Dear Integral Matrix,
Thank you Jeff for sharing your passion and perspective with the group.
This months meetup topic was decided upon during the last meetup session by all of us present, after a group discussion. This is a loaded controversial topic for some. We would like to make a few preparatory remarks for next meetup: First of all, we encourage healthy pluralism, which entails consideration and respect of other?s feelings and opinions, even (especially?) when not agreed upon. We think all of us in this group are relatively OK and in check about this and hopefully shall continue to be (healthy green is good thing). Let?s all use this as an opportunity to ?test drive? other and opposing 2-p perspectives sincerely, offering more authenticity and less lip-service. Sometimes a little role-playing exercise goes a long way.
Upon deeper reflection, we feel that exploring this topic with an integral lens could give us all the opportunity to examine the relationships between bias and open-mindedness, embeddedness and self-awareness, subjective perspective and objective data, duality and nonduality, structure and content, etc., to a higher and deeper level. This discussion can also help strengthen our critical thinking skills, awareness of our own logical fallacies, and ability to get and remain objective and take other perspectives. We can help each other and leverage our growth inter-dependently, to the degree that we are really open to and can really hear each other, and to the degree that we are open to checking our own integrity in structure of consciousness (acknowledging stuckness, attachment and embeddedness, whether or not we are willing to examine our thoughts and beliefs and open up to the possibility of coming to a different decision/conclusion. We can BOTH authentically acknowledge our partiality (I feel good about my identification for/against this thought, my lifestyle has formed symbiotic entanglements with this identification, my self-sense and self-image are wrapped-up in spiritual and transpersonal ?contractual agreements? that I feel give my life meaning; I may be afraid to look too closely at this) AND authentically see the inherent humanity and genealogical relativism of our ?choice? (we can only choose from what our present structure will hold, our structure evolves over time in a ?meandering? apparently haphazard style, yet it does evolve, as structure evolves more choices emerge from which we can make more intelligent choices [or not] and manifest more truly [as opposed to apparently] integral behaviors [or not]). In this case, the ?meat? is the awareness of the process, the subject matter/content is the ?fluff?.
The point is not to come to a decision or conclusion (ending an inquiry). The point is to learn the process of integral analysis and inquiry, up to our individual ability to differentiate embeddedness in our own structure (the yin, unseen and implicit, dark, passive aspect of consciousness) from its artifacts in our own content (the yang, seen and explicit, light aspect of consciousness). We, like our psychographs, will be ?all over the place? in this regard. This is the real opportunity here for all of us, a truth-and-evidence-based sangha where all questions and all answers are held with both clear cognition and open-hearted compassion.
To us, this discussion is not about facilitating the polarization of opinions in the group to (i.e. us versus them, exclusivism/absolutism, a first-tier trap for which the only real solution is found in second-tier). It is about becoming aware of all the partial truths from as many perspectives available, teasing apart truth from propaganda from all sides, in all the material we suggested, locating the Kosmic Address and applying the quadratic truth tests. We wish to examine bias from all perspectives from aperspectival/integral awareness; seeing, not choosing sides. This particular subject has an abundance of propaganda/data on BOTH sides.
Michael Crichton?s work was referenced at the previous meetup session and included. He brings up the important differentiation between pre-rational beliefs (purple/blue) and rational understanding (orange) about the environment and unhealthy politicized pseudo-environmentalism (unhealthy green) and healthy rational environmentalism (healthy green/yellow). We can discuss whether Crichton is correct or not in his application of levels, or to be more correct in our analysis where is he correct and where is he not correct (from digital/1st tier to analog/2nd tier thinking).
Every perspective in the relative mental space is biased and embedded (the myth of the given; fragmented, partial). We are dedicated as the meetup organizers to creating the space to witness this (dualistic mind), AND the nonduality where there is no division, conflict, or fragmentation. This is integral.
The full text of this message and some additional links are posted on the message board:http://kenwilber.meetup.com/59/messages/boards/view/viewthread?thread=3239538
We look forward to the loving, stimulating and intelligent discussion of our next session.
Jana and Eliot