Integral Theory, as most of us know it, is a valuable meaning-making tool born of Ken Wilber. Although his first book was published in the 80’s, Wilber himself has largely remained a recluse over the years. The only time during which he was most active in public was around the late 90’s – 2006, after which serious health issues forced him back into a more private space. As the years have gone by, the then robust “integral movement” that gathered around Wilber has transformed, expanded, morphed and mutated, and–to some degree–has also shrunk.
Meanwhile, as Wilber predicted 2 decades ago, postmodernity—with its many flavors—is clearly now alive. Welcome, culture wars! In response, especially in the last 5 years or so, multiple communities, intellectuals, academics, learning platforms and influential figures (think Jordan Peterson as an example) have sprung into action, while voices of Integral wisdom have mostly been missing. Where there was hardly anything else intellectually juicy for us curious seekers back in the day of blossoming integral community, now—in the age of Likes, shares, subscribers, tweets, retweets and tik-toks—it is impossible to keep up with the number of podcasters, YouTube Channels, authors, bloggers, vloggers, cultural commentators and teachers. One could argue, the Integral community hasn’t really evolved as a united front that is influential in global and local affairs.
It is long overdue for those of us who might see ourselves as “integralists” to truly celebrate, as well as examine with a critical eye, what our journey has been and where we might want to go. What, indeed, is the future of Integral? Should its influence be more intentionally shaped to meet the needs of a planetary awakening?
I, your session host Nomali, joined the integral project in Boulder, Colorado in those exciting early 2000’s. I have witnessed a lot both from within and without Integral. I will be utilizing the Polarity Perspectives teachings of Barry Johnson for this discussion.