The attempt to formulate a code of ethics that might applyuniversally in the contemporary spiritual community and enliven anunderstanding of what may or may not be appropriate, giving students greaterconfidence in their own discernment and discrimination.
Ancient traditions held the teacher beyond reproach andstudents surrendered their own will. This may have worked in monastic settingsbut generally does not work today.
Preventative support so we’re not busy doing cleanup.
Power hierarchies should not be an essential part ofspiritual development and can lead to abuses.
Spiritual awakening does not necessarily qualify a person tooffer advice on relationships, finances, etc.
Ethical training of some sort is integral to most honoredtraditions.
The issue of sexism and patriarchy in spiritualorganizations.
Entering the teaching profession prematurely.
All too often, when teachers are challenged on theirbehavior, 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 ofcooperation.
The importance of humility.
The importance of teachers not identifying with their roleand thinking that students’ devotion is about them.
South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” as a model.
Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
A Discussion on Teacher-Student
The Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers 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 subjectiveperspectives with standards that fit our contemporary culture.
A key point of disagreement is the issue of teacher-studentromantic/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 graduateschool, psychotherapists are taught that it will never be appropriate for therapistsand their clients to become partners.
Relationships tend to be the most challenging aspectofpeople’s lives. These challenges shouldn’t bleed into a teacher’s teachingactivities.
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.
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.
With over two-dozen published books translated in nearly as many languages, Ken Wilber has created what is widely considered the first truly comprehensive Integral Map of human experience. By exploring and integrating the major insights and conclusions of nearly every human knowledge domain in existence, Wilber created the revolutionary AQAL Integral Framework. In short, the Integral Approach is the coherent organization, coordination, and harmonization of all of the relevant practices, methodologies, and experiences available to human beings. Wilber states: “You can’t [realistically] honor various methods and fields, without showing how they fit together. That is how to make a genuine world philosophy.” He is the founder of the nonprofit think tank Integral Institute, co-founder of the transformational learning community Integral Life, co-founder of Source Integral exploring the nature of Integral Society, and the current chancellor of Ubiquity University.
Terry Patten is a philosopher, teacher, activist, consultant, social entrepreneur, and author. Over the last fifteen years he has devoted his efforts to the evolution of consciousness by facing, examining, and healing our global crisis through the marriage of spirit and activism. He co-wrote the book “Integral Life Practice” with Ken Wilber and a core team at the Integral Institute. As a teacher and consultant, he has worked on four continents, led a team at the HeartMath Institute that developed their first heart rate variability monitor, and is the founder of the “Beyond Awakening” teleseminar series. As a community builder, he founded Bay Area Integral. As a social entrepreneur, he founded Tools For Exploration, a consciousness technologies company, and currently, he’s involved in restorative redwood forestry and fossil-fuel alternatives. His new book “A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries–A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change” was released by North Atlantic Books on March 6th, 2018. Terry is also co-author of Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening.