It’s been four months now that I’ve been living off the grid on a plot of land with no electricity, no real running water and no neighbors. You would think the inevitable questions would arise, whenever I tell people about this, but often my interlocutors are too perplexed by the exotic nature of my life to really ask anything at all. What are we – my partner and I – doing out there? Why have we chosen to live like that and, surely, it’s just temporary, right? Soon, internet connection and solar panels will bring the modern day and age back into our back-yard…
In spirituality, especially in evolutionary spirituality that focuses on growth or self-development as a means to reach enlightenment or transcendence, there is this idea of transcending the self. But often it seems that the practitioners, rather than getting less egoic they tend to get more egoic, either neglecting the world around them focusing only on how self is evolving, or becoming domineering and basically full of themselves. No doubt do some of them possess deep insights into spiritual truths, it just seems like the step of truly transcending the self rather than just cleverly hiding or disguising it is a very hard thing to do.
What does it mean transcend the small self? What takes its place? A bigger self? In the integral version of developmental psychology, the lines of development show an ever increasingly complex self transcending and including the previous versions. That self transcends the contracted and self-centered ego, the voice that screams, “me! me! me!” and replaces it with a different song that is now concerned with not just me, but me + many other things. In a way the me has become decentralized… or has it? Or is it still at the center of everything, just with a wider vision?
I’d like to talk about a topic that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. It doesn’t seem to be on many people’s radar: Can energetic or spiritual practices unbalance us to the point where they are counter-productive? Is there such a thing as an overdose of intentional work? And if yes, what does it look and feel like?
I spent the past week participating and teaching at the Ocean Yoga Festival and absolutely loved it. But I was also astonished by the event’s effect on me. Even though I didn’t go so many classes, I felt a definitive energetic quality that after prolonged exposure felt a bit ungrounding. Continue reading →
The one thing that stood out to me the most when I recently read Ken Wilber’s “The Atman Project”, was the way he described the process of growth in terms of Eros and Thanatos and how it was just opposite of what I had imagined. So let’s recap for a moment:
In the following paragraphs I will try to convey to you a meaning of the term spirit (and spirituality) that perhaps is a bit different than the idea you have in mind. My hope is to leave my readers with the sense that spirituality is not a new-age, hippie thing that requires incense, crystals, tie-die shirts or using the word namaste in every second phrase. Instead I believe it is a fundamental characteristic of our existence and thus accessible to everyone and of meaning to everyone.