INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Dr. Joseph Dillard is a psychotherapist with over forty year’s clinical experience treating individual, couple, and family issues. Dr. Dillard also has extensive experience with pain management and meditation training. The creator of Integral Deep Listening (IDL), Dr. Dillard is the author of over ten books on IDL, dreaming, nightmares, and meditation. He lives in Berlin, Germany. See: integraldeeplistening.com
Just How Moral Are Integralists?
Eric Weinstein’s 4 Quadrant Model
An integral True Believer is someone who not only agrees with Wilber’s description of integral AQAL, but uses it to identify their own level of development. Beyond that, they vigorously defend that self-definition as late personal or 2nd Tier. There are soft and hard varieties of this game. The soft players simply accept AQAL definitions of their level of development for themselves and worship at the Church of Integral AQAL. The hard variety of Integral True Believer vilifies their opponents and casts them, as Troglodytes, into the outer darkness of the lower left quadrant. Instead of offering arguments, they name-call or summarily dismiss the arguments of others as “not serious,” or not worthy of their time and interest. If you hang out on integral blogs for very long you will run into this type rather quickly. We see this position in Wilber himself in his unwillingness to engage in the various challenges to his model raised by a variety of voices within the integral community, many of them represented on Frank Visser’s IntegralWorld.Net website.
Integral True Believers can also be detected by their promotion of consciousness, intention, and interior quadrant realities over behavior, interactional, social, and exterior quadrant realities. Consciousness is causative and prior; the exterior and collective are downstream products of interior states and stage development. This position is generally denied, as when Wilber makes the case that consciousness is a property of all four quadrants, but in fact, it is indeed the priority for Integral True Believers, as demonstrated by an unwillingness to let go of the metaphysical language of consciousness: spirit, God, and soul. These proclaim a fundamental True Believer dogmatic investment in the idealism of Weinstein’s upper right quadrant and Wilber’s upper left quadrant of interior individual intention. This bias is invisible to integralist True Believers, who are convinced they are rational, skeptical, and objective, and point to their multi-perspectivalism to prove it. Again, in relationship to most people, they are indeed, and in that regard, their position is a vast improvement over non-world-centric world views. However, within the integral community itself, and within the broader community of spiritual elitists, they are True Believers, convinced of their moral rectitude in addition to the righteousness of their cause. Certainly, that is how they appear to the unwashed 95% of the global population.
There are, of course, many other categories of True Believer who are not integralists, for example, believers in feminism, like Cathy Newman. The “hard” variety of such non-integral True Believers will attempt to turn all integralists into Troglodytes by insisting they are misogynists or because they are not believers in this or that religious mythology or pet philosophical position. These people are not interested in having a serious discussion with integralists because they are certain they are Troglodytes.
Integral Opportunists are those who are more interested in advancing their world view than in morality. The incentive is rarely monetary or for power, but is essentially one of status. This position says, “I am a superior integralist because my world view is superior to yours.” Both True Believers and Opportunists take this position, but Opportunists are more driven by the desire to be recognized for the brilliance of their contributions to the integral debate. If you are active in the integral community, you know who these people are. If you are not, but are active in the broader realm of spiritual development, you will recognize this personality type. The “Evolutionaries” who signed the Robbie Mook petition in support of the candidacy of Hillary Clinton put themselves in this position by declaring a personal commitment to a cause they viewed as just and noble but which was not. Instead, largely unknown to them, they were simply making a status statement while demonstrating their lack of commitment to any objective measurement of morality. This statement is based on the well-known factual record that Clinton personally ordered illegal drone murders as Secretary of State, broke Federal regulations regarding privacy of records that would land you or me in jail, planned and carried out the illegal invasion and destruction of Libya and rejoiced at the brutal murder of its leader by US-funded and supported terrorists. Clinton also supported the arming and funding of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and planned the overthrow of the democratically elected government of the Ukraine. These are all well-documented, well-known facts, conveniently ignored by the glitterati of the spiritual and “self-help” “evolutionary” opinion leaders of our day and age. These people no doubt would place themselves in the upper left “skeptical” category, but in fact they are Opportunists, at least on this issue, of central importance to the fate of the US and the world.
Integral “Troglodytes” are integralists who are placed in the lower left quadrant of no morality or investment in a worthy cause. These are people who understand integral AQAL and adopt its world-centric multi-perspectivalism, but who disagree in ways that are both important and threatening to True Believers and Opportunists. They would certainly place me in the troglodytic category, an amusing indictment of their own blindness. If you go on various integral blogs, you will not find the branding of others as Troglodytes to be a rare occurrence. Those who do not agree with some integral article of faith are often dismissed by some True Believer or Opportunistic integralist as “not serious,” “ignorant,” or simply as an exemplar of ethnocentrism, tribalism, or, at best, the shadow of late personal “green.” Such labeling is an elitist dismissal that will suffice when the ability to provide a rational argument is unavailable. Labeling is itself a cognitive distortion which identifies its users as pre-rational at that time and in that instance, as they are using emotionally-based, irrational cognitive biases and logical fallacies to attack others in order to maintain their own smug sense of complacent security in the validity of their own world view.
Integral Skeptics are the most complicated of these four groups. They are pains in the asses of integral True Believers and Opportunists. Integral Skeptics doubt the broadly given narrative of integral AQAL in one or more core or key point. They are heretics, generally permitted or placated by integral True Believers and Opportunists, while they attempt to win the Skeptic over to their position, so as to validate their own world view. As soon as it becomes clear that a Skeptic will not be won over, he or she is dismissed as “not serious” at best, and as Troglodytes at worst.
A different type of Integral Skeptic, those who are skeptical just because of a reflexive distrust of everything and everybody, are indeed pains in the ass. While they serve a good function in that they force questioning, they are not a constructive force. They have little interest in this or that positive cause or issue of concern to the integral community, and therefore offer nothing useful. However, their intention is still not malicious and is more virtuous than not.
Such skeptics are to be distinguished from virtuous Skeptics, who score high on the moral y axis but who remain highly dubious considering the interest or cause at hand. They may agree with the intent of the cause, but believe it is simplistic or incapable of solving the problems it attempts to address. These people are generally very good and important for integral and for human development in general, but they are rarely differentiated by integral True Believers and Opportunists from obnoxious and unhelpful Skeptics. The result is that the baby generally gets thrown out with the bathwater, and both varieties of Skeptic are consigned to Troglodyte status. Of those that I know in the Integral community, I place Bruce Alderman, Heather Fester, Frank Visser, Mark Edwards, Bonnitta Roy, Brian O’Doherty, and Eric Peirce in the healthy Skeptic category, with Eric definitely at the pain in the ass end of the healthy Skeptic continuum. The point is that there are a good number of talented, committed integralists who have not succumbed to the Kohlberg-Wilber Effect.
The reductionism and dismissal pursued by integral True Believers and Opportunists is a statement of elitism due to the Kohlberg-Wilber Effect. In the case of True Believers, the elitism is based on certainty regarding a world view, a just cause, and moral integrity: “If we can just get enough people to 2nd Tier, we will transform the world into an integral utopia.” The elitism of integral Opportunists is based on belief in a more clever survival strategy. These people are sure they understand integral, and they use integral, public boards, and integralists to pursue their own agenda, generally one of cultivating their own status. Both Opportunists and True Believers lose because they discount voices within integral they need in order to see through and transcend the limitations inherent in their self-imposed elitist status. Integral itself and human development as a whole also lose because integral discounts non-elitist positions in order to preserve the superiority of its own world view. These are products of the Kohlberg-Wilber Effect.
 Eric Weinstein's 4-quadrant model. www.theknifemedia.com, February 1, 2018
 Integral Deep Listening is a psychospiritual technology for developing waking and dreaming lucidity developed by the author. See IntegralDeepListening.Com.
 The Kohlberg-Wilber Effect is the topic of another chapter of the book from which this essay is taken, Integral Ethics. It states that due to a confounding of moral judgment with moral behavior, integralists and spiritual elitists in general badly over-estimate the level of their moral development.
 Channel 4, UK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcjxSThD54
 The justification of these “evolutionaries” in Robbie Mook's petition was basically that Hillary Clinton was more moral than Donald Trump. This is indicated when they say, “…we feel that Donald Trump has not appealed to our better nature…” The implication is that Donald Trump is either amoral or immoral while Hillary Clinton is moral. But then, what is required is an explanation of how immoral actions of Clinton, while holding public offices of Senator and Secretary of State, “appeal to our better nature.” Clearly, these are overlooked, apparently out of fear or abject terror at the possibility of a worse choice (Trump) getting elected.
Did these “evolutionaries” support Clinton? Absolutely. The petition reads, “In publicly voicing our clear support for her candidacy…” Any attempt to waffle, excuse, or backtrack on their support by these people is not supported by their signed statement. The obvious intent of this petition was to use the credibility of these individuals to convince wavering voters to vote for Hillary Clinton. Here is a list of the 100 integral, new age, cultural creative and “spiritual” luminaries that announced their endorsement of Clinton. (Since the original list, more were added, for a total of 2115.) It's quite the list:
1. Stephen Dinan, CEO, The Shift Network; author, Sacred America, Sacred World
2. Devaa Haley Mitchell, co-founder, The Shift Network
3. Marianne Williamson, author, Tears to Triumph
4. Jack Canfield, author, The Success Principles
5. Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D. , author, The Millionth Circle
6. Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit
7. Ram Dass, author, Be Here Now
8. Chip Conley, hospitality entrepreneur, bestselling author of Peak
9. Jean Houston, author, The Possible Human
10. Robert Thurman, author, The Essential Tibetan Buddhism
11. John Robbins, author, Diet for a New America
12. Jack Kornfield, author, A Path with Heart
13. Michael Singer, author, The Untethered Soul
14. Shiva Rea, founder, Global School for Living Yoga
15. Larry Dossey, MD, Author, One Mind
16. Marci Shimoff, author, Happy for No Reason
17. Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness is an Inside Job
18. Gay Hendricks, author, The Big Leap
19. Kathlyn Hendricks, co-author, Conscious Loving Ever After
20. Craig Hamilton, CEO, Evolving Wisdom
21. Claire Zammit, founder, Feminine Power
22. Lissa Rankin, MD, author of Mind Over Medicine
23. Tami Simon, CEO, Sounds True
24. Dr. Stanislav Grof, author, Beyond the Brain
25. Deborah Rozman, CEO, HeartMath Inc. , author, Heart Intelligence
26. Howard Martin, co-author, The HeartMath Solution
27. Rinaldo Brutoco, CEO, The ShangriLa Group
28. Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs, spiritual leader, poet, global peace activist
29. Rabbi David Ingber, founder and spiritual director, Romemu
30. Donna Eden, author, Energy Medicine
31. David Feinstein, co-author, The Energies of Love
32. Michael Dowd, author, Thank God for Evolution
33. Anodea Judith, author, Wheels of Life
34. Gangaji, author, Hidden Treasure
35. J. Manuel Herrera, Silicon Valley elected official
36. Bo Rinaldi, visionary talent agent and angel investor
37. Terry Patten, co-author, Integral Life Practice
38. Marcia Wieder, CEO, Dream University
39. Corinne McLaughlin, co-author, Spiritual Politics
40. Gordon Davidson, co-author, Spiritual Politics
41. Steve McIntosh, author, The Presence of the Infinite
42. Carter Phipps, author, Evolutionaries
43. Ocean Robbins, CEO, The Food Revolution
44. Dan Millman, author
45. Cassandra Vieten, co-author, Living Deeply
46. Azim Khamisa, author, peace activist
47. Sadhvi Bhagawati, managing editor, Encyclopedia of Hinduism
48. Olivia Hansen, president, Spiritual Life TV Channel
49. Connie Buffalo, president, The Renaissance Project
50. Sandra Ingerman, author, Soul Retrieval
51. Patricia Albere, founder, Evolutionary Collective
52. Derek Rydall, author, Emergence
53. Jan Philips, author, The Art of Original Thinking
54. Margaret Paul, author, Inner Bonding
55. David Gershon, author, Social Change 2. 0
56. Derrick N. Ashong, Founder & CEO, Amp. it
57. Dr. Nina Meyerhof, author, Pioneering Spiritual Activism
58. Shelley Lefkoe, co-founder of the Lefkoe Institute
59. DC Cordova, CEO, Excellerated Business Schools for Entrepreneurs
60. Lisa Schrader, author, Kama Sutra 52
61. Kurt Johnson, author, The Coming Interspiritual Age
62. Daniel Stone, principal, Making Change Real
63. Lion Goodman, CEO, Luminary Leadership Institute
64. Steve Bhaerman, author, Spontaneous Evolution
65. Elisabet Sahtouris, Gaia's Dance
66. Marc Allen, president and publisher, New World Library, author
67. H. E. Rev. Patrick McCollum, global peacebuilder
68. Dr. Sue Morter, founder, Morter Institute for BioEnergetics
69. Carista Luminare, president, Luminary Leadership Institute
70. Rev. angel Kyodo williams, author, Being Black
71. Debra Poneman, founder, Yes to Succes Seminars
72. Rev. Marcia L. Dyson, founder, Women's Global Initiative
73. Ken Page, author, Deeper Dating
74. Dawson Church, author, The Genie in Your Genes
75. Brian Burt, CEO, MaestroConference
76. Avon Mattison, global peacebuiler
77. Sera Beak, author, Red, Hot & Holy
78. Dr. Effie Chow, Qigong Grandmaster
79. Philip M. Hellmich, author, God and Conflict
80. Scott Coady, founder, Institute for Embodied Wisdom
81. Pete Bissonette, president, Learning Strategies
82. Zen Cryar DeBrucke, author, Your Inner GPS
83. David Nicol, author, Subtle Activism
84. Saniel Bonder, Author, Healing the Spirit/Matter Split
85. Dr. Rick Levy, president, The Levy Center for Mind-Body Medicine
86. Bill Kauth, author, A Circle of Men
87. Rob Evans, author, The Collaboration Code series
88. Carolyn Buck Luce, author, Reimagining Healthcare
89. Lisa Garr, author, Becoming Aware, Host of the Aware Show
90. George Cappannelli, CEO, AgeNation
91. Raz Ingrasci, Chairman, Hoffman Institute International
92. Jim Garrison, CEO, Ubiquity University
93. Cynthia James, author, I Choose Me
94. Noah Levine, author, Dharma Punx
95. Mirabai Starr, author, Caravan of No Despair
96. Rob Fisher, author, Experiential Psychotherapy with Couples
97. Manuela Mischke-Reeds, author, 8 Keys to Practicing Mindfulness
98. Dawa Tarchin Phillips, author, CEO, Empowerment Holdings
99. Stuart Davis, artist
100. Gayle Rose, CEO, EVS Corporation
 Priyadarshi, M. , Hillary Clinton Email Probe Update: Clinton Approved Drone Attacks That Killed Hundreds Of Civilians Using Her Cellphone. Inquisitr. com. June 11, 2016.
 Dilanian, K. Clinton broke Federal Rules with Email server, audit finds. nbcnews. com. May 25, 2016.
 Paylich, K. No classified information? Hillary Clinton planned Libya no-fly zone through personal email. Townhall. com. June 18, 2015.
 YouTube: Hillary Clinton: “We came, we saw, he died. ”
 Walia, A. , Wikileaks exposes Hillary Clinton's ties to ISIS supporters & the war on terror. Collective-evolutioncom. August 4, 2016.
 Zuesse, E. Hillary Clinton's six foreign-policy catastrophes. Washingtonsblog. com. Feb. 21, 2016.
 This is not an off-handed endorsement of Trump, who is every bit as morally compromised as Clinton. The problem was that good people got caught in a false choicebetween Pepsi and Coke. The only rational choice is to drink neither. One can do that by 1) not voting, which is to not endorse a rigged system at all, or 2) to vote for a third party candidate.