> What I question is perpetual Bliss as meaningful to an entire world
> population. Where would science be? Where would medicine be? Where
> would the endless possibilities be of nearly infinite life in good
I don't see living in blissful serenity an obstacle to creative work
of any type. Just the opposite, in fact. I personally attempt to 'live
in the heart' and just use mind the way I use Google on line --
as a research tool. Admittedly, to keep from attaching to mind as
something other than just a useful tool can sometimes be easier said
As I've probably mentioned before, Ken Wilber's differen-
tiation between 'states' and 'stages' I think can be useful
to sort out the difference between 'states' (ephemeral) and
'stages' (permanent) in the 'Wilber-Combs Lattice:'
The Wilber-Combs Lattice
States: Gross Subtle Causal Nondual
(natural ) (visionary) (formless) (union)
Quoting (again?) from a dialogue with Wilber in WIE Magazine's last
summer's issue where the levels are developed further (apologies if
I'm repeating myself):
Evolving Worldviews, Expanding Self
Although the spectrum of consciousness includes twelve colors to denote
twelve specific levels, stages, structures, or waves of development, for
ease of explanation, Wilber often uses a simpler, three- or four-level
scheme pioneered by developmental psychologists like Lawrence Kohlberg
and Carol Gilligan. Tracing the most general contours of psychological
growth, this scheme highlights the fact that increasing consciousness
corresponds to a broadening of worldviews and an expansion of one's
sense of self.
Egocentric ("me"): A stage characterized by narcissistic self-absorption,
bodily needs and desires, emotional outbursts, unsocialized impulses, and
an incapacity to take the role of the "other"; seen today predominantly
in infants and young children, rebellious teens, wild rock stars, and
criminals. (Infrared to red)
Ethnocentric ("us"): An expansion of self-identity to include one's family,
peers, tribe, race, faith group, or nation; the adoption of socially
conformist rules and roles; commonly seen in children aged seven to
adolescence, religious myths and fundamentalism, the "moral majority,"
Nazis, the KKK, right-wing politics, patriotism, sports teams, school
Worldcentric ("all of us"): An even greater expansion of self to embrace all
people, regardless of race, gender, class, or creed; a stage of rationality
that questions rigid belief systems and transcends conventional rules and
roles; commonly seen in late adolescence, social activism, multicultural-
ism, science, moral relativism, liberal politics, the "global village,"
New Age spirituality; the emergence of integral cognition. (Orange to
Kosmocentric ("all that is"): An identification with all life and
consciousness, human or otherwise, and a deeply felt responsibility for the
evolutionary process as a whole; "superintegral" cognition and values;
innate universal morality; spirituality beyond merely personal motivations;
an emergent capacity, rarely seen anywhere. (Turquoise to clear light)
Now these stages, which we also call 'structures' or 'levels,' show
up in all human beings, so we have to take them into account. One of the
real problems is that you can have a spiritual experience - a profound taste
of emptiness, or pure nonduality, or absolute oneness, or radiant, luminous
absolute bliss/love - and when you come out of that experience or even
while you're in it, you'll interpret it according to the level or stage
you're at. The evidence for this is now just overwhelming.
So understanding stages is the first piece of the puzzle. The second piece
is states of consciousness. States of consciousness generally tend to come
and go; they are temporary. The natural/meditative ones are waking
(gross), dreaming (subtle), deep steep (causal), witnessing, and nondual.
And then there are nonordinary states, such as drunken states and stoned
states. And you can have any of these state experiences at virtually any
level or stage you're at. You can be at any level and have a waking,
dreaming, or deep steep state. You can be at any level and experience
a meditative state. You can be at any Level and actually go through
Zen training. What's so astonishing is that a Nazi can complete Zen
training. That's the point - states can be experienced at any stage
> Maybe the question becomes, although the Buddhists and other
> philosophies and religions profess and initiate non-violence. . .
> what are these groups providing to the world's populations relief
> of suffering except a number of paths which are very difficult to
> understand and to follow for any average person engaged in life,
> family, occupation and the like? Not that I am belittling that,
> but how does that relate to an entire world scheme of the next
> thousand years?
I have the same question, E, and for this reason work on the OBEATA
(Oceanic Beatitude Easily Available To All) Project that focuses on
exercises that can dissolve lateral body tensions and increase 'flow,'
either as stand-alones or as preliminaries to meditation. For example,
facial tapping exercises release tension around the eyes, lips and
nose that make breath-awareness meditation much more rewarding for
the beginner. See:
> I could also make a case where if everyone was non-violent and
> compassionate, there might be no need or interest in or for
> technical innovation. Could the planet support a continuing
> population growth without imploding on itself. I just wonder
> where it is all going.
I think we're on an extraordinary evolutionary path that, for better or
worse, we're going to walk together up to and through (for example)
nanotechnology's amazing potential (and dangers). All the more reason to
develop the Relaxation Response to where it can decrease the enormous
suffering of the world's creatures - and help distribute economic and
scientific benefits. With the advances being made in the neurosciences, I
think it's only a question of a few more years before we will trigger
Rigpa-similar stages via something like the SHIVA magnetic coil helmet
developed by Dr. Michael Persinger in Canada.
[quote from "Tests of Faith"
Thursday February 24, 2005
The Guardian ]
As neuroscientists unpick the biological mechanisms behind religious
experience, others are considering what to do with the information. At
Laurentian University, Todd Murphy and Michael Persinger are developing
devices they think can stimulate parts of the brain to enhance spiritual
experiences. Others see the possibility for drugs designed to boost
spirituality. Newberg says this would be underpinning a practice that has
existed for hundreds of years with scientific understanding. "If you talk to
a shaman who takes a substance so they can enter into the spirit world,
they don't think that diminishes the experience in any way," he says.
jax replied to E.E.:
> In Rigpa/Awareness you work better, you love better, you enjoy your life
> more... and you're a better human being. And of course you always
> conceal a slight smile, a sense of mirth that "if only everyone could see
> things in such a completely free and liberated manner! They could find
> so much more joy and meaning within their own lives... not because of
> material possessions and status, but from the pure joy that arises from
> a heart that has been enlightened from within. "
Ten loud purrs of agreement, motorboating the lips on the exhale, each
followed by a half-dozen clucks on the soft palate/uvula!
Labels: Bliss, Michael Persinger, Relaxation Response, States and Stages, Todd Murphy, Wilber-Combs Lattice