687. Carter Phipps

Carter Phipps is the author of Evolutionaries and coauthor of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller Conscious Leadership with John Mackey and Steve McIntosh. He is co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, which addresses political polarization though focusing on the cultural roots of America’s challenges. He hosts the Thinking Ahead podcast and is a former award-winning journalist and executive editor of What Is Enlightenment? Magazine. His website is http://www.carterphipps.com.

Essay we discussed in the interview: Mysticism and Its Discontents: Does Spiritual Illumination Create its own Intrinsic Blindness?

Summary and Transcript and of this interview

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group

Interview recorded July 29, 2023

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump
  • 00:03:50 – The Paradox of Spiritual Teachers’ Behavior
  • 00:07:52 – The Subtleties of Enlightenment and the Dangers of Blind Spots
  • 00:11:24 – The Complications of Spiritual Awakening
  • 00:14:40 – Defining Enlightenment
  • 00:18:42 – Strengths and Weaknesses in Areas of Genius
  • 00:22:31 – The Transformative Power of Mystical Awakening
  • 00:26:15 – The Tradeoffs of Enlightenment
  • 00:29:31 – Levels of Reality and Integration
  • 00:35:06 – The Goal of Our Own Practice
  • 00:37:33 – Delusion in Deep Mystical Experience
  • 00:41:43 – The Path of Renunciation and Self-Brainwashing
  • 00:45:46 – The Complex Psychology of Seeking Enlightenment
  • 00:50:24 – The Evolution of Culture and Consciousness
  • 00:55:17 – The Dangers of Unhealthy Self-Doubt and Lack of Self-Criticism
  • 00:59:32 – The Delusion of Pure Motive
  • 01:03:22 – The Dangers of Spiritual Confidence
  • 01:08:15 – Blurring the Line between the Spiritual and Manifest World
  • 01:14:10 – The Interface between Science and Spirituality
  • 01:17:50 – The Tradition of Debate and Mythical Stories
  • 01:21:35 – The Power and Deception of Inner Intuition
  • 01:25:41 – The Relationship Between Enlightenment and Psychological Instability
  • 01:28:35 – Psychological Traces and Vulnerability to Mystical Experiences
  • 01:31:49 – Spiritual Breakthroughs and Psychological Breakdowns
  • 01:35:11 – The Role of Responsible Psychedelic Therapists
  • 01:39:44 – The Importance of Understanding Cultural Evolution and the Adjacent Possible
  • 01:45:18 – The Myth of the Perfect Enlightened Figure
  • 01:50:09 – The Importance of Understanding the Self-Structure
  • 01:55:00 – The Importance of Questioning Spiritual Myths and Beliefs
  • 01:59:38 – Being Discerning and Questioning
  • 02:07:06 – Future Teaching and Updates from Carter Phipps

530. Rick Archer at the 2019 SAND Conference – Knowledge/Reality is Different in Different States of Consciousness

Opening points:

  • People get polarized in different perspectives. The more they focus exclusively on their perspective, the more justification for it they find.
  • Learning to appreciate paradox; accommodating different viewpoints within a broader perspective.
  • Enlightenment as Totality. Only Totality can realize Totality.
  • Totality has no difficulty reconciling paradoxes.
  • Getting comfortable with paradox might be conducive to our realization of Totality.

Examples of contradictory realities:

  • free will vs. determinism
  • personal self vs. no-self
  • Are we already enlightened, or must enlightenment be attained?
  • Is practice an aid or an obstacle?
  • Is the guru model dead?
  • Does non-duality imply that there are no stages of spiritual growth?
  • direct vs. progressive paths
  • patience vs. determination on the spiritual path

Additional points covered:

  • Acting in accordance with your own experience, not a concept of someone else’s.
  • Absolute reality does not negate relative realities.
  • Radically different realities at different levels of nature’s functioning are perfectly compatible with one another.
  • Incorporating universal and individual perspectives – ocean and wave, boundless and boundaries.
  • My experience in doing BatGap.

Recorded at the Science and Nonduality Conference, October 27, 2019.

Transcript of this talk.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Previous talks on BatGap:

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Different levels of consciousness
  • 00:01:49 – Perspectives and Justifications
  • 00:03:04 – The Knower of Brahman is Brahman
  • 00:04:32 – The Debate on Free Will
  • 00:05:40 – The Concept of Freewill
  • 00:07:03 – The trouble of taking someone else’s perspective
  • 00:08:24 – Debating the Existence of Reincarnation
  • 00:09:27 – Mithya: The Concept of Dependent Reality
  • 00:10:43 – Subsuming Perspectives and the Totality of Brahman
  • 00:12:14 – Shift in Perspective and the Sun’s Perspective
  • 00:13:30 – Rising to the Experience
  • 00:14:49 – The Role of Practice in Spiritual Development
  • 00:16:08 – The Role of Gurus in Contemporary Spirituality
  • 00:17:21 – Respect for Different Spiritual Paths
  • 00:18:43 – The Seamless Wholeness of Existence
  • 00:20:05 – Progress in Spiritual Practice
  • 00:21:19 – The Progressive Dyeing Process
  • 00:22:36 – The Value of Life and Balance
  • 00:23:57 – Levels of Complexity and Hierarchical Arrangements
  • 00:25:25 – Different Levels of Reality
  • 00:26:38 – Embracing Paradoxes and Ambiguities
  • 00:28:05 – Cultivating Awareness and Focus in Meditation
  • 00:29:34 – Finding Freedom in Confinement
  • 00:30:53 – The Ethics of Feedlots and Advanced Beings
  • 00:31:56 – Paradoxes and Personal Judgment
  • 00:32:55 – The Beauty and Diversity of Life
  • 00:34:11 – The Thrill of Interviews and Exploring Different Perspectives
  • 00:35:22 – Being of Service to Others
  • 00:36:42 – Surrendering to the Moment in the Spiritual Experience
  • 00:37:44 – Comparing Yourself on the Spiritual Path
  • 00:38:52 – Paths of Devotion, Intellect, and Meditation
  • 00:40:05 – Balancing Heart and Mind

467. Steve McIntosh

Steve McIntosh is a leader in the integral philosophy movement and author of three books on spiritual evolution:

In addition to his work in spiritual philosophy, he also serves as president of The Institute for Cultural Evolution, an integral political think tank focusing on the development of values. Before becoming a writer and activist, Steve had a variety of other successful careers, including founding the consumer products company Now & Zen, and practicing law with one of America’s largest firms. Steve is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and the University of Southern California Business School. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two sons. For more on his work visit: stevemcintosh.com.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded August 18, 2018.

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump
  • 00:04:43 – The Evolution of Consciousness and Culture
  • 00:09:26 – Evolution of Worldviews and Progressive Spirituality
  • 00:14:05 – The Derision of the New Age Movement
  • 00:18:47 – Understanding Individuality and Scientism
  • 00:23:22 – The Denial of Free Will
  • 00:27:52 – The Virtuous Circle of Spiritual Experience
  • 00:32:40 – The Structure of the Universe: Infinite Being and Finite Becoming
  • 00:37:28 – The Value-Creating Capacity of Polarities
  • 00:41:57 – Perfection and Imperfection in the Universe
  • 00:46:26 – Gradual Perfection of the Universe
  • 00:50:45 – Ramana Maharshi’s Impact on the World
  • 00:55:28 – The Complementary Relationship of Nonduality and Theism
  • 00:59:46 – Complementary Forms of Spirituality
  • 01:04:17 – Rescuing Postmodernism
  • 01:09:06 – The Hand of God and the Gentle Pull of Evolution
  • 01:13:42 – The Necessity of a Spiritually Real Evolving Soul
  • 01:17:38 – Harmony of Buddhist and Christian teachings
  • 01:21:50 – The Philosophy of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty
  • 01:26:30 – The Intersection of Science and Spirituality
  • 01:31:00 – The Paths of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness
  • 01:35:00 – The Role of Religion and Atheism
  • 01:39:18 – Appreciating the Good and Bad of Modernism and Religion
  • 01:43:35 – Spiritual Currents and Seekers from Different Traditions
  • 01:47:54 – The Challenge of Environmental Awareness and Inter-Worldview Conflict
  • 01:52:13 – The Transition Triggers of Worldviews
  • 01:56:21 – Inclusion of Postmodern Thinkers in Addressing Global Warming
  • 02:00:54 – The Emergence of a New Worldview
  • 02:05:07 – The Emergence of Postmodernism
  • 02:09:33 – Fostering Spiritual Development and Responsibility
  • 02:13:40 – Concluding Remarks