Saturday, February 03, 2007

Holistic Relativity

Over at Deepak Chopra's Intent Blog, DK Matai has an interesting post on Holistic Relativity: Spiritual Planes and Consciousness.

Matai is presenting what appears to be an integral vision of consciousness evolution based in the Hindu tradition of Sant Mat. Here is a brief description from Wikipedia, although it would be beneficial to look at the whole article to really get a grasp of what this tradition is about.

The Sant Mat movement was not homogeneous, consisting mostly of these Sants' presentation of socio-religious attitudes based on bhakti (devotion) as described a thousand years earlier in the Bhagavad Gita.[3] Sharing as few conventions with each other as with the followers of the traditions they challenged, the Sants appear more as a diverse collection of spiritual personalities than a specific religious tradition, although they acknowledged a common spiritual root.[4]

The boundaries of the movement were likely not sectarian and were devoid of Brahmin concepts of caste and liturgy. The poet-sants expressed their teaching in vernacular verse, addressing themselves to the common folk in oral style in Hindi and other dialects such as Marathi. They referred to the "Divine Name" as having saving power, and dismissed the religious rituals as having no value. They presented that true religion was a matter of surrendering to God "who dwells in the heart" [3].

But his preliminary notes, which is how Matai views this post, also include several other systems of levels and planes, including Christianity. Here are a few of the graphics he employs in the post. [You can click on the images to see them in full size.]




Matai offers an explanation of some of the symbolism involved in these systems, referencing both the Hindu and Christian conceptions. He then provides his explanation of the seven levels, drawing multiple systems into the model.

The Systematic Symbolism of Seven Levels & Seven Colors

Level One – The Physical Body
Red in the spectrum, physically dense in form, temporal in duration.
In the labyrinth it is the outermost circle. In the mandala it is the foundation upon which the other levels are constructed. In this life the physical surroundings support and nurture its growth.

Note: Existence is holographic. Every color, every level, contains every other, and the juxtaposition of seven colors on seven levels and according to eight possible arrangements creates an infinite variety of visual effects which could even be called illusions.

Level Two – The Etheric Body

Orange in the rainbow spectrum, of a finer vibrational substance, only somewhat less temporal than its physical replica.

In the development of the personality its reference is to the early emotional environment and formative influences.

Note: Healing techniques such as Reiki and acupuncture recognize the interconnection between the physical and its energy pattern, here called the etheric.

Level Three – The Astral Body

Yellow in the spectrum, sometimes called the lower mental level, transitional and limited in endurance, a non-physical vehicle in which consciousness can move inter-dimensionally.

Its formative influences are a given culture’s secular, religious and educational institutions and how these shape the way we think.

Note: Physics is closing in on metaphysics as in laboratory experiments atoms and molecules are being transported.

Level Four – The Mental Body

Green in the spectrum, interfacing the temporal and the eternal, a transitional energy body that enables transformation.

In this life its purposes are achieved in relationship with others.

Note: Christianity begins according to Joseph Campbell is a fourth chakra process. God is in Christ reconciling the human and the divine.

Level Five – The Causal Body

Blue in the spectrum, sometimes called the transpersonal, it’s energy field is the repository of the soul’s enduring memories, influences and progress.

Its nature is volitional and its function is to empower the soul’s journey.

Note: This level is attuned to the inner voice of spirit. When Christ spoke of having ears to hear he referred to this level of consciousness. It is how one knows one’s own truth.

Level Six – The Diamond Body

Indigo in the spectrum, eternal in reality, the level of Brahmic or Christ Consciousness.

This is Aurobindo’s supramental field where thinking is superceded by an intuitionally received knowing.

Note: The step between five and six is from the transpersonal to the eternal. It is a conscious awareness St Paul called “the mind of Christ.”

Level Seven – The Celestial Body

Violet in the spectrum, visionary in function, this is the energy field in which the Self and the All are eternally One.

Note: Awakening to the Christ realization that “I and the Father are one,” is the goal of the soul’s the journey through and beyond physical life.

Much of this will be familiar to anyone who has read Ken Wilber and the other integral theorists. Matai finishes the post with some explication of how this model works, using computers as a metaphor (unfortunately).

The whole post is certainly worth a read. I didn't so justice to everything he tries to bring into the discussion. Still, I hope this will give you enough of a sense of what he is aiming for that you might check it out. The post is open to comments and it might be interesting if some Western integral thinkers could enter into dialogue with Matai.

Integral theory of all flavors could benefit from an exchange between cultures.


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