as these:

Prosperity:

* What is true prosperity and how do I believe it is created?
* What would real prosperity mean for me, my family, my community, my nation, and the world?
* What do I believe to be appropriate measures of economic performance?
* What do I believe to be the causes of poverty and the path to their elimination?
* What must we do to prosper?

Security:

* What are the major security threats facing the United States?
* How might we best deal with these threats, including the threat of terrorism?
* What is the necessary and appropriate role for the military in maintaining national and international security?
* How is necessary and appropriate public order and security best achieved?
* Is there a way to identify, apprehend, and confine dangerous criminals and terrorists without compromising civil liberties?
* What role do we see for the U.S. government in advancing the development of democratic institutions in other countries?

The Sacred:

* What do I believe to be the source and meaning of creation?
* What does it mean to be human?
* What is the human nature?
* What is my source of moral guidance?
* What is the human place in creation�s continued unfolding?
* What responsibility do I have to other people, species, and the earth?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Spirituality of Diplomat saves his life

Read more at CNN


BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Captors in Iraq released an Egyptian diplomat Monday after declining a large ransom and citing his polite and spiritual personality as the reason for his liberation.

The Lion of God Brigades snatched Momdoh Kotb last Thursday as he was leaving a mosque. The abductors did not make any demands, but stated his kidnapping was a response to Egypt's offer to help in security matters in Iraq.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Theory and Practice

A short one - Good morning - this came to me this morning by email.

In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they're not. --Yogi Berra

Matrix Trilogy: Wilber and Wachowski

Matrix Director Larry Wachowski Grants Writer Ken Wilber First Ever Interview
from: PRNewswire <http://tinyurl.com/3lop7>

'You make a work of art and you want it to be provocative. You want people to dialogue about it. You don't want to rely on somebody telling them what it is. The whole nature of the [Matrix Trilogy] is exactly that. It seems hypocritical for us to go out and tell everybody what it's supposed to be about.' - Larry Wachowski on why he's resisted
defining the meaning of the film.

DENVER, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Larry Wachowski, with his brother Andy, wrote and directed the enormously successful Matrix film trilogy, which has now grossed close to 3 billion dollars. But Larry has consistently refused to comment on the meaning of the Matrix films, or even discuss them in public or with the media.
Until now. On Monday, July 19, 2004, the first in a series of conversations with his friend Ken Wilber goes live at the multimedia web-portal, Integral Naked (http://www.integralnaked.org/).

The beginning of this discussion started when Larry asked Ken (and Cornel
West) to do the Director's Commentary on all three of the Matrix movies for the Matrix DVD box set that Warner Brothers is bringing out this Fall.

The Integral Naked dialogue that will be aired on July 19 is a conversation that Ken and Larry had right before Ken left for L.A. to do the commentary. This is the first of an ongoing series of discussions that, at a future date, will deal with some of Larry's own thoughts on the meaning of the Matrix and its reception.

Ken Wilber is generally regarded as the world's most influential integral theorist. With 23 books in over 30 languages, he is also America's most widely translated academic writer, and a pioneer in integral approaches to everything from business to ecology to psychology and spirituality. He founded Integral Naked in April 2003 and is also the president and founder of Integral Institute (http://www.integralinstitute.org/)
Integral Naked offers a direct access to the most influential discussions in the "integral revolution" currently occurring around the world and a way to participate in their exploration and application. "Integral" means comprehensive, inclusive, balanced, not leaving anything out. Other featured interviews at Integral Naked include Michael Crichton, Tony Robbins, Billy Corgan, Saul Williams, and Julia Ormond.

Dwarkoji's basic message

Pursuit of Truth as the purpose of life

Nonviolence as a way of living; living nonviolence is the way to search for truth

Science, Spirituality and Mutual Trust

Developing Spiritual Power collectively

Truth as revealed by searching within; not truth by authority, by books, by majority or consensus. This is the "scientific attitude".

Living life with a scientific attitude, on the basis of spirituality

Spirituality is six things:
One, Oneness and Sanctity of life;
Two, three fundamental values of living, Truth, Love and Compassion;
Three, Continuity of life even after death;
Four, There is arrangement in life;
Five, Every action has a result;
Six, Salvation, that is achieving salvation in this life. Jesus said, "Kingdom of God within, Kingdom of God on this earth". Not "my" salvation, but "our" salvation. Buddha said, I shall not be liberated until all sentient beings are too.

Meditation is illusion. You should not do meditation. Meditation should happen. Meditation as a way of living. Living moment to moment with total awareness - J Krishnamurthi

Nonviolence is not absence of violence. It is our attitude. If you ask someone something and they refuse, will you choose a sharper method next or gentler method? Sharp, Sharper, Sharpest is the spiral of violence. Gentle, Gentler, Gentliest is the spiral of nonviolence.

Ignorance and Poverty appear intertwined. Poverty leads to ignorance. Ignorance leads to poverty. Poverty is frozen violence. Where there is poverty there will be violence. Education as a system has lost its way. Education is correlated with books, subjects, degree, jobs. Education must be correlated to life. Education for life, education about life, education through life.

The coming century is the century of the "mother". Mother means nonviolence.