Thomas Hübl: What Is Competence In Spiritual Teaching?

What is competence in spiritual teaching? The article “Spiritual Competence” by Thomas Hübl (from the Integral Forum) offers a positive perspective.

The following excerpt was posted today by Hübl’s Team on Facebook:

Teachers and students encounter each other at different stages of development, comparable to the development from childhood to adulthood and as an awakened adult. Teachers must be aware of this and students as well as far as they are able. Encounters between the teacher and student will time and time again contain regressive elements coming from the student. The teacher must be aware of this.

If the teacher’s contact with the student is characterized by any lack of clarity concerning the student’s stage of development, this can result in the entanglements so often seen in spiritual circles.

Truly competent spiritual teachers have consciously integrated different stages of growth within their own development. A teacher must be at home on all levels and be aware of his own strengths and weaknesses if he is to be a mirror for his students. A spiritual teacher is basically nothing more than a conscious authentic reflection of various aspects of the student’s life.

Spiritual teachers need to have knowledge of relationship patterns and projections of their students, otherwise the effects of these can overshadow the mystical aspect. Idolization cannot be taken personally by teachers. These energies mostly come from non-integrated aspects or because of the overwhelming nature of transpersonal love.

An encounter between teacher and student does not primarily take place on a personal level. There is a higher level of consciousness that is very clear and this is only reflected on the personal level. This higher level of consciousness always resonates even if the student is not aware of it.

It is often perceived as an overwhelming love or a strong feeling of attraction. This is why it is important to know that these levels can intermingle, i.e. very high levels of consciousness intermingle with very personal levels. These fine nuances here are often not even perceived. And the less integrated a student is, the stronger the resulting overlap and confusion become.

Continue reading “Thomas Hübl: What Is Competence In Spiritual Teaching?”

These Two Forms Of Spiritual Bypass Aren’t A Bad Thing

Spiritual bypass isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, says Mark Forman, in “A New Way to Approach Spiritual Bypass”. The article reexamines a familiar idea in Integral circles, that of spiritual bypassing, and offers new “second-generation” applications of Integral theory.

Forman builds on John Welwood’s definition: “[Spiritual bypassing is] a widespread tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.” To this, he gives four distinct types of bypass. Two of these are not so good (i.e., problematic bypass and narcissistic bypass), but two aren’t necessarily negative:

Expectable Bypass: Built into every stage of development is some capacity to objectively confront reality as it is and another tendency to add subjective elements of fantasy to it – to project or imagine what we would like life to be like[[i]]. This tension might be irreducible, since I would argue that humans require some reality and some fantasy even through to the very highest stages of growth. Whatever the case, we can expect that people will bypass certain hard truths or difficult challenges as a regular matter of stage capacity and as a normal part of development. It is entirely expectable. Our position clinically should be that everyone will do this from time-to-time, and that our challenges to clients showing this tendency should be deliberate and focused, not automatic. Such bypassing might not be a problem at all, but just a natural psychological tendency at work.

States-Driven Bypass: When a person has a powerful spiritual opening, or takes up an intensive spiritual practice, they often engage in a different type of bypass. They are likely to experience deep altered states and be so compelled by the states themselves that they will minimize many important aspects of life (such as money, relationship, sexuality, and so forth) in order to pursue a maximal ability to experience further states. This might be best likened to a biological drive, like hunger or thirst, which can capture and significantly alter an individual’s life trajectory. This drive will likely run its course in months or years – depending on what depth of states and insights are eventually attained – but this path is not pathological in-and-of-itself. We have to understand this as a unique clinical situation when we see it and support the client appropriately. This category of bypass is most related to the states element of Integral Theory.

Read the full article at the CIT Integral website.

Mark Forman, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist with over a decade’s experience working with individuals, couples, children, and families.

A More Integral 2015

I’m back from a holiday season vacation and I’ve noticed several wonderful articles and podcasts in the blogosphere that I want to give my attention in the days to come. But first, I want to express my New Year wish for the Integral community.

Let’s let the past be the past, especially the controversies and divisiveness and any ill will that has cropped up between one part of the community or another, one leading figure to another, or person to person. Let’s give everyone a chance to show a new side and demonstrate the capacity for growth.

Let’s let go of resentments on account of not having been noticed, or given our fair share of credit, appreciated enough, seen as right, or whatever the case may be.

Let’s let go of resentments that have arisen because some folks have taken the Integral movement in a direction that we would rather have it not go, made some important mistake, not done their homework well enough, or not used our preferred terminology or schema for consciousness, or not spoken with enough care.

Let’s let go of resentments towards those we may see as “less evolved” (inside and outside the community) on account of their ignorance or failure to grow, and let’s go of resentments towards those we may see as “more evolved” because they haven’t done enough to lead the way.

Let’s let go of resentments towards popular culture and mainstream society and conventional politics and so forth, for being filled with first-tier dysfunctions.

Let’s start 2015 with a simple desire that the world become a more Integral place. How much more Integral? Just as Integral as it needs to be, and at least a bit more for the sake of delight.

We will know it is becoming a more Integral world because…

  • people who thought only of themselves will begin to think of their neighbors as well, and leaders who thought only about their community’s interests begin to think about the globe
  • people will begin to evolve their traditions to allow for new ways in which we can all co-exist together, recognizing our common depth of unity behind all the surface diversity
  • people will take the reigns of evolution and consciously grow as part of an integral, coherent, systemic whole world order
  • people will begin to “wake up” at whatever station of life they are at, becoming re-born into their Supreme Identity
  • people will begin to “grow up” to see their unsolvable problems “solved” at a higher level of consciousness
  • people will begin to look around for others who share a more expansive consciousness and when they do they will be attracted to the body of books and blogs and movies and art masterpieces and workshops and educational programs and therapies and spiritual teachings and leadership development offerings and think tanks that we in the Integral / Evolutionary community have developed.
  • having been drawn to the offerings of the Integral / Evolutionary community, its philosophers, artists, activists, healers, business people, educators, and so on, many new people will join in the movement, contributing their gifts, and becoming full participants in the larger game.

As these many thousands and even millions of new people encounter the Integral / Evolutionary community for the first time, do we want them to be greeted with in-fighting and disarray and dysfunction, or a true unitas multiplex?

It’s time to do our part in creating a more integral / evolved world in 2015. What a beautiful opportunity for practicing being our Self/selves together as  Unique We!

Integral Blog will be there along the way, playing a small role in the blogosphere ecosystem to help draw connections and build community. I started this blog largely out of a sense that the Integral movement needs a healthy ecosystem of publications and social media presence to thrive, and it takes all of us doing our part. I am looking forward to taking this journey with you, and open to the possibility of becoming more fully integrated and whole in my own 2015.