Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New issue of Integral Review

Check it out. There's an article on interreligous dialogue as well as wesoterica, body practices, activism and an interview with Jorge Ferrer.

A few points in Ferrer's interview. He notes that in the Zen school he as with it was mixed with Taoism and shamanism, and magic was included in the study. Taoism is rife with this in itself. I've noted before the heavy mix of shamanistic magic that permeates most Tibetan Buddhism. I still see this as not so much a pluralism of practices, or even an integration a la Gebser of the various worldviews, but as a holdover of pre-modern views that infects and ties it down to regressive metaphysical views. I'm just wondering how Ferrer sees this, as he admits shamanism is a significant part of his practice.

I like that he's talking about creating a sort of unified ethical code from the various traditions. I think this is paramount given the ethical lapses in the integral community, and no code to adjudicate infractions. I called for such a code in my old essay "Giving Guns to Children" but no sure how far this project has gone.

I appreciate how he undermines the notion that the esotericists have some special capacity to get along, citing the Tibetan Buddhists internecine arguments as the the nature of reality (and which I've expounded at length).

And his point that taking nondual consciousness as a goal might in fact be a regressive move! I've argued the same, at least in terms of how we interpret it. I call for integrating and recontextualizing such states so that they are a part of the program, not its goal. I do though question when he says that "we might be able to access such foundation of existence," which I strongly criticize as exactly the kind of metaphysical view of states that must go.

I found it humorous his report on how the spiritually inclined at Spirit Rock would devote hundreds of hours to meditation yet could not spare an hour to help the homeless. While his brother, an avowed atheist, was quite active in such social work. It seems a typical American malady in the 'spiritual' movement.

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