503. Kylea Taylor

Kylea TaylorKylea Taylor, M.S., LMFT, found two gaps in ethics education in the early 1990s while simultaneously studying to be a Marriage and Family Therapist and working as a senior trainer at the Grof Transpersonal Training where she assisted Stanislav Grof in training practitioners of Holotropic Breathwork®. Kylea observed that working with clients in non-ordinary states of consciousness requires different ethical awarenesses. She drew upon the tenets of several of the great religions to create InnerEthics™, a model for ethical self-reflection. The model clarifies the unique ethical territory of understanding and working skillfully with people who are experiencing profound and extra-ordinary states of consciousness and also provides a scaffolding for recognizing our semi-conscious, inner motivations as practitioners, teachers, and caregivers in order to avoid client and student harm and increase client and student benefit. Her book, The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship With Clients for Profound, Transformative Work in Our Professional Healing Relationships, illuminates transference, countertransference, power dynamics, dual relationship, and other topics important to relational ethics. The book won the 2017 Nautilus Book Award in the category, “Relationships & Communication.”

Kylea teaches, writes, and consults about ethics. She is also currently President and co-founder of SoulCollage Inc., which since 2003 has been training facilitators worldwide to share an expressive arts method that promotes deep self-discovery, individually and in community. Kylea’s focus as a therapist has been on assisting clients in integrating the meaning and extra-ordinary gifts of spiritual emergence, awakening or transpersonal experiences, and what she calls “personal paradigm shift” phenomena.

Website

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded May 18, 2019.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

482. Panel Discussions on Ethics and Spiritual Teaching

Ethics and Spiritual Teaching Panel at the Science and Nonduality Conference

  • Questioning whether higher consciousness and ethical behavior are tightly correlated.
  • The founding of
    the Association for Spiritual Integrity (formerly the Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers).
  • The attempt to formulate a code of ethics that might apply universally in the contemporary spiritual community and enliven an understanding of what may or may not be appropriate, giving students greater confidence in their own discernment and discrimination.
  • Ancient traditions held the teacher beyond reproach and students surrendered their own will. This may have worked in monastic settings but generally does not work today.
  • Preventative support so we’re not busy doing cleanup.
  • Power hierarchies should not be an essential part of spiritual development and can lead to abuses.
  • Spiritual awakening does not necessarily qualify a person to offer advice on relationships, finances, etc.
  • Ethical training of some sort is integral to most honored traditions.
  • The issue of sexism and patriarchy in spiritual organizations.
  • Entering the teaching profession prematurely.
  • All too often, when teachers are challenged on their behavior, they ignore the challenger or become defensive.
  • How do we offer the possibility for redemption and atonement?
  • Moving away from a culture of competition to one of cooperation.
  • The importance of humility.
  • The importance of teachers not identifying with their role and thinking that students’ devotion is about them.
  • South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” as a model.

Discussion of this panel in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Recorded October 27, 2018

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

 

A Discussion on Teacher-Student Romantic Relationships

  • The Association for Spiritual Integrity does not have a moralistic, judgmental orientation. It’s a community endeavor. We don’t agree among ourselves on certain points. We’re trying to balance our subjective perspectives with standards that fit our contemporary culture.
  • A key point of disagreement is the issue of teacher-student romantic/sexual relationships. None of us are rigid or adamant in our opinions.We’re trying to work it out.
  • There are exceptions to every generality. In graduate school, psychotherapists are taught that it will never be appropriate for therapists and their clients to become partners.
  • Relationships tend to be the most challenging aspect of people’s lives. These challenges shouldn’t bleed into a teacher’s teaching activities.
  • When a teacher/student or therapist/client relationship transitions into romantic involvement, the potential for growth is undermined.
  • Sometimes “divine compulsion” arises in your spiritual path, shattering your conception of appropriate behavior.
  • The problem with teachers who haven’t transcended desire and explored their own shadow.
  • There can be a huge disparity between the apparent enlightenment of a teacher and their behavior.
  • Isolation and being closed to constructive criticism can be very dangerous for a teacher.
  • If a teacher doesn’t have friends other than his students, he might want to ask why. If he doesn’t have regular relationships and is always on a pedestal, he won’t get real-world feedback.
  • The culture is changing anyway. We’re just trying to give voice to values that are becoming lively in collective consciousness.
  • There can be a lot of practice involved in having your actions be a reflection of your deepest understanding.

Discussion of this panel in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Recorded October 26, 2018

Other BatGap episodes with these participants:

Recorded October 26, 2018

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

 

426. Rick Archer on the “Ethics of Enlightenment”


Rick ArcherPresentation at the Science and Nonduality Conference.

Many well-known spiritual teachers and gurus have been accused, credibly, of sexual, financial, and behavioral abuse. This, although their own spiritual attainment has arguably appeared significant, and their teachings beneficial. As a result, some people have concluded that higher consciousness and ethical behavior are not correlated, that we are governed by our genetics and conditioning, or by “nature”, and that we have no free will and thus no control over or responsibility for our actions. That logic has been used as an alibi by some spiritual teachers caught misbehaving.

Others have become cynical about the motives of all gurus and teachers, and some have even lost faith in spirituality altogether.

Yet, every spiritual tradition includes codes of ethics that apply to both teachers and students. Ethical behavior has been regarded not only as a reflection of spiritual development, but as a prerequisite to it.

To some extent, ethical values vary from culture to culture. But perhaps the contemporary spiritual community can agree upon some universal values. Can we agree that it’s not all right to misrepresent ourselves? If we claim or imply that we have realized our true nature, and are offering to help others do the same, is it consistent for us to behave deceitfully, perversely, selfishly, or cruelly?

Is it possible to be an enlightened scoundrel? Are purity and saintliness characteristic of higher levels of spiritual development, or unrelated to them? These are important questions. Because we need spiritual teachers and teachings in this critical time in humanity’s maturation, we need to understand what genuine spiritual attainment should look like, irrespective of personality differences. If such understanding were more commonplace, most abusive teachers and cults would never have gotten off the ground.

I discuss these points and others in this talk.

Discussion about this talk in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Other talks by or interviews of Rick:

Recorded October 21, 2017.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.