Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Is it even possible to get more dogmatic than this?
In response to your question that Irmeli quoted above --
does being "Integral" mean, more of less, accepting Ken's system, or can one still be "Integral" and yet be at odds, more or less, with the details of his thought (even though there will be certain "family resemblances" with the basic outlines of his thinking that allow one to also call oneself "Integral" in outlook).
--At the moment I would say it's leaning toward the latter ("one can still be 'integral' and yet be at odds...with the details of his thought").
Ken's works are popular and frequently provide an introduction / invitation to "lay people" interested in integral ideas. A lot of folks won't venture much beyond that introductory level, and for them "integral" and "Ken's system" may remain roughly identical. (I believed so, at a certain point.) But if one goes beyond reading a few books by Ken and digs a little deeper into the larger world of the integrally-informed, it's not long before they encounter challenges to and disagreements with his thinking, even within the fold of people affiliated with Integral Institute. Though I'm no scholar or specialist, it seems to me that there are as many people disagreeing with Ken or presenting differing approaches to integral theory as there are people who embrace and apply Wilberian ideas (like AQAL) in their field...
Okay, I'm doing this mostly because I feel it will be annoying, but ...
Isn't calling something like the weak nuclear force "love" an example of the pre/trans fallacy?
Irmeli: Strictly speaking the strong and weak nuclear forces are symbolic expressions of something. They are not the thing itself, just as the concept Greek Eros is a symbol of something else.
I want to add a Lacanian perspective.
Within Lacan's System, it is indeed the case that the Father guarantees the Law and Structure of the Symbolic Order through his Mastery of the Oedipal Riddle of the Sphinx. The symbol for his Mastery is the Sceptre, or Phallic Signifier.
It is a secret in fact only known by the higher ranks of the Psychoanalytical Society that the Phallus is indeed grounded on Nothing, or better, on Emptiness. In other words, the Phallic Signifier carries the message that all is not allright, since things must constantly change and overcome themselves. Eros is a constant call to leave your home and everyone within it and go out into the unkown and search and fight for the OneThing that will complete the Great Work.
Love, on the other hand, says "everything is allright, already, always". It pours down its sweetiesweet caramel sirup over everything, willing or not.
OK I might have a bias here. I'll try to 321 it over.
Irmeli: They are not the thing itself, just as the concept Greek Eros is a symbol of something else.
Still following Lacan, the Real Thing is always that which cannot be imagined or symbolised.
But at the same time we have to be careful to not automatically suspect a higher truth behind the appearances. As the Wizard of Oz reminds us, sometimes the Mystery is just an old man hiding behind a curtain.
Or, as Frater Perdurabo liked to put it:
"For when Naught becomes Absolute Naught, it becomes again the Many.
And this Many and this Naught are identical; they are not correlatives or phases of some one deeper Absence-of-Idea;
they are not aspects of some further Light: they are They!
Beware, O sister, lest this chapter deceive thee!"
Irmeli: "I challenged Terry many times with my differing opinion. The first day he seemed somewhat irritated, and yes I felt some anger arising in him, which he didn't however explicitly express. The next day however he was much more at ease with me. In the end of the seminar he thanked me for having keeping him awake, and also from stopping him to speak bullshit."
You go, girl! :)
Bruce: "But on the other hand, given the long history of metaphysical thinking in most of the world's religious traditions -- and given the likely newness of Integral spirituality to many people, including attendees at the ISE event -- it does seem important to make some effort to frame his talk post-metaphysically, even in a very general way, especially since this was one of the central and most emphatic messages of his book on this subject (Integral Spirituality). As the ISE video message stands, especially taken just by itself, it is presented in a way that comes across as "just as metaphysical" as the views he critiqued in IS."
Yeah, that was my point as well.
As said, it'd be stupid to require every integralist to speak endlessly about kosmic addresses, enactments, situatedness, and so on and so forth, whenever one is discussing something. Yet, since I personally feel postmetaphysics is such an integral (pun not intended) part of integral nowadays, it would make sense to at least make it clear, somehow, that one is not speaking from nowhere.
I mean, to me this prospect of "not speaking from nowhere" is radical and remarkable, and what's more, also quite an unknown and unexplored territory for many people. Even, I suppose, for a few integralists. So I feel it makes complete sense ‒ especially if you're Ken Wilber ‒ to speak about it. And not because it's a burden of some sort, but because it's exciting! The leading edge and all that, right?
(Then, in my vaaast integral embrace, I of course understand that there's a business side to the integral movement as well. Nothing wrong with that. And I realize speaking about postmetaphysics won't exactly tractor beam in the big bucks.
I don't mind folk "selling out." Not at all. Just don't sell out so hard you forget who you are?)
Bruce: "How many times have you heard him mention the developmental litany in his interviews and videos: 'from magic, to mythic, to....'?"
Maybe two or three times? :)
Yeah, that could be the case -- at least in terms of general strategy, if not this particular video. I think this video was originally created for attendees at a recent ISE event, and then was released later to the public. So, in this case, I believe he would have been speaking to people who had already 'paid.'
But postmetaphysical thinking and language does seem a hard sell. This site, for instance, really is kept alive only by a few dedicated people. And it's free! The topic or orientation just doesn't draw in the crowds, does it?
Being an "evolutionary," however, is apparently a much stronger selling point, given the recent explosion of activity around folks like Craig Hamilton and Barbara Marx Hubbard....
Even the word "integral" can be a hard sell, as Leslie Hershberger points out in a recent Integral Life post. In this following excerpt from her post, she's reflecting on a web course she's currently teaching entitled "Coming Home: An Integral Christian Practicum." It does seem to me that starting with the words "Coming Home" -- instead of "Integral" -- was probably a wise choice:
I teach extensively in my community [in the Midwest] and I found that each time "Integral" was the focus of the course offering, participants were less interested. Quite simply, less people registered for the courses because they'd not heard of Integral so didn't understand how it was relevant to them. What did interest them was contextualizing their own experience, expanding their perspectives, learning/developing spiritual practice and creating community. So, I learned to embed Integral within anything I taught. It was a sort of "inside out" way of teaching this elegant map. In other words, teach Integral without teaching Integral. Introduce and weave the Integral principles as an unparalleled tool rather than as the focus.