Integral Light Shining in the Dark: An Advent Illumination

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Exploring Advent through the Eyes of Jean Gebser and G. I. Gurdjieff

With Heather Ruce leading Advent Wisdom Retreat sessions

In this groundbreaking teaching, Cynthia Bourgeault takes us on a deep dive into the profoundly Christian and incarnational mysticism at the root of Jean Gebser’s Integral Evolutionary theory. She explores how some of Gebser’s core ideas, particularly around time, transparency, spiritual generativity, and “intensification of the present” open up whole new windows of insight on classic Advent themes. She also explores how the great incarnational themes of Advent illuminate and “shelter” Gebser’s thinking, transforming it from an intellectual tour de force to a luminous offering of the heart—and how the practical, attention-based “exercises” developed  by G. I. Gurdjieff can help to “put legs” under the whole enterprise, and offer us a way forward in our own uncertain times.

This material was recorded live at an in-person Advent retreat at Garrison Institute in December 2021. The course now before you consists of over 15 hours of audios from Cynthia’s teaching sessions, plus a short introductory overview of each session. It has been slightly edited for technical clarity but preserves both the content and the flavor of the remarkable original event.

You will have life-time access to this content, including any resources and recorded portions from the Advent Wisdom Retreat sessions.

If you already purchased the Integral Light Audio teaching earlier this year and would like to add the Advent Wisdom Retreat option, please email for instructions.

Some prior familiarity with the teaching of Jean Gebser is strongly recommended, but not required.  If you’re a newcomer to the Gebserian terrain and Gebser’s five-hundred page masterpiece The Ever-Present Origin feels a bit daunting, Jeremy Johnson’s Seeing Through the World offers a concise and enormously helpful overview. Learn more here.

You may also want to read Cynthia’s 14-part blog series: Exploring Jean Gebser.

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage and a demanding schedule traveling globally to spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. Her roots are firmly planted in the Benedictine monastic tradition and her wisdom is tempered by daily mindfulness and embodiment practice. You can learn more about Cynthia here.

Heather Ruce

Heather Ruce will be facilitating our Advent Retreat live interactive sessions. Heather is an experienced group and retreat leader, a wisdom spiritual director, and teacher of Gurdjieff Movements. She has been a lifelong seeker and an active participant in the Wisdom community since 2012 and is a member of the Wisdom Waypoints Council. You can find more about Heather on her website