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".
Milos Petrovic is an author from Serbia with an MA in psychology. His main interests include theories of reality, metaphysics, perennial philosophy and spirituality. He is the author of two books – Epiphany of Consciousness
and Depths of Emptiness – An Integral Metaphysical Map of Experience
. If you have some interest in the books mentioned above, you can contact Milos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will "WE" Always Stay The Same?
When we speak about cultural or social development, Tipping Point logic usually sounds too romantic.
If we look the world today, we can see many opposed views towards future of human development and social dynamics. On the one hand, we can take the stand that humans and social structures go toward infinite progression and that in the future social memes will always make progressive trends. On the other hand, we can say that the all human conditions and social structures existed for a long time and that their internal structure has been always the same. In order to that view, we can take example of Lao Tzu, and point that maybe every politican or any other ruler today absolutely doesn't have that kind of profound insight in the depths of human and existential conditions.
Further, if we look Wilber's quadrants, especially the left side, we can assume that developmental dynamics of the “I” quadrant are entirely different than dynamics of the “WE” quadrant. Individual and interior “I” progression to more “integral” or deeper states seems to be much easier than social and interior “WE” progression. As we can see through every day experience, situation in the lower left quadrant always gravitate to cultural and territorial domination wherever we look. We usually tend to beleve that the education and internet (read technology) will lead us to some kind of “another Tipping Point”, but is it the case? “WE” quadrant is usually under the great pressure from all kinds of “centers of power” in any social enviroment. And when we say “power”, any conversation about Integral or spiritual themes fell apart. In that case, every developmental progression is disabled except progression of power that grows like a bubble until it infects everyone and destroys everything.
When we speak about these topics, two constructs oppose themselves in interesting manner. Those are Wilbers Depth-Span concepts from SES and Tipping Point that is always in the air in many Integral conversations. While we are listening to Wilber and many other Integral thinkers, we can hear many times how we are in front of the social Tipping Point that will change the whole social structure on planet and make some new and deeper holons in “WE” space. Usually when we speak about Tipping Point, we can't avoid stories about certain percentage of the world population that represent leading edge. After that, we usually assume that 10 or 15 percent of general population will inevitably “move” other 90 or 85 percent toward some new social holons and deeper global perspectives. It seems that we just need to apply that famous “100th Monkey logic” and the whole world will become the better place. Tipping Point hypothesis lead us to conclusion that one day, for example, almost every human on this planet will understand Heidegger or will be Tirquoise in Spiral Dynamics terms. In that scenario, every human being will be almost enlightened and integral as it gets and we will live in some kind of “enlightened anarchy”, where everybody will be totally free and will have very deep insight into moral issues.
On the other side, if we look Depth-Span logic, introduced in Wilbers SES within 20 tenets section and put it in social context, we can see that there will be always more “lower” social and cultural holons than “higher” social and cultural holons. If there will be always more atoms than molecules, and if we apply that logic to human cultural spheres, we will get to the conclusion that for example there always will be more fundamentalist than Integral people. Other consequence that can arise because of this logic is that people like previously mentioned Lao Tzu, always will be extremely rare (what is true in my opinion). So to say, in order to one Lao Tzu exist, there must be at least two or more “lower” or less inclusive types of human. And if we go to the end, we can say that in order to Lao Tzu exist, there must be countless number of people that are extremly “low” and “undeveloped” on the developmental or spiritual scale. Ironically said, in order to one like Wilber exists, there must be millions of mythic fundamentalists around the globe.
If we compare Tipping Point and Depth-Span logic, we can see that in the case of Tipping Point we have “progressive - Tipping Point - 10 percent” of people on the one side and “static and very rare 10 or less percent” of highly developed, Integral and spiritual people on Depth-Span side which number or percent is at any time in history very fixed. We can see that those two standpoints directly oppose each other within one and same Wilbers Integral system. Also, if we add that men of power will always be able to control other people, we can say that there will be always more “less integral” than “more integral” people, so Depth-Span logic seems to make more sense than Tipping Point. Both standpoints could be true, and in some cases they are both true, but when we speak about cultural or social development, Tipping Point logic usually sounds too romantic.