Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Brad ReynoldsBrad Reynolds did graduate work at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) before leaving to study under Ken Wilber for a decade, and published two books reviewing Wilber's work: Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber (Tarcher, 2004), Where's Wilber At?: Ken Wilber's Integral Vision in the New Millennium (Paragon House, 2006) and God's Great Tradition of Global Wisdom: Guru Yoga-Satsang in the Integral Age (Bright Alliance, 2021). Visit:


Stand Down!
Keeping the Peace
By Being Integral

Brad Reynolds

Leaders of the world's nations need to stand down in their aggression and be content to accept reality. Not their reality, but the people's reality to be free and at peace. It is time the world's elites—and their military forces—stop living in the past and accept a world of pluralism, racial and ethnic diversity, human equality, and STOP trying to reconstitute past historical realities. It is time to Grow Up and put away childish (or past historical) thinking.

There is no need to “Make Russia Great Again” by conquering ancient lands, or to “Make America Great Again” by reviving white people's superiority, as only two obvious examples. The world has evolved, tempered by over a century of modern world wars enacted with the deadliest of weapons, murdering millions of human beings with violence, so there is no longer a need nor a reason to go backwards. There is no justified reason to live in the past and try to settle our disagreements through wars and violence. Everyone then loses. Civilization is wounded. We must look forward—evolve forward—and create a century of peace and healing. Only WE—or “Everybody-all-at-once”—can do this.

There is no justified reason to live in the past and try to settle our disagreements through wars and violence.

The main purpose of the Integral Project—or integral philosophy and integral life practice—is to EVOLVE consciousness, to grow forward as a species and as individuals. Integral Theory is not supposed to be about merely examining the various stages and worldviews (or “colors”), by running an “integral operating system” analysis on socio-cultural and political situations and drawing intellectual or insightful conclusions. Yes, the Integral Map helps us do that very well but that is NOT the main purpose behind being integral.

The main purpose of integral is to keep evolving, to keep growing, to keep moving straight ahead. To keep expanding awareness. To keep “Growing Up” (i.e., developing) until we “Wake Up” and see our prior unity as a species with each other and the whole Natural World. It is to evolve our consciousness, our own worldview, until we see and recognize that we are all Spirit arising out of the one primal Prior Unity of Divine Existence, which is always already the case.

Thus, the Integral Call is to “Clean Up” (or handle our shadows and psychological pathologies)—including, and most especially, our political leaders—so we can “Show Up” as healthy and loving human beings. The Integral Call is to learn how to meditate because that is the time-honored spiritual method used to transcend (and include) the ego or our sense of being a separate individual self, disconnected from others and Nature. We must GROW UP to WAKE UP and STAND DOWN in our aggression.

By not accepting reality as it IS, and the fact that everybody has the inalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the world, its nations, and its peoples are subjected to barbaric conflicts of killing and destruction. History proves this and it has to STOP. Stand down and accept Reality! We, the People, demand that world leaders STOP this madness NOW.

“Make love, not war” is not just some stupid hippie cliché (though it might be that too). Nor does it mean to have sex instead of fighting (although that might be a good idea for couples). It means to accept the sanctity of all human beings—to love everybody-all-at-once—and to put away your hatred of people different than you and your family. Beyond all differences in language and cultural heritages we are, at root, One Human Race. Knowing this—and living from this perspective—is evolving one's mind beyond the traditional animosities of the past.

Only by accepting our prior unity as the human race do we find the only way to World Peace. And that means accepting or growing beyond the feeling that we are separate, different, superior, or better than anyone else. It is the only way to keep the peace in your neighborhood as well as in your communities and nations, wherever you live. People need to be treated with respect and kindness. Put the guns away. Stop bullying people who are in different “gangs” or “tribes” than you are in. Be kind to elders. Use your manners and ALWAYS show respect. That is the spiritual and ethical message of the Integral Project—and also of ALL the major world religions, no matter where you live or what you believe. Everybody knows that the wisest ancestors of the human race, women and men—our Shamans, Saints, Yogis, Sages, and Siddhas—ALL preach and teach that peace and love is the right way to live. “Shun all evil, do good, purify your heart. Do not strike, do not blame, follow the precepts of the wise,” is what the Buddha taught. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is what Jesus taught. And this means our world leaders too!

If you did not have good parents that could teach these values to you, or were wounded by past trauma, then turn to the Spiritual Masters who will help you Grow Up and Wake Up by teaching you about Right Life (kindness, good diet, cultivating a healthy body, mind, soul, and spirit). We are the inheritors of One Great Wisdom Tradition so we must gain universal access to this Great Tradition, instead of championing one religion over another. And then ELECT and support politicians and officials who have developed these ethical qualities for themselves. In America, and in all democratic countries, we must STOP electing fools who place us in peril, those who attack and demean others. Don't turn your back on peace by succumbing to prejudices. We must learn how to transcend (yet include) the mind, the ego, the wounded soul, the fear of feeling separate (or less than) by discovering (or re-discovering) our Prior Unity with all living beings.

We do this by cultivating our heart in opening to love, by quieting our mind from all the distractions of the outer world and media, and to expand our consciousness. Then we must get up and stand up and go out into the world—to “Show Up”—and help bring justice, opportunity, and peace to everybody-all-at-once. This is what the Spiritual Masters teach. This is what “being spiritual” is about, this is what being ethical and having morality is all about—this is the true Integral Project. Leaders of the world: Grow Up and Wake Up! We have your back! This is the standard that ALL our world leaders must live up to. This is what each of us must live up to. This is the Integral Project.

Granted, many already do this… including President Biden. Donald Trump did not. Vladimir Putin does not. Volodymyr Zelenskyy obviously does. You and I probably do. And if you don't, you should. The evolution of consciousness is available to all human beings and it is our right, our responsibility, to enact this evolution for our own (and our family's) benefit and for the benefit of all others. Otherwise, you will never have peace of mind; your communities will be contentious and your nations will be at war. We must stand up for love and peace in order to stand down to war and aggression.

Without a doubt, no nation is innocent. The United States has committed countless crimes, from Vietnam to Iraq to slavery, that are inexcusable and must be learned from and corrected. Standing up for morals and ethics means condemning unethical and immoral behavior, whether individually or collectively, no matter who you are or what tribe or nation you belong to. Europe has been ablaze for centuries of cruelty and exploitation of the poor by the elite, being in a nearly constant state of war often fueled by ethnic and racial hatred. But this is not the case with the majority of people. The vast majority of us, including our ancestors, know better and do better. We want peace. We want to raise our families, love our friends, be entertained by art, music, and sports and to enjoy Life: the pursuit of Happiness. We all know this, deep inside, even if at times we fail to act it. So it is time to Wake Up—to Grow Up and Clean Up—to these noble truths and live them to everybody we meet all around the Earth. This is what it is to be integral.

STOP the wars!
STOP the aggressions.
EVOLVE forward…
Stop living in the past!

Let's close this essay—and be inspired by—those immortal words of President John F. Kennedy spoken in June of 1963, less than six months before his assassination, that were delivered under the threat of nuclear war between the free democratic world and the United States, even back then, pitted against Russia, then known as the Soviet Union. It is time to stop living in the past. These truths speak to the heart of every human being whether living today or in the future—and they clearly embody the Integral Project:

Let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal….
Wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together…. “When a man's way[s] please the Lord,” the Scriptures tell is, “he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights: the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation; the right to breathe air as nature provided it; the right of future generations to a healthy existence?...
We [must] do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we must labor on—not towards a strategy of annihilation but towards a strategy of peace.

Let it be so. Stand down. Keep the peace by becoming integral. Be part of a more just history and brighter future for all humankind. For all Earthkind.

Brad Reynolds' new book:

God's Great Tradition of Global Wisdom:
Guru Yoga-Satsang in the Integral Age —
An Appreciation of Avatar Adi Da Samraj in Illuminating The Great Tradition of Humankind

This book is NOW available on as a Color hardback or B&W paperback or eBook:

See Brad's YouTube channel — GodsGreatTradition

With an introductory video introduction by touring the Table Of Contents, please see: GODS GREAT TRADITION PROMO 2

“Brad Reynolds' magnum opus, God's Great Tradition of Global Wisdom, is a treasure trove of spiritual insight based on a lifetime of study and practice. Reynolds' devotion to his guru, Adi Da Samraj, and his commitment to articulating a path of human maturity for us all, shines through on every page. May the heart-essence of the great wisdom traditions, so beautifully outlined in this book, spread far and wide until every last being has come to know their true identity in God-Realization.”
—Dustin DiPerna, author of Streams of Wisdom, co-editor, Purpose Rising: A Global Movement of Transformation and Meaning

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