Again, “freedom” alone cannot be the yardstick of the Integral method.


No matter how nuanced, “degrees of freedom” is not at all a workable starting point for integral theory as was once proposed. Freedom is a partial value and elevating it into a totalizing force, the yardstick for all other measures of value, is not a worthy contribution to Integral theory post-Green. It’s magnificent at Green. I love Gustavo Gutierrez, you know, and am deeply committed to the (healthy aspects of the) human and animal liberation movements that arise at Green consciousness. But I wouldn’t call liberation theology “integral”, either.

Is it too much to ask Green/Teal to let the Turquoise constructs show them the road out of freedom’s solipsistic isolation? Freedom (yang’s drive) and love/agape (yin’s drive) and reconciliation/unity (yung’s drive), at a minimum, are necessary for envisioning a whole of reality; they cannot be reduced to each other without doing violence to form. Ken Wilber notably described four holonic tenets, at a minimum, which tend to organize experience: agency, communion, Eros, and Agape (and freedom is basically the expression of only one of those four forces). Love is the ultimate force to show us how freedom is not merely¬†nuanced as we evolve; it is enfolded into a much more expansive whole.

If you see an “integral theorist” elevating one value of an unreconciled polarity (like freedom) into a paramount value and saying that all forms of integration are merely variations (or degrees) on its theme, nuances on its aspects, pay attention! They’re not giving you an integral vision. They are regurgitating the old, polarizing flatland concepts in a new dress. Let’s rebut it when we see it, and not twist Integral theory into a misshapen groove that stretches to include such poor formulations.

For more, see my recent post on Bonnitta Roy’s definition of integral.

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