Foreword to Sex, God, and Rock and Roll by Stuart Davis
June 12, 2008 09:36

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Sex, God, and Rock and Roll
by Stuart Davis
Foreword by Ken Wilber

Stuart Davis is an amazing being—a genius songwriter, extraordinary singer, gifted actor, wild rock star as well as devoted family man, and, central to all of that, an advocate of Integral thought and practice.

What is “Integral”?  It simply means whole, complete, full, all-inclusive.  It is both a theory and the basis of a life practice.  It demonstrates how to integrate and include body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature.  This means acting so as to find your entire life to be full and complete, a life that “makes room for everything,” from wild rock star to devoted family man, from bodily pursuits to spiritual practice, from nature worship to meditation, from business practices to play and fun.  Nothing is excluded, nothing is left out, nothing is denied, in a life that is truly and genuinely Integral.

So this is Stuart’s story of his search for, and finding, an Integral life.  It focuses on his life as a rock star and then, more recently, a devoted husband and father—and how he could find room for all of that using an Integral approach.  This is truly a story of how to include and integrate the body and the mind and the spirit in self and in culture and in nature—how to “make room for everything” and to become One with the All.  Only with an Integral approach can one truly bring together “sex, God, rock and roll.”    

The core of Integral theory is a Framework that includes the fundamental elements of a unified worldview or a unified Map of reality.  This super-Holistic Map includes 5 major elements (which you don’t have to worry about now, although I will briefly introduce them), known as “quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types.”  Quadrants refers to the four basic dimensions of any event—namely, the views from the inside and outside of the singular and the collective.  In any given moment, for example, you have an awareness or view from your own inside (the subjective or “I” dimension), a view of the outside (the objective or “it” dimension), any number of collective interior views (such as shared cultural values, the “we” dimension), and any number of exterior systems (such as the economic and ecological systems, the “its” dimension).  In order to take a full and complete view of any situation—including your own life—you need to include the views from all 4 of those dimensions or quadrants.  Leaving any of them out gives you a fragmented, partial, and broken view.

Likewise with lines—which are developmental lines or multiple intelligences.  Everybody has numerous developmental lines or intelligences (e.g. cognitive intelligence, moral intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, spiritual intelligence, etc.), and taking these into account is also necessary if you are to have a full and complete view of your life and your life’s direction.  These lines grow and develop from low to medium to high—in other words, these developmental lines proceed through various developmental levels.  One version of these altitude levels is archaic, magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, integral, and super-integral, with each level “transcending and including” its predecessor.  Each level has a different view of the world (or worldview), and being aware of these worldviews allows one to include them consciously in one’s awareness, and thus not leave any of them out of consideration.  Notice that the entire “culture wars” in this country right now is basically a war of 3 of these major levels (mythic-traditional-fundamentalist, modern-rational-scientific, and postmodern-pluralistic-relativistic), and only with an Integral perspective can all of these different values be seen and appreciated for what they are, thus replacing culture wars with culture harmony.

In addition to those levels or structures of consciousness, there are states of consciousness—such as waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and ever-present nondual.  These states are particularly explored in disciplines such as meditation and contemplation, where states of illumination, bliss, timelessness (the pure Present or timeless Now) are consciously explored.  Taking into account states is thus another crucial issue for a complete and whole view of you and your life.

Finally, types refers to items such a male and female.  Evidence continues to suggest that although male and female types share many features, they also differ in many features, and finding an appreciation for both male and female features—in yourself and in others—is yet another item that must be included for an Integral view.

So what follows is the story of how one person used this Integral framework to find his own value, purpose, and meaning in life.  Precisely because the Integral Map includes and “makes room for everything,” this realization meant including all the features of Stuart’s life, and not rejecting any of them.  But when all the elements of one’s life are understood as having a rightful place, they all cease fighting and assume their natural peace and harmony.

For the real secret about the Integral Map is that it is ultimately a Map of the territory of You.  You contain all 5 of these elements moment to moment to moment, and learning to identify them and honor them becomes the true Path of Fullness and Completeness.  And the Fuller you become, the Freer you become from narrow, partial, fragmented views. 

The Integral Path is thus the Path of Freedom and Fullness.  And that is the Path that you will see Stuart following in the coming pages.  Like each of us, Stu is not perfect and his path has plenty of faults, but even these faults can be “brought to the Path” and thus learned from.  The result is a life that does indeed include body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature.

So will you join Stuart on his extraordinary journey?  Stuart is the finest singer/songwriter of his generation, and the following story is a story for all time.  Please join in…..

Ken Wilber


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