Tired of the same old left /right arguments? Want to throw your shoe at the shouting heads on cable news? Then join Jeff for a look at current events and culture from an integral perspective. Each week he explores emerging trends in politics, economics, science and spirituality, all with an eye toward spotting the evolution and up-flow of human consciousness and culture.
Triggered by Deep Disagreement - … and how “integral pluralism” breaks the deadlock
In this episode, I point out a heartening trend among cultural commentators: an increasing recognition that people, particularly people fighting a culture war, not only think different things, they think differently.
A key teaching of integral theory is that human consciousness and culture evolve through stages of development. Each stage has its own receptors, processors and algorithms, and each reveals a different “worldspace” which their subjects occupy.
When conflicts arise among people of different worldspaces, there is limited common ground and deep divisions remain that are immune to influence. Philosopher Robert Fogelin refers to this divide as “deep disagreement” where successful argument is not an option. What is called for is integral consciousness, a worldspace occupied by someone who is capable of holding multiple perspectives, a person that Peter Limberg and Conor Barnes describe as a “pan-tribalist participant, who has the ability to communicate across tribes in a way that seems fair and reasonable to each tribe. They would have the mental agility, empathy, and wisdom needed to shift between a multitude of perspectives.”
In this podcast, I place the notion of “integral pluralism” in a developmental context, which I think helps us understand it not just as a psychological capacity but as a movement of human history. I also highlight how it helped me consider the high-profile public apologies offered this week by two of my least-favorite people: Marjorie Taylor Greene and Chrissy Teigen. Enjoy!
For more on the application of integral pluralism in the current culture war, see Greg Thomas’s excellent new essay “Why I Am a Radical Moderate.”
June 26th: Grace and Grit: From Book to Movie to Integral Life Practice
On another note, my friends and colleagues, Nomali Perera and writer/director Grace and Grit (the movie), Sebastian Siegel, would like to invite you to a zoom call where they’ll discuss the movie, as well as engage in community practice. It is free and open to all. You can find more details here.
Mapping the Emerging “Integrative Meta-Perspective” - with psychiatrist and futurist Charles M. Johnston M.D.
Today on Post-Progressive Inquiries I explore the contours of the next stage of human development with psychiatrist and futurist Charles M. Johnston. Charles has just released two new books exploring an emerging way of thinking that he calls the “integrative meta-perspective”.
As Charles explains, “Our work today is to bring big-picture, long-term perspectives to the human condition. While these kinds of insights can initially stretch people’s understanding, with time, most people find them seeming like common sense. What is new is that this is a degree of common sense that before now we could not have fully grasped — or tolerated. It would have overwhelmed us. Today, it has become essential.”
I hope you enjoy our conversation and check out his latest books:
* Creative Systems Theory—A Comprehensive Theory of Purpose,Change, and Interrelationship In Human Systems (With Particular Pertinence to Understanding the Times We Live In and the Tasks Ahead for the Species)
* Perspective and Guidance for a Time of Deep Discord: Why We See Such Extreme Social and Political Polarization—And What We Can Do About It.
Post-Progressive Inquiries is a co-production of the Institute for Cultural Evolution and the Daily Evolver Podcast. Steve McIntosh will join the series in the next episode.
The Meaning of It All - An integral look at grief and loss
In this episode, I take a look at the “ultimate questions” of religion and philosophy: Who are we? Where are we going? How does one live a meaningful life in a world that is marked by loss and death, but also goodness and beauty?
Throughout history, humanity has come up with many different and often conflicting answers to these questions. Early humans perceived a spirit world where the ancestors were present and available. Traditional cultures posited a transcendent reality – Godhead or Nirvana – with death as an opportunity for liberation from evil and suffering. Modernity deconstructed religion and spirit but produced the insights of psychology, as well as countless therapies for personal growth.
The integral approach is to embrace them all and to be illuminated by multiple truths. In that spirit I created this episode by talking to four of my smartest integral colleagues about their views of the ultimate questions:
* Dr. Keith Witt, integral psychotherapist for over 50 years, talks about the psychotherapeutic approach to trauma and grief.
* Integral teacher and coach Nomali Perera shares the story of the death of her father and the metamorphosis of meaning it sparked in her.
* Buddhist priest and integral teacher Diane Musho Hamilton offers guidance on the meditative approach of compassion and soothing presence.
* And integral philosopher Steve McIntosh brings a theistic perspective, seeing death as a passage in one’s infinite cosmic journey of divine perfection.
I feel better – and a little bigger – having had these conversations. I hope they help you expand a bit as well!
– Jeff Salzman
Psychedelics go Mainstream + John McWhorter & Bill Maher on Race
Part 1: I look at a front-page story in the New York Times about how psychedelic drugs, such as ecstasy and magic mushrooms, are poised to reshape psychiatry. I make the case that this is a significant move in the evolution of human consciousness.
Part 2: I play excerpts from a fascinating conversation between John McWhorter and Bill Maher on race relations, and imagine how an understanding of developmental theory would have improved it.
Here’s to another week in cultural evolution!
~ Jeff Salzman
More on Post-Progressive Diversity - … plus Lee Mason on Integral Flourishing
In this episode, I look deeper into the Integral project of ”worldview diversity,” where we seek to befriend, appreciate, and be influenced by people and cultures who inhabit different world-spaces (altitudes of development). Topics I hit on:
* Alexei Navalny’s heroic, near-death fight for modern values in Russia.
* “Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others.” Pew research on how Eastern and Western Europeans respond to that statement.
* How “mean modernity“ blinds us to the deep identity and fulfillment found in healthy traditionalism.
* Practicing to deepen multi-perspectivalism with individuals and cultures.
Plus, I welcome Integral teacher and coach Lee Mason to tell us about his new program, The Essence of Integral Flourishing, now available at Integral Life. Enjoy! You can learn more about Lee on www.practicalintegral.com.
Post-Progressive Diversity - Integral Consciousness Busts Ideological Bunkers
This week I explore an essay published in Israel’s newspaper Haaretz that The New York Times said “shook the Israeli left like an ideological bunker-busting bomb.”
In it, Nissim Mizrachi, former head of the department of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University, describes what he calls the blind spot of liberals, who, he says, “do not see themselves as ‘classifiable’ from the outside.”
“I think the most blatant phenomenon in world politics today is the resounding defeat of the liberal vision,” Mizrachi says. “It’s a double breakdown: one involving the government, in the sense of the left’s inability to gain a political foothold among the masses; and more deeply, one involving an inability to imagine an order that accommodates opposition groups.”
Integral theory shows us that all first-tier worldviews, not just liberalism, are stuck in their ideological bunkers. And that the way forward is to explore and open to the world of others, particularly our political opponents.
In the second part of the episode, I apply this thesis to the culture war currently being fought within the African-American community, where the antiracists, led by Ibram X. Kendi, are sparring with the anti-antiracists, led by Glenn Loury and others.
What does a diversity of worldviews look like? It’s deceptively simple, says Professor Mizrachi, “We think the other side’s concerns are not mine, but they should be because I care about him or her. We share something in common here. We are sharing this land and this nation. It sounds horrible, but he or she needs to become part of us. Because they are part of us.”
Sounds kind of beautiful to me, but getting there sure ain’t pretty. I hope you enjoy the episode!
Doing Your Part To Make This World Better
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