ITP/ Current Developmental Practices/Growing Edge

As I bunker down for another Monday of my life I thought it would be fun to start a thread to see what areas of growth or developmental practices people are committing to today, this week, etc.
I’m reading Parenting from the Inside Out by Dan Siegel.
Listening to Boys Crisis podcast.
Watched Avengers and Games of Throne this weekend (wow!).
Also, looking to increase my connections here. It is nice to be around others that are integrally informed and see what fun we can have in our development.

Showing Up: Visiting my mother in hospital, being there for my two sisters as they come to terms with how they can work together in the care of my mother.
Growing Up: considering my feelings as I tidy up the kitchen and sort out the shopping as my wife watches tv and my son plays on his computer
Waking Up: having a think about what Integral Christianity might mean to me having seen the recent post here.
Cleaning Up: always a difficult one for me, ducking it this week - did manage a trip to the gym, though.
Just finished reading Carpe Diem Regained by Roman Krznaric

Good stuff Andrew. I never heard up the book you read. How was it? Prayers are with you for your family situation.

The book came about after I engaged in a series of posts here about showing up. It had become clear to me that showing up required actual behaviour on my part, more than an intellectual appreciation of the value of showing up. It was an interesting read that segued in well with reading Jordan Peterson’s latest book.
So, e.g., prior to the two books, my attitude to washing up etc was different. Why on earth should I wash up when they are chilling? Why should I do it now, anyway?? After the two books, it was more: Washing and cleaning needs doing, I’ve got time to do it, I’ll do it. Looking at me from the outside, do I want to be the kind of father who argues the toss every time about whose turn it is, whose right it is, whose responsibility it is or do I want to be seen as the kind of father who, when he sees that something needs doing, he does it? The latter doesn’t replace the former, but the emphasis in my life is now the latter, not the former.

Thank you for your prayers.

By washing up are you referring to you literally doing the dishes or something different? I assume, in context, it’s showing up to do the dishes and being a good role model.

Yup as literal as that. Taking the dishes off the table to the sink and washing them up. Previously it was leave them there and see if anyone else would clear them up, expect some thanks when I did do the washing up. Now, its more: do the washing up, why on earth would I need someone to validate me when I’m just doing the day to day stuff that goes on in a family? (You can see how far back I was. You’ve got to love a wife who is willing to put up with that kind of stuff whilst you get a handle on life.)

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Hey good job! Keep it up!

I looooooooooove this topic! Thanks Ixvythrs for starting it. I have nothing I want to share right this moment, but will organize my thoughts and come back to it.

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So in addition to my usual variety of routine practices, here’s what I’m up to. All of these are practices I’ve worked with before, but they seem to be growing-edge practices again at this time.

Practicing restfulness in the midst of (what seems like way too much necessary) activity.

Tuning in to what Wilber in “The Religion of Tomorrow” calls ‘Primordial Avoidance’–trying to notice when I turn away or move away, resist or otherwise contract against something, whatever that something is. Practicing letting more of the Totality into my awareness.

Psychologically, given that a current life situation seems to be arousing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors connected to a past event with similar themes, I’m doing a lot of examination of this subconscious material, rejecting and letting go of what is no longer relevant or useful to who I am today, strengthening that which still “fits.” So cleaning up work, for sure.

Practicing deeper spiritual surrender, i.e. accepting that some things are beyond my control, so turning them over to Spirit, period.

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Primordial Avoidance-interesting. That doesn’t stick out as something I recall when I read RoT. I am assuming it is something “Big” that we turn away from or avoid? Almost sounds like Shadow work. Is that how you interpret it?

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You can find the discussion on Primordial Avoidance starting on page 394 in TRoT (and look in the Index for other places it’s discussed). It’s named in the section on Supermind as one of the dysfunctions at 3rd tier, but can (and does) “infect,” is transmitted, to all the other lower or less-encompassing structure-stages of development. It is the “very first, subtle looking away” from the “Undivided Wholeness Awareness” that sets in motion “the entire train of events known as Ignorance, Illusion, Maya, Deception, the Fallen World, the Dualistic World, the World of the Lie.”

To work with Primordial Avoidance is a Cleaning Up activity, and yes, it’s akin to shadow. We typically think of the shadow as attached to the small self, the self with a sense of separation. Primordial Avoidance refers to the contraction against Wholeness itself (or what Wilber is metaphorically referring to in this section as The Totality of the Painting of All That Is), a contraction that itself sets in motion the separate-self sense “lie” (and a whole host of other “lies”). It is the beginning of the “illusory” world.

Hope that sheds some light, but reading about it will certainly provide more.

Thank you for this. I just reviewed that section.

I definitely have had the feeling that I have been avoiding something recently. Not sure why. I’ve increased my journaling to see if I am overlooking something. Often when I am beginning to write I am observing my thoughts and get caught in just the observation mode. I characterize it to myself as sort of a “dark night” or even perhaps midlife “crisis” or “opportunity” (depending on how you look at it).

I’ll be honest I love the poetry of this section, but upon reflection question the name “primordial avoidance”. It is confusing even when I think I know what he means. But I tend to not question the man.

Again, thought more about this “primordial avoidance”. Is he saying that which humans are avoiding is the Self/Godhead/ etc.?

Consider this example and see if it makes any more sense to you. (And be forewarned, I am not an ‘expert’ or authority on this, but this is my sense of it.)

Someone at the rational, pluralistic, or teal stage of development has a “peak” experience of nonduality. The moment the person “turns away” from that experience—maybe a thought enters the stream of consciousness, or a sensation in the body calls one’s attention, or an image, whatever, anything, something that takes them away from the nondual awareness—is an example of the primordial (fundamental, basic) avoidance that has been “transmitted” to any/all of the lower stages of development. When the person turns away, for whatever reason, from the nondual state of consciousness, a duality has been created; there is now a self that is separate from the Wholeness (a self that then just remembers the nondual experience as an object). The person by turning away enters the stream of time, whereas Wholeness is a state of timelessness. So the separate-self sense as well as the sense of time are two of the “lies” that attend primordial avoidance.

Not to worry, most of us are operating/living in this manner, in the “lie.” Again, the material on this subject in TRofT is under White Supermind as a dysfunction of the 3rd tier. No one I know is at Supermind. Perhaps I shouldn’t have even listed it here as one of my “growing edge” practices, and I didn’t articulate it very well anyway as to how I’m working with it.

What happened is that when I read this section about primordial avoidance, the term/concept stayed with me. A few days later, meditating, I did experience a nondual state of consciousness and suddenly a fear arose, an anxiety, and I contracted away from the nondual state. And recognized that contraction as an example of what Wilber was talking about as primordial avoidance.

In the relative manifest world, the separate-self sense and time are useful, necessary, utilitarian. But we forget (and some never realize at all) that in ultimate or absolute or the “Supreme” reality, there are no separate selves–all is One. So what I think he is saying is that humans do avoid awareness of the Undivided Wholeness.

Does this help? Or have I just muddied the waters more?

As to your sense of going through/being in a “dark night,” or “midlife crisis” or “opportunity,” yes, maybe all three?

Beautifully written.
I think that you included this as your growing edge practice is right on. And your articulation was spot on.

This does help. I love to hear your practical experience with something like this abstract term. It helps make more sense.

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Sweet words, and I ate 'em up :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi LaWanna,

" A few days later, meditating, I did experience a nondual state of consciousness and suddenly a fear arose, an anxiety, and I contracted away from the nondual state. And recognized that contraction as an example of what Wilber was talking about as primordial avoidance."

I also have similar experiences - very sharp and intense fear occurs when I get out of deeper or higher state; exactly putting it, the fear breaks the higher state, so I come back to the small self. Does KW mention that it is a normal experience in RoT or somewhere else?

Hello to you ILP0000,

I think Primordial Avoidance is a very common experience/act, regardless of what state of consciousness or stage of development one is currently in/at/‘visiting.’ Since Wholeness includes everything–good and bad, pain and pleasure, pride and shame, etc. etc. everything, including all elements of the exterior–anytime we do not allow something (whatever that something is) into our awareness, we are engaging in a form of Primordial Avoidance. If it weren’t the common human experience, the world would be a much different place…

With my own example of fear/anxiety, what I was avoiding allowing into and as a part of my awareness was the fear and anxiety itself. In crude language, it “wanted to be there” actually was there, just was there, and I basically “said no.” And with the “no,” I contracted against Wholeness.

While it was fear/anxiety this time, tomorrow it could be something else and something else after that…as he points out that the tendency is for the element that causes avoidance/contraction to change to something else, once you have become conscious of and “embraced” that avoided element. He suggests journaling, keeping track of this stuff, as avoided elements can often be traced “to a series of repeating events in the past, usually with a series of very significant others…” (pg. 399)

So the “practice” is to notice these (often very subtle) forms of disallowing/avoiding “whatever” into awareness. In ordinary daily (gross-physical) consciousness, we avoid letting certain things (many things) into awareness; we can practice there. We also do this in subtle states of consciousness as well, and on into higher states, so can practice in any of these states, and regardless of our stage of development.

Thanks for your feedback, LaWanna.

I had been thinking that Primordial Avoidance occurs from very fundamental things such as Basic Fear or something, but as I go through pg.399, I came to understand that it occurs from any resistance or rejection or any no, and how almost impossible to reach at Supermind who will have “no” at all…

Then, a follow-up question arose: from pg.108~109, “Integral Budhism,”
“The point is to use the Enneagram or similar typologies to help understand exactly where the student is in his or her overall development, and tailor the teachings and practices to fit the particular personality type, so that spiritual practice isn’t wasted on trying to change things that, in most cases, are just not open to change , any more than the student’s height or ethnic origin is.”

And from pg. 399 in RoT:
“This Primordial Avoidance illusorily occurs in all individuals, whatever their structure-level (except for Supermind itself),. …”

As far as I understand,

  1. Supermind persons seem to have no resistance at all. Does that mean they don’t show any specific personalities?
  2. For instance, persons at a specific personality must understand first what should be changed and what cannot be because things that “are just not open to change” can be wasting the time. But how could I exactly evaluate the things open to change and the things unable to change?

Can you share any references or your insight?

Hi ILP0000,

You might want to read pages 580-586 in TRofT to review typologies. There are many different typologies, and to quote…“there isn’t any single one or two or three that would necessarily always be included in any Integral Spirituality (or in any Integral approach in general).” (pg. 581) The Enneagram and Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment are two of the more-known ones , and you can find information as well as “tests” you can take online to get a sense of your own personality type, the traits that dominate, according to these instruments. I’ll let you just google those assessments, and see if there is anything that calls to you.

My suggestion is that if you do take one of these tests, hold the information lightly, that is, consider its usefulness in your understanding of and your relating to self, others, and the world, but don’t let it totally define you. For instance, Masculine and Feminine are typologies, but few people are solely or strictly one or the other in type (thank God!)

I do remember reading in TRofT a Wilber statement that our type follows us through every structure-stage of development, from archaic to integral. (I can’t find the page though where that info is, sorry). I don’t know that he was including 3rd Tier Integral stages in that statement. He refers to Supermind sometimes as Super Integral. My thought is that, given that Supermind has access to every stage of development and is by nature transpersonal (even “trans trans-human”), and has access to the nondual state, Supermind would also have transcended all personality types and also included them, i.e. would have access to any type.