24810 in reply to 22891 lotus7 Joined on 04-14-2007 Californina Posts 2 Points 25 Re: How do you describe "Integral Truth" ? -- Lori Tompkins
Hello ZeroomOne, Thanks for starting this thread. I, for one, am not much impressed by the process or effectiveness of combining various theories and practices and trying to use that material as a basis for a better view of the whole.
I have been a bit skeptical and critical of the proliferation of the word 'Integral' in the present-day spiritual arena. Whereas developing an Integral consciousness is certainly a good intention, ideal, ethical approach and philosophy, I don't think that most Integral approaches (including Ken Wilber's) have a true idea of what the word 'Integral' means in terms of really understanding the Earth and the evolution of consciousness in material creation. In my view, an 'Integral' perspective, if it is to really live up to the essence of that word, must encompass the Earth's actual patterns of growth, geography, cycles of time, historical movements, mythologies and such.
In The Human Cycle, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) - a forefather of all things INTEGRAL - writes about the typical mental use of words as a spinning of fiction, as opposed to the words used by Vedic Seers some 5,000 years ago. Sri Aurobindo understood that a true Seer’s words are connected to their living ROOT (sol/source) and that the connection to and understanding of the hidden realities of creation are not yet filtered out (that is until a lesser Mental perception gets a hold of the words). 'To us poetry is a revel of intellect and fancy, imagination a plaything and caterer for our amusement, our entertainer, the nautch-girl of the mind. But to men of old the poet was a seer, a revealer of hidden truths, imagination no dancing courtesan but a priestess in God's house commissioned not to spin fictions but to image difficult and hidden truths; even the metaphor or simile in the Vedic style is used with a serious purpose and expected to convey a reality, not to suggest a pleasing artifice of thought. The image was to these seers a revelative symbol of the unrevealed and it was used because it could hint luminously to the mind what the precise intellectual word, apt only for logical or practical thought or to express the physical and the superficial, could not at all hope to manifest.' p. 8 Sri Aurobindo describes that a 'curve of degeneration' brings civilization from the Living use of Symbols to what he calls a Typal stage and then into a Conventional stage that may still use some of the symbols and rituals but the real sense is gone and words, symbols, images, rituals religions used for upholding ethical and psychological 'motive and discipline'. My thoughts are that the word Integral in our modern hands is far from a direct expression of what Integral IS. It seems to me that we are commonly using the word to describe a attractive and honorable theory of life, but that it is removed from the roots and realities of the living Earth and the Cosmos which must be at the heart of an Integral perspective. In reading the Rig Veda and Sri Aurobindo’s The Secret of the Veda, it is revealed that understanding the cycle of the Earth's year in twelve months and 365 days (360 degrees) plays a huge part in developing a truly vast consciousness and perspective of how all things move and breath. Yet so many people in the Integral World seem to have no understanding of Time or the living/divine significance of the year and other cycles in time.
‘... the possession of our complete divine consciousness delivered from all falsehood by the free descent of the truth, gives us the secure possession of the world of Swar and the enjoyment of mental and physical being lifted into the godhead above darkness, falsehood and death by the in-streaming of our divine elements. This victory is won in twelve periods of the upward journey, represented by the revolution of the twelve months of the sacrificial year, the periods corresponding to the successive dawns of a wider and wider truth, until the tenth [month] secures the victory.’ - Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda
One is the wheel; the bands are twelve;
three are the hubs – who can understand it?
Three hundred spokes and sixty in addition
have been hammered therein and firmly riveted…
Though manifested, it is yet hidden, secret,
its name is the Ancient, a mighty mode of being;
in Skambha is established this whole world;
therein is set fast all that moves and breathes.
– Atharva Veda X, 8
- What is the Integral process by which all the unconscious and disconnected parts of the whole grow into an understanding of the whole and the journey by which its original purpose is fulfilled?
- What is the Integral and seemless process by which we grow from pure energy, to matter, to life, to life with mind, to a mental creature with connection to Spirit, conscious of the eternal laws and larger patterns of harmony that reside within and evolve out of the original INTENTION (seed) of everything and every one?
- And the most important question for fellow earthlings concerned with all things Integral: Does this cycle of the growth and eventual Victory of a higher consciousness (capable of Integral perception) within material creation and evolution have anything to do with the Earth's own cycles of growth, in terms of years, months, seasons and ages?
- If not, WHY NOT?. If so ... HOW?,
The questions posed above arise out of my contact with the yoga and writing of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, who irreversibly raised the bar for me in terms of what occurs as Integral Truth and what occurs as words with good intentions but little actual power of realization. This link to a book of hers (Symbols and the Question of Unity) gives a feel for her seeing of Integral Truth: http://www.patrizianorellibachelet.com/SQU.html