Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Report From the Front Lines

Hey folks I just came out of a one day intensive with Cohen. I had the benefit of listening to the dialogue between Cohen and Ken posted on the Integral Naked site before the intensive. If you listen carefully Ken shows great patience in redirecting Cohen toward more integral path of conversation. The reality is that he was rude by any measure and clearly intended to humiliate some of the audience members.

I have spent 20 years studying and practicing in many realms of eastern philosophy, so after witnessing some of the intellectual arrogance that was occurring I took him on with some fairly pointed questions about that basically mimicked some of the discussion topics within the Wilber/Cohen dialogues eg The history of Nirvana inspired lineages, Samsara lineages, paradoxical incarnation non duality issues, bodhisattva vow, etc to see if what he said reflected what he’d either said or agreed with in the Wilber discussions.

About half way through he nearly lost it with me, he stopped and closed his eyes and was obviously having some difficulty composing himself. They weren’t aggressive questions, they were thoughtful and well presented, but he appeared to be bamboozled . He misrepresented the bodhisattva vow as one of Nirvanic enlightenment, he struggled with explaining anything but all attachments being negative , he seemed to be recommending ego death of some sort. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if he's having health problems of some sort, the obviously agitated condition, the inability to flow on a subject area that is obviously well practiced makes me think there must be something more he's dealing with personally.

I came away thinking I could have done a better job explaining his own work and relating to the crowd.

If you're reading this Ken, I would reconsider your endorsements, the guy on the downloads is a very well behaved and thoughtful guy. The guy I witnessed in the seminar was arrogant, dismissive and just plain weird.

from a post on Integral Naked, 11/23/04:
http://integralnaked.org/forum/tm.asp?m=21922&p=1&tmode=1&smode=1



2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(To become a subscribed member, you must arrange to register and have a $10 monthly fee charged to your credit card--to support the various teachers affiliated with the site.

The forum material is interesting to read and both Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber are on the list of teachers involved with Integral Naked website. *Any former Cohen student concerned about his or her privacy must decide whether to take a chance with disclosing personal information while registering.

* At $10 a month, this is an expensive site but you can log on and read what's there for free.)

Thanks for mentioning the Integral Naked forum. There is a longer 9 page thread with material on this subject. Its interesting to read the various perspectives. (note about the IN site:

http://integralnaked.org/forum/fb.asp?m=11798&key=andrew%2Ccohen&language=single


The pro-AC/KW crowd appear to have a few core arguments:

1) Anyone who disagrees or has migivings is afflicted by a virus of the mind called 'green meme'. This is a good example of what cult education specialists term a 'thought stopping cliche'--a bit of mind fuck that brings discussion to a screeching halt and derails a valid argument. Green meme is code for being too weak, too coddled, too middle class to appreciate being bullied, abused and jeered at, as well as any refusal to accept someone's nasty behavior as being justified/sanctified by that person's state of enlightenment or claim to be such.

2) If someone is enlightened (or claims to be), they are suddenly exempt from normal accountablity and are permitted to say and do anything they please. WHile the enlighetened one is in a state of grace, anyone who expresses misgivings in a state of sin, guilty of anger, negativity, closemindness, aka Green Meme Syndrome.

(Sounds like a New Age take off on the Calvinist scheme in which the predestined Elect, who are in a state of grace are distinguished from the damned Green Meemies)

3) (Speculative) There appear to be a lot of people who enjoy, even thrive on high adrenaline situations and who because of a biochemical fluke, assume that stress induced adrenaline surges are spiritual breakthroughs. Being addicted to adrenaline and sheer intensity, they may even despise gentler methods, and seek out extreme teachers because they get jazzed by being confronted in person or by watching others squirm on the hotseat.

If these adrenaline junkies select non spiritual experieces, they may become extreme athletes, fire fighters or if they join the armed forces, become test pilots, Navy Seals, Recon Marines or qualify for the Green Berets.

Perhaps AC (and more vicariously) KW are adrenaline junkies and their supporters share a similar psycho-biochemical profile.

All this green meme business is just school yard bullying/name calling, as is KW's love affair with rating systems for levels of spiritual attainment. He resembles people who get off on filling display cabinets with butterflies, neatly labelled and pinned to cork board in nice, tidy rows.

Luckily, life's much bigger than any classification scheme.

Tuesday, 23 November, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you're reading this Ken, I would reconsider your endorsements, the guy on the downloads is a very well behaved and thoughtful guy. The guy I witnessed in the seminar was arrogant, dismissive and just plain weird. "

i cancelled my subscription almost a year ago. i suspect what you've related is true.

Wednesday, 14 March, 2007  

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