I started this inquiry at FB IPS. Is integral all about meta-theory? And does one have to be involved in meta-theory to be integral? Even more broadly, do we have to meta everything? So I'm curious about how one can be integral and not necessarily participate in meta-theory. It seems most discussion that claim integrality usually go through delineating AQAL, as if that is what defines it in toto.

I'm reminded of Gidley's work. She talks about the difference between research that identifies postformal operations (PFO) from examples of those that enact PFO. And that much of the research identifying PFO has itself “been framed and presented from a formal, mental-rational mode” (109). Plus those enacting PFO don’t “necessarilty conceptualize it as such” (104). And of course this now infamous Gidley quote:

"For Gebser, integral-aperspectival consciousness is not experienced through expanded consciousness, more systematic conceptualizations, or greater quantities of perspectives. In
his view, such approaches largely represent over-extended, rational characteristics. Rather, it involves an actual re-experiencing, re-embodying, and conscious re-integration of the living vitality of magic-interweaving, the imagination at the heart of mythic-feeling and the purposefulness of mental conceptual thinking, their presence raised to a higher resonance, in order for the integral transparency to shine through" (111).


So how do we DO that? And is a meta-theory necessary to do that?

I'm also reminded of this Ferrer essay on integral transformative practice, abstract below:

"Most psychospiritual practices in the modern West suffer from favoring growth of mind and heart over physical and instinctive aspects of human experience with many negative consequences. Michael Murphy and Ken Wilber have each made excellent contributions in offering prescriptions for “Integral Transformative Practice” (ITP) which includes various physical and psychospiritual disciplines. Their prescriptions, however, can easily perpetuate the mind-centered direction of growth characteristic of the modern West in that they inherently ask one's mind to pick and commit to already constructed practices. Needed is an approach that will permit all human dimensions to co-creatively participate in the unfolding of integral growth. As one possible solution, the author presents a program of ITP developed by Albareda and Romero in Spain. Their Holistic Integration is based in group retreats to practice “interactive embodied meditations,” which involve contemplative physical contact between practitioners that allows access to the creative potential of all human dimensions."

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See this article on the 50 most influential living philosophers. We discussed a number of them in the forum as being 'integral,' e.g. Nancy, Habermas, Badiou, Butler, Chalmers, Clark, Harman, Morton, Priest, Singer. Yet none of them are explicit metatheorists, at least in the language used by kennilingus or Meta-Integral. And there are none of the latter on the list. Recalling ITC '15, which is having a greater impact?

Hi Edwyrd - I think that these ongoing challenges to momentums and inertias, these channelings of attention (and other primary functions in humans of limited energy and capacity), through critically engaging AQAL as an operating system, are doing well at pointing out inherent limitations and maybe mis-directions by its closing off to other important inputs and influences.

I think it's fair to call it obvious that we many who were introduced to Wilber, often with much enthusiasm by us, and with many grateful aha's, are now inquiring, critiquing, doubting, challenging, fighting to gain and regain freedoms that were apparently lost as we extruded ourselves through the system. You and many others (and even I to a much much lesser extent) who have advanced, though varied understandings and idiosyncratic (and commonly held) emphases, each are filling out the larger stories. Some people and newly formed institutes and organizations inevitably have gone more classically meta, some are re-visiting what AQAL might have called pre (as distinct from trans or post) in order to re-feel and re-honor aspects of self/world/kosmos that have been chopped up or allowed to desicate through the intense and fertile, I'll say, explorations of more adherent AQALites, "integralites", and Wilberites - and Ken himself, of course.

Part of where we each are within this evolution, revolution, rebellion, attempted re-approaches depends on our own, to borrow Ken's term, kosmic addresses, or other innumerable features of our uniqueness. Some people seem to be more graceful and gracious in their efforts towards truth and honesty, some more mellowly inclusive and integrative as distinct from oppositional with the past AQAL phase, I'll say, and some more let down, discouraged, angry, and such, at discovering the great Kahuna's short-comings.[Insert tentative psychoanalytical speculations, here, as desired and appropriate.]

I'm supposing that personality, personal history, and personal psychological structure/functions play a big part in how us outflowing ants from the old hive search out freshness and life and completion. Of course that ant image is just one limited geometric, aesthetic one, seen from above, of the scattering of meta and alternative approaches which people are carrying with them. Sean is different from Bruce, from Edwyrd, from Joseph, from Layman, from...on and on and on, and sort of an army of seekers going off in some variations of hive-building or of quest-yet-staying-at-home, somehow.

Personally, though I often interpret myself as profoundly confused, disoriented, lost, with concomitant feelings, sensations, thoughts, and all the rest, I also often judge myself to be super lucky to have come across AQAL, Integral, and Ken Wilber. AQAL, along with less graphically structured imagery for what "integral" means that I have gotten from Ken and others. What a helpful (I'll momentarily effuse) exposure for me. I have gotten so much, just from the quadrants. From quite deep and quite broad articulation of lines and states.

Maybe I'll try to frame this comment as highlighting some pivotal concepts and dynamics that have woken me up in some way, because of this decade-plus intensive. First, though deeply ignorant of much that he introduced and elaborated on, in an already fairly long life, with some educational forays, I also knew enough, apparently, to hang these new assertions and possibilities on. There were mini-periods and micro-themes about which I rebelled and proudly felt-thought he was wrong, yay, wrong; some I still could feel-think he is wrong or off about, but not so often with the emotional charge I felt before. AQAL, reified, reductive, partly innacurate and misleading, etc., etc., has been and is a boon for me.

Specifically, the pre-trans idea has felt to be useful for me - and it still rests with some question marks and vacillations. The interconnections between states, thoughts, physiology, culture, well, AQALly complex contextuality, has likely been helpful and humbling for me.

Already, before spinning out, and lurching through, and dancing among the integral tulips, I may have been relatively strong on inner/outer, but the lower half, the collective, the communal, especially the impact of social systems and organizations, not so much. Lines, sure, but to consider them further. Levels - much angst and critique, yet net appreciations - albeit being familiar with some of his caveats that were sprinkled like bread crumbs along the path, like distinguishing aversion for dominator hierarchies from other possible hierarchies and holarchies. Opening up to inquiry around states, and baseline physiological (and some felt-cultural) thrummings have been an area of phenomenological richness for me. My self-care, though perhaps an illusive mistake and misdirection, has semi-burgeoned, and that perhaps has been a good thing. It often feels reassuring withing the chaos and vacuities.

As with coming across surfing about nine years ago, and skateboarding maybe six, I sometimes have the feeling and thought that I am alive still, as an oldish fart-knocker, because of Ken's contributions that have turned me on, and because of the psycho-socio-cultural connectedness that I sometimes cherish, and, as part of all this, the morphings, perhaps evolutions, the strange proliferations and reverberations that have emanated from Ken and others who you point out are potential nodes of valuable knowing - all, always, perhaps.

I look back at my life from the beginning and I could have died along the way suddenly or in self-defeating, life-squelching trajectories plenty of times. Some things have happened along the way that I can acknowledge, and some that are still invisible or lost in memory's alchemies, like having married a decent woman, like having connection with my decent children and families, like having had some decent relationships of various kinds, all with poignant challenges, and like engagement with Integral-through-Ken-and-other-threads-of-integral-life, within my flickering awareness.

I thought I'd remember more of these specific aha ideas and emphases around which I filled-out, for when I finally would make some micro-homage to Ken Wilber, on this forum, like now, but I am not retrieving so many of them at this moment.

Enough, eh.

Just wanted to say, AQAL ha bean bery gude por me.

Interesting to skim through the list, but I wonder how the criterion of "influential" was determined. I would guess it's largely based on influence within the ivory towers themselves?

BTW, I'm no longer getting emails to alert me of new comments in threads I participate in...therefore I'm coming here less frequently to check out what's new. Anyone else experienced this change in notifications? I'm not aware of changing any of my notification settings here.

Edwyrd theurj Burj said:

See this article on the 50 most influential living philosophers. We discussed a number of them in the forum as being 'integral,' e.g. Nancy, Habermas, Badiou, Butler, Chalmers, Clark, Harman, Morton, Priest, Singer. Yet none of them are explicit metatheorists, at least in the language used by kennilingus or Meta-Integral. And there are none of the latter on the list. Recalling ITC '15, which is having a greater impact?


This morning I awoke thinking about my cursory review of my Integral history and specifically what ideas disrupted me, woke me up a bit, and presented useful tools for me to engage better in the world of thought and people. (The latter is especially an ongoing question mark, but I have something like faith that ‘knowing’ too much, inevitably theorizing too much can eventually become more quiescent, more human friendly, more proportional to circumstances with people at a wide variety of addresses, In the world of more ordinary realities of thinking man, I suppose I have drunk the cool-aid.)


When I entered the integral cyber world, I had a vague confusion about the place of cognition in my life. I suppose I had disowned, or, with much performative contradiction, diminished its fundamental visible and invisible role in my/our mental life. Only very partially understanding Krishnamurti, and the practice of “sensory awareness”, and being spottily romanced toward and averted from some new age and regressive ideas about what humans were, probably were big reinforcers of this approach/avoidance to intellect and cognition.


When Ken talked about cognition and the “cognitive line” leading the way for so much in individuals like myself, I bristled and wrestled with that. Though I think he was off-base a bit in how he characterized in some places the relationship of emotion/affect and cognition with each other and with action, I think I also came to learn more about how ideas and images and other mental almost-hardware (I’m thinking Layoff, now) construct, co-construct, elicit co-emergences of action and realities. In this time of political circustry, I am sometimes blown away by how words, ideas, images, metaphorical and other framings, can seduce even one’s strongly held conclusions and equanimity, even in me
 who often I assume is discerning. I am momentarily a sucker for this cognition and affect and primal gesture, even if it just registers in me as ambivalence and confusion.


So Ken and the fairly systematic AQAL map seems to have opened up much more understanding of how things work, and have lead me to the critiques of AQAL for which I am also grateful.
Like many critics, I wish he would indicate more often and more fully that the map is not the territory. Yet, the cognitive tool and apparatus is so potent and implicit in us that we may need to also acknowledge more that we individuals are still actually living as maps of some sorts. Are we meta-critics not in some ways, still like rats, traveling the mazes and mayan labyrinths? Quite often?


Albeit within the labyrinth of relative human knowing/not-knowing, of self-coherence and fragmentarities, one important idea that he condensed in a phrase that has been mantra-like for me is that a declared truth is always partial truth. I’m not sure of all why that has been such a pivotal ongoing contemplation for me. Maybe it has made it less likely for me to be seduced so much by glittery people and ideas, by commercial gurus and sages.


This has been an orienting breadcrumb that Ken has dropped along the way that has helped me to hold even his state-induced descriptions and declarations in perspective. When in some states and contexts, say, he waxes on about karma or even reincarnation’s existence with accompanying imagery and what feels to me like emotional certainty, which he has been exposed to along the way, maybe preferentially, and then in a different state or mood, or context of cognitive circumspection  and inquiry he acknowledges some unlikely odds or attempts more delimiting qualifications to our imagination or fantasy, I am able not be pulled in as easily by a collectively held conclusion about these. I can vacillate and ambivalate and remain uncertain.


I think that ‘truth is always partial’ can catapult one into a further condition of plurality and relativity, and perhaps if situated and held in a wise way, what is called integral. Is that then a maturing vision-logic - I am not sure?


At what has been called third tier, about which I know almost nothing, maybe one embraces more fully a felt truth. Yet, here, I think, is where critics also reasonably can question. One question is, is this self and world certainty actually a regression or a collapse in a way to magical or mythic or whatever aspects of interiority that we have longed for and to which we finally succumb? I may be way off base with this riff. I am out of my depth.


However, I think the reason I bring this up is to suggest that AQAL framework has made room, at least some room, for wondering about this. [In my words.] And, it seems like a legitimate challenge to question the oft gripped principles, as with sequential and linear-like development, as with the contextually broadly asserted dynamics of eros, evolution and involution, as with the implicit beliefs of integrated inclusions of prior knowledge that could lead one to overvalue unusual experiences and seductive verbal declarations by others.


Personally, I feel that there is room in Integralandia and even AQALandia for thrashing about, but I admit that my opinion is very personal and questionable and in a sense unimportant. Unimportant maybe in a similar way that so much metaphysical expanding and reducing and re-articulating is unimportant.


Ambo, cease. Desist. This Thursday morning, in SoCal, indoors, feeling a little under the weather and probably under tenacious spells, I know not what I jabber.


Ehem.



Ambo Suno said:

Hi Edwyrd - I think that these ongoing challenges to momentums and inertias, these channelings of attention (and other primary functions in humans of limited energy and capacity), through critically engaging AQAL as an operating system, are doing well at pointing out inherent limitations and maybe mis-directions by its closing off to other important inputs and influences.

I think it's fair to call it obvious that we many who were introduced to Wilber, often with much enthusiasm by us, and with many grateful aha's, are now inquiring, critiquing, doubting, challenging, fighting to gain and regain freedoms that were apparently lost as we extruded ourselves through the system. You and many others (and even I to a much much lesser extent) who have advanced, though varied understandings and idiosyncratic (and commonly held) emphases, each are filling out the larger stories. Some people and newly formed institutes and organizations inevitably have gone more classically meta, some are re-visiting what AQAL might have called pre (as distinct from trans or post) in order to re-feel and re-honor aspects of self/world/kosmos that have been chopped up or allowed to desicate through the intense and fertile, I'll say, explorations of more adherent AQALites, "integralites", and Wilberites - and Ken himself, of course.

Part of where we each are within this evolution, revolution, rebellion, attempted re-approaches depends on our own, to borrow Ken's term, kosmic addresses, or other innumerable features of our uniqueness. Some people seem to be more graceful and gracious in their efforts towards truth and honesty, some more mellowly inclusive and integrative as distinct from oppositional with the past AQAL phase, I'll say, and some more let down, discouraged, angry, and such, at discovering the great Kahuna's short-comings.[Insert tentative psychoanalytical speculations, here, as desired and appropriate.]

I'm supposing that personality, personal history, and personal psychological structure/functions play a big part in how us outflowing ants from the old hive search out freshness and life and completion. Of course that ant image is just one limited geometric, aesthetic one, seen from above, of the scattering of meta and alternative approaches which people are carrying with them. Sean is different from Bruce, from Edwyrd, from Joseph, from Layman, from...on and on and on, and sort of an army of seekers going off in some variations of hive-building or of quest-yet-staying-at-home, somehow.

Personally, though I often interpret myself as profoundly confused, disoriented, lost, with concomitant feelings, sensations, thoughts, and all the rest, I also often judge myself to be super lucky to have come across AQAL, Integral, and Ken Wilber. AQAL, along with less graphically structured imagery for what "integral" means that I have gotten from Ken and others. What a helpful (I'll momentarily effuse) exposure for me. I have gotten so much, just from the quadrants. From quite deep and quite broad articulation of lines and states.

Maybe I'll try to frame this comment as highlighting some pivotal concepts and dynamics that have woken me up in some way, because of this decade-plus intensive. First, though deeply ignorant of much that he introduced and elaborated on, in an already fairly long life, with some educational forays, I also knew enough, apparently, to hang these new assertions and possibilities on. There were mini-periods and micro-themes about which I rebelled and proudly felt-thought he was wrong, yay, wrong; some I still could feel-think he is wrong or off about, but not so often with the emotional charge I felt before. AQAL, reified, reductive, partly innacurate and misleading, etc., etc., has been and is a boon for me.

Specifically, the pre-trans idea has felt to be useful for me - and it still rests with some question marks and vacillations. The interconnections between states, thoughts, physiology, culture, well, AQALly complex contextuality, has likely been helpful and humbling for me.

Already, before spinning out, and lurching through, and dancing among the integral tulips, I may have been relatively strong on inner/outer, but the lower half, the collective, the communal, especially the impact of social systems and organizations, not so much. Lines, sure, but to consider them further. Levels - much angst and critique, yet net appreciations - albeit being familiar with some of his caveats that were sprinkled like bread crumbs along the path, like distinguishing aversion for dominator hierarchies from other possible hierarchies and holarchies. Opening up to inquiry around states, and baseline physiological (and some felt-cultural) thrummings have been an area of phenomenological richness for me. My self-care, though perhaps an illusive mistake and misdirection, has semi-burgeoned, and that perhaps has been a good thing. It often feels reassuring withing the chaos and vacuities.

As with coming across surfing about nine years ago, and skateboarding maybe six, I sometimes have the feeling and thought that I am alive still, as an oldish fart-knocker, because of Ken's contributions that have turned me on, and because of the psycho-socio-cultural connectedness that I sometimes cherish, and, as part of all this, the morphings, perhaps evolutions, the strange proliferations and reverberations that have emanated from Ken and others who you point out are potential nodes of valuable knowing - all, always, perhaps.

I look back at my life from the beginning and I could have died along the way suddenly or in self-defeating, life-squelching trajectories plenty of times. Some things have happened along the way that I can acknowledge, and some that are still invisible or lost in memory's alchemies, like having married a decent woman, like having connection with my decent children and families, like having had some decent relationships of various kinds, all with poignant challenges, and like engagement with Integral-through-Ken-and-other-threads-of-integral-life, within my flickering awareness.

I thought I'd remember more of these specific aha ideas and emphases around which I filled-out, for when I finally would make some micro-homage to Ken Wilber, on this forum, like now, but I am not retrieving so many of them at this moment.

Enough, eh.

Just wanted to say, AQAL ha bean bery gude por me.

I appreciate your appreciation of kennilingus Ambo. I too have appreciated much about it and have voiced that at different times and places.

I think so DavidM, the criteria being influence within ivory towers. And yet that is exactly where kennilingus is trying to gain influence, apparently thinking that is the first and most significant battleground.

I saw this interesting post forwarding LP with a meme about going postmeta and quoting Morton. Ironically, Morton is referring more to LP's meta(sta)sizing and is aligned with those tired of all the meta-shit. So check it out and you decide.

Morton's post:

Anything you can do I can do meta

“I am smarter than you to the extent that I can see around mere objects.”

I'm growing more and more impressed one of Graham Harman's observations, one that he argues many times (just take a look at his blog, Tool-Being and Guerilla Metaphysics, for instance). This is his case that for about two hundred years, the game of being right in philosophy has most often been one of going meta.

What does going meta mean?
Going meta is a great way to sneer at someone. You remove the rug from underneath the other's feet. Their mere immediacy is always false. It's the deep structure, the numinous background, the possibility of the possibility of the horizon of the event of being, that is more real, or better, or just more rhetorically effective, than anything else. In this mode, the egg of potentiality comes before the chicken of the actual.

The syndrome of going meta is repeated in countless different philosophical modes. It makes Marxism more similar to deconstruction than it is to OOO, for instance. It makes Heidegger more similar to Adorno than to Ian Bogost. A fact that Adorno would have found disturbing.

I'm not sure which part came first, the thinking or the acting out, but this meta syndrome seems strangely parallel with the basic ontology of modern life.

For instance, it's deeply responsible for the beautiful soul condition from which we mock anyone who dares to actually do something—the condition Lacan noted when he claimed “Les non-dupes errent.” Those who sit up high on the mountain sneering at us poor saps beneath, because they think they can see through everything, are the most deluded of all.

Modern life presents us with a choice:

1) The essence of things is elsewhere (in the deep structure of capital, the unconscious, Being)
2) There is no essence



At present I believe that the restriction of rightness and coolness to this choice is one reason why planet Earth is in big trouble right now. And I believe that the choice resembles a choice between grayish brown and brownish gray.

That's why I believe in option 3):

3) There is an essence, and it's right here, in the object resplendent with its sensual qualities yet withdrawn


And that's why I believe we are entering a new era of academic work, where the point will not be to one-up each other by appealing to the trace of the givenness of the openness of the clearing of the lighting of the being of the pencil.

What will that look like? Not sure, but I know it'll be an immense relief.

I know you have and you do value much of Ken, and probably of your own learning curves that were nurtured, accelerated, and given voice through time spent with AQAL and other integral framings. I do think that many people forget just how fundamental and germane to our present states and opinions were are older ones - we forget to ongoingly honor that 'we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors.' I am quite certain that some of us sometimes come to disparage our pasts (as I still do with my father) as we think we have leapt far beyond those influences.

Blip Alert:

I want to ask again, please excuse me, if you think your renaming Ken as kennilingus is partly an act of aggression and disparagement?

If someone were to give you a clever but negatively associating name, would it feel ok, or would it feel as an aggression that would affect your relationship with that person and maybe in a subtle way your own sense of well-being?

I hope this question doesn't diminish safe and comfortable culture in us two and in IPMS.

Edwyrd theurj Burj said:

I appreciate your appreciation of kennilingus Ambo. I too have appreciated much about it and have voiced that at different times and places.

I have been given such names in the past. The more I resisted them the more power they had. So I came to accept them.

As for kennilingus, it's simple meaning is just Kenni's language. So often when I use it I just mean how Ken frame's integrality. It has other meanings, like how many of his students just vomit Ken's words verbatim instead of thinking for themselves. One can usually tell which meaning I have by how I use it. Often it just means AQAL-inflected integral theory.

It seems those that react to it most strongly are guilty of Ken worship and project onto me that I must hate the guy for using such a derogatory term from a mean green meme perspective. I do not hate him at all, while I do strongly disagree with some of his work. And from personal experience I've felt how he can be a ginormous asshole when you disagree with him.

Hi Edwyrd. "As for kennilingus, it's simple meaning is just Kenni's language." I don't get what you mean. The similarity with what you call him to cuntlicker seems the obvious entendre. If you checked with him and he concurs with you calling him that, then it's probably not an insult to him.

I think it's basic respect to not often insult people or to usually violate cultural taboos.

I think one progression of ethics could be seen as, 1st, I learn to be polite so I can be a good boy, 2nd, often preadolescently or adolescently, I experiment with insulting or confronting authority or engaging in rebellious behavior (I see teenagers on the bus or street corner talking loud with fuckin this and shit this, etc.), 3rd, I have learned some things about myself, my emotional reactivities, the culture and come to value, in general, a respectful safe environment. With all these years of inquiring about going meta intellectually, and about having more human-friendly societies, I would think we might also be working towards everyday harmonies and respect.

Maybe you aren't particularly fond of or impressed by those sorts of purported psycho-cultural growth patterns.

If the culture or subculture has clearly morphed into a fuckin this, cunt that, asshat him, crooked bitch her, than maybe I would have recalibrated the conventional meaning of words enough and wouldn't mind being called Amboner or Ambonehead repeatedly. You wouldn't mind being designated Smegward, Smegwyrd, or Smegwierd on a daily basis.

I get that through your neologisms you like word play, and that you maybe enjoy a nonconventional, rebel, or outlyer status. Maybe that's part of your sense of humor.

I don't like hearing so much the cuntlicker allusion, others may not either but don't want to bring it up, and who knows what that really says about my unconscious reactivities, or your own.

Did you forget Ken's Wyatt Earp essay where he told those who disagree with him to "suck my dick?"  And that's not a problem for you? So yes, part of the word kennilingus is a play on those who virtually suck his dick by being parrots or blind acolytes. So Ken or his fans can't take his own medicine?

And no, I'm not at all impressed by those prudish standards of "growth." That is just one more variant of saying "you're not integral if you do this or that." Not buying it buddy. So can you not react to the word? And  I sort of like Smegwyrd... Reminds me of theurJISM.

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