Integral New Economics

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What: Integral New Economics – a conference call

When: Wed 21 June 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where: Online via Zoom

Why: Early 21st century economics marks a shift in focus – whereas late 20th century economic analyses still rested much assurance with mathematical analyses of macro and microeconomic models, new approaches bring more emphasis on understandings achieved through distinct special sciences, such that we have ideas such as the Social Economy, Solidarity Economy, Sharing Economy, Collaborative Economy, Peer to Peer Economy, Steady State Economy and Community Economy.

These new proposals for economic perspectives share two key goals: (i) to challenge the current dominant system with its reliance on fossil fuels, large scale resource extraction and socially unjust structures and wealth distribution, and (ii) to create and strengthen diverse economies that serve the needs of people in ways that are socially just, culturally diverse and ecologically sustainable.

We’ll take a look at them with an eye to an integral lens. All welcome to participate in the conversation – Zoom login instructions will be forwarded around on the day before, contact trisha.nowland@mq.edu.au for information on how to join.

It will be great to see you, online. 🙂

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Seeds of Truth – an Integral Down Under Discussion

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What: Seeds of Truth – an Integral Down Under online discussion

Where: Online via Zoom

When: Sunday 6:30pm – 8:30pm AEST

Why: This is the next of our collaborative discussions exploring insights from Integral Theory for post-truth times.

From our last call we had discussed returning to the concept of truth and looking at this in connection to the present circumstances of global politics.

With round-ups from the first 100 days of Trump, election results from the Netherlands, soon France, and eventually the UK, and immanent changes in world circumstances in world leadership and population/migration changes, we’ve plenty of material to explore, taking four quadrant and eight zone approaches, and looking to how perspectives might be combined, in the effort of discerning, truth.

All welcome to be a part of the conversation. Typically the first 20 minutes or so involves introductions and general discussions, you’re very welcome to join us for this part or the whole thing.

Zoom software is used for the calls, it is easy to use, links will be posted in the discussion section of our Facebook event and messaged to any folks who RSVP. We are here to help if you need some support getting set up.

Please join our Facebook group here to get more details and to RSVP:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1115259621856582/

Look forward to seeing you next Sunday!

Integral Politics – Down Under Perspectives in Post-Truth Times

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What: Integral Politics – Down Under Perspectives in Post-Truth Times online discussion

Where: Online via Zoom (link will be forwarded following your RSVP)

When: Saturday 4 March 2017, 6pm AEDT (5:30pm ACDT)

Why: This online community conversation will play host to both open discussion and facilitated collaborative activity, exploring integral responses to the present circumstances which see us encountering Global Trumpism, and post-truth times.

Join us as we traverse cognitive, sensible, interpersonal, collective and existential truths, exploring blendings of them in an experiential deep dive into the 8 Zones set out in Ken Wilber’s Integral Spirituality, looking for the ways that they inform and connect us to these weirde tymes, of post-truth being.

Please RSVP here if you would like to attend, and we will forward through a link to the Zoom user interface for the call. Email Trish at trisha.nowland@mq.edu.au if you have any questions beforehand. All very welcome, we look forward to chatting with you soon, discerning the reach and breadth, of Integral Politics in Post-Truth Times.

Note you can join our conversation at Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1115259621856582/

State of Integral Play Down Under 2016

In late November 2016, a group of folks came together online in an encounter where we traversed the contours of four distinct approaches to embodied-being informed by integral theory, as it lives out in Down Under spaces. Note Down Under here has two modalities implicit in it’s expression – there is both a geographic latitude and longitude implied in our connectedness, and there’s also the sense that with each of the presentations there’s a seeking into something like the basis or foundations from which we could say that something like the content of integral theory can be experienced.

There was narration from myself in between these sessions about a kind of personal inquiry I had brought to these unique sessions – this was an inquiry about how these sessions might inform the ongoing development of Integral Down Under, with a particularly leaning into what sort of considerations could best support interpersonal engagement, as it continues to morph and change in response to situational changes – such as, for example, the social despair that seems to have emerged in 2016 in light of global Trumpism and Brexit. I’ll describe how these came to be and bear as we journey through each of the short (15 min) presentations below.

Embodied Integral Theory with Simon Divecha

Simon leads us through an embodied awareness of the psychological, biological, social and cultural aspects of our being, as informed by integral theory’s quadrants. For Integral Down Under I found myself reflecting on how it is always possible to lean into a different register as we sense forward, for a project – and how that sensing forward is informed to the extend that works not to unduly exclude any particular source of information or experience. This meditation invited me to acknowledge how these different aspects of our consciousness may themselves persist with contradictions, but that meditative awareness graces us the space to hold them, in view.

Integral Polarity Practice with David Sainsbury and Sue Stack

Integral Polarity Practice is a voice dialogue practice developed by John Kesler, extending on the Big Mind process of Genpo Roshi. Dave and Sue here walk us through the ways that encounters with otherwise-opposites, through a collective and reflective practice, can open the way for an appreciation of how a kind of still-point unfolds between polarities, which has some other quality in its essence – some broadening of capacity, evoked in a new quality. With polarity practice, the way that the gross material realm, the subtle meaning realm, and the emergent or source realm connect becomes transparent to our experience, precisely through the way that the process itself works – there is direct insight into the state-stages available, here. For Integral Down Under, I found myself curious about how we might best reflect notions, ideas, positions and principles that seemed to be opposite in their own structure –  how it might be that we can nurture a space where the fourth-person perspective on these ‘differences’ can be adopted, without reducing the differences directly to a monistic view, or the idea that ‘all is one’ in a way that obliterates their value.

Authentic Relating with Khali Young

Authentic Relating and Circling are interpersonal practices that have roots in integral theory and which as Khali describes here, lend us tools to embrace and embody conflict and coherence, as it arises in social spaces. For Integral Down Under, this calls to presence something of how difference itself may be the germinate ground of transformation – and reminds me of the complex background work that goes on in the simple experience of being human, together. Authentic Relating seems to ask us to stay true to what our response is, to each other, while also bringing to light skills in how to be aware of how expression of that response will shape the interpersonal space that we co-inhabit.

Pattern Dynamics with Tim Winton

Tim here describes for us his experiences with the development of Pattern Dynamics itself and also some exciting new ground looking at how Pattern Dynamics might feature in decisions, where decisions are taken as formative in the structure of organisations or collectives of peoples. We discussed here the way that Pattern Dynamics might shape awareness of the different means by which groups of people arrive at decisions – and how Pattern Dynamics can describe it with reference to the state-stages as experienced in the Integral Polarity Practice session. For Integral Down Under, this drew to presence some exciting possibilities in thinking through consciously using Pattern Dynamics in the development of the project and its possibilities, in a way not dissimilar to Theory U, but also in a way that allowed for a much more dynamic structure of going from knowing, to unknowing, to newly-knowing.

So very grateful to all involved, thanks very much for your time and support.

Shadow’s Screenplay

Birthed from the Jungian archetype of ‘shadow’ – where archetypes can be characterised as psychic forces which have their own source of instincts and impulses, the concept of ‘integral shadow’ consists in a simplified model of psychodynamic principles (Ingersoll & Zeitler, 2010). Shadow for integral, simply, is defined as an unconscious aspect of the personality, which does not recognise itself.

Per Integral Psychotherapy (Ingersoll & Zeitler, 2010), shadow describes mental content which we lie to ourselves about in some way, and which we also push out of awareness. Shadow is proposed in this literature as a barrier to deep relationality, a veil to legitimate authenticity, and as dis-integrative, in a general sense, , both here and otherwise in integral theory (see for example, Forman, 2010).

An approach called the 3-2-1 process brings a perspective-taking process to working with shadow. This seeks to make it visible, make its bases known, and to liberate its lifeform. ‘Face it, talk to it, be it’, as proposed here at Integral Chicks, as a means to uncover shadow’s covert operations, and to change our capacity to engage it’s presence. http://www.integralchicks.com/2010/06/the-3-2-1-shadow-process/

Collective shadow work takes a similar process and brings it to a group environment. Thomas Hubl with his transparent communication has worked extensively in the global Integral community to shed light on relationality as it is illuminated, in this form, as here reported by Chris Dierkes from Beams and Struts:

‘So imagine one person in the group is struggling with a shadow around anger and someone(s) else in the group is clear in this area. The clear person can attune to the contraction and can see through the symptoms to the light trapped within. This person then seeks to hold deep presence and compassion for the person with the shadow and in this way it, as Hübl says, facilitates a process for that movement to be released and fulfill itself. As the topics shift to different dimensions of life, the roles may reverse. We all have shadows in certain areas and all have gifts/clear awareness in others.’

Source: http://www.beamsandstruts.com/essays/item/934-inner-ecology-thomas-hubl-on-the-shadow

One term surfacing recently is ‘group shadow’ – the idea that, in our group interactivity, unconscious projections actually arise at the level of group awareness. The question of how to address something that is arising between us, but is largely functioning just beyond our awareness, has been pursued across different community conversations, but as far as I am aware has remained as a puzzle, a kind of Gordian knot – how do we handle collective shadow, particularly if we can’t collectively see it?

From here emerges two seemingly disparate possibilities, as modes of engagement.

The first stems from an insight revealed with Janice Macpherson’s review of Rene Girard’s concept of scapegoating, which she had posted in our local integral theory community, in Sydney. With roots in rituals of ancient Greece that saw villagers tie ribbons with their bad news, their problems, their failures and their worries recorded on them to a goat which they then would send out of town, scapegoating was chartered as movements through the Old and New Testaments, by Girard, in a shifting interpretation of ‘sacrifice’. While in the Old Testament several stories evidence a successful ‘scapegoating’ – where one individual is charged with a community’s shadow projections and ousted from that same community, thus portraying a worthy sacrifice, what the New Testament works to do is to give an account of Christ as a failed, yet far more triumphant, scapegoat, one that is resurrected ultimately, in recognition of his role as the coming of the Lord.

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The whole mechanism of scapegoating is thus upended, with the inception of the New Testament, according to Girard. Not only were the live animal sacrifices of ancient Greece transcended, but now God’s revelation occurred not at the exclusion of evil, or the scapegoat, but at the transformation, the resurrection, of the scapegoat, perhaps the greatest one of all time, Jesus, as Christ.

There is a richness to be noted here – what happens when someone is willing, actually, able, to carry the group shadow, the scapegoat label, to allow for a thoroughgoing metanoia, or transformation, of our hearts and minds? What might be available, when we can engage in this dance, collectively, consciously?

This brings me to the second thread, that of narrative therapy, and of one of the initial techniques often employed in a narrative therapy approach, that of externalising.

Externalising is a process that is almost the inverse of what integral describes as ‘shadow work’. Shadow work at a personal level asks that we take that which we have projected outside of us, and return it to its internal home. Externalising, on the other hand, asks what have we buried inside us, which, brought out into the open and explored, could become less of a sore or a suffering and become perhaps seen as a diamond, a unique offering unfolding from our individual and very particular experience, on the earth.

Externalising asks that we take a label that has been projected onto and even into us, bring it out into the open, and explore the ways that we do relate to it, and then the new ways that we might like to relate to it (Carey & Russell, 2004).

As an example, where someone (or maybe a group) scapegoats me and tells me I’m angry, there are really endless ways I can respond to the projection of anger, beyond facing it, talking to it and be-ing it.

I can:

– walk out on the shadow projection (from the concept of agency)

– eclipse the shadow projection (from astronomical concepts)

– dispel the shadow projection (from magical concepts of life)

– go on strike against the shadow projection (from industrial action concepts)

– become de-acclimatised to the shadow projection (from geographic travel concepts)

– set myself apart from the shadow projection (from the concept of individuation)

– defy the shadow projection (from notions of resistance)

– disempower the shadow projection (from notions of energetic strength)

– dissent from the shadow projection’s influence (from ideas of protest)

– educate the shadow projection (from concepts of teaching)

– escape the shadow projection (drawing on liberation)

– reclaim the territory of self from the shadow projection (from land rights concepts)

– undermine the shadow projection (geological concepts of life)

– refuse invitations to co-operate with the shadow projection (concepts of civility)

– depart the shadow projection’s sphere (concepts of travel and journey)

– engage in redress against the shadow projection (concepts of justice)

– come out from the darkness cast by the shadow projection (concepts of light)

– disprove the shadow projections claims of identity (concepts of judicial authority)

– repossess self from the shadow projection (concepts of commercial ownership)

– take life out of the hands of the shadow projection (concepts of puppetry)

– resign from the shadow projection (concept of employment)

– coach the shadow projection (concept from world of sports)

– steal identity back from the shadow projection (ideas of theft)

– tame the shadow projection (concepts of domestication)

– harness the shadow projection (concepts of equine training).

(Source: adapted from Michael White, ‘Maps of Narrative Practice’)

The list could probably go on, and one exercise could be to go through the list and feel into which ways of relating to a projection would work for you – what feels right? What might feel more right or less right for different kinds of shadow projections?

One way to explore this in the context of illuminating group shadow would be to create a situation where a volunteer might be willing to be a scapegoat – carry a group shadow projection, created consciously by the group itself, and then form a working dynamic, a dialogue, based on the chosen form of interaction. How might the group like to coach the anger? In what way would they educate it? How would they ‘steal’ group identity back from it?

Working to keep language grounded in collective descriptors (working to reduce the use of ‘I’ and ‘me’ while engaged in the practice) (per Denborough, 2011), group shadow, otherwise invisible, may become tangible through mechanisms of association, in this context. Working less to roleplay than to adequately account for an internalised sense of the collective meaning, in this way, we might find ourselves newly relating to each other, with new insights about the shape and interplay of the state-stages, in our newfound collective embodiment.

Part of my personal inspiration in writing up this post lies with noticing what suddenly becomes available for me when someone is actually willing to stand there and ‘hold’ my projection, for me, someone who will openly respond for themselves what goes on, when I ‘do the doing’, of the projection. A new kind of intimacy is shared and borne, in that vulnerability, the willingness to play the parts and follow the lines through to their conclusion (it is rarely a logical conclusion, at that).

Shadow’s screenplay. An upending and revolution, of shadow. Collectively.

References:

Carey, M, & Russell, S. (2004). Externalising: commonly asked questions. http://www.dulwichcentre.com.au/externalising.html

Denborough, D. (2008). Collective narrative practice: Responding to individuals, groups, and communities who have experienced trauma. Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.

Forman, M.D. (2010) A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy. Albany: Suny Press

Ingersoll, R.E. & Zeitler, D.M. (2010). Integral psychotherapy: Inside-Out/Outside-In. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

White, M. (2007). Maps of Narrative Practice. NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

An Integral Intersectionality

Intersectionality or intersectional theory is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, and is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination or discrimination. The concept is often used in critical theory to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. Such a theme of both interconnection and the sense of non-extricability also has home in integral theory.

Integral theory attempts to draw together disparate and individually irreducible paradigms to suggest that the most adequate account of reality is one which haaqals space and means for inclusion of them all. The idea with the axes in this model is that we cannot know the interior, without the exterior, and we cannot know the individual, without the collective, and vice versa in each regard. By setting each axis at right angles we arrive at an account of consciousness which suggests that psychological, biological, cultural and social aspects of any occasion of consciousness are irreducible to each other.

The two approaches thus seem to have some commonalities – there’s a sense that the paradigms in question can’t easily be extricated from each other, and, as a corollary, some way that the paradigms seem to mutually reinforce or influence each other. Integral theory would make no direct reference to systems of oppression, and in fact would claim that development in psychological, biological, cultural and social phenomena actually occurs along an axis that seeks into the conditions of freedom – becoming more complex, and more integrated, along the way.

I’m curious about bringing intersectionality into contact with integral theory in part to find out what happens, in their own intersection. One way to do this is to sense into what happens for each, when the principles of one are made available to another. For example, to bring an intersectional approach to integral theory, there might arise the question of in what way and how, does the biological influence the social, or the psychological place particular emphases on the cultural? What we’re speaking of here perhaps is a mutual interpenetration of these well-defined quadrants – acknowledging not only that the boundary lines connect, as much as they separate, but also that they might not reflect reality – where the social might compound the biological (think about developing alcoholism from social drinking), or negate the psychological (think about how we make an exchange of an orange piece of plastic in material reality equal to a $20 transaction, negating the simple material exchange part and attributing a monetary value to the operation).

What about the potential for an integral encounter with intersectionality? This might invite some consideration of the freedom/oppression duality in concert with first-person, second-person and third-person perspectives, in intersections. What stands to be revealed here is a kind of movement dynamic – in what way do freedom/oppression intersect by virtue of what I do, what you do, and what the situation we inhabit is and does? If some aspect of this freedom/oppression dance is shifted across any of those perspectives, what more becomes possible in subject-to-subject relationships? What can be seen, that couldn’t be seen before, in the space, between us?

Where earlier incarnations of feminism may have emphasised re-vision as functional to the construction of identities (a thinking for example of women in different roles, roles never really socially conceived, before), an integral intersectionality invites a re-cognising – a reflective ground on which thought (or consciousness) may come to encounter itself as thought (or consciousness) and thus know itself a little better. An integral intersectionality seems to imply a kind of double knowing in different ways – a sense of the interior/exterior individual/collective free/oppressed aspects of ourselves, a knowledge of ourselves as self-, and intrinsically, other-constituted. Free, and not free, but not necessarily limited, to any just-one.