This was originally posted on Integral Life. The topic is how the integral community may creatively engage the mainstream. It turned out to be a bit of a critique as well. Feedback here or at integral life is much appreciated!
- To sum up everything I whole heartedly feel: Focus on the content, not the framing of integral. This means that yes, you can express integral’s heart without its maps. Maps are secondary, you’re standing in the territory! Come back down from the mountain and challenge yourself to speak from the heart. The maps are tools, not crutches (or bedrocks, for that matter). I’d like to see a more organic-oriented integral, focused on cultivating and engaging the culture without first needing AQAL, SD, etc, etc. If used up front, those can serve as a barrier rather than a stepping stone. Some people may like maps and are quickly oriented to them, but this is not the most universal approach. Integral is more than an “operating system,” because we are vital-systems, messy, non-linear, emergent. Let’s explore new ways to express what integral means!
- So, “more bottom” up approaches would keep the current “top down” approach (utilized by the theory and the websites, business, etc) in a healthy, vibrant balance. Roots and branches!
- It would be nice to see the academic journal use Open Access. This would encourage more contribution and be utilizing the changing cultural/collaborative atmosphere the internet is cultivating (like twitter).
- I really don’t want to sound outspoken or overly critical, though I do feel some things that are going on in this particular integral community might be masking the valuable content. A more open-source approach might help the integral community evolve. For example, one good idea by CoreIntegral, is to try to reach out without the complex methodology and linguistics that come with Wilber’s integral. By reaching out more, integral folks are learning new ways to communicate, and also limitations they may not have been thoughtful of. I know this is happening unofficially on twitter, or other sites, but it’d be nice to see if Wilber and the Integral organization officially engage these ideas.
- Oh, I know this is an oldie, but I’d love it if Wilber blogged.
I don’t mean to belittle the complex theory and “mapping” that Wilber and subsequent theorists have done. Not at all. I think mapping and navigating have validity, but that doesn’t mean this is the universal approach that will “spark” this emergent consciousness in the mainstream. That will take time, trial and error, evolution of our own methods and development of new ones. I often think of Wilber as someone (Like many of the earlier theorists) who has paved the way. By all means pioneers. Sometimes it just takes future catalysts to help that first spark become a flame.
Alright, I hope everyone doesn’t eat me alive!
[Note: I’ve also been told that embracing more “open source” and collaborative methods is really just articulating a shift from linear “rational/orange” to “green” meshwork emergence in civilization. Integral is already “past” that so I should give it more credit. This is a good point but it also seems partial. If this is the way society is going, then using the “mapping” language we would be wise to start utilizing these “green” networking tools.
As far as the theory goes, is IOS too top heavy? Are we drowning out the experiential/spiritual intimacy? Is the navigation system too logical/rational and less heart-felt/organic/intuitive? I’d like to discuss that with everyone, or maybe save it for an upcoming post.]