Catalyzing a Community of Integral Activist-Practitioners

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[Note: Below is the text of our first email newsletter. To receive these updates directly in your inbox, enter your email address in the space to the right .]

Welcome to our first update on the Integral Revolution project, which we kicked off four weeks ago with the launch of IntegralRevolution.com and the publication of our “manifesto” Occupy Integral! in the web magazine Beams & Struts.

The project includes the book we’re writing titled The Integral Revolution: The Future of Consciousness, Culture, and Society in the Planetary Age — but what we ultimately envision goes beyond the book.

The Integral Revolution champions the idea that inner and outer transformation can unite with an evolutionary perspective to produce radical change in the world.

The Integral Revolution project aims to catalyze a global community of activist-practitioners who are passionate about both “being the change” and “doing the change” — individually and collectively, in ways big and small.

We are motivated not only by the urgency of addressing the many complex, escalating crises in our world, but just as importantly, we are practicing a deepening realization that we are already free in the stillness and spaciousness of radical consciousness; free to grow in awareness and love. AND — we’re inspired by the visionary idealism that believes we can co-create the more beautiful, true, good, and just world that our hearts intuit is possible.

We’re committed to introducing these perspectives and energies into the wider culture, where they can begin to transform our politics, our economies, and our ways of life. They must become what we not only think and talk about, but also what we practice. And not just within the “integral community,” but much more broadly.

Of course, millions of people around the world are already waking up and rising up. They’re also getting down to earth and down to business. We aim to tell a story that weaves together the essential truth and value of these diverse movements, from local sustainability and resilience initiatives, to global, digitally-connected meditation sanghas; from innovative entrepreneurs shifting the system from within, to non-violent protesters challenging it at the edges.

We refuse to embrace a limited, partial, one-sided view of “the Revolution.” From an integral perspective, we see these countless movements, projects, and experiments as necessary and vital — all are part of the larger story of our emergent humanity in the 21st century.

Occupy Integral! was our way of starting the conversation. We wrote this piece specifically for a core, integral audience—and it seems to have struck a nerve. To date, the original post has generated over 160 comments! Many are supportive and insightful; some are critical and challenging; others are poetic and stirring. We've been following and participating in the discussion around the web, and couldn't be more encouraged by the passion, intelligence, and creativity that so many have voiced in response.

The article was also cross-posted on IntegralLife.com, where another spirited conversation has ensued. Jeff Salzman and David Riordan also discussed #OccupyIntegral in a recent episode of their Daily Evolver podcast series, which is well worth a listen.

In addition, Marco was recently a featured “conversation starter” on an OccupyCafe.org “Vital Conversations” call. Meanwhile, Terry has been continuing his Beyond Awakening online interview series, with recent guests including John Hagelin, Drew Dellinger, and Charles Eisenstein.

Finally, Brett Thomas just published an in-depth interview with us for IntegralThinkers.com. In it, we expand on some of the themes and questions raised in Occupy Integral, including further thoughts on what’s “really happening” in the world at this time, and how the integral community can play a role in the emergence of a truly planetary culture.

So what’s next?

First, we’re in the process of writing the book, and hope to share some excerpts in a few weeks. We’ll be very interested in receiving your feedback on that new material.

We’re also gearing up to publish new posts to our blog, including guest posts from authors who have contacted us to share their perspectives. We'll let you know when those are up.

We’re also considering ways to deepen the conversation in real time through conference calls and other virtual forums. In fact, a small group led by Eric Troth has already formed to explore these possibilities. If you're interested in participating, please sign up here.

Finally, the question of community, collective action, and what might be called the "integral commons" has been on our minds — and will be the topic of a future article. Toward that end, we’d like to close with a few questions and invite your response.

  • What do you see as the future of integral community?
  • How do you see the global integral community making a positive contribution to a planetary revolution?
  • What do you see as your personal role, passion, or gift in co-creating a more beautiful, true, good, and just world for all?

Please post your response in the comment thread below.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be exploring ways to deliver on the promise of an "integral revolution" in collaboration and community. Beyond our book and specific offerings, we sense that something larger wants to emerge — perhaps a true sangha of integral activist-practitioners, relating to each other as peers, colleagues, and dare we say, “comrades” ;)

One last note: As our projects pick up steam, Terry is looking to hire a part-time, high-performance team member with executive assistant, project management, copywriting, computer, communications, and organization skills. Ideally, this would be someone excited about helping inspire a larger community of participation. If you’re qualified and interested, or know of an amazing person who is, please contact Terry through his website.

Thank you. We really appreciate your interest and support, and look forward to continuing the conversation!

Comments

What do you see as the future of integral community?

>> Integration into society. By that I mean not just 'being' a community, but drive forward actions that will make a difference. Maybe it's just your neighbourhood, or your team at work.. But stop contemplating the reality and start live reality. Of course everything is perfectly sone already, but there is should be an integral act of integral free will. It is much more easier to gather around and discuss integral ideas, or see new ways of implementing them in your life.. But how about impleenting them in the life of 'non-utegral' communities ? In fact, communities that we all live in ?

I think the future is action.

 

How do you see the global integral community making a positive contribution to a planetary revolution?

* Educate people

* Ask for financial support from some fonds.. Partially - to actually start living-communities based on integral models.

* Help them. I know a person who is pshycologist, specialised in transpersonal field. And in his spare time he helps to whoever need it fo free. Healty people = healthy society. And it is not just 'physically' health, but also, emotionally and mentally healthy..

 

In conclusion: "Lead by example". Focus on goals and then act to achieve it. Why 'community' should act differently to an individual. "make 10% of a population integral" is not a goal. Because it is not SMART(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria)

 

What do you see as your personal role, passion, or gift in co-creating a more beautiful, true, good, and just world for all?

Personaly I talk to people :-) In most cases it is enought to shift conciousness one bit at a time. I also volounteer locally as well as in some global organisations like the Venus project.

 

The eventual future of the integral community is the entire human population on the planet. Until that happens, the community will be the meta-sangha that is the container for thriveability of the hmuan species on this planet. Thriveability is the best word I can think which includes both sustainability and evolution. 

The most important contribution that the community can make is being a meta-sangha, or a sangha of sanghas. Many, many inspired people and groups are beginning to take action, in their own way. But these efforts, good and laudable as they are, somehow lack the critical horsepower to effect a quick and effective transformational 'escape velocity'. In other words, the power of synergistic complementarity, and the impetus for continuous transcendence and inclusion of all these efforts, is the biggest lacuna for all-encompassing change. The LR manifestation of the meta-sangha will be a meta-platform, which has the inherent systemic intelligence to being all the various 'platforms' fitting nicely and cosily like a holonic jigsaw, so as to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. That may mean giving up the nomenclatural attachment to 'Integral Community' so that all vestiges of institutional ego are banished. The first step in this direction could be to organize a retreat of about 40-50 people, constituting the right kind of people in both second tier and upper first tier to blend the right kind of vision, energy, resourcefulness and leverage. 

I could play a role in conceptualizing  the design principles of such a meta-platform and helping its build and roll-out. The platform, needless to say, will have both physical and digital manifestations. 

 

 

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To have a real and lasting occupation the integral community needs to integrate. WE need to fully accept that we are not the only ones with the answer and we are not special. Indeed, until we gain the humility to recognise others we are nothing and at best are sabotaging our own efforts to change things for the better.

Having said that, the global integral community has a very important part to play. To have the understanding that we need to develop our own conciousness and be constantly striving to improve both our understanding of how the world works and our practice within the world, alongside our understanding of ourselves and our practice of becoming a more developed conciousness is vital to evolving humans to the point where love and respect of the planet and the cosmos abounds

 

Wonderful comment Fiona, straight from the heart and making a world of sense. There is still hope for the Intergral community...:)

 

Fiona, I second what wim said!

  • What do you see as the future of integral community?

The Integral Community is by no standards "Integral"...

It seems like an awfull small community of mainly "Wealthy, Western, White Men" with a few women joining in. If the Integral Community manages to come down from their high white horse, there is hope. Otherwise...

Just another group pretending to know better than God what to do and what is right for everybody else. Does the world know that you guys are out there trying to end their misery? Does the world agree that they live in misery and need to change or might they think that you are wasting awfull lots of natural resources. It all depends on "points of view".

In Europe there have been various men and a handfull of women who knew what was right for everbody. We call them dictators (leaders or visionaries when they are still running the show, in order to survive the ordeal)

The integral community (as far as I can see) is mainly a USA driven group. the USA is a group of people with 250 years of shared history. Europe some 2500 years and India/ China at least twice as much. My local footbal team has more cultural background. Why would the world accept a concept that comes from a country / consciousness that sounds pretty clever but has not proven yet to be able to grow into maturity? India has 20 times longer experience with running a democracy and they have never felt the need to conquer other countries or impose their language and concepts on the world at large.

As an example: On a Science and Spirituality meeting in Athens everybody got enthusiastic and wanted to write a manifesto to show the world the bright things that had come up during this lovely and heartwarming meeting of 4 days. These were mainly white university degree men running universities and institutions. After the question: "would it help to first ask blacks, latinos, women and children their opinion on what is good for the world" it became awfully silent. 

This community only has a future if it includes all humans as equally important in the decision making process, which means that you would have to reach out actively to people who don't have internet access, cell phones, cars etc...and listen to their ideas as if they matter. You (we) would have to give up the male-dominated positions and a lot more things. The imbalance in this world is largely due to over-valueing the male/ masculine line of thinking, both by politicians and spiritual people. Creating websites from a double-isolated, airconditioned house with energy saving lamps is a luxury 70% of the world population cannot affort and does not even see as desireable.

  • How do you see the global integral community making a positive contribution to a planetary revolution?

:) As in French revolution? Blood on the streets? Kill the kings and aristocrats so that we can be kings? Revolution means something is wrong and needs to be fixed. It says: "we know and you are less clever". Somehow it feels like 1st tier thinking. Harmony will be easier to achieve if we include all human beings and have leadership based on humility and serviceabilty. Having said this, the concepts themselves are very attractive, but it does need a group of wise women to check it for its long-term validity. Only when I feel included and loved, I am willing to consider the ideas of others as a positive contribution to my life and make the neccessary change or transformation. So... walk your talk, get rid of big cars and clever meetings, open a free vegetarian restaurant, a school, a hospital, a community building, an ashram, help your neighbours. They probably need your compassion more than your cleverness.

  • What do you see as your personal role, passion, or gift in co-creating a more beautiful, true, good, and just world for all?

Giving a more feminine angle to mens' meetings. (as a white western male)

Giving background support to spiritual groups run by women and (for a change) overvalue the feminine for a while. Promote the idea that it is time for men to be humble and let women decide.  Let go and let God...

My passion is in dancing. Highlighting the beauty in the person in front of you, make them feel loved and special and wonder at the harmony it creates. Leave them radiating and full of hope after only 5 or 10 minutes. Cooking a great yet simple meal with love.

 

  • What do you see as the future of integral community?
  1. ​"What, exactly, is integral  and if we have pigeon-holed ourselves, where pray is the exit?"  -Juma Wood. I woke this morning to this article in Beams and Struts - Unintegral - The Art of Untangling, the above is a leading quote.
  • This article speaks revealingly about my thoughts regarding integral as it is now, but also how we can imagine into the future.
  • "The light     for all time shall outspend       the thunder crack."
  • Keep spreading the light in all its forms.

 

  • How do you see the global integral community making a positive contribution to a planetary revolution?
  • 'The concept of Negative Capability is the ability to contemplate the world without the desire to try and reconcile contradictory aspects or fit it into closed and rational systems.'
  • "Negative Capability, a poetic term coined by John Keats, Williams’ literary hero, is, says Keats, the capacity
    to be in ‘uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason’. To live complete, at peace, in ambiguity, leaning in, to know. This he said was the locus of creativity. Emptiness as creative force."giving entirely everything. Naked before creation."
  •  The best available developmental research defines higher (or deeper) development in part by an increasing capacity to live, move, exist in increased ambiguity. While considering multiple perspectives. AND engaging transformative action. All together acrobatically.

 

This is a challenge that I find resonates with my understanding of "How life is".

To me, the work of Thomas Hubl demonstrates this practice.

  • What do you see as your personal role, passion, or gift in co-creating a more beautiful, true, good, and just world for all?
  • "If it finds you holding a broken heart the better. Finds you in Africa aiding the poor, amazing!
  • Finds you out there arms waving on stage, so be it.
  • Sends you enraged into old wounds, go there, bleed if it moves you.
  • Finds you ferreting out lifetimes on a couch, fine.
  • Have the temerity to try something different.
  • Generosity is all you have
  • your flesh and everything behind your eyes.
  • The act of sacrifice."
  • These words are taken from the Beams and Struts article written by Juma Wood. I could not have said it so well, but they are my thoughts too.