Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (4)

We now address the "higher" contemplative stages in the unfolding of the three main levels of Band 3.
With Level 1, the gradual two-way integration of both (horizontal) external and internal polarities takes place (which I have detailed at length in previous entries).

Though this seemingly initially takes place within a given level (as discretely understood), because of its inherently dynamic nature, it also starts to reopen new vertical links (this time in a mature fashion) with the earlier levels of Band 1. 

In short, though earlier development will have been successful to a degree in achieving (conscious) differentiation with respect to the three main sets of polarities involved, proper (unconscious) integration will - of necessity - have been significantly bypassed in the process. 

So it is only now in the light of the mature integration of these polarities (with Band 3) that one can now begin to successfully revisit Band 1, with a view to properly appreciating the psychological dynamics of (unconscious) instinctive behaviour.

With Level 2, the gradual two-way integration of both (vertical) whole and part polarities takes place (which I have likewise detailed at length in previous blog entries).

Though again there is a certain limited sense in which such development can again be identified with this one level in a discrete manner, in truth because of the increasing emphasis on integration, dynamic access to the previous levels of Band 1 (especially Level 2) is greatly increased.

So once again it is only now, following on the "higher" integrated development with respect to Band 3, that one can now successfully return to Band 1 (with a view to "unearthing" the deeper layers of instinctive confusion  that still necessarily remain).

Finally with Level 3, the gradual - this time - four-way integration of  (diagonal) form and emptiness polarities takes place (which I have only recently started to address at length in my blog entries).   

Now, because of the exceptionally dynamic nature of complementary polarities in experience (working simultaneously both within and between levels), there is only a very limited sense in which such development can be identified in discrete terms with just one particular level (that is identified as the highest yet attained in development).

In truth the growing task of development at this level, is to achieve the successful integration of all levels "higher" and "lower" that have so far unfolded in development. 

In particular this enables one to now return to the earliest level of Band 1 (Level 3) which represents the most blindly instinctive of all levels with a view to gradually unravelling residual unconscious confusion. In this way with "lower" physical instinctive behaviour now considerably refined, it can be more successfully combined with "higher" spiritual awareness, so that both the transcendent and immanent directions can approach equal balance. 

In this way, while from one valid perspective, spirit is rightly experienced as going beyond all phenomenal form (as goal); from an equally valid perspective, it is also experienced as being already immanent in physical form (as its source). 

However a significant problem is likely to remain, which in my own case I only subsequently properly realised much later in development.

Once again, at the earlier Band 1, differentiation with respect to the three main polarities takes place.

Then with Band 2, specialised development of such differentiated polarities unfolds. However, as previously stated, if such specialisation takes place to a significant degree, then development becomes largely associated in discrete terms with merely the middle levels, related to the personal ego. This greatly cuts off dynamic links with other bands so that development then largely plateaus at this Band.

Therefore for one who is destined to attain a marked degree of authentic contemplative awareness, substantial conflicts are likely to arise early in life, making it extremely difficult to remain satisfied with dualistic type understanding. Thus experience of the middle levels is likely to significantly break down before consolidation of these levels can arise.

Then with respect to the "higher" levels of Band 3, one remains extremely sensitive to dualistic attachments of any kind. Therefore the emphasis is continually on the transcendent direction of eroding such attachment. In other words, the emphasis turns increasingly to the integration of the "higher" levels of Band 3 with the complementary "lower" levels of Band 1.

However in effect this means that proper integration with the middle levels of Band 2 is not yet possible.

Therefore a new distinctive type of problem arises when one attempts to go on to Band 4 in the specialisation of nondual type intuitive awareness.

Just as earlier one discovered that undue (linear) specialisation at Band 2 becomes too rigid, greatly reducing access to both "higher" and "lower" Bands, undue (circular) specialisation at Band 4 tends to be unduly dynamic, so that one begins to lose any foothold in the dualistic world of form (exemplified by Band 2).

So just as experience can become too active in a rigid dualistic manner, at the other extreme, experience can become too passive in a contemplative nondual manner.

Now it is true that a small number of people by temperament and training are destined for specialisation with respect to the contemplative life. In the past this was institutionalised in religious terms through the rise of monastic orders entailing a considerable withdrawal from every day life. 

However the most advanced development entails the balanced interaction of both the dual and nondual with respect to both contemplation and activity. So paradoxically, as is expressed for example so well in the mystical writings of Ruysbroeck, the most  fruitful involvement in active affairs is best served served through a deep immersion in spiritual contemplation. Likewise from the alternative perspective, the intensification and widening of such contemplation is best served through a growing commitment to active responsibilities.

In my own case I was to discover that my experience had become too contemplative in an unbalanced manner. And this corresponded with an undue emphasis on the transcendent direction of spirituality in the attainment of ever "higher" stages of development, with a consequent insufficient emphasis on the immanent direction in the proper grounding of spirit in everyday physical reality. 

Therefore just as earlier, consolidation of experience with respect to the (linear) dualistic levels of Band 2 had not been possible, now once again I was to discover that consolidation with respect to (circular) nondual "levels" of Band 4, likewise would not be possible.

Therefore the next stage of development was to lead to the gradual process of simultaneously balancing both (linear) dual and (circular) nondual aspects with respect to development. 

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