Jean Houston - A Unique Encounter: Patterns of Awakening
August 19, 2009 13:52

A Unique Encounter: Patterns of Awakening
Jean Houston, Marc Gafni and Diane Musho Hamilton Sensei
Written by Corey W. deVos

Duration: 1 hour 13 minutes

Dr. Jean Houston, scholar, philosopher and researcher in human capacities, is one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time, and one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement.  Here she speaks with Marc Gafni and Diane Musho Hamilton about the emergence of a new kind of spirituality that is beginning to appear all over the world, both from within the major traditions and from without—a newly integrated spirituality that begins to reconcile the split between science and religion, between evolution and mysticism, and between masculine wisdom and feminine compassion.  Jean, Diane, and Marc don't just talk about what this new spiritual current looks like, but what it actually feels like from within, offering a precious glimpse of the Real through three very different sets of eyes.

Dr. Jean Houston will be offering a keynote speech at this year's first annual Integral Spiritual Experience event (see below for more details), an extraordinary beginning to an extraordinary journey that promises to take us ever-deeper into the living heart of Love.

Topics Include:

The People of the Parentheses - By many accounts, we are now standing at a pivotal point of our collective history. We exist between worlds, one foot planted in yesterday's convention, the other in tomorrow's emergence. We are, as Jean says, the people of the parentheses, watching as one era of history dies and waiting as a new era of history is born. This might initially sound like naive Age-of-Aquarius-type New Age thinking—but even a cursory glance at our current geo-political and economic circumstances, the relentless acceleration of technology, our world-wide environmental degradation, and the dawning of integral thought and values around the planet seem to indicate that we are indeed in the midst of some sort of "momentous leap" from a world based upon patterns of lack to one based upon patterns of abundance....

Patterns of Awakening - By our very nature, human beings are both pattern-making and pattern-breaking creatures. All of our knowledge, all of our insight, and all of our meaning are derived from various ways of recognizing and relating to the fundamental patterns of existence, whether we are talking about physical laws, timeless truths, or psychological habits. Like the ancients gazing into the night sky and weaving the stars into various myths, archetypes, and origin stories, we wrap our own lives in sliding constellations of meaning—constellations that deepen and become exponentially more sophisticated as our own consciousness becomes more complex. Here Jean identifies some of these essential patterns, including perhaps the grandest pattern of them all—the entelechy of evolution—while noting how we have already begun engineering new myths for our newly emerging reality....

Turning the Corner: President Obama - Turning a Corner: Jean shares some of her own observations in the wake of Obama's historic election, noting how his ascendence to power has dramatically galvanized individuals and cultures around the world. "The very fact that such an election could happen, and that eight years of horror could suddenly be finished, with a whole new dispensation of thoughtfulness, compassion, justice, and wisdom. It sent a resonant field throughout the world—this sense that we have come home to the heart again, we have come home to dignity, to courage, to widsom, and to an order of truthfulness." -Jean Houston

The Feminine Face of God - As our visions of a truly global and evolutionary spirituality continue to cohere, the need for a restoration of the sacred feminine becomes paramount. We aren't just talking about healing the inequities that exist between genders, though that is certainly part of the equation—we are talking about the seamless integration of masculine and feminine patterns of reality, wherever you find them: objectivity and subjectivity, doing and being, self and other, work and play, transcendence and embodiment, wisdom and compassion....

God's Tears -
The integration of masculine and feminine patterns forms a path that stretches all the way down to the tiniest protons and electrons, and all the way up into the infinitely full, infinitely empty heart of God. The entire universe is arising within this single invincible heart—forever unbreakable precisely because it is always already broken, as it has been since the beginning of time—whose erotic pulse pushes matter up into life, life up into mind, mind up into soul, and soul up into the timeless Now behind all things. At every step along the way we see the delicate interplay of light and shadow—oceans of joy filling bottomless chasms of suffering—and allow the impossible pain of manifestation to flow through us, taking care to keep our tears on the inside, lest they fall from our Original Face and flood the infinite vacuum of space with our timeless sorrow....


Do you want to realize the unique purpose of your life? Do you want to share your unique gifts with the world? If you do, then please join us this December, over the New Year holiday, as we gather on the shore of the great Pacific Ocean to begin a historical five-year journey. This journey will help you realize that no one else alive can make the contribution to humanity that you can. The first year of Integral Spiritual Experience begins with you: The Personal Spiritual Journey, Your Unique Self.

Together, with an incredible list of teachers including Diane Musho Hamilton, Sally Kempton, Marc Gafni, Ken Wilber, and Jean Houston, we will take a personal, hands-on guided exploration and practice of your unique life and purpose as it manifests through your passion, talents and personal history. Come alive to your unique service by finding stillness, breaking through resistance and fear, listening to your calling, and ultimately taking full responsibility for the deep dimensions of your being and becoming. For more information and to register for this First Annual International Flagship Integral Event, visit


What is the Unique Self?

by Corey W. deVos


What do you think of when you hear the words “Unique Self”? Childhood memories of gold stars and “I am special, look at me” nursery rhymes? Stacks of self-help books intended to help bolster and reinforce the ego? The latest New Age The Secret-type fads that place the self at the center of the universe, instead of the universe at the center of the self? A particular constellation of Jungian personality types, Enneagram typologies, astrological signs, and countless “Which Battlestar Galactica character are you” quizzes on Facebook?

The Unique Self is much more than a Myers-Briggs test with a spiritual overlay. It does not refer to any of these ornaments of the self—though it is immanent to the trials and tribulations of the ego, it utterly transcends the ego, remaining forever untouched by the appetites of identity. The Unique Self represents the deepest possible expression of consciousness, a subject that can never be made object, the union of ever-present consciousness and individual perspective at a radically fundamental level.

Imagine four people sitting in a room, each looking at each other. All four of these people are “fully” enlightened; that is, as enlightened as a person can be at this point in history. Gazing upon one another, they see the very same Oneness staring back at them, recognizing the effortless awareness behind each set of eyes. There is an immediate recognition of primordial consciousness, of the radical singularity of being—the singular to which there is no plural. In each other’s eyes, they see their own Original Face, echoes of ubiquity emanating from an unmentionable Source. They can all see the radical and universal sameness of reality, each understanding that there is only one single Witness behind every set of experiences. In each other’s eyes they see only themselves, recognizing the very same effortless awareness that looks out from behind their own.

Now let’s imagine that these four enlightened masters are sitting in a circle, each looking at a globe that sits on a table between them. Although they all share the same direct apprehension of Oneness, they each retain a particular perspective of the globe, and therefore each see the world in a completely different way. There is something markedly unique about each of their experiences, from their physical orientation in time/space to their individual experience of the universal. Within each of them lies a fundamental thread of perspective, stretching all the way to the darkest depths of the Mystery—a bottomless drop of the Heart that is unique to each and every one of us.

There is only one universal “I AMness” in existence, and as many unique experiences of “I AMness” as there are perspectives in the universe. If we allow ourselves to think of consciousness as “a sphere whose center is everywhere, and whose perimeter is nowhere,” we see that, although we all share the same existential center, my center is not your center—my “bottomless drop” is not your “bottomless drop,” even if they are laced together in the Heart of the world. There is a seamless union of the universal and the unique that is completely and inextricably your own. It is the very last inch of you—an inch that can never be duplicated, can never be imitated, and can never be taken away.

In a certain sense, the Unique Self represents an end to the spiritual journey, the final realization of enlightenment.  But here again we begin chasing our own hermeneutic tails, words bouncing off the face of the Mystery like photons off a mirror. This nondual unification of self and no-self—”final” in it’s own right—is as unattainable as it is inescapable. It has no beginning and no end, as it never enters the stream of space/time to begin with—and yet it permeates all space and all time, never separate from the kaleidoscopic carnival of the manifest world.

The Unique Self is the substrate of our 1st-person experience, the subtlest patterns of perspective, flavors of love, and textures of spirit that make you exclusively you in this ecology of souls. With our deepest recognition of our Original and Unique Face, we begin to feel the evolutionary imperative surging though our veins—an insatiable drive to simply be ourselves, as freely and fully as we possibly can.

This is both the Alpha and the Omega of the Integral Spiritual experience, the first and final step toward our own awakening, while guiding our hearts and minds at every point along the way.



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