So we have had the first discussion last evening, between Chris Parish of EnlightenNext London and integral exponent, Terry Patten, co-author of Integral Life Practice, and the common consensus was that this is a very important and useul dialogue that we will all make sure continues to help us all develop the best philosohies and the best ways forward for the common good.
From memory, almost the only area of slightly differing views came almost at the end, with a few variations on the theme around the nature of compassion and unconditional love.
Terry defined the essence of basic human compassion and stated his own wish not to wish to have any interest in any philosophy or spirituality that wanted to be without such a thing.
“Everyone’s got a story that will break your heart.” – Terry Patten
In the same mini-dialogue, Chris stated that he and his wife were not interested in each other’s egos, (and his wife was there to confirm this, too), but I don’t think this necessarily precludes compassion or unconditional love.
Later, I recorded a quick interview for EnlightenNext and was asked about the evening’s discussions and made the point that this is two people – at a relatively high or deep personal orientation – who simply don’t wish to support each other’s victim mentalities – which is what ego is. Which I can understand, that makes a lot of sense. I myself also have a clear value that I never wish to support anyone’s victim mentality either – and never will. If people are doing the best they can with their life’s situation, or with their ego, though, I do have full compassion for them. In Integral Theory we know how hard it is to reach awareness as the transpersonal or trans-egoic stages – of over 20,000 personal transformation methodologies studied, only one, meditation, has as yet been shown to help people up stages vertically, and that at an average of four years for approximately two vertical developmental stages.
“A leader is someone who helps people replace disempowering beliefs with empowering beliefs.” – Tony Robbins
So when asked if this was therefore contextual – that the context was relevant - then I replied yes, as I believe is always the case in integral theory, context is everything.
This is a question I want to give more thought to over the coming days, to clarify an exact, and ‘ideal’ definition of and approach to unconditional love. Certainly, I agree with and stand by the notions and principles of unconditional love and freedom to give.
Note also though, that you can have conditional ‘appreciation’ – I may like someone specifically because of a depth or quality they have. For example, for that reason I might only want to enter into a relationship with someone who has a worldcentric (at least) orientation of care and ethics – but even so I still can love (accept) unconditionally all those who don’t.
So it was an exciting first dialogue on the road to Evolutionary + Integral… and I had the great pleasure to meet Terry as well, as he joined us for an informal chat afterwards with quite a few of us from our (London) Integral Life Practice Group present.
PS. I’ve also just come across this wonderful article which was written recently by someone who also attended the event at EnlightenNext last evening – very well worth a read…