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Ken Wilber on Integral Naked - The Architecture of Growth
March 31, 2008 12:01

An Interview with Myriades 1. Part 4. The Architecture of Growth.

In an interview for Myriades 1, an Argentinean cultural magazine, Ken discusses the mechanics of individual and collective growth, the role of leadership in human development, and the recent disasters of American foreign policy....

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Who: Gaspar Segafredo, Editor-in-Chief of Myriades 1, an Argentinean cultural magazine with an integral approach.

Summary: It is becoming increasingly obvious to more and more people that the current state of humanity is simply unsustainable, causing more damage, fragmentation, and suffering than our world can possibly contain. During the 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conference, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore had the following to say about sustainable living in the 21st century:

"What's needed really is a higher level of consciousness—and it's hard to create, but it's coming. As the Africans say: if you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. We have to go far, quickly."

An elegant summation of where we are as a species, and where we need to go from here, phrased in such a way that nearly every participant in the conference would most likely agree with—at least on an intuitive level. But what does it all really mean? When addressing an issue as enormously complex as human growth and development, we must have access to a framework comprehensive enough to make sense of the entire dizzifying range of human experience—otherwise the more closely we look, the less clear the details tend to become. Without this sort of framework, we cannot even begin to unpack Gore's deceptively simple statement, which contains within it some very subtle—but deeply provocative—suppositions:

  • human growth exists, and is comprised of multiple levels of consciousness
  • our current levels of consciousness are not advanced enough to address our current problems
  • growth is difficult
  • growth is inevitable
  • we need to grow individually
  • we need to grow collectively

Fortunately, we do have a framework to make sense of each of these points, to connect the invisible dots of human knowledge, to literally pull ourselves together as a species and secure our place as stewards of this venerable and vulnerable planet. In this conversation, Ken rolls the blueprints of human development onto the table, exploring the architecture of conscious evolution. He offers an in-depth discussion of both individual and collective development, noting some of the symmetry that exists between these two different types of growth, while pointing out the crucial differences that often make growth and development such a complicated topic to approach. He also talks about how the Integral framework informs his own writing process, as he constantly finds new ways to communicate the Integral vision to a wider and wider audience. Finally, Ken and Gaspar explore the role of leadership in collective growth, applying many of the theoretical points they covered to real-world situations—most notably the legacy of American politics, the disasters of George W. Bush, and the impact that "First World" and "Third World" societies have upon each other.

Go far, go quickly, or go nowhere. This is the existential ultimatum we are now faced with—evolve or die—and only the Integral vision can offer us the tools we so vitally need to move into the next phase of evolutionary maturity. The integral model is the first such framework to accomplish this, truly accounting for every product of human ambition, every observation of the human mind, every yearning of the human soul—honoring every possible facet of the living jewel that lies at the heart of the human condition. Indeed, the Integral vision represents the future of evolution in this remote corner of the galaxy—and with every small step individuals take into integral consciousness, the more immanent mankind's next giant leap becomes.

Click here for full dialogue!

"The problem is this unilateral 'we've got it right, my way or the highway,' particularly in a world whose international mode of discourse is at the pluralistic level. To go down two levels and have the mode of discourse be amber/traditional is disastrous—and that's the concern with George Bush."

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