Other States of Emergence
In the last decades, other pioneering work has been done by David Bohm and Otto Scharmer, whose methodologies you might know from their wide application in business and corporate settings.
Twentieth-century theoretical physicist David Bohm pioneered what is now called “Bohmian Dialogue”. Bohm described this as “an arena in which collective learning takes place and out of which a sense of increased harmony, fellowship and creativity can arise.”. Dialogues are held in groups of twenty to forty people, facilitated by an experienced participant, but avoiding any sense of leadership or hierarchy. There is no agenda; the main purpose of the dialogue is to allow people to “explore the individual and collective presuppositions, ideas, beliefs, and feelings that subtly control their interactions”, thus unhinging these fixed beliefs and allowing for an emergence of a shared, participatory consciousness. Bohm saw this style of dialogue as critical to the survival of humanity, given the extreme levels of dispute and violence that rule the world, and which “point to a deep and pervasive defect in the process of human thought”.
These three methodologies might seem similar because of their intersubjective nature as well as their focus on the emergence of consciousness. But does that mean they are the same?
Although all three provoke heightened awareness of emerging consciousness, a closer look reveals some important differences. Firstly, there is a difference in context. Bohmian Dialogue seems to be built on the premise that human thought has a defect that threatens the continuation of humanity and needs to be “fixed”. Enlightened Communication and Theory U, on the other hand, are built on the premise that human beings have the capacity to develop into a higher consciousness, which happens in a context of evolution of consciousness.
But there is a subtle difference between these as well. Theory U creates circumstances for participants to tap into this higher consciousness and design new solutions to complex problems, but does not aim to develop the individuals beyond that point. After the workshop, participants go home and implement their solutions. Enlightened Communication, on the other hand, was withdrawn from public offerings because it was recognized that a lack of development in participants had become an obstacle to the purpose of the very state experiences produced. This indicates that inherent to this state is a purpose that transcends the individual’s and even humanity’s needs, and calls for the development of consciousness itself, through the development of the individual. In the words of Chris Parish: “One starts leaning towards being more interested in what we can create together than in what I can be… This is the evolution of consciousness itself”.
Seeing the Obvious/Invisible
Here, we might be seeing both the success and the challenge of the Enlightened Intersubjective. This state enables relatively inexperienced individuals to get in touch with the emergence of an exciting new consciousness. But not everyone seems able to appreciate the evolutionary purpose that goes with this experience, and it takes careful training to ready an individual for turning the experience into the very transformation that experience calls for.
Again Integral Theory can help us understand why. As Evolutionary Enlightenment is a very new teaching, and the state of the Enlightened Intersubjective has been proven to be easy to experience but hard to “hold” in any consistent way, one wonders what is required to “see” at a level where one can stabilize it. After all, the realization that consciousness evolves as the interior of the Kosmos is relatively new, so it only makes sense that many would not be open to this insight yet.
In a previous article I have written that when looking at recently emerged post-metaphysical forms of enlightenment, the concept of kosmic address is helpful to understand why what seems obvious to some, seems invisible to others. “Ken Wilber defines kosmic address as: Kosmic address = altitude + perspective. This means that kosmic address is as much about the object as it is about the subject”. My proposition is that depending on the sufficiency of one’s altitude (or level of development) and stabilized access to states (meaning the conscious capacity to enter certain spiritual levels of awareness), this new spirituality is “seen” from either a 3rd, 2nd, or 1st-person perspective, which means: various degrees of appreciation and ability to internalize and integrate what is seen. In the case of the Enlightened Intersubjective, with an Orange or early-Green Altitude and access to subtle awareness, one can “stretch up” enough to appreciate this state in the 3rd or 2nd-person, meaning that one can either have an “arms-length” appreciation of it, or engage with it to some degree. However, such an experience will hardly lead to transformation, as it cannot be sufficiently internalized at that level. In order to embrace this state as one’s own genuine 1st-person experience that leads to transformation, one needs to have both a fully integrated cognitive complexity to understand evolution (anywhere from the late Green Altitude upwards) and the spiritual depth to relate directly to the causal/nondual realm (anywhere from stabilized access to the causal realm upwards).
Spiritual States have traditionally occurred in the great spiritual traditions with Being or transcendence as their apex. With the arrival of evolution into our understanding of enlightenment, the Enlightened Intersubjective, a state that occurs between individuals as a surge of consciousness/Becoming while being grounded in the traditional ground of Being, seems to be the emergence of a new Spiritual State.
These days, various forms of emergent consciousness are being used to solve humanity’s problems, however the particular nature of the Enlightened Intersubjective is that it inspires and facilitates further evolution of consciousness, putting the evolution of the individual in service of that. The Enlightened Intersubjective creates a condition in which Enlightenment can be directly brought into the mundane dimensions of life as a heartfelt, concrete reality that deeply inspires the individual to open up to a radically expanded perspective. Widely establishing the mastery of this state would therefore greatly serve the development of human consciousness and culture.
But in order for this to be widely and successfully used, two things will be needed. Firstly, we need sufficient altitude growth to post-Green levels that recognize the emergence of consciousness; something that cannot be taken for granted in levels of development below Green because of the cognitive complexity that is necessary to embrace such an idea. Secondly, we need a wider embrace of the spiritual dimension of State-Stages in our general culture and discourse; our current culture is still quite hostile to this idea and generally pushes spirituality into the realm of the religious, occult, and improbable.
Although innovative Green and post-Green business methodologies are starting to move in this direction, a greater evolutionary understanding will be necessary to promote the wide use of a state that not only appreciates emergence, but facilitates the development of emergence.
This was the last of a 3-post article.
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