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I was just thinking the other day that perhaps who we are after we cross over is perhaps a matrix or mandala of the soul and our consciousness or that voice inside our heads. While in the body the soul seems to be hidden, and our consciousness seems to be just that voice inside our heads, but when people report about their near death experiences what exists over there seems to be somewhat different than what we normally think of as "self" on this side. The soul's emotions seem slightly different and who we are as people seems a little different.

Excellent thoughts, Michael. Wade's book sounds interesting. As I read your posting, it occured to me that transcendency would have a considerable personal and social cost due to the context of post-modern life. I can only imagine the difficulties of an ego-transcended spiritual master attempting to maintain an existence in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, etc.. The interrupting interconnectedness of post-modern living ( replete with cellphone-itis and IMing and invasive advertising) would HOWL for an ego-based response. It makes me wonder if reclusiveness, a self-enforced disconnection from our daily muddled mayhem, may be the only reasonable and/or transcendant choice.

"It makes me wonder if reclusiveness, a self-enforced disconnection from our daily muddled mayhem, may be the only reasonable and/or transcendant choice".

I find when I am embracing life, expressing love and joy I begin to have more dreams, visions and psychic phenomena. The transcendence is experienced through love and compassion.

Love is the strength that makes mayhem bearable, Love melts the crap and doesnt react, it disconnects the mayhem positively :-)

“The soul's emotions seem slightly different and who we are as people seems a little different.”

I agree I think it is the human or creature element that gives us a different emotional makeup and response to phenomena. From my point of view we are souls doing “time” and having experiences in a creatures body with all the fears and emotions of a physical creatures body.

A lot of my thinking and research has been into that we as a soul move up the animal kingdom as our soul advances in divine intelligence to the highest level of consciousness known on earth as a human.

Very Hindu but may indeed be so. I pretty much rejected that part of Hinduism in the early years of my research but in the last few years I see nature as a very large creator and developer of souls.

I died as a mineral and became a plant.
I died as plant and rose to animal.
I died as animal and I was man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man, to soar
With angels blessed. But even from angelhood
I must pass on. All except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! For non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, “To Him we shall return.”
Rumi (1207-1273)

At this stage of my resarch I have to agree with Rumi. The point I would like to make is that our greatest fear of losing our idenity never happens. Our “identity” becomes that that is. One point: non-existence is “our” ultimate awareness. But of course there is no "our" just is; oh the paradoxes of life.

“I can only imagine the difficulties of an ego-transcended spiritual master attempting to maintain an existence in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, etc.”

Interesting comment. Paul Brunton who devoted his life to seeking out enlightened masters and doing research into the mysteries of life suggested that an enlightened master in India might reincarnate to a place like America with such life challenges in a competitive environment to have an opportunity to achieve further soul development.

Brunton was able to attain a very high level of peace in the later years of his life when he retired to the mountains of Switzerland. It took him twelve years of meditation but he appeared to be successful in his attempt to achieve profound peace in his life. Highly recommend his books. Many were written after his death from notes he had written on scraps of paper.

He made one mistake. He did not put dates on his notes. If one reads carefully one can see how his views changed over the years of his life. Example: his views on karma from punishment to lessons in life.

This is a profound post, Michael.

"Anyway, the idea seems useful to me. It means we don't need to beat ourselves up on those occasions when we revert to immature or even infantile behavior. The possibility of behaving like a child or spoiled teenager or a narcissistic twentysomething remains part of our nature even if, for the most part, we've moved beyond it. We never lose anything. We transcend and include."

I agree with this, and I think that behavior may very well be a sign of or a step in the process of evolution.

I've had the experience of reverting to very immature behavior patterns during times of great stress. Afterward I was unable to forgive myself until I could gain distance from the situation and reevaluate what had been going on. Then it was as if a light bulb went on and I thought, "Well of course I was upset. Now I'm better." But often in the middle of crisis or change we just don't see anything but the little piece we're focused on and want to cling to for dear life or run from as fast as we can.

A change management expert helped us through some difficult change at a former workplace. He liked to take each group he worked with through the Psych 101 type of crash course on the brain, particularly the limbic brain, which he called "lizard brain". It's the part of our brains we all retreat to under stress, and which brings out those fight or flight reactions, and can cause some pretty upsetting behavior.

Change is stressful, even change for the better, and sometimes we don't even realize we're going through a big change, when it's a change in our thinking. But some part of us knows, in our unconscious, and a war takes place between the old and new. I think that reactionary kind of behavior or ego-based behavior is sometimes the precursor and possibly a good indicator that we're about to go through a change in long-held beliefs, opinions, or perspectives -- and we may not even realize it.

Change isn't easy. It's more like small battles in a big war than like a peaceful, easy evolution. Change, after all, is also revolution, and death of the old way of seeing things. We grieve for the old and cling to it, just because it's familiar.

That all reads as not very spiritually oriented, but I do think our physical brain is either modeled after or an evolutionary step in our spiritual development. There must be some reason that, if we once existed as spirit without physical form, that we either chose to or were required to take on a physical form. One reason I can think of is that it's a step in our spiritual evolution. I think that experience of the physical is important, including all those crises and changes that come with it, and that we take something critical from this experience into our future spiritual existence. I also think we're always evolving, as long as we're living. But change, at least here in this world, is painful. Sometime change is easier if we're able to look at it as necessary and positive and do our best to meet it head on, with understanding, rather than attempt to resist or run from it. But I think once we're on the other side of all this change that takes place here, we'll be able to see the reason behind all of it and say, "Well of course that was upsetting. But now I'm better for it."

Of course this is all just my opinion.

Hope makes an excellent point, I think, about love. I also think that's the key to making things go more smoothly. If we can love ourselves and others unconditionally, change crises can be tread through much more lightly. I seriously believe love, as a form of streaming energy, is possibly the glue that holds the universe together. Sometimes I think the key is not so much loving as an act, but letting the stream of universal love flow through us without resistance, becoming channels for it. That seems to me the ultimate transcendence.

Barbara says,
"Sometimes I think the key is not so much loving as an act, but letting the stream of universal love flow through us without resistance, becoming channels for it. That seems to me the ultimate transcendence."

For love to be channeled through us without resistance we have to evolve to become these conduits.

It's the surrendering, the humility, the compassion, the love and acceptance of self which taps into this universal love.

So yes it is about "the loving acts" that get us there. :-)

The other alternative is some mind altering drug like ecstasy, I've heard they gives an instant stream of "love" ;-)

The other alternative is some mind altering drug like ecstasy. I've heard that gives an instant stream of "love" ;-)

this version has no typo's.

“as things go through the process of evolution, they will inevitably transcend and include their earlier stages of development. In other words, each higher step on the evolutionary ladder not only transcends all the previous steps but also includes them.”

Very interesting thoughts, Michael. May I suggest a possible proviso?

Each step only transcends and includes what was true before, not what was false.

Hence, Copernicus disproved Ptolemy’s earth-centred universe and Lavosier disproved the existence of phlogiston. But Einstein genuinely transcends Newton, because there is truth in both theories.

Some esoterics (for example Lee Bladon) say that the higher self gradually refines itself through incarnations, building up the causal body from experience until incarnation in physical form is no longer necessary. He says that if a life is useless to the higher self (because we revert to an earlier type, and deliberately act in evil), all that experience will be discarded by the soul. This does have a ring of truth. In our everyday lives, we do mostly shun evil – we no longer need the experience of it.

In our primitive past, as you say, selfish or evil behaviour was part of our reality. So it is included inside us. But when we allow it expression, we always feel we’ve failed – because we like to think we should be past that by now. The key is this: if we allow egoic expression (or ‘id’ expression, as it might more accurately be called) and do not feel guilty about it afterwards, then I would argue that it is not actually egoic. It is superegoic.


In today's news, this was posted at TDG:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13412-butterflies-remember-caterpillar-experiences.html

Seems that this theory has quite deep implications, also from a scientific perspective.

Sorry, seems my html skills are erm... lacking ;)

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13412-butterflies-remember-caterpillar-experiences.html[/a]

Michael P, I don't see Jesus's anger as a regression to immaturity, if you look at the circumstances, it was out of righteousness, not some dude with anger issues or being an arrogant twat.

I think injustice can invoke anger in all of us but it's how we choose to express it is what matters.

If it's directed at a person personally, in an attack mode, that's Ego, if it's angry at a group of ignorants who just don't get truth, I guess maybe anger is justified to call their attention to there blindness without it attacking individuals.

Your right we aren't to become balls of fluff floating around in lala existence, as some more sinister character would take advantage, its like honey to bees sadly.

As long as we are influenced by good and bad, some (unenlightened individuals)are compelled to causing others pain without a second thought.

Poor caterpillars :-(

Michael:

Perhaps the best single post you have made on this blog. Consciousness aside, this is the right emotional framework for looking back on our earlier selves. Clearly we are still the same person who endured a given unhappy moment as a child, but just as clearly we are different. We have a choice: renew the pain of the moment by entering into it again, or we can see it from outside, as something we have absorbed and transcended.

Great stuff

Hope, you said it!
"I find when I am embracing life, expressing love and joy I begin to have more dreams, visions and psychic phenomena. The transcendence is experienced through love and compassion.

"Love is the strength that makes mayhem bearable, Love melts the crap and doesn't react, it disconnects the mayhem positively :-)"

Think of levels of consciousness as concentric circles of ever greater radii extending out beyond the center point which is the individual self/ego/brain.

When one disconnects, experiencing a lack a love,(as in being a hermit drowning in self pity or victim-hood) the soul/consciousness retracts deeply within the self/ego/physical brain. But when we engage in Life and exude unconditional Love and compassion from our very Source deep within, the soul/consciousness expands outward.

While in the body, we are always connected to the central, deepest, most primitive core (ego/brain), yet consciousness has the ability to evolve, expand and transcend to levels far beyond the individual self. That's when the psychic stuff, visions and the "Big Dreams" happen. The sky - Universe? Omniverse? - is no longer "the limit."

Hope, I think you and I have had very similar "Light Being" experiences!

Peace!

“It makes me wonder if reclusiveness, a self-enforced disconnection from our daily muddled mayhem, may be the only reasonable and/or transcendent choice.”

Reading Kevin’s comment brought about an insight for me. Strange as it may sound, the highest level of consciousness I have yet to achieve occurred at the end of a work day. I had spent the day interacting with clients, fully immersed in the realities of the external world, including the incessant cell phone and the insanity of rush hour traffic. My internal world, however, my level of consciousness, had been rising steadily upward for several months prior, reaching a peak that I’m yet to realize again that afternoon. The peak happened not after I had returned to an environment of external quiet, but as I was selecting produce for that evening’s dinner in a local grocery. Whatever level of transcendence I reached that day, which was substantial, occurred not as a consequence of disconnect or enforced seclusion, but in spite of being surrounded by the commotion of a local market, complete with dozens of fellow shoppers beneath the incessant glare of fluorescent lighting. To say the least, it was an interesting environment in which to discover the completely divine nature of reality.

I bring this up not to discount Kevin’s comment, but to share that reading it made me realize how much I’d come to accept it’s veracity, despite my own experience to the contrary. I have been on an extended sabbatical for some time now, motivated by a personal desire to return to a higher level of consciousness. The essence of what I realized while reading Kevin’s remarks is in how mistaken I’ve been in doing so. I’ve become so convinced in the reality of the outside world, that I’ve lost sight of the role my own consciousness plays in its creation.

As to Michael’s main post, what I recall from the highest levels of consciousness that I’ve personally achieved is that the elevation of consciousness does not alter who you have been before, though it profoundly affects how you interpret who you have been, as well as deeply affecting how you perceive others. Someone who has achieved complete Self-Realization would be incapable of acting from the ego, because they would always see it as ego. This may upset some Christians that read this, but it is because I interpret Christ as a completely Self-Realized master, that I consider the accounts of an angry, righteous, vindictive Christ as inauthentic. If Christ fully embodied the divine, as I believe he did, he would continually see the innocence of those who had not yet realized what he had, and he would be completely incapable of certain statements attributed to him in the Gospels. Sadly, the same cannot be said for those who wrote the accounts, or for the church which later granted them divine authority.

So yes, transcendence would always include what preceded it, but complete transcendence would alter the perception of what had come before to the degree that what came before would no longer have any genuine significance. What came before would be . . . transcended. But it’s also true that until we have reached complete transcendence, we will always be an odd mixture of calmness and reactivity, love and contempt, heart and ego, good and evil. It’s the human condition, and everyone’s doing the best they can, though we can’t always see that; either in others or in ourselves.

Thanks again to Kevin for his comment. I have wondered what was driving my interest in contributing to these threads over the last few months, and I may have just realized it. I feel strangely like Galt and Dagny at the conclusion of Atlas Shrugged: It may be time to return to the world and all of the related chaos.

One can certainly draw true analogies from fictitious things so this is by no means meant to argue against your points, but...

The biological theory of evolution is quite clear that evolution necessitates neither "transcendence" nor "inclusion" though either may occur at times. Evolution is about "adaptation". That frequently requires the loss of previous traits and in such cases there is no inclusion.

As far as "transcendence" is concerned, this appears to be another way of referring to the old, thoroughly discredited concept of evolutionary "progress." Evolution spreads characteristics in every direction and the appearance of progress comes mostly from imposing some arbitrary value scale (a direction) and looking at the evidence selectively. (Its a bit more complicated than that, but that's the basic idea, and we don't really need an essay here on the subject).

(NOTE: for the purposes of this note, I am talking about characteristics of the traditional theory of evolution by selection, so arguments about whether or to what extent that theory applies to the real world are irrelevant here).

Topher, I understand that the idea of brute ape to civilised human by direct descendancy is dubious, but that's not quite the point Michael is making.
In evolution, most genes are there from species to species. For instance, we share nearly all the same genes as chimps by a common ancestor. The human genome project showed (going further back) that we even share mammalian and reptilian genes. So physically, our genotype is "inclusive", of our past inheritance, as Michael says.

If you see our high level of consciousness as an advance over what came before in evolution, then transcendence is there too. We are cleverer and more god-seeking than velociraptors.

Certainly, inclusiveness and transcendence is there in the advance of science and technology (unless you believe the Atlantis myths!).

Socially, human rights are generally considered to be better than in the past, so it could be argued that we have transcended the past there, too, even if we often do behave in accordance with old, primitive patterns!

Just as sort of a deviation, am I the only one who thinks that Ken Wilber is a little off his rocker? I haven't read much of his stuff, but he seems to have an enormously humongous ego and doesn't seem to actually know much of what he's talking about.

I've heard from many people, including those in the similar-thinking movement as he is from, that he doesn't have a clue how evolutionary biology works, and constantly misrepresents it. He seems to have good thoughts, but seems to be a bit nuts at the same time.

Oh, and for a bit of fun, I've noticed that he also likes to sound ridiculously complicated when simplicity will do.

"So we have some very popular theorists who, tired of the burdens of postconventional and world-centric rational perspectivism, recommend a regressive slide into egocentric vital impulsive polymorphous phantasmic emotional revival."

My goodness! Let me try to translate this in to English.

"So, we have some very popular theorists who,"

Actually, to hell with that. That makes my head hurt.

Michael H says: "It may be time to return to the world and all of the related chaos."
Well, Michael, we're all on different schedules,aren't we? I'm seeking to go the other way, towards William's Paul Brunton-style peace. The thing about the world, though, is that it does give you opportunities to help others, even if only with a smile. As Hope says, "transcendence is experienced through love and compassion." If you can return to the world in that spirit, you just can't fail!

Their is a review of a book called god the evidence by Patrick Glynn the author who written the review is Michael Martin a lot of what he said showed me he knows very little on this subject

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/glynn.html

“I'm seeking to go the other way, towards William's Paul Brunton-style peace.”

Highly recommend Paul Brunton’s books. There are 18 of them most written after his death from his notes with many written on scraps of paper, which he did not date. They say that when he was taken to the hospital when he was dying everyone in the room felt a peace from this man’s energy. Loving energy I suspect.

“The key is this: if we allow egoic expression (or ‘id’ expression, as it might more accurately be called) and do not feel guilty about it afterwards, then I would argue that it is not actually egoic. It is superegoic.”

Ross always love your posts so this is not a put down. This one took me years to get through my head. Actually feeling guilty about our misdeeds afterwards is based in the ego and not in humility. All guilt is a type of boasting or in Dr Hora’s words “self confirmatory ideation.”

The real issue is ignorance or not knowing and we humans would much rather admit to and even feel guilty than admit to our ignorance. What is a valid response to “sin” missing the mark or misdeed? First we must recognize our misdeed then we must regret it and then we must make changes in our lives and consciousness if possible to a more loving approach to others and ourselves.

Some may respond and state well if we cannot feel guilty then we should feel shame. Well shame is living in the past and anyone that feels shame still refuses to admit to their ignorance and is demonstrating a prideful mode of being in the world.

For anyone that wants to challenge societies existing paradigms which “civilization” has drummed into our consciousness on such topics as guilt, shame, evil, compassion, innocence, and ignorance I recommend the book “beyond the dream by Dr Hora”.

"In evolution, most genes are there from species to species. For instance, we share nearly all the same genes as chimps by a common ancestor. The human genome project showed (going further back) that we even share mammalian and reptilian genes. So physically, our genotype is "inclusive", of our past inheritance, as Michael says."

What is useful is retained, what is not useful slowly disappears, what is now harmful disappears.

Perhaps I misinterpreted, but I read what Michael said as implying that evolution works by a process of overlaying the new over the old (this can happen, but need not), so that one can confidently predict that hidden within is the old.

Certainly we can find the old multiple jaw bones of our ancestors, but they've become the bones of our inner ears and the utility of knowing their retention is only to help show the evolutionary path from them to us. It in no way illuminates the function of our modern jaw. As I remember, one or two of the fish jaw-bones are gone completely. There is no necessity for a feature to be retained in any form.

As for the example of "transcendence" you have done exactly what I said. You chose two points in an evolutionary branch and interpreted the difference as "transcendence." Has a tapeworm "transcendently" disposed of the gut and most other features of its ancestors? If you look at examples where a descendant species is less intelligent than their ancestors (quite common, actually -- social carnivores/omnivores tend to have more intelligence than related non-social animals or than related herbivores. When one of these develops from a social carnivore the intelligence generally decreases) is this also transcendent.

Identifying an evolutionary change as a transcendence is only about the one doing the identification and says nothing about evolutionary development.

Hey Michael,

This was a really great post and it touched on many conclusions I've made myself. The afterlife concept once bugged me because I didn't like the idea of becoming something other than who I really am. Later, as I researched further, I discovered that we ultimately retain ourselves-- including ego based reactions following the exact same concepts you just outlined.

Switching topics slightly, I was reading "Life in the World Unseen" again and I found it interesting how the author describes the afterlife as a "rigid reality" far from any concept of an ethereal or shadowy place. Food for thought.

William, I was under the impression that guilt (as opposed to shame, which is social, I agree) leads me towards the ideal of love, because I’m never guilty or negative if I do something useful or loving. Maybe I’ll have to read Dr Hora to understand you. I definitely sense that humility is not my strong point. (If we were truly humble, would we post our views here?!)

Topher, I see your point. But the genes are mostly still inside, often transmuted into a different form and used in a different way (which is what the Intelligent Design people seemed to misunderstand). I do understand, having read quite a bit of Richard Dawkins, that natural selection suggests how physical changes are gradually made. Although it has to be said, as Stephen Jay Gould did, most species on Earth have never changed at all, and locally, where they actually live, the new species they are believed to have evolved into are rarely seen in the fossil record.

I think there is a philosophical difference of opinion here. You see humans as a variant, but I see them as a culmination. My belief is that humans were always intended for planet Earth when the conditions were right. Other threads on this blog suggest that consciousness exists beyond physical form. If this is true, it is not hard to believe that it influences and informs the physical world. DNA is astonishingly complex to have come about by undirected evolution. But if you don’t believe that consciousness is prime and antecedent to the 3D + 1 Time universe, you won’t be impressed by this.

Cyrus said: “The afterlife concept once bugged me because I didn't like the idea of becoming something other than who I really am. Later, as I researched further, I discovered that we ultimately retain ourselves-- including ego based reactions following the exact same concepts you just outlined.”

The idea of being ourselves but part of a greater whole has been discussed by Art amongst others – the hologram and the drop of water in the ocean which still knows it’s a drop. This is presumably what Michael actually means by the idea of transcendence.

I have also seen this described simply in terms of hierarchy. I am part of a family, part of a workplace (a cog in the machine!), part of a society, part of the human race. In all these collectives, I am still an individual (even at work, sometimes – that’s probably where we get our dread of losing our individuality!). The same might well apply in the hereafter, although we have more intimate connection in spirit.

On the other hand, Buddha argued for the extinction of individuality as the means to transcend physical form. We could interpret this as the extinction of those ‘ignorant’ parts of us (ego-type reactions based on ignorance) we want to outgrow. Then we would be left with all the useful and true bits I referred to earlier (truth being based on understanding). There must be something in this, because I don’t anticipate being a binge-drinker in heaven!

I suppose some might, though! Valhalla!

Ross,
Some anticipate 72 virgins, oohlala...:-)

Responding to Ross W.:

"Topher, I see your point. But the genes are mostly still inside, often transmuted into a different form and used in a different way"

Sometimes, and sometimes they just disappear -- I'm disagreeing with the "necessariness" of inclusion, not the occurrence. Just like when a species becomes extinct it may or may not leave a descendant species.

"I think there is a philosophical difference of opinion here. You see humans as a variant, but I see them as a culmination."

So do I -- but I think that my seeing it that way has to do with my personal perspective, not something intrinsic to the evolutionary process. Wherever I stand I see that place as the origin from which the observed universe radiates -- but I do not believe that the Universe is actually centered (now or at any time) at a point about half a meter in front of my monitor at my office.

"Other threads on this blog suggest that consciousness exists beyond physical form. If this is true, it is not hard to believe that it influences and informs the physical world."

The evidence is very strong that consciousness "influences and informs the physical world," (through mechanisms both conventionally understood and otherwise) whether or not it exists beyond physical form (I bet most people reading this blog at least I'm a Skeptic -- note the capital letter -- which is very funny, as it turns out).

"DNA is astonishingly complex to have come about by undirected evolution."

If you mean that the limits to human imagination make it hard to cope with the idea intuitively so that we find it astonishing, I quite agree. Just like that the Grand Canyon is astonishingly large and complex to have been carved out of the Earth by the Colorado river one tiny speck of matter at a time. But it is mathematically and physically well within the bounds of possibility. Astonishing? Yes! Impossible or implausible? No!

Ross: so glad to hear you might be reading dr Hora’s beyond the dream. http://pagl.org/ One word of caution. His teachings are indeed profound and many go against what we have been taught but: one can become very intellectual and self-righteous with his teachings. I have noticed some of his followers have fallen into that trap.

Maybe I was “guilty” of doing just that by pointing out how guilt is actually ego based. Whoops my idea of humor. Another concept he teaches is unsolicited advice is trespassing. Look at life how often are we really asked for our advice? Most advice is unsolicited.

His greatest interest was: what did Jesus know that allowed him to heal people. And dr Hora was actually raised Jewish.

His concept of self-confirmatory ideation is an interesting concept to learn. Posting on here may indeed be self-confirmatory ideation or a desire to share for the sake of the love of sharing or both.

Many of his teachings are very Buddhist. What he has to say about Gandhi is an interesting take on non violent resistance. One I have never read anywhere else.

Reading through the excerpts on Hora's page suggests he had a deep understanding, William.

I thought this was particularly appropriate to this thread: "When we are more interested in the truth than in being right, we are transcending ourselves."

“On the other hand, Buddha argued for the extinction of individuality”

The mystics lean in that direction also and what they see and experience in that state of mind is glorious and it appears beyond mere words to describe. But then without individuality how would this oneness express itself.

I don’t see the human species as a fallen species but the human race is the unfoldment of God or gods expressing itself/themselves in an infinite variety of phenomena. How better to create this infinite variety of phenomena than an evolution of consciousness approach to creation.

This evolution of consciousness with almost infinite experiences to create and mold perceived individual minds that interact with one another as separate unique people. Stated another way no two humans are alike. The paradox: all humans are exactly alike as all are a manifestation of this oneness.

Spirit is reality, our true reality; soul is a divine aspect of infinite oneness (spirit) expressing itself as consciousness. Our ego: it is our compulsive urge for self-confirmatory ideation due to our dread of nonbeing.

Guilt allows us to proclaim; see I exist as a person I have guilt, so I am a Being.

Hope: I knew you'd say that! Sid James would be proud of you!

William: Yes!

Topher: I can't see where you're coming from (yet), but I enjoy your posts!

Hi Michael,

Just thought I'd mention that the book you mention, Changes of mind, by Jenny Wade, is available as an e-book, hopefully at all university libraries, at least it is here in Sweden. I read part of it a year or so ago.

Hi Michael,

Just thought I'd mention that the book you mention, Changes of mind, by Jenny Wade, is available as an e-book, hopefully at all university libraries, at least it is here in Sweden. I read part of it a year or so ago.

The ego is what ballances the Superego and the Id. What you are calling ego driven behavor is really Id driven behavior.
Man do some of the people who leave comments here write a book!

Pmprescott says,

Man do some of the people who leave comments here write a book!

Where's the motivation in this comment, it certainly isn't one of compassion or love.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Why should succeeding evolutionary states necessarily "include" previous states? Why can't large chunks of ourselves disappear? Why do people take Ken Wilber seriously?

Benign Brodwicz:

Well, "transitional stage" fossils include the previous form. As for evolution of the personal self... eh, I would tend to agree with Wilber there, although usually I think he's just a knucklehead.

People take him seriously because he uses gigantic words, I think. :)

"The ego is what balances the Superego and the Id. What you are calling ego driven behavor is really Id driven behavior.
Man do some of the people who leave comments here write a book!"

This was mentioned in one of the "books" you didn't have time to read:
"The key is this: if we allow egoic expression (or ‘id’ expression, as it might more accurately be called)..."

I actually pinched the idea from your site, so I now hold up my hand and thank you, pmp!


Hope Rivers,

Where's the motivation in this comment, it certainly isn't one of compassion or love.

It was just an observation not a judgement, don't make so much out of it, and no need to quote scripture.

I'm late in this discussion, I'd like give my opinion.

Michale wrote:

"Ken Wilber makes a simple but important point. He says that as things go through the process of evolution, they will inevitably transcend and include their earlier stages of development. In other words, each higher step on the evolutionary ladder not only transcends all the previous steps but also includes them"

I haven't read Wilber book, and maybe I misunderstand him, but the above paragraph seems to me as a new version of Marx and Engels' dialectical materialism. In essence, dialectical materlism says that all evolution go in a triad form: thesis, anti-thesis (negation) and synthesis (negation of negation).

The synthesis is a superior form of previous stages. It includes them and trascend it in a new (superior) form. Engels wrote: "For dialectical philosophy nothing is final, absolute, sacred. It reveals the transitory character of everything and in everything; nothing can endure before it except the uninterrupted process of becoming and of passing away, of endless ascendancy from the lower to the higher." (The End of Classical German Philosophy)

In the Anti-Dühring, Engels used as example a grain of barley to explain the "law of negation of negation": "if such a grain of barley. . . falls on suitable soil, then under the influence of heat and moisture a specific change takes place, it germinates; the grain as such ceases to exist, it is negated, and in its place appears the plant which has arisen from it, the negation of the grain. But what is the normal life-process of this plant? It grows, flowers, is fertilized and finally once more produces grains of barley, and as soon as these have ripened the stalk dies, is in its turn negated. As a result of this negation of the negation we have once again the original grain of barley, but not as a single unit, but ten, twenty or thirty fold"

The above is applied by marxists to society too.

This is the reason why marxists consider communism as superior to capitalism. In theory, communism will include some aspects of capitalism (e.g. very developed material productive forces), but it will be a superior economic system without explotaition and misery .

“and no need to quote scripture.” Judge not least thee be judged is one of the most profound teachings that Jesus stated in the gospels. What better example of karma.

From my point of view the bible is a very interesting book. It has contained within it some very profound statements about life but also some very ignorant statements. I think one must read with caution. For me accepting any book as all truth and infallible can be very dangerous and cause much suffering in the world.

Of course the Christians have this covered if you list a statement in the bible as ignorant they will usually just state well sometimes we just don’t understand the teachings yet with our limited knowledge.

When I studied the id, ego, and superego many decades ago in psy 101 I felt the lines between them were not clear-cut. They overlap with lots of grey areas. I now feel they are a very inferior approach to explain the complexities of an “individual’s” consciousness.

I've had a thought on the discussion of this thread, but will post the it on my own blog. I have a rule of thumb when posting comments that the comment should not be longer than the oritinal post.

Hope Rivers wrote:
"For love to be channeled through us without resistance we have to evolve to become these conduits.

It's the surrendering, the humility, the compassion, the love and acceptance of self which taps into this universal love.

So yes it is about "the loving acts" that get us there. :-)"

Hope, I didn't mean to imply I thought there was no place for loving acts. Completely the opposite. But empty acts like giving to charity just to look good, while they hopefully do have a positive affect on a physical level, aren't the same in my opinion as giving out of a loving intention to help. And there are forms of giving and acting that aren't so helpful. Sometimes people need to work through their problems themselves and nothing we do really helps, but knowing they have people who care can help them keep their motivation up to plug away at their problems.

As for ecstasy, or any other drug, creating a stream of love, do you think that's really love? Maybe it is in part, but it's also an artificially induced chemical reaction in the brain -- not necessarily a good thing at all. I like to leave my brain chemicals alone as long as they seem to be working properly. Then again, there are days . . . but I usually handle those days with something milder and more natural, like a beer. I'm more certain of the outcome. I guess I'm not very adventurous when it comes to my brain chemicals. But that's not love, that's just a beer. :)

Hey Barbara, I totally agree with you regarding empty acts of charity etc, it has to stem from a loving heart otherwise it's pointless.

In regards to ecstasty I never implied I tried it, it was an example, I have enough brain chemicals to not require the drug personally ;-)

Seems your more adventurous than me, I'm not into most stimulants (alcohol, cigarettes etc)

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