8/19 – Mauk Pieper. Humanity’s Second Shock and Your Unique Self

Russ Volckmann

Mauk Pieper. Humanity’s Second Shock and Your Unique Self: Integral Leadership & Spirituality. Lage Vuursche, The Netherlands: Venwoude, Press, 2014.

1-714f72def4Essentially, we have here a highly readable and understandable presentation of our developmental relationship to self and the universe that is built on the work of Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni, among others. It is not a “how to” manual, but a vision with a map. The map is characterized by the author as “Unique Self over time =True Self + Perspective + the uniquely structured sensitivity of a specific body-mind.” True self is the focus of traditional enlightenment traditions. Perspective is understood through an integral lens as a developmentally related worldview. Unique Self is Gafni’s concept that each of us has a unique standing in the universe and that from that place only we can enact a statement of love in relation to all that is around us.

Pieper offers the idea of the Second Shock. The first shock was built on the realization that we might shape the world to meet our needs, but as a separate self. The second shock is addressing the challenges that have been created by the actions we have taken in response to the first shock. He then asks what kinds of consciousness are required to generatively respond to these new requirements. We can build on the consciousness that can be found in traditions as represented by Aurobindo, but we need to then bring in the developmental maps of integral and adult development along with a new sense of self and its relationship with the world around us. Here draws on Gafni.

The current state is that more and more people are engaged in an expansive consciousness. Yet, according to Pieper,

We all come from the One and have become lost in the many. But we seem to have come to a point in the course of human evolution where we’re becoming more and more conscious of our separation, marking the beginning of our possible reunion with the Whole.

From this place each of us as a Unique Self can make their contribution to addressing the Second Shock potentials through our actions:

Our specific involvement in the world will then call forth an almost spontaneous sense of responsibility and care in us. In this way, true leadership and commitments are born.

This is as close as we get to an understanding of the value of the concept of leadership to this work. I understand it to mean that we (and others) as unique individuals, through manifesting our unique selves with consciousness about the perspectives we bring, can make a positive difference in the evolution of the world. We can do this through tough love. This suggests that we are able, through love, to go beyond the notion of harmony and peace to include with these the capacity to make the tough choices that can be painful and destructive in order to promote a collective being at a higher level of consciousness.

This work is worth the read, if only because in offers a framework and set of perspectives that may be challenging to assumptions we hold about ourselves, our futures and our relationship and responsibility with the collective.

It appears that the book can be accessed online at:

Also of interested ios a video of a conversation between Mauk Pieper and Mark Gafni:

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