Apparently quite a big change is taking place in the EnlightenNext organization, and Cohen appears to be issuing an apology for past abuses.

See here.

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I liked the vivid descriptions of adi beams abuses and agree 100% about the worry of hagiography in IL circles, that's one reason I left them.but I also think the main reason for this state of affairs is not enough real knowledge of the original teachings involved and ken has a lot to do with this sad state of affairs through his integral soup teachings. this royal sloppyness comes now back to bite him in his superior behind.fact is that the teachings of India are not all the same, they are rather very  different, some are truer then others, there are many serious differences and just arrogantly ignoring these amount to not understanding anything in the end and then, well, then one guru looks as perplexing as any other.and then one cannot see anymore why Cohen is no good, never even was any good from day one etc.same for most of the others although one has to look at each one separately.but there are very clear guidelines in the teachings themselves ,what a good guru is and what a bad one. this is not abritary at all.but if one thinks as integralers generally do that one Knows everything better because one knows how to operate a jeep , well, then this confusion is the result.it would be a lot wiser to seriously study and practise the various religions and teachings one wishes to transcend first with original masters who know what they are doing.I am quite sure u know that , but many in the integral bubble do not, appearently. so , yes this article is not bad , but it shows an appaling lack of real understanding of the ground of the problem it wishes to discuss, and i find that that is the symptom of a large part of these efforts. and that needs to change if things should get better. just dissing the guru systems based on such half knowledge is rather like throwing out a baby one hasn't even seen yet.be well mm

My point is not that a teacher is not necessary to learn a skill; obviously they are. But this skill they teach is just that; it is not Enlightenment or the True Path to Reality. The latter is what I mean by Guru. It is when we give ourselves completely over to a Guru, our entire lives, everything--that is the system that is obsolete. Yes, the states they teach are beneficial and necessary to a fuller, more integrative life, even to evolve as humans. But they are only a part of an integral practice. But as I said, the notion that they have privileged access to the really Real or True Self or whatever is metaphysical to the core and has to go. As does the notion that we can get it all from this Guru who knows it All. And I speak from personal experience, having been extensively trained in a Chinese Buddhist tradition* as well as initiated into a wesoteric tradition.**

* Tai chi chuan originated in the Buddhist Shaolin Temple, founded by Bodhidharma. Actually it was founded by Zhang Sanfeng (Chang San Feng), but he studied Shaolin and his tai chi was a hybrid of that and Taoist techniques. Point being, it is an authentic tradition through the Tung family. This article shows their connection via the training of mind.

** Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Note that I have since left both systems due to their metaphysical bases. Much like Kwai Chang Caine I had to pick up the burning cauldron with my forearms and leave the Temple. While I didn't actually do that I nonetheless have several like and indelible scars to mark my initiations.

right.well, that is not easily compatible one to one.Taoism is not exactly the same as different vajrayana Tantra levels, even though they work with energy ( I have studied tai chi myself with 2 different schools /teachers). but you are right the Godman thing is the main problematic structure and that is exclusively found in Hindu context !! in the tantric Buddhist this does not exist, since there is no god to unite with or embody! the whole concept of god is deconstructed there.but the inner and higher tantric teachings cannot be transmitted without guru disciple relationship.that's part of the essentials , just like there is no Jungian analysis reading jungs books only,one has to enter into a relationship and work with transference and countertransference. but this is not done in some empty space in vajrayana ,but is embedded in a whole lineage and with many safety measures in place. now the order of the golden dawn on the other hand is just something that should be avoided as far as I am concerned these are just abuses plain and simple, they have no transmission but just invented their stuff.that's a perfect example how it does not work!

mm

Patten's ITC 2013 presentation also refers to the event described in "What Enlightenment's" Dinner with Andrew:

"What Enlightenment's" Dinner with Andrew: [emphasis mine]

“When did you leave us? What year?”

“1999.”
“So you weren't there for what happened on July 30th, 2001.”
“July what?”
“July 30th, 2001.” [I forget what he called it—please excuse my ignorance, but someone reading this is bound to know; apparently a monument was erected to commemorate the event referred to.] “You left too soon,” Cohen went on. “Everyone who was still there at that time saw the beauty and potential of this teaching become manifest in a way that left no room for doubt, and it's because of what happened on that day that I have no doubt that I brought something beautiful into this world, and that because of that, nothing will ever be the same. But without having the context of that experience, you can't possibly understand what I'm talking about.”
I was visibly touched by this, and Cohen seemed more than ready to attribute the moisture in my eyes to the incontestable logic of his cosmology. Actually, it was the condescension and desperate grandiosity of his declaration that amazed me. I was awed, stunned and humbled. How I could ever hope to be Cohen's “peer” when I lacked this vastly superior context?
“Well, Andrew,” I said with some sadness, “I guess that's my loss.”

and From Terry Patten's ITC 2013 presentation describing a new methodology which he calls “ Integral Trans-Rhetorical Praxis” :

... Those widespread and foundational practices have been complemented by another stream of practice injunctions directed towards evoking a “higher intersubjectivity” which dates to July 30, 2001. On that day, after a period of intense, demanding, dramatic and highly controversial (Yenner, 2008) effort and practice, requiring that students “dig deep” with “humility, courage, and conviction…see through…delusions, abandon… defenses, accept the stark but true facts, and… embrace… greater freedom and responsibility” (Phipps 2001), a dramatic “intersubjective enlightenment” event was reported among a group of Andrew Cohen’s close students. This was described a “collective, volcanic surge of spiritual illumination that carried with it, above all else, an overwhelming sense of evolutionary urgency. While it could hardly have been called “enlightenment” in the traditional sense, it contained the freedom, bliss, and release we normally associate with that term, and it lifted everyone who was present into a remarkable state of higher consciousness” (EnlightenNext 2030) Participants reported that the very impulse of evolution became palpable and naturally began to speak through one, then another, then another person in this group of practitioners, all of whom co-created or co-channeled this higher intelligence. This event became an ongoing practice as Cohen and his community refined protocols and injunctions for communicating and replicating at least some of the important dimensions of this intersubjective awakening, and they have since taught and practiced them in a series of influential retreats. Cohen said he had been “single-pointedly” pursuing this evolutionary enlightenment for some time, having “lost interest in the spiritual experience of the individual alone outside of the context of a much larger endeavor—the evolution of consciousness and culture.” 

This distinct and influential stream of practices directed toward evoking “higher intersubjectivity” has been taught and facilitated by many of Cohen’s students and former students, particularly widely in the USA by Craig Hamilton and Jeff Carreira, and in Germany by Tom Steininger, and also by others. This methodology has varied expressions, but most primarily involve participants relaxing and transcending their habitual identification with the point of view of their individual self and body-mind, and identifying instead with the awareness itself (“the ground of being”) and then, especially, the impulse of evolution itself.  With all the members of a small group resting attention in the shared intersubjective field, identifying with the self-transcending priorities of that larger impulse, they allow that larger impulse to be present and to speak through them coherently and thus to arrive and express itself more fully in the world. 

It looks like some kind of "generative enclosure" was created on that date which had profound effects on all involved.  An anointing of some kind?  Without having more information, I would be a little bit concerned that this may also explain how cults are formed as well, especially when the participants are expected to abandon their defenses and individual identification and open themselves to these kinds of powerful state experiences. 

Afterwards, if the group leader then acts as the interpreter of this experience for the group, then everyone is going to fall in line and we have the basis for everything from a cult to a new religion.

Works Cited:

Patten, T. (2013). Enacting an integral revolution. In Paper presented at the integral theory conference 2013. San Francisco, CA.



Joseph Camosy said:

Interesting article recently published:

My Dinner with Andrew 6/22/13

The author's latest posting on http://whatenlightenment.blogspot.nl/ also has a list of abuses.

as long as people confuse enlightenment with a set of experiences this will never end.it is a mistaken understanding, pure and simple.therefore it is just another more or less crazy cult.already shakiamuni Buddha taught that there are many deva realms but these beings there are not enlightened even they themselves belief they are.this here is just an example of such an illusion .if integral cannot see through this but even colludes, hey, what good is then integral? mm

Erdmann lays Cohen's problems (and misdeeds) largely at Wilber's feet:

The Real Cause of Andrew Cohen's Dilemma

What do you think?

Erdmann is right about the real cause, but it's not Wilber's fault. Both Wilber and Cohen were indeed subject to the same illusion, that enlightenment is without ego. I.e., ego defined as a separate self-sense. When one arrives at this illusion from experienced practice with formless meditation they assume this means they've arrived at-one-ment with Realty beyond ego, since a separate self-sense is suspended in this state. This is especially so if one manipulates their consciousness to reside in this state on a semi-consistent basis, which is dysfunctional. One symptom of this dysfunction is indeed this paradoxical ego inflation rampant in evolutionaries like Wilber and Cohen and their followers. Whereas a healthy ego maintains both its autonomy and its community and uses such states as a temporary recharging much like sleep instead of the mainstay of some illusionary enlightenment.

Also see this post on a more postmetaphysical way of seeing this state.

This thread reminds me of Bauwens' article in this thread. The evolutionary spirituality crowd like Wilber and Cohen are still caught up in the individual autonomy combined with guru worship phase. Both of which lead to ego inflation in terms of separate self-sense superiority due to achievement in attaining proficiency with a particular 'state' training identified with ultimate reality. Per Bauwens this alienates any sense of community outside the guru clan and hence an almost complete lack of wider community participation, even to the point of seeing such activism as some lower form of consciousness. Whereas in fact it is the lower form still caught in the kind of individuality rampant in market capitalism, of which this faction is also highly enamored via 'conscious capitalism.'

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