The Variety of Integral Ecologies - Sean Kelly, Adam Robbert & Sam Mickey


Neelesh and I have decided to change the order in which we read and review the ITC papers.  In order to highlight the juiciest ones, and hopefully to encourage more engagement with them, we are focusing for now on the papers that received awards -- starting with the bottom of the list and working our way up.


So, the "first" on our list is a topic that should be of interest to members of this forum, given our recent year-plus focus on Speculative Realism, OOO, and Complex thought:  The Variety of Integral Ecologies: Kosmopolitan Complexity and the ....

I haven't finished reading it yet, so I won't post a response yet, but I wanted to start a place-holder and invite others to read and respond, too.

Here's the abstract:

This presentation explores the diverse variety of integral ecologies, showing how integral ecologies support efforts to articulate more meaningful accounts of the world and to create a better tomorrow for all beings in the emerging Earth community. Following an overview of the historical and theoretical background of integral ecologies, the presenters bring multiple integral approaches to ecology into dialogue, including the “ecologized thinking” of Edgar Morin’s Complex Thought, the “cosmopolitics” developed by Isabelle Stengers and extended by Bruno Latour and Donna Haraway, and the New Realisms, including critical realism and the speculative realist movement of object-oriented ontology.

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I just want to jump in here and say I agree that there seems to be a fairly strong tendency in the integral community to "over-value holarchy and fetishize development" (great discussion about that at Beams & Struts here).  Wilber talks about both the dignity and the disaster of modernity, which I found to be very helpful, but it usually feels like he underplays the disaster and overplays the dignity.

And so, when I read Morin, it felt like a breath of fresh air. Everyone who reads A Brief History of Everything should read Homeland Earth along side it. The AQAL map is a good tool, but Complex Thought reminds us to stay humble and realize we haven't got it all figured out.

Wilber criticized Morin in Integral Spirituality for his systems approach, but I find this to be a strength, not a weakness. I find systems and complexity science to be a great starting point for then jumping off and correlating to the interior domains. Which Morin does; as Montouri points out in his Resource Paper on Morin for ITC 2013, Morin does not use Complexity Science in a reductionist way.

Balder, if you didn't finish reading Homeland Earth, I encourage you to consider at least jumping ahead and reading the last chapter.

"We must relearn our terrestrial finiteness and renounce the false infinite of technical omnipotence, of mental omnipotence, of our yearning for omnipotence, so that we may bow to the true infinite that is unnamable and unconceivable. Our technical powers, thought, and consciousness must henceforth be devoted to fitting up, improving, and understanding, not to mastering.

"We must learn to 'be there' (dasein), on the planet - to be, to live, to share, to communicate and commune with one another. Self-enclosed cultures always knew and taught that wisdom. From now on, we must learn to be, to live, to share, to communicate and commune as human beings of planet Earth. We must transcend, without excluding, our local cultural identities, and awaken to our being as citizens of the Earth."

- Edgar Morin, Homeland Earth (p. 145)

Thank you for the nudge, David.  The book is sitting unfinished on my shelf downstairs.  I will pick it up and read the last chapter at least.

Strangely, I also found Homeland Earth tough going, and gave up (hopefully temporarily) after reading the first few chapters. I find it more engaging to read Morin's essays (translated). Must give HE another shot!

If interested one can also read the IPS thread on "pomo and complexity." Morin is featured throughout but particularly on pp. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8.

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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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