Cynthia Bourgeault – Luminous Wisdom Cowichan Lake Education Centre 1-7 April 2019 Saturday AM (Nb: these are personal notes from Cynthia’s oral presentation and may not always be a completely accurate reflection of her teaching)


 We are an integral school, not a pluralistic one, (to draw on Ken Wilber’s levels of consciousness); our primary mission field is teal, not green. Our work concentrates not at the level of healing the false-self, woundedness and recovery, substance abuse, equal rights, restorative justice, or political correctness (although we acknowledge the importance of all these initiatives), but rather at the level of guiding the transition from identity based primarily in the narrative or egoic self to identity stabilized at the level of witnessing presence, or “permeably boundaried” selfhood.

The mission field today is teal [Ken Wilber: 7. Teal (Early Integral) 5th Person Perspective – head with heart, multiple perspectives, natural hierarchy, autonomy, systems/complexity, flex/flow, decrease in fear]

not green [6. Green (Postmodern) 4th Person Perspective: Relativistic, Democrats (hatred and ridicule of Amber, Orange and Red): pluralistitic, individualistic, subjective, universally true that there is no truth.] – not about political correctness. Identity in witnessing self or “permeably boundaried” selfhood

Dualism between contemplation and action. People tend to think of these as opposites. Action equated with storming the barracks and silence as withdrawal.

RC orders are split on this between activist and contemplative orders. A level of confusion here.

Ken Wilber, levels of consciousness, first mentioned in Up From Eden.

Levels of consciousness – Eric Neumann

  1. Uroboric – most primitive, circular and closed. Womb to 2 years, not capable of saying “I am”. Mother not a human being, undifferentiated


  1. Magical Universe – goblins and fairies till school age


  1. Mythical Membership – belong to tribe


  1. Rational – self as individual, can make your own choices. Cognitive skills, some of the magical fire dwellers


  1. Vision/Logic – Wilber changed to Integral. Distinct individual, moves to larger picture, think from the whole rather than the part. Can sense yourself as a cell in the larger body.


  1. Non-dual states – separated selfhood drops way. All is seen as one.

See these stages in countries as well.

Magical stage – primitive stage – animal sacrifices – pantheism

Israel comes into being = traumatic jolt into mythic membership – 12 tribes trying to find right organization, fear of kings, stamps out and demonizes lower order of consciousness. Rational consciousness – individual units  = rational society – “declaration of independence”

Rising pressure to think from wholeness. Don’t protect yourself. Vision logic/integral consciousness – Jesus brought the seed of this.

No evolutionary leap is smooth and easy – usually involves cultural warfare.

Truly seeing from oneness. At some point the separateness drops out. Fascinating to read OT from this perspective. There is an evolutionary thrust to this

On the outside looks like we are working backwards. Need to look at the larger context.


Tribe – Amber – traditional, conservative, often not highly developed in religion. “This is how we have always done it.” Build the wall to keep the strangers out.

The people on the border are the least afraid of the strangers – evangelical fundamentalism

Rational – Orange – mainstream Anglicanism. Liberal, progressive, politically inclusive, hierarchy relaxes a little, includes women, gay rights. Tends to have a secular, post-modern slant. Faith and devotion are weak seen as associated with blind faith. Want to test everything. eg. Spong, The Jesus Seminar. The mind is most important.

Pluralistic – Green – rational – Marcus Borg. The irritant which got Trump voted in. Wilber, Trump and the Post Truth World, PDF version: – ground breaking writing and why we are green and not teal. Sees rational as a damper. Slogan “Co-exist”, needed to include, social agendas. A big step forward from Orange. But has a nasty backside – Judgemental and identified. I am more virtuous than they. Ideologically entwined. Identifies anger as motivation. Wilber – “the mean green” – fury for the cause, a dismissive quality. Political correctness – created these tortuous boxes. Trumps exposition was against this green gone amuck. Micro-managing with the head. Can’t work. Built in self-cancelling. Can’t do unity & action from this place. Co-exist needs to coalesce.

Looks like society is moving backwards. But important for stages of development. Need to move to Oneness.

Integral – Teal – think from whole. See and move from the heart, a slightly different energetic signature. Not about anger, burnout (inside) or judgment (outside). New sense of self is not just a cognitive shift. Bring our sense of being lower in our body. Look at world from the witnessing self. Mind in the heart. Live more out of something that is not so boundaried. 2 stones can’t occupy the same space, but two perfumes can. (Helminski) This way is non-coercive. Open ourselves to inter-being.

Is easier to move to this level from the evangelical position than the liberal position. Their hearts are still open.

What if it is all dance? Beatrice Bruteau = we are all circles that radiate outwards and not centres

We are sitting on the edge of an evolutionary shift.

We begin to access avenues of compassionate actions – imaginal causality

Begin to develop a faculty within us that can engage with play

Work with practices that open the heart and receive assistance from that wider realm. We are intensively loved as a cosmos and help is available.

We are first and foremost a school of being. Our curriculum is to help people see that it is possible to work from an entirely different place.

We are working in solidarity with those who are working for peace and justice. We are just adding another element.

Every shift comes with violence and disruption. Understand this and forgive this, so we don’t get swept up in anger and despair.

The Contemplative Society (TCS) is a part of a larger lineage.