“The spiritual challenge of the twenty-first century is the call from the Self for total unobstructed evolution. To surrender that much means to engage with the life process in the deepest, most heroic way possible.”
– Andrew Cohen
In short: We, as participants in CL, seek to become fluent with all aspects of self/Self, not simply the upper end of the spectrum, though the upper end’s participation and influence in our interactions will be our area of focus. We will not only explore the unfolding of our own consciousness but also what it means to live in the experience the ancient sages referred to as enlightenment.
At length: CL strives to gain a greater understanding of all aspects of the personal human experience by engaging in the practice (1st person) of seated meditation coupled with fluid awareness practice in our own individual interaction, which will lead to ongoing dialogue (2nd person) within a group of equally committed individuals (CL), leading to shared observations (3rd Person) of the gross, subtle and underlying experiences of consciousness in the modern world (and the mastery of such). The individual experience includes matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit within the interacting realms of self (Plato’s The Good; Ramayana’s Rama), culture (Plato’s The True; Ramayana’s Sita), and nature (Plato’s The Beautiful; Ramayana’s Hanuman).
This experimental/observational process follows the guidelines of all scientific inquiry, which includes an injunction (practice), apprehension [experience; i.e., datum (data) – immediate experience], and confirmation (communal checking; rejection or confirmation). The process will be governed by the tenets outlined below. Members of CL will not necessarily have to agree with each and every tenet, but they do, at the very least, need to have an integral, inclusive, discerning, balanced, and comprehensive vision, spanning the spectrum from matter to spirit, exercised in self, culture, and nature.
Overview of Tenets:
In their most basic form, the Tenets simply state that we must work to create a greater understanding of self, which informs us to higher levels of participation. We will draw upon the Hindu Tantra (Shri Vidya and Kashmir Shaivism) incorporated with a basic Integral framework towards this evolution.
The Modus Operandi portion of the Tenets is based on a great deal or spiritual exploration, study, and practice which spans all major religions, intellectual philosophy, and spirituality currents. Though the tenets have been informed by all, they heavily draw from the Hindu Tantra. The Hindu Tantra was very articulate in delineating the unfolding of consciousness, and thus we will use their discoveries for guidance and support in our endeavor. There are Sanskrit terms within this document that support the English syntax. Advanced students of Yoga or the Hindu Tantra will be familiar with these terms, otherwise, Georg Feuerstein’s Tantra is recommended for a basic overview of the topic.
The Integral Vision portion of the Tenets is a paraphrasing of what Ken Wilber, founder of Integral Institute, includes in his integral views. These views were created by the investigations of, very literally, thousands of psychologists and psychiatrists, developmentalists, spiritual teachers and traditions, evolutionary theorists, scientists from every field, archeologists, social theorists, historians, political researchers, and physics theorists, which were considered for over thirty years and have been critiqued by hundreds of Mr. Wilber’s peers within the developmental world. Integral Institute does not claim to have the most comprehensive and inclusive worldview; however, up to this point in evolution, there is no other theory that includes more research, consideration, and critique.
“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
– Albert Einstein
Section 1 – Modus Operandi
0) The process of life/evolution is Spirit in Action. Absolute Consciousness (i.e., God) unfolds as the process of our very lives. Distinctly, CL takes the position of world-centric, integrally informed, evolutionary, non-dual, panentheism.
1) All views arise from one Source, one Truth, thus all views must represent an aspect of this Truth. All views are valid. All views must be understood, arranged, and utilized integrally (please see tenet 7a – 7h for what a generally whole integral view includes).
2) Though we recognize all views as valid, we also understand that not all views are as beneficial. We discriminate not only the way we integrate, but also in the value we place on individual views. Please note that such discrimination must be implemented with the utmost care, concern, and compassion. CL is in no way attempting to create universal absolutes, nor are we attempting to create a rigid, predetermined model that casts value judgments on individuals. CL is seeking greater awareness to the possible potential that is not being utilized.
3) Participation is crucial. Any personal realization must lead to greater participation (Dharma).
4) We seek to understand of the higher, deeper, or furthest reaching aspects of human consciousness through the observation of the unfolding of our own selves, and thus passionately work to balance and celebrate the east/west and north/south differences that have arisen thus far through the unfolding of the human experience. We are not attempting to create uniformity and sameness but are seeking to celebrate diversity and are passionately working to find a greater understanding of our selves, the Kosmos (Greek; meaning the objective and subjective universe), and the Divine.
5) We embrace a Holonic (whole/part; see Arthur Koestler’s work) approach. We seek to glorify the Whole (Shiva) while fortifying and celebrating the Individual (Shakti), thus seeking to expand the experience of Personal (Shakti) and Universal Wholeness (Shiva). (Shiva/Shakti = Holon)
6) The highest levels of realization, to date, are those that allow for the highest intention (Iccha) and understanding (Jnana), which acts (Kriya) with the greatest amount of care and compassion seeking rights and justice for self, culture, and nature. We seek to not only reach the highest level of realization but to shape where these levels may further evolve.
Section 2 – Integral Vision
7) Integral means exactly what it says, integral. For an integral view to be truly integrally informed, all information must be included, not simply the information the individual theorist prefers. It is important to note that integral is not pluralistic relativism. CL is not seeking to reduce all things to the same thing. Everything is not the same and it is not only about individual choice, as every choice the individual makes will affect the whole. CL seeks a refinement of choice.