Marc Gafni on Unique Self – Part 15c. History of the terms ‘wake up, grow up’, etc.

Let me share with you a brief intellectual history of the labels of wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, and open up.

The wake up/grow up distinction is sourced to John Welwood’s book, Psychology of Awakening, and I thank Sally Kempton for the reference. John really develops this; he makes a break between the awakening dimension of the spiritual line of development, waking up to classical True Self / no-self enlightenment– and growing up, which is doing the psychological work, which is psychological maturation. There’s waking up and growing up. John’s teacher, Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Naropa University, when he would talk about the “jewel and lotus” teaching in Buddhism, he would say the mantra– meaning grow up. The jewel and lotus means wake up, so in essence Trungpa was saying grow up. Really you can source this in some sense [of] wake up, grow up in Trungpa’s insight [as] coming from the East that we need to do both kinds of work.

There are two different lines of development. The mother of my son and dear close friend, Marianna Caplan, is a protégé of Welwood, and she does real work with people on these two different lines of development.

Ken Wilber, a colleague of John’s, either in discussion with John or independently, moved into this distinction between wake up and grow up, and deployed the distinction extensively. Ken used it slightly differently. He uses wake up like John, but he uses grow up to refer specifically to levels of consciousness. Of course, levels of consciousness per se – developmental theory– is all of developmental theory. Awakening is the great traditions. We’re taking the developmental traditions and the great wisdom traditions.

In Kabbalah, which is my source tradition, that distinction is made very extensively. There’s a whole set of practices for growing up– meaning psychological maturity– and waking up, enlightenment. Then what happens next is Dusitn DiPerna made a wonderful suggestion to me and to Ken, which is to add in a more complete set of terms. In the context of Integral Religion, he suggested adding in show up and clean up (in relation to shadow work). I shifted the term clean up to lighten up (I like the word better as a label; we’re not really talking about content).

I also shifted the meaning. Open up became about Love. The teachings I’m doing [are] on the three stations of Love, the three meanings of Love, and the three faces of Love, two of which I developed and a third which comes from the great traditions and Integral Theory. So open up became understandable in light of these Love teachings. And show up is all about the Unqiue Self teaching. And lighten up is a specific teaching about the Unique Shadow and following it back to your Unique Self.

This cluster of terms became a transformation in meaning in terms of the context of the Unique Self teaching: growing up to the higher levels of developmental consciousness which your Unique Self expresses itself spontaneously. Lighten up, following your Unique Shadow back to your Unique Self. Open up at these three trinities of love: three natures of love, and three faces of love (for example, Love as a Unique Self perception in the second person).

All of these terms have been recast in terms of a merger between Integral Theory and Unique Self. Lots of people contributed to this. My work in Unique Self theory is one piece of it. John Welwood, Ken Wilber, Dustin DiPerna, Marianna Caplan’s sourcing in Trungpa, [they] have all contributed. And now we’re using this five-part schematic as a simple way of delivering the formula of World Spirituality in the world. Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up.

We’re making it easier to access the teaching, and it’s important because the teaching has to have amplitude. The nature of the great tradition is that you can access it at all different levels of consciousness and sophistication. You can be a popular Buddhist doing prostration to an idol, and a pure-emptiness Buddhist, and you’re all practicing Buddhism. Judaism, Christianity, are all experienced at different levels of consciousness. It’s helpful to have a simple formula to create an elegant, Steve Jobs / Apple interface. It’s the interface of a World Spirituality app with popular culture. So I hope that gives you a sense of where these terms come from.