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Thread: Regressing or Transcending?

  1. #1

    Regressing or Transcending?

    Hello Sangha...
    An interesting quesion...

    In fact, is our Buddhist practice an effort, in some way, to reverse or return to aspects of living that arose or were lost in those first days of our lives? Are we attempting to recover our original undivided state prior to "self/other" but --this time-- free of the greed, anger, fear, need and lack of understanding of the crying newborn? (That's Jundo's theory, which I propose.)
    Ken Wilber, one of the utmost integrative thinkers in the US, suggests a model where development of human consciousness is illustrated neither as regressing or transcending, but as 'nesting', or integrating all previous developmental levels in to the new ones.

    Imagine a developmental curve with beginning at the point A, with the top center of the curve at the point B, and the other point back to the starting level at the point C (a kind of a half-a-circle).

    Point A is the newborn, or, arguably, sometime before, a baby well described by Jundo in the quote above. The baby's development includes development of an ego, or a sense of "I". All traditional western psychologies are concerned with this stage of maturation, which culminates at the point B, at the top center of the growth curve. At this point enter Transpersonal (beyond personal)theories of development. The ego is fully mature and able to transcend itself. Enter Buddhist psychology, with various techniques leading toward this objective, which is letting go of the ego, growing beyond it. All previous levels and awareness of them is not left behind, but included in the new levels of awareness. At the point C (enlightenment?) the person remembers all levels, but has grown beyond them, beyond any sense of duality or separation.

    One of the big challenges facing spiritual teachers is to be able to recognize if the student is regressing (going backwards) or have progressed beyond the identification with the ego. One of the ways to recognize the difference is observe the motivation of the student in decision making (selfish or for benefit of others).

    First there is chopping wood and carrying water, then enlightement, than back to chopping wood and carrying water. (donít remember where I saw itÖ)

    With gassho
    Gautami

  2. #2

    Re: Regressing or Transcending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gautami

    Ken Wilber, one of the utmost integrative thinkers in the US, suggests a model where development of human consciousness is illustrated neither as regressing or transcending, but as 'nesting', or integrating all previous developmental levels in to the new ones.

    Imagine a developmental curve with beginning at the point A, with the top center of the curve at the point B, and the other point back to the starting level at the point C (a kind of a half-a-circle).

    Point A is the newborn, or, arguably, sometime before, a baby well described by Jundo in the quote above. The baby's development includes development of an ego, or a sense of "I". All traditional western psychologies are concerned with this stage of maturation, which culminates at the point B, at the top center of the growth curve. At this point enter Transpersonal (beyond personal)theories of development. The ego is fully mature and able to transcend itself. Enter Buddhist psychology, with various techniques leading toward this objective, which is letting go of the ego, growing beyond it. All previous levels and awareness of them is not left behind, but included in the new levels of awareness. At the point C (enlightenment?) the person remembers all levels, but has grown beyond them, beyond any sense of duality or separation.
    Hi Guatami,

    I don't spend a lot of time criticizing other teachers and such by name around here, but when it comes to Ken Wilber, I make an exception. As far as I am concerned, Ken Wilber is half genius, half seer, half snake oil salesman, half double-talker ... sometimes brilliant, sometimes pulling the wool over folks eyes. I have had particularly mixed feelings about Mr. Wilber since seeing this video of him, purportedly, "stopping his brainwaves" on a portable EEG machine. To make a long story short, any electrical engineer will tell you that something like this stunt effect is easy to fake. A brain researcher I know says there is some double-talk in his explanation. Finally, he refuses to recreate the experiment under controlled conditions.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... DcBg&hl=en

    Anyway, I find nothing to disagree with in the "ABC" model he describes, except that the substance of the idea is very basic stuff about seeing through the "self" (Buddhism 101, Eastern Philosophy 101) dressed up as some fancy pseudo-scientific formula. He does that a lot, turning simple Buddhist and related ideas into complicated sounding formulas (and graphs! ... oh those graphs of his!) that often add extra complexity in an attempt to sound complex ... or which are simply wrong.

    In any event, I think in this case his "ABC" is quite right. (It is only when Mr. Wilber adds "DE... XYZ ... !%^*@*" to the formula that I start to have problems with many of his ideas. He sure sells a lot of books though with that !%^*@* stuff).

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Regressing or Transcending?

    OUCH!

    Yes, he does stirr up things a lot...

    Actually, the A - B - C model is my understanding of his and others' theory, an other attempt to conceptuallize Shakyamuni Buddha's teaching in relation to the western developmental psychologies. Maybe it is a tricky and or not recommended way to attempt to understand different concepts, yet reading from different schools (including Ken Wilber) and tradditions and disciplines has always been helpful to me in my effort to understand many Buddhist teachings.

    It is also good to see Buddha's teaching slowly permeating culture at large...

    Thank you for the info. about the 'messenger' ...
    gassho
    Gautami[*]

  4. #4

    Re: Regressing or Transcending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gautami
    ... yet reading from different schools (including Ken Wilber) and tradditions and disciplines has always been helpful to me in my effort to understand many Buddhist teachings.
    Yes, I need not even tell you what you know: that any teacher should be read with a grain of salt ... Ken Wilber, Nishijima Roshi, Dogen, Jesus, the Buddha. That's the only 100% Truth you should take to heart.

    I want to say "only Jundo you can always believe all the time" ... but I would probably come back in the next life as a two-headed snake. We human beings are all full of cr*p some of the time (some more of the time than others though. The recepient just has to have a discerning "cr*p detector").

    It is enough if folks are "right" most of the time, and about the really important stuff.

    Gassho, Jundo

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