The Holon and the Fire Festivals

Integral theorist Ken Wilber, in his books Sex, Ecology, Spirituality and A Brief History of Everything, maintains that every discrete thing (or "holon") in existence displays four fundamental capacities. These capacities include the drive to self-preservation ("agency") and the drive to self-adaptation ("communion"), as well as the drive to self-transcendence ("eros") and the capacity for self-dissolution ("thanatos").You can see this in action simply by considering an individual human … [Read more...]

My Loveliest Dream

One of the plants I saw in the "Hilton" plant shop was a Peperomia. By Jerzy Opioła (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

It must have been sometime in the early 1980s. I was either still working on my Master's or had just recently graduated, and my spiritual life was nurtured mostly by reading books by the Anglican mystic Evelyn Underhill and the Christian Jungian Morton Kelsey.And then one night, I had a dream.In it I was climbing up a hill near the Ballston Metro station in Arlington, Virginia. The hill was lush, covered with trees and vegetation that provided comforting shade in the midst of the bright … [Read more...]

Ken Wilber on the Deity of Nature (or Not)

"If nature (via evolution) produced humans, and humans produced the ozone hole, then didn't nature produce the ozone hole? If not, then there is some part of humans that is not part of nature, and therefore nature cannot be the ultimate ground of existence. Nature cannot be a genuine God or Goddess or Spirit — because nature is clearly not all-inclusive and thus must simply be a smaller slice of a much bigger pie." — Ken Wilber, A Theory of Everything … [Read more...]

Cynthia Bourgeault

I'm back from Birmingham and the weekend with Cynthia Bourgeault. She's a wonderful speaker and provides an interesting insight into the nexus where Christian contemplation/centering prayer meets the great wisdom traditions of the world. I never thought I would be attending a workshop at an Episcopal Church in a room filled with mainstream Christian types where the speaker held forth on shifting one's energy to precipitate a change of consciousness — yes, I know, it sounds eerily reminiscent of ( … [Read more...]

Looking back, looking forward

Yesterday marked the thirty-year anniversary of my first experience of nondual consciousness, which occurred at a Lutheran Youth Weekend at Massanetta Springs in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. If you're interested in the story, check out chapter one of The Aspiring Mystic — that's where I tell the tale.And the day before yesterday, Sunday, I submitted my letter of intent to enter the novitiate of the Lay Cistercians of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit. If I'm accepted, I'll be received as a n … [Read more...]