We can use this thread for discussion of anything related to the upcoming conference. Alas I will not attend due to living far, far away and have other priorities for my limited finances. The abstracts and bios for presentations can be found at this link. Our forum host Balder (aka Bruce Alderman) will be presenting:

Sophia Speaks: An Integral Grammar of Philosophy

The four pronouns at the center of the Integral model have yielded impressive explanatory and integrative power. However, while they are useful for classifying disciplines according to their primary epistemological orientations, they are not sufficient to account for or disclose the ontological views which inform our perspectives. After situating Integral Theory in a longer lineage of “pronoun philosophies,” I introduce an expanded set of grammatical lenses to complement Integral’s four person-perspectives. These lenses, based on six common parts of speech, can serve both metaphysical and meta-metaphysical ends, helping to identify the ontological views that inform our person perspectives, and providing an integrative architecture for correlating and interfacing various metaphysical systems and integrative meta-theories.

Another one of interest to me is this one by Gary Hampson and Mark Edwards:

Awaken: An Analysis of the Transformative Lyrics and Music of the Progressive Rock Group, Yes (Re-regarding and regaining the flower and fruit of Yes as neo-baroque future dreamers creating the spiral aim)

This presentation offers a “fusion of insight” arising from the often-spiritual, often-densely “baroque” lyrics and music of the progressive rock group Yes. Various lenses are employed to help empower the hitherto neglected connections between this “wondrous” art form and integrative studies. These include the authors’ first-person perspectives regarding their experiences with Yes music. The analysis addresses various spiritual traditions, The Beloved, and Audrey Kitagawa, spiritual mentor of the (most-times) lead singer/lyricist, Jon Anderson. Themes include: ecstasy, empowerment, Enlightenment, the evolution of consciousness, injunctions, Love, the Moment, nonduality, Sun as archetype, and world challenges. “Songs cast a light on us” (Awaken, Yes).

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Thanks for starting this thread, theurj.  I'd been intending to post about the conference as well.  I'm looking forward to giving my presentation, of course, but also really look forward to hearing a number of the other presentations, especially given the mix of "communities" that will be present at this event.  I recently received an announcement that the conference organizers are looking for someone to blog the event, and I was tempted to submit an application for that, but I'm so busy I am hesitant to make that commitment.  Instead, I think I'll probably just blog the event informally, as I'm able to, using our website as a platform.

My guess is that William at Integral Options will likely do it. I think he did it last time? And yes, please do report in to this thread as time permits. I'm curious about Morin's and Bhaskar's ideas being presented, and how they mix and match or not. Updates on the goings on will be appreciated by those of us not attending.

Given my past (ok, and current) obsession with real/false reason this one looks interesting:

False Rationality and the Tragedy of the Commons: Towards a (More) Pertinent Approach to Social Dilemmas

In the Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future, Edgar Morin points to disjunction, false
rationality, reductionism and closed specialization as essential problems challenging our ability to
generate pertinent knowledge in general.

Hampson is also doing one on how Morin, Bhaskar and Wilber might mix:

Toward an Integral Theory of Higher Education: Connecting Lines of Inquiry from Critical Realism, Complex Thought, and Integral Theory

The presentation explores the spectrum of inquiry lines regarding higher education theorising arising
from systemic consideration of Bhaskar’s Critical Realism, Morin’s Complex Thought, and Wilber’s
Integral Theory.

I'd also like to hear about Bhaskar's neo-Advaita turn, and how his previous students from the critical realism days take to that. I haven't taken well to it myself.

Yes, Hampson is doing that one on education together with Matthew Rich, who is the person I'm working with on the Integral Education module for Meta-Integral.  We're supposed to be teaching together this coming fall.  I've been asking for a copy of the paper, once it is ready; I hope they'll send it soon.

Sean has asked me to help get the word out to local Bay Area Integralists about this conference.  I believe a number of the (largely silent!) members of this forum are from this area, so I'll post this here:


Dear California Integral Groups

I write to you today out of a sense of obligation to let all local integralists know:

  • If you are wanting to come to this year’s Integral Theory Conference (click here for the schedule of presentations and pre- and post-conference workshops), sign up now before the Early Bird deadline of April 15th

Allow me to explain…

A great thing about being in the Bay Area is that it’s one of the major hubs of integral activity on the planet. We are fortunate to have many integral programs, teachers, activities, salons, events and organizations in the area. In fact, years ago I started teasing Ken Wilber that Denver/Boulder was no longer the Integral Capital but rather our very own Bay Area held that honor!

One of the contributing factors to the Bay Area being an integral cornucopia is the biennial Integral Theory Conference. As the largest international gathering of integralists on the planet, it’s an impressive showcase of integral in action. It’s also a prime time for networking and making new friends (read this story “The Conference in the Hallways”). 

You might know that the last two ITC’s have sold out months before the event took place. We are expecting the same this time around.

  • After each conference I have heard from numerous local California integralists that they missed the window, thinking that they would sign up at the last minute since they didn’t need to make hotel arrangements, or, because the event was occurring in their back yard it gave them a false sense of “registration security.”

But before they knew it the conference had sold out and it was too late. These stories always pain me as I feel – in my healthy ethnocentric self – that there is some Kosmic injustice in not being able to go to a major integral event happening in your ‘hood.

So please take this message to heart. If you want to attend the conference I encourage you to register today, or certainly before the Early Bird prices expire. If you are already signed up – please let your local integral friends know that they should secure their spot now for what promises to be an amazing global gathering of practitioners informed by an integral vision!

Hope to see you there.



Sean Esbjorn-Hargens

Conference co-organizer

I've finally put the final touches on my paper, "Sophia Speaks," which has been submitted both for the ITC 2013 and for potential inclusion in an upcoming book on Integral philosophy, Dancing with Sophia.

Here are two additional presentations at the upcoming ITC that I look forward to hearing:


John O’Neill, B.A., Independent Scholar:

Towards A Meta Integral Philosophy – Mysticism in the Philosophies of Bhaskar, Panikkar and Wilber

In this presentation, I will discuss the central role which mysticism plays in the philosophies of integral

philosophers Bhaskar, Panikkar, and Wilber. As I will demonstrate, each has a broadly “trinitarian”

ontology of mysticism. I will explore the importance of philosophy in their overall visions and projects

and how mysticism can be seen as an evolutionary driver within each philosophy. All three have forms

of participative co-creative enaction built into their understandings of the evolutionary significance of

mysticism. Each sees a comprehensive, holistic, philosophical vision energised by emerging mystical

experiences with collective social and cultural dimensions as vital for the future of humanity and the



Elijah J. Petersen, PhD, Independent Scholar and Mark E. Jaruzel II, PsyD candidate, Michigan

School of Professional Psychology:

Argumentum ad Wilberiam: How Truthiness and Overgeneralization Threaten to Turn Integral Theory into a New Scholasticism

While expansive cross-disciplinary inclusivity has created transformative and beautiful metamaps such

as Ken Wilber’s AQAL theory, one of the main pitfalls in this process is when limited data is utilized

to reach spurious, or at least largely untested, truth claims. Such patterns of emphasizing and relying

on small data sets are indicative of utilizing over-generalizations instead of orienting generalizations.

We believe this has occurred in Integral Theory, and that careful review of the currently validated

research will cast doubt, for example, on IT’s delineation of four distinct stages in 3rd Tier, many of the

tenets of Integral Life Practice, claims that meditation has been shown to induce structure-stage growth

across the full range of adult development, and statements about the high percent of people developed

to the Integral stage of consciousness. Many of Wilber’s truth claims are in our opinion more

representative of hypotheses, which pass philosophical rigor and sound accurate, but which need more

experimentation and data before solid validity claims can be made.


For the first, it sounds like a paper I could have written myself, esp. given my interest in Panikkar and the value of Panikkar's work for Integral Theory and Integral spirituality.

I just got an ITC mailer on Saturday panels. Balder will be a panelist in Third-Tier Spirituality? The question mark was in the promo, as well it should be. I hope you are going to be one of those questioning such a notion Balder? Third tier anything, really? The kennilinguists are not happy enough being on the forefront of human evolution in 2nd tier, now they are moving into 3rd tier. Jesus (Mary and Joseph).

Yes, I received an invitation this to be on the panel this weekend.  I accepted because I know Mark Schmanko pretty well and we share a number of similar ideas and sensibilities around integral spirituality.  But I think the question mark belongs on there, too, and will be clear about that.

I'd like to bring in David Marshall's modified WC lattice from IL. Not because I agree with it but because it raises the right questions. He quotes Wilber from a conversation with Cohen on 3rd tier:

"Another definition of third tier is that it’s the level at which you start to permanently realize the major states of consciousness, and it just so happens that the three major stages in third tier are ones that, of necessity, objectify the subtle, then causal, then nondual states. Second-tier stages are about the highest stage structures you can get to without necessarily having some sort of state realization. And you see this a lot—people who are at an integral stage of development but don’t have a state awakening. And so one of the things that becomes really important is that in order to move into third tier and true transpersonal structures, you have to have some sort of state training and state realization."

I have my own interpretation of a modified WC lattice in our states thread. Therein I posit that indeed a more integral level has to do with integrating our states, but I don't set up the states in the same way as the lattice. I indeed have them above the formop stage on the 'ladder.' Whereas the so-called 2nd-tier stages for me are really the horizontal complexification of formop that would go lateral on the lattice at this point. And the states are actually earlier stages, the causal being that originary base awareness, then subtle the subconcsious and finally the gross being conscious. At consciousness we start getting the stages of magic, mythic, rational. Only at the rational ego can be then begin a reverse process on more fully integrating the earlier state-stages through a contemplative discipline. Hence when so doing and stablizing and integrating these prior states do we get what Wilber is calling 3rd tier. But what I'm saying is that it is really an accomplishment of the height of so-called first tier in ego rationality.

What is just the beginning of so-called 2nd tier is then having the postformal capacity to then change the interpretation to a postmetaphysical view. And that is just the beginning of so-called 2nd tier, and wherein the legitimacy battle begins for defining 2nd tier. I agree with Wilber that one can go postmetaphysical in a cognitive stage while not having the state training to integrate the prior state-stages. And that one can integrate and stabilize the state-stages while still being stuck in a metaphysical worldview stage, one of my main criticisms of most Buddhism. But one that goes postmetaphysical and integrates the states is just the very beginning of 2nd tier, not some super-advanced 3rd tier human. The latter view is just so much inflated hubris from an incorrect notion of development in the current kennilingus WC lattice.

I hope you will bring these ideas to the panel Balder, since I won't be there? Maybe even the states thread itself?

To clarify, actually the more integrated earlier states are not above formop in a ladder sequence but just more consciously developed through state training and hence add more depth instead of height. The height or altitude aspect comes from also then having a postmetaphysical view or interpretation. Visually that would have the integrated states spiraling back down on the graph, thus providing one with a view with more breath. As I said though, the height then comes from going postmetaphysical from there. The MHC's more complex stages to me are just lateral complexification of formop and have nothing to do with this process, since I see the MHC itself (and the kennilingus extension) as still just a metaphysical view as investigated in the real/false reason thread.

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

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