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Integral Politics (and the road to disaster) as described by Ken Wilber.

In a previous post I undertook to expound on Ken Wilber’s effort to elucidate the utterly unbelievable and unexpected (and overwhelming) win of Donald Trump in the recent election in America, that bastion (so we all believed) of freedom, progressiveness and postmodernism.

What happened is history. Why it happened is still a mystery for most commentators and analysts.

But, because Wilber’s diagnoses and prognosis of the phenomenon (using his Integral Perspective or Integral Meta Theory by way of his EQAL Matrix)  is quite involved and difficult to understand, I thought it best to introduce the Integral Perspective by way of his own Integral explanation of what the difference between Conservative and Liberal is, and how evolution played a role in bringing that divide into existence.

 Yes, I know most people today do not, or can not read more than a short sentence on twitter or Instagram and find even that difficult to comprehend most of the time. For those I suggest you go back to your small and/or big screens and see what new scandals of world-shattering importance by celebs tops the charts at the moment. You do not want to miss out on that, do you?

For the rest, I think you will find this insight into modern politics one of the most important discussions for the future of humanity. We are living in an unstable, dangerous time of transition for the human race and the planet we live on. It is time we take a hard look at where we come from and where we are heading.

So, let’s start with Ken Wilber:

“What is the basic difference between Democrat and Republican, or between the Left and the Right? Here’s an easy way to tell. If you ask the simple question—

Why do human beings suffer? —you will get two major answers. The Right will say, you suffer because of yourself; the Left will say, you suffer because of someone else.

“Likewise, when it comes to social change, the Republican recommends interior development (character education, family values, God values, industriousness, self-responsibility, work ethic); the Democrat recommends exterior development (material improvement, economic redistribution, universal health care, welfare statism). Of course, there are all sorts of exceptions and mixtures. But more often than not, that is a genuinely basic difference in socio-political orientation between the Democrat and the Republican.”

Yes, I also had the interior/exterior thing turned around. I thought that the Democrats were for interior change, while the Republicans were for exterior change. The problem turns out to be one of how they differ in bringing about the desired change. When you look at levels and lines of evolutionary development, especially when it comes to moral and spiritual development, the internal/external axis is turned around 360 degrees. You find that Republicans (or everyone on the amber level of development and lower) employs external means of power like the police and the army, the church and social sanctions to enforce change, or in most cases to prevent change, (think Spanish inquisition and the burning of dissidents on the stake back in the Dark Ages, and harsh riot control in our times). In other words, we will force you to change you to our way of thinking, using external forces, even if it kills you.

The Democrats on the other hand believe that change must come from within the individual (Upper Left Quadrant) by a process of transcend and include (a system of development introduced by Abraham Maslow). The current (orange) values must be transcended to reach higher evolutionary states of being, but it will still include the lower value systems as foundation for the new, higher order that will eventually change the whole system or society (or Holon which includes all 4 Quadrants) from the inside. Or like Tich nat An said, “The only way out, is the way in”. Interior change brought about by evolution and the effort  of the individual him- or herself.

The confusion will be cleared up as Wilber expands on the difference in world view between Democrat (or Liberal) and Republican (or Conservative).

Wilber:

“Mainstream Republicans or conservatives have very strong amber/traditional values. Hence, when they say that ‘character counts,’ or that they want to ‘instil values in people,’ or that they are ‘the party of values,’ they almost always mean amber values only, traditional values, ethnocentric values: nationalism, family values, militarism, patriotism, patriarchalism, good ole Biblical injunctions and command morality.

They do not mean green values, red values, teal values, turquoise values, etc.”

The amber, orange, red and other colour designations will become clear as we go on. It is important to get a clear understanding of this hierarchical differentiation in the evolutionary development of people in order to fully understand Wilber’s theory.

Wilber:

“But that sort of (amber) traditional, conservative political movement — grounded in mythic- membership and the amber value system—was the dominant form of governance for most of humanity’s civilized history, East and West, from the great Axial Period (around the 6th century BCE) up to the Enlightenment in the West. This amber value structure, and the governance systems that it supported, were those of the great Republican empires and ancient nations, East and West, North and South, Rome being one of the mightiest. These were agrarian societies (in the Lower Right), and therefore typically they had a corresponding mythic-membership culture of amber or traditional values (in the Lower Left). At their best and healthiest, and for their time, these cultures were a thing of beauty and wonder. (But creation is a dynamic, ongoing process. To stagnate is to die, to evolve is to reach for higher states of being. We cannot stay Romans for ever, we must move on to higher states of civilization, higher states of technological development, higher states of consciousness.)

(“Lower Left” and “Lower Right” of the EQAL matrix, of which more later-on)

“But the important point to note is that, precisely because the spectrum of consciousness and the spiral of values are constantly regenerated — everybody is born at square one and begins their growth through the spiral as it exists in their culture at that time—then, even in today’s modern/orange world, magic/magenta values are still around, and egocentric/red values are still around, and traditional/amber values are still around— and hence there will always be human beings who, stopping (permanently) at those value stations in their own lives, will be attracted to political leaders, philosophies, and systems that give voice to these values—their values. And thus, as we will see, there are red blocks of voters, and amber blocks of voters, and orange blocks and green blocks and so on….

“Up to around 1200 BCE in the West, the highest major mode of average consciousness was traditional amber. In its sophisticated forms, the great Republics organized at that stage produced the roots of what we today would call Republican or conservative political philosophy — aristocratic, hierarchical, disciplined, agrarian-patriarchal, traditional, amber-value oriented, with emphasis on military defence, national identity, and ethnocentric religion.

“But beginning around the Renaissance and culminating with the Enlightenment, an entirely new level of values began to emerge — namely, the orange, modern, world centric value system—and with it, a radically new type of political philosophy was born: liberalism.

It might be more accurate to say that this was the first time that the term ‘liberal’ was used as a label to describe a ‘deviant’ individual or group of individuals who dared to openly defy the existing norms and values of a society. In the past when magic/magenta was the dominant worldview, the emergence of egocentric/red values were more liberal than those of the previous worldview, but when traditional/amber values emerged and replaced the egocentric/red worldview and values, red became the conservative mode of thinking while amber represented the new, more liberal value system though it was not called liberal, it was just called dangerous and to be eradicated by killing the ‘enemy’ of the people. The same happened when (the more liberal) modern/orange worldview and value system replaced the traditional/amber (now the more conservative) worldview and value system. The only difference was that orange represented a rather drastic move away from red and amber values, and thus the term Liberal was somewhat maliciously applied to the new threat to the status quo. We see the same thing today where the term liberal is used even more vehemently and demeaning as Lib-dem, Lib-con and even Neo-libcon.

Back to Wilber: (meer…)

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A Bavarian Night

Olie op doek: 600 x 800cm. (Ongeraam) Nou te koop vir Kersfees. Maak `n aanbod wat ek nie kan weier nie!

Of maak net `n opmerking, opbouend of afbrekend, of wat jy ook al wil. Dis altyd interessant om mense se menings oor kuns te hoor.

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Father Thomas Keating

“Silence is God’s first language. Everything else is a poor translation”

Dearest Father Thomas,

I’ve been following your illness as it progresses, and, with so many others, am just distraught at the possibility of your passing on. We’re both spiritual seekers enough to realize that this won’t be an end for you, but simply a transition to yet further journeys with God. But I wanted to tell you, before you take off on that journey, what an extraordinary presence you have been in my life, and literally almost every day since we first met. I can still vividly see the time that Treya brought me to the monastery in Snowmass for the first time; I noticed copies of Up from Eden on several shelves, and knew this would be an unusually intimate relationship for me. Over the years, the enthusiasm that you displayed for my work has been a constant source of inspiration for me, and always helped me believe I was on the right track. Likewise, the work that you were doing—in everything from the Snowmass inter-spiritual dialogues to your own work in Centering Prayer and the many contemplative communities around the world that you started—have always influenced me directly in my own spiritual growth and understanding. Whenever I was asked to name a genuine Christian saint, the first words out of my mouth were always, “Why, Father Thomas Keating, of course. And by the way, he’s still on this planet.”

 Which is why the thought of your passing is just devastating to me. Yes, I’m delighted for the joyous journey ahead of you, but am also heartbroken at the loss for me and for so many. There will simply be noticeably and considerably less light on this planet when you have moved on, and all of us will feel that sadly and deeply. I notice that, over the years, I came more and more to see you as embodying that figure of Jesus Christ that I had put in Up from Eden, representing the evolution of all humanity toward their own Ground and Source. You are still the holiest person that I have ever met—seriously—and I have met quite a few. I know your own humility would not allow you accept that, but do allow me this opinion, because I do mean it—and I’m a fairly bright boy.

 I don’t know how much any of us will be able to go with you on the coming adventure, but I do know that a good deal of you will remain reflected in all of us. You’ve had such a profound and indelible impact on so many—certainly including me—and I thank you enormously for being here, for attending to us all, for caring for us all, and for helping to save each and every one of us. I’m sure right now that you are working to let go of the “famous teacher” ego and rest even more fully in the Divine Presence, but I just wanted you to know that it was exactly that Presence that you presented to each and every one of us, that you showed to us, that you shared with us, and that you freely gave to each and all who were fortunate enough to know you.

 There are few lives I can think of that have been as truly, integrally, authentically engaged. And humanity as a whole is just that much closer to a genuine realization of God because of you. Bless you, bless you, bless you, my friend—I will carry you in my heart forever.

 Eternally yours,

Ken Wilber

 

“For human beings, the most daunting challenge is to become fully human. For to become fully human is to become fully divine.”

―  Thomas Keating,  Manifesting God

“Having come to deep interior silence, you begin to relate to others beyond the superficial aspects of social status, race, nationality, religion, and personal characteristics.”

 

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Game – Set – Match

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Skryf Natie Engelbrecht op Fb

“Oorkant my, tussen die vrou met die pers kantbloes en verstuite siel en die ouerige man met die onvanpaste goue ketting en stywe Polo jeans lê die oorskot van ‘n gesprek vir almal om te sien. Langs hulle strompel ‘n enkelmoeder kelnerin met ‘n gefrommelde gees tussen vuil tafels. Die kringe onder haar oë is soos koffievlekke. Of, die skadus van sinne wat deur trane verwurg is. Iewers agter in die donkerte lag iemand uitbundig. Twee jongmense sit gulsig en kyk na mekaar oor modieuse cappuccinos. Woorde behoort aan die wat dit nodig het. In die middel van die restaurant, waar die koffie die beste ruik, besef ek dat die belangrikste dinge die moeilikste is om hard-op te sê. Woorde maak dinge meestal minder waar. Soos die woord wat my die afgelope ruk getroef het. Stilgemaak het. Nou bly ek in die skadu en beitel stil aan vreemde sinne”

Dankie Natie, dit is wonderbaarlik en woordryk gepen. Nou wonder mens oor daardie een word wat jou so mooi laat beitel het?

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The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn.

Die vraag is nou natuurlik: het hy die brug oorgesteek, of het hy omgedraai en die brug gebrand?

“Believing there is a bridge from where you are to where you want to go is 99% of the battle. The other 1% is to cross it.” sê Richie Norton.

Daar is ook die ander benadering wat aandring daarop dat jy van die brug moet vergeet en op vaste grond moet bly omdat daar soveel meer is om te sien en te beleef. Maar wat daarvan as dit wat jy wil hê slegs aan die ander oewer te vinde is?

Dan moet daar n brug wees, soos Carl Jung se brug, maar dit is weer n heel ander soort van brug, “Grounding in the natural philosophy of the Middle Ages, alchemy formed a bridge, on the one hand into the past, to Gnosticism, and on the other into the future, to the modern psychology of the unconscious.”

But Jung could be wrong in that alchemy (as spiritual quest) formed a bridge to Gnosticism (as religious ideas and systems) through the alchemist himself with the goal of evolution from ignorance to enlightenment, thus working unconsciously with the unconscious, not as a bridge into the past but, as a bridge to modern spirituality and postmodern Integral Operating Systems Theory, which is ultimately a bridge into Nothingness, grounded for ever in the all pervading LOVE that is the cause and well-spring of all that is, was and will ever be.

En dan is daar Annie Dillard by Tinker Creek:

“I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but no real feelings save a secret astonishment that you are now strangers. Thanks. For the memories. It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator – – our very self-consciousness – – is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends.”

Duidelik was haar gedagtes op n eiland met geen brug na die Skepper aan die een kant en ook geen brug na ons mede skepsels aan die ander kant nie.

Maar dan sê Richard Bach weer: “We’re the bridge across forever, arching above the sea, adventuring for our pleasure, living mysteries for the fun of it, choosing disasters and triumphs, challenges, impossible odds, testing ourselves over and again, learning (to?) love and love and love.” (The bridge across forever: A True Love Story.)

And then of course there is the wisdom of Snoopy: “In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.”

 

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Quote of the Day

“To speak of wildness is to speak of wholeness. Human beings emerged out of that wholeness,” says naturalist poet Gary Snyder. In trying to cut out from that wholeness the parts that we find uncomfortable, those that threaten or beleaguer us, what is left is an impoverished reality, the stuff of romantic novels devoid of truth, emotion or perspective.

If we belong to the sun and its warmth, to the bud and the sprout, to the miraculous flower, we also belong to the wind, the naked branch, the cold. Maybe that is the true gift of winter: to remind us that even the difficult presents are to be met with an open heart. And with gratitude

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