I’m writing for All Nine Stations — inside and outside of the Integral community, but I will use technical jargon to achieve communicative precision regularly for reasons that I’ve previously explained. I just happen to think that nobody has done a really good job at translating Integral into a jargon-free variety because it’s futile.

I think it’s better to cultivate a desire for education into the nomenclature and books and degree programs of our community by stimulating curiosity and an awareness of mystery rather than trying to get super sneaky with dog whistles that never move anyone to greater insight (like when one prominent Integralist refused to say that Trump voters were largely Amber (Formal-Mind) or Orange (Diligent-Mind), instead bemoaning their “lack of imagination”).

That’s my approach at this time. Other folks are welcome to try different strokes, and perhaps our methodological pluralism will make us a stronger and more vibrant community of discourse.

As I see it, Integralists have been watering down the gnosis in their tradition for more than 20 years so as not to hurt the feelings of the “sensitive self” people who think “arrogance” is the greatest, and possibly the only, sin. If you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t worked. Integral is at risk of vanishing if we continue in this manner. Instead, I propose a revitalized integralism infused with “spiritual warrior wisdom” is better suited for our times. Words like “mean green meme” (which I’ve used about a half dozen times in 13+ years) might be coming off my lips a lot more in the future than in the past. They’re our weapons of gnosis. Lay them down and dysfunctional, self-corrosive postmodernity will continue to walk all over us. And no one knows how late in the game it is. I hope it isn’t too late.

I’ll be posting again on the topic of Jargon around August 22 on my blog. The problem of “jargon” in spiritual traditions or any community of practice is not unique to the integral scene, and I agree with those who say that we need skillful translations. We definitely do. Unfortunately, jargon tends to arise only when it is more useful than not. No one complains that a brain surgeon speaks about “dura” or insists that she speak only of that “fleshy thingy”.

One reason that there’s so much hostility to jargon in our culture — including within the Integral scene itself — is that people have lost a healthy respect for Mystery. Many Integralists don’t even realize it, but they are practicing a degree of esotericism. Our use of jargon serves a variety of uses in order to safeguard mysteries and protect their misuse from causing damage or harm.

When you hear an Integralist use jargon (like Amber or Formal-Mind) that you haven’t heard before, consider that they’re not trying to be obtuse. They’re trying to be clear — just not to you. Sorry. Frankly, if you don’t know what these terms mean, or you’re just a little bit curious but not enough to actually buy a book that will explain it to you or at least do a Google search, then the truth is you’re not fully ready to be an integralist.

Intellectual curiosity is a prerequisite.

An ability to handle cognitive dissonance and a certain flexibility and openness to new experiences are extremely helpful.

An understanding of multiple disciplines of college-level study is also very useful. Bonus points if your education has taken place at a university that will expose you BOTH to the classics of Western culture AND the various critical approaches based on the best of modern and postmodern wisdom (complete with rigorous analysis of racism, colonialism, sexism, classism, Orientalism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.)

If you want to really “get” why shadow work is important to developing past Green and into Teal, it’s helpful to be over age 30 or 35, as Robert Bly once remarked.

If you’re not ready for understanding the Integral worldview, you’re not yet ready. There’s no shame in not being ready. You’re welcome to read along at this blog anyways, naturally. Your intellectual curiosity may draw you to a different place in the future.

The jargon here, as I see it, has the purpose to advance communication so that it can happen simultaneously at multiple levels of awareness to persons at All Nine Stations of Life (in my constructs) through a single blog. Not to mention people from different cultures, religions, political views, and gender/sexual orientations. The jargon is an invitation to learn more when you’re ready, if you choose, not a permanent barrier to entry into the mysteries. As you read it, substitute your own best understanding for words that are greek to you.

One curiosity worth considering: Why is the word “Jar” (??) the final station that must be passed on the exit from the Second-Tier to evolve to the Third-Tier? Could it be that words are magically and powerfully generative, and that their mere knowledge and proper application could be used or misused in ways that take substantial spiritual authority and wisdom?

Perhaps, Jargon keeps the Mystery, Magic, Nguvu (Strength), Wisdom, and Revelation of advanced states and stages of consciousness in the jar … until you are ready to open it. The contents of a Jar can be Jarring (i.e., causing a physical or emotional or spiritual shock, jolt, or vibration that is destructive or unhealthful). I’ll be talking again about the Jar on August 22 at the start of the posts about the Third-Tier. In the meantime, we are in the earliest days of the Eastern Heart Clam and most of the Second-Tier remains yet ahead of us.

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