Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Issue 1 Jun 2005


Reinhard Fuhr and Jonathan Reams


Integral Review and its Editors


Abstract: In this introduction to Integral Review’s inaugural issue, we explain the meaning we give to the title of this electronic journal which is open-access, both refereed and peer-reviewed, and why that meaning is important for us in today’s world. The draft of the basic article, which was intensely discussed among the members of the editorial committee, was written by Sara Ross and Reinhard Fuhr,* and following it, other members of the editorial committee added their personal emphases in reference to the integral paradigm as well as their (critical) evaluation of the premises made in the basic article. Thus Thomas Jordan offers a set of categories and criteria for integral qualities which turned out to be most important in practice and evaluation processes. Michel Bauwens makes distinctions about the multi-perspectival nature of the integral paradigm, points out ways to avoid four different kinds of reductionism, and highlights layers of awareness. Russ Volckman emphasizes the connection between the diversity of worldviews and methodologies, which allow us to also integrate recent developments in behavioral approaches in his professional field of organization and leadership development. Jonathan Reams emphasizes the new, transcendent quality of an integral approach that enables us to use different qualities of “reflection” flexibly and – as we have a meta-framework of human perceptions and values – to recognize everybody’s truth and feel compassionate with it. We then close with a discussion of the relationship between Integral Review and the mission of its non-profit publisher, ARINA, Inc.

Editor’s note: Sara Ross is president of ARINA, Inc. and coordinator of IR, Reinhard Fuhr is editor-in-chief of IR

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Jean Gebser: Das Integrale Bewusstsein

Kai Hellbusch

Zusammenfassung: Um den Begriff des integralen Bewusstseins bei Jean Gebser deutlich werden zu lassen, werden die Bewusstseinsstrukturen in ihrem konzeptionellen Stellenwert erläutert, bevor jede einzelne vorgestellt wird. Die Kenntnis der bisherigen Bewusstseinsstrukturen ist Voraussetzung für die Kenntnis des integralen Bewusstseins, das sich aber nicht in der Integration des Früheren erschöpft, sondern seine eigene Aufgabe hat: die Realisierung der Zeit, also die Konkretion der den Bewusstseinsstrukturen zugehörigen Zeitformen. Dadurch entsteht eine neue Freiheit, die als bewusste Annäherung an das Göttliche, den „Ursprung“, zu verstehen ist.
Abstract: The Swiss-German philosopher Jean Gebser is introduced as the first to describe the integral worldview in detail. The author sketches Gebser’s biography, explains his basic assumption of a universal consciousness from which basic structures of consciousness emerge, and describes the different stages of consciousness development from archaic to magic to mythic to mental to integral. The integral structure of consciousness is presented in its main characteristics as an attitude towards the world, to ourselves and in particular to time.

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Complexity Intelligence and Cultural Coaching: Navigating the Gap Between Our Societal Challenges and Our Capacities

Jan Inglis and Margaret Steele

Abstract: In this article, we present the term complexity intelligence as a useful moniker to describe the reasoning ability, emotional capacity and social cognition necessary to meet the challenges of our prevailing life conditions. We suggest that, as a society and as individuals, we develop complexity intelligence as we navigate the gap between our current capacities and the capacities needed to respond to the next stage of complex challenges in our lives. We further suggest that it is possible to stimulate and support the emergence of complexity intelligence in a society, but we need a new form of social change agent – a cultural coach, to midwife its emergence.

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The Development of Dialectical Thinking As An Approach to Integration

Michael Basseches

Abstract: This article offers a description of dialectical thinking as a psychological phenomenon that reflects adult intellectual development. While relating this psychological phenomenon to the various dialectical philosophical perspectives from which the description is derived, the article conceptualizes dialectical thinking as a form of organization of thought, various aspects of which can be identified in individual adults’ approaches to conceptualizing a range of problems, rather than as one particular stream of intellectual history. The article provides a range of examples of dialectical analyses, contrasting them with more formalistic analyses, in order to convey the power, adequacy, and significance of dialectical thinking for the sorts of challenges that this journal embraces. It suggests that events in all areas of life demand recognition of the limitations of closed-system approaches to analysis. Approaches based instead on the organizing principle of dialectic integrate dimensions of contradiction, change and system-transformation over time in a way that supports people’s adaptation when structures under girding their sense of self/world coherence are challenged. Higher education and psychotherapy are considered as examples of potential contexts for adult intellectual development, and the conditions that foster such development in these contexts are discussed. The article as a whole makes the case for consciously attempting to foster such development in all our work as an approach to integration.

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Toward An Integral Process Theory Of Human Dynamics: Dancing The Universal Tango

Sara Ross

Abstract: This article is an outline toward developing a fuller process theory of human dynamics aimed at practical applications by a diverse audience. The theory represents a transdisciplinary synthesis of a universal pattern and integrates humans’ projection dynamics with complex systems dynamics. Five premises, presented in lay language with examples, capture basic elements involved in the meta process of human development and change: reciprocity, projection, development’s structural limits, oscillations, and structural coupling. Based on a fractal dialectical pattern that shows up wherever complex systems are involved, the theory’s applications are scalable. It could be useful for personal development, public policy design, issue analysis, and systemic action on intransigent issues. It may be a complementary adjunct to developmental stage theories because it deals in an accessible way with the processes involved in stage transitions. Throughout the article, its practical relevance at some individual, social, and political scales is illustrated or mentioned. Readers interested in individual and social change may gain a sense of the human dynamics involved in it, and thus the potential usefulness of a process theory that describes what goes on in human change and development.

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Timely and Transforming Leadership Inquiry and Action: Toward Triple-loop Awareness

Anne Starr and Bill Torbert

Abstract: Drawing from situations in business, art, leadership education, and home life, this essay experiments with diverse ways to communicate the experience of triple-loop awareness. Contrasting it with single- and double-loop feedback in a person’s awareness, the triple-loop supposedly affords the capacity to be fully present and exercise re-visioning, frame-changing timely leadership. The essay presents an encompassing theory of time and of its relationship with our own capacity for awareness. The experiment concludes with the reminder to readers that a first reading is like walking around the base of a mountain. The authors invite readers to try out one of the uphill paths of being with these experiments with a different kind of attention.

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Good, Clever and Wise: A study of political meaning-making among integral change agents

Thomas Jordan in an Interview with Russ Volckmann

Abstract: Thomas Jordan discusses the intellectual and research foundations that have led to his creation of a consciousness development model. In interview research that he conducted among selected personnel in Swedish defense and security agencies, Jordan has focused on three key skill sets: consciousness skills, self-awareness and embeddedness or identification. From this he has identified seven characteristics that show up in various patterns among those he interviewed. The first three—good, clever, and wise—are key characteristics. The next four follow from them: curious, inventive, modest and handy. These show up in variable combinations among these integral change agents involved with promoting change within political institutions.

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What’s Integral about Leadership? A Reflection on Leadership and Integral Theory

Jonathan Reams

Abstract: This article provides an introduction to the idea of integral leadership. It describes the basic premises of integral theory, focusing on the four quadrants, levels or stages of development, and lines or streams of development. It briefly examines the relationship of consciousness to leadership, and then provides an overview of the history of leadership theory from an integral perspective. It then suggests a distinction between an integrally informed approach to leadership and integral leadership, and closes with questions deserving further inquiry.

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Ein Integraler Gestalt-Ansatz fuer Therapie und Beratung

Reinhard Fuhr & Martina Gremmler-Fuhr

Zusammenfassung: In diesem Text stellen wir unseren Ansatz für Psychotherapie und Beratung auf dem Hintergrund des integralen Paradigmas dar. Wir erläutern zunächst kurz vier Anforderungen an ein integrales Konzept in diesem professionellen Bereich: Umgang mit Komplexität und Vielperspektivität, Berücksichtigung gerichteter, vieldimensionaler Entwicklung, Orientierungs- und Sinngebungsfunktion, Realisierung relationaler Qualitäten in der Arbeit. Nach einer Begriffsbestimmung von „Therapie“, „Beratung“ und „Bildung“ charakterisieren wir das seit vielen Jahren von uns entwickelte Konzept für den Integralen Gestalt-Ansatz unter den Fragen nach (1) den Intentionen und Aufgaben von Therapie und Beratung, (2) der Gestaltung der Kommunikation und Beziehung, (3) der Art der Problemdefinition und dem Umgang mit Diagnostik sowie (4) den Strategien und Methoden – alle unter Rückkopplung an die zuvor erläuterten Anforderungen an ein integrales Konzept.

Abstract: In this text we present our approach to psychotherapy and counseling on the background of the integral paradigm. We shortly explain four major requirements for such an integral concept: handling complexity and multi-perspectivity, considering directed and multi-dimensional development, offering orientation and meaning, relational qualities. After defining the terms „psychotherapy“, „counselling“, and „education“ we present our concept for the Integral Gestalt Approach which we have developed and evaluated for many years by dealing with four questions: (1) the intentions and tasks of therapy and counselling, (2) the formation of communication and relationship, (3) the specific way of defining problems and using diagnostics, and (4) the strategies and methods – all related back to the major requirements of an integral concept.

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