Embracing Transpersonal

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,
– etc.

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)!

🙂

 

 

 

Dr John Rowan on Authenticity

Dr John RowanAuthenticity is the natural expression of having made the move from first-tier consciousness – what Ken Wilber calls Mental Ego consciousness, and what is often called conventional consciousness – to second-tier consciousness, or what Wilber calls Centaur consciousness, and which is often called post-conventional consciousness.

This is quite a normal and natural progression, but it often results from a crisis of some kind, which shakes us out of the comforts of conventional consciousness.

First tier consciousness is dominated by formal logic, based on the premise that A is A. This is the logic often taught in schools, and it has been named variously as Aristotelian, Newtonian, Cartesian, Boolean and mathematical logic. It is used very successfully in computers, and is highly suitable for working with inanimate things.

Second tier consciousness is dominated by dialectical logic, the logic of paradox and contradiction, whose basic premise is that A is not simply A. This is the logic we require for dealing adequately with human beings. And it is only if we embrace this form of logic that we can understand authenticity.

Authenticity is fully embodied in most of the forms of humanistic psychotherapy, including Person-centred, Gestalt, Psychodrama, experiential therapies, Primal Integration, radical therapy, feminist therapy, several body therapies, dream work and so forth. They are very much at home there, contributing essentially to the humanistic emphasis on the whole person and the authentic relationship. The humanistic view of authenticity is broader and more inclusive than that to be found in existential analysis.

James Bugental has written two books about authenticity. He says that authenticity is a combination of self respect (we are not just part of an undifferentiated world) and self enactment – we express our care or involvement in the world in a visible way.

Here is a key quotation:
“By authenticity I mean a central genuineness and awareness of being. Authenticity is that presence of an individual in his living in which he is fully aware in the present moment, in the present situation. Authenticity is difficult to convey in words, but experientially it is readily perceived in ourselves or in others.” (Bugental 1981, p.102)
In other words, what we in humanistic psychology are saying is that authenticity is an experience.

As Rollo May has said so well: “Freedom is a quality of action of the centered self.” (May 1979, p.176) Ž
The humanistic view is that action is the acid test of experience.

What it seems so hard to convey to many people is that the real self, the self which is to be actualized in self-actualization, is not a concept but an experience. It is not something to be argued at a philosophical level, it is something to be encountered at an experiential level. Otherwise it becomes an abstract and useless concept.

Some existentialists embrace this, as for example here:
Authenticity consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves, in accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate. There is no doubt that authenticity demands much courage and more than courage. Thus it is not surprising that one finds it so rarely.
(Sartre 1948, p.90)

It demands so much because it involves moving beyond the confines of the familiar mental ego. To get away from the abstract argument, let us take a concrete example.

It comes from a book by Allen Wheelis, and it goes like this:

Look at the wretched people huddled in line for the gas chambers at Auschwitz. If they do anything other than move on quietly, they will be clubbed down. Where is freedom?… But wait. Go back in time, enter the actual event, the very moment: they are thin and weak, and they smell; hear the weary shuffling steps, the anguished catch of breath, the clutch of hand. Enter now the head of one hunched and limping man.

The line moves slowly; a few yards ahead begin the steps down. He sees the sign, someone whispers “showers”, but he knows what happens here. He is struggling with a choice: to shout “Comrades! They will kill you! Run!” – or to say nothing. This option, in the few moments remaining, is his whole life. If he shouts he dies now, painfully; if he moves on silently he dies but minutes later. Looking back on him in time and memory, we find the moment poignant but the freedom negligible. It makes no difference in that situation, his election of daring or of inhibition.

Both are futile, without consequence. History sees no freedom for him, notes only constraint, labels him victim. But in the consciousness of that one man it makes great difference whether or not he experiences the choice. For if he knows the constraint and nothing else, if he thinks “Nothing is possible”, then he is living his necessity; but if, perceiving the constraint, he turns from it to a choice between two possible courses of action, then – however he chooses – he is living his freedom.
This commitment to freedom can extend to the last breath. ”
(Wheelis 1973, ‘How People Change’, pp.31-32)

For humanistic psychotherapy, authenticity is a direct experience of the real self. It is unmistakable, it is self-authenticating. And if we want to know how to use it on a daily basis, we can go to the excellent book by Will Schutz entitled ‘Profound Simplicity’ (3rd edition 1988).

There is an important link between authenticity and genuineness as described by Carl Rogers.

“It is my feeling that congruence is a part of existential authenticity, that the person who is genuinely authentic in his being-in-the-world is congruent within himself; and to the extent that one attains authentic being in his life, to that extent is he congruent.”
(Bugental 1981, p.108)

Again it takes Bugental to draw our attention to the heartland of the humanistic approach, which is also the heartland of the existential approach. Both Bugental and Rogers are clear that congruence is difficult and demanding, and recent writers like Dave Mearns have made it clear that it cannot be taught as a skill.

As authentic beings, we recognize our individuality.
Further, we recognize that this individuality is not a static quality but is, rather, a set of (possibly infinite) potentialities. As such, while in the authentic mode, we maintain an independence of thought and action, and subsequently feel ‘in charge’ of the way our life is experienced. Rather than reacting as victims to the vicissitudes of being, we, as authentic beings, acknowledge our role in determining our actions, thought and beliefs, and thereby experience a stronger and fuller sense of integration, acceptance, ‘openness’ and ‘aliveness’ to the potentialities of being-in-the-world.
(Spinelli 1989, p.109)

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

– Dr John Rowan
Text re-posted from:
www.johnrowan.co.uk

The New cAge prison

The text below caught my attention on FB. I often relish the simple and yet deep thoughts of Jeff Brown, and the New Age or New Cage text fits right into the overall context of my Integral vision and Integral.life Blog.

Lets first see Jeff’s words (my thoughts below):

New Cage Movement – A term to describe the more ungrounded, dangerous and simplistic elements of the New Age movement, including but not limited to:

  • wishful thinking mantras,
  • spiritual bypass and premature forgiveness practices,
  • superficial healing techniques, and
  • the perpetual denial of common sense realities with fantastical perspectives (‘Everything is an illusion,’ ‘There are no victims,’ ‘All judgments are bad,’ ‘You chose your every experience and circumstance,’ ‘Your personal identifications are inherently false,’ ‘Just ask the universe for what you want…,’ ‘Everything you see and feel is a reflection of you,’ ‘There is no one to blame,’ ‘The ego is the enemy,’ etc.

These perspectives have their place, but taken too far, become a prison of their own making, locking people in with their unresolved pain, obstructed from doing the real work by their addictive flights of fancy. The key to escaping New Cage prison is developing a willingness to do the real work to ground, embody and heal in authentic terms.

On a relational level, New Cage connections are often wound-mates, priding themselves in their seeming spirituality, but actually falling apart at the seams- boundary-less, ungrounded and controlled by all the unresolved emotional material that the crystals didn’t quite heal. In their determined efforts to float above the fray, they actually just perpetuate their own pain-bodies and miss the opportunity to do the real work to become conscious together.
(~an excerpt from ‘An Uncommon Bond’)

Well, that has been rather well said. 🙂
Thank you, Jeff.

What I would like to add, though, is that while my mind is always rejecting the New Age mentality, labeling it as pure bull s**t, my heart whispers that maybe New Age people yearn for recognition, peace, freedom, love, respect and empathy – just like me (and maybe you).

The difference, however, between maybe me and your average New Age person, as far as I can see, is that I am not avoiding or at least I am trying to not avoid darkness, anger, sadness and the negativity within or without.

I am willing to face my own shadow side of inner psychological climate straight on, without overly complicated means (read: tarot cards and elves) .

Wilber comes to my mind here, he likes to say:
“There is no jumping. States are free, stages are earned.”

I understand his assertion to mean that it is impossible to just avoid and jump over a certain level of human identity development. And in the case of New cAge people, it seems they might want to jump (probably unaware) over the Centuar level. And to attain the Centuar or the Authentic level one has to face and clear out the shadow. Basically that means facing all the stuff New cAge wants to avoid.

I have been there, done that and it did now work; I was young and naive. Now I know that transforming the shadow by embracing it amounts to sending my roots really really deep into the ground. And that seems to be the only safe means for spiritual progress (for me).

You?

Wilber map & relationships

Well, it seems that the blog titled “Wilber map for dummies” (you can read it here >>) contributed to understanding of the Wilber map somewhat and a few very interesting questions arose (thank you!) about the Wilber map & relationships.

Before we get right down to it, I would to point out that in real life the attainment of certain stages of awareness as per Wilber map is not as clearly cut as it may seem. And so a person may be intellectually very well on the spiritual Subtle level and emotionally still struggling and slowly pulling herself out of Mental ego level (clearing out the Shadow). There are various components of our inner life that need to be considered: emotional life, morality, intellectual capacities, empirical component etc…

In my answers below I write as if the persons are fully established at each level of identity development under discussion.

Q: I am wondering if it is possible for two persons at different levels of awareness to be in a really loving relationship.
Say one on the Mental ego level and the other on the Authentic level.

A: That is an excellent question!
Well, while in relationships everything is subjective and situations vary, I seriously doubt it that a Mental Ego oriented person and an Authentic one would have a chance in long-term and loving relationship.

You see, there is a whole Universe of differences between these two levels, as far as I can see. Mental level is in my opinion and experiences very dry, fast and more or less devoid of any responsibility.

And that alone is in a stark contrast with the soft, empathic and responsible Authentic level. Responsibility I am speaking about here is the very important process of assuming full responsibility for one’s own emotions, thoughts, words and deeds. And that seems to happen only after the Shadow has been cleared out, thus attaining the Authentic level for good.

In my observation, an Authentic person simply would not find a relationship with a Mental level partner satisfying. Mental Ego level seems to be filled with pieces of information on how one ought to live (instead of how one wants to live, in his heart), there is a lot of argumentative communication and analysis and labeling (instead of felling with others, compassionately), safe distance from others (and from oneself, of course, and from facing deeper reality squarely) and virtually no contact with real inner life, i.e. emotions and needs/potentials.

Of course, an Authentic person has seen through those mental structures and doesn’t really need them anymore. What fills his/her heart with joy is deep and heartfelt contact with someone, trust, openness and working together, as a team, giving and receiving, lovingly and freely from the heart.

Mental level person would have a very hard time trying to keep up with the spontaneous and free-from-limiting-structures thinking that an Authentic person employs. Also, true and honest communication, based on clear awareness of authentic emotions and needs, is to a Mental ego what might a Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics mean to a Newtonian physicist: an enigma, for the most part.

In other words, a Mental level person has yet to learn how to live in harmony with inner authentic emotions and needs, something that an Authentic level person lives day in day out, easily.

A Mental Ego on the other hand, would probably need a time off, a break of some sort and a structured procedure on daily bases even to come into direct contact with his feelings and needs, what to speak about living in harmony with the inner Life.

In my experiences and also according to my observations, a really loving and lasting relationship is full of present and authentic feelings and needs that both partners are fully aware of and where both are willingly and spontaneously sharing inner Life as it unfolds in real time. And a Mental Ego, in my opinion, doesn’t have what it takes, yet.

In my opinion, a Mental Ego usually employs different “tools” in relationships, which might include manipulation, highly mentally structured plans and expectations, masks such as social status, education titles, money, power, body even etc… to present and express him/herself to others.

Authentic person is on totally different planet, in my opinion. Being in deep contact with his own emotions and needs is easy for him. No problems. It is easy to set and observe clear boundaries for an Authentic person. Also a paradoxical thinking is not a problem at this level, something that a Mental Ego hardly understands and embraces not, not even by far, it seems.

Personal freedom is what an Authentic person enjoys, and that is something a Mental Ego still needs to attain. Till then, well, you wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with his/her mother or father, yes? Well that’s maybe what a Mental Ego person, still overwhelmed by Shadow, acts as: not as a fully developed person, but as a mix of influences from father, mother, instructors, professors, TV, systems etc.

No, my opinion based on experiences suggest that an Authentic level person is not a good match for a Mental Ego. Unless the Authentic Self chooses to be with a Mental Ego, of course.

 

Q: OK, what about a person on the Subtle level? Would she be a good match to persons that are NOT yet at the Subtle level?

A: Nope.
Well, that’s my opinion.

You see, a Subtle level person is truly spiritually realized soul which not only sees through the Mental Ego limitations, but also through Authenticity itself.

Subtle level person is even more open, more free-flowing, for she is in direct contact with her immortal and perfect Soul (and other perfect Beings upon the Subtle transpersonal level). And that is something that even fully self-actualized and Authentic person still hasn’t come even close to.

You see, at the Subtle transpersonal level, there is no need for structure that seems to be so precious to both Mental and Authentic levels. A Subtle level person is free flowing, using no structure in his/her decisions. It is a transpersonal or spiritual impulses from within that such as person seem to follow, not social or intellectual or personal guidelines. And that in itself might be a huge challenge to a partner that is not yet at the Subtle level.

The Subtle Self seems to be self-sufficient and satisfied from within, while an Authentic Self still thinks he has to change things, on the inside and also on the outside.

So, no, I don’t see a bright future for a relationship with a Subtle level person and Mental/Authetnic level person. Unless the Subtle Self chooses otherwise.

 

Q: What about the Causal Self? How does a person at this level function in a loving relationship?

A:
In my opinion, s/he doesn’t.

The Causal level is so far above the personal ones, and so fulfilling in itself (atma-rama in Sanskrit) that such a person finds nothing worth while in a personal relationships.

Maybe thats why all of the liberated Masters from the past and present, are single. No need for anything. The Causal Self is the only one in Existence, so why bother with “others”?

And pretty much the same goes for a Nondual level person. There is no lust left in Nondual, no desires, no clinging and no craving.

And if by some twist of fate a Causal Self got involved with a person, any person really, He would be of perfect support.

 

 

Beyond Maslow

Wilber ladderI would like to share a blog post from Dr Rowan’s web site.

Here is a part of the blog post in question:

“…In 1943, Abraham Maslow launched his theory of a hierarchy of needs. He later elaborated on it, and the latest edition of his book came out 44 years later (Maslow 1987) there is no triangle in this book. At some point in this period, some bright spark (probably a text editor) had the idea of printing out this hierarchy in the form of a triangle or pyramid. This produced a very attractive diagram, and later versions added colour to make it even more so. And this is the version that Hazel Guest has used, adding the extra level (intrinsic values) which she argues for in her article.

What is wrong with the triangle is that it suggests that there is an end-point to personal growth. What is also wrong is that it suggests that this end-point is not far away. So the questions that are raised here are: is there an end-point, and if so where is it?…”

Please, see the whole blog here:

http://www.johnrowan.org.uk/22-december-2014/

 

 

Levels of empathy

There seem to be various kinds of empathy, at least according to the established empirical human psychological-transpersonal identity development model known as the Wilber map. OMG, what a mouthful LOL

In this blog I will elaborate on the subject of empathy from the vantage point of various stages of human consciousness including Mental ego, Authentic Self, Subtle Self, Causal Self and the Nondual level.
I will try to convey my experiences in as practical terms as possible. 🙂

I would like to invite you to maybe refresh your memory on the subject of identity development as per established Wilber map,
with this blog here >>

 

Mental ego (Instrumental Self) empathy

Based on the lack of deeper insight into her/his own nature, a person at this level of identity development seems to consider others mostly according to visual clues. “What you see is what you get” might be a good description of a process a person on Mental level operates on. She/he sees, or better yet, she/he ‘thinks’ others mostly through her/his mental capacities, nothing more. No deeper connection with feelings, no openness to inner abundance yet, mostly mental focus. Wild, wild is the wind at this level.

This is the most basic form of empathy, in my experience, which is more of a descriptive kind than anything else.
You cant really hope for receiving really deep and juicy empathy from Mental level, for one can really offer others what s/he her/himself possesses, it would seem.

In practical terms, if you are in a need of a deep and authentic empathy, maybe it would be wise to find an authentic person. A person on Mental level doesn’t seem to have what it takes. It would probably take a Mental level oriented person long years if not a decade of dedicated inner work to move on to more soft and empathic Authentic level.

At this level, all seems to be just a role playing, wearing masks, no spontaneous and authentic feelings and deeds.

This level is also called Instrumental Self level, for person at this level uses his/her feelings, talents, body even as a tool to achieve goals in life. And at this level, goals seem to be set by someone else.

“But it is important to remember than even here, empathy is a quality rather than a skill. In other words, empathy cannot really be taught: it is more a question of recognizing it and allowing it to develop.”
– Dr John Rowan

 

Centuar level or the Authentic empathy

The second level of empathy is, in my experience, much deeper and is sometimes called Imagining the Real, or sensing and feeling with others, and it comes from the Centaur level, the responsible and existential level.

Deep, deep is the water at this level, for a person at the Centuar level can be very opened and in touch with his/her feelings and inner potentials (sometimes called “needs”, a misnomer for the most part, in my opinion). S/he has conquered inner oppression (a shadow as per Jung) and is more or less free in her personal life.

In practical terms that means that a person at this level can easily open up and sense with others, step into their shoes, so to speak. At Centuar level, it is easy to sense/feel even the most deep feelings, no problem. In fact, the lack of feeling deeper inner reality is what might distinguish a Mental level person from an Authentic one, in my opinion.

And since the Authentic level is still (only) a personal level (nothing really spiritual or transpersonal here yet, in my opinion), a person might still operate on the idea of “I am me and you are you” and “I have my own needs and you have yours”. That’s why empathy at this level seems to be only as deep as a person is willing to let go of her/his own identifications, in my experience.

That is also the only reason, as far as I can see, why at this level a person is only trying to feel with others and is only trying to guess the real feelings and needs of others. Hence the “Imagining the Real” is a rather accurate description of an empathy process at this level.

Many (me included, of course) who are into NVC (nonviolent communication system as per Marshall Rosenberg, PhD) or similar humanistic modalities, are perhaps practicing this level of empathy. And it still takes an effort; it is my observation that one really has to have enough self-empathy to be able to offer empathy to others.

Authentic level strikes me as a personal or material level where effort and action and responsibility reside. Maybe that’s why so many people get burned out at this level at least at some point in the process of identity development. Authentic person might still feel s/he has to change things, either on the inner realm or on the outer reality.

I am me and you are you and all I can do is to try to guess what you are feeling and needing, without any labeling or diagnosing, evaluating or validating etc.

Empathy at this level can be really sweet and seems to be many many light years ahead of the empathy a Mental level person is capable to muster up.

I love this kind of empathy.

 

The Subtle level empathy

The third kind of empathy seems to come from the Subtle transpersonal level, the Soul, and it is sometimes called deep or transcendental empathy and it is a whole new bowl of wax, so to speak. More on the Subtle level as per Wilber map, here >>

Here a person has gone beyond personal stuff (having cleared up the most of his/her Shadow) and is readily embarking upon the transpersonal path. Transpersonal in this context translates to the levels of awareness that are well beyond personal separate feelings and needs.

Personal stuff seems to be limited by the “I and mine” notion – by the so called false ego (ahamkara in Sanskrit) which seem to impregnate a person with the sense of separateness and yearning for change and action which is so common at the Authentic level, according to my observations.

Here at this level of empathy the boundary between me and you may sometimes disappear altogether, and a single transpersonal consciousness emerges. And it is very very liberating, it is Pure Love, two Hearts beating as One.

This is called Linking, the “process” where two transpersonal realized individuals connect deeply with one another at the Soul level and not at the personality level. When this Link surfaces, the “I and mine” and “I am me and you are you” notion fades away completely and there is no need left for guessing the feelings and needs of others, for Unity has presented Itself, powerfully and transparently.

It is this Linking, this state of awareness that is the most juicy and deeply felt empathy I have ever experienced. The heavy burden of the “I am me and you are you” and the effort to connect to others through guessing and trying to “feel with” and “Imagining the Real” is simply gone.

No effort is needed at this level, no need to “Imagine the Real”, for the Real is already fully present and powerfully experienced in real time by both. Qualities that shine forth at this level are surrender and heartfelt openness to what already exists, eternally.

At this level the empathy shines forth as something already fully and eternally present, in my experience. There is no need for creating something anew, no need for establishing some abstract dimension from scratch.

This might be the most glaring difference between the Authentic level and Subtle level in general and the Authentic empathy and Subtle empathy in particular:

there is no need to change anything at the Subtle level, there is no need whatsoever to make an effort to create something or to connect to others, for the One Love is already fully and forever present in our hearts. All it takes is noting the obvious, that’s all.

At this level, to me, the Authentic empathy shames away as a morning twilight before sunrise. The sun of the transpersonal Subtle Self, the immortal and born-less Soul seems to be so, so much more powerful than the Authentic self (to me).

Once experienced, the transcendental or transpersonal empathy leaves deep deep impression upon the psychological makeup of a person and after it nothing is ever the same, in my experience. The Presence and the Love is so strong and so liberating that one wants to experience It again, and again and yet again.
Well, that’s my observation, anyway.

And, as you might have guessed, there is more to experience.

 

The Causal level empathy

Not much can be said about this level of empathy, for words simply do not apply anymore, in my opinion. Let me try to put it this way:

There is one single, Pristine and Eternal consciousness that is the Source and Manifestation at the same time. It is a level of awareness that is totally and completely transpersonal, even impersonal. And yet, the impersonal in this context to me translates to utter and extreme intimacy.

At this level, there is no juicy empathy as felt at the Subtle level, no sweet and warm empathy as felt at the Authentic level, only the Eternally present Being that is the only One in Existence.

Empathy at this level, to an onlooker, might appear as cold, harsh even. But in reality such state of awareness is far from being cold or lacking anything really. It is just that people in general seem to not be used to such state of awareness and are still needing reassurance, soft touch of the Authentic empathy and Loving Embrace of the Subtle empathy.

At this level, however, it seems to me there is no such thing as soft touch or comfort and no you and me. How can I express anything really to you, when I am deeply aware that separateness is pure illusion.

Empathy at this level, the so called Causal empathy, is strong, completely open and accepting Presence which denies nothing. It is the base of human consciousness, solid as a rock.

Being at the Causal level, to me, implicates a lot and amongst other things it also means being totally Alone.

Sri Rasmana Maharshi is reported to have said (I am paraphrasing here):
don’t build hospitals, schools, don’t feed the hungry. Realize the Self and that way you will help others more than you can possible imagine.

Seems to me that He is speaking about the Causal level empathy here.

Q & A on the Causal level, here >>

Blogs on the Causal level, here >>

 

The Nondual level empathy

Let me first state that I am referring here to the Buddhist Nondual state of consciousness, not the Vedanta one.
I am speaking here about the annata (non-self) and sunyata (emptiness), which are way beyond the Vedanta (advaita) non-dual which is the Causal level.

Well, not much can be shared about this level of empathy, since to a realized Buddhist non-dualist there is no me, no you, no God up in heaven, no agency and no center whatsoever.

Phenomena is instigated by no one, no one and nothing is in control. And yet, the compassion at this level is so so much real that no amount of words can convey the sheer importance of it.

It is like the whole universe is moving when something is being done. It is total and complete freedom and yet this exact freedom is valuable only as much as others (from a conventional standpoint, of course) are free. Empathy with a capital E.

“…Therefore the best king would be Pure Chance.
It is Pure Chance that rules the Universe;
therefore,
and only therefore, life is good.”
– Aliester Crowley, The Book of Lies, (53) 22

Blogs on the Nondual level, here >>

Thank you for your time.

🙂

Let it go

Seems to me Elsa the Frozen Queen is pretty much free from inner oppression:

“Let it go, let it go.
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.

Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway…”

Go, Elsa, Go!!

(Slovene version below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Authenticity

I would like to touch upon an interesting topic in this blog. I do enjoy writing about Authenticity, self-actualization, individualization and yet, Authenticity itself, as sublime and as rare an attainment as it is, it is only a stage of human psychological-transpersonal identity development, as far as I can see. And to me, Authenticity is really only an introduction to really peaceful and enlightened inner life.

For sure, long and strenuous years can be dedicated to attaining and stabilizing at the stage of awareness called Authenticity or Authentic Level or Centuar (as per Wilber). And all the while the struggle and effort to become Authentic, to lead an Authentic life and to employ the inner potentials by self-actualizing them is a must  – all of that may inevitably become an obstacle when and if one wants to move on from Authentic level to more spiritual ones, i.e. Subtile, Causal and Nondual.

Authenticity in this context and for me means self-actualization, individualization and clearing up all the personal dramas or
the Shadow, to use a Jung term. For me, Shadow in this context translates to everything one believes that is wrong with others, the world and oneself. And it can take long years of dedicated work on those personal issues.

Also, being truly Authentic does not translate to dogmatically following certain set of rules, not even the ones from other Authentic individuals (Maslow, Rogers, Marshall etc…). Authenticity comes from the heart and there are as many authentic individuals as there are human beings, way beyond any kind of convention, injunction or rule. That’s how I perceive the Authentic level at the moment.

I have written extensively on the subject of this level of human awareness (browse my previous blogs, here >> , ) and also a short intro to the overall (Wilber) map of human stages of consciousnesses (see also blog in Identity development >> )

In this blog, however, I would like to express myself about the levels or stages of human identity development which lay well beyond Authenticity.

For me, those levels of awareness are what power up my life, rejuvenate my wonder, as it were, and make sense to all in and around me. Yes, the Authenticity itself is an important stage of human identity development and it simply can not be skipped over. But, after attaining it and really living it, one may begin to wonder if that is all that it is attainable. Well, the answer is, thanks God, no.

Authentic level is only a stage, one of many and, to me, not really all that satisfying.
Let me share my subjective thoughts 🙂

At the Authentic level, one may be called to individualize his own cognitive processes, to self-actualize his own inner talents and potentials and to start living according to his / her sweet freedom of choice in ALL areas of life: intimate, private, public, business, spare time, inter-personal – everything may be included.

And to attain all that, well, it takes effort, facing the inner dis-harmonies, clearing out the suppressed emotions, overcoming mental negativity etc… Also assuming full responsibility for ones thoughts, emotions, words and actions may also play an important part in the process.

The Authentic Self, which seems to be at the core of the Authentic level is always active, unique, and wants to be in control. So structure, self created rules and battles won through hard work – that is what a person on the Authentic level may define himself / herself through.

I create my own life – that is the motto an Authentic person might live by. And again, it may take years, maybe even decades to really attain that precious level where one can with all sincerity proclaim that s/he is happy because s/he does only what s/he wants to. And it makes him/her very happy.

Maybe that’s why tiredness and fatigue is so common at this level?

But, when inspiration surfaces to move on to more spiritual levels of awareness, a problem may present itself:
an Authentic person is used to work hard, to secure victories by making the necessary effort, to be active, to change things, to excel in bringing changes into his life according to his sweet will. There always seems to be an action and reaction, a structure, principles and rules at this level.

In my experience and to me it is very very useful and important to separate the Authentic level from the Transpersonal ones. The understanding of the inns and outs of the Authentic level and what differentiates it from the Subtle one (and beyond), is what added to clarity and understanding in my case. Thank you Wilber! 🙂

The strategies that may really work at that level are BEING ACTIVE, MAKING EFFORT, CHANGING THINGS, ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY ETC…

On the Subtle level in my experience, however, none of those strategies work. None.
The Subtle level in this context means the first of three truly spiritual, transpersonal and non-material levels of human awareness (as per established Wilber map).

A person at the Subtle level (or beyond) is not limited by material strategies anymore. No more “I create my own world”, making effort is not needed anymore and to change things, well, at transpersonal levels, it is futile. That’s my experience.

While the Authentic self is directed onwards, to the outside world, the Subtle self or Soul, on the other hand, is directed inwards.

The main difference between Authentic and Subtle levels (or beyond) is that the later are already perfect. Transpersonal selves (the Subtle, Causal and Nondual) already are perfect, are eternal, and need no effort. There is no need to win or change anything, simply because all is already attained. There is no need to clear up anything, no Shadow, no dramas etc…

I have seen more or less Authentic persons trying to apply the same strategies that are effective at the Authentic level to their spiritual quests.

To my eye, it is like trying to raise the stormy waves in an already perfectly calm lake of clear and serene water.

An Authentic person may still want to change things, to make an effort to change to attain the spiritual levels of consciousness, all the while there is NO NEED for such action, struggle and change.

There is one more glaring difference between Authentic and Transpersonal levels of existence: on the Authentic level the underlying concept is change, effort and creating my own life. On the spiritual, the Subtle level, on the other hand, the underlying leading quality is surrender.

Surrender to what already is perfect, whole, immortal and eternal. There is no need to change things, to alter oneself, to create some new reality. No.

At these spiritual levels, everything already is perfect, peaceful, utterly fulfilling and beyond any change. All it takes is surrender to what already exists, eternally.

The above photo:
Anandamayi Ma in deep samadhi (a state of spiritual awareness, well beyond Authenticity).

🙂

More on the transpersonal levels of awareness here >>

 

 

 

 

 

Authenticy in therapy

I have been offering humanistic (psycho)therapy sessions for individuals since 1996 and in all those years I have learned really a lot. What I love the most in working with individuals is their waking up or opening up to their own unique and authentic feelings, needs and goals.

There are levels of human awareness way beyond authenticity, for sure, but man! it is really rewarding to witness a progress such as described below.

I would like to share a post from Dr John Rowan’s Blog:

A young man, after some very stuck sessions in therapy, became very angry with the therapist, saying: “I don’t think we are getting anywhere. When I say something, you just repeat it back to me, and never really give me what I want.”

The therapist said: “It really irritates you that I simply give your statement back to you, without offering any cure or correction.”

Back comes the young man – “There you are, doing it again! If it don’t get anything better than that, I am just going to leave!”.

The therapist says – “You are so angry with me not giving you anything more, that you really feel like leaving.” The young man gets up out of his seat and goes to the door.

The therapist says: “Just before you go, I want to say that I really respect what you have just been saying. It is more alive and more direct than anything you have said before, and it must have taken real courage to say all that.”

The young man leaves. But he comes back the following week, much more involved and much more self-revealing.
Dr John Rowan web site >>

Beyond personal dramas

NVC system provides us with brilliant notions of differences between needs (or potentials as I call them), emotions, concepts in mind and strategies.

While NVC system itself does not speak directly about it, as far as I can tell, self-actualization and individualization both play a major role in achieving authenticity in all areas of life.

The quote below is not meant to imply that I am so self-sufficient and self-actualized and individualized that I need no one, no empathy, no warmth, respect and love in my personal (and transpersonal) relationships. No. What I would like to point out is that self-sufficient person (like me, if I may be so cheeky) does not depend on others for aforementioned qualities.

In my honest opinion, it is only when I was able to go beyond my personal dramas of yearning for attention and forcing others to provide me with qualities such as warmth, love, respect and empathy, that I was really beginning to be ready for real and honest relationships.

Now, for me, being alone is not a problem any more. I love being alone. And yet, no man is an island as the saying goes, and I also enjoy company of others very much. It is just that I am conditioned by that company no more.
🙂

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other. ~ Osho