Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Responses to my essay

I've been getting very positive feedback in response to my essay. I've also been interested in criticism (which I always value highly), and Joe Perez has written a passionate rebuttal, to which I wrote a counter-reply. It's all on Frank Visser's Integral World site now for anyone who wants to follow the whole thing

Although Joe and I may differ intellectually (I mean it is really only on the matter of KW, he likes Wilber and AQAL while I take a contrary position) I think highly of him, and feel that at bottom Integralism is still about a common goal (more on this in a follow up post). He sent me a short friendly email concerning my reply to his critique. But not suire if the debate is going any further for now. So if anyone else wants to jump in on either side of the debate, or alternatively propose their own pov, that would help carry things along

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Essay published, and Kosmos

Phew, finally finished a few days ago my latest essay, Redefining Integral, which has just appeared on Frank Visser's Integral World website (based on my earlier blog post to Integral Praxis of basically the same name, but with heaps more stuff). It should be a seminal essay in the field, and I feel it is my best essay on the Integral Movement so far

Unfortunately, in the version I sent Frank for Integral World, there was an error that came about through my originally too glib overview of the integral journal Kosmos and not taking the time to review their website in more detail.

Because Don Beck's spiral dynamics diagram features prominently, and because there are one or two essays there which are inspired by a more traditional integral theory (the journal itself was founded in 2000, before the larger integral movement really took off), in my essay I classified Kosmos as Integral strictu senso (Wilber-Beck-inspired Integral, with stages, quadrants, etc). I was then informed (after the essay had appeared on the Integral World site) that Kosmos is also closely associated with many individuals from the wider Integral movement; for example Ervin Laszlo (Club of Budapest) and Ashok Gangadean (World Wisdom Council). There is also material by Brian Swimme ("Great Story", “Global Mindshift”), Elizabeth Sahtouris (also on the World Wisdom Council), and in the coming issue Jorge Ferrer (California Institute of Integral Studies). All this authors seem to be dismissed as “postmodern” / “green” by the Integral Movement stricto sensu (Wilber, while being very gracious about it, still considers Ferrer's approach to be “green” meme, while Swimme is listed as a Conscious Evolutionist rather than an Integralist in the WIE issue no. 35 on different interpretations and schools of Evolutionism) All in all, Kosmos falls within the category of the Larger Integral Movement, and indeed seems to be one of the forerunners in the field, with an admirable emphasis on global activism, through their association with the United Nations.

There is more that could be said, but I'll save it for my book in progress A New Heaven and a New Earth

Fortunately, my article has since been corrected (I wrote to Frank about it, and he updated the page straight away, thanks Frank!). But all this raises the problem of how one can accurately convey and present a global movement and paradigm shift. Up until now, I have tended to work on my own, my only connection with the wider integral community being with certain forums and individuals (because there isn't time to contact everyone, but also I admit I was being lazy), it is easy for errors and superficial perceptions to sneak in. In that way at least I feel for Wilber, he's one guy but he's trying single-handedly to explain the world; it can't be done.

So this has shown me that the time has come for me to get more involved in the larger integral / mind shift community, not just on Zaadz, Open Integral, Integral World, and Integral Praxis, admirable as those forums may be, but other groups, forums, organisations, and journals as well.

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