Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Integral Yoga community tends to be quite insular

Gnosis and Outreach m alan kazlev
Carrying on from the topic of the last post First, a current working definition of "integral" that is able to include both Wilber and Aurobindo. By "integral" can be meant they share these qualities: (a) a spiritual evolutionary worldview, (b) a "big picture" approach that is both distinct from but also integrates spirituality, philosophy, science, etc, and (c) self-referential - both use the word "integral".
Not much to go by, and at one point I was ready to give up the possibility of any connection at all, other than that Wilber appropriated Sri Aurobindo's terminology in this context. But Scott Zimmerle and I are currently working on a book which traces the influence of the Integral worldview - or alternatively the Modern Teleological worldview, back to German idealism, and I would add Western esotericism. Note that Whitehead, Teilhard, Blavatsky, Steiner, and many others can also be defined as "integral" according to (a) and (b); with Gebser and the post-wilberians we can add (c) as well...
The situation as I see it is like this. Integral Yoga constitutes an authentic spiritual path based on the teachings of two genuine enlightened beings (Sri Aurobindo and The Mother) who can only be approached through spiritual insight...The core of Integral Yoga people, and many on the periphery, have at least some level of gnosis or insight.
However the Integral Yoga community tends to be quite insular, in that it has not is primarily concerned with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's teachings, and its effect on the larger world or even the larger New Age community has been slight. The exception is in India where Sri Aurobindo is still seen as an important guru, philosopher, and freedom-fighter, but that is a cultural thing, and I suppose also involves national pride.
What I have said here for Integral Yoga applies by analogy also to every other authentic spiritual tradition - Buddhist, Vedantic, Sufi, Kabbalistic, Taoist, Esoteric Christian, etc etc. I don't mean pop gurus who teach a watered down message acceptable to the secular West. I mean authentic esoteric spiritual traditions...In Australia Wilberism is insignificant as a "new age" movement. with only a relatively small number of followers. But the situation with Integral Yoga is even worse. Apart from myself and one or two others, Aurobindonianism is totally non-existent!
So we have two diametrically poles within the realm of the "integral". One has genuine spiritual insight, but little in the way of outreach. The other is brilliant at outreach, but the philosophy lacks an authentic spiritual core. Actually the situation may be changing, at least from the Integral Yoga perspective. Here is a very intersting and promising instance of Integral Yoga outreach...
The group therefore might be the synergetic result of the sadhana or spiritual aspiration of the participants; spiritual practice that transcends the limited thoughtforms of mental or mental-spiritual teachings, and thus can come to approach and appreciate the Supreme/Enlightment/The Absolute from one, several, many, and/or all, perspectives. A good example of this is given by Sri Aurobindo, and which I have posted on Open Integral. Labels: , , , , , , , , , posted by m alan kazlev at 9:53 PM Monday, April 30, 2007

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