Three Transformative World Views

Your world view isn’t everything, but it’s close.  The assumptions that you make about what’s real, why you’re alive, and how you should relate to other people tell who you are, determine who you will be and what sort of a mark you’ll make on the world. Your world view is that important.

Historically, most people never question or outgrow the world view they grew up with.  They think like their parents, family, and culture do.  Blessed is the person who is not only allowed, but encouraged, to question their world view.  This is what education, and university in particular, is supposed to do, and which succeeds in some cases. However,  society does not have a lot to gain by you doing too much questioning.  If you do, you may question its legitimacy, which threatens the prevailing social order. Therefore you will find many tacit and implicit barriers to questioning your current world view, both externally and internally.  Consequently, even those who pride themselves for their independence from the world view they grew up with are often merely reactionary; instead of thoughtfully and carefully considering many possible alternative world views, they simply either embrace the current definition of rebellion (smoke, drink, get tattoos and piercings) or simply do the opposite of what their culture wants (drop out; take up pursuits that annoy people; go avant-garde with new age, art, or music).   Today, the internet constantly challenges our present world view by questioning our assumptions about who we are, what is real, what is right, and what is important.  It presents us with remarkable first hand testimony of alternative realities and amazing possibilities that can change our lives. This is the basic reason why the internet is one of the most revolutionary, transformative, and positive developments in human history.

While many people change jobs, spouses, friends, and geographical locations, such changes are relatively minor when compared to a shift in one’s underlying world view.  Your world view sets the context in which you see and experience everything.  Your reality is conditioned by your world view, and most of us cling to ours as the foundation of our security and our mental stability.  Therefore, it is unusual for anyone, even today, to change their world view more than once.

World views are notoriously difficult to change.  When confronted by new information, we fit it into our world view.  As Thomas Kuhn has shown in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, in order to change a paradigm we must experience strong cognitive dissonance that comes from being confronted with experiences that our current world view just doesn’t explain.  For most people, this doesn’t happen.  They either ignore the discrepancies or incorporate them into their world view.  An excellent example is the continued ability of science to ignore and discount the consistently statistically significant findings that shows that minds can know and alter data and events at a distance.

What can be done about this?  Transpersonal approaches, notably that of Ken Wilber, building on an idea from Charles Alexander out of the Transcendental Meditation tradition, tend to believe that world views change with meditation.  Wilber has said that adults, who normally do not advance much in developmental levels, can move ahead two or more developmental levels with regular, genuine meditation.  While this may indeed be the case, our world view is an important determiner of our developmental level, and world views are remarkably resistant to change.  I have a good friend, Mike,  an intelligent and generous fellow, who illustrates this point.  Mike grew up in a family of brokers and investors.  His father lost his bakery in the ’40’s and blamed it on Roosevelt and The New Deal because the government appropriated the space for the war effort.  Mike is a millionaire retired investor who spends his time meditating and going to meditation workshops.  He is a lucid dreamer and something of a yogi.  He has experienced altered states of consciousness of various types and is a long time devotee of Ram Dass, Hanuman, and Ram Dass’ guru, Maharaj-ji.  However, Mike also believes in Reaganomics, the Laffer Curve, and Trickle-Down economics.  He believes in small government and lower taxes.  Essentially a libertarian, he is in my eyes a social Darwinist who believes in predatory capitalism and views its subsequent social inequalities as natural and acceptable.  As a successful professional gambler (he would find that term misleading and disparaging and sees himself as an investor), he has life experience that divides the world into winners and losers, and has no problem with that model.  It has worked for him and there is real world data to support it.

Mike’s world view at its roots has not been changed by years of meditation, as taught by Tibetan lamas.  If his has not, how much less likely is it that those, like you and me, who do not meditate four hours a day, or who are not so exposed to radically different world views will change theirs?  The answer is, “Not very likely.  In fact, unlikely.”

Most people think they have changed their world view when they have changed some part of it.  For example, when you discover the opposite sex in your adolescence, find Jesus, meet a genuine psychic, have a great teacher in college, learn a new profession, or have a mystical experience your world view can change radically.  However, what is generally the case is that part of your world view changes or else you have a temporary change of your entire world view.  A permanent change of your world view is much less likely.  Why?

To change your world view, you first have to be unhappy with the one you have.  Secondly, you have to be open to the possibility that there are other, more encompassing world views.  Third, you have to be exposed for an extended period of time to a genuinely transformative alternative world view.  Fourth, you have to be personally secure enough to deal with the threat that a new world view always poses to the assumptions on which you have built your life.  Fifth, this has to be a lasting change, or else you will have a temporary opening, like a near death experience, drug high, or religious conversion experience, and simply snap back into your habitual world view.  Mike, for example, while open to the possibility that there are other, more encompassing world views and exposed to several, was not unhappy with the one he had nor was he , in my opinion, personally secure enough to deal with the threat that a new world view would pose to some of the basic assumptions of the culture of his childhood. How often does anyone find themselves in circumstances that fulfill all these criteria?  Generally if it happens, it is either by accident or because of good luck, because our waking sense of who we are is generally a fierce defender of the status quo.  It thinks its world view is better than all the alternatives, or it would change.

If there is anything special about my life that can benefit others, it probably comes from the fact that my world view has been overturned not once, not twice, but three times.   Each change set the conditions and provided the foundation for the next change in my world view.  In retrospect, I think this is why it has often been difficult for me to bridge where I am to others: there are a number of intermediate transitional steps that a person needs to have taken or be willing to take for another world view to make sense to them or to have any relevance at all.  Each time my world view has been transformed, the result has transcended and included my previous world view.

Everybody has a ground zero world view, the one that they grew up in.  As Santayana famously said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  As most people do not learn from their personal history, they spend their lives repeating it.  They remain stuck in the world view unconsciously assimilated in their childhood and youth – their religious, food, national, racial, friend, and recreational preferences.  I had grown up as a loved, introverted, fairly spoiled child of “Ozzie and Harriet” middle America ’50’s reality.  I don’t remember seeing my mother or father angry or scared.  I only remember seeing my father sad once, when I was in my 20’s. My parents were both natural optimists and positive thinkers. As a result, I have never had many problems with anger or sadness, but I have had plenty of problems with other people who have them, because I never learned how to deal with them as a child.  I never experienced or had to deal with anyone who had a serious addiction as a child either.

I felt loved unconditionally by my mother, my father, my two sisters, and Sadie, the black maid who was a surrogate mother to me. I was self-critical and not particularly gifted.  I was not good at sports, got my feelings hurt easily, was emotionally reactive, and felt a lot of guilt.  I was lazy, an undisciplined student, and my inability to do math was a thorn in my side throughout my school years.  I did not fit in and didn’t know how to.  What was the worst part of all that was that I thought all that was somehow special or different.  I didn’t realize that everybody else was all these things, more or less, too.

Because I had everything I wanted that money could buy, it was clear to me that making money or having financial security was not a solution; I was going to have to figure out who I was. I was intellectually curious and did a lot of reading about history and animals.  The Bible stories in the Presbyterian Sunday school that I attended probably scripted me to be interested in dreams like my namesake, Joseph, who interpreted dreams for Pharaoh.  God was loving and Jesus was a loving parent figure.

In retrospect, because I wanted to be liked, I tried too hard to be nice and came across as superficial and phony.  Because I was afraid of failure, I didn’t take many risks.  I didn’t ask many questions in class, I didn’t challenge my peers, I didn’t go out for sports.  I kept my head down.  It was probably the biggest mistake in my life.  If I had it to do over, I would be a big risk taker, fail a lot more, learn from my mistakes, and try again.  Also, I would know that it takes hard work to be good at anything and be much more determined and persistent.

Basically, my childhood world view was that if something went wrong it was probably something I did or said.  Carl Jung would call this being introverted; I would later learn that it is also called having an “internal locus of control.” The advantage of this perspective is that you take responsibility for what happens to you.  The disadvantage is that you take responsibility for far too much – you personalize things that people do or say or that happen in the world that have nothing to do with you.  I now view that perspective – taking responsibility for everything – as narcissistic and grandiose.

The three world views or perspectives that sequentially transformed this childhood world view were those of the Edgar Cayce readings, Nagarjuna’s Buddhist Mahayana Madhyamika, and that provided by a consensus of my own self-aspects, made available through an interviewing protocol I developed, first called Dream Yoga and then Integral Deep Listening.  To that I would add a couple of major influences, my encounter with Transactional Analysis and the integral approach of Ken Wilber.

My world view was overturned for the first time when I was thirteen, in 1963 when I was immersed in the world view of the Edgar Cayce readings for five weeks while on a trip to the Middle East with Hugh Lynn Cayce, the son of Edgar Cayce, and about forty-five New Age intellectuals, most of whom were professionals, like Ida Rolf, the founder of Rolfing, and Bill and Gladys McGarey, founders of the ARE Medical Clinic in Phoenix Arizona and the American Holistic Medical Association. I had the enormous good fortune of having a mother and father who were open to all things metaphysical, largely because my father’s mother was a fan of Unity and had a large metaphysical library.  I grew up with them having prayer/Ouija board sessions weekly in our living room.  There was a belief in life after death and the ability to contact deceased people. I don’t remember metaphysical ideas being discussed; it’s just that I grew up in a culture that was open to such things.  I had no idea what an extraordinary gift that was at the time.

My trip with my parents and the ARE group to the Middle East for five weeks when I was thirteen, combined with much reading of books about Cayce’s trance readings, and the attendance of many ARE workshops in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, taught me that from the perspective of spirit, there is no death.  Your present circumstances are largely conditioned by choices made in past lives. While one can learn a lot about themselves by studying who they have been, both in your formative years and in past lives, I learned from the readings and Hugh Lynn the focus needs to be on who you are now and where you want to go.  The Cayce material taught me that the healer is within, that there is an inner, divine intelligence that heals and guides us. It also taught me that the universe is a loving, supportive place and that my destiny, as that of all people, is to become one with the divine.  It also taught me that the purpose of life is to be of service to others.  Regarding dreams, it taught me that a very important source of life guidance lies within and that because dreams deal with repetitive patterns, they are predictive, and that this predictiveness can be and sometimes is precognitive.  Regarding meditation, it taught me the importance of a daily practice and a devotional, “I-Thou” approach to transcending my thoughts with a loving, prayerful heart.

After absorbing these concepts throughout my adolescence I could never go back to a sectarian conception of God or the idea of a personal savior.  I was a believer in precognition, medical clairvoyance, astral travel, and the ability of the mind to create reality.  I never, however, gave up the idea of the physical resurrection of Jesus.  I still believe that the most likely explanation for the physical evidence of the Shroud of Turin is that it was Jesus’ burial shroud and that the image on the linen was created by the dematerialization of his body.  I view Jesus as a great pathmaker for humanity who was the victim of the limited world view in which he lived and whose life and values were grossly misunderstood and distorted by Paul, with the result that what we call Christianity bears little resemblance to the reality of the actual life of an amazing Jewish mystic of the 1st Century.

The consequence of my immersion in the Cayce world view during my adolescence was that I did not have much in common with my peers.  I wasn’t comfortable around most of them and the friends I had liked me as a person but didn’t understand who I was.  When they did start to perceive the genuine differences, they faded away, because our lives were based on different assumptions.  I did not have a group of like-minded thinkers around me in the years from 1963 to 1969, with the exception of my family and friends I made at ARE conferences and camp.  This was a lonely time for me, but I was filled with the conviction that I was on the right track, because I had felt so validated by the many smart and successful professionals I had met through the ARE.  My adoption of this world view was not the result of rebellion against anything or a forced emersion; it was a slow, self-initiated immersion in an entirely different mental-emotional culture, based on very different premises.

The second upheaval I experienced occurred when I was nineteen during my sophomore and junior years in college at SMU in Dallas, Texas, in 1969-70. In my studies of comparative religion I encountered the world views of Hinduism and Buddhism, and in particular the world view of the great Mahayana Buddhist mystic and Philosopher of India in the 3rd century AD, Nagarjuna.  What I learned about Hinduism put the world view of the Cayce readings in a broader perspective for me.  I now saw it as a form of Christian Vedanta with a large hunk of Blavatsky and subsequent related occult schools thrown in: a belief system that made sense once you bought into its basic assumptions.  Advaita Vedanta is the metaphysical position developed by the Indian philosopher and mystic Sankara who taught the unity of Atman (the eternal soul) and Brahman (God).

I still had no doubt that Cayce was an extraordinary medical clairvoyant and that the loving heart of the readings raised the level of awakening of just about anyone that came in contact with any part of them.  However, I was not a believer and saw many parts of the readings that were conditioned by the assumptions made by the world view of the readings, which I saw did not transcend and include that of the Buddhist world view, which I found remarkable and subtle.  I did not become a Buddhist, but I did subscribe to a number of basic Buddhist teachings. I agreed that everything was impermanent.  I agreed that everything was interdependent in its existence and that therefore there were no individually existing beings, only things that appear to be so, but which, on closer examination, are not.  This included the concepts of soul and God.  I agreed with the Buddhist teaching that what we call soul or self is comprised of five categories of experience: form or matter, sensation or feeling, perception or cognition, volition or intention, and consciousness itself.  These are all interdependent, and when they dissipate, there is no more self-sense.   Many Buddhists fudge on this, saying that consciousness is not a skandha but something bigger and permanent. They basically equate it with an eternal soul or the Hindu Atman, but this is not the position of the  Buddha nor is it an accurate understanding of the teaching itself.  It has not been mine.    I accepted the ideas that there is no permanent, absolute, or real anything including an eternal soul or a permanent, unchanging God.  I accepted these ideas because they made sense, and I didn’t want to base my life on a belief system that was irrational.  I knew that if I was ever going to get to a belief system or life perspective that was trans-rational, it would have to be built on beliefs that were rational.  The direct experience of sunyata, or emptiness, was very important for me.  The idea of the interdependence of all things seemed to me to be much more satisfactory than the idea of a dying-resurrecting savior god.

From Nagarjuna I learned how to silence my thoughts with his four-fold negation.  The result, when put into practice, were states of mental clarity I had never experienced before.  Here is how the four-fold negation works.

Ask yourself, now, the following questions:

“Am I my body?”

The answer is, “No.  I can observe my body, so I am not just my body. I am also my feelings and my thoughts.”

Am I not my body?

The answer is, “No, my body is an undeniable part of who I am right now.”

Am I both my body and not my body?

The answer is, “No.  I cannot be both my body and not be my body at the same time.” (Because there cannot be both something and not that same thing at the same time.)

Am I neither my body nor the absence of my body?
The answer is, “No.  I cannot be neither something nor its opposite.” (Because there cannot be neither something nor its opposite at the same time.)

You can do this for your feelings, your thoughts, and for any concept, such as causation, as Nagarjuna did.  If you do so, you will thoroughly, completely demolish any rational reason to believe anything, to feel anything, or to do anything. The result is a shifting of your brain into neutral.  You aren’t A.  You aren’t the absence of A.  You aren’t both A and its absence. You aren’t neither A nor its absence.  A doesn’t exist; neither does non-A.  Both A and non-A do not exist and neither do A nor non-A.

Now why in the world would anyone ever want to do such a thing?  It’s because it undercuts belief in Magic Pony Dust – the dust you put on your Magic Pony to make it fly.  It kicks the baby bird out of its nest, causing it to learn that it can fly.  Anything that can’t get through Nagarjuna’s middle way, through the eye of this needle, isn’t real and won’t last.  If you base your life on things that you think are real and permanent but are not (think relationships, financial security, and health), you will experience pain and suffering when they someday vanish.  I saw this very, very clearly, because I had an amazing, astounding teacher.  I would have to say that not only do most people not grasp this concept, they don’t want to and have no interest in doing so.

If you practice this four-fold negation with whatever comes up during your meditation, your mind shifts into neutral, what Nagarjuna called sunyata, or “emptiness,” which is a state without own being and of complete interdependence.  I practiced doing this in my university years and it revolutionized my experience of the world.

Because my network of friends from the ARE were either not familiar with the Buddhist world view or were basically new age Vedantists of one stripe or another, I drifted away from the ARE.  My basic assumptions about life were now different, although we still shared a core of the belief that the universe is loving and supportive and that our destiny is to become one with it.

All of this caused me to live in the world of ideas and mystical experiences, a world most people dismissed as impractical if they had either the time or inclination to consider it at all, which few had.  I had studied philosophy, psychology, and comparative religion in college, rather than pursue some practical course of study, because I was very clear that I needed to understand the world views of the wisest people who had ever lived if I wanted a firm foundation for whatever else I did with my life.  To me this was very practical; from the point of view of making money in the world, it was not.  I did not experience myself as an intellectual, although I know now I very much was.  I was not much of a conversationalist – I did not talk much about these concepts with others, nor did I seek out others to discuss or debate these ideas with.  I lacked confidence in myself and in my ability to express these ideas clearly to others.  For the most part, this was a dialogue between myself, books, and teachers, except when I actually taught them in seminars, or classes.

However, neither Cayce nor Nagarjuna gave me confidence or got me past introversion, self-criticism, self-doubt, and guilt.  In retrospect, it is fair to say that a lot of my introspection was out of fear of going out; I could be safe and feel secure working in these inner dimensions; outside it was a wild and scary world with a lot of rejection and failure that I didn’t know how to deal with. Also it fed a lot of narcissistic specialness; I could feel I was special, unique, even “better,” because I knew all this shit others didn’t.  Now it’s amusing to me to look at how narcissistically self-absorbed I was.  I still had a lot of that profile into my early and mid-twenties.

Immersion in the world view of Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis in my mid-twenties that slowly leveraged me out of the majority of my self-criticism, guilt, personalization, and self-absorption.  It did this by my adaptation of its choice-based approach to health and growth: that you get to choose what you feel, what you think, and who you think you are, but in order to do that you have to make different decisions than the ones that you have been unconsciously saddled with from your youth in the form of your scripting.  I found this approach liberating, and in my subsequent years as a therapist, I used it a lot to help people.  I was never much of a hand-holder.  I was more of a short-term therapist, encouraging people to look at the choices that they had made and helping them to make healthier ones. This is not a particularly warm and fuzzy approach, and I could have made a lot more money as a therapist over the years if I had adopted another approach, such as one of Rogerian unconditional positive regard.

Part of the problem was that I was a natural believer in clear thinking.  I thought that feelings were basically untrustworthy, that I could get someone to like me but that didn’t mean I was good for them.  I wanted people to like me because I listened to them and made sense, not because I made them feel good.  In fact, by this time in my life, I saw that I was often of more use to people if I made them feel bad for the right reasons than if I made them feel good for wrong or temporary, or superficial reasons.  Still, I have never considered myself as a cold, mental person.  I think I come across as a warm, caring person, and I think that’s basically the sort of person that I am.

My third transformative world view began when I was thirty-one.  It could not have happened if I had not been by nature an eclectic thinker that had explored so many different approaches to philosophy, religion, and psychology.  I had taken training in Gestalt and found it too directive, as I had hypnotherapy.  I was very wary of the need of others to give their power away to parent figures and how seductive and corrupting that power was for those authorities themselves.  A psychic had once told me a story – I don’t know if I can give it any more credence than that – that both identified and then attempted to explain the origins of this tendency within me.  He said that I had been a fire-and-brimstone preacher in early America but had come across an early translation of Hindu scriptures and had been so taken by the concept of reincarnation that I started preaching it from the pulpit.  The result was that I was tarred and feathered and carried out of town on a rail – tied to a piece of wood.  The idea was that this experience had so smashed my grandiosity that I was compensating for it this time around, swinging far to the other extreme of not wanting to be an authority to anyone about anything.  This worldview development resolved that problem for me.

When one of my graduate school teachers exposed me to the psychodrama of JL Moreno in 1978-9, I was not so impressed or interested, although I took trainings and learned the method.  I also learned a lesser known methodology designed by Moreno, Sociometry.  In it, individuals in a class or a group are asked to list their preferences regarding some task: “Who would you most like to study math with?” I decided I could apply this approach to dreams by listing and becoming different dream characters and imagining what my preferences were within a dream as this or that specific character.  So I would become clouds, spit, dogs, chewing gum, tables, monsters – whatever showed up.

The results astounded me.  I had worked with dreams for years.  I knew the research and various approaches.  I had taught dreamwork for years.  I had never come across anything like what I was experiencing.  What amazed me was how autonomous these various self aspects were.  They had no problem disagreeing with me and could defend their views, which I found to be generally as legitimate, and often more legitimate, than my own.  At the same time, there was no personality fragmentation going on.  On the contrary, the more I became these self-aspects, the more I seemed to become them and they became parts of a larger me.

I experimented with this approach for several years before gradually using it with my clients.  I found it made a major change in my self-acceptance.  Most of these self-aspects accepted me a lot more than I did.  What was I to make of that?  Slowly I grew in self-acceptance as I continued the process.  This approach was not suitable for all clients or all issues, but there were some for whom it made a huge difference.  I found that it was very effective at reducing anxiety and phobias in particular.

This was by far the most profound of the changes in world view that I experienced in my life.  What I found were parts of myself that have qualities that I lack, the confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and ability to witness that I want and need to heal, balance, and transform my life.   In addition, I found parts of myself that are awake, alive, balanced, detached, free, and clear in ways that I am not. I became many parts of myself that do not do drama and know how to avoid getting caught up in it. They also often represent perspectives or world views that I have not yet grown into.  By listening to them I defuse interior conflicts that cause disease and suffering while supporting the birth and growth of my greater potentials.   Meditation is high-octane fuel for these self-aspects and when both integral deep listening and meditation are combined, growth is speeded up in a profound, natural way.

It remains to be seen if the dream of my life will be fulfilled or not: to empower many others, particularly children, by teaching them how to find and listen to their own inner compass, and to follow it.  Whether I succeed at this or not, I know that this is the destiny of mankind, and I feel fortunate to have found it for myself and to be able to share it with others.

I try on other world views regularly, every time I do an interview of a dream character or a life issue of my own, or with someone else.  There is no one right or best world view.  If there was, the world would be a stagnant place.  Wisdom and compassion involve the ability to see, shift into, and use the appropriate world view for the particular task or situation.  This is not the same as shifting into this or that role; it is about shifting into the world view that any particular role embodies, and staying away from those that do not support an internal consensus of your developmental path.

My world view at the age of sixty is about incorporating the qualities mentioned above into my everyday experience.  It is about living an integral lifestyle that balances body, mind, and spirit.  It is about smiling at the drama of my thoughts and emotions.  It is about appreciating the amazing abundance of life.  It is about working hard to get out of my own way so I can hear others more clearly and be more alive in the present moment.  I see worries about other people, money, and sex as not only a waste of time, but pretty funny, with the joke on ourselves.  None of it matters.  No one else cares. The universe doesn’t give a shit.  The challenge is to get over yourself and enjoy today so you can be something other people need.

My continued growth with my world views is now conditioned by the AQAL model of Ken Wilber.  In the mid-1980’s I discovered the writings of Ken Wilber, which I immediately saw were exceptional. I read everything I could find by him at least twice.  I would not say Wilber’s model changed my world view as much as it provided me with a model by which to determine the relative value of world views.  Is a world view balanced?  How inclusive is it?  How transformative is it likely to be?  Consequently, I have attempted to evaluate my own evolving world view, those of others, and those of the self-aspects that I interview in terms of Wilber’s AQAL model.  Here are the basic concepts from Wilber’s writings that have been most important to me.

A world view needs to be integral. “Integral” refers to addressing body, mind, spirit, and interpersonal life domains. More specifically, it addresses prepersonal, personal, and transpersonal stages of development, various states of being, including waking, sleeping, and dreaming, different levels of development in areas like thinking, empathy, communication and artistic abilities, and the four quadrants of every situation: interior individual thoughts and feelings that create our consciousness, interior collective values and interpretations that create our culture, external individual behaviors that create our persona or outer personality and life, and our external collective interactions that create our social relationships.

A world view needs to avoid the pre-trans fallacy. “Pre” refers to prepersonal levels of development that are pre-rational, irrational, faith-based, belief based, and generally the product of environmental and cultural scripting.  All animals and children are at prepersonal levels of development. Our adult beliefs are generally from this level.  “Trans” refers to transpersonal levels of development that are trans-rational or arational, and are based on, but transcend and include, clear thinking, logic, objectivity, and rationality, and are empirically repeatable.  Any belief that is based on rationality is at least personal and may be transpersonal. Any belief that is not rational, that is, not based on clear thinking, logic, objectivity, rationality, and is empirically repeatable is prepersonal.  So astrology, tarot, psychic statements that cannot be verified, religious beliefs in the virgin birth, the trinity, the previous incarnations of Buddha, the vision quests of shamans, etc. are prepersonal.  Homeopathy is prepersonal, as are beliefs in nationalism, capitalism, and most economics.  Some things like astrology and economics masquerade as personal and rational by using rational methods, but are based on self-validating systems of belief.

A world view needs to differentiate between states and stages. Just because you experience a state does not mean you are at a particular stage of development.  Just because you remember past lives, have lucid or precognitive dreams, or practice meditation does not mean you are at a transpersonal level of development.  Children and criminals can do these things.

Understanding the AQAL model does not mean that you are transpersonal anything. You can teach the AQAL model to smart children and most adolescents. While they will be most fortunate to learn it, all they have is a heuristic tool by which to understand their experience at the level of development that they are at.  It is a conceptual model that does not equate to any particular level of development.

All four quadrants need to be considered and balanced in any healthy world view. Most people have biases.  They think they are more highly evolved than they are. They reduce higher stages to their level or lower because they cannot conceive of higher stages because they haven’t experienced them, regardless of what states they have experienced.

Don’t jump to conclusions about your level of development or that of another person. Just because a person is highly developed in one line (say empathy) does not mean that they are developed in other lines or at any particular stage of development.

Contexts determine enlightenment. Culture matters.  The broader and more inclusive your cultural context, the greater the possibility of an expansive enlightenment.

If you don’t have a genuine integral life practice, you’re not in the game. An integral life practice is about moving all the world view conceptualization stuff into the real world.  It’s about putting up so you don’t have to shut up.  It’s about balanced development.  It’s about demonstrating that you have more than intellectual discipline.  Read descriptions here.

Dream Yoga/IDL is not based on Wilber’s writings or the integral AQAL model.  It’s based on the sociometric methods of JL Moreno, as mentioned above. However, Wilber’s model is the best around today that explains what it means to wake up in a developmental sense.

You can support and encourage the expansion and transformation of your world view by interviewing your self aspects, many of which have world views that transcend and include your own.  If you do, over time, you will evolve into a world view that is uniquely yours and uniquely appropriate for who you are in the world and what you have to give to the world.

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