The Mystic Heart: Picking a Spiritual Path

This video continues the Q&A from the previous part of the discussion. Here Wayne Teasdale and Ken Wilber talk about how to make sense of all the different techniques and practices that are available in order to create an authentic path for yourself.

The temptation is to take a little from lots of different traditions, like you’re in a spiritual supermarket (which is why Zoe Popper meets her teacher in Morrisons beside the soup in Chapter 8). But ultimately you have to choose one path if you want to get somewhere. The path that’s right for you will be one that resonates with you on a deep level – it just feels right.

They also talk about what all the paths have in common. It’s really about removing obstacles to seeing reality, as well as dealing with the tendency to identify with the obstacles, i.e. ego.

Once that identity is gone those obstacles actually become the expression of your realisation. So on the way up you have to strip attachment to all of them. On the way down you re-inhabit all of them. But that takes a real clarity of intent not to remain attached and pretend that you’ve transcended them, because you’re really just addicted to them.” – Ken Wilber


6 thoughts on “The Mystic Heart: Picking a Spiritual Path

  1. Ken Wilber says “we just don’t know why people transform.” I beg to differ; we very much do, or some of us do. When we do awaken, the force moving is the teacher, or the guru.

    What I was able to discover were the keys to what hold people back from this is so simple that it eludes most, and it seems to have eluded him too. I like how clear Ken is, but he lacks an intuitive insight….which isn’t bad, it’s just different.

    When you seek, you will tend to find…and this itself begins to move the mountains for you. But then, our growth has been ratcheted up a good deal this last decade so….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe he’s alluding to the idea of karma and timing. Everybody transforms differently and in their own time – or divine timing – and there’s no way to really understand that because it’s an inherently mysterious process. There are a lot of unknown elements influencing how you are at any given moment.

      For instance, I started waking up without having done any spiritual work at all – it just happened, and it really messed me up for a while. Once I understood what was going on I was able to cooperate with the process. But I can only guess at why I started to wake up when I did. Perhaps it relates to karma, some sort of ancestral inheritance… I don’t know.


      1. I think as long as we view it as unknowable then it is. But every case has involved on very simple act or recognition that flipped the switch, turned on the lights, and lifted the curtain. May be in your case the forces at work were much less obvious because the release was in the subconscious.


  2. I was glad to watch this because, for whatever reasons, I’ve had some kind of reservation about Wilber. I don’t know why. I have hardly read a word he’s said. But this was a good opportunity to watch and listen. Obviously a clever guy but I disagree to some extent that we have to choose a single path. I’d have a real problem if I didn’t constantly integrate and synthesize all of my interests.

    I’ve taught Tai Chi, did yoga, had an Indian guru, dabbled in the Seth Books, Tarot, New Age, and now go to Catholic Mass. I also love sci-fi because it deals with ideas about the relativity of time in ways that I find a bit lacking in the major traditions.

    Whenever I get high and mighty about my Catholic conversion, someone from another tradition… maybe Muslim, maybe Buddhist, or maybe just free-floating, saves my butt. It’s a good reality check.

    One thing I like about your blog is your humility and honesty. If we lose that, we lose it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do a similar thing – draw on many different traditions and ideas and use them as a kind of reality check. I always seem to come back to Buddhism in the end, but I do wonder if I’m missing something sometimes 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I think that your sense of ‘things happening at the right time’ will serve you well. I really believe in that too. There’s an ancient Greek word, kairos, that I interpret to mean the same thing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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