Neotribal Zeitgeist (+ Companion Notes)

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The following is a new set of videos from Troy Wiley, an emerging voice who's weaving together materials from various sources to create thought provoking presentations like the ones below. This piece began as an introduction to the videos, but the more I sat with the material and took some notes, the more connections started to form and it's ballooned into something much more substantial (bordering on unruly!). I hope my 'companion notes' serve to flesh out some of the key ideas presented, many of which I think are important.

Troy's first video- Integral Zeitgeist- came out in November 2011 and offered some well timed critiques of mainstream integral global-villagethinking. The Occupy movement was a couple of months old and many in the extended integral community wanted to reduce/dismiss what was happening as simply an expression of postmodern (or "green") consciousness (cf. the Integral Trollz for more on this allergy), but Troy saw something different emerging, as did I (1). The decentralized networked planetary consciousness that's (also) being expressed in Occupy and the many other struggles around the world, shares many characteristics with what Spiral Dynamics Integral calls "turquoise" consciousness, or what Troy will refer to as the "neotribal worldview" (2). When I watched Integral Zeitgeist for the first time I remember repeatedly and emphatically pointing at the screen and saying "yes, yes" and "exactly"! 

These new videos also have a lot of riches to offer. I find what Troy presents in Act 3 stretches the capabilities of my current socio-economic imagination; I'm not sure my brain fully knows how to make that move yet. But I'm a big fan of the exchange of ideas in general, and I think the broad scope of what Troy presents in these videos is fertile ground for that, so I'm glad to add them to the mix here at Beams.

So to begin, here's the first of three videos that make up Neotribal Zeitgeist. The second two may be long but I think they're well worth the time. Enjoy.

 

Act 1- The Converging Crisis Birthing Transition - The Battle between Open and Closed Paradigms

 

The Supreme Ordeal

Troy refers to the convergence of crises we're going through as the The Supreme Ordeal. There are a few other notable figures who've talked about this same process but in slightly different terms.

Joanna Macy talks about The Great Unraveling and The Great Turning. David Korten also uses the phrase The Great Turning and speaks about the switch "from Empire to Earth community".GreatTurning

The philosopher Edgar Morin writes about the "Damoclean threat" that hangs over the head of humanity (due to techno-industrial development and environmental degradation), and the need to move to a recognition of our Homeland Earth. Morin writes- "We must transcend, without excluding, our local cultural identities, and awaken to our being as citizens of the Earth".

Author Darrin Drda's new book The Four Global Truths is subtitled "Awakening to the Peril and Promise of Our Times", the peril being brought on by global ecological crisis, and the promise being that we have the capacity to consciously create a different future (what he calls "a great evolutionary adventure"). He sees the supreme ordeal as a process of initiation by fire through which we're being challenged to re-integrate with the whole Earth community.

Martin Heidegger wrote an essay called 'The Turning', where he sees humanity awakening from planetary technicity and our profound separation from the Earth that makes us view the natural world as simply stuff out there for us to use as we wish. In that essay he repeatedly quotes an intriguing yet enigmatic couple of lines from the German poet Holderlin- "But where the danger is, grows the saving power also". (What could Heidegger mean? What saving power?)

And lastly, there's a series of people talking about energy decline and the end of growth, and you can even take a Crash Course on how to respond to the coming transition. Some in this field are also outlining what they see as the way forward through this ordeal.

 

Open and Closed Civilizations

One of the core themes in the first and second videos involves the distinction between "closed" and "open" systems. Capitalism is fundamentally what Troy calls a closed system. As Sasha Lilley writes in the introduction to Captial and Its Discontents, "Commodification and enclosure are at the center of capitalism and are magnified in its neoliberal form...While enclosure has been a hallmark of capitalism since its inception, the process of privatizing the commons has been accelerated under neoliberalism…Neoliberalism has also meant the continued and accelerated commodification and plunder of nature" (p.7-9).

08maypoleThe processes of enclosure and commodification have indeed accelerated, as witnessed in the privatization of water, the global acquisition by agribusiness of agricultural land from farmers, the growth of intellectual property rights and much else besides. For a powerful look at the human costs of privatization, see the recent documentary Catastroika.

This process might be speeding up, but the basic act of enclosure itself is what helped achieve the transition into a capitalist market economy in the first place. Here's how James Bernard Quilligan describes this history in his paper People Sharing Resources- Toward a New Multilateralism of the Global Commons:

The history of the privatization of capital and natural resources is well known. Beginning in the 12th century in northern Europe, and intensifying during the 16th century, the emerging free market laid claim to what seemed to be an endless supply of natural resources existing in empty and limitless space. Enterprising merchants, bankers and politicians enclosed these ‘vacant’ areas and turned them into legally titled property. Over the past several centuries, similar enclosure movements have spread across the world, subjugating and extracting resources which were previously un-ownable, fully accessible and often governed by local custom. Under the system of property rights and sovereign boundaries that has evolved, resource managers (public sector) and producers and providers (private sector) are kept distinctly separate from resource users (commoners).

These social divisions produce and reproduce the modern institutional norms of economic management and the creation of market value through profit and interest, which are said to be the basis of dynamic social progress and economic growth. But through this process of wealth creation, poor and native peoples have been evicted from their villages and lands and displaced from their means of subsistence, while customary rights and traditions over resources are criminalized.

The history of enclosures is a legacy of struggle and violence over rightful claims to property, which continues today.

The internet is currently a site of intense struggle when it comes to the debate surrounding open vs. closed culture. I wrote a post with some resources around this called Piracy is the New Radio- A Mashup About Mashups. The Harvard professor of law Lawrence Lessig has been a central figure fighting for what he calls "free culture", and his TED talk called 'On Laws that Choke Creativity' is a good entry point into the subject. The podcast called Second Enclosure Movement- Trademarks, Copyright and Patents is also a good introductory resource.

Others like Michel Bauwens are talking about "open-source civilization", and Bauwens' P2P Foundation is a leader in that growing movement. Another important figure in the conversation on the commons is the economist Elinor Ostrom, who won the Nobel prize in economics for her work on the economic governance of the commons. Here's a link to a video of her giving a lecture called 'Beyond the Tragedy of the Commons', and here's a review of her book Governing the Commons-The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. The mounting (global) struggle surrounding the commons heralds a general shift out of our current 'closed' civilization.

 

Act 2- The Age of Separation - The Old Story

 

Neotribalism is Not A Regression

I recently saw an integrally minded person post Troy's Neotribal Zeitgeist videos on Facebook with this caption- "Now watch as I reduce the turquoise box to a purple one"; or translation, watch how a supposedly emergent phenomenonNeotribal_People_open (neotribalism at a higher octave in Troy's view) is really just plain old tribalism of an ancient sort, nothing new or useful about it, in fact it's just more regression.

Now, maybe that's not what this person had in mind, but if they did I strongly disagree with this view. We need to step back for a moment and engage in some meta-integral analysis here. There was a strong current in the postmodern world of people wanting to go back to a time before modernity and the sick industrial civilization we found ourselves in. A lot of this was genuinely regressive, and I saw quite a bit of this during my years at university. And there was a strong counter-current of polemic in Ken Wilber's work towards this regression, with him using phrases like "the regress express" and the "way back machine" to describe all this. Here's Wilber from SES p.611:

And that regression infects not just social movements, it is becoming rampant in many types of "new paradigms", from tribal "eco-wisdom" to magical and mythical New Age imperialisms, to biocentric and ecocentric immersion in precisely the sphere that cannot itself take universal perspectivism. All of these, of course, are sincerely offered as "global" salvation, but most of them are simply splinters of a widespread, regressive retribalization.

There's no doubt that Wilber had a partial truth here, and his polemic was in many ways important for countering the many genuinely regressive elements of the New Age and the postmodern world. But it occurs to me that this extreme emphasis on regression has possibly hindered integral from actually being integral, by which I mean, this phobia towards regression of any kind has not allowed a space for the INCLUDE portion of the "transcend and include" equation to actually take place. It's created what Wilber called Phobos, or fear of the lower, and as he points out in SES, "Phobos is the source of repression and dissociation" (p.350). Precisely.

Let's stop for a moment to really think about one of the key fundamental realizations of an integral view- that past stages of tribaldancehumanity did not go anywhere but are still enfolded and latent within the human psyche. Nietzsche made several points in this direction, but it was really the depth psychologists who discovered this past within us. Here's how the philosopher Charles Hartshorne summed up this paradigm shifting discovery:

Freud’s truly great discovery is that the earliest manifestations of the cognitive-spiritual side of man become from then on part of the vague but potent background of all the later ones. What this amounts to is that the emotional-sensory past of man is the main material to which his later life gives ever new form. Past experience is the very substance of the present self- not some “matter” or stuff which in the past received form and now receives another one instead; no, just the past experiences themselves with their own very forms. Freud shares with Bergson the honor of discovering the great secret of process itself, which is memory in its primary sense of the direct possession of past events by present ones. (3)

According to the philosopher John David Ebert, Jean Gebser thought that Freud and Jung had discovered our mythic past within. I think it's worth pausing and listening to this short clip of Ebert talking about Gebser's view of the integral structure, as it has a lot to say about what we're talking about here (for the full series of videos, click here):

 

So to repeat a couple of key points that Ebert makes. All former structures of consciousness are latent within us, "they don't just disappear when a new structure comes along. The new structures come along and take the field, but the old structures become latent, and they can be activated in each one of us at any time; and part of the integral consciousness structure that came about from about 1870 on is the need to realize this, to realize and render transparent within oneself which consciousness structures are there and when and how they're active and when they're not and when they're to be used".  Ebert's last statement summarizes this again- "Each [structure] is accessible to us today, especially now that we're moving into the integral, where we can become for the first time aware of these different consciousness structures and what their uses are as tools, and also what their limitations are". In other words, transcend AND INCLUDE.

[It's important to point out that Ebert mentions recognizing the limitations of the structures too. This negation is inherent in the signifier "transcend", although maybe not explicitly enough. This is why I in many ways prefer Hegel's term for the same process, aufheben, which means to "negate and preserve", or to "simultaneously annul, preserve and raise up to a higher level". I'm arguing that Wilberian Integral and the community that's followed the dictates of this theory has been very good at transcending or negating, but very weak in the including or preservation.]

There are other notable figures who also see a neotribalism emerging at a higher octave.  One was Marshall McLuhan, who had this to say:

Individual talents and perspectives don’t have to shrivel within a retribalized society; they merely interact within a group consciousness that has the potential for releasing far more creativity than the old atomized culture. Literate man is alienated, impoverished man; retribalized man can lead a far richer and more fulfilling life — not the life of a mindless drone but of theGreenBlack participant in a seamless web of interdependence and harmony. The implosion of electric technology is transmogrifying literate, fragmented man into a complex and depth-structured human being with a deep emotional awareness of his complete interdependence with all of humanity. The old “individualistic” print society was one where the individual was “free” only to be alienated and dissociated, a rootless outsider bereft of tribal dreams; our new electronic environment compels commitment and participation, and fulfills man’s psychic and social needs at profound levels.

And in a recent article entitled The Next Buddha Will Be a Collective, the aforementioned Michel Bauwens writes:

There is overwhelming evidence that the evolution of consciousness is marching on, moving from collective living, where the individual was totally embedded in the life patterns of the collective; through a gradual, often painful, process of individuation, with the emphasis on the will and sovereignty of the individual; to what is emerging in our time: a conscious return to collectivism where individuated, or self-actualised, individuals voluntarily - and temporarily - pool their consciousness in a search for the elusive collective intelligence which can help us to overcome the stupendous challenges now facing us as a species as a consequence of how our developmental trajectory has manifested on the physical plane thus far...As we enter this new stage of individual/collective awakening, individuals are being increasingly called to practice the new life-form composed of groups of individuated individuals merging their collective intelligence.

Rather then a regression then, I think it would be more accurate to see this emergence of 'neotribalism' as a reactivation or retrieval of our past, a past that remains latent within and is now returning powerfully to the surface in new forms.

 

Retrieving Our Cooperative Past

One of the most important parts of our inherited past that we can re-embrace (or reactivate) is our long history of inter-personal cooperation as a species. There's been a steady stream of books recently emphasizing this dimension in human beings in particular, and in nature more generally. The economist Samuel Bowles has recently written a book with the behavioral scientist Herbert Gintis, called A Cooperative Species- Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution. In a review of the book, UC Davis professor of biology Peter Richerson writes:lightbulb-schooling-fish

Humans are capable of remarkable feats of cooperation. Warfare is an extreme example: when under attack, hundreds or even millions of people might join forces to provide a mutual defence. In A Cooperative Species, economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis update their ideas on the evolutionary origins of altruism. Containing new data and analysis, their book is a sustained and detailed argument for how genes and culture have together shaped our ability to cooperate.

The Harvard professor of biology and mathematics Martin Nowak has also co-penned a book on cooperation, entitled SuperCooperators- Altruism, Evolution and Why We Need Each Other to SucceedIn it he writes:

The two pillars of evolution are mutation and natural selection: mutation generates diversity, and natural selection chooses the winner. What I want to argue in this book is that, in order to get complexity, there is a third principle, co-operation. It's not just a small phenomenon, it is something that is really needed to explain the world as we see it.

You can watch a video of Nowak and his colleagues giving a half hour presentation of the book's contents here. The swarm behaviorevolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson has also played a central role in this renewed interest in cooperation and the collective dimension of evolution, writing a book with the philosopher Elliot Sober called Unto Others- The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. According to a NY Times article entitled 'Thirst for Fairness May Have Helped Us Survive':

David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary theorist at the State University of New York at Binghamton, sees the onset of humanity’s cooperative, fair-and-square spirit as one of the major transitions in the history of life on earth, moments when individual organisms or selection units band together and stake their future fitness on each other. A larger bacterial cell engulfs a smaller bacterial cell to form the first complex eukaryotic cell. Single cells merge into multicellular organisms of specialized parts. Ants and bees become hive-minded superorganisms and push all other insects aside.

[It's worth noting that there's also some resistance within the scientific establishment towards this growing body of work. For instance, there's been a recent rather fierce debate between Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson on related issues, and you can read David Sloan Wilson's response to Dawkins here].

So that's just a small sample of the burgeoning body of research showing the importance of cooperation in the natural world, and in the successful evolution of human beings. We spent two hundred thousand years of our pre-history in egalitarian hunter-gather bands, and many more thousands cooperating within Neolithic societies and 'barbarian' tribes (4). And if we add to this knowledge the key integral insight discussed above- that our past doesn't go anywhere, and can be brought to the surface at anytime- then this has far reaching ramifications for the type of vision that Troy puts forth in his videos. We've been so socialized in the post/modern world to believe that we're all just self-interested individuals out to maximize our own personal interests, with our whole culture promoting this narcissistic infantilization at every turn, that we can truly develop amnesia about this long cooperative past that (thankfully) still lives within us. global revolution

I've experienced this cooperation in several contexts, such as on sports teams, and have felt its power. I spent many summers in various remote work camps (fishing lodges, tree planting, oil rigs, diamond exploration), and I've seen how quickly a big group of people can come together, under very trying circumstances, and work fluidly as a unit to build a camp or empty a barge or some other such activity demanding all hands on deck. I've also felt how good that feels, how someone who you had nothing in common with and no connection to suddenly feels like a blood brother or sister, with an underlying bond being palpable. I felt the same thing in the first days of the Occupy movement here in Vancouver, and again during the 'casseroles night in Canada' (as I wrote about after).

I'm reminded of the old George Carlin joke, "The only time Americans come together is during floods". This ancient tap of cooperation can get suddenly turned on under the right circumstances. Tineke de Boer relays such an experience in her Beams article Living Under Water, where she recounts living through her first flood in her Dutch homeland.  "My alarmed neighbours hurried outside in their nightgowns (I live in a medieval 'hofje' with 15 other women), carrying buckets, towels, sandbags. (Sandbags? Yes, we realized we keep sandbags in the bicycle shed). We didn't need to say much, there was an immediate camaraderie and a natural working together to get the water out and the pump fixed. It felt very... natural".

This is, as Andrew wrote in a prescient early article on Beams, our shared inheritance. Reactivating this latent capacity en masse will go a long way to ushering in what Troy calls "the age of reunion" (5).

 

Act 3- The New Story- The Age of Reunion

~~~~

Chris Hedges- Welcome to the Asylum (April 2012)

"And as we race toward the collapse of the planet’s ecosystems we must restore this older vision of life if we are to survive…

Marx, though he placed a naive faith in the power of the state to create his workers’ utopia and discounted important social and cultural forces outside of economics, was acutely aware that something essential to human dignity and independence had been lost with the destruction of pre-modern societies…

Rebuilding this older vision of community, one based on cooperation rather than exploitation, will be as important to our survival as changing our patterns of consumption, growing food locally and ending our dependence on fossil fuels".

~~~~

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Endnotes

(1) The filmmaker Velcrow Ripper has had some interesting and insightful things to say on this point, one of which was in this excellent interview between he and Vanessa Fisher. The other was in a Facebook thread surrounding that interview, and Velcrow has given me permission to reproduce that here:

"It is curious how Occupy and related movements have not been embraced, not just by the integral world but by many activists as well. It was actually a big risk for me to go with the name Occupy Love [for his new documentary], a change from the earlier Evolve Love - which is definitely more appealing to those in the integral world as a title, and yet when Occupy sprung into the world I discovered first hand that it embodied so much of what I was already exploring in my work. However my relationship to Occupy is very similar to my relationship to religion or any specific system - these are great containers and can help memes and wisdom crystallize but they are just fingers pointing to the moon - anyone anytime anywhere in any context has direct access to the moon - to emergent love. The containers can be useful but can also easily become fossilized - love is a verb. There is also something incredibly beautiful that happens in these movements at key moments that is never quite the same later on - anyone who was in Tahrir Square during those first weeks of the revolution will talk about the magic that took place in that temporary autonomous zone that was a heightened form of collective love. It's always there but these events become great focalizers. But it is also messy and doesn't fit into neat boxes. These are all revolutions in progress. Evolutions in progress. To some of the people in the integral world it might be simplified and lumped as basic activism from the outside, and the experiments in collective consciousness might not be as evident - they certainly aren't shown in the mainstream media".

for more on Velcrow's upcoming film Occupy Love, go to http://occupylove.org/

(2) From the level one training manual, here are some general characteristics of this unfolding wave of consciousness according to SDi:

Holistic conception of multiple realities; reliance on holistic consciousness; community beyond nationalities or partisanship; ecological interdependency and interconnections; multidimensional chunks of insight; self is seen as part of a larger, conscious whole; global networking seen as routine; blending, harmonizing, strong collective.

 Conditions/problem = knows the earth needs a coordinated approach to new global problems.

 Management systems = holistic blend of insights from anywhere, anytime coming together for purposes impacting Global Village and all life forms.

(3) Ed. Charles Hartshorne, William L. Reese. Philosophers Speak of God. p.376.

(4) “Bands lack many institutions that we take for granted in our own societies. They have no permanent single base of residence. The band’s land is used jointly by the whole group, instead of being patronized among subgroups or individuals. There is no regular economic specialization, except by age and sex: all able bodied individuals forage for food. There are no formal institutions, such as laws, police, treaties, to resolve conflicts within and between bands. Band organization is often described as “egalitarian”: there is no formalized social stratification into upper and lower classes, no formalized hereditary leadership, and nor formalized monopolies of information and decision making. However, the term “egalitarian” should not be taken to mean that all band members are equal in prestige and contribute equally to decisions. Rather, the term merely means that any band “leadership” is informal and acquired through qualities such as personality, strength, intelligence and fighting skills”. Jared Diamond. Guns, Germs and Steel. p.268-269.

Also: cf. Cynthia Stokes Brown. Big History- From the Big Bang to the Present. Ch. 3.

(5)  “However, in the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries, we begin to see something (re)emerge in Western Europe. We begin to see real democratic revolutions going back even to the English Civil Wars where they actually killed the king!!

What’s changed? Why did the dark night begin to give way to those first muted rays of dawn?

Well, Mr Dyer argues that it’s not that Anglo-Saxon culture is either leading the way or special in any particular way, but rather that their technology let them have the first go at re-engaging our egalitarian heritage. These societies were still big, but they were acquiring technologies that allowed them to begin to have wider societal discussions about their collective futures, their shared values and their goals. The conversations that used to take place around the campfire, that had gone silent for millennia began to take place again but this time in newspapers and books”.

http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/253-the-genetic-origins-of-democracy

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24 comments

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Monday, 09 July 2012 18:52 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    I had the opportunity to view Troy's new video series before he posted them. I think Troy does a fantastic job with these. However, as I discussed with him I believe his "conclusion" about neo-tribalism falls short of a true leap into the integral consciousness. True, integral consciousness as Gebser describes, includes all the prior capacities. We can say that they are involuted into the human condition. But as Jung knew, there are also other kinds of "subjective" content deep in the collective unconscious -- not only latent in human evolutionary history, but in deeper involuted regions, such as shamanic (animal) unconscious, deeper still into primordial elements, and deeper still into energetic primes.

    What does this have to do with neo-tribalism? My own impression of Troy's narrative history, is that the agency/communion dialectic can only be resolved by going further back than the neo-tribal human -- because the neo-tribal human, struggling to survive, insufficiently integrated animal spirits and natural elements, when he disambiguated "human" from "nature"...

    So it is *this* primordial rift -- when man stepped out of nature and into history, which generates the negative dialectics of whole/part .. communion/agency, because man lifted himself from the ever present ground/source (and necessarily so, I might add)...

    One other response I have to the video series is that there is a huge shadow around our human history. If you watch the graphs it is right before our eyes -- despite all its "horrors" of man upon man, and man upon nature, this strategy has been very successful for us humans, and I believe that there is a tacit knowing that all humans share, that is reluctant to give this up... even those who are at the bottom of this success story. This is why people are looking to the future with the same instrumental rationality that has been our modus operandi ever since man learned how to capture fire and club someone with the arrow he had smelt-- look for this wherever you hear language that sounds like the rational engineering of the future human (for ex: trans human cyborg)... another indication that we are unable to integrate our deepest past, before we were made human...

  • Comment Link Trevor Malkinson Wednesday, 11 July 2012 19:38 posted by Trevor Malkinson

    Thanks Bonnitta, I like where you're going here.

    As you say, all prior capacities remain within us, so the re-integration of what your speaking about should be possible too. I personally wasn't trying to privilege any one aspect of reintegration in this piece, I'd like to see it happen all the way down the line. I've been doing a bunch of research over the past couple of years on the 'red meme'/warrior consciousness, and would like to add that into the conversation soon too.

    Could we call what you are pointing towards something like an "archaic revival"? And what might this look like? By which I mean, how would we be begin to practice such an excavation/reactivation. I'm wondering if these are some of the things you're focusing on (in part) at the Magellan Courses; I see Thomas Arthur of Earthanima has a new course, maybe this type of exploration will be part of that. http://magellancourses.org/facing-nature/

    I had a few random things bubble up when I read this first section of your comment, thought I'd throw em out there. The first was a statement by Gary Snyder in his 1961 essay 'Buddhist Anarchism'-

    “It is my own view that the coming revolution will close the circle and link us in many ways with the most creative aspects of our archaic past".

    http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/garysnyder.htm

    I was also wondering about Terence McKenna's notion of the Archaic Revival and if it has any relevance here. I don't know too much about his work (only read Food of the Gods), so I can't really say, but I found this interesting passage in a video. Mckenna:

    “Data has been arriving about the aboriginal cultures all over the planet, that they dissolve ordinary reality, ordinary cultural values, through an interaction, a symbiosis, a relationship to local plants that perturb brain chemistry. And in this domain of perturbed brain chemistry the cultural operating system is wiped clean, and something older, even for these peoples, something older and more vitalistic, more in touch with the animal soul, replaces it, replaces the cultural operating system. Something not determined by history and geography, but something writ in the language of the flesh itself. This is who you are, this true nakedness”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx2Cwyl35Og

    I'm not sure if this was in the wheelhouse of what you were driving at, but thought I'd put it out there. But if it does, it makes me wonder what role psychedelics etc. might play in that.

    Lastly, I was reminded of the David Abram's book 'The Spell of the Sensuous', and was wondering if his work is an example/in-the-area of what you're talking to. (I'm pretty sure you're familiar with the text, I searched the Magellan site and saw him referenced twice, once by yourself). I read it in an environmental philosophy class in university; I picked it up again yesterday, and it was great to revisit. So many quotable passages, but this one struck me from a footnote to chapter one, after he's discussed all of the natural world as being "alive":

    "To the Western mind such views are likely to sound like reckless "projections” of human consciousness into inanimate and dumb materials, suitable for poetry perhaps, but having nothing, in fact, to do with those actual birds or that forest. Such is our common view. This text will examine the possibility that it is civilization that has been confused, and not indigenous peoples. It will suggest, and provide evidence, that one perceives a world at all only by projecting oneself into that world, that one makes contact with things and others only by participating in them, lending one’s sensory imagination to things in order to discover how they alter and transform that imagination, how they reflect us back changed, how they are different from us. It will suggest that perception is *always* participatory, and hence modern humanity’s denial of awareness in nonhuman nature is borne not by any conceptual or scientific rigor, but rather by an inability, or refusal, to fully perceive other organisms”.

    Thanks Bonnitta, don't know if any of that is on mark or not, but that's what arose for me in response to your comment. Always appreciate what you add here and your timely entry into pieces that house important/potentially controversial topics.

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Thursday, 12 July 2012 15:53 posted by Brian McConnell

    I especially appreciate Bonnitta's comment because her experience stems from virtually the same circumstances as my own. I too had an opportunity to preview Troy's series prior to its release to the public and was also invited to express any 'sticking points'.

    While I find much to commend Troy's creative effort, after watching his video, like Bonnitta, I wondered about the absence of any reference to the role that contemplative or meditative practice plays in facilitating the development of evolutionary consciousness. To my thinking, this oversight constitutes a rather glaring negligence. Interesting too, I never received a response back from Troy.

    Consequently though, but (again) from my vantage point, even the/this subsequent discussion (excluding Bonnitta’s viewpoint of course) seems mired in postmodern muck (excuse my French). Along these same lines I suppose, recent comments I've posted to Beams and Struts expressing similar reservations challenging a contention that the publication's staff, editors, and contributors reflect ‘post-postmodern' views, has met with almost deafening silence.

    The travesty I see in this is that though Troy elicits use of Eisenstein's concept of The Age of Reunion, he doesn't seem to acknowledge that the 'separation' disrupting the functional relationship between ourselves and nature is only integrated (or made whole) through a radical transformation in being. Consequently though, this evolutionary development in response involution isn't merely a process of autopoiesis as Troy appears to champion, but one of conscious choice and navigation; 'transcend and include' . . . 'preserve and negate'! From my own vantage point then, I concur with Wilber's assessment "that all valid forms of knowledge have an injunction, an illumination, and a confirmation."

    Likewise, and as Eisenstein himself seems to recognize, there is a dimension [again quoting Wilber] "of Spirit (that) can be disclosed only by the eye of contemplation and its directly disclosed referents: the direct experiences, apprehensions, and data of the spiritual domain." (pg. 170 of "Marriage of Sense and Soul") For these reasons then, and suggesting as he does that the answer to our evolutionary dilemma will be resolved solely by adopting 'open' systems . . . well, Troy in his exercise of wishful thinking is just dancing around the underlying issue of effective action, isn't he?

    Okay. Now that I'm done ranting, let me pass along a link for an interactive chart Bonnitta graciously allowed me to further develop. Maybe it'll prove of help in clarifying any misconceptions:

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B7qaTBjzI8w_Q1lNTGhPekhEUmM

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Thursday, 12 July 2012 16:33 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Trevor, YES!
    You improved my comment with your own.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Thursday, 12 July 2012 16:36 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Brian,
    Nice job carrying forward this view...
    Looking forward to more..

  • Comment Link Lincoln Merchant Thursday, 12 July 2012 19:54 posted by Lincoln Merchant

    There continues to be a rather curious tendency to say that postmodernism has somehow already had its day and that it was merely a philosophical stance or cultural value set in the LL quad. Most of what Wiley describes in terms of neo-tribal economics seems in line with ideas generated from the postmodern worldview.

    The 60s revolutions that are frequently touted as the blossoming of the postmodern wave may well have been a revolution in the socio- part of the socio-political-economic system that makes up the LR quad, but the politcal-economic part remains thoroughly modern. Our political-economic institutions are designed under the assumption that self-interested parties will competitively and rationally pursue advantages and out of this mash-up a complex adaptive system will be formed which, guided by an "invisible hand", will deliver the maximum utility to the most people.

    Even in the socio-, the postmodern leaders/visionaries of the 60s generally didn't establish a postmodern society...more like they cleaned out a lot of the remaining legal sexism/racism that had been stuck in the fundamentally modern legal system.

    Maybe the leaders/visionaries necessary to bring the socio-political-economic system up to a postmodern level will have to be transrational, but I don't think we'll be see a transrational/post-dialectical socio-political-economic system for a long long long time.

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Thursday, 12 July 2012 20:38 posted by Troy Wiley

    Hello, and thanks to those taking the time to watch my rather long video series, and for commenting. Thanks Trevor for your great synthesizing article.

    I’ll address some individual comments, first with Bonnitta’s comments:

    "…conclusion about neo-tribalism falls short of a true leap into the integral consciousness. True, integral consciousness as Gebser describes, includes all the prior capacities.”

    Where am I not including all capacities? I think that is the very point of the neotribal vision, “community individualism” that includes (and allows for) both agency/communion, whole/part, local and world-centric care for earth, strive-drive achievement, rules and order, tribalistic enchantment and ritual, survival both individually and for all of humanity. However, I don’t think we need to include unhealthy dominator hierarchies or behaviors.

    “the agency/communion dialectic can only be resolved by going further back than the neo-tribal human”. “So it is *this* primordial rift -- when man stepped out of nature and into history which generates the negative dialectics of whole/part .. communion/agency, because man lifted himself from the ever present ground/source (and necessarily so, I might add)...”

    You keep referring to neo-tribal when I think you mean tribal. To be clear, I am not conflating tribal and neotribal. So, when you say we need to go back further than tribal, what does that mean? I think I understand your point about the original separation was the "man/nature split", or subject/ground, and I don’t necessarily disagree with it. (I addressed that in Act 3.) But what does that look like? What are your proposals to heal the man/nature split, and how can that address and solve our global challenges? And how can we do that without first addressing some of the systemic or cultural problems that skew our true human nature? Again, assuming you are right, what does this mean? What do we do with this knowledge? Help me understand.

    “…there is a huge shadow around our human history.” I don’t disagree

    “This is why people are looking to the future with the same instrumental rationality…” look for this wherever you hear language that sounds like the rational engineering of the future human (for ex: trans human cyborg)”

    Agreed, that’s not what I propose. In fact, much of that Trans humanism stuff is pretty scary. And I don’t propose the engineering of the future human, but instead our socio-economic systems that distort the wonderful humans we already are. Science and technology are not a magic fix, and I address how we are in great danger because our technology is ahead of our maturity and morality. I also point out things such as permaculture, where we can address and solve many of our problems without much if any technology whatsoever.
    But I also don’t think technology is to be shunned. And when people throw out verbiage like “trans human cyborg” I wonder if that is not projecting some type of irrational fear of technology? On second thought, that fear IS warranted under the dominator hierarchy systems we have been living under, and the resultant civilizational crisis we find ourselves in. All I’m talking about is a redesign of the way we relate to each other thru our culture and our systems and institutions. With or without technology, we can adopt (or re-adopt) some of the common-sense ways of existing that worked successfully for tens of thousands of years.

    Anyway, thanks Bonnie for your contribution here, and with all the great work you are doing with the Magellan course.

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Friday, 13 July 2012 03:27 posted by Troy Wiley

    Here's my response to Brian McConnell.

    (Sorry for my long posts, I guess they're just like my long videos:)


    Hi Brian. First off, I don’t recall seeing a previous response from you. I apologize if I somehow missed it. I am viewing these videos as sort of like open-ended evolving videos that may be edited as needed. So I appreciate any feedback.

    Below is my response to some of the comments you just posted:
    “I wondered about the absence of any reference to the role that contemplative or meditative practice plays in facilitating the development of evolutionary consciousness”

    First of all, these videos were intended to be more mainsteam, so I shied away from the more blatantly spiritual prose. I am straddling several audiences and some take issue with the more spiritual stuff. (But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be included).

    Secondly, that probably speeks to my own spiritual perspective and how I view it in terms of importance in solving our global challenges. My own spirituality and spiritual communication is probably most closely aligned with that of Charles Eisenstein. I think his grounded beingness and compassionate, non-violent communication is perhaps the most embracive and inclusive I’ve seen, which I think is what’s needed if we ever aspire to the neotribal vision I put forth.

    Somebody else asked me recently (unrelated to the videos), as to whether I encounter the divine, and if spiritual capacity and enlightenment is required to marshall in the revolutions ahead. Just for a little background I will share my response to that person here:

    “Thanks for inquiring as to whether I encounter the Divine. I think the divine is all around us all the time, whether we realize it (or encounter it, or experience it) or not. I am spiritual not in the mythic or magical sense, but in the sheer awe and beauty of nature, the earth and the kosmos. And in terms of purpose or meaning, it seems that life and evolution itself has some intentionality, some directionality. Evolution’s arrow seems to be pointing somewhere. And I always remember Jeff Salzman’s saying, “How did dirt stand up and write poetry?” If we think of the sheer miracle that we came to be something out of nothing, it’s awe-inspiring, whether we look at it through scientific or spiritual lenses. However, I do see that there is a natural hierarchy among science and spirituality and religion, where some perspectives are perhaps more accurate (in terms of what we are able to witness) and more able to address our global challenges. And yes, we need to certainly address the inner as well as the outer realms to solve our challenges…”

    I went on to say:
    ”In terms of my spiritual practice, I don’t follow a particular path under a particular teacher. I like Krishnamurti’s take on it, “You must understand it, go into it, examine it, give your heart and your mind, with everything that you have, to find out a way of living differently. That depends on you, and not on someone else, because in this there is no teacher, no pupil; there is no leader; there is no guru; there is no Master, no Saviour. You yourself are the teacher and the pupil; you are the Master; you are the guru; you are the leader; you are everything.”

    Now, in my videos I do make some mention of spirituality (or lack of spiritual development due to our closed systems that prevent it) and specifically address the natural hierarchy of science, spirituality, and religion in Act 3. This is a somewhat controversial perspective that I ascribe to which has been called “turquoise science” (Herrada, G. 2011 Science, Depth, and Global Mythos: What is the Place of Science in an Integral Culture? Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 6(2): 30-49). This perhaps describes why I put science over spirituality in terms of accuracy and importance in solving our challenges. I know this is contrary to many people’s belief that spirituality is primary.

    Regarding the question about spiritual enlightment, the same person asked me this, “Is it better to marshall the revolutions ahead with or without this capacity?”

    My response:
    “I don’t think we can have control over who decides to participate in the revolution. Almost by definition a revolution arises out of people’s lack of needs being met, whether spiritually, physically, emotionally, economically, etc. I like Buckminster Fuller’s quote: “We have learned in the last decade (and he wrote this in the 1980’s) from our behavioral science studies that aggression is a secondary behavior of humans—that when they get what they need, when they need it…they are spontaneously benevolent; it is only when they become desperate that they become aggressive because what they have relied on is no longer working. And in terms of Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs, there are so many people so far away from the higher things like self-actualization and enlightenment (and meditation). But those of us fortunate enough to have more of our needs met bear an even greater responsibility to engage in the revolution, but do so with the greater compassion and wisdom and peace that our positions in life afford us.”

    You said:
    “the 'separation' disrupting the functional relationship between ourselves and nature is only integrated (or made whole) through a radical transformation in being.”

    This sounds to me like you’re saying we don’t have a hope in the world unless everybody evolves to integral. Or that the common man has no place, serves no role, in participating in the revolution unless he meditates. Try telling that to someone deprived of the basic needs of life, that she just needs to meditate. And what if that “radical transformation of being” is prevented from manifesting by the vary socio-economic systems that we all live under? So what comes first, the chicken or the egg? What comes first spiritual growth and enlightenment or the healthy conditions in which that growth can be nurtured?

    You said:
    “…suggesting as he does that the answer to our evolutionary dilemma will be resolved solely by adopting 'open' systems”.

    Not solely open systems, but openness in all quadrants: in our hearts, our relationships, in our minds, our behaviours, our communications, our education, our science, our worldviews, everything.

    “Troy in his exercise of wishful thinking is just dancing around the underlying issue of effective action”.

    Sorry, wishful thinking is thinking that we can go on the same way we have been, making minuscule translative changes within the existing paradigm, rather than the transformative changes that are possible if we open up to them. If that paints me green, than so be it.

    I addressed effective action, or lack thereof in my first video Intergral Zeitgeist.

    Thanks Brian.

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Friday, 13 July 2012 05:09 posted by David MacLeod

    Lincoln,
    You mentioned "the socio-political-economic system that makes up the LR quad."

    What about the ecological/energy system that is necessary for supporting all other systems? More than any other driver, I believe that only what is left available from a devastated ecology and depleted energy basis that will determine what is possible in the next wave, which very well could be a kind of neo-tribalism.

    I'll wait until I've finished watching the last video before commenting further.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Friday, 13 July 2012 14:32 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    Tying up some loose ends - it seems to me that the radical shift we are looking toward, is toward the direction of Being, as a reintegration of all that is enfolded in our own becoming. A fancy way of saying this is that our onto-genetic arising, moment to moment, always re-seeds itself in source, which, like "stem cells" retains all the potentials that have actualized, as well as all the possibilities that have not yet emerged... this is the message of Gebser's title phrase: *ever-present* origin.

    The trajectory is that this involutionary aspect of our being, is continually brought back up in awareness *through* awareness itself. In other words, archaic reality was ontological being to archaic man, but is involutionary, onto-genetic being to us, as part of our own becoming.

    So the trajectory is in "a sense" "back to the future" except that in addition to this trajectory of being (onto) we need to add a new paradigm of meaning (logos) which does not codify ascent and descent (in the way Wilber does, for example in SES or the way he frames "up from Eden")

    without that penchant for dialectical categories, we neither see descent into the past, not a striving toward the future, but a generative system of enfoldments upon enfoldments, that are structurally stable, but neither causally determined nor fixed.

    as Phil Corkill famously said, somewhere here on beams, i think... the only difference between me and the ape is *time* -- the hundred thousand creatures under the sun, the myriad existants in the cosmos, the innumerable lives of the universe-- are all contextualized by what Gebser called "the anachronon" -- the a-temporal, a-spatial term that refers to the duration over which "events as relations" ocurr, always already and never-yet in their becoming.

    this is the view *from wholeness* which parses neither inside/outside, self/other, near/far, past/future... but swirls and morphs, as constellations upon constellations, enfolding and in-folding, becoming and perishing, through deep interpenetrating relatedness in infinite dimensionalities of the real.

  • Comment Link Bonnitta Roy Friday, 13 July 2012 14:42 posted by Bonnitta Roy

    to continue: the point is that the we are now beginning to consciously navigate the involuted levels, to a-ware (as Gebser would say) the prior levels of our being, instead of carrying them around as shadow-baggage. any resistance, diversion, rationalization otherwise, will merely add to the deep shadow content that has been accumulated. therefore, any model or teaching that stops short of complete exegesis, complete disclosure, complete "drilling to the bottom" where the worlds fall out into mystery, and then the mystery and the unknowing become integrated, too, in a tremendous epiphany of humility and awe-- will not only fall short of the mark, but add new levels of shale to the shoreline. which is great if you like to slog through shale -- challenged as we are like Sisyphus, happy to have the weight of stones-- to occupy by

  • Comment Link Trevor Malkinson Friday, 13 July 2012 17:36 posted by Trevor Malkinson

    Great discussion everyone, really enjoying what’s being brought forward and added to the mix. I’m going to slip in and respond to Brian real quick, I trust that all the other threads open will continue their own momentum and weaving.

    For transparency’s sake, I messaged Brian yesterday to get a better sense of what he was referring to in his comment regarding Beams. He let me know that there’s a few unanswered comments of his out there on the site, which I could understand seeming a little suspect, particularly when Brian’s raising the important question/challenge that he is. So apologies to Brian for those missed comments. It was no intentional silence on anybody's end here, just simply things getting missed among the mega-work project that is Beams. But having said that, that's no excuse, having authors respond to commenters is part of the culture we're trying to build here, so we need to keep tight on that. (And as I speak there's a few other unanswered comments out there too right now. You know who you are, get on it! :))

    In terms of your point Brian about the importance of contemplative practice in the shifts being talked about, you'll get no argument from anyone around here. We've published a fair bit on the site about contemplative/spiritual practice. Last week we published Occupy Mindfulness:

    http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/982-occupy-mindfulness

    Bergen is a student in the EnlightenNext community, and has published a few pieces on meditation:

    http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/304-meditation-reports-from-the-field

    http://beamsandstruts.com/bits-a-pieces/item/719-sacred-sundays-the-fruits-of-intense-practice

    Chris, along with being a priest and having all sorts of practices (like shamanic work!? what the? http://bit.ly/Jd7Zh3), hosts with his wife a regular Thomas Hubl group in Vancouver, and has written about Thomas’ work extensively on the site. The rest of us all engage in some sort of (semi) regular practice, and we all contribute to the Sacred Sundays feature we have on the Blog. So I certainly agree that contemplative work is important, and I think we’ve given that a fair shake in the mix here, but I’d be happy to put some attention/intention to soliciting more work in that area going forward.

    I think your critique that this dimension is lacking in Troy’s video series is fair, although I do appreciate Troy’s point about audience. It’s also hard to do it all in any one piece, but I do think a truly wholistic model/vision would also include this aspect.

    This is why I think Joanna Macy’s three-pronged model for change (http://bit.ly/MtOaJq) is so important to hold in mind. None of the three pillars (holding actions/activism, structural change, shifts in consciousness) are adequate in and of themselves, including contemplative work, but none can be excluded either.

    It’s also interesting that we should be having this conversation, as I just saw this video called ‘The World is Awakening- 2012- A Message of Hope’, which I believe is coming out of the Occupy movement. It talks about moving beyond the culture of fear towards love, but I didn’t expect the ending to have a big long section about the importance of meditation. I’d be curious to hear what others had to say about this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U53-YrzoL_A

    I’m also reminded of what Jonathan Talat Phillips has called the “new spiritual counter-culture” (with some caveats around that name). Here’s he in conversation with Jeremy Johnson. http://evolutionarylandscapes.net/2012/06/30/jonathan-talat-phillips-evolver-the-new-spiritual-social-movement/. Despite some more atheistically inclined communities that I know Troy is also speaking to, there also seems to be a growing segment of the population that’s already mixing spirituality and activism, which I find encouraging.

    I’m personally convinced that any major successful societal transformation in this era will have to have a central spiritual element, and of course personal practice is key to deepening that potential. Chris, Chela, Berg and I all sat in the meditation circle on the first day of Occupy in Vancouver, and I found that a very powerful moment/sphere, and was actually really quite moved by that space that day. I’ve been heartened to see this kind of thing popping up in many of the protest movements of the past year. I think the bond and solidarity that such connection can bring will be necessary in creating the type of united force and power that can slowly topple Empire.

    On that note, I think that part of Velcrow Ripper’s comment that I have buried in the footnotes bears repeating too. “There is also something incredibly beautiful that happens in these movements at key moments that is never quite the same later on - anyone who was in Tahrir Square during those first weeks of the revolution will talk about the magic that took place in that temporary autonomous zone that was a heightened form of collective love. It's always there but these events become great focalizers”.

    thanks again Brian for bringing this dimension of things forward. Hopefully us slack assess around here will get a little tighter on those comments going forward. ☺

  • Comment Link Trevor Malkinson Friday, 13 July 2012 18:32 posted by Trevor Malkinson

    I want to add one more thing in regards to Troy's point about audience and spirituality. Troy writes:

    "First of all, these videos were intended to be more mainsteam, so I shied away from the more blatantly spiritual prose. I am straddling several audiences and some take issue with the more spiritual stuff. (But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be included)".

    I think this is totally understandable; it's true that some indeed take issue with "the spiritual stuff". I wanted to add a passage or two from the political theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, who have begun to (bravely in their postmodern, Left (which often means materialist-atheist) context) use love as a political concept. I offer it because they themselves will speak to this issue of some folks being uncomfortable in this territory, but also because these two theorists (who I like a lot) have a lot of cred in those spiritually skeptical circles, so they can be a good resource to use as a point of connection.

    In their most recent book 'Commonwealth'(2009), they write:

    "All the theoretical elements we have accumulated thus far- from the multitude of the poor to the project of altermodernity and from the social productivity of biopolitical labor to the exodus of capitalist command- despite all their power, risk lying inert beside one another without one more element that pulls them together and animates them in a coherent project. What is missing is love. Yes, we know that terms makes many readers uncomfortable. Some squirm in their seats with embarrassment and others smirk with superiority. Love has been so charged with sentimentality that is seems hardly fit for philosophical and much less political discourse. Leave it to the poets to speak of love, many will say, and wrap themselves in its warm embrace. We think instead that love is an essential concept for philosophy and politics, and the failure to interrogate and develop it is one central cause of the weakness of contemporary thought" (p.179)

    And in their 2004 book 'Multitude', they write:

    "People today seem unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. The modern concept of love is almost exclusively limited to the bourgeois couple and the claustrophobic confines of the nuclear family. Love has become a strictly private affair. We need a more generous and unrestrained conception of love. We need to recuperate the public and political conception of love common to premodern traditions. Christianity and Judaism, for example, both conceive love as a political act that constructs the multitude. Love means precisely that our expansive encounters and continuous collaborations bring us joy. There is really nothing necessarily metaphysical about the Christian and Judaic love of God: both God's love of humanity and humanity's love of God are expressed and incarnated in the common material political project of the multitude. We need to recover today this material and political sense of love, a love as strong as death. This does not mean you cannot love your spouse, your mother, your child. It only means that your love does not end there, that love serves as the basis for our political projects in common and the construction of a new society. Without this love, we are nothing (p.351-52)."

    So to use a football metaphor, I think Hardt and Negri have done some important offensive line work here, clearing holes for further movement down the field in this direction. They also have a phrase I love- "Every interaction builds the flesh of the multitude". Every single way we act with others, all day long, can build the bonds and connections and beginnings of the next societal form. Hard to do all day to be sure, but I think an important point.

  • Comment Link Philip Corkill Saturday, 14 July 2012 01:40 posted by Philip Corkill

    (I'm breaking my Beams and Struts break - self-imposed, to learn the skills set of communication needed to communicate without getting banned entirely - to clarify)

    I wish I had said that somewhere on Beams Bonnitta! Especially wish I had said what you follow it up with. So much so that I want to echo it down here:

    "-- the hundred thousand creatures under the sun, the myriad existants in the cosmos, the innumerable lives of the universe-- are all contextualized by what Gebser called "the anachronon" -- the a-temporal, a-spatial term that refers to the duration over which "events as relations" ocurr, always already and never-yet in their becoming."

    That sh** deserves a Nobel prize!

    What I did say on Magellan Courses Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/325020080855594/?ref=ts) somewhere was this:

    "the only difference between Andrew Cohen and the ape is *time*", since "time", as Oliver Rabinovitch has famously said, "is the only essential in the Universe"

    I hasten to add, lest it be mistaken as another disrespect-of-my-earliers on my part, that this was not meant as an insult to anyone in the hominid family.

    Least of all homo erectus guru evolicus.

    I was merely suggesting that we all would extend our deep care, humility and awe to those/that which appears to us to be less concious than ourselves if we abuse our capcity for the activity of "mindtimespacing" as a narcisistic utility.

    Perhaps just wishful thinking on the part homo regressicus obnoxious, who's claim even about the time-difference is insecure.

    (Alright alright, back to square one)

  • Comment Link Brian McConnell Saturday, 14 July 2012 16:13 posted by Brian McConnell

    Hey Troy.

    It appears as though we’ve touched upon a topic of significant importance here. As a result, I’d like to thank you, Trevor, and everyone else who’s engaged in the dialogue and opening this ‘we space’ to further exploration.

    Thanks also for taking the time you have in considering my comments and subsequently responding. I'll premise my own by first saying how much I appreciate your work overall, and the particular role "Integral Zeitgeist" (see: http://vimeo.com/31167032) has played this last year in challenging integral hierarchy and fostering subsequent conversation. Secondly however, and in confessing the bias of my own preferences, this expansive form of narrative expression and interaction is really difficult for me. Some of my greatest appreciation for Ken Wilber's work stems from his very comprehensive approach. Nevertheless . . . forgive me.

    Also, but in respect to our prior communication, if you're able to access the thread containing our Facebook messages, I think you'll find my initial, rather brief, impressions of "Neotribal Zeitgeist" there.

    Below is my response to certain content conveyed by others than Troy thus far in the thread:

    For whatever reasons, Bonnitta's reflections seem consistently evocative to (or with) my own; and if I'm sensing those correctly, deeply affirm the complementary relevance of both 'communion' and 'agency' in informing the path of conscious, emergent Being. For these same reasons then, it’s also refreshing to see Phil’s remarks and his comments about Bonnitta’s own in saying:

    "-- the hundred thousand creatures under the sun, the myriad existants in the cosmos, the innumerable lives of the universe-- are all contextualized by what Gebser called "the anachronon" -- the a-temporal, a-spatial term that refers to the duration over which "events as relations" ocurr, always already and never-yet in their becoming."

    . . . a beautifully articulated measure of Spirit if I ever heard it! Thus, Phil too warrants commendation by exerting discretion, sensitivity, and political correctness in reference to individual members of “the hominid family”.

    This particular thread is also proving a rather significant ‘field’ for me in further deepening my communication and (interpersonal) relationship with Trevor Malkinson. Over the last 4 weeks especially, I’ve developed an astute appreciation for his commitment and diligence to this work and previously expressed as much to him. Consequently, it’s not mere synchronicity that’s motivated me to include his mention in respect to Charles Eisenstein’s and Ian MacKenzie’s efforts towards the end of a recently published article:

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Transforming-the-City-2-0-by-Brian-McConnell-120709-275.html

    Below is my response more specifically to Troy Wiley:

    It’s pretty clear to me that our views differ most dramatically in our respective understanding of ‘knowledge’ as it translates to the relational hierarchy between (in your words) “science and spirituality and religion”. Along these same lines, and in setting the stage for what Wilber has termed “the great integration” and Eisenstein calls “The Age of Reunion”, from my vantage point, contemplative practice is imperative.

    “Thus, the great integration can never be achieved by Nature alone, or by Mind alone, or by any combination of the two. Only Spirit itself, which is beyond any feelings of Nature and beyond any thoughts of Mind, can effect this radical unity. Spirit alone transcends and includes Mind and Nature.” from pg. 109 of Wilber’s, “The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion”

    similarly:

    “And where the exemplar in the physical sciences might be a telescope, and in the mental sciences might be linguistic interpretation, in the spiritual science the exemplar, the injunction, the paradigm, the practice is meditation or contemplation.” from pg. 170 of “The Marriage of Sense and Soul”

    Ironically enough, while I’m in almost complete accord with your conclusions regarding the significance of neo-tribal development (see: http://integrallife.com/member/brian-mcconnell/blog/tribal-leadership-integral-perspective) within the broader, evolutionary context, I also recognize the practical necessity of transcending prior modes of thought including Romanticism, Idealism, and Postmodernism in transformation to ‘the more beautiful worlds our hearts tell us is possible’.

    Consequently then, and contrary to your speculation (again in your words) “that the common man has no place, serves no role, in participating in the revolution unless he meditates” I instead, strongly advocate an ‘evolutionary activism’ comparable to that envisioned by Terry Patten (see: http://www.integralspiritualpractice.com/blog/evolutionary-activism-%E2%80%94-a-bodhidharma-strategy) and his challenge to “Occupy Integral!” (see: http://beamsandstruts.com/articles/item/814-occupy-integral).

    Within my own city then, a significant portion of my own efforts are directed towards forming ‘communities of practice’ comprised of ‘change agents’ functioning as practitioners in service to their respective neighborhoods. As a matter of fact, we have plans to begin one such group comprised of underemployed members of our homeless and recovery populace in the next few days, working with Bo Lozoff’s, “Deep and Simple”. So, in answer to your question about the respective level at which we begin the work and whether or not it includes those “deprived of the basic needs of life” I’d respond, let’s stop talking so much about it . . . and Just Do It!

    Wishing you Peace, Troy.

  • Comment Link Trevor Malkinson Monday, 16 July 2012 16:33 posted by Trevor Malkinson

    Thanks Brian, the work you describe at the end of your comment sounds really interesting, I'd like to hear more about it sometime. I'll be starting fieldwork in seminary this year, and might get some ideas/inspiration from you're doing there.

    Phil, great to hear your voice again. Your verbal acrobatics have sailed to new heights after the long Magellan voyage, always enjoyable to read. You and Oliver will have to co-pen a piece one day, that would be epic.

    I also wanted to let other readers of the thread know, especially ones who came from an outside link, that Chris' post 'Do Cultures Develop?' has a lot of overlap and resonance with some of the themes in this piece and thread. Lots of similar shifts and openings, as well as contestations, happening.

    http://beamsandstruts.com/bits-a-pieces/item/988-do-cultures-develop?-an-integral-question

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Tuesday, 17 July 2012 04:55 posted by David MacLeod

    Not sure where to start here, but I really do appreciate the videos, the companion notes, and the really great discussion here with all of the added insights. And I have some fairly strong concerns.

    To acknowledge my own bias, I'll state at the outset that my own current framework is sandwiching the integral/spiral dynamics model in between an energy/ecology foundation and the permaculture principles of David Holmgren (hence "Integral Permaculture" - http://integralpermaculture.wordpress.com), which is somewhat different than Troy's sandwiching of integral/spiral dynamics between neotribalism and the Zeitgeist of Peter Joseph and Resource Based Economics of Jacque Fresco.

    I really resonate with the critique of integral. Coming out of the "green meme" myself, I found many of Wilber's comments to be very helpful to moderate my own views and expand my perspectives. But I absolutely agree with how Trevor put it, "that this extreme emphasis on regression has possibly hindered integral from actually being integral, by which I mean, this phobia towards regression of any kind has not allowed a space for the INCLUDE portion of the "transcend and include" equation to actually take place."

    And so I appreciate how Troy is challenging many of the modern values previously unchallenged by integral, and especially the renewed emphasis on the environment and sustainability.

    I was glad to see Troy referencing Anodea Judith's "Waking the Global Heart," (http://www.wakingtheglobalheart.com/), which deserves wider recognition than it has received (and is integral friendly, with numerous references to Wilber). Another reference I appreciated was to Chris Martenson's Crash Course, which is a great resource (http://www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse).

    Also, Trevor's references to David Korten's 'The Great Turning' (http://www.davidkorten.org/great-turning-book), two Richard Heinberg essays on peak everything and the end of growth - see latest updates: http://richardheinberg.com/museletter-241-end-of-growth-update-part-1
    and http://richardheinberg.com/museletter-242-the-end-of-growth-update-part-2 and a short video summary: Who Killed Economic Growth
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQqDS9wGsxQ&feature=player_embedded

    These are all right up my alley, as well as the link to Holmgren's Future Scenarios, which is what my thinking tracks with:
    http://www.futurescenarios.org

    The equating of the turquoise level of consciousness with neotribalism was a new idea for me. Whereas I previously would have associated it with regression (even in spite of the fact that I already agreed that integral had gone too far in that emphasis), I am now more open to seeing how neotribalism fits turquiose consciousness.

    Where I really begin to have trouble keeping aligned is in Part 3 of Troy's video, and I am a little bit surprised that so far no one here has commented on the material dealing with Peter Joseph (Zeitgeist) and Jacque Fresco (The Venus Project and Resource Based Economies) - other than Trevor's comment that "I find what Troy presents in Act 3 stretches the capabilities of my current socio-economic imagination; I'm not sure my brain fully knows how to make that move yet."

    When I watched the Zeitgeist movie a few years ago, I felt that it raised legitimate issues in some cases, but was too confusing and misleading and in the end created more shadows and confusions that left the viewer worse off for the experience. Some have called it "agitprop," which I think is fair. I had pretty much the same reaction as expressed in the review by The Irish Times entitled "Zeitgeist: the Nonsense," quoted at Wikipedia: "these are surreal perversions of genuine issues and debates, and they tarnish all criticism of faith, the Bush administration and globalization—there are more than enough factual injustices in this world to be going around without having to invent fictional ones."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeitgeist:_The_Movie

    So it is disappointing to me that Troy is going down this road after such a good start.

    Jacque Fresco and the Venus Project has also been closely aligned with the Zeitgeist movement, but I see Fresco as a more legitimate voice with coherent ideas. But I have strong concerns here too.

    When reading about Fresco at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacque_Fresco), and learning about his thoughts on things like "Sociocyberneering," I started to think this was sounding a lot like the Technocracy movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technocracy_movement). It turns out I was right, as some key influences were "Edward Bellamy, who wrote the extremely influential book, Looking Backward; Thorstein Veblen, who influenced the Technocracy movement and Howard Scott, who popularized it..."

    Technocracy had some popularity in the early '30s; in a nutshell they believe we'd be better off if the world was run by scientists, engineers, and technocrats. One of my heroes, M. King Hubbert, belonged to this organization. Although they have some good ideas, I just can't get behind their top down solutions. And the Venus Project sounds like it goes in a similar direction.

    The other part that I find difficult to accept is the idea that scarcity is solely due to the consequences of our closed system, and the implications that there are hidden energy sources just waiting to be brought into light that will provide all the energy we need to sustain us with all the comforts that we feel have become our birthright. Sorry, that's a bit of a caricature, and I'm sure Troy has a more nuanced view than that...but I'm not sure Peter Joseph has such a nuanced view.

    As stated earlier, my view more closely aligns with the idea that we need to realize limits. Yes, there is abundance in the world. And there are limits. We've already devoured much of the earths existing resources, and now we must learn to live with less and let those resources replenish. My views are best expressed in fairly brief form by David Holmgren, who writes about "The Energetic Foundations of human history":

    "The history of the 20thcentury makes more sense when interpreted primarily as the struggle for control of oil rather than the clash of ideologies. In emphasising the primacy of energy resources I am not saying that the great struggles between ideologies have not been important in shaping history, especially Capitalism and Socialism. But most teaching and understanding of history under-estimates the importance of energetic, ecological and economic factors."
    http://www.futurescenarios.org/content/view/13/27/

    And Howard Odum's classic piece on Energy, Ecology, and Economics. Reprinting the article in 1974, Mother Earth News commented, "We had only to glance at this extraordinary document to realize that the paper (originally written at the request of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) is one of the most concise—yet most sweeping—examinations yet made of the real problems of the world. Read it and see for yourself."
    http://bit.ly/Mrv6ZQ

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Tuesday, 17 July 2012 21:23 posted by Troy Wiley

    Brian,

    I admire the work you’re doing with your city, and the attitude of “just do it”. I think we need to do both, consider and act upon the larger systemic problems, causes and changes that need to be made, while at the same time working locally in the “hear and now” doing what we can to make the world a better place.

    I’m reminded of the wonderful work that Mick Quinn and Debra are doing in Guatemala. On the one hand, one might say that teaching integral philosophy to poor kids is just a drop in the bucket and doesn’t address the larger systemic issues. But on the other hand, who knows, it could end up having a tremendous effect globally. And it is probably having a wonderful effect here and now for those kids.

    Just curious Brian if you’ve read the book “Integral City” by Marilyn Hamilton. Might be up your alley with the work you are doing.

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Tuesday, 17 July 2012 21:35 posted by Troy Wiley

    To David McLeod

    Hi David, thanks for watching the videos. I'll try to respond to your questions below:

    David said,
    “sandwiching the integral/spiral dynamics model in between an energy/ecology foundation and the permaculture principles”

    I’m totally for permaculture David. If we ascribe to permaculture as ecological design for sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems in alignment with natural ecosystems (paraphrased from Wikipedia definition), then how can we not look at our socio-economic systems, which are totally NOT in alignment with nature, natural laws, and natural human behavior?

    “So it is disappointing to me that Troy is going down this road (meaning the Zeitgeist road) after such a good start”

    Sorry to disappoint David, but I’m not disappointed with myself in having taken this path. It took me a while to wrap my head around the concept of moving to a world beyond money, and it wasn’t easy “coming out of the closet” so to speak with such radical notions. I try and imagine how those other crazy people must have been treated and how they felt, you know, the ones who said the earth wasn’t flat, or that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe, or that we should abolish slavery. This path has been the most sane and liberating one I’ve ever been on.


    Regarding your statements about Zeitgeist The Movie, that is not what the movement is based upon. There are two other Zeitgeist documentaries (Addendum, Moving Forward) that begin to address the concepts of a Resource Based economic model, and many hours of lectures by both Peter Joseph and Jacque Fresco and many others (since the Zeitgeist movement attempts to be leaderless and is not top-down). No offensive but until you’ve fully studied the material, you simply don’t have an accurate understanding of the concepts or the movement. (Here’s a recently posted video essay by Peter Joseph on this very issue: Understanding The Zeitgeist Movement Critics..." An Essay by Peter Joseph. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRI8QSpD3_s&list=UUEwoFdqY09VwZFESGZ8Qp4A&index=2&feature=plcp)

    Regarding your statements about the technocracy movement, those within the movement recognize that without the necessary values and worldview shift, all the technology and science is meaningless, and indeed quite dangerous.

    And a “top down solution” is not what the movement proposes. It recognizes the value of diversity and the importance of individuality, and multiple creative solutions. However, it does also recognize the importance of simple ideas such as cooperation and working together to solve problems. It recognizes that indeed the complexity of the universe itself seems to be made up of greater and greater cooperation and organization (think holons). Humanity, or human culture, on the other hand is a “social holon”, so that means that we don’t automatically come together and organize the same way that atoms and cells and molecules do. Never the less, we have seen greater and greater cooperation of mankind throughout history, from egocentric to ethnocentric and now to worldcentric and kosmocentric. But this cooperation has to be agreed upon and not coerced. Thus the neotribal structure is what’s called for next to move us to the truly worldcentic humanity that’s needed to solve our probems, because it allows for both individuality and cooperation at the highest level, not the oppressive corporatacracy we are already living under.

    “The other part that I find difficult to accept is the idea that scarcity is solely due to the consequences of our closed system, and the implications that there are hidden energy sources just waiting to be brought into light…”

    Scarcity - If you are familiar with Chris Martenson then you know that we have built an entire socio-economic system that demands and thrives off of infinite growth, but we live on a planet of finite resources. Our monetary system doesn’t solve problems, it thrives (profits) off of them. And there is so much waste built right into our systems (see Story of Stuff) that its clear to me that we could have more than enough resources to meet everyones needs on the planet if we redesign our systems.

    Hidden Energy - I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, but it pretty easy to see that the incentive is built into the system to suppress anything that threatens our entrenched ways of profiting. (Documentary: Who killed The Electric Car). Monopoly, domination, differential advantage, greed, competition, etc.—that’s just what our system does, no grand conspiracy needed.

    “We've already devoured much of the earths existing resources, and now we must learn to live with less and let those resources replenish”

    Agreed that we’ve devoured much of our resources, and that’s why nothing short of a complete redesign of our societal organization is needed. And that will happen whether we choose to or are forced to, or we cease to exist. Paradocially however, if we do make the transition, then I think we will find an abundance in the things that really matter to quality of life (community, meaning, purpose, connection, spirituality, love, nurturing, etc.)

    “But most teaching and understanding of history under-estimates the importance of energetic, ecological and economic factors."

    Agreed, but notice that the first two things, energy and ecology, are based upon quantitative natural supply (limits) and natural laws. The third thing, economic factors, are based upon NO natural laws, but instead on man-made agreements. Therefore they are changable. If we don’t change what’s changable, towards a steady-state model rather than an infinite growth consumption-based model, then the other two factors, energetic and ecological, will be our demise.

    Here’s the final sentence from the 1974 article you mentioned:
    “What is the general answer? Eject economic expansionism, stop growth, use available energies for cultural conversion to steady state, seek out the condition now that will come anyway, but by our service be our biosphere's handmaiden anew.”

    Unfortunately everything that needs to be ejected is built right into our monetary system. The “condition that will come anyway” will come if we stay attached to the monetary system. So how much have we changed our course towards sustainability since 1974 when this article was written? And what is at the core of why we haven’t changed course? And what’s it called when we keep doing the same things over and over again expecting different results?

    Thanks David.

  • Comment Link David MacLeod Thursday, 19 July 2012 05:16 posted by David MacLeod

    Hi Troy,
    Thanks for responding to my comment. And you're right, I haven't fully researched the Zeitgeist material - I hope I didn't give the impression of speaking authoritatively about it.

    "I’m totally for permaculture David. If we ascribe to permaculture as ecological design for sustainable human settlements ...then how can we not look at our socio-economic systems, which are totally NOT in alignment with nature, natural laws, and natural human behavior?"

    Yes, that's what I'm interested in, applying permaculture/ecological principles to our socio-economic systems. So I am totally in resonance with resource based economics...just not sure about the specific Resource Based Economics that Joseph and Fresco espouse - I'm still trying to learn what that brand entails.

    If the Zeitgeist movement is not based on Zeitgeist The Movie, made by the same guy who started the movement, it is really unfortunate for the movement that they have to carry that baggage. Because after I saw 10 minutes of the movie, I had no interest in investigating the movement. And I'm someone who's open to the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. It seems natural to think that the content of a movie name Zeitgeist made by someone named Peter Joseph would be in pretty close alignment with a movement called Zeitgeist led by someone named Peter Joseph.

    So I guess Peter Joseph either matured in his thinking, or he realized some of the ideas in the movie were not a good sell for the movement? I did watch the essay on YouTube you linked to, reiterated some of the points you made.

    Regarding Technocracy and top down solutions, what I'm referring to are things like this:

    "The problem of operating any existing complex of industrial equipment is not and cannot be solved by a democratic social organization...[It] is a techincal problem so far transcending any other technical problem man has yet solved that many individuals would probably never understand why most of the details must be one way and not another; yet the services of everyone...will be needed."
    - Howard Scott, "Science or Chaos"

    "Technocracy is a form of government in which experts in technology would be in control of all decision making. Scientists, engineers, and technologists who have knowledge, expertise, or skills, would compose the governing body, instead of politicians, businessmen, and economists.[1] In a technocracy, decision makers would be selected based upon how knowledgeable and skillful they are in their field.
    ...According to the proponents of this concept, the role of money and economic values, political opinions, and moralistic control mechanisms would be eliminated altogether if and when this form of social control should ever be implemented in a continental area endowed with enough natural resources, technically trained personnel, and installed industrial equipment so as to allow for the production and distribution of physical goods and services to all continental citizens in an amount exceeding the individuals' physical ability to consume.
    ...The former government of the Soviet Union has been referred to as a technocracy.[13] Soviet leaders like Leonid Brezhnev had a technical background in education, and in 1986 89% of Politburo members were engineers."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technocracy

    Regarding your comments on Scarcity and Hidden Energy: based on your two paragraphs, we seem to be in agreement here.

    Regarding the need to change our economic model, I also agree. Although I would offer that Bonnita made a very important comment that may have been missed. When speaking of the primordial rift she added "and necessarily so." And then she wrote "despite all its "horrors" of man upon man, and man upon nature, this strategy has been very successful for us humans, and I believe that there is a tacit knowing that all humans share, that is reluctant to give this up... even those who are at the bottom of this success story. This is why people are looking to the future with the same instrumental rationality that has been our modus operandi ever since man learned how to capture fire and club someone with the arrow he had smelt-- look for this wherever you hear language that sounds like the rational engineering of the future human (for ex: trans human cyborg)... another indication that we are unable to integrate our deepest past, before we were made human..."

    What I would say is that a big part of human history is what HT Odum called "The Maximum Power Principle" at work: organisms tend to maximize available power, and when energy resources are available, we use them. In that regard, capitalism just makes a lot of sense.

    However, after a system reaches climax, the competition for resources becomes unproductive and becomes a drag on the system. The way to maximize power now is to move to more cooperative and stable arrangements, and to forget about ideas of continued growth.

    Steady State Economics is a field that has been researched fairly well (Herman Daly, Joshua Farley, et al), and needs much more attention. However, many ecologists now think a steady state is an illusion, and have switched to a pulsing model...and what that means is the steady state is a brief plateau before a longer decline. For us, that may mean going back to some kind of agrarian structure (though that may take many years to get there, if we're lucky).

    Odum, who wrote the article I linked to, and you quoted, switched his thinking to embrace the pulsing model sometime in the late '80s I believe.
    http://prosperouswaydown.com/principles-of-self-organization/energy-hierarchy/pulsing-paradigm/

    So...I agree we need significant changes in our current economic system. Odum's point was spot on. And I'm still trying to grok just what RBE is really proposing. I watched Joseph's 18 minute Tedx Portugal Introduction to RBE. Unfortunately, most of the presentation was outlining the current problems which I didn't need to hear about again, and only the last 4 minutes were left to briefly outline RBE, so it's all still pretty sketchy for me.

    FYI, here's Joshua Farley on Rethinking Economic Growth:
    http://integralpermaculture.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/joshua-farley-on-rethinking-economic-growth/

  • Comment Link Trevor Malkinson Tuesday, 24 July 2012 17:22 posted by Trevor Malkinson

    Wanted to add some more resonant resources from recent articles by Noam Chomsky and John Ralston Saul.

    Chomsky's was published this past Monday (July 23rd) and draws off some of the same resources in the companion notes above, particularly surrounding the commons. I embedded a link above for this podcast on 'The History of the Commons and Enclosure':

    http://p2pfoundation.net/History_of_Commons_and_Enclosure

    That podcast draws off of a recent book by historian Peter Linebaugh called 'The Magna Carta Manifesto- Liberties and Commons for All', which is at the center of Chomsky's analysis too. I've just purchased and started reading the book and it's great, and obviously it's a pretty key recent piece of scholarship that's having a big impact in various places.

    Here's Chomsky's piece 'Destroying the Commons' - http://www.nationofchange.org/destroying-commons-1343050986

    Chomsky finishes with these two paragraphs:

    "In the lead in confronting the crisis throughout the world are indigenous communities, those who have always upheld the Charter of the Forests. The strongest stand has been taken by the one country they govern, Bolivia, the poorest country in South America and for centuries a victim of western destruction of the rich resources of one of the most advanced of the developed societies in the hemisphere, pre-Columbus.

    After the ignominious collapse of the Copenhagen global climate change summit in 2009, Bolivia organized a People’s Summit with 35,000 participants from 140 countries -- not just representatives of governments, but also civil society and activists. It produced a People’s Agreement, which called for very sharp reduction in emissions, and a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. That is a key demand of indigenous communities all over the world. It is ridiculed by sophisticated westerners, but unless we can acquire some of their sensibility, they are likely to have the last laugh -- a laugh of grim despair".

    There's strong echoes with all this in an article that the Canadian philosopher/intellectual John Ralston Saul wrote recently for Adbusters, called 'Canada's Spiritual Quest'. Here's a few relevant passages:

    "For example, the Aboriginal message to our society is quite different to the European-derived view. In Canada, Aboriginal society, in all its complexity, is growing in numbers, in political weight and in legal power. And it is raising its voices in an increasingly sustained way. We do everything we can not to pay attention, but they are speaking clearly.

    The foundations of this message involve a very different way of imagining ourselves; so different that our education system, our state structures, our elites, all have difficulty digesting the implications.

    Why? Because the established system in the West – the one I have been describing – is profoundly linear. The Aboriginal, on the other hand, is deeply circular or spatial. When they speak of the spiritual, they are talking about the wholeness of existence. They are speaking about humans as an integral part of the physical.

    And when you look at something like our environmental crisis you can easily see that our errors come from our linear approach; one in which humans are intellectually and morally separated out and placed on a higher level. This sets us in an artificial position when it comes to the survival of the world. The Aboriginal theory, on the other hand, takes a more inclusive approach; one in which humans are an integrated part of the whole physical process...

    This is not idealistic or romantic. It is a different way of thinking. And when you look at the environmental crises, it is obvious that we need a sophisticated, inclusive, tough and modern way of thinking. The linear either/or approach is simplistic compared to the circular. The latter takes human interests into account, but not in isolation from the rest".

    http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/102/john-ralston-saul.html

    So I'd say there's obviously something broad going on here in the cultural zeitgeist at the moment (to use that term in its traditional meaning). I suppose the next step it figure out how this reintegration can take place in our actions, communities, and institutions, and all "with the help" of our aboriginal communities, as Ralston Saul says at the end of his piece. Interesting times ahead to be sure.

  • Comment Link Don Fletcher Saturday, 26 January 2013 22:00 posted by Don Fletcher

    I felt that Troy was characterizing the "Individual" line in a negative way. As opposed to the "collective" as mostly positive. And, he appears to kick Integral out of Second-Tier. I find it helpful to make divisions along the lines of healthy/unhealthy instead of Conservative/Liberal ; Agency/Communion. I love the idea of re-claiming the Shadow. Why not a line of Tribal from low to high? This seems like cutting-edge stuff. Great job! Thanks to Troy Wiley for his time and art. Thank You Trevor Malkinson for the article. This was my first post on Beams and Struts. I appreciate the respect with witch you guys talk to each other.

  • Comment Link Troy Wiley Wednesday, 30 January 2013 02:48 posted by Troy Wiley

    Hello Don and thanks for the comment. Recognizing the need for balance between agency/communion or individual/communal, I tried to be as balanced as I possibly could, especially when I proposed the notion of “community individualism”. But if we are to look specifically at the healthy/unhealthy aspect of both, then I suppose you’re right, I do favor a communal orientation, or what I call the “community theme”, over the “individual theme”. I feel that the individual orientation is quite a bit more dangerous and is largely responsible for the global crisis we currently find ourselves in. Clearly individuation and self-expression are healthy aspects of an individualistic orientation, but inherent is a moral leaning towards the self over others, or at the expense of others.

    In my mind the moralistic line of development is perhaps the most important line, as it sets the stage for all of our behaviors in the world and towards others. (think Nazi doctor) So, inherent within the communal orientation is a care for others over one’s self, or a sacrificing of the self for others or the group. Of course this can be highly problematic as we know if the morality, or circle of care, is ethnocentric, but at least there’s a built in penchant for care for others over one’s self. The healthiest communal orientation would have the widest circle of care (or morality) which at this time is world-centric. What’s needed now is a world-centric, open-source, communal circle of care that allows for individual expression within.

    So in summary to this point, in my mind there is a natural hierarchy where the community themes are more life affirming than the more selfish individualistic memes.

    And yes, I have become more and more convinced over time, and by the behavior of some, that integral (or teal or yellow) does not constitute any type of 2nd tier. I address this more in my video Integral Zeitgeist. Here again, since integral largely, as I see it, expresses itself on the individual/agentic side, this manifests in a kind of elitism, or built-in seperation from others, especially if we call it 2nd tier. And this thing that seperates us is in my mind the very thing that makes it not 2nd tier at all. Perhaps neo-tribal (or turquoise) will express itself with the unity conscoiusness that goes beyond seperation, that recognizes our connection with everyone in the human tribe, that moves us into what Charles Eisenstein calls the “age of reunion”. If we can get that, that would be a momentous leap.

    Don, I’d like to know more about what you mean by, “Why not a line of Tribal from low to high?

    Thanks again.

  • Comment Link Don Fletcher Friday, 01 February 2013 02:32 posted by Don Fletcher

    Hey Troy, Thanks for responding so long after the first article was written.

    I was trying to agree with what I thought you were getting at by writing "Why not".

    However, you use the term "Neo Tribal" to describe a more inclusive/Integral Tribal stage. So it seems that some type of development has occurred for a Stage. For example, when a person re-claims broken off or shadow stages at a higher level. Or, the example of a Nature-Mystic experience seen from the eyes of ever higher levels.

    By the way, this is a totally non-academic point of view. Just a hunch on my part.

    I'm intrigued with the idea of a more developed expression of all the stages from bottom to top/2nd Tier/whatever.

    Magical ideas are said to be less developed, but what if one were to perform a dramatic ritual with full awareness of the trappings of this lesser stage. Like an actor that pretends to be a killer then goes home to a loving family.

    I guess I want it all.

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