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Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation

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Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Vincent Horn 10/20/08 2:50 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation David Charles Greeson 10/20/08 5:07 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 10/20/08 9:06 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 10/20/08 9:43 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation David Charles Greeson 10/20/08 10:24 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Nathan I S 10/20/08 10:54 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Hokai Sobol 10/20/08 11:39 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation David Charles Greeson 10/20/08 12:02 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Jackson Wilshire 10/21/08 2:56 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation David Charles Greeson 10/21/08 3:41 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/21/08 4:08 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Chuck Kasmire 10/21/08 6:05 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Nathan I S 10/21/08 7:35 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation David Charles Greeson 10/22/08 9:19 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 10/23/08 1:09 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Chris Marti 10/23/08 2:29 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 10/23/08 3:11 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation David Charles Greeson 10/24/08 5:12 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 10/28/08 2:37 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/29/08 4:21 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/29/08 4:21 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/29/08 4:22 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Vincent Horn 10/29/08 6:34 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/29/08 1:32 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Vincent Horn 10/29/08 2:13 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/29/08 2:50 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Ryan Oelke 10/29/08 4:17 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 10/29/08 11:57 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/30/08 12:41 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/30/08 2:41 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/30/08 9:47 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 10/30/08 3:28 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/30/08 11:53 PM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Hokai Sobol 10/31/08 9:54 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation Wet Paint 10/31/08 10:55 AM
RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation beta wave 11/1/08 12:32 AM
Forum: Maps of Meditation

Hey all,

I just figured the folks here at the Dharma Overground would be interested in the newest episode over at Buddhist Geeks. We spoke with Ken Wilber about the maps of meditation in the Buddhist tradition and the dark night periods. It was a phenomenal discussion, and I was reminded of how brilliant and eloquent his understanding of the contemplative maps are. Anyway, it's up now over at Buddhist Geeks, and here's the permalink: http://personallifemedia.com/podcasts/236-buddhist-geeks/episodes/19573-meditative-maps-happy-mornings-dark

Personally, I'd be interested in seeing what other people thought of his descriptions of the maps, of his distinction of these two meanings of the dark night, and how this is of practical value to one's meditation practice... Feel free to share any of your thoughts here.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/20/08 5:07 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
I thought that was a great talk! I can't wait to hear Part II!

I have a couple of questions: Where can I find the the "Zen Art" depiction of the stages of insight? Are there good sources for the AnutaraTantra (sp?) map that he mentions? Do people generally agree that the stages of insight correspond to "levels of consciousness"?

I like Wilber's general approach of trying to integrate various schema, and agree with Daniel's point of view that it is what the great spiritual traditions have in common which is what is of interest, but I also feel that there is a danger of trying to make things fit cross culturally, when they really don't - a good example might be some of the attempts to integrate various chakra systems with the the Qabalistic "Tree of Life in the body." I think it's important to try to identify real differences, if they exist, and attempt to explain those. One difference that has come to mind when looking at Wilber's attempt to integrate dynamic psychology and stages of insight (at least in terms of how he outlines it in "The Theory of Everything") is that he seems to place the "fruition" experience (which seems to be what he describes as a "Cloud of Unknowing") on a level lower than "oneness with everything." Also, as of yet, I've seen no accounting of the four stages of Enlightenment in terms of insight cycles. David

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/20/08 9:06 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Great job getting Wilber to be a guest! Quite a score!

That said... I just want to say that I would _greatly_ value a critique of what Wilber is saying, especially from more experienced folks. I haven't been attracted to Wilber's work lately, although I read a lot of his stuff about a decade ago. Now I hear false notes whenever I hear him speak, but I can't place my finger on it. He made me appreciate the traditions, but I never felt like I was getting the depth of the traditions from his descriptions.

Would it be fair to say that it sounds like his maps seem to emphasize the transformative effects of concentration states, rather than emphasizing the vispassina knowledges? That's the main thing I picked up.

Any other thoughts?

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/20/08 9:43 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Forgot to mention that Wilber's "Integral Spirituality" (briefly mentioned in Part 1) is a very interesting text. Basically it advocates as using existing religious organizational structures as a platform for promoting meditation/contemplation in the general church-attending population. ... and using that universal experience as a basis for also supporting inter-faith harmony.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/20/08 10:24 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Ditto!

I often hear these false notes myself - it seems like there's quite a bit of ego involved in his presentation (to me), and alternate viewpoints or the fallibility of an integral perspective is not entertained that much. I recently heard that he responded to authors who accused him of misquoting them, or quoting them out of context, by telling them that they had not understood THEIR OWN WORK!

On a side note, I expected my wife to have me committed when I told her that I may have experienced at least part of the stages of the "enlightenment process," and she surprised me by being quite supportive. We were laughing the other night about creating a website called "Enlightenment-R-Us" - when I shared the joke with a friend he quipped that it had already been done, and was called "The Integral Institute." David

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/20/08 10:54 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
yeah, Wilber--i have mixed attitudes towards his work.

I was a little disappointed with his responses in the interview... it was very scholarly, but in a way that's difficult to access for those unfamiliar with the other terms--something I'd think that an ecumenist would try to avoid! Also, there was a hint--just a hint--of cult-leader style "Pacing and Leading" going on: technical - technical - over your head - technical - universal truth. Skilled rhetoric, maybe, but a little creepy.

Now, I think the big thing to note is that referring to the third vipassana jhana as "the Dark Night","Third Vipassana Jhana", "Da'ath" or "A Bad Mood" is already very technical and specific to a subset of practitioners, and going to lose a lot of people. But the answer he gave--that we have to give up the grosser states to get to more and more subtle states--is the classic analysis of "wisdom preceded by concentration." And while I tend to practice in that vein, there is a lot lost by not mentioning "dry" wisdom practice, i.e., "concentration preceded by wisdom." I would have liked him to touch on the actual process, the more "First Person" and "Third Person" in I.I.-speak, of it.

Taken as a whole, I think Wilber's older work, about "states vs. stages", about "Flatland" approaches being a serious problem, about the "pre/trans" fallacy is tremendously valuable. I'm not sure which work best codifies that, but i recommend it without reservation. Also add his blog post about being biologically dead a couple of times while maintaining awareness. But a lot of the developments of the well-intentioned Integral Institute stuff, like Wilber's intolerance for criticism and eagerness to take credit for things, bothers me, [tin foil hat] as does Changing Images 2000's fondness for him [/tin foil hat]

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/20/08 11:39 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
"Now I hear false notes whenever I hear him speak, but I can't place my finger on it...."

"I often hear these false notes myself - it seems like there's quite a bit of ego involved in his presentation..."

We're invited to give our thoughts on Ken Wilber's description of the maps, not to indulge in our projections. There are quite a few false notes on DhO to spend your life studying them, and quite a bit of ego too. Let's get back on track.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/20/08 12:02 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Alright, I found that he equated the structure of consciousness to the stages of insight (which to me is questionable), the Dark Night to loss associated with previous awarenesses perspectives rather than a contemplation or increased awareness of existential truths, that he skipped over a number of stages in his explanations of the actual models he cites (in the Zen model he describes stage 1, stage 2, skips directly to stage 8, and then skips to stage 10), does not have an explanation of either cycles or the stages of enlightenment (Stream Enterer, Twice returner, Once returner, Arahant), doesn't explain certain technical terms such as "scantious" (sp?) in the first stage of the Tantric model he presents, and that the models I've seen him present in at least one previous work don't correspond to Daniel's exposition of the Theravada model.

I mean, I know he had a limited amount of time, and I did think it was a good talk, but all that leaves me with questions... D
P.S. Sorry, didn't mean to indulge in my projections.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/21/08 2:56 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Hi Vince,

I really enjoyed your talk with Wilber. The most helpful description he gave regarding the stages of insight was the idea of subject becoming object, and then that subject becoming an object, etc. until all that is left is pure subjectivity. This seems to be consistent with other descriptions of awakening that I've heard from Jack Kornfield and the writings of his teacher, Ajahn Chah -- where they describe the ground of being as "the one who knows." It also corresponds well with the non-duality model of awakening that Dharma Dan describes in MCTB, as neither Wilber or Daniel equare moral perfection or limited possible action with awakening.

As far as descriptions of the Dark Night goes, I think that Daniel and yourself have done a better job putting it in to practical, easy to understand terms. Wilber's response was a bit up in his head, which isn't a bad thing -- it just wasn't as helpful for me. I'll give it another listen and see if it isn't more clear to me (I tend to listen to the podcast while driving or working, so sometimes I miss something important).

Thanks again for the podcast!

Jackson

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/21/08 3:41 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Sorry Vince, I think my last post came off as much more negative than I intended. You and Ryan are doing an incredible job with Buddhist Geeks, and have some awesome material up there. I do have questions about all that stuff I mentioned but realize that it would be impossible to cover all that material in the time alloted, and that you also have to be concerned with giving the man space to express his ideas without coming across as either hostile or critical. I truly enjoyed the interview and appreciate it. I'm just generally confused about Ken Wilber (and still would love feedback from more senior people on how to best evaluate his ideas), maps in general, and generally confused - which is Ok (as a willingness to be confused is the first stage of learning). I can't wait for Part II! David

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/21/08 4:08 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: xsurf

Hi Jackson,

Pure subjectivity or the pure witness is not yet full enlightenment, and is not the same as non-duality. Ken mentions a further realisation from the pure witness which is 'non-dual'. You can refer to my friend's six stages of experience, http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html , and ken's article on witness and non-dual: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/05/some-writings-on-non-duality-by-ken.html . One of Ajahn Chah's student, Ajahn Brahm also talked about Poo Roo ('the one who knows') as being the 'last citadel of the self', i.e. being mistaken to be an ultimate self/knower.

To comment on something also, Ken Wilber stated somewhere in his books that an Arhat only experiences cessation and pure witness, and not non-duality, which he equates to the Bodhisattva's realisation. But actually an Anagami would have realised non-duality. (can refer to daniel's models)

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/21/08 6:05 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Vince – thanks for putting that together – I found it very helpful. In particular, Kens presentation of the dark night as dealing with habits/addictions remaining from the previous level. I went back and re-read Daniels section on The Dark Night and it made much more sense to me then. As far as how it is valuable to my practice: Looking at the dark night in this way (sort of as withdrawal symptoms) gives me more of a 'I can get through this' confidence. It's just a conceptual shift but sometimes that is what it takes.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/21/08 7:35 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
The issue I have with Wilber's description is that I found and find the process of cultivating states enjoyable; it's that, in my experience, it's the concentration that leads to unbinding things in a process that is more complicated than just leaving behind the grosser in preference of the subtle and then (I understand) the subtle in preference of the absolute. I.e., something beyond that is happening: why the kundalini phenomena? why the Dark Night "drum beat" and 18 Hz buzzing? is that just cultivating a more subtle state? I tend to think there is an active component, not just a structuring component (if that makes sense), underlying this, albeit states grease the wheels, as it were.

That said, I can see how for those who are lean towards dryer insight, Wilber's description could have been useful... Then again, I am just fascinated by this Dark Night stuff out of self-interest, mostly. I'm just a little disappointed that the premier model-maker of our time, arguably the best modern Perennialist around, didn't get more perennial about it, since that's, like, you know, his thing: i'd like to hear something beyond just the Buddhist/Hindu perspective on it.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/22/08 9:19 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
In case anyone is interested, I found the 10 Ox herding pictures of Zen here: http://www.egreenway.com/meditation/ox.htm

D

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/23/08 1:09 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Okay, I can understand what you are trying to fend off here. I’ve seen so-called critiques of Ken Wilber on other forums that are pretty shallow and have little to do with his maps – and I hope that doesn’t happen here. Anyone who completely disregards his work is dismissing one of the greatest syntheses that has occurred in the sciences. I think history will put him somewhere on par with Darwin and Newton in terms of the creation of an overall paradigm that harmonize different fields of study. So far we haven’t had any pathological Wilber-haters dominate the discussion.

As far as “false notes” go, I doubt the majority of what I’m thinking of are solely my projections. I used the benign term so hopefully we can make a distinction between the false notes and the rest of the symphony. Most of my reservations about Wilber’s model is the emphasis given to the interior singular quadrant and it’s application to the other quadrants. In a similar way that flatland materialism tends to collapse and devalue the other quadrants, Wilber presentations of his model often has a similar effect to the non-interior quadrants. (This happens often enough that I suspect there might be a systematic flaw in his map/thinkning, but I haven’t figured it out, so I’m particularly interested in an analysis of Wilber’s work from those with greater experience.) I contrast this with Daniel’s more rigorous separation of the Three Trainings and in his critique of the models of enlightenment. I do not hear the same false notes in Daniel’s writing.

I would be interested in hearing from those who have kept up with his current work, especially if the more recent work talks more about practice/training. After I knew I had a good grounded understanding of his conceptual model, I ultimately stopped reading Wilber because I wasn’t finding much information on what to do next.

Looking forward to part 2!

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/23/08 2:29 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
I have another kind of question: I've never read or followed Ken Wilbur. Why should I?

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/23/08 3:11 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
It's worth a look. The basic principle of Ken Wilber's work is that reality is based on increasing levels of order, which includes and transcends the previous levels. The beauty of this is it provides a structure that allows space for most fields of study, but better defines the appropriate extent and relevance of the particular approach. And it does so in four dimensions, roughly physical/material, culture/sociological, interior self, interior - social self. By using that coordinate system, suddenly the sciences become organized.

I think the application of his model to the psychological world most interesting. I was living in a groovy-hippy part of america where everyone was selling there own particular version of therapies: yoga, tai chi, isolation tanks, freudian therapy, skinner-type conditioning theory, etc. etc. Wilber's description of the levels of psychological development, the potential pathologies at each stages, and the therapy which best fit that pathology suddenly provided order to the marketplace of all the different modalities that were out there. It's hard to describe how simply his model integrates and organizes ideas from different fields.

I haven't been deep into his work in the last 10 years or so... I'll bet there is some component of his work that you would find interesting if not thought provoking.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/24/08 5:12 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_Aznf6HTpI

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/28/08 2:37 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Part two was very interesting. A few observations...

It seems like there has been a lot of work in Wilber's model to separate the interior-self and interior-social self quadrants! Does anyone know if there is a good resource for getting up to speed on this component of his work?

Part 2 seems to confirm Wilber's use of "states" as the principal markers on the spiritual path. But this might have been shorthand given the limited time on the interview. Does anybody know this material in more detail? Does it easily translate into Theravada terms?

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 4:21 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: AlanChapman

So I’ve just listened to the podcast (both parts 1 and 2), and here are my comments:

First off, I’ve learnt a hell of a lot from Wilber in the past and his ability to expose shoddy thinking and replace it with a novel perspective is something I very much relish. His stuff is worth checking because he is a great thinker, and you could do a hell of a lot worse when it comes to finding contemporary literature for understanding enlightenment in that he a). stresses practice, b). recognises enlightenment as a process that occurs in stages and c). distinguishes between the various lines of development and doesn’t buy into restricted behaviour or emotional models of enlightenment. I think he’d fit in just fine on the DhO. Check out his book Integral Spirituality for an update of where he is at. It is at times very dry, but there are a few gems in there (I loved the section of Freud).

However, I find his ‘integral’ work in the field of enlightenment his poorest. There is an inherent problem with tying up the stages of enlightenment with the states of consciousness. Namely, his model is metaphorical and not descriptive. For instance, the state of dreaming is not something experienced as a stage in insight development – one does not dream as a direct result of meditation for a given amount of time before experiencing deep sleep as a direct result of meditation as the next stage. Rather, Wilber is saying that dreams ‘belong’ to the Subtle level of consciousness, deep sleep to the Causal level, etc. So just what are we to expect when we get to the Subtle stage of enlightenment? Wilber never tells us, despite the fact he’s written 20+ books!

(cont.)

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 4:21 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: AlanChapman

In addition, Wilber also ascribes certain mystical experiences to each of the ‘state-stages’ (that’s what he rather confusingly calls them). I found a spot-on description of fruition in his book One Taste that he described as ‘nature mysticism’ and attributed to the Subtle stage. Is his Subtle stage the same thing as first path then? But if it is, he doesn’t recognise Emptiness for what it is – his model posits a ‘greater’ emptiness further down the line!

I find his description of the Dark Night is very iffy due to the fact he attributes the root of the event to psychological wants and needs. I would tend agree that the experience of the dark night can be described as an experience fundamentally concerned with attachment (or the ‘self-contraction’ as he calls it), but I would strongly argue that its root is found outside of psychology altogether. In my experience, the dark night always exhibits certain characteristics that demonstrate it is a phenomenon – much like the A&P or fruition – in its own right. Of course, just how unpleasant the experience is and how it is handled varies each time, and arguing for the seemingly transcendental nature of the insight cycle doesn’t provide us with an explanation and leaves the whole thing cloaked in mystery. But what can you do?

(cont.)

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 4:22 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: AlanChapman

Finally, by making a state of consciousness the final goal of enlightenment (as opposed to a condition) Wilber has raised Nerodhi up to a necessary component of enlightenment (just before the goal itself). I’m currently not sure if Nerodhi can be avoided and 4th path still occur, but this kind of thinking is dangerous in how misleading it can be (for instance, Wilber refers to Nirvakalpi Samadhi – is this Nerodhi, or the 8th Shamatha Jhana? And should I be chasing it if I want to get enlightened?). For Wilber, it is plain that he has bought into the belief in the progressive nature of Buddhism – that Mahayana trumps Theravada, etc. He appears to have latched onto the idea of the Visuddhimagga as the be-all-and-end-all of Theravada (it only goes as far as Nerodhi which is – according to him - the goal of Theravada) whereas Mahayana adds the next stage of non-duality. I think his drive to wed all traditions together in a fundamentally progressive mix has led to his insistence on interpreting Theravada – and all traditions for that matter - in a set way, hence the rather strange fact that such an impressive and learned scholar appears to be oblivious to the insight stages and cycles as we know them.

In a nutshell then, his model is made up of five state-stages both accessible to everyone non-successively and only accessible in succession to the enlightened master. Yay!

I have tried in the past to use Wilber’s enlightenment model to chart my progress, but I’ve found it at best a very vague, large scale and sometimes confusing map. I found it useless in navigating immediate experience.

Any one else tried it out?

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 6:34 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Hi Alan,

These are some really great points... I also get slightly confused with the correlation of states of consciousness (waking, dreaming, sleeping, etc.) and the stages of meditative training. I think it has something to do with him making sure his theory is internally coherent, and there does seem to be something to it, I'm just not sure what. Also, I think he's right on if he thinks that 1st path is the equivalent of beginning in the subtle realm. That has been my sense as well, where 3rd path is then related to the Causal realm and 4th path with the Non-Dual.

As far as him equating Nirodha samapatti with the end of the road w/r/t the Theravada I think that's a gross misreading of the Visuddhimagga. It states clearly in the section on the Visuddhimagga that the attainment of Nirodha can be experienced by those of 3rd path or higher, but that it isn't a requirement for attaining arhantship, and may not even happen. Daniel has said that himself, and so to equate the attainment of Nirodha with the highest goal of the Theravada is simply mistaken. The highest goal, according to the Visuddhimagga, is arhantship plain and simple. And I agree that his having bought in to the Tibetan historical dogma about the Theravada being equated with the Hinayana actually prevents him from seeing the obvious, and that is that the Theravada goes all the way.

But you know, these are pretty minor points, when I look at the tremendous value of his work, the obvious depth of his understanding, and elegance of his models. Granted his stuff isn't super-practical I don't think that's what he was aiming for.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 1:32 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: Brendan29971

Its dosnt seem to be correct how Ken Wilber says that a creationist (che pa in tibetan which means "outside person") could have the same experince as a Buddhist (nang pa in tibetan which means "inside person" ) because a creationist belives that emptiness has a maker. When a being belives they have a creator there need for dualism (good/bad) is to strong, and one needs to get past dualism to progress. Maybe he is just trying to be PC about it, but it dosnt seem to be sharp enough. I think when a creationist (che pa in tibetan which means outside person) has a valid realisied experience, during the experince they are no longer a creationist they are an "inside person" (nang pa in tibetan which means buddhist-dependent origination) as the experince is interdenpent hence why Buddhists see Dependent Origination not a first cause of phenomina.
I think this is why Ken Wilbers maps are a bit messy because he trys to make people belive that creationists have valid realisations, which they dont because as i said there view of dualism (good/bad) is to strong. But rather when a creationist is having a valid realistion they have shiffted into the view of dependent origination. Vince Horn also seems to do what Ken Wilber does when he trys to compare a stage of the path from Daniels map to an experince that st john of the cross had.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 2:13 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Hi Brendan,

If you are taking the view that there aren't any Christian mystics who haven't had authentic and deep non-dual realizations, simply because the Christian tradition is theistic, then I'm afraid that's not going to be a strong enough or sophisticated enough view to really hold up to argument here on this forum. One only need read Meister Eckhart or the contemporary work of Father Thomas Keating to see that there are ways of expressing non-duality within theistic contexts. I've spent a good amount of time listening to Father Thomas Keating and if he isn't expressing genuine realization (albeit through a different vernacular) then I don't know who is. I've also talked at length with one of his main lay lineage holders, who was a practicing Zen Buddhist before switching to the practice of Centering Prayer. That dude is the real deal, probably 4th path from what I can tell. So, I'm sorry but I've met far too many realization Christian teachers (not to mention Sufi and Jewish) who as far as I could tell were expressing some of the same core realizations that I've come to through Buddhist meditation practice.

So, beyond your dogmatic assertions have you actually realized these things for yourself, and have you done an extensive study of those who have practiced contemplation in theistic tradition, had discussions with them, and made conclusions based on this? If not, I'm sorry but your comments simply don't hold up.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 2:50 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: Brendan29971

As i said earlier these creationist mystics realisations are real but as the realisiation is happening it is happening through a different cognizion that the creationist mystic is not aware of and once the realisation has finished it is incorrectly labled and expressed, and the mystic then lives through the incorrect label and expression rather then living through the different cognizion.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
Answer
10/29/08 4:17 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Hey Brendan - while I'm not partaking specifically in this conversation, I think I should chime in about your use of Tibetan. Now, in the spirit of this community, I'm not bringing these points up to be intellectual, but simply to bring in the spirit of appropriately discussing language and how that helps in practice. In studying Tibetan I have found that indeed it can shed much light on subjects that better help a practitioner understand what is happening in practice and what maps mean, etc. Also, I actually don't think you're mentioning the Tibetan actually adds to the conversation, but I'll make my points nonetheless to help set precedent in the community for bringing Asian languages into the mix.

I assume you have not studying the Tibetan language very much. So, I would encourage everyone to only bring language up when you firmly know what you're talking about. First, the terms in Wiley transliteration are: phyi pa and nang pa, pronounce chi pa and nang pa. You are correct in noting that these meaning outsider (non-buddhist) and insider (buddhist). This only means that one accepts the Buddhist teachings or they don't. There's nothing more to say about these terms, other than that these labels originate from within Tibetan Buddhist teaching and represent there biased outlooks at the time their tradition was developed.

Nang pa does not mean dependent origination. 'rten 'brel ba, phonetically "ten drel", meaning dependent related, dependently related. The expanded version includes the verb 'byung ba, jung ba, which means "arising/originating".

Furthermore, it is a very poor argument to use Tibetan critiques as a ground to stand on for critiquing other traditions. Many teachers have cautioned that these are useful within the tradition to support their own assertions, but not as criticism for its own sake.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/29/08 11:57 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
I appreciate your discussion. I'm learning a lot!

Vince, could you say more about how these paths translate? Is it the pure state Wilber describes is the background/context of "I" for each one of those paths? No need to go into a lot of detail, it's just my intellectual curiosity.

I think the point of the wake/dream/deep sleep component is to provide a mechanism for how someone at a lower level may gain insight to evolve - the information is present in everyone but not seen. I don't know if that component of the model is really needed, though, if this same information is present in the waking state and just not seen.

Alan, even though you lay out your points like a freight train coming down the track, I really do appreciate your critical analysis!


Brendan, I think you need to take your analysis a step further. If any experience of emptiness isn't really an "experience", then even buddhist language and models will be inadequate, ultimately, to get past dualism. The whole point is to know the moment well enough that emptiness is actual understood... and any practice that leads to an investigation of the raw moment can be a method. If the model has "god is found in the moment", it probably has some power for practice. I agree with you that one's overall model can help move up or drag down a practioner's practice. And again, ultimately the "view from the model" has to be abandoned in a sense for actual practice.

But I agree with you that there is a bias for inclusion in his work, sometimes his models strain under the pressure of it. His "chakras" model always struck me as a bit too generalized and untestable to be useful for practice, but it seems to serve as a way to include a lot of maybe divergent ideas.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/30/08 12:41 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: AlanChapman

Betawave: 'Alan, even though you lay out your points like a freight train coming down the track, I really do appreciate your critical analysis!'

Choo choo!

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/30/08 2:41 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: marinr

This is the first time I've heard Ken Wilber and I'm no expert, but I think the link between Wilber's theoretical 'states of consciousness', the paths and insight knowledges is really dependent origination. We could understand insight knowledges as different levels in direct understanding of different subsets of dependent origination as they really are. Plus, I've observed that my mind follows dependent origination in reverse when it goes to sleep. And so, we may not experience the state of dreaming as a stage of insight development, but rather, with insight knowledge we see the qualities of the state of dreaming as they really are. So I think, there is something to this correlation, he is describing the 'illusion' aspect and insight knowledges describe the 'realization' aspect of meditative training.

At least I understood him like that from this two talks.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/30/08 9:47 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: Brendan29971

Even an experience is empty of the experience, Buddhism is not nhilism. As i said earlier i did not say a creationist can not have a valid experience of emptiness just that when the experience is being experinced they are no longer a creationist.
The problem i see is how the creationist then labels the experience through there reality, ie:god is, i am god. Then the creationist who had a valid experience of emptiness, unfortunatly then just gets more deluisioal about having to be good/bad for the creator because the creator made them and if they were not made they could not have these experiences of emtiness. Gods are cute but not enlightened. The emptiness that a creationist experinces is not the same as a Buddhist and its incorrect of Ken Wilber and Vince Horn to say it is, when a creatioist experiness emtiness they are no longer a crationist.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/30/08 3:28 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
I follow you and I agree that when a creationist experiences emptiness, they are no longer a creationist.

But do you get my point? Is a buddhist that experiences emptiness a buddhist? How does a buddhist label the experience?

No need for an answer, really. I'll just leave it at that.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/30/08 11:53 PM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: AlanChapman

I think you've made an important point here marinr, because as my lame memeroy now reminds me, Wilber does indeed ascribe to this idea but in a slightly more developed sense. I think he discusses this in depth in One Taste where he reveals how he remains aware during all three phases of sleep, and he puts this into the context of the emenation and return of all phenomena - such as the breath, the seasons, etc. And so we can of course say that his model deals with fractals, of which the stages of insight are but one.

Hmm. I do hope I'm not giving him too much credit here (damn memory)...

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/31/08 9:54 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
No, Alan, you're quite right about that. Good memory.:-)

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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10/31/08 10:55 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Author: Brendan29971

Sure even a Buddhist is empty of Buddhist and even emptiness is empty of emptiness. But there is expression and there is labels so there for expressions and labels should be valid expressions and labels.The experiencer is the experince, im sure you now that. If there is a Creator or Supreme being there cant be a me or a you. Its just to new age and warm and fuzy trying to say a theist, creationist ....... can have the same experience, as a Buddhist., and its really strange when Buddhists say they can . I presonally think new ages really like god realms to much as they are not free from the 4 extremes (being, not-being, not both, not either. I hope its ok that i replyed.

RE: Great Talk with Ken Wilber on the Maps of Meditation
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11/1/08 12:32 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
Of course, it sounds like you given this a lot of thought. No worries!