Inclusion in "higher" level unity means exclusion from "lower" level disunity.
"Higher" spiritual development therefore involves exposure to one’s "lower" shadow and this process steadily intensifies as the journey unfolds. In other words in dynamic terms trans implies pre (and pre implies trans).
So I agree with you that "Shadow work is sticky, messy, angering, confusing, deflating;" but it is more important in development than momentary experience of "the bliss".
You ask about the ground unconscious. My position on this is quite simple.
Again in dynamic terms development is always moving in two directions.
On the one hand there is movement out from the unconscious in the differentiation of conscious structures. As this conscious development proceeds we move progressively towards our spiritual goal through transcendent "higher" level stages.
On the other hand there is the movement back from consciousness in the holistic integration of the unconscious. Relative to conscious development this involves a regression. Thus as (unconscious) development proceeds we move regressively back to our spiritual ground through immanent "lower" level stages.
We thus have two movements of (conscious) differentiation and (unconscious) integration. These are dynamically interdependent and – relative to each other – move in opposite directions.
Now in our scientific culture far too much attention is placed on conscious differentiation. The scientific paradigm is simply a reflection of the specialised understanding of this one-directional approach. So inevitably the qualitative is reduced to the quantitative and the true nature of integration missed.
Indeed Ken Wilber falls very much into this trap for his scientific methodology is surprisingly one-directional. Ken seems very reluctant to recognise the important integrative role of the regressive return to the unconscious. (This would require considerable revision of his pre/trans fallacy!) Basically therefore he does nor really distinguish the process of integration from differentiation (and indeed often confuses it with multi-differentiation of experience).
So once again all experience involves the two-way movement forward from the unconscious (differentiation) and backwards to the unconscious (integration).
However as the first life stage is primarily concerned with specialised differentiation of consciousness, this two-way movement is misrepresented by the (conventional) rational translation of experience (which is one-directional).
Thus, though in the dynamics of experience, the continual regressive movement (back to the unconscious) is necessary it takes place in a merely implicit fashion (offering a supportive basis for differentiated understanding).
It is only during the second life stage of radical spiritual development that this return to the unconscious is properly recognised.
This is well portrayed in the conventional Christian treatment of mystical development where the alternation as between "illuminative" and "purgative" stages is often dramatically portrayed.
Illumination involves the outpouring of spiritual intuition and the consequent movement to "higher" transcendent stages of refined development.
Purgation however involves the corresponding inpouring of spiritual intuition and the reverse movement to "lower" immanent stages of development. This is the means through which the ground unconscious is spiritualised. This spiritualisation in turn is the basis for the unfolding of further "higher" stages of development.
Now it is true to say that all potential structures of development are enfolded in the ground unconscious. However without sufficient spiritualisation (through the holistic integration of the unconscious) severe limits are set on the extent to which "higher" structures do actually unfold.
Though extensive levels of "higher" consciousness lie beyond the rational (linear) level, these structures do not actually unfold for the vast majority of personalities. This is due to insufficient spiritualisation of the ground unconscious (which is a precondition for such unfolding).
Now in Western Mysticism the most decisive stage of development is the "Dark Night of the Soul" and represents the radical spiritualisation of the ground unconconscious. "Dark" and "Night" are symbols commonly used to refer to the unconscious. Spiritual writers use different terms such as "secret" contemplation, "infused" contemplation which describe the same process.
Now what is interesting about the "Dark Night" is that -though so important from a spiritual point of view - in many ways it appears profoundly regressive.
The spiritual unconsconscious does not express itself directly, but rather indirectly through one’s shadow highlighting the contrast with (conscious) ego desire.
Therefore the purer this spiritual light the greater the degree of suffering due to this clear self knowledge (which is revealed through this dark light). This helps to explain the profound frustration and helpfulness that one experiences. Because the spiritual light is very passive relating to the pure unconscious there is nothing that one can consciously do to change one’s situation.
Thus from the perspective of "higher" conscious stages (trans), the "Dark Night" is profoundly pre. One now seems far away from from one's spiritual goal because one has returned to one’s spiritual ground (which however one cannot see). However from the perspective of ground the "Dark Night" is profoundly trans. This is simply to state once again that in dynamic terms, pre and trans are purely relative terms.
Cain, I was very interested in your Jungian speculation about our relationship to God.
One of the key difficulties here is our rather static way of looking at things.
If we say that God as "complete, all-seeing all-knowing" this is merely a one-directional approach (which stresses merely the positive pole).
However from a dynamic perspective we must combine positive and negative poles in the manner we attempt to understand. Hegel in fact is important in this respect in showing that the notion of "Being" automatically implies its opposite "Nothing". So in dynamic terms God is equally pure "Being" and pure "Nothing". Thus to extend this to your terms, God is equally complete and incomplete all-blind as well as all-seeing, all-ignorant as well as all-knowing.
The task then is how to make sense of this dynamic terminology.
Now I would take the view that God is inseparable from his/her Creation. Creation is not just an optional extra provided out of the God’s benevolence. Rather it is dynamically essential so that God can move between these absolute poles mentioned. In other words God can only realise His/Her own Being through Creation (out of Nothing).
Every holon – that has not yet been created – exists as pure potential for existence.
Now in essence this is simply God (as Nothing, as Blind, as all All Ignorant).
This is remarkably stated by Ruysbroeck in speaking of this eternal "Now".
"There we all are before our creation … There the Godhead is in simple essence without activity: Eternal Rest, Unconditioned Dark, the Nameless Being, the Superessence of all created things"
Using more psychological language every holon (that has not yet come into actual creation) potentially exists in the (ground) unconscious. Life as we know it is not so much a new beginning but rather an awakening from an eternal sleep whereby we are eternally in God as God (though entirely ignorant of this reality).
Creation is then a transition where we are inevitably suspended between these opposite poles – no longer fully asleep but not yet fully awake. Death then leads to the realisation of God as (actualised) Being as well as (potential) Nothing.
Thus as this very potential to create is in the very Essence of God, new life must continually emerge whereby God once more awakens from pure ignorance on the journey to pure realisation.
Thus in dynamic terms God has no meaning (apart from Creation).
Also God must continually create as this is the means by which (His/Her potential) for Being is realised.
Finally God’s Realisation cannot be fully achieved through creation. Creation by its nature can never be fully redeemed (for then it would no longer exist) So new life must continually be created in a quest that can only be completed through death.
Out true relationship with God is one of equality. Thus God needs us just as much as we need God (for that in essence is Who/What we are).
Once again I believe that among Christian mystics Ruysbroeck has best portrayed this dynamic view of God and creation.
"Before the eternal birth all creatures have come forth in eternity before they were created in time... This eternal going out and this eternal life, which we have and are in God eternally, without ourselves is the cause of our created being in time. And our created being abides in the eternal Essence and is one with it in it’s essential existence".
Now as to the final part of your post, yes I do believe that this dynamic interpretation has important implications for the Spectrum Model.
In dynamic terms once again we always remain suspended to varying degrees as between Heaven and Earth. Now the first two life stages relate to development of both of these poles. Differentiated (rational) understanding leads to knowledge of Earth (culminating in what I call the rational linear level of L0).
Integrated (intuitive) understanding leads to a knowledge of Heaven (culminating in what is referred to as nondual reality).
However the most complete and balanced development leads to an acceptance of the validity of these poles and full exposure to the dilemma of the human condition (always subject to contingency).
Now there is a tendency in Eastern Mysticism to treat this final life stage as an extension of nondual reality. This I believe is profoundly mistaken.
Paradoxically this final stage involves a heightened acceptance and experience of the dualistic nature of reality which now can be better sustained through a well developed spiritual (nondual) centre.
This leads to the paradoxical situation of greater concern for and involvement in worldly affairs (while accepting that full realisation can never be achieved in this manner).
Though absolute realisation cannot be fully achieved through creative existence, yet it is the only means through which this realisation can be approached.
I think this final and most important aspect of the Spectrum has not yet been fleshed out. It is very important to do this for in attenuated fashion this is the life we all lead.
We are not back to an already complete God who needs nothing from us. Indeed God greatly needs us to continue the never ending task of transforming and redeeming creation for that is the only means by which we can realise our spiritual destiny (as God).