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Ken Wilber on the 4 stages of spiritual enfoldment


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I'm in the middle of reading Ken Wilber's book "One Taste" (which consists of his journal entries from a 1 year period in 1997) and I came across this excellent entry on the 4 stages of spiritual enfoldment (which he summarizes as: 1. belief 2. faith 3. direct experience 4. permanent adaptation).

So I scanned it to the computer, and it is here to download in the attachment.


If you are not familiar with Wilber, he is pretty much regarded as the foremost thinker and writer in the world today on the subject of consciousness.


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Thank you, Integral! That was an excellent piece on spiritual unfolding. There are some gems in that, especially for an Ex-Christian or someone else who is transitioning out of some other belief system. Here's a clip.



Ken Wilber: Faith begins, if at all, when belief loses its power to compel. Sooner or later, any mental belief—precisely because it is mental and not supramental or spiritual—will begin to lose its forcefulness. For example, the mental belief in [...] will begin to pale in its power to persuade: no matter how much you keep believing in [...] you still feel like a separate, isolated ego, beset with hope and fear. You try to believe harder; it still doesn't work. Mere belief might have provided you with a type of translative meaning, but not with an actual transformation, and this slowly, painfully, becomes obvious. [...]


Mere beliefs are cardboard nutrition for the soul, spiritually empty calories, and sooner or later they cease to fascinate and console.


But usually between letting go of belief, on the one hand, and finding direct experience, on the other, the person is carried only by faith. If the belief in Oneness can no longer offer much consolation, still the person has faith that Oneness is there, somehow, calling out to him or her. And they are right. Faith soldiers on when belief becomes unbelievable, for faith hears the faint but direct call of a higher reality—of Spirit, of God, of Goddess, of Oneness—a higher reality that, being beyond the mind, is beyond belief. Faith stands on the threshold of direct supramental, transrational experience. Lacking dogmatic beliefs, it has no sense of security; not yet having direct experience, it has no sense of certainty. Faith is thus a no-man's-land—a thousand questions, no answers—it possesses only a dogged determination to find its spiritual abode, and, pulled on by its own hidden intuition, it might eventually find direct experience.




I appreciate you sharing that with us. While the article is a short read, I found it to be pleasantly thought provoking. Allow me to welcome you to this community. I hope you'll make yourself at home. It's good to have you here. :)



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