Occupy Integral!

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dragonWe post this manifesto in what feels like a moment of calm before the storm. It is February 2012, just a few weeks into a year rich with social, political, and spiritual significance. In the US, of course, it's an election year, with all the media-induced madness this will spawn. According to the Chinese calendar, it's the Year of the Dragon, a symbol of dynamism and power. In the ancient Mayan calendar . . . well, we know about that.

The sense of calm is perhaps due to it being winter in the Northern hemisphere. But more so, it seems to be the quiescence or exhaustion following a complicated year. From revolutions in the Middle East to the Occupy protests in the US and globally, there is an upheaval brewing . . . and spilling over.

We are four years into the global economic crisis, yet the fundamental issues relating to sustainability, debt, inequality, and so on have not been truly addressed, let alone resolved.

Our political systems are in stalemate. Environmental signals are growing more distressing. Not only melting ice caps, but also the nuclear disaster in Japan highlight the size of the hole we are digging for ourselves. It would be fair to say that people are stressing out.

No doubt, there are plenty of encouraging things happening too. New technologies, new awakenings, new forms of creativity and cooperation, and all that jazz. That's what makes it such an incredible time to be alive.

Of course, we can look back 10, 500, or 2000 years and find similar stories of humanity on the edge of crisis and transcendence. Yet there's an exponential intensity to the way in which our situation has been complexifying and accelerating (in other words, evolving) in recent decades, and there's little doubt we're on a steeper slope now.

This might be why it seems like a moment in which consciousness is bracing or conserving its energy for the unknown that's to come—that strange X that's conjuring a higher order out of the chaos.

It's a moment that intuitively feels . . . pregnant.

We find this pretty amazing.

* * *

bansky flowersYet so long as we remain fixated on our daily news feed, we miss the full depth and richness of the moment. Likewise, the big picture of the evolution of consciousness can feel removed from our everyday lives, if our mode of relating to it is only intellectual.

We wake up each day, do our work, connect with each other, and find meaning in so many different ways. Yet there is a sweet spot where our being-in-the-world combines with what we might call the zeitgeist or "spirit of the age." Our existence becomes activated, like a yeast in the dough of the world. And the question of what's "really going on"—or how we're responding to and incarnating that transcendent and immanent X, drawing us into the future—matters in a whole new way.

* * *

As Integralists—or people dedicated to the healthy evolution of consciousness, culture, and the systems that make up our world—we all feel called to awaken to, understand, engage, enjoy, and serve this miraculous moment. Yet there is a perception that as a community, tribe, or "we-space," we integral enthusiasts lack a depth of engagement in the world, or what might be called a social commitment. It is said we're more interested in the "map" than the "territory." We are accused (or we accuse ourselves) of "meta-doing" and "integral inaction."

Needless to say, such perceptions are only partially true, and we could easily point to many integral projects and practitioners who defy these assertions. Yet they are not baseless, and it's worth becoming curious about why this is the case.

* * *

The crux of the problem seems to be as follows:

On the one hand, we don't feel comfortable identifying with or investing our energy into the kinds of activism often associated with progressives, environmentalists, and other left-leaning groups (much less right-wing groups like the Tea Party). We find them too ideological, too rigid, and not dynamic, innovative or creative enough. Culturally, they appear too polarized, often unwilling or unable to respect opposing points of view. Though many of us sympathize with the progressive agenda, we simply don't feel that the cause reflects our spirit and understanding of things. Thus we label these movements as "green," "first tier," or "postmodern" in a pejorative sense.

civil rights

On the other hand, integral consciousness hasn't yet generated a coherent cultural movement that could become its own force for socio-political change. In fact, its early expressions almost seem to deemphasize the importance or urgency of social activism. Instead, it has tended to prioritize the evolution of the self. Moreover, integral culture (especially in its more awkward attempts at marketing) often blurs across a line of credibility, and risks becoming a sub-section of the new-age, new-thought movement.

Our expression of social commitment would seem to boil down to the phrase, "Be the change you want to see in the world." That's a beautiful and profoundly true slogan, of course, yet the focus remains on the individual, which is only half the equation. When we invoke "being the change," it often feels driven by a need to ease the tension that arises with idea of social struggle. This is ironic, of course, since Gandhi was such a monumental rabble rouser. Thus, despite the partial truth of the phrase, its new-age usage has the effect, not only of sidestepping critiques of power and injustice, but, on an existential level, of taking us out of the fight.

Before we go any further, let's be clear. There is nothing in integral theory that precludes a more activist expression of integralism. Quite to the contrary, the model blatantly calls for it! Specifically, it describes a path of individual, social, and cultural evolution toward greater wholeness, depth, consciousness, complexity, intelligence, and of course, good ol' goodness, truth, and beauty. There is a deep critique of existing institutions implicit in our holistic/evolutionary view of things.

That's why this manifesto calls for a reappropriation of Ken Wilber's AQAL matrix. To those who would dismiss it—or its chief architect and the integral scene he helped spawn—as overly theoretical and out of touch with real-world concerns, we say, occupy it! More than anyone, Ken Wilber has given us a conceptual framework for having the conversation about a "post-postmodern" approach to social transformation in the first place. And not only did Ken gives us the map, but he also connected thousands of us in a community of discourse that speaks a common, multidimensional, radical evolutionary language—one that's fundamentally adaptive and vital. That's why he remains an indispensable cultural figure; why we must find our way to a mature, yet not uncritical, appreciation of his work; and why it's still invaluable to learn AQAL. (We can even forgive the occasional integral geeking out that sometimes giddily arises among hardcore students of Ken's work.)

That said, it's no longer an option for people who identify as "integral" to dissociate, at a practical level, from the concerns that grip so many of our brothers and sisters on this planet . . .

we are the 99Must there be a disconnect between our capacity for meta-perspectives and the moral outrage of the "99%"? Must our passion for spiritual evolution outshine our commitment to restoring a healthy biosphere, or ending abject poverty, or fighting the corrupting influence of money in our politics, or facing the challenges of peak oil, or participating more directly in the political process itself—for instance, by campaigning for local candidates or even running for office?

If it's true that humanity is in the midst of an evolutionary crisis/birth, as we believe it is, then it seems, as integralists, that we have a golden opportunity to play a meaningful role in how the story unfolds. To sit on the sidelines waiting for a "tipping point" guarantees that those with a narrower agenda will dominate the discourse. What if we could change the frame of the discourse, not in 50 or 100 years, but in the next 5, 10, or 20? What if our engagement as "evolutionaries" embraced a deeper kind of revolution as well?

It goes without saying, we're talking about a "revolution of love," a revolution in which we recognize that there is no other. It will be a revolution that does not seek to destroy the political opposition, but rather transmute violence even at the level of our cultural discourse. It will be an evolutionary revolution that integrates "being the change" with "doing the change."

At a certain level, we're talking about redefining or evolving the "integral brand," as Joe Perez has proposed. We're also suggesting a bigger concept of "revolution," one that we hope can attract more activists and other "cultural creatives" into an integrally spacious mindset from which to approach the challenges and possibilities of our time. Ultimately, we aim to help cohere a cultural movement that enacts and embodies a healthy, adaptive response to our planetary crisis—and maybe even helps shape a more beautiful world to come.

world in hand

To accomplish this, we need an integral vision that's not quite as "meta"—that's more concrete and achievable within an actionable timeframe. For example, we might ask ourselves how we would envision an integral democracy, an integral economy, an integral healthcare system—or for that matter, an integral or more integrated planetary civilization. And how can we start walking the talk to get there? Some very smart people are already thinking along these lines (and beyond), including Steve McIntosh, Robb Smith, and Anna Stillwell.

This could involve the creation of think tanks—just like conservatives and liberals have—that are dedicated to nothing but devising policy solutions and political strategy. No doubt, there are also many entrepreneurial opportunities here, which a number of individuals are pursuing. The Conscious Capitalism movement is one hopeful attempt to bring integral values into the business world, and Holacracy is innovating integral practices to evolve organizational structures and dynamics. Yet the greatest potential we see is for a broad-based, open-source, global cultural movement that helps integral consciousness penetrate into the mainstream.

* * *

To conclude, we'd like to offer a few practical suggestions that we think could shift integral culture, and the integral brand, in a more activist or "enactivist" direction.

1. Let's be more careful about the tendency to designate people or groups by the categories of "integral" and "non-integral" (and likewise, "first tier" or "second tier" or the various colors of Spiral Dynamics and the AQAL altitudes of development). As veteran integralists, we have no problem with developmental holarchies, particularly in theory and specific applications. But these labels can be less useful in real world interactions, working with diverse people. In fact, they can be downright damaging to human relations, when applied carelessly. The attempt to narrowly define what is "truly integral" is a turn-off that echoes the kind of absolutism that we typically see in right-wing politics and religion. Instead, we can practice the generosity of seeing integralness everywhere, while often dropping the nomenclature altogether—simply letting beings be, as Martin Heidegger (that most abstruse of philosophers) described the "essence of truth" in his later thought.

2. Let's engage the battle of ideas with more humility and vigor. We can begin by jettisoning the notion that just because an idea is "integral" or the "product of integral consciousness," it's therefore better. This simply doesn't fly in rational discourse, where the "unforced force of the better argument" is all that matters. We need to break into the larger conversation and make a case for integral ideas, not because they're integral, but because they're simply more compelling. That means, first, we need to further develop and articulate those ideas; and second, we need to engage not just other integralists, but also thinkers, pundits, and opinion leaders across the cultural spectrum.

3. Let's build bridges with individuals and groups that are doing good work in the world, whether or not they explicitly share an integral orientation. The Occupy movement should be high on that list, as should thinkers like Charles Eisenstein and some of the contributors at Reality Sandwich (where he blogs). The Transition Movement is creating communities around the globe based on principles of local resilience. Chris Martenson offers a heterodox analysis of our economic predicament, including thoughts on how to prepare for coming disruptions, in his Crash Course. And there are countless other examples. (Please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments.) Let's affirm that we have much to learn from their experiences and unique expertise, even as we know we can offer something valuable to their projects.

4. Let's get more serious about political engagement. An obvious place to start is with the upcoming elections in the US. While many (though certainly not all) integralists will likely be supporting President Obama, it would be smart to make the integral case for (or against) Obama more articulately and forcefully. Jeff Salzman, in his Daily Evolver, is an emerging Integral "pundit" with a lot of wisdom to share on politics, culture, and current events (among many other things). Yet presidential politics is only one slice of the game. At the state/province and local levels, the issues, though often more mundane, are more immediate, and the candidates are more accessible. Are we willing to get involved in campaigning for integral-ish candidates for congress or parliament, the state house, or city council? For example, Terry is supporting Stacey Lawson in his congressional district, and Marco is supporting Brandon Shaffer. Are there any integralists out there willing to run for office?

And, let's not forget that in some parts of the world, "running for office" is not a meaningful option. Although most of us can't be on the streets of Egypt, Greece, or Syria, we can at least show digital solidarity with our friends in these difficult places. In some cases, we can even travel as "citizen diplomats," like Terry did in 2007 to Iran, to connect more directly with real people and explore pathways for cultural dialogue.

5. Let's more strongly champion and support the openly integral individuals and groups doing (r)evolutionary work in the world. They're out there—consulting with the United Nations, creating educational programs in small villages in Guatemala and Nigeria, and envisioning the future of the Middle East. This means embracing a kind of 21st-century tribalism—global, diverse, permeable, and hyperlinked; coexisting with our many other identities and affiliations; forgiving enough to allow for disputes and dissent; yet also cohesive and loving, pulsing with the vibe that we're rooting for each other and that we've got each other's back.

In other words, let's Occupy Integral. No permit is required. No official membership or certification is necessary to our right to peaceful assembly. We certainly can and must go on refining the map, polishing the lens, elaborating our meta-perspectives, and deepening our realization of and grounding in the Witness, the Mystery, Emptiness, Godhead, pure Consciousness, or the True Self. And let's never forget that "a revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having." But let's also reaffirm and radicalize our commitment to not only change ourselves—but also to really, really change the world.


Editor's Postcript: Following the vision laid out in this piece, Terry and Marco have launched their excellent new site Integral Revolution. Heartily recommended. 

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  • Comment Link Katie Heikkinen Monday, 20 February 2012 18:19 posted by Katie Heikkinen

    Great article. I have also thought the greatest risk for integral was that it would end up a "sub-section of the new-age, new-thought movement." Concrete action and impact in the world would do much to alleviate that risk.

  • Comment Link Frank Marrero Monday, 20 February 2012 19:07 posted by Frank Marrero

    I also agree that this is a great article. Re-appropriate Integral from the grid-heads and engage more than theory. But this does NOT mean that we are suddenly more political only. Integral has always suffered theory while pretending to be practical. Make the new life and shine in every area, not just political. Radically STOP as well. Entirely, radically, cease... and notice the disturbance we add to every iota. The greatest leverage will come from those whose self-understanding reaches Ground. Then we can stand and speak and love most fully.

  • Comment Link Hokyo Joshua Routhier Monday, 20 February 2012 21:44 posted by Hokyo Joshua Routhier

    Yay, an Integral Trollz reference!!!

    More to come!

  • Comment Link Luke Fullagar Monday, 20 February 2012 23:07 posted by Luke Fullagar

    Hear hear Marco and Terry. Well said, and thanks.

  • Comment Link Janice Macpherson Tuesday, 21 February 2012 02:14 posted by Janice Macpherson

    I am getting out of my "Great Inertia" level. Can't wait to Occupy Integral here in Oz.Bring it on.
    My understanding of Thomas Huebl's message is that solutions will emerge when our communities "Put things in order before they exist".

  • Comment Link Neelesh Tuesday, 21 February 2012 04:35 posted by Neelesh

    We all know that ‘tetra-emergence’ is how things happen. The four quadrants are irreducibly in it together, and form the mutually ‘supportive’ basis of ‘tetra-evolution’. As a matter of fact, IMP tells us that there are actually eight aspects really, because each quadrant has an ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ dimension.
    Now my question is: while we know that ‘tetra-emergence’ HAPPENS, can it be ENGINEERED? Are we endowed with the necessary amount of intelligence, wisdom and constructive capacity to MAKE ‘tetra-emergence’ or ‘tetra-evolution’ HAPPEN?? On what? On Humanity as a social holon- which is the target entity under consideration. This is an exercise in ‘bootstrapping’ really, where transformation in the fringe of the holon ultimately manifests in the whole holon. But today it seems that this is still a philosophical construct, yet to move into a scientific construct of predictability. (I use ‘philosophy’ and ‘science’ as used in the current semantic connotation of our Lower Left, which is itself undergoing evolution).

    Why this question, at all? Because all indications of time-criticality and mission criticality in our world today indicate that the normal course, and pace, of evolution MAY NOT be adequate enough to avert the wicked things that are about to befall us, GIVEN the collective quality of interiority that pervades the Lower left today. We do not know how quickly the ‘tipping point’ (that Ken refers to often) of 10% in second tier will happen. Ken thinks within the decade, but can that be scientifically modelled or expected (mathematically even, on the basis of probability theory)?

    So does it behove a few of us to begin to engineer this tetra-evolution? I have found no scientific basis of being able to do it, yet. However, I am thrilled to have found a philosophical basis, for whatever it is worth. This thought experiment received some sort of recent philosophic validation/ impetus from Steve McKintosh, as I was reading his ‘Integral Consciousness’, from which I quote:

    Quote ‘’ But as human civilization evolves beyond its biological roots, as the biosphere is transcended by the noosphere, this new kind of evolution actually relies on the construction of human artifacts to supply the external and objective counterparts of its advancing intersubjective development.

    The crucial role of artifacts in the evolution of human consciousness and culture was well understood by Teilhard de Chadrin, whose famous law of complexity-consciousness recognized how artifacts serve to supply the additional physical complexity that is required for consciousness to evolve. That is, according to Teilhard, whenever consciousness evolves, it always requires a corresponding evolution in the complexity (I would personally replace ‘complexity’ with ‘enabling sophistication’ – Neelesh) of external structures that contain it. And as human consciousness advances within the developing noosphere, the corresponding development of human artifacts ‘stand in’ for the lack of significant biological development, thereby supporting the growth of consciousness with artificial complexity.’’ End quote

    Now here is the ‘concoction’, or ‘Bill of Materials’, if you will for the engineering (or process orchestration) project:
    a) Upper Right: Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity movement, or some such, which is the artefact that aims to raise human behavioural performance and capacity
    b) Lower Right: Jacque Fresco and Peter Joseph’s Venus Project and Zeitgeist movement, or some such, which are the artifactual raw materials for techno-economic transformation
    c) Entire Left side (UL and LL): the ‘consciousness’ upsurge as embodied by the Integral movement and many such ‘tribes’
    It seems to me that the 3 things above are partial, in that they have huge strengths in one, or at best two quadrants, but seem to be inadequate in all 4. I have to use words carefully here – the Integral movement theoretically covers all 4 quadrants, but in terms of manifestation at an operational level in the world today, it lacks the ‘teeth’ to be embedded in the collective conscious. Maybe because it lacks the artifactual support in the right side quadrants?!

    But rather than bemoan that they are partial (which we normally tend to do), shouldn’t we engineer a transcendental synthesis of sorts? Remember the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker story? Isn’t the evolutionary story one of movement towards wholeness?

    Let me give a simple example of what I mean to explain the above. Imagine a scenario where you wish to meditate to achieve a more peaceful disposition. That is the objective function. Imagine the process orchestration as follows
    1) You attempt to centre your attention, transcend thought, and tap into the field of silence (this is a UL aspect of the process orchestration)
    2) Your family (and friends) are culturally supportive of your taking time out to meditate. Better still, your spouse and kids also begin to learn to meditate with you (This is a LL aspect of the process orchestration)
    3) Your diet becomes more pranic and conducive to your natural state of being. You reduce your alcohol and meat intake, at least prior to sitting for your meditation practice (This is UR aspect)
    4) You find a quiet, semi-dark room, with just the sounds of nature outside (This is a LR aspect).

    My hypothesis is that if all of these 4 aspects are orchestrated simultaneously, the probability function rises steeply, as opposed to just one of the aspects emerging unaided by the other 3. One can argue that if you are really committed to meditate and focus your attention and energy (ie just pursue the UL), then irrespective of your family support, or your bodily readiness, or your room environment, you will achieve the objective function. But realistically, it is fair to say that the probability of that happening standalone (without the artifactual support of the other 3), would be far, far lower.

    Can anything be done to move this engineering or process orchestration project from a way of knowing or understanding (epistemology) to a way of being (ontology)? May be a Davos type get together of no more than 20 people, with sponsorship of a Obama type leader who sees the world from a teal lens yet is powerless to do anything in the absence of this tetra-emergent energy.

    Is this possible, or am I smoking?!

  • Comment Link Robert Lyons Tuesday, 21 February 2012 07:54 posted by Robert Lyons

    Amen! Thank you Terry and Marco.

  • Comment Link Dennis Wittrock Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:37 posted by Dennis Wittrock

    Hey folks, how about integral political activism a la www.simpol.org? Should really be part of the equation here...

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Tuesday, 21 February 2012 16:34 posted by Troy Wiley

    Such an important article. Thanks for your vision to see what's needed, see what's already happening everywhere, and see what's to come.

  • Comment Link Mark Walsh Tuesday, 21 February 2012 17:57 posted by Mark Walsh

    Thank you.

  • Comment Link John Wagnon Tuesday, 21 February 2012 21:50 posted by John Wagnon

    Hi folks,

    I resonate with this very strongly. My own emphasis is not so much on social engagement per se - but its very much on *engagement*. If we can't take integral ideas into the world, jargon-free, belief-free, and offer value there - if we can't actually solve real problems in the world including at the social and political levels, then there's a case to be made that maybe integral ideas are not all they are cracked up to be. I don't at all believe that is the case - but its time to put the rubber to the road. I need to take the integral inspiration and put it to work - not just on personal growth - but on policy, medicine, science, treatment, education, etc.

    On Facebook a few months ago, Robb made a provocative statement - something to the effect of "Forget teaching integral theory - find a problem and find a new and more effective way to attack it, then you will be useful." I think that's where our work is and its where I'm working to do mine.

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Tuesday, 21 February 2012 22:04 posted by Brian McConnell

    Thanks to Terry and Marco in sounding a rallying cry for hands-on integral 'engagement' in these times of unparalleled social upheaval. It's especially insufferable to think those possessing post-postmodern viewpoints would remain inanimate during such a crucial era of human trial.

    Bravo, "Beams and Struts". Bravo!

  • Comment Link Duff Tuesday, 21 February 2012 22:13 posted by Duff

    I think Integral was born as a sub-section of the new-age, new-thought movement, and continues to be that whenever a person equates "evolution" (as in biological evolution by natural selection) to mean "development" (as in increasing stages of ordered complexity).

    Biological evolution by natural selection does not imply teleology (a predetermined end point) and doesn't necessarily lead to increasing levels of ordered complexity, nor are humans at the top of any evolutionary pyramid, merely one unique branch on the tree of species on Earth.

    I agree with the overall sentiment of the recommendations, however the specific individuals recommended all appear to me to be ideologues. Eisenstein in particular--his whole thesis in The Ascent of Humanity is how the world is messed up and how the hippie progressive leftists are going to save it. Nothing could be more ideological and self-serving. Because of this bias, his solutions are idealistic and suffer from not being involved in the day-to-day struggles of real change.

    I want to give another vote to "forget teaching integral theory" but take it further--forget integral theory itself. Throw the bad bathwater out entirely, and do the hard work of raising a baby without any preconceptions about what kind of child it is. Get busy doing the diaper changing jobs of the world and if you need a theory you will construct one out of daily interaction with elegantly solving real problems.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Wednesday, 22 February 2012 03:47 posted by Philip Corkill

    In my humble Opium den, integral is already pre-Occupied - or trans-Occupied if you like to look down - with itself.

    Terry Pratchet has suggested somewhere that we should apply the Bodhidharma principal but were is the man with the calibre to do that? I certainly don't see Terry walking to the White House with a shoe on his head but I'm open to surprises brother.

    Rob Smith is right about the endgame of power but himself holds mostly borrowed power and is clueless about the fact that the game was ended and de-monstrated long ago. That humanity simply has to catch up with its deepest lovers. Ask Bruce Sanguine.

    Hoping that the top one million will help the bottom billion is smart but utterly topsy turvy and comes from pre-tention (or trans-tension if your looking down an integral nose). Be(a)ware of the great reversal...

    Integral has a map and some experience of the territory, perhaps quite a lot. But the whole territory will change if you use the map to transform the territory and very few of the developmental stages in the integral model will be sustained when we choose to do this. Why? Because up until integral they are a mostly a map of sickness caused by the abuse of young fresh life, and not of natural development. Cure the sickness of harming the meek and the map is just a map of a long forgotten terrible ice age of the human heart.

    A map of the crap.

    We don't have to accept the territory of corrupt power games and this attitude changes the territory and makes much of the map irrelevant to what we actually want. Well what I want, in my humble Opium den, anyway. Love it or leave it, I don't want an integral politics. I don't want to integrate the cancer of corrupt economic power dynamics into the new world. I want a system based on true value and not fiction. I'm not going to lend cancer any power. For me it is already over for the american nightmare... get ready!

    But who the fuck am I. Just a psychotic pre-trans-vestite. A nobody on a power trip, unable to grasp the higher value of the integral perspective over that of say a baby or a child, that is still so "Egocentric". Well, I value that which my heart cherishes and as the Trollz say about the rest, "not a fuck will be given"

    However, the brothers and sisters I have met here in integralland are some of the dearest in my life. Now does that have anything to do with the map, the territory, or the actual way they walk on the land, the way they meet me, being to being, body to Bodhi;-)? I don't know. I marvel at your beauty Brothers and Sisters, I honestly do... Here's my suggestion:

    Pimp integral. Vacate Wall Street. Occupy the Vatican. Black up the White house, the Rock House...

    ...were "Uncle Sam is the motherfucking pusher man" ~ Dead Prez

    In My Opium,


    Br. Phil

  • Comment Link Marco V Morelli Wednesday, 22 February 2012 05:35 posted by Marco V Morelli

    Hi everyone- First of all, thank you for your comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this, share it, and respond in some way. Second, I should note that although Terry and I collaborated on this article, in these comments I will be speaking for myself only.

    Neelesh- Yes, I think you are smoking something. Unfortunately, you’re not sharing whatever it is, but I’ll forgive you.

    No, I don’t think we can “engineer tetra-emergence,” because it’s infinite. It’s kosmic. We can’t possibly control it. We can only be it (or occupy it). But being human also means, in some way, being (or at least feeling) chronically separate from it, too. Every religion has a story about why this is the case (the fall, illusion, etc.). But I think our true context is fathomless, and I try to remember that whenever I think about how to “change the world.”

    That said, we obviously can bring intentionality and design to certain limited spheres of existence, like your all-quadrant meditation scenario. Can we do this on a planetary scale? In a sense, yes, because the kind of G-20 meetings you describe are already happening. Some people (like the globalist conspiracy people — e.g., Foster Gamble — see his movie “Thrive”) argue that a network of financial uber-elites (the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Bilderberg Group, et al), has been running the show for many years. The more paranoid you are, the worse this seems. But let’s say, hypothetically, that such an elite had noble intentions. I don’t think *any* group of human beings could engineer a system for a world population of 7 or 10 billion, including a chaotic biosphere, etc. I am open, however, to the possibility that singularity technology could enable a kind of matrix of control, or planetary engineering.

    If there is to be an “integral revolution,” as we’re calling it, then I think it will be both bottom up and top down. I don’t necessarily believe in the tipping point hypothesis that Ken and others talk about. Even if suddenly 10% broke into the cognitive capacity to grok tetra-arising as the nature of kosmic evolution, we’d still have to deal with a lot of very specific shit. Like, how do we responsibly respond to the bloodshed in Syria? Or, how do we fix the fact that 90% of the kids in my neighborhood school need food assistance? And do I send my daughter there, or to a charter or private? It would not all be magically solved if 10 or even 100% of people were "at" integral, which is a problematic notion anyway. I do believe that the more integral consciousness that exists in the world, the better we can approach these specific problems. The proof will be in the pudding.

    To address your point about artifacts, I think you’re right that we will require different artifacts — for example, our means of producing energy. I don’t think a world dependent on fossil fuels can possibly be integrated and a fun place for most people to live.

    Dennis- SIMPOL looks like an accurate diagnosis, but I’m not convinced that the cure can work.

    John- I think there’s a role for jargon. Doctors have jargon; software engineers have it. Why can't self-identified integralists? Reading Ken’s books (and other much more esoteric philosophy) has been immensely helpful to me, as well as enjoyable. But I’m totally with you that past a certain point, you’re just spinning your wheels, and it’s time to engage — or I like the word incarnate — much more deeply.

    Duff- I don’t fully agree with your characterization of evolution vs. development. Here’s how I distinguish the terms:

    - Development is a known process with determined end-point. Acorn to Oak, right?
    - Evolution is open-ended, novel, and fundamentally unpredictable — and it's not just biological.

    I believe consciousness and culture evolve, emphatically. How else can we possibly make sense of the last 200 or 2000 years, let alone 14 billion? I agree with you that it’s not a pyramid, but a branch — and who knows what’s going on on other planets, or in other universes or dimensions.

    I agree with you that often normal psychological development is glorified as “evolution” because it sounds cooler and sells more books or coaching sessions or what have you.

    Regarding Charles Eisenstein, let me just say that I really like the guy and I value his idealism. I think his heart is in a good place. I’m slowly working my way through his books and hoping to write an article of appreciation and critique later this year.

    Intellectually, I think he excels at diagnosing a key aspect of our cultural malaise: the degrading effects of the modern money system on our health, sense of community, and so. Unfortunately, he tends to fall into retro-romanticism, and I think his core thesis that “separation” is at the root of all our problems is fundamentally flawed. I think it conflates *differentiation* and *dissociation* — when really, it’s only the latter that’s problematic. Differentiation + integration is wonderful.

    To your jettisoning of integral theory, I'd say that obviously I do think some kind of meta-theory is valuable (actually, inescapable). I’m choosing to go with the word “integral” to describe mine. But I also want to own it on my own (intersubjectively informed) terms. Hence, the line about “reappropriation.” I can totally respect, though, if you don’t feel that desire or resonance. I often have felt revolted by the word “integral.” That’s partly why I wanted to write this piece. And I still think my poetry is deeper than integral.

    Philip- I don’t think we’re too many degrees removed from Obama’s ear. The guy reads books, after all. We just have to write one that’s worth his time.

    You say, “I want a system based on true value and not fiction.” So what’s “true value” to you? What’s your story? Don’t worry, I don’t necessarily expect it to make sense.

    Thank you all for indulging this obscenely long comment. Now, off to deep, dreamless sleep . . . where not a fuck will be given.

  • Comment Link T Progler Wednesday, 22 February 2012 09:12 posted by T Progler

    Dear Terry,

    Thank you for consistently energizing the truth of integral unity. A few words to support integral unity.

    In this 2012 "time period", there is a shift in human consciousness occurring, not thoughts, but consciousness which is aware of thoughts, and emotions, the body, dreams, others, etc. This shift is the observation and realization that consciousness is existing universally, everywhere throughout existence simultaneously. This universal consciousness is self-aware that it is existing universally everywhere simultaneously. Everyone is awakening to and as this integral consciousness, and this is the shift.

    The body is more of an antenna connecting with universally existing consciousness. Because of the body, there is the mysterious illusory (not real) sense that consciousness or mere awareness (not thoughts) is a separate "part" of the separate body; the illusion that consciousness arises out of the brain, that consciousness is separate as a "you" or "I". It is this illusory (not real) sense of consciousness being separate that is shifting, and shifting to the observation and realization that consciousness exists universally everywhere simultaneously.

    The ancient Vedas describe this shift as the transition from the end time materialization of conscious-light into the densest material forms; and initiating the cycle of lightening and brightening of all materialization of this conscious universe. The ancient Vedas describe this as the great Epochal transition from the “dark time” or “night time” half-cycle of Brahma (or the conscious universe), into the “day time” or “Bright time” half-cycle of Brahma, the conscious universe, in which universal conscious-light re-organizes all beings and all manifest conditions of existence, expressing the qualities and patterns of Brahma, the universe of conscious-light-form.

    Cooperation, love, peace, happiness, beauty, tolerance, creativity and acceptance are some of the expressive qualities which are lived when the illusion of separateness is recognized and dissolved by virtue of universal consciousness awakening as itself in and through the body. This awakening beyond illusion has been described like recognizing the water in the desert to be a mirage, an illusion that visually appeared real but in fact was not. Space is not separate anywhere in the macro universe or the micro quantum universe. Consciousness is universally everywhere simultaneously, the source root unity of all existence.

    The ancient Vedic, Mayan, Egyptian, Aztec, Inca, Chinese, Sumerian, Meso-American, Hopi, et-al, all have descriptive predictions about this 2012 time. They are all pointing to this time of Epochal change and bright emergence of universal consciousness awakening and expressing ItSelf, transforming everything. This is the larger more accurate understanding of this 2012 time. And we all see this emerging force and pattern of this Integral Unity more and more these days in the ever increasing thousands of groups, documentaries, writings and activist happenings of Unity everywhere.

    Universal consciousness is awakening in and as our body-minds, moving its nature and qualities and patterns through and as us. We are being Shifted. Some of us are actively cooperating and participating in this Epochal Shift of existence, already participating and serving the “Bright Time” half-cycle of the conscious universe.

    Thus, everyone-all-at-once everywhere is being actively moved and drawn into the cooperative and collective support for this profound transformative Shift by establishing patterns of truly human and sacred collective participation. Universal consciousness expresses and moves the being as intelligence of lawful cooperation with all beings and nature, Unity intelligence and heart discrimination in action with caring participation.

    There are many individuals and groups and movements like Integral, Thrive, Agape, Occupy and Zeitgeist (and thousands more) who all are coming together into a total and single cooperative human forum, a growing Unity of large collective, which by its growing size of collective cooperation with each other, makes it more and more attractive and effective in the inevitable changes which are the natural outgrowth of realization of universal consciousness. Participate and animate this cooperation to come together into a total global cooperative. Your active and ongoing participation is the sign of what is already the expression of the emerging global human forum of the "bright time" of the conscious universe, the new collective pattern including everyone.

    Let us all continue to embrace and express these newly establishing cooperative patterns of Self-emerging Integral Universal Consciousness, and so attract everyone as a unified global civilization, and spare us all the otherwise extreme fires and waters of global purification.

  • Comment Link Kristian Stålne Wednesday, 22 February 2012 12:14 posted by Kristian Stålne

    Good post! Thanks!

    I think there is a tendency in integral contexts to criticize other parties for not being enough complex or not including enough perspectives. Some even consider being able to hold as many perspective as possible as the holy meaning of life. This leads of course to overperspectification and over complexification in cases where a simple understanding and approach would suffice! Maybe it's because the integral community is crowded with people who doesn't settle with anything less than the full truth before getting engaged in stuff.

    A simple example that you mention in this post is peak oil. We're running out of oil, means end of cheep energy, means economic crisis which Chris Martensson points out. Energy is work is money. I have heard more ”non-integrals” speaking about these issues than ”integrals”. You don't need AQAL to get this. I would rather say it's in the way.

    I think a suitable integral task is to take complex stuff and simplify them for a broader audience. Take in a multitude of perspectives and present the most important for a certain situation. Construct an integral understanding and then deconstruct so that it can be served in lighter packages. And placing ourselves in the middle of seemingly first tier issues. Be that change, even if it means change from orange to green or any other that's not visible on the integral map.

    Another danger is thinking ”There's no problem. The evolutionary impulse's got everything under control. There can be no birth of consciousness without pain.”

    Well first, the evolutionary impulse, if such exists, is you. And you have to get your hands dirty as you correctly point out in your post. Second, just because there is pain there doesn't nessecarily have to be any birth of consciousness. The Arabic spring for instance was, as far as I can tell, primarily caused by an increase in food prices and not a yearning for democracy. We have to resist the urge to paint the world in colors that may give our own lives meaning, i.e. going from infrared to ultraviolet, e.g. by confusing courage with desperation.

    There are absolutely no garantees that we as a specis will continue to develop. We are talking about sustainability because the current way of life, the current basis of civilization is not sustainable. And without sustainability there can of course be no growth but probably only decline and deterioration of human consciousness.

    Right now we see a deterioration in social structures (LR) in the US and the EU. I think the important question is not ”How do we continue to grow?” but rather ”How do we stop the fall?”. In Maslow terms, if the bottom of the pyramide is crumbling so is the top. UL has been significant in the evolution of consciousness up til now and it probably will continue to.

    Personally, I think this is the greatest challange in our history so far. And there are no answers unless we start getting our hands dirty and trying different approaches and activism and maybe even start killing a few darlings.

    Again, thanks for the great post!

  • Comment Link Andrea Bednar Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:57 posted by Andrea Bednar

    Excellent article. Thank you. And, I enjoyed reading all the thoughtful comments as well.

    Having participated on the periphery of the integral community due to an experience of being intellectually inadequate to engage with the language and depth of others more steeped than I am, I very
    much appreciate the call to action here and the comments about doing so without having to train those we're in action with in integral itself.

    I'm sitting in the airport in Miami about to board a flight for Cuba. Part of the trip is for humanitarian reasons and part is meeting with business and civic leaders to better understand Cuban business culture. I joined a group - The Society of International Business Fellows (which is not an 'integral group' - as you can probably tell just by the name) - which endeavors to bring together business people from all over the globe for learning from each other. They are hosting this trip.

    I joined the group and put myself into several of their events this year as a way to practically and "in the world" take action in an area where I have some passion. I am committed to bringing new thinking, and expanded views to this group and everywhere I go in the world. I believe that will contribute to wider and deeper perspectives for all involved.

    Evolution from my feet and mouth into the world. One step and word at a time.

    Thank you for the ongoing inspiration.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:28 posted by Philip Corkill

    Hey Marco, great to be in contact again.

    i value what i value and refine that as i gO alOng. All that I am decides in each moment. My heart cherishes all sorts and I trust that. I loved looking into your eyes the other day. Babies and children feel like some of the most precious bodies to behold in this existence, egocentric or not. beautiful women. coordination. dance. Music. song...

    That beauty is rarely preserved or even rediscovered anywhere in this American nightmare that we are putting ourselves through (in Germany too). Politics as it stands, late stage capitalism, isn't worth wiping my ass with, as far as my heart can tell. There is no power there really. Just a stupid game of pretending to be important. There is very little intelligence, courage, creativity, delight, generosity, or freedomn anywhere in that "scene", especiall in the "land of the free". I'm travelling it and finding it to be the land of the almost totally constrained. I hate it. I despise the whole crappy violent game.

    I like that you are not far from Obama's ear and I just hope that you approach him as a slave, or a servant at best, to the children of the future and the rare adult that holds any true value, in the sense I have attempted poorly to describe above. Shout in his ear. Let a mother from Irak slap him round the face.

    The only reason I'd give these people any attention at all, is because they are about to ruin the whole experiment for everyone, for a very long time. Not because they are important in any true sense. They are pretty much impotent in every true sense, except in the arena of polluting and threatening what I value.

    There is no mutuality there. Obama and co will either be subjugated to serve the meek or they will be fucked over by the revolutionaries in a very messy way. That's what I see coming. I would prefer them to decide to serve: Bodhidharma in charge, Obama in service. And I think it is inevitable that this great reversal will happen soon. I'm practising it every day with all my heart, mostly falling on my face.

    It's game over, no possibility of trying again. That kind of cancerous fuckery will be excluded entirely from the new economy. No integration of capitalism. Total exclusion of cancer. Total devotion to life.

    You say - I don’t think we’re too many degrees removed from Obama’s ear. The guy reads books, after all. We just have to write one that’s worth his time.

    No, many books I've read are worth years of his time. His time ain't worth shit, really. He has to appraoched in the right relation as Bodhidharma could and Terry can't (unless he surprises me, which would be delightful). Demonstrate true power to him and then wait for him to come begging. Desperate as he is to be mean anything to anyone. Help him to be anything but the meaningless spot on the face of human history, that he truly is.

    Wall Street, the Vatican, the presidents and emperors, will have to beg for the mercy of the generations to come. I wish them the best of luck. Although they don't deserve it and may not get it.

    As Gurdieff says, you have to earn your soul, not sell it. I try to help people, including myself, to buy it back. To earn some trust. It's tough work and full of rude awakenings but it's inevitable in the long run if we want to survive.




  • Comment Link Gary Stamper Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:30 posted by Gary Stamper

    Terry, Marco, thank you (finally) for a deeply thought-provoking article on the direction of integral and a look at how to move the map into the world. This is truly the province of the sacred Activist. From my blog, The Integral Warrior (I've been writing about this):

    "Sometimes we're just too intellectual for our own good. It's time for us to stop talking and theorizing about integral and to be integral. To take what we've learned from the map and put it into practice so we can see the rocks and trees, actually jumping in and seeing what's happening in our own interior and the exterior world. That we pay attention to what's happening in the physical world in front of us, what's happening in the breakdown of all of the systems in the LR quadrant, and the inevitable collapse of the LL cultures that comes with it. I'm among those who think we've already passed the tipping point, that we are in collapse, so for me, the question is now 'how do we prepare the new systems to fill the void caused by the failure of the old systems?' And they are failing. It's one more reason why it's important for the integral community to move beyond competency of yellow's intellectualism into turquoise community, building new systems that support new ways of living our lives. And the first thing we must absolutely do is to get out of denial about what's happening, whether it's slow or fast."

    "The lifting of the veil is our opportunity to end 5,000 years of patriarchal rule and to be more fully human. The veil is lifting. Don't turn away.Occupy your heart."

    I'm an occupier. I work with the local Occupy group where I live. I'm there because that's where the action is and if we're going to be able to successfully navigate (whatever that means) the coming chaos, then we must first get out of denial and into acceptance that it's happening. Denial could kill you. This requires that we pay attention to what is actually happening in all four quadrants, in the interior, exterior, individual, and collective quadrants.

    In the upper left quadrant - the quadrant of thoughts, emotions, state of mind, and human behavior - we must pay attention to our spiritual and emotional needs. We need to know how to step out of paralyzing fear. Using all four quadrants, determine what you think are the most likely scenarios, and then prepare for them the best you can, given your resources and abilities, and your awareness of what is arising in the other quadrants. This gives us the ability to step into calm acceptance, knowing that no matter how hard we may try, we can't possibly prepare for everything, and then let it go.

    We do this in several ways. We find like-thinking others with whom we build community (lower left-quadrant), with shared values and meaning, who can support us as we support them. They don't need to be second tier. We only need to have more that brings us together than separates us. In our newly forming community, "Conscious Transition WNC: A Network of Grace," we're emphasize that we're not concerned about "why" collapse is happening - blame - but that it is happening, upon which we can all agree upon. In other words, we openly encourage - and insist - that everyone brings an openness that is accepting of all viewpoints. This allows multi-perspectivalism to develop, and this emerging process allowseveryone to hear other viewpoints without having to defend their own. Community is an absolutely essential part of getting through whatever is coming. Otherwise, you're just a lone-wolf survivalist. Second tier leadership provides the guidance and context that allows this to happen. Find and form your community.

    We're also intensely aware of the geopolitics of collapse: what is happening, and how - the lower right and upper right quadrants, respectively. In the upper right, what is happening? The cold hard facts without interpretation. What can I see, touch, observe scientifically in time and space? What are the physical facts? We have to know because decisions need to be made based on those facts. For instance, watching what's going on in Europe at this time with banks and countries already collapsing gives us insight as to how it might unfold in the U.S. if the global financial markets are as connected as they appear to be. When should I think about withdrawing cash in case there are bank runs here as is already happening in Greece and Italy (and the U.S. as the wealthy flee with their money to what they think are safer havens)?

    In the lower right quadrant, how is it happening, what systems and networks are failing and in what time frame? How do they affect other systems? Technology? Government? Finance? Energy? The natural environment?

    We simply must look at these issues through the 4-quadrant lens. As we've heard time and time again, anything less is partial, narrow, and fragmented....and there's already too much fragmentation in the world. That's what got us here. It won't get us out.

    What then?

    None of this guarantees that any of us will survive through what is coming. People don't want to hear that millions perhaps billions of people could die. Guess what? Millions are already dying and what do you need to see that will convince you that we don't have the capacity - energy and finances - to stop what is already happening? Collapse cannot be talked about in future tense, it's already happening.

    What we can do is approach collapse in the most conscious manner possible. To be present to it as each moment arises, do what we can to improve how we come through this, however long it takes, and be more conscious individually and collectively than when we started. It's obvious that a lot of technology in the form of unbridled capitalism has not made our lives better. Maybe we'll be happier by getting smaller and living in the arms of gratitude. My sense is that it's by developing community, meaning, and sustainable systems that support all life on this planet. Maybe the way up is all the way down.

    Where do the Integral leaders and community stand on collapse? Terry and Marco just gave us a huge look at where they stand. Rock on, guys.

  • Comment Link Steve Wednesday, 22 February 2012 19:15 posted by Steve

    I'm on board. In fact I have been on board wondering why Integral wasn't there. In my assignments submitted last fall in the Core Integral classes I often used my activity with Occupy Wall St as the material for lesson work. I seemed to be the only one in class involved, at least at a serious level. It made me wonder. Was I so associated with boomerites that I could not see what was wrong with my involvement? Was I wrong to think I could bring a broader perspective to a populist movement? Would I feel foolish if it is overtaken by radicals of lower consciousness?
    I have stuck with it locally because I felt the economic system was the key obstacle to solving any social problem. And I believe what I have learned from Integral Theory has contributed to the peaceful success of the local group. If we really believe we have something here, we need to use it, share it, teach it, and live it.
    Thanks Terry and Marco for shining the spot light on the right hand quadrants.

  • Comment Link Terry Patten Thursday, 23 February 2012 00:21 posted by Terry Patten

    Thanks so much Katie, Frank, Joshua, Luke, Janice, Robert, Troy, Mark, John and Brian for your thoughtful resonance, reflections, props and appreciation.

    Thanks, Marco, for addressing the first comments in some detail. I mostly agree with what you had to say. I'd add this:

    Neleesh, thanks for your thoughtful post. I agree with Marco that we can't stand outside the system and re-engineer it. Not just because it's the enormity of Kosmic evolution, but because we're not separate from it, and thus our effective uplift of it depends on our own *practice* — individually and collectively.

    Dennis, I agree that SIMPOL is brilliant and important. Bear it mind that it looks much more promising on your side of the pond, where the US Congressional Republicans seem to stand so formidably in the way. But I'm inspired that you're bringing John Bunzl to speak at the next German Integral conference, and I fully support SIMPOL — it certainly enables the beginning of trans-national creativity to get a running start at relevance long before the institutions are ready to act or even to get out of the way.

    You're very smart, Duff, and I respect that you're not afraid to challenge limits when you see them, in me or Integralism or any other source of what you perceive as grandiosity. And yet I also imagine that you understand and appreciate the validity of the critique of deconstructivism that lack a reconstructive purpose and vision. How have you reckoned with that? Hearing your critiques, I'm left wondering what exactly do you positively support and envision? Besides tearing down what do you want to build? What do you say a hearty "yes" to?

    And moving forward…

    T. Progler, so good to hear from you here! Thanks so much for honoring this with your time and attention and offering this conversation a viewpoint founded in existential confidence of the prior unity of it all. By seeing our work here as part of the emergence of a new "bright time" as prophesized so widely, and manifesting, *by the active work of each and all of us* (let's not forget that part!) of a total and single cooperative human forum, you set the widest possible context. Of course there's still a lot of work to do "in the trenches" but it definitely need to be lit by an awakened non-dual view and intuitive sensitivity to our Real context.

    Kristian, I very much appreciate your nuanced comment, including what you said about complex perspectives not always being better. I usually teach Integral theory in terms of the practice of "more adequate and flexible" perspective-taking. That means meeting reality as it is, on the scale appropriate to each manifestation, and learning to move quickly and appropriately to the level of complexity or simplicity a particular situation, or opportunity for creative response, requires. You have anticipated my thinking in several important ways here, with your comments on "stopping the fall" and "getting our hands dirty". Much of that is implicit in the question I posed at the end of my TEDx talk in Sao Paola http://www.integralspiritualpractice.com/video/appreciating-our-koan : "How can I embody a healthy adaptive response to this critical moment in human evolution?"

    Andrea, I'm touched and gladdened that you felt moved to engage us and the integral community conversation right before leaving for Havana to translate expanded perspectives into action in relationship with people different from yourselves. Please loop back with lessons learned when you return.

    Philip, may you find ever new ways to ground and empower your lit-up vision-logic and poetic inspiration, and to find ways to connect and to stay in relationship, so your gifts can flow and make a difference.

    Gary, I respect your warrior-like courage in facing the collapse scenario and participating in a grounded, clear, and very present fashion — related with healthy feeling and intelligence to yourself, to the facts, to the structures, and to us. Thank you for being a brother-in-arms here.

    Steve, thanks for your in-the-street experience and resonant acknowledgment, and passion to apply wider perspectives as an activist.

    What stands out overall, after reading everyone's contribution, is the actual presence of a shared consideration in which all of us — sincere, discerning, caring people — are tackling the "big question" that is are stretching us all: How do we embody personal practice in relationship to one another in a way that is also socially transformative, acknowledging the full complexity of our multidimensional world and crises? No easy answers, but passionate fellowship as we each and all tackle and advance the consideration!

    I like what Robert posted on my FB page:

    "Ponder the visage of the loin-cloth clad Sage Abiding Only as THIS. Indeed, what can be added or subtracted from THIS -- this Innate Great Perfection? I am sympathetic.

    "Still, doesn't Turiya, as we know it, rest upon this fundament, this Earth, and all the rungs of the Spiral? "THIS will persist in any case." Do we know that for certain? Tell me where else Turiya has been Realized except here, within the thin film of biosphere on this blue water planet, among us.

    "Perhaps, holy ones, simply as a matter of Divine Sport or Lila, you can help us preserve not only Gnosis of Liberation, but join us at the barricades, as well. You know, toss over some money-changer tables and the like."

    How do we build the capacity to simultaneously embody such profound receptive humility AND such dynamic daring / courage?

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Thursday, 23 February 2012 07:34 posted by Troy Wiley

    I wanted to post this as what it is:

    Hi Troy, 

    I loved your video [integral zeitgeist]. I watched it because it was embedded in Terry Patten's article in "Beams and Struts").

    I organize a smallish Integral Salon in Roswell, GA (a suburb of Atlanta). We are mostly older women (50 and above), with a few men and younger people thrown in. Kind of odd for an integral salon, but that is who we are. 

    I'm really wanting to actually do something about the state of the world right now, and move beyond endlessly talking and analyzing. Not that I'm again analyzing, but while the world sleeps, the situation's just not being addressed. 

    Are you aware of anyone who is actually doing anything coherent? …Do you know of anymore with a coherent plan that is actionable?

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Tue, Feb 21, 2012 1:54 pm
    Subject: Hello

    Hello xxxxxx,

    Thanks for watching my video. Regarding a "coherent plan that is actionable", I
    believe that you are referring to some sort of "transition". That is what many
    are questioning and looking for. I think one of the biggest parts of the
    transition is education/communication/awareness of what's happening and what's
    possible. So yes, I think people (integral or anyone) getting plugged in with
    the Occupy and/or Zeitgeist movements is critical.

    I think we can look to folks like Charles Eisenstein and Thomas Hubl to see how
    we might engage with Occupy and other groups to help infuse those movements with
    wisdom and skillful means (integral and other).

    Let me know if I can be of any assistance to the cause.



    On Feb 22, 2012, at 1:41 PM, xxxxxxxxxx wrote:

    Hi Troy,
    Just rescued your email from my spam filter.  Luckily, I actually do check mine every day or two.
    Thanks for responding to me!  It means a lot to me.  I was also happy to see Gary (forgot his last name....former head of the Seattle Integral group) give a very concrete response today on the Beams & Struts site.  Gary has came down for a visit to my Integral group once in 2011, so he is one of the few nationally known Integralists that I know personally.  When he said he's involved in Occupy, that sealed it for me.  I will get involved, and probably that will influence others to do so, too.
    So I'm feeling much calmer today, less isolated, less frustrated....like there is at least a trail of crumbs to follow.....
    Since Terry interviewed Charles Eisenstein, I've been telling people to read him (or at least listen to audios and watch videos).  He is quite the communicator, and lots of people are waking up to what is actually going on.  And I'm discovering that there were lots of people already into this stuff in Atlanta that know nothing of Integral.
    I probably will contact you again at some point.  For now, just getting a response back from someone who clearly gets it and isn't just lost in his integral head is affirming and gives me hope.  Thanks.
    I would personally love to see some kind of (voluntary) coordination with what integral people are doing in Occupy and maybe in the transition movement (if it's considered a movement).  But I don't have the time to organize that, so I'll just have to hope somebody else thinks of it and does.  If not coordination, at least a place to share information and ideas.

    Begin forwarded message:
    From: xxxxxxxxx

    Yes, nice contacting with you.  My integral group meets Saturday morning.  I'll be interested to see how they respond when I tell them I'm going to actually start working in some way with Occupy!

    Thanks again for responding.

  • Comment Link Kristian Stålne Thursday, 23 February 2012 08:32 posted by Kristian Stålne

    Thank you for your response and for your wonderful TEDx-clip! You are a true inspiration to me and it's hard to find people that are better in the embodiment of integral! I hope we can meet again (we met in Stockholm).

    I watched your IZ-video when you posted it at IL. I really enjoyed and appreciated it! Sorry for not participating in the discussion at your blog.

  • Comment Link Alia Thursday, 23 February 2012 09:07 posted by Alia

    One tendency we might eschew is to dismiss entire groups of people with a label, like Tea Party or New-Age, New-Thought, as if they were homogeneous and as if they had nothing significantly true, good, or beautiful to offer in any quadrant. That tendency is evident all over "Integral" discussions and the flavor is there to me even in the original post above. IMHO.

  • Comment Link Lisa Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:11 posted by Lisa

    Thank you Terry and Marco! I'm in the Atlanta Integral and Waking Down community. I couldn't agree more, let's table the intellectual discussions for a moment and actually DO SOMETHING. Aren't there even basic things we can agree on as Integralists and publicly say so? I mean simple stuff like The Integral Community strongly recommends that you (for example): 1. drastically reduce your consumption of animal products. 2. take a walk and/or ride a bike daily (even 1 block counts). 3. grow some of your own food, or if you don't have land, help a friend grow food. 4. get to know your neighbors and help them (walk their pet, watch their kids, do home repairs together, etc. 5. give up plastic water bottles and commit to shorter showers. blah, blah, blah. There must be some basic things that Integralists agree on and can put out into the world as something we stand for and encourage others to do. I know some people think grassroots efforts aren't enough, but where else would we start????

  • Comment Link rachel lightbird Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:25 posted by rachel lightbird

    brilliant article, as always Terry

  • Comment Link Ron Sebring Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:42 posted by Ron Sebring

    Thank you for your passion, work, and struggle to balance theory and practice, theorea and praxis, inner and outer, subjective and objective, energy and form. I appreciate beams and struts, and the search for the trestle board that holds both solid.

  • Comment Link Mary Linda Landauer Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:47 posted by Mary Linda Landauer

    Terry and Marco, we go back to a most beautiful time as we gathered with Ken and so many to launch Integral Leadership and it's many OS components. Brilliant and loving souls collectively ready to be in practice and community, knowing Ken's work was ready to be launched into the world.

    This article, written so timely and urgently, is triggering within me so much. All my decades of practice says its time to bring my own voice into the community of like-minded voices and truly occupy an Integral space where freedom reigns to create a more evolved consciousness, allowing our world space to live in a more diverse harmony.

    I'm on board with all of you. I'm ready to occupy Integral in whatever way that calls for me.

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder Terry,
    Mary Linda

  • Comment Link barbara marx hubbard Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:48 posted by barbara marx hubbard

    Dear Terry and Colleagues: Thank you for this brilliant conversation that is so vital. I believe that Spirit/ nature/technology has provided us with a way to "occupy" world consciousness, or rather Evolve Consciousness. it comes from the understanding of the Law of Complexity/ Consciousness. As systems become more complex they jump in consciousness and freedom through more complex order , as Teilhard wrote. Our system is becoming complex. Our new "planetary nervous system" is connecting us at warp speed through Facebook, Twitter, cell phones (4.7 billion at latest count.) The global brain/mind/heart is a vast new potential, This network of communication, combined infused with the energy and wisdom of the Evolutionary Movement writ large, including all the tribes mentioned above can now connect, communicate, cocoreate and "occupy world consciousness". If the system can break down quickly, it can also breakthrough quickly. We are moving toward a "Cocreative Society.: Let's model it ourselves. I suggest that Terry Patten and team, joining with all of us who want to connect, develop a shared communication /collaboration system on social media and coordinate our communications within the Noosphere, to awakening collective awareness. Ken has said it takes 10% of any group to change consciousness. I believe we can do this.

    I would like to contribute the work I am doing with the Shift Network to catalyze a global experience of creativity and resonance on Dec. 22, 2001 asBirth 2012: Day One inaugurating the next stage of evolutionary consciousness and capacities. (SEe Peter Diamandis new book "Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think". Second tier generalized, and expressed through the genius of high technology applied for social good. I would be delighted to be on such a team with Terry. He is already one of the teachers in my new "Evolutionary Corps" of Guides and Mentors training this next 9 nine months. We have thousands of Agents of Conscious Evolution studentsl Think of how many people are already tuned to Integral., and other movement.s

    I am inspired that this is what we should do together as soon as we can. Evolution is providing us a way to connect and cocreate! With anticipation of responses. Barbara

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:57 posted by John Bunzl

    A very brilliant article, Terry. As you say, Integral IS an injunction to social action; it IS an injunction to "transcend, negate and include".
    If Integral means world-centric, then what we're looking for is an unprecedented form of global political action that transcends, negates and includes nation-states and binds them into a higher form of global governANCE (not governMENT!) which is truly world embracing.
    I'm delighted you've become a supporter of the Simultaneous Policy (Simpol) campaign; an initiative that could perhaps be one such form of global Integral activism.
    You're right, Terry, of course, that conditions in Europe are more favourable to this kind of thinking. But the interesting thing about Simpol is that even a relatively small number of citizens can use its clever electoral leverage mechanism to shift even sceptical politicians in the direction needed. It's a challenge, yes. But do-able, I think.

    Ken Wilber said: "The central idea of Simpol is very powerful; that is, the notion of how to link votes in one country with votes in another - how to link political action in one country with action in another. International competition is built-in to the nation-state systemat its current level of development, and so the issue is not environmental concerns, but how to get humans to agree on environmental concerns. This is really fascinating and very hopeful. In my opinion this is the crucial issue for the 21st century”

    So I do hope folks will want to take a closer look - http://www.simpol.org

  • Comment Link Edward Berge Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:59 posted by Edward Berge

    Bravo for the recognition of social engagement. However as one example of such integral engagement they list conscious capitalism (CC). Until they can face how CC is itself antithetical to the very Occupy movement in its perpetuation of the social injustices it seeks to remedy they are defeating their noble intentions. This thread* might awaken them somewhat, if they are serious about this and open to alternative integral critique. Also this thread** on alternative economics based on Christian Arnsperger's ideas would be helpful, as well as this thread*** on progressive economics. And this one**** on Jeremy Rifkin, who espouses a blatant developmental socio-economic model and about whom one never hears in these circles.

    * http://integralpostmetaphysics.ning.com/forum/topics/integral-global-capitalism

    ** http://integralpostmetaphysics.ning.com/forum/topics/eco-transitions

    *** http://integralpostmetaphysics.ning.com/forum/topics/progressive-economics

    **** http://integralpostmetaphysics.ning.com/forum/topics/jeremy-rifkin

  • Comment Link Adelheid Hörnlein Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:09 posted by Adelheid Hörnlein

    Hi Terry,
    I really love what you write here. For my opinion there is a crucial thing missing: the need of development of proper communication skills. I see so often that even people who would consider themselves 'integral' and speak about love are using ways of communication that create not love at all but confrontation, being openly or couvertly agressive, not being grounded in their heartspace but in the intellectual mind-space of 'right' and 'wrong'. Without our individual efforting for developing new skills - instead of only new ideas - all our beautiful intention have a hard time to come true....

  • Comment Link Steve Imhof Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:26 posted by Steve Imhof

    If you are looking for a a place to start, Occupycafe.org might be a place for discussions. It already has a Integral Activism group set up. But if you are ready to test out the exterior quadrants you can find your local group at http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether/
    There are over 2900 groups listed world wide. The Occupy movement itself is in transition, from actual occupations to targeting issues. What an opportunity to build on what is emerging.

  • Comment Link Cate Stillman Thursday, 23 February 2012 17:23 posted by Cate Stillman

    Terry -
    Love the way you think....

    and the way you respond to comments. Thanks for setting the bar.

  • Comment Link Richard England Thursday, 23 February 2012 19:00 posted by Richard England

    Where are we going with all of this? Really. I am so scared to be left behind and left out. I am merely a human. How can I "Occupy Integral" when it does not speak to my world? I would rather occupy humanity, for I am a human and nothing more. I beg you please to not forget me as you evolve out of my purview.

    Dear God, as these folks so badly want to be in the driver's seat of evolution, please give them the wisdom to look ahead before they leap. You know I rarely do in my excitement. Maybe these folks will be different.

    Although no one I know of has actually been able to cite Gandhi as having said: "Be the change". Maybe you all know something I don't. http://icarus-falling.blogspot.com/2011/10/changing-be-change.html

    One day a wise man said to me: "We are the Creator Creating Creation." I only met this man once or twice. He was very old. A friend of mine, who had been his student prior and was now his caretaker told me of how this man was walking with Gandhi when Gandhi was shot. This man who had been a close friend of Gandhi said nothing to be about being the change. He knew me from no one, and he said to me "We are the Creator Creating Creation." I never got the sense he meant 'We' in any other way than the most inclusive 'We' possible--all of creation. How inspiring those words.

    In biology class I learn that the smallest unit that evolves is a population, not an individual. [Microevolution is defined as "change in allele frequencies in a population over generations."(Reece et. al, 2011) a standard biology textbook.] Maybe none of us individually drives evolution, maybe evolution drives us. (Maybe the definition of evolution can just be made up by the user when applied to consciousness and culture huh? As a friend of mine says: "Good luck with that.") Maybe the 'We' so sought after is already here as humanity. If occupying integral is part of occupying humanity than I'm right here. Otherwise, I'll just hope you don't occupy a completely novel habitat--in biology that is the beginning of the process of sympatric speciation--and leave me behind. I tremble at the prospect.

    Everything I've ever had has been given to me. I merely share what I find. Maybe you all are the "Creators" that I would love to be. Maybe we can all learn something from each other. That would be nice if it's in the cards, because I hope my creating someday doesn't get crowded out by your creating now.

    some dude

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Thursday, 23 February 2012 21:38 posted by Philip Corkill

    Beloved Barbara,

    I seem to have a habit of being an early responder to your calls. I am with you on every step of the way. I stepped into the circle of people around you at the ISE 3 who committed to being causal with you, this year and beyond, and I meant it!

    I would offer you this: I feel now like you may have felt when the politicians told you, "you'd be lucky to find a single delegate, if she were your mother."

    In my case I know deeply that I can take each one of your ideas and magnify their impact by at least an factor of 3 to 10 in each case. All I have to do is share them with the friend I have in my generation, who know how to utilise the new powers that we have.

    For Example I know that I will provide the funding for your foundation in the coming months but very few people think I have half a chance. I think most people are actually doubting my sanity. And yet, to me, it is only a matter of logistics - not of possibility - until those dollars begin rolling in, as the delegates came rolling in for your campaign back then...

    It just needs to be organised, and I know how to do it. And I will demonstrate it. I just wish the boomers would have an ounce of trust in the younger generators born to answer this crisis and model the New Humanity...

    Since Devaa Haley Mitchel, from the shitnetwork, kicked me - one of the only young men involved - off your mentors training, I have been working on my own authority and I have been pioneering novel processes. I have also been gathering together the people of the younger generations, who are committed to demonstrating this model, in real time, this year and beyond. Those young men and women alone could catalyse the manifestation of your dream immensely. I mean, imagine you had all the Terry Pattens, Andrew Cohens, Jean Houstons and so on around you, but instead of them being over 60, they were all between 25 and 40 years old and already trailblazing the way to the future with all their heart. Well, that is what is happening here on beams and struts and specifically, and intentionally, around me, on my unfolding magical mystery tour of the USA. The land of the wage-slaves;-)

    Speak to you soon Barbara. Much of what you are seeking has already come together. It's just that it is the Beams and Struts generation who are enacting it. The Boomer radar - also the radar of the ACE training so far - tends to stop valuing or attracting anyone under 50. Especially males. When a young man like me does show up, the shift network refuses to train him, for fear of their reputation or some such idiocy.

    Anyway, I'm on board Barbara, and I stand by that, I just challenge you to look to the young leaders too, and not rely so much on the fogies and their petty concerns with "the real world". Your vision is as real as anything to us and will be actually embodied sooner rather than later, given we all play our cards right. In fact many of these young people I know are essentially a model and template of the co-creative humanity. I like the elders too but it should be a mutual affair!

    Much love,


  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Thursday, 23 February 2012 21:55 posted by Philip Corkill

    Dear Terry,

    You say:

    "Philip, may you find ever new ways to ground and empower your lit-up vision-logic and poetic inspiration, and to find ways to connect and to stay in relationship, so your gifts can flow and make a difference."

    Terry, Teach me that!

    However, I'm not going to join one of your courses and be industrialised and mass fed your Dharma. The marketing alone stinks to high heaven of late stage capitalist, reverse engineering. It all sounds like you boomers are insecure about your ability to attract your clients (yes clients, not even disciples). Or why do you guys bombard our email addresses with mail after mail of spam about the same courses!?

    Christ! Don't you even trust us to know who we want to work with and when?

    If you want what you say you want for me and you feel you can train me in that, then skype me today @


    If I don't hear from you at all, I'll assume you're just bullshitting us, to save your wannabe Bodhidharma reputation. I'm not going to bombard your inbox with requests. I know my worthiness and if you miss this one chance then as far as I'm concerned you're probably part of the problem.

    Love, joy and a twinkle in the eye,


  • Comment Link Duff Thursday, 23 February 2012 21:59 posted by Duff

    As a former member of the Integral meta-cult (a cult that recruits other cults under one umbrella), I am quite familiar with the shaming tactics of Integral towards ideas that are not welcome. In this case, Mr. Patten used the "you are just a cynical green deconstructivist" line of shaming group members that have been cast out, after first engaging in unnecessary flattery. Adi Da would be proud.

    Mr. Morelli actually addressed my ideas respectfully, so I'll address his. I can agree that we can talk about the evolution of culture, although I'm wary about the phrase "evolution of consciousness." It glosses over too much, equating the changes from protozoa to bluebirds and great apes as similar to our group vs. our political enemies.

    I also think that in any discussion of evolution we should very clearly sort out development from evolution which are very different things IMHO.

    I was initially very taken in by Eisenstein's views and heartfelt expression. But having read his magnum opus and engaging with him in dialogue about some of his ideas, I am no longer in agreement with him. He strikes me as an ideologue--someone out to justify a group's views and actions. In terms of alternative currencies and other radical changes in financial instruments and economics, his views are terribly naive and idealistic. I was trumpeting some of his ideas when Jake Wagner (whom you might know) pointed out how naive my ideas were. Jake works in complimentary currencies and I quickly had no way of tracking what he was saying due to my ignorance, ignorance that I learned from Eisenstein. I have no doubt that others will do the same as his views are framed in a way that encourages readers to parrot superficial understandings of complex problems. As you read Eisenstein, I encourage you to seek out experts in the fields he makes recommendations. I think you will agree that his solutions are extreme and naive compared to the solutions being proposed by people actually working on the problems.

    I'm not revolted by the word "integral," I'm revolted by the continued support of corrupt and abusive spiritual teachers, of the attempt to squeeze everything into a pre-existing map rather than observe and work with the territory, of the cult-like toxic group behaviors that shame former community members and critics. I also happen to be against meta-theories in principle because they all too often become reified, but I'm open to the possibility that perhaps meta-theories could be held lightly (they are categorically NOT held lightly in the Integral community however, which is organized specifically around Wilber's collection of theories and meta-theories).

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Thursday, 23 February 2012 22:23 posted by Troy Wiley

    Quit the Education and Start to Paint

    It is with all due respect for the wisdom and skills of Terry Patton and Marco Morelli that I share a rather confrontational, and quite important, sentiment of a friend of mine. In regards to a recent email from Terry about his and Marco’s upcoming book “Integral Revolution” my friend wrote:

    “I guess I should have been keen enough to expect this was coming. Instead of trying to organize an action-based organization or project, simply for the good of others, he's going to write another book about it, telling US what WE should be doing in the world, and then pocketing the profits from book sales.”

    At first I hadn’t even considered any deeper meaning to Terry’s email other then the charged notion of an Integral Revolution. But then I decided…you know what? My friend is right. Enough of the damn books and courses. Is this integral action?

    Then I began to think about all the solicitations I get from the spiritual and integral communities promoting various courses and teleseminars and virtual retreats promising to make me (…me, me, me) happy.

    “10-month Course to develop our natural capacity for well-being and happiness.”

    “Living in Mastery 3 Month Virtual Retreat”

    “6 Week Virtual Intensive”

    “Free Live Call…in preparation for our upcoming [expensive] Orientation”

    So is this the bigger “We-space” that gets thrown around so much now in integral circles? Are we, as supposedly developed beings, still not moving beyond our own ego-centric concerns enough to engage in the here-and-now available channels of global-centric forms of activism? Will yet another 10-week or 10-month course enable us to “really this time” engage and be “more effective” in the world?

    Does the world (or more accurately, humanity) have enough time for such activities and courses and books? As many of us are experiencing the Great Quickening, don’t we really need to start communicating, and awakening, and doing things NOW? Sure, writing a book is always fine and it can change the world. But perhaps what evolution is now demanding of us (as evidenced by Facebook, Twitter, self-publishing, E-books, etc.) is faster, more “real-time” communication to address and solve our challenges. And that maybe we say to hell with the importance of “making our mark” in the eternal records with the slow publication of a good old fashion book, and instead make a more timely difference in the hear-and-now through our actions and our instant skillfull-means sharing of the wisdom that we so urgently need.

    Or is it really about the money? Let’s be honest…Do our livlihoods depend on us selling another book, or selling another course? Can we really be part of this so-called “Gift Economy” that Charles Eisenstein promotes by giving our books and film and art and unique gifts away for free (like he does with his book “Sacred Ecnomics” on Reality Sandwich). Or can I do both in some creative new way, that’s also as fast and accessible as humanity needs it to be?

    It’s time we start engaging and activing and sharing and being and participating and creating NOW. I just came across this short video called “I Paint” which sums up beautifully where we find ourselves currently and what we need to do:


    Quotes from the artist, Thijme Termaat :

    “After high school I went to the Design Academy Eindhoven hoping to express my creativity there.
    Half a year later I knew: I wanted to become a painter. So I quit my education and started to paint..."

    And this:

    “The paintings that are created in the film form one collection together. And it is far from finished. The coming year I will finish this collection. Why only the finished product? The creation is equally beautiful!”

    So let’s quit the education and start to paint, and create, and share, and gift…now, today. Let’s get dirty together.

  • Comment Link Luke Stanley Thursday, 23 February 2012 22:32 posted by Luke Stanley

    Philip Corkill I don't know if you're joking or just being rude.

    Awesome message Terry Patten and Marco V Morelli!

    (Coming here from an Integral Enlightenment Facebook group posting, and I work with Anna on the Human Project - I'm the app dev.)

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Thursday, 23 February 2012 22:40 posted by Philip Corkill

    P.S.: same goes for that whole generation of integral or otherwise teachers. From Cohen to Gafni, Wilber to Zammit:

    You should be paying to teach the generation championed by beams and struts. Not the other way round. Well, I'll speak for myself. You can call me on skype @


    If you can afford to teach me and the group of talented friends that surrounds me. Now is your chance...

    Show us that the Dharma that you sell - through the very same ecomomic system that inherently steals resources from future generations - is worth more than mass produced toilet paper to the human beings of tomorrow. So, far I don't see why I should pay to even wipe my ass with it.

    And while you're at it, throw in about 3,600,000 Dollars from your offshore greed accounts to fund the Beams and Struts crew for their platform that you are trying to pimp here.

    Or from my sacred dealership trade:


    philcorkill on skype TODAY to find out what that means.

    Don't sleep. Times up for your old economy. Renounce your greed before the next generations renounce you! I dare you to call me any one of you;-)

  • Comment Link Al Farthing Friday, 24 February 2012 00:10 posted by Al Farthing

    As a resident of a small town in the tiny Province of Nova Scotia (the Province as whole is lightly populated --under one million )
    In the ten years that I have been reading and attempting to understand and embody Integral Principles, I have not bumped into even one person who has mentioned or even heard of Integral Anything -
    Which is not to say that there are not a great many highly educated, sincere, dedicated and socially involved people living and working here.
    All the Integral folks I have read, heard, and met through the (former) wonderful magazine are articulate, and speak of important things.
    Yet I have to say that for the average person, much of that content is laced with esoteric language and systems that boggle the average mind.Nor are most people these days very gung-ho on joining a new group or movement of any kind, let alone one with a specialized vocabulary.
    Or -- does the Integral Community have any interest in attracting the interest and support of the ordinary guy who carries a luich bucket?
    And if so -- what do they want him\her to know and do?

  • Comment Link Juma Wood Friday, 24 February 2012 01:38 posted by Juma Wood

    Phil, The editors are in agreement that you are in violation of the Commenting Policy at the bottom of the site. Passion and debate are welcome, but please stay on point and maintain a basic respect. We will leave these comments up but reserve the right to remove further comments that violate this policy. There are several vital topics that this piece presents and addresses and no doubt more differences will surface. We encourage those differences, within the guidelines that have been drawn. Thank you

  • Comment Link Marco V Morelli Friday, 24 February 2012 01:39 posted by Marco V Morelli

    Well, this is getting interesting. I’m going to dispense with the formality of personally thanking each commenter on this thread. Of course, I’m grateful for the attention each of you have given, and generally, I think that the old truism is true, that basic courtesy is a social lubricant and actually let’s us communicate more effectively (if less directly). Yet the thread it getting long, and I don’t want to make it harder for new readers to catch up. I will trust that individual voices or perspectives that I (or Terry) don’t specifically acknowledge will still be recognized in some vague but real way . . . or not, but that it’s okay either way. In other words, I want to affirm the importance of fostering an inclusive and respectful conversational space, but I also want to try to get to the heart of the matter, as I see it, somewhat succinctly.

    I read everyone’s comments and had been pondering this whole discussion for a couple hours … and I was feeling a little weary, but the last couple posts (by Philip and Duff … and then Troy) woke me up. First to Troy. You link to a video of a painter. I have not watched the video yet, but I will, and I trust it’s beautiful. I’m a writer. A poet. I fancy myself an artist. It’s what I do and who I most deeply feel I am. Therefore, I write. And I write books. Why? Because as an artistic medium, you can only go so deep in a blog post or facebook update or any other digital medium. Books are vessels of depth, and as Nicholas Carr argues (google “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”), books also belong to a culture of depth, not just because books can carry deep content, but because the act of reading a book (no matter what you’re reading, even if it’s a “superficial” romance novel) acts upon your brain and consciousness in a particular way, activating different memory processes and a different kind of creativity. (Carr also wrote a book called The Shallows that explores these issues — it’s very good.) To say, “We don’t need another book …” is like saying, “We don’t need another painting … or song … or film … or garden.” Each nourishes the human body and spirit in an important way. I happen to read and write books, and I’m nourished by them, no less than I am by the vegetables I get from our local farm. So I will assume that you don’t mean to conclude that very act writing a book in these difficult times is meaningless, because otherwise we’d be contemplating a dreary world indeed. I would say the same argument holds for courses, and for any offering that a spiritual teacher (which I am not one) might make. Though I generally can’t afford to invest three or four hundred dollars in an online course, I do feel, having worked in the background putting a few courses together, that there actually is (or can be) a lot of really valuable teaching that happens in these offerings. By that I mean I think they can help people change their lives for the better, which is good for all of us.

    But does humanity really have enough time for “another course…”? Maybe not. I think it depends. Let’s ask some of the people who are actually getting their hands dirty. I’ve met students in Terry’s course who are doing some really amazing work. One that comes to mind is human rights negotiator in occupied Palestine. She has put her life seriously at risk in her advocacy for the rights of the detained, many of whom are tortured (she documents this). Is she a dupe for shelling out $297 for taking Terry’s online course and maybe even striving to become an “integral practitioner,” as Terry teaches? I’m not willing to make that argument to her face. So let me suggest that we not disparage or make assumptions about the worth of “another course…” or “another book…” or what have you. Let’s agree that a course, or a book, or a painting CAN be good and valuable and even relevant to alleviating human suffering (maybe even worth spending ten or a few hundred bucks on) . . . or it might not be.

    What’s really at issue here is the integral culture itself, and so-called integral individuals, and specifically the role of money, power, marketing and generational differences in how we experience each other. I actually really do resonate with the sense of disgust you express around “damn books and courses” and the way they’re marketed. In my work as a copywriter (i.e., earning my living to buy food, pay my mortgage, raise my daughter, etc. — this doesn’t justify anything, but it’s worth keeping in mind) on the inside of conference calls with the marketers for these products, I can tell you very plainly how it works (even “integral” marketers do this): First, you have to identify “pain points” and “aspirations” (there is a whole lingo), then you have speak to those tender spots in people really, really compellingly. This motivates them to sign up. There is a very standard framework for how to sell things: begin by collecting thousands of email addresses, offer something for free, then make a pitch for your product (that’s not free), and so on. Yes, we can reflexively say this is manipulative and evil, or an expression of “late stage capitalism” — but actually, it’s pretty transparent to anyone with a clue. It’s a game. And guess what if you don’t play the game? That’s right, you don’t sell any books or earn any money. You’ve invested thousands of hours and dollars into creating something that you truly believe is of value (and who is anyone to question that belief, itself?) and now you’re broke — and this world is not good place in which to not have money.

    There ARE better ways to do it. The Buddhist Geeks are one good example. And we’re aspiring to be more transparent and honest too. But even the B-Geeks are playing a game, because Vince can’t put on a conference without attracting funding. So he has to create “urgency,” like “early bird” ticket prices. It’s inescapable.

    So let’s put this in perspective. OMG, Marco and Terry are writing a book . . . and they plan to SELL it! (maybe). There have been greater atrocities . . . .

    Thank you, though. Your thoughts in “Integral Zeitgeist” have been influential for me, and I do appreciate you bringing this up because I’ve felt the same way.

    Moving on…

    Duff has been a very vocal and incisive critic of abusive spiritual teachers and communities. Over the years, I have read a number of his blog posts (at Beyond Growth) and I agree with him a lot of the time. As a member of the Integral “inner circle” (around Ken, et al.) at one time, I dare say I saw much more than he did of “the support of corrupt and abusive spiritual teachers, of the attempt to squeeze everything into a pre-existing map rather than observe and work with the territory, [and] of the cult-like toxic group behaviors that shame former community members and critics.” In fact, I participated in all that — and I’m truly sorry. What I admire about Duff is that he’s been willing to talk about all this very forthrightly. I left the integral scene quietly. And I’ve focused on building a good and relatively modest life for myself, taking care of my health, starting a family, and struggling to develop and give my gifts and live with integrity. For years, I was too occupied trying to earn a living, or too tired, to reengage and make a thoughtful statement about the state of the integral movement and how I think we can do better. This is it. (Or at least it’s a start, for me.) What I want to do now is move the conversation forward and get something bigger and more relevant going. Yes, there has definitely been “cult-like toxic group behaviors” in the integral community. There have been abusive (lying, cheating) teachers. Everyone knows that, to some degree. But I’ve also seen a lot of goodness, a lot of integrity. Ken, for one, has always been very gracious with me. He’s been an asshole too (as have I), but on the whole, he’s enriched my life tremendously. And he's not Hitler. So it would be incredibly mean of me to not express my gratitude. And at the same time, this very article, Occupy Integral, while highly appreciative of Ken, is also critical of some of the tendencies that he’s embodied and allowed to develop around him. So I don’t criticize integral the way Duff does. But that’s why Duff’s Duff, and I’m me. Yet I still want to affirm that we can be mutually respectful and learn from one another, and maybe even work together towards some larger shared goals. (Duff, I’m going to hold your views on Eisenstein in mind as I work through his book; and I’m going to think about whether the term “meta-cult” makes any meta-sense ;)

    To Phil’s playful yet serious challenge, all I can say is, cool. But I think your refusal to see or acknowledge any value in the older generation is really limited. Just generally, as a human attitude, it’s probably not sustainable. Look at all the 60s flower children (“Don’t trust anyone over 30!”) who grew up to be perfect law’n-order capitalists. I’m not saying this will happen to you when you “grow up,” but just that I see things differently (and I’m not yet fully “grown up”). I see a lot value in the Boomers. And I think people like Terry (and many others) are really worth working with. (And there are some who I would definitely never work with.) I think it’s fine to call him out on the marketing emails, but really, in the big scheme of things, it’s like condemning a peacock for trying to “deceive” you with its feathery mating displays. You can unsubscribe. The bigger problem is that none of us can unsubscribe from the money system, or the war machine, or the political corruption, or the degradation of the biosphere, or the collapse that, as Gary points out, is already underway. If we don’t find some way to work together to embody and serve “the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible,” then we’re really screwed.

    I think it’s worth forgiving each other, for real or perceived offenses, so that our “tribe” (in the hopefully non-cultish sense described in the article) can contribute more effectively toward creating that more beautiful world.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    (PS. Philip, I will try to return your call in the next few days. I’m really behind on things.)

  • Comment Link Radomir Samardzic Friday, 24 February 2012 01:58 posted by Radomir Samardzic

    If we are to participate in any meaningful change which has any chance of success requires us to be intimately related to what is, to reality. What I mean in this context of proposed change is that the most developed societies are centered in orange and few have tasted some Green (Holland). It would be to counterproductive to promote "integral thinking" in society that is heavily centered in Orange (The U.S.)

    Integral thinking should be as a meta-force behind actions that promote healthy Green. I know that many integral people do not have neither high opinion nor confidence that Green can ever take over, but Green is the next stage of development whether we like it or not. Conversation how to empower healthy Green is an integral conversation at this point in time. Thinking that we as a society can jump over Green into the second tear is wishful thinking.

    The fact is that societal transition from one level to the next in the first tear has never happened peacefully. What make you think that orange/green transformation will be "loving?" The fact is: WE JUST DON'T KNOW. There has not been society in the world that has undergone orange/green transformation. We just have to learn to swim in the murky waters, react fast to changes and se what is the best step to suport Green in it's healthy development. No one can predict what Green society will look like. We should not try. We can only help create it. The sooner is created, the sooner it will destroy itself, so that we can hopefully move on, if we don't destroy ourselves in the process.

  • Comment Link Ted Phelps Friday, 24 February 2012 05:25 posted by Ted Phelps

    Right on, Radomir. There you have it! Simple and doable: "actions that promote healthy Green." Pretty much all the problems of integrals described in this post and the responses to it started with a clever down-sizing of the great compassionate awakening of the last half century by calling it "Green" and only talking about *unhealthy* green. And then saying the world has to get to integral or we are all lost. No. All we need is love of the Other. And that is a healthy green. I describe Green as being able to value and support that which is not like oneself: a man supporting women; a white supporting blacks; a human supporting animals...water, ozone, icecaps. "Love your neighbor" is the exercise, then "Love your enemy." When it gets much more wordy than that, it deserves to be questioned the way many are doing here.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Friday, 24 February 2012 11:20 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Hello everyone. In this thread I am seeing a certain incommensurability that might be helpful to assess. Although everyone here is looking for action(s) that catalyze change, some people are describing change within a certain container, while other people are calling for the container to be destroyed. And here is where the tension in the commentary arises. There is the option of developing the current system to better forms (conscious capitalism) versus the full-bore option of completely reinventing the systems of values and exchanges between humans. The former is based on developmental stage logics, and the latter is based on a true understanding of evolutionary processes (which are discontinuous and not stage-related). When Kuhn describes paradigmatic shift, he is describing huge discontinuity of the past and future. I am 56 years old, and what I see is that the old system is completely exhausted, including the very structure of consciousness and the dialectical/discursive types of reasoning we employ to inquire into problems and solutions -- so I am one of the people who are only interested in paradigmatic/evolutionary leap -- while appreciating the efforts of those who, from my view, are merely tweaking the system. Some of this is related to the subjective threshold for risk-taking. Some of this is related to the threshold one has for playing with tough love and allowing yang energy to flow forth and reclaim its place as the progenitor of the new, and the guardian of the fire. These are deep, affective level imperatives that need to be sourced into the equation, in my opinion. To everything there is a season -- and books are clearly not enough this season. There is a sad post-modern conditioning which seems to have exaggerated our capacity to semiotic processes, while reducing the vocabulary of our rich, deep evolutionary affect-level capacity for action, precision, decisiveness, clarity, spontaneity, vitality, and leadership (in the sense of being able to embody the Hero). In its stead we have - to some degree positive -- replaced these with a tremendous capacity to endure endless injustices, fictions, procrastinations, and structures that are repugnant to humanity. We can no longer call a spade a spade, without feeling shame or spending a whole lot of bandwidth adjusting our demeanor beforehand. When I am touched there, at the edge where my passion for change sits complicit with my fear of change, it stings like hell, and I am tripped up into a vortex of shame. Roy Bhaskar says the system of oppression completely depends upon the creativity of the slaves. And when I first read that, I thought of other slaves than myself -- young people working in China, of in the coal mines of West Virgina. Then one day it hit me, and it hit me hard. What I do, when I justify in various ways that are so clever they are post-conventional, the current structures and system in all its regalia, I am being a very creative slave indeed! When I tell myself convenient narratives and build exquisite models of the system -- see how we grow! -- without the capacity to dishevel that system -- I am being a clever monkey indeed! And for that, I win a banana or two. And so it goes. We go on bickering primarily with each other in ways so small "the man" would be more preoccupied with a gnat on the carpet than with us. The joy I feel in this room with friends, and the love I am allowing to arise I as write this comment, hoping to touch you where you are chilled by this long night in human sleep, is completely irrelevant to the level of oppression, injustice, violence, destruction, and devestation being administered by powerful men with weak souls in a murderous system of death. I want to create a new world order - but not in the way that integral would have it. With some on top and others struggling through developmental contests to thrive. I want to create living centers that contribute to and relate to the whole at all scales- from the cellular, to the self, to people held together in communion by love of the ground on which they stand, and the gifts they receive through no obligation of their own. I want to reverse the nightmare, where those in power have the least obligation to those who have no power, to standing with those who express the most obligation for those who have no power -- including the poor, the ignorant, the disabled, the children, the forests and the bees, the underground, life-giving waters, the air we breathe upon which our souls rise to God. I want to reverse the nightmare, where those with money have the least interest in investing in the society from which they derived their richness, to those who understand the power of divesting money from greed, wealth from accumulation, and think rather, in terms of the flow of resources between individuals, through community, and then returned to source for renewal. I want to reverse the nightmare where those who lie, steel, murder and destroy at the largest scale, occupy the top positions in society, while people who are born in hopeless conditions move from broken homes to lousy schools to prison. I want to reverse the nightmare where health services dollars go to the pharmaceutical factories of control, to where our doctors and medicine men are our most intimate others in this dance of life. I don't want your excuses. I am struggling to zap away all of my own. For despite the "fact" that I score at a rather high level in various values-meaning schemes, I AM NOT OBLIGATED to the values that have been driven inside a system that has exhausted its usefulness to humanity and the planet -- in this sense the developmental levels represent only the increasing creativity of the slaves. It's time for change. I've already opened my door. There is no turning back.

  • Comment Link Teri Murphy Friday, 24 February 2012 13:02 posted by Teri Murphy

    My take is that systems aren't the problem, shadow is. Therefore I propose a worldwide network of in-person ILP groups using Terry's book, the group format of James Jones, and the organizational structure of AA, Toastmasters, and Tupperware.

    I was the coordinator of the DC Ken Wilber Meetup for several years, and all the problems Terry mentions above ripped us to shreds. But our practice group held a remnant of us together. Now I am networking with people in the Emerging Christianity movement to see if it's possible to adapt practice groups to their perspective.

    Weekend workshops and online groups are great. But they'll never fill our need for community, feedback on shadow, or day-by-day support for embodiment in the world. So I see forming ILP groups of 8-10 integrally informed people in each city. This "homies" group supports each of us in forming a second group of our peers in whatever group or level we feel called to network with. Those people are also encouraged to start their own practice groups, which never have to even mention "integral".

    Terry, our DC group is coming to your event in NYC March 3 if you want to talk to us about this. (Though you'll find we have a WIDE range of perspectives on it ;>). Unfortunately I don't see any way for anyone to make a living from this, just as no one makes a living from Toastmasters or AA--yet they are two of the most ubiquitous and transformative groups on the planet. Imagine yoking their discipline and consistency with our commitment to growth and to integrating beauty, truth, and goodness into every moment. It's a place to start while we're waiting for someone to envision a system that works despite shadow.

    In deep respect and a good a laugh at my own preposterousness,
    Teri Murphy

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Friday, 24 February 2012 15:18 posted by Troy Wiley

    Yes, yes Bonnitta! Amen. That is what I call integral revolution. Thank you.

  • Comment Link Michael Schwartz Friday, 24 February 2012 16:31 posted by Michael Schwartz

    Dear Terry and Marco,

    Thank you for this brilliant, timely, and inspiring call for the taking up integral theory for issues of social emancipation. I very much look forward to your forthcoming book; as your previous effort, Integral Life Practice, is masterful, wise, and compassionate – and has been a source of inspiration.

    I cannot agree with those commenting here that another book is not needed, that we need to go back to our direct (pre-reflexive, hence ordinary) interventions in the world. I also cannot agree with those commenting in such negative tones, which I see as having to do with their own shadows and/or closed hearts, rather than taking up the (endless) task of trying to help. Yes, I am being blunt. Or rather: what are you really committed to in this life?

    My view about the uptake of integral theory for social emancipation is grounded in how I teach integral theory in my university setting, in part mobilizing it as a new kind of critical theory. (My students very much like the issues of individual development; but they end up in their course of training craving more of the critique of our collective patterns and inheritances – this in itself is striking.) This notion of critical theory, and the critiques of modernity and postmodernity that have been going on since around 1800, can be found in Ken’s writings; but is almost entirely absent in our various interlocking integral circles on the one hand, and on the other, as Ken offers only generalizing orientations, it is up to others, to us, to flesh out this direction or directions of reflection and intervention.

    We already have background practices of thinking, speaking, and acting in the world, which are in part sustained through various institutions. As practices, these are primarily disclosed through the lower quadrants – they are collective; one takes up pre-established practices, one enacts them. There is a deep socio-cultural habituation, mostly tacitly held, of our being in the world – a point that one finds in Ken’s writings be the way, but is rarely spoken of in integral circles, with its lopsided taking up of individual issues of self-development and healing. Amazingly, we humans, through tetra-arising developments proper to modernity and postmoderntiy, have the capacity to make some of these tacit practices objects of reflection; and then using an effective critical theory – integral as a critical theory being especially powerful, in my experience – one can ascertain issues of the dignity and disaster of our collective unfolding: emergences and new capacities as well as regressions and pathologies, along with insight into how the latter have come about. And to gain such insight, it is requisite, not an option, to engage in historical investigation – Ken calls this "genealogy” (and we could multiply the kinds of historical inquiry that can be helpful here). Alas, one of the serious fault lines in the integral world is the lack of historical narratives that chunk down into more detail (complementing the big picture stories and high order theorizing, both important moments to be sure.) There is yet no serious integral historiography of which I am aware – itself a symptom of our lack of serious critical theoretical engagement oriented towards social emancipation as this requires such “genealogies.”

    The upshot is that once we take up integral theory as a critical theory of our collective inheritance, looking not only at practices but at the tetra-arisings more fully, and do so by fleshing out historical narratives on various topics, we begin to get a better sense of both where and how we might intervene to bring forth greater Kosmic justice in our collective arrangements. (Bonnie's reflections important here.) In my experience, integral theory can greatly empower this twin activity of reflection and intervention.

    In this frame, new topics and questions come forward that are either absent from serious consideration in integral circles or are naively forwarded. These include: (1) what is the political as a domain of activity? (Hannah Arendt and others see much of what we call “politics” as falling short of what this can be as a form of life; (2) what is the democratic inheritance of we Americans? (writers like Jeffrey Stout and Cornel West have attempted to mine resources in the tradition, looking to figures like Emerson, Whitman and Dewey); (3) what is the wider historical emergence of democracy as an ideal? (traced from the emergence of civic humanism in the Renaissance up to the present by writers like Hans Baron, Peacock, Skinner, and Charles Taylor); (4) what is or ought to be the relations between the state and civil society, that latter inclusive of the economy and public spheres? (as explored by writers like Habermas, Taylor, and many others)?; (5) what is globalization? (Saskia Sassen has done important social-theoretical work on this topic; Giovani Arrighi has written an crucial history of the emergence of the “world system”); (6) what might “cosmopolitanism” look like under the emergent globalizing conditions (Nussbaum Harvey, Appiah, and others have written on this topic); (7) is there something to learn from the failure of alternative political orders like communism? (Alain Badiou’s book The Communist Hypothesis has spurred a diverse discussion, especially in European circles); (9) what is neoliberalism, given that it is the predominant economic-political vision of our day? (David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism has been been seminal in beginning to lift my blinders); (10) what is ideology and its effects? (as a zone 4 outside look at language patterns, there is a theory of ideology in Zizek’s First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, where contemporary positions are mapped via a fourfold permutation grid). And so on.

    Here I am sharing some of my interests and some of the authors that I have read – such lists could be extended greatly and would prosper by all of us working in greater cooperation. My point is that we in integral circles do not take up these kinds of themes with any sort of informed sophistication; whereas if we did, using integral theory as a critical theory, we would (I am confident) generate novel insights into the dignities and disaster of the contemporary collective moment. And this trajectory is about embodiment and fiercely committed action for the well being of all, not endless mentation as the end point.

    One last point. Ken has sketched out the notion of social holons. It is interesting, and again telling, that we continue to use the AQAL integral map, grounded in the sense of individual holons, to engage what are social holonic arrangements. It points to our deeply ingrained, dare I say ideological. biases towards the individual (contemporary political atomism) and hence our engaging integral via a one-sided methodological individualism (using the map of an individual holon) to investigate socio-cultural arrangements, that is, social holons. (I am working on social holon theory at the moment to redress this habit; I invite others to do the same.)

    All of this is said with the heart intent to benefit as many beings in as many ways as is possible, enacted as a collective effort in learning together and acting in coordination.

    Again, my thanks to Terry and Marco for opening this up – and for taking up the task of writing such an important book.


  • Comment Link John D Reed Friday, 24 February 2012 16:46 posted by John D Reed

    Troy........I have a brush but I don't quite know what to paint! ......nor what color. Don't want to put varnish on metal! ......but I do agree

    "One must act in painting as in life, directly"
    Pablo Picasso

    "It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting"
    Albert Camus

    I would defend some of the Integral Leaders that hipe & market their books and workshops........that is their "Painting" their part of encouraging the evolution of consciousness.............although I for one can be guilty of drinking the groupie cool aide from time to time

  • Comment Link Rebecca Stauffer Friday, 24 February 2012 16:59 posted by Rebecca Stauffer

    YES, Yes, yes to Terry and Marco and everyone posting, acting, and thinking about acting.

    What a truly fresh breeze you've created on which we can catch an updraft, simply breathe in, or open our parachutes, whatever works for each of us in service of conscious living.

    May we wake up, grow up, and act up ... for Goodness sake,
    Rebecca Stauffer

  • Comment Link Katherine Konner Friday, 24 February 2012 17:42 posted by Katherine Konner

    Bonnitta Roy has written an army of samurai warriors. Each warrior's sword is blazingly sharp and dedicated to the protection of birthing evolution. I have a responsibility for executing what aligns with source through me, my samurai sanctified sword. My sword is likely a trance, putting to sleep with great respect, what no longer serves.

    Expose the social reflexive elf. This here is a response to the social insistence to stand up, acknowledge, and bow to the essence of love, to God, to our human presence that challenges us everywhere to drop our virtues and be that next step in consciousness. Or maybe just get out your fucking wallet and do something about it instead of charging people money for the key. I can see the caution sign blinking. Delight-en-ment develops into a business of devil-olution.

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Friday, 24 February 2012 19:35 posted by Troy Wiley

    Thanks John D Reed for the additional painting quotes.

    I want to apologize if my statement about not needing more books came off harsher than I intended. Actually, I stand in awe at those great individuals who can create such beautiful master pieces in the form of a book. I've tried many times to pull off such a feet, so maybe my shadow is poking thru due to my inability to do so.

    And yes, it is their painting...their art form. So no problem there. Bring on the beautiful books that I so enjoy reading.

    However, I do question whether the medium of the paper book form needs to evolve. I question whether the 2013 publication of the book "Integral Revolution" will have missed the revolution entirely. It is "jump time" NOW (to borrow Jean Houston's phrase).

    And the video "I Paint" speaks on a different level that perhaps I didn't point out previously: the artist's video is not just displaying his paintings, but is, in itself, a beautiful work of art. And it's doing it "in the now". And it's message is conveyed in the process, not only in the final product.

    Perhaps it is these kinds of multidimensional examples that point us to new evolutionary ways in which we may choose to act.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Friday, 24 February 2012 23:03 posted by Philip Corkill

    Juma and co,

    I agree, I had forgotten the commenting policy and was in violation of that Commenting Policy.

    However, I won't take the suggestion that I was not on point, NOR the suggestion that I did not maintain a basic respect. That's BS radio talking. I respect Terry and the others I aim to challenge. I just hate what they choose to work for. There is a clear distinction there and I don't cross that line in my comments even once...

    I am fully aware that there are several vital topics that this piece presents and addresses and I believe I addressed them in the only way that is causal to the changes I am about.

    This again show's me that I don't have a place on Beams and Struts unless I speak in a language that is not available to my mind due to my lack of formal education.

    So, I think you should block me from the site completely OR give me a last chance with my next comments and see if I can be as honest within the policy. I hope I can. Good luck Phil!

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Friday, 24 February 2012 23:11 posted by Philip Corkill

    Beams and Struts: Pre-Occupied by integral thinkers.

    Luckily Bonnitta Roy can say what I want to say in that language. One of the few with Bodhidharma calibre here...

  • Comment Link Amir Friday, 24 February 2012 23:43 posted by Amir

    Great post Marco and Terry.

    I haven't been deeply involved in the integral scene like most who've commented here. Being far away in Malaysia keeps me at a distance, but I have been following things online rather closely since 2008 and I'm deeply grateful for all I've learned.

    Having said that, it doesn't mean that I haven't noticed things which I think are quite problematic, namely what I perceive to be over-reverence of teachers in the community by some students, and also the lack of engagement on the ground and getting hands dirty.

    The examples pointed out above of those doing work on the ground are encouraging but I definitely think there's room for more–a lot more. I have the impression that for too many there's excessive focus on meditation and spiritual practice. I think that can go together and be done simultaneously with on-the-ground activism that's rigorous.

    In any case, it's nice to see these issues being discussed more openly. Regardless of its flaws (which need fixing), the integral scene has a lot to offer, and if we separate the message from the messengers, integral literature can really help uplift humanity and enable us to more effectively meet today's complex challenges. It has tremendous potential if we can express it in a way that's more accessible to mainstream audiences.

  • Comment Link Amir Friday, 24 February 2012 23:48 posted by Amir

    One last thing I feel strong about.

    When will integral thinkers step forward into the mainstream and begin debating figures like Steven Pinker, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennet, etc?

    That's SO urgently needed in my opinion. Penetration into mainstream academia.

    I have a lot of hope that someone like Carter Phipps will be able to do that, especially now that's he got his new book Evolutionaries coming out and he'll be touring and speaking about the pertinent topics.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Saturday, 25 February 2012 02:10 posted by Philip Corkill

    Hey Marco,

    Thanks for your intelligent responses and capacity to respond non-reactively. It's such a blessing as I de-literately/accidentally offend my way to freedom and communion...

    You know, I really do respect the older generation and don't understand why you suggest otherwise. See how I responded to Barbara and Bonnitta.

    It's just that I get very pissy when it is not mutual. And that's what I feel about Cohen, and many, many other boomer spiritual Alpha-HOLon(E)S. I think Terry will redeem himself very soon(interjestion: he just did it, we spoke on the phone, and he is now a real brother and no longer a special American Uncle) but so far he hasn't (hadn't) demonstrated the calibre and mutual respect towards the people I represent, that they deserve.

    No, I couldn't unsubscribe from Terry's mails because I respect him deeply and there may be an offer that I want to know about.

    All I'm saying is that if you claim to be the ultimate manifestation of practitice, ever, as is the tone of ILP, you should not need to play with rubbish marketing tools that don't work for half the worlds caring people. My brothers kids are ready to burn down London because they care so much about their futures and London is giving them near-eternal hell in the Ghettos.

    Think of Jesus, how many emails did he send to the fishermen? He just asked them to come, and they dropped everything, and came. Think of Bodhidharma, he gave the emperor one single chance and then retreated to the hills. I believe Terry is capable of that. It would save him a lot of time and me a lot of spam. That's all. I respect Terry.

    I don't respect, or work within a cancerous and fundamentally doomed capitalism. That's all. No disrespect to Terry or Cohen or Wilber. IMOpium.

    Br. Marco, you say:

    "The bigger problem is that none of us can unsubscribe from the money system, or the war machine, or the political corruption, or the degradation of the biosphere, or the collapse that, as Gary points out, is already underway."

    Speak for yourselves, I just unsubscribed. As has Bonnitta Roy. As has my brother working with black kids in London. As can you. As can Terry. As can anyone with the guts to say no, and assert human dignity, in a system, totally and utterly designed to ruin that dignity, from the words "GO to school".

    Further, you say:

    "If we don’t find some way to work together to embody and serve “the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible,” then we’re really screwed."

    I agree. I'm doing all I can to that end but most people think I hate them and want only to create conflict. All I can say is: watch me, and see that there are some who love me as I am and respect the way I do it. Including Bonnitta Roy and many others.

    I don't want only conflict at all, nor do I only create conflict. Watch me, and suspend judgement until you can see what is really created by these intentional insults (to the system not the human). Terry was fine with me on the phone and considers me a brother now. did I create conflict or friendship?

    Anyone who now tells me that I am disrespecting Terry should ask him if it is true. Not just tell me to hold my tongue for being rude or tell me whatever the fuck else they can see in my mirror.

    I just hate the fact that we work for the screwing machine you describe, as wage-slaves and talk about being free. I hammer the slavery. As Atisha taught: (I) don't strike at the heart. Notice, I didn't say that Terry is rubbish, I said his marketing tools are rubbish. And, I didn't say I would wipe my ass with Andrew Cohen, I said I wouldn't wipe my ass with his Dharma, his teaching.

    Whoever feels hammered is not seeing this, not seeing where I am coming from, and not seeing the actual effect of my rudness to Terry and others. IMOpium.

    Marco: "I think it’s worth forgiving each other, for real or perceived offenses, so that our “tribe” (in the hopefully non-cultish sense described in the article) can contribute more effectively toward creating that more beautiful world."

    Then please forgive me too, Juma, Terry, Marco, Beams folk and co. that would be fair, no?

    Thanks again for your comments!



    P.S.: If this now is still not up to snuff: Please block me from the site. At this time, although I am trying with all the life force in my bones to do as your policy demands, I can't do any better than this...

  • Comment Link no-one Saturday, 25 February 2012 04:12 posted by no-one

    Dear All of You,
    As a foreigner, I'll say it simple: you, with all your well-educated-and-rational-mind-structure, your lonely-ranger way to act, your auto-referencing and auto-reinforcing world... have lost it, completely. It is not up to you now to drive the change, it is only up to you now to accept it. You are not directing this game...The other 97% of the world, the quiet, ignorant, poor, humble, out of the picture, the forgotten rest of the world... is making the change, the real one and none of you has seen it. You have been left behind, things are going elsewhere and you can't see it, your way of life is crashing down, your disconnection with the rest of humanity is enormous, and you haven't noticed it. In reality, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. There's nothing against you, no one's against you, but perhaps, get off from your high throne and show true gratitude, try being humble and try the best to adapt to whatever will come, or if you prefer not to, then just keep discussing and thinking it over and over again and making your pointless spiritual seminars the way you've been doing it… it's going to happen anyways, with or without you. There are higher powers, far greater consciousness, far wide-encompassing love guiding the process than you or anyone can possibly foresee. Ultimately, do whatever you want or can, for after all, you can't do anything out of your program or boundaries.... or perhaps, you can? Love and Consciousness to all, no-one.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Saturday, 25 February 2012 07:05 posted by Philip Corkill


    Spoken like a king.

    No-one knows what he is talking about!

  • Comment Link Michael Paone Saturday, 25 February 2012 16:21 posted by Michael Paone

    Thank God! As a younger integral person, I've long thought we've needed to get some Moxie and put ourselves out there less apologetically in all areas, but especially politically. People who lean otherwise, emphasizing mostly internal change, honestly come off as a bit privileged to me. In general, I think integral is going to have to reconcile its identity -- it comes off as a whole as a pretty upper-class, white group of folks. Which is what it is, but moving forward I think being more conscious of various forms of inclusion will make us stronger, especially politically. The movement seems to have unconsciouslly adopted a sort of social-identity blindness, which I think we need to shed. When I talk to my friends of color and in various social justice circles, the lack of inclusion is pretty palpable -- I amost get embarrased about how whole continents and people are left out of "thr great wisom traditions", for example. If integral is going to stick and expand into the common experience, its going to need to have something for and from everyone. Its just good marketing. At the same time though I think we need to be more bold and brash. If you think of other paradigm changes and intellectual shifts in history, they weren't so kind to their predecessors. I think integral is too shy and that we need to get all blue up on some motherfuckers, ocassionally. If a goal is to get everyone to acknowledge an evolutionary paradigm, then things that don't represent that should be called out. I think sometimes it can be that simple. I think the think tanks are a great idea. Sign me up -- I would come work for you. Id love to do integral political consulting in the future. I'll be working for a candidate in my city council district in Brooklyn in a year. I'll definitely give him a dose of spiral dynamics and political messaging. I actually had a dream last night where I sat down with President Obama and taught him spiral dynamics. No lie. Love you guys, let's get real, and get moving!

  • Comment Link Neelesh Saturday, 25 February 2012 16:52 posted by Neelesh

    Three aspects of a perspectival ‘mess’ that often end up sapping so much the energy of almost every dialectic:
    a) The dualism of theory and practice – So deeply and sometimes insidiously ingrained is this duality that ever so often we tend to overlook that good theory is sometimes absolutely necessary (though not sufficient) for any meaningful practice to emerge. German psychologist Kurt Lewin said “There is nothing as practical as a good theory”. Theory and practice are not in opposition. They support each other – theory suggests useful action; action helps validate and refine theory. Any dialectic that reject theory are, ultimately, rejecting this learning feedback cycle. To my mind, the time horizon required to form any meaningful judgement on the effectiveness of ‘integral theory’ in the real world is much, much longer that what many of us impatient critics are prepared to wait for. The ‘quick gratification’ archetype is sometimes so lethally and invisibly at play.

    b) The dualism of being and becoming – This is a conceptual mine-field but I personally maintain that the very act of semantically distinguishing / partitioning those 2 words can create some dangerous fragmentation and result in a lot of misplaced energy. Even in the ‘integrally informed’ folks. I sense a certain tension hovering in the noospheric field of this dialectic as well, which is only necessary until we realize that it is unnecessary. Said Nisargadatta Maharaj – ‘It is in the very nature of being to seek adventure in becoming, as it is in the very nature of becoming to seek peace in being: my home is beyond’. My contention is that the unconstrained restlessness for ‘becoming’ sometimes stems from an inadequate grounding in ‘being’.

    c) The dualism of thinking and doing – This is a difficult one. Very often we tend to think that the real doing is in the code-writing. Forgetting that the thinking done by the systems designer is also ‘doing’, albeit of a different nature. Getting hands dirty is as much in the actual brick-laying as in the architecture diagrams, it’s just that different ‘hands’ get dirty. So to accuse the architect of not getting his hands dirty and hence blaming him for not completing the building erection is a grotesque act of omission.

    I have found that three framings have helped me in my own life to guide discussions / debates in a constructive direction and reduce the ‘drag’ of dysfunctional argumentativeness which I am myself so frequently guilty of!

  • Comment Link Raúl Quiñones-Rosado Saturday, 25 February 2012 16:59 posted by Raúl Quiñones-Rosado

    Ashé, Bonnie!

    And thank you for hosting this post and conversation, and for your wise—mindful AND heart-filled—comments.

    As you might imagine, I am pleased that people within the integral community are ready to join "the revolution": a movement for social justice that, since before the era of modernity and coloniality, has been in motion non-stop. So, like the mostly white, middle class Occupy Movement has finally joined the struggles of poor and working class folks, People of Color, women and other historically oppressed social groups, it is good to see integrals feeling called to action. Welcome!

    Hopefully, this insight and impetus to action is more than a fad, or worse, just another way to market the "integral" brand and capitalize on our collective struggles. Hopefully, those now taking up active participation enter, not to help, but to join, knowing that their "liberation is bound up with" the oppressed of the world. [And I'm not talking about people in far away places, but rather, their neighbors.]

    And, I most certainly hope integral thinkers joining active movement for social justice AND cultural transformation do not intend to co-opt its leadership (de-centralized as it is). Moving from observer to active participant is a good next step for many. Once in the midst of it all, appropriate roles and actions will become evident.

    Big hugs, Bonnie. I hope to see you again soon.

  • Comment Link Malena Gamboa Saturday, 25 February 2012 18:17 posted by Malena Gamboa

    Terry and Marco - May your new book inspire powerful conscious action in the world.

    May the books keep coming for they call out dormant voices in me that awaken and invite me deeper into myself...
    And it is THAT which has given birth the world centric embodiment/care I hold. It is THAT which has moved me to action.

    Marco - I don't know what we'll do about the way we get the word out(marketing). I'm so pleased we're talking about it though. We're inviting inquiry here and in so doing, new ways will inevitably be seen, developed and quickly put in place (social media trends and widgets.. things are moving fast) I hope and intend for Emerging Integral to serve with all that. I look forward to continuing to develop platforms, with you, with others, for a new kind of integral community that is diligently active in the world and also includes the true good and beautiful it emerged/is emerging from. May we all work in a spirit of collaboration IN the mix.

    Bonnitta - Bravo! simply Bravo!

    Everyone - May the voices of pissed off proactive/reactive action takers move others likewise. It most certainly has a place at the dinner-table!

    May there be REAL Conscious action in the world.
    May we hear the call to do our part.
    May we honor the tears as sweat of those that act on the impulse to take action in ways that are true to their Being while we ALL push beyond our comfort zones.
    May we, through the journey, in the journey, celebrate the magnificent gift of being here in this most special time in history, together.

    Deep bow to all of you.

  • Comment Link Francesca Maria Solinas Saturday, 25 February 2012 20:43 posted by Francesca Maria Solinas

    If I may as a humble pilgrim from Europe, landed here through Barbara Marx Hubbard, Phil Corkill and Bonnitta Roy, I’d like to share my experience and vision in this community of kindred souls concerning this important breakthrough discussion and call to action.

    A few years ago I have come to know about Ken Wilber through a friend, he is still pretty unknown in Italy where I live. I felt of course attracted, being a solitary wandering soul on a longtime spiritual journey, still wondering what my true calling was to be.
    I was a would be philosopher in my university days, but left after four years of study and exams with Wittgenstein’s quote in my backpack: “My Philosophy is my Life”, feeling the frustration that all the clever and beautiful ‘Mindwork’ did not meet my expectations of coming closer to the sense of life.
    It is still a mystery to me why I have never come round to study Wilber’s books, though I have been a registered member of the web site since 2009, supporting the enterprise with my monthly fee. Nor have I much profited from the rich offerings and contents made available on Integral Network. Perhaps I was just standing there in the shadow waiting for something, what happened was that through sharing of mailing lists I got hooked by the Shift Movement to Barbara Marx Hubbard’s ACE Training, and here I am.

    My father was a writer who, feeling integrally engaged in his political mission, decided to become a screenwriter in order to reach a wider audience, instead than a novel or a book on the Algerian uprising he wrote “The Battle of Algiers”. Yes, nothing wrong with books, but bearing clearly in mind the intention and the ambition of the desired impact. It is more confortable and easy to address peers and become a self-referential community.

    Here is what emerged in me following the title of a musical I have long been wanting to write: LOVE MESSENGERS

    Dear Brothers and sisters,
    we are coming together to do some important and demanding AQAL work IN PRACTICE NOT IN THEORY: to clean, clear up and focus LOVE in all it's forms and ways in order to be ready for the Shift.
    That's what a Love Messenger does: before spreading the Love necessary to sustain the Quantum Jump, or during, he/she constantly interacts inside and outside to be as clear as possible in his/her intention of service in order to activate and help others do the same. This means 'incarnating love' in all possible ways and functions: mother, father, child, brother, sister, lover, friend...all the way 100% with force of spirit, heart, mind and body TOGETHER. There are many archetypes and stories to be re-enacted and corrected in order for Love to freely flow.
    It is important to refine the feel and technique for sensing and interpreting the different energy vibrations coming and going, so that communication over the Noosphere can actually start and flow in a more consistent and constant way.
    This is what can "gentle the shift" for many: before going on stage we need, each of us, to bear and come in good terms with our own monsters inside so that we can BE LOVE inside and out there.
    It's not easy, yes Bonnitta and Katherine, it's no different from a Martial Art and we have no masters and no path: we are making it up as we go together with courage, open mind and heart on horse or on foot with only one weapon: INTERACTIVE LOVE manifested, spoken, sung, pictured in all ways possible, multidimensional and multimedia.
    In love and appreciation,
    Francesca Maria Solinas

  • Comment Link Maya Hill Saturday, 25 February 2012 22:38 posted by Maya Hill

    Sitting here in the deepest bowls of the Core Integral theory course and am delighted to sidetrack. Have been working on this driest of theories for a while now. It's not easy for this non-native un-academic boomer. What I want to share is the most baffling effect of these studies on my system. Like Ken has said that the theory of Integral is psychoactive and this is showing to be true through many of my lives engagements. Me too I am longing to be more active out there in the world of changes.
    I envision many of us quietly working and maturing and trusting that when the time is right we will be there, not as heroes of rebellion but as deeply secure and stable agents of change, ready, informed and in full support and recognition. In the meantime the changes are radiating closer to home. Never underestimate this. I trust the process.

  • Comment Link Mick Quinn Saturday, 25 February 2012 23:17 posted by Mick Quinn

    What saddens me and enlivens me is that those we can serve don't care if we are I(i)ntegral or not. They care that we care and that that compassion screams loudly in their face. How hard is that...

    And an Atlanta person asked: 'Do you know of anymore with a coherent plan that is actionable?'

    There probably will never be one, but if there was and fully embraced it will surely mean a revolutionary change in the way we see ourselves today. So, a suggestion as we wait for or search for the plan would be to change it all up today. How hard is that...

    So long as we think that those we know who suffer terribly and unnecessarily are not as much a burden as we ascribe ourselves, talk will rule. How easy is that...

    Integral Heart Foundation
    Antigua Guatemala

  • Comment Link Amy Jean Cousins Saturday, 25 February 2012 23:50 posted by Amy Jean Cousins

    My initial reaction to the term "Occupy Integral" was "Fuck ya!"

    I'm an intellectual/teacher/activist/spiritualist. I've been recently playing with the term "spiritual activist" and I've been drawn to evolutionary enlightenment teachings because they are (to me in my opinion) action focused.

    I realize not everyone applies it this way; in fact, I get pretty nauseated by all this "un-knowing" bull shit sometimes. I don't "know" per-say what the future holds, but I have "knowing" and for fucks sake I act on it. How else are we going to create the future?

    I like the trust of this article, and I was actually a bit thrown by all the off-shoot dialogue that followed. We don't have to agree, we don't have to convince each other either -we can, however, tolerate each other with respect.

    Let's just "fucking do it" people. Let's apply this shit and get on with it.

    (It's not normal for me to use swear words, but felt the urge today - please take it with a grain of hyperbolic salt).


  • Comment Link Barbara L. Mallory Saturday, 25 February 2012 23:52 posted by Barbara L. Mallory

    Thanks, Terry! Thanks, Marco!! Finally, an Integral Invitation to actually DO something in the real world. YES!

  • Comment Link Scott Arbeit Sunday, 26 February 2012 00:39 posted by Scott Arbeit

    There are lots of things that I'd love to see changed in the world, as I know all of us do. I personally believe that over the next forty years, most of the things we don't like about the world will be significantly upgraded, thanks to Artificial Intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and a greatly expanded group of more-Conscious individuals. Think of the shift in the world from 1960 to 2010, and how the West moved from around 1%-2% of people operating to one extent or another with a postmodern perspective on the world, all the way to around 25%. Think of culture, structure, laws, education, etc. in 1960, feel what it must have felt like to wear those strait-jackets, and see how much changed in fifty years.

    Now try to imagine what the world will look like forty years from now. I imagine things seemed pretty hopeless in 1960 if you were seeing past the commonly-accepted points-of-view. And yet... we've come a very long way in a lot of areas.

    We can debate about what we should do first, or how we should do it, or how often the word "collapse" should appear in our sentences. We can debate about how useful Integral philosophy is to those efforts. All of that is useful... I agree.

    But, before we do any of that, I'd like to share one perspective that's crucially important to me and to the way I view existence here in the world of Form. It's a perspective that somehow seems to have been lost in this discussion, but one that's I believe is the most important part of AQAL. Beyond quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types (and, believe me, I can geek out on Integral Theory with the best of 'em), I feel a much deeper call from the very Heart of Integral philosophy, and specifically from the very Heart of Ken Wilber (who is, of course, just Awareness appearing in allegedly-imperfect human form like the rest of us).

    That call is: Realize that you are the very Awareness from which all of Form arises. Realize that all forms of Consciousness are, in fact, only One Consciousness wearing different clothing, and taking different perspectives (in what looks now to be an 11-Dimensional Multiverse) on whatever is arising in Form, in any possible timeline, and in any possible Universe. Anything that you consider about yourself, or about anyone or anything else, to be "conscious" – in other words, whatever that thing is that is present before someone dies, and not present after they die – is a manifestation of the One Awareness that is also the very Ground of Being from which all of manifestation arises.

    For many years, I struggled with the injunctions of an Integral Life Practice, measuring myself (and always finding myself lacking) against the ideal of doing everything-at-once – exercise, psychology, intellectual learning, meditation, heart-opening, hoping I'd be having Deida-approved relationships, etc. Integral philosophy provides amazing orienting generalizations that help us to take the perspective that the quality of our lives, both on a micro and macro scale, are improved as we deepen whatever we do as an ILP. And then, while I was doing all of that, I was also supposed to be an activist of one sort or another, raging (Integrally, of course) at the world to get it to change. I realize that I'm saying this on a post written by one of the authors of "Integral Life Practice" himself, a book that – make no mistake – I think is wonderful and that I very much appreciate. (I used it as bathroom reading for a long time... no matter what page I opened to, there was always something good.)

    All of that melted with one, simple realization: we need to add one thing to ILP: an order of operations. We need to understand what to do first, and how doing things in an optimal sequence helps us to act in and through Form. We need to honor the Awareness found at the Heart of Integral.

    The first thing we need to do, before we act, is to bring ourselves into the Present Moment. In the Present Moment, with no reference to a regretted past, or an anticipated or feared future, and with no comparison to any other moment, we find ourselves embedded deeply in the vibration of Peace. The Present Moment is the clearing in which we can take the perspective that what seems like our personal consciousness is not other than Consciousness itself. And that the One Consciousness, which seems to have spilled itself out into many, is actually just Itself taking a dizzyingly-infinite number of perspectives on every possible way that Form can arise. My perspective, your perspective, the Earth's perspective, the Sun's perspective, a galaxy's perspective, or a quark's perspective... all One Consciousness doing One Thing.

    No thought is required to be in the Present Moment. The feeling of being in the Present Moment is what's important. No amount of thought, about any topic, can bring you there. The feeling of the Present Moment is who you really are.

    There's nothing wrong. There's no need for judgment. There's nothing to fix. There's no one to become. There is only This.

    Once my vibration is resting in Peace, and in the Present Moment, then I find myself able to source the information and creativity, felt through my Heart's simple yes or no, that helps me to navigate Form as effectively as possible. All of the knowledge and Love is already Here, if we would only stop to hear it, and follow it.

    When I drop my judgment, and drop my fear, and act from Peace, then I find myself acting in a way that is most helpful to others and to the world. But when I start my choice of what to do from the belief that I'm actually a separate self in a world of separation and fear, then, you know, the actions I choose will be, in one way or another, less helpful, less sourced, less Divine, vibrationally lower.

    This doesn't mean that we don't act with all of our available energy to enact change. It just means that if we're going to be any different about doing it than any other group or movement that's ever been, then we lead by being the ones who honor the deepest Truth embedded at the Heart of Integral: Relax; we’re all already fine. Love wins. Everything is One.

    Center yourself in that. Notice when you're not, and Love yourself by stopping and once again becoming relaxed in the body, by resting in the energy and vibration of Peace and Unending Awareness.

    Then listen to your Heart's calling, not to the mind's fear. Do what you're called to do. Take the perspective that this is a world of separation that requires fixing and doing... it's just another perspective we can adopt. But change the world first through the vibration you carry into it, and only after that through the works you do. (And, yes, I give myself this advice first. The beauty of writing and all art is that the first one who benefits is the artist.)

    You don't have to save the world. You only need to do what is authentically sourced for you to do. The more of us that start in Awareness, and start in Peace, before we Do, the faster the vibration of the planet is raised. And the faster we'll move beyond any of these supposed planet-threatening problems we seem to be having. No matter what they are, there's nothing to fear. There's nothing for you to earn. Start by knowing: You are already Awareness.

    Thank you Terry and Marco for providing this canvas for all of us to paint on. It's a blessing to watch it unfold.

    Much love,

  • Comment Link Bruce Kunkel Sunday, 26 February 2012 02:56 posted by Bruce Kunkel

    I so resonate with you, Bonnitta! You too, Edward!

  • Comment Link Mary Linda Landauee Sunday, 26 February 2012 04:04 posted by Mary Linda Landauee

    I can't get over this growing excitement within me, I keep reading all your posts, just love what you've said Bonnita, all of you speak with truth and clarity and from your core knowing. Thank you.

    My work in the world is service: my income comes, mostly, through my real estate but I also offer my counseling services as my educational background is post masters in this field with many certificates in the holistic fiels. The reason for sharing this is because about five years ago an awareness of myself going beyond my personality structure into a much higher nature began to put a very different paint brush into my heart and hands. I realized I had moved out of the old system of doing my business and was operating and creating a new system from this higher source of growing and stable higher Preaence. And, others began to take notice as my work within this new system, coming from this newly created and painted space which incorporated all perspectives, flowed in harmony and respect for the highest good for all. My manager, often managing from the old system of control and domination began asking questions and soon started shifting to a more open space of just support and giving more empowerment to allow others to gain their own self management. Today our office radiates with joy and warmth. She has even taken the words energy and higher consciousness as part of her new speech.

    I've come to realize systems and structures must first crumble within allowing higher systems of thought, beliefs that are governed by a more realized soul within a higher Presence. Out of this the personality structure is transformed to be the form which the higher nature expresses through into the outer world of form to paint and create the new systems. And, it happens so effortless and natural. You authenticly move in the world and know all that is expressed is truth, goodness and beauty. And, when my voice rises in anger to express this won't be tolerated, it's done with strength and conviction towards the old action and behavior needing to be changed.

    I do believe this is how we all move into the world now: our higher Presence, instilled with divine guidance and grace give to us the very higher vibration to being in the world offering the very behaviors and actions to taken to help take down this dark old system of greed, hatred and just plain delusion and ignorance. Our own higher awareness and awakened souls become the new system and others will be drawn to this new way of co-participating and co-creating. We are the leadership, we don't need to wait for this leadership.

    The time is NOW......the solution is WE THE PEOPLE.....and I know the result will be a world of. DIVERSE HARMONY where we understand taking care of each other and the planet is our only way to survive and sustain.

    Ken Wilber says just 10 percent of the population is needed to change the center of gravity and began moving consciousness into higher evolution. We are that 10 percent.....I deeply believe this and already I can witness my own awareness and higher Preaence making a difference.
    Mary Linda

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Sunday, 26 February 2012 04:09 posted by David MacLeod

    Terry and Marco, thank you so much for this piece, which it seems is quickly being recognized as a very important call for the integral community to become more active in the affairs of the world (the world of Form).

    I have been involved in local grassroots activism around sustainability for the last 6 or 7 years, the last 3 working with a Transition Initiative I co-initiated.

    The international Transition Towns (Initiatives) movement is, I believe, uniquely situated to synergize with integral theory.

    Firstly, it is rooted in Permaculture ethics and principles. Permaculture, in turn, is rooted in a healthy understanding of how the ecosystem supports the life functioning of human and non-human beings, which I believe is the healthiest place to start in the LR quadrant. Typically, integralists will focus on the techno-economic base in the LR, and tend to accept the "myth of the given" of the industrial/informational track we are on. We tend not to put much time into investigating what is supporting that techno-economic base. What is at base of this base? When you peal back the techno-economic base, you see it is supported by the resources of the earth/biosphere: the ecosystem. Put simply, the industrial and informational revolutions were made possible by coal, oil, and gas. We need to make other arrangements as these resources deplete. Healthy understanding of energy and ecosystems is vital.

    Permaculture ethics and principles translate well into the 3 other quadrants. What we call "interior quadrants," Permaculture calls "invisible structures." Transition is an attempt to more fully enact the invisible structures of Permaculture, and focuses efforts in the LL with community resilience building. It's only when we can move principles seen in the LR into the LL of cultural meaning making that we'll make real progress in sustainability (Tim Winton's PatternDynamics can be a real help here! http://www.patterndynamics.com.au/).

    Transition further recognizes the need for addressing psychological and spiritual issues, and so "Heart & Soul" groups or "Inner Transtition" work is encouraged in the UL quadrant.

    Permaculture has always stressed "hands on" visible action in the domains where people can make the most difference - in their own lives and their own community, and Transition likewise has a strong emphasis on putting ideas into action in visible and intensely practical ways - teaching people to grow their own food, creating community garden projects together, working on sustainable transportation options, creating local currencies, etc. This brings us to the UR quadrant where exterior behavior change is encouraged.

    And this in turn, brings us back to the LR quadrant where we hope our collective actions will eventually lead to a positive collective influence on societal structures, so that they will be in accord with the ecosystem underlying them, and will therefore support the enduring health of us all.

    The Transition movement tends to frame its actions in terms of the Hands, the Head, and the Heart - the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. It is not protest oriented, but instead attempts to engage in positive actions of what we are for, rather than focusing on what we are against. In this way we hope to engage folks from all walks of life, going beyond preaching to the choir of the environmentally concerned. This is a transcend and include approach that has a better chance of attracting interest beyond the Green meme.

    Interview with co-orignator of Permaculture, David Holmgren

    Holmgren's Future Scenarios

    Rob Hopkins (co-founder of the Transition movement) Ted Talk

    Transition Ingredients

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 26 February 2012 04:31 posted by Philip Corkill


  • Comment Link David MacLeod Sunday, 26 February 2012 04:37 posted by David MacLeod

    Bonnita: wow, thank you for your powerful, heartfelt message.

    Terri Murphy: Important point about the shadow, and a very good idea (a worldwide network of in-person ILP groups using Terry's book, the group format of James Jones, and the organizational structure of AA, Toastmasters, and Tupperware.)

    Scott Arbeit: Well said, and thank you for the important reminder.

    I like what Wilber has said about the Ascending and Descending currents in A Brief History of Everything. Both currents are vitally important - pursuit of the ascending current provides me the strength, power, and wisdom to engage the descending current, bringing the best part of myself into effective action in the world of Form.

    “…the One and the Many are not-two, that Emptiness and Form are nondual, that this-worldly and otherworldly are One Taste, that the Ascending and Descending currents need to be integrated in the nondual Heart….

    The path of Ascent from the Many to the One is the path of wisdom…Wisdom is the return of the Many to the One. In the East: Prajna, or wisdom, sees that Form is Emptiness.

    The Path of Descent, on the other hand, is the path of compassion. It sees that the One actually manifests as the Many, and so all forms are to be treated equally with kindness, compassion, mercy. Compassion or Goodness is, in fact, the very mechanism of the manifestation itself…Compassion touches all manifestation with concern and gentle wonderment. In the East: Karuna, or compassion, sees that Emptiness is Form….

    Q. Wisdom and Compassion – this is also Eros and Agape.
    KW: Yes, ascending Eros and descending Agape, transcendence and immanence, the love that reaches up and the love that reaches down.
    The central historical point in all of this is that with the great Nondual systems, from Plotinus in the West to Nagarjuna in the East, we see an emphasis on balancing and integrating these two movements… - their union in the nondual Heart of One Taste is the source and goal and ground of genuine spirituality.”

    - Ken Wilber, A Brief History of everything.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 26 February 2012 04:51 posted by Philip Corkill

    Much respect Beams and Struts crew for having the guts.

    Just to be clear:

    I speak for myself alone here. As much as I respect Bonnitta, Terry, Barbara, Francesca and many others from the older generations, obviously, IMO, and receive their training and guidance, ultimately, I do as I see fit and all the heat (and anything alse) I have to face for fucking up, should be directed at this address.

    So, please don't look to my elders for accountability when it comes to my mistakes. Say it to my face and say it in the open.



  • Comment Link Steven Brody Sunday, 26 February 2012 05:49 posted by Steven Brody

    Congrats to Marco, Terry, et al for the article and your new website.

    Bravo Bonnie. It's been years, but we used to dialogue on one of the old KW listservs; Coppersun was there then.

    Bonnie, I think it was Ram Dass that tried to implement mediatation in prisons and jails; dont recall how successful that was, but that seems to be similar to Bhaskar's creativity of slaves metaphor, yes? Sometimes monkey work is bodhisattva work, and the reward isn't bananas but a little justice for those who are beaten down. But bananas are good, too. You say that you want to throw away the can, the container, but be careful you don't hit and hurt someone in the toss. I too want to shake the nightmare away, in all the ways you mention, but multitask at the same time so as to ease the hardship of one starfish at a time. And the contemporary politics of hate leaves a lot of starfish on the beach.

    Bless you Bonnie, I have missed your intense intellect for years, and so very good to see you here.

    I think my screen name back then, KW list days, preIntegral, was "noother". Now I'm just Steven.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 26 February 2012 07:16 posted by Philip Corkill

    I think this issue of slavery is THE issue I would want to mirror back most strongly to the US citizens as a visitor.

    Who in this land of the free really has any freedom what so ever? Maybe it is the last nightmare, to be so stupifyingly indoctrinated into the conviction of having freedom that you almost forget that you can hardly move inside or out.

    And it is the "virtuous" who appear to be most bound up. The greatest nation ever on earth...


    It's terrifying...

  • Comment Link newrule7 Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:07 posted by newrule7

    “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” - Marcus Aurelius

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:49 posted by Troy Wiley

    "In the sense that a mythos is a story we are telling ourselves, consider the artists, scientists, and innovators of all types to be the storytellers, regardless of the medium of expression.

    What story do we want to tell ourselves as a species? Are we telling that story now?

    …If you, the contemporary artist, poet, scientist or other such visionary, choose to embrace your role as a vehicle through which pours the current mythos for our global community, then I submit it is your responsibility to study the mythological foundations of your being: to come to a personally relevant understanding of the myths of the past; to deeply regard your dreams, visions, and interior messages, and take personal guidance from them; and to share your insights with others through the medium most appropriate to your experience.

    In what way might we creatives be contributing to the next major leap in the evolution of our species? This is a question to which we’ll never know the answers through mere speculation alone. Action is required. We have but to dream big enough and know that we are not alone." Manny Otto


  • Comment Link Marco V Morelli Sunday, 26 February 2012 19:22 posted by Marco V Morelli

    Just wanted to chime in here and say WOW, thank you everyone for your thoughtful, heartfelt, and illuminating comments. This discussion has grown in so many ways; so many truths have been voiced . . . there is a part of me that wants to somehow absorb and synthesize them all, offer a shining, multifaceted, integral jewel of a comment that includes all the perspectives that I've resonated with, and adds my own to boot!

    Alas, I don't think that will be possible here. You will have to wait for the book ;)

    Philip: Let me publicly retract any statement I made that might have suggested that you don't respect the Boomer generation. I think we probably both agree that each generation has its gifts (and deficits), and also that you can't reduce any individual to his or her generation. Working with Terry, for me personally, is a way to bridge the "generation gap" and I think there is something novel that will emerge (and is emerging) from our collaboration, something that neither of us could have manifested alone, or working only with others our own age. It sounds like you're doing something similar (among many other things), which I think is awesome.

    Michael: Thanks so much for highlighting the necessity of an integral critical theory, and for presencing the names of some really amazing thinkers that tend not to be discussed within these circles. Habermas, Zizek, Taylor, West, Nussbaum, and Appiah are a few that I'm familiar with (to varying degrees) and I'm curious to learn more about the others you mention. I can't think of any revolutionary movement in the last century that hasn't been fueled by students on fire with both the vision of a better future AND the theoretical tools to critique the established order. Yet we also know the limitations of such movements, their violent extremes, and often their lack of sustainability. This is why a specifically *integral* critical theory -- including not just social critique but also a sense of interior development, an evolutionary perspective, and a grounding in the Always Already (as Scott Arbeit's comment underlines) -- would be so useful.

    Neelesh: Thanks for pointing out that theory and practice, being and becoming, and thinking and doing need not be in opposition. I think you're totally right!

    Bonnitta: Thank you for contrasting what I would call a "reformist" approach to change (in other words, the notion that we can make the current system better -- e.g., "conscious capitalism"), with a more discontinuous, radical, and I would say "revolutionary" approach, which would destroy the current system and fundamentally reinvent the world, undoing myriad forms of abuse and oppression (as you so ardently and eloquently describe). I will share that an earlier draft of "Occupy Integral!" raised the question -- as you, Edward Berge, and others have done -- of whether conscious capitalism (and other reformist efforts) is part of the problem or the solution. Certainly, when we hear about supposedly "conscious" companies like Whole Foods capitulating to Monsanto and the USDA on the regulation of GM crops, this is a legitimate question. Yet, ultimately, we chose not to raise that question in the piece because we felt that it was more important to be inclusive and appreciative of efforts BOTH to improve the system and to replace it with something radically more just. Instead of a divide between revolutionaries and reformists, I think we can envision a synergy. This is important not just in principle, since we know that neither perspective is pure -- both are true but partial -- but, I would argue, in practice, since improving the system will not only make our transition less painful and violent, but it is also developing many of the "spare parts" (systems, policies, practices, etc.) that can become integral components of a future order.

    Troy: If the "Integral Revolution" is just about our book, then I think you're right, it will be too little, too late. The Revolution has to be a movement. It has to include more or less everyone in the "integral tribe" and even then it will still be much bigger than us. As integralists and simply as human beings, it's our responsibility to hold a vision and engage a practice (and write books, and build websites, and offer courses, etc. -- but I agree, also much, much more than that) that contributes to making the revolution a reality, not just in the future but here and now. In fact, as Radomir Samardzic and Ted Phelps point out, most of the "revolution" is really about the emergence of "green." Thus, we also need to *catch up* with the revolution that is already happening (thank you, Raúl Quiñones-Rosado). But I think we are also holding an important piece of the puzzle (or a sense of the puzzle as a whole -- a new story or mythos, as you point out) that is lacking in most of the conversation, and our book will be one way (among many others) of bringing that sensibility into the wider culture.

    One of my heroes and exemplars is Michael Pollan, who I think has had a huge influence in how millions of people think about our food supply. Because of a couple great books (not to mention some pretty savvy marketing and promotion) he's been able to become a very visible public intellectual advocating for local, sustainable, ethical food production -- certainly an integral part of the revolution. The fact that Michelle Obama put an organic garden on the White House grounds, while only symbolic, is a huge step forward. Though this advocacy hasn't yet had a big impact on, say, the subsidy structures in the Farm Bill, it's shifting our cultural consciousness, and eventually, I believe, this will have a positive effect on policy. I think we have writers like Michael Pollan to thank for that -- and I aspire, as does Terry, to play a similar role.

    Mick: Thank you so much for you comments. You're right, if we don't practice real compassion for our brothers and sisters on this planet in direct (and non-theoretical ways), then our talk and plans don't amount to much. I want to hold both sides of the equation. In my early 20s, I worked for six sweaty, beautiful months helping to build a health clinic in a small coffee farming village in Nicaragua. We lived side by side with the people and I think we did some real good. It was one of the happiest times of my life. A couple months after we left, coffee prices plummeted on the global market due to speculation on Wall St. Suddenly, it cost the co-op more to produce coffee than they earned by selling it. That meant they could no longer afford to pay the staff to run the clinic. These people were already extremely poor (dirt floors, frequent malaria, 4th grade education tops) . . . I can't tell you how infuriating this was. It also helped shape my view that change needs to happen both bottom up (direct, grassroots, human) and top down (strategic, savvy, worldcentric) to truly stick. Let's have a plan, and let's also not dissociate from real suffering, or fall into the arrogance that our plan can be imposed from "above." Your example is humbling and inspiring.

    Amir: Thanks especially for the point that integralists should be "stepping into public debates with mainstream and academic figures…" Seeing you on AlJazeera, I think you're on that path, and I hope many other integral thinkers join you.

    Malena: Thanks so much for your spirit and encouragement, and for being a "connector." I'm really looking forward to the launch of Emerging Integral!

    John, Rebecca, Katherine, Michael Paone, Francesca, Maya, Barbara, Bruce, Mary Linda, David, Steven: Thank you so much for adding your energy and thoughts to this thread. There were some really great points you made that I would have liked to respond to specifically (including on the Transition movement, integral political consulting, and more), but I'm out of energy and time at the moment, so I hope we can stay connected and that someone else picks up on your points.

    Teri: Thank you for your thoughts on the value of practice groups. I think it's also important to expand beyond only-integral groups, but I think such groups can be powerful containers -- (r)evolutionary cells? It brings to mind one of my favorite passages from Ken's writings. It's a bit long, but I think well worth sharing:

    "If there is ever to be an Integral Age at the Leading Edge--a genuine revolutionary transformation in the cultural elite as a harbinger of a wider societal shift--I believe it will very likely involve meta-practices like integral methodological pluralism and metatheories like AQAL.

    "But by whatever name and in whatever context, integral salons are in fact already forming around the world, pockets of care and consciousness where individuals exercise second-tier potentials in an ongoing effort to embrace as gracefully as possible all dimensions of the radiant Kosmos. The more one actually practices an integral meta-paradigm (in personal life, in business, in education, in politics, in medicine, in spirituality), the more Eros is set rumbling through the system, agitating and pulling toward a second-tier transformation that explodes the legitimacy crisis inherent in all first-tier waves and throws them open to an enrichment beyond their first-tier imprisonment, an enrichment that is their own inherent potential and divine birthright set free in the deeper and wider spaces enacted by integral practices.

    "How to extend this compassion and clarity to all sentient beings is a fiery concern that blazes forth in these salons and circles of unfolding and enfolding care, circles that you are almost certainly involved in or you would not have read this far; circles that call out to you to give the best that you can, and then more; circles that call forth from you the best that you can be, and then more; and circles that are beginning to deposit the Kosmic habits of a tomorrow dedicated to compassion, a horizon luminous with intimacy, a future hopelessly fallen in love with love, circles drenched in the tears of a beauty descending on all beings, accepting each as they are, insisting each be more, assisting them to be so, catching them if not.

    "It is to those salons that I respectfully submit a consideration of three helpful guidelines for integrally informed practice--nonexclusion, enfoldment, and enactment--with the hope that they will help make room for whatever is arising, moment to moment to radiant moment, while causing the least amount of pain and extending the most amount of compassion to all our brothers and sisters manifesting with us.

    "We must forgive each other our arising, for our existence always torments others. The golden rule in the midst of this mutual misery has always been, not to do no harm, but as little as possible; and not to love one another, but as much as you can. Therefore, let a calculus of torment as well as one of compassion guide the maps with which we navigate samsara.

    "In the end, yes, that which is samsara is not other than nirvana, and that which is nirvana is not other than samsara: the world of finite, manifest, temporal things crashing into each other, torturing each other, loving each other for a moment or two, every now and then, turns out to be the domain of the very and only Divine, with each and every thing, just as it is, a shimmering gesture, a luminous glance, a sparkling jewel, spontaneously arising in the sea of the Great Perfection, the entire show nothing but the radiant smile of your own Original Face.

    "But in the meantime, there is this manifest mess. As long as the world is arising around you, then this is samsara, and therefore calculate your actions on the least harm and the most care. When the very same world is arising within you, then this is nirvana, and all your actions will take care of themselves, while the calculus of pain and compassion will unfold of its own accord, treating every sentient being with the utmost concern, vowing to liberate each and every one of them, knowing full well that in reality there are no others to liberate--because in the entire Kosmos there are no others at all, no inside and no outside anywhere, but merely and only This. Greet the day within you as the unfolding of your kin, watch the sun arise without opening your eyes, feel the distant galaxies rising and falling with each and every heartbeat of the only heart there is--you can feel it beating right now--and bless the entire universe arising within by consenting to feel it again, now and now and now. In the great unfoldment that enfolds all, bow to the suchness of all beings, in the only place that is ever real, and the only time that is only now."


    Amy Jean Cousins: Agreed. Let's fucking do it! :)

  • Comment Link Martin Ucik Sunday, 26 February 2012 21:08 posted by Martin Ucik

    Thank you again Terry and Marco. Nobody in the Integral movement speaks closer to my heart and inspires me more. My suggestions:
    1. Learn to work mostly in your circle of influence, and not only in your circle of concern (think global, act local).
    2. Look at the state and quality of your personal love relationship with your partner (if you have one) and expand from there.
    3. Bring in more women and their perspectives, and act with them, so that we don't end up being a bunch of (mostly) bald guys (speaking for myself), telling other people what to do.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 26 February 2012 22:25 posted by Philip Corkill

    Marco, you are brilliant!

    And ;-) I disagree that both approaches are true but partial, and hence fundamentally disagree with integral.

    This is why I say and mean: if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

    However, there is a Robin hood game to be played between the two: Robbing from the old, giving to the new (Asking from the old, answering to the new, in less rude language). A gentle death and a gentle birth is what I would favour. However I feel it is getting a bit late for that. Hence I am pre-emptively freaking out because although I recognise that I am being offensive, I don't feel I'm as offensive to humanity as a US war on Iran would be. There is a trade off in possibility and I choose to offend us into action now rather than be forced mercilessly into re-action later...

    Hope that makes sense.



  • Comment Link Michael Schwartz Monday, 27 February 2012 17:24 posted by Michael Schwartz

    Marco, you wrote:

    "This is why a specifically *integral* critical theory -- including not just social critique but also a sense of interior development, an evolutionary perspective, and a grounding in the Always Already (as Scott Arbeit's comment underlines) -- would be so useful."

    Exactly! ... AND ... the lack of socio-cultural analysis, including deploying social holon theories, is such a lacuna in integral circles, that in my view this must be stressed again and again and again, such that there is a twin trajectory of "emancipation" on the relative plane that is made consistently explicit: individual AND collective. Tetra-analysis geared only to the first is not the point, to be sure, but has become the dissociation in integral analyses; instead it is the co-growing and healing of individual and collective holons that is the topic of an integral critical theory. I stress this because there is such a tendency to see the telos and goal as individual development, not also as collective evolution (heeding Bonnie's work on development evolution, etc.). Here Roy Bhaskar's work is extremely instructive. On a recent exchange between integral and critical realists on such points, see http://www.integralresearchcenter.org/node/49231. Sean's reflections on this page go right to the topic. Blessings for this wonderful book project!

    With deep gratitude,

  • Comment Link Benjamin Swartout Monday, 27 February 2012 23:15 posted by Benjamin Swartout

    I am very excited and moved to be part of this movement in a more grounded and expansive way. let's organize the human organism collectively together. With and in Love, Light, and Peace. please feel free to contact me via integral connector on fb

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Tuesday, 28 February 2012 08:49 posted by John Bunzl

    Lest we forget, Ken Wilber so rightly pointed out that "Every revolution, every transformation, ever shift in consciousness and culture that actually sticks has OF NECESSITY, a Lower-Right component [i.e. not just an UL theory but a LR socio-political practice], and if that component is not present or prominent, you can dismiss any claims to have a new paradigm, a great transformation, or a new and revolutionary anything."

    In other words, LH theorising is well and good, but it's not enough. Without genuinely world-centric LR "killer apps" to put it all into practice, we have nothing.

    Food for thought, perhaps.

  • Comment Link Eric Troth Tuesday, 28 February 2012 12:26 posted by Eric Troth

    The Integral Movement is wanting for coherence. May we generate that here.

    Thank you, Terry and Marco, for initiating this essential conversation. Indeed, we are in a moment that "intuitively feels... pregnant." I appreciate that so many are thoughtfully, heartfully responding to that call and adding their energy to this lively exchange.

    Since we Integralists so love to "go meta," perhaps we could begin by noticing what is happening throughout the many nesting contexts in which this discussion arises -- the wider Integral movement, the swirling global currents of this time in history, and the thus far 13.7 billion year evolutionary journey we are on. May that far-reaching awareness carry us beyond any tendency toward "Integral Inaction" to the powerful types of "Integral Enaction" that are needed to serve this greater unfolding. (Remember, the Integral Trollz are watching.)

    To start, I would like to invite a collective pause from this heady work. Let's simply take a deep breath together... perhaps several breaths... Let's feel into our bodies, all of them - gross, subtle, and causal... Let's feel into the space between us, the field, as we ask, "What is really happening here?" Can we sense into the deeper process that is giving rise to all of these apparent individual expressions? Can we reorient ourselves to presencing from Source?

    Grounded in That, we abide with the question, "What wants to emerge from this space?"

    Is it, as Terry and Marco suggest, "a coherent cultural movement that could become its own force for socio-political change?" Reading beyond the words into the impulse of evolution that infuses them, do we realize that we are being invited to a party that will truly rock this world. The dancing is already going on. If there have been only five or six of these epochal shifts in the history of humanity, Wow! What a time to be alive! What a splendid adventure!

    Such a major transition, change in paradigm, or "planetary birth" as Barbara Marx Hubbard would call it, will draw more out of us than we can presently imagine. Let's take this seriously, even as we hold ourselves lightly. The move beyond our currently unenlightened individualism into a truly novel embodiment, a New Being, will require tremendous clarity of intention, focused attention, and coordinated, synergistic actions across countless domains.

    So far, our Integral settings have mostly centered around individual development and the Unique Self. Essential work, to be sure. We definitely want awakened, alive, highly-differentiated individuals in touch with their unique gifts. And... And, what about our Unique We? What about the revolutionary social forms that this culture will create? Surely "Birthing a New We" will take much more than assembling our familiar postmodern selves, or imagined post-postmodern selves, in standard course/retreat/conference formats to talk about integral ideas or do spiritual practices perhaps not yet fully connected to the rapidly changing external circumstances that effect the whole of humanity. Do we suppose that this new culture will somehow come into being and stabilize separate from the life conditions on the planet, and still have "tetra-fit?"

    I wholehearted support Terry and Marco's call for something that "enacts and embodies a healthy, adaptive response to our planetary crisis." After more than enough detours into spiritual bypassing, I find myself much more attracted to "...an integral vision that's not quite as 'meta' -- that's more concrete and achievable within an actionable timeframe."

    It seems that if we are truly going to do this together, as a cultural movement, we'll need to move beyond our current, rather loose patterns of association arising primarily out of personal interest. We'll need to be more aligned in our intention if we are to manifest the deeper levels of cooperation needed to be in sync with the accelerating change and complexity of our outer world. Perhaps what we need, as a Movement, is to discover Our unique evolutionary purpose for Our time in history.

    To put a sharper point on this, and stir in some warrior energy, we might imagine someone asking this collective, "Integralists, What Is Your Profession?" (one minute YouTube video: http://bit.ly/xPpUDk )

    In this scene, we are taken back to ancient Greece when King Leonidas and his army of 300 Spartans stand against the massive invading armies of Xerxes and the Persian Empire in the Battle of Thermopylae. What strikes me about it... actually, what moves me about it and why I include it here, is that the Spartans had found and manifested their own unique expression of coherence as an army of free men united in their absolute commitment to defending their highest ideals. Their example of collective courage in the face of overwhelming odds still resonates in Western cultural consciousness 2500 years later. In this particular clip, the Spartans are shown in distinct contrast to the other Greek soldiers who sideline in being "warriors" while pursuing their various individual professions of potter, sculptor, and blacksmith.

    Knowing, as we supposedly do, what is currently at stake for planetary civilization... honestly feeling into that long list of crises and opportunities (economic instability, political corruption, culture wars, poverty, terrorist threats, perpetual wars, environmental degradation, climate change, and we're just getting started)... letting that awareness penetrate through the parts of us that prefer to remain numb or superficially distracted... knowing that we cannot face our systemic challenges in our current state of psychological and cultural fragmentation... knowing that we must be united in ever-higher expressions of courage in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds... and knowing, too, that we stand before our most golden opportunity to learn to love without limits... must we not boldly, and most humbly, ask ourselves as an Integral Movement, "What is OUR profession?"

    May we fully recognize the Blessing of living in such yeasty times. May we generate and manifest the coherence to, in Don Beck's words, "do the change that needs to be done."

    * * *

    Here, in these pages of comments, I recognize the desire to do what most needs to be done, even as we perceive that from a wide variety of perspectives. As deeply-seasoned Integralists, Terry and Marco claim, "...the greatest potential we see is for a broad-based, open-source, global cultural movement that helps integral consciousness penetrate into the mainstream." Are there enough of us on board with that considered judgement to take the next steps?

    What about their list of practical suggestions? What stands out as the most fruitful area around which at least a significant portion of the Integral community can center its efforts? What is that with respect to our unique gift, our profession? How about their idea of engaging "thinkers, pundits, and opinion leaders across the cultural spectrum?" That seems like a worthy place to get started, especially since we cannot know ahead of time how all of this will play out. New realities are enacted, not given. We'll dynamically steer as we go. We'll err, learn, and evolve. And we will do that ever more consciously at each successive turn.

    So, to simply begin, Who should be on the invitation list? Who could be hosting these exchanges? Who could be on the support teams helping to prepare briefs and sets of skillfully-tailored questions for the dialogs? Who could provide web support? What technological platforms could we be using? How could we best use the social networking tools already at our disposal, even as new ones come online? What could we imagine taking to scale within the next 60 - 90 days to penetrate mainstream consciousness?

    What broader cultural frame could cut through the noise and captivate the attention of the general public? What clear, superordinate goal would make our efforts cohere?

    After many years of leaning into those last two questions, I remain convinced that championing a truly Integral candidate in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election is the most highly-leveraged near-term choice. It's a very long lever. The politicians are lost. The time is ripe.

    After some of our more prominent Integral voices finally get over shadow-hugging Obama, we really need to critically assess his policies, as well as his methods (joining the Super PAC race!). We could actively develop initiatives with greater functional fit and cultural appeal as we engage all of those "thinkers, pundits, and opinion leaders across the cultural spectrum." Obama no longer has the political capital to do the change that needs to be done. But that doesn't excuse the rest of us from laying the constructive groundwork for that change to be done. We Integralists fancy ourselves as having some more compelling ideas. Let's bring 'em! Can we do better than last month's dismal State of the Union address? I sincerely hope so, but it's a matter of will rather than capacity.

    And, quite frankly, after we watch who the Republican Party trots onto the U.S. political stage, the likes of Palin, Bachmann, Trump, Cain, Perry, Paul, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum... the new front-runner Santorum! -- do we really believe that an honest, well-reasoned leader with fresh ideas and a capacity to speak to all the memes couldn't attract more national (and international) attention once we figured out some more creative ways to work with all the new social media?

    It honestly seems to me that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of outstanding, competent individuals who, if properly supported, could serve very effectively in the highest political offices. Embed them within committed Integral teams networked with leading thinkers/practitioners from around the globe and envision what could happen. Do we seriously think that the American public couldn't embrace this, not to mention the rest of the world, given that our interests are so inextricably linked? Are we so mesmerized by the cult of celebrity that we can't imagine ourselves sharing these larger public stages? Are we not willing to try? You've got to pick a fight before you can win it. Terry and Marco acknowledge, "To sit on the sidelines waiting for a 'tipping point' guarantees that those with a narrower agenda will dominate the discourse." Checked the filing dates on running for office?

    If we are going to enter political territory, as I believe we must, we need to confront some pernicious shadows, not the least of which is the ubiquitous residue of Green's aversion to hierarchy and power. Can't we embody those in higher orders of expression? Seems like shadow work, both dark and light, should be part of our daily ILP. Funny how we "talk about" the Evolutionary Impulse, Kosmic Creativity, and the spiritual Truth that I AM THAT, but when the rubber really needs to meet the road, we're not quite sure that we can powerfully show up. (Whack us, Trollz!)

    * * *

    Political speculations aside for the moment... (sticky, aren't they?), a more fundamental point about Integral process: If we are ever to become a coherent "We," we are going to have to liberate ourselves from the constraints inherent in our favored modes of discourse (books, blogs, written forums in online courses, and periodic seminars or conferences). As a mega-consumer of those myself, I readily attest to the valuable role they play. Yet I suspect that most of us probably need to be reading and writing privately a whole lot less and speaking and listening publically a whole lot more. If Mutuality is going to mean something, we are going to have to engage each other much more directly, much more frequently, and much more passionately.

    Furthermore, the subtle intersubjective practices needed to develop new capacities aren't supported by keyboards, although they are through live voices. As a dispersed community, we might not always have the option of being face-to-face, but there are other viable alternatives. More importantly, we must evolve those encounters through a clarity rooted in knowing who we really are, what exactly is at stake, and what exciting new potentials are emerging. What we do matters much more than we usually care to admit. Let's hold each other to that higher possibility.

    I'm ready to engage this discussion in a setting which integrates our rich stream of written comments here with live, interactive processes that allow us to reflect together, really BE together in real time, and actually begin to strategize, set concrete, measurable objectives, and get things done. Who's ready to do that? I've set up the initial conference call. Bowing to Jean Houston's Jump Time, we can begin on Leap Year's Day, February 29 (5:30PM Pacific). Register at: http://bit.ly/yFM5oY Please selectively share this with those who are ready to step up to a new level of engagement. (If you can't make this time, sign up anyway and leave a note in the dialog box indicating your interest and availability.)

    Before closing, let's step back once again, together, into the wider frame in which all of this is unfolding... Are we ready to Occupy an Integral Revolution that is far too raw, fast-moving, and unpredictable to be contained in conference calls, one-off courses and events, or next year's books? Are we ready to be Occupied by the impulse of Evolution itself? Are we ready to say our unconditional "YES?" ...YES! ...YES! ...YES!

    Taking a last, long, full breath together... returning to our Depth... Are we finally ready to let in that We Are That and our time is always NOW?

  • Comment Link Eric Troth Tuesday, 28 February 2012 23:15 posted by Eric Troth

    Reminder for an Occupy Integral! conference call on Wednesday, February 29, at 5:30PM Pacific.

    I'm imagining the announcement may have been too buried in my previous, (very) long comment. Scroll up just a little ways to my third paragraph from the bottom to catch more of the context.

    My intention is to provide a setting in which we can bring all of our energy for this topic into a live engagement. I hope to talk with many of you tomorrow.

    Please help spread the word. The registration link is at:

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Wednesday, 29 February 2012 06:21 posted by Troy Wiley

    I agree Eric with, “Wow! What a time to be alive! What a splendid adventure!” And I mostly agree with your critical assessment of Obama, and many other things in your post.

    And while I admire your committment to action, and to engage, and to make the “jump”, I question what you are asking all of us to jump into.

    Respectfully, your statement, ”more concrete and achievable within an actionable timeframe,” sounds great in the old paradigm, but given the tumultuous times that are giving birth to something new, it doesn’t sound particularly “revolutionary”, even if it is integral.

    And regarding your statement, “I remain convinced that championing a truly Integral candidate in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election is the most highly-leveraged near-term choice,” I would disagree and say…been there…done that. According to Jeff Salzman, we already have an integral president, and I have to ask…how far has that has gotten us? Although there's been progress, is it enough?

    Your apparent area of focus strikes me as “trying to solve the problems from the same level of concsiousness that created them.” One of the hopeful signs within the Occupy movement, the Zeitgeist Movement, the Transition Towns movement, etc. is that they are looking to create alternative, parallel systems of governance that would make the old system obsolete (to paraphrase Buckminster Fuller).

    I offer my best wishes to anyone trying to make positive changes in the world, so good luck with your conference call.

    Did I hear correctly that you have presidential aspirations? If so, could you have mentioned that? If I heard wrong, then nevermind.

    Thanks Eric.

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Wednesday, 29 February 2012 08:39 posted by John Bunzl

    I understand Eric's desire for something do-able and yet I also agree with Troy's comments.
    It is indeed a mistake to imagine politicians as free of the context they're embedded in. However "integral" a politician may be, we have to remember that they're inextricably embedded in the nation-centric context; a context in which they have no choice but to maintain their nation's economic competitiveness in the global market. This's why only a move to a genuinely trans-national, world-centric form of global politics can possibly suffice.
    This would be a politics which still involves itself in national electoral processes and yet does not field its own candidates. It would work powerfully THROUGH the system, but would not be OF the system. How can this be? What could this possibly look like?
    For one possible answer that's already operating in the real world with some success, you might like to check out this article previously published in Journal of Integral Theory & Practice: http://www.simpol.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Articles/Bunzl_Noospheric%20Agreement-Site.pdf

  • Comment Link Neelesh Wednesday, 29 February 2012 09:42 posted by Neelesh

    'The theory of constraints (TOC) propounded by the late Eliyahu Goldratt adopts the common idiom "A chain is no stronger than its weakest link" as a new management paradigm. This means that processes, organizations, etc., are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them or at least adversely affect the outcome.

    The analytic approach with TOC comes from the contention that any manageable system is limited in achieving more of its goals by a very small number of constraints, and that there is always at least one constraint. Hence the TOC process seeks to identify the constraint and restructure the rest of the organization around it'.

    My contention is that the weakest link or biggest constraint in the world today is our economic system, with intimate and direct correlations with our social system and our political system.

    Taking Goldratt's TOC approach and line of thinking I posit that the VERY FIRST step in the Integral Revolution has to be a revisit of meta-economics of our world system - the domain which provides the philosophical foundation of, and instructions to the content of economics. (Economics, at the end of the day is a 'derived' science as opposed to a natural one, and hence utterly and completely man-made).

    If we can begin to influence the shift in consciousness at the level of meta-economics, I think we will come closer to the silver bullet, because almost all wicked problems in the world today (at the manifest level, at least!) can be traced back to meta-economical blunder.

    I enclose (and quote from) an article below and ask if others think that this is the highest leverage point for beginning the change that we need (more than having integral presidents, though that is needed down the line):

    ''Suicide economics gets it wrong on nearly every major issue because it is built on a foundation of fallacies. It ignores natural limits, confuses means and ends, uses the wrong measure of value and the wrong unit of analysis, and it relies on a single improperly defined criterion function. And this is only my personal favorites short list. Let’s go through these five fallacies one by one.

    The first fallacy, the failure to address natural limits, is a foundational theme of ecological economics. No need to say more about that here.

    The second fallacy, the confusion of ends and means, is reflected in the convention of treating people and nature as externalities. The practical implication is that rather than treating the well-being of people and nature as the purpose of economic activity, suicide economics treats people and nature merely as means for making money for people who have money, a grotesque reversal of ends and means. As David Batker pointedly asks in his documentary: What’s the economy for anyway? The answer should be obvious. Serving people and nature is the only legitimate purpose of an economy.

    The third fallacy, the wrong measure of value. Suicide economics uses money rather than life as the basic measure of value. So gold, which we could easily live without, is considered more valuable than air, soil, and water, which we cannot live without. This leads to the destruction of air, soil, and water to extract gold from under the ground so we can refine it—all at enormous cost to people, soil, air, and water—and then lock it away back underground in great vaults. And this seems to make perfect sense to suicide economists. There is truth to the cliché that “An economist is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

    The fourth fallacy, the wrong unit of analysis, is expressed in the choice to build the analytical structure of suicide economics around the firm rather than the household. This leads to measuring economic performance by financial returns to pools of money aggregated as firms, rather than by contribution to increasing the health and happiness of people, households, and communities. Consequently, maximizing corporate profits becomes more important to policy makers than assuring that people have living wage jobs.

    The fifth fallacy is the improperly defined single criteria function. Have any of you had the experience of piloting an airplane? If you haven’t, perhaps you can at least imagine trying to pilot an airplane with your windows blacked out, an airspeed indicator as your only instrument, and a decision rule that says do whatever increases your airspeed. You are absolutely guaranteed to fly the plane right into the ground—which is exactly what we are doing with the economy by using GDP growth as our primary indicator of success.''


  • Comment Link Gail Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:15 posted by Gail

    The problem with the Integral hypothesis (and I use the word hypothesis because I haven't yet seen any evidence that would make it a theory) is that it comes into conflict with the recently discovered unified field of consciousness.

    Any hypothesis that contradicts evidence, and any hypothesis that disempowers the individual seems, in my opinion, to be nothing more than a continuation of what we have already.

    I see the hypothesis as taking a word and rearranging the words. I suggest that you add some letters so that new words can be made. What I have read so far in my study of this not-really-new idea is that it is fatally flawed in exactly the same way that the current system is systemically flawed.

  • Comment Link Gail Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:16 posted by Gail

    I meant - taking a word and rearranging letters. I wrote rearranging words.

  • Comment Link Gail Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:11 posted by Gail

    The hypothesis also completely ignores recent discoveries about the nature of time itself. I know that it sounds strange to suggest that the nature of time has ANYTHING to do with the nature of our economic models, but our economic models reflect our beliefs about the nature of time. Time is not as simplistic as our culture would like to believe, thus we have simplistic economic models. Expand the definition of time and one's awareness of more elegant economic systems is suddenly visible because the definition of what a human being is also changes. We do create our cultures in our own images, just as we create our gods.

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:19 posted by John Bunzl

    Hi Neelesh,

    Understand your "5 fallacies" of economics and fully agree. And yet I would still question whether economics is the highest leverage point.

    That's because throughout human history, the way in which these 5 fallacies have been mitigated and brought in to some semblance of balance with human and environmental needs has never been by changing economics itself, but rather through governance; that is, by implementing binding laws that protect the environment, that redistribute wealth to those excluded by the market, and so on. The highest leverage point, in other words, has always been governance - and today is no exception.

    Indeed, most of our global problems, if you look closely, stem from the fact that, today, our economy is global (i.e. world-centric) but our systems of governance remain only nation-centric. Hence there's a serious mis-match or "governance gap". Indeed, what keeps most of our global problems worsening is the fact that no nation can regulate for fear of business, jobs and investment, moving elsewhere. (Nations, if you will, are too pathologically alienated from each other, so agency in the form of the individual national interest trumps communion in the form of international cooperation, so leaving agency and communion out of sync.) That's why governance now urgently needs to catch up to operate at the global level. (i.e. communion needs to restore its position).

    When it does, appropriate trans-national laws and re-distributions become possible, so bringing our out-of-control global economy back under proper democratic control and accountability and back in sync with environmental sustainability. But absent some form of transformation towards global governance, no amount of tinkering with the economy is going to help, I think. For markets, if you think about it, are only today doing what one would expect them to do when not adequately governed. If you have a global market, in other words, you've got to have global governance.

    Our task as Integralists, I suggest then, is to close that governance gap; to bring LL nation-centric worldviews and their corresponding LR nation-centric systems of governance back into sync with our now-global (i.e. world-centric) economy and life-conditions.

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Wednesday, 29 February 2012 15:37 posted by Troy Wiley

    "If you have a global market, in other words, you've got to have global governance."

    John, but our monetary economic system skews and distorts proper governance, always has and probably always will. Many of the laws (property laws, patents, trademarks, etc.) were set up to protect the monied elites and corporations, not the people.

    So under global governance with a global monetary system, you end up with global oppression, which is what we have now.

    I am a big fan of global governance, but under the monetary system it could be quite dangerous. And under the current forms of so-called democracy (majority rule) it could be quite dangerous.

  • Comment Link Gail Wednesday, 29 February 2012 15:43 posted by Gail

    I so agree, Troy

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:04 posted by John Bunzl

    Hi Troy,

    That is true but it doesn't invalidate the need for global governance per se. What it indicates, instead, is that we need to ensure that global governance is people-centred; i.e. that it cannot be co-opted by elites and vested interests.

    If we merely replicate at the global level, our out-dated 1st-tier models of national governance, then it will indeed be hard to envisage a people-centred version that is elite-proof. But that is why, at the global level, quite different 2nd-tier thinking is required.

  • Comment Link Neelesh Wednesday, 29 February 2012 18:08 posted by Neelesh

    Hi John,

    I see the relationship between 're-visioning the meta-economic injunctions' and 'global governance' as the relationship between the 'what' and the 'how'.

    I also think that this 'what-how' relationship needs two mutually reinforcing support structures (failing which they may messily implode into the lowest common denominator): the evolution of individual and collective consciousness as the teleological impetus, and the exponential increase in our technological capability as the methodological buttress.

    Said differently, I am visualizing these various dimensions continually engage in a tetra-evolutionary dance of emergence. I am not exactly sure what the triggering forces to kick-start will be. May be the 'force' of social autopoiesis. Or the the compulsive agency of breaking into higher orders of complexity ( a la Ilya Prigogine) because the system just cannot continue in the lower order.

    The only way this dance can be set into motion is through SIMULTANEOUS ENACTMENT - else they will miss their mutually necessary support (think of a 4 legged stool). All we need is the tetra-orchestrator!

    In the Newtonian paradigm only an external force can move things out of inertia. In the consciousness paradigm bootstrapping should be possible (raising oneself by pulling one's own shoe laces)? Who will bell the cat?!

  • Comment Link Radomir Samardzic Wednesday, 29 February 2012 18:27 posted by Radomir Samardzic

    Nice John. I agree with you as far as well wishing is concerned. On the ground the facts are different. At the moment the Orange rules. There isn't even a theoretical possibility that second tear will take over and disregard the Green which is still very righteous, being the First Tier.

  • Comment Link Gail Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:27 posted by Gail

    What I read here holds great similarity to the early days of American history. There was a power struggle there too, and in spite of vehement argument by the Federalists, the people (the Antifederalists) ultimately won the day.

    Unfortunately, Thomas Jefferson spoke a truth when he said that those who want to be both ignorant and free want what never was and never will be. An under-educated citizenry were defeated when the Supreme court instituted Judicial Review, for the first time in Western civilization, and a few years later threw out the constitution that protected the people from the tyranny of the many. They established British Common Law to replace Constitutional Law. They established unlawful national banks that turned the government over to the Robber Barons and tyrants in government.

    It has taken a long time to get where we are, but this is the first time in history that all avenues are being cut off. So, unless the people themselves understand the nature of what is being suggested, and the history that created the corruption, and the moment that it happened and why it was so destructive, it will fall. Old habits are hard to break, and fears - however irrational - are more powerful motivators than an idea that involves tiers and lines and quadrants, etc.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Thursday, 01 March 2012 02:20 posted by Philip Corkill

    thanks Gail,

    So do you know any motivator more powerful than fear?



  • Comment Link Eric Troth Thursday, 01 March 2012 10:54 posted by Eric Troth

    I have scheduled a second "Occupy Integral! - Instigator's Call" for Saturday, March 3, 9:00 AM Pacific.

    I hope this option works better for people across a wider range of timezones.

    Please help spread the word. The registration link is at:
    http://bit.ly/yFM5oY (If you have already signed up, please use the same call-in number and PIN as before. A reminder email repeating those details will be sent 8 hours before the call.)

    My intention is to provide a live venue where we can engage each other directly and deeply, and move forward together, as an Integral Movement, towards more constructive social and political action.

    On the other hand, we may prefer to remain "talking about the talking about of the talking about of concretizing the community." (Watching the Integral Trollz video at the top of the page on "Meta-Doing or Integral Inaction" is mandatory.)

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Thursday, 01 March 2012 15:48 posted by John Bunzl

    Hi Neelesh, Radomir and Eric,

    Radomir - yes, 1st-tier memes rule at present. Indeed, about 85% of the world is at Orange or lower. But as Wilber and others have pointed out, social transformation doesn't need a majority of citizens behind it, but only about 10%. So a 2nd-tier movement, if it possesses the right mode of action, could be an effective catalyst.

    Neelesh - yes, what and how are crucial because one without the other is sterile. As it happens, the 'simultaneous enactment' of both is exactly what is proposed by the Simultaneous Policy (Simpol) campaign at http://www.simpol.org. Not only does it provide a platform for developing the right policies for a just and sustainable world (i.e. the what), it also offers a powerful way we can use our votes in our national elections to drive the politicians of all parties to implement those policies (i.e. the how).

    Eric - yes, it's about action! If you take a look at simpol.org, you'll see that we've been active for quite a while already! By the way, we're looking to develop our U.S. campaign, so if any of your crew are interested, please let me know at jbunzl@simpol.org

  • Comment Link Terry Patten Thursday, 01 March 2012 20:43 posted by Terry Patten

    The diverse, often brilliant and nuanced comments on this thread demonstrate one thing above all: The call to “occupy integral” speaks to something that many, many people have already been feeling passionately. It had almost been bursting forth, and then it did. There’s a huge groundswell among people with integral consciousness intent on making a shift, as my friend Ewan Townhead has put it, “from map to movement.” And this is something Marco and I can only hope to facilitate, catalyze, and participate in. No one can conceivably own it or dictate its form; it has a life of its own.

    I resonate with many of the comments that appear here. And I have been challenged and educated and in some important ways my own thinking is being expanded. And inspired by the creative energy here, like in Eric's convening of a live real-time Maestro call. Thank you, sincerely, for leaning in to enrich the conversation and propel it forward into meaningful action.

    And yet it hasn’t all been uplift. At times I’ve felt disappointed and wearied as well, particularly when reading this comment stream has reminded me somewhat of reading the inflamed comment streams that appear on conventional political blogs.

We have been gusting into a high, beautiful, ennobling kind of intersubjective virtual connectedness, where we make real advances, and then we drop down into various old forms of conventional opinion, pontification, and reactivity. And then rising back up again. . . .

    Yet as I’ve noticed my own feelings fluctuate, I’ve also reminded myself:How could it be otherwise? We’re new at this. It’s a wide-open forum. And we’re learning together.

    At this stage in our process, public forums on vital topics are usually both invigorating and depleting; they require vision, humor, a thick skin, forgiveness, and endurance. And innovation. Authentic practitioner-activists who keep enduring might even carve out some important new intersubjective territory.

    But it requires practice. Which is a huge, central topic, not just an obvious throw-away to be taken for granted. In fact, it’s a rich conversation that we tend to consistently avoid.

    Our political discussions are most vital when we are asking ourselves hard questions at the same time, such as: “How do my intuitions about social, political, cultural and economic transformation ask me to grow and change?” “How am I showing up in this conversation right now, and to what degree am I enacting a ‘performative contradiction’ that needs to be confronted and transcended?” “What are the shadows behind my reactions and criticisms of others?” “How can I flex between complex meta-perspectives and the simple heart-matter of truly helping others and making a real difference?” “What would it take for me to ‘get off it’ and vulnerably transcend my patterns WHILE I act to make a positive difference in the world?” It’s a living inquiry that moves forward, deepens, and expands. And it depends on sincere, dynamic self-questioning, courageous, vulnerable, self-transforming, truly open participation.

    Binary normative categories (“good-bad”, “right-wrong”) and their emotional charge creeps easily into the most nuanced conversations. For good reasons. As soon as we recognize our responsibility to act, and crystallize our identity through action (even verbal actions), our actions transform us. At that point, it’s *incredibly hard* not to harden around the values our actions have embodied and embraced, as if they were *the* values, the whole point. It feels so good to leave behind the tension and discomfort of complexity, ambiguity, and paradox.

    But as soon as we do that, we tend to harden into another divisive, reductive vying perspective, and our discourse creates the collision of closed points-of-view, rather than opening into real intersubjective inquiry like Olen Gunnlaugson described and Beams & Struts has tried to invite and convene. http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/215-unearthing-new-norms-of-conversation-online

    So it’s worth clarifying: When we called to “Occupy Integral!” through serious world-transforming action, Marco and I were not suggesting that we simply redirect our focus from the subjective LH to the objective RH. We were calling for Integral practice-activism, which is a 4Q affair.

    How can we do that? First, by genuinely coming to value, honor, respect, and learn from one another, including the diverse, every-strategy-at-once bubbling-forth of Integral activism. Second, by showing up with each other in the mode of inquiry, as co-participants in facing and holding and inquiring into the deep questions, the transformative riddles, or “koans” that can only be cracked by us together enacting and deepening into a new levels and depths of dialog. Third, by taking action (especially in mutuality, supporting one another) and learning from what results, and then taking more, better-informed action. Action is essential, and it’s what commenters have focused on, and what we primarily called for. But it’s incomplete without authentic practice, inquiry, and mutuality.

    Speaking personally, I’ve commented less than I had expected to. That’s been partly because I’ve often found myself simply wanting to sit quietly and metabolize the (often brilliant and illuminating, or simply poetically resonant) comments here. But it’s also been due to the fact that the quality of the discourse has called out for the kind of constructive critique I’ve tried to supply here. But I haven’t wanted to respond merely by “going meta” yet again. AND at the same time, much of this discussion has been breathtakingly intelligent and passionate and catalytic, so I’ve also wanted to acknowledge and appreciate and participate in some of the lines of inquiry and argument directly in their own terms.

    In the end, I have been able to only do a few things, coherently, in this single post. So I’ve said what’s felt most important and possible to articulate. And therefore chosen to neglect other things I also wanted to say. I’m left feeling a poignant sense of incompleteness: The ferment that underlies this discussion is bigger, more dynamic and alive than we can yet express; there are such important and provocative things that I wanted to address but haven’t; online discourse seems vital, necessary, and tantalizingly frustrating; and there’s so much more that needs to be done. So there’s a big gap; the perfect place to inquire, to lean forward, to do my best... to practice.

  • Comment Link Alan Thursday, 01 March 2012 22:36 posted by Alan

    This post is in response to the authors' request to post about our favorite work outside of Integral with which it could be important to build bridges (#3 in the article).
    But first a little context about me so you know who's writing.
    I've been a long time student of Wilber's work (since 1998) and LOVE it.
    I have a facility for articulating other people's work, so a guided tour of Integral is one of the 5 or 6 workshops I teach (without official sanction by I-I, yet).
    My background is also deep green with a resolute concern for sustainability - and this (sustainability) is one area in which Integral has been SO useful. I am a huge fan of Barrett Brown's work in this area in particular (Sean Hargens' too).
    I am also a certified trainer in Marshall Rosenberg's process, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which I see as having a deeply integral impulse, but which I've also heard denigrated as "too green" by some integralists.
    NVC is a great tool for achieving what Ken describes in SES as an imperative among humans, in particular those who want to make the world a better place: "creating mutual understanding without coercion."
    In my teaching I always have an integral lens, but the way I talk about it or present it may be a "stealth" approach, since many people are not yet explicitly versed in the AQAL lingo.
    I am creating online training and coaching, some free some not, and I am blogging at http://cascadiaworkshops.com
    Thank you for your great article, it spoke to my sentiments exactly!

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Friday, 02 March 2012 05:01 posted by David MacLeod

    Troy: I really appreciated the video that is embedded in the article above. I think Wiley is right on the money when he pointed out the correlations between Yellow and Orange, and again between Turquoise and Green. Interesting to consider the idea that Yellow may not be 2nd tier; that perhaps 2nd tier begins at Turquoise. It seems that when Wilber talks about 2nd tier, he often just lumps Yellow (or Teal) together with Turquoise, and just calls them both Turquoise/2nd tier. I appreciated the references to Peter Merry, and I have been meaning to check out his work more.

    Where the video took a surprising turn for me is when it started to promote Resource Based Economy as the answer to our problems. I could be mis-informed or under-informed on what RBE represents, but it seems to basically deny the concepts of a finite planet with limited resources. I do agree that economic systems must change. In the short term that would mean more Conscious Capitalism, more local currencies, more barter, more local investing, more gift economy. In the long term, I haven't seen a better alternative than the Ecological Economics/Steady State Economics touted by Herman Daly, et al.

    Which leads me to Neelesh: Thank you for the link to the transcript of David Korten's address to the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics. This is the approach I most resonate with. I absolutely agree that we need to revisit the meta-economics of our world system.

    I would add that the system worked to a certain degree as long the cheap energy resources were there to support it, but in your theory of constraints, I see the weakest link now perhaps being 'peak oil.'

    And so, the key thing to understand is the relationship between Energy, Ecology, and Economics. Please check out Howard Odum's classic article from 1973, more relevant today than ever. Odum writes:
    "The terrible possibility that is before us is that there will be the continued insistence on growth with our last energies by the economic advisors that don't understand, so that there are no reserves with which to make a change, to hold order, and to cushion a period when populations must drop. Disease reduction of man and of his plant production systems could be planetary and sudden if the ratio of population to food and medical systems is pushed to the maximum at a time of falling net energy. At some point the great gaunt towers of nuclear energy installations, oil drilling, and urban cluster will stand empty in the wind for lack of enough fuel technology to keep them running. A new cycle of dinosaurs will have passed its way. Man will survive as he reprograms readily to that which the ecosystem needs of him so long as he does not forget who is serving who. What is done well for the ecosystem is good for man. However, the cultures that say only what is good for man is good for nature may pass and be forgotten like the rest."

    In regards to the key leverage point, I tend to agree with Tim Winton, that we need to work on connecting the LR with the LL (part of birthing the new We). In the paper prepared for the Integral Theory Conference, Winton writes: "We now have an abundance of sustainability technologies and strategies relating to the “exterior” world—Lower-Right quadrant. The next step in sustainability lies in facilitating a critical mass of collective “interior” understanding and meaning — Lower-Left quadrant. Only by making sustainability culturally meaningful on a global basis will we enable the level of diversified collaboration necessary for successfully scaling-up technical and strategic solutions. Building and coordinating cultures of sustainability through
    meaning-making, in all forms and at all levels of human organization is now a
    key strategy."

    This is an important paper, I hope many of you will check it out - "PatternDynamics: Creating Cultures of Sustainability."

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Friday, 02 March 2012 05:19 posted by David MacLeod


    Wow, your last comment is so very wise and powerful to me. As Wilber would say, you're "lighting up my turquoise cognition!" I trust and hope it is having the same affect on others. What you are doing here in this comment is, I think, the best example of what Integral has to offer the activist community. Thank you so much for this - I am going to copy/paste/print and re-read often!

    Alan: Good to see you here! Thank you for introducing me to integral (even though I already had a couple of Wilber books on my shelf that I had never gotten around to reading all the way through) and to integral sustainability. I totally agree that Rosenberg's NVC has a deeply integral impulse, and I think it is a powerful tool that could support the kind of interactions Terry is envisioning in his last comment above.

  • Comment Link Gail Friday, 02 March 2012 10:48 posted by Gail

    Philip asked if I knew a motivator more powerful than fear. In a round-about way, yes. Show the fear to be the irrational illusion that it is, and show the possibilities that exist without the fear that acts like a self-made prison around your soul/personhood.

  • Comment Link Heather Utzig Friday, 02 March 2012 15:33 posted by Heather Utzig

    Hello Everyone~

    Thank you for such beautiful dialogue.

    My name is Heather Utzig, I am a co-founder with amazing colleagues of the following organizations, Emerging Social Innovations (sibling organization:EmergingIntegral.org, Integral Connector) and a system called Avenue, the phone app called Cardigan, etc. which will be supporting the shift on a significant scale to Conscious Business. This has been in action for 3 years now and just like bamboo it is emerging and will grow rapidly.

    If you would like to hear a radio show from a year ago please listen here:


    I feel there are some really positive changes that have already been in the works for quite some time, however they only emerge when the community and society is reach to receive them. And there individuals that have been out there planting seeds of conscious change for some time. I was introduce to integral theory a little of a year ago. Being one who has crafted the beginning of an integrally inclined system (LR). Really look forward to bringing this forth with the community in a holocracy based governance.

    History is really important and giving people credit for their support actions is key for future growth. Plus it may provide some hope that their are others out their working on dynamics and systems, that are in ACTION, and teaming with them is important.

    2009: Avenue system (then call iMi Global Co-op) was born after a deep mystical experience and near-death experience. As radical as this may sound, I cashed in all my money and started to build. Trusting a way would be found. Beautiful mentors show-up and doors opened. This is a meshing, matching, integrated commerce system for alignment and support of conscious business, collaboration and for fun.

    2010: Went through the the valley of trying to discover where it would fit, it was too innovative for the achiever mindset and too business oriented for those who no longer wanted any systems.
    Late 2010 I met Foreno van der Hulst, he spent a diligent amount of time help clarify and apply even more sustainable systems architecture.

    2011: Foreno and I spent a half a year mapping this out. Starting and stopping, holding space until the best people showed up.

    August 2011: Volunteered with the Integral Leadership Collaborative and through this we met so many amazing people. The new wave and the way cutters. Let's honor everyone. It was also obvious so much was happening in the community. So being a connector, I started reaching out and it has been so delightful to see who reached back. This community has so much to offer and has been through so much as well. Who did I meet: Members of this amazing community in presence and leaders such as Michael McElhenie, Russ Volkman, Malena Gamboa, Brett Thomas, Bert Parlee, Ewan Townsend, Mariana Bozesan, Jimmy Lusero, Philip Wisener and the list goes on.

    October 2011: During a meeting with a highly influential business man and might focused on sustainability, I met Amy Kimberland in conjunction with this meeting. Integral Nashville was formed. Then Emerging Integral Nashville was formed to help create space for those discovering and exploring.

    November 2011: Started making introductions in the integral community in general. Connected further with Malena Gamboa, to discover that she as well has been working on similar synergistic business designs. Co-creaters and Founders Malena Gamboa and Foreno van der hulst with engaged in Emerging Social Innovation (Global Social Movement Company).

    December 2011: EmergingIntegral.org and Integral Connector was created out of seeing how to be of service to the global community, with the use of Avenue as system to support. Europe and especially Germany heard the call!!! Thank you. Spent an entire week creating containers around the global and common threads.

    Many new great ideas have been co-created/re-created, to include a bookclub for a more experiential journey of the reader with the community an author.

    There are so many other pieces that are just emerging and we are delighted to be collaborating, plus hopefully role-modeling being integral.

    Avenue is in discussion with Jeff Klein of the Conscious Business Movement and several others interested in similar work.

    Not much theory in this post. More just wanting to send some hope and listen for feedback. Plus all about highlighting individuals and organizations showing up! If you know more, please we will get them connected with those we know to help this happen! We find it important to credit to everyone in the unfolding! If your name wasn't mentioned, please respond. Everyone really matters. Let's create a brighter future together, now, and honor the lessons of our past... including those who have tried and tried again...

    With Kindness,


  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Friday, 02 March 2012 16:27 posted by Troy Wiley

    Thanks for your comments David MacLeod.

    "I could be mis-informed or under-informed on what RBE represents, but it seems to basically deny the concepts of a finite planet with limited resources"

    I think you may have missed some of the points in my video. I referenced Chris Martenson's "Crash Course" which is all about how we have built an economic system based on unlimited growth, but live on a finite planet, with finite resources. I also referenced Richard Heinberg, "The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits."

    We have a system that not only thrives off of scarcity, but actually creates it. (Have you seen Story of Stuff?)

    I differ from the "survivalist" crowd who don't believe we can do anything about it other than prepare by stocking up with gold, guns and can goods.

    And I also differ from the crowd who thinks that technology and innovation will save us, while under the monetary system. We already have the science and technology to address and solve most of our problems, but we just don't have the money.

    On our current trajectory (monetary paradigm) it seems we are destined to deplete our resources and destroy the planet (or maybe just humanity). The signs are everywhere that we're doing just that. If we redesign our society we have an abundance of resources to meet everyone's needs.

    There are hopeful signs, like with the book Sacred Economics, that we are awakening to this realization.


  • Comment Link Mary Linda Landauer Friday, 02 March 2012 16:38 posted by Mary Linda Landauer

    Dear Heather,

    Thank you so much for posting this heartfelt comment. Not only are you a conscious doer for unity and more balance and harmony within and without, but you take it a step higher and are a conscious connector.

    I agree with you; there are so many seeds being planted while so much focus is on the old crop and it's soil being plowed under. In my own small way I try and scatter these seeds of our new and more organic life trying now to unfold, by showing up everyday in my work, family and friends with my own sprouts of what a more integral and honoring of all perspectives can look like.

    But what becomes so radical to deeply understand is talking about theory is not important, what is important is to have a grasp of its meaning, and if we've done our inner work, our practice, then we aren't alone in these seeds becoming an evolutionary harvest. I've come to humbly understand my job is simply to plant the seeds, then through me the Kosmic Souce of love, intelligence supplies the needed essence to activate these seeds. And, where two or more gather there shall higher Presence through us bring greater abundance.

    I'm so in awe of all of 'us' but it's only because of my greater aweness of our Oneness being transmitted now in the many and unique ways we all are showing up to connect and birth, as Barbara Marx Hubbard so beautifully says, our next great leap of evolutionary consciousness.

    I hope others will join the conversation Saturday that Eric Troth has put together giving us an ability to connect. Get to know one another....share our essence....

    In loving kindness,
    Mary Linda

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Friday, 02 March 2012 19:41 posted by David MacLeod

    Hello Troy,

    Yes, I noted the references to Heinberg and Martensen; which is why I was surprised by the discussion on Resource Based Economy, and am curious about how that idea contrasts with the field of Ecological Economics.

    I agree there are enough resources to meet our needs, as long as we're willing to revise our expectations and are willing to "power down." I have come to the conclusion that no combination of alternative energy will be able to power our consumer society as it currently exists, as Heinberg indicates in his book "Searching for a Miracle: Net Energy Limits and the Fate of Industrial Society." http://richardheinberg.com/searching-for-a-miracle

    And so, I think David Holmgren's Energy Descent Scenario is the wisest course for us to pursue. Holmgren's Future Scenarios is Highly recommended: http://www.futurescenarios.org

    Holmgren has written another fascinating essay that takes a perspective not usually considered. The essay is entitled "Money Vs. Fossil Energy: The Battle for Control of the World."

    "This essay provides a framework for understanding the ideological roots of the current global crisis that I believe is more useful than the now tired Left Right political spectrum. I use this framework to provide a commentary on current political machinations around Climate Change and Peak Oil. Building from the same energetic literacy that informs Permaculture and Future Scenarios, it challenges much of the strategic logic behind current mainstream climate change activism. Like the Future Scenarios work, this essay is intended to help environmental and social activists better avoid the obstacles to effective action in a chaotic age."

    What Holmgren compares and contrasts in this essay is Faith in Human Brilliance vs. the idea that wealth come from nature (and "holes in the ground" - mostly fossil fuel resources).

    A summary of the essay is posted at Energy Bulletin linked below, but for a more complete understanding, following the link to the complete essay is recommended. And I think it is "integral compatible."

    It is not my desire to argue about these details - I'm holding an awareness Terry's point that "it’s *incredibly hard* not to harden around the values our actions have embodied and embraced, as if they were *the* values, the whole point." So I'm trying not to do that, and I know there are going to be a variety of thoughts here about the role of alternative technologies.

    I know we're not going to figure it all out in this thread, and don't want to divert attention here to getting too caught up in arguing the details. But I do think its important to be aware of these different ideas, and I think the idea of energy descent needs to be considered.

  • Comment Link heather utzig Friday, 02 March 2012 22:40 posted by heather utzig

    Mary Linda,

    Thank you so much for your kind message. Every single one of is so important and we are showing up in beautiful unique creative and constructive ways. We are the one unfolded in the dance of the many and remembering we are connected in oneness. Yes, opening to source love, a global heart mind and sharing with the notion we are enough with abundance.

    In this space, I feel we are learning in business not to highlight just "One" individual or organization, rather we are expanding in to the value of teaming together and collaborating, so there are many shining brightly as this will create a ripple effect and connection, while we can celebrate each other's unique contribution. What is truly exciting is an emergent trend that is showing up from my perspective in business... it is called Shared Value. Harvard wrote an article in Jan/Dec 2011.

    Showing up and paying attention with a heartfelt collaborative intention is enough... Plus the healthy held intention of creative tension to take the next step.

    Pretty much I love to highlight others work and really catch people in conscious action with being.

    Wishing you all joy on the journey, the trust of unfolding while holding yourself and the world in high esteem, the ability to be grateful in all situations, beautiful and broken. As we shift and transition into a new/old way of business and being in the world.

    With kindness and hope... and waking up everyday to co-create our present and future. There are so so so many individuals and businesses working on this... it is encouraging.


  • Comment Link Steven Brody Saturday, 03 March 2012 07:34 posted by Steven Brody

    If it’s not yet long enough, I’d like to take this dialogue back to the pragmatic of occupy integral. Somebody somewhere has probably already addressed this, but I don’t recall it.

    KW wrote about the pre/trans situation involved in the 60’s Berkeley demonstrations, as involving a goodly number of ‘premies’; that is, people acting out of underdeveloped morality, not an advanced development (ie green). This KW observation was contentious when he said it a number of years ago, and continues to be today.

    Personally, I think that KW tends to be too quick in pointing to green pathology, and his near condemnation of the 60s Berkeley demonstrators was way too broad and caustic. Yet, given all this, KW’s pre/trans distinction cannot be ignored, and so too how it may be manifesting in Occupy. It is an important phenomenon. I’d like to hear what others think about it.

    In case this is stretching this thread too thin here, I'll also post this at Terry and Marco's new Integral website.

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Saturday, 03 March 2012 08:10 posted by John Bunzl

    In answer to Steven Brody:

    Although it's obviously a very diverse movement, perhaps the best indication of Occupy's AQAL location is given by its mode of action.

    It seems to me that the space Occupy wants to occupy is the political space. But the problem is that, like most intelligent people these days, they’re almost totally switched off from present established systems of politics; those being, political parties, voting, etc. There are excellent justifications for this, of course, but the point is that Occupy’s healthy dis-identification with party politics has gone too far into dissociation. This leaves Occupy WANTING to occupy the political space, but having at the same time excluded itself from it, so leaving itself, well, …. to camp in Wall St, or sit outside St. Pauls in London.

    Going to an integral (yellow/turquoise) mode of action means, of course, greater depth and less span. That’s why anything less than a global, world-centric approach simply wouldn't be integral. Moreover, Occupy would need to find a global approach that re-engaged with party politics but in a new, unprecedented and transformative way; a way that turns healthy dis-identification with the system into a powerful force for transforming that system; that first stands BACK from the system, then turns back round TO it with a new world-centric, win-win-win proposition, and then transforms it.

  • Comment Link Neelesh Saturday, 03 March 2012 09:39 posted by Neelesh

    John Bunzl - thanks for your Simpol site link. It is a great initiative. Will connect separately on this.

    David MacLeod - I am totally with you on the Energy-ecology-economy nexus. On the Peak Oil matter, am sure you're tuned in to what could be the most revolutionary breakthrough in the energy game - the Zero Point Energy work being done by the likes of Nassim Haramein, Foster Gamble and Marshall Lefferts.

    As a matter of fact I think some of these guys could bring a new dimension to the Beyond Awakening series, Terry, especially Marshall. Check out his work on http://www.cosmometry.net/

    Also David, I couldn't agree with you more on the LL-LR co-dependency. We cannot forget that the real complexity in the world today is as much in the problems , as in the various 'opinions' on those problems. The real bummer is managing the polarities of consensus (for rapid, focused action) and diversity (for the richness of multiple perspectives), especially with a clock ticking perilously in the background. Tick Tock!

    I quote E.F. Schumacher on 'polarity management' which in a sense is not only the crux of our existential dilemma, but one that inevitably calls for transcendence. I also quote him because he comes from an integral station of consciousness, but does not necessarily use the integral parlance as we know it.

    ....…’it is easy enough to see that all through our lives we are faced with the task of reconciling opposites which, in logical thought, cannot be reconciled. The typical problems of life are insoluble on the level of being on which we normally find ourselves. How can one reconcile the demands of freedom and discipline in education? Countless mothers and teachers, in fact, do it, but no-one can write down a solution. They do it by bringing into the situation a force that belongs to a higher level where opposites are transcended – the power of love.

    G.N.M Tyrell has put forward the terms ‘divergent’ and ‘convergent’ to distinguish problems which cannot be solved by logical reasoning from those which can………….Convergent problems are man’s most useful invention; they do not, as such, exist in reality, but are created by a process of abstraction. When they have been solved, the solution can be written down and passed onto others, who can apply it without needing to reproduce the mental effort necessary to find it………..Divergent problems, as it were, force man to strain himself to a level above himself; they demand, and thus provide the supply of, forces from a higher level, thus bringing love, beauty, goodness and truth into our lives. It is only with the help of these higher forces that the opposites can be reconciled in the living situation.

    The physical sciences and mathematics (as practiced today) are concerned exclusively with convergent problems. That is why they can progress cumulatively, and each generation can begin just where their forbears left off. The price, however, is a heavy one. Dealing exclusively with convergent problems does not lead into life but away from it.
    ‘Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it,’ wrote Charles Darwin in his autobiography, ‘poetry of many kinds ……gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great, delights. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also lost almost any taste for pictures and music……My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of fact, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive…..The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of my nature.’

    The impoverishment, so movingly described by Darwin, will overwhelm our entire civilization if we permit the current tendencies to continue which Gibson calls ‘the extension of positive sciences to social facts’. All divergent problems can be turned into convergent problems by a process of ‘reduction’. The result, however, is the loss of all higher forces to ennoble human life, and the degradation not only of the emotional part of our nature, but also, as Darwin sensed, of our intellect and moral character. The signs are everywhere visible today.

    The true problem of living – in politics, economics, education, marriage etc. – are always problems of overcoming or reconciling opposites. They are divergent problems and have no solution in the ordinary sense of the word. They demand of man not merely the employment of reasoning powers but the commitment of his WHOLE personality. Naturally, spurious solutions, by way of a clever formula, are always being put forward; but they never work for long, because they invariably neglect one of the two opposites and thus lose the very quality of human life. In economics, the solution offered may provide for freedom but not for planning, or vice versa. In industrial organization, it may provide for discipline but not workers’ participation in management, or vice versa. In politics, it may provide for leadership without democracy or, again, for democracy without leadership.

    Education cannot help us as long as it accords no place to metaphysics. Whether the subjects taught are subjects of science or of the humanities, if the teaching does not lead to a clarification of metaphysics, that is to say, of our fundamental convictions, it cannot educate a man and, consequently, cannot be of real value to society. …..The problems of education are merely reflections of the deepest problems of our age. They cannot be solved by organization, administration, or the expenditure of money, even though the importance of all this is not denied. We are suffering from a metaphysical disease, and the cure must therefore by metaphysical. Education, or discourse, which fails to clarify our central convictions, is mere training or indulgence. For it is our central convictions that are in disorder, and, as long as the present anti-metaphysical temper persists, the disorder will grow worse. Education, far from ranking as man’s greatest resource, will then be an agent of destruction, in accordance with the principle corruptio optimi pessima.....

    ~ Small is Beautiful: A study of economics as if people mattered

  • Comment Link Matthew Wesley Saturday, 03 March 2012 18:49 posted by Matthew Wesley

    “I make no distinction, from the point of view of ahimsa , between combatants and non-combatants. He who volunteers to serve a band of dacoits, by working as their carrier, or their watchman while they are about their business or their nurse when they are wounded, is as much guilty of dacoity as the dacoits themselves. In the same way those who confine themselves to attending to the wounded in battle cannot be absolved from the guilt of war.”

    Gandhi, Autobiography, Chapter 116, A Spiritual Dilemma

    What a remarkable thread. Deep bows especially to Bonnitta for her comment. She pins so much of the dynamic in play – her use of the word “incommensurability” seems fitting. I deeply appreciated what she was pointing to in such richly nuanced and thoughtful ways.

    The following is hopefully emergent to this thread but in particular in response to what she invited us to look at (as well as to what others have pointed to). I say this not to disagree with her (or anyone else) but to create a syncopation that will hopefully enrich the conversation....I think I fundamentally agree with what Bonnitta and others say about the need for activism and the aspirations behind that. Her critique of postmodernism and the capacity to find the deep wells of certainty are rich. And yet there was an important piece that was missing for me...and it seems missing in much of this thread in the call to prophetic action. What follows is not easy to write about because the scaffolding from which one can take on prophetic action with integrity in these times contains a kind of dissonance that is terribly dark and wildly uncomfortable. I take this as a point of view - only one point of view that is possible among many - one aspect of myself as it were; but it is a point of view that those who seek change seem to need to deeply address and has to do with the interobjectivity and intersubjectivity and with the transpersonal nature of the very problem we claim we want to "fix".

    While Bonnitta touches on it, she doesn't delve deeply into our own complicity. We are not merely in the role of clever monkeys, or "slaves"; we are the very drivers of this system. This view absolves us from responsibility – it means “they” are doing something to “us”. But the evil men do our bidding. They are meeting our demand. I buy their gas on the way to a protest meeting and make Shell Oil Company very happy that I am taking the time to decry their hegemony. As I drive I invite my friends to join me in changing the world on a cellphone containing rare metals mined in war torn countries and assembled in factories in China where workers routinely commit suicide but where most are grateful to be making $2.50 a day because it beats the poverty they came from. The media networks are delighted with the protests especially when it turns violent; it feeds another news cycle where they can sell more Charmin and all of us watch with purient interest and root for the cops or the protesters based on our political leanings as though it was a sporting event and, if I am lucky, I can see myself for a fleeting moment on TV performing my ideals - an actor in my own life. The big banks take some bad publicity for a time, shrug and simply shift fees to another product or service. I type my reflections on a computer attached to a network that feeds into multibillion dollar telecommunication empires as (I assume) my every word is crunched through NSA computers and stored on server farms somewhere in rural America. And I pay my cable bill every month so I can stay connected (and post here) and keep those server farms running and the political surveillance they make possible because I want faster internet download time. I would buy drugs for a sick family member from evil pharmaceutical companies because the alternative is too painful and inhumane to face. Some of my clothes were almost certainly made in sweatshops and I made the choice to drive a very fuel efficient Honda because the hybrid was more expensive and I was saving for my daughter's college education - so I pollute less than I could but more than I should. And the protestors fly to New York adding massively to the ozone layer and create signs made of material produced by companies that are laying waste to rainforests and making copies of flyers using toxic chemicals housed in plastic that will end up in landfills. And are all the resolutions that are passed really worth the effort? Who knows, but damn it, all the activity makes us feel like we are doing something "meaningful". And the companies that are providing the fabric of the infrastructure that makes the protests possible are laughing all the way to bank. And politicians have their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and which party will control the house and senate - and I am glad when it is my woman who is winning and miffed when the "other side" gets elected. And the political bases are whipped into frenzies of anger and anxiety by the vitriol of the political debate and in the end, nothing changes because it can't. Meanwhle, I am pretty good about recycling, resource sharing and volunteering - but damn I go through a lot of packaging every year and it seems to dwarf my feeble efforts to "do the right thing" but it is so damned convenient. The packaging companies are happy with me and they like the fact that my recycled garbage allows them to produce more "recycled" packaging at cheaper rates so they can rake more profit off of my castaways. And, wow, my son accomplished more in as and employee in the Washington Department of Ecology in getting copper banned in brakepads in Washington state (and actually nationally by the time the model law and regulations are adopted in more states) than most of the environmental protests actually accomplished in "consciousness raising" in the past year - one less heavy metal polluting groundwater – and it accomplished that by gaining compromises in coalitions of industry and environmentalists who made deals that would impinge the environment just a bit in favor getting voluntary compliance from industry - and that law will not go into effect until 2014. I write letters to congress in hopes of legislative changes but my voice is drowned out by corporate lobbyists that are funded by corporations that are in turn enthusiastically supported by my fellow citizens who have pensions and jobs and who bought stuff from these folks and added to their coffers. So now I buy local. But too many people are poor and they have to shop at Walmart (there is that pesky sweatshop stuff again) or their kids wouldn't have shoes and I sympathize because I know from my volunteer work how hard it is to be a single mom holding down three minimum wage jobs and still being homeless. And I go ahead and pay my taxes because I fear going to jail and also because I persuade myself I can do more "good" out here in the world, though I know my tax dollars are funding smart bombs that kill innocents in foreign wars. But then again a bit of that money is also feeding some poor people. And this could go on for hours and hours and hours and not touch the tip of the iceberg.

    I am not merely a monkey...I AM the system - wholly and completely complicit. I am to blame. I am not the righteous prophet. I am sinful Israel. And one cannot play the prophet game without repentance and in this mess there is no way to repent - there is no redemption to be had. If you want to know who causes all the shit in the world, all you have to do is point to me. No matter what I say or do or how many futile gestures I make or how righteously prophetic I become, I am the oppressor. I live in a post-modern tarbaby of complicity. Any sense that I can be separate from it all seems self-delusional and dishonest. There is nowhere to stand outside of it. Everything, even my feeble protests and postings, are assimilated and taken in stride. We are all, it seems to me no matter how much we individually do, part of what is a massive blob that dwarfs our individual and collective activity and renders us hypocrites. To not own that - to pretend to stand outside of the system as though we have a place on which to take the moral high ground seems like self-delusion. We have no vantage point, no truth. Our cognitive frames are lovely, but as Bonitta points out, they are ultimately no more than gnats, lost in the sway of Kardashians and genocides. There is no place to stand that absolves us or allows us to claim even relative purity. The blob assimilates everything and swallows it whole. It re-presents and re-presents all the drama until we are all abstracted from anything remotely related to anything real. (Mediated, de Zengotita) By the hundredth time the pepper spraying cop is shown and parodied and made a part of the cultural zeitgeist (as the Occupy movement is being coopted and assimilated and comes to be self-parody as it is woven into the cultural narrative). The whole thing has become a caricature of itself - we are no longer relating to reality but have become the flattered selves in the middle of our own identity drama and the identity drama of our culture. And the powers that be are simply dancing in the same blobby mix - they have no more power to change it than we do. It has a life of its own - evolving and moving in developmental pathways and discontinuities, here and there, now and then. I decry the pain and suffering in the world, but I have to admit (when I am honest with myself), the evil men (and plenty of women thanks the rise of feminism) who do this work are doing it at my bidding. There is a huge demand for suffering in the world and it is pervasive. I am not immune. Per Pogo: We has met the enemy and the enemy is us. I too am not OBLIGATED to the values I cherish and claim, but then again, I cannot be - not really - and anything I do to salve my conscience is simply contributing to the whole in its own way. These are not excuses - quite the opposite - it is the willingness to take responsibility in spite of its ultimate futility. And the willingness to stand in the world as we are called because we can do no other. It is the existentialist's commitment in spite of fundamental absurdity of taking a stand at all. And how much of my protest – when I am really honest - is actually against my own collective shame at my own collective complicity or, even worse, about flattering who I like to think I am in the world – bright, hip, aware and most of all engaged? Does my protest end up saying far more about my collective me than it does about the way the world actually "is"? Another mass projection of shadow of guilt and anger and fear?

    And to those who say that everything here simply indicates that the system is about to come crashing down may be right, but I suspect even that belief is already assimilated and discounted into the calculations of the blob and even fostered by it (the rise of a new consciousness is cottage industry and is fully co-opted already) and if events prove it "true", those events will be assimilated as well.

    And remember, before your excoriate me, I owned at the beginning that this is only one point of view - there are others - but it is one, I believe, we must face if we are to be "authentic" and do the shadow work of activism.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Saturday, 03 March 2012 23:43 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Hello, everyone,
    I just want to express my appreciation for the way people have received my comment -- especially for the contributions of Michael Schwartz and Matthew Wesley who have dipped and crossed the ideas with their own. I sense the taste of authentically shared inquiry in this thread. Of course, with the greatest appreciation for Teri and Marco for creating it in the first place, fuel for igniting...

  • Comment Link Al Farthing Sunday, 04 March 2012 00:51 posted by Al Farthing

    Re. John Bunzl--
    People centered John?
    Seems to me that part of the woes of the world hinges around that right now --- actually people centering is a big part of every problem we face.
    Earth Ecology is inclusive of humans of course, but only as a living part of the Living Whole.
    Without a deep respect for Ecological vision, Integral could not be Integral.

  • Comment Link daniel Sunday, 04 March 2012 03:23 posted by daniel

    I just want to give a shout out to Radomir for making a comment that I believe carries a lot of value and would lead to positive outcomes and action.
    I do hope that most people taking about the Occupy Movement on this site were able to be there, and experienced it first hand - What it is like to participate in a people's assembly with such a diverse group of people. To work through the challenges of that process. To have put forward motions and initiatives, and had them, through the consensus model, either accepted, rejected, or tabled. To know what it is like to work on the ground, to sustain a camp, to deal with the powers at be who are not happy with your presence, and to see how the discourse around the whole movement is interpreted, spun, or denigrated by everyone trying to understand it. A rich, and very inspiring experience.

    My main idea that I would like to put forth however, is summed up by Kermit the Frog nicely: that "Its not easy being green". It's really worth it though I think. And anyone trying to leapfrog it, I wonder it it becomes fairly noticeable - it/they don't feel real. I am not sure what integral will feel like as a stable state - I've read about it - but I think it is worth experiencing what it is like to be an honest, open, vulnerable human being first, aware of the diversity of ways of being in the world, and experiencing the profound uncertainty that that entails. Without the colour scheme attached to it. That doesn't mean you put up with oppression and the abuse of power however - which also entails developing the knowledge and experience to know what that is.
    Who knows where it will lead? Keep it real, and rock it.

    Bill Withers has a great song that I think relates well to this. Its about heartbreak, but I think its relevant to experiencing life as it is:

    Wonder who is waiting for me
    At the end of Heartbreak Road
    Hope that she'll be tender
    Someone I can know.

    Heartaches just don't last forever
    But it's a lonely road
    A road we all must travel
    Once before we go.

    I believe that love's a good teacher
    When you're in it
    Even if it don't work out
    You ain't gonna live to understand it
    So get down on in it
    And find out what it's all about

    But that's all right because
    Heartaches just don't last forever
    But it's a lonely road
    A road we all must travel
    Once before we go.

    "Get down all on in it, and find out where it goes." I have good hopes, and have met a lot of awesome people along the way so far.

  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Sunday, 04 March 2012 13:05 posted by Joe Corbett

    an integral progressive politics has been virtually non-existent within integral circles by the fact that ken wilber, who everybody follows and apes like he was a god, has systematically excluded and been silent on the fact that the lower right quadrant of society belongs (specifically) to the archetype of justice, along side and on equal terms within the aqal model of truth, beauty, and the good. yet nobody, except myself, has had anything to say about this.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 04 March 2012 13:21 posted by Philip Corkill

    @ Gail, thank you very much for that guidance:-)

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Sunday, 04 March 2012 13:24 posted by Philip Corkill

    Thank you Heather Utzig, for blazing a trail! Shooting star!

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Sunday, 04 March 2012 14:19 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    rose's powerful voice full heart


  • Comment Link Steven Nickeson Sunday, 04 March 2012 16:01 posted by Steven Nickeson

    I have thought long and hard about responding to this essay. But Steve Brody's comment above made it clear that I should.

    Mr. Brody wrote: KW wrote about the pre/trans situation involved in the 60’s Berkeley demonstrations, as involving a goodly number of ‘premies’ (sic); that is, people acting out of underdeveloped morality, not an advanced development (ie green).

    Mr. Wilber also made that same assesment about the 2002 worlds-wide demonstrations against the proposed invasion of Iraq which he totally misinterpreted as anti-war rather than anti-big oil. What Mr Wilber, with his typical flair for intellectual manipulation, did not tell y'all was the rest of the story about the studies re: the Berkeley demonstrators. The researchers polled the participants on their value systems based on standardized findings that showed for a typical group of young people (adjusted for social standing and eduction) about 20% held "underdeveloped" value systems, 60% had "normal" value systems, and 20% showed "highly developed" value systems. But these percentages were askew in the group of demonstrators tested. It is true that the "preemies" were represented in significantly higher numbers--30% (+/-) This seemed to satisfy Mr. Wilber's desire to tar the entire movement with his only half a truth by not mentioning that those who had "highly developed" values were present in even larger disproportional numbers--40% or greater. To me the significance of the study was that the people in the "normal" range were underrepresented by about half of their standard plurality. People on the middle road, it seems, seek safety and like to go along so as to get along. (These statistics are approximations. If any reader is interested, the exact numbers can be found through your favorite search engine. It takes some looking. I recall spending about an hour tracking them down a couple of years ago. The studies were done decades before the internet and are now relegated to back shelves and only references to the full body of the work are available.)

    I am not one who wants to find a home in the Integral Province, the little map-generated territory within which an expansionist if not imperialist movement would like to get started. But on my most recent tour through the place (where I chanced on the Terry/Marko Manifesto) I was heartened by their "call" to those who, as anyone following all the comments on this thread can easily see, are pilgrims on the middle road. Indeed, this is no surprise since all roads in the Integral Province are middle roads, carefully mapped and bunkered in so as to keep radicals outside the borders. I find this call fascinating and valuable for those who have long studied revolutionary history and theory have noted that once the "old regimes" have either abdicated or committed suicide (Old regimes are never defeated except in colonial insurrections. The old regime that is the target in a "millenarian" revolution, which I am sure y'all hope the Integral Movement will bring about, always go out with a whimper at best) the vested power then flows into the realm of the middle roaders and mediators such as the Third Estate's Republic in France, Kerensky's provisional government in Russia, the Wiemar Republic in pre-Nazi Germany, and Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang government in pre-Mao China. (Bonnita Roy's supposition in her lengthy comment above that in a revolution there is a great leap into radical catharsis was certainly not informed by facts.) Based on this clear history, the social movement theories developed around it and our own experience in the civil rights and new left movements, a political sociology professor and I (a radical journalist at the time) put forward a revolutionary cook-book of sorts in which we advocated radical's tacit support for middle road reformers and mediators that the old regime could trust in taking the reins of power so to avoid their inevitable fear of “Après moi, le déluge.” This was just to facilitate movement into the coming crisis for in a crisis the middle road has never been known to hold--its advocates soon go into exile or up against the wall.

    So remember, Integralites, keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart as you set forth to smash--ooops I mean "reform" the state.

  • Comment Link Cory Suter Sunday, 04 March 2012 20:15 posted by Cory Suter

    Inspired by your Integral ideas, I would love feedback about: http://directcongress.org/

    We the People can direct our Congress by creating laws together and supporting candidates who commit to vote the way a majority of citizens vote securely online.

    This could be the transparent American Lawmaking Forum that brings our country back to together.

  • Comment Link David Marshall Sunday, 04 March 2012 23:28 posted by David Marshall

    Steven, nice to hear from you. Good to see you still have that fire in the belly. I always enjoy your writing style.

    I'd just like to clarify the facts of Wilber's position on the Berkeley protesters, which I may or may not have done when we discussed this last. There were many different studies that reported a wide range of results. Here is what Wilber said on the issue in the endnotes to Boomeritis:

    "Data on the percentages of protesters at various stages of moral development varies considerably, depending, of course, on many factors. In general, the research swings between around 60% precon and 30% postcon to around 30% precon and 60% postcon (with usually around 10% or less at con). Our basic points about boomeritis can be made with any of those results, because they all show the same general thing. The point is that boomeritis is a dose of highly developed green (say 60%) with an underbelly of strong red (say 30%)--both culturally and personally. It's green infected with red that causes so many problems, as we will see in the following talks. For one example of dozens of studies, see H. Haan et al., 'Moral Reasoning of Young Adults,' Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 10 (1968), 183-201, which shows a type of even split between pre and post (60%/75%). Keep in mind that most people give responses from more than one level, so the total percentages often add up to over 100, but the general conclusion from all of the studies points to one thing: pre and post became strange bedfellows in this generation."


    I'd also like to make a general comment about the reform-versus-revolution theme. I think pretty much everyone would love a new LR system that radically changed everything and made it more fair and nice. But lacking a specific course in that direction, tearing down the current system would not seem to be evolutionary. Without a specific idea about what to replace it with, reforming the current system is the best option. Also, it does seem possible that people could use the revolution cry to avoid the difficult, painstaking, frustrating work of reform.

    And of course changing the LR system is just one approach to the issue. We could also transform individual and cultural interiors, which would make the current system look a lot better than it does now. We can have interior revolutions that will improve things a lot before we're able to effect the LR revolution, and in the meantime we can work toward LR reforms that could lead to gratifying results.

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Monday, 05 March 2012 01:21 posted by David MacLeod

    David Marshall, thank you for keeping the Reform versus Revolution theme going.

    I would like to quote David Holmgren (one of my favorite big AND small picture thinkers), from an interview I previously linked to, The Upcoming Transition Away from a Fossil Fuel Based Society. Not only does he talk about Reform vs. Revolution, he also touches on some themes brought up by others, such as Bonnita's discussion of a discontinuous paradigmatic/evolutionary leap.

    Section on Empowering People to Do the Small, Local, Bottom Up Actions

    "I think that, while the big political movement stuff is always going to be in some ways more exciting – and there’s certainly some exciting aspects of that emerging in the world now around the notion of demanding that someone do something, I don’t think those things really help change the structure much, unless people are also making the changes themselves. Because the changes people make themselves are double insurance – they are insurance against dysfunctional or anti-social behavior by elites (and there’s certainly plenty of evidence for that), but they’re also the way we model the world that we’re actually wanting to be, because in a lot of ways it’s a matter of being able to crawl before you walk. The sort of world we’re trying to construct, I think it’s actually impossible to construct that top-down. It has to actually be rebuilt bottom up, in parallel with the crumbling system. And then as those models become more real, it’s possible to get some degree of top-down reform/support for those things. But if they don’t actually exist, if we don’t have the working, living solutions, then it’s very hard for policymakers to say “Yes, we’ll have more of that, and less of that.” They can’t actually create the things we need. The things we need are all very small, localized, particular, and large scale systems just can’t do that.

    Do the systems in place now need to come down?

    Things develop in parallel to a fair degree and there’s an ambiguity between how much needs to be rebuilt from scratch, and how much is a matter of reform. The old debate between reform or revolution. Permaculture comes from the premise that you’ve got to design from first principles. A whole lot of the ground design principles built into our society, which have been functional in the past, aren’t functional in the future, and you can’t necessarily just modify them beyond certain limits. Example: material growth is very much built into the foundations of the system we’ve got. In regards to climate change, we know that a proven strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to contract the economy, but no one ever discusses it as a serious strategy. That tells us how deeply committed our system is to perpetual growth. So it’s hard to know at what point that could actually be part of a serious discussion at the levels of policy. I suspect it’s not really possible. There’s always got to be this fabrication – oh yes, we’re going to reduce our impact on the environment by all sorts of means, but we’re not going to question growth…even when the evidence is that that growth is not occurring…

    Faith in People

    It doesn’t mean that the situation is hopeless for the possibility of positive things coming out of a national level or an international level. But the assumption is, that because those are big and powerful systems, and because we need positive change very fast, that that is the predominant place we have to have faith in. I think the reverse is true. The predominant place we have to have faith in is for the ability of people, as like fast moving intelligent new life forms, like the early mammals replacing the dinosaurs. That humans individually and collectively without rigid institutional structures can think on their feet, and can incorporate both the long term vision stuff that we associate with big institutions and long term planning – that humans are actually capable of that… We’re capable of responding to the immediate environment around us in ways that institutions can never be capable of, but we’re also capable of some of those things that we associate with institutional capacity – the long term wisdom and ability to understand complexity. And maybe that’s part of the inheritance of the modern world, because people in the past didn’t necessarily have that on an individual basis. But it is possible now if people want to look and learn for humans as individuals and communities and families to have virtually the intelligence that we previously associated with institutions and societies.

    Crisis as an Opportunity

    Any system that has rigidity in its structure around past, proven ways of doing things is obviously reluctant to change out of those patterns. It takes a big shock to break that apart. We know that occurs in nature, we know that occurs in our own lives, the way a health crisis can trigger a reorganization of our lives, and we can see that happening in society around us… The crisis becomes an opportunity to leverage the system in certain ways…Interest in things like Permaculture is counter-cyclical to the economy…focus changes to family, connection to nature, basic needs…It’s not that they run and change, but they turn their heads in a different direction..."

    Embedded video of the interview as well as an attachment of my transcript can be found here:

    Subjects Covered:

    Empowering People to Do the Small, Local, Bottom Up Actions
    Do the systems in place now need to come down?
    Faith in People
    Crisis as an Opportunity
    Effects of Peak Oil
    Retrofitting the Suburbs for Sustainability
    What Will the Transition to Self-Sufficient Suburbs Look Like?
    The Biggest Barriers to Retrofitting the Suburbs
    Preparing Society
    The Transition Movement and the Permablitz
    Energy Descent Action Planning
    Chaotic Change

  • Comment Link Steven Brody Monday, 05 March 2012 02:16 posted by Steven Brody

    John Bunzl – Thanks for your reply.

    As I understand it, ‘Integral’ is not a place on a developmental schemata. Green is as implicit as yellow, both occupying a necessary space in the Integral whole; Tiers don’t define Integral, they describe it. There is, IMHO, relatively little yellow in Occupy – by far, it is green; the goals, as ambiguous as they are, are mostly green goals. The multi-perspectives of Occupy largely address the pathology/dominance of orange, trying to coax consciousness toward a fuller green awareness. At this time, I don’t see “a new world-centric” on the conceivable horizon – that’s way too far from contemporary pragmatics. As KW has said, thus far the greatest movement in cultural evolution is the shift from orange to green. In time, yellow will be the greatest movement, but not now. Culturally, we can’t skip from orange to yellow (I know, there are those who suggest otherwise.)

    Steven Nickeson – Thanks for your reply, but I don’t understand your assertion that Integral is a middle road. I wonder if you are mixing Integral and Occupy, because the talk of regimes befits an Occupy dialogue, but not so much an Integral dialogue, or at least not in a major way.

    I’m glad someone else posted KW’s quote about the Berkeley pre/trans demonstrators; I don’t think KW was nearly as deceptive as you want to make him out.

    David Marshall, thanks for your reply. Reform scares me, when transformation may be on the horizon. Reform maintains the context, whereas transformation is a change of contexts. I think, I want to think, that Occupy is a transformational opportunity, and not just reform. The demonstrations are world communication – and the communication should focus, over and over, on the pathology of contemporary orange (as if that should be difficult to find). It is the destructive aspect of Occupy demonstrations that is causing a major wrinkle in the communication. Non-violence is much stronger than violence, especially when the others have all the tools of violence. Yes, I know what happened at UCDavis and other places with the pepper spray, but the civil rights workers in the 60’s suffered assaults far greater than pepper spray, and they persisted.

    …..just wandering thoughts……..

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Monday, 05 March 2012 05:21 posted by David MacLeod

    Joe, thank you for sharing your idea about justice as an archetype of the LR quadrant.

    I just took a look at your article, "The Unholy Marriage of Authoritarian, Traditional, and Modern Levels of Development in American Culture and Society," which is directly related to this Occupy Integral thread.

    You state that "The consequence of the relentless pursuit of self-interest in search of profits by corporations, assisted by the politicians they have elected and the media, schools, and conservative think-tanks they fund and control, has been the systematic undermining of human communities and nature, not to mention the wholesale destruction of labor and foreign peoples. And this is where the alliance of authoritarian, traditional, and modern levels of development has become truly unholy and immoral."

    And you go on to say "What is desperately needed in America at this juncture is an intervention into the clinical insanity of the neoliberal ideology of free-market-individualism, i.e. unregulated and tax-exempted corporate personhood, that continues its hegemony despite its failures in creating the greatest social inequality since the 1920s and The Gilded Age, a politically untouchable permanent warfare economy that continues to bankrupt the country and damage the international standing and security of America, and the continued reliance on a fossil fuel energy infrastructure that leads a good deal of the population into denial that global warming climate change is upon us."

    And you conclude, "Class, as in 'We, the People', is a universal category that can help form an alliance of postmodern relativity and multiculturalism with post-postmodern unity and purposeful direction, and with modern achievement-orientation in tow from behind shorn of its self-interest in profits before people and nature."

    Although I entirely support the perspective shared by Matthew Wesley above ("I am not merely a monkey...I AM the system - wholly and completely complicit."), I also see this other perspective that shows, as you do, that there are specific societal structures we are embedded in that can be named as objects to be opposed and dismantled. If I see something in myself that I can name as a cancer, then I can become willing to ask a skilled surgeon to cut it out.

    Joe's article is here:

    I appreciate the very specific naming of "the clinical insanity of the neoliberal ideology of free-market-individualism."

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Monday, 05 March 2012 06:37 posted by John Bunzl

    In answer to Steve Brody:

    Steve, thanks for your comments on the now-dominant and soon-to-emerge waves.

    I agreee that Occupy discloses an essentially Green level and its mantra "we are the 99%" is, to my mind, a pretty clear indication of Green "us and them" (either/or) thinking.

    As I argue in an article coming out in the latest edition of JITP (entitled Discovering an Integral Civic Consciousness in a Global Age), the key difference between Green and Yellow approaches is that Green tends to be dissociated from both politics and economics, whereas Yellow tends to be dissociated only from politics. That is, Green (eg. Occupy,) engages neither with established political systems (eg. political parties, elections, etc) and nor with business or economics. Yellow, on the other hand, (eg. Conscious Capitalism, CSR, etc) tries to get business to behave better, but still offers no way to engage with politics. Indeed Yellow's tendency to emphasise individual (i.e. UL/UR) consciousness and action thus de-emphasises and therefore does not properly address the collective aspects of our global economy, the global free-movement of capital and its consequences, and so on (LL/LR).

    Turquiose, on the other hand, would engage powerfully with both business (economics) and politics (established national systems of party-politics, elections, etc), and it would do so world-centrically. Moreover, it would do so in an unprecedented way (Tenet 3: unprecedented emergence); a way which, although it works powerfully THROUGH existing political systems, is not OF those systems. Moreover, it would be world-centric (i.e. transnational and aperspectival). Only Turquoise, in other words, can offer a genuine solution to our world crisis, as Wilber and others have pointed out.

    However, in terms of transformation, I think we'd be mistaken to focus too much on where Orange, Green and Yellow waves are right now. Just because Yellow is not yet dominant does not mean Turquoise initiatives do not already exist. Indeed, the wonder of discussions such as we see here on Terry and Marco's excellent article are all part-and-parcel of a great evolutionary "sorting out"; of natural selection operating now at the leading edge as we gradually move from the LL articulation of an integral consciousness and politics to the choice we will all have to make between various LR campaigns and initiatives which purport to express and to be capable of actually delivering global solutions.

  • Comment Link Turil Monday, 05 March 2012 19:30 posted by Turil

    If you're curious about what an Integral government would look like wander over to: http://turil.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/government-prime-directive/
    Where I offer a map of the holons of a healthy Earth government that focuses on the input needs, output needs, and interaction needs of all individuals and groups at all levels...

  • Comment Link daniel Tuesday, 06 March 2012 03:03 posted by daniel

    Just reading over some posts. Yes, its pretty easy to write off the Berkley protesters as less "developed". Thanks for that KW. I can't help but think red has a tendency to emerge when you encounter violence, especially from the state. And as a side note, the civil rights movement in the 60's was not all non-violent. I think the genesis, actions, and presence of the militant Black Panthers, and especially the various riots throughout the United States also had a large effect on the decisions of those in power to ensure the basic rights and freedoms to African Americans.
    I am thinking right now of the images of Tibetan Monks rioting in 2008 against the Chinese government. Should we write them off as red?
    The anticolonial movements 1500's-present have also changed my views quite a bit about social movements, and how I as a descendent from european settlers presently situate myself on this land and at this time. I don't think that we're in "post" colonial times. I live in Canada and currently watch how the colonial project is still unfolding. How do you reform that? That is an important perspective that often gets left out of most social and political discourses I find.
    I am trying to keep tabs on what is going on in Greece right now. There is a huge mobilization against the current government and the non-elected technocrats of the European Union and associated banks. Withdrawal from the European Union (and many international trade agreements) would be quite a transition for Greece. Probably a huge period of chaos and re-organization, however one that may be necessary if they are to develop an economic system that is just and sustainable.
    I think that there have been many views put forward by groups on what a post occupy future might look like. Real democracy would be a good start - one that heavily emphasizes local participation and governance and limits power and bureaucracy the 'meta' levels of state and country government. I am also inspired by what I have read about in Mondragon, Spain. Re-localizing our systems and means of production, and having them run by the folks working in them.

  • Comment Link Amy Jean Cousins Tuesday, 06 March 2012 05:56 posted by Amy Jean Cousins

    Terry - I appreciate your reflections on this thread and it's made me pause to reflect on my own initial reactions and my first post. I definitely felt the urge to be provocative -I think my frustration was in the sense that the "call to action" was being received with more "meta" meanderings... which are wonderful/beautiful/informative in their own right, I just had a reaction to it, perhaps it is my youth. Scanning through the posts here now, I am thrilled to see more concrete examples of what applied integral can look like.

    I agree with those who have said that the work now is to evolve green forward, at least that's where I've chosen to work. (Joanna Macy does great work to evolve green forward www.joannamacy.net) I do not believe that we can skip green -- in fact, I hold resentment (ohh... this is probably where my reaction came in) to those who claim to be of an integral perspective but in fact, show very little experience with or empathy for green values/concerns/progress.

    In fact, I would say that there is a large pre/trans fallacy among the memes and we ought to be very cautious of it's temptations. My "guess" is that integral holds a nice "out" for those at orange who don't want to get their hands dirty so to speak. Your call to action "calls out" those who would "meta" their way out of attending a protest, becoming politically active, etc. -- so THANK YOU.

    My other concern is the concept of community. Online forums are great for sharing ideas, but don't hold a lot of soil. The farmer may have a great vision for his/her garden, but when the time comes they need soil to plant in. LOCAL community -in my opinion - is the most fertile place to plant our seeds: to take meaningful action.

    We may gather seeds online, but if we don't have community to plant them in.... I fear nothing will take shape. A friend mentioned to me that his "gift" is in the technical side of things and that he can contribute online and this feels meaningful to him. That's fantastic. I just wanted to share my opinion. In general, I feel the need to limit my time in online forums so that I can be out and active in my community.

    With appreciation and humble green meme heart.

  • Comment Link Greg Tuesday, 06 March 2012 07:04 posted by Greg

    god, you guys, you're all saying so much and with such erudition and facility, i'm stuck. So, I have to back up and get oriented.

    I'm trying to get back to basics.

    OK. Let's talk Beyond Awakening. Let"s assume we're all awakened: I took Jesus as my own personal savior at 17, when I worked in a Baptist summer camp.

    You saw the "inexplicable" in drawing that really neat cursive "r" when you were in the 4th grade.

    She, at 12. came upon a gentle curve to a small stream in a summer meadow. And experienced something else she hasn't been able to tell anyone.

    He plowed through three days of heavy monsoon rains with a motorcycle. Destitute, he was picked up by a truck loaded with muddied workers. The hauled him - and his motorcycle - to the newly paved section over the hills just as the long absent-now brilliant-sun broke through the oppressive grey. What a gift to be living in such a perfect place as this. Weren't these Thais workers just beautiful!?

    Jose sat with his first koan for a year under a strict Zen koan master. Gutei's One Finger. He finally got it. What it was was that it was what he already knew! Incredible!

    All of us who are here have awakened in one fashion or another. The issue we want to pursue is Going Beyond. Or if I may say, Continuing. Is that not what we want to do? Realize more and more what we "saw" when we were awakened however brief that state was and however it was provoked?

    In getting there, beyond, forward, don't we need to reach back? This moment is rooted in the complexities of the previous complexities and of the ones before that, to the very beginnings of things.

    Keeping track of it all cannot be done with thought. Thought is one dimensional. Its basis, its foundation is past. Speech patterns, habits, attitudes, aromas, feelings use thoughts in articulation. And those are past, as all memories are past.

    So thought is, forgive me, an afterthought. We need to watch thought, not be vassals to it . Be the witness, yes, and also be the integrated Spirit, the Ataman, the Self, the psychic that embraces-that becomes- the complexity of voice, thought, feeling, gesture and mannerism that unfolds in my every waking moment of life.

    Isn't what we need to do is be spirit in the world?

    How do we do that?

    Plans, organizations, direction, leadership, communications, books, all media. All absolutely indispensable.

    How do we be spirit?


  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Tuesday, 06 March 2012 16:24 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    This is an initiative that began as a 5-day Integral Activism Retreat at my farm in 2009. It was saavy to the inter-generational aspects of the energy and vision of young people guided by the reflection and nurturing of elders. Rose- the woman in Vanessa's podcast , was one of the participants.


  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Tuesday, 06 March 2012 18:56 posted by Troy Wiley

    Well said Amy Jean Cousins, "I would say that there is a large pre/trans fallacy". I agree. In addition to the pre-rational/post-rational fallacy, there seems to be a pre-integral/post-integral fallacy, where a turquoise perspective is confused for green.

    And where green is seen as "ineffective", this leads to integral inaction. But I'm seeing green as MOST effective in the world right now.

  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Wednesday, 07 March 2012 04:33 posted by Joe Corbett

    michael schwartz, i agree there is a self-limiting bias in integral theory toward methodological individualism and that social holons need more attention in an integral critical theory. i invite your comments and criticisms to this piece on integral critical theory:


  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:50 posted by Brian McConnell

    Hey Joe,

    I've been familiarizing myself with your viewpoint, particularly as expressed in, the IntegralWorld.net article, "What is Integral Critical Theory?". From my own perspective, I find your utilization of a 'critical theory' framework well serving in pointing to many of the shortcomings you've noticed amongst integral's organizational elite.

    From purely a theoretical stance however, I'd like to share something I posted recently to Chris Dierkes' article, "The Facts of Moral Values" (see: http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/49-the-facts-of-moral-values#comment3255) involving a current study of Wilber's, "The Marriage of Sense and Soul":

    Wilber says:

    “There is a strange and curious thing about scientific truth. As its own proponents constantly explain, science is basically value-free. It tells us what 'is', not what 'should be or ought to be'. An electron isn't good or bad, it just is; the cell's nucleus is not good or bad, it just is; a solar system isn't good or bad, it just is." from pg. x in a ‘Note to the Reader’ of "The Marriage of Sense and Soul" (punctuation substituted for italics).

    The essential problem I see in identifying or otherwise labeling the lower-right quadrant as Justice, is that it constitutes something of a categorical error (e.g. category mistake) in mismatching types. In this regard, 'justice' of course is a 'value', necessitating interpretive meaning, whereas 'truth' is an empirical (e.g. 'scientific') fact.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Wednesday, 07 March 2012 23:34 posted by Philip Corkill

    I hear the sound of the Last Post and pray that they remember that I gave it all I have...

    Praises be to all U Post-Bone Eating Royce Rolling Pre-Trans-Actors, Beams and Struts of my pre-pairation to serve!

    wOw! Thanks 4 bringing the red, the black, and the green, up from the fires of hell, Troy. It is all about the greens in North America... ...isn't it!? Burning a Red wHole in that Store Spongeled Bonner!


    I have thrown heart, soul, being and Bones, into contributing valuable come-passion activators to this thread. I have found some of my favourite posts deleted, for being received as disrespectful (received as such, not given as such) and my most reverent ones, largely ignored by the jury. Still, I have been challenged to formulate my contribution to this thread, in a way that is rational and communicates to conventional modes of conversation, and I intend to take on that challenge, and fail, as humbly as I can.

    I was told that this is not rocket science here and I agree. It can only be a lot harder than rocket science, to bring this mindless fool into the mind. It's an intrinsically, and absolutely impossible task, as far as I can see. And yet I'll try again, with all my heart and soul, being and Bone-eatter Kalibre. That it may be received for what it is. An irrational - probably pre-rational re-a-gressive - action logic, straight from my deepest care about all that I cherish in this life and beyond. But I'm full of crap as r U perhaps. May my last testament here create the death that activates it's life. In short, I am only a tempting to love the crap out of us all...

    As a marginalised pre-transvestite;-) I offer my Beams exit-post, prior to the executive transagressions that will inevitably follow this pre-post-eros co-mentation. UNLESS, of course, we all do a better job of listening, really listening! I am paying all the attention I can, but others will have to too... if U Wood...

    I feel there are knowings that could change the game for integral, from where it is now – not clear on if/how to act in these turbulent times - to where it wants to be - potent and making the huge impact needed, to shift our values to the humanity required of today's evolutionary dealers. My human-iT wants US to pull out our f'ing wallets and do something about this crisis, now, before it is too late for yet another species to be part of our shared future! But it is our own children too. Malena tells me that every 20 second a human being dies as a result of the water crisis (if I remember correctly). I can offer a small but vital glimpse of the gnowing, that changes all. As can U:

    I think that, instead of excluding precious species, after species, after species, from participation in the future - whilst integrating every last ahole in-human “kind” - at the de-volut-mental “stage” he happens to be vomiting all over - we should end this crimeinall re-activity!

    I say Onto U: Exclude from the future, that which is not wanted by our deepest caring hearts. For example: exclude 1 weapons deal = include 3 endangered species. Exclude 1 war = include 10 healthy young men into challenging and meaningful work. Etc. etc. etc. Oh, while we are at it, exclude 40 hours of integral philosophising that only one percent of us can understand = include 40 hours of occupying powerful positions with the change-making pre-post-eros-trans-actions of clear love. I hold one small key, as do U, to an utterly reversed economy and I demand of US(A) that U and I in/ass-ert our stake. Not tomorrow, when WE go to war on I-ran because that war is NOT going to happen! The US government is simple: Utterly sold to corporate America. Corporate America is simple: utterly dependent on supplying demand. Stopping this war is simple: WE, U and I and I an I an I stop demanding it! As your old integral dog, Ken Wilber, says, “we get what we want”. Don't U boomrats even believe in DOG anymore! I Do-gen-Eros-li...

    I demand of US to just do it! Nike-like! NOW! Go to www.ifundutopia.com. Book Mark Bin-it! My dead line is the 18th of March 2012. Show me what future U demand and f*ing pay for it! I have already invested all I could find and will continue to do so for children's sake!

    My intention in this life is to bring the density of the ground of our maker-mother earth up from Eden, all the way to the moon, and beyond. To bring the spacious heights of our dreams down from the post lun-attic level, and all the way into our every day business invest-ments and trans-actions. And still, further down, into the hell of our inner shadows, and our outer ghettoes. Like the psychiatric wards I have lived in repeatedly in this lifetime. May we light up our personal flaws, to the exposure of their lovableness, in the vastness that receives them always-already = after-all. And, lets have a hilarious and deeply human time in the process. I aspire to assort of cross between the life of Jesus, the life of Brian, and the Caravan of Love and the life of a Beams and Struts writer (without the in-at-tent-ive integral pre-jud-ass;-) (not mocking, just teasing, as you may tease me, and have done). That is the type of existential-crack-(“where the light gets in”)-dealer, I asspyre to be-come-passion8ly for ever...


    Big words for a little Alemanian ex-peri-mental-patient, with a messy, open fray of wounds - from the psychopolice - where his boundaries should be. Or should have been, respected, and yet, were violated in the name of integrative therapy... in the guise of protecting our (crim-in-all) industrial-i-sedative saucietease. I'm an anti-body, not willing to give up fighting the cancerous dis-ease of pre-tentious, intrinsically co-ruptive, top-down, pyramids of rising impotence.

    ...but who gives a fuck about all my abstract cryptic messages anyway, right? No-one has time to listen to this crap, philoshophising, none-sense, that contributes nothing of value to anyone here on this thread. This should be a respectable thread about Occupy Integral, that is well within the commenting policy, right? I mean like the Occupy Movement - that we are attempting to harness for integral utility here – which is a respectable gathering to discuss Wall Street philosophy that is well within the patriot policy, or whatever the police-i is called, that guides the way an American citizen is “free” to de-mosntrate power in public. Right? Did I understand correctly that I shouldn't behave outside the policy at any cost here?

    In all honesty folks, I care so very much about the quality of the conversation on Beams and Struts that it hurts me deeply to hear otherwise. I want that this site, excludes the vitriol we see elsewhere on the internet too. I love this place. I wouldn't have spent four months of my difficult recovery, last year, here, if I didn't love and care about this place. and I wouldn't be posting this here if would treat my own home in the same way.

    I only break the policy mold here, if, I think that it can add value to the overall picture and be causal to good deeds. Though I know it's not much in the grand scheme of the suffering we cause on this planet, I do feel I added something that activated positive change. At least, I made friends with Terry, in that way, which is a good little thing isn't it? And I think Marco might agree that I have added a little something respectful. At least he publicly retracted his observations about my respect to the elders. I don't know. Only Malena has publicly invited me to the table that Juma privately invited my to eat at. Everyone else, is private about both praise and harassment. When I say, “some” people benifitted, I have only Malena showing up in support and that comment may not be about me. So perhaps Beams are right that I haven't served anyone but my own grandiosity here? I'm open to public shaming but also to a little courage on the part the beneficiaries behind the scenes.

    And sometimes, I know, I have missed the Marco Terrybly. I'm always ready to go all the way in making amends for my pre-trans-gressions. And I have de-monstrated that I do it, to the best of my ability. Sometimes it takes a long time. I don't give up. Not on others and not on myself. Unlike some of the integral evolutionary leaders that I have mentioned, who will split people open to the core and then leave them to lick the irreparable wound on their own, with only a slim chance of recovery, claiming that these seekers simply “weren't ready”. Puke! Luckily, I am not a leader, don't have that responsibility “over” others, and never will have. I'm merely an existential crack dealer and don't claim to shepherd the flock... this is were I'm more Brian than Jesus and more Billy Bean than Gafni. When I was last sectioned into the mental hospital, removed of my rights to basic dignity, and locked into hell, my brother stopped by with a gift: A T-shirt, graced with the kind words, “He's not the Messiah, he's a very Naughty Boy!” lol

    Do I understand correctly what has been annoying folks here about my posts? Many of you are very busy evolutionary leaders and don't want to waste time on these irrationalities. I'm very sorry if I have caused anyone here any inconvenience. I was expressing my love in a way that came across as hate and I know not what I did, to hurt you, or what to do now, as I again type my love into these black squiggles... U will receive it, I hope or not...

    Without further a self-obsession, I want to give you what I honestly understand to be a dis-turb-ing yet brilliant tool, with which to activ8 integral artistry. Change it's function from a mind mass-turb-ation - which is admittedly de-light-full - into a weapon of mass-creation. A voccational Mass-Orgy. Ignite the fire of this integral scene - that I have come to love on my excursion to integland as a tourist from Oshoton – into a wildfire of magnificent act-i-on. I experience integral as fantastically promising, whilst momentarily trapped and pre-occpied by itshellf. Like many novel art forms before it, it appears to have succumbed to the temptation of dis-appearing up its own arse, the moment it became a little marketable. I AM A TEMPTING GREAT REVERSAL. I like Beams and Struts, because they don't succumb to this draw-up-the-own-asshole, sell out, BS, that I see elsewhere. This leaves them free to fart in the wind, as freely I bird-shit on the flag. Unfortunately, they sometimes fart on the wrong fire;-) And anyone who has been to summer-camp knows where that leads...

    Finally, here is the koan that has been repeatedly deleted from this thread. I truly think it can activate, ecstatic, ground up, balls up, cum-passion in integralites and end this pre-occupation of(a) mine(field). Dealing, hopefully, towards an occupation of integral by love and clarity. So that integral becomes the superb paint brush that it is, in the hands of love and wisdom, and no longer the other way round. I say Unto U, many Integralites are afflicted by:

    a prior-pre-trans-post fallus-psycle-patho-logi

    I already gno it is pre-post-eros coming from me, Phil, a little porn addict from Germany. But it is the truth In My Opium den, and I stand by it and await, steadfastly, the consequences of y-our re-actions to it. It does not violate the commenting policy that I have read. So, if it is simply unhelpful, or difficult to understand. Can't you just ignore it? I want to give it some attention myself but as far as I'm concerned, you are free to choose. If you are free to choose, then tell me where you find the letter “f” in problem? Marco my Vords, this iMorelli koan it worth countless dollars. Instead of selling it to Robb Smith, I post it here for free, in response to Marco and Terry's generosity. In place of praise, I expect the usual chop, but I'm open to surprises... from behind the scenes...

    Other-wise, Good bye Beams and Struts, I must complete my training and meditate on this until we really pass away from our pre-trans wars, re-turn to Origin, die to dialectical reasoning, and circle a head to Omega Doom... you are well-come to join me...

    Praises again be, to the Bone Eater Royce, Rolling by, in magnificent dis-covered splendour. Would you forgive my grrrr-Attitude;-)


    ...I hereby commit to...

    the END

  • Comment Link Mark Binet Thursday, 08 March 2012 00:24 posted by Mark Binet

    I have sad news. Many of you know Phil Corkill from his rambunctious rants here on Beams and Struts. Many of you know him from your time together offline. It’s not my
    business to comment on that. As for myself, while I never met Mr. Corkill personally except on Skype for one unforgettable night, his antics caught my attention...

    I am sad to report his passing. I am not sure if anyone else has broken this news, so I am stepping forward just in case.

    I wrote this Apologia, a memoriam in defense of his behavior on this forum. Like I said, I only knew Mr. Corkill briefly and cannot pretend my epitaph will nearly exhaust his insuperable essence, so please read charitably. And please read carefully. I offer it here:

    THERE IS A MAN who is dressed like a bird. He says things that you can’t understand. He is in search of exquisite finances and lives for the sake of safety and frugality in the
    tennis shoes that hang from telephone wires in Mexican neighborhoods here in the United States. There are many high-profile individuals that interest our indefatigable birdman. But there are disadvantages to his demeanor. He screams from another planet.

    He needs and wants the world to get onboard. But he has gummy teeth and he farts. He cannot talk to you without lolling his head back violently in ridiculous religious laughter. I don’t know this man, but when he flies over the city, his long bird tail trails him like a kite of pink tulips and he performs a vital sanitary service and function for our city: he tries to clean it.

    He’s only been given so many provisions for this task, people think him mad. After all, he wears yellow stockings and obscure Tibetan shirts and there are rats nipping at his birdfeet heels as he cleans the city. But generally, he is laughed at by people who are chain-smokers, drug-dealers and well-meaning intellectuals at the highest levels of
    commerce and society.

    When he’s not mangled in residential phone lines, he’s tripped up in wireless, supersonic fields of information, people communicating irrelevancies on their cellphones. He wants to play, but he smells bad and his act is a tightrope maneuver between the chasms of chaos and madness, which means the line he walks is christened by his cantankerous gall. This bird is fecund with his juice. His wire is slippery with it. All our wires are slippery with it.

    But what you don’t understand, what we fail to understand is that the long phone line on which his shoe citadel home dwells, the kite-tail that drags through the city netting our
    trash and the tight rope he walks between the thoughts you like and the thoughts you are thinking, all these lines are the same line. This line is an expensive line. This soul is an
    expensive soul. It requires... The birdman requires in a way that you require.

    You may think him insane, but look at your life and look at his life and look at life on other planets. Your life is confined to this planet, his is not. He’s surly, you are kind. He’s looking for a currency to finance his endeavors but you are not king enough to give it to him. So he must proclaim himself king. He must work with your mind while he’s flying in the sky.

    And when he collects his trash, he sorts the various minds from it, including yours, including mine. Give to him. That’s all he asks. He’s given his whole life so that you may return the favor, because what’s the point of life on other planets if there’s no life on this one?

    Don’t even forgive Phil Corkill, ask yourself simply why you were angry with his anger? With a bird flying in the sky. With a kite’s tail dragging across the ground, collecting dust. Your dust. There are no drugs up there in his shoes. No drugs up there. Only hope. Your hope. Buy it back. Support Phil Corkill for king, let him Reverse the Economy.

    Let him do what must be done.

  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Thursday, 08 March 2012 03:44 posted by Joe Corbett

    brian, your argument is the same one ken and others have used to dismiss my argument, but if you look at plato, justice is an inter-objective relation between the different parts of society, the class positions and relations. and although justice does have moral underpinnings, indeed as all the quadrants overlap and mutually define each other as body to mind and mind to culture etc., justice is not a subset of morality any more than obeying all the traffic laws is a sign of morality, or that oj simpson's acquittal means he is morally exonerated and did not in fact murder two people.

    justice is simply a relation between entities of a whole, a manipulation and positioning of players within a system, something a good lawyer or a good politician can do well, and nothing more. morality simply helps us to agree and choose what our justice will be, e.g. unequal and unfair or equal and fair.

    in other words, morality is inter-subjective with inter-objective (relational) implications, while justice is something inter-objective with inter-subjective implications. morality is about forging an interior consensus whereas justice is about manipulating exterior power and knowledge.

    alas, this is an argument that ken wilber will never grant because he has already invested his argument in saying, like you and just about everyone else in integral circles, that justice is just another subset of morality, and is not an archetype of the inter-objective kind. but if you keep believing that then lawyers and politicians will keep laughing all the way to the bank, because they know something that you and ken dont.

  • Comment Link Marco V Morelli Thursday, 08 March 2012 06:16 posted by Marco V Morelli

    As it's been said, "A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having." Perhaps the same should be said about a revolution without foolishness, humor, chaos, barbs of truth, twisted syntax, and false death notices.

    In a healthy ecosystem, there are strange squawking birds and plenty of so-called weeds among the flowers and berries. There are also sturdy large trees with broad canopies, industrious ant colonies, pollinating bees, and countless other beautiful living things.

    We can only hope to live in a healthy, diverse, integrated ecosystem and not a toxified or monoculturated one. This goes for our world at large, as well as for our little discourse community.

    Ultimately, of course, integral must stop talking about integral and simply offer a better way to live. That is to say, we each must find our way to be the change and do the change, and also screw the change and simply love one another (as best we can).

    Yet self-reflection and rational debate are also essential functions within a healthy system of the mind and heart and soul. So are discussions of practical actions; policy ideas; strategic proposals; and even the testimony of wonderfully mundane things like planting a garden or getting to know one's neighbors.

    Let's welcome it all, and also keep our eye on the ball. We all have real choices to make: how to use our time and energy, where to spend or invest our money, what to eat, what to commit to, whom to trust. Our choices have consequences, and they are also our truest practice.

    As a great teacher said, samadhi is responsibility.

    May we all be guided by our deepest, widest, clearest source of wisdom, keep our wits about us, and never lose that wild, poetic spark of life.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Thursday, 08 March 2012 10:45 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Six years ago I quoted Gebser in an article for integral-review, which seems appropos to Phil/Mark/Marco 's last comments: (note: Integral is used in Gebser's sense, not in the AQAl sense. For Gebser, the key characteristics of the Integral structure is post-dialectial, a-perspectival, and contextualizes time (none of which pertains to AQAL):

    In his seminal work The Ever Present Origin, Jean Gebser points out a critical distinction between the Rational Level tendency to codify perspectives, that is to arrange any number of perspectives according to their relations in systematic terms (aka, making maps) and the Integral Level which goes beyond the mapping of perspectives, beyond even the making of perspectives, into thinking and experiencing in a-perspectival ways. This is a difficult idea to come to terms with if one has already relegated (in one’s mind, through various exercises) all of the territory to a map of perspectives. If we have trained ourselves to see everything and everywhere through AQAL eyes, how can we understand the meaning of a-perspectival, or ever come to accepting such a possibility of a-perspectival thinking and experience? The significant question I have then, is how do we get from where we are, to Integral; from AQAL to A-perspectival? According to Gebser, we need a new form of statement:

    If we do not decide to risk “upsetting” some persons and things, and indicate the inadequacy of systems with their categorical rigidities, we will not be able to approach the new world reality. … [There] is a clear indication that the qualities of time which are today pressing toward awareness cannot be expressed in mere categorical systems. …We are compelled, in other words, to find a new form of statement. (Gebser, 1985, p. 308)

    As Integral writers, we need to be experimenting with new forms of statement. As integral thinkers, we need to go beyond the very horizons of thought and experience we have just recently come to define. Here is where Integral Art comes into play. Every age has their artists to forge the way into the next, to pierce through all our convenient truths into uncharted territory. We need only to be open to what they have to show and tell, despite the dissonance in us it might create, and in spite of all of what we know.

    Phil, Nice post.

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Thursday, 08 March 2012 18:15 posted by Brian McConnell

    Thanks for your response Joe. I too am grappling with both the concept and role of 'justice' in respect to integral theory and subsequently find your perspective intriguing. Along these lines, it's an especially interesting prospect to pose 'justice' as an objective outcome of the lower-right quadrant, comparable to one of my friend's contention that Beauty too, is an objective reality.

    Nevertheless, you'll have to excuse me for honoring the constancy of AQAL's theoretical context, and consequently would consider any attempt to deconstruct Mr. Wilber's brilliant insight at this point, misappropriated folly. On a somewhat lighter note however, here's a link to a diagram from Christian Arnsperger's, "Full-Spectrum Economics" (https://acrobat.com/#d=0meFLQxbIvOY2e8dpZOipw) as contained in a review by Russ Volckmann at Integral Leadership Review (http://www.archive-ilr.com/archives-2010/2010-08/arns810.pdf).

    Using this content as an example then, I wonder if you can envision ‘justice’ emanating from the bridged relations between the lower-right quadrant (LR) and that of the lower-left (LL) perhaps, via a process of ‘systemic culture’:

    [4] LR--LL: Systemic culture (ideology 3)

  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Friday, 09 March 2012 05:00 posted by Joe Corbett

    brian, i cant get to those links where im at in china, but i would definitely say that cultural ideology and societal institutions mutually influence and shape one another (systemic culture).

    i would emphasize however that both are hegemonically controlled by a skewed justice of power relations and wealth distribution, especially in relation to shaping mass consciousness through the media, schools, and conservative think tanks, and that this skewed justice distorts and impedes the development of the whole toward the material interests of the powerful and away from the possibility of more collectively (green and yellow) spiritual interests.

  • Comment Link Steven Nickeson Friday, 09 March 2012 15:17 posted by Steven Nickeson

    To David Marshal: Hey, thanks for the greeting and thanks for posting the Boomeritis endnote. I never read that book and I am glad. I read Mr. Wilber's take on the Berkeley demonstrators in his embarrassingly ill-informed essay on the War in Iraq and in one other piece, the location of which I have since forgotten. Both only mentioned the disproportionally large presence of people with underdeveloped values among the demonstrators. In light of the clarifying endnote you posted I have nothing further to say except that the statement, "but the general conclusion from all of the studies points to one thing: pre and post became strange bedfellows in this generation." has to be one of the most ingenuous, "I haven't gotta clue as to the history of the world..." statements I have ever read in Mister Wilber's Neighborhood.

    Now this looks like fun: Steven Brody says: "...but I don’t understand your assertion that Integral is a middle road."

    Lets cut Steven some slack because he might have just gotten off the bus. Back in 2005 on Integral Naked I wrote something radical and for that I got pelted with orange peels and egg shells and admonitions that Mister Wilber said that his Neighborhood would forever and always be stalwart on the Middle Road--Radicals Need Not Apply. I think we can say that is "always already." (Isn't that the correct jargon? Or is it, "already always..."? WTF?)

    So this middle road stuff apparently comes from the Chief himself. What can I say?

    I have spent virtually minutes in the last three or four days trying to outline a further extrapolation of my middle road comment...it is past due pregnant with extrapos to say the least. But I find them all so tedious and I have two art commissions to design and some fiction to write (which I believe, BTW, is a closer mirror to reality than anything found in Mister Wilber's Neighborhood) so the middle road through the Integral Province lays fallow for now. Next week, I'll be hanging on the beaches of Aruba and maybe I can work up some interest in this project again.

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Friday, 09 March 2012 17:06 posted by Brian McConnell

    Thanks for further clarifying your expressed perspective, Joe. I now have a better sense of just how deeply it shapes and informs your worldview. Very best wishes in your endeavors . . .

  • Comment Link Steven Nickeson Friday, 09 March 2012 17:28 posted by Steven Nickeson

    To Joe Corbett and Brian McConnell re: the Justice business:

    First of All--In the tradition of my ancestors: If some troubadour wandered in off the road to accept the hospitality--a meal and a place to sleep-- of the local war lord he was expected to entertain the gathering with 1) his street creds, and 2) his songs.

    #1. (The Creds) I am an nationally award winning investigative journalist who specialized for 15 years in legal issues and who has written two topical legal text books (long out of print), and thereafter spent 18 years as a legal (private) investigator specializing in civil rights and criminal defense. I know a thing or three about Justice.

    #2 (The Song) Justice is to morality what Yeats' poetry is to a Hallmark Greeting Card. In other words--Nothing. Go first to language and in language "Justice" is a legal term of art and it has never been anything more. Justice is the propagandist ideal that a government wraps its flag around when it tries to maintain the kind of peace and power that perpetuates its hegemony at the time. Lets go to government. If we examine the mitochondrial DNA of all contemporary governments they can be traced back...like the presence of all domestic dogs can be traced back to four or five wolf bitches in northeast Asia hundreds of thousands of years ago...to a handful of protection rackets spread here and there across the globe, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Jerad Diamond's term "The Kelptocracy," defined the pinnacle of this phase of humanity's Integral-bound march into civilization. The acts The Protectors undertook to protect those minions who could not protect themselves from outside predation was "JUSTICE"-- so sayeth The Protectors. The system still stands though there are centuries of blue smoke, mirrors, obfuscations and politics (as Orwell wrote: "politics...is a mass of lies, folly, evasions, hatred and schizophrenia") between the Integral illusions of our times and that of our direct forebears. And all of that which stands between here and then has robbed the word "Justice" of any meaning whatsoever.

    Justice is just a word for the rhetoricians. It is a whore-like, heart tug, cheap, off the street, demagog illiterate word. Whenever it comes up in a text, my BS detector goes on high alert because some kind of starry-eyed inanities are soon sure to be coming down behind it.

    But, Joe and Brian, the foregoing should not distract either one of you from your dialogue as long as it is sequestered here in the more xenophobic enclaves of the Integral Province. However, if you decide to engage your ideals of Justice with those of the Great Unwashed of Yellow, Green, Burnt Sienna, Puce and What have you, you might want to think ahead and abandon all your hope for defining and positioning Justice in the divine light of Integral, because a brighter light shines in the elder Wittgenstein's eradication of 95% of all such fru-fru metaphysics.

    I can feel your needs. Find a new word. "Justice" is all used up.

  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Saturday, 10 March 2012 05:21 posted by Joe Corbett

    steven, i agree with some of what you say about justice. it is about strategic warfare more than it is about moral goodness. and this is why i prefer to keep justice in the sphere of inter-objectivity, without references to morality, as it is a categorical reality concerning the manipulation of position within a system, and particularly as defined by those who possess power and wealth.

    and as for the relevance of justice as a word, i dont think it is any more used-up and outdated as an archetypal reality than are the words, truth, beauty, and goodness, as plato would have it, and especially in these times of the greatest skewed justice (aka injustice) in history.

  • Comment Link Katherine Konner Saturday, 10 March 2012 09:38 posted by Katherine Konner

    Phil lives in my living room. We have a contract with each other which includes giving him the benefit of the doubt. I think he wanted that clause in the contract because some of his ideas are so large, they can seem grandiose, and as though they come from the place of innocent hope. When i was young, I was put down for that hope, for not seeing reality the way I was supposed to. There was some plan that I was supposed to know about, follow, and build my life from. But for me, my life has always been about what to do. What do I do when someone insists that I am wrong and what do I do when my view doesn't break in half and crumble yet is given no recognition. I have a well of water but sometimes even the thirsty still want only wine. What do I do about that? Phil asks the question, how can I be more impeccable for people to trust what I am doing and fund the utopia we all want?

    Phil and I talk often. I feel and hear about what his heart aches from and what he is willing to stand up for. I see him day and night working to right what has gone awry, where power has veered wrong. Phil has the ability to hone in right to the place that needs shaking up, right to where most people don't realize they have applied a gob of invisible glue, right to that unconscious way of looking in the mirror to check on a belief in one's self.

    I give Phil the benefit of the doubt. I don't give up my view, my voice, my ability to say No or Yes. I give Phil the benefit of the doubt that he has a view which is important, worthy of my time to listen, to pay attention to where I feel like the moment touches me to. By interacting with Phil, I am encouraged to speak from the source of my language, from the source of what allows me to be doing what I have always known I am about, a human being who loves to play and be with other beings. So if at first there was an impression that giving Phil the benefit of the doubt meant that I handed myself over to Phil as I could to a cult, I'm saying our agreement instead gives me the right to find those places of hope I once hid from ignorance.

    I like Phil's latest post because he demonstrates a way to use words that are normally used for a linear path where instead, he hits layer after layer of meaning. So if you listen carefully, if you let the rhythm of hyphens kiss you where the sun doesn't shine, you'll spin, smile and enjoy the ride, enjoy the company, and let fall what has already been shaken up.

  • Comment Link Steven Nickeson Sunday, 11 March 2012 18:28 posted by Steven Nickeson


    On another issue, actually only a marginally other issue--Bonnita Roy's observation above, "As Integral writers, we need to be experimenting with new forms of statement."--I revisited G. Orwell's "Politics and the English Language," (http://iis.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/Politics_%26_English_language.pdf)clearly one of the finest essays to come out of GB in the last century. And there I found that Orwell agreed that "justice" was a meaningless word. Again it is an abstract prostitute that will put out a cheap little thrill for whoever wants to honor it with usage. "Injustice" has less currency and therefor a little more integrity, but it is just as abstract.

    Integral writers would benefit from reading Orwell's essay about once every six months for three or four years. Maybe then Integral writing wouldn't continue to marginalize itself by sounding like it was processed through a cult-code book or was an experiment in intersubjective glossolalia. I doubt if I will live to see the results because to write differently with require thinking differently. The quality of the writing reflects the quality of the thinking behind it. That will be a stretch for Integralites and Wilberries because they are mainly those who, as adults, preferred to make sense of the world by reading books written at 50,000 ft in the air, rather than just reading the world itself, the concrete, sensually accessed world. (And by sensually, I do not mean anything approximating David Abrams arid efforts, but more along these lines.[http://derechosalvaje.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/integral-province-sensualist-move-on/])

  • Comment Link WM Sunday, 11 March 2012 22:04 posted by WM

    RE " and I think his core thesis that “separation” is at the root of all our problems is fundamentally flawed. I think it conflates *differentiation* and *dissociation* — when really, it’s only the latter that’s problematic. Differentiation + integration is wonderful."

    dont know this theorist that you were writing about... but have been "studying" what kw calls "western dissociation" (up from eden) for some time.. I wonder, though, that since dissociation or relation etc can be so so unconsciously endemic (especially with influx of "medium is the message", "or the metaphor" as another theorist- neil postman- put it hyper-television/media world) might what we KNOW about dissociation in our own case intellectually maybe be the tip of an ICEBERG of titanic sized proportions?????

  • Comment Link wm Sunday, 11 March 2012 22:06 posted by wm

    that should have read
    dissociation OF relation..

  • Comment Link Brett Thomas Sunday, 11 March 2012 22:24 posted by Brett Thomas

    Hey everyone, I just completed an in-depth interview with Terry and Marco where they further unpack an integrally-informed perspective of the question "What's happening in the world?" and what role integralists can play in having a greater positive impact. Its now live on our Integral Thinkers blog.


  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Monday, 12 March 2012 05:09 posted by Joe Corbett

    steven, the right-wing and anti-labor organizers would certainly agree with you that justice needs to be discarded as a word, and perhaps for a brief historical moment during the 90s and the early part of the 2000s justice was out of fashion and irrelevant as a term, as was the word 'socialism' and other progressive terms. with the occupy movement, i think the time is ripe for a progressive revival of the term from its grave to specifically address the social problems we have today as a result of 30 years of neoliberal policies.

    furthermore, discarding the word justice from the conversation would not be a new kind of statement but rather would be the same old statement of not including it within the discussion of integral practice along side the other archetypal realities of truth, beauty, and goodness. are those terms useless too? in fact, naming justice as the discarded and forgotten 4th archetype within the aqal model is precisely the kind of new statement that i think bonnita speaks of.

    having said this, i appreciate your attempt to bring the term justice out from under its inter-subjective and ruling-class pretensions, but this is also what limiting justice to its inter-objective meaning accomplishes, redefining it in its proper archetypal relation and context as nothing more than the strategic manipulation of position within a system.

  • Comment Link Yan Sunday, 18 March 2012 13:26 posted by Yan

    Hi everyone,

    I appreciate the article but I wonder if the main reason why there is not much doing out there in the integral movement would not be rather...

    because it requires much more guts and is more engaging. debating about the fire is one thing; stepping in it is another, isn't it ?

    Well, maybe this is a pure projection of my swiss mentality (where I write and come from) known for its paralysing aversion to risk-taking ?

    Anyway, I feel that 2012 will empower many of us and give the little push we need to make it happen. ;)

  • Comment Link Yan Sunday, 18 March 2012 19:21 posted by Yan

    yet, ironically enough, Switzerland is the first country of the world which has set up a integral political party ;)

    great of them !

    More info in english in the document:
    Fein and Studer, Integral Politics-Swiss Perspective Vol.6 No.1-1.pdf

    their official website is unfortunately not available in english but in three of the four official langages of Switzerland:
    in french: www.politique-integrale.ch
    in german: www.integrale-politik.ch
    in italian:

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Monday, 19 March 2012 14:45 posted by John Bunzl

    Hi Yan,

    You may be right. On the other hand, maybe integralists want to make sure they choose the right fire before they choose to step into it ;-)

    For example, is choosing to incarnate an integral political movement in the form of a political party really the best way forward when Wilber and others have pointed out that globalisation now demands that we move from a nation-centric form of governmance to some form of global governance?

    To put it another way, in holonic terms any political party shares essentially the same regime (or code) as a nation-state, since the purpose of all political parties is to become national governments. Political parties, I would have thought, then, are quintessentially nation-centric; too pathologically fused with the very nation-state system they would seek to transform.

    Meanwhile, Occupy as well as all other civil society organisations and movements have the opposite but equally fatal problem, I suggest. Because they've chosen not to incarnate themselves as political parties, they unfortunately have no substantive traction on national electoral processes and so find themselves too pathologically alienated from the system they, too, would seek to transform.

    In other words, neither conventional political parties nor conventional civil society organisations possess the appropriate regime or code - the right characteristics required for vertical transformation. As Wilber points out, that key characteristic is Tenet 3: UNPRECEDENTED emergence. What's required, in other words, is something which is neither a political party nor a CSO, and yet is capable of a very decisive effect on electoral outcomes. Something that works THROUGH the system but is not OF that system. Something unprecedented. Moreover, as he also suggests, it would have to be global in scope and not merely national.

    best wishes,

  • Comment Link greg Monday, 19 March 2012 16:17 posted by greg

    Yes, John, something unprecedented, novel, new, unexampled. Yet not new or novel. Each instant goes forward by reaching back and drawing upon what's fitting. What fits, and how appropriate the fit depends on the clarity of the moment. I act, yet how free am I from ego, from pet images of who I am, from favored as well as unidentified identifications, from unrecognized habits of thought and feeling that make any of my decisions "precedented".

    A grounding in continual self-awareness is one of two requirements for exploring and enacting the unprecedented. The other, of course, is learning, study, research, and the sharing of it. Without the first, however, the second is merely discussion.

  • Comment Link Tom Atlee Tuesday, 20 March 2012 19:14 posted by Tom Atlee

    1. How do we embody personal practice in relationship to one another in a way that is also socially transformative, acknowledging the full complexity of our multidimensional world and crises?

    2. How do we undertake social transformation in a way that also embodies personal practice and conscious relationship to one another, such that our whole lives are transformative, taking seriously and exuberantly the full complexity of our multidimensional selves, world and crises?

    Interesting, yes!
    Shift the order, shift the view.
    Standing somewhere else.

  • Comment Link Wim Minten Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:21 posted by Wim Minten

    Great article...Yes it is time to take the next step...time is pregnant.

    Brahma Kumaris ( a worldwide spiritual movement with origins in India) was accused by the villagers of not taking care of their needs. They build a hospital which offers both spiritual, mental and physical help mainly for free. No more complaints. The Indian government was so pleased with this service that they build two new hospitals in Bombay and asked Bk to run them. Bk has build solar based systems for hot-water supply and cooking and serves over 30.000 meals daily on solar. Now the German and Indian government cooperate in building a large solar electrical power plant steam based. Physical Low-tech and Spiritual High-tech combined. One of the members of Integral Community has helped BK Holland restructure the organisation.

    As for "changing the world"... beware... A lot of what we may consider "Integral" might very well be Western Cultural. I have lived and worked in Holland, UK, USA, Italy and Portugal. Being engaged with people in rebuilding houses it becomes obvious that even within a purely spiritual environment a lot of things which are really important to one mindset has none or little value to another. Northern Europe values technology and cleverness, Southern Europe values relationships and closeness.

    Translating high-level Integral concepts to a workable environment is not a small thing. If you only speak English you will never understand what the Portuguese feel or value, simply because things essential to the Portuguese don't have similar words or meaning in English. There are 8 different words in Hindi which all translate to "love" in English. Misericordia and Mercy are the same only according to the dictionary.

    Maybe, more than anything else, it is time to realize that we really do not know and are incapable of transforming the mess we have jointly created. Time to let go and let God, clean up the mess and go Home. Humans have been trying to create a better world for at least 2500 years now. Maybe this is the time to look at the Father and allow Him a try.

  • Comment Link David T Wednesday, 21 March 2012 13:24 posted by David T

    The impulse to political activism in this thread is curious--very unusual for Integral, though probably wildly overrepresented by self-selection and not at all representative.

    But what it mainly reveals is the ideological grip of Spiral Dynamics: simplistic, regressive, grandiose, and clearly something Integral will never transcend. To see the dogma so placidly assumed even among the few integralists capable of challenging Wilber's dogmatic neoliberalism is telling and dispiriting.

    Spiral Dynamics has long been Integral's intellectual and moral death knell. For all the chatter here of doing something productive in the world, Wilberites still seem incapable of working with people without maintaining a fantasy of superior rank and the narcissistic conviction that only they can save humanity.

    When push comes to shove, I think Integral would let the world burn before they'd give up the sad ego satisfactions of the color code. It's one of the stranger addictions in the new age world.

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Wednesday, 21 March 2012 17:18 posted by Brian McConnell

    As author of an article entitled, "A Leaderless Revolution: Occupy Economic Democracy" (see: http://theemergenteconomist.blogspot.com/2011/11/leaderless-revolution-occupy-economic.html) and in my own personal involvement with the Occupy movement, I found Brett Thomas’ interview with Terry and Marco to be especially relevant in better envisioning the role of practitioner/activist/leader (see: http://integralthinkers.com/leadership/occupy-integral-interview-part-2/).

    Todd Goldfarb at Worldwide Tipping Point has also published an article similarly related to this topic of "Activism versus Spirituality" (see: http://worldwidetippingpoint.com/2012/03/activism-versus-spirituality-the-quickest-path-to-human-liberation-is%E2%80%A6/). In it, he addresses the respective strength and inherent shortcomings of each approach as a means of envisioning a more effective whole.

  • Comment Link Yan Wednesday, 21 March 2012 22:02 posted by Yan

    Thanks John for your answer.

    I have been involved for a while in the setting up of this swiss integral party so that I can tell you how the issues you mention have been addressed:

    - the party became a two wings bird: one is the party directly involved in swiss politcs; the other is called the "movement": it is wider in scope and cathalyse all initiatives of the swiss civil society that are integral in spirit. It is also involved in international cooperations.

    Second, the agenda of the party relates directly to the planetary dimension of the political issues, and the role Switzerland could play in it.

    Third, the party is not interested in competing with other parties; it strives for a cooperative approach. Also, its main goal is not power but pedagogy: teaching by example another way of doing politics. Bringing new tools and approaches in the political arena. Shifting the political culture of the country towards more integral approaches.

    On a more general ground, what would be the caracteristics and symptoms of an integral political organisation, according to you ?

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Thursday, 22 March 2012 06:38 posted by John Bunzl

    Hi Yan,

    Yes, I very much sympathise with your approach in terms of education and bringing people to a more global view.

    Nevertheless, to really "transcend and include", an unprecedented global hybrid organisation will, I think, be needed. You ask what that could look like, well you might want to take a look at the Simultaneous Policy (Simpol) campaign at http://www.simpol.org.

    Ken Wilber made the following comment on a recent article I wrote about Simpol for Journal of Integral Theory:
    “This is another absolutely fascinating article. John addresses the central issues concerning how global governance can be achieved even when only 5% of the global population is at Integral. This work moves the global governance conversation forward considerably. The Simpol campaign offers a 2nd-tier political practice that makes a great deal of sense, and it’s certainly worth backing.”

    Anyway, I hope you might want to take a look. Maybe Swiss Integral Party might want to contribute to the process in Switzerland?

    best wishes

  • Comment Link Yan Thursday, 22 March 2012 09:23 posted by Yan

    Hi John,

    It is a wonderful initiative ! I signed up as a supporter and will advertise around me through my personal website.

    As far as international action is concerned, I think that the priority would be to inform people about how the money system function and how its very design takes money from the poor to give it to the richest and how it enforces explotation of the Earth.

    This campaign could be done for instance by spreading widely the movies of Paul Grignon:

    all the best,

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:23 posted by Brian McConnell

    I'm pleased to pass along a link for a page created on Facebook in support of "The Integral Revolution", a book Terry and Marco are co-authoring in relation to their involvement with Occupy Integral!.


  • Comment Link Steven Brody Saturday, 24 March 2012 07:08 posted by Steven Brody

    John Bunzl -- (kinda intruding on you and Yan) In the most immediate terms, I don't
    think establishment of an Integrally informed political party is the most pressing concern, so I'm not even addressing that, per se.

    That said, an exclusive, or even primary, focus on globalization is not going to prevent the country/culture from its' regressive slide even further away from green. Several years ago, I think during the Boomeritis snarling, KW said that our next most critical movement of consciousness was from orange to green, and if and when that happened, what a momentus thing that would be. He hasn't said that a lot, and he's been criticized for not focusing more there, but he was very clear about it.

    Globalization evolves from green and this culture is not green, and getting less so. That is why Occupy is such a potentially important opportunity. Globalization will become heretical if the country continues to wallow in the pathology of half a century ago. Global government? In light of contemporary cultural center-of-gravity consciousness? Don't mean to be rude, but that is absurd. Don't get me wrong, globalization is the "correct" direction, but that is on the far far horizon, and somebody needs to focus there, but it won't happen in our lifetime. We (culture) can't even focus on green very long without tremendous backlash from red/blue/orange. Please keep in mind the magnitude of the contextual transformation that is involved in the shift into green / Vision Logic; KW said:

    "In my own system, for example, the stage of dynamic dialecticism--which is generated by what I call vision-logic--is simply the opening to even higher stages of transrational, transpersonal development. That is, dynamic dialecticism (or mature vision-logic) might be thought of as the highest of the mental realms, or the highest philosophy capable of being grasped by the ordinary mind, beyond which lie transmental or supramental developments altogether (psychic, subtle, causal, and nondual).
    Nonetheless, this mature vision-logic, with its dynamic/dialectical/developmental worldview, is the level through whichmost of the great modern philosopher-sages (such as Hegel, Whitehead, Gebser, and Aurobindo) have written and continue to write, even though they are often expressing insights seen at the even higher, transpersonal, transmental levels--and for the simple reason that, in order to mentally communicate at all, the mental realms must be used. These great philosopher-sages speak through the highest of the mental realms--the vision-logic mind--even as they are trying to communicate even higher transmental truths and realities."

    Vision Logic is not minced meat.

    Occupy's most pressing issue,imho, is its' stuckness in early Vision Logic, or "dynamic relativism and extreme pluralism". KW wrote the following years ago, and it seems to fairly well describe much of Occupy:

    "Postmodernity, whose task was to take up this integration and complete it, began most promisingly by even more clearly differentiating the many pluralistic cultural spheres--and then promptly aborted its own development at that delicate point, leaving the world with no way to relate the many different contexts that postmodernism had unearthed. Leaving the world, that is to say, in a completely fragmented, chaotic, fractured state, often while loudly claiming that its postmodern deconstructions were the only way to heal the planet, heal America, heal the world, and so forth. Under the ostensibly noble guise of pluralism, relativism, incommensurate paradigms, and cultural diversity, postmodernism opened up the world to a richness of multiple voices, but then stood back to watch the multiple voices degenerate into a Tower of Babel, each voice claiming to be its own validity, yet few of them actually honoring the values of the others. Each was free to go its own way, whereupon everybody went in vigorously different ways. "Consequently, contradictions run rampant. There is no order to such a universe...." This did not ultimately liberate the many pluralistic voices, but merely sent them scurrying off, isolated and alienated, to the far corners of a fragmented world, there to suckle themselves in solitude."

    There lies Occupy. Globalization is not the way out. Late Vision Logic, dynamic dialecticism, is the way out; (of course, from within the perspective of late VL, globalization is the obvious future).

    KW describes it quite succinctly.

    Sometimes we get blinded by the yellow light.


  • Comment Link John Bunzl Sunday, 25 March 2012 16:04 posted by John Bunzl

    Hi Steven,

    Thank you for that thoughtful interjection! I find myself a little confused, however, by your interpretation of the levels of consciousness. Green, in my understanding, is what Wilber calls "late rational", Yellow (in SDi) and Teal (in Wilber's model) is early vision-logic, and Turquoise (in both SDi and Wilber's model) is late vision-logic.

    I can certainly sympathise with those in the U.S. who feel the country to be regressing. Having reached Green, there seems to be some evidence of regression back to Orange or lower levels in some areas, as you say. And therefore the prospect of some form of global governance (not global governMENT - there is a big difference!) may seem too remote to many.

    But I would remind the doubters (if I may ;-), that the U.S. is not the only country in the world. Just because there is regression there, doesn't necessarily mean it's happening elsewhere too. U.S. society, in other words, may not be the national society that leads the drive towards global governance. Rather, it may be a relative late-comer to the party. Also, globalisation isn't founded upon Green, but upon Orange. It was the Orange wave that brought us the nation-state system and the international competition expressed in the Colonial era which has now reached its culmination in globalisation and all its attendant problems. As Wilber says, "Rationality is global; vision-logic is more global". Rationality spawned globalisation; (late)vision-logic will solve it.

    Late vision-logic, as Wilber has also pointed out on a number of occasions, would be characterised in the LR by some form of binding global governance or a "global nooshperic agreement" of some kind. This is not "yellow light", but turquoise light. And if there is blindness, it seems to me, it is blindness to the need for some form of binding global governance. For however remote the prospect may appear, and however hard it may be to achieve, the fact is we live in a globalised economy, so it's pretty obvious that nothing less than some form of global governance can possibly be adequate if the global economy - and its increasingly interdependent national economies - are to become sustainable and equitable. As Wilber notes, “The modern nation-state, founded upon initial rationality, has run into its own internal contradictions or limitations, and can only be released by a vision-logic/planetary transformation”.

    The question for us, I guess then, is what could that transformation look like? What kind of organisation would best express that desire and be capable of realising it?

    best wishes

  • Comment Link Steven Brody Sunday, 25 March 2012 19:32 posted by Steven Brody


    Yes, you're right; while there's overlap between the levels, I was much too sloppy there. For years I made the generalizations:

    Postmodern / TierOne


    Postpostmodern / TierTwo

    I see that I distorted the parameters of "VisionLogic".

    Here's KW: http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/cowokev7_intro.cfm

    "6. Green: The Sensitive Self . Communitarian, human bonding, ecological sensitivity, networking. The human spirit must be freed from greed, dogma, and divisiveness; feelings and caring supersede cold rationality; cherishing of the earth, Gaia, life. Against hierarchy; establishes lateral bonding and linking. Permeable self, relational self, group intermeshing. Emphasis on dialogue, relationships. Basis of values communes (i.e., freely chosen affiliations based on shared sentiments). Reaches decisions through reconciliation and consensus (downside: interminable "processing" and incapacity to reach decisions). Refresh spirituality, bring harmony, enrich human potential. Strongly egalitarian, anti-hierarchy, pluralistic values, social construction of reality, diversity, multiculturalism, relativistic value systems; this worldview is often called pluralistic relativism . Subjective, nonlinear thinking; shows a greater degree of affective warmth, sensitivity, and caring, for earth and all its inhabitants.
    Where seen: Deep ecology, postmodernism, Netherlands idealism, Rogerian counseling, Canadian health care, humanistic psychology, liberation theology, cooperative inquiry, World Council of Churches, Greenpeace, animal rights, ecofeminism, post-colonialism, Foucault/Derrida, politically correct, diversity movements, human rights issues, ecopsychology. 10% of the population, 15% of the power. ………….

    7. Yellow: Integrative . Life is a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies [holarchies], systems, and forms. Flexibility, spontaneity, and functionality have the highest priority. Differences and pluralities can be integrated into interdependent, natural flows. Egalitarianism is complemented with natural degrees of excellence where appropriate. Knowledge and competency should supersede rank, power, status, or group. The prevailing world order is the result of the existence of different levels of reality (memes) and the inevitable patterns of movement up and down the dynamic spiral. Good governance facilitates the emergence of entities through the levels of increasing complexity (nested hierarchy).

    8. Turquoise: Holistic . Universal holistic system, holons/waves of integrative energies; unites feeling with knowledge [centaur]; multiple levels interwoven into one conscious system. Universal order, but in a living, conscious fashion, not based on external rules (blue) or group bonds (green). A "grand unification" is possible, in theory and in actuality. Sometimes involves the emergence of a new spirituality as a meshwork of all existence. Turquoise thinking uses the entire spiral; sees multiple levels of interaction; detects harmonics, the mystical forces, and the pervasive flow-states that permeate any organization. …………
    Once those wonderful differentiations are made, they can then be brought together into even deeper and wider contexts that disclose a truly holistic and integral world: the leap to second-tier consciousness can occur--but only because of the work that the green meme has accomplished. There is first differentiation, then integration. Middle and late vision-logic (yellow and turquoise) complete the task begun by early vision-logic (green), and this allows us to move from pluralistic relativism to universal integralism (e.g., Gebser's integral-aperspectival). That is what I mean when I say that the green meme frees the pluralistic perspectives that second-tier will integrate.
    In short, since green is the conclusion of first-tier thinking, it prepares the leap to second-tier. But in order to move into second-tier constructions, the fixation to pluralistic relativism and the green meme in general needs to be relaxed. Its accomplishments will be fully included and carried forward. But its attachment to its own stance needs to be eased, and it is precisely boomeritis (or a narcissistic attachment to the intense subjectivism of the relativistic stance) that makes such a letting-go quite difficult. My hope is that by highlighting our fixation to the green meme, we can begin more easily to transcend and include its wonderful accomplishments in an even more generous embrace. …
    As the cultural creatives move into the second half of life, this is exactly the time that a further transformation of consciousness, from green into mature vision-logic and second-tier awareness (and even higher), can most easily occur."

    After rereviewing it, I see that I created excess overlap and didn't adequately made distinctions regarding VisionLogic. I don't know if this correction will make substantive differences in my thinking, but I'm certainly glad to have it. I think it only reframes the concept of VisionLogic for me; the developmental process is the same. And my concern remains.

    My concern is not attention to green+, rather it is disattention to and minimization of green integrity. While focus on green+, globalization, is unquestionably good and needed, locally the source of greatest angst is the dialectical between green and pre-green.

    Yes, it may well be that the impulse toward wholeness will be taken by a nation other than the US; several are ahead of us. It seems that part of that lagging by the US is reflected in and manifested by the socio-cultural issues that Pomo green is addressing. Because yellow+ is global, it is largely ineffective in addressing immediate local pathology.

    I continue to be drawn to the Bodhisattva vow (which seems awfully greenish):

    "May I be a guard for those who are protectorless,
    A guide for those who journey on the road;
    For those who wish to go across the water,
    May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.
    May I be an isle for those who yearn for landfall,
    And a lamp for those who long for light;
    For those who need a resting place, a bed,
    For all who need a servant, may I be a slave.
    May I be the wishing jewel, the vase of plenty,
    A word of power, and the supreme remedy.
    May I be the trees of miracles,
    And for every being, the abundant cow.
    Like the great earth and the other elements,
    Enduring as the sky itself endures,
    For the boundless multitude of living beings,
    May I be the ground and vessel of their life.
    Thus, for every single thing that lives,
    In number like the boundless reaches of the sky,
    May I be their sustenance and nourishment
    Until they pass beyond the bounds of suffering."

    Thanks for the dialogue

  • Comment Link George Por Saturday, 07 April 2012 08:51 posted by George Por

    This is a link to YABIOI (Yet Another Blogpost Inspired by "Occupy Integral!"

    My post for integral (r)evolutionaries, "Occupy Sangha," ends with two questions that I'd love to hear your answers to if you feel inspired by them. See: http://www.integralrevolution.com/blog/occupy-sangha .

    If you happen to enjoy reading and reflecting on that kind of stuff, please let others do the same by tweeting, Facebooking, G+ing or blogging about it.


  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:52 posted by Brian McConnell

    Amazingly enough, the publication of this article co-authored by Terry Patten and Marco Morelli has apparently instigated a genesis (perhaps) in integral emergence. Thanks in large part to Eric Troth's asking: "What wants to emerge from this space?" (see: http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/814-occupy-integral#comment3165) and subsequently initiating an Occupy Integral! conference call (http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/814-occupy-integral#comment3169), several phenomenal incidents have since occurred.

    Consequently, and over the last eight weeks a group including George Por has been meeting weekly exploring the idea of creating 'an integral commons'. Here's a brief overview of how that process has culminated to this point:

    Brett Thomas at the Integral Leadership Collaborative with Russ Volckmann of Integral Leadership Review and Bert Parlee produced a recent interview with Ken Wilber in which one of our generation's foremost thinkers extended an invitation to the integral community in announcing; "The Time Has come for Integral Leadership":


    Brett in turn, responded with an article at Integral Life outlining a plan for "Kickstarting a Movement" to further advance that prospect:


    As a result, the Integral Leadership Collaborative is hosting an Integral Town Hall Meeting this Saturday, April 21st. We hope you'll join us:


    The next step is yours . . .

  • Comment Link John Bunzl Friday, 04 May 2012 05:30 posted by John Bunzl

    Meta-doing or Integral Action?


  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Monday, 07 May 2012 13:22 posted by Joe Corbett

    regarding ken's call to integral leadership:

    in this talk kw equates being liberal with being non-integral!! no shit, listen for yourself!!

    i ask my fellow integralists: who will stand with me and call his bluff on this bullshit interpretation (and misunderstanding) that he has of his own theory??!!

    occupy ken wilber!!

  • Comment Link holomovement Tuesday, 08 May 2012 07:40 posted by holomovement

    lets be perfectly clear, kw: political positions are a developmental issue. i suggest you either read up on the critical issues that won't earn you fat corporate consultancy fees, or shut up when it comes to social and political statements because you are clearly underdeveloped and unqualified in these areas, and it is truly embarrassing to see the founding father of integral so ignorant about this line of development.

    i think perhaps kens political obstinance is a vestige of his ayn rand years, or maybe he has unresolved infantile or early childhood issues with his parents, and/or unresolved adolescent issues with his peers in the 60s, seriously. in any case, lets get to the lesson on integral politics.

    liberalism is green (postmodern diversity) and yellow (post-postmodern, or humanitarian socialism - not the old school of authoritarian planning but the new school of decentralized egalitarianism) with a small dose of red (the pre-rational bully).

    conservativism is blue (traditional) and orange (modern achievement) with a large dose of red.

    obama's campaign rhetoric had yellow post-postmodern qualities, such as his politics of hope, which turned alot of people on, but then when he got his feet on the ground post-election he regressed to the green-orange policies of a standard corporate democrat, alienating his base and setting his daughters up to become the paris hiltons of the political world once his corporate speaking fees start coming in post-presidency.

    consequently he lacks vision (and whats worse, he may even be a pathological lier to advance his own personal interests) and is limited to the first tier 'integration' of green and orange, such as removing the glass ceiling on women and minorities so they too can earn extravagant executive salaries someday, or waiting to approve the keystone pipeline until further environmental impact studies are done, and wanting to include a wider diversity of people under the corporate health care system, etc.

    if this is what it means to be integral and 'complex' then integral means nothing, and its complexity is for simpletons, and for corporate democrats and commercial spirituality gurus who desperately want to continue collecting fat fees from fat cats.

  • Comment Link Joe Corbett Tuesday, 08 May 2012 07:45 posted by Joe Corbett

    lets be perfectly clear, kw: political positions are a developmental issue. i suggest you either read up on the critical issues that won't earn you fat corporate consultancy fees, or shut up when it comes to social and political statements because you are clearly underdeveloped and unqualified in these areas, and it is truly embarrassing to see the founding father of integral so ignorant about this line of development.

    i think perhaps kens political obstinance is a vestige of his ayn rand years, or maybe he has unresolved infantile or early childhood issues with his parents, and/or unresolved adolescent issues with his peers in the 60s, seriously. in any case, lets get to the lesson on integral politics.

    liberalism is green (postmodern diversity) and yellow (post-postmodern, or humanitarian socialism - not the old school of authoritarian planning but the new school of decentralized egalitarianism) with a small dose of red (the pre-rational bully).

    conservativism is blue (traditional) and orange (modern achievement) with a large dose of red.

    obama's campaign rhetoric had yellow post-postmodern qualities, such as his politics of hope, which turned alot of people on, but then when he got his feet on the ground post-election he regressed to the green-orange policies of a standard corporate democrat, alienating his base and setting his daughters up to become the paris hiltons of the political world once his corporate speaking fees start coming in post-presidency.

    consequently he lacks vision (and whats worse, he may even be a pathological lier to advance his own personal interests) and is limited to the first tier 'integration' of green and orange, such as removing the glass ceiling on women and minorities so they too can earn extravagant executive salaries someday, or waiting to approve the keystone pipeline until further environmental impact studies are done, and wanting to include a wider diversity of people under the corporate health care system, etc.

    if this is what it means to be integral and 'complex' then integral means nothing, and its complexity is for simpletons, and for corporate democrats and commercial spirituality gurus who desperately want to continue collecting fat fees from fat cats.

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Wednesday, 09 May 2012 04:08 posted by David MacLeod

    Ernest Callenbah's Last Words to an America in Decline (author of "Ecotopia"):

  • Comment Link Radomir Samardzic Wednesday, 09 May 2012 06:06 posted by Radomir Samardzic

    I like your post Joe Corbett. Why dance around the issues. Let's call spade a spade. Political opinion is a matter of a level of development. The idea how society "should" be organized and what are boundaries the individuals would behave in it.

    I wonder what participants in this discussion think about following:
    1. Everyone seems to take it for granted that capitalism is the system we should be live in. If we could just tweak it a little all will be well. There is no mention of Kapitalism in the Constitution, though.
    2. I have studied Marxism long time ago, long before I heard of Spiral Dynamics and Clare W. Graves. Since then I keep seeing a lot of Green in Marxism.
    3. So called Socialist or Communist countries where in fact neither. The system was State Capitalism at it's worst.
    4. Maybe we can learn from the past and start thinking of a new system that might actually work incorporating healthy Marxist ideas as well and getting rid of faceless corporate predatory capitalism. This may take time, though.
    5. If C.W. Graves was right, the next social structure will inevitably have to be governed by Green. Since Green is still very young in it's development, we really have no idea what that may look like. (People mention Holland, but they are still organized on Orange principles.)
    6. So, instead of dreaming that we can establish second tier leadership, I think we should suport Green ideas with full force. The sooner they come into power (yes, I know. It is an oxymoron) the sooner the system they come up with will collapse and only then we can start thinking about second tier society.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Sunday, 13 May 2012 12:01 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    One distinction we can make is the difference between saying "politics is developmental thing" versus "politics can be viewed through a developmental lens." This is an important distinction - I am not sure which one would reflect Wilber's opinion more closely -- he tends to view everything from a developmental lens.

  • Comment Link Stanley Wednesday, 13 June 2012 11:59 posted by Stanley

    Occupy Integral (Continued)
    This writer is still delighted that Terry Patten wrote a very inspirational post some time back about the possibility of our integral community coming together to express care and compassion by taking beautiful action out in the world; . I am also uplifted at how warmly his post was accepted by our community. I never recall any post receiving so many yes votes.
    I believe that the time is quickly approaching to realize our good intentions by actually doing something good and beautiful out in the world. I recently learned that the numerous national Occupy tribes will be gathering together in Philadelphia, PA USA from June 30 to July 4th, 2012. I would like to invite all integrally informed brothers and sisters of good will to attend.
    Robb Smith, who I believe has much to teach us, tells us that we would do well to serve "the highest leverage projects that alleviate suffering and where integration is a critical success factor". I believe that this national gathering is such an opportunity. The organizers are confident that they will be able to assure occupiers with a safe place to camp and good food to eat. To be on the safe side they recommend we bring $10.00 a day for food.
    Would people who plan to attend and people who have helpful ideas on how integral can help with the occupy movement please share? And if he is reading along Terry is, of cource, also warmly invited.

    Originally posted at http://integrallife.com/node/200458

  • Comment Link John M. Bunzl Monday, 25 June 2012 05:26 posted by John M. Bunzl

    Well, it's been some weeks since Terry and Marco's excellent piece was published here. And there have been lots of good comments.
    But can anyone tell me if any practical, world-centric, integral political action has resulted? Has any concrete political methodology been developed that we can all get behind?
    If so, please tell me where.

  • Comment Link Eric Troth Friday, 13 July 2012 09:23 posted by Eric Troth

    Terry Patten will guide our continuing inquiry into Integral activism as special guest host for the Integral Community Call on Saturday, July 14. We will revisit some of the themes from "Occupy Integral" in light of more recent developments and ask "What's next?" for the Integral Movement.

    Information page (includes sign up link): http://www.integralleadershipcollaborative.com/fe/23399-integral-community-calls

    Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/200993763351720/

    The Integral Community Calls begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time and include two small group discussion periods during the main 90-minute call. Lines stay open afterwards. Many participants continue for hours.

    I hope to engage with you there. Please help to spread the word.

  • Comment Link Sybille Rulf Monday, 16 July 2012 19:57 posted by Sybille Rulf

    GREAT POST -and great FILM - the one by Troy Wiley.
    I totally agree about - BEYOND MONEY as well as the need of post-cognitive.
    I have in fact already written to some integral forum about some books (LITERATURE) that I would recommend as an inspiration to
    Ursula K, LeGuin's LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, as well as THE DISPOSSESSED.
    I would also recommend a beautiful, very inspiring film - in Fact a Utopia by Female French Director Coline Serreau - called - LA BELLE VERTE.
    These books and films help to imagine a future beyond the tyranny of Monetarism.
    THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH for this inspiring message

  • Comment Link Logan Saturday, 13 October 2012 01:37 posted by Logan

    Thank you for any other informative site. Where
    else may I get that kind of info written in such an ideal approach?
    I've a project that I am simply now running on, and I have been on the glance out for such info.

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