November 29, 2006 07:03

Ken Wilber's long-awaited material on Integral Politics (theory and practice) is being made available here for the first time.  Starting today, and in three installments over the next week, we will be posting the first drafts of three chapters from his work-in-progress, The Many Faces of Terrorism.  

The Many Faces of Terrorism is a nonfiction novel (actually, a trilogy of novels), a follow-up to Boomeritis.  It is set three years after Boomeritis, and involves the continuing exploits of the staff of Integral Center, in Cambridge, Mass. (Of course, this is all loosely based on Integral Institute, but only loosely.)  Rumors have been circulating for months that IC has discovered "the Code," although exactly what the Code is remains unclear--it is rumored to be everything from further DNA programs to the secret of absolutely everything. 

What you and I might expect, of course, is that "the Code" is really the AQAL code, and we would be right.  But one of the brilliant things about The Many Faces of Terrorism is that it is written on two levels with two plot lines: one plot for those who know absolutely nothing about Integral Theory or about AQAL, and one for those who do (with the two plots coming together as the book educates the former group).  For the former, the plot line involves the discovery of AQAL and what AQAL means; but for the latter, the plot line involves, as one character puts it, "It's not about AQAL.  AQAL has been around for several years.  It's about what the computer future scenarios using AQAL are showing."  Because what those future scenarios show is that, at a date 30 years from now, an unimaginably world‑altering event occurs.  It is the nature of that "something unheard of" that is the focus of the plot.

The Many Faces of Terrorism is actually a trilogy of books, as indicated, with each book, to be published separately, being around 450 pages long.  Book I is the introductory material.  Book II lays out a theory of Integral Politics.  Book III is an extensive discussion of the role of religion in themodern and postmodern world, with an emphasis on the conveyor belt.  More importantly, none of these are merely theoretical; they contain extensive discussions of real-world politics and events, at home and abroad (including terrorism--its nature, cause, and "cure"; presidential politics; the key to a second-tier political campaign strategy; the role of a future World Federation, etc.).  This is the first in-depth discussion and commentary on the world by the world's foremost integral thinker.

As Book I begins, and readers are introduced to the main characters, the dual-plot structure begins to unfold.  But what both plots have in common are the computer future scenarios that Integral Center has been running for several years.  It is well-known that the computer programs that attempt to predict future scenarios are today a mess; they can't even predict the present accurately.  That is, if you take data from a year or two ago and feed it to these programs, they can't even predict the present.  The book suggests that the main reason for this is not the programs themselves but the human psychology models that these programs use, all of which are thoroughly flat-land psychological models.  They assume that human beings are all driven by a single human motivation--perhaps rational self-interest, or survival drives, or pleasure-seeking, and so on.  None of those models have any vertical depth (or altitude)--not to mention that none of them are anywhere integral--and thus it is no surprise that they can't even predict the present.

What Integral Center did was plug AQAL into the most sophisticated computer future scenarios available, and the shocking results are the core of the plot.

The following chapters are from Book II, Integral Politics.  Not all of this material will make complete sense, of course, without reading the rest of the trilogy, particularly the chapters that come before these.  Further, this is the first rough draft, as will become obvious from various items, such as charts and figures that are not yet included.  But Ken's first drafts are notoriously close to complete as they are written, so a good deal of this should be very clear.

But these are a riveting glimpse into the long-awaited response to today's fragmented world situation, from the most inclusive thinker alive.  Look for Integral Institute's membership magazine--AQAL Journal--for further material.  This is the first truly Integral journal anywhere; over 100 scholars wrote over 2000 pages of new material devoted exclusively to an integral or AQAL perspective in each of our 19 centers of discussion.  To date, 2 volumes (with 6 issues) have been offered. (To subscribe, click here.)

Oh, by the way.  The following chapter (Chap. 11), the first of three to be posted, does not actually deal with Integral Politics itself, but is simply the first chapter that very briefly outlines the AQAL Code.  This is included for those who will be coming to this site hungry for Integral Politics but unfamiliar with AQAL.  Those of you who know AQAL will find nothing new in this chapter, except the humor and the fun and some of the important plot lines.  But the next two chapters to be posted give a very succinct summary and overview of the theory of Integral Politics itself, chapters that are beautiful and profound in their delivery.  Please check back on this site tomorrow for these exciting additions.  

                                                             --The Editors

(To check out Part 2 of Integral Politics, click here, and the long-awaited Part 3, click here)


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