Monday, September 03, 2007

integral communication

A really important (I think) clip from Ken Wilber on IntegralNaked (subscription required--first month is free).

Wilber's main point is how hard it is to both talk about and actually inhabit the integral world. As a real wave in existence (assuming this whole idea of altitude is in someway right). Words like 2nd-tier, turquoise, etc. are the barest of signifiers. We need words for the actual lived reality of integral.

It reminded me of something a woman I knew once (a spiritual seeker) used to say all the time: we never really understand the depth of a teacher. We hear them repeat words like "2nd-tier" or truth or whatever and assume we know what they mean but they are always deeper than we at first expect.

He's talking about something very subtle profound and I get the sense the crowd doesn't quite get the intensity of his words (some no doubt do but probably not too too many). On the surface Wilber's words seem easily understandable.

If post-metaphysics is right (if integral is at least in part about a rising wave of consciousness and that the future is not pre-set), then language has to be enacted/created at the edge. It is not simply a matter of description but enactment. And wanting to actually communicate that wave and realize together we are describing this space without actually having to talk about the fact that there is such realization--that's hard.

[Again at least in part--if this version of integral has merits, which I believe it does. I point this out because if integral is better defined as the Canon/Great Conversation/Humanities as MD has argued or some version of Neo-Perennialist Philosophy then this problem of language does not really arise].

It also brings me back to one of the hardest points I've had in my own articulation of what I think integral is. In my gut and heart and even my head I know from personal experience (and interactions with others who "light" up and start to sense the change), what is the reason why it is necessary to wake up to this idea of altitude. But I find it hard to articulate to others.

For those who are already sensing something is amiss, something is missing, I can begin to describe this and immediately they re-cognize the truth. And maybe these are the only people to talk to? But I have the sense I'm missing something in the description. Something that answers the question of why? What's the payoff?


At 1:36 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

perhaps integral needs more poets?

At 9:13 PM, Blogger CJ Smith said...

looks like someone just nominated herself.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Shannon said...



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