A Love Affair with Truth
May 04, 2006 17:43
A Love Affair with Truth
Welcome to Kenwilber.com…the mecca for all things Integral and all things Ken Wilber. In short, our vision is that this blog become the place you come for the straight story on Ken. That is to say, this is the place to come for the newest rumors, the most technical theoretical clarifications, the truth about critics—basically the who, what and when of Ken’s newest writings, ideas, and the people he hangin’ with as well as updates about Integral Institute, Integral Training, and Integral University. At the same time, we will intermingle the personal stories and musings of those people closest to him.
With that said, let me introduce myself. This is Clint, editor of the site. I started working for I-I just before the war in Iraq kicked off over three years ago. After a year of volunteering, I came on full time when we began offering seminars in 2004 and have been doing them ever since. Currently, I work seminar operations, teach at Integral WET weekends and Introduction to Integral Theory workshops (offered before 5-day seminars), assist with the at Integral Leader seminar curriculum design, review papers at the Integral Business and Leadership Center at Integral University, help with IOS course design for IU, and work as an external consultant to Avastone Consulting. I started working on my PhD in Human and Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University in September. In my spare time, I enjoy rock climbing—been doing it for over 15 years—mountain biking and hiking with my dog, Isis—who prefers to be known as a question concerning her absolute identity: Is is?
That is surely enough about me…a bit narcissistic, huh? Perfect…seeing how that leads me to the point of this blog—the reason I called it “A Love Affair with Truth.” During a teleconference with Ken at last weeks ILP Workshop, we were graced with a question about life purpose. A participant—let’s call him John—started by relating to Ken a dilemma concerning his work in the world. With admirable vulnerability, he began by describing how everything in life had become unsatisfying to him. Everything, that is, but working at the bleeding edge of leadership development. He described how he was desperate to make a difference in the world but didn’t know which way to go, which option would have the greatest impact. He was afraid that if he chose the wrong path, his life would be wasted, that he wouldn’t have lived up the potential that he knew he had. He then asked Ken a multipart question: (1) Do you experience anxiety in the face of the urgency of the world’s needs, (2) What is your purpose, and (3) what would you like to accomplish in your lifetime?
With a fierce compassion and pinpointed accuracy, Ken turned the spotlight on the narcissism hiding out in John’s noble intentions. In summary, Ken offered the following: This narcissism says that you aren’t going to do a moderate amount of really good work because it is not going to change the entire world. Basically, you hurt the greater good and yourself because you are holding out for grandiose desires. Better to do some moderate good lest you die and find out that you haven’t done anything. This anxiety you speak off is eros, and all of us involved in bringing the Integral vision to life are blessed and cursed with a great deal of eros. We are moved by this transcendental tilt to make the changes that will bring about the greatest good, for the greatest depth and the greatest span. We can’t let our narcissism stop us from taking the first step because it is not a global step. We need to learn techniques to handle eros—the transcendental pressure that will melt your bones and fry your eyes—so that we can realize our Big Minds, Big Hearts and Big Hands (Wisdom, compassion and skillful means) and watch our big egos. The combination of both will help us clear enough bramble so that we can start taking steps towards riding this coming wave of integral consciousness. A wave that people will be surfing. This is not grandiose and it may as well be you.
The room was silent, riveted, awash in the truth and beauty of this call to realize the incredible energy and power tied up and trapped in the depths of our shadows. From this, reemerged the question about Ken’s purpose. To hear his answer, Click Here for MP3 or Click Here for Windows Media, and listen to the full 18-minute dialogue between John and Ken.
His answer is profound, yet deceptively simple. He reveals the essence of what guides his work, writing and life. And, in doing, invites us reexamine our relationship to the purpose guiding our greatest aspirations.
With that, my friends, I welcome you to this site, and urge us all to look deep into the hearts of ourselves and others for the truth, beauty and goodness that is the face of Spirit yearning to be recognized in this and every moment.