Heroes, Wholeness, and Integral Morals


The way David Brooks is describing “moral heroes” in “What Moral Heroes Are Made Of”, it sounds quite a bit like “integralist” to some of us integralists. It’s definitely broader than that — there are many moral heroes who are NOT integralists and many integralists who are NOT moral heroes. But why does his list sound so familiar?

These are some of the key qualities he portrays moral heroes as having:

  • They tend to have a β€œThis is what I do” mentality.
  • Another quality you see is constant goal expansion. They are to moral life what lifelong learners are to intellectual life.
  • You often see such people expanding their ambitions in the face of hardship.
  • Often, they have another strong back.
  • People who lead these lives tend to possess an insane level of optimism, a certainty that history does change for the better and that achieving justice is only a matter of time.
  • Finally, the direction of their lives moves almost invariably from fragmentation to integration.

Strong sense of purpose. Goal expansion. Optimism. Lifelong learning. Courage. Community. Devotion to justice and a more enlightened world. Movement towards greater integration.

As a description of a moral hero, I think that’s an excellent starting place. But then again there’s something in the word “hero” itself that tilts Brooks towards a sort of integralism. Archetypally, the Hero’s Journey is one of integration par excellence. If one is doing the heroic, one is bound to possess at least some of the qualities of a good integralist.

According to the method for analyzing Sacred Words that is used by the Lingua-U metalanguage, Heroism (π‰πŒ…) and Wholeness (π‰πŒ…) are identical to six marks of distinction. Shoot for Wholeness, and you have chosen the path of the Hero. Find yourself a true Hero, and look within to see how you have been made Whole.

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