“Daemon” is a Greek word that, in classical mythology, refers to “a god within,” one’s inner deity or guiding spirit, also known as a genii or jinn, the tutelary deity or genius of a person; one’s daemon or genii is also said to be synonymous with one’s fate or fortune. It is an ancient notion that has inspired countless human beings to reach their highest calling. How can the Daemon be viewed from an Integral altitude? Ken responds that the idea is as relevant as ever, though at Integral, it takes somewhat of a different form.
“But there is a strange and horrible thing about one’s daemon: When honored and acted upon, it is indeed one’s guiding spirit; those who bear a god within bring genius to their work. When, however, one’s daemon is heard but unheeded, it is said that the daemon becomes a demon, or evil spirit—divine energy and talent degenerates into self-destructive activity.”Ken Wilber, Grace & Grit
Excerpted from the Integral Spirituality: A Deeper Cut collection. See below for more details.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “creativity”?
Do you think of great artistic achievements like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or Van Gogh’s Starry Night? Do you think of musical masterpieces like Beethoven’s 9th or Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland? Or do you think of those great triumphs of human intellect, such as the moment Einstein peeked behind the curtain of time and space and discovered the elegant simplicity of E = mc2?
These are all examples of tremendously creative moments that continue to shape and re-create the world around us. But this is also a tremendously creative moment—right here, right now. There is an inherent creative spark at the core of each and every moment, within every single drop of experience you’ve ever had. That is, every moment has an element of karma (including the patterns of the previous moment, so that the manifest world continues to exist) and an element of creativity (transcending the patterns of the previous moment, so that something new can come into being). Which means that creativity is itself inextricably woven into the fabric of the universe—in fact, one useful definition of “spirituality” might simply be the ability to recognize and participate with the creative openings and opportunities of every passing moment.
You don’t need a paintbrush to be creative. Your own unique perspective is your brush.
You don’t need an instrument to be creative. Your body-mind is your instrument.
You don’t need a canvas to be creative. Your friends and family and relationships are your canvas.
You don’t need a masterpiece or grand theory to be creative. Your life is your masterpiece.
In other words, you don’t need to be an artist to be creative. You just need to be someone who truly wants to awaken to the sublime beauty of this and every moment. We are all evolutionary artists, regardless of our particular skills or talents or styles of self-expression.
Because in the end, life is not about finding yourself.
It’s about creating yourself.
As Carl Sagan reminds us, “if you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”
So let’s create a universe together.
Then we can have some pie.
-Written by Corey W. deVos
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Some of the most important and insightful conversations in the world.
In 2006 Ken Wilber published his seminal book Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. This book represents the culmination of more than three decades of Integral theory and practice, suggesting a theory of spirituality that honors the truths of modernity and postmodernity—including the revolutions in science and culture, while incorporating the essential insights of the world’s religious traditions. Integral Spirituality demonstrates how today’s spirituality must combine the insights of the East with the discoveries of the West, paving the way for a radical new role for the world’s religions.
Featuring the most cutting-edge theory, the most intimate stories, and the most meaningful applications of Integral thought to our lives and to our world, you will not find spiritual conversations as intelligent and as sophisticated anywhere else in the world.
A Deeper Cut includes 94 audio lessons, separated into 14 chapters — a staggering 40 hours of material!
About Ken Wilber
Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.