My favorite quadrant of the Integral matrix is the upper left. This quadrant is the conscious subjective of the individual interior or the “I” of the matrix. This is where personality type, gender types, altered states, normal states, phenomenal states, cognitive awareness, emotional access, interpersonal skills, psychosexual expression and spiritual experiences reside. (Esbjörn-Hargens)
My spiritual experiences are probably why I love the upper left the most as those experiences have the most meaning for me and inform everything else I do as an individual. Integral verifies this happens to everyone as it proposes that each quadrant has an effect on the others whether it be conscious or unconscious. (Esbjörn-Hargens)
My favorite spiritual practice is “ecstatic dance” as there is something about moving the physical body which also moves whatever is stuck which is able to rise to consciousness whether it be some type of creative solution or other “ah ha’s” that may arise. Every once in a while, if I’m lucky, I enter an altered state where instead of me doing the dance I am able to rest in the state of being danced. It feels like heaven and I call it a “dancegasm”!
Do you have something similar that happens to you that is generated from the upper left?
Before you start thinking I’m about to expound on some horror movie or equivalent such as the “thing” let me explain. One of the reasons why Integral is important to Futures is because with this perspective it makes inclusion of the “other” a priority. In order to cover all the bases of the Integral map or framework, the “other” must at least be considered. That does not mean the “other” may have all the truth, but it may have some or parts of the truth which give a fuller, more comprehensive picture of whatever Futures angle is being explored.
The main two reasons why I respect the Integral framework so much is because it includes the subjective but also because it has a “shadow” component to it that most models do not have. Carl Jung said that whenever an individual has an emotional charge either positive or negative to another individual s behavior, it may be because of disowned parts of themselves that are projected on to others. An example of that would be when an individual who is clearly angry is denying their anger and accusing others of possessing the anger.
So not only does Integral make a Futures endeavor more (w)holistic, but it also is attentive in making sure it is psychologically developmentally healthy, which is always something worthy in my opinion. How about you?
Integral Futures is an approach to Futures that uses Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory as its framework. Integral Theory containsa holistic, four-quadrantmodel that explores the interior (intentional) and the exterior (behavioral) of the individual and the interior (cultural) and the exterior (system or social) of the communal or collective. (Wilber, 1996)
Integral theory tells us that reality arises in the presence of and through the consciousness and experiences of individuals and collectives which can then be observed through behavior, science, nature and social systems. What distinguishes Integral is that it considers the subjective experience and integrates it along with the objective, intersubjective, and the interobjective. The effects of one quadrant affect the others and a balance of all four quadrants will contribute to the health of the individual and or the collective. Because of the inclusiveness nature of this theory, practitioners have a framework that is meta- or at a higher level that will not reduce or collapse the interior experience of individuals and collectives into the exterior realm (reductionism). All perspectives are taken into consideration. This will not create integral but will guide and track integral attempts by its practitioners. (Esbjorn-Hargens, 2009)
It is my intention to share with you my thoughts on what is happening in the world of Futures and Integral and Integral Futures specifically. I would love to collaborate with you so feel free to contact me with any thoughts to expand or disagree. Thanks for joining me on my journey.
Wilber, K. (1996) A Brief History of Everything, Shambala, Boston & London
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