I see a reader on amazon.co.uk has dubbed the contemporary story in A Dance in Time (Izzy's story) to be “New Age”.
No, no, no.
I am not New Age. I never took on New Age beliefs for precisely the same reason that I dropped my
(Roman Catholic) religion in my teens. Because I'm a freethinker, not a believer.
This doesn't mean I deny that human beings can have mind and consciousness experiences that are beyond the material – in the realm that is usually referred to as soul or spirit. It is both my experience, and my evidence-based opinion, that we do.
According to the great transpersonal philospher, Ken Wilber, when it comes to matters spiritual, there are not, as is so often suggested, two camps – the rational versus the nonrational, the non-believers versus the believers – but three.
- the pre-rational (or prepersonal) —
- the rational (or personal)
- the trans-rational (or transpersonal).
This is not just a list but a hierarchy, with the higher levels both transcending and including the lower levels.
Researchers like Wilber – and the psychiatrist and meditation teacher, Jack Engler, the Harvard Psychology Professor, Daniel Brown, and Cambridge physicist Jeremy Hayward and many others – are working to separate genuine, universal, laboratory-tested aspects of human spirituality from idiosyncratic, magical, self-serving or narcissistic beliefs.
This is not always easy but evidence that human beings have a spectrum of consciousness – from prerational, through rational, to transrational states – continues to mount — and is now, in my opinion, incontrovertible.
What this research confirms is that the transrational mind has universal qualities. These have been uniformly depicted across cultures and time periods by writers, saints and sages.
“Living bodies transcend but include minerals,” writes Wilber in his great book, Integral Psychology. “Minds transcend but include vital bodies, luminous souls transcend but include conceptual minds, and radiant spirit transcends and includes absolutely everything. Spirit is thus both the very highest wave (purely transcendental) and the ever-present ground of all.”
This is the understanding of self-and-soul explored in A Dance in Time – and in this blog. It has nothing to do with a New Age. Indeed, it is the very opposite of new. It is perennial.
Next up: The six perennial and universal truths.