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Spiritual Bypass of the Soul? With Ken Wilber
Subtle body and soul practices have been part of every human culture in history. Modernity, with its emphasis on science and rationality, brought on a “disenchantment” of the world, where magic, myth, ritual, and ceremony were seen as superstitions to be rejected.
Once rationality is installed firmly in our awareness, however, human beings become restless and long for the world to be re-enchanted. This longing leads us to re-integrate our earlier relationship to the soul and to magic, and matures into a true trans-rational spirituality.
Ken points out that there are three great dimensions of our identity. In the gross realm associated with the waking state we are an ego; in the subtle realm associated with the dream state we are a soul; and in the causal realm associated with deep dreamless sleep, we know ourselves as the True Self. And when all these are known to be non-separate, we awaken as nondual Suchness.
An integral practitioner recognizes the reality and importance of all these domains. We are gross, subtle and causal beings, and all are dimensions of our practice. And yet, soul has tended to be left out.
So we discuss the reality of the soul, the experiences many of us have had, and the deep nature of Soul practice as part of Integral Spiritual Practice.
Ken emphasizes that it is an important frontier and that something very “real”, something beyond pre-rational hocus-pocus, can happen at a subtle level. It is here that we can be “initiated” into the next phase of our integral journey. Which is what we will engage, experientially, in this year’s Integral Living Room.
Ken refers to the paper Terry wrote on Integral Soul Work for this year’s Integral Theory Conference. We’ve posted it here (right click to save to your computer). It describes how a “nondual consensus” has led to the spiritual bypassing of the subtle, and introduces “Integral Soul Work” grounded in an incarnational, relational, integral nondual awareness. It says that on the basis of authentic self-transcendence, we can coincide non-egoically with the subtle and causal psychophysics of the soul’s specific character, purpose and destiny.
Jeff and Diane share their appreciation for subtle experience, as well as their wariness about new age fantasies and excesses. Listeners share resources and personal experiences of the subtle and soul.
This is a clear and compelling call, one that is helping us prepare for the deep experiential process of an authentic Integral Trans-Rational Soul Initiation at the Integral Living Room event in Boulder this Fall.
We hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation, and can join us for our next community call on October 1st. If you have already registered for the community calls, you will receive a reminder with your special PIN, as usual. If you haven’t registered yet you can sign up for the calls here.
We want to welcome those of you who we’ll be seeing in person at the Integral Living Room gathering. And welcome everyone, whether you’ll be attending or not, to listen to the recording.