Be Integrally Impactful (So Say We All)

The Fourth International Integral Theory Conference, a global gathering of integralists in many different academic disciplines, is a wrap. The event’s theme, “Integral Impacts: Using Integrative Metatheory to Catalyze Effective Change”, seemed to generate a fair amount of excitement and debate. Many photos and comments from participants can be found at the event’s Public Facebook Group.

Striking personal reflections were posted to social media by Mark Forman and (separately) Terry Patten. Because the messages weren’t put squarely in the Internet commons, I won’t quote extensively except to say (1) that Mark observed the “quirky” nature of the gathering and the “social fluidity” of the gathering, and (2) Terry said, “The Integral community is the ecosystem that most nearly meets me, in my dimensionality”, a phrase which I love, and in his post he goes from general impressions to specific reflections on highlights of the gathering, and he closes with information on his paper presentation.

To follow the breadcrumbs of conversation following the conference, check out the blog by Jeremy Johnson, an editor for Reality Sandwich magazine as well as the blog with an integralist pedigree. Johnson has written several posts during the conference an afterward sharing reflections, photos, and illustrations from his perspective. Here are a few highlights from Johnson’s blog, with links so you can read the entire post.

Opening Invocations, Welcoming Address #ITC2015

Blogging from The Cooperage at Sonoma State, Jeremy writes:

I hurried over towards the front and grabbed a chair, immediately noticing the noticeably large plant that Mark Fabionar, the “brain child” behind the evening events at ITC2015, had shrouding his profile. A pomegranate plant? Sure enough.

Many of you know the theme for ITC2015 is “Integral Impacts”, but during the opening invocation tonight, Mark explained what the image of the pomegranate actually meant to him. After leading us through a brief meditation – bringing our attention to the body, the room full of participants, the campus, the hills of Sonoma and their ancient histories, he told us the mythical connotations behind this delicious fruit. Potent yet transformative, the pomegranate beckons further reflections beyond its sweet delicacy. Its juiciness leads us down the dark path of the unconscious; the shadow, and the transformations that lie therein.

A further recognition, then, to have a real live pomegranate plant attending the opening invocation. He raises a vile and announces the pouring of libations for the opening ceremony. We say prayers to the dead. Those who have recently passed, like Roy Bhaskar (keynote speaker for ITC2013), Piaget, Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred North Whitehead, Allan Watts and Bucky Fuller are among the few who are called out. Mark, a self-admitted science fiction fan, asks us to respond to each pouring of water over the pomegranate with “SO SAY WE ALL”. I gladly chant this for every name invoked.

Read the full post.

Karen O’Brien on Integral in Action with Climate Change: #ITC2015 Keynote

I won’t try to summarize Jeremy’s full post, but point you to it instead. There is one brief remark:

Sean Kelly made some remarks about avoiding “despair” by the scientific consensus that there is less and less we can do to avoid severe climate change, and Karen reiterated the fact that these studies, while important and true, don’t take into account the human potential dimension. She suggested that we need people doing the adaptive work to help us through a process of “disequilibrium”, and focus on the possibilities not in the official discourse.

Read the whole post.

Chris Dierkes and Eric Towle: Searching for Centaur, Uprising of the Human Spirit #ITC2015

Jeremy carefully describes the powerful presentations by Dierkes and Towle, and offers some meta-refletions of his own. In part, he says:

What struck me powerfully in this combinatory presentation was the significant macro/micro perspectives Tim and Chris were sharing. While Eric focused on the “meta” approach, that is, a look at the rise and fall of civilizations, cultural evolution,  what a “deficient” (Gebserian term) phase of consciousness looks like as it begins to consolidate itself, and how to gain “efficient” forms of thinking and being-in-world in order to empower yourself, Chris looked specifically at the integral movement’s early “Centaur”. Arguably, the Integral Centaur in earlier Wilber works was the “efficient” phase of integral, itself, and the latter Integral Theory? Well, here’s where it gets tricky.

Chris also mentioned during his talk that the Vision-Logic development in Wilber’s later work wasn’t wrong. But something is amiss (willingly admitted to by Sean Hargens and other presenters in ITC2013’s reflective panels looking at the integral shadow). Symptoms point to, as Chris mentions, “a lack of grounding,” a loss of intentionality, and the common accusation of cognitive dissociation. A-political meta mapping while the city of Rome burns.

We also shouldn’t forget that Chris stands alongside Zak Stein’s critique of the “growth to goodness fallacy” (also presented in ITC2013) and Susanne Cook Grueter’s “transcendent hubris” and Bonnitta Roy’s critique of Integral Theory’s “monological use of developmental logics” (Thanks, Bonnitta, for pointing this out in a recent, post-ITC thread).

None of this is to say we need to abandon Wilber’s latter work. I don’t think anyone, including myself, is calling for that. What I would like to see, however, is exactly what he mentioned in his talk: let the “right-brained” integralists have the play they deserve.

Read the whole post.

I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this plea/invitation/injunction to “let the ‘right-brained’ integralists have the play they deserve”. We’ll see!

Corporate Interests, Capitalism and Social Justice: #ITC2015

Jeremy summarizes the much-discussed forum on capitalism featuring Zak Stein and Bonnitta Roy and Zak Stein debating Andrew Johnson and Dr. Michael McElhenie (moderated by Lauren Tenney).

Read the whole post, including Jeremy’s own assessment of who he thinks won.

Based on what is reported in the blog post, I don’t think my own mind on economic philosophy would have been altered by the panel discussion or participant questions. But then that’s expecting too much from one panel! It is wonderful to see lively conversation on the topic brought into the mainstream of the Integral world, and it is good to see the shadow of economic privilege begin to be unmasked.

With appreciation to Jeremy Johnson and everyone who made an effort to bring the world into the Integral conference, and bring the Integral conference into the world. Thank you!

A More Integral 2015

I’m back from a holiday season vacation and I’ve noticed several wonderful articles and podcasts in the blogosphere that I want to give my attention in the days to come. But first, I want to express my New Year wish for the Integral community.

Let’s let the past be the past, especially the controversies and divisiveness and any ill will that has cropped up between one part of the community or another, one leading figure to another, or person to person. Let’s give everyone a chance to show a new side and demonstrate the capacity for growth.

Let’s let go of resentments on account of not having been noticed, or given our fair share of credit, appreciated enough, seen as right, or whatever the case may be.

Let’s let go of resentments that have arisen because some folks have taken the Integral movement in a direction that we would rather have it not go, made some important mistake, not done their homework well enough, or not used our preferred terminology or schema for consciousness, or not spoken with enough care.

Let’s let go of resentments towards those we may see as “less evolved” (inside and outside the community) on account of their ignorance or failure to grow, and let’s go of resentments towards those we may see as “more evolved” because they haven’t done enough to lead the way.

Let’s let go of resentments towards popular culture and mainstream society and conventional politics and so forth, for being filled with first-tier dysfunctions.

Let’s start 2015 with a simple desire that the world become a more Integral place. How much more Integral? Just as Integral as it needs to be, and at least a bit more for the sake of delight.

We will know it is becoming a more Integral world because…

  • people who thought only of themselves will begin to think of their neighbors as well, and leaders who thought only about their community’s interests begin to think about the globe
  • people will begin to evolve their traditions to allow for new ways in which we can all co-exist together, recognizing our common depth of unity behind all the surface diversity
  • people will take the reigns of evolution and consciously grow as part of an integral, coherent, systemic whole world order
  • people will begin to “wake up” at whatever station of life they are at, becoming re-born into their Supreme Identity
  • people will begin to “grow up” to see their unsolvable problems “solved” at a higher level of consciousness
  • people will begin to look around for others who share a more expansive consciousness and when they do they will be attracted to the body of books and blogs and movies and art masterpieces and workshops and educational programs and therapies and spiritual teachings and leadership development offerings and think tanks that we in the Integral / Evolutionary community have developed.
  • having been drawn to the offerings of the Integral / Evolutionary community, its philosophers, artists, activists, healers, business people, educators, and so on, many new people will join in the movement, contributing their gifts, and becoming full participants in the larger game.

As these many thousands and even millions of new people encounter the Integral / Evolutionary community for the first time, do we want them to be greeted with in-fighting and disarray and dysfunction, or a true unitas multiplex?

It’s time to do our part in creating a more integral / evolved world in 2015. What a beautiful opportunity for practicing being our Self/selves together as  Unique We!

Integral Blog will be there along the way, playing a small role in the blogosphere ecosystem to help draw connections and build community. I started this blog largely out of a sense that the Integral movement needs a healthy ecosystem of publications and social media presence to thrive, and it takes all of us doing our part. I am looking forward to taking this journey with you, and open to the possibility of becoming more fully integrated and whole in my own 2015.

A Challenge To Frank Visser

apple-and-orangeI enjoyed reading Frank Visser’s reply in “What Would Wilber Do?” to my earlier post called “Properly Integral: A Response To Frank Visser’s Three Disappointments”, after I got over a bit of frustration at having my arguments characterized to make me look as ridiculous as possible. It’s all a fair part of the blogging game and done in good fun.

Visser begins by once again bemoaning the lack of engagement with criticism he sees with critics by the integral community and especially by Ken Wilber, citing the example of Jeff Meyerhoff’s book. Since I have previously discussed this issue and note that he didn’t specifically reply to my points regarding Ken’s many responses to critics, willingness to change, and so forth, I am tempted to move on. He continues to repeat the canard that Wilber doesn’t engage with critics regardless of how many times this is pointed out to be incorrect in so many ways, the ways that really count.

There are other responses in Visser’s article which I am not going to take on directly because I think the answers suggest themselves to the discerning reader. To respond would only take the discussion in the direction of “Didn’t Wilber say a few inaccurate things over the course of more than twenty books, and why doesn’t this bother you as much as it bothers me and should bother everyone?” and “Doesn’t the fact that I’m subscribed to a bunch of opt-in E-mail lists that I personally joined prove that Integral thought is, in fact, overly marketed in the whole wide culture throughout all media markets everywhere in the world?” and “Doesn’t the fact that Wilber once wrote that Spirit offers a ‘spiritual explanation’ mean exactly that he thinks it is actually a ‘scientific explanation as these signifiers are understood by the orange vMEME’ too, and therefore his philosophy as a whole is bunk?”

Continue reading “A Challenge To Frank Visser”

Properly Integral: A Response To Frank Visser’s Three Disappointments

I read Frank Visser’s “Reaching Out to the World” with appreciation and, at times, exasperation, particularly the conclusion in which he instructs the reader as to the “proper” way of approaching Integral philosophy. Here are my initial reactions, for what they’re worth.

Reading Visser’s essay, which he calls a new chapter of his decade-old book Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion, helps me to know Wilber better and see the Integral community and its detractors more clearly. That is a huge gift. I wish Frank nothing but good tidings for the future of his projects, especially Integral World.

For those who don’t know who he is, Visser is an intellectual biographer of Wilber’s who over time became one of his greatest detractors. After all these years, Frank admits that he is “disappointed”, actually a kind of “triple disappointment.” He regrets (1) that Wilber’s understanding of science was not “that deep”, that (2) Wilber did not respond to online critics who contributed to his website (which was formerly called The World of Ken Wilber, BTW), and that (3) the Integral community didn’t seem to mind.

All three of these disappointments color Frank’s new chapter, which is really sort of an old chapter for those of us who have been paying at least a little attention over the past decade. Let’s take a look at each of them.

The First Disappointment

I guess Visser’s critique of Wilber’s take on neo-Darwinism is almost supposed to be self-evidently true, a knock down by a giant of a 98-pound weakling in a grotesquely mismatched prize fight. But it doesn’t really convince. These two paragraphs are the crux of Visser’s argument, beginning with a Wilber quote:

In Integral Spirituality (2006) he [Ken Wilber] states:

That drive—Eros by any other name—seems a perfectly realistic conclusion, given the facts of evolution as we understand them. Let’s just say there is plenty of room for a Kosmos of Eros.[33]

This can be considered the core of Wilber’s philosophy—more central than holons, heaps, or artifacts; quadrants, levels, lines, states and all that jazz—not only the process of biological evolution, but the cosmos as a whole, is governed by a mysterious spiritual Force. Apparently, for Wilber, there is no other way to explain nature’s complexities. He is inspired in this respect by A.N. Whitehead’s process philosophy, which postulates an immanent divine force in evolution.[34]

While I have defended similar notions in the past, and have even criticized Wilber for misrepresenting the esoteric view of evolution[35] which postulates a divine upward drive towards complexity, after years of studying the field of biological evolution I would no longer hold that view. On the contrary, I discovered that science has offered many plausible explanations for the existence of cosmological and biological complexity. This makes the postulation of a spiritual Eros in the Kosmos rather premature. So instead of challenging Wilber from the perennialist position, which I did in my earlier writings, over the years I have challenged him on Integral World from the naturalistic position of science.[36] Let’s really get post-metaphysical. Let’s get physical![37] Though Wilber may be strong in the fields of mind and culture, his coverage of the domains of life and matter leaves much to be desired. This casts grave doubts on Wilber’s claim for a Theory of Everything.

How about that! If you hadn’t been paying attention, when Wilber opposed metaphysics Visser was for it, but later apparently Ken sort of came around and acknowledged that his work had one metaphysical premise, and just then Visser coincidentally turns around and becomes anti-metaphysical. Well, okay, fine. They’re both permitted to evolve, aren’t they?

I would ask you to notice two things about the Wilber quote chosen by Visser. First, that Wilber describes Eros as a “perfectly realistic conclusion”. Second, Wilber says that “there is plenty of room” for Eros in his philosophy. Wilber nowhere invokes Spirit as an “explanation” for the universe.

Continue reading “Properly Integral: A Response To Frank Visser’s Three Disappointments”

Unapolgetically Integral In Our Own Way

“Our Most Important Activism For This Point In History Involves Building The Integral Worldview Itself” — Steve McIntosh, author of Evolution’s Purpose

Integral Blog has a new quote plastered across the top of our sidebar, so I thought I’d tell you more about it. You may have recognized it from a 2011 conversation between Scott Payne and Steve McIntosh published at Beams & Struts, or my discussion of the conversation on Awake, Aware & Alive.

Here’s the immediate context of McIntosh’s remarks:

[T]here are obviously many forms of legitimate political activism that integralists can pursue. But from my perspective, the most important form of activism for this point in history involves building the integral worldview itself. That is, we need to demonstrate the power of the integral perspective and show how effective it can be at providing solutions. We need to build wider recognition of, and agreement with, this emerging understanding of evolution. In other words, we need to teach the truths of integral philosophy and persuade people that consciousness and culture do evolve, and that we can solve many problems by coming to a deeper understanding of this phenomenon.

“Teaching” integral philosophy as a form of activism can, of course, involve a wide variety of activities. It can involve creating media such as books, videos, blogs, articles, etc. And it can also be as simple as engaging our friends and family in conversations about it. Further, the more we can each embody it as our own philosophy and not simply Wilber’s philosophy or Whitehead’s philosophy—the more we can show how it is actually a new understanding of evolution that recognizes interiors and can detect a new kind of depth—the more effective we’ll be in these communications. (Bold added.)

Now there’s a reason why I’ve given these words a special place on this new blog. Firstly, they have been inspirational to me in my blogging since I first heard them over three years ago. Secondly, they are just as relevant today as when Steve first spoke them. And thirdly, I believe they have the power to shake my fellow Integralists from their comfort zones and help to give focus to and context for the work they do. (Incidentally, as you will see I’ve shortened it a bit and changed the first word. I hope we can agree these changes are not significant.)

Integral Blog is unapologetically written by an Integralist for fellow Integralists (or integralists) if you prefer. We will not say we’re sorry for discussing theory when others would say that we are “stuck in our head”. We will not shy away from using vocabulary that requires more than a middle school education. (We have a rudimentary Integral glossary for the interested.) We will not try to sneak Integral perspectives quietly into conversations in order to appeal to the huffy-huff-huffington-posters or the league of not-so-extraordinary gentlemen.

Continue reading “Unapolgetically Integral In Our Own Way”

Joe Perez and Stuart Davis in Dialogue: The Future of Art and Integral

Stuart DavisOriginally posted on Spirit’s Next Move.

Last month, I engaged in dialogue with Stuart Davis, a contemporary American musician, actor, and stand-up comic. With over 10 full-length music albums to his credit, including the brand new Music for Mortals, Davis has bravely brought depth and spirituality into popular culture — including the topics of God, sex and death — crafting them into lyrical and memorable pop songs.

This is the first of a three-part series of posts. In this section of the interview, I speak with Stuart about the topics of the future of Integral, spirituality, celebrities and popular culture.

Part 1: The Future of Art and Integral

(or: What if Kim Kardashian Endorsed World Spirituality Tomorrow?)

Joe Perez: As an introduction to this interview, let me say that I did a board retreat for the Center for World Spirituality last month [February] and met a couple of dozen of people contributing to World Spirituality in different fields working in this area that nobody even knows about. The more I am exposed to that, I think, there really seems to be something bubbling up in the world right now. And then there is the article by Terri [Patten] and Marco [Morelli], “Occupy  Integral!” that people are talking about… Did you read that?

Stuart Davis: I think I did read that, a couple weeks ago.

Joe: Their basic idea being that there is something about Integral that hasn’t completely entered the cultural consciousness yet, and so there’s a discussion around what needs to happen, where are we at, what is this moment, and how can we best rise to the potential of the moment. What’s your take on all that, Stuart?

Stuart: I couldn’t agree more for starters. To go back to the initial, for me when this first started, the passion about integral entering the public consciousness at large, however you want to frame that, let’s say crossing over the threshold into something that’s bigger than our own private club, whatever that means in different domains. When I first encountered Integral, I encountered something that many people probably do, and I didn’t realize what it was. But when you get that initial hit of Integral and you begin to crackle alive in that regard, you have this sense, almost tactile, not just an idea or a promise, but you can feel it in your gut. And that promise is Integral taking its place and inhabiting its portion of the body of humanity, growing, being a truly emergent, novel dimension coming to life. And we all sense that.

SESAnd what I think has been interesting to navigate and process is that when I first felt that, I felt it was just a few years away. I felt it was just a few years away. It was 1998. When I first read Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality and first met Ken [Wilber]. I just had this certitude that it was pregnant, that we were giving birth, and it felt to me that the baby was crowning. Right, so I began, much in the fashion that people who think the apocalypse is coming, and that’s been going on for centuries, I began to prepare and anticipate and behave and conduct myself as though that promise was emergent and it wouldn’t be long, it would be just a few years, that you could turn on the NBC, or feel it coming from the White House, that it was going to enter into every domain.

I was really intoxicated for many years, and I was really wrong about a lot of timelines. I’ve felt the same certitude that I felt back then. It’s either inevitable because we’re talking about human development here. Either this is coming down the pipeline… or there won’t be humans around. Because we’ve never seen humans not develop. But on the other hand I will fully admit that I was really wrong about the timeline, what it was going to take, and specifically in the realm I can speak most precisely from, which is entertainment, because where I work is movies and film, television and books. I felt an immediacy that has turned out to be much more difficult. This inevitable process occurring I way underestimated in the people that I work with. I would say the way that I feel about it is that: Yes, I read that article and I have felt ever since day one that it’s occurring and I would qualify it by saying I’ve also been wrong about the timeline and how hard it would be. “Hard” in quotes. It’s a beautiful difficulty. It’s tough.

Joe: I was reading an article recently about youth today – specifically 18-to-19-year-olds. They’re less political, less concerned about the environment, and they’re turned off by organized religion, thinking it’s become very judgmental. But what’s most interesting in what I noticed is in what they ARE engaged with. If young people are to be recruited into politics, they said, it will be from selective use of entertainment media, celebrities, Facebook, Twitter and mobile technologies with forms of participation limited in their duration, sophistication, and intensity. You’re closer to this than I am. Do you think entertainment, celebrities, and social media can help to reengage youth into a developmental path?

TrendingStuart: What a great question. That brings to mind the pop song. That has been my experience with the pop song since day one. The greatest triggers and invitations I have experienced have come through these brief, concise, but potent pop song type piece of pop art. Some of them literally pop songs.  I have had moments of mystical insights that were unrivaled, more effective than anything I learned in church … Does that mean that pop songs are more effective, or is it just my typology, or something about how I’m put together? I do think that there is in a deeper place, my conviction is that art existed before organized and conventional religion, and it will exist after.

Continue reading “Joe Perez and Stuart Davis in Dialogue: The Future of Art and Integral”

On Integral World, Joe Corbett Calls Ken Wilber Not-So-Nice Things

Joe Corbett on Integral World

Joe Corbett’s “Ken Wilber: Philosopher King” (newly published on Integral World) is one of the most disappointing articles I’ve read recently purporting to address an integral worldview. It almost begins with an astute observation: there is limited attention paid to Justice in mainstream Integral Theory discourse. (Actually, I’m being too generous. Corbett falsely says that Justice is “absent” in the AQAL matrix.) Thereupon, the article self-destructs into (even more) psuedo-scholarship.

For example:

  1. Exaggerations of the degree to which Justice is treated in Integral discourse, and a total failure to examine any of the literature that exists on justice, ethics, morality, feminism, etc., including Ken Wilber’s books. No examination of Wilber’s Prime Directive and how the “health of the Spiral” is connected to concerns of justice. No examination of Wilber’s inclusion of Carol Gilligan’s model of moral development (justice and care).
  2. The claim that Justice is not included in the triad of “Truth, Beauty, and Goodness” without consideration that Justice is included within Goodness.
  3. Psychologizing criticism of the role of Justice by questioning the motives of integral thinkers, suggesting that they are motivated by “sleight of hand” or “misdirection” or “suppression” without citing any evidence.
  4. Using inflammatory, derogatory language towards other integral thinkers, calling them “devotees” of a charismatic cult reader, an insult and smear.
  5. Asserting a crude power analysis of integral institutions as arrayed worshipfully around a “philosopher king” of Ken Wilber, not only without evidence but without any detailed consideration of obvious counter-evidence (e.g., a plurality of integral thinkers and dispersed centers of influence, the existence of the blogosphere as well as publications such as Integral World).
  6. When Corbett does cite evidence, it’s laughable. In order to demonstrate the truth of his argument that the Integral movement is a personality cult, he cites that “Ken Wilber publications” are adorned with the face of Wilber. Corbett doesn’t bother to quantify how many times Wilber’s face is depicted on his books’ covers compared to the total number of his books or explain why this is evidence for any substantive argument about anything that we should be concerned about. It’s all supposed to be self-evident for Joe and whoever it is he is writing for.
  7. Corbett attacks the existence of paid subscription sites which give privileged access to certain thinkers over others without telling us how this is any different from the way academic institutions work or just about any other social organization. By Corbett’s standard, it seems, all academic journals that charge subscription fees are oppressive tools of evil capitalists. So are many social media properties and online magazines that have some content behind pay-walls. Okay.
  8. Joe also asserts that the existence of for-pay Integral movement websites is evidence that the movement is a “cult phenomenon,” without bothering to define what a cult is or how the existence of paid subscriptions to Integral publications is relevant to discerning a movement’s status as a cult.
  9. He ascribes to Integral thought “Social Darwinism” without defining the term or examining any of the texts which are critical of Social Darwinism (as in Wilber’s Eye of Spirit).
  10. He falsely claims that Ken Wilber claimed that Buddha was a Republican, citing the title of a blog post and audio recording by Clint Fuhs of Core Integral. The same article says that Jesus Christ was a radical socialist. All of these claims are obviously tongue-in-cheek, but they’re taken at face value (I think) by Corbett. (I must qualify that claim because one must question whether the entire article is serious or a parody of Ken Wilber’s most unhinged critics. As a parody, it succeeds.)
  11. He wrongly claims that Integral thought’s inclusion of the Upper Left-Hand quadrant (individual subjective perspectives) into an analysis of social phenomena is equivalent to “blaming and punishing the victims” and “conservative” doctrine. He cites not one instance of an Integral theorist blaming a victim for anything. One suspects there might be a legitimate criticism somewhere in there if one reads between the lines, but on the surface it’s absent.
  12. He asserts Ayn Rand is an influential figure in Integral thought, which is frankly the first time I have ever seen Ayn Rand mentioned as influential. In August, I wrote a blog post contrasting Rand’s Objectivism and Integral Theory, riffing on an article in Integral Leadership Review by Eugene Pustoshkin. I would be surprised if Joe can name even a few positive statements about Rand by an integralist, let alone provide evidence of his claim that the thought stream has been at all influential.
  13. Joe saves his most telling argument for last, the ad hominem, calling out Ken Wilber and others in not-so-nice ways (read it yourself). [Insert observation about shadow projection here.]

Although Joe’s biography on Integral World claims he has taught at certain unspecified American and Chinese universities, one doesn’t need to see his detailed C.V. to realize that his post is better categorized as a fact-free temper tantrum combined with ideological commitments that are neither brought into consciousness nor questioned than intellectually serious. He works in an evidence-free zone of pure emotion and presupposition that is foreign to the standards of mainstream academic discourse.

What a pity. It doesn’t serve the legitimate end of investigating the proper role of Justice within Integral thought whatsoever.

My own belief is that Justice is the essence of the intersection between Eros and Agape — an image of which can be found in what I call the “cross in the center of everything” in my book Soulfully Gay (Integral Books/Shambhala, 2007). (That’s an image that I connect with my own theology’s roots in Latin American liberation theology and Reinhold Niebuhr’s social ethics, by the way.)

Not to mention that Wilber’s Foreword for my book shows his support of the gay rights movement, a pretty significant dimension of social justice in today’s world. I may be biased, but I think it says something positive that Ken selected Soulfully Gay, a book which makes a passionate case for gay marriage and equal rights for sexual minorities as an integral piece of a broader platform for human liberation, as the second book published by Integral Books. Wilber personally edited the Shambhala imprint and selected the order in which its books were published (Soulfully Gay was published immediately following his own seminal book, Integral Spirituality, in 2007). Ken gets no credit for this, of course.

It will come as no surprise to longtime readers of Integral publications that Joe Corbett’s sort of pseudo-scholarship is published too often on Integral World, detracting from the website’s overall credibility. I would enjoy the prospect of the Editor, Frank Visser, explaining how exactly Corbett’s article meets his publication’s editorial standards … or, alternatively, give us a notice that he’s now publishing a parody.

And if we are to speak of ethics, Joe and Frank, what ever happened to not bearing false witness against one’s neighbor? Isn’t honesty in speech still an important value for either of you?

Note: Edited on 1/17/2012 to remove profanity from the headline and clarifying point #13.