A Discussion Group Meets every second Wednesday
6 to 7:15 Vegetarian Pot Luck, 7:15 to 9:30/10:30 Program
Speaking from the heart
as well as the mind......
1. ORIGINAL LETTER sent on 5/28/94, first meeting 6/8/94.
A gathering of people wanting to discuss essential strategies for intellectual growth, emotional wholeness and spiritual development, discussions on topics and people at the cutting edge of 21st century thought. We are aiming to have between 20 and 30 members. We hope to be able to attract 10 to 20 members every second Wednesday to a pot-luck gathering from 6:00 to 10:00 PM, varying the venue amongst member's residences.
Each gathering will be led by one (or more) member who will volunteer for the assignment 2 weeks in advance. That member will have complete freedom to prepare the evening's program in whatever manner and on whatever subject he/she decides on, so long as it fits the Growth/Wholeness/Development criteria, and so long as sufficient discussion time is allowed. It might be best if the assignment and venue coincided, i.e. if the presenter presented his/her material in his/her home. The presenter might also determine beforehand, timing and food requirements.
Possible programs are as follows:
Reading from a seminal
Passing out photocopies of excerpts of such a work
Doing a salient point presentation of such a work
Play an audio recording of an important lecture or talk
Play a VCR recording of an important lecture, talk or topic
Doing a presentation of an important discussion topic
Psychodrama, Processing or Community Building exercises
Possible topics include issues regarding:
Therapy and Therapeutic practices
Religion Spiritual Paradigms and practices
Ecology Male/Female relations
Philosophy Human relationships
Worldviews Love and compassion
Lifestyles Sickness and Health
Community Life and Death
Aging Society & Planetary success strategies
2. SOME CUTTING EDGE SYMPOSIUM TOPICS COVERED TO DATE (click on blue listings for details):
Chopra's Audio Tape on Ageless Body, Timeless Mind
Show and Tell
Science and Spirit
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's Audio Tape on Spiritual Eldering
A Musical Jam
The book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"
The book "The Celestine Prophesy"
Living in the Moment
Creativity and Mandala drawing exercise
The Sacred Path of the Warrior - Shambala Bhuddism
The book "Care of the Soul"
Enlightenment, What Is It?
The book "Iron John" - Male Issues
Angels and Iniquities
Changing your Life
Lenny Laskow's Healing with Love
Follow your Bliss
Theists, Deists & Atheists
The Earth as an Organism
The book "Lila"
A Worldview Workshop
The Philosophy of Ken Wilber
Who Am I? A Self Inquiry
Paris and Art
Realm of the Senses
The Magic and Genius of Improvisation
3. PRESENT MEMBERSHIP MAKEUP
38 Members, 27 Phone Numbers
19 Men, 19 Women
Estimated Age Distribution: 6 Under 40; 16 40-50; 10 50-60; 6 Over 60
Original List of 32, 23 have been added, 17 have dropped out
Evening Attendance from 15 to 35, average about 20
4. For more Info email Morty Breier: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation given by Morty Breier at the Cutting Edge Symposium
Deepak Chopra was born and raised in New Delhi, India. He taught at Tufts University and Boston University Schools of Medicine and became chief of staff at New England Memorial Hospital. He is the director of the Institute for Mind/Body Medicine and Human Potential at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. In 1992 Dr. Chopra was appointed to the National Institutes of Health ad hoc panel on alternative medicine. His books include: Creating Health, Return of the Rishi, Quantum Healing, Perfect Health, Unconditional Life and his latest, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.
We received this audio tape from Barry and Gloria Blum. We present the last 45 minutes of a 2 hour lecture given on September 12, 1993. The following is an outline for your reference:
Hologram: all contained in every bit of it... Holographic Memory... Holographic Paradigm... Universe in a grain of sand...
Personal Memory: back to
moment of conception.
Impersonal Memory: experience of my ancestors, of evolution.
Original Experiencer: who
you really are, not the experience.
Illness: identifying with experience; Health: identifying with the experiencer.
Do nothing: we are not Human
Doings or Human Thinkings, but Human Beings.
Franz Kafka quote: You only have to do nothing.
Connection to the Cosmic Psyche: Intuition... Speaks to us in the silence, pre-verbally... Memory of wholeness.
The Quantum-Mechanical or Physical Body: Matter and Energy.
The Subtle or Emotional Body: outlives Physical Body, memories, emotions, feelings, desires.
Body of the Intellect: Beliefs... Ideas we hold to be true, concepts. Ideas lead to desires lead to experience.
Causal Body: Ego comes into existence, self-image, social masks, roles we play.
Alert Appreciation of the Roles I Play... play but don't identify with... liberated from the Ego.
In the silent space between thoughts is the Thinker.
The Thinker: Infinite choice maker, completely silent... when broken becomes the thought.
We are both the same and different Thinkers: Share the field of infinite thoughts.... Make different choices.
Choices we made in the past determine present choices: Karma. Choice -- Action --Memory -- Desire -- Action.
Probability Amplitudes define us: Spirit has infinite choices... Soul has infinite choices plus probability amplitudes.
Enlightenment: Beyond conditioned thinking... stepping into the unknown.. known is prison of past conditioning.
Spirit: Domain beyond the Causal Body... Abstract, mysterious, incomprehensible like Gravity and Time.
Active Mastery over One's Life, Complete autonomy... 10 keys:
1. In touch with the Spirit
2. Rid of Toxins: food, drink, breath, relationships, emotions.
3. Shed need for approval...our self importance, our Ego remains offended for most of our lives.
4. Ability to use the mirrors of relationships for our evolution: Love is what we desire for ourselves... dislike is what we want to deny in ourselves.
5. Replace Inner Dialogue: from "What's in it for me" to "How can I help"... enter into universality.
6. Sensitive to the body and its needs... nourish the body. Playful universe: beauty, love, fun. Felt beauty is truth. Sensitivity to comfort is spontaneous right action.
7. Grounded in the present: This moment is as it should be... a gift of 15 billion years of evolution... the presence of God is everywhere just consciously embrace it with your attention.
8. Spontaneous behavior.
9. Relinquish the need for judgement.
10. The Universe is an expression of Self: I intend my universe... to change the scenery I interact within myself.
External Goals: Power, Control,
Approval... Replaced with
Internal Goals: Peace, Harmony, Laughter, Knowledge, Love.
Spontaneous Fulfillment of
Desires... Effortless ability to fulfil one's desires:
Synchronicity, Good Luck, God is on my Side.... outside the bounds of statistical probability.
Mechanics of Spontaneous fulfillment of Desires:
1. Intentions influence outcome.
2. Specificity of Intention.
3. Dispense with Details... Intention has infinite organizing power.
4. Relinquish Your Attachment to the Outcome.
5. Self Referral... Not Ego but Self... do not relinquish the Self for the Self-Image.
6 Remain Process Oriented... Not Goal Oriented.
AND THE SPIRIT
the Cutting Edge Symposium, April 24, 1996
Science and Technology are
part of the spirit of humanity, its most recent conscious creation:
the results of our will and industry
our curiosity and creativity
our cleverness and insights
we've made our way from clubs and caves, to cars and homes
we each can take credit for humanity's accomplishments
Science can be defined as humanity's faith that consciousness and its attributes holds sway over matter and its attributes, the fundamental truth of all spiritual teachings.
Science is a potent tool derived from equanimity, it's methods aimed at assuring a non-biased witness to reality's processies, another great spiritual teaching.
Science embodies our latest
dialogue with God, He speaks through the language of reality and we listen
and piece together His syntax through our formulation of physical laws.
Science is humanities most recent cosmic paradigm, successor to a long and ever more inclusive series. Science inherits the main truths of previous religious paradigms.
Science as a reaction to
frozen cosmic dogmas of the past which were
Of limited utility
Science as our most mature
Ode to God
Awesomeness and Granduer
Omniscience and Omnipresence
All Inclusive: Micro to Macro
A really ancient tale of ascendency
Science as the playing out
in detail of the four mystic truths:
All is one
Lawfulness upholds reality
Phenomenon is an illusion perpetrated by Noumenon
We are part of a Cosmic Unfolding
Bear Witness to the world as is
Translating spiritual wisdoms
into the modern idiom of Science:
God Mathematical Lawfulness and Elegance
the Great Spirit the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Genesis the Big Bang
the Ground of Being the Space-Time Continuum
the Oneness the Unified Field
Karma Cause and Effect
Verification of scientific truth is accessable to each of us, and is totally independent of ethnicity, culture, language, belief system, and religion. In fact the Scientific Method defines this independence, in the spiritual effort of leaving divisions of the past behind us.
Science and Technology,
humanity's unifying world view. Science as the most unifying and inclusive
human project, the latest of a series of attempts to include the planet
in one world view.
1. Tribes (10-10,000)
2. Ethnic Groups (10,000-10,000,000)
3. Nations (2,000,000-1,000,000,000
4. Civilizations (up to 20% of the planet)
5. Religions (up to 40% of the planet)
6. Science (Planet-wide)
The Scientific project uses humanity's unique gift of being able to accumulate knowledge and understanding, and does so at prestigious rates, utilizing inputs from all over the world, with tens of thousands of man-years, on a countless number of fronts, pushing at the borders of what is known about the physical world. It is no surprise to learn that as the continent of knowledge grows larger, the shoreline of mystery also grows.
Our worldview, the catagories we put things in, the relationships we imply to parts of the world, the size and shape of the stage we are acting upon, the ancient and recent past that trails behind us, the assumed expectations we have about things and their performance, about time, about location, about society's provisions are mostly dependent on humanity's scientific conclusions and technological accomplishments.
Thanks to science and technology, we are islands of abundance in a sea of pre-technological scarcity. Our freedom from survival concerns, our access to the teachings of the world, our freedom to choose amongst many options, and our ease with abstract symbols and relationships, promotes journeys of the spirit.
The Job at hand: embed the world's population in a supportive web of both human and ecological systems. The industrialized nations are only 25% of the world population. In the face of a growing third world population, science and technology are still the most potent human strategies, against ecological disaster, scarcity, disease, hunger, brutalizing labor, random and early death.
A balanced and inclusive
Working in the world: Sustaining and contributing to humanity's ongoing effort to unify itself in a seamless web of supporting services, tools, toys and options.
Working in the spirit: Sustaining and contributing to my ongoing effort to unify myself in a world that is a seamless web of supporting services, tools, toys and options.
The incremental process of enlightening humanity, of promoting the realization of spirit in terms of Love, Compassion, Justice, Cooperation and Clarity, is as much a technological undertaking, raising us up out of a harsh and brutal past, as a spiritual quest pulling us toward a blissful future. These are complementary human efforts.
Science is a quest for physical truths and technology is the application of these truths to the service of humanity. Both are value free, and like all human enterprise, has its portion of mediocre, wrongheaded, misguided, selfish, greedy and hateful practitioners.
Becoming whole, combining
Spirit, Philosophy, Science and Politics
The sacred heart and organized religion
The thoughtful mind and psychology
The manifest world and technology
Relationships and societies
Humanity becoming whole,
deciding on universal or translateable
Values (Human rights, Cooperation, Justice and Compassion)
Information Systems (the Internet, Libraries, Media)
Support Systems (Goods/Services, Institutions, Interdependency, Government)
Energy distribution (Economics and Finance)
Options (Travel, Entertainment, Education)
Contributions (Work, Creativity, Clarity and Will)
Ecological activity (Preservation, sustainable, renewable, recyleable)
Forming a planetary being requires that spiritual teachings supply the love acceptance and wisdom to bring us all together while science and technology build the support, communication and information systems that will sustain us and allow us to reach out to other planetary beings to continue on this journey toward increasing conscious inclusiveness.
It seems to me that this,
to combine spirit and science in the service of trancendence, is our intended
The CUTTING EDGE SYMPOSIUM
Wednesday, December 4, 1996
Essential spiritual work always involves putting ego in its place. Humor is a most effective anti-ego-tonic, a sure deflator of overblown sentiments. Self deprecating humor is both humbling and lightening. Often it is easier and therefor more digestible to have our foibles and blindnesses shown to us with humor than otherwise. Shown to us both by ourselves and by others.
Humor takes lightly what power takes seriously. Humor laughs at the shoulds and shouldn'ts of our adult world. It laughs at our exclusive groupings, at the artifaces of class and culture, at our ethnic prides and prejudices, at our pious aspirations. All of our human endeavors are open to examination by the cleansing light of humor.
Humor lightens our outlook when it might otherwise be heavy. We are reminded that life is play. The Hindus call reality lila, or the play of God. We are better witnesses when we are enjoying the scene. Humor reminds us that all is laughable, all is presented for our pleasure and our growth.
Humor keeps a twinkle in our eye and a smile on our face. It is contageous, twinkle to twinkle, smile to smile. One is blessed with good humor, and blesses others by sharing it. Sadness, anger, aloofness, pessimism and beligerence dissolve before humor's laughter. Humor is the universal solvent for the thicker sludges of our moods.
Humor is surprise. Laughter explodes from our lips when the outcome forces us to suddenly change direction. We see with great humor how our expectations are flouted by an unanticipated conclusion. Want to make God laugh? Tell Her your plans! We learn to enjoy the unexpected, to go lightly with the flow, to be unfettered, existential.
Even should machines be built with capabilities that approach those of human beings, humor would be the last hold out. If the higher apes could be taught complexities that approach human thought, they would fail to understand our humor. We are aware of ourselves and this aware being finds our other portrayals laughable. Humor is God-like in its take on matters of life and death. Laughter lets us let go of our efforts for control and security, our efforts to present our contrivances to the world. Humor transcends self awareness by finding even it funny.
Keep on smiling,
EARTH AS AN ORGANISM
A Cutting Edge Symposium Topic
Outline of a Talk Given by Morty Breier on Feb. 22, 1995
(A) CREATING THE UNIVERSE
1. First There was the Word:
Reality Precipitates Out of Consciousness
1.1 God as Consciousness and We as Sparks of God
1.3 God Dreams the Universe, We Dream the Universe
2. Phenomenon vs. Noumenon
2.1 Idea of Reality Precedes Reality
2.2 Behind the Display, Lawfulness Prevails
3. The Two Major Principles:
Cycles and Story Lines
3.1 Repetition, Rhythm and Eternal Verities
3.2 Change, Growth and Goals
4. The Conservation Laws:
Change and Balance
4.3 Creation Arises out of Emptiness, Equal on Both Sides of Zero
4.1 Parts of God's Universe Neither Appear of Disappear
4.2 We are Offsprings of the Universe
(B) CREATING LIFE
5. Entropy vs Life
5.1 Science's Unique Vector: Entropy
5.2 Life's Unique Vector: Consciousness
6. The Vector
6.1 From Consciousness to Matter/Energy back to Consciousness
6.2 From the Big Bang to the Messiah of Messiahs
6.3 The Biggest Picture Imaginable
7. The Evolutionary Tree
7.1 Stability and Freedom: Design Imperatives
7.2 A division of convenience: Animate/Inanimate
7.3 Tracing the Vector Through Time
8. Raising Consciousness
8.1 The History of this Planet is the History of Consciousness Expanding
8.2 Wider Consciousness Means a Smoother Dance
8.3 Inertial Matter Succumbs to Effervescent Spirit
9. Multicelled Organisms
9.1 The Previous Major Meta-Leap: Multicelled Organisms (MOs)
9.2 MOs Strategies and Branchings
9.3 The Last MO Success and Its Downfall
(C) CREATING HUMANITY
10. Humanity: the Present
Flowering Tip of the Evolutionary Tree
10.1 Why the Story Line Runs Through Us
10.2 How We are Solutions to the Failure of the Last Major Branch
11. The Tao of Cell Life:
I Am Their Ego
11.1 Buddha-Cells: Celibacy, Selflessness, Harmony
11.2 I Pick Up the Story Line and Venture Forth
12. Strange Capabilities
12.1 200,000 Years Old, We Move in the Modern World
12.2 Preparing for Ever Growing Consciousness
13. The Next Meta-jump
13.1 The Consciousness of Consciousnesses
13.2 Putting Together a Higher Being
14. Natural vs. Unnatural:
14.1 Our Bodies: The Technologies of the Cell
14.2 Our world: The Technologies of Humanity
(D) CREATING SOCIETIES
15. The most Recent Evolutionary
Development: Human History
15.1 Since We Can Build a Meta-Organism, We Try
15.2 Competing Building Strategies: Human History
16. Competing Ooga-Boogas:
Pushing the Vector Forward
16.2 Dividing Strategies vs. Inclusive Strategies
16.1 The Elevating Master vs. the Boeing 747
17. The Scientific Project:
a Unified Poem to God
17.1 Omniscience, Awe, and Harmony
17.2 Monotheism Underlies It All
17.3 The Single Most Universal Project We Have
18. The View from Outer Space
18.1 How the Carrot of Selfishness Drives Us Forward
18.2 What is Really Happening; Objectively
18.3 Creating Networks: Information, Energy, Products
(E) THE PRESENT
19. Imbedded in a Story-Line
I Am Its Microcosm
19.1 Part 1: I Learn What has been Done Up To Now
19.2 Part 2: I Contribute to Humanities Ongoing Effort
19.3 Part 3: I See How Far I Can Go
20. Good and Bad: Aligning
with the Vector or Missing the Mark
20.1 Furthering God's Story-Line: Helping Our Growth
20.2 Fear, Selfishness, Narrow-mindedness
20.3 Moving With the Stream
21. The Angst of Transformation:
From Tribal to Planetary
21.1 The Pull from Behind: Myths of the Past
21.2 The Comforts of Exclusive Groupings
21.3 Pushing the Envelope: Being a Planetary Soul
22. Love the Major Attractor
22.1 Love: Meta-Life's Gravitational Force
22.2 Pulling Us Together
(F) THE FUTURE
23. Changing Dominant Strategies:
Master vs Nurture
23.1 Mastering the Forces of The Universe: A Successful Strategy
23.2 Dancing with Them: A Necessary Change
23.3 Husbanding the Earth
24. Grateful for our Position,
Much Work to be Done
24.1 Geometric Growth: Hearts and Minds Quicken
24.2 Unevenness very Worrisome
24.3 25% to 75% Ratio: The Haves and Have-Nots
25. Combining Love and Science
25.1 Courage is Required: There is No Stopping
25.2 Cooperation, Competition: Consolidating Knowledge, New Growth
25.3 Spreading both Our Wealth and Our Successful Strategies
26. The Messianic Principal:
The Omega Point
26.1 Humanity's Project: To Make Buddhas of Us All
26.2 In Loving Embrace We Act with Selfless Devotion
26.3 The Planet Develops an Ego and Ventures Forth
(G) DOING IT
27. Using the New World View
27.1 Events in Humanity's Journey are Right, as are Events in My Journey
27.2 The Growth Vector has a History of Success
27.3 I Use my Creativity, Energy and Talents to Further the Project
27.4 I Root for Humanity and the Success of Future Generations
27.5 I am Grateful to Participate in This Grand Adventure
27.6 A World View That's Good for the Soul
28. And here we are
A Spiritual Inquiry
A Talk Given by Morty Breier to The Cutting Edge Symposium
Sunday Morning Service, April 8, 1998
ďWorldviewĒ... what a peculiar
term. What is this thing Iím calling my worldview? My view of the world?
Well, yes, in a way. We are used to thinking of a view as a window on the
world. My worldview, however, is without a frame. It would better, perhaps,
be called my world. Itís the view I have when Iím standing on the clear
high ground of my journey. Itís the limits of my horizon. Itís the color,
texture and contour of the landscape in which I live. Itís the extent of
my understandings. It started forming when life itself started. It developed
over human history. It spreads out over my life time. It changes in me
from mood to mood. I propose that itís a powerful indicator of my spiritual
health. I propose that we can grow spirit by growing worldview. I propose
that it embraces each of our potential as a human being. Letís explore
How to describe my worldview? My worldview is the stage on which my life drama takes place. Itís the reality in which Iím embedded. This global reality is different for each of us. Not that there isnít much that we share and agree on. There is. But many of the fundamental aspects, the ones underlying the apparent, the ones at the edges of our landscape, the whys of things, their emotional value, are different for each of us. And each of us places our living drama on a stage whose grandness varies greatly. These differences give each of us a unique worldview.
When events come from beyond the limits of my worldview, they surprise me, I donít quite understand them, they come from off-stage, from outside my conscious view, they often give me doubt, Iím unsure of why they happen. We each understand whatís inside our worldview and ignore whatís outside it, until our journey requires us to face and include more. When we are sad or anxious or angry or fearful our worldview collapses around us, we only see our problems. When we are joyful, vitally alive, in love, full of compassion, our worldview expands outward, we want to include the cosmos, eternity is within reach. But, in fact, we rarely notice that our worldviews changes so, and only when brought to our attention do we become aware of these changes.
Why is this worldview so hard to see, so hard to define. Well, we can think of it as the template or filter through which we each see and evaluate our personal realities. As a filter or template, itís transparent, itís not ordinarily visible. Although it affects us greatly, we rarely notice its existence. Like a vessel whose content is conscious thought and feeling, characters and relationships, causes and reactions, it remains un-thought of, un-felt. Itís like playing a board game. The moves I make depend on which board-game Iím playing. That board-game is my worldview. We partly inherit this worldview as a construction of the family, society and civilization that passes it on to us, and we partly construct it, albeit unconsciously, out of our own experiences and beliefs.
One of my core beliefs, part of my worldview, is that I am on, that each of us is on, a spiritual journey. We are each a work in progress. Everything surrounding us is a work in progress. Our spiritual community is a work in progress. Humanity itself is a work in progress. To me each journey starts in a narrower world and grows toward a wider one. I believe this is my nature, this is our nature and this is our shared reason for being. I believe we, you and I, ultimately aim to achieve God-consciousness, aim to have our personal worldview grow to be congruent with Godís Worldview. I mark my path on this journey by the scope and inclusiveness of my worldview knowing that Godís is all inclusive. I honor my difficulties, those surprises that I hadnít foreseen, as lessons in achieving Godís Worldview. I try using them as signs to abandon a previously narrower position and take on a more expansive one. I try to value inclusiveness, to open my heart and mind, to push at the limits of my envelope.
I propose that our spiritual journeys require us to examine our individual and communal worldviews. Many of the workshops we have all attended, many of the healing therapies, their practices and affirmations deal with the personal. They ask that I examine my personal history, that I probe my unique reactions, my internal dialogues, that I witness how I feel from moment to moment. In this worldview exercise, however, I ask that we acknowledge a common heritage, that we recognize a shared involvement. I ask that we honor our common participation in a drama of cosmic proportion. Iím asking you to go along with me on this search for a framework that is worthy of that most precious of our gifts, being born a human being. Well, exactly how do I do that? What am I looking for? What are the questions I must ask myself?
Let me begin by outlining for you the scope of a worldview inquiry. We are dealing here with a multi-dimensional reality. First there is the spatial dimension, the size of my stage. Then letís exlore the time dimension, how old is my drama, how far does it extend into the future. Third letís examine the rules and laws that govern my reality. Fourth letís look into my relationships, the groups I belong to, how I define myself. Next Iíd like to look at the way my internal self relates to the rest of my reality. And finally Iíd like to talk about the way my reality changes over time. We will be going on an adventure, a journey of exploration, so sit comfortably in your seats or on your cushions. I might say fasten your seat belts. Put both feet on the floor and, if youíd like, close your eyes, while I take you on this fantastic voyage of discovery
First letís journey through my worldviewís spatial dimensions? Can I see myself sitting in this room... on the Kona coast of the Big Island... in the middle of the Pacific Ocean... on mother earth... in father sunís exquisitely balanced solar system... embedded in the magnificent milkyway galaxy... surrounded by a vast cosmos composed of billions of such galaxies reaching out to the limits of our view? Can I see that my physical body is a marvelously complex arrangement of systems... that my cells, larger in number than the earthís human population, work selflessly and beautifully to sustain me... that I am continuously taking apart and putting together millions of molecular arrangements to maintain my body chemistry... that Iíve encoded the plans to make me by sequencing atoms into chains of DNA and that Iíve given those plans to each of my cells... that underlying it all is the quantum world of infinitely changing probability functions? Wow what a scene to be part of! What a world to be alive in! What a drama to participate in! I remember starting my journey in a much narrower world. Look how my world has expanded. Even now its scope depends on my moods? Large, when Iím feeling good, small when Iím feeling bad? How can I keep it large and growing? How can I continue to feel part of this cosmic drama? How can I maintain that ďOh Wow!Ē feeling, the understanding that my humanity is spectacular?
Next, letís take a trip through my worldviewís time dimension. Can I see myself right now... in the 63rd year of my life... part of a society that was conceived some 200 years ago... nearing the end of the twentieth century of the modern historical era... the two hundred thousandth year of humanityís appearance... three billion years since life first rose up... fifteen billion years since the Big Bang started it all? Can I see that this drama is my drama? I can personally take pride in all the work, all the accomplishments, all the transcendent leaps made by my ancestors... dating back through history, through evolution, through planetary formation, through the birth of stars. Wow, what a storyline to be part of! What an adventure to join! What an unfolding to participate in! What were my time frames like when I was two? What are they now? What would I like them to be? How ancient is my lineage! How limitless my future! Itís awesome to be part of this reality, to be a human being, the latest arrival in this vast birthing process!
Let me next try to understand the rules and laws of my worldview. Have I grown from the meaningless random chance that existed at the dawn of my consciousness... to the magic and myth of its early development... to the cause and effect of its more mature understandings... to the karmic balance and co-creation lessons of my more recent spiritual teachings... to the perfect harmony that exists during my times of grace? Are the latter realizations occurring with more frequency as I grow? Am I learning to collaborate with the inevitable? Do I realize more often than not that it is being done perfectly? Am I confident that the bigger picture reveals our success? Let me move the story forward by embodying optimism, joy, peace and love. Let me relax in the understanding that it is all awesomely perfect. Grace and holiness is my potential as a human being. Let me grow into it.
Now letís explore the concentric circles of my belonging. Can I see myself a center of consciousness... see myself as part of this community of friends and spiritual seekers... as an English speaking American... as a human being... as part of the living biosphere... as passenger and crew of spaceship earth... as a ray of the great spirit... as a spark of the Creator? Wow what a cast to accompany me! How my relationships radiate out from me! What a net of sparkling jewel consciousnesses I belong to! Was there a time when I was only my motherís child? Will there be a time when I will be one with everything? As a human consciousness, Iíve been given the ability to feel these connections deeper and wider than ever before. Let me manifest that potential.
Letís go inside for this next worldview inquiry. How alone am I in this world I inhabit? How much of me is secret, how much do I reveal? How often do I witness reality, observing and listening... how often, instead, am I active in it? How much of my observations involve positive or negative judgments... how much is simple gratitude at being alive? How much of my internal dialogue is ďWhatís in it for me?Ē and how much is ďHow can I help?Ē Do I value my part in larger and more ancient configurations and do I understand how my journey is tied to them? Am I proud to be part of this grandness... does my belonging feel good, natural and joyful? My goal is to become more loving and more loved over time. I smile and get smiled upon. I grow to feel more and more imbedded in a divine support structure. I try to be an active part of this support structure. I want to let go and let God. Letís dissolve the boundaries that separate us and merge with the ocean of our reality. Let our humanity nurture the world.
And then there is my worldviewís changeing nature. I grow to realize that both I and the world around me are works in progress. I grow to appreciate that I am on a spiritual journey. I learn to appreciate the universal action of growth and development. I make expansion a conscious goal of my journey? I learned to honor my progress over time, my communityís progress over time, humanityís progress over time. Such realizations allow me to breath more deeply... to have more compassion... to be more understanding, more optimistic... to love life more. I grow to be more grateful for my past, for humanityís past, the past that brought me here. The present becomes more thrilling, filled with adventure, real-time, on the cutting edge. I look forward to to my consciousness expanding... to a more loving heart... to my aging conferring wisdom... to a clearer, brighter future. I begin to see the world, with me imbedded in it, as a positively directed force... a widening and deepening conscious involvement. I begin to see myself and all humanity as a joyous fleshing out of divine potential.
Now letís open our eyes. Weíve travelled through the many dimensions of our worldviews. Perhaps we can best encompass these dimensions by affirming that we are each human beings, made in the image of God, rays of the great spirit, drops in the ocean of love. Letís once again review the aspects of our worldviews, the possibilities that make our humanity awesome, that make us grateful to be born into this incarnation. Letís once again be taken briefly through this series of consciousness expanding inquiries:
1. Does my drama take place in the widest and the most detailed physical space I can reach out to, on a stage of cosmic proportions?
2. Am I the latest part of an amazing and wondrous storyline that is as old as reality itself, with a potential that reaches into a limitless future?
3. Is the nature of the world I occupy beautifully harmonious, perfectly constructed, ultimately just and exquisitely appropriate to my journey?
4. Do I see myself as part of a jeweled array of relationships, radiating outward, that make me one with all of the parts of my reality?
5. Am I open to this wondrous reality, easy with my belonging, helpful to its unfolding, grateful at my being alive?
6. Do I understand myself
and the rest of humanity as a work in progress, as an unfolding spiritual
journey, always in need of my help, kindness and compassion?
I believe that this progressive process, this expanding worldview, is the truth for each of us. We have a long history of success. I donít believe that Iím fooling myself, that Iím not sufficiently skeptical. I believe I am looking into the heart of things, the deepest and widest view allowed me. My optimism and joy is a result of my worldview and grows as my worldview grows. We, each of us, presently have the opportunity of seeing further, longer, deeper, wider more inclusively and lovingly than any of our ancestors ever had. We inherit part of that opportunity from the work they did, the insights they had and the wisdom they passed on. We move the reality forward by pressing at the limits of this worldview we inherit, and creating our own wider, more inclusive worldviews. Itís what we are created to do. Itís our nature and our destiny. Letís give it all the help we can muster. Letís applaud each other on this wondrous journey.
Thanks for listening. I appreciate and honor your attention.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF KEN WILBER
THE CUTTING EDGE SYMPOSIUM, JUNE 3, 1998
Presented By Morty Breier
Ken Wilber is a contemporary New Age philosopher. Huston Smith says of Wilber ďNo one, not even Jung, has done as much as Wilber to open Western psychology to the durable insights of the worldís wisdom traditions.Ē Ken Wilber is the author of over a dozen books, including: The Eye of Spirit; A Brief History of Everything; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; The Spectrum of Consciousness; Up from Eden; No Boundary; The Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes; Transformation of Consciousness; Quantum Questions; The Atman Project; and Grace and Grit. You can explore the world of Ken Wilber at: http://www.shambhala.com/wilber
Reality is composed of Holons: entities that are both wholes and parts. An entity is at the same time a whole, a singular individual, and a part, a member of an interacting collective. As a whole it acts with agency. As a part it acts with communion. It both takes care of itself and participates in a dance with other entities like itself. Each grouping of dancers may then constitute a whole, act with its own agency, while communing with other such whole groupings on this next level.
The holons comprising reality are hierarchal in nature because each holon participates as part of an interacting collective that itself forms a higher level holon. For example subatomic particles acting in communion form atoms which, by the same process, form molecules, which in turn form cells, and cells form organisms. Or, on another plane, individual letters acting together form words, which then put together form sentences, then paragraphs, to chapters, to books.
This holonic nature of reality goes, as far as can be determined, all the way up and all the way down. The universe unfolds in time by moving upward. The higher holon is composed of the lower ones and then it itself, combining with individuals at its level, forms a yet higher one. The higher holon depends for its existence on the lower one of which it is composed. It, however transcends and includes these lower elements, adding a dimension or a quality that never existed in the lower holonís reality. The lower level has greater span, while the span of the level above contracts, its depth increases.
This evolution from holons of greater span and shallower depth to holons of less span and greater depth is both the nature of reality and the nature of our own journeys. There are more subatomic particles than atoms, more atoms than molecules, more molecules than cells, but each of these higher levels includes both all its lower levels and the new dimension it adds by becoming the higher holon. Each time our thinking transcends a narrow view to a wider one, it doesnít lose the parts of its narrow view it just includes more parts and this increase in information (depth) make the newer view more meaningful. At the same time it could be said that there are fewer people (span) with this more meaningful or deeper view.
We are part of, made from the stuff of, the biosphere, the web of living organisms that coat this planet, however, by introducing another level, the level of conscious thought, we form a higher holon. Although the higher level is completely dependent on all the lower ones beneath it, the lower one is not at all dependent on the ones above it. And although the lower level cannot comprehend, does not exist in the realm of, the higher one, the higher one comprehends, is composed of, all the levels below it. We could not exist without the biosphere but it would have no trouble existing without us. We include our understanding of this biosphere in our thoughts, but it could not possibly understand our thoughts in its own biological consciousness.
One might say that human consciousness moved the action from biological evolution to the evolution of conscious thought or from the biosphere to the noosphere, just as planetary formation moved the action from the atomic level to the level of chemistry and geology and life moved it from chemistry to biology. The history of humanity, and the development of individual consciousness can then be seen as a new platform on which holon formation takes place. One stage of development gives way to the next, not by loosing itself, but by being incorporated in a more inclusive paradigm.
Of course, there are both successful transcendents and pathological ones. Success is both transcendent and integrative. A failure to negotiate the holon process successfully results in a pathology, a transcendence that refuses to include the level under it. It represses or denies this lower level or it subjugates and dominates it. Such pathologies are often seen in the historic record. It might be said that our present western culture has refused to integrate much of the perennial philosophy of the wisdom traditions nor has it integrated its actions well with the biosphere. But make no mistake about it the modern world, modern secular democracies, modern rational thought brings much needed freedom and space for spirit to the ascent of consciousness.
THE FOUR QUADRANTS
As we said holons have the two aspect that make them both a whole, an individual, and a part, a collective. In addition holons have an interior and an exterior dimension. This results in each holon expressing itself in 4 quadrants. The Individual Interior, the Individual exterior, The Collective Interior and the Collective Exterior.
In terms of we human beings,
the four quadrants result in the following:
1.The interior world of an individualís emotions, mind and spirit
2.The exterior world of objects including our own material selves
3.Our collectiveís interior, the culture, language, ethics and morals of our society
4.Our collectiveís exterior, the institutions, political boundaries, and technologies which surround us.
Each of these quadrants exists in a dimension of its own. There are four faces of truth, and each face has its own validity claims, its own value system, its own conceptual framework. A proper description of reality must include a proper look at each of these quadrants and no description that deals in less than all four can claim to be complete and exclusive.
Evolution proceeds in all four quadrants and the holon represented by a stage of development in one has correlative holons, or stages of development in the other three. Individuals and particular collectives may be at a higher, more inclusive, level then the entire collective. In fact there is an entire distribution of development levels within each consciousness, in any population and in the entire cultural spectrum of societies, communities and collectives.
THE FOUR FACES OF TRUTH
The type of truth found in the singular exterior or objective quadrant is whatís commonly called truth A statement is said to be true if it matches an objective fact in other words, if the map matches the territory it is said to be a true representation. Empirical science exists in this realm. Its methods of truth verification include correspondence, representational and propositional.
In the realm of the individual interior or subjective quadrant the issue is truthfulness. Since we can only gain access to this interior dimension by dialogue and interpretation, the truthfulness of the individual becomes the measure. We are not asking if the map is true, we are asking if the mapmaker can be trusted. When you report to me your inner status you might be lying to me. Moreover, you might be lying to yourself. This last possibility is the basis for all depth psychology. The validity claim here is not so much whether my statements match exterior facts, but whether I can truthfully report on my own inner status. Its values include sincerity, integrity and trustworthiness.
In the collective exterior or interobjective quadrant the issue is functional fit. Here validity is a matter of functionally fitting with the objective whole. The truth is found in the objective intermeshing of individual parts. The total system is the primary reality and, as standard systems theory, it comes to us as holistic networks, Gaiaís web of life theories. When we study this quadrant we are in systems theory webs, structural-functionalism and social system meshes.
The collective interior or
intersubjective quadrant tries to understand how subjects fit together
in acts of mutual understanding. We must find ways of fitting our minds
together, of recognizing and respecting the rights of others. This intersubjective
space is our commonly shared background, contexts and worldviews. We are
interested not only in the truth, nor simply in truthfulness, and not merely
in functional fit: we are interested in justness, rightness, goodness and
THE SPECTRUM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Hierarchy is an order of increasing holons, representing an increase in wholeness and integrative capacity. It is absolutely central to the perennial philosophy or Great Chain of Being. Each expanding link represents an increase in unity and wider identities, from the isolated identity of the body through the social and communal identity of the mind to the supreme identity of Spirit, an identity with literally all manifestation.
Spirit is both the summit of being, the highest rung on the ladder of evolution but is also the wood out of which the entire ladder and all its rungs are made. Spirit is the suchness, the isness, the essence of each and every thing that exists. The first aspect as highest wrung is the transcendental nature of spirit, the second, the wood aspect, is the immanent nature of spirit. Spirit is both the highest goal of all development and evolution and the ground of the entire sequence, as present fully at the beginning as at the end.
The stages of development of the individual interior quadrant are called the spectrum of consciousness. The Christians terms for this spectrum are: matter, body, mind, soul and spirit. Matter is the physical universe including our own physical bodies, studied by science. Body in this case means the emotional body, the ďanimalĒ body, sex, hunger, vital life force, studied by biology. Mind is the rational reasoning linguistic imaginative mind studied by psychology. Soul is the higher or subtle mind. the archetypal mind, the intuitive mind, our essence, studied by theology. And spirit is the transcendental summit of our being, our Godhead, studied by contemplative mystics.
Vedanta Hinduismís list is in terms of sheaths, that is layers surrounding the essence, or koshas and is quite analogous: matter, the physical, annamayakosha; next is prana or bioenergy or vital force, pranamayakosha: next is mind or manas, manomayakosha; beyond this is the subtle mind, intuition or vijnamayakoshaand finally spiritual bliss, ananda, anandamayakosha. These are grouped in three major realms: gross, subtle and causal. The gross is matter. The subtle the next three, emotional, mind and intuition. The causal is spirit.
Spirit unfolds in a great spectrum of consciousness from the big bang to matter to sensation to perception to impulse to image to symbol to concept to reason to psychic to subtle to causal occasions, on the way to its own shocking self-recognition, Spiritís own self-realization and self-resurrection. and in each of those stages, from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, evolution becomes more and more conscious, more and more aware, more and more realized, more and more awake, with all the joys and all the terrors inherently involved in the dialectic of awakening.
THE INTEGRAL APPROACH
The integral approach is committed to the full spectrum of consciousness as it manifests in all its extraordinary diversity. This allows the integral approach to recognize and honor the Great Holarchy of Being first elucidated by the perennial philosophy and the great wisdom traditions in general.
At the same time, Spirit moves on. Evolution continues to unfold, leaving nothing in the manifest world untouched. And the great traditions are just that, traditions, some of whose insights have stood the test of time, and some of which most definitely have not.
Integral studies must therefore fight on two fronts, as it were: against a modernity that is slow to recognize the full spectrum of consciousness and against a traditionalism that refuses to recognize any substantial advances made by modernity itself. The integral vision embodies an attempt to take the best of both worlds, ancient and modern. But that demands a critical stance willing to reject unflinchingly the worst of both as well.
As consciousness on the whole continues to evolve and develop, in a now planetary fashion, then global awareness, which is a transcendence of any narrow parochialism, becomes increasingly easier and more obvious, more appealing and therefore more likely.
The integral vision is more than happy to welcome empirical science as a part, a very important part, of the endeavor to befriend the Kosmos, to be attuned to its many moods and flavors and facets and forms. But a more integral philosophy goes beyond that. It attempts to include and coordinate the many faces of the Good (the we) and the True (the It) and the Beautiful (the I), as all of them evolve across the entire spectrum, from their sensory forms (seen with the eye of flesh) to their mental forms (seen with the eye of mind) to their spiritual forms (seen with the eye of contemplation), a pluridimensional Kosmic mandala of unending embrace.
With science we touch the
True, the ďItĒ of Spirit. With morals we touch the Good, the ďWeí of Spirit.
With the Eye of Spirit, the ďIĒ of spirit we touch its Beauty.
The Cutting Edge Symposium, November 19, 1997
A Transcript of 15 Submittals
Pure psychedelic pleasure,
perpetually perpetrated by pot parsimoneously passed from person to person....
followed by fantastic frantic fornication for four fabulous hours.
The bird is still warm
although I knew it is dead. There is a bright crimson drop of blood in
the corner of his beak.
I pull the feathers, one by one, and immediately soar through the clouds, below lie the trees, a lush canopy of green, and I glide, the wind rushing at my sides. I am in flight. It is cold so high. The endless sky beckons me further to the horizon. Gold scorching sun, I look inside the eye.
I drink the boiled bird broth, one cup every twelve hours. I fly... Mi Don Juan, gracias para todos. Sanate, your life for mine.
Sitting at the edge of a 25 mile lake. Walking out my front door over the grass and sitting on a beautiful white rock wall at the mouth of the lake. Itís around 8:00 PM. Crystal clear night, lake like black glass. I look to the left to see a lemon white semi-circle shining over the tip of the lake. It rises higher and higher. Huge, huge round ball of the moon. Takes up the whole half of the sky - Unreal! My body is now laughing, laughing, tears running down my face. The most wondrous and funniest sight Iíve ever seen. I can stop laughing, crying, not wanting this to ever end.
A true ďHighĒ. What is the drug? Mushrooms.
The satisfaction and
gratitude of having served my purpose by providing something for another
in joy. It feels expansive and glowing with everything. I tingle with warmth.
I was with a small
group of very close friends. We were in the den after a great dinner and
lots of wine. I had the opportunity to smoke opium with our friends.
Pink Floyd was in the background and it produced the most euphoric peaceful state I have encountered. We were able to have a loving caring and fun time without losing touch of each other and reality.
The best part was that I felt wonderful for at least twenty-four hours afterward.
First time I smoked Hawaiian pot: 1 joint - 6 people - 2 hits each.
Ate at restaurant in South Philadelphia (Italian) - donít remember getting there - eating - conversation - nothing...
Except - leaving I went to coat check room for my new leather coat - missing!
Big scene - my best friend, Richie (bigger than me) helped me look for 1/2 hour - manager got involved (and waiters).
Totally freaked - stoned upset (I think).
Richie says total bummer - I find another coat - tell Richie - amazing - looks just like his - then I notice his coat arms and length are 3 inches short on his body - heís wearing my coat!
Still laugh about this with him to this day.
I had been around for
100,000 years, a bowlegged skin-clad inhabitant of a cold land. I was,
am and will be. I am a Breier strand. I am humanity. I am life. I am planet
earth. I am the Milky Way. I am the Cosmos. I am Consciousness. I am Spirit.
I am God. I am... am....
500 micrograms of LSD, 1967
Curious .... eating
magic mushrooms ... walking to mountains ... finding lemon grove ... sitting
to meditate ... feeling bored, restless ... giving up ... walking toward
home ... feeling childlike, playful ... running, jumping, pretending, laughing
... feeling the Spirit of God ... Spirit is playful and easy ... no need
for seriousness in Spirit ... Spirit loves to play as a child!!
Visiting the Catholic
Chapel in Sedona, I sat in a predetermined row and section. I had been
told I would experience a visit from a higher power.
After sitting there for a while - I have no idea how long. I didnít check the time before or after. I saw a small purple circle off in the distance. I donít know if the circle came to me, or I went to the circle. I was in the center of the circle. The circle became a room, which only contained a left wall and a front wall. No floor, ceiling, door or windows. It was the texture and color of brown pebbles.
A dark shrouded figure loomed over my right shoulder. I became frightened. A white light began to emanate and grow until it was so bright and enveloped me in a cleansing atmosphere. I opened my eyes and found I had been crying. I had found peace. It now goes wherever I go. I am able to see the purple circle but I have not yet been able to replicate the white light.
When the time is right, I will be blessed again.
Beyond Beyond ... where
I felt No Time, and the realm of my senses were heightened. I felt like
I crossed over dimensions beyond earth, beyond space, beyond time ... I
then experienced the male parts of my energy ... a balance of androgyny,
both male and female ... how sweet ... to go beyond ...
In Timelessness ...
Beyond Form ...
I was outside my body
- gazing down upon myself after returning from what I thought was a dream
- a new awareness enveloped me in love and understanding - a oneness with
all living matter - cellular - interstellar - this before I ever took drugs
- while meditating in the early days of my life.
When my heart is completely
open and I allow myself to merge with the moment there is a state of tranquillity
and oneness that emerges from the state of being I am in - that is so powerful
that whatever exists in my experience is filled with love and aliveness.
The essence of life and all its magical and creative manifestations flow
through my being and like a light of all the suns that shine and illuminate
the infinite universes, ALL IS LOVE! And from this point in space and time-less-ness
I am filled with Spirit. And from this space of spiritual Beingness I can
feel with all of my being and give with all of my being. This state of
experience is most felt with my lover - it is a dance we move and play
- and from our movement there is a magical state that I and my lover shine
and radiate all the suns of all time. This is my supreme, ecstatic, sensual,
spiritual altered state.
I was hiking in a forest
on a trail - when the trees talked to me and told me to go on ... go on
... I continued on to find an invisible walk that had the scene I was walking
in painted on it. I tried to break through it and it bounced and moved
like I was suddenly inside a forest bubble. The trees told me to go on
... go on.
So ... I kept trying to find a spot to break the bubble. Found a place and poked my head through WOW ... what a new perspective on the world and its happenings. Went out the hole I made for my head so I could view the world from high! WOW -
When I descended back through the same hole I was hiking on the beach.
Altered State courtesy of LSD 1986
About 1985-86. While
meditating, I went out of my body ... ďflewĒ to a friendís home where she
was in her ďalter area.Ē And, not as a voyeur but rather as one filled
with agape love for this friend, I watched. The heart connection between
us was felt by both ... she later confirmed having felt ďa presence.Ē
My other favorite is when I fly ... which happens when I go ďout of body.Ē Iím now a ďmasterĒ in that I teach others to fly.
I sat in the grass at the top of a small hill and reclined on my elbows. I looked up at the sky and to my amazement I saw the clouds were moving in a strange way. I did not even register them as clouds at first, since they were nothing like the vague, amorphous shapes that clouds often appear. Instead they were like fine metalwork, delicate embroidery or stenciled ornamentation. But they were moving, as if alive, twisting and curling bright white filigree against a light blue ceiling. I couldnít speak, for I felt as if I had just been granted a private glimpse into the holy of holies - the veil had been parted and the alter was truly beautiful.