Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Two significant points:
Confronting Founder's Syndrome: In this initial post, Andrew lays out what is happening for him right now in the context of "Founder's Syndrome," which is a common phase that organizations go through when due to a lack of willingness to give up control its visionary Founder gets in the way of the further evolution of the organization. He'll announce in this post that to address this situation, he's stepping down from leadership of both the organization and the spiritual community, and will radically reduce his teaching engagements to take time to reflect and respond.
The Death of A Mythic Guru: In this second post (which may end up in multiple parts), Andrew will speak about his own development as a Guru and how he created a "mythic" Guru model within the postmodern world, outlining the negative and positive consequences of that. He'll talk about how difficult it has been for him to recognize the mythic structures within himself, and how he's going to now take the time necessary to develop both himself and the teachings.
Wow. I wonder if this will influence the Lingam and I-I's mythic hero structure?
Yes, I wonder, too, what repercussions this will have on I-I (if any)...
On the other tentacle(s) (with Cthulhu in mind), without such structures I'd never have come up with fun terms like Kennilingam and kennilingus. There's always a bright side...
Folks have talked about Founder's Syndrome at I-I, too. I wonder if there will be any consideration or discussion of a similar shift there... I don't expect it, with Ken feeling more energy to write and get active again, but who knows...
Well, I signed on here to post the update on EnlightenNext, but here it was already.
looks like andrew finally got around to read some off my old posts about his problem (mythic inflation )
posted in the integral site : ))
i especially liked hamiltons response : what have you improved ?
i figured how to monetize this being a guru business :))
saaays it all in a nutshell
Speaking of old posts and thread, recall this one from Gaia on Hamilton and Authentic Enlightenment? I've enclosed my concluding remarks from the thread below, relevant here as well.
Speaking of idealization, recall what Epstein said this in the Buddhism & Psychoanalysis thread:
“At the core of the self-representation as agent lies the narcissistically invested ego, an idea which the ego has of itself as perfect and inviolable. The ego ideal involves a sense of inherent perfection…. While concentration practices can temporarily suspend ego boundaries and provide a deep sense of ontological security through the merger of ego and ego ideal, insight practices operate within the ego system itself.
“Concentration practices do indeed evoke the ego ideal and the oceanic feeling in a manner well described by generations of analytic commentators, but the mindfulness practices, which define the Buddhist approach, seek to dispel the illusory ontology of the self encapsulated within the ideal ego.”
So from Wilber we have the notion that it is the self-system that is the key to integrating all the leves, lines, states, types, etc. The latter includes the so-called transcendental or causal meditative state and the cognitive line itself. So first off “enlightenment” cannot be the combination of the highest state and highest cognitive level, since the self system not only can be but most often is split within itself and at numerous levels (via subpersonalities) simultaneously. This split does not just occur in deep dysfunction like Sybil but is the ordinary state of everyone's self-system, to some degree. If modern psychoanalysis has taught us anything it's that we're all fucked up. So as Kornfield says, we have to explore this with trained personnel to get at it. And no, just using your ILP home starter kit by yourself isn't going to cut it.
In a very real sense each of us is all over the place in lines, levels and states. So it's hard to see how this typical selfsystem, with its own competiting sub-personalities and worldviews, can integrate anything without some form of self-system therapy. And meditative traditions in themselves just aren't going to get at this, given that they were created without the benefit of the psychoanaytic enactments from an entirely different cultural base. Meditative traditions just don't have a clue in this regard.
Plus we have to look at the embedded cultural and sub-cultural dysfunctional biases built into the eastern meditative traditions. One of these is the bias toward the transcendental and states of consciousness that seemingly support such “objective” realms. Hence we have deep concentrative practices that seem to elicit an experience of oceanic oneness with the universe, a place that is “perfect and inviolable.” We can see this remnant in Wilber’s model with the notion of the antecedent-transcendental self. It’s the same as consciousness per se as the ultimate measure of all altitude. As Heron notes it’s the ultimate consciousness state that acts as the arbiter and supposedly integrator of all, even above the proximate and distal self. Since the self is what ties everything together he has to have this transcendent principal in the self-system lest it be just another state or stage to be integrated.
Yet then we have the notion that even those who have achieved such a transcendental state of so-called enlightenment have completely fucked up human personalities. So the transcendent aspect of the self-system did not integrate all the other level, lines, states etc. If we’re to believe Epstein that the transcendental self is a narcissistic ego idealization causing the problem in the first place then we need to “dispel the illusory ontology of the self encapsulated within the ideal ego.” We need to get at a more grounded practice might have us operating within the ego system itself, via mindfulness and therapy. Then we might obtain a more accurate picture by actually integrating the various aspects of body and psyche within ourselves, families and cultures and from this vantage create more equitable, human ideas about “spirituality.”
To return to Hamilton’s original comments, I’d agree with him that we need to redefine spirituality and nonduality as an “enlightened humanity” by way of an integration of the various lines. He says it’s not “discover[ing] that only the Absolute or Unmanifest is ultimately real” through a meditative line that is divorced from all others. The nondual includes the relative realm of pain and suffering.
On the other hand he does seem to maintain that old dualistic nonduality in that there really is an enlightened absolute that can transform the painful relative world. “Authentic” realization still recognizes “that the unmanifest ground of everything is a limitless perfection.” And this “true” nondual realization is the integrator of all the lines. In a sense it’s Wilber’s transcendental self at the heart of the self-system. It has the ego ideal written all over it.
Yet I agree with some of his conclusion in that we need to create and apply new spiritual forms relevant to our pomo culture. He just doesn’t go far enough and recognize the heart of the problem in ego idealization, and that the developmental ego is the means of our relative liberation. That realization is quite a transformative experience and gets us down to brass tacks instead of following illusory rainbows with their mythical pots of gold guarded over by leprechauns.
He'll talk about how difficult it has been for him to recognize the mythic structures within himself, and how he's going to now take the time necessary to develop both himself and the teachings.
Seems as though Andrew has a complex or two to work on. As do we all.
The thrust of my work revolves around these themes as well. My experience has been that anything that energizes the human personality complex will also energize all of those sub-personalities as well. Everything becomes more enlivened; both one's delightful traits and also the not so pleasant. In the past I've used the analogy of an engine (as personality) and taking that engine from 300 rpm to 10,000 rpm. Unless you also balance the engine in the process it will vibrate and possibly tear itself apart.
But how does one know where the imbalances are? As the RPM's increase you notice what's vibrating and take of that before cranking on any more power to the engine. In other words increasing the energy to the personality as a whole starts to reveal those problematic complexes which need to be addressed. See this link to a discussion (that took place some 10 years ago) on energy and balance in energetic group work (in the discussion I'm "JC"):
The following are analogous on my part, but seem reasonable to me.
Criteria #1: The person has to have a balanced personality.
This is obvious. Have you've ever seen what happens to an unbalanced motor when it's revved up to high RPMs? It flies apart! While I think there is little disagreement about the need to achieve a balanced personality BEFORE increasing the energy, there is much disagreement about what kinds of activities and desires contribute to that balance, and which kinds of proclivities, activities and desires contribute to an imbalance. [...] Ultimately, however, the question must be whether or not the individual's personality is balanced - regardless of "how" it got there, or of what "lessons" the person had to learn along the way.
It seems to me that one tell-tale indication of how balanced we are is how we react emotionally to "Problems", "Adversaries", "Insults", "Temptations", and the like.
Since then I've modified my opinion somewhat. We can't achieve balance before increasing the energy, but instead as we increase the energy we find out where we're imbalanced!
But how do we deal with a complex once it's entered into our awareness as such? Answering this question is a part of my thesis, but here's a preview: The injunctive use of archetypal imagery is one method of transmuting a complex. I have experienced this first hand. How I believe this works (psychologically, metaphysically & post-metaphysically) is something I can go into further in another thread.
this is spot on, joe.
and in my experience indian gurus are usually not very good at gauging the energy managment of westerners : ).
systems like vajrayana fare a lot better .they also have higher energy symbolic transformator archetypes in action (herukas) and they used the prime increasers of psychic juice like kundalini channel chakra techniques only in conjunction with precise supervision and if those symbolic transformators are in acto. and even then it is very difficult and some people never manage more then a certain amount of juice and have to wait for the next life for a better vehicle. in my experience certain psychic damage inflicted in early life (childhood) cannot always completly repaired and acts like leaks etc. luckily there is the many lifetimes policy and garantied connection ties in place so we can relax....IF we work with such a system. otherwise good night.äh volevo dire good luck
Andrew Cohen has published his public apology here.
It is a brief but graceful mea culpa -- perhaps not enough for some (I am sure), but a good start. I wish him the best during his period of self-reassessment and reparations.
well , let´s see how this develops.......
i have seen him in action in kathmandu in 91 and......well....
knew also poonjaji....and ram surat kumar.....so
and it seemed to me then that he ,cohen, seriously had misunderstood poonjai´s teaching,
an assessment that poonja readily confirmed.
IF he now has woken up further ....good for him and ALL others concerned,
but with cohen ,i feel, one has to be extremely careful.....so lets see...
the essence of poonja´s teaching was, if i remember correctly :
no teacher no student no teaching.