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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Integral Jive's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, May 1st, 2014
2:04 pm
A Kind Voice on Books: Interview with Ozgur K. Sahin
For those who didn't know, I recorded an interview for A Kind Voice (for their books program). I talk about my book and what went into writing it, convention experiences, narcissism, and other social and literary topics. You can even hear me read a short excerpt from my book (don't worry, there aren't any big spoilers!).

Also, several of you might be interested in the other shows on this website.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
12:12 pm
Transforming Sympathy to Empathy
This is beautiful.

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
12:40 pm
The Nature of Bias
The subject I'm about to speak about is brought up in this video from 5:25 to 8:25.

Basically, there's a long-standing issue that Green has with Yellow. And really, it's not a different issue essentially than the issue that Blue has with Red, and Orange has with Blue, and Green has with Orange. Basically, what does a fact mean, and where does one's personal bias factor in? Blue disputes Red's claim that what it wants is right just because it wants it. Orange disputes Blue's claim that what is right is what it believes just because it believes it. Green disputes Orange's claim that what is right is what is internally consistent and externally correlative, because the internal system and external data can vary from one reference frame to another. Where Yellow comes in with a critique is that it disputes Green's claim that what is right is what is potentially anything that can be internally and externally consistent from one's own frame of reference, because some truths persist beyond reference frames and can be seen from any of them.

Where Green has a problem with this is that for any one person to say it, Green maintains that this person is coming from his or her own reference frame, and so the view is infected by the very thing it is presuming to criticize. On the surface, this seems like a valid critique, but there is a systemic fallacy underpinning the accusation.

Red is right: what it wants is, on some level, reflecting some need and thus some degree of rightness.
Blue is right: What it wants as a whole must be broken into the right parts and the wrong parts. It is also right that what it believes, on some level, reflects some systemic code, order or structure (and need for such) and thus some degree of rightness.
Orange is right: What it believes must be broken down into what is internally and externally consistent. It is also right that what it sees, on some level, is a consistent way of looking at the world from its own sphere.
Green is right: What it sees must be broken down into what is consistent within its sphere and what is inconsistent with other spheres. It is also right that what reference frames it acknowledges, on some level, are all potentially consistent ways of looking at the world, and may not agree with each other.

But what I've just stated is a plethora of ways that each level is partially right. And the need for each new level stems from a need for less and less partialness to the truth. What each level fails to acknowledge is that it isn't merely different from other levels, but adds some new capacity to previous levels. Each level adds a way to decentralize, suspend, check, discern, and integrate prior views. Blue can take more than one person's wants into account and impose rules. Orange can take wants in general into account and impose consistency and correlation. Green can take consistency into account and impose pluralism of consistent and correlative systems. What can Yellow do?

Yellow can take pluralism of consistent and correlative systems and impose transrelative patterns of perspective generation.
In general:
Red looks at this and says "What? That's just what you want, not what I want."
Blue looks at this and says "That's blasphemy, because it's against our group's wants (beliefs)."
Orange looks at this and says "That's just your belief, which is refuted by what I see."
Green looks at this and says "That's just your belief, and may be valid within your own reference frame, but it is impossible to accurately say that you speak for other reference frames from within your own."

But there is a jump in structure that happens here that leads to this confusion. Each of those stages confuses the characteristics of this new view with characteristics of views that it is familiar with. In short, each of those stages confuses what it is seeing of the new structure with some correlate in the old structure.

But Yellow is the first structure of identification as the soul, and is thus the first stage of stepping out of one's mental frame of reference. Stepping out of one's own reference frame and into another entire structure that is transrelative (but still individual) means being able to see past reference frames to something more integrative. Now I MUST CLARIFY that there is still an individual flavor to this move (particularly at Yellow, where higher aspects and dynamics of the soul are not yet even acknowledged, much less understood). You are still using the tools of one person. However, those tools now integrate the whole realm of mental capacities and perspectivism. In this sense, you are still working from whatever the soul equivalent of a "reference frame" is, which still has an emphasis, nature, resonance, talents, etc, but is NOT limited by the things that limit the mind itself. Both mind and soul in an individual are limited to some small degree by their singleness, and this does not change with the step from Green to Yellow. What DOES change is the mind's inherent limitation not in number, but in SCOPE and in ability to be objective and step outside its own METHOD of functioning (namely, reference frames, logic, desires, discipline, and sheer identity).

One simple way to think about this is as follows:

Green is all about pointing out bias. Green rightly perceives that all individuals are biased, and this will influence their perceptions of the truth. Green also rightly perceives that all individuals are in context--that is to say "have a reference frame," and that this reference frame leads to bias.

The PROBLEM is that Green is not able to differentiate between the different biases. Green does not acknowledge that there is any form of perception that goes beyond bias in a meaningful way, because it perceives ALL of this bias as stemming from the INDIVIDUAL aspect of personhood. What's ACTUALLY the case is that each structure of being has less and less bias than the previous one (just as each LEVEL of each structure is less centered on the individual). The step from mind to soul involves discovering the tools to jettison the bias of mind, but the bias inherent to being one individual persists (and continues to lessen at each progressive stage).

Green does not understand this, but Ken Wilber is basically talking about it (very shortly, in no detail, and basically in passing) when he says "second tier does a much, much better job of presenting data on balance and presenting a more balanced picture." And he even acknowledges that there is still the limitation of being an individual when he adds, "But that doesn't mean you're right. It means you're often right, and it means that when you're wrong, you make bigger mistakes." The "bigger mistakes" part is also inherent to level development (orange mistakes tend to be bigger than blue ones, etc), but there's undoubtedly an element of "bigger mistake" from mind to soul as well.

Basically, at Yellow, people stop "wanting certain things to be true" to a large extent. They step outside of their mental identity for the first time, and to that extent, their mental preferences for truth no longer define them. Identity, now focused on the soul (but usually still not acknowledged as such) no longer feels threatened by what would once have threatened mental identity. This is precisely why this is one of the most talked about stages in psychological therapies, and why it is often seen as a psychological goal in terms of self acceptance, overcoming oppression, openness with others, and mature choice. The whole reason it is referred to as self-actualization is that people feel at this stage as if they are choosing each aspect of their lives to some extent--they are actualizing the self rather than idealizing it. We get tired of our own little games or lies we tell ourselves, we get tired of our attachments screening out the truth until it's too late, and we want to actually know ourselves and what's going on around us, at whatever cost to our beliefs (again, there is some version of this at every stage, but researchers seem to agree that there is a big jump at this particular spot). Having finally separated identity from certain ways we wish to view the world (and ourselves), we can view it how it actually is.

In any case, Green maintains that a certain level of "wanting or believing something to be true" will be inherent to the individual. Second Tier maintains that the "wanting something to be true" on a mental sphere of reality is something its new (transmental) tools of cognition easily jettisons, and "believing something to be true" in mental spheres is much less limited by mental preference, leaving observation, established fact, and new ways of perceiving (added by new stages and structures) more at the helm. It also fits right in with the faster and greater data processing that happens at these stages, and the approaches taken to uncover truths. This is much more effective, just not infallible.

Green likes to use this "not infallible" statement like a justification for jettisoning anything it doesn't like about Second Tier views and claiming "that's just your frame of reference." It even likes to go a step further and state "Your views are no less fallible than mine," as if no development had happened at all, confident that it has the tools to judge this adequately. To illustrate how insensible this is, we should really look at the jump from body to mind. Take the example of empathy. Through empathy, we can take on the role of another, not only intellectually, but we can FEEL what it must be like to be them. People who are stuck at merely bodily identification cannot do this, and if they had the linguistic tools to say so (usually only people pathologically incapable of empathy have these tools while also having the lack of empathy), would claim that "you can't possibly understand because you're not me." But people who have the development of empathy know this is not true, and they know that their mental tools make the body-centered bias easy to suspend or jettison, but they also know that there is still that limiting factor of being an individual that limits the extent to which they can feel the other person's pain. But acknowledging this is not tantamount to saying empathy is not significant, does not transcend individual perspectives significantly or account for them fairly, or does not mean empathetic data is invalid, pompous, presumptuous, marginalizing, or insensitive because it purports to factor in what is "not its own."

The same mechanism that leads from animal to empathy continues on past mind, and frankly, to assume that this not only IS not but CANNOT happen is as presumptuous as the brat who screams that no one can understand his pain when he is denied a hot dog.

There are many aspects to bias, as life itself shows us constantly. To claim which kinds can be escaped and which cannot, one has to be familiar with the different stages of development that lead to new awareness*. I'll leave it to those who have nondual realization to claim whether or not the bias of the individual can be overcome and on what levels that's relevant. But the claims of others who are not familiar with these things should at least be consistent with their own development and scientific observation. Anything else, I would argue, is simply the mental bias of "wanting it to be so," regardless of the evidence.

[*Again, this is not infallible, especially as one can be merely "competent" at a new stage in order to move to the next, and lower-level neuroses can infect the whole system. It is, however, the tendency of Second-Tier awareness to actively seek out these problems and address them, because of an innate desire to be free of merely mental bias--as one thing these levels add is an even greater degree of compassion than even found at Green. On a broad scale, Yellow views tend to be more inclusive, less biased, and more actively thought out than prior ones, just as could be said of ANY level with regard to ANY previous level, and/or any STRUCTURE with regard to any prior STRUCTURE. Both are factors here.]

Current Mood: frustrated
Friday, January 20th, 2012
1:09 pm
Societal Enabling
I posted this in response to someone's question, "What if you HAD to vote...who would you support?"

Well, if I HAD to vote, I'd pick the least obnoxious candidate, but we wouldn't really be living in as free a society as we do then. But to address the spirit of your question, let's say a bunch of people don't vote, because they don't support any of the candidates. So only those who do, end up voting, and things get worse. Let's say they get way worse. I don't know about you, but I've noticed that individuals--and thus societies--don't tend to address a problem until they have to. People have to hit "rock bottom" a lot of the time before they address the issues and move on. Sometimes societies do too.

When an individual's behavior is clearly going to lead to a big fall, and you are the only one stopping it by constantly picking up their inordinate amount of slack, by removing the obstacles, putting out the fires, and shouldering the weight of their problems because "who else will?" we call that "being an enabler." There are societal enablers just as there are personal ones. Yeah, it affects people when someone hits rock bottom, and it affects far more people when a society does it, but some means of "preventing" this only serve to mask the problem and delay it rather than actually prevent it.

There is always the third option of saying "these options are not acceptable." That's how civil rights worked--if someone said, "All the black people have to sit at the back of the bus or the right side of the bus, and those are your choices," you would not sit and debate which is the lesser of two evils and then pick one. You would declare both options unacceptable and not participate except in a way that makes this clear, and work to raise this awareness.

Current Mood: contemplative
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
2:57 pm
'Feminist' or 'Egalitarian?'
So I was reading a pretty decent article called Nerds and Male Privilege, and I ran across this issue in the comment chain... The issue was sparked by the original author stating that he is not a feminist, but more of an egalitarian. This is something I've said before, and the same argument that starts up when I say it did, of course, start up. Here are my thoughts on that--hope you can see the "fusion, differentiation, integration" theme here that you'd find in any Wilber-related writing...
Speaking to the "I'm not a feminist, I'm more egalitarian" comment and the moderate outrage that ensued:

I get this comment, I even say this when I'm being lazy. I'm not speaking for anyone else here, but here's what *I* mean when I say it:

My perception of how feminism is executed (which is not down to whatever dictionary definitions you want to throw at it to ignore the issue) has been that it is very focused on what needs to be done in order to fight for women's rights, ensure women's rights, keep women's rights in mind, etc. To use terms somewhere in the middle of this comment chain, it's all about what can and can't be taken for granted. In my experience, feminists tend to not take it for granted that they have a voice, that their opinions and identities are equally valued (and in the same priority, such as "not gender first," for example), etc. What strikes me a lot, living in a fairly liberal area, is how often feminists do this in social climates where this is largely unnecessary, and/or do so in a WAY that is a bit over-the-top.

This drives some people to want to distance themselves from the label of feminism without distancing themselves from respecting women's rights (including the right not to have to be eternally vigilant about infractions of those rights), identities, preferences, and opinions.

So the term "egalitarian" in this context sometimes means "I take both men's and women's rights, men's and women's opinions, men's and women's preferences, and men's and women's identities equally for granted because I consistenly and habitually value them both equally."

Other times it means "I equally take NEITHER for granted, because taking things for granted is a bad idea, and I consistently and habitually examine what's really going on in an equal and fair way with regard to gender."

Those are variations on the same thing, because honestly we only have the attention spans and interest enough to do some things habitually and other things deliberately, and once we've done something regularly enough in a deliberate way, it becomes habitual and less conscious--like digestion (imagine if you had to deliberately activate every process involved in your own digestion and how tedious that would be...you only check in when there's a problem that registers, or to make sure you're not becoming simply unaware of your own bodily processes and of all kinds of related problems).

To put it another way, feminism is CENTERED. It is centered on what can be done to make things equal on a gender basis, and that usually means being centered on women.

"Egalitarian" (in the context here) is DECENTERED. It is so because it already habitually does what is necessary to equalize things and consider things equally, so it no longer has a sore spot to focus on and can look at the picture from a less tense, less invested perspective. This isn't an insult; it's part of all growth of perspective. We are all much more vehement against the viewpoints which we just outgrown--it's part of creating the bounds of a new identification. But once we are no longer freshly out of our previous viewpoint, that vehemence--that centeredness--evaporates, we've formed our new identification with its new boundaries, and we've incorporated the necessary tools we lacked before. When we have a sore, we are rather focused on it. When it's healed, we aren't, but we are more aware of how to prevent them and what to do if we spot another one--there's just no longer the need to keep staring at that spot all the time.

[Disclaimer: this is not to say that those who identify as feminists have less mature viewpoints than those who identify as "egalitarian." I personally believe this is sometimes true, but that the main problem is one of language. Some people have lost this "centeredness" AND found that the term bothers them, AND they decide on a term they prefer. In regard to the term "feminism," this is much more likely to happen with men, because it feels like they are expressing a centerdness they don't feel and it is actively contrary to their identity (i.e. contradicts their masculinity). With the centeredness vanishes the need to champion femininity--including the feminine side of themselves--so the term chafes, registers as a problem, and demands a solution. Basically, ALL THREE of those steps have to happen for the term to change (when it isn't just reactionary regression to "women don't have it that bad...shut up!"). Two people could feel the same way about it and one could say feminist and the other could say egalitarian, and they could get in a very pointless semantic argument.]

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, July 7th, 2011
1:51 pm
Deliberate vs. Accidental Attunement
When you accidentally attune to a person (which is often catalyzed by some inner readiness to accept the love, light, and awareness of your own soul and is set off by a trigger related to the other person), whether it be someone you know, or someone completely new to you, you are subjected to all of their flaws, inadequacies, pathologies, neuroses, as well as their virtues, graces, talents and competencies. And when you devote yourself to them, you are subjected to all of their life choices, their values, their abuses, their vices, their ills, their attributes, their successes, their fortune and their benefits. You are subjected to all of their REALITIES when you attune randomly and devote to the person who triggered the discovery of the divine in yourself. It is random, so you get a random person and you attune to them for better or worse. You become a devotee of an unwitting and unqualified guru.

It amazes me that I never hooked the word "devotion" with "devotee" before. How stupid is that?

When you deliberately attune to a person, you can choose who it is. You can get to know the person, come to trust them, share life goals and patterns, attraction, love, share anything you wish to share, and begin devoting yourself to them. When you do this, you find that you feel much more lenient about your remaining differences, you become more selfless because of your devotion to another, and are much clearer about who the person is and how you relate to them. You know them intimately, down to their soul--flaws, virtues and all. But you already knew much of this. You devoted yourself to a known quantity and found previously unknown quality. You devoted yourself to a guru that you decided was qualified and trustworthy. This connection is no less than any other attunement, but it requires some devotion before attunement, which means consciously choosing to devote yourself and your attentions. With an actual guru or with an accidental attunement, the attunement happens first and makes devotion (or attempts at it) almost automatically follow, for better or worse.

Both connections, in the end (i.e. once attuned), ARE THE SAME, because whatever the trigger or association, what we are awakening is our own soul, and the soul can attune to anyone or anything by chance or by choice.

Devotion is easy when there is an internal drive already there, and there is always that drive because we all have and give love. And we all want things that tend to require attunement of some kind in some degree to possess. And in the devotion, we feel we not only possess it, but we give ourselves to it. For this reason, and this reason alone, we can attune to as many things as we wish. Devotion is a matter of attention and care, and the more we practice it, the more of reality we feel devoted to, even if that was not our initial objective. Devotion is a form of attentive love and it links us with our own souls. The act of devotion awakens the soul, and we feel more loving and attentive of everything. Gurus, for example, devote themselves to reality with love and understanding by paying mindful attention to everything and learning to care for it. Through this devotion, they are attuned to their own souls and the objects of their devotion in time, and it can be attuned to them more easily. That is how they so easily switch on that transmission with their devotees: they can will the attunement of another to divine realities, particularly if the other is receptive enough to receive the transmission.

The reason we feel this attunement is so rare and sought after is because we tend to only familiarize ourselves with the accidental kind. I have read that people usually only feel this attunement to a person once or twice in a lifetime. But when you think about it, this is often because we then spend so much time in attempted devotion to them and are mostly receptive to them rather than other attunements. We do not devote ourselves to reality in general or to self-discovery; we devote ourselves to one person. And even if it starts with one person, devotion done properly should lead to greater attunement with reality as well, followed by some level of devotion to it. But we do not understand devotion. Usually we grasp that which we are attuned to, and we try or wish to devote to it, we feel compelled to do so, but we run into our own (and others') obstacles to devotion, be they pathology or simple laziness or selfishness. And if it goes poorly, we feel distanced but still attuned, and feel helpless to do more than wait for this to accidentally happen again. We fail to devote ourselves to reality because we are waiting for another accidental attunement to incite us to do so. When it happens, this process starts over again, and we hope it has happier results.

But people tend only to have one or two gurus in their lives as well. These are chosen deliberately, attunement is guaranteed, and we hopefully devote ourselves successfully to them and to reality in such a way as to bring about greater awareness and attunement. But devotion itself attunes us to ourselves when properly exercised, because it stems from the soul. And the soul is precisely what we think we are attuning to in the guru. When we devote to that, we are faced with the reality that it is WE who possess this higher reality that we are so desperately seeking attunement with, and we integrate it within ourselves, attune to ourselves, and find that this part of us is the very thing we were grasping after. We no longer project this divine thing outwards and hope to seize it in others and devote only to those objects or people. Instead, we devote awareness itself and to what we choose, because we have the power of self-attunement, and devotion to reality runs on our own being. We devote ourselves to realities and people as they are and as we know them, not as objects of our attunement. The importance of attunement randomly happening diminishes in importance as we seek to attune ourselves. We no longer need to wait for accidental attunement like dormant needles in a compass waiting for a reading, and we no longer need to feel deprived by the blocked or unfulfilled devotion to such attunements. We no longer regret such failures, no longer consider these to be lost opportunities, because we can create successes at our own choosing.

Because while attunement isn't always a choice, it can be chosen. And devotion is always a choice, and we can choose what qualities, compulsions, perceptions, projections, realities or fantasies to base it on. The choice empowers us rather than those things we base it upon.

It is important to note that we don't cease being attuned to those we have attuned to. And we feel this burden when there is a block or a loss in relation to that connection or person. But when we realize the conscious and deliberate side of attunement, these connections stop defining our relationships. We can take an honest look at the people, but use the connection of attunements to bring energy and awareness to the choices we make and to the devotion we choose to practice in our lives. Bad relationships (unsuccessful devotion) with those who we have attuned to become instructive in the most energetic and aware ways, and we need no longer carry those memories with us as burdens. Instead they bring mindfulness to our lives and lend their aid to the directions that we choose for our lives. And by doing this, and practicing this, and realizing we have the power to attune ourselves through mindful devotion, we learn to let go the hold that we feel these attunements have over us.

[Ref from One Taste, Sept 15th entry: "The same thing, but on a higher level, seems to go on in authentic Guru Yoga. You, the devotee, project not merely your shadow but your own True Self onto the guru. You see the guru, but not yourself, as possessing the Divine Reality. And this is why the devotee is absolutely fascinated with the guru, drawn to the guru, wants always to be with the guru. You fall in love with your own True Self, as projected onto the figure of the guru."]

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
3:15 pm
Virtue and Nature
Virtue is the adherence in action to the nature of things, and the nature of things makes it prevalent. It consists in a perpetual substitution of being for seeming, and with sublime propriety God is described as saying, I AM.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Spiritual Laws"

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
2:31 pm
Motivation vs. Effect
It strikes me that so much of the liberal view--not just politically, but in personal relationships--is based on picking up the slack. There's a form of self-sacrifice there that says, "Sure, I'll carry those groceries for you."

Questions of social or individual responsibility become bogged down in "is this too much for me to carry?" What is NOT questioned often enough is, "Why did you want me to carry this in the first place?"

I see this in relationships all the time. An agreement is made (often without really even talking about it, certainly not in these terms) that one person will take responsibility from the other in some way, because it doesn't feel like too much of a burden. And then it grows heavier, and heavier, and heavier. Sooner or later it gets addressed, and the other person (or in other cases, political party, organization, or group) says something that boils down to, "But you agreed to take this on in the first place! It's not different now, so what gives?"

And in a way, they're right. But liberals (really I mean Green, as this isn't about politics as much, but not everyone knows Spiral Dynamics) are often size queens, and this is the lesson they tend to have to learn in order to grow past pluralistic relativism. The size of the burden tends to be far less relevant than the cause of it, or the locus of it.

Too often we agree to take on a burden without really asking about it because we feel like we have enough strength (emotional, financial, whatever kind of surplus it is) to handle it, and only later when we realize it IS a burden do we start to question whether or not we should have taken it on, however small. And when we learn that lesson and begin to ask up-front, all of our still-too-liberal friends treat us like we're being ungenerous because "it's just a little thing," why are you so concerned?

But what doesn't start as a "little thing?" The motivation behind a thing that grows from a little thing into a large thing is so often the same motivation. Why not question it earlier?

Current Mood: frustrated
Saturday, June 4th, 2011
10:39 am
Spiritual love is hard to google
This seems like it's plucked from the middle of an article. Apart from therefore being incomplete, the diagram being slightly sub-par, and the use of the word "nature" as referring to personality rather than soul, I find this a fairly good beginning representation.

Current Mood: contemplative
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
11:48 am
Deliberate silence says either that we have nothing to say or that we are busy listening. Anything else is a misuse of silence.

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, May 26th, 2011
2:43 pm
I was just out walking around campus, the way I do when the weather permits (a sadly narrow window here in Minneapolis). It's always much more pleasant walking through campus during break, because you practically get the place to yourself.

Anyway, I was letting my mind wander and enjoying my increasing awareness of everything and I had one of those little flashes of knowing. After the flash had passed, I was able to start forming it into words, and I'm still feeling kind of high from it, but it's like - there is no outside divine, because we (and everything) are just separate manifestations of it. And that's why it's so clear that everything is interconnected - in a much more essential way than just being interconnected in the sense that whatever action anything takes it has an effect on the rest of eternity. Everything is, in actual fact, interconnected.

This is something I've known before, but it's incomparable when you know it.
Friday, May 20th, 2011
11:46 pm
Love and Meditation
Found this recently. I think it's an excellent point.

Current Mood: energetic
Thursday, May 12th, 2011
11:18 pm
Morality and Interior Transformation
So I want to throw a couple of questions out there for anyone still reading this blog, and maybe we can get the discussion going again.

1. For those who feel that they have gone or ARE going through a major transformation, please tell us what it looks like from the inside. What were your previous attitudes, perceptions, and views and how did they change? What did they change to? What is shifting or did shift in your awareness, and why/how does/did that feel important?

2. Each stage of awareness has its own morality, even though this is a touchy subject for a lot of people. How does non-pathological pluralistic morality look to you from the inside? How does integral or self-actualized morality look to you from the inside, for those who are in that space? How does it differ from pluralistic morality, and what does it add? And given that ALL stages of awareness find ways of legislating their own version of morality, how would it look to legisltate self-actualized morality on a societal scale (I would say "non-oppressively," but if it's truly stemming from self-actualization/integral awareness applied on a large scale, this wouldn't happen anyway)?

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
11:14 pm
Roll Call
So...who is still out there?

I've thought about getting this community going again, but first I thought I'd give a shout out to all ma peeps who be integratin' shit.

Current Mood: pensive
Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
12:48 am
The most Second Tier, Integral-thinking candidate I've ever heard of!
Hey folks! Excuse the political post for second. I'd like to drop a word in for US Presidential candidate Mike Gravel. I'm extremely impressed with Mike because he understands some of the key concepts of Integral theory: hierarchy, holarchy, transcend-and-include evolution, and growth.

Here's an example of where he sees that a world government would need to include the advances already made but transcend the limitations of what we have. He's not for blowing our constitution back to 1789 but instead wants to bring a new whole (governing organization) that is aware of its own parts.

Thought I'd share because I've been looking for a politician like this for years...

Current Mood: bouncy
Sunday, April 2nd, 2006
9:35 pm
Awesome question asked on Integral Philosophy
The Question:

I'm certainly not conversant with the majority of Integral writings, but I've listened to a few lectures and read a few essays, and an implicit idea in this school of thought seems to be that a more Integrated world will somehow be better than the previous ages of human evolution.

I'm curious as to whether this a widely held viewpoint (and, if so, in what sense, better), or whether I've simply not come across a pointed response to this sort of question in the literature and media I've seen thus far.

Michael's Response:

The idea is that as the telos unfolds, the capacity for both good AND evil increases - because enlightenment is, in one form, "promethean hyperpraxia": the increased ability to enact one's will. Heightened efficacy, one way or the other. And the trends of history indicate that things get better AND worse, and it's a paradox of which we must be mindful. If you can, you might be interested in getting the trial membership to Integral Naked and downloading Sean Esbjorn-Hargens' dialogues.

My Response:

I agree with Michael.

This directly relates to my crazy essay about involuntary and voluntary spaces.

If we identify with stuff we consider to be 'inside' of ourselves (I'm using an individual as the example here but it can be group, too) and we consider things inside of ourselves to be things over which we have control, then the more we realize we are involved in reality through integration the more voluntary and conscious the choice is to influence the reality we've integrated into our identity.

It's better because the capacity becomes greater on all sides.

For example... an atomic bomb integrates more reality into its design than a spear and therefore has more influence in its use. The stakes become higher, sometimes beautifully and sometimes tragically. Why is this better? Because good is an ideal that is universally considered desireable and the capacity for good increases along with the capacity for evil as one has more voluntary choice to be good or evil.

The task is then upholding good as the preference, and this is where ethics gets huge.
Monday, February 27th, 2006
10:36 pm
Here is an open letter I wrote to Ray Kurzweil, author of "The Singularity is Near"

Thursday, October 27th, 2005
11:04 am
This might be old news for many of you, but I just ran across it.

New colors!!! :)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005
10:36 pm
So, it has been a long time since I have posted much. There are a few reasons for this. One, being in a new relationship has take up a great deal of my time, but more importantly, has provided me with a real, live person with whom to share my thoughts, reflections, and insights, thus making an on line forum for expressing myself less necessary. Two, I have been without a decent computer for about three months due to an absolutely ridiculous series of problems with my old Averatec tablet PC. Three, my life has taken a bit of a practical turn lately. I have found myself generally less interested in the abstract and philosophical, and more interested in doing and action. I am putting a lot of energy into my actual lifestyle, and just have not had as much energy for, or interest in, the more theoretical and philosophic. That being said, I am feeling like it is time to make a few changes and re-engage some of the aspects of my life that parallel my more integral, philosophic, thinking. I have finally, after what really was a completely ridiculous process, negotiated a full refund for my old computer from Averatec. In fact, they gave me $1400 back, which is $400 more than I paid for the used computer in the first place. This money allowed me to purchase a faster, better, tablet from gateway. Here is my new machine:


I love it. It is by far, the nicest computer I have ever owned. Really well built, fantastic features, good speed, great 14" widescreen tablet, and much better tablet technology than my old one.

I have also been doing some work lately on figuring out how to structure my life next year in a way that will allow me to actually begin to create the integral community center that I have been thinking seriously about for years now. Basically, I have always had the idea, step A, and the fully developed program structure, step C, but have always balked at perhaps the most crucial piece of the equation - Step B - a real plan for how to start actually developing it. Doing so would require me to make some difficult real-life decisions regarding the When, What, and How questions of starting one's own business. I have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and the idea of giving all that up to dedicate myself full time to starting this was daunting, to say the least. While wrestling with all this, the combination of a few external opportunities and a few internal ideas and insights, have come together to formulate a workable model for how I might give myself the time and resources to really get this thing off the ground. I will give some more details soon, but the short of the story is that I am pretty excited about it. It feels doable for the first time. As for my relationship. It is going smashingly. Still totally in love. Still absolutely grateful to have been given the opportunity to connect and share my life with such an extraordinary, beautiful, being.
Monday, October 10th, 2005
1:30 pm
Ruminations on "Integral Art" that I found worth reposting here...
Do I think the 'integral music' label is cheesy as hell? Yes.

Do I think that 'integral' folks would be more likely to enjoy my music than non-'integral' folks? Yes.


I think it's a practical way to find artists with whom we relate existentially more than artistically or aesthetically.

The reason I think music is one of the highest art forms is the fact that it can be incorporated in almost every aspect of life...

I suppose that integral art does not even require the artist to be familiar with integral theory. The best definitions of things are the ones that fit the most circumstances of the case trying to be defined without violating the class of the case trying to be defined. So basic...

I find that I live a more spiritually fulfilling life if I am reading books on spiritual topics. This is similar with music... music that interacts with my soul in a way that coexists and becomes intimate with my consciousness at the moment is much more powerful than music which simply presents me with an emotion or with an experience to which my present consciousness does not contribute. To be general, I am not interested in HAPPY music or SAD music or ANGRY music. I want music with which I can be HAPPY, SAD, or ANGRY and with which these feelings move dynamically.

Taking this idea, what is integral music?

It's music with which I can move integrally, which affirms that very broad understanding, which does not necessarily contain all the quandrants, but music which encourages existing with that awareness of those quadrants, which doesn't tie me down. I find that many artists pull me into a certain place and it can be difficult to conceive of other perspectives when listening to them. I think that integral art encourages more levels of awareness inherantly by what it omits, in a tunnel vision sense, not by what it includes. It's just open and ready to be given the context that art always begs to be given.
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