13 - Access to Spiritual Levels through Structures

Mozart provides an excellent example of a precocious musical genius. It would seem probable therefore that his particular art form provided peak access (in structural terms) - at a very early age - to "higher" stages of spiritual development.

Einstein represents a famous scientist who  - especially in earlier years - had a marked capacity for contemplative wonder at the nature of reality.

The key ideas leading ultimately to his formulation of both the Special and General Theories of Relativity arose from structural insights that were formulated long before the full rational formulation of his hypotheses.

For example the truly marvellous question he asked himself at sixteen "What would it be like to travel on a beam of light?" led later to a groundbreaking new explanation of the nature of light (and of the relationship between space and time).

So it would seem clear that in these quiet moments of deep reflection into the nature of reality that Einstein obtained peak access to "higher" spiritual levels in cognitive terms. (Indeed the relativity of space and time characterises - in dynamic phenomenal terms - the very nature of these "higher" levels).

Indeed I would strongly argue that the capacity for fresh spiritual insight - ultimately leading to original new artistic and scientific forms - can be especially alive in earlier years (before the rational structures of the middle level largely dominate interpretation of reality).

For example a certain hardening of position is often evident in the work of great scientists and philosophers.

So original insights of great power and originality can form at a relatively early age. However the continued attempt to articulate the many implications of these insights in an acceptable intellectual manner can lead to the gradual dulling of the creative insight which gave these ideas birth.

This is certainly true of Einstein who never really abandoned his "objectivist" view of reality. It would also apply to great philosophical thinkers such as Hegel and Marx whose writings - though initially inspired by plentiful spiritual intuition - subsequently became over-intellectualised, laborious and somewhat tiresome.

Perhaps this could even be said of Ken Wilber. I actually prefer his earlier books, which for me are fresher and inherently more dynamic than later work.

In a sense his formulation of the pre/trans fallacy marks a watershed and a hardening of his intellectual position which in many ways is no longer continuous with his more poetic spiritual utterances regarding the ultimate nature of reality.

In other words with Wilber the dynamic two-way interdependence as between structures and states (especially for "higher" stages of development) has not been preserved.

One other fascinating issue that arises is that experience which might be largely prepersonal for one individual could through communication be transpersonal for another.

I remember listening nearly seven years ago to Charlotte Church (who was then 12 years old) and feeling intensely moved by her rendition of devotional religious songs such as "Pie Jesu" and "Panis Angelicus".

Yes, as The title of the CD proclaimed this was truly "The Voice of an Angel".

However one could have the gift to communicate in a deeply moving spiritual fashion with another through some artistic medium (without perhaps having attained much depth of experience in imparting that gift).

So a good actor for example could have an intense effect on an audience (perhaps in a spiritual manner) while perhaps lacking any real sense of personal identity.

Thus what could be largely prepersonal (or just personal) in the performance of the actor could easily be the medium of transpersonal experience for others (demonstrating once more how the two aspects are dynamically related in experience).