Hi D.P.,

Re: “All the interesting integral hierarchies, high & low, healthy & psychotic, are on the “experience” side of this chart by Ellie Roozdar, Persian woman non-dual Realizer, take a look at her kind but no-nonsense chart & limpid, radiant explanation & see for yourself where you come out on this!”

I don’t know Ellie Roozdar’s work as a whole, but based on this one video I can tell you that I can’t fit myself exclusively in either one of her two categories.

More than one ancient metaphysical tradition has offered variations on the idea that there are different classes of human beings who have different orientations (truth-seekers, experience-seekers; castes; the elected saved v. sinners damned to eternal damnation; old souls v. young souls, etc.). Metaphysics deserves our respect, but in the end there is the difficult problem of verifiability. Among New Age systems, why should I accept Roozdar’s schema and not, say, the Human Design System? Or fundamentalist Calvinism for that matter?

As an Integralist, I have no deep interest in debunking metaphysical cosmologies; there is often a mix of pre-rational and trans-rational wisdom combined within them that can be teased apart with enough effort and exploration. If they aren’t used to justify atrocities or harm to others, why bother to debunk them like an overly narrow-minded rationalist? But¬† I can honestly say that these metaphysical views have NO real potential to “integrate” disparate worldviews from pre-modern to modern to post-modern to post-postmodern. They will never do so, unless it’s at the barrel of a gun and sending heretics and freethinkers to the gas chambers (so let us pray that they never do).

Experience and Truth are not opposed as Roozdar suggests. Through experience our capacity to know the Truth is formed, and even the ability to know whether or not we fit into one of Roozdar’s two proposed categories. How could it be any other way? And what kind of an overall map of all of Reality does she possess in order to create such a broad overarching generalization in this manner?

(Hint: I can’t tell you what her overall map of reality is in details, but from a meta- perspective it looks pre-modern (i.e., Protective-Mind or Formal-Mind) — i.e., she hasn’t demonstrated that she has interacted with modernity’s critique of metaphysics in a way that is able to acknowledge the dignity of the Diligent-Mind’s critiques. Maybe she does in other videos, but like I said, I am just giving you my impressions of this one.)

Experience tells us that the world is facing crises of an order of magnitude unlike anything before in history, and the old ways of thinking contributed to the problems. We cannot really rise to our contemporary challenges by continuing to think at the old metaphysical levels. If we keep doing so, we will get more of the same, which is totally unacceptable. More people need to rise into a deeper wisdom at a higher level of consciousness, including truth and experience alike, at the Global-Mind (cross-paradigmatic, meta-systemic thinking) and beyond.

There are also wonderful elements to Roozdar’s spirituality. She feels very authentic when she advises her listeners to be very honest and authentic about themselves, as well as when she says, “Everyone is blessed.”

Authentic, powerful, beautiful spirituality doesn’t require a ton of book learning or advanced theories of consciousness of the sort only found at Global-Mind or beyond… the divine works in mysterious ways in all the Nine Stations of my own meta-map and others that I don’t see.

There are people who would never look twice at Ken Wilber’s AQAL, Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics, Steve McIntosh’s maps of Integral Consciousness, or my own artistic Lingua-U/Kalendar constructs for whom a simpler postcard-sized model can be quite transformational. They’re every bit as deserving of having good theological / philosophical / metaphysical visions as anyone else. (See the Wilber-Combs Lattice for a vision of how extremely deep spiritual realization can accompany very developmentally simple structures.)

That’s worth noting lest I sound too elitist; however, I don’t think one can point to¬†Roozdar’s metaphysics as a valid critique of the more complex maps. They are talking from different conceptual universes, one relatively simple and others much more complex and nuanced, that barely intersect.

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