Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow: The Big Integrity Model of Evolutionary Spirituality

Michal Dowd and Connie Barlow have a new podcast on the Big Integrity model. As always, well worth listening to.

A quick comment about something Connie Barlow mentions early in the podcast:

She says that in eastern models, consciousness is primary and the universe comes later. In her understanding, based on western science, consciousness is born out of the universe. And those two don’t fit well together.

To me, both are valid in their own way and do not contradict each other. It just depends on how we understand the words.

From a mystical view, we can say that all is the play of awake no-thing. It is what is here in immediacy for all of us, when we look. All is awake. All is no-thing. And all content of experience is the play of this awake no-thing. In that sense, “consciousness” (awakeness) is “primary” since appearances is the play of this awake emptiness.

And from a western science view, we can say that all appearances – the world of form – evolves. The world of form has evolved into matter, galaxies, solar systems, planets, living planets, ecosystems and beings. And these beings have mind, they feel, think, experience attraction and aversion, have compassion, make choices, act and so on.

In immediacy, feelings, emotions, sensations, thoughts, choices, actions and so on are all happening as the play of awake no-thing, and the stories and models of evolution and development happens within and as awake no-thing as well. These stories of evolution and development not only adds to the richness of experience and interpretation, they can also give a deep sense of (added) meaning, and be very helpful in a practical everyday sense.

So there is no (necessary) opposition between those two views. They fit together beautifully.

A footnote: Some folks may say that “consciousness” (I don’t like that word) came before Big Bang and that the universe unfolded within consciousness or God’s mind, but that is of course just a story, an interpretation of what is here now in immediacy. It is a projection. If it is recognized as a story and an interpretation, that is fine, although it can still create the appearance of a conflict with – for instance – western science. If it is not recognized as an overlay of images happening within and as what we are, then it just means we are still caught up in ideology, which is also fine. It is another aspect of the play of awake no-thing as form, content of itself.

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