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Integral Themes - Universalism




The following is based on a blog post and comment at Open Integral - Original URL

Here is my response to the question "What does the Integral Movement represent?"

First I'll give the Wilberian definition, then I'll give my, independently formulated, definition.

A good summing up of the Wilberian vision of Integral can be found at The Integral Institute website, where they present their vision for putting integral theory into practice. From the external link I-I home page:

What's "Integral"? It simply means more balanced, comprehensive, interconnected, and whole. By using an Integral Approach/Integral Themes--whether it's in business, personal development, art, education, or spirituality (or any of dozens of other fields)--we can include more aspects of reality, and more of our humanity, in order to become more fully awake and effective in anything we do... "Integral" is not only a "theory of everything," but involves new ways of working, loving, creating, playing, and interacting in a complex and evolving world--it's a worldview for the 21st Century.

I define the Integral Movement as ideally:

And all of the above being not dualistically separate, but holistically integrated and part of a single harmonious whole.

And I emphasise this definition is an ideal one only; in practice far fewer of these elements are realised.

Note however the difference between the two definitions. To quote from (with slight modifications) my comment/reply to Joe Perez's post on this subject:

The Wilberian or mainstream Integral movement, has the very worthy goal of forg(ing) new, more inclusive and interconnected, ways of working, loving, creating, playing, and interacting in business, personal development, art, education, spirituality, and many other fields.

Of course this raises the question of what is meant by more inclusive, what is meant by more interconnected? But the idea in general seems to be a more wholistic perspective that avoids being narrow or one-sided, and tends to the opposite, greater broadness. Or at least ideally it should! There is the problem among some Wilberians of literalism, which is no different to the problem among some Aurobindonians of literalism, and so on in every philosophicalk and spiritual teaching.

The Aurobindonian goal can be summed up as: Moving totally beyond the human condition to manifest the SupraMental Divine Reality fully and consciously in the individual, the collective, and the planet as a whole, thus bringing about a radical transformation, a divinisation, of the entire world. How this is brought about in practice is through Integral Yoga and the attunement to the presence of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, through their writings or teachings, or meditation, or whatever techniques one prefers or feels comfortable with.

What I like about the Integral Movement is its leitmotif of universality and unifying all the partial perspectives in a greater whole. That is something that speaks very profoundly to me. But at the same time, without an Integral transformation of the entire being, all the theory in the world is useless.

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