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Lawrence Wollersheim is the Executive Director of Integrative Spirituality. He brings an extensive 30-year background in day-to-day technology and business operations across profit and non-profit sectors to his work at IS. Comments on the essay below are deeply appreciated and can be sent to: [email protected] .

The Integral Worldview
Made Simple

Lawrence Wollersheim

At this moment in time, a dynamic, new worldview appears to have burst upon the global stage. It is called the integral worldview. A worldview is a meta-paradigm of reality, a unifying cultural consciousness that both underlies and conditions an individual's way of knowing, seeing and acting in the world.

A new worldview emerges when the previous worldview no longer adequately solves new problems that are arising. Each new worldview provides more effective solutions that simply cannot be seen from within the constraints of the previous worldview.

New worldviews have emerged just a handful of times in human history. In the order of their emergence, the previous worldviews were called: archaic, magic, mythic, modern and postmodern.

It is important to know about the dawning of any new worldview because it is the bellwether of the large-scale, powerful, cultural evolution to come. For example, it was the emergence of a new worldview in the eighteenth century called the Enlightenment, or what is also called rational modernism, that caused what many consider to be the greatest single surge in cultural and personal evolution in history.

What is the new integral worldview?

The Integral worldview has emerged in the global Internet age where the totality of every knowledge discipline and the wisdom of all existing and previous cultures is readily available. The new Integral worldview:

  1. provides a deeper and broader map of the evolution of known reality that embraces an inclusive, multiple perspective way of looking at and understanding personal, cultural and biologic evolutionary development. It excludes nothing needed for balanced understanding and/or growth or wholeness in any area.
  2. anticipates what more appropriate solution comes next in the unfolding of the evolutionary process. These new solutions are shifted away from today's polarizing and marginalizing, right or wrong, either/or, left or right partial choices toward more inclusive, comprehensive both/and solutions. That's because its new solutions embrace the entire evolutionary developmental spectrum of life and humanity, allowing the lessons of previously exclusive and competitive worldviews to be systematically meshed, layered and harmoniously integrated to serve the well-being of the whole spiral of life.
  3. is based upon the integral method of inclusion, transcendence and synthesis. It includes the most useful perspectives and values from all previous worldviews where contextually appropriate, while simultaneously pruning away contextually inappropriate perspectives and values.
  4. unites all things in a coherent and structured matrix of relationship. It combines inner (subjective), outer (objective,) and the inter-subjective (relational) perspectives on any phenomena, whether singular or collective.
  5. re-embraces new forms of non-pathological, integral religion and integral personal spirituality that is congenial to science, philosophy and art and, more universal in its perspectives.

Why is this new integral worldview important to your daily life?

  1. It creates more effective and life-affirming solutions for every challenge or dream you have, whether your interests are business, culture, politics, religion, science or the environment. It can do this more effectively than ever before because of its new perspectives and understandings relating to personal, cultural and biologic evolutionary development. Armed with this vital new information you now can more wisely participate in actively co-evolving any area of your own life and future.
  2. It heals and rebalances the subtle cynicism that results from the fragmentation and complexity of 21st century living by creating a new holism as well as a revitalized sense of achievable purpose.
  3. It releases vast untapped personal growth potentials by dramatically expanding who or what you conceive of self, nature and culture to be.
  4. It helps you to find the new healthy boundaries and practical clarity that are needed for our globalized postmodern world where today's cultural relativity and contextuality can debilitate decision and action.

Introduction to the Integral Challenges of the Present

We are in a period of history futurists say will be looked back upon 1,000 years from now and called the 50 year period of the most intense change velocity in all of human history. Unlike the gradually developing industrial revolution spread over the 19th and 20 centuries our current age is and will continue to experience the convergence of 4 vastly more powerful technological revolutions. These 21st century revolutions are the information/internet/computer revolution, the genetic manipulation revolution, the revolution in robotics and nanotechnology and the emergence of the new Integral Worldview that can order and hold value and meaning through the coming intense change velocity.

By 2050, because of the convergence of four technologies some futurists predict 5 percent of the population will be able to produce everything needed for the total population. We clearly live in exciting and rapidly changing times. We also clearly live in the most challenging of times where environmental, political and social problems threaten biocide for the planet and the consequent destruction of the human species. Are we in the worst of times or, are we just entering what could be the best of times and, are we really in the beginning of the greatest new spirituality, art, philosophy and science enlightenment period in the history of mankind --- a new Integral Age that transcends the information age? This essay and article was created by Lawrence Wollersheim for Integrative Spirituality ( a non profit organization supporting open source integral spirituality.

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