1 of 2
1
Ken Wilber on God
Posted: 18 November 2007 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

I was listening to Ken Wilber in some taped interviews, and I thought at least one of his conceptual categories (he has many) would be interesting for our on-going discussion:

We have three basic perspectives: I, you and it. So in looking at what is ultimately real, we will be looking through the lens of one of these perspectives.

When some people in this forum talk about consciousness pre-existing the individual organism, they are following a line of thought which begins with the experience of individual awareness, ‘I’ which opens up into oneness. It goes from ‘self’ to ‘Self’ or discovers the True Self. 
Other people are perceiving God through the lens of ‘thou’. The tradition of the Jews and Jesus emphasizes prayer, obedience, relationship…all from the perspective of God being the second person ‘you’.
Traditions which depend upon a relationship with a guru are also using this perspective, the second person.
The perspective of ‘it’ can include all you people who consider the laws of physics to be what is ultimately real. There is no prayer, subjectivity is not valued, any and all gods are imaginary, yet you are drawn to these discussions because you do care very much about what you see as ultimately real.
This objective perspective can also include people who love to study texts written by other people, and I suppose ‘philosophy’ would be included here. It can also include experiences of nature, in which the majesty of the world before you is beyond beautiful.

Each perspective gives genuine personal experience of (or search for) the same ‘thing’ - that which is most real - but our communication gets all garbled when we expect the other person to use the same basic perspective we are.

Then we get into different frames of reference for interpreting those experiences….

[ Edited: 18 November 2007 10:29 AM by Pat_Adducci]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2007 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  531
Joined  2006-12-05

The cult of Ken Wilber

 Signature 

“All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed…
Second, it is Violently Opposed…
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 November 2007 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

meloncolin, thanks for the link for people who want to flesh out the personal info on Ken Wilber, also says something about why I put this in the new age corner rather than honoring it why the title ‘philosophy’.

It has been important for me to consider these rather simple ideas, and to adopt a more ‘integral’ approach. Separating states from stages was the initial ‘bingo’ in explaining some of my experience, and my experiences with teachers.

First, though, is to understand the importance of not getting fixated on one of the I-you-it perspectives. I mentioned that a spiritual path can follow an ‘I’ perspective, with no mention of any gods or even much in the way of belief. I wonder what exactly ‘I’ am and proceed with a direct exploration. You can imagine that I might fall into solipsism pretty easily. In fact, I’m familiar with the sense that the world is an illusion, but I’ve not gone so far as to say that I’m creating my own reality.

The Buddhist and Advaita traditions, which both seek the True Self (I), rescue us from solipsism by guiding us into a relationship with a teacher. For many of us, the relationship with the teacher is a unique experience of the ‘you’ perspective. So unique, it easily becomes a fixation in itself. Obviously not a good thing.
I’ve noticed some of the atheists in our forums have tried to connect with God from a ‘you’ perspective, and failing, decided the whole idea was nonsense. This is too much fixation on that one perspective ‘you’, with the definition of ‘God’ being a second person perspective.

The third perspective, ‘it’, includes all objective knowledge. We live in the Golden Age of ‘it’. Even though most people in the world still believe in a religion centered on the second person perspective (I’m assuming this is true of Islam) those religions are floundering, not flourishing. Instead of the vitality of actual first and second person experience, those religions are depending upon belief, which itself is a perspective of ‘it’. I believe in It.

If any of us are able to move into an integral point of view, we will include science in our worldview. Science is of course an objective, ‘it’ point of view, and is not satisfying (to me) as a fixation. As an integral part of our exploration of reality, science is very exciting.
Science meets sprituality in those additional two perspectives.
What exactly is this consciousness, or this ‘I’ which is the receiver of sensations, thoughts, etc. You can’t explore that fully without subjective experience. If you do explore it fully, you will encounter the unborn and deathless dimension of being. 
Neither the ‘I’ nor the rational, objective ‘it’ perspective provide the richness of the intersubjective experience, which must be one of our deepest hungers, and the reason we say God is love.

[ Edited: 20 November 2007 08:47 AM by Pat_Adducci]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 November 2007 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  531
Joined  2006-12-05

what do you make of spiral dynamics?

 Signature 

“All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed…
Second, it is Violently Opposed…
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 November 2007 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

What do I make of spiral dynamics? Not much. It’s an overly simplified schema, don’t you think?

Yet I have found some helpful aspects to it, especially the general idea of states and stages.
This idea says that people in all cultures have experienced similar shifts in consciousness into ‘awakening’ or ‘spiritual’ states, but their interpretation of those experiences is limited to concepts the culture provides. Their actions and attitudes are also limited by the cultural context.

This may sound completely obvious, but it was definitely a source of confusion for me and my friends when we were first getting seriously involved in eastern beliefs and practices. Many of the Asian spiritual teachers who came west got caught up in scandals involving abuses of power, sex, money, etc. all the usual pitfalls.
When it was someone else’s teacher, it was easy enough to make fun of them, and think ‘well, what did you expect? That guy isn’t enlightened.’ But when it was your beloved teacher, it was truly a personal crisis.
Natalie Goldberg published a book, ‘Great Failure’, which is a beautifully written account of her disillusionment with Katagiri Roshi. An earlier book of hers, (was it called ‘Long Grey Highway’?) described her journey into Buddhism and beyond. I read both books with great interest because Katagiri was my first teacher.

For a less disputable example we can go straight to the Buddha, and his prejudice against women, which is part of the historical record. As Ken Wilber was saying in these interviews I was listening to, it’s not like the Buddha had a choice between respecting and oppressing women, and then chose the more oppressive attitudes and actions. It was simply a matter of fact in his culture that women were inferior. It’s remarkable that he granted them (us) the possibility of enlightenment, and he had to be pressured into allowing them (us) into the Noble Sangha. Women were admitted on the condition of taking many more vows than monks, and always being subservient to monks.

It looks like Buddha was more prejudiced against women than Jesus was, and that could easily be explained by cultural context. But then Buddha was given a much less mythologized set of concepts about ultimate reality than Jesus was, so he was more modern in that area. He was also more practical in his approach to salvation, but I’m convinced that the shift in consciousness or ‘awakening’ was the same for both of them. I know some people who come here don’t even think Jesus existed as a person (also Buddha?) and I have no interest in defending my tentative beliefs on this subject.

Much more important to me is the understanding of present day teachers, their limits and foibles alongside their indispensable services to practitioners like us.
And then it’s helpful for practitioners to understand the difference between temporary states of consciousness and stages of personal and cultural development.
I got caught in magical thinking about ‘Enlightenment’ and then disillusioned into the opinion that well, enlightenment itself is a myth.
Now I see there are myths about ‘Enlightenment’, but there is also the basic fact of the possibility of awakening. No need to even call it ‘spiritual’ in our current cultural context, although I have my own reasons for doing so.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 November 2007 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17

Nice discussion Pat, I didn’t know about Buddha’s attitude toward women.  In all this discussion of teachers and their foibles I’m reminded of a statement of Rumi: “Do not look at my outward form, take what is in my hand.”  grin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 November 2007 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  531
Joined  2006-12-05
Pat_Adducci - 22 November 2007 02:46 PM

What do I make of spiral dynamics? Not much. It’s an overly simplified schema, don’t you think?

I haven’t made any effort to really investigate it, but on the face of it, it certaintly seems that way.

I just raised it because that video on youtube of wilber talking about 2nd tier protest caught my eye….

 Signature 

“All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed…
Second, it is Violently Opposed…
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 November 2007 10:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  531
Joined  2006-12-05
burt - 22 November 2007 04:27 PM

Nice discussion Pat, I didn’t know about Buddha’s attitude toward women.

determining the buddhas attitude towards women seems pretty confusing….teachings passed by word of mouth for centuries (and no doubt tainted with other peoples words), lack of evidence for a buddha even existing etc…

Its hard to imagine somebody who taught what the buddha taught could still have prejudice towards women, either he was appeasing what was, and still is, a chauvanistic society or his teachings have been heavily polluted with other peoples ideas.

But If the Therag?th? is reliable evidence of how monastic life for nuns was, then it would seem that being a buddhist nun was perhaps a less slave-like existance for women than an indian marriage was

 Signature 

“All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed…
Second, it is Violently Opposed…
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 November 2007 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

Good points, meloncolin, and you bring us back to the present. If the historical evidence can’t tell us much about this person’s attitude toward women, it can’t tell us much about his ‘enlightenment’ either.

So how about now? What can we expect from present day teachers? Should we follow their politics as well as their meditation instruction? How about relationships? If someone has an on-going secret love affair with the wife of his business manager (J. Krishnamurti) should we then burn his books? Or should we declare that ‘enlightenment is a myth’? (U.G. Krishnamurti, former student of J. Krishnamurti, has made a career of guru-bashing. They weren’t related, just shared a fairly common name.) Or should we declare that JK’s actions were a compassionate act of teaching (a line I hear from many students of my bad-boy teacher Trungpa)?

burt’s quote from Rumi is a good one, but I don’t think we can entirely divorce the teacher from the teachings.
From Ken Wilber I get the idea that cultural and psychological conditioning continues to operate, at whatever level.
If someone has a counter-example, I’d love to hear about it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 November 2007 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17
Pat_Adducci - 24 November 2007 08:36 PM

Good points, meloncolin, and you bring us back to the present. If the historical evidence can’t tell us much about this person’s attitude toward women, it can’t tell us much about his ‘enlightenment’ either.

So how about now? What can we expect from present day teachers? Should we follow their politics as well as their meditation instruction? How about relationships? If someone has an on-going secret love affair with the wife of his business manager (J. Krishnamurti) should we then burn his books? Or should we declare that ‘enlightenment is a myth’? (U.G. Krishnamurti, former student of J. Krishnamurti, has made a career of guru-bashing. They weren’t related, just shared a fairly common name.) Or should we declare that JK’s actions were a compassionate act of teaching (a line I hear from many students of my bad-boy teacher Trungpa)?

burt’s quote from Rumi is a good one, but I don’t think we can entirely divorce the teacher from the teachings.
From Ken Wilber I get the idea that cultural and psychological conditioning continues to operate, at whatever level.
If someone has a counter-example, I’d love to hear about it.

The sufis distinguish between teachers who are capable of teaching within a specific culture and those who can teach in any culture.  That might have something to do with this discussion.  We can’t entirely divorce the teacher from the teaching, but we can learn from anybody.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2007 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  282
Joined  2007-01-14
Pat_Adducci - 24 November 2007 08:36 PM

From Ken Wilber I get the idea that cultural and psychological conditioning continues to operate, at whatever level.
If someone has a counter-example, I’d love to hear about it.

Why isn’t U.G. a counterexample?  His entire ethos was that cultural and psychological conditioning don’t exist.  Those close to him say this resulted in a full scale mutation in his very existence, and the output had little resemblance to JK or any other teacher before or since.

 Signature 

“Don’t listen to me, listen to your head”
—Jourgensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 November 2007 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

Sounds like you know more about U.G. Krishnamurti than I do.
Are you saying that he didn’t think anyone was shaped by their past experience and their culture, or that he no longer was?
I heard (and I can’t remember if this was on a forum or in a book or what) that he seemed to be obsessed by resentment of J. Krishnamurti.
It’s ironic how difficult it is to get away from being a guru, isn’t it? J. Krishnamurti tried to avoid it, (or anyway spoke against it) and U.G. even more so. Yet they were both idolized by lots of people, and so never had to hold down a day job.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 November 2007 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  282
Joined  2007-01-14
Pat_Adducci - 29 November 2007 08:04 PM

Are you saying that he didn’t think anyone was shaped by their past experience and their culture, or that he no longer was?

Just that he no longer was.  Of course he made no indication that this was better or worse, because of that “rebel without a choice” ironic guru action you speak of, but I think he took it further than JK.

[quote author=” Pat_Adducci”]I heard (and I can’t remember if this was on a forum or in a book or what) that he seemed to be obsessed by resentment of J. Krishnamurti.

Obsessed with resentment might be too strong.  He acknowledge that JK did send him on his path early on, but later was prone to discounting his words and ethos as part of his “guru bashing.”  So it wasn’t pure resentment or veneration.  It seemed to be his entire personality: almost manic disregard for common respect - he wasn’t really a nice guy.

Some people might have idolized him, but I see him more as an example of what might be possible within the realm of spiritual experience.  A lot of atheist types are so proud to be free of god, but may not realize the full ramifications of such a wholesale rejection.  U.G. proved that isn’t so easy, or necessarily desirable or noble, to obliterate culture.

 Signature 

“Don’t listen to me, listen to your head”
—Jourgensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 November 2007 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

[quote author=“ligh+bringer” date=“1196402904”

- he wasn’t really a nice guy.

Some people might have idolized him, but I see him more as an example of what might be possible within the realm of spiritual experience.  A lot of atheist types are so proud to be free of god, but may not realize the full ramifications of such a wholesale rejection.  U.G. proved that isn’t so easy, or necessarily desirable or noble, to obliterate culture.

He clearly wasn’t a ‘nice guy’ in the conventional sense - and that’s what’s so attractive to some people.
But I think he had something which is common to a lot of spiritual teachers, something which may not come through in their writings, but sneaks up on you and envelopes you when you are with them: a very pronounced lack of aggression.

I read a book by Andrew Cohen’s mother (if anyone is familiar with that name) and she gave such a vivid description of meeting with U.G. Krishnamurti and how he helped her distance herself from her son. Yes, U.G.‘s words can sound harsh, but the way she responded told me that it was more like shadow boxing than being insulted by someone.
I know this feeling so well from being around Trungpa - there seems to be a power somewhere, but you look at him and he’s just sitting there like a kitten in the sunshine with nothing personal going on at all. 

Now would you please expand on that last statement of yours about what U.G. proved? Or direct me to some reading…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2007 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  282
Joined  2007-01-14
Pat_Adducci - 29 November 2007 11:11 PM

Now would you please expand on that last statement of yours about what U.G. proved? Or direct me to some reading…

It’s just my impression.  Like I said, I see him as more of an example than an idol.  See what you think.

http://www.ugkrishnamurti.org/

 Signature 

“Don’t listen to me, listen to your head”
—Jourgensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 December 2007 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  531
Joined  2006-12-05

there is a talk by the western monk ajahn brahm were he mentioned UG krishnamurti and how he had basically missed the point

i shall try and track it down….

 Signature 

“All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed…
Second, it is Violently Opposed…
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed