Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Integralist Assumptions

Here's a reply I wrote to an Integralist analysis of the Paris attacks, by Jeff Salzman:

It's always strange to read Integral commentaries. They start with the assumption that someone is more evolved than someone else and can therefore help those lower down on the evolutionary ladder. They fail to see that we were all born into a totally deluded swamp. So the priority is to see the swamp, then to stop reproducing the swamp, and then to exit the swamp. But such a starting point isn't even on the Integralist's radar. They don't even see the swamp. They see relative improvement and think that is proof of having sufficient wisdom to liberate others.

The West is blaring out illusion 24/7 - "Happiness is in money, relationships, family, career, possessions, spirituality, religion, blah blah blah." Everyone is distracted by this swamp of illusion. So the supposedly less evolved terrorists get to have a legitimate argument - "You think happiness is here, we think it there, so let's fight it out." In this way, the West is perpetuating the problem it claims to want to solve.

If the West liberated itself from its illusions, then it would be at home in the innate happiness of being. Then it would be a role model that sends out good vibes rather than delusion. Whatever emergencies arise in the immediate aftermath of that can be dealt with using force if necessary, but it would then be quick and wise and in the context of palpable goodwill and wisdom.

I know that Integralists quickly dismiss what I'm saying by deploying their theories. That shows how blinded they are by their assumptions. They can't even begin exploring a new line of reasoning that doesn't fit in with their models and "commonsense", which are themselves derived from the swamp.


  1. How do you think the West should liberate itself from illusion?

  2. Jason Letera, Maybe thought leaders like Ken Wilber could question their assumptions rather than starting from assumptions. Indeed, we need to highlight our assumptions and our motivations rather than keeping them in the background.

    Most Integralists know the basic principle that everything changes so don't seek reliable happiness in anything that changes. But why do we seek happiness at all? It's because of the assumption that happiness is not innate to being. And isn't it true that the distractions of the world help us to forget that happiness is innate to being? And isn't that the root of all our problems?

    Also, instead of thinking that people range in degrees of evolution, consider the possibility that we are in like a Matrix situation and that the individual's seeming low level of evolution is really just a consequence of how the vibrations of their society resonate with their particular potentials at that moment. After all, if seemingly unevolved people had been born into a completely wise society, they would be wise too. But somehow Integralism sees these large scale societal issues as as some kind of personal evolution issue.

    Lastly, the reason why it seems too hard to enlighten the world is that people who understand the need for it, say it's too hard and so the enquiry stops there. So it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    This is a big topic, so it's hard to find an entry point, especially since what I am saying goes against commonsense. Nevertheless, what I wrote above should suggest some fruitful lines of enquiry, if people are open to it.