Growth in consciousness can be challenging
As a species we are being challenged to learn and grow in order to create a healthier more life affirming environment. It turns out this process is more painful and messy than any of us might have anticipated! is
The stress of our current lifetime is enormous! It can be helpful to take a 30,000 foot view of this time and/or look through a broader lens. In doing so we may be able to open to new ways of understanding that produce less frustration and provide greater clarity.
Consciousness expansion requires psychological and spiritual growth
“And as this landscape of knowledge grows, so does the potential of our own spiritual lives in ways that even meditation and other inward practices alone cannot provide.” Ken Wilbur, The Future of Spirituality
In the eighties I was introduced to Ken Wilbur. His first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness was required reading for one of my graduate courses. Over the years I have tracked his work and found it to be fascinating, thought provoking, as well as especially helpful in understanding our psycho-spiritual development and integration, in addition to consciousness, spirituality and the universe.
There can be a fair amount of confusion when we try to understand some of the observable paradoxes, E.G. high intellect and primitive emotional development in the same person, or the ability for expanded awareness and spiritual states existing in the same body-mind with some pretty obvious psychological speed bumps, or how ancient wisdom does and doesn’t inform post-modern spirituality!
Wilbur’s work provides a proposed framework for understanding some of the conflicts and paradoxes we see in ourselves, in our fellow human beings and between cultures. His theory regarding our current place (and need) re: spirituality and personal development offers a means for understanding, compassion and tolerance for ourselves and our companions on the human journey.
Consciousness: States and stages
Wilbur’s presentation of stages and states of consciousness helps to explain what was difficult for me to wrap my head around one of the paradoxes I previously referred to.
“Stages are how we grow up; states are how we wake up.” Ken Wilbur
Stages refer to our psychological development and states refer to our spiritual experience. This helped me to understand what I found to be paradoxical and confusing. A person at a low level of inner development psychologically can experience heightened states of spiritual experience. Along with grasping this perspective comes the realization for why our inner development, being emotionally intelligent exploring our shadow nature, is so important for our overall growth, well-being and happiness.
“States are free but structures are earned.” One has to build or earn structure, it can’t be peak experienced for free. What can be peak experienced however are higher states of freedom from the state (-stage) one is habituated to, so at any level one can experience these deeper/higher states.” Ken Wilbur
Beyond Wilber’s work
In the energy education and training I have had it has always been emphasized that for clear and problem free spiritual development, we must address our psychological development even as we strive to expand our spiritual awareness. The chakra system provides us with a very clear map to do that and to integrate both aspects of our nature as we grow.