Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Spiritual Development for Conspiracy Activists


Last Updated March 2014


1. Introduction

There exists amongst a certain section of the world's population a growing awareness of the existence of a global conspiracy, a conspiracy, that is, being run by secret society initiates, primarily in the economic and political spheres, to impose a totalitarian one-world goverment on the planet, with the resulting society being run for the benefit of the few while keeping the masses of humanity downtrodden and poor.

Many people feel called to contribute in some way to the formidable collective mission of ending this conspiracy, and to the building of a fairer and more equitable world in its wake. But how do we prepare ourselves to join with others in this task? While the details of the conspiracy have been analysed in detail by many writers, few of them seem willing to address the question of what we should do about it and who we need to become in order to successfully play our part in such a movement.

In this posting, written to fill this perceived gap, I will argue that it is both neccessary and possible to transform ourselves inwardly through spiritual practice into vessels more adequate to the task of engaging with the conspiracy and helping end it. Over thousands of years the contemplative traditions of east and west have developed what are sometimes called "technologies of transformation", techniques and practices that have the effect of transforming the individual's body, mind and spirit, making them stronger, spiritually awakened and wiser, all of which are valuable qualities for conspiracy activists to possess.

Exactly what activities the transformed individual will engage in to play their part is for them to decide – the goal of this article is empowering the individual and connecting them to their own inner spiritual resources, where these answers will naturally be found.

And should we all be mistaken and eventually discover that is no conspiracy, then following the program I will suggest and developing the qualities described, is still one of the best uses we can make of our time on this planet.

I am not claiming to possess all of these qualtites myself – I am still working on them as a beginner – but am just putting my views forward for discussion.


2. Strength

The first quality I would argue that we need is strength. Physical strength, energetic strength, emotional strength, mental strength and strength of character all have a synergistic relationship with one another and are essential for conspiracy activists to possess. If the researchers are correct then things could get extremely stressful for us in the years ahead and we should prepare ourselves for a worst-case scenario. We will certainly have to maintain our efforts under trying conditions; we could end up interned in a FEMA camp, living on the streets as fugitives of the system, or embroiled in more manipulated wars. And even if the situation does not get this bad, the global situation will certainly become more stressful for everyone (as the Silent Weapons for a Quiet War document describes) – economically stressful, politically stressful and environmentally stressful (e.g. electromagnetic pollution, GM food, additives in the food and water supply) as the Illuminati turn the screw on the global population.

Fortunately the traditions of the east have developed techniques for increasing the individual's strength in all these ways, the two most important of which, I would argue, are high-level qigong and a meditative practice called Tonglen.

Amongst those not particularly familiar with qigong it is often thought to be a bit of an "airy fairy" practice, working only on the "subtle energy" of the individual, with little effect on them as a whole. Nothing could be further from the truth. Qigong has been used by martial arts practitioners for thousands of years to strengthen their whole being, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and to make them highly resilient to stress. In particular, a branch of Qigong known as Zhan Zhuang (pronounced "Jam Jong") is very effective in this regard. Zhan Zhuang is a simple practice which can be performed alone and which involves nothing more than standing in special static postures for certain periods of time (it is for this reason that Zhan Zhuang is often simply referred to as "standing qigong" or just "standing"). These postures open the energy channels of the body and allow chi to circulate, healing ailments, removing blockages and strengthening and upgrading the individual's entire energy system as it does so, making them strong and vital.

Zhan Zhuang training also forms the foundation of many of the internal martial arts such as Tai Chi, Ba Gua and Hsing-I, in which it is used to develop internal strength and power, which can be directed toward excellence in the martial arts or just a high-level of health, energy and effectiveness in daily life.

The two Zhan Zuang teachers I would point people toward as exemplars of this practice are Bruce Frantzis and Master Lam Kam Chuen. Frantzis' main book on standing is Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body (1993), in which he outlines a basic program of standing qigong that can be practiced on it's own, followed by several auxiliary practices which increase the effectiveness of the technique.

Master Lam's books on standing are The Way of Energy (1991) and Chi Kung: Way of Power (2003), in which he describes a set of postures to be practiced in a progressive sequence which gradually intensify the flow of energy through the body. All three of these books are highly recommended.



Master Lam Practicing Zhan Zhuang


I should point out that some teachers advise that because Zhan Zhuang is quite powerful, it should only be undertaken under the guidance of a qualified instructor in order to prevent problems caused by incorrect practice. Other teachers disagree and say that as long as the student is careful and approaches it gradually, that it is perfectly safe. In any case, as with any spiritual practice, studying with a teacher will always yield faster results than working alone, and this is especially true for any type of qigong.

The second technique I would recommend for increasing strength and forebearance is the Tibetan meditative practice of Tonglen. In this meditation the individual imagines herself to be taking in all the suffering in the world, visualised in the form of thick black smoke; and sending out peace, joy and happiness in response, visualised as a healing white light. This process is synchronised with the breathing, so that suffering is taken in with the in-breath and peace and happiness sent out with the out-breath. More detailed instructions for this practice can be found in the books Eight Steps to Happiness by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (2003), The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche (2008) and Awaken the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das (2013).

There are said to be many benefits to Tonglen practice, such as the strengthening of our love and compassion and the accumulation of merit, but Geshe Kelsang Gyatso also specifically states that by performing it we develop a strong mind that can bear adversity with courage (2003). This is obviously a different type of strength to that developed through qigong: it is a strength of the heart and heart-mind, a capacity to continue to love even under the most trying circumstances and to persevere in the toughest of conditions.

Anyone who has read and tentatively accepted the research into the global conpiracy knows that the future is very much an unknown quantity, but potentially a very stressful one. Time spent up front developing physical, emotional and spiritual hardiness is one of the best investments we can make in order to survive the torrid times that may lie ahead.


3. Clarity of Thought, Action and Purpose

The second quallity I would argue we need and which can be developed through spiritual practice is clarity of thought, action and purpose. I would define this quality as being made up of the following elements:


  • Lack of magical or sentimental thinking.
       

         
    • We need to be fearless in basing our worldview on the available evidence, whatever that might be, and to reject theories for which such evidence is lacking, no matter how much we would like them to be true.

    •    
    • We need to engage in rigorous research, thinking and argumentation in order to win over a sceptical public.

    •    
    • We need to avoid elevating magical thinking to the status of post-conventional wisdom.

    •    
    • We need to avoid believing that the Truth Vibrations will take care of everything and that we don't need to act. Similarly, we need to avoid believing that everything will be OK just because we want it to be.

    •    
    • We need to avoid believing that we can act in isolation and do not need to join with others.

    •    

  • Lack of shadow elements in our thinking.
       

         
    • We need to see the facts of the situation and avoid projecting onto it our own predjudices and hang-ups.

    •    
    • We need to avoid projecting our fears into the situation and seeing things more negatively than they are.

    •    

  • Intellect refined through higher consciousness.
       

         
    • We need to develop what Andrew Harvey calls the "illumined intellect" – a mind refined through being immersed in higher states of awareness.

    •    
    • We need sharp deductive and integrative thinking skills.

    •    
    • We need the creativity that comes from integrating the subconscious.

    •    
    • We need the creativity that comes from higher consciousness.

    •    

  • Ability to intelligently set and achieve outcomes.
       

         
    • We need the wisdom to decide on the appropriate course of action in any given situation.

    •    
    • We need to ability to make plans to achieve these goals.

    •    
    • We need the tenacity to perservere through difficulties in the achievement of these objectives.

    •    

  • Insight
       

         
    • We need insight into the nature of reality.

    •    
    • We need insight into the workings of the control system.

    •    


As far as realising the attributes on this list goes, once again those who know recommend that a good way to start is with a regular meditation program. For example, the Buddhist practice of contemplating one's mortality is very effective at removing magical or sentimental thinking and grounding the individual in the bare facts of any given situation. It also has the effect of making the subconscious conscious, thereby improving psychological integration and creativity. Another training in accepting the world as it is, rather than as we would like it to be, could be Zazen (Zen meditation) or Shi Ne (calm abiding). Tonglen is useful for integrating the shadow and overcoming projections; any concentrative or awareness practice such as the mindfulness of breathing will develop higher states of consciousness and illumine the intellect (Kamalashila, 1997); and any long-term contemplative program will eventually lead to insight into the nature of reality as well as wisdom and an awareness of the best course of action to take in any given situation. 

As an adjunctive practice, for those who can afford it, many modern-day Western teachers such as Jack Kornfield also recommend psychotherapy as a valuable element of any system of spiritual growth. As emotional healing takes place during the course of therapy, thought and action naturally become clearer, the shadow integrated and the mind liberated from confused patterns of thought and action, making the individual more effective in their daily activities.

And we should not neglect the physical aspects of thought. Fluoride, chemicals and heavy metals in the water supply, additives in our food and the electromagnetic soup we are increasingly living in all take their toll and make clear thinking difficult. While not all of these can be avoided, there are certain steps that can be taken to mitigate their effects. Fasting and detox programmes (Reid 1989, 2003) and, once again, high-level qigong, can all help to cleanse the body of toxins and restore clarity to the mind.


4. Intuition, Heart Intelligence and Coherence

Another quality that is invaluable for conspiracy activists to possess, in my opinion, is the ability to listen to and heed our own heart-felt intuition. David Icke talks about this a lot. According to him following the guidance of our heart allows us to discern what is true amongst the sometimes conflicting opinions of conspiracy research. It also allows us to determine the course of action most likely to succeed in any given situation.

Icke says that many people coming into incarnation today are doing so with a plan of what they want to achieve during their lifetime, and that connecting with the heart and following it's promptings is the way by which we harmonise ourselves with that plan.

The Institute for HeartMath has also done a great deal of research into what it calls "heart intelligence" and "heart coherence", which it claims allow us to connect to our innate intuition. It defines "heart intelligence" as:

"the flow of awareness, understanding and intuition we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart." [1]


The same article defines "coherence" as:

" a logical, orderly and harmonious connectedness between parts." [2]


It goes on to say that:

"One of the simplest and quickest paths to heart coherence is through intentional positive feelings – compassion, caring, love and other such emotions" [3]


There are techniques available on the HeartMath website for achieving heart coherence, but to my mind these only work temporarily and are like a sticking plaster. The best way to cultivate these "intentional positive feelings" long-term so that they become an integral part of our life is through regular spiritual practice. In particular the Buddhist tradition has practices to cultivate what are known as the "brahma viharas", or "four sublime abodes": loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. In essence, systematically cultivating these qualities involves sitting for meditation and repeating affirmations such as "may all beings be happy, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be free of suffering" over and over until these positive emotions arise of their own accord and become a natural part of our daily life. For those wanting more detail on this, there are many books that describe practices for cultivating these states, with a particulary good one being Kamalashila's Meditation: The Buddhist Way of Tranquility and Insight. (1997). I would argue that systematically developing these four positive emotions is the most solid way to achieve the heart-intelligence that connects us with our own innate intuition, as well as having a host of other benefits that are beyond the scope of this essay but which are discussed in the buddhist texts.


5. Ethical Action

The ability to act ethically at all times is essential for conspiracy acivists for many reasons. One is simply that it makes us happier people. Another is that by acting mindfully and ethically we minimise karmic entanglements that may complicate our lives and interfere with our effectiveness as activists. It may also be the case that one of the ways the illuminati seek to derail campaigners is by attempting to get them to act unethically, thus creating negative karma that can be exploited in order to bring them down.

The world's contemplative traditions also teach that an ethical lifestyle is a prerequisite for accomplishment in meditation, and thus for achieving heart intelligence and coherence. It is simply not possible, they say, to act unethically in our daily lives and expect to reach higher states of consciousness during our meditation practice.

Ethical training begins by the individual adopting a set of ethical guidelines such as those of the Buddhist tradition and then working on keeping them day-by-day, confessing our faults and recommitting to them each time we fail. The five buddhist precepts are as follows:


  1. To refrain from taking life

  2. To refrain from taking the not-given

  3. To refrain from false or harsh speech

  4. To refrain from sexual misconduct

  5. To refrain from using intoxicants


But any system of ethics that follows the golden rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", it could be argued, is a good way to begin any program of ethical training.


6. Capacity to Join with Others

The ability to enter into networks of mutually-supportive relationships will be vital to our success in countering the control system. Illuminati documents such as Silent Weapons for a Quiet War talk about how the conspirators work to prevent us coming together to defend ourselves against the conspiracy, when doing so would be beneficial for us.

Spiritual practices such as meditation generally improve the individual's ability to work with others by transforming negative emotions and breaking down the emotional barriers that separate us from one another. Depth-psychotherapy is also a training in relating authentically to another person and in resolving projections and subconscious traumas that sabotage our efforts at interacting with other people, and is recommended for this reason also.


7. Conclusion

In the transpersonal pyschology movement there are various theories about what the well-functioning person looks like, and how her psychology is organised. Often referred to as the "centaur" the healthy individual is both integrated within herself and effective in the world and her relationships. Becoming "centauric" is therefore the best way for an individual to begin playing her part in ending the global conspiracy. I have written another posting specifically on the centaur (O'Connor, 2012) and while there is some overlap with the current article, it may be valuable for interested readers to work through that essay too.

What I would recommend as a minimum, and what I am working on myself, is a combination of meditation (from any mentioned in the preceeding sections, with particular emphasis on Tonglen), qigong (emphasising Zhan Zhuang) and ethical training, coupled with a sane, balanced and healthy lifestyle. For those with the funds, I would also recommend including depth-psychotherapy in any such program.

This posting has been my attempt to formulate a system of practice beneficial to conspiracy activists in preparing them for the task ahead. I welcome any comments that readers may offer, and will seek to amend this article to take any criticisms into account.


References

[1] http://www.heartmath.org/faqs/research/research-faqs.html
[2] ibid.
[3] ibid.


Bibliography

Das, S. (2013) . Awaken the Buddha Within. Random House.

Frantzis, B.K. (1993). Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. North Atlantic Books.

Gyatso, K. (2003). Eight Steps to Happiness. Tharpa Publications.

Kamalashila. (1997). Meditation: The Buddhist Way of Tranquility and Insight. Windhorse.

Lam, K.C. (1991). The Way of Energy. Gaia Books Ltd.

Lam, K.C. (2003). Chi Kung: Way of Power. Gaia Books Ltd.

O'Connor, J. (2012). Realising the Centaur. http://spiritandthenwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/realising-centaur.html.

Reid, D. (1989). The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity. Simon and Schuster.

Reid, D. (2003). The Tao of Detox. Simon and Schuster.

Sogyal Rinpoche (2008). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Rider.

Unknown. Silent Weapons for a Quiet War. Various versions available via search engines.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Realising the Centaur

Essay Last Updated 25th October 2012


1. Overview

As most readers of this site will know, the 'centaur' is a term that originated within the field of transpersonal psychology to refer to the fully-integrated and psychologically-healthy individual. While not necessarily enlightened, the centauric individual has attained a high degree of functioning in his daily life and interpersonal relationships, and in many cases he will also be naturally inclined towards self actualisation, spiritual development and the attainment of higher states of consciousness.

In this post I would like to outline a list of the attributes of the centaur as I see them and to point to some practices that can be used by individuals wanting to actualise this structure.


2. The Centaur in the Major Models

In the current version (2007) of Ken Wilber's structural-hierarchical model the centaur occupies the two levels (Teal and Turquoise) that make up the second tier of development. In the early versions of his model (Wilber I) Wilber focused quite a lot of attention on the somatic aspects of the centaur and the fact that it is comprised of the integration of all the lower levels (1985) (its so-called "superior integration"). However, in more recent years he has tended to concentrate more (although not exclusively) on the cognitive and self-identity aspects of this stage and he now states that the centaur integrates the body in the same manner as earlier stages, although with greater power (being a higher level) (2000).

The centaur also occupies a place of great importance in Michael Washburn's dynamic-dialectical model, so great in fact that many people believe that this schema of development culminates in the attainment of this stage. Washburn argues that centauric awareness is attained by the lifting of so-called primal repression and the integration of the resulting material (1995). Washburn's model therefore agrees with Wilber I that the centaur integrates the body and lower levels in a manner superior to earlier stages.

In the model of development I am proposing, the organic-integrative, the centaur is not seen as being a certain stage of development, but rather as the autonomous, integrated form of any other stage (O'Connor 2006, 2008). In agreement with Washburn and in contrast to Wilber's current thinking, I would argue that the centaur does indeed integrate the body and lower levels of awareness with greater power than non-centauric structures and that this superior integration can be symbolised as a mandala rather than as a hierarchy or nest.




However, despite the points of contention between these models they are all in agreement that the centaur is a very important stage in human development. For this reason I believe it is encumbant upon us to fully understand the centaur – its attributes and structure – as well as how to most harmoniously realise it, and it is to these aims that the remainder of this essay is dedicated.


3. Attributes of the Centaur

The following is a list of some of the attributes of the centaur as I see them, culled from various authors such as Ken Wilber, Alexander Lowen, Silvano Arieti and Arthur Janov. While most of these authors would not recognise the term 'centaur', their various views on the well-functioning individual all fit nicely under this umbrella.

The entries marked with an asterisk are those which are not strictly required for centauric functioning, but which extend the centaur in various positive ways (I will refer to this as the 'centaur+').

  1. Psychological Integration       
    • All Early-Life Traumas Integrated
    • Shadow Material Integrated
    • Birth Trauma Integrated
    • Fear of Death Integrated
  2. Somatic Aspects    
    • Mind & Body Integrated
    • Unarmoured
  3. Tertiary Process    
    • Freed-Up Primary Process
    • Fully Integrated Tertiary Process
    • Creative
  4. Character Attributes   
    • Strong Character
    • Can Work Hard etc
    • Can Survive on Little Sleep (*) etc
    • Stamina and Endurance (*) etc
  5. Personality Attributes   
    • Well-Rounded Personality
    • Self-Actualising
    • Positive and Optimistic
    • Confident, Capable, Dynamic
    • Authentic
    • Expresses Individuality
    • Enters Flow States Easily
  6. Interpersonal Attributes   
    • Clear Communication
    • Meaningful Content
    • Warm, Open and Friendly
    • Good Sense of Humour
  7. Energetic
    • Energy Channels Open
    • No Energy Blockages / Energy Circulates Freely
    • Grounded
    • Vital and Vibrant
    • Strong Energy and Internal Power (*)
    • Strong Dan Tien (*)
    • Free of Negative Energies (*)
  8. Spiritual    
    • Lives From Intuition
    • Purified, with Abundant Merit and Blessings (*)
    • Natural Access to Contemplative States (*)
    • Insight Developing Organically (*)

4. Attaining the Centaur


4.1 Major Areas of Attack

Despite the large number of attributes listed in the table above, it is not actually necessary to work on all of them individually in order to realise the centauric structure. By focusing on one or two of the key areas the other attributes (especially the personality attributes) will naturally be attained almost as a by-product, without any specific work being done on them.

The two key areas, in my opinion, that do need to be specifically addressed, and from which the others will follow, are psychological integration and energy system development. Another way of saying the same thing is that the individual needs to work only on structure (repatterning the energy system) and content (making the unconscious conscious).

Psychological integration is obviously important in any program of personal development, so much so that the centaur is often practically defined by the degree of integration obtained. The fewer neurotic elements there are in the personality the more effective the individual will be in their work and interpersonal pursuits. And as far as transpersonal development goes, Wilber has argued that the less mental resources that are tied up in pre-personal concerns, the faster and less stressfully the spiritual stages can be traversed.

However, psychological integration on its own may not be sufficient to bring about centauric awareness. This is because it is possible to integrate a fair amount of subconscious material without the structure of the personality being changed sufficiently to actualise the centaur. Sometimes additional and specific work on the energy system is also required, and it is to this that I will now turn.

The role of the energy system in psychological health and illness has been addressed in several schools of psychotherapy, particularly in the Reichian school and its derivatives such as Alexander Lowen's Bioenergetics. In his book The Language of the Body (1971) Lowen outlines in some detail how neurosis is always anchored in an ungrounded or otherwise dysfunctional system of energy flow in the body. In this book Lowen also describes certain general principles governing this relationship as well as how certain generic type of neurosis and their related energy problems can be diagnosed from an analysis of body structure. He also covers how a system of therapy devoted to strenthening and repatterning the energy of the body can lead to a greater degree of psychological health and optimal functioning in the individual.

Despite the apparent power of this system of Bioenergetics, I have some doubts that practicing these exercises alone can lead to the benefits claimed by its adherents. As I see it neurotic elements can be anchored deep in the subconscious and their resolution requires a type of surrender to the pain involved in the process that manipulating the body cannot on its own bring about. For this reason I believe that any kind of energy work must be supplemented by other practices that work directly on making the unconscious conscious for them to be fully effective. I also believe that other types of energy work exist that are actually more effective than Bioenergetics, and will describe these in the following section.


4.2 Suggested Practices to Achieve the Above

As far as attaining the centaur goes, I would like to propose the following quartet of core practices, which I will then look at one-by-one:
   
  • High Level Qigong   
  • Psychotherapy
  • Tonglen
  • Contemplation of Mortality


4.2.1 High Level Qigong

Qigong, the ancient Chinese art of energy development, has many schools and hundreds of different practices, which all have similar effects. Finding one's way through them all can be an arduous task; so what I propose to do is to concentrate on the work of three modern teachers who I believe offer the most effective systems of practice. The first two of these teachers are from the 'Water Method' school, while the third is from the 'Fire Method' school (although there is some overlap between their respective teachings).

The first Water Method teacher is Taoist Lineage Holder Bruce Kumar Frantzis. Frantzis is a master of the three internal martial arts (Tai Chi, Ba Gua and Hsing-I) as well as a Qigong master and is the author of half a dozen books on these subjects. The most relevant of these for our purposes is his major work on Qigong: Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body (1993). This book outlines a system of Qigong practice that has the aim of strengthening and grounding the individual's energy, dissolving blocks in their energy body and developing greater internal fluidity and power.

The major technique that Frantzis teaches to achieve these aims is called Zhan Zhuang (pronounced "Jam Jong"), a practice in which the individual assumes a static standing posture that allows energy to circulate freely throughout the body, dissolving energy blockages and generally upgrading the individual's energy system as it does so. According to Frantzis there are approximately 200 such postures, each opening up a slightly different configuration of the body's energy channels.

The appelation of "Water Method" to Frantiz's system of practice comes from the fact that the downward flow of energy is favoured, which prefers to wear away energy blockages gradually over time rather than aggressively opening them up in a way that could be overwhelming or even dangerous.

The second Qigong teacher whose work I would like to highlight is Master Lam Kam Chuen, author of The Way of Energy (1991) and Chi Kung: Way of Power (2003). Master Lam is also a teacher of Zhan Zhuang but offers a system of practice that progresses through a series of postures that become gradually more powerful (and more difficult to hold) over time, and which induce a progressively more intense flow of energy.

For those whose constitution is inclined towards the Water Method schools, both of these teachers are highly recommended.

The third teacher whose work I believe to be useful is Sifu Wong Kiew Kit, a master of the "Fire School" of Qigong. While including Zhan Zhuang in his system, Sifu Wong tends to focus on what he refers to as "Dynamic Patterns" and "Sinew Metamorphosis" - simple physical movements which, when learned from a master, induce a powerful flow of energy through the body, dissolving blockages and upgrading the energy system in a way similar to that described above for Zhan Zhuang (Wong, 2001).

I believe that all of these schools of high-level Qigong have the potential to address the energy development side of realising the centaur: dissolving physical and emotional blockages, and grounding and strengthening the individual's energy. I also believe that when practiced in conjunction with the other techniques in the quartet, that these benefits would be multiplied – but this is a subject for further research and debate.


4.2.2 Psychotherapy

There are many different schools of psychotherapy and not having experienced them all I cannot be too definitive as to what I say about them.

The only point I would make is that any school of psychotherapy being used to realise the centaur must go deeply into the non-verbal realms of feeling and sensation in order to fully integrate the lower levels of the psyche. For this reason I would suggest that cognitive approaches (including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Transactional Analysis) will not be particularly effective. Arthur Janov has critiqued the various verbal and cognitive approaches in some detail [1] and put forward his own school, Primal Therapy, which he claims is more effective. Primal Therapy concentrates on accessing repressed feeling rather than (mere) verbalisation and lived experience rather than 'insight'. Janov claims that this enables deep traumas to be gradually re-integrated through the re-experiencing of the original pain repressed in their formation. This includes the birth trauma and traumas surrounding intrauterine life.

Primal Therapy is not often discussed in integral circles and I am not sure why this is. Perhaps it is not taken seriously. I am not putting it forward as a panacea for all the ills of non-centauric life, but simply suggesting that some techique that goes sufficiently deep into the psyche is required, whether it be this one or something similar.


4.2.3 Tonglen

Tonglen is a Mahayana Buddhist practice that has become very popular in recent times, and which I believe has the potential to make a significant contribution to the realisation of the centaur.

As most readers will again already know, in Tonglen the individual volunatarily takes upon herself the suffering of others by breathing it in in the form of imagined thick black smoke; and gives them all of her happiness and joy by breathing it out in the form of imagined healing white light. This process is visualised again and again for the entire duration of the practice session.

According to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his book Eight Steps to Happiness (2003), the benefits of practicing Tonglen are as follows:
   
  • it increases our merit   
  • it increases our concentration
  • it purifies negative karma, non-virtues and delusions
  • it makes love and compassion very strong
  • it destroys attachment
  • we develop a strong mind that can bear adversity with courage

From a psychological point of view, I would also argue that in increasing our ability and willingness to face suffering, in practicing Tonglen we are also opening our consciousness to the repressed traumas that we all carry. A willingness to experience the pain involved must be a necessary prerequisite for the process of re-integrating these traumas to occur, and Tonglen effects this 'turning about'.

In addition to this, it could be argued that the "thick black smoke" visualised as other's suffering could actually be a representation of the psychological shadow to the psyche. In "breathing this in" we are therefore "breathing in" our own shadow which will have the effect of allowing it into awareness, from where it can be integrated. I would argue that this visualisation practice will initiate a much deeper integration of the shadow than Wilber's rather cognitively-based 3-2-1 process, and should be a valuable element of any system of practice aimed at realising the centaur.


4.2.4 Contemplation of Mortality

The contemplation of the certainty of one's eventual death is a practice that goes back to the beginning of the Buddhist tradition (and possibly much further). The major effect of the practice is to bring the practitioner face-to-face with his existential situation, and to act as a spur for his spiritual practice.

In the field of transpersonal psychology, many writers including Ernest Becker (2011), early Ken Wilber (1996) and Michael Washburn (1995) hold that the average person's denial of death has the effect of errecting a barrier between himself and centauric awareness that is often termed "primal repression" (Wilber's term). Yet in shutting himself down from the knowledge of his situation he also shuts out the sensory and emotional richness of life.

In contemplating the inevitability of his death the individual gradually lifts this barrier of primal repression and initiates the process of re-integrating this existential fear. Lifting primal repression also has the effect of lifting repression generally in the psyche and allowing all repressed traumas back into consciousness, where they can be integrated.

In addition to this, by integrating all of these pre-personal elements, and the primary process in general, this practice should also facilitate the emergence of the fully functioning tertiary process – the integration of the randomness of the primary process with the order of the secondary process – from which Arieti shows creativity emerges (1980).

Thus the contemplation of death could be seen as an important technique in facilitating the psychological integration that I have argued is important for the realisation of the centaur.


5. Some Brief Notes on the Centaur+

In the above table I have included three of the ways in which the centaur can be developed (which I have termed the 'centaur+'). I will finish this essay by highlighting some of the practices that can help to develop the centaur in these ways.

The first way the centaur can be developed further is through increasing its "hardiness" – it's stamina and endurance. There are many ways of achieving this – high-level Qigong will go a long way to doing so – and general physical conditioning (often advocated by Wilber and his students) will also do so to some extent.

The centaur's energy structure can also be further developed through more specialised forms of Qigong such as the 'Dragon and Tiger' set taught by Bruce Frantzis (2008), or through training in any of the internal martial arts (Tai Chi, Ba Gua and Hsing-I). The potential of the centaur to be developed energetically in this regard is almost limitless. It can also be developed contemplatively in this tradition, for example through the practice of Taoist meditation, which Frantiz also teaches.

As far as developing the centaur spiritually goes, it can be very valuable to complete the Ngondro (pronounced 'nundro') of any of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. This sequence of practices systematically accumulates refuge, purification, merit and blessings and gives a firm foundation upon which further practice can be based (as well as being a highly effective system of spiritual development in it's own right).

Of course, any of the attributes listed in the table above can be developed further than that required for basic centauric functioning, and Michael Murphy's excellent book The Future of the Body (1992) is a compendium of many of the techniques that can be used to do this.


6. Conclusion

The centaur is an important stage in almost all of the existing models of human transpersonal development and for this reason it is encumbant upon us to understand it more fully. In this essay I have proposed a list of attributes posessed by the centaur and highlighted a quartet of practices that can be used to develop it. This list of not intended to be definitive and the set of practices only put forward for further research and discussion. Wilber and his students have proposed their own system of development (Wilber et. al. 2008) which, as far as I know, is equally as untested as is this one. It may therefore be useful for the integral community to compare these two systems and form some conclusions on how individuals can realise full centauric awareness as a base for their further spiritual development.


Footnotes

1. Janov's book-length critique can be found by putting the phrase "Arthur Janov Grand Delusions" into Google.


Bibliography

Arieti, S (1980). Creativity: The Magic Synthesis. Basic Books.

Becker, E. (2011). The Denial of Death. Souvenir Press Ltd.

Frantzis, B.K. (2008). Dragon and Tiger Medical Chi Gung. Energy Arts, Inc.

Frantzis, B.K. (1993). Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. North Atlantic Books.

Gyatso, K. (2003). Eight Steps to Happiness. Tharpa Publications.

Janov, A. (1990). The New Primal Scream. Abacus.

Lam, K.C. (1991). The Way of Energy. Gaia Books Ltd.

Lam, K.C. (2003). Chi Kung: Way of Power. Gaia Books Ltd.

Lowen, A. (1971). The Language of the Body. Collier Books.

Murphy, M. (1992). The Future of the Body. Penguin Putnam Inc.

O'Connor, J. (2006). A New Model of Development. Available on http://www.integralworld.net.

O'Connor, J (2008). Further Thoughts on the Organic-Integrative Model. Available on http://www.integralworld.net.

Washburn, M. (1995). The Ego and the Dynamic Ground. State University of New York Press.

Wilber, K. (1985). The Atman Project. The Theosophical Publishing House.

Wilber, K. (1996). Up From Eden. The Theosophical Publishing House.

Wilber, K. (2000). Integral Psychology. Shambhala Publications Inc.

Wilber, K. (2007). Integral Spirituality. Integral Books.

Wilber, K., Patten, T., Leonard, A. & Morelli, M. (2008). Integral Life Practice. Integral Books.

Wong, K.K. (2001). The Art of Chi Kung. Vermilion Books.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My Take on the Global Conspiracy



This is an Updated Version of the Same Essay Posted on Integral World
Last Amended: 6-April-2012


1. Introduction

This posting is intended to be my take on the emerging field of "global conspiracy" research, written for both an integral audience and for readers of the work of David Icke. It will argue in favour of the proposition that rather than being the product of magical, paranoid thinking, that such research is touching on something real; that a high level global conspiracy does indeed exist, and has the end-goal of producing a rigidly hierarchical world government structure, controlled by a group of unelected technocrats wielding power over a sedated and controlled global population.

The article will draw heavily on the work of Icke, who I believe has produced the most comprehensive and well-rounded research in the field to date. However, the theory outlined here is my take on the global situation, not Icke's, for although I have great respect for what he has achieved with his books, I also have areas of disagreement with him. To readers of his work it should become fairly clear what these are as we proceed.

So as a way of begining I would like to point out that a large part of the resistance towards accepting that a global conspiracy exists stems from a basic problem in understanding how the structures needed to implement it could possibly exist for any length of time (let alone centuries) without being exposed. It is for this reason that I have decided to begin this essay with a look at secret societies, and in particular with freemasonry.


2. Freemasonry

Freemsasonry is the world's most populous secret society. According to the image it projects in the public sphere it is little more than a gentleman's club that does a lot of work for charity. It boasts, however, high ranking officials in all areas of society as members, including politicians, journalists, economists, police commanders, judges, doctors and so on. Members of freemasonry are expected to carry out instructions given to them by higher-ranking masons in whichever area of society they have influence. Freemasonry therefore constitutes a command-and-control structure completely outside the limits of the democratic process, and which exists completely free of public scrutiny. The upper echelons of the freemasonic network in any country eventually lock into the mother lodge in London, from where a global agenda could be (and is) co-ordinated. In addition to this the structure of freemasonry is rigidly hierarchical and compartmentalised, with those in the lower ranks knowing little to nothing about the true agenda of the organisation. The real goals are known only to those in the upper echelons.

If the implications of this weren't bad enough for democracy, then even more dangerous is the fact that freemasonry is a ritually-based, esoteric religion. The initiation rituals that freemasons go through are specifically designed to lock them into a certain consciousness (to be analysed later), which, from that moment on, begins to dictate their decisions and actions and thus influences, by extension, the direction of society.

All of the world's other secret societies (such as P2, Opus Dei or the Knights of Malta etc) operate in pretty much the same way, have pretty much the same agenda and are controlled by pretty much the same people. The top strata of individuals is usually referred to by researchers as the "Illuminati", a term I will accept in the remainder of this essay.

The most common form of freemasonry, the "Scottish Rite" as it is known, has 33 official degrees of initiation, with the majority of members never making it past the third of these. The higher thirty degrees are attained only by a chosen few, with some researchers claiming that even higher and more secret levels exist, called, appropriately, the "illuminati" degrees.

Most of the individuals in the lower ranks of these secret societies have relatively innocent objectives from their membership: the desire to belong to a social club; the desire to use their involvement with the network as a means to make money through manipulated business dealings; or the desire to wield greater influence in their community. However, the top level members, the Illuminati as I am calling them, have more ambitious goals from their involvement, goals that affect the whole of society, and it is these that I will now outline.


3. The Long-Term Goals (from a five-sense point of view)

So what are the long-term objectives of the Illuminati (of which the freemasons and other secret societies are merely the vehicles)? Well, according to the people who have researched this area the ultimate goal is nothing short of establishing a totalitarian world government under their complete control (Icke, 1995). In Freemsasonry this agenda is known as "the great work of the ages".

To ensure that this world government is both stable and unimpeachable a hierarchically-structured society is also required, with the general population prevented from:

i) Achieving any centauric structure of being, which would empower them to take control of their own lives; and from
ii) Establishing networks of meaningful communication, which would enable them to bond together to construct new, healthy social structures and to defend themselves from any attacks on these.

I will attempt to outline exactly why the Illuminati want such a society a little later in this essay, but for now I would ask the reader to provisionally accept that they do want it, and let me explain some of the structures and methods being used to bring it about.


4. Structures of Control and Influence

The upper echelons of the secret society network forms the inner core of what is sometimes called the "secret government" of the world. It exerts its influence in two major ways: firstly, through the actions of major public figures who are directly involved with the network; and secondly, through its subsidiary nexus of think tanks and semi-secret organisations which mould the thinking of other individuals who have influence, but who are maybe not directly involved with any secret society.

This latter grouping of organisations includes the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, which are all acknowledged to exist but whose influence usually remains unexamined in the mainstream media (Icke, 1995). These organisations hold their meetings under the so-called "Chatham House rule", which means that attendees are free to use any material discussed on the proviso that they do not disclose the identity of the originator. The list of Bilderberg attendees often leaks out and always includes top politicians, advisors and business leaders, as well as "up and coming" future leaders who are being groomed for office.

David Icke describes this secret society/think tank interaction as being like a spider's web, with the real power lying in the secret societies (the spider) and percolating outwards through the think tanks (the web) to influence public policy in society at large. I agree with this view.

Another way that the Illuminati control society is through having control and/or ownership of the major worlds corporations. Some theorists hold the view that the illuminati own all of the multinationals but hide this behind front-men and through other mechanisms. I am not sure about this, but have seen enough research to accept that even if the illuminat don't own all the corporations directly, they have a fair amount of influence over those who do. This allows an agenda for global control to be co-ordinated through seemingly unrelated companies, banks and other entities, with the same individuals being at the top of each pyramid.


5. The Most Commonly-Used Techniques of Manipulation

As well as influencing society through the previously mentioned structure. there are certain other generic methods of manipulation used by the Illuminati (or rather their agents in the public sphere) to push society in the direction they desire. I'll outline them one by one.


5.1 Problem-Reaction-Solution

Problem-Reaction-Solution (or P-R-S) is a term invented by Icke (1995) to describe a certain type of manipulation, which, once it is pointed out, can be seen in action by the day. The basic idea is that you want to engineer a certain change in society, but you know that if you announce it openly it would draw massive public resistence. You therefore don't anounce it openly, but instead run a P-R-S play as follows:

i) At stage 1 you use every method at your disposal to covertly create a problem, which could for example be a terrorist attack, an economic crisis or a pandemic of a certain virus.
ii) At stage 2, you use your control of the media to provoke the desired public reaction, i.e. angry calls of "something must be done – what are they [the authorities] going to do about it?"
iii) And then finally at stage 3, you use this public outrage as an excuse to introduce the very measures that you desired all along (for example, The Patriot Act that was introduced in the United States in the wake of 9/11, and which was so complex and detailed that it clearly must have been drafted before the attacks had even occured).


5.2 Stepping Stones

Another technique Icke has identified, which goes hand-in-hand with P-R-S, he calls the "stepping stones" manouvre (Icke 1995). This works as follows: You wish to move society in a certain direction, but you know that if you attempt to jump immediately to the end-goal in one giant leap, the magnitude of the change will provoke massive resistence. You therefore don't attempt to move immediately to the end-goal, but proceed instead in a series of small steps (each an individual P-R-S scenario), with each presented as being unconnected with the others. So for example, if your end-goal is to microchip the entire population, you might first propose the idea of microchipping family pets, and then, once the benefits of this have seeped into the collective consciousness ("you'll never lose Fido again!"), very gradually introduce the idea of extending this scheme to the human population (perhaps beginning by emphasising how it could help with the problem of missing children etc). Once the ground has thus been sufficiently prepared you are then able to introduce the measures you desired all along, with minimal resistence.


5.3 Dialectical Progression

A technique related to Problem-Reaction-Solution is to create two sides and play them off against each other in the pursuit of a desired higher-order integration (Icke 1995). The classic examples of this cited by conspiracy researchers are either of the two world wars, in which both sides were provably funded and controlled by the same elite, and which were both used to justify the creation of the United Nations ("to stop this ever happening again"), which is said to be a major stepping-stone on the way to the creation of their sought after world government.


6. (Intermediate) Goals These Techniques Move Us Toward

In general these techniques are continually being used to make western societies more authoritarian by the month and year. They are also used on the global stage to push us gradually in the direction of a world government. The latter is achieved by creating ever wider unifications of nation-states, which usually begin as relatively benign trading blocs before being allowed to evolve gradually into full political unions. This has most obviously happened with the creation of the European Union, but is also in progress in other parts of the world with the planned North American Union, the Pacific Union and so on.

To ensure that candidates are elected who will be prepared to hand over national sovereignty to the larger body, the Illuminati need (in a broad sense) control over the political systems in the targeted countries, or at least over the policies of polititians once they are elected. This is achieved by drawing prospective candidates into the secret society network, from where they can be manipulated, and by having control over the media in the target country, which is achieved in a similar fashion through having control of the media owners and corporate structures.

In the economic sphere the Illuminati have control of the banking system (in fact, it is their creation), and use this influence to create booms and busts in order to bring about ever greater concentrations of capital under their influence (the great depression being one obvious example). And, once again, they also work to bring about ever wider unifications of banking, business ("globalisation"), and currencies (the "euro", the "amero" etc) through their manipulations.


7. Engineering Events

I do not intend to give an extensive tour of all the events engineered by the Illuminati over the course of the last hundred years to push society in the direction they desire – it would take several books to do so, and the material is already out there for those willing to do a little research – but a couple of very brief examples are in order.


7.1 9/11

The 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre are perhaps the most obvious Problem-Reaction-Solution of recent times. The anomalies surrounding the attacks themselves and the subsequent collapse of the twin towers are so numerous that entire books have been written about them. From the documented aeronautical ineptitude of the alleged "expert hijackers"; the lack of any kind of credible response from NORAD, the F.A.A. and the U.S. Air Force to the hijackings; the curious fact that exercises simulating hijackings of aircraft were being held on that very day; and the apparent controlled demolition of the towers; the questions go on and on. Icke has addressed all of these points in a very detailed fashion (Icke 2002) and has (to my mind) shown the official account to be inadequate. The alternative explanation he offers is that the attacks were engineered by the Illuminati in order to justify more repressive legislation being introduced in western countries and to make viable already-planned wars of conquest in the middle east.


7.2 7/7

The "London Bombings" that occured on the transport system of the British capital in 2005 were also, according to many theorists, the playing out of a Problem-Reaction-Solution scenario. Once again, the anomalies in the official story are numerous; for example the trains alleged to have been taken to London by the suicide bombers were cancelled on that day; the fact that some witnesses say the explosions came from underneath the trains; and once again the curious fact that exercises were being held on that day simulating attacks on the transport network; and so on. The conspiracy theorists allege that these attacks were another Illuminati-engineered "false flag" used to further demonise the muslim community and justfy the introduction of more repressive legislation in the United Kingdom (Icke 2007).


8. Advanced Understanding of Reality & Technology

According to certain insiders that Icke has had contact with (Icke 2007), there are underground bases scattered around the world populated by Illuminati-controlled scientists, who are working with a much more advanced understanding of reality than has been reached by scientists in the public sphere. Such bases are said to exist in locations such as Dulce, New Mexico and Pine Gap, Australia; and to be run by agencies such as the CIA, the NSA, NASA and DARPA.

One of the results of this underground research is that the technology is now available to have every member of the global population implanted with a microchip under the skin. This will be, ostensibly, to carry all of their individual details (bank, social security and medical records etc) in an immediately accessible and convenient form. However, the real reason (two-fold in nature) is to allow them to be tracked twenty-four hours a day (1) and manipulated psychologically and emotionally via the chip (2). I suspect that if such a chip does indeed exist it would also have the capability of closing down any possibility of spiritual awakening in the host, for reasons I will outline later. The technology to achieve this is already waiting in the wings, all that is missing is the public acceptance of such a scheme.

In addition to this microchip, according to some researchers the Illuminati have other advanced technology at their disposal with which to keep tabs on us and manipulate us both individually and en mass. This technology includes surveillance technology, network analysis tools, non-lethal weapons, crowd-influencing devices and sophisticated methods of mind-control.

The link with mind-control is interesting because this is one area where the findings of conspiracy researchers has been confirmed by the mainstream. A CIA program that had the goal of creating mind-controlled individuals entitled "MK Ultra" ("MK" standing for "Mind Kontrolle") has been officially confirmed to have existed and individuals claiming to have been victims of a horrific offshoot of MK Ultra known as "Project Monarch" have also come forward. (O'Brien 1995, Icke 1996) [1]. It is at least likely that many of the "patsies" responsible for school shootings, assassinations and so on, are most probably victims of mind-control in some form and were not ultimately responsible for their actions at the time of the atrocities. They were instead being unwittingly used as pawns in Problem-Reaction-Solution scenarios.


9. What's At the Top (5-Sense) - Bloodlines and Conspiracy in Historical Context

So what lies at the top of the Illuminati hierarchy? Well, Icke's view, confirmed by insiders, is that at the top of the secret society and banking pyramids sit members of a group of European royal families, including the Rothschild, Habsburg and Windsor dynasties. I accept that a weakness in Icke's work is that he has not attempted to identify these individuals in more detail, but I would also point out that as we are attempting to analyse a conspiracy shrouded in secrecy, it is inherently difficult to identify exactly which individuals are involved, and have responsibility for which aspect of the agenda.

What can be said, however, is that these families trace their control of the human population back for centuries through the British Empire, the Roman Empire, Babylon and into pre-history. When we come to look at the esoteric aspects of the conspiracy it will also be argued that the Illuminati hierarchy is based on occult principles, and is organised according to which individuals posess the greatest spiritual power. The families at the top of the hierarchy (whoever they turn out to be) have hoarded such power for millenia.


10. The Luciferic Consciousness

It is my contention - and the view of Icke in his earlier books (Icke 1994, 1995) - that the consciousness which the Illuminati lock into through their rituals and practices is an extremely negative strain of awareness that has often been referred to as "luciferic" (after the fallen angel Lucifer, more usually called Satan). This consciousness is highly malevolent, dense and dark, and exists on the lower levels of the astral plane of reality. Because it is situated above the material plane (yet is still close to it) it transcends space and time and can thus be used to co-ordinate with relative ease actions and/or events separated spacially or temporally. It is this property that is a major reason why events engineered by the Illuminati often seem too complex to have been purposely directed, or too random to have been planned. [2]

The most extreme of these rituals, which actually involve satanism and, unbelievable as it may seem to those who have not looked at the evidence, human sacrifice, are regularly carried out by individuals at the upper echelons of the Illuminati hierarchy (Icke 1999). These rituals lock the participants into the luciferic consciousness and cause their thoughts and actions to be dictated by it. Alleigence to this consciousness gives them occult power over less developed individuals but also makes them "slaves" to the awareness they are connecting with. According to Icke (1999), this system of ritualistic practice is run like a trans-national corporation (i.e. very professionally, by very competent individuals in a very efficient manner), which is a major reason why it is never exposed by the mainstream media.

On a lower level, the initiation rituals that freemasons go through are specifically intended to lock the participant into the luciferic consciousness, although without the initiate being aware of this fact. They are instead fed lies about the nature of the awareness they are falling under the influence of – told, for example, that it is divine – and, in most cases, are not spiritually aware enough to know otherwise, but take the explanations at face value.

The Illuminati also employ powerful adherents of the "left-hand path" (i.e. black magicians) to carry out magical (manipulative) practices on the collective consciousness, and to carry out psychic attacks on individuals attempting to challenge the agenda. Many individuals involved in researching the global conspiracy have claimed to have been the victim of black magic and I believe that Adi Da Samraj also once claimed that black magic was being used on him. If this is true, and not the product of their imaginations, then it raises the question of "who is doing this?" and "why?". It is clearly a much more organised operation that the actions of a few rogue individuals.


11. Cultural Manipulation

Most members of the integral and wider spiritual communities would accept without question that it is possible for certain artefacts (religious texts or forms of music, for example) to be inspired by the divine and be passed through gifted individuals into the world at large. This is clearly true. But in the same manner, it is equally possible for music, films, art and literature to be passed via inspiration from the luciferic consciousness into devotees of that particular path.

A possible example of this which is a popular topic of discussion in the conspiracy community is a certain rapper whose stage shows feature prominent illuminati symbolism and "low-vibrational" imagery. I must say that I have not studied this individual's material in enough detail to say for certain where it has come from, but it is undeniable that a whole slew of artists involved in popular culture have been drawn into the conspiracy and that some have allowed luciferic-inspired material to be passed off as their own. It is also common to see famous celebrities making symbolic Illuminati gestures on camera.


Bono, of the Rock Group U2, making an Illuminati hand gesture.


Lady Gaga doing the same

[3]

However, while many conspiracy researchers are focusing their suspicion on the more obvious 'big names', in my opinion they are overlooking the fact that the illuminati control of the pop music industry is extensive and reaches right down into most of the nieche markets too. It is, in fact, very difficult to achieve any kind of prominence in the music scene without have "sold your soul" to the illuminati. In many instances these individuals are not writing their own material - it is being written for them by individuals in direct contact with the luciferic consciousness (although in some instances the artists may be in contact with this consciousness themselves).

And in my opinion this situation extends beyond pop music into films and literature too (although I don't believe it is as extensive in these areas). I would, however, suggest that this holds true for many, many works of high and low-brow culture, including (but not limited to) the works of Shakespeare, which have obviously achieved a position of worldwide acclaim and have been "consumed" by millions, and of which it has been alleged that they were written by the secret society initiate Francis Bacon (Icke 2001). It is also true that Mozart was a freemason (Knight 1985), which raises the question as to the origin of his works.

If there should turn out to be such manipulation going on in the arts, this leads once again to the question of why? Why do the illuminati goes to such great lengths to influence the collective consciousness through popular (and high) culture? Well, in my opinion, the purpose of these artefacts is to bring the "consumer" under the influence of the luciferic consciousness and to lower their state of awareness in a manner which although minor in it's immediate effects, is cumulative over time. I believe that anything that comes from the luciferic will have this intent behind it, and the truth is that a large part of our culture is actually and deliberately devoted to lowering our state of consciousness and holding it there.


12. Manipulation as Seen From the "Luciferic-Consciousness"-Perspective

What is clear from the foregoing is that the Illuminati agenda for global control is not the product of purely intellectual planning. It issues directly from the luciferic consciousness and manifests through inspiration in the minds of those professing allegance to that particular awareness.

And because this consciousness transcends the material plane, it is very hard for someone whose awareness is confined to that plane (i.e. most of us) to see it in its true light. Because all of these engineered events follow the logic of something that transcends the plane of which we are aware, they all appear to be nothing more than naturally occuring, random and spontaneous responses to earlier occurences, and logical sequences of events.

One example of this is the so-called 'dialectic of progress' that forms the backbone of Ken Wilber's model of development. Although it looks natural, I would suggest that such a dialectic is how development proceeds in a society that is under the control of the luciferic consciousness. That is, under the influence of a strain of consciousness intent on the ever-increasing centralisation of power, and should not be taken as an ideal model of development in general (O'Connor 2006, 2008).


13. The Fundamental Delusion of the Luciferic Consciousness

Exactly how much those at the upper reaches of the Illuminati pyramid understand about the consciousness they are controlled by is not clear to me, but I strongly hold the view that those at the lower levels are fundamentally deluded about it's nature. They are basically imprisoned in a structure that can allow them to develop no further than the lower astral plane (and a highly negative aspect of that). The luciferic consciousness, however, deludes them into beliving that they have discovered a "left-hand path", which is as valid a path as the "right-hand path" of true spiritual development. The path of "development" that left-hand adherents follow involves the accumulation of ever greater quantities of occult power (and black-magical abilities). They also believe that as long as their (highly unethical, to say the least) actions are in line with the logic of this path, that they are as karmically neutral as those of the right-hand path. This is a delusory belief, for reasons I will come to shortly.


14. The Conspiracy from a Spiritual Point of View

Some researchers, Icke included (Icke 1994, 95, 96, 99, 2001, 02, 03, 05, 07, 10, 12), take the view that the conspiracy is, at it's root, spiritual in nature. As the forgoeing should have made clear, I very much agree with this perspective. Icke argues that the ultimate aim of the Illuminati is to keep the masses spiritually asleep and trapped in an "eggshell" type structure that perceives the world only through the five (material) senses. In this state we are clearly more easily manipulable than when operating at our full spiritual potential (or from a place of "multidimensional infinity" as Icke calls it).

However, this is only part of the story. In reality the interaction between the luciferic consciousness and the material plane creates a structure maintained and perpetuated by the energy of fear. The illuminati therefore need to keep us trapped in a state of being where we can be manipulated into producing as much of this emotion as possible. The fear we produce is recycled through the luciferic consciousness into spiritual vitality in those who profess allegience to the conspiracy. This is another reason for wanting us to be as spiritually undeveloped as possible, for it is generally accepted that as development proceeds fear is gradually overcome.

In addition to this, I believe that the structure of the luciferic consciousness acts as a kind of "buffer", which in some way shields the illuminati from the karmic consequences of their deeds. As soon as this structure begins to unravel, they will suddenly be faced with the consequences of their actions (think millions dead in two world wars to begin with). They are therefore desperate to keep it in existence for as long as possible.


15. The Conspiracy from an Integral Point of View

In another essay (O'Connor 2006) I have argued that the highly centralised world government structure is correlated with both a flatland and "aperspectival madness" worldview in the general population, and that this is an inherently repressive structure that is impervious to the flow of spiritual and vital energies in the individual. If this is true then the Illuminati will know so, and I believe this is another reason they desire a world government so strongly. But that aside, this is another way of approaching the conclusion that the emergence of a world government would be a step away from the integral rather than a move towards it. Never mind conspiracy theories – there are enough reasons to be wary of a world government without them. The arguments put forward by Icke and others are just another nail in the coffin.

I also would suggest that any hierarchical structure, whether individual (i.e. psychological) or collective (i.e. social), inherently posesses some sort of a shadow, and that it is in the shadows of our political and corporate structures that the illuminati operate. Without such a shadow they would be unable to do so.


16. The Awakening

Although I may have appeared to argue in this essay that the illuminati have complete control of the planet, according to Icke (1994, 95, 96, 99, 2001, 02, 03, 05, 07, 10, 12) there are reasons for believing that their plans for an authoritarian world-government will not come to fruition. There is a spiritual awakening slowly but surely working its way around the planet, which has the goal of deconstructing the luciferic consciousness and bringing the control system down.

One way in which it is achieving this is through a "volunteer consciousness" incarnating on earth with the intention of purifying the negative mental states that keep humanity in low-vibrational servitude. This involves those individuals connecting with these pathological emotions in their early lives before subsequently overcoming them and transforming them as they mature. The connection thus made with thse low-grade states thus allows the individual to contribute to dissolving that particular emotion in the collective consciousness. According to Icke, this process is a manifestation of "oneness" (the nondual) intervening in the game, causing humanity to gradually raise its level of awareness and awaken from the hypnotic trance that it has been placed under.


17. Criticisms of the Global-Conspiracy Scene

One criticism that I believe can legitimately be levelled at researchers of the global conspiracy is that they sometimes lapse into what Ken Wilber would call 'pre-trans fallacies', based on a pre-conventional/conventional/post-conventional confusion. That is, they can tend to assume that in railing against conventional knowledge, that by definition any non-conventional proposition must be true. This can sometimes lead to views being held without much in the way of supportiong evidence, and occasionally pathological (e.g. racist) ones too (although I am not accusing Icke of this).

Having said this, it should also be pointed out that critics of this field very often commit a pre-trans fallacy of their own. That is, by labelling all conspiracy research as pre-rational they are throwing out the baby with the bathwater and ignoring the fact that much research into the global conspiracy is backed up with evidence and rational argument, and therefore deserves to be treated seriously.

The second criticism I have of conspiracy research is that it tends to be very western-centric. For example the actions of the main players involved in the US/UK invasion of Iraq are disected in great detail  (e.g. the roles of Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld and Cheney etc), showing how blatant geo-political manipulation was at play in the run up to this conflagaration. However, what about the Chinese invasion of Tibet? What were the real reasons behind that particular conquest? [4] And who were the main players? No-one knows because Chinese society is much less open than the west and less predisposed toward disclosing such information. Yet the internal machinations of the Chinese political system have no less impact on world events than do those of our own. So despite claiming to expose areas that are usually kept secret, conspiracy research itself tends to focus on areas of research more amenable to being exposed. This needs to change if a full and balanced account of the global conspiracy is to be told.


18. Recommended Order of Reading

As Icke has published 11 books on the global conspiracy, any readers interested in reading his writings may be at a loss as to where to start. For this reason I would recommend that any study of Icke begin with three of his most important books: i) ...And the Truth Shall Set You Free (1995), which is the nearest thing Icke has to a "foundation text" and which establishes the base upon which his later writings (and seemingly wilder claims) need to be understood; ii) The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy (and how to end it) (2007), which is the best summary of his later research and worldview circa the late 2000's; and iii) Remember Who You Are (2012), which is his latest book at the time of writing, and therefore brings the reader right up to date with his current research and thinking.


19. Why the Integral Community Needs to Engage with this Research

I hope to have shown in this essay that following a certain line of reasoning should lead us into looking more intently at this emerging body of research into the global conspiracy, and to work out its connections with integral theory.

I realise that most people will not take this essay seriously, and that this is in part due to my limitations as a writer. However, I would ask that if anyone were to write a rebuttal of the points I have made, that they at least familiarise themselves with the stronger work done in the area - Icke's books being a good starting point - and to critique the field as a whole rather than just my take on it. The three books mentioned in the previous section, I would suggest, should be the minimum amount of reading done before any such critique is attempted.

And finally I would say that if there is any truth in these theories of a global conspiracy then the integral community must engage with them in order to realise its goal of building a saner, more spiritual world. If they do not then their efforts may come to nothing as they have not removed the major block in the way of realising their objectives.



Footnotes

[1] The individual in question is one Cathy O'Brien, an american lady of irish descent, whose website is http://www.trance-formation.com. Project Monarch was a program designed to turn individuals into mind-controlled slaves by subjecting them to extreme deprivation and torture as children. Such treatment triggers multiple personality disorder in the victim, and this is then used for mind-control manipulation. In the trade this is known as "trauma-based mind-control". If you don't believe that such a program could exist and remain unexposed, then a little research, starting perhaps with Cathy O'Brien's book Trance-formation of America, will show otherwise.

[2] It would be little problem for a group of people operating from this perspective to have two towers built in the early 1970's in the knowledge that they would be knocked down in a terrorist attack nearly thirty years later.

[3] The particular gesture I have in mind is that of individuals in adverts, photoshoots and music videos - often famous celebrities - covering one eye with the palm or fingers or by some other means. It has been claimed that this is in homage to the coming antichrist - a worldwide figure locked into the luciferic consciousness who will head the illuminati and who will 'pied-piper' the masses into acquiesing with the new world order (another term for the authoritarian world government) - and who is prophesied to lose an eye at some point during his reign. Whether or not  these stars actually know the meaning of the gesture they are making is open to debate – the point is that whoever got them to make it most probably did.

[4] I think it is possible that the Chinese invasion of Tibet was a deliberate attempt by the Illuminati to wipe out the nearest thing we had to a truly spiritual community. To be sure, Tibetan society before the invasion was not perfect, but it had the potential to form a crucible where spiritual practitioners from all races could go to develop their spiritual practices in a very powerful way. That possibility now no longer exists, and the elimination of the Tulku system has removed from the face of the planet a very powerful system of empowerment and initiation.



Bibliography


Icke, D. (1994). The Robots' Rebellion. Gateway Books.

Icke, D. (1995). ...And the Truth Shall Set You Free. Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (1996). I Am Me, I Am Free. Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (1999). The Biggest Secret. Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (2001). Children of the Matrix. Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (2002). Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Centre Disaster. Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (2003). Tales From the Time-Loop. Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (2005). Infinite Love is the Only Truth (Everything Else is Illusion). Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (2007). The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy (and How to End It). Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (2010). Human Race Get Off Your Knees. Bridge of Love Publications.

Icke, D. (2012). Remember Who You Are. Bridge of Love Publications.

Knight, S. (1985). The Brotherhood. Panther Books. (Expose of Freemasonry in Great Britain).

O'Brien, C. (1995). Trance-formation of America: The True Story of a CIA Mind Control Slave. Reality Marketing

O'Connor, J. (2006). A New Model of Development. Available on http://www.integralworld.net.

O'Connor, J (2008). Further Thoughts on the Organic-Integrative Model. Also available on http://www.integralworld.net.

Thomas, A. (2009). The Truth Agenda. Vital Signs Publishing.


Other Resources

David Icke Website: http://www.davidicke.com : Headlines and stories of interest to followers of the global conspiracy.

Alex Jones Website: http://www.infowars.com : Website of another "Truth Researcher".

Vigilant Citizen : http://www.vigilantcitizen.com : Analysis of "cultural manipulation"

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Centralisation vs Decentralisation


It is now many years since Andrew Smith proposed his one-scale model of holarchy as an alternative to Ken Wilber's quadrant model, yet few people in the integral movement still seem to appreciate the benefits that the former has over the latter. In an attempt to redress this imbalance I have, in a series of articles available on the Integral World website (http://www.integralworld.net), attempted to draw out the implications of Smith's model for our understanding of both individual and collective development, and to show how it is able to account for the major features of all other existing models.

In my view, one of the most simple yet important insights offered by Smith's model is the distinction between intermediate and autonomous holons. To put it simply, intermediate holons have an entirely holarchical structure, in which each stage is subsumed within a strict hierarchy of development, while autonomous holons have a "mixed" structure in which all stages from a particular level exist in both free and embedded forms.

One of the implications of this distinction that I believe Smith would agree with is that the most healthy society possible (often referred to as the "integral" society) would have such an autonomous form. It therefore becomes critical to consider how the concept of the autonomous holon applies to the social level and to discuss what types of social organisation it implies.

In my most recent article on Integral World I argue that this "ideal society" would be decentralised in nature and that viewing it thus we end up with a schema of development that is more coherent than Ken Wilber's entirely centralised approach. However, after further consideration of the matter, I would like to partially recant this heresy. It seems rather obvious to me now that when applied to collective development the mixed holarchical structure of the autonomous holon clearly implies that we endeavour to find a "middle-way" between centralisation and decentralisation.

So reconsidering my previous articles, it now seems to me that I had half the truth. As an antidote to Wilber's paradigm of centralisation, my argument that decentralisation was the preferred approach was much needed. However, I now believe that further thought and research will show that that ideal course of development actually lies somewhere between the two. There are, of course, obvious benefits to centralisation that no sensible person would deny. The ability to co-ordinate necessary action across the entire social sphere being the main one. Yet decentralisation is also needed in order to allow individuals to have power over their own lives and to attain authentic centauric awareness.


Applying this principle to the structure of spiritual communities and to the issue of spiritual development in general, I believe that the same conclusion also applies. As spiritual aspirants, it suggests that we should therefore endeavour to tread a middle-way between guru worship on the one hand and pathological self-reliance on the other. In other words, we should attempt to balance the virtues of respecting our teachers and practicing according to their instructions on one hand with those of attempting to find our own path and to express our individuality on the other. In our current age it is apparent that much of the guru system tends toward one extreme, while much of the new age and conspiracy scene tends toward the other. However, if my conclusion is correct, then optimum spiritual development is achieved by treading a middle-path between the two. How exactly this is to be done is a debate that I believe should be initiated.

Of course, all of the above may sound like nothing more than common sense, and in a sense, it may be. Yet by applying Smith's one-scale model to these issues we have a theoretical foundation on which to base our analysis of them, which is much to be desired, even if we should end up with nothing more than common-sense conclusions.


And as a final point, anyone reading this from a global-conspiracy angle may be wondering: what does this analysis of the ideal society mean for the issue of a world government? Well, while I have no fixed opinion on this matter, I would tentatively suggest the following: a world government that is married with appropriate decentralisation, that therefore does not have excessive power, which is in the hands of spiritually-developed, compassionate leaders and which is intent on allowing all of its subjects to attain authentic centauric awareness, may not necessarily be a bad thing. The problem we have is that the world government we are faced with has anything but these merits. The world government being manipulated into existence today is both authoritarian and, as demonstrated by David Icke, driven by a strain of consciousness that has anything but human well-being at its heart. Such a world government would obviously be undesirable. But in my tentative opinion, a world government that has the various virtues mentioned, could actually be a force for good.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A Short Note on the Benefits of Tonglen


Introduction

A Tibetan meditation that has become quite popular in recent years is Tonglen. In this practice the individual voluntarily takes upon herself the suffering of others and in return gives them all of her well-being and happiness. This exchange is usually coordinated with the breathing in such a way that suffering is taken in on the in-breath in the form of imagined thick black smoke and happiness given away on the out-breath in the form of a healing white light. (More detailed practice instructions can be found in Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Lama Surya Das's Awaken the Buddha Within and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's Eight Steps to Happiness).

In this short paper I would like to explore the effects of Tonglen and outline some of the benefits that I believe accrue from its practice. I will begin this exploration by explaining how I believe the practice of Tonglen allows the individual to traverse the essence of the Hinayana path.


Tonglen and the Essence of the Hinayana

The basic Hinayana model of the human predicament is outlined in the twelve steps of the cycle of conditioned co-production, and then condensed into the Four Noble Truths. Both of these teachings describe how human suffering and desire arise simultaneously in dependence upon one another, or how desire leads inevitably to suffering and suffering to desire.

In other words, they illustrate how the natural tendency of the human condition is to seek to move away from suffering and towards objects we believe will give us happiness and how it is this predisposition that leads to us becoming ensnared in samsara.

The path out of this circular dilema is explained by Bhikkhu Bodhi in his paper Transcendental Dependent Arising (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html) as a noble attempt to halt the forward spin of this "wheel of becoming" and a struggle to reverse its natural direction of movement. Bhikkhu Bodhi then goes on to describe how such an attempt eventually leads to the attainment of all the transcendental stages of development that form the basis of the Hinayana path to liberation.

Now, as far as Tonglen is concerned, it could be argued that by voluntarily taking upon herself suffering and renouncing her own well-being and happiness the practitioner is essentially attempting to perform just such a reversal. So if Bhikkhu Bodhi is correct in his analysis, then when carried out systematically over a period of time we would expect the practice of Tonglen to allow the individual to traverse the entire Hinayana path.


Tonglen and the Essence of the Mahayana

Although Tonglen can be demonstrated to accomplish the essence of the Hinayana path, it is originally a Mahayana practice. The basis of the Mahayana path is the relinquishing of self-grasping and the cultivation of universal compassion. Tonglen realises both of these objectives. By taking on the suffering of others and giving them his well-being and happiness the practitioner overcomes the tendency toward self-grasping and simultaneously cultivates compassion. Tonglen, therefore, is the quintessence of the Mahayana path.


Tonglen and Integrating the Shadow

In Western psychological terms the shadow consists of all the emotions and impulses that an individual has repressed into unconsciousness during the course of her lifetime. Until these aspects of the self are re-integrated into conscious awareness they will exert a pathological influence on the well-being of the individual and cause her to remain entrenched in confused patterns of behaviour. Re-owning the shadow is therefore an extremely important task for anyone aiming at the goal of psychological health. Ken Wilber has even assigned shadow work a prominent place in his own system of spiritual development, although the technique he uses to accomplish it is somewhat limited. A better technique, in my opinion, is the practice of Tonglen.

Shadow elements remain repressed essentially because they are too painful to be allowed into consciousness. Were this not the case then there would be no need to repress them in the first place. According to Wilber these repressed elements are then projected outwards onto other people in the environment.

By voluntarily taking upon himself the suffering of others the individual is therefore engaged in the process of re-owning his own unacknowledged (and therefore projected) suffering, or his own shadow.

Further to this, the thick black smoke that the practitioner imagines to be suffering could be said to be a direct representation of the shadow to his psyche. In breathing this in the individual is therefore "breathing in" his own shadow and allowing it into conscious awareness from where it can be integrated. Thus we would expect individuals engaged in long-term Tonglen practice to significantly integrate their shadow over time. I personally believe that Tonglen will effect a significantly deeper integration of the shadow than Wilber's 3-2-1 process.


Summary

In summary, the practice of Tonglen can be shown in theory to have many benefits. It accomplishes the essence of both the Hinayana and Mahayana paths; according to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso it purifies negative karma and accumulates merit; it integrates the shadow; and it works directly on the health of the collective consciousness.

When reports are carried out on the effects of "meditation" it is almost always mindfulness meditation that is studied, and when Wilber himself discusses the effects of meditation it is almost always mindfulness meditation that he means, yet there are many other contemplative practices with, presumably, many different effects. Tonglen is just one of them. It would be fascinating to see these other forms of meditation included in such studies, and for the benefits of their practice to be examined more systematically.


References

Bhikkhu Bodhi. Transcendental Dependent Arising. 1980. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html.