European Academic Trends and Contributions to Integral Studies

Special Issue Editors:  
Marc G. Lucas and Matthew Rich-Tolsma
 Volume 11, No. 3
September 2015
Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue
Marc G. Lucas and Matthew Rich-Tolsma
Re-viewing Self and Societal Development from a Postformal Perspective: An Artistic De-concealiation, Reconciliation and Trans-formation
Marc G. Lucas
The Generality of Adult Development Stages and Transformations:
Comparing Meaning-making and Logical Reasoning
Tom Hagström  and Kristian Stålne
Laske’s Dialectical Thought Form Framework (DTF) as a Tool for Creating Integral Collaborations: Applying Bhaskar’s Four Moments of Dialectic to Reshaping Cognitive Development as a Social Practice
Otto Laske
Reviewing the Practice Turn in Social, Organizational and Leadership Studies from an Integral Perspective
Elke Fein
‘Inter-Bridging’ Bridges and Bridging as Metaphors for ‘syn-integrality’ in Organization Studies and Practice
Wendelin Küpers, Jürgen Deeg, Mark Edwards
Collaborative Learning Processes in Teacher Training: Benefits and Costs
Ellen Aschermann  and Jennifer Klenzan
The Yalla Program - Integral Framed Support for Young Leaders from Egypt and Germany
Adrian Wagner
Transformative Learning for Climate Change Engagement: Regenerating Perspectives, Principles, and Practice
Gary P. Hampson  & Matthew Rich-Tolsma

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The article on inter-bridging sounds up my alley for prepositions and image schema. The abstract:

By interpreting the bridge as a relational metaphor, and reflecting an inter-relational ‘space between’ of positions, the paper contributes to a different view of integrating pluralism in organization studies. Following an embodied realism, first bridges and bridging are presented as phenomena, media and metaphors for connecting and separating. Showing their ambivalent character the role of bridges as metaphors and metaphors as bridges are discussed in relation to organisation studies and as transition zones for paradigms. Based on an integrative orientation, mediating qualities of bridges and bridging are outlined for gaining a decentered, but interconnected understanding of organising. The final part discusses some implications for organization studies.

An excerpt describing points I've raised time and again in various places throughout this forum (highlighted by my italic emphasis):

"The postmodern distrust of meta-positions is understandable given the problematic assumptions that often accompany such views, but the point put forward by Gioia and Pitrè is different. Their assumptions are of valuing pluralism or taking diverse meta-level positions and of retaining marginal views (Gioia & Pitre, 1990). Questioning the assumption that there are no connections between paradigms can open up researching for multiple overlapping or connecting areas (Gioa and Pitrè 1990, p. 592; Schulz and Hatch, 1996, p. 534). Such approaches would not try to fuse or merge, but to relate and negotiate between conflicting positions […] Concentrating on the permeability of paradigmatic borders and zones of transition can be detected, where different elements might be combined or reconfigured towards rendering novel insights or findings. […] In order to (re-)construct such transitional zones, we propose an integral pluralism framework as a bridging concept. By this we mean, a bridging in which different elements or positions are not reduced or subsumed into each other. Rather, they are a seen as contributing their own insights to a more comprehensive understanding. This integral orientation permits bridging between paradigms as well as between micro-, meso- and macro-levels of analysis and their interplay” (125).

Syn-integrality also reminds me of Desilet's synergist spirituality mentioned in this post. Also see this link to our previous Gaia discussion of it. The latter is only 155 pages.

From the above article:

“‘Syn-integrality’ resonates in particular with the idea of ‘tensegrity’ as this concept refers to the integrity of structures as being based in a synergy between the inseparable and balanced components of tension and compression (Fuller and Applewhite, 1975). [...] Instead of using compression, ‘syn-integral’ bridging achieves stability by the distribution and concurrent application of tension and pressure on the entire bridge and in relation between its poles. Thus, the integrity of the structure is determined by the distributed tensile stress of the entire system” (127).

Which reminds me of this and following posts in the adjaceny thread copied below:

Speaking of resistance, according to the Tai Chi Classics one can "using four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds." To do this one must "distinguish clearly between substantial and insubstantial." Both are accomplished via compression and leverage, both within one's body and by applying them to another body. Compression and leverage are accomplished by maintaining 4 ounces of resistance or pressure between them at all times and through all changes. Without this resistance our biomagnetic and biomechanical energy does not flow with enough force to move much of anything, much less a thousand pounds.This is also critical in partner dance connection/communication.

For example, principle 1 is about the fundamental premise of same-difference or connective-separation. The latter pair is more suited to my purpose, as it exemplifies the relation between any 'two.' This could relate not just a philosophical axiom but practically to one person or two people (or more) in my above example. In practicing tai chi alone one is always playing with this ever-changing 'balance' between active and passive between parts of their body-mind, or substantial and insubstantial. And there are several of these balances going on at the same space-time, like between the two hands, the two feet, the head and feet, the front and back, etc. These complimentary parts are connected yet "clearly distinguished."

Where the resistance or pressure comes in is in the dynamic tension between them (principle 11). Note the preposition 'between.' It is what glues them together yet also keeps them apart like a generative (en)closure. I.e, they are adjacent, not one and not two, at least not exactly. This 4 ounces of resistance is strongly akin to any permeable boundary that is both open and closed, that not only separates one from another but also allows connection and communication with another. Hence the practice can also been done with another(s), which experience of working with another feeds back to working with oneself and vice-versa. The training requires both as an ongoing practice. Hence principle 10, for one is this practice is both/and/neither/nor one/two in oneself and with another.

And this passage reminds me of object a (a la difference):

“Remarkably these tensile structures have empty centres. Correspondingly, every point is visible and connectable from every other, suggesting a desirable form of transparency. […] For a tensegrity-oriented approach the centre is a virtual one, rather than being occupied by some dominant body, individual, concept or value. [...] Therefore syn-integral bridging does not follow the ideas of a metaphysical harmony, nor an underlying unity-oriented ideal(ism)" (127-8).

E.g., recall this:

Which reminds me of the objet a of Bryant's Borromean (integral) theory, another one with manifolds. [...] This interative process of differance is, as I noted, the heart of the Borromean diagram. It is in the interplay of objet a with the 3 methodologies that produces not only change but progress through a spiral dynamical process. No, we never fully arrive at full consciousness of this unmarked,  withdrawn or virtual ‘space’ (khora), for it too, being immanent and constructed, also develops and grows given development in the actually manifest domains. In a sense one expression of it is the cognitive unconscious of humans. We can never know it fully and yet we do make inroads and open it just a bit more with each advance. Hence I take Flanagan’s criticism of ‘consciousness’ (in the Thompson thread) as sometimes too focused on the marked space of what we are aware, and how we often mistake this for the unmarked space beyond its reach and thus confuse it with an ultimate and transcendent realm.

And this passage reminds of image schema, which pre-position linguistic prepositions and other forms of speech (i.e., not 'in' them) while always manifesting in the middle of classical taxonomic hierarchies. In other words, hier(an)archy.

“This liminal bridging moves between concepts, categories and paradigms of thought and forms of practice not ‘in’ them (Chia, 1996, p. 142). It is this relational realm of in-between, with its gaps or interstices and therein unfolding ‘in-tensions’. […] Following Deleuze and Guattari (1980) […] a rhizome-bridge has no beginning or end, but is always in the middle, between things” (128-29).

"As spatial and temporal in-between, bridges and bridging serve not only for coming from one point to another, but help to overcome thinking in points at all" (129).

"A key point in our discussion has been that metaphors integrate reason and imagination and so
are useful for meta-theoretical bridging" (132)

Remember Lakoff et al on imaginative reason:

Lakoff & Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By:

“What we are offering in the experientialist account of understanding and truth is an alternative which denies that subjectivity and objectivity are our only choices. We reject the objectivist view that there is absolute and unconditional truth without adopting the subjectivist alternative of truth as obtainable only through the imagination, unconstrained by external circumstances. The reason we have focused so much on metaphor is that it unites reason and imagination. Reason, at the very least, involves categorization, entailment, and inference. Imagination, in one of its many aspects, involves seeing one kind of thing in terms of another kind of thing—what we have called metaphorical thought. Metaphor is thus imaginative rationality. Since the categories of our everyday thought are largely metaphorical and our everyday reasoning involves metaphorical entailments and inferences, ordinary rationality is therefore imaginative by its very nature. Given our understanding of poetic metaphor in terms of metaphorical entailments and inferences, we can see that the products of the poetic imagination are, for the same reason, partially rational in nature” (138-9).

There is no mention of the speculative realists in the article or bibliography. Their work on strange mereology, flat ontology and dynamic systems, while maintaining a form of hierarchy, would add a lot to this discussion on how hier(an)archy works.

This wiki entry on syntegrity is relevant to this thread. E.g.:

"Syntegrity is a formal model presented by Anthony Stafford Beer, a British theorist, in his work on management cybernetics, the science of large, complex, probabilistic systems.[1] The word Syntegrity is derived from the words synergistic and tensegrity. Its etymology signifies the ideal balance of tension and compression that makes structures stronger and more stable as they grow."

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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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