I am in a define-y mood -- which is lucky because much clarity still remains to be achieved in contemporary trans-rational spiritual studies. Here are three forms of comprehensive, generic, adaptable and non-trivializing definition which express distinct styles of relations between sapient beings and ontological surplus conditions:


The amplification of state-experience. Since we all experience various states intermingling and overlapping at all times the idea of "enhancement" or "intensification" is necessary. Subtle visionary states, for example, are a degree of excess above and beyond ordinary dreaming and attending to massles forms & qualities in daily affairs. When one state is discussed in another state there is a gap between the explanation and current perception. This accomplishes "mystification". To the denizen of one state informing coming from another has roughly the same status as falsification or obscurity. A sense of cognitive discrepancy (or "mystery") describes the experiential gap between realms. 


The developmental blending of states and structures within individuals. The production of blended or harmonized coherent interplay between sub-components of the individual or various states and modes of the individual produces a transcendental surplus which is "spirit". 


The activity and results of harmonious integrating people, energies and streams into bio-cultural coherence. This is the interpersonal and social analog of spirituality. It yokes together (re-ligio) the disparate themes of a cultural zone within a flexible and functional aesthetic unity that is productive of bio-cultural excess... experienced as symbolic potency, shared meaningfulness, the divinization of a society.

Next time: Morality vs. Ethics.

Views: 89

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Nice distinctions, Captain Funnytags.  I also see religion as the LL/LR analog or embodiment of spirituality (meaning, I don't identify "religion" just with traditional representatives of it from the past).


In light of our generative (en)closure discussion, I am thinking of the relationship of mysticism, spirituality, and religion as a play of intensification and indensification.  The TSK tradition describes practices, patterns, and habits which make time grow tense and space grow dense, so I am loosely relying on that to think about the production and maintenance of generative (en)closures as a kind of space-time (or space-time-knowledge) experimentation and management -- finding and cultivating those structural densities and complexes and arrangements which have the capacity to intensify (or diminish) various states, with knowledge as the inseprable "glow" of these spacetime blossoms and cauliflowers...


Religion is a tough word.

People are tasked today with deciding whether to cede the term or not. To give it up, to surrender it to those who most want to use for themselves, is the atheist position. If THEY get the word then it must be roughly analogous to "group pathology" or "primitive psychology". But we might also own it. This is a more responsible, less reactive position. It comprises my recent harangue "Dear Atheists," (do you receive those?). This is also the ideologically more savvy move because it refuses to give up the battlefield in advance of the fight. We should note that this approach is nearly identical to revering the intentions and successes of past saints.To hold this position is to automatically separate "religion" from its merely traditional representatives. And we must go beyond that. We must begin a work of determining whether this or that "representative" is actually representing at all. A test and a scalpel are required.

InTENSification and inDENSification are notably UR terms. We would want to expand them (or seek their correlates) in the other quadrants. Probably they are flexible enough to impute processes in all domains. Wherever adequately successful patterning of elements in a field occurs, we find the blossoming cauliflowers of the inseparable glow. Knowledge is the UR term for that radiant surplus.



I don't receive the daily harangues, but yes, I should sign up...  I have similar feelings about the word, 'religion.'  I prefer not to cede it to those who use it in ways I don't like or fully accept (whether they endorse it or condemn it).  An integral, tetra-enactive view suggests, to me, that we should always expect LR and LL dimensions to our spiritual or meaning-generative pursuits -- and religion is as good a word as any for that, in my opinion.

I agree that 'intensification' and 'indensification' (and time, space, knowledge) can be seen as UR terms, or at least as third-person terms, so I am open either to finding correlates or homeomorphic equivalents in other quadrant-domains, or at least to finding ways to uproot them from exclusive identification with the UR.   Wilber talks in this (somewhat broadened) way in his excerpts:

Internality is the form of spacetime's self-prehension, a self-organization through self-transcendence (to put it in dry third-person terms), or -- in first person terms much more accurate -- the love that moves the sun and other stars.* ...

Since space is often taken to be ontological and time epistemological, then in third-person terms this amounts to saying that space and time are not separate but are rather a spacetime continuum.  Fleshing that out with AQAL metatheory, we say that the exteriors of spacetime appear topographically as chains of mass-energy interlinked in various cascades of intimacy.  But they all arise together as perspective-occasions of the self-reflexive Kosmos...


* I would want to qualify this a bit with some CR/OOO perspectives, but that is for another day...


Don't worry -- they are "weekly" not daily! Although I send one on Karma Yoga this morning, I forward last week's issue (which was notably popular to judge by the feedback) to the comcast address I have for you. Let me know if this is the right place to send it.

Now don't get me started on necessary divergences within the ideas of Space and Time!

Ah... library computer time slipping away... cheers.

Reply to Discussion


What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2022   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service