Monday, December 26, 2005

What Does Integral Look Like?

Joe at Rising Up has been doing a series of posts on how we might better understand just what exactly integral might be (here and here). His most recent post is a very useful series of observations on "what does integral look like in practice."

Take a look at his post(s).

Here is my response to today's entry in the discussion.

One thing that I am beginning to think is important is keeping Spiral Dynamics a bit more separate from Wilber's integral theory. Beck has some serious issues with how Wilber relegates SDi to lower-left quadrant status (values). I think there is also some concern about mixing "second tier" in the SDi sense with "integral" in the Wilber sense--at least I have some concern with it. The two things are not synonymous--second tier is integral, but integral (in Wilber's system) is not necessarily second tier.

A person may have an authentic integral practice and be nowhere near second tier as a center of gravity (intellect is most likely to be second tier for most who "think" they are second tier). Beck says he has met maybe two or three people in his life who are truly second tier. Because the mind can grasp second tier ideas pretty easily if we are bright enough, our ego tends to take over and try to convince us that we must be second tier because we "get it."

I think your three observations are crucial for a lot of people who are seeking "integral" and may be slightly misguided by an ego that has become inflated.

One question I have is in your third observation: "practices to aid in the ascension to transcendent Unity of Being and practices to help in descending deeper to embodied form." This sounds to me like a purely vertical orientation, leaving out the horizontal axis (culture, society). I could be wrong. Can you elaborate a bit on that piece of the puzzle?

If anyone else has a thought on this issue, please drop Joe a note. We are still forming the worldview that will one day be the exemplar for integral. The more people who contribute to it, who think about, who try to implement the ideas in their lives, the sooner we will have something a little more "solid" to refer to as "integral."
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