San Diego Integral’s Review
of IEC 2020 Online

written by:
Tom Habib, Ph. D.

Our need to share our experiences at IEC 2020 threatened to relegate us to a Tower of Babel. The energy swirled among the members of San Diego Integral who attended the conference. Our intent was to share a single presentation that changed us. We invited fellow Integralists form all over the globe. Jesse Greene was up at dawn from Australia, Lailac Al-Taie found stores of energy at midnight from London, Santiago Jimenez’s (Columbia) nearby guitars beckoned, and Nitin Bhardwaj from India (4 AM) continued to reveal his hunger for connection… something we have all felt when we first discovered Integral; harboring fears we would not again find such revitalizing connections.

Jesse Greene began the evening with a movement exercise from Angela Halvorsen Bogo’s presentation. We tracked and collectively synchronized with each other’s movements that were changed and initiated by a different participant every 30 seconds. This turned into guttural expressions and facial distortions reminiscent of the willingness to screw-up mentioned by Doshin Nelson. A reminder for us all, that creativity is a willingness to enter into a messiness before something novel and beautiful fully emerges.

Jerry Golech described Thomison, Schouten & Seuhs-Schoeller’s LR message of how corporate power structures hold us in the status-quo until evolution forces change. The common corporate goals of today are to maximize shareholder profits. At some time in the future, there will be a cultural shift where purpose is the foremost consideration. In other words, a world many of us yearn for and are ready to inhabit.

More of the LR skills that will eventually make this world possible were described by Tom Habib’s description of Eugene Pustoshkin & Tatyana Parfenova’s translation of Integral Meditation. The Tibetan’s use of eyes wide open meditation was poignantly demonstrated by Eugene and Tatyana. The instructions were to look straight ahead; while we give equal attention to what you can see on your visual periphery to your right, your left, below and above. The technique and their demonstration were very effective. In my own practices, I have used the vision of left and right expansion to help me feel the observer within me. This observer is the entity behind our eyes, who is always noticing what’s arising, whether we are asleep or awake.

Sandy Brim found a vital choice in Murray & Fitch’s presentation on Simplicity, the Wisdom on the Other Side of Complexity. As Integralists, we crave ascension and are prone to pre-trans fallacies. Murray & Fitch warned that this privileging of ascension can create shadow in addition to losing the benefits of the earlier stages. Kathleen Andrew reminded us of Jean Houston’s answer to a child who asked, ‘how do I get smarter than you’? Her answer, “Read Fairy Tales”.

Barbara Hunt’s presentation on forgiveness was shared by Mary Janicki and Eloy Maes. “We all keep a list of grievances” Mary stated. The 5 obstacles to forgiveness: (1) Misunderstanding (2) Vulnerability (3) Ego (4) Resentment (5) Know-how. The self-righteousness of ego can define one’s identity. Resentment comes with a hidden price. The failure to forgive is self-destructive…akin to setting oneself on fire Mary said hoping that one’s mother would be annoyed by the smoke. The importance of an individualized sacred ritual was suggested by Hunt. Eloy mentioned the example of taking the grievance and imaging placing it into a fire.

Roger Walsh’s wonderful keynote was conveyed by Christine Baser Habib. She described how he built upon Maslow’s hierarchy placing 3 more steps above Self-Actualization. By adding Self-Transcendence, one is beginning the process of moving from self to others. This trajectory of movement away from self is continued on the next rung, Selfless Service. Here our identities are much broader and in union with others. We can no longer ignore the other. Finally, we arrive at Motivation Transcendence…resting in being and awareness. Practicing “effortless effort…action without intention…perpetual uncalculated life in the present.” In times of crises, we can offer to help people find a context, a context informed by their world view.

The formal SDI meeting ended, but as often happens, many of us Integralists love the communion of hanging around, often late into the evening hoping that more might emerge and we would share moments of resonance and coherence. We were not disappointed.

Kabir Kadre mentioned how catalytic Dan Brown’s work have been for his own growth. The lucidity of his descriptions of stages 6 through 12 were humbling and impressive.

Lisa Levitt emphasized the gift of the virtual platforms to connect us from all corners of the globe. I began to wonder how this container could evolve to assist us with the connection we crave? What if it could offer graphic reminders of the state experience being generated in a poignant moment? What if it cued us to remain on-topic…to horizontally built upon what is shared and felt by the group? That would be an upgrade many of us would download.

In the overtime session the subject came-up of how the IEC conference is in English and the sacrifices made by participants for whom English is a second language. Lailac Taie described the struggle to fully inhabit another language. Nitan Bhardnaj shared how English is shoved into each person’s agenda in India…that you are respected for speaking English and shamed for speaking your native tongue. Eloy shared Trevor Noah’s experience…Noah’s parents said that his prayers are heard because they are in English. Lailac told us that different languages express different subtleties better than others…and that this is what is lost as the world moves toward English as the universal language. We expressed the good and bad of the above and gave thanks to those who have made the effort of language fluency. All of this brings us full circle to the unintended colonialism of the concept of a Tower of Babel.

San Diego Integral

Meets online the 2nd Saturday of each month

4-6 PM PST, 7-9 PM EST, 12:00 AM CEDT

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/677699824

Tom Habib, Ph. D. was founder and managing partner in a private group Clinical Psychology practice for 26 years. He is also adjunct faculty at Center for Integrative Psychology in the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego. Tom is serving as the Chairperson for the IEC’s International Consortium of Integral Scholars. He is currently developing We-space experiences at San Diego Integral and utilizing these findings to help intimate couples’ stage and state development.

Did you miss IEC Online 2020? You can still get access to the recordings and downloads of all sessions – including keynotes – before 31st July for only a little contribution.

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