(A paper written following the Wisdom University intensive at Chartres on Sacred Geometry)
In Greek there are two words for time and two words for place. Chronos refers to linear time as we experience it in our waking states and Kairos refers to non-linear time where synchronicities happen in more of a magical or dream state. Topos referred to the physical place that we can see with our eyes and measure with our mind, and Chora referred to the energy of a place that one experiences with our inner senses (Devereux 2000). In his first framing talk in Chartres, Jim Garrison said that a theme for him during the week would be “Nature likes to hide”. He then went on to say that the Greek word translated here as “hide” actually means to hide from the mind. So the nature of reality that hides behind the veil of Isis cannot be accessed by the mind, only by the more intuitive senses. Chronos and Topos are accessible by the mind, but Kairos and Chora are hidden behind the veil, only to be found through the non-rational senses. This paper is a story of a glimpse beyond the veil into the worlds of Kairos and Chora that I was given in Chartres. Where buildings like Chartres cathedral bring our visible world as close to the veil as we can get due to the sacred natural geometry of their physical form, we actually have to slip into another dimension to experience what lies beyond.
Currently I am working on a new book that explores a key concept that Ken Wilber develops in Up from Eden around the split that took place between the Typhon and Solar Ego phases, and how when “the Great Mother is repressed, the Great Goddess is concealed” – with all the implications for our current condition and the transition we are in.
I sit with a couple of questions: what was it about the life conditions in Europe that meant that the ego went the way it did, fixating on the static mind, and separating out nature from history, rather than transcending and including? Ken suggests that this form of development needn’t be the case, that the ego could develop in ways that do transcend and include Typhon, the body, the earth etc. Why did it go the way it did over here, laying the foundation for the industrialised world as we know it?
See my post on the Pain and the Promise for more background and/or read that section of Up from Eden.
For the past year, we at the Dutch Center for Human Emergence’s School of Synnervation have been researching into the qualities and expressions of what in Spiral Dynamics is known as the Turquoise / Holistic value system. The impulse for this came as we reached the limits of our existing coping mechanisms and had a sense that this is what was needed next – for us and others in the world. For this project we experimented with an Integral research framework and process, which the report also describes.
We remind people that this is just the start of an inquiry, not a final proclamation of an absolute truth ;-). It’ll be interesting to see what putting this out there will generate. If the initial announcement that we were doing this in the Integral Institute LinkedIn group is anything to go by, many creative (and not-so-creative) sparks may fly! Bring it on!
I am currently writing a new book called The Pain and the Promise.
Here is a recording of a recent presentation with questions and reflection that I gave for the Integral Leadership Collaborative, a great initiative with a vast array of Integrally informed folks (see http://www.integralleadershipcollaborative.com). It lays out the essence of where I am at now and what the book will be about. It is 2 hrs in total. My core presentation goes for c 35 mins from c 10 mins in. The questions and discussion also proved very rich.
Here is a paper I wrote following the great teleseries that Wisdom Univeristy put on with Stan and Christine Grof, and their colleagues.
Pre-Ego, Trans-Ego and the Archetypal
The key insights that I gained from reading Stan Grof’s work and following the teleseries resonated strongly with a theme I am exploring at the moment. It seems to me that the power of the work is that it is working in the non-egoic realms. Part of it is in the pre-ego (the peri-natal and birth work) and part is in the trans-ego (transpersonal). When those two are combined they serve to create energetic conditions for healing in the physical, emotional and rational realms.
A Hypothesis on Where Grof’s Work Resides
When I use the term “ego” I use it to mean one’s sense of separate self. There is a moment in our development when we become aware of ourselves as being distinct from our environment, and the egoic sense of unique self emerges. The ego goes through a process of formation and we then transcend the ego to see ourselves as part of a bigger whole. This graphic best describes how I see the work of Stan Grof and colleagues and is one I will refer to throughout this piece.
This image comes from the work of Dylan Newcomb[i], and builds on some research that we did together. The vertical sequence of colours, reflected in the shaded semi-circles, represents the value systems as described in the evolutionary model of bio-psycho-social systems known as Spiral Dynamics[ii]. The first column to the left describes the nature of each of the eight value systems, but it is the column to the left of that that I want to draw our attention to. Continue reading →