This week we will explore what lies ahead for humanity in its most enlightened ages. In a sense we will be able only to glimpse the states of higher consciousness that lie ahead of us. We cannot truly understand consciousness beyond our own, though we may have tastes of it in meditative experiences or tales of the masters. In The Yugas Selbie and Steinmetz declare, “According to Sri Yukteswar, it is easier for us to understand the present and previous ages of Kali Yuga and Dwapara Yuga than it is for us to understand Treta Yuga–if we can understand it at all” (p. 101).
Stage theorists like Piaget and Wilber agree that it is impossible for us to comprehend a stage beyond our own–as we may discover while trying to explain the transpersonal to an orange meme rationalist. The rationalist just doesn’t get it: this experience is not part of his or her own. In Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (2000 edition in Collected Works), Wilber uses the analogy of a preoperational child who sees the same amount of water being poured into a short and tall glass and insists the tall glass has more. “No matter how many times you pour the water back and forth between the two glasses, the child will deny they have the same amount of water” (p. 275). “The preop child is immersed in a world that includes conop realities, is drenched in these realities, and yet cannot see them. . . At every stage of development, in fact, the next highest stage always appears to be a completely ‘other world.’ an ‘invisible world’–it has literally no existence for the individual, even though the individual is in fact saturated with a reality that contains the ‘other’ world” (p.275).
Selbie and Steinmetz suggest that “just as adults can understand a child, we can easily relate to Kali Yuga man. We can also understand much of Dwapara Yuga man’s awareness and capabilities because we share that awareness. . . Treta Yuga, on the other hand, is far more challenging for us to comprehend. In this instance, we are the children trying to comprehend the adult” (pp. 101-102).
“Dwapara Yuga man,” say Selbie and Steinmetz, “relies on technology to work the wonders that energy awareness makes possible; Treta Yuga man will require no technology to accomplish far great feats” (p. 102). Conceive of instant communication without software updates, hardware crashes, Internet viruses, new applications, and network downtimes! Whereas Dwapara Yuga developed “space annihilators,” say Selbie and Steinmetz, Treta Yuga will develop “time annihilators.” Will time travel be possible? Is all time truly simultaneous?
In Chapters 7 and 8 of the reading this week, Selbie and Steinmetz imagine the parameters of Treta Yuga existence and consciousness. In chapter 9 they go further, with a glimpse of the truly mind-boggling Satya Yuga. How do these stages relate to Wilber’s Second Tier?
The outcomes of Module 8: students will be able to
- Describe Treta Yuga civilization and consciousness;
- Compare and contrast it to Satya Yuga civilization and consciousness;
- Share their own reflections about what these levels mean
- Compare and contrast them with Wilber’s Second Tier.
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