The Love Matrix

The Love Matrix

The Love Matrix
By Kim Barta, MA

You are a symphony of love. An amazing amalgamation of music and instruments, all working together to transmit love and vitality magically—through the air— to and between those receiving your love song. The first step in this magical journey, is to learn what it means to actually receive love. We love to feel loved. It simultaneously softens us, excites us, relaxes us and vitalizes us.

But sometimes, we don’t receive the love that is given to us. We are like the child’s toys where you put the square block in the square hole and the round block in the round hole and the star-shaped block in the star-shaped hole. At times we only experience the love in one shape. At times this is simply because we don’t realize there are other metaphorical shapes of love. That is what this article is about—all the shapes of love and how you can recognize them when they come to you. At times, we can get a little snobby about what form of love we are willing to accept. “What is this round shaped love? I do not accept round shaped love, I only accept star-shaped love”. This silliness we find ourselves participating in, can leave us devoid of love. Both of these styles, “not recognizing the love”, as well as being picky about “how the love should be shaped”, can leave us feeling deficient of love even in a sea of abundance.

If we want to hear the full symphony of love, we need to open ourselves up fully to all the ways the song of love enters us. Think of a time in your life where you loved someone so dearly, and no matter what you did they did not feel or receive your love. How did that make you feel? That is what we make others feel, when we cannot recognize their love or when we get so picky about its form we do not accept it.

People talk about identifying their love language, as if that is the only language of love they can understand. Well, perhaps it is time to be multilingual with our love, and I can guarantee you there are a lot more than five languages of love.

Below I will show you sixteen love styles—sixteen ways you can sing your love song, receive the love song of others, and feel the abundance of love all around you. Our job is not to run around frantically trying to get that one form of love we hope to receive, but rather our job, as conductors of the love song, is to learn all the styles of singing love. If we feel love is in short supply, it is simply because we have not yet learned how to see it in all its forms and let it in. Once you do, you will discover that love is all around you, at every moment, and it will never be in short supply ever again…

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Science as a Spiritual Practice

Science as a Spiritual Practice

Terri O’Fallon

I am the a seed of consciousness that sprouts and blossoms as a universal pool of life giving essence which holds all things. Life is perfect in its universal boundlessness, which is grace itself—is a gift of One enduring sacred pulse that permeates all insides and outsides, with ever present love. Perfection has formed us into the imperfect—our mistakes, our virtues our agony, our doubts all nested within and healed through omnipresent, timeless splendor. (unknown)

Beautiful words are inspiring and can catapult us, at times into states of momentary understanding before they slip into the ether. We grasp for a splinter of understanding to remain within us—the longing for that piercing knowledge that makes us, for just an instant, someone greater than the self we inhabit. The question this often brings us to, is “Who are we anyway?”.

Well, it depends on the eyes we are looking from and the eyes we are looking through. That question is the essential research question. Who am I?

If you are a qualitative scientist, you might gather pebbledashes of inspiration from particular groups of people and find the inspirational essences of the collection that might point to spiritual insights. The qualitative research approach is merely a research structure. You can pour any topic through it and what comes out on the other side are local generalizations formed by responses from a particular group of research subjects. This research tool can be very helpful in capturing melodies of understanding sacred texts and utterances by looking for essences and themes in people’s expressions of their soulful experiences.

Hundreds of sweethearts! I am the lover and the one lovers long for. Blue and a cure for blues. Sky in a small cage, badly hurt but flying. Everybody’s scandalous flaw is mine. (Rumi).

However, you might also take a quantitative approach to these kinds of expressions. Simplistically, researchers can, using hundreds of these spiritual expressions graded by numerous raters, number of them from 1 onward in the order of complexity (or feeling or belief, or…). Then they can average the ratings and develop a universal scale for ordering whatever they are measuring. Later, you can use the universal scale to rate any other inspirational comment that comes up and see where it falls on the numerical scale that has been created. When people express themselves in these beautiful ways, can we determine whether spiritual expressions and insights grow up and mature through time? Statistics can support the development of such scales for those who have a curiosity about this.

There are times in our lives when one kind of research, either qualitative or quantitative, is our favorite. Our human tendency is to think that what we believe now is better than any other belief (especially the ones we can’t yet see). However, our beliefs create certain kind of research structures. Sometimes we have horizontal beliefs and tend to push away hierarchical beliefs. If we believe , horizontally, that it is better to believe that everything is equal, and push away hierarchy, that in and of itself is hierarchical (for isn’t anything “better” a hierarchical notion?). If your tendency leans towards hierarchical beliefs you may tend to select statistical and numerically measured sciences and think also that they are “better”.

However, we can use both the qualitative and quantitative processes in a unification approach, rocking back and forth between them in a way that allows a gradual evolution of spiritual meaning making as it emerges in our collective human multitude. We save beautiful expressions unlike the ones we have ever seen or experienced, even ones we don’t understand, and gather others like them. We check to see if they fit on the quantitative trajectory and if they don’t we simply save them until we can see if they are new expressions that are emerging in our collective understanding. We create qualitative themes, and eventually may take the period off from the present quantitative scale and add another, later spiritual insight into our human understanding of awakening. Over a period of years the scale may eventually be experienced more like a timeless, boundless sky that can hold everything.

When we drop our “better” notions and integrate these two research structures, my experience is that a kind of alchemy can occur for the researcher. Recognizing that qualitative and quantitative methods are complimentary tools for searching for the fundamental questions such as, “Who am I”, the research process begins to take on a mirror-like flow. Look through the hierarchical methods and we see the horizontal universal essences of everything. Looking through the horizontal methods we see a multiplicity of unique expressions that defy replication, yet continually grow and change through time. Each approach mirrors and expands the other until the research structures we used to ask the question “Who am I? unifies, transforms into the timeless, boundless and is itself an answer.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
(Leonard Cohen)

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The Senses: Demystifying Awakening

The Senses: Demystifying Awakening

Integral Theory Conference July 2013, San Francisco, USA

Abstract: Our humble senses, derivatives of space and time, can be seen as the fertilized egg of Awakening. Our earliest insights from the senses arrive as states, and these sensorial roots can grow into the mystical experience of God. This paper will bring a laser focus to the senses and how they develop, related to a recent research initiative, StAGES, that demonstrates how quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types express in repeating patterns, and provide the engine of development. Our senses give rise to both development and spirituality, which precede states and perspectives, allowing us to demystify our notions of enlightenment.

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StAGES: Growing up is Waking up—Interpenetrating Quadrants, States and Structures

StAGES: Growing up is Waking up—Interpenetrating Quadrants, States and Structures

Introduction
Many significant movements have graced humanity through its journey from its beginning to the present. While they are all important, there are several that seem to serve in fundamental ways.
The great mystical traditions, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, have influenced our human family for 2000 years or more, their practices surviving by handing down the teachings and practices from generation to generation, to this very day (Smith, 1989). These traditions seemed to focus on particular areas that make us uniquely human: the areas of awareness and states.

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The Evolution Of The Human Soul: Developmental Practices in Spiritual Guidance

May 3, 2010
Revised, March, 2015

Chapter One: Roots and Branches
Overview:
Spiritual direction as a profession has expanded and grown throughout the centuries and most spiritual lineages have directors, guides and/or soul friends to support the laity (Empereur, p. 23). As a field, it continues to grow and develop, adding the insights from other knowledge areas and expanding its reach to all spiritual paths. The work herein simply falls into that continued expansion by further exploring the integration of the understanding and research of adult developmental levels with spiritual direction practices.

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