Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

An Epistemic Thunderstorm: What We Learned and Failed to Learn from Jordan Peterson’s Rise to Fame

Jonathan Rowson

AbstractThe cultural pressure to endorse or reject public intellectuals wholesale can be problematic, perpetuating groupthink and diminishing scope for intellectual growth, societal maturation, and political imagination. On encountering public figures who appear to be both right and wrong, sometimes simultaneously, perhaps dangerously, there is scope to be more creative and less reactive in our response. In the illustrative case of Jordan Peterson, commentators often oriented their analysis within a conceptually moribund political spectrum; e.g. Peterson is “alt-right” attacking “the radical left.” Social media echo chambers lead some to read that Peterson’s “fanboys” were “misogynist trolls” while others heard that his critics were “virtue signaling snowflakes”. The tendency of print and broadcast media to seek a defining angle diminishes rather than distills complexity; for instance, Peterson’s fame was associated with a perceived crisis in masculinity, but that was not the whole story. “Petersonitis” is introduced here as a serious joke to describe the intellectual and emotional discomfort that arose from the author’s attempt to seek a fuller understanding of complex characters in a divisive political culture. In a response to Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, twelve relatively dispassionate perspectives on his contribution are offered as an antidote to the language of allergy and infatuation that surrounded his rise to fame. Peterson is described here as symptomatic, multiphrenic, theatrical, solipsistic, sacralizing, hypervigilant, monocular, ideological, Manichean, Piagetian, masculine, and prismatic. First person language is used to reflect the author’s experience of Petersonitis, after having been drawn to Peterson’s online video lectures, debating with him in a public forum, and gradually clarifying the nature of the limitations in his outlook and approach. It is hoped that the paper will help readers recognize, recover from, and ultimately transcend Petersonitis, and to appreciate the much wider application of the idea.

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Women’s Spirituality at CIIS: Uniting Integral and Feminist Pedagogies

Alka Arora
This paper articulates an educational framework termed integral feminist pedagogy, based on the author’s experience teaching in the Women’s Spirituality program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Integral feminist pedagogy unites the principles and practices of both the integral and feminist traditions. The strength of integral pedagogy lies in its focus on the inseparability of an individual’s mind, body, and spirit. However, integral pedagogy is often understood today in a way that divorces individuals from their social and political context. Feminist pedagogy, on the other hand, excels in raising students’ awareness of social and political context, but may neglect individuals’ psychospiritual realities. This paper argues that integrating the two traditions helps each better fulfill its vision of social transformation. In order to illuminate the core premises of integral feminist pedagogy, specific examples from classrooms in the Women’s Spirituality program are explored.

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Words from the Wise: Exploring the Lives, Qualities, and Opinions of Wisdom Exemplars

Drew Krafcik

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to study exemplars of wisdom through a structured, theoretically grounded peer-nomination process. Twenty exemplars were given a variety of quantitative measures that included the Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Loyola Generativity Scale (LGS), Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), Narcissistic Personality Inventory-16 (NPI-16), Humility Inventory (HI), Big Five Inventory (BFI), and the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT). Exemplars also underwent lengthy semi-structured interviews to assess their lives, qualities, and understanding of wisdom. Interviews were analyzed for their significant themes. Results of this study suggest that exemplars of wisdom are humble, spiritual, mindful, insightful, tell the truth, and are open to experiences. They have meaningful, long-term relationships with mentors and loved ones. Exemplars are deeply influential in the lives of others and have very high life satisfaction. The 2 predominant definitions of wisdom given by exemplars were that wisdom is practical and comes from the unknown. Exemplars offered multiple strategies for the cultivation of wisdom-related processes, primarily the relationship with a mentor. Future research may clarify an emerging relationship between transcendent and practical wisdom.

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Toward a Genealogy and Topology of Western Integrative Thinking

Gary P. Hampson

Abstract: Contemporary integrative thinking such as meta-theorising, integral approaches and transdisciplinarity can be productively contextualised by identifying both a broad genealogy of Western integrative thinking, and also a topology regarding facets of such thought. This paper offers one such genealogical and topological reading. The genealogy involves the historical orientations or moments of Hermetism; Neoplatonism; Renaissancism; the nexus of German classicism, romanticism and idealism; and reconstructive postmodernism. Arising from this, an indication of a general topology of Western integrative thinking is offered (with case studies), one involving objects of integration (such as philosophy and spirituality), macro-integrative entities (such as syncretism), micro-integrative entities (such as creativity and love), integrative “shapes” (such as organicism), and processes of integration (such as intuition).

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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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Integral Politics: A Swiss Perspective

Elke Fein and Hans-Peter Studer

Abstract: This article tells the story of the Swiss NGO “Integrale Politik (ip)” founded by about 20 people in November 2007 with the aim of becoming a regular political party at a later stage ( We wish to make ip’s concepts and approaches known to a wider public. Inspired by integral thinkers such as Jean Gebser and Ken Wilber, ip develops its own ideas and interpretations of integral in view of the concrete challenges of Swiss and European politics.

Integral political culture is understood, for example, as including practices addressing all senses, turning political commitment into an experience of meaningful activity and an expression of joy, ease and celebrating life. One of the most important challenges currently faced by the group is to perpetuate and further develop this working culture as the organization grows. Its success in doing this seems to be one of the main reasons for ip’s attractiveness to the Swiss cultural creative sector in general and the growing integrally-minded community in particular to whom it gives an increasingly visible face and a clear-cut voice. At the same time, the Swiss political system offers particularly favourable preconditions and thus, a fruitful ground for new political ideas and experiments such as this integral political one.

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A Transdisciplinary Mind: An Interview with Ian Mitroff

Russ Volckmann

Abstract: Known more widely as the “Father of Crisis Management,” University of Southern California professor Ian Mitroff came to the work of Ken Wilber and integral theory over two decades ago. No one else has brought an integral perspective to the fields of management and organization theory for as long as Mitroff. In this interview he talks about the development of his theories, the people he has worked closely with, his spiritual development and the streams of his work, including his research on spirituality in organizations. While his involvement with Wilber’s Integral Institute is not what he would like it to be, he sees there the potential to develop an institution that addresses the politicization and failures of our institutions of higher education. In the face of the crisis in leadership, integral and transdisciplinary approaches have the potential for making a positive difference as we are faced with the dissolution of distinctions that underlie how we make meaning in the world.

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Voegelin’s Ladder

Nathan Harter

Abstract: Leadership has non-logical aspects. One of these is spirituality. Voegelin’s Ladder provides a context for studying spirituality as a part of leadership. What it reveals is that spirituality arises at the intersection of the human with the divine. Spirituality expresses itself as purpose and aspiration, which a leader embodies.

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