Integral Thinkers/Philosophers

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by lamplight, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. lamplight

    lamplight Member

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    Anyone else here interested in the integral movement?

    By this I mean the group that seeks a comprehensive understanding of humans and the universe by combining scientific and spiritual insights.

    Ken Wilber is one of its most well known thinkers, and his books are becoming more and more popular. I particularly like his quadrant systems, and the attempt to make "maps" to chart the evolution of consciousness.

    Maybe I was explaining myself too complicated here, but check out the wikipedia link if you need more info.

    Integral movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Would love to hear people's opinions on this topic, because I've discussed it with a number of my friends, and a great deal of them seem resistant and unwilling to really take the information seriously, calling it "New Age crap".
     
  2. ZOS23xy

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    It would be nice if people who pause to think about their actions and how the actions of others involve them.

    This would include government and religion, as the actions of these two make up the most useless sorts of back and forth tensions and fighting the world has today.
     
  3. Gonzo3

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    World wide dudes ,world wide
    ........... no its not new age crap, :smile:
     
  4. lamplight

    lamplight Member

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    Yes, I agree, of course.

    But the interesting thing is to look at the reasons for this.

    If one uses religion as an example:

    Many people say that religion is the cause of many/most of the worlds conflicts. Now some people, primarily atheists, would say that this is because religion and religious practice is inherently harmful and causes conflicts. These are just very broad generalisations, but what the atheists in this case are doing, is to create more conflict by saying that the whole religious enchilada is fundamentally flawed. And indeed perhaps all of spirituality. (This would be called scientific reductionism by some other people, BTW.)

    The integral movement strives to take all the wisdom that the different philosophical directions have to offer, and try not to pass judgement on any of them, in order to create a dialogue.

    Ken Wilber often says "Everybody is right." Now this just means that a human brain is not capable of producing 100% error, and every person on the planet has figured out at least SOMETHING right. What they try to do, is to look at patterns that repeat themselves, and use that to make a comprehensive map.

    Again, I find some of these things a bit complicated, especially when I try to explain it to others, but I hope it makes at least a slight amount of sense.
     
  5. D_Chaumbrelayne_Copprehead

    D_Chaumbrelayne_Copprehead Account Disabled

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    Hey, Lamplight, THANKS for starting this thread. Very interesting stuff. I'm going to have to spend more time reading about this. It puts into words something I've just been feeling for a while.

    Have a great day.
     
  6. JustAsking

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    I read the wiki article, but I still don't get it. I was interested in how one combines scientific and spiritual insights?
     
  7. Axcess

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    That's impossible empirism and faith can't be match by definition.
    Faith is believing in things that can't be perceived and empirism is studying the reality of things or phenomena that can be perceived by our senses .
     
  8. lamplight

    lamplight Member

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    Well that's where it becomes interesting... Because they use a quadrant system that defines different types of "truths". So empirism, or basic empirical proof lands in the "it" or "its" sections. The objective, scientific truths, located in the righthand side of the quadrants.

    On the left side you have the "I" truths. This is art, feelings, sensations, symbols etc.

    And finally the "WE" truths, which deals with ethics and sosiology, culture, etc. etc.
     
  9. JustAsking

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    David,
    I am not sure what you mean by "match". Its obvious that any given individual understands the world through any number of kinds of "truths" at the same time. We do relate to the world emotionally, symbolically, allegorically, mythologically, anecdotally, religiously, empirically, and who knows what others. In fact, empirical truth is the newcomer on the block, and mankind surivived thousands of years without it.

    Those categories make sense, but how does one apply it?
     
  10. lafever

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    I think wilber is right, i understand him totally, it's the rationalism and materialism that will destroy mankind.
    Integral-dealing with the body, mind, heart, and soul.
    Many have discused this and some have even written self help books on the subject.
    The most famous worldwide is probly the A.A. book written by Bill W. and Dr. BoB.
    The doctors opinion is very thought provoking. The doctors solution is based on a spiritual as well as an altrustic plane.

    Page xxv
    We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but its application presented difficulities beyond our conception. What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge.

    page xxvi
    We feel, after many years of experience, that we have found nothing which has contributed more to the rehabilitaion of these men than the altruistic movement now growing up among them.

    Pagexxvii
    After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again.
    This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.
    On the other hand-and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand-once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.
    Men have cried out to me in sincere and despairing appeal: "Doctor, I cannot go on like this! I have everything to live for! I must stop, but i cannot! You must help me!"
    Faced with this problem, if a doctor is honest with himself, he must sometimes feel his own inadequacy. Although he gives all that is in him, it often is not enough. One feels that something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change. Though the aggregate of recoveries resulting from psychiatric effort is considerable, we physicians must admit we have made little impression upon the problem as a whole. Many types do not respond to the ordinary psychological approach.
     
  11. lamplight

    lamplight Member

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    Well... here's where it becomes a bit more difficult. hehe... As I said, I'm absolutely no expert, but what it means to be "integrally informed", is to always take the 4 different quadrants into account when dealing with ordinary life experiences. So there's the good, the true and the beautiful (which are three of the quadrants. We, It, I.)

    So, in integral medicine, for example, one would take all of these factors into account. What is the empirical evidence that this will work, what are the ethical implications, how will the person feel and experience the treatment. This is of course a bit over simplified, but just to make an example.

    The goal, I think, is to expand your consciousness and understanding of consciousness to as high a level as you can. He even has developmental levels like this:

    level 1. Archaic
    level 2. Mythic
    level 3. Magic
    level 4. Traditional (these are the people who believe the bible is the exact word of god and should be taken literally.)
    level 5. modern
    level 6. post-modern (these are the baby boomers, I think.)
    level 7. Integral.

    pheew... :redface:
     
  12. JustAsking

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    By the way, I am not being antagonistic here. I am in total agreement that truth comes in many forms and in many states of mind. My problem is that except for empirical truth, I don't know how to evaluate any other kind of truth. Its a question I have been thinking about for years, especially as a person of faith. So, yes, truth comes in many forms and in many states of mind, but so do delusions. There is my problem.

    How do you separate out the "woo woo" of any crackpot's notion of ""spiritual vibrational planes" and "life force dimentions" from true wisdom imparted from God, the universe, or life, if there is no way to verify it. If there is a way to verify it, then it is, by definition, empirical truth.

    So my compaints below are simply a sincere attempt at answering my lifelong question.

    lavever,
    I am familiar with Dr. Bob, AA, and The Big Book. I live only a few miles away from where it all began in Akron, Ohio. I have a dear friend who has been going to AA for quite a while, and I have accompanied her to meetings and read the Big Book. I am totally convinced that AA is one of the most effective techniques for fighting alcohol addiction.

    However, I don't see why AA is not an empirical technique. For example, can the success rate of remission for the AA technique can easily be measured to be superior to other forms of therapy? If so, then it is a practice that has been empirically proven to be superior.

    Secondly, although the Big Book talks about a higher power, the actual practice of the BB is a human communal one. In other words, would prayer alone be as effective without meetings and the other secular steps in the process? And, could an atheist still benefit from the AA process if he followed it without belief in a higher power?

    Finally, as a Lutheran, I would readily believe that God's influence on us is mediated by other humans in community, and not directly. But ask me to separate out the influence of a community and God's influence through the community and I would not have a clue.

    Dr. Bob developed the AA technique in the 1950s, before the great advances of such highly effective techniques as Behavioral Cognitive Therapy. His argument is based on a rejection of the state of the art of psychology in the 50s, but that doesn't prove that what he invented was not a form of therapy. I maintain that AA is a kind of Group Cognitive Therapy.

    The piece of your posting from the Big Book that I quoted above could easily have been applied to depression and anxiety in the 1950s. These days, the success rate for treating depression using drugs and modern therapy is higher than any other kind of treatment, be it medical, non-medical, or religious.

    Your use of Dr. Bob's complaint about psychology in the 1950s is an "appeal to ignorance" which is not a valid way to falsify a notion. It is equivalent to saying that since we don't yet have a vaccine for the common cold, all vaccines are bogus.

    I can't argue that there are all kinds of states of mind, besides reason and empiricism. And I totally agree that truth comes to us in all manner of forms. What you just quoted, though, doesn't sound like anything more than just good advice. For example, who would advise a doctor to ignore the emotional state of a patient either before or after treatment? Yes, it is true that medical doctors are not very good at that, but this is changing very fast as practices improve.

    The problem with the Integral stuff so far is that I still haven't seen how to apply it. For example, it would seem that Integral Thinking would suggest that an oncologist urge his cancer patient to think positive because a positive state of mind will influence the success rate of the chemotherapy. But studies have shown that this approach can often be counterproductive, since when any setbacks occur, the patient is extremely disappointed and tends to blame it on his own inability to think positive properly.

    So how does Integral Thinking actually inform a doctor better than the various medical studies that are done about the emotional states of patients and their affect on their cures?
     
  13. ZOS23xy

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    The possibility (mostly overlooked) are the borders where faith and science can at least touch upon issues. Areas where morality and science have gone hand in hand (such as medicine) are seen so clearly, but not seen as a piece of the overall big picture.

    Responsibilities and common sense with religious leaders and government are never seen as happening. It doesn't mean that the separation of church and state are voided, but can instruct one another for a common goal.
     
  14. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    I agree fully.
    I have tried to get my mind around Ken Wilbur's thinking, but I've always found, as soon as I put the book down, that it all evaporates.
     
  15. lamplight

    lamplight Member

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    Well, I understand what you mean... But i genuinely think that he has a map to bring to the table. All you have to do is use it actively for it to stick.

    And I know it has helped me a great deal in maturing a lot during the last year. Though I really can't wrap my head around it yet. I'm only 24, so I'm gonna give myself some slack... hehe...

    But I'm sure if we all put our heads together, we could come up with something helpful in this thread. :biggrin1:
     
  16. JustAsking

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    Ok, lets get to it!
     
  17. DC_DEEP

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    Ah, there's the whole crux of the matter, right? Usually, that boils down to "Oh, that's easy - my belief is the true one, yours is the false one." How messed up would a person have to be to believe something he knew (or even suspected) to be false? Could that even be a belief? Of course, I mean discounting people who intentionally lie about what they believe (as in the case of politicians and attorneys).
     
  18. swordfishME

    swordfishME Member

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    I was not aware of this movement. It is very interesting, trying to combine religion with science. That is the way to make progress in today's world
     
  19. JustAsking

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    Or is it a way to roll the clock back to pre-Enlightenment days? I am definitely one to argue for post-modernism. I just don't actually know how to apply it to science or to public policy.
     
  20. Axcess

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    I was replying of one of your posts that you say that you are interested in how faith and science truths can be combined. 2 basics types of truths exists : absolutes truths ( the ones that science are trying to find and study , the nature of the phenomena that are around us and relative truths ( those type of truths emotionally , symbolically . allegorically , religiously , anecdotally etc )
    Science is TRYING TO FIND ABSOLUTES truths but that is very hard because all science studies can't be done without some biases. Truths that are based on faith are really relative truths , not matter how hard some religions claim that their truths are absolute. Science and religion are really different of the method to finding truths . Science is based on investigation or research to find a " truth" and the "truths " of religion are based on "divine " revelations.
     
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