Re: [kenwilber-59] Integral analytical process applied to environmentalism

From: Jeff J
Sent on: Wednesday, July 4, 2007 12:04 PM
Hello all,
 
I enjoyed your thoughts Jana and Eliot.  I think the Byrone Katie aspect of all this is so important.  Dealing with our own interior attachments/shadow/embeddedness/etc? seems the first and most important step in a sound integral analysis of things. 
 
I also want to clarify right up front that while I may disagree with some of you about these issues I respect that there are differences. The Michael Crichton article offers some interesting perspective on possible reasons people might misinterpret data in favor of more pro environmental perspectives (unfortunately his polemic style and leaps in logic tend to get in the way of his conveying that interesting perspective).  Crichton?s perspective is important to take into consideration when contemplating all these issues.  Even though I am clearly very environmentally concerned and do experience part of my identity as inseparable from this bigger Gaia that I want to care for I don?t take Michael Crichton?s comments as a personal attack.  Rather, I take them as something to be conscious of.  And similarly, I hope that when I make comments, as I have, about some reasons data might be misinterpreted in favor of minimizing environmental problems that those comments are not taken in anyway as some personal attack or disrespect for our differences. 
 
For me a healthy integral approach allows room for expressing differences without the unhealthy green need to make everything nice nice and for everyone to agree.  But it does so with healthy green contribution of delicateness, sensitivity and mutual respect.  Because emails only convey a small amount of what is conveyed between people (all the important non-verbal stuff is not included) there is a great deal of room for interpretation of what someone?s tone and intentions are.  Because of this I wanted to make it clear since we are dealing with potentially emotional issues, that while I may disagree with some of you I do still respect our differences and look forward to hashing them out ? hopefully within a passionate yet non-reactive arena. 
 
So that being said??????.
 
Elliot, you spoke about contemplating the intentions of Al Gore which I think is a really good point and I wanted to share a few thought I had regarding this.  
 
The truth is that there is not enough time (at least for me) to really study all the aspects of controversial issues like global warming at the depth and to the extent that I could fully make a completely informed analysis of what the objective UR reality is with regards to such complicated issues.  For that I would need a Ph.D. or the equivalent in environmental science.   What I do feel more capable of doing is assessing the credibility of individuals making claims.  And even if we did do all the research we would still have to asses the credibility of all those who did the studies we were researching. 
 
Ideally this analysis of those whose opinions we are determining if we can trust is an ongoing process and open to scrutiny.  There are so many aspects to this process of analysis but for me a few important aspects have to do with:  1)assessing at the potential motives of an individual; 2) assessing the level of consciousness of an individual; 3)  assessing their stage of development and their ability to reason; 4) assessing their level of attachment to their position (which is one specific motive and can greatly effect reasoning ability); 5) assessing there ability to embrace their shadow and, thus, be conscious of how there own interior mythology, personality, feelings etc? are effecting how they filter information; 6) assessing their openness to fully research and acknowledge differing perspectives and offer reasoned (not emotionally reactive or  unfounded) responses regarding how they see things differently.  There are obviously many more criteria that we all use explicitly and implicitly in this process of analysis and if you have other thoughts I?d love to hear them. 
 
But my point here is that to keep from being paralyzed by the post modern, nihilistic, cynicism plague we need to get to a place where we place trust in others to some extent.  Hopefully that trust in their clarity is open to ongoing evaluation but we need to also commit (at least momentarily) to courses of action based on what we believe to be true.  This might be misinterpreted as dualistic thinking and a first tier approach but I don?t believe it is the same thing.  It is true that there is a danger in over identifying with one stance, however, the polarity of that is the tendency to just accept the subjective reality of all positions and not acknowledge that even though all the position deserve respect there is still a hierarchy and some perspectives are more inclusive, logical, integral etc?.  I think one of the many problems with the democrats in general is that they lost their balls by trying so hard to not be dualistic. 
 
Ken Wilber is someone that, through my personal assessment process, I have come to believe, has some valid maps to help me navigate the world.  I have not done all the research he has so there is an element of trust that what he is saying has some validity and comes from a place of clarity, logic and reason with minimal personal agenda interfering in his thought process.   I don?t take what he says blindly and I do cross reference what he says with what I have experienced academically, cognitively, emotional and through my own direct experience.  But even though I have not done all the research fist hand I do trust many things he says based on my analysis of his clarity and credibility. I don?t agree with everything he says and I do believe that there are places where his imbeddedness clouds his theory.  But he is pretty dam cool and his perspective on things helps me take action in the world. 
 
So with environmental issues what and whose data do we use in our choices of how to act in the world?  And I think it?s important to clarify that global warming is just one piece of the much bigger environmental responsibility pie.  What is going on on this plant is far bigger than CO2 emissions.  But the point is that we need to asses for ourselves who we choose to believe in the moment (and moments do change of course).  And those choices are going to effect how we act.  And really is it not how we act in the world that defines us?
 
 
 
Global warming believers cite scientist saying that Martin Durkin?s claims were unfounded, that he distorted graphs to support his position, that he misrepresented scientists and made inaccurate claims.  The Global warming non-believers say the same of Gore and the IPCC.  Who do we believe?  Do we review all the data ourselves and make our own analysis?  I personally don?t have the time for that.  So I do my best to try and engage in the ongoing assessment of who seems to be presenting things with the most clarity, reason and lack of personal agenda. 
 
So how much of the more pro environmental stance is motivated by purple need for religion, how much by green identity searching and how much of it is turquoise Gaia awareness?  How much of the stance that denies and/or minimizes environmental issues and mans adverse impact on Gaia is a function of Orange logic and capitalism and materialism or purple?s God gave us the earth to exploit and it doesn?t matter because heaven is elsewhere or ?.Red domination or huh  mmmmmm?? Turquoise in some way I just am unable to grasp?.. (Am I being open minded?.......I?m trying :) )
 
I imagine it is to some extent a combination of all of those permutations (except of course for that last turquoise stretch?. :) :) :) ) and more. 
 
Personally, at this juncture, for a multitude of reasons I have come to assess that, in general, those speaking to the need to make significant changes in our relationship to the world we live in are more credible than those denying or minimizing our predicament.  I could be wrong and I?m open to that.  But while both camps may be embedded in many ways the truth is that I much rather act in line with someone embedded in the Green meme than someone embedded in the Orange meme at least in the case of how we treat the ecosystem and bigger whole we are all a part of. 
 
I?m off to the Yucatan in a few days but I look forward to wadding through all this with my integral matrix mates on the 14th
 
Jeff
 
 
 
 


Jana Espiritu Santo <[address removed]> wrote:
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




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