The Evolution of the Integral "We-Space"

Terry Patten and Ken Wilber
July 31st, 2013
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In preparation for this call, Ken read Terry's paper for the Integral Theory Conference, Enacting an Integral Revolution, which focuses on how we can have truly radical conversations and includes a short history of we-space practices in the integral community. The call begins with Ken offering a rich, insightful analysis of the nature of higher intersubjectivity and we-space practices. He said many things that we’ve never heard him say before.

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(This call is one of a series of free community calls in advance of The Integral Living Room, a gathering of evolutionaries being held in Boulder Colorado, Oct 31 - Nov 3. For more on The Integral Living Room event, click here.)

This was an extremely rich conversation. Here are a few of the ideas you'll find when you listen:

  • A "We" is how Spirit experiences itself. As each "I" experiences the other, it sees True Self looking back.

  • We-space exercises can help individuals move beyond the invisible limitations of their personal subjectivity.

  • We-space practice can serve individual meditative awakening beyond turiya into turyatita.

  • The we-space has its own network of nexus-agency, and when we feel into all those nexuses, the shared field functions as a mirror that reflects True Self to us all.

  • Every we-space practice is shaped by its unique injunctions and intentions:

    • Injunctions: e.g., "Pay attention to the we-space", "Stay radically present", "Surrender into witnessing", "Suspend judgment", "Be honest and transparent", "Build on what others say", etc.

    • Intentions: e.g., transpersonal intimacy, high states of consciousness, voicing the impulse of evolution, evolving culture amidst the global crisis, awakening higher intuitive faculties, etc.

  • Every participant in a “We” will straddle an experience that's shared with everyone else, and also his own unique experience and perspective

  • There is surrendering into witnessing; there is also surrendering beyond witnessing, in which the detatched looker gives way to nondual awareness

  • There are numerous intersubjective we-fields in which we are participating, and each expresses different levels of development

  • One of the reasons we-space practice is so popular is that we can feel the Eros, the creative advance into novelty, as we co-explore the new evolutionary territory of higher intersubjectivity

  • There is special significance to the sequence 3-1-2

  • Shared states of consciousness and shared stages of consciousness are both important

    • States are more readily transmissive than stages which must be co-enacted

    • Most we-space practices begin with state practices, therefore

    • However, intersubjective triple-loop learning is possible, leading to higher intersubjective stages

...and much more!

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Integral Life Practice & Before - The idea behind the discipline of a lifelong integral life practice is that we cannot declare our self as enlightened on the basis of taking a week-end seminar, suffering ongoing self-delusions, or any other reasons. Ken Wilber tells us that spiritual maturity is an ongoing process with no end point in sight. We can no more be fully spiritually mature than be fully educated. My experience has been that the ones who most loudly and compulsively try to declare themselves to be enlightened are the ones most likely to have not yet taken even the first step on the never ending spiritual adventure.

It is my understanding that before the advent of integral life practice Ken Wilber was familiar with and Terry Patten practiced with George Leonard and/or Michael Murphy. In turn George and/or Michael practiced with Dean Ornish. The idea has always been to exercise all parts of our self on an ongoing and lifelong basis. Let's look at some of the possible exercies and some possible examples;

Spiritual exercise - Example -meditation under the direct direction of an authentic teacher (master, lama, guru, etc.).

Intellectual exercise - Example - read, discuss, and apply the books of Ken Wilber including Integral Life Practice in an open minded and hearted way.

Physical exercise  - Good diet, pick up weights and put them back down, go nowhere on stationary exercise equipment, do functional exercies like cutting the grass, cleaning the house, splitting the firewood, doing the dishes and laundry.

Selfless service exercise - Example - do the above functional exercises to benefit friends and/or neighbors in need.

Community building exercise. - Example - support ( no I did not say abuse and negate) one another while working together on worthwhile beneficial projects in the real world.

Psychological and emotional exercise - Express your concerns and feelings in a community that will not judge you or attack you with unsolicited directives and demands.

These are just a few examples of many possible lifelong practices. This writer feels that one reason that our integral movement has not yet made as much  large scale beneficial traction in our wider world as we are capable of  is because we have not yet learned to effectively exercise the last three mentioned practices. Perhaps as we start having more and more gathering events we can at long last begin to go, in a truly integral way, where no one has ever gone before.

In the meantime I am continuing to pray that our moderators do a good job of protecting our decent members from abuse. Amen.  



If anyone feels the need to ignore me, please do. I know that I'm irritating and I fully appologize for my personality. But this is the hand I've been dealt and I can only change so much. No one but NO ONE knows the kind of pressure I'm under to get worse than I am already. You just have no idea! That said...

I know this is not a safe space to discuss topics that interest me and my needs for a safe space have not changed. My sensitivity to interior We-Space traffic has only increased. And I'm glad that I left IL because I needed to stop getting in line for abuse and start playing the hand I've been dealt. I have decided to accept the story that I'm this way for a reason and let it stick to me. It may or may not be true, but it is more useful than any of the other ones that I or others have tried to stick on me. So, I'm going to speak my truth and go. Love it or hate it. Or completely ignore it. 

Should I indulge the "I told you so..." program that is trying to assert itself right now or skip it? I'm thinking I'll just skip it and get straight down to business. 

There are many ideas and assertions which Ken puts out here that do not match the territory that I am in. I have decided to let them float away. To start with: Truth is not what it seems. It is bound to Spacetime and when you get close to the Event Horizon of Spacetime, its usefulness dissolves. It is useful within Spacetime and it's perfectly valid to continue using it when it is helpful. It is also perfectly valid to prepare yourself to let it go. I have done that already by deciding that Truth is irrelevant. As I have observed the territory that surrounds me, it seems likely that all perception is manipulated or "managed" by certain "Entities" who require our co-operation. The institutions which we rely upon for information and truth would be the first to be co-opted. That means: government, media, academia and the scientific community. I completely understand and sympathize with the good intentions behind and within these institutions, however, the only thing that I believe about them now is that they cannot be believed. The "Age of Information" is over. A totally different strategy for making decisions and taking action must be developed if we are to regain our autonomy and integrity. 

The LL technology referred to here by KW and TP is part of that strategy. If you use it, you can access isness with your senses directly, without the "help" of your friendly institutional interpreters. Most people will not avail themselves of this technology as we are all bombarded by alternate ways of receiving data day in and day out and frankly, are just too lazy. But here it is, nevertheless. Sortof...

I suspect that Ken is also incorrect about the Dominant Monad. Does anyone remember his conversation with Kevin Kelly? Listen to it again. It is not the same context, but the same rule applies: a molecule cannot see cells. It only sees other molecules. Any individual within a group will not be the vessel of the Monad. The Monad will be over and above and we will not be able to see it just as our cells cannot see us. They only see other cells. But they might be able to detect our presence by what happens to them as a result of our decisions and actions.

After pounding the "L" key so many times, the cells in my right ring finger-tip might be able to figure out that some one wants it to do that and makes it do that. It has tried to resist and found that it cannot. It has tried to pound a different key and found that it cannot. And even tho its parent cells have told it that this is "just the way it has always been" and this is "just what we do", it can't help but wonder if there isn't more to life. In its own finger-tip-cell-like way of wondering, of course. Once you've put your awareness on the repetition itself, instead of the "L" key, you begin to experience what is commonly called "synchronicities". 

I will read more about this "nexus" idea. I looked on Wikipedia for it and found a "heap" of ideas related to "nexus" and had to find the needle in the haystack. I think this is it (for those of you who can't access links, look up "process philosophy"). If I'm wrong, I hope someone posts the correction. Serendipitously, I have been thrown up against this issue by Mathematics lately, not philosophy. So, this finger has tapped on this key once before and is now wondering about it. I suspect there is alot in there, but I don't expect it to be new to me. 

And last, but not least, Ken seems to be interpreting this wrong. Well. It's not wrong if you're at the "Magic" stage of development. His interpretation precisely matches that of the creation of an "Egregore". Some of you will know what that is. But most of you will not. I think certain "Entities" are counting on none of you knowing what that is. Perhaps they didn't count on me returning to let you know. Wikipedia's page on it has been gutted so I won't bother linking you. I suspect that real info about that will be quietly withdrawn from public view as well, but there are still some of us around who know. And you certainly don't have to take my word for it. Just ask your friendly neighborhood Freemason - if you can get him to talk. And if he is high enuf in rank. A more reliable way to find out is to lurk on websites which talk about Magic and Witchcraft and search for that word. Try different spellings. Egregor. Grigori. etc.

He is correct in warning you away from Groupthink, but the Egregore is actually far more dangerous. And both have the convenient quality of being susceptible to human control. Convenient to certain "Entities" that is. Maybe not for you. But the one thing that Ken didn't go near, denied the reality of, and denied it in a way that contradicted prior agreement he had with a similar idea was the True Dominant Monad. The Real Deal. The one thing that certain "Entities" would be truly threatened by and couldn't anticipate and control. Yes. That one thing is the thing we are warned not to seek or access. 

For some of us, it is too late. It already found us. 

Love and blessings to all. Even in this untamed territory.