Divine Pride and the Integral Movement
Ken Wilber offers a fascinating glimpse into his own life and work, describing the many influences that led to his explorations of Integral theory and practice. He talks about the importance of cultivating a sense of "divine pride", stripped of arrogance and tempered by humility, calling us to offer our greatest possible gifts to the world.
"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."
-Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
You are the cutting edge of evolution.
Go ahead, take a few moments to feel into that. It's not hyperbole—billions of years of evolution are at your back, plunging you into greater consciousness, greater compassion, greater freedom, and greater fullness. You are already perfect, and always have been—and yet, there is something making you even more perfect, something shaping you in its own image, something inviting you to step more fully into your own life.
And that something is you.
There is a God living in you, which is the same God that lives in me. God is looking through both of our eyes, gazing at Her own ubiquitous splendor. There is nothing that is not God. Everything is God.
Which means, in a very real sense, that you are God.
Now take a few moments to feel into that one. It's okay, it's not heresy—we are by no means saying that the ego or separate self is God. The entire universe does not revolve around you. No, the entire universe evolves within you. Not within your mind, or your heart, or even your soul—but within the effortless, unchanging vista of awareness behind all of your experiences, the unseen Ground of All Things, where every possible thought, feeling, and inspiration arises, dances for awhile, and fades into the twilight.
This is what we mean by "divine pride". It is a simple recognition of our holy heritage, and an acknowledgement of the tremendous responsibility that comes along with this recognition. This is not the braggadocio of a new age narcissist—it is a pride stripped of all arrogance, tempered by humility, and held with unwavering devotion to an intelligence infinitely greater than our own.
It's important to make this distinction, to dislodge ourselves from the tyranny of the ever-grasping ego. Otherwise, it would be next to impossible to feel the full gravity of this next statement:
God needs you.
Here, we are talking about your ego, your separate self, your finite body/mind. There is a reason why you were born. It was no happy accident. You are being called on by God to make some contribution to this world. You hold a unique perspective, a unique piece of the puzzle, and are obligated to find a way to offer your own deepest gifts to the world. We are the process of evolution becoming self-aware, and as such are tasked to participate in our own fate. In order to do so, we must jettison our neurotic attachment to weakness, anxiety, and brokenness; and surrender ourselves to the timeless perfection that we are forever immersed in.
In other words, we have to start taking ourselves more seriously and drop this damned debilitating fear of our own greatness.
We should not be asking ourselves "what's the meaning of life?" Instead we should be asking, "what's the meaning of my life?"
It is no accident that we are witnessing the emergence of the Integral movement at this precise point in history, when our problems have already become too big and too complex for piecemeal solutions. Dealing with problems on such an enormous scale requires at least a comprehensive view of reality, as anything less will only make things worse. This is why we say that you are the cutting edge of evolution—the simple fact that you are interested in the material we offer here at Integral Life demonstrates that some part of you is "lighting up" or resonating with this stuff. Don't get us wrong—we are not saying that you need to subscribe to this website or Ken Wilber's version of integral theory in order to participate in the emerging Integral movement (though we think that Ken's is far and away the best version available), but your interest in this or any other "theory of everything" indicates that you almost certainly have a role to play in this historic unfolding.
It's up to you to figure out what that role is, but we promise to make every tool available for you that we possibly can.
written by Corey W. deVos
Images: God and The Forge (Swords Into Plowshares) by Bo Bartlett
Ken Wilber is the founder of Integral Institute and the co-founder of Integral Life. He is an internationally acknowledged leader and the preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. His many books, all of which are still in print, can be found at Amazon.com. Some of his more popular books include Integral Spirituality; No Boundary; Grace and Grit; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; and the "everything" books: A Brief History of Everything (one of his largest selling books) and A Theory of Everything (probably the shortest introduction to his work).