23 December 2012

States, Stages, and Meditation

Ken Wilber describes vertical and horizontal enlightenment. Vertical here deals with structure stages, going from first-tier to second-tier to third-tier (magenta/purple up through turquoise and beyond) culminating in what Aurobindo called Supermind. Each stage transcends and includes all previous stages and as you go up you identify with a wider and wider groups (egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric, Kosmocentric).

Horizontal enlightenment is what is typically thought of when people speak of enlightnement, going through the state stages, (gross, subtle, causal, etc.) ending at what Genpo Roshi calls Big Mind. What is important to remember is that one can take state training at almost any level, so someone can be able to enter high states of absorption and be what people would typically consider "enlightened" and once they get out of their meditation and back into the world they are still operating from whatever stage they are at. Big Mind is the nondual ground of being, Supermind is the integration of the small mind with Big Mind.

Next, Ken describes why meditating is helpful toward ending world hunger.

As a person gradually disidentifies with a wider and wider array of states of consciousness, broadening their identity, it makes it a lot easier to climb the ladder to higher and higher stages. If you want to have a positive impact on the world you should work toward climbing toward an orange altitude or higher (why not shoot for second-tier?), and one way that is very good at moving people up stages is meditation.