Forum Survey: Integral Postmetaphysical Spirituality in 2012

Happy New Year!

As the year comes to a close, I am thinking about IPS and the work we do here.  One thing I've been thinking about is the relatively small number of people* participating on and actively contributing to the discussions here -- and, in particular, the general lack of participation here by members from the wider Integral community.  It seems IPS is either still relatively obscure, or else simply not of interest to that broader community, judging by the membership and participation I've witnessed here over the past couple years.


On the one hand, being an "outsider" to that larger community seems like a good thing (I'm not "on board" with a number of its current trends, for instance).  But even more sympathetically, having folks who stand on the outside, at the margins, can itself be useful for a community, and allow for perhaps the manifestation of possibilities and "directions" not available or readily apparent from within the community.  At least, that's my present rationalization.  :-)


In any event, I'm posting this as a general poll for members here -- regular contributors, sometime-contributors, and lurkers.  What would you like to see happen here at IPS in 2012?  What could we do differently that might attract sometime-contributors and lurkers to become more active and involved?  For new members (we've had 10 join in the last month), what brought you here?  For regular contributors, what visions do you hold for our activity or "work" here?  What are our "next steps"?   

 

~*~

 

* On a logistical note, we are actually at the limit of our membership here.  On the current Ning plan, I am allowed 150 members, which is the number we have now.  I am considering paying for a more expensive plan, to accommodate a larger number of people, but at present it is hard to justify that since only a small percentage of the 150 are actively contributing to this site.  I will likely purchase the next-level plan if we see a boost in participation in 2012.

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Can you track how many page views you get each day and from what sources. I have this at my Google blog and it seems a fair number of those in and out of mainstream 'integral' check it out, and I invariably reference discussions in this forum.

No, that is not available, to my knowledge.  I can track member activity (posting), but I don't have any tally on the number of visits the site gets, or from where.

 

That's a good point, though -- this site may be more visible in / to the Integral community than is apparent.  (I do thank you for your regular references to it in your blog; but then, this forum is as much your baby as it is mine, considering the extensive and excellent writing you do here.)

And I thank you for creating this space that allows my ramblings. Narcissism aside--or as much aside as is possible--I think we are doing good work here, making a contribution, however small but not insignificant, to the overall integral oeuvre. Perhaps our intellectual orientation is off-putting to some, while conversely intimidating to others. And I have no doubts that to some AQAL purists I've been relegated to the dustbin of mean green relativism and hence not worth the bother. But their myopia is not shared in a broader integral (and beyond) community that finds some value in this forum (and perhaps my blog).

Although it would be nice for others to respond in some fashion, even if just an approving or disgusted grunt once in a while to know that we aren't just talking to ourselves. But even if this is just a more intimate discussion between the few of us that contribute, that is sufficient too, for me anyway.

This is guerilla philosophy in the virtual trenches, where ivory tower meets the muddy, messy road and survives the tests of actual engagement, so often lacking in our more academic brethren, themselves too busy and important to get their Docker hems dirty. While they fight the good fight to get integral ideas accepted in the towers we slog day in and out here in the street to bring it to the masses. Yeah, I like that, we are integral cage fighters, where even the intelligensia get occasional and perverse pleasure in watching from their anonymous sky boxes.

I love this site and view it every day.  The participants are at a high level and provide wonderful information and resources that I hope will continue without change.  It’s hard for me to participate because it’s hard to rise to this high standard with the time I have available at present.

 

I know any topic can be brought up, but maybe you can have a section for looser ramblings and information for exploratory ideas and expressions that keeps up your level of cordiality without becoming as negative as integral naked could be at times.  This could be play around the periphery of your central or core issues or of finding new core issues.  A section where you learn through participation and feedback at an exploratory and playful level.

 

Maybe you could have donations in order to pay for the more expensive plan.

My post above that got vanished reproduced below:

And I thank you for creating this space that allows my ramblings. Narcissism aside--or as much aside as is possible--I think we are doing good work here, making a contribution, however small but not insignificant, to the overall integral oeuvre. Perhaps our intellectual orientation is off-putting to some, while conversely intimidating to others. And I have no doubts that to some AQAL purists I've been relegated to the dustbin of mean green relativism and hence not worth the bother. But their myopia is not shared in a broader integral (and beyond) community that finds some value in this forum (and perhaps my blog).

Although it would be nice for others to respond in some fashion, even if just an approving or disgusted grunt once in a while to know that we aren't just talking to ourselves. But even if this is just a more intimate discussion between the few of us that contribute, that is sufficient too, for me anyway.

This is guerilla philosophy in the virtual trenches, where ivory tower meets the muddy, messy road and survives the tests of actual engagement, so often lacking in our more academic brethren, themselves too busy and important to get their Docker hems dirty. While they fight the good fight to get integral ideas accepted in the towers we slog day in and out here in the street to bring it to the masses. Yeah, I like that, we are integral cage fighters, where even the intelligensia get occasional and perverse pleasure in visiting.

Hi, Philip, thank you for your feedback!  I'm glad to hear you find some benefit from visiting this site, even if time doesn't allow you to participate very often.  I like your suggestions.  The intention to have space for less technical, more exploratory play, in fact, was one of the reasons I created the "Open Forum" and "O'Kenny's Pub" boards, but admittedly we aren't often using them for such.  Perhaps the (semi-)regular contributors here (including myself) could use them more often in this way, so it's clear(er) that that's what they're for.  Or maybe I could add a new section that would serve that purpose.  I used to have a live "chat" feature on an older version of the site, but dropped it once Ning started charging for it (since many people weren't using it).  I could bring it back if people wanted it...

Anyway, thank you for your thoughts.  I am thinking about how to make this place better and welcome your (and others') feedback to be able to do that.

I'm kind of in Philip's boat: Not really able to participate that much due to lack of time (and -- for me -- perhaps a dearth of brain cells / neuronal connections). I peek, occasionally linger & lurk, wave hello, contribute a video to the Pub. I really appreciate the ideas and depth of thought that goes in to most of the posts and discussions here, as well as the occasional rambunctiousness and irreverence. I also must admit (mostly to myself): I will never ever catch up with y'all's ramblings here. I am perpetually behind and perpetually in need of reminders of what particular terms mean -- thus grateful for any trouble that those of you who provide links, references, and such go through. 

Re: on being an "outsider." I feel like that in every integral / po-meta forum or blog these days, including this one. This is not at all a complaint -- just an observation. The expansive ideas and inquiry are wonderful and I imagine I'll always come back for more, but at heart I'm not a deep-theory-diver, and high-level abstraction is not my strong suit. (Or perhaps I'm going through a phase of disidentifying as "integral" -- or as any particular thing -- other than a wildflower in this field of Mystery.) 

Do keep on keepin on! There is so much gold here, so much brilliance, depth, and creative talent. It's truly a wonder to behold, and leaves me feeling thankful, even as my brain huffs and puffs, perplexed, trying to keep up.

Well, here I've just written a few paragraphs that contain little in the way of suggestions or feedback. So I'll just end by saying happy new year, keep up the good fight, and shine on you crazy diamonds.

Cheers and blessings,

Sister Outsider

I also appreciate this place. I don't visit it everyday, but occasionally. If I find a thread that captures

my interest, I may start following it regularly. The threads Quantum Enlightenment and Can Machines be Conscious? started by Tom where such.

As for actively participating in discussions here, I feel that I'm not in my capacity to conceptually express myself quite up to the standards here. Also as English is a foreign language for me, when I write in English, it is relatively slow. Eg I often have to search for words and expressions from dictionary. This makes my active participation more difficult.

Upon further reflection one reason I alluded to above is that my own views, extensively explored in this forum, question the kind of metaphysical ontotheology that provides so much comfort (and hubris) to the kennilinguists.* As I said, this is interpreted as mean green meme, and once so identified there is an immediate turn-off switch, for it will cause uncomfortable cognitive dissonance. I take responsibility for likely being a contributing cause for the lack of kennilingual participation. Granted part of that too is my utter incapacity to disagree with them in a diplomatic way, as in the early days of the forum when they came around. I'm not the most 'friendly' of intellectual opponents so there is some truth to the mean part of the MGM appellation, even if the GM part is ludicrous. For that I apologize but honestly don't see that changing much at this late stage of the game. I guess Bruce and others need to determine if what I contribute is worth the loss of a certain audience?

* Even the term kennilingus (and its variations) is rightly taken as a pejorative.

Thanks, Mary and Irmeli, for your feedback.  For what it's worth, I always enjoy your contributions, find them stimulating and interesting, and can't recall any time I've felt your writings weren't up to par or relevant here.

Ed, your original post which you duplicated did not disappear for me; I can see both of them.  Are you able to see both at this time, or just your duplication?  (Ning has had this sort of problem before; I still don't know why).  In any event, I expect the criticism of "mainstream Integral" that frequently gets voiced here, by a number of us, may be a turn-off for some folks.  I do not particularly want to change that; I want to have space here for all of us to think freely, without having to conform to any standard Integral (or other) doctrines.  With that said, however, I do find your regular pejorative reference to Ken's thought as kennilingus sometimes a bit heavy.  I haven't asked you to stop, and won't, because you've contributed as much to creating this place that I have, and in general I find your neologisms amusing, but for what it's worth (if you're open to feedback on this), sometimes the "kennilingus" language does strike me as bit unrelenting and heavy on the mockery side, and likely is off-putting for new(er) folks without as much of a beef with Integral thought as you have.

With that said, while I do not plan on converting to regular use of pejorative language on my own side, I do have to say that I was able to watch a number of clips from the ongoing Integral Spiritual Experience retreat last night (while it was temporarily open to all), and I find that I am indeed finding it increasingly difficult to align with "Integral Spirituality" as it is currently being expressed or represented.  I also have ongoing reservations about Wilber's continued alliance with several teachers, which is increasingly off-putting for me.  So, like Mary, I find myself moving into nameless "wildflower" territory -- identifying less and less with "Integral (TM)" than I did when I first started this forum a number of years ago.

I was able to watch a number of clips from the ongoing Integral Spiritual Experience retreat last night (while it was temporarily open to all), and I find that I am indeed finding it increasingly difficult to align with "Integral Spirituality" as it is currently being expressed or represented.  I also have ongoing reservations about Wilber's continued alliance with several teachers, which is increasingly off-putting for me.


 -- I saw a bit of the ISE as well. I wasn't feeling it either, I have to admit. (Although actually being at the gathering might have been delightful -- because of the opportunity to hang with a few friends I've met through integralia). At one time I thought I might try to go to one of these events. I don't feel drawn to do so now. Alas, the spark is gone.

If I were anti-Wilber or anti-integral then I could see the term kennilingus as being strictly perjorative. But I'm not. I often delineate just where I agree and not with the AQAL model, and there is much to appreciate about it. The term first arose from the zombie-like followers that clung to and vomited verbatim every word written or spoken by Wilber with no capacity for autonomous criticism. And it is also indicative of Wilber's cult-like requirement that one do so to "get it," lest they be outcast due to their criticism and branded as a MGM. I cannot tell you how often that happened in the early days with many, many folks. And then there was the infamous "suck my dick" episode so for kennilinguists to suck Kennilingam's dick, metaphorically at least, again seems accurate and apt. So yes, the term is pejorative to that sort of behavior and rightly so.

But again, there is much to admire and respect of the work and to this day I continue to defend it when I think it has been unfairly represented. Often I don't intend the terms pejoratively but more as a general descriptor, meaning a reference to AQAL in general, or to Wilber specifically. It's more like pet names and it depends more on tone and context than a single, absolute meaning of the term. We might even say that the later is indicative of a more ontotheological bent in kennilingus itself. Ooops, there I go...

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