Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Joseph DillardDr. Joseph Dillard is a psychotherapist with over forty year's clinical experience treating individual, couple, and family issues. Dr. Dillard also has extensive experience with pain management and meditation training. The creator of Integral Deep Listening (IDL), Dr. Dillard is the author of over ten books on IDL, dreaming, nightmares, and meditation. He lives in Berlin, Germany. See: and his YouTube channel.


Requiem and Resurrection

Joseph Dillard

For myself, the priority is clarity, not sleepwalking through life. I teach that approach; I write about it.

I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking about the fact that Israel's military is at this moment on high alert, blocking satellite communication capabilities due to fear of an imminent Iranian attack in response to its bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, an act of war.

The context is clear enough: Israel is desperate. The immoral and evil nature of its racist, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and genocidal worldview, culture, and society has been nakedly exposed to the entire world. The full complicity of the ruling classes of the US and EU has been exposed as willing enablers of a degree of demonic inhumanity right up there with the Third Reich, with levels of daily murders of children surpassing those by Germany during WWII and the tonnage of bombs dropped on Gaza, the most densely populated land in the world, surpassing that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I woke up thinking about the nuclear warheads on the Israeli submarines lurking deep in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and elsewhere, and how desperate and paranoid the government and military of Israel have become, as their lies have become increasingly transparent.

I thought about the “Samson Doctrine,” the Israeli governmental policy that, when existentially threatened, with its survival at stake, it would unleash nuclear war and bring down global civilization with it. I thought about how this doctrine was designed to intimidate potential adversaries by its profound criminal paranoia. I thought about how Israel has not been deprived by either friends or enemies of the means to continuously escalate its illegal, murderous, and criminal behaviors and how, in the absence of such restraints it can only be expected to continue to escalate its lies, murder, assassinations, and genocide. I also thought, “Am I the paranoid one? Am I the one catastrophizing? Am I the one blowing the danger of the triggering of a massive global nuclear exchange way out of proportion?”

Certainly, if such is averted, I, along with everyone else, will be able to sit back and laugh, to say, “See! You were exaggerating the threat! You were the paranoid one!”

I was twelve during the Cuban Missile Crisis and I remember it well. This is a much more dangerous crisis. There is no JFK in Washington, London, Paris, or Berlin. What a crazy, upside down world it is to realize that only rational minds in Tehran and Moscow have kept us out of WWIII. How crazy is it that few realize that it is the west, not Moscow, that has refused diplomacy, that it is the west, not Iran, that has bombed an embassy with impunity?

I also thought, “And what good does it do for me to voice my fears? Can I change those macrocosmic events that are unfolding?” No. “Will not expressing those fears merely fuel fear and panic or useless despair and helplessness in others? How will it do any good at all?”

“What is the appropriate Integral response to such a reality?” I realized that Integral has no definitive answer because it is not designed to produce one, only multiple possible responses to multiple possible outcomes. In the final analysis, perhaps it says, “Expand your consciousness. Cultivate your peace of mind, because that's the only thing you have control over.”

However, that's not true. We have control over not only how we feel and what degree of consciousness we possess, but over what we think, how we think, how we behave, and how we interact with each other. Are those dimensions, in which we spend almost all of our time, both awake and in our dreams, less important than consciousness itself?

For myself, the priority is clarity, not sleepwalking through life. I teach that approach; I write about it. I work at attempting to be less a victim of my own delusions. It is only when I fully awaken to my life circumstances, how I have created and maintain them, that I gain the ability to live authentically and act on principle rather than out of fear.

Torrey Pine
A Torrey pine on the northeast coast
of Santa Rosa Island, California

I know I lack the courage and clarity of principle, transformed into action, of an Aaron Bushnell or a Sophie Scholl. I am more like a wind-bent Torrey Pine on the edge of a quickly eroding seaside cliff just north of San Diego. But in my ovis incarnation, I can at least join with other sheep in the flock who see the wolves circling, and sound the alarm. But still, what are sheep to do against packs of wolves? Sheep are not defenseless. Rams have horns. They can surround the flock and be ready to charge and fight to the death if the wolves attack.

There are human sheep who recognize why shepherds take such good care of their flocks. But rams are defenseless against the amoral shepherds, who simply load them into trucks and send them to annihilation, not so different from what happened to millions of human sheep during World War II. Our shepherds, our elected governments, share the same purpose as the wolves, only their inhumanity is less obvious or brutal, hidden behind a Potemkin mirage of concern and care.

What is so difficult to understand about that conclusion? Are there not hundreds of data points that lead to it? Why should any clear-headed sheep trust its shepherd? Does the Good Shepherd not have mutton on his menu?

If Israel does set off a global conflagration I do know that I am determined to live to the end full of thankfulness, thankful for the amazing life I have lived, for my astonishing, totally undeserved good fortune to be born where and how and when I was, for the uncounted millions who have lived and died without my knowledge who have made my life of privilege possible. I will die knowing I could have, should have, would have been much more and improved the lives of far more people, and yet thankful that I have had the opportunity to be a positive influence and a support for greater wakefulness for the small handful of humans whom I have encountered in my life. I will die thankful for those who have disliked me or rejected my intentions, ideas, and behavior, because they have served as important mirrors in my struggle to outgrow my subjectivity and sleepwalking.

It is curious to realize I will be most thankful for the small things that I tend take for granted - a comfortable bed, something warm and savory to drink and eat, the patience and endurance of my wife and friends, the unconditional love that my dog shows toward me, and the spring daffodils and tulips that are greeting the spring outside my door. I will die knowing that where there is thankfulness there is no anger, fear, confusion, or self-doubt, and that where there is deep appreciation there is no regret for a life lived small, that never lived up to the potential it intrinsically possessed.

Easter just ended here in Brandenburg, a reminder that resurrection, like the spring equinox, is perennial.

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