Enlightenment is not an end goal, but reflects the process of engaging in daily life; it is the middle step, and not the last step, in a three step progression. This is why so many great individuals speak with reverence of the beauty found within life’s journey, and that it is superior to the destination. The enlightenment period in Western history further developed many Logocentric philosophies, all of which dealt with the process aspect of life. Logos is the Greek word that logic is derived from, and has to do with the deeper meaning found within the words we use, as logic and process essentially represent the same thing.
Mystics call the third and final step, which is the end goal, the Divine Marriage, Divine Union, or the Alchemical Marriage; it is the union of the Logocentric opposites, also known as unity consciousness, and only results from being engaged in the processes of life. Those who think enlightenment is the third phase and not the middle will often pretend as if they’ve arrived in the third, but this is known as the pre/trans fallacy; in reality, they haven’t yet engaged in the process, and are still in the first stage of pre-rational development.
What is the pre/trans fallacy?
Wilber believes that many claims about non-rational states make a mistake he calls the pre/trans fallacy. According to Wilber, the non-rational stages of consciousness (what Wilber calls “pre-rational” and “trans-rational” stages) can be easily confused with one another. In Wilber’s view, one can reduce trans-rational spiritual realization to pre-rational regression, or one can elevate pre-rational states to the trans-rational domain. For example, Wilber claims that Freud and Jung commit this fallacy. Freud considered mystical realization to be a regression to infantile oceanic states. Wilber alleges that Freud thus commits a fallacy of reduction. Wilber thinks that Jung commits the converse form of the same mistake by considering pre-rational myths to reflect divine realizations. Likewise, pre-rational states may be misidentified as post-rational states. ~Wikipedia
Here are some examples of the three states of being:
Steve Bearman, PhD had this to say about the pre/trans fallacy, using the example of the pre-rational state of intuition, which is knowledge, and the trans-rational state of integration, which is wisdom.
People love their intuitions, but an intuition is really just a sense of something that you have without understanding where it came from. This lack of understanding is an indicator that we are talking about a pre-rational state, and intuition, as often as not, is just a synonym for felt sense experience. […In San Francisco], perhaps more than anywhere, people revere intuition and other pre-rational forms of knowing as if they are states of spiritual attainment. Contrast this with someone who has integrated their somatic, emotional, and rational development and who has attained a level of understanding that transcends these levels. Such a person might be able to offer a rapid, synergistic insight that superficially looks like felt sense intuition. When pressed, however, they could back up and present the logical steps that led to their conclusion, demonstrating that higher faculties, not just the lower ones, contributed to the insight.
These contrasts, between merging and oneness, and between intuition and integration, demonstrate common confusions between pre-rational and trans-rational states. Imagine what would happen if, instead of mere confusion, reverence for pre-rationality was codified into a system for living.
The New Age religion, a product of Postmodernism and Deconstructionism, is a perfect example of a codified system for living that reveres pre-rationality as if it were a transcendent state of being. Intuition is knowledge and not wisdom; where intuition is a pre-rational starting point for making wise decisions, one that should prompt the rational process necessary to understand its message, but New Age dogma reveres it as if it were an integrated conclusion, and thus wisdom. Among their many examples of this, they also make this error with the ego’s progression, where they revere the merged/enmeshed pre-personal state, which is infantile, over the rational process of developing the conscious personality into an individuated, yet still interconnected, trans-personal state.
It is important that we do not allow the current fad of postmodern deconstruction, which is attacking our Western Logocentric values through their Marxist proxies, such as the New Age religion, civil rights, feminism, LGBTQ+, multiculturalism, veganism, and environmentalism, to realize their goal of consolidating the world into a giant pre/trans cult that worships the pre state of being as if they had arrived in the trans state of being. We can accomplish our task by processing our emotional upsets, learning how to set healthy boundaries, and through focusing on our personal development as rational beings. The war is not won through joining a group strong enough to battle their cult, but through developing your Self as an enlightened individual dedicated to the process of life.
We’ve created an integrative methodology called “the Unity Process“, which combines the Hermetic Principles (Natural Law), the Trivium Method, Socratic Questioning, Jungian shadow work, and the Emotional Freedom Techniques (meridian tapping)—into an easy to use system that allows people to process their emotional upsets, work through trauma, correct poor thinking, set healthy boundaries, and refine their viewpoints. We practice it together in our groups, and in our individual sessions. You can learn more about our offerings at our Patreon page.