Thursday, June 13, 2013

Michael Barker - The Mystical Genius of Ervin Laszlo

Ervin László (born 1932 in Budapest, Hungary) is a Hungarian philosopher of science, systems theorist, integral theorist, originally a classical pianist. He has published about 75 books and over 400 papers, and is editor of World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution. He is associated with the integral movement, although he is not in the Wilberian AQAL camp.
He underscores the importance of developing a holistic perspective on the world and man, an outlook he refers to as "quantum consciousness".[1] 
The following is from Wikipedia's entry on Laszlo (as was the above quote):
In an essay, Stan Grof compared László's work to that of Ken Wilber, saying "Where Wilber outlined what an integral theory of everything should look like, Laszlo actually created one."[6] Jennifer Gidley, President of the World Futures Studies Federation, is a researcher in the areas of futures studies, integral theory and spiritual evolution, which she refers to as evolution of consciousness. In an in-depth study of integral theorists she made the following claim:
A major distinction appears to be that László (2007)[7] builds his general evolution theory in a more formal, systematic manner. He claims that he built significantly on the theoretical traditions of Whitehead’s process theory, Bertalanffy’s general system theory and Prigogine’s non-linearly bifurcating dissipative structures (p. 164). Wilber’s process appears to have been much broader and more diverse—but perhaps less systematic—gathering together as many theorists in as many fields of knowledge as he could imagine, then arranging them according to the system that he developed—which he calls an integral operating system (Wilber, 2004).[8] Another difference is that although they both appear to use imagination and intuition in the construction of their theoretical approaches, Wilber does not make this explicit whereas László (2007, p. 162) does.[9]
Ervin László is a Visiting Faculty member at The Graduate Institute Bethany. 

Akashic Field Theory 

László's 2004 book, Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything posits a field of information as the substance of the cosmos. Using the Sanskrit and Vedic term for "space," Akasha, he calls this information field the "Akashic field" or "A-field". He posits that the "quantum vacuum" (see Vacuum state) is the fundamental energy and information-carrying field that informs not just the current universe, but all universes past and present (collectively, the "Metaverse").

László describes how such an informational field can explain why our universe appears to be fine-tuned as to form galaxies and conscious lifeforms; and why evolution is an informed, not random, process. He believes that the hypothesis solves several problems that emerge from quantum physics, especially nonlocality and quantum entanglement.

Gidley's research also discusses László's Akashic Field theory, including a three page hermeneutic analysis of his theory compared to the similar theories a century ago of Rudolf Steiner.
Some of the terms Steiner used to characterize his spiritual-scientific methodology, such as cosmic memory and Akashic record, are currently being reintroduced into the scientific discourse by László...[10]

Macroshift Theory 

László stated in his book You Can Change the World that there is global choice for the coming world crisis, which could come in the form of a global breakdown centred on increasing fragmentation of economic inequality and a new arms race between rising powers. The other choice would be a global breakthrough led by international organizations. This would be by the linking of non-government organizations promoting sustainable development, using the Internet.[11] 
A Macroshift is defined as a popular movement to turn the tide from a global breakdown to a global breakthrough. László sees the years 2012-2020 as a critical period to change course as the coming crisis is taking shape in geopolitical current.

Global shift University 

His latest project created a university based on integral teaching. Among the schools Laszlo established at Giordano Bruno University are 
  • Philosophy and Religion (BA in Psychology, with an MA in Religious Studies) 
  • Government and Communication (BA in International Relations, with an MS in Human Rights) 
  • Economics, Administration, and Sustainability (BS in Business administration, with an MS in International Business) 
  • Arts and Culture (BA/MS in Art History, BA in Education)
The university also offers high-school certification and continuing education. Its goal is to creating change accelerators, which he defines as coalescing agents for social action and cultural awareness.
Among the more than 75 books he has published are Introduction to Systems Philosophy: Toward a New Paradigm of Contemporary Thought (1972), The Creative Cosmos: A Unified Science of Matter, Life and Mind (1996), The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision for Our Time (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences) (1996), Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos: The Rise of the Integral Vision of Reality (2006), Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything (2007), Quantum Shift in the Global Brain: How the New Scientific RealityCan Change Us and Our World (2008), and Dawn of the Akashic Age: New Consciousness, Quantum Resonance, and the Future of the World (2013).

The two-part article below comes from Swans. Follow the title links to read the whole articles.

The Mystical Genius of Ervin Laszlo (Part I of II)

by Michael Barker

(Swans - May 20, 2013) You would be forgiven for not knowing who Ervin Laszlo is, as he certainly doesn't make the headlines very often; which is why it is useful that Laszlo has published an "informal autobiography" entitled Simply Genius! And Other Tales from My Life (Hay House, 2011). But despite his generally low media profile, Laszlo is an influential systems theorist and all-round power broker who has helped coordinate circles of ruling-class policy wonks for nearly half a century. New Age salesman and guru to the rich, Deepak Chopra, calls him "a one-man human-potential movement" and notes that: "In a skeptical age when doubters sit by the side of the road saying no to every new idea, Ervin Laszlo said yes." (1) But what exactly does he say yes to... yes to magic... yes to capitalism... yes to macrobiotics... yes to socialism? On the first three counts Laszlo answers with a resounding yes; on the last, well I think it is safe to say that yes is not an option. So why should you care about Ervin Laszlo? Well if his opposition to socialism was not enough, another good reason would be that he has set his life goal as undermining materialism, no less; and unfortunately he has the ear of some very well-heeled members of the liberal intelligentsia.

* * * * *

The Mystical Genius of Ervin Laszlo (Part II of II)

by Michael Barker

(Swans - June 3, 2013) So far Ervin Laszlo's and Aurelio Peccei's efforts to manage the world had ignored the participation of the mass of humanity, and so, as Laszlo tells it, at this stage they realized that changes would not come about unless the elite "were pushed by a critical mass." Therefore, in order to prompt the masses to demand their changes, Laszlo suggested that the Club of Rome needed to include artists among their fold. This apparently was not feasible, so instead Aurelio proposed that Laszlo should gather together a group of artists, writers, singers, and spiritual leaders to advise the Club. According to Laszlo such a group would be more intuitive and holistically orientated, but things never quite got off the ground And so it was only in 1993 that Laszlo eventually brought together this global cultural group as the Club of Budapest, whose aim was "to achieve timely and fundamental change in the world through timely and fundamental change in people's consciousness." (1) Just as one might expect, the Club of Budapest's "Manifesto for Planetary Consciousness" was written (in 1995) by just one person, Ervin Laszlo -- with absolutely no democratic accountability to the mass of humanity whose lives he was attempting to irrevocably alter. Although to be fair Laszlo did spend three hours in consultation with the Dalai Lama making final revisions to his final six-page manifesto. (2)

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