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:


Update on Ukraine:
The Political and Humanitarian Conundrum

In Support of Marianne Williamson

Brad Reynolds

I have been reading most of the essays on this site—Integral World—about the War in Ukraine, even contributing several essays myself, especially when the war began, addressing Putin's motivations for war and many of his delusions. In the end, this is Putin's War: he started it; he lined up his troops and tanks and invaded national sovereign borders violating all international treaties and the United Nations' charter. His rockets bomb civilian targets indiscriminately attacking hospitals, schools, train stations, and residential neighborhoods; his war machine has murdered tens of thousands of people (including sacrificing his own troops); the atrocities are countless. I have been moved to comment on Joseph Dillard's extreme positions defending Putin's aggression, yet acknowledging some of his points, while always denouncing the hypocrisy of the United States in many of its past foreign policy decisions and actions of war. The hypocrisy of the United States military machine makes me sick (I grew up during the Vietnam War). I have applauded Frank Visser's essays countering, and balancing, much of Dillard's distorted facts. I have appreciated Elliot Benjamin's thoughtful and diplomatic concerns about everyone's point of view and his anguish over the mass killing and how it could escalate to something much worse (like a nuclear armageddon). Therefore, when I read this letter to the American people—and the world—from 2024 Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, I felt she captured the concerns of all sides on the debate, thus I felt moved to share it here.

Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson

I support Marianne Williamson for US President in 2024—even though if another candidate entered the race to replace President Biden (who I do feel is too old as much as I appreciate his current administration)—I might end of voting for the person who has the best chance to defeat the Republican nominee, no matter who he or she is (and if it is Trump, then there is no justice in the USA and our country will be ruined beyond repair). But I support her now! And that is because Marianne Williamson is an Integral Voice in a wilderness of cultural confusion. She speaks for ME, regardless if many of you don't like her—but you should give her a chance, in my opinion. She is not simply: GREEN or a postmodern “woke” person. She's “beyond woke” (although, yes, she is sympathetic to being “woke”, that is, being aware of the injustices perpetuated on African-Americans and other minority groups; which is all that word really means) but she is AWAKE to Spirit or our Divine Reality and to Spirit-in-action. She IS Spirit-in-action! Marianne Williamson IS Integral, she's an “Integral-Centaur”, she inhabits Integral consciousness so I support her.

Read her short essay below titled “Update on Ukraine: The Political and Humanitarian Conundrum” and see if she does not understand both or all sides of the debate? And does she not offer reasonable and honest solutions to the current war? And, most important, how to AVOID future wars by adjusting the mission of the United States of America and its mighty military machine. This woman was brave enough—much more so than any of us—to stand on the stage of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Debates and declare that she supports a “U.S. Department of Peace” and the reasons why. With the bravery of a Martin Luther King, Jr., she said she would use “the weapon of love” (Dr. King's words) to fight injustice and bring about real peace to our nation and the world. Or, at least she would try—but she needs OUR help and support. Obviously, she can't do it on her own. Sure, some people laughed (maybe most) back then, but she still spoke to MILLIONS of us. She was the most googled candidate after those debates; people took notice. And now she's at it again. I support her, I truly love her bravery and what she is doing.

But I am not here to argue or defend everything Ms. Williamson has ever done. I support her because Marianne is Integral. She knows Ken Wilber; he is a friend. I have a friend, an integral lawyer, who she sometimes consults with. She is no fake. But read her comments below and decide for yourself. I believe she is following the Middle Way, hearing both sides of the debate, and best of all: offering REAL solutions and setting the USA in the right direction: as a nation willing “to wage peace,” not just war, promote justice for everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, or ability. We need someone like her influencing our political scene. And she should not be alone: this is a Call for ALL Integral politicians and thought-leaders to get up, stand up for our rights. Get out into the world and BE ACTIVE for peace and justice… and Love. Even if it is a long shot: stand up and speak your truths because the human race needs More Integral Thinkers like her. We must move beyond mere philosophical debate and do our best to change the world!

Update on Ukraine:
The Political and Humanitarian Conundrum

For those of us who have spent years opposing the influence of the military industrial complex on U.S. foreign policy, the war in Ukraine poses a peculiar challenge. It's possible to believe the undue influence of the U.S. war machine is very real, and at the same time believe the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a criminal venture that cannot be tolerated by the world.

The United States has perpetrated its own imperialistic ventures, to be sure. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions have died because of our own misguided actions. But a position of anti-imperialism should be consistent, whether it be ours or anyone else's. Did egregious American foreign policy behavior contribute to the war in Ukraine? Absolutely. Did our meddling regarding NATO, and putting Aegis missiles in Poland, only exacerbate the situation? Yes.

But that does not mean we are ultimately responsible for Putin's invasion, nor does it mean that our larger interests, the interests of the people of Ukraine or the interests of the rest of the world, are best served by our withholding support from Ukraine now.

The people of Ukraine are putting up a heroic battle for the survival of their country, and many Americans are divided here in the United States over how much, if any, support they should receive from the United States. I have heard it said that support for them at this time is “pro-war,” as though withdrawing such support is somehow “pro-peace.” But such a notion is disingenuous.

A withdrawal of US support from Ukraine at this point would not lead to peace; it would lead to the most atrocious climax of the war. Russia would simply deliver its final brutal blow to Ukraine, pummeling it to the point where it would no longer exist as a separate nation.

With the Battle of Bakhmut raging, both Russia and Ukraine are intent on winning this war. Diplomatic options are severely limited until the war begins to break one way or the other. Regardless how we got here, our only choice at this point is to either support Ukraine or to not. While the United States should do everything possible to support a negotiated settlement, our goal should also be a negotiated settlement in which Ukraine still has a chance to exist.

Denmark has offered to host peace talks in July, insisting that for such talks to be effective they must include more than Ukraine's allies; China, Brazil and India must participate as well. The United States should enthusiastically embrace any such overtures for diplomatic efforts to end the war.

The best way to solve conflicts is to prevent them from occurring to begin with, and if I had had the choice, I would have made very different foreign policy decisions related to Russia over the last 40 years. We must set an entirely new and different trajectory of military involvement in the world, one in which we are not the world's policeman but rather the world's collaborator in creating a world in which war is no more.

In the words of Franklin Roosevelt, “We must end the beginnings of all wars.” And I would seek to do that.

The United States needs to be on a decidedly different path when it comes to our military posture, a subject I will be talking about in some detail over the next few months. America has over 800 military installations in over 80 countries; as president, I would exercise my unilateral authority to close those which represent nothing more than a continuation of the excessive militarization of American foreign policy.

The military industrial complex has led to an obscenely bloated military budget, more a cash cow for the defense industry than a righteous, appropriate, and sober arm of American foreign policy. I support a serious reduction of our military budget, plus I would audit every penny of the Pentagon in response to recent revelations of serious price gauging by defense contractors. I would also establish a U.S. Department of Peace to lift peacebuilding to the front of our foreign policy agenda. We must do more than know how to wage war. As a country, and as a species, we must learn to wage peace.

In the meantime, as in World War 2, humanitarian values are not always an argument for pacifism. Should Ukraine be given a blank check by the United States? Absolutely not. But neither should we turn our back on them in this hour of their need.

Comment Form is loading comments...