Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘Integral Philosophy’

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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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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The Path of Initiation: The Integration of Psychological and Spiritual Development in Western Esoteric Thought

Gary Raucher

Abstract: This paper examines, from an emic stance, a strand of Western esoteric wisdom that offers a particular perspective on psycho-spiritual development in relation to spiritual emergence, the mutually interdependent evolution of consciousness and substance, and the functional role of human incarnation within our planetary life. The writings of Alice A. Bailey (1880-1949) and Lucille Cedercrans (1921-1984) serve as significant reference points in this effort. These teachings hold an integral view of human development in which a person’s awareness and self-identification progress from polarization in physical matter and sensation through progressively subtler gradients of emotional and mental experience, culminating in “The Path of Initiation,” a phase of psychological and spiritual expansions into deepening levels of transcendent, supramental consciousness and functioning. The esoteric teachings described here portray this path descriptively rather than prescriptively, and have significant parallels to Sri Aurobindo’s Integral vision. Both consider human life in form to be a vital and necessary phase within the larger cosmic evolution of consciousness and matter, and both are frameworks that expansively embrace the significance of the Divine as both immanent and transcendent presence. The important issue of epistemological methodology and the testing of esoteric assertions is also considered.

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Integral Education: Founding Vision and Principles

Bahman A.K. Shirazi

Abstract: This introductory article gives a brief account of the founding vision and ontological and epistemological principles of the integral framework expounded by Haridas Chaudhuri and some of his original collaborators at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). A brief biographical account of Sri Aurobindo and Mother Mirra Alfassa, originators of integral yoga and education, is provided and some of the principle tenets of an integral worldview that informs the philosophy of integral education are discussed.

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Connecting Thought and Action for Beginners: A Meditation on Integral Philosophy and Experiments in the Yoga of Love, Action, Knowledge

Maureen Dolan

Abstract: This paper has a two-fold purpose: to examine some of the main precepts in chosen works of Sri Aurobindo and Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri regarding the philosophical basis for integral understanding and to describe concrete ways to introduce the integral paradigm into practice in the U.S. within a particular undergraduate course titled Body, Mind, Spirit: Yoga and Meditation at DePaul University in Chicago. The introduction includes a brief description of the cultural milieu of 21st century American realities for adult students, identifying some of the conditions which can serve as impetuses to integral thought and action. The main text contains certain basic tenets of integral wisdom, which combine Eastern and Western thought in revolutionary ways, and examples from an introduction of integral yoga into higher education for adult learners. This can serve those who are just beginning to explore integral being and evolutionary action through intellectual, psychological, physical, and spiritual pursuits and those who already teach the integration of love-action-knowledge.

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The Union of Spirit and Matter: Science, Consciousness, and a Life Divine

Lynda Lester

Abstract: The once unbridgeable chasm between spirit and matter is closing. While the scientific method and scientific materialism have brought untold benefits to humanity, quantum physics has changed our view of matter as solid, objective, and obvious to a view that is more complex and which includes the possibility that consciousness has a part in manifesting reality. This shift mirrors Sri Aurobindo’s integral philosophy, which states that the universe is a manifestation of consciousness. This manifestation occurs through a process of involution followed by evolution, the next step of which is the emergence of a suprahumanity whose native state of consciousness will be supramental. Interestingly, some of Mother Mirra Alfassa’s experiences in bringing supramental consciousness into her body bear similarities to the discoveries of quantum physics. Unlike previous spiritual realizations, the supramental realization has the power to unify spirit and matter and usher in a life divine on earth.

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