Further proof

That the frontlines of the War on Terror in the West lie in a nexus of Britain and Pakistan, helping spread al-Qaeda viral ideology. Also the most dangerous place for Americans–as these are British citizens who can easily fly/come to the US.

[Further proof that the notion that non-state actors are always supported by the state and therefore the state should be be pre-emptively changed–we’re not invading Britain anytime soon I think].

Story here.

This attack was meant to replicate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s tactics in Iraq–interestingly not bin Laden/Zawahiri. i.e. to videotape executions and post them on the web. In this case of a Muslim police officer, meant to send the signal–again this is pure Zarqawi–that any alliance with infidels makes a Muslim kuffar and therefore open to attack.

The Brits again–like in the foiled airline terror bombing–show their years of dealing with domestic terrorism, aka IRA and Orange Prot. militant groups, has given them smarts about how to deal with these threats.

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Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

injunction

A helpful practice I’ve found for awakening to the authentic self is a variant on the Big Mind process. I sit, let everything rest, and then repeat slowly: I am the Authentic Self. And then look and feel into the space, see if anything changes.

From my experiences through EC, I can re-recognize the “return” of the space-identity through this process. I don’t want it to sound gimmicky, it’s more a mantra and a sign of surrender.

Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 8:37 pm  Comments (2)  

From the Dept. of WTF?

From AP:

Lavender and tea tree oils found in some shampoos, soaps and lotions can temporarily leave boys with enlarged breasts in rare cases, apparently by disrupting their hormonal balance, a preliminary study suggests.

But the growth goes away if the oils are discontinued.

Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 7:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Carbon tax

Interesting carbon tax proposal in LATimes today. [One of the co-authors is the founder of askjeeves.com, how weird is that?].

Here’s the proposal in short form:

By many estimates, a tax of about 27 cents for each gallon of fuel consumed and $30 per ton of carbon dioxide from electricity generated would be enough to an economy in which pollution is essentially rewarded to one that rewards clean technologies. This amounts to about $180 billion a year, less than 1% of the $17-trillion U.S. economy. Our carbon tax proposal is based on the principle that every consumer of fossil-fuel energy should have to pay the price of getting rid of the carbon generated by burning it. So the owner of a gasoline-powered Hummer who drives it 10,000 miles a year would pay $200 a year, and a Prius driver would pay $50. The carbon tax also would be imposed on gas or oil used to heat homes. But energy sources that don’t generate carbon (such as wind, solar and other renewable resources) would not be taxed; instead, producers could sell emissions credits to carbon polluters.

The key to the plan is market based incentives. The tax money will not go to the government but to the populace:

But instead of going to the Treasury, the tax money would be credited into individual “energy savings accounts.” Each taxpayer could decide how best to spend it to reduce carbon emissions, to benefit himself and the planet. You could use your $555 toward installing solar panels on your roof, cutting your electricity bill to zero. Or you could direct your tax money to a charity that plants fast-growing trees at the equator, or to a private company that would suck up the carbon in the atmosphere and sequester it under the ocean floor. You could pool your “cooling tax” money with your neighbors and build a windmill to supply your town with electricity or a plant to supply you with a non-carbon alternative to gasoline.

Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 6:46 pm  Comments (1)  

authentic selves–from within

In the continuing thread on some of the proto third-tier intuitions, a few attempts at description from within.

But again, I want to emphasize this is not my “average” mo in life. Right now in fact, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m struggling mightily just with day to day existence. Feels like an extra weight–regular things seem more draining than usual, don’t bounce back as quickly as normal, etc.

Much of that pain comes from the inability to live with the ambiguity of all these experiences, selves, and daily necessities in the “real” world. Like anything my very limited exposure down some of these roads has freed up certain energies but in other ways only made life more strange and difficult.

In fact, part of the stress I think is that I just want to get some of this down and be done with it.


It’s really fascinating to me how words (signifiers) actually line up with signifieds (the actual experiential referent)–or they don’t in many cases. You hear words differently, the same words in many cases, mean something deeply different. Deeply meant to refer to depth.

This paradox is at the core of the entire mystery of life. Why is it we don’t hear the truth until we are ready to hear it? How do we go from not being ready to being ready? How is it that you water the plant, give it sun, clear the weeds, and yet……without warning a bud. None of that has made the thing grow. It is the case but there is no explanation as to why it is this way.

Same with this process. These words are useless and possibly even worse when they do not line up with their state and/or stage referent. And once a person has reached that address they don’t need these descriptors. So it doesn’t work for those who aren’t there, nor for those who already are. So in a sense, why even speak? Because somehow (I sense) this is like the watering and gardening. It’s the best we can do, but by itself it is null.

So this authentic self experience. One thing to note (address-wise) is that one can have a state at any level. Anyone can go to an enlightened communication (EC) gathering and experience an altered state at whatever level in whatever lines.

EC is the practice of speaking about the arising of the space between individuals as it is occurring. That is why it is so difficult at first to discipline oneself to continue to pay attention to the space between not what is going on in the subjective stream at any moment. Nor to refer to other outside readings or insights that the state may spark for other contexts. Those are very tempting to add but for the time of the practice they are barred.

When people begin to follow this procedure, there is a feeling of immediate knowledge whether anything said is in or out of that state and a realization that the others who are “in” (this is very crude language I apologize) know what is said from the space or not.

There is a way of being together that humans do not otherwise practice in my experience. The egoic field is deeply cleansed and the weighed down feeling of life is gone. The histories, the conditions of small s selves dissipates for the time and you see people with their egos dropped. They sit, speak, look different. It is an amazingly humbling experience; one of deep love.

The first feeling usually of this state is a profound release of self-contraction and a corresponding excitation and fascination with life. So much inertia, pain, confusion dissolves and there is this intense alighting of the self. Words thrown around are surge, ecstasy, etc. For the first while the feeling itself could be very addicting and goofily blissing out. The sense is almost of being on top of the world, almost bobbing above Life, and this strong current of Descent and desire to Participate, which I had never experienced prior to this.

Ideally there is a balance between the Freedom (the resting) and the Fullness (the fiery release), but it did seem at some points there was more fire than resting in the space from which it arose–and contractions and possible problems around that I imagine.

But again that is “just” a state.

It only really hits its stage, its true location, in the color scheme around late indigo or violet. [This is Wilber’s pov on the matter as well. The Authentic Self=Nondual state plus 3rd tier stage].

Then the issue ceases more and more to be about the state, about the release. For one thing, the comedown, in my experience, is often extremely painful. After having experienced even just an hour of being with human beings with the egos dropped together, the veils torn between us, then this world and its interactions become infinitely more painful. You know that they don’t have to be this way and how limited and contracted, how pathetic in ways they really are–compared that is to our identity beyond all this history, trauma, and drama.

It is impossible to say what/who “you” are at that moment, but it is not Such and Such a person, born this date, who has X job, wife/husband, kids, belongs to xyz organization, religion, political party, all the nonsense, all the dead things we spend our lives defining ourselves as and talking about.

A fluidity opens up. In the inspeak, this is being on the edge, the edge of evolution. The Kosmos is everything that has every occurred plus this moment (which is free and creative). The authentic self lives in and for that moment of creativity–hence the paradoxical simultaneous feeling of freedom and eternity (no past/history) AND fullness and embodied time speeding up (Eros).

This fluidity is the simplicity beyond complexity that Juma mentioned in his comment to the previous post. And as I mentioned before, I am seeking a way to normalize this identity–not create a heroic spiritual mythos around it, emphasize power and agency in it, and exclude the self.

To be in this Self and live in the muck, it being profoundly beautiful and yet average as average can be. I highly recommend reading JWood’s comment to the previous post. He says it better than I can.

Published in: on January 30, 2007 at 5:08 pm  Comments (2)  

Iran and Saudi Arabia in Lebanon (for peace?)

Interesting story on Iran and Saudi Arabia working together to stabilize Lebanon. This is exactly what Bush should be promoting. It is only happening as a result of it being clear the US is going to be pulling out the region and taking a hit (though remaining a major player just no longer THE player) status wise.

It also is a result of the demise of Hussein who was the bulwark the Saudis hated but cynically employed to keep Iran away.

The possible deal-breaker? Syria. The issue being of course the UN Tribunal over the murder of Lebanese Rafik Hariri.

As I said before, Syria needs to be worked on Golan Heights with Israel so they have some buy-in to this new collective emerging. The Saudis work Fatah and Hamas (Iran could be brought in on this as well), while the Saudis and Iranians are funding a civil war/sides in Iraq, the Saudis support the US isolation of Iran, US works to pry Syria away from Iran, use Iran to block Syria in Lebanon.

This is the one right piece of Rumsfield’s make the problem everybody else’s problem. Play all 9 sides five different ways in four different combinations.

Published in: on January 29, 2007 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

authentic self (con’t)

A first (very rough) hash, fleshing out some of the details of what in another I called the authentic third-tier. This language and ideas/experiences that grow out of the sphere of Andrew Cohen’s teachings.

So, a true but partial–from my pov–on the teachings. In later posts, I’ll try to explain more the inside the feeling, markers as I’ve come to be aware of them–which I have to say is very basic. Dependable I believe but very basic.

In other words, the teaching involves certain key terms which in the context of Kosmic Addresses, I have experienced—even if as I’ll show below my interpretation/understanding of them is different in significant ways. I find that they truly do ex-ist in the Kosmos. [Which is an entirely different matter than a psychological read on the community dynamics. That analysis is important, but different from the one I’m interested in for the moment.]

The true but partial is only on the teachings themselves. Again I want to stress this is very much my own interpretation based out of my reflection from a whole series of experiences and philosophical-religious streams. This is not “orthodox” Cohenism. Just my own ramblings.

The True:
–There is an Authentic Self: which is the self-identity that takes shape somewhere around violet, for lack of a better term. Very generically, third-tier.
–This identity is something like a Soul-identity. A soul-level as a stage not a state.
–The Authentic Self when awakes inherently is interested in evolution, seeks out others of the same ilk (intersubjective strong).
–It is not the same as traditional state forms of enlightenment (e.g. Zen, Dzogchen, sahaj samadhi).
–This shift does have a feeling of being from life lived as bottom-up to top-down.
–When these Authentic selves get together and converse, there is a so-named enlightened form of communication, where there is a feeling of what I call One-Networked Mind. Not One Mind, not some Super Monad uber alles, but One-Network that all minds can choose to plug into and connect in. The knowing that occurs here (relative to Soul analogies) is non-rationalistic reflexive. It is more than not less so. Not ir but trans-rational.

The Partial:
–That this Authentic Self is impersonal (as opposed to trans-personal).
–That the I becomes the We. A new I/We arise together. Not One Mind (Super-We) but One-Network.
–The ego is to be caged.
–The re-hanging that occurs in the Top-Down shift is complete and therefore no shadow work ever to be done.
–Following on last point: no use of lines. (Shift is always partial).
–That the traditional enlightenment scheme gets thrown out altogether (as opposed to supplemented).
–That this Authentic Self is only interested in evolution. Emphasis on only. And that interest taken to be always active. What I see as the Masculine version of the Authentic Self absolutized as the only manifestation of it.
–No relativization of its awareness. The third-tier is not built technologically yet, so consciousness development beyond techno-economic (right-hand) becomes isolated communities of practicioners who if they fool themselves lose touch with the reality of how quickly change will take place, naive, self-righteous etc.
–There are stages beyond this.

In other words, AC describes his position as transcend and exclude. That’s third-tier transcend and then exclude everything below. In this context, I’m trying to flesh out and experience within myself–my own spiritual practice such as there is one in my life–what Authentic self transcend and include would be.

That is the essential cleavage–all other differences are just modifications of that basic one.

So an old argument is whether integral (for now let’s say Wilberian) transcends and includes Cohen or vice versa? My answer is both, depending on what we are describing. The integral self-identity is centauric. Even when it is an “enlightened” centaur (or mermaid as my girl likes to say)–i.e. 2nd-tier structure stage with deep state-stage realization, it is deeply limited and limiting.

The Authentic Self opens up vistas, awarenesses, and insights that do not ex-ist in the integral sphere. Period. That is my assertion. My suggestion is take up the practice/inquiry, meditate about it, and see. Otherwise my words are meaningless pro or con.

On the other hand, the authentic self space is deeper but has less span. In fact, little to no real span at all–why it is so hard to describe. For work in the world, 3rd-tier isn’t necessary. 2nd-tier is. It is has a span and practices that can do things in this world those spiritual teachings can not. Spiral Dynamics and Integral are promoted in WIE? Magazine, so that is a start anyway I guess. But if those simply stay as 3rd person systems to learn and not made operating systems in oneself, then they are useless as well.

Transformation alone is a form of fundamentalism. There is up, sideways, and below: transformation, translation, and embrace.

My close friend says there the spiritual life is three fulcrums (3 f’s): freedom, fullness, and flavor.

Freedom comes from awakening to the Absolute. Or enlightenment (enlightened consciousness) as traditionally understood, e.g. Heart Sutra. The identity before/beyond space-time, birth & death, the cycle, etc.

Fullness is the Embodiment of that Freedom in Form. Evolution + Enlightenment brings a new understanding of Form and therefore (in that context) one can say enlightenment evolves. Wilber & Cohen, whatever any other faults, I’ve learned this from them.

Flavor is our unique manifestation of these in the world. The focus on impersonality and transcend and exclude destroys this. It undermines shadow work which I think is always necessary. Flavor would include higher gears of types, traits, and the rest.

One tentative (very tentative) postulation that my friend and I have reached is that in the authentic self, the flaws of the vehicle from a self pov get transmuted. As a Christian I symbolized this as the Risen Christ with Crucifixion Marks, which a la Doubting Thomas, become places of healing and connection not fear and pain any longer.

As to my own example of this as an adopted child I’ve struggled deeply with what one author calls “The Primal Wound“–the ripping away physically and psychically from the mother. It does not define who I am but it does color every aspect of my personality. Sometimes positively sometimes negatively. And no matter how much therapy is to be done on it (and some is always needed) it will never actually be healed completely.

That fear, the loss of the mother, the feelings of rejection and shame that arise from that, in my experience of this “3rd-tier” identity, becomes interestingly a much more a sense of fearlessness about rejected. Because, the logic seems to be, if you have already been rejected by the most primal of bonds, what does it matter if others reject you? It can’t really be worse than your mother?

Out front like that in life, it becomes more a place of invitation.

Again, not every one has to be that dramatic sounding, but I think there may be some type of logic in the structure that carries out a similar plan through different lives. Again, it’s a very tentative hypothesis.

But either way, the Flavor notion is a real launching pad I believe.

Aurobindo said when the Psychic Being (the authentic self) awakens, it does the yoga. The Flavor I think is somehow the creative re-imagining and re-calibration and re-use of the self (little s) by this newer S/self (middle class S–if there was one. Capital S is the Great SELF, Atman. So maybe self, Self, and SELF?). The pains and traumas of the little s open up and take on different meaning. So far as I can interpret my experience on this and the reflections of others.

My path, such as it is, in the process of forming is more in this line currently in my life:
–How to recognize this so-called authentic self in self and others. Put crudely, when am I in and when am I out?
–How to support it in life, particularly outside the context of a spiritual community/teacher.
–What to do with “it” beyond the state?
–What is the flavor, how is that a key to discernment of its way?

Published in: on January 29, 2007 at 2:47 pm  Comments (6)  

Canada in Afghanistan

Great article in LATimes on forgotten ally in the forgotten war of Afghanistan (Canada).

Although its nearly 3,000 troops account for less than 10% of the allied forces in Afghanistan, Canada absorbed nearly 20% of the coalition’s combat deaths last year, losing 36 soldiers.

The deployment (underdeployment?) and underfunding is putting strain on NATO.

Published in: on January 29, 2007 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

vertigo

I began a post, relative to Joe’s nudge, on what I mean by non-spiritual spirituality, 3rd-tier, etc. I’ll rework it a bit and post in a few days I imagine.

But some background. I had a very painful day. The littlest things bring to surface what is really at work. Case in point, I spend 10 minutes talking to my lady on the cell trying to figure out which brand, tablet numbers, mg/tablet, MSM or no MSM, for joints or not for joints, and price on glucosamine for her tendinitis. Finally I get it all together, come home and find out I had actually grabbed the wrong bottle. The “wrong” bottle was in the “wrong” position–I mean I looked at the labels on the shelving and grabbed via label (which would have been right) except this one was mis-shelved.

I got furious and reacted way out of proportion.

Things are slipping in my life. I’ve always had a hard time with everyday things (chores, money, etc.), but now it is as bad as I can remember. Something is just not wired right with me.

I’m suffering from many things, but just one to mention as backdrop to any further conversations. A sickness I guess, it’s almost like vertigo.

Having had enough experiences of what I tentatively call the third-tier, violet, or at least post-integral, to where the experience (state) is strong enough that it can be potentially “tapped” into with little to no effort, it deeply leaves me confused.

Where do I put my time and energy, myself literally?

This kind of spiritual practice is not being developed anywhere except by Andrew Cohen’s people. Other spiritual traditions are doing their own beautiful work, but nobody, as far as I know (and I’ve looked pretty extensively) is doing structures and intersubjectivity as itself a teacher which is the corollary of stages. Again it’s not everything but having awakened to (what I see as) its truth, I can’t go for less than that.

I have no intention of joining that community. First off, I’m a Christian, my path is already established–I have been trying to incorporate aspects in without becoming syncretistic which isn’t always clear. I’ve never really waded into the whole Cohen debate from within the integral blogosphere bc as far as I know, I’m the only one who has had any real (though by no means extensive) exposure to the teaching, the practice, and the experiences involved.

Seems to me all the rest is just talking heads from outsiders who read negative accounts on whatenlightenment, Mother of God, etc. Nobody is able to discuss true but partial on this front. Also I’m long since (2 yrs+) disconnected from members of the community, so any change in their system I can’t comment on.

But I’ll say this–I’m not surprised by the charges of former students, however much we know from psychological literature those re-tellings are suspect. They certainly are not completely the figment of their collective imaginations.

I don’t believe in the Guru model as compatible with Western society anyway. So I’m prejudiced out the gate. I would not recommend any Westerner to any Guru establishment (other than a basic Zen-like the teacher is just your spiritual teacher model), including Cohen. Wilber said that Cohen’s voice (and teachings) needed to be heard–I took that seriously and also took it to mean to differentiate the teaching from the teacher/community. Same with Da.

But having gone there, who is with me? Or who I am with? Without a support, my strength is not enough and the collective gravity of life pulls the self down to a lukewarm place. I could of course practice traditional enlightenment, the Big Mind and all the Rest, but I frankly am “unmoved” by all that. The route has mostly become an escape hatch right now.

Chris still arises in that space as really messed up. And whoever “I” am in relation to him, that relationship is also pretty unhealthy–my low self-esteem has kicked into very high gear of late.

Integral is the best than can be achieved for the world. But it is a long way away from any real manifestation. 2%, 5% or no. And it has been very painful for me to see I-I not succeed, not live into flourishment, hell even sustainability/integrity.

Plus I go to a school where any so-called integral discourse is completely banished. There isn’t anywhere in the churches where this kind of thinking is given space. I mean the integral one and even traditional nonduality, forget about anything else.

I have no center. I’ve failed miserably at “integration.” But honestly I guess I don’t care enough.

I don’t really know where this is going, other than as a kind of warning to the reader. If you for whatever reason–AND I ADVISE NOT TO (seriously that’s not me being coy)–follow in on these meditations of mine, they come from a place I can’t claim (and won’t) is trustworthy.

Not in a grounded way. There are perhaps nuggets and kernels hiding in the bush here and there. I should tell you to seek traditional ways which will tell you that once you realize your identity beyond space and time all is well, etc. I’m cynical now and my cynicism is probably showing through. It’s not wrong, it’s just once I awakened to truths that aren’t covered in that story–however arrogant it may be appear or is for me to make that statement–a part of me knows and can’t go back.

What that something is, I’ll try to explain at a later time. The keywords are authentic self, post-metaphysics, etc.

A couple of years back I went through a period of “dropping the whole thing.” I just did things–gardening for example. I was free but fairly selfish from another angle. I wasn’t full. I just stayed in the Absolute er the Absolute stayed me. I was kind sure, but I didn’t do anything.

I could go back to that, but I know I won’t and don’t want to. That space at least has taught me that this fucked up space isn’t a problem just an issue. Or set of issues. In fact, I’d say that I don’t even really know that all of me wants it differently than it is now. Part of it out of spite and martyrdom complex no doubt, but another just because this is what it is. Of course there is another part of me that wishes I didn’t live with the feeling that I’m untrue to myself. That I’m living a lie.

That what I was aware of and my life actually lined up. That I lived in a world that actually nurtured my soul instead of killed it. But for now and my intuition tells me for awhile to come that will not be.

The best thing to do now is find a way to serve. Not in some pious way just because.

Published in: on January 28, 2007 at 7:23 pm  Comments (5)  

Smart Move By Saudis

Hamas, Fatah accept Saudi offer to host peace summit, reads the title of this piece by Haaretz.

The Saudis might be looking for a way to peal off Hamas from Iran. If so, this would only work with a Syrian deal with Israel, which every day looks more like the one thing Sec. Rice could actually pull off–not Israeli Palestinian peace deal. Remember the original ME push with Clinton was preceded by the Madrid Conference by Sec. Baker. The thinking was not to start on the Israeli-Palestinian issue until the Syrians and Israelis were straight.

The Summit will be held in Mecca appealing to pan-Islamic senses (and possibly of the Sunni variety over Shia).

Published in: on January 28, 2007 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment