Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Here's a new Integral World article on evolutionary democracy for all you meme creamers, sure to elicit a wet spot in your panties. It's written by Elza Maalouf, an associate of Don Beck who practices his SDi. Before we get those panties in a bunch again, this is relevant to 'spirituality' in that I agree with Wilber from excerpt A that the techno-economic base is a leading factor in determining the overall general superstructure view of society at large, including how that view expresses in religious or spiritual generative (en)closures. We might explore how this manifests in our integral postmetaphysical spiritualiy, like how ontological pluralism is an example of the "distributed intelligence model" below.
The article gives a rundown of appropriate political forms for different countries. Of note is that the US needs to expand into social democracy (green), while Germany and northern European countries are entering functional democracy (yellow). A characteristic of the latter is a "distributed intelligence model." Interestingly, Rifkin is working with Germany on his third industrial revolution plan, aka the Commons, which no doubt is a big factor in this move into yellow. Holonic democracy (teal) is a couple of centuries off, so not likely to be at all like the exit orange conscious capitalism of the current kennilingus meme. We might discuss how conscious capitalism affects kennilingus notions of spirituality, as I've done ad nauseum in this forum.
Ha! I linked her here on the Greer thread first:
Anyway, I appreciate Maalouf's mapping there; but I do feel compelled to make this point, and it's a point that the western left makes quite often; given recent history in the mid-east. They DID already have autocratic political systems in place prior to 911. Assad, Gaddafi, Hussein, etc. , and I think it's a fair assessment to say that all we have accomplished is a step backwards to tribal warlords! I think it is also a fair question to ask if these next recent waves of involvement are going to set that region even further back? Does anyone have a clue as to what is trying to be achieved there?
No wet dream here! lol Since day one I've noted that this mapping would be true in a 7000 year old universe ; the point being it doesn't argue much, imo, for larger ontological issues.
I am 100% in favour of the green revolution and think it's a must if we are to survive; I just disagree that any egalitarian society at ail be concomitant with it. Possible yes, likely? Not so much. As beneficial as the Germany experiment is I have not gotten the impression that there is any levelling of the social strata in that country. Has Merkel given up power to lower classes in that society? Has she done anything to level out the brutal austerity measures that is common policy in the E.U. Are any of the companies building this infrastructure owned by non-profit co-operatives? In other words, feet on the ground ( not in mind theory) is there any evidence of any egalitarian levelling directly associated with green energy? Moreover, this theory in itself is so stratified that the more developed memes are always pontificating from an ivory tower. There is no way I could be right about much as I am too lowly evolved. The point being, in IT in general there is a built in hierarchy. Now granted, you Edward, have been remarkably consistent in your criticism in that regard, but you're rather a lone wolf on these matters. The yellow king rules!
"Are any of the companies building this infrastructure owned by non-profit co-operatives? In other words, feet on the ground (not in mind theory) is there any evidence of any egalitarian leveling directly associated with green energy?"
Yes, I think so. Rifkin provide detailed sources in the book, which I returned to the library some time ago. And yes, Germany and Merkel are no angels of the Commons. It's in transition from capitalism to the Commons, which will take about 50 years per Rifkin.
The regressive influence of poorly managed encounters with more complex systems is frequently observed. However it cannot be solved without evolving the complex systems to a degree of sophistication necessary for maximally stabilizing and deepening existing systems -- AND having the responsible conscience and will necessary to dynamically export this everywhere.
In describing the functional democracy Maalouf uses standard kennilingus: "It integrates the healthy expressions of all the previous levels into the appropriate form of governance that fits the unique needs of the culture." As we discussed in the Wilber video thread, this doesn't differentiate between basic and transitional structures, so misses what is transcended and included or excluded. I recall Wilber criticizing SDi on this point. So obviously functional democracy doesn't include the same worldview as the others, but it does find a place for those with other worldviews to participate. So exactly how that plays out in the details of governance are not covered, other than some Scandinavian countries are entering it.
The chart at the end doesn't help much either, again being only in the broadest terms. But noting that Germany and northern Europe are the ones entering this meme perhaps it might behoove us to look at what these countries are doing, particularly Germany. As I noted elsewhere, it is implementing Rifkin's Commons plan. So we might look at how the Commons view, ecological consciousness, is interfacing with spirituality, forthcoming.
The problem of what enhanced democracy includes from earlier phases of collective intelligence (governance) should concern us very much. We may think, on the one hand, that certain structures are retained and incorporated into the new system while others are abandoned -- or even actively suppressed. Or we might think in terms of keeping earlier phases in "safe pens". Both will probably end up looking pretty similar to each other.
As Wilhelm Reich observed in the 1930s you cannot have a democratic society if democracy does not apply in ownership and operations of business -- which governs our lives much more directly than most state authorities. However there is among many people a sense that you can have "autocracy" in the workplace as a legitimate subsystem within a greater democratic realm. There is something initially attractive about this notion but it clearly operates to distort the entire political scene unless it is aggressively and intelligently overseen (which is seldom the case).
But there are clearly times and places where it is either desirable or pragmatic to allow primitive collective intelligence protocols to organize groups... and times/places where this is regressive to the overall system.
I am reminded of an episode of Parks & Recreation. A "touch" all-boys camping event is undermined by the requirement to include girls. Following pushback from the man in charge, a rival girl's camp is established. It proves very attractive and fun for most of the boys who desert the manly camp. Later, feeling depressed, the man in charge is astonished to discover that a few boys and a few girls want to train at the manly camp. Viewed from the higher level, part of the system (having two different types of camp) was good. But the principle or discrimination (penis vs. vagina) had to be sacrificed for a different principle (sensitive vs. sturdy temperament).
Part stays, part is replaced.
This is relevant here:
The Maalouf article has some interesting (and important) perspectives, but without including a serious evaluation of material causes that have led us into the current health/climate/energy/economic crisis, I don't think the projections of development are worth much. Ebola may be a game changer, and we've put off dealing with climate until a time when the feedback loops become hard to counter, plus we won't have the resources to adequately respond due to the energy crisis. It is a cruel irony: running short of fossil fuels, which caused the climate crisis, may hamper our ability to mitigate the climate crisis, because we have been unwilling to use the last of these fossil fuels to energetically fund a transition to a non-fossil fueled/lower output economy. But fossil energy is also what allowed us to actually experience progress and development over the last 200 years.
Thus, the lower right quadrant according to Wilber’s description of evolution and human development is the structural or techno-socio-economic aspect of that which is developing. Tetra-evolution in this sense is the interplay between the four quadrants’ development. And of course, we could see the different systems for extracting energy as significant for a certain stage of development. But not energy itself. Energy comes from the sun (except for nuclear and geothermal), we don’t produce it – we harvest it from our surrounding environment.
It is interesting that Wilber uses the industrial revolution as an example without addressing the influence of energy and that industrialization would not have taken place hadn’t we found coal and then oil and gas to burn in large scale. We conclude that the quadrants given by the AQAL theory do indeed include many useful perspectives, but also limit our view on evolution so that we can overlook important aspects such as our energy dependence.
And from a summary of an important essay by David Holmgren:
I believe two alternative (and mostly complementary) paradigms ...have shaped the history of the modern world perhaps more so than the Left-Right political ideologies. I characterise these increasingly conflicted paradigms by the following shorthand: faith in wealth and power from “human brilliance” (meaning “faith in human brilliance to overcome physical limitations.”) verses faith that wealth and power emerge from control of “holes in the ground”, ie. physical resources.1
In a world of energy descent and climate change, both these beliefs are failing and increasingly we see the believers of both paradigms at war in a futile battle for control of the world.
Understanding the nature of this ideological battle is as critical for environmental and social activists as is the understanding of the science behind Climate Change and Peak Oil. Because this ideological divide and battle has been little recognised by historians and social commentators, it is easy to come to the conclusion that one of these paradigms is benign while the other is lethal, without really understanding the nature and implications of these respective ideologies.
I agree with D.H. when he says that fossil fuels will turn out to be the greatest squandering of wealth in human history. Furthermore, it is why I like the Ecuador experiment more than the German one right now. Although in Ecuador, the energy is fossil fuel, the societal system is seemingly much more egalitarian, people oriented, with an overall green feel to it. With Germany, it feels like eco-fascism. It wouldn't take much for covert proxy PCMIC corporations to disrupt sincere attempts at greening civilization with and through corrupt practices. I am not at all saying that this is what Rifkin is doing; just that there may be something else going on, too.
Agreed that the Maalouf article leaves much to be desired. I used it as a jumping off point because so many around these parts are addicted to developmental meme creaming. And why I'm bringing in Rifkin, as he addresses the energy issue, climate change and so on. The main point being, what worldview consciousness and enactments are required to bring about planetary healing, and what sorts of spirituality are in alignment with that process. I really don't think the kennilingus integral view is part of that process, even its spirituality, which I partially addressed in my Rifkin book review.
The main point being, what worldview consciousness and enactments are required to bring about planetary healing, and what sorts of spirituality are in alignment with that process. I really don't think the kennilingus integral view is part of that process, even its spirituality, which I partially addressed in my Rifkin book review.
For example, take Mark Edwards' 6/2/10 blog post:
"To unwrap this a little let's take the student-teacher relationship as an example. From the stage-based view the teacher is at a higher level and the student is at a lower level. The relationship is one of expert to apprentice. There is a qualitative difference in their identities such that the student does not understand what the teacher is taking about until some dramatic mysterious transformation occurs. We see this, for example, in stage-based model of spiritual development where we have the wise guru teaching and assisting the development of the devoted student or disciple. This is an ancient model that goes back thousands of years and is the prevailing model of the he student-teacher relationship used in the AQAL-informed writings and research.
"The weakness in the stage-based view is that the teacher can all too easily become the master and the student becomes the servant or slave. This relationship can obviously go very astray very easily and, by itself, this lens is an inadequate model to use for the development process in contemporary society. In my opinion, there is far too much reliance on this model for explaining the he student-teacher relationship in AQAL-informed circles. Particularly when applied to the area of spirituality the stage-based model suffers from serious shortcomings. First, the use of the stage-model needs some serious updating to contemporary views about stage-based development. Gurus and teachers who support evolutionary and stage-based view of development are very prone to overestimating the importance of the guru-devotee model and the qualitative differences that they assume exist between teacher and student. When practices within insular settings and non-traditional environments, these kinds of gurus often fall into all the traps of abusive power that many of us are aware of.
"My view is that the archaic view of the teacher-guru and student-disciple has done its dash and can only be defended by those who are so immersed in stage-based development that they see no other meta-level possibilities for articulating growth (this is one of the many forms of altitude sickness that I wrote about in my last blog). I see development and learning relationships moving way beyond these limiting views of guru and student and engaging much more with the language of relationality, situational choice, shared play, communal learning, distributed intelligence, collective wisdom, reflexive learning, and action inquiry. The defence of the ancient models of student-teacher relationship, particularly where development is focused on the stage-based lens, seems to me to be a sign of regression rather than evolution."
The following is from part 9 of an Edwards interview in ILR. We can see that such a lens problem promotes exactly the type of guru-worship rampant in kennilingus. You see this model also represented in the capitalist corporate structure, hence the often noted relation of Wilber's attachment to conscious capitalism within his AQAL lens. It's a good example of what we might call 'dominant monadism.'
"But I think that stressing the role of the developmental holarchy lens, that AQAL and SD and DAI have so importantly drawn attention to, has reinforced that old view that we need some 'Great Leader' to lead us out of our troubles. We need a messiah to transform us. The redeeming CEO who will say the word and we will all follow to some new promised land. This is a big mistake. I don’t think that is how transformation occurs. If integral metatheorists see social transformation as resulting from the developmental genius of individuals then it is being dangerously reductive. The use of the developmental lens has to be much more sophisticated that that. We need to combine it with and differentiate it from many other lenses if we are to see how stage-based development aligns with other aspects of transformation."
Compare with Michel Bauwens' article, "The next Buddha will be a collective." He starts by giving characteristics of the P2P paradigm and how it manifests in socio-economics. Then he gives examples of how it plays out in spirituality. Our own Balder is quoted therein. And I'd add that this IPS forum is part of this new approach to spirituality.