r i c k . v a s s a l l o o n s k y p e (h o m e t o w n T o r o n t o)
F o r I n t e g r a l C o a c h i n g I n q u i r i e s
Along with conversations about God, or reality, it's difficult to know where to begin in broaching a conversation about Integral. In a nutshell, ILP ( Integral Life Practice) tracks changes in the development of human consciousness, individual, collective, past, present and to come.
In the past if you were born, say, Chinese, you likely spent your entire life in one culture, often in one province, sometimes in one house, living and loving and dying on one small plot of land.
But today, not only are people geographically mobile, we can study and embed ourselves in virtually every known culture on the planet. Ditto for religion, philosophy, aptitudes, languages, traditional, modern and post modern influenced, we are all exposed to all of it, at least potentially.
Increasingly people are realizing the value of Integral theory for personal well being. Integral informs our knowledge of energy states, brain wave states, personal space boundaries.
Integral informs our sexuality, our spirituality, and can be combined well with Buddhist practice, Kabballah study, The Enneagram, Character structure, Chakra theory, Gestalt psychotherapy, Transpersonal Psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis, behavioral modification therapy, cognitive therapies and approaches to counselling and bodywork. It is like a spark plug that can amplify any module you are cross training in.
Based on extensive cross cultural study, and without an over western bias, all of the great traditions of contemporary times and historical ones can be rebuilt discursively like lego pieces, assembling and disassembling various composite maps that inform us about ourselves, and each other, and that highlight the best and the worst elements of all of the world's traditions, including our own.
Integral is a very good methodology to help for example an anglo saxon female school teacher who has just been offered a job in a remote northern predominantly aboriginal community.
Integral theory will help her immensely to cross that cultural divide without resorting to the 'conventional' rational explanation of differences that obscure her own cultures prejudices and biases towards 'otherness', etc. It allows us to really begin to understand eachother in ways that trigger less fear and less distrust and cultivate more appreciation for differences of point of view and differences of 'value' and 'evaluation'. It allows us to cross that divide of otherness with a more adventuresome approach for the lived experiences of others.
Ken Wilber was the first to create a truly comprehensive Theory of Everything without any bias towards materialism (which 'theories of everything' normally consist of). Contrary to the hypnotism that materialists are caught in, matter is actually only 1/4th of Reality.
Using the AQAL model we can make sense of all the fields of knowledge and wisdom which we are so lucky to have at this crucial point in human history. Inner and Outer, Singular and Plural, the Kosmos (not the materialistic "Cosmos") is turtles all the way down, and all the way up as new ones emerge. More precisely, it's Holons (wholes that contain parts which are also wholes) all the way down and all the way up as forces like Eros run through us pushing our many lines of development to ever greater heights of complexity and inclusion.
The process is an unpacking of God which we often call 'evolution' but this whole process is Spirit creating and exploring Itself as Ourselves. Spirit is both imminent and transcendent. We just need to 'remember' or Awaken to this fundamental Truth that we are not just some little visitor in this vast unknown universe composed of separate stuff. We are Spirit/God looking at Itself right now. The Seer and the Seen are One in one timeless moment. Not because of quantum physics and its monological gaze but as a direct experience that is closer to you than your own thoughts and yet mostly, innocently overlooked.
"I Am That," as the mystics say in one way or another. It's faster than thought because "I Am" exists prior to thought and prior to the entire created universe and we can experience this "I Am" as prior to all thought and experience in its unwavering Stillness as the Suchness of all experience. Infinitely, "Always Already."