The Wily Magician’s Best Secrets Revealed, Part 1

protectionRule #1. The typo is the greatest teacher of truth and partiality for any writer, and in the process of properly correcting the typo the attentive Magician can perform amazing feats of shadow elimination.

I first started noticing my typos, really really noticing them around 2005. There’s a longer story here, but it’s not important. Basically what I found unbelievable, incredible, extraordinary is the finding that it seemed I could not create a typo without revealing something important, valuable, if I took notice of it. Whatever I typed and looked at, there was a meaningful order, often an unintended one. The typos were lining up, marching on a road to guide me on an extraordinary adventure.

You don’t have to be in an altered state of consciousness to appreciate the lesson I am now offering regarding typographical “errors”. The lesson, put simply, is to attend to any apparent typo and ask relevant questions to understand why your conscious mind resists the correct letter, word, or phrase. Hold awareness on it until an answer offers itself, and then later attend to whether the typo has corrected on its own accord.

Do this and you are well on the way to becoming a powerful Magician. The point is not to become a person who doesn’t make typos (or mistakes in general), but to become a person more in alignment with their words, a person whose words serve him/her well. As part of a broader strategy for eating shadow, this is fantastic growth work. To make the most of it, you will need to know why it is that you carry certain traumas connected to language, so you can study the way that these subtle traumas continue to impact you, and even harm you.

A typo is a symptom of  letter trauma, sound-shape trauma, and/or word trauma, some re-arrangement of language in a way that suggests possible routes for remediation of the wounds. The letters are themselves like gods or devils, and they will trick you or give you drama.

“No sir,” says the Magician’s inquisitor. “A typo is merely a random, meaningless thing. I meant to type the letter J but I hit the letter H because I was working fast and acting carelessly. The keys are close on the keyboard. It doesn’t mean anything.”

That is true enough, I say. In a long night of dreams, some dreams are more meaningful and memorable than others. In a long session of typing, some typos are much more useful for shadow work than others. But we must affirm the principle that it is appropriate to learn from our mistakes and do shadow work upon the typos that call out to us. A typo is calling out to you if you make it repeatedly, or if you proofread a document and it remains unseen. A typo is calling to you if you get a queasy feeling about the look or sound of particular letters or letter constellations.

Trust me, this is a secret that can carry you far. In a mystical sense, you are discovering that you are Logos, Incarnate Word of God, and your conscious mind is not the only author … there are a multiplicity of authors within you which are trying to express themselves if they can, if you will let them. And there is the Logos itself, I tell you, coming to learn about itself through your writing. Language is evolving through you, and if you come up with a new phrase you can perhaps advance the course of language’s evolution. Don’t assume a typo is necessarily incorrect. It is there to remind you that you cannot think of certain concepts or entities without being unable to fully express your own conscious mind. Perhaps this is because this concept is flawed and needs to be discarded; perhaps you err because you cannot think of it clearly without wanting to run and hide.

Let me give you an example. Yesterday I wrote a blog post which expressed for the first time in words a traumatic incident I experienced, actually a combination of experiences in which I suffered delusions and, blocked by these terrible delusions, inserted a finger into my ear until it bled. I remember the sight of blood on my fingers, and later trying to hide my hands from the jail guards so they would not know that I had harmed myself physically. I had been put into a padded cell in isolation and I couldn’t bear the thought of returning there. I connected the image of bloody fingers, my ears, and fear of being found out, and the felt need to keep a secret … and my body and mind held on to these connected memories and images. So when I wrote about the experience for the first time publicly yesterday, I made a typo which I didn’t see even after reading the piece a few times. (I wrote “earlobe” instead of “ears”). My mind was not willing to let me see the problem. I could not face it. I was still working to keep a secret. The terror was too great, so a part of myself substituted a word which was less threatening. I caught the typo and corrected the word, but this was not the end of the healing work.

Later in the evening, I went out to a bar and ordered a drink. I noticed something for the first time: a sign immediately adjacent which said, “Ear Protection Available Here”, along with several ear protective devices available. (I had been in this bar many times, but this was the first time I noticed the sign. The bartender later told me that the sign had been there for over a year.) The word “Protection” stood out to me; it shone itself to me. There were two O’s in the word, one on each side, like ears on the side of a head. On the front O, the letters “Pr” which can mean “Positive” in Lingua-U; on the back O, the letter “n” which can mean “Negative”. It was a good image. The word appeared to me as a gift (from the spirits). My attention came to it tonight when it hadn’t on any previous occasion because I was (finally) ready to think about the self-harm I inflicted on my ear. I was ready to admit that I harmed myself and now was offering myself protection, if my ears would accept it. The answer came when I finally touched the sign, put my fingers on the two O’s in the word Protection, and then touched the letters to my own ears. The value of protection from the sign of “Protection” itself came to my ears.

This is integral magick, folks. You can interpret these ritualistic actions from many different standpoints. The standpoint of magick is the most liberative if you, like me, realize that healing is not an individual affair. Trauma inhabiting the letters and numbers and signs and symbols demands reconciliation which we can offer by becoming magicians. We can become like children who take the good along with the bad and make something whole from it without even theorizing about it. We can become like shamans, tasting the poison of error and building an immunity, transmuting the possible and impossible into indistinct aspects of the whole. We can become Integral Magicians, looking in our own typographical errors for clues to the whereabouts and will of the Incarnate Logos.

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?”

The Integral Critic’s Dilemma: Beams And Struts Or Soft And Squishy?

By Joe Perez

Given that I wrote recently about an essay of Frank Visser’s which raised the topic of Ken Wilber’s 2006 Wyatt Earp post, I was given the opportunity to re-read what Ken had to say about cross-altitude criticism. It’s an important topic owing to the Integral worldview’s finding that there is not one consciousness that all people share, but a variety of worldspaces conditioned by our developmental level, each of which interact with other extant worldspaces out of virtually inescapable prisms of their own action-logic. Religious fundamentalists and postmodern feminist theorists don’t just disagree about facts, they talk right past each other in ways that neither quite understands.

In “What We Are, That We See. Part I: Response to Some Recent Criticism in a Wild West Fashion” (the Wyatt Earpy post), Ken Wilber wrote:

In short, it’s just ridiculous to say that I try to hide from this criticism, I live on it! Every new truth I find, I rejoice. That’s why it went from wilber-1 all the way to wilber-5. This is what second tier does automatically anyway, it takes new truths wherever it finds themand weaves them into larger tapestries. It can’t help doing so! If I find one, I am ecstatic! So mark this well: Only a first-tier mentality would even think that one would run away from good criticism. But then these folks…. Okay, I won’t even take a shot at that one, too easy.

But I suppose it should be pointed out that many of the ideas these critics offer are in fact at a green or orange altitude, and not even teal or turquoise altitude, where they could at least begin to see the integral patterns that connect. These critics simply cannot see these phenomena, which are “over their heads,” to borrow Kegan’s felicitous phrase—and they get absolutely furious, and I mean furious, when this is pointed out or even mentioned.

But furious or not, that happens to be a completely valid critical approach. So I’ll stop teasing the animals for a moment and get serious. For the developmentalist, some ideas are not at the altitude of those they are criticizing, and those criticisms, in those specific aspects, are nonsensical. Strictly speaking, they are neither true nor false, but empty.

Continue reading “The Integral Critic’s Dilemma: Beams And Struts Or Soft And Squishy?”

What does integral look like in practice?

Here’s part of another response in an online forum to my post on defining integral. This one makes an excellent observation about the diversity of approaches to integral:

I guess that is what has been irritating me about Ken [Wilber] and the various institutions that he has put together. It’s that Ken’s work is presented as “the” integral or “the most comprehensive” integral. Not necessarily by him but by those around him. He doesn’t claim ownership of his version of integral but it is presented as “the integral.” Not always, but often.

However, those of [us] that found Ken were already putting together our own version of an integral practice without any need for some sort of grand unifying ‘meta-theory.’ For example, I have a degree in biochemistry, I meditate, I practice 2 kinds of martial arts, I play music, I aspire to be a filmmaker, I keep a journal, I read voraciously in philosophy,psychology, nutrition, eastern philosophy, science, popular culture, etc, etc, etc. [My] version of integral had body, mind, soul/spirit, individiual, social.

This is [my] version of “integral” even though it never had any grand unifying theory behind it. It never had 3-2-1 shadow work, Big Mind Meditation, 3-Kata practice tm, tm, tm. It never had 4 quadrants. It’s just what I observed as the facets of life that I wanted to improve on and expand.

If it’s difficult enough to define integral in theory, things get really tough when it comes to spotting what integral looks like in practice. If someone meditates and does yoga and reads books, are they second-tier by definition because their practice ranges from spirit to body to mind? If someone is seeking to live holistically, do they need to have a “grand unifying ‘meta-theory'” in order to count as post-postmodern? What about the case of a person whose center of gravity is clearly at a first-tier stage who is doing practices that involve a blend of body, mind, spirit, self, culture, and nature?

I don’t intend to answer these thorny questions in this post. But I will say that getting clear about language is a very important step in getting clear about such potentially confusing matters. If we are clear about what integral looks like in practice and what it doesn’t, then it’s much easier to provide answers to these issues. I’ll offer three specific observations to help provide greater clarity.

First, to articulate what integral looks like in practice, look to exemplars. Wilber’s books, DVDs, and other materials and trainings offered by the Integral Institute are helpful in this regard. Connect with people locally who are striving to put integral theory into practice, and learn what you can from them. Integral is taking shape in many places in this world, but nowhere with greater theoretical sophistication than among people informed by cutting edge integral theory.

Second, bear in mind that just about any specific physical, mental, or spiritual injunction can be part of a more comprehensive integral practice. But simply because somebody is combining a range of disciplines doesn’t make their approach integral. It could just be a very confusing, eclectic assortment of practices thrown together without an overarching vision (that is, mental map). Eclecticism does not equal integral.

Third, if you have to boil it down to its barest essentials, STEAM-powered living comes down to two prime injunctions: practices to aid in the ascension to transcendent Unity of Being and practices to help in descending deeper to embodied form. If you are not at a minimum devoting attention to both sides of the coin–say, meditation for Ascent and psychodynamic group shadow work for Descent–then there is absolutely no way what you’re doing can be called integral.