Thursday, June 17, 2010

Integral Incubator Day 3: Meeting Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber center back. Click to enlarge

continued from day 2

I am 99% THRILLED with my visit to Ken Wilber. We rode a bus to his loft apartment in downtown Denver after being briefed on the protocol of being a guest in his home (don't use his bathroom and don't present him with your book for comments). After five years of failed attempts to make Ken aware of my project, I told Jeff Salzman that he would have to "go to red" to prevent me from handing my book to Ken. Jeff took this good naturedly, saying he was visualizing tackling me.

I took a couple hours in the early morning to mark up in pink highlighter the dozen or so pages I thought Wilber would most get a kick out of. I cut up yellow Post-its to mark the pages and used a hot pink Post-it for my favorite quote from Bishop Thomas.
You say Christianity is fear-based because you’re comparing us to all those other world religions. In Buddhism and Hinduism and all those, you have to keep striving for perfection. You have to go through all those deaths and rebirths trying to learn lessons. But when you’re saved, you’re perfect now. There’s nothing else you have to do. So you have nothing to be afraid of. Your holiness is complete, right here, right now. And that is so magnificent, so freeing, so empowering, that if you really understood it, you’d never do anything to defile it. …Now your eyes are really bulging. What? Tell me.
(I reply) That's not salvation; that's enlightenment!
Integrating First Person and Second Person God
The hour's ride from Boulder took us through prairie made brilliantly green by recent rains. I sat with Presbyterian pastor Karen Francis to learn about an epiphany she had the prior day. She let go of the project she arrived with: to learn to better communicate with people at all developmental levels in her congregation. When we were given a chance to summarize our project on a sheet of poster paper, she was surprised by what filled the void: a drawing of a chalice into which divine love was falling from above and spilling over, and poetically arranged words in colors of the developmental levels of Spiral Dynamics:




In Jesus Christ

Karen's gentle radiance as she told me this SO reminded me of Rev Harriet Hawkins, the person who turned me on the Ken Wilber, that I had the impression I had chanted up Rev. Harriet to accompany me at this Incubator.

[IMPORTANT NOTE: For anybody considering the Incubator, obviously I am filtering this report through my own interest in religious bridge building, and making no effort to give "equal time" to other topics. So please don't get the impression religion is a focus of the Incubator. ]

A swank high rise
When we arrived in Denver, I was surprised to debark in front of a swank highrise smack downtown. We bought lattes at the ground-level coffee shop, used its bathroom, and rode up the lobby elevator in batches.

Ken's gleaming, modern apartment has a magnificent view across the city to snow-capped mountains...

Whoops, I don't want to be late to meditation again this morning, so I'll break off here and resume this report in a few hours. See day 3.5

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