As a self-proclaimed Integral wisdom activist, it’s only right that I should say where I’m coming from and where I’m headed.

Integral theory is a school of philosophy that seeks to integrate all of human wisdom into a new, emergent worldview that is able to accommodate the gifts of all previous worldviews, including those which have been historically at odds: science and religion, Eastern and Western schools of thought, and pre-modern, modern and post-modern worldviews.

The conventional wisdom is that we are now in meta crisis, in our own Anthropocene and it’s going to be a perilous passage. Some future thinkers believe that so many aspects of civilisation are so imperilled that total system collapse is inevitable. And its true that we have to face the fact that the earth thrived without us for millions of years and there is no reason to believe that it will not continue to do so once we are gone.

Many people are sensing that we’re in a liminal space right now, a Kairos moment where people need help to reconnect with their foundational archetypes, those that give us a deep sense of being human. We have the opportunity to be involved in collaborative sense-making that leads to discovering what is more real, or to collapse further into nihilism and more fragmentation. And it may already be too late. That’s something we all have to face, not run from for we are all co-creators in our emergent reality.

Now is the time, as Ken Wilber says, to wake up, grow up, show up and clean up. It’s fair to say I agree with Ken Wilber’s observation, that cleaning up seems, individually and collectively, the most pressing issue at this time. There are congruency problems that we all have to address in modern life and I’m no different from anyone else.

I’ve been following Wilber’s Integral Theory for decades now and I’m convinced it provides the best map to prepare us what lies ahead. And whatever way you look at it, that’s going to be pretty hazardous. It’s really clear major transformation needs to occur on many levels. It’s time to show up. Not only is there a meaning crisis but also a reality crisis. People have no idea what’s going on any more or what’s driving it.

Like so many in the West, my particular wisdom heritage is Christian and as everyone knows the roots of hope run deep in Christianity. Look even at the short term and how the earth has recovered so rapidly from our interference in only the space of 6 months or so. The earth is resilient and resourceful. It would be a black day indeed if we thought that returning to business as usual is the answer to the meta-crisis were now facing. This wont be over anytime soon. Coronavirus is symptomatic of a much bigger problem in the biosphere and you can’t help thinking it has an intelligence and a mission of its own.

I make sense of the world at this time through my own integral map, which, in my case, is the Christian contemplative tradition. For about 15 years or so, I’ve been practising Centering Prayer, a very simple form of meditation which can trace its roots back to the desert fathers of early Christian monasticism. It encourages silence and a deeper connection to the mystery of ‘all that is’ however you choose to name that.

Centering Prayer is a transformative practice. many agree that radical transformation is at actually at the root of the gospels. It isn’t a pious practice, but it is an opening of the mind and heart to the ultimate mystery. The aim of Centering Prayer is ultimately to experience non dual consciousness or divine union. That might sound pretty pious to some, but its not about sitting on a few cushions and escaping reality for a few hours. In fact when you practice interior silence it enables you to engage with the world fully, from a place of deeper responsiveness. It expands your circle of empathy, compassion, love and care. It allows you to be in deeper service to the transformations that are happening now.

There any many online groups which are accessible to anyone who has the desire to balance the contemplative heart and the discursive head in our time. Contemplative Outreach and Centre for Action and Contemplation are two such groups and come highly recommended.

Photo by Phil Kallahar on Pexels.com

5 thoughts on “About:

  1. This is, and is going to be, an awesome blog! I love reading your writings- so informative and inspiring. It’s going to give me the “kick in the butt” I really yearn for. Thank you, Grace😘

  2. I just discovered this term ‘integral theory’ recently, and I was wondering if you could provide any recommendations of books\articles\videos of where to start learning more about this concept. Thanks:)

    1. Thanks for the comment Andrew. Integral can be a thrilling trip. I could definitely recommend some books, especially if I had an idea of where you’d like to start. Integral addresses the full spectrum of human activity from business, to psychology to medicine to education, to politics, art ecology, and with an approach that encompasses mind, body spirit in self, culture and nature. While you’re thinking about your particular interests , if you want a broad view of its scope, you might take a look at Integral Life on the web, Ken Wilber’s site. always best to go to the source of the wisdom.

      1. Thank you for your response. I will definitely check out Ken Wilber’s site. I guess my interest is on a personal\spiritual level, as well as how the framework can be used to understand some of the issues we are facing in the modern era.

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