What Do We Mean? Part 2

...Continued from Part 1Enlightenment in its original core is a premodern idea that exists in all the great traditions. Uniqueness is a modern and postmodern idea – a modern idea in terms of the affirmation of the infinite dignity of the individual; a postmodern idea in terms of a realization that every human being has a unique perspective. More than that – democracy is a realization of enlightenment, of Western enlightenment. It’s the realization of a higher structure of consciousness in whi … [Read more...]

What Do We Mean? Part 1

Let’s begin to understand what we mean by the Democratization of Enlightenment.In other words, once we bring Eastern and Western enlightenment into a higher integral embrace by disambiguating the confusion between separateness and uniqueness -- and therefore integrating the best intuition, insight and spiritual breakthrough understanding of both Eastern and Western enlightenment -- we can begin to have a genuine conversation about the democratization of enlightenment. This is because every h … [Read more...]

Integral Embrace of East and West, part 2

...Continued from Part 1So the East was right: you need to move beyond your Separate Self. But the East conflated separateness and uniqueness. I have one colleague, a teacher who always taught that there’s no such thing as a "unique spiritual experience." Or, consider the Course in Miracles: if you think you’re special or unique, you will never find peace. That’s the general enlightenment teaching of Theravada Buddhism, at Spirit Rock in the San Francisco Bay Area, and countless other retre … [Read more...]

Integral Embrace of East and West, part 1

To take the next step, we need to move towards a higher integral embrace in which we can actually bring the Western and Eastern enlightenment in conversation with each other. When I say Eastern enlightenment, I mean Eastern enlightenment in general, but also certain forms of mystical enlightenment that also appear in the West. But just for shorthand I’m going to talk about Western and Eastern enlightenment as these two basic prototypes.The way to evolve consciousness, the way to bring W … [Read more...]

Western Enlightenment

So the first way we talk about enlightenment is from a mystical perspective - the shift in consciousness from small self to True Self - but the second way enlightenment is used in language, in the English language particularly, is to refer to what we call the Western enlightenment, and every westerner who’s affected by western ideas at all, who’s listening in this moment, is familiar with this Western enlightenment.The word "enlightenment" above is the same word that’s used by Eastern or othe … [Read more...]

Traditional Enlightenment Teaching

If we understand enlightenment to be an essential transformation that changes the game, that creates compassion and love and mutuality between people, and a sense of participating together in the larger One, in the larger destiny of an emergent; and if we understand that this is a realization verifiable in first-person, that you can actually feel it, touch it, taste it, experience it, and that it’s available through practice -- then why isn’t everyone running to become enlightened?Why isn’t e … [Read more...]

What is Enlightenment?

What's up in the evolution of consciousness at this time are 3 components, a kind of holy trinity, what I refer to in my teaching and writing as:1. The Democratization of Enlightenment, 2. As an emergent World Spirituality based on Integral principles, and 3. As Unique Self consciousness, or Unique Self enlightenment.These 3 emergent structures of thought, emergent structures of being and becoming, and emergent structures of consciousness are interrelated; they are a holy trinity, … [Read more...]

Three Images of World Spirituality

These are the three core images of Unique Self Enlightenment, which is the building block for the Democratization of Enlightenment, which is the essence of an emergent World Spirituality.Three Images of World SpiritualityFirst image: An Orchestra. A great, symphonic orchestra, in which every instrument is playing its music, and the diversity instruments yields the great symphony.Second image: Puzzle and Puzzle Pieces. In order to become part of the One, part of the larger … [Read more...]

Who Does a World Spirituality Address?

World Spirituality is an articulated framework of the essential nature, obligation, essence and invitation of spirit, within which one can organize one's reality in a way that makes sense. If we discern carefully, we see that World Spirituality is compellingly transformative to four major groups of people (text summarizing this video continues below)...The first group consists of those who are post-traditional. These people no longer locate themselves within a great tradition or a … [Read more...]

Three Steps to the Democratization of Enlightenment Part 3

Not denying the ego - but evolving beyond the exclusive identification with ego. Following part 3 of the Democratization of Enlightenment Video Series is Part 3 of “Three Steps to the Democratization of Enlightenment.” This paper was originally published in the October 2012 issue of Integral Leadership Review; its publication on our Patheos.com blog is the first time it has been seen online.1. The Democratization of Enlightenment – Part 3: Who does a World Spirituality address? … [Read more...]