Universe Project

The new vision for Andrew Cohen’s community. A very interesting blog on that subject here.

The post is actually a couple of very different pieces joined together. What I’m most interested in is towards the bottom third.

Cohen details a 12 month cycle of practice, broken into 2 six-month halves. The first would involve a retreat, the initial half of which is for his closest students, the other half public. Out of that grows the vision for the following (in the second six month half):

A half year later, we would begin the second six-month period by hosting an international EnlightenNext/What Is Enlightenment? conference in New York and/or London. We intend to create an unprecedented forum for evolutionary spirituality and for spiritual, philosophical, and cultural inquiry that I’m convinced will set a new standard for what’s possible between passionate and inspired thinkers and doers from many different fields and walks of life.

The whole idea behind this is that the depth and insight that is realized in the one-month retreat would infuse the way we design and create the conference. And what we continue to learn from the ever-widening circle of friends and co-evolutionaries that we support through the conference and our work with WIE would continually infuse our own inquiry during our retreat. What I’m describing here is a truly integrated perpetual developmental cycle—an ongoingly creative journey from inner to outer and back to inner again that by its very nature can’t help but evolve, deepen, and become more inclusive.

And then this:

And at the same time, it is a vision that can include as many people as want to participate in the Universe Project, at any level that suits them.

The part I find most interesting is his embrace of terms like “integral” (and derivations like “integrated”), inclusive, and “participate in any level that suits them.”

Not the previous language he used of “transcend and exclude.”

It seems to me that he/they may be realizing (I hope anyway) Third Tier** can not be less than integral. The Universe Project is not simply the creation of a higher stage (though that’s an important element) but the grace-filled embrace and re-translation down the Spiral in light of the highest intuitions.

The Conference sounds (in theory) like a better version of the Parliament of World Religions, which largely up until now has been predicated on dialogue/mutual understanding (generally green meme, though mostly healthy green), works for peace and human rights in the world.

But there seems to be no other deep structural guiding ethos to it. This conference then could grow into something that has an evolutionary DNA. People at any level are not going to “skip stages” and rocket up to Third Tier consciousness any time soon. Finding a way for people to participate that takes into account their actual existential humanity would be a welcome thing (in my book).

The notion of a “integrated perpetual developmental cycle” combines, I think, the Authentic Self with a more realistic sense of the human body-mind, scaling properly to time.

** Note: Third Tier refers to a categorical shaping of the levels of consciousness (itself already categories/helpful reference points). The First-Tier refers to, in Spiral Dynamics Language, beige to green. Archaic to postmodern. Second-tier, properly called the integral stages, is yellow/turquoise (in Spiral colors again). Teal and turquoise in Wilber’s color scheme. Third Tier is then post-turquoise. Post-integral. Indigo and violet in Wilber’s scheme. This stage is highly rarefied at this point. Few people. Little content. Cohen’s articulation of The Third Tier is really about all there is out there on the subject. (Though there are forerunners/prophets like Aurobindo).

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Published in: on December 15, 2007 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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