An Interview with Haim Hacerim.  Part 2.  Integrating Freud and Buddha.  
A translation of A Brief History of Everything has recently been published in Hebrew, and in preparation for this exciting event Ken was interviewed by Carmel Vaisman for Haim Hacerim, what some have loosely called the “What Is Enlightenment?” of Israel.  This marks Ken's debut with the Israeli press, and stands as a wonderful introduction to the overall Integral Vision, a brilliant 50,000-foot view over the ever-emerging integral landscape. 

Here Carmel and Ken take their integral exploration several steps deeper, touching not only on the theory of an Integral Approach, but how it can be practically applied to some very real-world issues.
Topics include:

  • Ken has been known for “integrating Freud and Buddha”—what exactly does that mean?  Using a simple developmental model spanning egocentric (me) to ethnocentric (us) to worldcentric (all of us) to Kosmocentric (all sentient beings), Freud primarily addresses how the world can look from level 1 (egocentric) and Buddha, or any contemplative master, primarily addresses how the world can look from level 4 (Kosmocentric).  Both are real, both are important, both must be included in any truly integral approach.
  • For all its elegance and apparently comprehensive nature, why hasn’t Ken’s work on an AQAL-Integral framework been adopted more in academia?  As Ken explains, the vast majority of academia worldwide is currently going through the dying gasps of the postmodern reign, and when the dust finally settles, integral can be seen for what it really is: the logical next step in the human knowledge quest.  Furthermore, integral already is having an enormous impact in academia, as evidenced by the formation of Integral Institute's academic activities, with 23 subject-specific centers of discourse, several thousand pages of original integrally-informed material, online certificates and degrees offered via partnerships with John F. Kennedy University and Fielding Graduate University, and all because professors the world over have been applying an integral approach in their work for years.
  • How stages of development affect interpretation of the Torah, and why the belief in being “the chosen people” with “special and complete knowledge of reality” is common to the same stage of development across all major religions, East and West.
  • The incorrect perception—common in Israel at least—that Ken is primarily associated with oft-controversial figures such as Andrew Cohen or Marc Gafni.  That couldn't be farther from the truth, the most obvious reason being that Integral Spiritual Center is filled with thirty of the finest and most well-respected spiritual teachers in the world, including Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, Father Thomas Keating, Sally Kempton, among many others—and Andrew, of course, is also a frequent guest on Integral Naked.  Ken goes on to explain that he was among the first to publicly stand up and criticize Marc Gafni for his sexual improprieties, remove him from Integral Institute, and that women centrally involved in bringing these issues to light considered Ken utterly trustworthy.  What went so terribly wrong?  The Buddha in Marc was real, but the Freud was not integrated—his very bright light cast some very sharp shadows, to the detriment of all.  
  • The importance of an Integral Life Practice: integrating Body, Mind, and Spirit is not enough.  The Shadow can follow you all the way to enlightenment and back, which is why the Shadow module is the fourth core pillar of an Integral Life Practice.

This is a fantastic dialogue exploring not only what integral is, but why it matters, and what it can do to help us navigate an ever-more-complex world….


(Don’t forget to check out Part 1 of this clear, concise introductory dialogue.)

transmission time: 32 minutes
keywords: Freud, Buddha, developmental stages (egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric, Kosmocentric), Carol Gilligan, ego, id, libido, Martin Buber, Plotinus, Kurt Fischer, Robert Kegan, Susann Cook-Greuter, Integral University, John F. Kennedy University, Fielding Graduate University, Integral Spiritual Center, Integral Life Practice Starter Kit, 3-2-1 Process, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Process, Andrew Cohen, Marc Gafni, Grace and Grit, A Brief History of Everything, Bill Clinton, The Many Faces of Terrorism, “What Is Integral?
most memorable moment: “I just don’t believe that God is the type of intelligence that has a chosen people; I believe that is a truth that was true at a stage of development—and at the ethnocentric stage, everyone claims they are the chosen people….”

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