Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Wilber and McLuhan

I couldn't have asked for a more complementary duo of authors. Wilber's luminous spiritual experiences counterpointed by the grounding of Aboriginal voices in McLuhan. It is setting up a rhythm to quote Wilbur (One Taste, pg 100):

...bringing heavenly Light down and into earthly Life, and then returning Life to Light--thus uniting downward Agape and upward Eros, Descending and Ascending, Compassion and Wisdom...

Attempting to bring Wilber's integrative analysis to McLuhan's research and first-person accounts is deepening my experience of both author's contributions.

The Dreaming of Australia's Aboriginal people, while at first glance seems to fall into Wilber's taxonomy at mind/tribal/magic/concepts, I sense has greater depth for those who live it and probably preserves another human tradition for accessing the soul/spirit, vision-logic, subtle/causal levels. From McLuhan (the Way of the Earth, pg. 41):

The Dreaming is the ground of being. It is also known as the Law: the generative principles of past, present, and future; the body of ethics and the code of life. It has been called the "plan of life." In other words, The Dreaming gave order to the world and laid down the Way (of the ancestors) for humans. Thus the spirit-essence of The Dreaming resides in all humankind.

As Wilber points out, less than 1% of any culture's members are engaged in active pursuit of transformative spirituality. It is demanding and uncomfortable. So I am taking that as an instructive point when reading about cross-cultural experiences with Earth/Nature-based spiritual paths. I am looking for the deeper clues to transformative practice that these traditions may preserve, rather than the merely translative.

Wilber suggests in "The Eye of Spirit, pg 197-199, that women and men progress through the same basic stages of spiritual development, but with differences:

Roots and wings. Agape and Eros. ...men and women develop through the same gender-neutral basic structures, but they tend to do so with somewhat different values and styles in both the translative and transformative domains: men tend toward agency and Eros, women toward communion and Agape.

...female practices uniformly and cross-culturally involve an intense mode, not merely of translative communion and permeability, but of transformative Agape (incarnational, body-centered, immanent, descended, involutional, and profoundly embodied mysticism). They offer a stunning contrast to the more traditionally ascending, transcendental, agentic, and Eros-driven modes of spirituality typical of males.
It is the highlighted passage that is intriguing me in connection with understanding Aboriginal ways of transformative spiritual practice as it seems to me that many of these terms could also be applied to Aboriginal ways of knowing and being.

Integrative practice...looking for the places where we can meet each other.

And to leave you with my current favourite Wilberism:

Nobody is smart enough to be wrong 100% of the time.

Amen/Saddhu to that ;)

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