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My changing thoughts on Integral philosophy

Beginning in 2004 I became interested in the Integral Community. Reading Wilber's material motivated me to present my ideas in a more systematic manner, the result being this early version (May 2005) of an esoteric Integral Paradigm, being the synthesis of esotericism with the Integral Approach

Around 2006-2007 I wrote a lot on Integral Philosophy, both on my website, for Frank Visser's Wilberian external link Integral World forum, on several blog and online forums, and on Wikipedia.

My first essay on Integral World was Towards a Larger Definition of the Integral - An Aurobindonian vision and a critique of the Wilberian paradigm my essay in four parts - external link part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

This very systematic wiork was followed by the rather rambling Integral Esotericism an essay in eight parts - external link part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, and part 8, on Integral World

See also the thoughtful reply (from a quasi-wilberian? perspective) to part 1 of the above essay at Indistinct Union (Chris Dierkes); blogosphere esoteric integralism pt1, esoteric integralism pt2

Some of this material will be incorporated into the Gnostic Metaphysics stage. Also my book, when it is finished, will cover these topics. Nevertheless, in these pages and essays there was the early form of my current thought on these matters.

In early to mid 2009, and especiallly June-July 2009, my understanding of Integral Philosophy and my own Integral Paradigm has changed dramatically. I also now reject the term "Integral Movement", which I used a lot in the past. Indeed, I coined and popularized the term during the period 2006 to 2007. But I now refer to the Integral Paradigm or the Integral Approach (thanks to the Wilber folks for the very useful neutral term), or sometimes Integral philosophy, emphasizing that it is not yet a Movement, although it may well develop into one over the next decade or so. Instead of "Integral Movement" I now say "Integral Community", using the term to refer to what external link I had previously called "The Integral Movement strictu senso"; i.e. a form of postmaterialistic secular spirituality inspired or influenced by the work of Ken Wilber (regardless of whether its proponents still support Wilber (Wilberians) or have since developed their own ideas (Post-Wilberians))

Ironically, even though I now no longer use the term "Integral Movement" (although it will still be found on this site until I've revised all the pages!) it has taken on a life of its own, as these things tend to do, so that even the Wikipedia link Wikipedia page on the subject is called "Integral Movement" (I regret voting for this at the time, but when I more recently suggested renaming the page "Integral (concept)" there was a mixture of lack of interst and resistance, so *shrug* they can have it their way.

Nevertheless, I can fully believe that an "integral movement" may yet emerge, as more and more people adopt the word "integral" to refer to an all-inclusive evolutionary spirituality. So from this point of view if I pre-empted the phenomenon it is not necessarily a bad thing. Hopefully my own book, when it is finsihed and published, will contribute to this process

For now (2009) however, the word "integral" is still used in a confused sense to refer to two very different perspectives and realizations: Postmaterialism, which is non-gnostic but represents an emerging stage in social evolution, and divinisation, which involves a profound transmutation of the individual and of the world.

These two are so different that it would be pointless to even talk about them together, were it not for the fact that the Postmaterialistic integralists (the current Integral Community) were inspired by and shared at least two aspects of Sri Aurobindo's teaching (Sri Aurobindo being one of the three yogis of Integral divinisation, the other two being Mirra and Ramalingam), to wit:

  1. an Evolutionary, rather than a static, approach to consciousness, spirituality and Enlightenment, and
  2. a universalist approach of including and synthesizing all alternatives.

Apart from these few but important similarities, Integral divinisation involves many insights and implications that are incomprehensible to Postmaterialistic integralists, such as for example Supramentalization.

In addition, because postmaterialistic integralists also accept certain premises of postmodernism, they are duty-bound to reject metaphysics and occultism. Therefore, any worldview they might have would be limited in these respects.

Currently, my work is primarily of the tradition and teachings of Ramalinga, Sri Aurobindo, Mirra; my book in progress adopts a gnostic perspective.

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 2 August 2009