Integral Sustainability Seminar 09.14.06
Ken Wilber

This series of clips was recorded at an Integral Sustainability seminar on September 14, 2006.


It is truly an amazing time: we are currently experiencing not only a major transformation from one stage of consciousness to the next, but an entire tier transformation from "deficiency needs" to "being needs"—out of a world literally falling apart under the weight of it's own fragmentation, and into the first genuinely integral wave of consciousness the planet has ever seen. How can we tell if we are on the right path? Are there any sign posts along the way? And how can we make this not just a revolution of the mind, but a revolution of the soul?
 A Test for Integral Awareness ( 13:17 )
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Here Ken is asked about one of the most difficult and pressing issues of our time: bringing some degree of order to the quagmire that is the Middle East. How can the West help influence the overall growth of the Middle East, from renegade states to civil societies? Do democratic solutions have any chance of helping a region which, to co-opt a phrase from Winston Churchill, "continues to produce more history than it can possibly digest"?
 Leveling the Laws of the Land ( 10:04 )
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Here Ken discusses some of the obstacles the world faces in bringing any sort of real change to our current ecological crisis. The paradox, of course, is that it takes a fairly sophisticated perspective to perceive the problem—and the more inclusive perspectives become, the fewer people there are inhabiting them. Some green approaches to sustainability might insist that all we need to do is to simply respect the "Great Web of Life," but how can we when the vast majority of people can't even see it? As our environmental problems are indeed global in scale, requiring a global response, which in turn requires truly global perspectives, how can we begin leading more people toward becoming part of the solution?
 The Key to Integral Sustainability ( 14:44 )
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Ken talks about the significance of types,—the "fifth element" of the AQAL model—which include such typologies as masculine/feminine, Myers-Brigges, the Enneagram, and even Astrology. Learning these typologies can help further finesse our approach to the world around us, tweaking our perceptions of various patterns that may be occurring at any given stage of development. He then goes on to discuss the evolution of different techno-economic modalities throughout history, and how they have all directly impacted human culture and consciousness.
 Typology and Social Evolution ( 15:30 )
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China is an absolutely massive country, with over 1.6 billion people. And as a result of recent trends in globalization, it is currently experiencing an unprecedented explosion into industrial and capitalistic modes of production, with more people being lifted out of poverty at a rate faster than any other time in history. This, of course, is also adding extraordinary pressure to our current environmental crisis—it is reported that pollution levels in China could more than quadruple in the next 15 years if China does not slow its energy consumption and automobile use, offering humanity a unique challenge in the 21st century. How can we enact healthy globalization efforts to continue helping pull so many people out of poverty, while curtailing the catastrophic impact such rapid modernization has upon the environment? And how can the many profound legacies of Chinese spirituality survive this modernization, as well as the inevitable post-modernization that lies ahead?
 Globalization, Spirituality, and a Sustainable China ( 14:26 )
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Each altitude sees the apocalypse differently: Red is currently stocking ammunition and digging bunkers in Montana, Amber is eagerly anticipating the Rapture just before the arrival of the Four Horsemen, Orange prognosticates a very gloomy future after the total collapse of the global economy, while Green just hopes we make it to 2012 before we all boil alive in our own atmosphere. Are we truly facing the seemingly inevitable end of everything? Or are we perhaps experiencing an entirely new set of global life conditions which—painful and chaotic as they are—will nonetheless lead to a more sane and integral future? Repent, the Beginning is near!!!
 The Ever-Nearing Apocalypse ( 08:38 )
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One day, God—in all His infinite omniscience, infinite omnipotence, and infinite omnipresence—becomes infinitely bored. So, understandably, He decides that He wants to play a game. Now, if you have ever tried to play a game of chess against yourself, you know that it's not very much fun at all, you really need someone else to play against. So, God has an idea.  He manifests the entire Kosmos, breaking himself up into an infinite number of pieces, casting Himself out into all creation.  Spirit crystallizes into Soul, which crystallizes into Mind, which further crystallizes into Life and Matter, until finally, in a magnificent Big Bang, God completely forgets who He is. It's the most impossibly perfect game of all—a game of Kosmic hide-and-seek, and the only way to win is to evolve back through matter, life, mind, soul, and Spirit, until finally we remember who we always-already are. This is the story of involution and evolution, the story of your very existence, the story of each and every moment.

 Involution and I Amness ( 16:59 )
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