At our school for transpersonal consultants, TCT® Academy, we offer a seminar (my favorite) that aims at exploring the Subtle transpersonal level of human overall consciousness. I am about to offer this seminar in the upcoming weekend and here are my thoughts.
OK, so what am I going to write about in this blog? I will try to convey my awe, wonder and appreciation for the so called transpersonal. Transpersonal in this context does not include any existing religion, philosophy or New age movement, please. It translates to intimate and subjective empirical knowledge about what has throughout the human history been labeled as Spiritual, Divine.
I am almost holding my breath here, for respect, freedom, integrity (of us all) is soooooo important to me. I always state this while sharing in written word, and it just doesn’t get old, so here we go again: the thoughts below are only my subjective reality and no criticism, labeling, diagnosis or anything of the sort is intended. Each of us lives in subjective universe it seems and yet we can contribute to each other or not. It is my sincere hope that the text below does contribute at least somewhat.
Stages of human identity development
There is a guy, tall, brilliant and, as far as I can see, awake. Awake from social, political, educational, religious etc. systems. His name is Ken Wilber, they say he is the most read author in the history of humankind. All of his, 15 books I think, are still in print, some in re-re-reprint.
And this guy has come up with, to me, genius idea of producing the map of all existing states and stages of human consciousness. And as far as I am concerned (and most of the professional psychological, philosophical and even anthropological world is concerned, it seems), well, he did it.
I have written extensively on the subject of the Wilber map on this Blog (please see the links above under Wilber map or employ the search engine up there on the right hand side), so there is no need for repeating it all.
What I want to again share, though, is that there is indeed an identity development going on in our human lives. Particularly I would like to point out two stages: Authenticity and the Subtle.
The first is personal and the later is transpersonal or spiritual.
I have sampled all of the levels of the Wilber map and empirically speaking, Authenticity is not as great as it seems on the paper.
All of the words, mere words, below are only generalization and might as well not apply to any of you, dear visitors. 🙂
Yes, it is or it seems to be:
– really wonderful to be able to stand up and say NO, or YES,
– precious to be able to be really personal and authentic in bed, for example, really enjoying oneself,
– great to create our own world, meaning that we apriori bow not to any structure from the outside,
– lovely to be able to express feelings and needs in a way others understand and maybe even appreciate,
– important to be able to share the skills and knowledge of empathy and self-empathy with others,
– it is so dear to be able to have a job just the way we want, to connect only to people we choose, to eat, drink exactly what we want, to have a house exactly as we want etc.,
– glorious to be able to operate outside the expectations of others, and, above all,
– most important to follow individualized will of I and Mine.
Of course, there are not many people who have attained all of the above. In fact, I only know a few.
And hey, who knows, maybe I ought to get out more LOL
That been said, lets take a look at the, what seem to be, not-so-great characteristics of the Authentic level of awareness (as per my own personal experiences and also according to my observations and sharing of others and also according to accepted professional literature penned by Wilber, Rowan, Forman etc., all of which doesn’t really matter; what matters is what is alive in YOU, yes? 🙂 ):
– it is only personal, meaning it is conditioned by personal tendencies (limited empathy, energy, the reach of personal outlook etc.),
– it takes enormous effort to be Authentic, simply because at this level, personal effort is a must,
– everyone gets burned out at least once at this level, for Ego or the Authentic self keeps pushing the envelope by trying to change and improve things,
– Authentic self or the Ego needs control, structure to really feel secure and content,
– at this level, everything that is not in accordance with inner (personal) reality is canceled out, ignored or at least avoided,
– it takes so much energy to emphatically reflect what others feel and need, simply because Ego or the Authentic self still believes and operates on, separation and duality (I am me and you are you),
– vulnerability at this level hurts, even one single thought (coming from the outside or inside) might shake the foundations of the attained personal happiness and peace,
– Authentic self or Ego is mostly timid, meaning that impersonal experiences might leave it distraught and confused,
– even the most flexible and tolerant Ego or Authentic self still needs reassurance, for it is a huge challenge for it to operate outside of its own inner self-created reality,
– when offering empathy, when reflecting feelings and needs of others, the best Ego or Authentic self can produce is best guesses (in accepted professional literature this is called “imagining the real”),
– and again, it takes massive effort to maintain the attained inner psychological climate,
And yet, in comparison to Mental or Instrumental level (a level prior the Authentic level as per Wilber map), all of the above is indeed so much rewarding and positive, that some people I have met seem to take this Authenticity as synonymous to Enlightenment or Pure Spiritual Reality.
Interestingly enough even Marshall Rosenberg, the creator of the NVC system which is widely employed all over the world, pointed out that at the core of his system is this Beloved Divine Energy, not Ego or Authentic Self. Please, see the whole text, you can read it here >> – new web page opens up).
There is so, so, soooooooooooooooo much more one can experience beyond the Authenticity, in my experiences.
Lets take a look at some of the traits of the spiritual and transpersonal level of awareness, the Subtle level or the Soul level:
– it is like coming home, it is safe, fluid, free and eternal – no need for any effort,
– there is no need to fix things, to create something anew, for the transpersonal Reality has been the same for ever,
– no effort is needed to connect with others at this level,
– empathy for others is not conditioned by effort or amount of self-empathy, it is free flowing, eternal, absolute,
– they say that there is a book called “Structures to live by” and at this level, well, there are no books, the least of which is called “structure”,
– at this level the true self, the Soul shines forth powerfully and gently at the same time, no need to fix it or create it from scratch,
– at this level one is never ever alone, for the presence of the Soul naturally evokes the presence of other Souls from the Subtle transpersonal realm,
– there is no need to trying to become what we really are at this level, for we really already are, way beyond any and all personal projections from the Authentic self or Ego,
– the Soul is the true Self, and the Authentic self or Ego is merely her shadow (that’s why the Ego needs all the fuss and circus to be really content),
– the Soul is witnessing all the drama on the personal level, and denies nothing, for everything is already in herself.
Dr. Rosenberg was once asked:
What does God mean to you?
I need a way to think of God that would work for me, other words or ways to look at this beauty, this powerful energy, and so my name for God is “Beloved Divine Energy.” For a while it was just Divine Energy but then I was reading some of the Eastern religions, and Eastern poets, and I loved how they had this personal, loving connection with this Energy. And I found that it added to me to call it “Beloved” Divine Energy. To me this Beloved Divine Energy is life, connection to life.
Is this lack of connection to Divine Energy responsible for violence in the world?
To me, the violence in the world comes about when we get alienated or disconnected from this Energy. How do we get connected when we are educated to be disconnected? I believe it’s our cultural conditioning and education that disconnects us from God, especially our education about God.
(please, see the whole interview, if you will, here >> – new web page opens up)
Well, at the Subtle transpersonal level, the “God” for a lack of a more flexible word is experienced as real as you and me, and is way beyond the personal Authentic level. It is the Divine in us, in you and me, that acts when the healing of guilt, shame, anger etc. takes place.
How much more healing could take place if we embraced the transpersonal even more, transforming the timid Ego or Authentic self into this Beloved Divine Energy (as Rosenberg himself calls the transpersonal Self)!