Even after all the examples and reading, this may all still be clear as mud. I hope to finish my intro to integral with this entry and thus I want to try to convey the simplified AQAL map in another way to help solidify the idea. We had from the beginning the idea of “The Big Three” areas of life, “Self, Culture, and Nature. ”, and now we also have “Waking Up and Growing Up” within our lives.
Waking up is the more popularized and well-known notion these days. Waking up is awakening to the present witness of “I” within a particular state of consciousness, the states basically being waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. Even a baby experiences all of these states, though a baby isn’t really very conscious through any of them. The more of our states we are able to remain consciously aware in, the more awake we may be to the present moment. The general idea is that being present and mindful in a very conscious way is how to find greatest happiness, or presence, or flow within a single or every moment.
This present flow is great, however it is only half of the equation. Growing up in maturity and depth, is the other side to this life coin. Imagine for a moment that you are still a small child full of fun, play, and wonder living in the present moment. Many people today, based upon popularized notions, seek this ideal. Well, if everyone were grown-up five-year-olds then this world would be full of ego-centric over-emotional cry-babies, which in some ways seems like that’s the direction it’s going. Maturing does not mean you cannot be childish. It means that you do have the capacity to be childish, though have transcended and included it to choose an operational “default” from a higher or more understanding or more inclusive set of principles. In other words, you choose the high road, you choose to be more. You can see what is option A, let’s say, and you can see a “high road” to take, you see the two and therefore know better, and therefore the choice for a path toward maturing can be made. Step by step, and choice by choice we get the gift of life experience to sort through the code of ourselves; line by line and moment by moment. However, we must be aware enough of ourselves in the first place to know to work on the code well, and thus the symbiotic relationship with waking up.
What is important to note is that, as Wilber puts it, “states are free, stages are earned”. Everyone is able to access all of these states of consciousness, though not everyone is able to perceive their state’s information in a mature manner, fewer still then act on the higher choice. When you do, you slowly earn the next more inclusive perspective which in turn will come with it’s own information to incorporate and a more enriching view of the world. The more information that has gone into making a choice the more mature the choice is.
Growing up, which takes five years on average to move one level, is essentially the path through lines and levels of development. Waking up, however, is opening your eyes to the present conscious awareness of a particular state which may come and go. And finally, “The Big Three” are the trifocal lenses with which we see the world. Growing up and Waking up with “The Big Three”. So remember to see the Self, Culture, and Nature while trying to mature in the areas you are present. Be informed of where you are strong and where you are weak then use that to have fun and enjoy the journey of growth.
“Action is the burden of knowledge." - CrazyCanadia
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