I'd be curious to hear thoughts from folks here about this thread on integrallife.com:


[ Make sure to expand the comments to see the link to Ken's recent audio Q&A ]

Does anyone here experience any of these sta[tg]es firsthand? Is the experience similar?

Views: 1292

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

"Ken mentions that while his center of gravity is currently at Indigo, his cognitive line of development is at Ultraviolet, with access to Supermind (Clear light)."

Oh dear God...

I take it you're skeptical about Ken's comments? :-)

To provide some more background and context for my inquiry -- the way I look at it, whatever his other capabilities may or may not be, Ken is a genuinely talented mapmaker. There are some parts of his map that I deeply resonate with, and which have helped me make some connections in my mind between previously fragmented areas. There are other parts where I remain unconvinced by some of his assertions. And there are yet other parts that I can't relate to very well, one way or the other.

It's entirely possible that some of this stuff is just Ken's aspirational projection. That doesn't bother me, I don't have anything invested in his entire worldview being 100% correct or not. I pick and choose the parts that work for me and set aside the parts that don't. Whatever makes the most sense to me at the time, and serves me in my growth.

I just wanted to reach out and see if anyone here has any personal experiences that resonate with Ken's (or Aurobindo's for that matter) descriptions of the {Intuitive,Over,Super}mind.

Hi, Kartik, I listened to the talk this morning.  I could relate to some of his discussion regarding perceiving or feeling wholes, but it seems these (for me) have been discrete experiences, and they don't line up 'developmentally' in the way he presented them.  His discussion was very general, though, so it is hard to tell how well the structures he is describing align with my 'holistic'/gestalt-like modes of experience and perception.  Actually, I am skeptical of the developmental model as he has presented it.  His discussion of thinking, seeing, and feeling wholes, as distinct developmental stages, seems simplistic to me and isn't convincing.  I do see holistic perception as a developmental emergent,  but I'm not sure each structure-stage can be defined simply as various modes of perception of wholeness.  It is not certain to me that holism itself is something carried forward unproblematically from stage to stage.  I think perceptions and conceptions of wholeness show up in different ways at each stage, but this appears to be different from what Wilber described (higher development consisting of unfolding stages of -- modes of access to -- holism).


On another note, one member here, Tom, has talked in some detail about his experiences of feeling wholeness, which appears to be similar to Wilber's "intuitive mind," so he might have something here to add.  You might also post your question at another Ning Integral forum, the Integral Archipelago, since several members there are knowledgeable about (and followers of) Aurobindo's teachings.


Best wishes,



And then there is the ample argument that holism itself is really just a red herring in terms of cognitive development levels, that it is rather just a more complex, dysfunctional formal operation. Whereas the likes of deconstruction and OOO are more exemplary of postformal operations and not reducible to "green" as distorted by narcissist kennilinguist evolutionaries. There is a place for such "states" in an alternative vision but they are not higher "levels" of consciousness. See "real and false reason" as one example with many references. Also see some of our other threads on states, like this one, also with many links and references.

In the states link there is a discussion of Epstein and the ego ideal, which is rampant with the type of narcissism you see in Kennilingam's claims above, and in the evolutionary enlightenment crowd in general. The issue is not whether we have such state experiences; we all do. It's what do they mean?

Balder, Theurj -- thanks very much for sharing your observations and for the reference links! More good stuff to read through and mull over :-)

A funny aside -- I just applied to join the integralarchipelago site, where it requires you to answer the question "How many quadrants are there?" So I type in "4", and it tells me that I'm WRONG! I got a good laugh about that, and then guessed that it was expecting "four" -- which sure enough, it was. Not a very tetra-evolved signup process, at least when it comes to symbols and their referents :-)

This is Ken's own personal view of states/stages of development and he is totally entitled to it.  I personally do not agree with it.  

If Ken says his center of gravity is currently at Indigo, yet his cognitive line of development is at Ultraviolet, with access to Supermind (Clear light,) then lets consider how this fits into the tetra-arising nature of his Integral map.  

Unless Kens cognition is aware of a lower-right structure that is universal/integral (a whole/unifying/non-dual social structure,) then his center of gravity cannot be Turquoise.  This is totally in line with his own model.

Personally, I have been blessed to experience what I consider Overmind since I was a child, with lucid memories of these experiences before the age of 10.  Therefore, I do not believe Overmind is totally related to stages, but rather a trans-personal/nondual experience that can occur at any stage.  I also feel that beyond what Wilber refers to as Turquoise, there cannot be any more stages of cognitive development. (This would be like saying there are biological stages of development after the emergence of the self-reflective mind/cognition.)  

Since self-reflection/cognition signifies personal/human consciousness, the "transpersonal" (Turquoise) represents a whole new level of order. This is the missing link to Kens theory.

Here is a transcript of a conversation I had with a close friend of mine which explains my understanding of Overmind/Supermind.

"What I am constantly contemplating is the transcendence of the gross body physical human form...I believe that consciousness is not fixed to the human form, that it is not housed within the brain itself, but rather that the brain is a receptor or non-local, non-dual consciousness."- Lee.

  "The holistic nature of the universe maintains transcend and include, and we must maintain this as long as we are subject to form. I believe what you are saying is correct, but I also believe that Wilber among others are misunderstanding trans-personal when they supports the notion of 3rd tier as successive stages of human development. Such is the case with what Aurobindo referred to as Overmind and Supermind. I believe what Aurobindo was referring to in regard to Overmind is the individual capacity to reach a universal Supermind, or in regards to what you are saying, the local capacity of non-duality to reach a non-local universal consciousness. 

A truly holistic human awareness (Turquoise) represents a unifying worldview of humanity, and therefore, I do not see how a "human" stage of development can go any further than this, therefore 3rd tier represents something of a totally different paradigm than human (cognitive) consciousness.

To me there is no 3rd tier other than a trans-personal awareness derived from a human capacity for non-dual awareness, and this transcends the nature of human stages all together!

Overmind represents the capacity for the Noosphere to reach the Theosphere, or Supermind. This Supermind (Theosphere) is the universal Godhead of which we, as individual noospheric components, reach through non-dual, self-transcendence as Overmind. "Transparency" is our ability to reach this Godhead through the gross body.

In the past few years I have experienced states of deep intuition that I would qualify as Overmind trans-personal awareness on a regular basis, and two profound events are similar to what Wilber talks about in his 11 day satori. These two experiences lasted for many days, one of over 17 days which was interrupted by christmas of '06. I have found it common to experience this trans-personal state in and out throughout my day as long as I am maintaining a healthy existence of yoga, quality food, and presence. They come with a sense of absolute bliss and it is not uncommon that I am blowing up in tears, which is absolute bliss.  This summer while in BC I experienced this at its highest level. I could reach Overmind with any breath, far more profound and ecstatic that any mind altering experience or anything one could ever humanly imagine. When I am not in this state it is basically unfamiliar to me."- me

To sum it up I would say Overmind accesses Supermind, and we can never be grounded in Supermind as long as we are grounded in duality/form.  "...continuing witnessing, and of seeing holistic truths immediately as they arise, as they present themselves." is simply a greater capacity to reach Overmind.  In this regard, I know exactly what he is talking about.  

Strictly from the fact that Wilber cannot conceptualize a unifying condition for humanity, his Overmind capacity to reach the Supermind Godhead is grounded in Teal.  Teal is based in appespective awareness but this is not whole/unifying consciousness, because it cannot conceptualize a unifying condition for humanity in the lower right.

The disfunction that is leading Wilber to believe in a 3rd tier, and that there are stages upon stages of cognitive development, is the same disfunction that is disallowing himself to see that the "transparent" nature of the Internet is actually bringing humanity into a whole/unifying/non-dual social structure; a Turqouise system.

If he could witness this, then he would realize what Teilhard de Chardin referred to as an "Omega Point" in which all human development is radically accelerated through "the concentration of thought."  Web 3.0 anybody?

This realization is what Overmind allows for when we "witness" this... it is the fundamental nature of man that is the key to our unification, not the stages of development.  This is the difference between a whole view and a fragmented view of humanity, which is what Wilber is still grounded in.

Namaste, B. 

This is how I would define Overmind; when we become conscious aware of the integrative nature of everything that is in the scope of our own worldview.  This includes an understanding of the relevance of every personal and cultural concept that we have ever gained throughout our life experience.

Here is an example.  

I was trying to explain the nature of semantics in an email to a friend.  It wasn't really coming through until I went into an absolute state.  Overmind allowed me to clearly witness that every word I was typing had a lineage that related to other words, and this related to the lineage of all the other words in the sentence, the paragraph, and the entire email.  Every word is a historical reference point of every concept that we have experienced in our life that relates to that word!  Trying to map this out would be like mapping out the relationships between neurons in the brain, or the relationship between atoms in our body.

This 'whole view' of semantics, while infinitely complex, made perfect simple sense.  It also made sense as to why the Web is struggling to reach people at a semantic level.


Thanks for sharing your firsthand experiences and insights Brian. I found this comment, along with your thoughts on the lower-right quadrant relating to overmind/supermind, to be particularly intriguing:

I believe what Aurobindo was referring to in regard to Overmind is the individual capacity to reach a universal Supermind, or in regards to what you are saying, the local capacity of non-duality to reach a non-local universal consciousness.

I have a question for you -- how do you tell the difference between UL and LR in overmind? If we take the causal body as that which creates the interior/exterior boundary, how do you know what LR stuff truly originates from outside of your causal body, and what LR things are projections from your causal body? An analogy here is the dream state. At least some (if not most) of the "exterior" -- people, places, things -- that we experience in dreams isn't truly exterior to us. It's just projections from within our own mind at an even deeper level.

So when you're in overmind, how can you tell that you're actually accessing non-local content? With dreaming, one test might be to see if you can actually send messages to another person that you can unambiguously confirm afterwards with them in the waking state. With overmind/supermind, is there any analogous type of exterior content (akashic records??) that would unambiguously rule out projections from the causal mind?

So when you're in overmind, how can you tell that you're actually accessing non-local content?

Everything that we percieve to be real is a creation of the self-reflective mind, this including the self.

Therefore, everything is non-local when we realize that the self is just a creation of the mind, this is the access point to Overmind.  But I do not like to use the term non-local, that was referenced from my friends comments.  Id rather call non-local, non-dual, in that there is no separation in the experience, when non-local can be misinterpreted as separation from the local.

I am always witnessing myself in my dreams.  I can also realize, "hey I am dreaming, time to do whatever I want."  In this dream state what is occurring is an awareness of internal concepts and that "I" am an internal concept as well.  Dreams are like having a key to a chest of all the concepts that form our reality, and when we look into that chest who knows what the hell we are going to see.  This is why they are always on the threshold of bizarre and real, and I think this is because there is no reference point when we enter a dream because we enter the dream from the causal.  When we awake there are the references of our relative existence, the room, the bed, who is next to you, what day it is, etc.  So the concepts in the waking state have 'real' meaning because of their relative reference, while meaning in the dream state are surreal.  This is similar to what I said above about semantics.    

With overmind/supermind, is there any analogous type of exterior content (akashic records??) that would unambiguously rule out projections from the causal mind?

First, by "causal mind" you mean "cognitive mind" right?  Only unambiguity arises from the causal, why?  Because from the causal there are no relative references for an ambiguous projection to emerge.  

Here is a thought experiment.  Envision a translucent sphere with a spiral running through the middle.  The spiral represents your own stages/levels of consciousness.  At any given moment in space-time you can be at any one of these levels.  This is where you are seeing yourself in relation to all other things, your spectrum of worldviews.  Now look at the entire sphere as your entire capacity of consciousness.  If you have reached apperspective awareness then you can envision your worldview at all other stages. If you can see this whole picture, then you have a holistic view of yourself and all the different perspectives you're capable of witnessing (i.e. primal, tribal, impulsive, conformist, modernist, pluralist and integral.) If you can realize that the meaning of everything you have ever witnessed is within this sphere, then Overmind may emerge as the understanding of everything within this sphere; and this is the only point your true purpose will be clear.

Now think of another sphere as representing the evolution of mankind; with every level of the spiral represents the stages of socio-cultural evolution.  Since you understand your own development from the first sphere, without an understanding of human history you can understand that culture went through primal, tribal, impulsive, conformist, modernist, pluralist and integral periods socio-cultural evolution.  For example; If you looked back to archaic bands of nomads you would realize their consciousness was rooted in learning concepts, such as discovering fire, tools, symbols, etc., and this correlates to your own development as an infant and learning concepts through establishing object permanence.  If you looked back at tribalism you would realize tribal consciousness is rooted in the survival of the tribe which correlates to group, family belonging of a child.  If you looked back to early forms of civilization, initial proprietorship, and autocratic rule, you would realize that this level of consciousness correlates to the impulses and the emergence of the ego. etc. etc. etc.

Now think of another sphere as representing the evolution of consciousness.  This would include the physiosphere, the biosphere, and all the stages of the noosphere. Now you can see that what was occurring when learning concepts through establishing object permanence as an  archaic/infant, is the same level of consciousness as the establishment of mass, stars, and the universes.  What was occurring in the family survival period as a tribal/child, is the same level of consciousness as the formation of life on earth.  What occurred in our impulsive years as a autocratic/teenager and the development of the ego, was the same level of consciousness as the evolution of the self-relflective mind of man, and the emergence of subjective/objective dualism. 

What these three views unveil is an akashic record of self, humanity, and all creation.  If you practice this enough, and your consciousness is in tune at every level of your own development, then you will understand the meaning, nature and purpose of everything.

I hope this makes some kind of sense.  Just my own interpretation, all from experience I cannot fully explain.

Namaste, B.

Your comments about the dream state are interesting. Do you always experience lucid dreaming, or just sometimes? Do you also experience the kind of "pellucid deep sleep" that Ken Wilber describes, where there is a continuation of awareness into the deep sleep state? Do you find that subtle/causal body awareness is a prerequisite for experiencing overmind?

In your comment: "Id rather call non-local, non-dual, in that there is no separation in the experience, when non-local can be misinterpreted as separation from the local" I'd like to clarify this, since the word "nondual" can point to different kinds of things. Take for example a peak or flow experience, like playing music when all of the mental chatter ceases and there is no separation between subject and object. You, the instrument, and the music are all one continuous energy/flow, and it could be described using nondual language. But that's qualitatively different than, say, nirvikalpa samadhi, where (according to descriptions I've read :-) ) all ignorance is dispelled, all bodies/planes are transcended, and nondual awareness is fully established. I just want to make sure that when you use "nondual", that I understand the context in which it's being used.

With this said, I want to revisit your comment: "Everything that we percieve to be real is a creation of the self-reflective mind, this including the self. Therefore, everything is non-local when we realize that the self is just a creation of the mind, this is the access point to Overmind." My understanding is that the word "mind" can only be used up through the deepest subtle body (Vijnanamaya kosha). Once you get to the causal body (Anandamaya kosha), mind doesn't exist anymore. It's just formless awareness that still experiences itself as a separate subject. So it still has an interior and an exterior, even though there are no distinct objects in the exterior. Now, project this interior (your causal body) up through your own subtle body (since your subtle body originates wholly from your causal body); project someone else's causal body through their subtle body; and project whatever other causal plane space there is through "common" subtle plane content. My question is, does overmind let you tap into stuff that actually originated from space that was outside of your causal body?

From what I understand in what you've written here, overmind is still conscious of the subject/object split. For example, in describing your overmind experience with the semantics of words above, you're communicating to some other person who is separate from you (hence the need to communicate using words and not, say, telepathy :-) ) Now, given that all minds are ultimately made of the same mindstuff, inquiring into your own mind can likely tell you a lot about others' minds. You dove deeply into the essence of the words you were using, into your own mind -- but not directly into the essence of the other person's mind -- which is still somewhere in your exterior, and to which overmind doesn't grant you access. Do I have that correct?

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.

© 2021   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service