INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
This satirical piece of writing was sent to Geoffrey Falk in 2006, at the time of the Wyatt Earp episode. I have not been able to contact the author, but trust he will not object to my reposting of his essay. It covers Wilber's plans to turn Integral Institute (for short: I-I) into a world wide movement and by founding an Integral University (IU), initiatives which were labelled as "phase II" below. IU never materialized.
Just thought you might like a transcript of kw's latest address to a group of 50 at I-I. Of course you have to imagine his mannerism, hand gestures (the backwards role, the tree climb), his intonation, his sincerity, his smile, his pauses, his eloquence, his erudition, sniffing crookedly out of one nostril, wiping the corners of his mouth and so on. Just think of a video clip you might have seen on Integral Naked. I hope you can hear his voice come through on the printed page. I have pasted it below, but also included it in a MS Word attachment if you would rather read it that way. Forgive any spelling errors and lack of paragraphing and the run-on sentences. I transcribed it quickly and my MS Word is a German version and I don't have English SpellCheck. It shouldn't be too bad though.
And if you really think about this, about what weíre actually doing here, itís just simply nothing short of astonishing.
Anyone that has hung out with us at I-I for more than a few hours knows clearly that what the world lacks is ďbeing integralĒóliterally integral spirituality in action. Itís that simple. What we are doing with Phase II at I-I is actually leading by example and lifting the world up in the process. Itís literally as if we will motor our way across what is now a flatland sea, in our 2nd tier ship (remember lines, levels, states and stages, and this is our ship of emptiness and its crowís nest is like this high, itís high isnít it? I mean I donít want to, you know, but come on, is it high or what?), and the ordinary or common person will be drawn up in the up-current of our wake and literally be transformed in that they will actually experience vertical stage-growth.
And if you really think about this, about what weíre actually doing here, itís just simply nothing short of astonishing. I mean I just donít know anywhere in the world, other than here, where you can get something like this. (And itís not like I havenít looked pretty darn hard over the last thirty years. Iíve done a lot of homework.) So Phase II will literally be the phenomenon of an integral wake, created by a 2nd tier ship, built by 2nd tier pioneers and pilgrims, drawing up living, non-integral tuna, through lines, levels, states and stages in the vast sea of emptiness and transforming them into canned tunaówhich in my opinion, anyway, will do nothing short of adding to the sublimity and nutritiousness of an already stout and exquisite integral salad. I mean, is this cool or what?
And this is really what integral is about. Itís about lifting people up. Itís about raising the consciousness of the world. And right now there are a lot of people that just donít get it. And like or not thatís where we are, and thatís what we need to deal with. We need to change it. Itís that simple.
And unlike 1st tier which likes to complain and do nothing, 2nd tier is not content to simply recognize problems or conditions and point them out. No, 2nd tier feels the suffering of the world in a deep and meaningful way and canít help but want to do something about it. They just simply cannot sit back and watch it. Iím sorry and I know green wonít forgive us for that, but itís just the way it is and there is a staggering and overwhelming amount of evidence that supports this...if you know where to look. And this is what weíre about.
Weíve looked in the right places and weíve come up with models that are so deeply rooted and supported with evidence that it simply drives green crazy and they wonít stop trying to drag it back down to a to a level of understanding that it simply canít and wonít be squeezed into. Itís like trying to fit into the shorts you wore when you were five years old. Does it work? I donít think so. And what happens when you try? You split them wide open. Itís just simply astonishing and if you are awake, if you are someone that has actually evolved to 2nd tier, you will deal with this every day.
Let me give you an example. Suppose you are dealing with a controversial topic, a green-supposed-unverified topic (not actually unverified, but green-supposed-unverified like psi and psychic phenomena), in other words something that the materialistic, physicalistic, scientific community just refuses to see clearly because in their blind, conditioned zeal for Spirit-bashing they just wonít acknowledge interiors (and Iím not saying this is a bad thing, itís not bad per se, itís just that itís not integral, you follow me? itís not all levels all lines states and stages, AQAL...and thatís okay, we need their perspective, but it simply isnít an accurate, full or big picture of reality and we donít have to bow down to it, thatís not what 2nd tier is about.
2nd tier is about having the courage to take it further even when you know youíll catch hell for it...as we like to say, ďif you canít stand 1st tier heat, you just simply, and I mean categorically, should not be cooking in a 2nd tier kitchen.Ē And believe me folks, if this hasnít happened to you yet it will. If you cook integrally, 1st tier will say, without exception, ďsomething smells funny.Ē And this is important to keep in mind when things get tough for you at yellow, or turquoise. What is nourishing and smells divine to 2nd tier, smells like shit, bull- or otherwise, to 1st tier, especially green, and thatís okay.
Iím not saying itís bad. I want to be clear on that. Itís simply a stage distinction, itís stage specific and itís as predictable as the salivation you get from a Pavlovian dog when you ring the dinner bell. Everyone here know Pavlov? Know what Iím talking about?) and Iíll repeat that, they just refuse to see it clearly. So what do they ask for? What do they want? Anybody? They ask for more evidence? Better evidence. More sound evidence. As if there were some end to it all. They want research, and more research.
And what does research take? Anyone? Money. It takes money.
But letís just look at this from a 2nd tier perspective for a minute. We know that things evolve, weíre clear on that, we donít need to do anymore research to know that things evolve, all things evolve...by a form of Eros, we know that now, itís practically common sense, however you want to language it. So let me ask you, would you use a wooden plow to plow your farm? Of course not, and why? Because things have evolved.
Now, I want you to think about this before you answer, and I really want you to go into and feel the tug of your 2nd tier center of gravity. Okay. Now, if you already felt there was enough evidence, to your satisfaction and to the extended 2nd tier community of professionals around you (and look around you, these are not just some ordinary people that weíve contracted here to grow our university), to prove something outright, 100 percent, beyond a shadow of a doubt, categorically, absolutely, no matter how seemingly questionable it might continue to be from the ďoutside 1st tier worldĒ (Iím not saying theyíre bad, Iím just saying they donít know shit from shinola).
What would you do? What would you do if someone offered you money? Would you conduct further research? Would you work with a wooden plow? What would you do? Anyone? Well, I know what Iíd do. Iíd buy a fucking PR company! And this is what 2nd tier does these days, and itís not that difficult to see why if you know where to look.
And the first thing you have to do is recognize that things evolve, you have to see levels, lines, states and stages, AQAL, and when you recognize this you then look at the cutting edge of this evolution, which is obvious to anyone at yellow and completely obvious to anyone at turquoise, and you catch that frothy, fuzzy, leading-edge wave and you surf it. You literally surf the frothy edge of a fuzzy wave and green just simply wonít forgive you for it. Youíre out there surfing and they want you to sit on the beach and criticize the surfers. Why? Because they donít know how to surf.
They want you to devolve to suit their picture of the world. They want you to do research until all results are predictable and verifiable under controlled conditions and why? Because thatís what they are? They are what they see? They are Pavlovís dogs and they want everything to fit the classical conditioning mode and mind-set. The evidence for this is simply overwhelming. Itís everywhere you look, if you know how to look, if your eyes are open...and your heart is open. Itís not just Big Mind. Itís Big Mind and Big Heart working together. Are you with me?
So from 3rd tier when I looked back down at 2nd tier this all became very clear to me. Now I donít want to get too far ahead, but this is important and Iíll just give you a little peek into sort of how my mind works and I want you to see how 3rd tier can look back down at 2nd tier. And this, by the way, is really remarkable and just astonishing and I hope that some of you or hell, even all of you, will experience this one day. Anyway I just wanted to put that out there but I donít want to get too far ahead here.
Itís important that we work at 2nd tier, and continue to work at second tier, you simply cannot just jump to the next stage in the time we have, yes you can experience the state, a 3rd tier state, but it simply wonít last (and thereís just simply such a vast body of evidence that just screams out at us over this, it reeks to high heaven) and so we always have to keep in mind this difference between states and stages. I canít stress this enough.
To pay too much attention to detail and be too rigorous in your research is simply by today's level of evolution a waste of time and money.
But I looked back down at 2nd tier and it was all very clear to me. To pay too much attention to detail and be too rigorous in your research is simply by todayís level of evolution a waste of time and money. And we all know that and the evidence for it is simply so pervasive that it hardly needs some sort of scarecrow propstand to scare away the vultures by showing them their own shadow.
What is important is the image and how it is promoted and who is reached. Now green will simply not forgive that nor this next statement, not because they donít see the truth in it, but because their primitive need to be unendingly moralistic qua taking the high ground will simply not tolerate it, they canít stomach it, and Iím not saying itís a bad thing, Iím just saying that part of transcending and including is being able to swallow things, to stomach them, to make palatable what green canít, in other words to see the merit and benefit in accelerating the evolution of consciousness and up-lifting the world in the integral wake, instead of floundering around endlessly in the green swamp until absolutely everybody is on board, stuffed and satisfied...and the next statement is simply one word:
If you want to accelerate growth you must market. And of course to market integrally you have to use AQAL, I, we, it etc. Interiors and exteriors, mezo- and meta-teriors. Do you all know about mezo- and meta-teriors? Oh gosh, donít get a writer started. I mean, I just zziiisuh! My next book has some really astonishing new additions to the AQAL and, okay, youíll just have to wait on that one...this is really just so cool..., anyway...
So when green starts yelling, bad science, shoddy research, more evidence, blah blah blah, there is a simple 2nd tier mantra you can recite and even sing to keep you on track, if you feel like you are back-sliding, doubting or losing that exquisite sense of grace, vitality and alignment that comes with 2nd tier consciousness, and it goes like this:
ďThis inte(gral)-piggy went to market,
Itís not rocket science folks, though I understand rocket science. I lived and breathed that stuff in that world for a better part of a decade (I know quantum mechanics inside and out, relativity, special and general, the Pauli exclusion principle, Heiziís uncertainty and the whole shebang, I even know String theory now and I think itís nothing short of astonishing and right on) and believe me Iíve seen it all and it ainít pretty.
Itís just astonishing how great the vertical discrepancy between some of these peopleís cognitive level of development and these other lines that just simply will never catch up, are, and they are really doing the world a great disservice by endlessly demanding that their view is the best and only viable one. We just simply donít have to buy it anymore. And frankly, we wonít (Iím not saying itís a bad thing, Iím just saying that it doesnít satisfy the integral model. And the integral model is a hungry beast that encompasses nothing less than infinity, the complete vast emptiness that all of us are. And donít let anyone sell you short on this. You are literally that).
Image is vastly more important than substance, and I just canít stress this enough. If art and music have taught us nothing more it is simply that. Marketing is replacing substance with image and this is how it should be. This is evolution of consciousness.
As Emerson so rightly pointed out, the truth is beautiful but so are lies. And with new integral marketing we can make the most of both, and when we do, we suck a few more into the self-birthing, self-referencing rumination (and I mean that in the best possible sense) of the truly integral matrix, and through this process or processing they are up-lifted. Itís simply astonishing and utterly, unquestionably fascinating.
The lies of today will be transformed into the foundation of tomorrowís greater truths, or what I call the paradoxical and ever-present four dís or the AQAL of evolutionary promotion: distortion, deflection, deceit and defiance. It sounds impossible, paradoxical and oxymoronic, but this is how the integral matrix works and if you are 2nd tier you know this. And this is why we need each and every one of you.
Grist for the integral mill is already seen as tomorrowís multi-grain or integral bread, falling not like manna from heaven but synthesized from an integral consciousness and sprayed like a long-over-due and God knows desperately needed paint job from the fire hose of Spirit onto the walls of eternity, because to truly know integral is to know that the great and mysterious link between evidence and marketing is actually the disavowed, disowned and discarded pre/trans fallacy.
For in the suspension of disbelief, as we transcend and include, we re-absorb and re-integrate what can only be looked at as a new and improved, always and already improving, pre/trans fallacy, fresh, formless and wet from birth, molded integrally solid and purified in the crucible of integral kilns (the virtual autoclaves of the future) with the fire of Spirit (which has been so horribly abused, misused, kicked around, suffocated and oppressed for too long, but will nonetheless be revealed, healed, polished and preserved by our undying mission to let Spirit have its rightful seat that the traditions teach us it should) and this new improved pre/trans fallacy becomes the solid trans/phallic bow of our integral ship ever pioneering onward with a heart full of courage and undying love and commitment to up-lift all of those that thirst for something more than what the tired old bloated belly of conventional, modern, post-modern and pre-post-pseudo-meta integral thought can offer, for all that have had even just a glimpse of the vast emptiness that is your true being, your true heart that reaches out to the infinite corners of the Kosmos and says I love you, I love me and I am simply astonished and amazed and I know I have something to give and to give it and to want to live from this space fully and artfully with the skilful means and a body to match (we donít want to neglect the physical) and maybe even abundantly with something to show for our own life for Godís sake.
This is what integral is and I donít know about you but I just think that it is so cool.