Integral Review

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

Vol. 11 No. 1 Feb 2015

Editor’s Introduction to the Special Issue

Bahman A. K. Shirazi

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Integral Education in Light of Earthrise

Craig Chalquist

Abstract: This article explores the relationship between integral education and the emerging terrestrial consciousness—a consciousness of interdependency, sovereignty, and earthly responsibility. It asserts that integral education is well positioned at this time when urgent environmental catastrophes threaten our planet, to help us recover an integral relation with the universe and our planet Earth, and contribute to restoration of a sense of earthly wonder and reverence.

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The Dynamic Unity of the Opposites: Haridas Chaudhuri’s Integral Method and Higher Education

Joseph L. Subbiondo

Abstract: This article focuses on Haridas Chaudhuri’s methodological principle known as Integral Dialectics and its related principle of the dynamic unity of the opposites, as an essential aspect of his unique model of integral education. Integral Dialectics is a methodological principle which is informed by the integral ontological principle asserting that human psyche and cosmological principles on the whole are interrelated and interdependent, and that holistic knowledge of reality presupposes a holistic and integrated psyche. Integral dialectics is a process of reconciliation of what appears to the mind as polarized conceptual opposites and engaging the totality of human experience, the whole spectrum of human consciousness, and educating the whole person beyond the dualistic rational methods of Western education.

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Integrative Research: Integral Epistemology and Integrative Methodology

Bahman A.K. Shirazi

Abstract: This article provides an introduction to integral epistemology and integrative methodology through a discussion of basic ontological principles of integralism and their implications for developing integrative approaches to knowledge. After a review of classification of approaches to research, integration is introduced as a research strategy that can be applied to various modes of scholarship and within specific research methods. It is argued that the current dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative research methods may be reconciled by showing that various research methods belong to a wide spectrum of methodologies that correspond to an integral epistemological gradient. Lastly, three basic strategies for integrative research: Integral Dialectical Synthesis, Unity-in Diversity, and Analytico-Synthetic Integration are discussed.

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Positionality as Knowledge: From Pedagogy to Praxis

Sara Maria Acevedo, Michael Aho, Eri Cela, Juei-Chen Chao, Isabel Garcia-Gonzales, Alec MacLeod, Claudia Moutray, Christina Olague

Abstract: In this article, the authors will draw from their work in the Integral Teaching Fellowship Program at CIIS, and from their interactive session in the 2014 CIIS Founders Symposium on Integral Consciousness to better understand the epistemological relevance of positionality in integral education and critical pedagogy. A critical approach to pedagogy (drawing from theorists such as Paulo Freire and bell hooks) encourages students and educators alike to recognize their social positionings and reflect on how the institutionalization of their social identities (such as the expert, the genius, the marginalized, the disabled) not only inform the lenses through which they view the classroom, but also influence how they participate in the classroom. By employing an integral learning model (variety of modalities), a learning community is transformed into a dynamic positioning field, in which students and educators interact and co-create knowledge beyond their habitual or institutionally imposed positionings. Supported by our own experiences as integral educators in training, we conclude that developing critical reflection, including previously subjugated perspectives, and gaining the ability to reposition oneself maximizes learning opportunities.

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Manifest Transpersonal Experiences: Aṇimām and Laghimā Siddhis

Robert V. Burke

Abstract: This article recalls with vivid awareness the Alex Gray like vision of infinitely small pulsating structures within my own body, and of bodily sensations of levitation I recalled when I read in Michael Murphy’s Future of the Body the references to Haridas Chaudhuri’s unpublished Yogic Potentials or Siddhis in Hindu-Buddhist Parapsychology. Along with Murphy’s section of Extraordinary Somatic Awareness Mediated by Internal Clairvoyance, and within the framework of Ramamurti S. Mishra’s Textbook of Yoga Psychology that provides context for Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one sees as Chaudhuri explicates, how aṇimām siddhi of infinitely small somatic perception, and how laghimā siddhi of levitation are manifested. This artcile provides the notions, context and details of how such yogic potentials operate as transpersonal experiences of the body, mind and psyche.

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The Restoration of Wholeness

Karabi Sen

Abstract: Wholeness is an innate state, a quality which is lost with our exposure to the world. Our life is spent in efforts to restore the state of wholeness in us. The world takes from us our tranquility and balance. Yet it is only from this giving of us that we can recover our lost self. That which takes also gives. Integration is a process which takes place in time and space. It is a developmental experience that admits of degrees, failures and regenerations. The integral self is not a finished perfect product. The self is born in nature and to nature. As such, it can mature, shine and bring itself to fruition only through trials and tribulations. Without the loss of wholeness we would never even have a vision of what constitutes wholeness; nor would we aspire after its retrieval. Creation is an evolutionary process which travels a path with many perils and also rewards. The journey to integration is difficult when we separate ourselves from our fellow humans and other forms of life or see ourselves as different from the soil and air and water that make us. Once we see ourselves in all that surrounds us and recognize them in ourselves uniting is not hard any longer. When we unite with the world we achieve a united, harmonious, whole self within as well.

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Individuation, Cosmogenesis and Technology: Sri Aurobindo and Gilbert Simondon

Debashish Banerji

Abstract: The turn of the 19th/20th centuries saw a number of philosophers of conscious evolution emerging from different cultural backgrounds. This paper argues that this phenomenon, which has sometimes been seen as a philosophical consequence of Darwin’s evolutionary theory in the life sciences, is more importantly related to the enhanced scope of human subjectivity made possible by technology at this time. Yet technology remains the “unthought within the thought” of its times, an ambiguous presence, derided for its alienating effects and praised for its enhancement of human capacities and comforts. A later generation of thinkers, belonging to the post World War II era renews the thought of conscious evolution, now in engagement with new technologies of a planet spanning scope. This essay considers the ideas of these two generations of thinkers, focusing on Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) from the earlier generation and Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989) from the more recent era, questioning the consequences of contemporary technology in their thoughts, goals and practices. In developing the historical continuity of ideas, it tracks the question of technology from the earlier to the later generation, highlighting the understanding of both its promise and its ills and engaging with it the possibilities of conscious evolution.

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Unfolding Toward Being: Etty Hillesum and the Evolution of Consciousness

Barbara Morrill

Abstract: The ‘unfolding’ of Etty Hillesum’s developing consciousness is considered from an integral and ‘evolution of consciousness’ perspective. In the introductory section some parallels and similarities between aspects of transformation of consciousness and personality in integral yoga psychology and the work of A.H. Almaas and Karen Johnson, the developers of the Diamond Approach, is drawn upon to set the stage. This path combines Eastern teachings and practices with the concepts of Western depth psychology and sees development as occurring in spiraling and overlapping stages. Etty’s spiritual and psychological journey is examined in the context of these stages. Her evolutionary process is informed by the Diamond Approach’s method of inquiry, which is similar to Etty’s process of “hineinhorchen” or “hearkening” to herself. This exploration will offer a contemporary yet ancient perspective that tracks Etty Hillesum’s own radical evolution of consciousness that we glimpse in a mere ‘moment’ in time, that is, indeed, timeless.

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