The Original Tradition

See also our website
www.the-great-learning.com
in particular:

Healing the Planet in 7 Steps   (English/German/Dutch)

First step: The Integral Way (English)

"Transformatorium: Our Monastic/Educational Initiative" (English)

 


The Path toward Wholeness
The practice of inclusiveness

It starts with acknowledging your existential suffering. It is about feeling your alienation, you being cut off from reality. We are so (unconscious) identified with our thoughts, emotions and desires, that we have lost contact with everything else. The more we feel the pain of being an isolated entity, the stronger our longing for Wholeness. This first step thus being utterly crucial. It requires total openness, honesty, self-investigation and courage toward yourself.

Your longing for inner freedom will lead you toward the discovery of your True Self. By stepping back within - which you can achieve through relaxation and body-awareness - you detach from your obsessions, while uniting with the one you really are. Rather than being continuously being taken in tow by your processes, you may discover your inner awareness, also called the Spirit, your inner watching or "observer".

"Suddenly" you discover that you are "here" and that your thoughts, emotions and desires are "there", in front of you. There appears to be an inner distance between you and your problems. Once you step back within, your problems might still be there, but they don't disturb your inner core, anymore. The real problem is not having problems, but being dominated by them. Once you have become the centre, your processes appear to be the periphery. You stay where you are, while the latter come and go.

Once you have - with the help of the body - firmly established your new identitity, you may start to face all your undigested inner aspects or complexes. Deeper obstacles don't simply disappear just by watching them. You have to do something additional. Aspects that has been suppressed are your inner stepchildren. Healing means to still let them become part of the Whole, once again. You do this by letting your pain, anguish, fear and anger enter your innermost core.

The miracle is this. By consciously accepting them, they not only loose their negative energy, but also your awareness will  further widen. For negativity to enter your within, you have to open up yourself more - more acceptance, love and inclusiveness are needed - than is the case with positive emotions.....Your Consciousness thus benefits from it! It totally changes your understanding of inner dynamics. "Negativity" proves to be your greatest ally on the Path toward Wholeness.

As said above, inner feedom and body-awareness are two sides of the same coin. In order to create more inner space you have to relax. You cannot relax in your head, though. You need the body for it. It means, that from the beginning bodily contact exercises and expansion of awareness are two sides of the same coin. The more complete your bodily (feeling) awareness, the more clear, stable, centered and joyful your Being is (and the other way round).

A further discovery is, that together with expansion of awareness, the psyche - the totality of thoughts, emotions and desires - proves to be the content of your inner space. It is a crucial step on your Path. Although they "come and go" and yes, belong to the "relative world", the fact that they are the content of your Spirit, means that you develop an inclusive attitude toward them. You become the "mother" of your soul, continuously taking care of it.

At this stage personal Wholeness has been achieved. It consists of personal integration, the restoring of the dynamic inner balance between Spirit, body and soul. The benefits are manyfold. With a clear awareness and firmly rooted in the body, we interact with our thoughts, emotions and desires in a detached but responsible way. The more transcended our Mind, the more freedom our processes have to "dance life" without our interference.

Our Quest doesn't stop here, though. In the process of lovingly embracing body and mind, sooner or later you discover, that awareness is making a leap, "leaving the body behind". In order "to have the body dropped off", you first have to become it....Once that happens, you are not hindered by inner processes either, anymore. Instead, a wonderful peace, clarity, transparency, joy and freedom has taken possession of you.

This could be called Deep Wholeness. Usually, it is the result of the practice of meditation. With every extension of awareness, the previous state dissolves into it. So, if your deeper Centre has been realized, your observer has disappeared. Once you transcend bodymind - Satori* - your deeper Centre has gone. Self-effort has disappeared, as well. From then on, every further "progress" depends on grace only. The process is comparable to body-awareness. First there is awareness of your foot. Then, while extending it to your leg, your foot-awareness "dies into it". Every more limited state dies into the more extended one.  

* Eventually, Satori dissolves into full Enlightenment. That's why Enlightenment is also called "Emptiness". The latter in its turn proves to be so transparent, that "the mountains are the mountains, once again". Hence, Enlightenment is "a rebirth into the world". Even here, there proves to be something beyond, though: "Emptiness beyond Emptiness". It is called Absolute Bottomlessness, the Vacuum, Cosmic Womb or Great Mother. 

A lot of teachings consider this moment as their aim. Hence, they don't guide you any further. However, the process will go on. Once your awareness has extended beyond the body, it connects to your near surroundings. Your chair, the carpet, the table, the vase and the flowers all become content of your Consciousness, the same way your own thoughts were the content of your inner space before. Your inclusiveness may grow to such an extent, that you eventually are embracing "the whole world". In this state "you love everything like yourself".

This state might be called "Horizontal Wholeness". Inner and outer processes prove to be content of One Space. They all appear to be interrelated, part of the One Web of Life. It depends on everybodies' situation, which elements will be posing a challenge, to get "things together". A certain logic, however, is underlying this process. The obstacles will be running parallel to the expanding Consciousness, ideally according to concentric circles: the partner, the family, the street, the neighbourhood, the workplace and so on.

Just like accepting inner obstacles, leading to a more expanded Consciousness, including outer obstacles will have the same effect. Mastering a more complicated area of life will lead to a greater empowerment. The Chinese were among the first to understand this. In an ancient text ("The Great Learning", around 400 BCE) it is said: "How can you rule the state, if you are not able to manage your own estates. How can you manage your estate, if you are not able to balance your household. How can you balance your own household, if you do not master yourself?"

A person without roots is an easy prey to the forces of individualism and materialism. The irony is, that philosophies that declare the visible world as "illusory", unwillingly (let's hope) contribute to cultural deprivation. Liberation on one level thus turns into imprisonment on the other. Something that corporate interest very much encourages. Beware of self-indulgence. One recipe for avoiding such catastrophic mistakes is an inclusive world view. Freedom has to embrace all levels of existence.

Spiritually, an expanded Consciousness is equal to compassion. When a tree has become part of your Undivided Self, you will love the tree as yourself. This can grow toward "unworldly" proportions. I often joke about the fact, that caressing the chair in which I am sitting has the same feeling as doing the same to my beloved. Not the "other", but the quality of your Loving Mind is decisive. Love doesn't follow the (conditioned) pattern of sympathy or antipathy, anymore. A truly liberated Being loves without discrimination.

Your New Consciousness has got a "Vertical Dimension" as well, though. It has expanded not only in space, but also in time. Timelessness, after all, is including past, present and future equally. Again, this is often neglected by those, who only advocate the "Here and Now". To them being in the Moment excludes past and future. Nothing is further from the truth, though. An expanded Consciousness will include both, to an extent, that your memories - not only of your own past, but also of your family, your people or even mankind - will be deepened.

The perception of time depends on the depth/width of Consciousness. Imagine your Consciousness is so inclusive, that you have a total panorama view of the world around you. In that case it doesn't take time to percieve reality. You overlook everything "in one split second". Full extension of Consciousness and timelessness prove to be two sides of the same coin. If, on the other hand, your Consciousness is more narrow, then you have no choice but watching the same panorama piece by piece. Time is involved to see the whole picture.

An intermediairy Consciousness is situated between timelessness and linear time perception of the common mind/ratio. It is linked to cyclical processes as they occur in the body and in nature. Examples are the menstrual e.g. moon cycle and the returning of the seasons. Nature-oriented beliefs have restored the ancient perception by celebrating a.o. full moon and the solstices, like Samhain and Beltaine. Moreover, while being on the spiritual Path, it appears that "the same problems" continuously return. It is a spiral process. Healing is understood as integrating them "on a ever higher level of insight".       

Equally, your intuitions about the future might become more sharpened. It contributes to developing vision and leadership. You will be able to guide people by giving them a sense of Wholeness, altogether. In these most critical of times (spiritual) leaders are urgently needed. Especially those, who are able to heal the deep wounds of alienation, mankind has inflicted upon itself. A true healer is an example to all, living reality in its manifold depth: "personal", "deep", "horizontal", "vertical"...."total". I pray, that you may become such a healer.     

Once you know where you are coming from and where you are going to, your mission of life may become clear to you. How many of us didn't get stuck in the "Here and Now", because of loss of direction? It has become an excuse not to commit yourself. It prevents, that your potential contribution to society never gets a chance. So, don't be satisfied with parts, go for the Whole. Reductionism, however brilliant, can never be the answer to the problems of today. The "magic" of Wholeness on the other hand, unites, heals, embraces, loves and cares.

For Personal Wholeness, see: "The Integral Way"

Our example of Deep Wholeness: "Threefold Realization"

The fruits of Horizontal Wholeness: see "Healing the Planet"

An example of Vertical Wholeness: "HerStory" and "History"

Everything being "One Undivided Wholeness"

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Last revising: 08/09/12