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Integral Punching Power: The Confessions of an Angry Young Human

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Above all, avoid falsehood, every kind of falsehood, especially falseness to yourself. Watch over your own deceitfulness and look into it every hour, every minute. Avoid being scornful, both to others and to yourself. What seems to you bad within you will grow purer from the very fact of your observing it in yourself. Avoid fear, too, though fear is only the consequence of every sort of falsehood. Never be frightened at your own faint-heartedness in attaining love. Don't be frightened overmuch even at your evil actions. I am sorry I can say nothing more consoling to you, for love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in the sight of all. Men will even give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on the stage. But active love is labour and fortitude, and for some people too, perhaps, a complete science. But I predict that just when you see with horror that in spite of all your efforts you are getting farther from your goal instead of nearer to it—at that very moment I predict that you will reach it and behold clearly the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving and mysteriously guiding you.

--Zossima, (Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Soundtrack 1

 

professional

I've come into the field of integral theory and practice, a groundbreaking holistic paradigm offered by such theorists as Ken Wilber and Vasily Nalimov, following my intuition of excellence. I was (and still am) an ambitious young man, white-skinned Russian, with some experience of living in the USA and some fluency in English. At first I was interested in neuropsychology, then clinical psychology, and then my flirtations with reality led me into transpersonal psychology and finally integral psychology. It was not a linear process, rather a complex, dynamic, non-linear sequence of events, choices, and pure mistakes that involved participating in business endeavors, projects, and dramatic relationships, spiritual rollercoaster rides, alternative states of consciousness, and immersion into the realms of the Internet.

The main driving force for me has been my intuition: I tracked down élan vital and devoured everything that would fuel my existential search. It was nothing sentimental, but rather strictly business of devouring meanings that fulfill me with thrill of existence. It was the intuition of creativity, self-integration and self-transcendence (all of which are essential for excellence) that led me from what some would call a poor neighborhood and stressful family conditions (that surrounded me during my elementary, middle and high school years) into getting a university degree in clinical psychology and consequently becoming a transpersonal integralist (a practitioner of integrating and enacting multiple methods of living while emphasizing being grounded in postpersonal, spiritual, and universal dimensions) who is experienced in communicating with people from all walks of life and is learning to love himself, his girlfriend, his family, his friends, and everyone he meets. Fiercely.

When I was an adolescent I wasn't able to stand mediocrity in the ways that fractured, fragmented, pathology-enriched conventional society of post-Soviet Russia offered me. I still can't stand it, and rightly so. The intensity of the body of life that I experienced in the past few years has been overwhelming me, my self-system, my meaning-making apparatus. Encounters with shadows of the past, perhaps even ghosts of past generations, as well as spirits of the potential future have been haunting me. Apatheia and melancholia are frequent visitors in the house of my soul; and sometimes I am put off by my own fragmentation and weirdness. I mirror my society in many ways, but fuck you very much, so do you.

christ and devil

I am really angry. In fact, I wanted to start this writing with the words "I'm tired of this shit." In the post-metaphysical journey of life, where I stop assuming things as "metaphysical givens" and become investigative by using my own lifebody as a tool for playful research and exploration grounded in radical subjectivity and enriched by integral flow of information, I learn to encounter everything with wonder and amazement. As my vision moves into seeing how the Kosmos echoes in seemingly very finite things, as my Heart awakens to deeper truths of the ever-present Now, the only thing that the mind is able to utter is often: "Holy shit! What the fuck are we doing?"

From the beginning of this text you might have thought that it was a kind of autobiographical "success story," but it is not: this is a story of a complete failure. The complete failure of ideas of Integral evolution in the hands, mouths, and heads of those who, as a colleague of mine skillfully formulated, write faster than they think and feel, who occupied the public discourse around evolutionary issues, established themselves in mediocrity, and keep repeating the same old semiotic patterns without a single burning flame of existential passion and novelty and with no pragmatic consequence. Myself included: I am guilty as charged in my fear of failure of pronouncing things powerfully in my own voice and manifesting the radically embodied transpersonal force, the very fear that leads to failure before anything is done. I am sick; and I see my sickness, at least this part of it. Do you see yours? Do you know what your sickness is about? Do you often get nauseated?

hate joke

In 2010 in an attempt to reach out to an international community of practitioners of integral and transpersonal approaches I started my experiment of intensive communication in Facebook and other social networks. Saying "I started" lacks the richness of what actually happened because I was somehow sucked into this endeavor by a creative urge which asked no excuses and acted with a totalitarianism of a Hitler in my heart. The inner dictator simply left me no choice but to surrender to this experiment.

I began with a simple practice of taking every bit of communication in Facebook seriously, an attempt for a conscious networking and in-depth exploration of communicative potentials offered by the contemporary social networking media. I think many of my Facebook friends would recognize that, in this experiment, I literally worked my ass off and put as much existential intensity as I could (as well as enormous amounts of time and energy) in order to bring meaningfulness to dialogues and uncover and communicate greater depths, meanings, states and stages of consciousness.

There are few things that enriched me in terms of information and life meanings in a greater and deeper way than this ongoing Facebook yoga. Those who say that new media of communication such as Facebook are shallow simply don't know how to cook them and are sometimes lazy and ignorant people who don't see beyond their nose and are too satisfied with their average life. Oh boy, wake up and grow up guys, there is an entire generation of human beings who probably spend more time communicating in Facebook than in real life. The problem isn't the technology, the problem is in how to integrate it with fuller and richer ways of life that engage all essential dimensions (such as body, mind, soul, spirit in first, second, and third person).

light

The other component of this practice was surfing the waves of inspiration and existential intensity. Existential intensity, existential intensity, I mention this term over and over again, what is it about? It is thanks to streaming Facebook conversations with such friends as Albert Klamt and Greg Thomas that I learned deeply how to frame this very basic intuition: the intuition of life's intensity, of being completely and fully and non-dualistically involved with the matters of life and death, of opening my heart to the world's pains and joys and devoting myself to what's arising moment to moment completely, right in the moment, right now, with real consequence.

Fyodor Dostoevsky is the name of that still unsurpassed genius who pioneered the walks of radical subjectivity and existential intensity and wrote the sermons of human drama with that big heart of his. As I was reading and re-reading his books in the past three years, I literally felt how a better, more mature, and infinitely more sensitive inner being arises in me, the being that is connected with the sufferings of the entire human race, its quests for the Holy Grail of existential meanings, spiritual abundance and transfiguration.

The existential intensity leads to the existential necessity for my individual efforts (and our collaborative efforts) to have an integral punching power that goes beyond mediocrity and breaks into novelty, creativity, and new habits of consciousness, brain, culture, and society. We have got to punch right in the stomach in order to generate a heartbeat and jab right in the head in order to open the blindfolded eyes. We have got to leave new tracks of meaning-making and patterns of coming to terms with kosmic karma and creativity upon which the further iterations of being-consciousness will traverse. We have to come to terms with our sexuality, mortality, morality, immortality, immorality, the necessity of producing pragmatic results in the real political world and of furthering the limits of human potential in ways that transcend merely local ambitions and enterprises.

And here is one specifically for my North American colleagues (but also useful to everyone else): Go and live outside of your home country for a few months or even years. Learn a foreign language. Learn the diversity and abundance of life and its mysterious ways. It is the time for all of us to disconnect from the matrix of fast-food meanings that were fed to us by poorly designed social systems. What kind of integral leadership can you speak of if you don't know the world outside of your habitat and the world inside of your mind?

Soundtrack 2

--

Both Paintings by Sascha Schneider (1870-1927) 

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23 comments

  • Comment Link James Barrow Monday, 19 March 2012 12:25 posted by James Barrow

    Thank You Eugene - this is quite brilliant.

    After initiating your Facebook Yoga nd re-reading Dostoevsky, can I ask what is next for you in your life in order to further your existential intensity?

  • Comment Link Eugene Pustoshkin Monday, 19 March 2012 14:54 posted by Eugene Pustoshkin

    Thank you James. My priorities are self-integration and self-transcendence through finding creative inlets and outlets and deepening my psychospiritual practice and ability to reside in deeper transrational potentials while fully embodying and immersing into more integrated levels of prerational (body and feelings) and rational engagement (intellectual yoga, wisdom) as well as interpersonal co-being (empathy, compassion).

    The current fluctuation brings me into co-weaving wholistic integral relationships with the beloved and friends, showing up to what’s arising in the communities within my reach, helping more integral communities to emerge in Russia and around the world, efficiently completing a series of projects that realistically solve important challenges, and action learning how to earn a living and be abundant through doing something exceptional that I am falling in love with.

    This is how the answer manifests in me right now, and I can’t predict if this would stay the same tomorrow. I am looking, looking, looking, feeling, feeling, feeling, hearing, hearing, hearing, touching, touching, touching, contemplating, and searching for pools of energies and meanings to devour.

    So the most truthful answer would be:
    I don’t know.

  • Comment Link Victor Shiryaev Monday, 19 March 2012 17:03 posted by Victor Shiryaev

    Absolutely awesome embodied message! Great post, brother!

  • Comment Link Eleanor Monday, 19 March 2012 17:48 posted by Eleanor

    An excellent essay, the last phrase is just what I'm trying to say to some of my russian friends =)

  • Comment Link Matthew Wesley Monday, 19 March 2012 18:00 posted by Matthew Wesley

    Eugene, beautiful. Existential intensity as the antidote to the failure of the promise of integral. Deep, deep bows.

  • Comment Link Lauren Worsh Monday, 19 March 2012 18:06 posted by Lauren Worsh

    Knock-out. Thanks, Eugene.

  • Comment Link Hokyo Joshua Routhier Monday, 19 March 2012 18:17 posted by Hokyo Joshua Routhier

    I love you so hard Eugene!

  • Comment Link James Moss Monday, 19 March 2012 19:09 posted by James Moss

    Brilliant bold and fierce cooking Eugene! As usual I resonate deeply with your sentiments ~

  • Comment Link Julia Monday, 19 March 2012 19:59 posted by Julia

    Eugene -- love your Juice. My practice is just this: shave the edge a little brighter. The widthless cuts right through. When it finally dawns that cognition is not Clarity then all the fierce words, including yours, ring true. All best, Julia

  • Comment Link Priscila Moura Monday, 19 March 2012 20:21 posted by Priscila Moura

    Awesome! Thanks, Eugene. And thanks to Albert, for (unwittingly) directing me to your writings.
    Priscila Moura, Brazil

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Monday, 19 March 2012 20:25 posted by Brian McConnell

    Got it Eugene (loud and clear). Thank you.

  • Comment Link Alexander Maneev Tuesday, 20 March 2012 00:09 posted by Alexander Maneev

    Brilliant integral trolling :)

  • Comment Link Eugene Pustoshkin Monday, 26 March 2012 12:42 posted by Eugene Pustoshkin

    Hello guys.
    Thank you for these messages of support for the writing. The topics being touched here are so vastly important—for me and, in my opinion, for everyone who is exploring the frontiers of consciousness, brain, culture, and society. This is in part a call for becoming courageous and opening to intensity in the immanent presence, as well as transcendence. Let’s find ways to help each other in breaking down the walls that inhibit our vitality and creativity.

    In Facebook Albert Klamt commented on my piece. I want to make his perspective widely available, since it is so far the most important comment which sees and feels into the core of a message I am attempting to co-construct with you here, therefore I am quoting it below:

    Albert Klamt
    “Thanks Eugene. This is outstanding. Like flashes, lightnings and thunder in the night. Cutting through the bulshit with a radical intensity which can be felt in every inch. Down from the cortex to the throat, the heart, belly, underbelly, spine and balls. It’s knockout language in blood language. In fact the birth second of an explosion in existential intesity on fire. Which is desperately needed in journalism, literature, film and every form of journalism. Like a high speed camera provides thousands of frames per second - and more - you deliver emotional red-orange white heated energy which is simply on spot. And cannot be stopped.”
    March 19

    I hope to see an emergence of at least a new culture of writing and communicating experience. Let’s get away from exclusively identifying ourselves with those meaningless third-person abstractions, let’s get right to the core of our experience: my pains, my passions, my sorrows, my joys, my aspirations, and my losses—let’s share these and co-construct an integral phenomenology of being.

  • Comment Link rachel Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:47 posted by rachel

    Eugene, you did such a good job here, although a god job might be more appropriate appreciation, reflecting better in texture and tone. I felt you, perhaps for the first time ever, the Love and deep, deep commitment - and scrupulous honesty - detailing the ceilings and cemetries and dead ends and massive, radical openings of your heart, mind, consciousness, creativity, and breathtaking, boundary smashing, ever present soul

  • Comment Link Eugene Pustoshkin Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:54 posted by Eugene Pustoshkin

    Thank you Rachel!!

    I witness that streaming Facebook discussions keep expanding and intensifying. Evolving. Albert Klamt just posted another important comment in relation to the theme of integral punching power:

    Albert Klamt
    “To create evolutionary breakthroughs in “deep space 9” subjectivity, life conditions, priority codes and bleif systems need to mesh very concretely. To create future(s) for Western civilisation and developing worlds of all kind the FORCE is needed. I had many conversations with Mark Davenport, Eugene Pustoshkin et al last year about integral punching power. It was Kandinsky who wrote somewhere about punching power of the soul and spirit. As long as distorted fantasies about detachement and nirvanic emptiness brainwash us nothing can happen. To be mad as hell is the challenge pioneers must risk. If you do not wet your pants when realizing this, you are already wrong.”
    Marh 27, 2012

    It was posted in a thread regarding Friedrich Nietzsche: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150633609197496&id=567862495&comment_id=21672394&ref=notif¬if_t=comment_mention

    I will re-type manually in capitalized letters the strongest point:

    “AS LONG AS DISTORTED FANTASIES ABOUT DETACHMENT AND NIRVANIC EMPTINESS BRAINWUSH US NOTHING CAN HAPPEN. TO BE MAD AS HELL IS THE CHALLENGE PIONEERS MUST RISK. IF YOU DO NOT WET YOUR PANTS WHEN REALIZING THIS, YOU ARE ALREADY WRONG.” (Albert Klamt)

  • Comment Link Steven Nickeson Tuesday, 27 March 2012 15:26 posted by Steven Nickeson

    Hey, this is good stuff, Eugene, and that is the opinion of one whose first profession was journalism, who has taught journalism, worked as a manuscript physician, creative writing tutor, book editor, etc. Based on that experience I hope you do not mind if I offer some reflections on your work, your intentions and the context in which they are placed.

    First: I have read both of your pieces with interest and admiration. But it was not until I read the last paragraph of your comment from Monday that I was certain I knew where you were headed with them. Those words were the most explicit of all. Good writing is explicit and concrete writing. God, I hope your inspiration carries to the far corners of the Integral Province since most of what comes out of the place are just puffs of air.

    Second: You would do well to practice storytelling. The Integral Province is almost totally void of stories much to the disservice of its imperialist ambitions. I wonder is any of the citizens there have any stories, and I hate to think that such might be the case. If one doesn't have stories, one doesn't have much of a life. Stories are the blood of effective writing. Rather than just say you are mad, tell the story of getting mad. I offer this as an example.

    Finally, I have to applaud your suggestion that Integralites should become expatriates at least for a little while. Influenced no doubt by Mister Wilber's general reluctance to leave his Neighborhood, Integralism0 has to be one of the most endogenous and North American ethnocentric behaviors I've come across in a long time.

    Best of luck, Eugene.

  • Comment Link Steven Nickeson Tuesday, 27 March 2012 16:06 posted by Steven Nickeson

    I just realized that hyper-links that are created in a comment typed in a blog editor and then copied and pasted here don't survive the journey.

    The relevant sentence from my comment above should read:
    "I offer this as an example."
    http://derechosalvaje.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/relating-to-aurobindo-an-essay-once-called-killing-the-beast/

    Sorry.

  • Comment Link Andrew Baxter Monday, 16 April 2012 22:54 posted by Andrew Baxter

    Hi Eugene,

    I'm sorry that I just can't share the enthusiasm expressed throughout this comment thread for your piece. Although I respect and admire the intention of your writing, and surely there is something within the labyrinth of your language worth expressing, I just don't see the point.

    Anything worth saying can be - and indeed should be - said without drowning in abstracted words and sentences that serve only to exclude and alienate readers. I appreciate that what you wrote clearly had an impact on a particular group of people, but I have trouble believing that this would have much of an impact beyond those people who've read and commented on your piece here at B&S; and isn't that what we're all looking to do here, reach out?

    You lost me very early on with this paragraph:

    In the post-metaphysical journey of life, where I stop assuming things as "metaphysical givens" and become investigative by using my own lifebody as a tool for playful research and exploration grounded in radical subjectivity and enriched by integral flow of information, I learn to encounter everything with wonder and amazement. As my vision moves into seeing how the Kosmos echoes in seemingly very finite things, as my Heart awakens to deeper truths of the ever-present Now, the only thing that the mind is able to utter is often: "Holy shit! What the fuck are we doing?"

    To be completely honest, and maybe I'm just an idiot here, but I haven't a clue what anything in that paragraph meant. Perhaps, and with all due respect, you could explain to me how I can, as you put it, "become investigative by using my own lifebody as a tool for playful research and exploration grounded in radical subjectivity and enriched by integral flow of information"?

    As someone with only a passing familiarity with the whole Integral movement/philosophy/language, I just felt completely lost within your writing, unable to participate, and as a consequence, a wee bit angry.

    I loved the Dostoyevsky quote leading off your piece. In my mind, good, effective writing is not a list of all the insider language you know, but rather the translation of that language, those ideas, and that spirit into the common vernacular.

    Anyways, thanks for raising me from my chair.

  • Comment Link Tom Tuesday, 17 April 2012 09:19 posted by Tom

    Enjoyed your article Eugene. Great writing!

  • Comment Link Eugene Tuesday, 17 April 2012 09:53 posted by Eugene

    Steven, thank you for recommending paying attention to the storytelling matter. In fact, I am fond how Jean Houston approaches writing, bringing in myths and archetypes. There is also something else I wanted to write about my particular style of writing but now am in a hurry so cannot give my full attention.

    Andrew, this is totally alright. Indeed, my text was largely targeted for a specific audience, plus some people who might resonate with the vibe (in my opinion, there can be texts which aim at broad audiences and also there can also be texts that aim at those who existentially resonate with something in the text). Also, the reader’s response was and still is very important for me, so I do not go into further elaboration. Still, I received good responses from people who are not that familiar with Integral philosophy. So, if it touches you, then this is for you. If not, then it is still okay, everybody has their own interests and predispositions. Also, of course, I am far from being skillful in putting my visions to words in English, which is not my native language.

    Responding to your question about what it means to "become investigative by using my own lifebody as a tool for playful research and exploration grounded in radical subjectivity and enriched by integral flow of information" and how you can do it interests me.

    Lifebody is a term I put for the entire mass of my own life which includes psyche, brain & behavioral, and sociocultural dimensions.

    Usually we start with an assumption that there is a pre-given world (with pre-given sets of knowledge) to which we have to conform and abide. At some point I realized that there seems to be the hypnosis that drives me and others to thinking like that. In fact, it seems that I am born as pure phenomenological openness, the presence, into networks of evolutionary formed (but not pre-given) structures of consciousness and culture. Therefore, if I embody the perspective of what can be called not-knowing and “a Zen mind is a novice mind” I release enormous creative energies. For instance, instead of believing the grand narrative that mass media and books offer me about the Russian society or the world I dive into this world, do careful phenomenological observations, analyze multiple histories and lineages of evolution and ground everything in subjectivity which is recognition of my own personal history and path (I am a white Slavic Russian born in that particular period of time who lived surrounded by these particular influences etc.).

    I would be glad to attempt to unfold these ideas further in a dialogue, so if you have further inquiries and questions and remarks, this would help enormously. Unpacking visions can be difficult.

    I appreciate that you felt angry. At times I felt very angry when I wrote the piece. Anger is great to be inspected. And you participate quite well with your comment, asking me, the author, to provide additional explanations!

    Tom, thanks!

  • Comment Link Andrew Baxter Wednesday, 18 April 2012 14:36 posted by Andrew Baxter

    Hi Eugene,

    Thanks for the quick response. My issue is not with any difficulty you might have with putting your ideas into English - you are a remarkably fluent writer of the language. Nor is my fight with you specifically. Instead, my issue is with Integral Philosophy in general and those who write and speak in its language and use its short-hand.

    Oh sure, the words are English (or reasonable facsimiles thereof), but, in my experience anyways, the words and phrases often don’t have any real relevance to the actual world they purport to describe.

    It’s just that I finally got pissed off enough to say something about what I see as the ‘problem with Integral’. Indeed, I had intended to comment on the earlier piece, “Why isn’t Integral more popular?” but kinda lost interest as the comment thread grew and everyone seemed to agree that the problem was that Integral wasn’t popular enough!

    I also agree that you are perfectly entitled to write something intended for a specific audience, and clearly you have done a great job in that regard. But I just have to wonder why. Why write for so narrow a purpose? And again, I pose this to all of you out there in the Integral world, is there not a bigger purpose to your thinking, your writing, your arguments? Or are you simply content discussing these things with each other?


    But even your explanation of what "lifebody", etc mean is still caught in this web of circular definitions, insider language, and overly-abstracted (and therefore meaningless to many of us who aren’t privy to the code) terms. I recognise that this is sometimes necessary, particularly when speaking of ideas and issues that are novel and exist outside what you call the ‘grand narrative that mass media and books offer’, but from what I can glean, this is not necessarily the case.

    What you’re describing is a very real process of opening up to the world in a whole way, of rejecting simple explanations, national myths, and old ideas in favour of a bigger, more complex understanding of the world. So why not say so?

    What you seem to be saying is that you’re attempting to break out of the social and cultural tethers that tend to guide our thinking and conform our actions, and think for yourself…which seems like a noble endeavour. I think that’s what we’re trying to do here at B&S, and so glad to have you on board. But why not just say that? Why does it need to be abstracted and separated off from real life? Why does that journey need to be described in such jargony language?

    My main concern, and this is certainly not exclusive to you at all (it’s just that your piece cemented these objections in my head) and extends to the entire Integral Movement – if I can call it that – is that it is this inability (or unwillingness) of many Integralists to speak to the general mass of humanity in a way they might understand.

    I’m not an un-intelligent man, and do have a passing knowledge of some things Integral, but the whole undertaking seemed to me – and clearly still continues to seem – to be disconnected in some very fundamental ways from the lived experience of the mass of humans now occupying this small little rock we call home.

    Marx was exploring some very deep and difficult ideas in his philosophical writings, using language and words that were inaccessible to even the most seasoned philosophers – ‘species-being’ anyone? – but he understood that the only way these ideas might transcend beyond his own brilliance was to make his ideas accessible. And so we have the Communist Manifesto: a wonderful piece of literature and pamphlet on oppression, capitalism, and the way forward.

    And so I am not speaking to you in particular Eugene – although I guess I am – but to the general group of people reading this site. I ask only that you begin making efforts to explain to me, and to the rest of us out there, why I should give a flying fuck about what you have to say. Why do these ideas concern me?

    Convince me.

    I dare you.

  • Comment Link Eugene Wednesday, 18 April 2012 17:10 posted by Eugene

    Andrew, thanks for sharing your vibe with me. You say that my text is jargony which is actually a surprise for me, because I did some work (with editors) in order to make it accessible. Let’s analyze each paragraph.

    Paragraph 1: I don’t use any jargon.

    Paragraph 2: I don’t use any jargon.

    Paragraph 3: I use the terms “apatheia” and “melancholia” with the clear intention for a reader to do his or her own critical research into what these terms may mean if he or she is curious enough. I also use the term “self-system” but explain it as “meaning-making apparatus” (of course, it’s not only that).

    Paragraph 4: I use the term “post-metaphysical.” It doesn’t come from the Integral jargon, this term is used by the mainstream philosopher Juergen Habermas. The link is provided to a very accessible piece where the term is explained. The term “lifebody” is the author’s (my) language. Please notice that this paragraph refers to pretty sophisticated stuff.

    Paragraph 5: I don’t use any jargon.

    Paragraph 6: I don’t use any jargon.

    Paragraph 7: I refer to the terms “depth,” “meanings,” “states,” and “stages.” These terms have a variety of usages.

    Paragraph 8: I don’t use any jargon with an exception of the reference to the terms from linguistics “first, second, and third person.” In Russia these terms are studied at elementary school.

    Paragraph 9: I unpack the term “existential intensity.”

    Paragraph 10: No jargon.

    Paragraph 11: A reference to “kosmic karma and creativity” with a link for further investigation by a curious reader.

    Paragraph 12: No jargon (with an exception of the term “integral leadership”).

    So, this really makes me wonder about your criticism.

    You write, “What you seem to be saying is that you’re attempting to break out of the social and cultural tethers that tend to guide our thinking and conform our actions, and think for yourself…which seems like a noble endeavour. I think that’s what we’re trying to do here at B&S, and so glad to have you on board. But why not just say that? Why does it need to be abstracted and separated off from real life? Why does that journey need to be described in such jargony language?”

    But this is not what I write about (I mean the first quoted sentence). In fact, I established that most parts of the text are written without any jargony language at all. The second reason why I write the way I write is because it is I who is writing, not you or anybody else. The writing comes from the depths of my being. It has particular vibe to it. It may be good writing or bad writing or something in between, different assessment could be made, but this is my writing which has my distinctive signature (the final version of which emerged in a dialogue with the editors).

    I want to elaborate even further. I believe my text precisely speaks to “the general mass of humanity in a way they might understand.” It speak to the general mass of humanity who went through a series of existential and spiritual transitions or who are about to go through those. Your ordinary mechanic Joe is not interesting to me. He lives his life in South Carolina and is not interested in metaphysics. He has his own purpose.

    You write, “I ask only that you begin making efforts to explain to me, and to the rest of us out there, why I should give a flying fuck about what you have to say. Why do these ideas concern me?”

    I don’t care if you give a flying fuck or not. Please note that if you heard me saying this, it would be spoken in a soft voice with a gentle smile. I really don’t give a fuck. It is up to you to find your interest in the matters. Integral philosophy has every clue for a person who is inclined to this field. But it just happens that you might have other interests and inclinations. So this is totally fine if you don’t give a flying fuck. But I guess you do, since you wrote this comment. Something bothers you. Remember, how Trinity speaks to Neo?

    “Trinity: I know why you're here, Neo. I know what you've been doing... why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You're looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn't really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It's the question that drives us, Neo. It's the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.

    Neo: What is the Matrix?

    Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.”

    Integral worldview in its most hardcore instance is about experiencing in your first person the realities hinted in THE MATRIX. Could it be that you intuit something important about it but have your (rightful and/or not) reservations?

    I don’t know. I don’t give a flying fuck and write the way I write (while integrating constructive feedback), since I know in my own being how important the matters are, they important enough for a few (the few) individuals to embark on a journey to study the jargon and transform their consciousness. You are welcome, if this is where your interest lies.

  • Comment Link Andrew Baxter Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:10 posted by Andrew Baxter

    Hi Eugene,

    Let me begin by apologising if my use of profanity at the end of my last comment was in any way offensive. I gather it may have been to some people, perhaps you included. I employed it as a means of stressing my frustration not with your writing or ideas, but with the whole project of Integral unfolding here on B&S and elsewhere. It was in no way a direct challenge to you.

    Secondly, I have no intention of getting into an arm wrestle with you about your writing style or intentions or the words you use. Nor do I wish to spend much more time on this issue (I’m a farmer now and it’s springtime! Never thought I’d get to say that.) You are perhaps taking my assertion of overly jargony language too literally. Again, while not wading into some sort of ridiculous debate about nothing - which is what a thread like this can degenerate into if were not careful – I will call your attention to just one last minor example of what I consider to be the use of overly abstracted, unconnected language (from your second paragraph):

    "I tracked down élan vital and devoured everything that would fuel my existential search. It was nothing sentimental, but rather strictly business of devouring meanings that fulfill me with thrill of existence."

    No, you are correct. Nothing particularly jargony there, but the sentence itself just doesn't say anything; at least in my own reading of it. How does one 'devour meanings that fulfill you with the thrill of existence'? What exactly does that mean? And look like on the ground? In the material and spiritual day-to-day of my life?

    (Another excerpt):

    "When I was an adolescent I wasn't able to stand mediocrity in the ways that fractured, fragmented, pathology-enriched conventional society of post-Soviet Russia offered me."

    Yeah, I get that. But could it not be said without such lofty prose? (Pathology-enriched?)

    Okay, I did not intend this comment as a critique of your writing, nor did I intend the last comment to be taken personally (although clearly, I intended it a little!) but rather a plea for clarity and simplicity in writing and communications. No doubt art is subjective and impresses some but not others. I'm quite willing to let it go at that, but I'm a disciple of the George Orwell school and his five rules of writing:

    Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

    Never use a long word where a short one will do.

    If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

    Never use the passive where you can use the active.

    Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

    And clearly I seem to be standing alone on this issue, so maybe I’m right off my head. That may be the case, but I guess I have a bit of a tough time with the fact that of all the comments that followed your piece, there was no a single critique (constructive or not), but rather a torrent of congratulations and pats on the back. This bugs me, so I thought I might remedy the situation

    My biggest problem, and I state this for the record, is not you Eugene, nor your writing (and to employ a hockey metaphor – a game our two cultures share deeply – if you were the one who got the butt-end of the stick in the ribs it’s just cause you were closest; “I’m sorry” I say through a gapped-tooth grin), but with the rather inwardly vision of Integral writing…as I have experienced it.

    So, good luck out there Eugene. I wish you the best in your continued metaphysical journey. I only wish that Joe the Mechanic in South Carolina actually did concern you. He may in fact be interested in the same things you are, he just don’t have all that fancy, big-city language to describe his own experiences.

    Cheers, and thanks.

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