Integral theory is Ken Wilber 's attempt to place a wide diversity of theories and thinkers into one single framework. Wilber's integral theory has been applied by some in a limited range of domains.
An integral theory of consciousness pdf creator
Ken Wilber's "Integral Theory" started as early as the s, with the publication of The Spectrum of Consciousness ,  that attempted to synthesize eastern religious traditions with western structural stage theory, models of psychology development that describe human development as following a set course of stages of development.
Wilber's ideas have grown more and more inclusive over the years, incorporating ontology , epistemology , and methodology. The adjective integral was first used in a spiritual context by Sri Aurobindo — from onward to describe his own spiritual teachings , which he referred to as Purna Skt: "Full" Yoga. It appeared in The Synthesis of Yoga , a book that was first published in serial form in the journal Arya and was revised several times since.
Sri Aurobindo's work has been described as Integral Vedanta   and Integral psychology Sri Aurobindo psychology,   as well the term coined by Indra Sen and the psychotherapy that emerges from it. In the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, integral yoga refers to the process of the union of all the parts of one's being with the Divine, and the transmutation of all of their jarring elements into a harmonious state of higher divine consciousness and existence.
As described by Sri Aurobindo and his co-worker The Mother — , this spiritual teaching involves an integral divine transformation of the entire being, rather than the liberation of only a single faculty such as the intellect or the emotions or the body.
According to Sri Aurobindo,.
T he Divine is in his essence infinite and his manifestation too is multitudinously infinite. If that is so, it is not likely that our true integral perfection in being and in nature can come by one kind of realisation alone; it must combine many different strands of divine experience.
It cannot be reached by the exclusive pursuit of a single line of identity till that is raised to its absolute; it must harmonise many aspects of the Infinite. An integral consciousness with a multiform dynamic experience is essential for the complete transformation of our nature. Aurobindo's ideas were further explored by Indra Sen — in the s and s, a psychologist, and devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
He was the first to coin the term "Integral psychology" to describe the psychological observations he found in Sri Aurobindo's writings which he contrasted with those of Western Psychology , and developed themes of "Integral Culture" and "Integral Man".
These ideas were further developed by Haridas Chaudhuri — , a Bengali philosopher and academic who founded in the California Institute of Integral Studies. The word integral was independently suggested by Jean Gebser — , a Swiss phenomenologist and interdisciplinary scholar, in to describe his own intuition regarding the next stage of human consciousness.
Gebser was the author of The Ever-Present Origin , which describes human history as a series of mutations in consciousness.
He only afterwards discovered the similarity between his own ideas and those of Sri Aurobindo and Teilhard de Chardin.
Gebser wrote that he was unaware of Sri Aurobindo's prior usage of the term "integral", which coincides to some extent with his own. Ancient Lessons for the Emerging Global Civilization" Feuerstein used this term to refer to a particular outlook on spirituality which he saw present in the Indian tantric traditions.
Six Criticisms of Wilber's Integral Theory
Feuerstein outlined three major approaches to life in Indian spirituality: nivritti-marga path of cessation , pravritti-marga path of activity and purna-marga path of wholeness. Feuerstein ties this integral approach to nondual Indian philosophy and the tantric tradition. According to Feuerstein the integral or wholeness approach: "implies a total cognitive shift by which the phenomenal world is rendered transparent through superior wisdom.
No longer are things seen as being strictly separated from one another, as if they were insular realities in themselves, but everything is seen together, understood together, and lived together. Whatever distinctions there may be, these are variations or manifestations of and within the selfsame Being.
Even negative experiences such as pain and disgust are seen as integral to our life and world and thus are not rejected by the integral approach, but used skillfully. In Spiral Dynamics, Don Beck and Chris Cowan use the term integral for a developmental stage which sequentially follows the pluralistic stage.
The essential characteristic of this stage is that it continues the inclusive nature of the pluralistic mentality, yet extends this inclusiveness to those outside of the pluralistic mentality.
In doing so, it accepts the ideas of development and hierarchy, which the pluralistic mentality finds difficult. Other ideas of Beck and Cowan include the "first tier" and "second tier", which refer to major periods of human development. It suggests that all human knowledge and experience can be placed in a four-quadrant grid, along the axes of "interior-exterior" and "individual-collective". According to Wilber, it is one of the most comprehensive approaches to reality, a metatheory that attempts to explain how academic disciplines and every form of knowledge and experience fit together coherently.
AQAL is based on four fundamental concepts and a rest-category: four quadrants, several levels and lines of development, several states of consciousness, and "types", topics which don't fit into these four concepts. For Wilber, only such an account can be accurately called "integral".
The model is topped with formless awareness, "the simple feeling of being," which is equated with a range of "ultimates" from a variety of eastern traditions. This formless awareness transcends the phenomenal world, which is ultimately only an appearance of some transcendental reality. According to Wilber, the AQAL categories—quadrants, lines, levels, states, and types—describe the relative truth of the two truths doctrine of Buddhism.
Holons are the individual building blocks of Wilber's model. Wilber borrowed the concept of holons from Arthur Koestler 's description of the great chain of being , a mediaeval description of levels of being.
For example, a cell in an organism is both a whole as a cell, and at the same time a part of another whole, the organism. Likewise a letter is a self-existing entity and simultaneously an integral part of a word, which then is part of a sentence, which is part of a paragraph, which is part of a page; and so on.
Everything from quarks to matter to energy to ideas can be looked at in this way. The relation between individuals and society is not the same as between cells and organisms though, because individual holons can be members but not parts of social holons.
In his book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality : The Spirit of Evolution , Wilber outlines twenty fundamental properties, called "tenets", that characterize all holons. Holons form natural " holarchies ", like Russian dolls , where a whole is a part of another whole, in turn part of another whole, and so on.
Each holon can be seen from within subjective, interior perspective and from the outside objective, exterior perspective , and from an individual or a collective perspective.
Each of the four approaches has a valid perspective to offer. The subjective emotional pain of a person who suffers a tragedy is one perspective; the social statistics about such tragedies are different perspectives on the same matter.
According to Wilber all are needed for real appreciation of a matter. Wilber uses this grid to categorize the perspectives of various theories and scholars, for example:. According to Wilber, all four perspectives offer complementary, rather than contradictory, perspectives. It is possible for all to be correct, and all are necessary for a complete account of human existence. According to Wilber, each by itself offers only a partial view of reality.
According to Wilber modern western society has a pathological focus on the exterior or objective perspective. Such perspectives value that which can be externally measured and tested in a laboratory, but tend to deny or marginalize the left sides subjectivity, individual experience, feelings, values as unproven or having no meaning. Wilber identifies this as a fundamental cause of society's malaise, and names the situation resulting from such perspectives, "flatland".
Wilber discerns various structural stages of development, following several structural stage theories of developmental psychology.
Integral theory (Ken Wilber)
All of these mental structures are considered to be complementary and legitimate, rather than mutual exclusive. Wilber's equates the levels in psychological and cultural development, with the hierarchical nature of matter itself.
According to Wilber, various domains or lines of development, or intelligences can be discerned. For example, one can be highly developed cognitively cerebrally smart without being highly developed morally as in the case of Nazi doctors. States are temporary states of consciousness, such as waking, dreaming and sleeping, bodily sensations, and drug-induced and meditation-induced states. Some states are interpreted as temporary intimations of higher stages of development.
What can be peak-experienced, however, are higher states of freedom from the stage a person is habituated to, so these deeper or higher states can be experienced at any level. Wilber makes types part of his model in order to point out that these distinctions are different from the already mentioned distinctions: quadrants, lines, levels and states. Bonnitta Roy has introduced a "Process Model" of integral theory, combining Western process philosophy, Dzogchen ideas, and Wilberian theory.
She distinguishes between Wilber's concept of perspective and the Dzogchen concept of view , arguing that Wilber's view is situated within a framework or structural enfoldment which constrains it, in contrast to the Dzogchen intention of being mindful of view.
Some individuals affiliated with Ken Wilber have claimed that there exists a loosely defined "Integral movement". Graves , Jane Loevinger and Ken Wilber. Michael E.
Spiral Dynamics & Integral Theory
Integral Theory is widely ignored, at mainstream academic institutions, and has been sharply contested by critics. Smith, observes that most of Wilber's work has not been published by university presses, a fact that discourages some academics from taking his ideas seriously. Wilber's failure to respond to critics of Integral Theory is also said to contribute to the field's chilly reception in some quarters. They also said that participants at the first Integral Theory Conference in had largely mainstream academic credentials and pointed to existing programs in alternative universities like John F.
Kennedy University or Fielding Graduate University as an indication of the field's emergence. The AQAL system has been critiqued for not taking into account the lack of change in the biological structure of the brain at the human level complex neocortex , this role being taken instead by human-made artifacts. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about Integral theory or Integral Spirituality. It is not to be confused with Integral Yoga.
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Intro to Integral Theory in 6mins
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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. See also: Spiritual evolution , Perennial philosophy , and Great chain of being.
Main article: Integral Yoga.
Main article: Holon philosophy. See also: Developmental stage theories. Main article: List of integral thinkers and supporters. Conventional truth is the truth of phenomenal appearances and causal relations, our daily common-sense world.
Ultimate truth is the recognition that no-"thing" exists inherently; every"thing" is empty, sunyata of an unchanging "essence.