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The Best Game in Town

Dear Friends,

 

Before discussing the genuinely new, let’s return to the three “tense” threads mentioned in last week’s post.

 

Yschachter and Timelody, arguing over applications of Spiral Dynamics in the Integral View of Abortion thread, have managed to resolve their differences. The unfortunate consequence of their tussle, however, is that a once lively conversation has stopped short. Did interest die down? Or was confrontation, even after it had been resolved, too unsettling to allow discussion to continue?

 

The integral vs. Integral thread transformed first into a beautiful series of contemplations on the relative importance of sincerity and eloquence, and then began applying this question to the recent “Essential Spirituality” dialogues with Willow Pearson. It appears that McFarlin’s challenge to Integral, and to Integral Institute, has not dissipated, but it is being met constructively.

 

The Banish thread has continued very much apace, however. Corey DeVos, the IN Managing Editor, finally weighed in after 254 prior posts on the subject, encouraging the community to treat violations of the Road Rules on a post-by-post, rather than user-by-user basis. Not that this has settled the argument, however.

 

Integral was primarily, for most of its existence, a theory. A grand theory, surely, and one that everyone here found deep resonance with, but a theory nonetheless. And what we have here—what we are here—is one of the largest experiments so far in applying that theory. Can we really gather a community around second-tier values and make it work? The discussion of what to do about this one member has touched on nearly every element of Integral theory already—Whose shadow is being projected? What level is this or that on? What are the exterior components of the website shaping the interior conflict and unhappiness?—and there are no clear answers just yet. The results of this debate will echo far beyond the fate of one member of our community, and into the way that Integral values are lived for some time. I wonder if we yet have what it takes to live up to our shared ideals, whatever that living would look like. I wonder what you think.

 

Elsewhere in the multiplex, participation in this community has become part of some people's ILP. Scrap your own post as an ego busting practice has been discussing the practice side of obeying the Road Rules, and how they can be used to help the individual grow, as well as the community. On some occasions “I've discovered that I wasn't even aware that my intention wasn't other than wanting attention,” says thread-starter Geomo. A number of members have resonated with that, and found the discussion an inspiration to better examine themselves.

 

Another unusual take on practice has gotten attention in the Lucid Dreaming thread, starting from a fascinating interview with Robert Augustus Masters and moving into various members’ experiences with lucid dreams. This is an often-overlooked means of exploring one’s own consciousness, and we love to see Integral folks helping each other navigate this territory. Beware – reading this thread you might have to confront the question “Are you conscious of being conscious?” Results may vary.

 

A few people have also been working their psychodynamic module in the ISC forums, discussing the nature and importance of forgiveness. To ‘see humanity in the face of the enemy’ is to begin to see them integrally, as fellow creatures caught up like us in samsara.  Yet, is noone personally accountable?  In choosing to harm others, are we a product of our context, so that there is nothing, ultimately, to forgive?  What do you think of forgiveness as spiritual practice? asks Davidd. “That is what holds us back from forgiving ... the incorrect assumption that if we forgive, we are implying that what was done was okay” replies Fairyfaye, and the conversation continues from there into the practical difficulties of actual forgiving.

 

And to what extent must practice involve religion? Chapter 9 of Integral Spirituality seems to indicate that spirituality is best practiced with a church, for the sake of the children. Ats disagrees with this, proposing secular spirituality instead. It’s an interesting post, musing on what is truly inherent in spiritual practice and the difficulty of bringing religions into second-tier. A variety of interesting responses have already been posted. Is yours next?

 

We’re in this together, my Integral friends. We are the frothy edge. It is here and now that Integral Theory is translated into practice, both within us and between us. It’s a challenge, certainly, but it just might be the best game in town.

Published Thursday, September 07, 2006 12:23 AM by iiwhatsnew

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