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Ken Wilber – Introduction to Integral Spirituality

Here Ken Wilber offers an introduction to a spirituality that honors the truths of modernity and postmodernity—including the revolutions in science and culture—while incorporating the essential insights of the great religions. You will learn how this new evolution in spirituality combines the enlightenment of the East, which excels at cultivating higher states of consciousness, with the enlightenment of the West, which offers developmental and psychodynamic psychology—each contributing key components to a more integral spirituality.

Integral Spirituality

On the basis of this integral framework, a radically new role for the world’s religions is proposed. Because these religions have such a tremendous influence on the worldview of the majority of the earth’s population, they are in a privileged position to address some of the biggest conflicts we face. By adopting a more integral view, the great religions can act as facilitators of human development: from magic to mythic to rational to pluralistic to integral—and to a global society that honors and includes all the stations of life along the way.

Other Ken Wilbur presentations on YouTube, including

Increased consciousness – decreased suffering
Seeking Enlightenment
Love until it hurts
Love, Light and emptiness

Integral Theory

Ken Wilber’s AQAL, pronounced “ah-qwul”, is the basic framework of Integral Theory. It suggests that all human knowledge and experience can be placed in a four-quadrant grid, along the axes of “interior-exterior” and “individual-collective”. According to Wilber, it is one of the most comprehensive approaches to reality, a metatheory that attempts to explain how academic disciplines and every form of knowledge and experience fit together coherently.[2]

AQAL is based on four fundamental concepts and a rest-category: four quadrants, several levels and lines of development, several states of consciousness, and “types”, topics which don’t fit into these four concepts.[12] “Levels” are the stages of development, from pre-personal through personal to transpersonal.”Lines” are lines of development, the several domains of development, which may process uneven, with several stages of development in place at the various domains. [note 1] “States” are states of consciousness; according to Wilber persons may have a terminal experience of a higher developmental stage. [note 2] “Types” is a rest-category, for phenomena which don’t fit in the other four concepts.[13] In order for an account of the Kosmos to be complete, Wilber believes that it must include each of these five categories. For Wilber, only such an account can be accurately called “integral”. In the essay, “Excerpt C: The Ways We Are in This Together”, Wilber describes AQAL as “one suggested architecture of the Kosmos”.[14]

The model is topped with formless awareness, “the simple feeling of being,” which is equated with a range of “ultimates” from a variety of eastern traditions. This formless awareness transcends the phenomenal world, which is ultimately only an appearance of some transcendental reality. According to Wilber, the AQAL categories — quadrants, lines, levels, states, and types – describe the relative truth of the two truths doctrine of Buddhism. According to Wilber, none of them are true in an absolute sense: only formless awareness, “the simple feeling of being”, exists absolutely.[citation needed][note 3]

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