Any realization of depth carries a terrible burden?

“The alarming fact is that any realization of depth carries a terrible burden: Those who are allowed to see are simultaneously saddled with the obligation to communicate that vision in no uncertain terms: that is the bargain. You were allowed to see the truth under the agreement that you would communicate it to others (that is the ultimate meaning of the bodhisattva vow). And therefore, if you have seen, you simply must speak out. Speak out with compassion, or speak out with angry wisdom, or speak out with skillful means, but speak out you must.” – Ken Wilber

I saw this quote in an integral / aqal social media group.

For me, it’s more simple.

In my experience, if I have a sense of “terrible burden”, it comes from a should. And shoulds come from something unexamined in me, it comes from an unexamined belief.

If we notice what we are, we may be moved to share it. It’s the natural movement of love. And it’s free to share or not, depending on the situation and what seems appropriate and helpful.


There are a couple of other things in this quote it could be interesting to look at.

Any sense of an “agreement” inherent in life also comes from an idea. It’s not inherent in life. Yes, we may be moved to share as a natural movement of love, but it depends on who we are, our role in life, and our circumstances. That doesn’t mean there is some unspoken agreement inherent in life.

Also, I am not sure what he means by “realization of depth”. Maybe I don’t get it because I have never experienced anything I would label that way. Noticing what I am, my more fundamental nature, certainly has nothing to do with depth (or anything higher). It’s something simple, natural, and even somewhat inevitable.

It may be that he is speaking about something else, perhaps a more intellectual understanding – within the realm of mental images and ideas. If that’s the case, I understand why he is using the word “depth”, and I also understand why he talks about “terrible burden”. Realizing something within the realm of ideas can come with unexamined beliefs and a sense of shoulds.



In my experience, it happens naturally and out of love 

Or it doesn’t, for now, and that’s fine too

Any sense of obligation comes from a should, from division

What I find for myself, after 35 years of inquiry and other explorations 

KW drama queen tendency

If there is a sense of pressure 

May be an issue there, come from an issue, unquestioned belief

KW quote 

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