Category Archives: Ken Wilber

The Bridge Beyond The Bridge

By Don Jolly in The Revealer: A Review of Religion and Media:

Mark Rathbun’s Search For the Future of Scientology

Pursuit of Understanding

I am introducing my recommended reading list to anyone who has attained the Scientology state of Clear.  By doing so, I am not promoting or trying to win over anybody to a particular line of thought.  Nor am I attempting to dissuade people from continuing to worship their firmly held religious constructs. I respect their First Amendment rights to continue to do so.  Instead, I am responding to the relative few who have expressed genuine curiosity about from whence I have come and to where I am going.  Folks can take it or leave it, or pick and choose to satisfy their own curiosities. And, as is their wont, Scientologists can of course nitpick and snipe so as to kill the agent who brings news they will likely find is anathema to their Scientology religious beliefs.

I recommend that these materials, minimally, be studied before embarking on Scientology OT Levels 2 through 8.   Actually, I think anyone would gain a tremendous amount of insight by reading these books. But, I believe this (or a comparable) recommended study is essential to understanding from a scientific and spiritual view what it most likely is that makes a meter read on a Clear.  It also gives a much deeper understanding of what it is that Ron Hubbard was grappling with on the upper levels.  To pursue a subject calling itself a ‘science of the mind’, while subjecting oneself to religious mythological belief constructs (as one inevitably does by running headlong into the OT Levels of Scientology) sets up a vicious form of cognitive dissonance: religious belief masquerading as scientific certainty.   The result is the inability to perceive as-is; defeating the entire stated purpose of Scientology.  More debilitating, Scientology at the upper levels continues a process of self-affirmation and self-fixation that firmly shackles an individual from rising to greater heights; locked into a solidified ego as he or she becomes. I think this recommended study can alleviate that dissonance, freeing an individual to continue to move on up a little higher.

I am not creating some new study by this recommendation.  I am sure there is an infinity of gradients and steps one could, and some certainly have, take to navigate the mire that is implanted at the Scientology upper levels.  I did not follow this recommendation.  I went through numerous other valleys and peaks along my own way. For example, as part of my own study, I studied and evaluated what Hubbard studied and drew from in developing Scientology; and I haven’t included that byway on this list.  I reviewed my path and noted those studies I feel were integral in understanding Scientology in the only way Hubbard himself recommended anything could be fully understood. That is, studied against data of comparable magnitude.  When one does, I believe one cannot help but recognize that Ron was definitely onto something in his upper level research, but that developments in science and consciousness far more rationally and accurately revealed what it was.  One may or may not also see in the light of this understanding, that continued, blind adherence to mythological constructs supplied in Scientology might be crippling of spiritual evolution.

If sufficient interest is communicated, I may follow up with a series of posts on each of these references, explaining why I consider them important, connecting dots demonstrating relevance to the Scientology experience, and making sense of the sequence, etc.  In either event, I hope some people find this of some assistance in their graduation and transcendence process.

1)      Tao Te Ching – Stephen Mitchell translation

2)      Siddhartha – Herman Hesse

3)      The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran

4)      The Four Agreements – Don Migel Ruiz

5)      The End of Suffering – Russell Targ and J.J. Hurtak

6)      Buddha’s Brain – Rick Hanson

7)      A Brief History of Everything – Ken Wilber

8)     Kosmic Consciousness – ten part interview with Ken Wilber, Sounds True Productions.

9)      A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

10)   The Biology of Belief – Bruce Lipton

11)   The  Unobservable Universe – Scott Tyson

12)   The Secret – Rhonda Byrne (book and video)

13)   The Intention Experiment – Lynne McTaggart

14)   The Field – Lynne McTaggart

15)   Entangled Minds – Dean Radin

16)   The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra

17)   Quantum Enigma – Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner

18)   Biocentrism – Robert Lanza

19)   A Gradual Awakening.- Stephen Levine

Some folks have already expressed dismay at such a recommendation in that it is a hefty amount of reading.  One person implied that I am asserting that one must become proficient in Quantum Mechanics in order to achieve enlightenment.  I am not suggesting that.

I am suggesting that if one devotes the better part of one’s life to following someone who implants in one’s mind a certainty that what he is following is proven scientifically to be the only road to spiritual freedom, one is demonstrating a large degree of gullibility in accepting and dramatizing that implant with no context explored against which to evaluate the truth of that implant.  Understanding is an universal solvent, in my opinion.

Time and Space


Studies in science and consciousness (e.g. Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Biocentrism by Robert Lanza, The Field by Lynne McTaggart, My Big T.O.E by Thomas Campbell, etc.) have demonstrated through a variety of means that time and space are constructs of  human and animal minds.  They have no independent, observed or tangible reality in and of themselves.  We create them in order to establish dimensions within which to survive amongst and with other organisms and to play games.

Transcendent experiences, such as enlightenments, peak-experiences, even Scientology releases, are instances where the automaticity of creating time/space constructs are ceased – even if for the briefest of spans.  At those moments we experience more of the true nature of the universe and its interconnectedness. Here is the realm where psi (psychic phenomena – or theta perceptics – such as clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and telepathy) activities are observed and exercised. That reality only appears perceivable and achievable outside of our mental time and space constructs, which by their very purpose and definitions create the apparency of separateness.  Those transcendent experiences are often far and few between for folks because they have so permanently implanted upon themselves – and begun to mistake for ultimate reality – the reality of the time and space constructs they create. But, the more frequent a practice makes their experience possible, the more chance we have of, as Ken Wilber put it, converting temporary states more toward more permanent traits.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and Scientology processes are exercises in restoring the ability to cease the automaticity of creation of time and space.  Understood in this context, it is very easy to run processes, to run groups of them (grades/levels), or even the complete program (or Bridge), to their fullest potential gain.  Not a lot of duress and dogma designed to instill unswerving devotion and surrender is required to bring about ability when that simple, if all-encompassing, framework is kept in mind. When viewed against this scientific/consciousness field of evolving, tested context Hubbard processes can become as natural and simple to deliver as driving an automobile.

I think the more a practitioner appreciates these facts, and our increasing objective (scientific) understandings and how they relate to consciousness, the more proficient, effective, and empowering his or her practice becomes.

This ability can become unachievable in Scientology; much in the way it has in many other practices.  There are a number of reasons for this.  However, all of those factors can be recognized and understood to one degree or another as invitations or commands to build further time/space constructs, and to believe so implicitly in them that one – once again – puts the process on automatic.  Whatever titillating or inviting backdrops against, or foundations upon, which one presents such enticements to build new mental constructs, they still have the same regressive effect ultimately.  They send one back down the rabbit hole of time/space construction, which after enough practice ultimately to one degree or another goes back onto automatic.

Consequently, a simple axiom evolved for me that I have found useful in studying and applying any work in the fields of spirit, philosophy and psychotherapy.  To those cemented into the permanent constructs some paths tends to embed one in, this will sound like the most rank heresy.  To those not so embedded, it might help keep you from falling into the wet concrete looming along certain paths.  It is simply this, to the degree data assists with relieving additives to the mind that enforce automatic time/space construction it is valuable; conversely, to the degree data invites introduction of additives that further automatic time/space construction it is destructive of higher awareness and states of consciousness.

Why Bother?

Some hard-core ‘independent’ Scientologists have ruminated  among themselves lately the idea that I am somehow trying to bring down L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.  Otherwise, they reason,  ‘why wouldn’t he just move on and let it be?’   I am going to try to address this concern as directly and succinctly as I can.

L. Ron Hubbard developed a number of unique, aggressive methods for tackling problems of the human psyche.   Used intelligently there is nothing that compares to their direct, predictable effectiveness in intensifying present awareness.

However, there is a potential trap in the fields of therapy and spiritual practices discussed by Ken Wilber in his Kosmic Consciousness interview series that applies in spades to Scientology.  In segment eight of the series, Wilber speaks of people attaining ecstatic, exalted altered states in their particular discipline that they consider to be so miraculous as to be without compare.  They are convinced that they have found the only way, which results in a sort of tunnel vision and puts a figurative ceiling on their own continued growth and development.  Such people become opinionated, exclusive and intolerant – ultimately repelling others from experiencing the transcendence they experienced and losing whatever they gained in the process.

This trap is particularly acute in Scientology, because along with the peak and plateau experiences it delivers, its scripture is saturated with reinforcement of this sense of only-one way and superiority to mere mortals.  As intensively and effectively as Scientology can focus an individual’s attention and concentration, it just as intensively and effectively conditions those new found abilities onto worshipping and defending to the death the construct that made them possible.

In an ironic way, the zealous, judgmental, super egoic, ‘I will save you if I have to kill you’ mentality of the advanced Scientologist serves as testament to the effectiveness of that which they are hell-bent on defending and promoting.

Just as assuredly, it is evidence that somewhere along the line the science of ‘knowing how to know’ is converted into the practice of ‘knowing so best that we had better not be exposed to learning anything else and not allow anyone else to either’.

The observation I am trying to share is that it is this vicious cycle that is at the root of the demise of the methodologies of Dianetics and Scientology.  It is the cause of every other ill – disconnection, fair game, Simon Bolivar, violence in management, money is everything,  image is everything, you name it – every other ‘situation’ that folk continually mistake for the ‘why.’

I have witnessed tremendous relief, rehabilitated ability to learn, and renewed capacity for transcendence by getting this ‘why’ understood by many who have devoted their lives to Scientology.   I have also effectively helped a number of people with Hubbard methods by using them – sans the only-one religious indoctrination;  people who knew little to nothing of Dianetics and Scientology when they came to me.

It is for this reason that I believe the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard are doomed to the extent they are not used in an integral (integrated) fashion.   The whole package – taken as the whole package requires it be taken – leads inevitably to all of the ills ex-scientologists, those effected by Scientologists, and Scientologists (including and especially independent ones) seem to make a pastime out of clamoring about.

Why do I bother?  Because I want to help free those who are stuck in this Scientology dichotomy, and because I don’t want to see the demise of ideas and discoveries that can be effective in helping people in the future.

Integral Theory

There is a tremendous body of work available on the subject of Integral Theory.   It comes from the idea to ‘integrate.’   That is, to bring disparate parts together into a synergistic whole.  Its principle author is a philosopher by the name of Ken Wilber.   Wilber sought to provide maps for those interested in rising to higher levels of consciousness.

He approached the problems of humanoid existence from a completely different perspective than L. Ron Hubbard.  Hubbard’s approach could be characterized as more ‘subjective’ whereas Wilber’s was more ‘objective.’   Hubbard tackled the problem of what was eating him, figured out how to deal with it and developed a technology to share the route.  It was a masterful process of elimination – differentiating those datums that assisted his journey from those that did not, and then codifying the former while rejecting the latter.  His rejection of that which did not assist his route was done in the most emphatic terms, emphasis perhaps added in part, to clearly differentiate his route.  In this regard, he was unparalleled in his ability to detect and label what and who was ‘wrong.’  His emphasis became dissociation and exclusion from other thoughts and ideas.

Conversely, Wilber began with the proposition that ‘everyone is right on some level’.   All routes have a place somewhere on a bigger map.  His emphasis was on association or inclusion.  He looked for the common denominators of great religious, philosophic, contemplative, and psychotherapeutic practices over centuries and placed particular emphasis on objective indicia of workability. From that he developed scales outlining evolutionary phases, levels, and states that people went through from birth to the highest states of consciousness.  Whereas Hubbard was the founder of a mental/spiritual practice or lineage, Wilber was more a philosopher/academic who mapped common denominators of many practices and lineages.

Probably in part due to the vehemence with which Hubbard rejected and condemned other routes, and his established reputation for severely punishing critical analysis of his route, apparently even though Wilber approached the matter with the stable datum that ‘everybody is right on some level’, Scientology was never included in the analysis (at least it was never mentioned).

Ironically, at the end of the day, the work of Hubbard fits quite tidily into the broader maps drawn by Wilber outlining what objective analysis tells us are workable means toward higher states of consciousness.  In that respect a study of Integral Theory serves to enrich one’s understanding of how and why Scientology works.  It also serves as an objective, even scientific validation of the work of Hubbard.  Wilber projects and advocates integral psychotherapeutic and spiritual practice – subjects that all too often are treated as two disrelated practices .  And so it is somewhat ironic that Hubbard gets nary a mention in Wilber’s work when L. Ron Hubbard was a pioneer in the integration of spirit into psychotherapeutic practice.  That is likely due in large measure to the intensity of prohibition on integrating Scientology practice with any other learning or discipline. Sadly, virtually none of the rapidly expanding ranks of Integral practitioners and thinkers – whose work over time increasingly treads on ground tilled by Hubbard – recognize a single word of Hubbard.

Interestingly, Integral Theory also validates virtually all of the commonly agreed upon distinctions that integral-thinking Independent Scientologists seem to have agreed upon that make Scientology workable on the outside and potentially deleterious within corporate Scientology.  That, by no means, applies to many Indies who have shown a violent disdain for the ideas of integration, evolution and transcendence as outlined in What Is Wrong With Scientology? Healing Through Understanding.

There are four potential benefits for learning something about Integral Theory.

First, one can attain a much broader, far-reaching understanding of the technology of Scientology than one could possibly attain from denying himself from studying data of comparable magnitude to it.  Ironically, to those literalists unwilling to expand their horizons, such an approach to learning is recommended in Hubbard’s Data Series (Scientology logic) and Scientology Logic 8 itself: a datum can be evaluated only by a datum of comparable magnitude.

 Second, if one wants to begin thinking rationally with how the subject of Scientology might be communicated to the world, post corporate Scientology Armaggedon, one had better know the vast array of parallels that exist between it and other subjects. In the Age of Information a cloistered, my-way-or-the-hiway, damn the ignorant infidels presentation will likely wind future Scientologists up in remote caves clinging to AK 47s.

Third, for those who have ventured quite a ways up the Bridge it gives you  a number of informative standards by which to evaluate what Scientology has done for you and what perhaps you seek but have not found in Scientology.  In other words, you might find there are ways and means available on this big, wonderful planet that might serve you in moving on up a little higher.

Fourth, for prospective Scientologists and those applying it at all levels of the bridge, integral theory can help you to maintain your own intellectual integrity and sovereignty, integral to full expansion of consciousness and yet put at risk if approaching Scientology with tunnel vision.

For the curious, a good introductory overview of Integral Theory is covered in The Integral Vision by Ken Wilbur, which can be picked up used on the cheap on Amazon books.  A more in-depth, but very well articulated overview is covered in a ten-part interview series with Wilber conducted and published by Sounds True (available on Amazon, and sometimes EBay).

Word of advice.  I am not promoting or recommending Wilber’s own suggested introductory integral program at chapter 6 of the book.   It is a reflection of Wilber the guru or practice teacher, as opposed to Wilber the researcher and philosopher. The former grew out of popular demand by much good
work as the latter.  But, I think anyone who reads this blog is intelligent enough to differentiate when the two hats collapse – which in the broader field of the map making work does not happen often.  I do happen to agree with Wilber’s initially emphasizing the wisdom of an aerobic and weight-training regimen.  I read a Canadian medical study once that found that muscle stress training can greatly reduce the speed of body-aging deterioration (even claims, though I don’t grok the science of it well enough to vouch for it, that on a certain level it can reverse the aging process of the body).  In either event, I have found on a subjective level that a fit body frees all manner of attention units for work on the mind and spirit.

Note for the Kamikazee KSW crowd.   In Wilber’s more in-depth, purely research/map-making work he emphasizes that it is not wise to monkey with workable contemplative lineages. In other words, don’t change workable technology – instead, supplement it where it does not address or meet all of your needs or goals and purposes, and better utilize it by understanding it in greater depth against advances in science, the mind and spirit.