We can also create a flat land when we cut ourselves off from higher levels of development. A tribal society generally makes a sharp distinction between those who are in the group and those who are outside the group. They create a flatland by denying equal status to outsiders. There are usually strict rules governing enforcing co-operation within the group such as a ban on violence to members but an encouragement of violence towards outsiders, especially if they may be a threat. They have created a flat land by ignoring the common humanity we share. 7. Where we went wrong in the WestOur scientific view of life has created a severe flatland. In science there is no 'I'. A scientist doesn't say, "I ran an experiment" but rather," an experiment was run". The scientist has disappeared. There is no room for thoughts and feelings only measurements of what is out there. The left hand interior side of the quadrants has been denied and flatlanded into the right. The material side of life is all important not the internal and spiritual. The inner world has been left and we have lost the link to our unity in the world. Gaia has been lost and she is beginning to complain. 8. Descending/AscendingLife is the ebb and flow of two currents. Ascending energy is male dominated and seeks to reach the heavens by denying the physical. Christianity is fundamentally an ascending religion. Ascending energy avoids emotions. Descending energy is female dominated and seeks to bring The Non-Local Mind- 40
heaven down to earth. Goddess religions are descending religions. descending energy expresses itself through emotions. In life we need a balance of ascending and descending energy. We need to soar to new heights, but keep our feet firmly on the earth. We can also flatland by denying one of the two currents of energy. 9. Involution and evolutionWilber's writings are evolutionary from beginning to end. The metaphor that best fits his ideas is the ladder model (although he has refined his views in recent years so much that he prefers the metaphor of the river now). According to Wilber, evolution has an inner component, that is not easily discovered by conventional science. Science studies the outer forms of live, and concludes evolution basically isa matter of material complexity. Esoteric philosophy adds an inner dimension: evolution is as much a matter of increasing depth or quality. This can be illustrated graphically in the following diagram: intuition mind emotions Vitality Matter minerals plants animals humans mysticsEssentially all developmental principles Wilber writes about can be illustrated by this diagram of the kingdoms of nature. Plants transcend minerals, as animals transcend plants, humans transcendanimals and mystics transcend humans. But plants also include minerals (they have a physical body), as animals include plants ("vitality"), as humans include animals (have feelings), and mystics include humans (are able to think).