The Spectrum of Consciousness Within Qigong

In his book No Boundary, Ken Wilber offers his concept of the "centaur level": "A centaur is a legendary animal, half human and half horse. It represents a perfect union of mental and physical harmony. A centaur is not a horse rider in control of his horse, but a rider who is one with his horse. It is not the psyche divorced from and in control of a soma, but a self-controlling, self-governing, psychosomatic unity." I would like to reconsider this concept in the context of the qigong method. When you practice Standing Zen or the Microcosmic Orbit method, you may lose all sensation in your trunk, legs, and hands, and feel as if you were melting away. Or you might feel as if you were standing in a hot tub with the water up to your neck. I call this condition the "melting sensation." At this point, you can gradually change an involuntary function to a voluntary one by controlling the flow of your qi. With this, your breathing will slow and deepen, your pulse will slow, and you will be easily able to release alpha waves continuously with brain wave biofeedback.

Wilber mentions the breathing method and muscle relaxation as methods of reaching the centaur level; however, it seems that the idea of controlling qi remains beyond the reach of his thought. In qigong, the centaur level can be explained as a state of stillness achieved with Standing Zen or the Microcosmic Orbit method. As for the concept of the "spectrum of consciousness," Wilber thoroughly studied various methodologies of the West and the East, including psychoanalysis, Zen, Bioenergetics, Gestalt, Transcendental Meditation, existentialism, and Hinduism. Although these systems of thought contradict one another, they are similarly important within the evolutionary current of consciousness (Figure 20-1). Wilber speaks of three major influences on world consciousness: the first is orthodox egoic psychology, including cognitive behaviorism and Freudian ego psychology; the second is traditions of humanistic psychology such as bioenergetics and Gestalt; the third is various forms of transpersonal psychology such as psychosynthesis, Jungian psychology, and the mystic traditions in general. Wilber systematized and generalized, indicating that various psychologies and methodologies are useful up to a certain stage. His work can be seen as a cartographic, or mandalic, concept. Whenever I read his work, I can't help but admire the logical and linguistic ability of Westerners. On the other hand, however, I have the impression that Orientals are better able to systematize and practice the training than Westerners. My intuition tells me that the practice of the Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Orbit methods is a system for the rapid evolution of consciousness, which has transpersonal psychology as one of its theoretical bases.

Persona \ Shadow

Persona level

Figure 20-1

The spectrum of consciousness.

Total organism

Transpersonal bands \

Unity consciousness Universe (manifest and unmanifest)

Persona \ Shadow

Persona level

Figure 20-1

The spectrum of consciousness.

Total organism

Transpersonal bands \

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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