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The Evolutionary Impulse of “WE”

This month’s Integral Living Room community call with Diane, Terry and Jeff turned out to  be a meta-conversation: a conversation about conversation, a living we-space practice where what we talk about is a little less important than how we talk about it.

So what are the qualities of conversation at an integral altitude? Integral we-spaces are characterized by a communion that allows us to be creative and spontaneous…a light and easy flow between perspectives…a deep satisfaction of being more fully seen, and of seeing others more fully.

Everyone we meet in the integral world is longing for community. It may only be three or four percent of people in the world who have regular, stable access to an integral consciousness. Sometimes it gets lonely. That’s part of what we have to deal with as integralists.

Many of us go on meditation retreats to grow; to learn the competency of solitude and to cultivate our spirituality. How many of us go away to experience a community as a spiritual practice, to intentionally mix it up with others?

That’s what the Integral Living Room is about. We’re really looking forward to the event itself in Boulder this fall (Oct 31 – Nov 3). In the meantime even a virtual connection like this conference call is a rare and wonderful opportunity to treat conversation as a practice; to participate in a dialectic — deepened by oneness and enlivened by differentiation.

Some people have profound awakenings, others may just walk away a little less critical, a bit more curious. But no one is left unchanged.

We’re really excited to be exploring what it feels like to create a second tier space and invite you into it. We’re in a time and place where we can draw on a wealth of interpersonal practices. The “we” itself is an entity that can learn — it needs to learn. It has an evolutionary impulse of its own and it’s bigger than any of us.

It is our sense that we are cooperatively opening into something greater.

The Evolutionary Impulse of “WE”
Recorded 8.22.2013

 

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The Evolution of the Integral We-Space: A Conversation with Ken Wilber

In preparation for this call, Ken read Terry’s paper for the Integral Theory Conference, Enacting an Integral Revolution: How Can We Have Truly Radical Conversations in a Time of Global Crisis. The paper is a passionate and intellectually adventurous exploration of transformational communication and includes a short history of we-space practices (the first ever written, as far as we know) in the integral community.

Fundamentally, this paper represents Terry’s realizations around a key question that he’s been contemplating over the last several months—if our scientists are right, and we’re really in a time of global crisis, how can we have the truly radical conversations that catalyze the cultural renaissance it seems to demand? Terry feels that too many of our conversations today are “about” this or that vital topic, but leave us, the conversation partners, relatively unchanged.

When it came time for Terry to write the paper he had agreed to present at ITC, he dug in and explored that question vigorously—from many perspectives—focusing on the intention to catalyze a transformative existential confrontation, not just an intellectual discussion.

The call begins with Ken offering a rich, insightful analysis of the nature of higher intersubjectivity and we-space practices. (You’ll find that he’s put forth many ideas that we’ve never heard him say before).

Once Ken presenced that theoretical context, he and Terry went back and forth in exploring higher intersubjectivity, urgency, and the nature of “the creativity of us”. What unfolded was an extremely rich conversation that we think you’ll value.

Here are a few of the ideas you’ll find when you listen:

  • A “We” is how Spirit experiences itself. As each “I” experiences the other, it sees True Self looking back.
  • We-space exercises can help individuals move beyond the invisible limitations of their personal subjectivity.
  • We-space practice can serve individual meditative awakening beyond turiya into turyatita.
  • The we-space has its own network of nexus-agency, and when we feel into all those nexuses, the shared field functions as a mirror that reflects True Self to us all.
  • Every we-space practice is shaped by its unique injunctions and intentions:
    • Injunctions: e.g., “Pay attention to the we-space”, “Stay radically present”, “Surrender into witnessing”, “Suspend judgment”, “Be honest and transparent”, “Build on what others say”, etc.
    • Intentions: e.g., transpersonal intimacy, high states of consciousness, voicing the impulse of evolution, evolving culture amidst the global crisis, awakening higher intuitive faculties, etc.
  • Every participant in a “We” will straddle an experience that’s shared with everyone else, and also his own unique experience and perspective.
  • There is surrendering into witnessing; there is also surrendering beyond witnessing, in which the detatched looker gives way to nondual awareness.
  • There are numerous intersubjective we-fields in which we are participating, and each expresses different levels of development.
  • One of the reasons we-space practice is so popular is that we can feel the Eros, the creative advance into novelty, as we co-explore the new evolutionary territory of higher intersubjectivity.
  • There is special significance to the sequence 3-1-2 (3rd-person, 1st-person, 2nd-person).
  • Shared states of consciousness and shared stages of consciousness are both important:
    • States are more readily transmissive than stages which must be co-enacted.
    • Most we-space practices begin with state practices.
    • However, intersubjective triple-loop learning is possible, leading to higher intersubjective stages.
  • And much more!

The Evolution of the Integral We-Space: A Conversation with Ken Wilber
Recorded 7.23.2013

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