Wilber has a new (premium) offering on Integral Life - an excerpt from his forthcoming book, The Religion of Tomorrow:

Supermind and the Primordial Avoidance

An excerpt:

"Supermind is the epitome of freedom and responsibility. You, and in the deepest sense you alone, become responsible for the entire planet and all of its beings. Immanuel Kant beautifully defined a “cosmopolitan” as one who feels that, “when anyone anywhere suffers, I suffer” – a profound world-centric awareness. And the ultimate cosmopolitanism is when one feels that, when anyone or anything anywhere suffers, I suffer, because I am them.

Supermind is that type of all-inclusive, all-pervading, all-embracing responsibility. And it starts with being able to hold the entire Kosmos in your awareness without shutting out so much as a single item. Absolutely everything entering your field of awareness, with no exceptions whatsoever, is fully and totally embraced, saturated with love, radiating from the infinity of your own heart-space, streaming from the radical fullness of your very own being, and reaching out to each and every thing and event, in each and every direction in the known ends of the Kosmos itself. There is simply nothing anywhere, at any time, on the outside of this awareness. It is “one without a second.” And having no outside, it has no inside either, but simply is.

To contract at all in the face of this undivided wholeness awareness, this total painting of all that is existing in this timeless all-inclusive present, is to set in motion the self-contraction, the separate self-sense that latches onto the relative, finite, conventional small self – a necessary functional entity for this manifest world created by the True Self itself, along with the rest of creation – but latches onto that small self, or “I”, as if it were itself the True Self, or “I-I”, thus setting in motion the entire train of events known as ignorance, illusion, Maya, deception, the fallen world, the world of the lie. This is transmitted in each and every lower structure present, and the radically enlightened nature of Supermind becomes lost and obscured in wave after wave of avoidance.

And that avoidance rests on this, what we might call “primordial avoidance” – the very first subtle looking away. If we go back to the single, indivisible, total painting notion, there is some element, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that for whatever reason I don’t want to look at, to be aware of, to notice, to allow into my awareness – that single, primary turning away, looking away, moving away. That primordial avoidance sets in motion the events that are, at this level, the dominant cause of the world of Maya, illusion, ignorance, deception. And every level, top to bottom, is infected with this delusion."

–Ken Wilber, Supermind and the Primordial Avoidance

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I welcome new writing by Ken, but as usual of late, I have mixed feelings about it.  Part of my reservation about the above offering has to do with Wilber making the Adi Da move: claiming to be one of the most highly evolved and spiritually realized beings in the history of the universe (in the company of only a couple others, possibly including Adi Da). He doesn't say this directly in the clip itself, but putting this together with some of his other recent comments, it is what he means to imply. He's definitely moving from his pandit role into the guru role now.

That aside, let's focus on the content of this excerpt. Some of the writing in it is really very beautiful and evocative, and I got a feeling of 'transmission' from it as I have from a few other texts -- allowing me to drop effortlessly into a sense of open, uncontracted, decentered suchness or presence. I appreciate it for this 'pointing out' quality (though his recycling of over-familiar Zen and Advaita images -- big blue pancake, Harding-esque headlessness, etc -- did not speak to me).

For those who don't have an Integral Life membership and can't listen to the clip, here's a very brief summary: he is describing the nature of Supermind, which he argues is the highest vertical structure to evolve yet. It is similar in quality to the states of Big Mind or nonduality, in that it involves a sense of union with all beings in the universe, but the latter are generally limited by the horizons of the structure-stage at which these states are realized. An Amber or Orange or Green realizer will feel 'union' as filtered primarily by their structure-stage of development. For Supermind, which as the highest stage radically includes all other structures within it, nondual realization allows you to empathically feel all beings as they are in themselves -- from their own structure-stage -- so that you basically, simultaneously, see and feel 'as' the deer, the 'ape,' the 'insect,' the 'tribal human,' etc. Supermind is aware of "the total painting" of the universe at once, in its fullness and in every tiny detail and perspective, not leaving the slighted edge or schnibble (as my son would say) out...

And this is where his discussion of primordial avoidance comes in: Maya, contraction, dissatisfactory existence, begins when awareness, for whatever reason, pulls away from some aspect of the "total painting," no matter how small. Then the game of division, of self-and-other, begins.

I find the mystical idea of communing with all beings, however they are and wherever they are at, to be a beautiful one (and I resonate with it, in limited ways, based on my own experiences -- recognizing the possibility of radical-seeming identification with others' states of being and perceptions). And yet the way Wilber has formulated this in terms of an all-inclusive all-transparency -- akin to the traditional image of God's vision, mindful of even the tiniest sparrow, etc --, I don't think you could get a much stronger example of ontotheology and the "metaphysics of presence" than this. What do you think?
Based on the following, it also seems Wilber may be suggesting that the Superminded Superhuman is a Super-holon as well (the final whole, at least for the time being, beyond which there is no whole):

"So at any unity consciousness short of Supermind, the Big Mind is real, the pure emptiness is real, but the form is partial, limited, fragmented. And thus these actually represent, if we can put it this way, a partial enlightenment or a limited enlightenment. Not at Supermind, which in transcending and including virtually all levels of form that have emerged to date, is a full and complete wholeness, a genuine unity, a real nondual oneness, a union with a genuinely entire world of all form.

Thus in truly combining, or rather in realizing the always already union of emptiness and all form, this is the realization of the true total painting of all that is, including not only an unmanifest infinity, an eternity at each and every point of the manifest total painting, but a realizing a genuinely total total painting, with nothing whatsoever left out of manifest existence, because Supermind directly knows all of existence in all of its levels and dimensions by acquaintance, by identity, by being, and not merely by description, by naming, by describing.

This is a wholeness of which there is no greater wholeness. And each moment, as a new subject occasion emerges and adds to that whole, the new whole is now embraced within Supermind’s own selfliberating, ongoing, full and all-embracing wholeness. And where the infinity and eternity of this wholeness is always already given and can never be attained, and the ultimate reality of the entire show is fully present here and now, the relative reality, the actual evolutionary structures and emergent realities, those have to grow and develop and evolve through time, intentionality, effort, and work."

Mr. WC Lattice is confusing states and stages. While he's noted the distinction in the lattice he's also said that the states can also be levels above Commons' 4 post-formal stages, if one has gone though those postformal levels. There is exactly zero evidence for stages above cross-paradigmatic according to the Commons folks. And there are very few at that stage, and from my correspondence with those folks Wilber is not anywhere near the highest postformal stage. Granted he might have stable nondual state experience though his meditative discipline, but it ain't a Supermind stage. As is typical with this stuff, delusions of grandeur are rampant.

For more background on Wilber's relationship with Supermind, there is a very interesting audio clip on The Many Faces of Ken Wilber where he shares an autobiographical account of his vertical development:

https://www.coreintegral.com/blog/many-faces-ken-wilber

And in Nov. 2011, Wilber goes into some depth answering this question from a Core Integral student:

"Could you describe how you use Vision Logic, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, Overmind and Supermind in your day to day life, what does the experience of each look and feel like? And what did the move to each higher cognitive structure involve, how did you make the moves?"

https://www.coreintegral.com/blog/call-advanced-integral-students

Joe Perez transcribed a short section from the above audio with Wilber's definitions of vision--logic (thinking wholes), illumined mind (seeing wholes), intuitive miind (feeling whole), overmind (witnessing wholes), and supermind (being whole), which is interesting and helpful, and clarifies some of where he interpretation of these levels differs from Auribindo.  But what is perhaps more interesting is his discussion in the audio about "how he uses these domains in everyday life to “spiritually hang out” and “check AQAL Theory” as well as how he moved from one to the other."

Some thoughts on this in point form: 

-civilization is in the beginning phase of an Integral stage. We have not yet integrated physical theories from the late phase of the scientific rational. Moreover, there are those who insist at this time that regression is what they want: nations premised on race; religious ideology, etc. Hardly integrated there, and IMO, integration by imperial proxy is not the right move. 

-from the western theological perspective Wilber's positing looks like a type of idolatry. Here is a link exploring this issue: 

http://journalofanalytictheology.com/jat/index.php/jat/article/view...

-it's clear Wilber consistently dualizes non-duality; which is fine, but it's hardly a global spiritual consensus on spirit. 

-to a degree, i would buy into the avatar hypothesis; but that idea is frustratingly maddening. In other domains-it is possible to test claims- this domain really has no such measure. Myself, I wouldn't ask for a parlour trick like raising the dead; but maybe something more down to earth: turn every TV, radio, computer on at the same time for a 60 minute period and broadcast a clear unequivocal message that couldn't be misunderstood! I know, I know, it's just not how it works! Dammit! Let's just stick to arguing:) My camp is better than your camp ………I am not saying that avatars do not exist.

-it may be that conflating a human body mind experience on this planet to universal status is a subtle form of anthropocentric projection. All our spirituality could be local .

-various substances can give the same universalizing experience; there might not be anything excessively special about any individual when it comes to spiritual experience.

David, yes, I was talking with another David on the FB version of this forum about that recording (where Wilber describes how he "checks" AQAL from Supermind, although he doesn't write at that level).  I thought Wilber's descriptions of the different stages (as ways of relating to/from wholeness) were interesting.  A concern I have is that, since his claim to check AQAL from Supermind is unverifiable, and since virtually no one else is "at" the level he claims he is, this can reinforce tendencies to insulate his work from critical engagement or assessment -- since it is obviously almost always possible to say that the commentator doesn't "get" the details of the AQAL because he isn't at Supermind himself, or that any purported problem or deficiency with the model is only a surface effect of it having been expressed at a lower level.

DavidM58 said:


Joe Perez transcribed a short section from the above audio with Wilber's definitions of vision--logic (thinking wholes), illumined mind (seeing wholes), intuitive miind (feeling whole), overmind (witnessing wholes), and supermind (being whole), which is interesting and helpful, and clarifies some of where he interpretation of these levels differs from Auribindo.  But what is perhaps more interesting is his discussion in the audio about "how he uses these domains in everyday life to “spiritually hang out” and “check AQAL Theory” as well as how he moved from one to the other."

Balder, I concur with your concerns. Also, while I wouldn't want to speculate on what "level" Wilber is actually at, theurj makes a good point that it is easier to believe that he has achieved stable non-dual state experiences than it is to believe he has attained a Supermind stage.

A clarification please:) Everyone here is of the opinion that Kenny is positing these ideas from a post metaphysical evolutionary perspective? That coincidentally, this view puts him and fellow followers of that view as being the most advanced beings in the history of this planet? Is this correct? Or is it possible that Kenny is 'haunted' in the same way (that I might be) by the dharmic traditions having some inexplainable universal truth within all the diversity and confusion of belief within that tradition? Granted, that same 'haunting' for me would be the same idea but within the western theistic traditions. In my own defence- this 'haunting' for me is held lightly and only as alternative metaphysical speculation. 

"Everyone here is of the opinion that Kenny is positing these ideas from a post metaphysical evolutionary perspective? That coincidentally, this view puts him and fellow followers of that view as being the most advanced beings in the history of this planet? Is this correct?"

Say WTF? If you've been paying attention that is certainly not the case. And I mean ordinary attention, not Supermind! ;)

"It is easier to believe that he has achieved stable non-dual state experiences than it is to believe he has attained a Supermind stage."

And it is much easier to prove that the entire notion of Supermind is a less than post-formal interpretation of said stable nondual state experience, Wilber included (and transcended! Ouch.)

Okay, Ed., don't get your knickers in an uproar! I think the question might be more along the lines of if Kenny sees himself as being a post metaphysical spiritual metaphysician-while positing these ideas. Hey , evolution is asymmetrical; there are still tribes out in the jungle, why not an evolutionary development within mind on the far side of that. Although to me, it seems more like a 'haunting'. 

BTW: fantastic synopsis of the energy situation there David:)

Bruce,

you wrote:

Wilber describes how he "checks" AQAL from Supermind, although he doesn't write at that level

What does this even mean?  This sounds awfully close to being an appeal to authority and making claims to privileged access.

"Whenever you claim a privileged access to reality, whoever disagrees with you is immediately denied. You are demanding obedience and you become irresponsible.” (Maturana 1992)

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