Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

A New Creation on Earth: Death and Transformation in the Yoga of Mother Mirra Alfassa

Stephen Lerner Julich

Abstract: This paper acts as a précis of the author’s dissertation in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. The dissertation, entitled Death and Transformation in the Yoga of Mirra Alfassa (1878-1973), Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram: A Jungian Hermeneutic, is a cross-cultural exploration and analysis of symbols of death and transformation found in Mother’s conversations and writings, undertaken as a Jungian amplification. Focused mainly on her discussions of the psychic being and death, it is argued that the Mother remained rooted in her original Western Occult training, and can best be understood if this training, under the guidance of Western Kabbalist and Hermeticist Max Théon, is seen, not as of merely passing interest, but as integral to her development.

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The Transdisciplinary Moment(um)

Julie Thompson Klein

Abstract: There is no universal theory, methodology, or definition of transdisciplinarity (TD). Nevertheless, keywords reveal similarities and differences across explanations. This overview tracks five major clusters of meaning: (a) meta-level conceptions of interdisciplinarity, (b) the changing nature and status of unity in the discourse of TD, (c) new alignments with participatory and collaborative problem-oriented research, (d) the forms of knowledge that TD engages, and (e) a transgressive imperative that interrogates the existing structure of knowledge, culture, and education. These categories of meaning are not air-tight. However, with widening use of the core word “transdisciplinarity,” it is important to be alert to these patterns and their underlying values and priorities.

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Integral Intelligence: A 21st Century Necessity

Anne Adams

Abstract: This article explores the critical role education plays in the attitudes, behaviors, results produced, and ultimately our every day experiences of our world. Integral education is introduced as a catalyst for transformation, moving our emphasis in education from gathering knowledge to growing consciousness. Expanding awareness provides a paradigm shift from epistemology to ontology, which would fundamentally alter where our attention is focused, from having and doing to being—providing an opening to directly experience ourselves as the creators of our reality.

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The Power of Balance: Transforming Self, Society, and Scientific Inquiry

William R. Torbert

Abstract: The “power of balance” as conceived by Torbert represents an integral paradigm of principles, theory, and praxis. Deployed, the paradigm is one that can indeed inform and shape the development of self, society, and scientific inquiry. To explicate that fulsome vision, the book’s fifteen chapters develop the themes of three sections: Theory and Strategy, Heart and Practice, and Vision and Method. Here, we have excerpted from several chapters in Theory and Strategy, and from one chapter in Vision and Method.

This means, of course, that we present but a small fraction of this integral classic, leaving out all of the rich, in-depth illustrations, including the author’s learning practice as he first attempted to enact the principles.

Yet, we hope even this abbreviated form of The Power of Balance supports at least two goals: to offer deployable insights and practices for developing politics and the political; and to take root as part of a foundational canon for integral political thought, research, and praxis. How we readers deploy these principles in our own actions will determine the degree to which self, society, and scientific inquiry transform.

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Toward Integral Higher Education Study Programs in the European Higher Education Area: A Programmatic and Strategic View

Markus Molz

Abstract: This essay somehow arbitrarily freezes my ongoing attempt to grasp the present situation and future possibilities of higher education courses, programs, institutions and initiatives that are inspired by integral and likeminded approaches. The focus in this essay is on the European Higher Education Area and its specifics, whereas some implicit or explicit comparisons with the USA are made. My reflections are triggered by the recurrent observation that in Europe there seems to be i) more demand than offer of integrally oriented higher education programs, ii) an imbalance between overused but little successful and underused but potentially more promising strategies to implement such programs, iii) little or no learning from past failures, and iv) little mutual awareness, communication and collaboration between different activists and initiatives in this field. The context for this essay is i) the current societal macroshift, ii) the unfolding of academic level integral and likeminded research worldwide, and iii) the large scale reform of the European Higher Education systems brought about by the Bologna process, its (false) promises and the potential it nevertheless has for realizing examples of a more integral higher education. On this basis the consequences for attempts to overcome a relatively stagnant state of affairs in Europe are discussed. Given that; most past attempts to implement programs inspired by an integral worldview have failed from the start, or disappeared after a relatively short period, or are marginalised or becoming remainstreamed, this essay aims to devise a potentially more promising strategic corridor and describes the contours of the results that could be brought about when following a developmental trajectory within this corridor. This futurising exercise is inspired by principles shared by many integral and likeminded approaches, especially the reconsideration, integration and transcendence of premodern, modern and postmodern structures and practices of higher education.
This essay is programmatic and thus deliberately combines facts and values, past and future, summaries of first person observations and third person factual information, without the burden of systematic referencing required by scholarly writing. It does not claim to replace empirical surveys which, however, are still lacking to date regarding the actual state of affairs of higher education inspired by integral and likeminded approaches in Europe. Accordingly, at this stage, the essay is an exercise of awareness-raising to stimulate more and better collaboration across streams, disciplines and countries between those scholars, students and activists who are already inspired by integral and likeminded approaches and interested or already engaged in developing and sustaining higher education programs according to a more integral spirit.

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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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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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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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