Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ken Wilber and Roger Walsh: The Past, Present, and Future of the Integral Movement


This is from 2009, but the folks at Integral Life have made it available for free. It's an interesting discussion between (old friends, as the picture above indicates) Ken Wilber and Roger Walsh on, well, exactly what the title says: the past, present, and future of the integral movement. Personally, the only viable future I see for the "integral movement," whatever it is they mean by that, is the new MetaIntegral venture of Sean Hargins and his crew.

In my opinion, integral theory as a field has little future until or unless its basic tenets are put to the test by independent researchers through a peer-reviewed process. Right now, it's little more than a coaching technique at best, or another New Age "spirituality," and at worst it has a reputation for giving refuge to men who use their guru/teacher/leadership power positions to seduce and sleep with students.

But I digress (sort of).

Here are the bios they give for Wilber and Walsh:

Roger Walsh - Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., has spent nearly a quarter century researching and practicing in the world’s great spiritual traditions. His critically acclaimed book, Essential Spirituality, is a summary of that wisdom, outlining the seven spiritual practices common to the world's major religions. Be sure to check out Roger's website at www.drrogerwalsh.com.


Ken Wilber - Ken Wilber is the founder of Integral Institute and the co-founder of Integral Life. He is an internationally acknowledged leader and the preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. His many books, all of which are still in print, can be found at Amazon.com. Some of his more popular books include Integral Spirituality; No Boundary; Grace and Grit; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; and the "everything" books: A Brief History of Everything (one of his largest selling books) and A Theory of Everything (probably the shortest introduction to his work).
And here is the text introducing and explaining the talks, including links to download all four talks (2 1/2 hours+) or each talk individually.

THE INTEGRAL MOVEMENT: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

October 7th, 2009

In this exhilarating dialogue, Roger Walsh offers one of the finest overviews of the integral movement that we have ever seen—where we're at, where we've been, and where we're going. Now more than ever, the integral movement is poised to make a tremendous impact upon the world. Listen as Roger describes the current status of the movement, identifies some potential traps that we may fall into, and suggests some of the key ideas that the integral approach has to offer the rest of the world. Most importantly, you will learn what you can do in your own life, work, and play to help bring integral perspectives and solutions to a world that so desperately needs them.

Download Links: Full Series (mp3 zip) | Full Series (m4b zip)

Topics:
Part 1 (mp3) Current Status
Part 2 (mp3) Potential Traps
Part 3 (mp3) Key Ideas
Part 4 (mp3) Global Crisis

Total running time: 2 hours 35 minutes 
Written by Corey W. deVos

This dialogue explores Roger Walsh’s keynote address at the 2008 Integral Theory Conference. At the conference, Roger was asked to provide some reflective comments that would help the field see itself, especially its blind spots and shadow. Roger delivered in spades! Not only were his points and illustrative stories poignant, but he also gave a dynamic and entertaining delivery. (It turns out he spent some time as a stand-up comic. Who would have guessed?). He covers topics that will interest the entire Integral Life community, including how we can optimize the impact of integral ideas, fighting developmental complacency, and the traps that await us at each stage.

READ THE FULL ARTICLES HERE:

Part I: Current Status and Potential Traps
Part II: Key Ideas for a World at Risk

One of the extraordinary qualities of integral consciousness is the ability to simultaneously challenge yourself to be something greater than who you are, while loving yourself exactly as you are. If we can muster the strength and compassion to be both completely honest with ourselves and kind to ourselves, not only can we overcome the many obstacles that we inevitably face throughout our journey, but these obstacles can be seen for what they actually are: stepping stones that can take us from our potential to our purpose, from our brokenness to our wholeness, from our fragile humanity to our unbreakable divinity.

In this fascinating dialogue, Roger gives a realistic summary of the condition of the Integral movement today. In short, his observation is this: it is still coalescing, still trying to find enough traction to grow from a "cognitive minority" to a viable force in the academic and cultural mainstream. Though we can already see signs of this occurring around us, it is a slow and organic process and cannot be hurried by any artificial means.

That said, there are certainly things you can do to help: learn the integral tools—like Integral Life Practice—that can help you live an extraordinary and whole life, while helping you take broader and more encompassing perspectives in every domain you touch.

Obviously this can be a sometimes painful path, beset with its own breed of lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). In the second installation, titled Potential Traps, Roger outlines some of the afflictions common to Integral living—including complacency and stagnation in our growth, shadow games and ego posturing, developmental allergies and aversions, and the dangers of when our knowledge and conceptual understanding begins to outpace our wisdom, experience, and insight.

(On a personal note, I have been working with Ken Wilber, Integral Institute, and Integral Life for just about 10 years, and have been a vigorous student of Integral theory and practice for almost than twice as long. As I was editing this dialogue and listening to Roger's laundry list of possible pathologies, it didn't take long for me to realize that I had fallen into almost every single trap at one point or another—many of which I continue to fall into today. As such, Roger's presentation offered a much-needed rallying call for my own growth, practice, and personal embodiment of the Integral vision—awakening me to many of my own missteps and misgivings, while provoking me to deepen my own practice and recommit myself to my work, my relationships, and my art.)

We live in a time of unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Never before have we had the power to imperil our species and our planet, and never before have we had the power to heal our species to the degree we can today—bringing people to new levels of prosperity, well-being, health, and maturity. The choices our generation makes will determine whether we leave behind us an evolving civilization and a fertile earth, or a failed species and a plundered planet. We have the power to do both. Part of the power available to us is the integral vision. It is our remarkable privilege to be able to realize this vision ourselves, to embody and express it in our lives, to use it to better understand the world, and to let it use us as willing instruments to help heal our world. What greater privilege could there be than to use this profound vision to play our role to serve, help, heal, and awaken all beings? Listen as Roger and Ken discuss how we can all do our part to make our world just a little more sane....
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