Tag Archives: questions

Taking Formspring questions

Following Mr Miller‘s lead, I’ve signed up at Formspring to make it easy to ask me questions. Pete Smith has obliged on those last two posts. If you’ve got anything you’d like me to address, fire away.

I’d prefer it if you were polite, but don’t feel you have to be nice or gentle.

Ask me anything http://www.formspring.me/timbomb.

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Taking Formspring questions

Following Mr Miller‘s lead, I’ve signed up at Formspring to make it easy to ask me questions. Pete Smith has obliged on those last two posts. If you’ve got anything you’d like me to address, fire away.

I’d prefer it if you were polite, but don’t feel you have to be nice or gentle.

Ask me anything http://www.formspring.me/timbomb.

integral theory? ok, i’ll bite: what the heck is it? and what’s up with no photo???? put up something with your nice, clean-shaven face.

When I say integral theory, I’m referring to the theory frameworks of American spiritual writer Ken Wilber.

Wilber has been piecing together a range of ways of integrating science and spirituality, religion and psychology, sexuality, ecology for over twenty years.

In the realm of spirituality, Wilber argues firstly that a fully-rounded path needs to account for individual and collective dimensions, for the reality of both subjective-interior perceptions (for example, visionary experiences) and for objective-exterior information (for example, brain scans of monks having visionary experience).

Secondly, he feels that a system of praxis and its supporting theory needs to include training in different states of consciousness in addition to our normal, waking state, especially visionary, subtle states and the deep, formless darkness of the causal states.

Third, spiritual teaching, in Wilber’s view, needs to be able to accommodate people at different stages of maturity (James Fowler’s “Stages of Faith” delves into this territory quite nicely) and not to restrict itself to just preaching a traditionalist form of belief.

There’s a bunch of other aspects to Wilber’s theory, but one of the other key parts in my view is a notion that he adapts from gestalt psychology’s adaptation of Jung: The Shadow – the denied aspects of the self. Only a spiritual path that acknowledges the Shadow and has practices to work with it can avoid “making a religion of our better moments”, allowing us the possibility of acknowledging, surfacing and integrating our shame and darkness.

There’s lots more. If you’re interested, pick up Wilber’s “Integral Spirituality” or “Integral Psychology”.

I’ll probably delve more into some of this in later blog entries.

integral theory? ok, i’ll bite: what the heck is it? and what’s up with no photo???? put up something with your nice, clean-shaven face.

When I say integral theory, I’m referring to the theory frameworks of American spiritual writer Ken Wilber.

Wilber has been piecing together a range of ways of integrating science and spirituality, religion and psychology, sexuality, ecology for over twenty years.

In the realm of spirituality, Wilber argues firstly that a fully-rounded path needs to account for individual and collective dimensions, for the reality of both subjective-interior perceptions (for example, visionary experiences) and for objective-exterior information (for example, brain scans of monks having visionary experience).

Secondly, he feels that a system of praxis and its supporting theory needs to include training in different states of consciousness in addition to our normal, waking state, especially visionary, subtle states and the deep, formless darkness of the causal states.

Third, spiritual teaching, in Wilber’s view, needs to be able to accommodate people at different stages of maturity (James Fowler’s “Stages of Faith” delves into this territory quite nicely) and not to restrict itself to just preaching a traditionalist form of belief.

There’s a bunch of other aspects to Wilber’s theory, but one of the other key parts in my view is a notion that he adapts from gestalt psychology’s adaptation of Jung: The Shadow – the denied aspects of the self. Only a spiritual path that acknowledges the Shadow and has practices to work with it can avoid “making a religion of our better moments”, allowing us the possibility of acknowledging, surfacing and integrating our shame and darkness.

There’s lots more. If you’re interested, pick up Wilber’s “Integral Spirituality” or “Integral Psychology”.

I’ll probably delve more into some of this in later blog entries.

Pete asks: let’s get down to ESSENTIAL Gnosticism: MUST we buy into any cosmology at all???? like, why is the AJC “trainitarian”—how does that affect my Gnostic praxis: aren’t we about doing not “believing”. i’m rather board with belief right now. . .

The AJC doesn’t regulate anybody’s belief, so nothing requires that you (or even I) affirm a trinitarian position – but the church does affirm the three hypostases of the Divine.

I don’t see that as a cosmological position – I think it’s misleading to equate the Trinity with one of the emanation cosmologies from the NHL.

From my perspective, the point of the Trinity is exactly about praxis. The Trinity is a way of organising the experiences of praxis. The mystics of the Christian traditions describe quite eloquently that the direct experience of the Divine has taken, for various people over the last two thousand years, these three forms-in-relationship. I don’t think the Trinity is an intellectual exercise in cosmology, it’s the simplest way of organising the experiences of Christian praxis.

It may well be that the Gnostic cosmologies of the second century texts preserved in the NHL are also ways of organising experience, in which case why prefer the Trinity? I think in terms of theological minimalism – the simplest theology that can preserve essential distinctions.

Is the Trinity essential? Maybe not. I’d encourage you to experiment. Practice, practice, practice. Perhaps experience will begin to enliven the Trinity and bring it from a concept to a reality for you… perhaps it won’t.

Pete asks: let’s get down to ESSENTIAL Gnosticism: MUST we buy into any cosmology at all???? like, why is the AJC “trainitarian”—how does that affect my Gnostic praxis: aren’t we about doing not “believing”. i’m rather board with belief right now. . .

The AJC doesn’t regulate anybody’s belief, so nothing requires that you (or even I) affirm a trinitarian position – but the church does affirm the three hypostases of the Divine.

I don’t see that as a cosmological position – I think it’s misleading to equate the Trinity with one of the emanation cosmologies from the NHL.

From my perspective, the point of the Trinity is exactly about praxis. The Trinity is a way of organising the experiences of praxis. The mystics of the Christian traditions describe quite eloquently that the direct experience of the Divine has taken, for various people over the last two thousand years, these three forms-in-relationship. I don’t think the Trinity is an intellectual exercise in cosmology, it’s the simplest way of organising the experiences of Christian praxis.

It may well be that the Gnostic cosmologies of the second century texts preserved in the NHL are also ways of organising experience, in which case why prefer the Trinity? I think in terms of theological minimalism – the simplest theology that can preserve essential distinctions.

Is the Trinity essential? Maybe not. I’d encourage you to experiment. Practice, practice, practice. Perhaps experience will begin to enliven the Trinity and bring it from a concept to a reality for you… perhaps it won’t.