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Parent node: Sentientism | Fields of Transformation | Empathy

Sibling nodes: Intersubjectivity | Types of Nourishment - The Moral Sequence

Moral Spheres

Moral Spheres

The above integral diagram relates sentientist consciousness to other forms of ethical and empathic consciousness. It shows the extent to which empathy extends in each form of ethical consciousness and moral awareness. The more universal and selfless the extent, the more profound the ethical system. Sentientism, I believe, is the most profound degree of ethical and empathic awareness yet articulated, and perhaps the most profound one that can be attained short of complete Realisation.

The diagram places the most limited consciousness in the middle, representing ordinary ego consciousness. Further circles represent progressively more encompassing spheres of empathy, culminating in sentientism and beyond.

In the center (on the right) is the smallest circle (or half-circle) which represents egocentrism, which is the consciousness of the selfish narcissist who only cares about his or her own needs. This is a very low level of consciousness, which needs to be transformed. This is also coloured darkest, to symbolise the obscurity and lack of spiritual light of selfish or egotistic consciousness.

A somewhat higher, but still limited, consciousness, can be called (for sake a better word) ethnocentrism, the consciousness of the family, tribe, race, religion, ideology, or country. Here the ego is subordinated to a greater good or greater cause, but this greater cause is still tied up with the ego: my family, my race, my country. in other words, projection of the ego, which is still a form of narcissism.

Beyond and transcending that is an even higher, global, pluralistic, holistic consciousness. This is the highest level humanity collectively has been able to attain to date.

Finally, beyond and transcending even that again is Sentientist consciousness. This is the transformation that is neeeded, to heal this world, and ensure justice and fairness for all beings.

The other two spheres in the diagram are as follows:

There is universal identification with everything, that goes beyond even sentientism. But this should not be taken as some sort of facile kosmocentrism a la Wilberian integral theory. Their kosmocentrism is not even established in sentientist or eco-spiritual consciousness (see Wilber's attitude to the latter), it is at best New Age holistic. Whereas I am talking about a panpsychic identification that includes but goes beyond even sentientism. What it would be like, I don't know. Really, I've just included it here because I can't imagine even something as profound as sentientism being the last word.

The other sphere, the left hand side of the diagram, is Realisation of the Absolute Reality, whether as nondual or theistic personalism, which includes and nourishes all the degrees of empathy (right hand side of diagram) from the lowest to the highest. Ramana represents one who has attained this state, and has perfect sentientist consciousness. The world however is full of fakes who delude themselves into thinking they have attained this state. The real test is how they apply their sentientism and empathy and selflessness to all beings, human and nonhuman animals, plants, inanimate objects, in practice. As I said, Ramana is unsurpassed there.

That doesn't mean that realisation is "above"; it is just the other side of the coin. Samsara and nirvana. But action in the world is still necessary, unless one only wishes for a static world-negating transcendence. And that is why I support Sri Aurobindo's world-affirming Integral Yoga which seeks to transform the world, rather than the world negating "yoga of ascent", the old yogas and spiritualities that are still central to the New Age movement even now

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 23 November 2009