Multiplex: What's New | Site Map | Community | News My Multiplex Account | Sign In 
in Search

Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

Last post 07-29-2007, 3:22 PM by pattye. 17 replies.
Page 1 of 2 (18 items)   1 2 Next >
Sort Posts: Previous Next
  •  12-16-2006, 9:36 PM 16711

    Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    I've been looking forward to Wilber's upcoming book (now books), The Many Faces of Terrorism, for some time.  It's obviously an important and timely topic, and I think an AQAL analysis can bring a lot to the table.  At this point, I've only read one chapter from the first book in the trilogy, so it is early to say much at this point.  But reading it, and noting that it is another quasi-fictional work, with Wilber as a character in it and I-I as a prominent organization (this time, at the helm of world transformation as humanity approaches the Technological Singularity and the Integral “tipping point), I experienced a few qualms which I wanted to express here.

    The main one has to do with the blurred line between the fictional and the real I-I.  This has become an especially touchy subject, with Steve Frazee's blogs detailing the disparity between the promises and the actualities of IU (and other Integral projects and ventures).  Since I graduated from an Integral program, in which my teachers talked to me about the possibility of going on to teach for IU (after reviewing a proposed syllabus), I have somewhat of a vested interest in knowing what  the actualities of IU are.  If what Steve says is true, they appear to be far removed from what I was led to believe in my (very expensive) program, and in general from what paying members have been led to believe through various announcements on IN and elsewhere.

    This is disappointing, and I found myself feeling a little disturbed reading about a “super I-I” in Ken's new book.  If there had been more clarity and transparency around the actualities of things on the ground at I-I and IU, I don't think I'd have any problems at all reading about a fictionalized I-I of the future.  But now that the lines between fiction and reality have been blurred in real life also, I feel put off by this.  It's as if we're being told stories on multiple levels, and it's hard to tell what's actually the case – where hope and hype end, and where actual conditions begin. 

    For instance, Wilber's Integral Math is very interesting, and I'm excited by its potentials, but so far they are only potentials.  Right now, it is not even a true mathematical system; it's a system of notation.  It isn't ready to plug in to Cray computers and do the heavy lifting, and it may never be – it just hasn't been developed to that point, as far as I'm aware.  Putting it at the center of a world-transforming program, then, brings us into ambiguous territory.  It's fun to speculate about the potentials of this mathematical system (and the AQAL code, whatever that turns out to be), but blurring the lines between fact and fiction at the heart of a quasi-religious social movement begins to smack of L. Ron Hubbardism to me…

    I'd like to ask for your thoughts on these things.  On the one hand, I can see all of this in a somewhat ironic postmodern light – a comment on the fact that we live in narratives, that that's what we're about: telling stories, and using stories to drive power, create change, etc.  I still believe the aims of Wilber and I-I are noble and admirable.  But on the other hand, when something is presented as fact, while it is actually more story – more inspiring narrative  and idealistic hope – than anything else, and when this is tied in to money-making programs, self-advertisement and self-promotion (Wilber's books are beginning to read more like advertisements these days), then it gets tricky indeed.  Especially when people begin to invest themselves, and their hopes and plans, in the existence of concrete (true LR) programs and institutions.

    What do you think about this issue of blurring fiction and reality, for pedagogical or other purposes?  Is it okay, justifiable?  When is it questionable?  It's become common practice in recent decades – Carlos Castaneda, Lynn Andrews, James Redfield, L. Ron Hubbard, and many others.  And considering the exalted hagiographies of the world's saints, you could say this myth-making process is actually an old story.  That we've always been about blurring the lines between fact and fiction.  Where is it useful?  Where does it cross the line and become unethical? 

    What's happening with I-I? 

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

    • Post Points: 65
    • Report abuse
  •  12-17-2006, 4:39 AM 16719 in reply to 16711

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    The Will to Power --Superman (Nietzsche)

    The mechanistic world is imagined only as sight and touch imagine a world (as "moved") --so as to be calculable-- thus causal unities are invented, "things" (atoms) whose effect remains constant (--transference of the false concept of subject to the concept of the atom)...
    If we eliminate these additions, no things remain but only dynamic quanta, in a relation of tension to all other dynamic quanta: their essence lies in their relation to all other quanta, in their "effect" upon the same. The will to power is not a being, not a becoming, but a pathos --the most elemental fact from which a becoming and effecting first emerge--

    from The Will to Power, s.635, Walter Kaufmann transl.
     

    Nevertheless. -- however credit and debit balances may stand: at its present state as a specific individual science the awakening of moral observation has become necessary, and mankind can no longer be spared the cruel sight of the moral dissecting table and its knives and forceps... the older philosophy... has, with paltry evasions, always avoided investigation of the origin and history of the moral sensations. With what consequences is now very clearly apparent, since it has been demonstrated in many instances how the errors of the greatest philosophers usually have their point of departure in a false explanation of certain human actions and sensations; ...a false ethics is erected, religion and mythological monsters are then in turn called to buttress it, and the shadow of these dismal spirits in the end falls even across physics and the entire perception of the world.

    from Nietzsche's Human, all too Human, s.37, R.J. Hollingdale transl.


    JC
    33° 13' N 87° 37' W
    • Post Points: 20
    • Report abuse
  •  12-17-2006, 11:51 AM 16733 in reply to 16719

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    Hi, thanks for your response.  I don't quite follow your line of thought -- how these quotes relate to the concerns and questions I've raised.  Can you say more, in your own words?

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

    • Post Points: 35
    • Report abuse
  •  12-17-2006, 1:48 PM 16744 in reply to 16733

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    hi balder .. am curious to learn where and how u draw the line between fiction and reality and am assuming u are referring to relative reality

     

     

    • Post Points: 20
    • Report abuse
  •  12-17-2006, 3:43 PM 16750 in reply to 16711

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    Hi Balder,

     

    The question of blurring the distinction between fact and fiction at I-I is serious; and is made all the more so by the excellent and sincere manner in which you have raised it.

     

    Where is it useful?  My guess is only as an expression of skillful means; however this would be quite a stretch in the present circumstances. My guess is that KW has a sort of fly-by-the-pants, given to impulsiveness streak in his luminosity. If present, it’s the sort of thing that comes with the territory when taking on a birth at a moment three days after a new moon; my research shows that no one manifests without some sort of soli-lunar baggage.   

     

    Where does it cross the line and become unethical?  My answer is the line is crossed when there is intent to deceive; obviously reading intent of another is to read their interior, a tricky business for sure. But in this case i have seen no evidence of any such intent.

     

    From my view a more likely explanation is to be found in an overview of KW and the manner in which his ‘fate’ and that of the American People are intertwined. In very real terms he not only ‘feels their pain’, but actually suffers quite acutely in so doing.

     

    While i agree that this blurring is troubling, i remain willing to cut the guy some extra slack, a thing easier for me to do, not having put big bucks in a training system he has authorized.

     

    Warmly,

     

    Charles

    88W18'28" 41N58'02"

    • Post Points: 5
    • Report abuse
  •  12-17-2006, 4:18 PM 16752 in reply to 16744

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    hi, fairyfaye, i don't mean anything esoteric or difficult -- simply asking if any blurring is going on between what is actually the case, on the ground, with i-i and iu, and what is being promoted and described.  and yes, i am referring, of course, to the relative reality of everyday, lived experience.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

    • Post Points: 20
    • Report abuse
  •  12-17-2006, 5:28 PM 16754 in reply to 16752

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    perhaps what is being promoted and described is the "potential" ??

     

    • Post Points: 5
    • Report abuse
  •  12-18-2006, 4:28 AM 16770 in reply to 16733

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    If you have read Nietzche you would see his description of "The Superman." Marxism & Hitler came from this kind of philosophy... 'nuff said.
    JC
    33° 13' N 87° 37' W
    • Post Points: 5
    • Report abuse
  •  12-18-2006, 6:59 AM 16771 in reply to 16711

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    the new ceo may be just what the doctor ordered Wink [;)]
    • Post Points: 20
    • Report abuse
  •  12-18-2006, 8:14 AM 16779 in reply to 16771

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    I hope they find someone great -- someone who understands Ken's vision, understands Integral, and who can bring the best out of all those s/he works with.  Also, someone who can generate the revenue that will help bring I-I's plans to full fruition.

    With Charles, I do not think that the "blurring" of fact and fiction -- to the degree that that has happened, and I'm not sure yet if it's very much -- has been done with any malice or intent to cheat or deceive.  I trust the intentions of all involved.  But that doesn't mean this sort of blurring is without ramifications which could potentially have a negative impact on the enterprise as a whole.  And that's what I'm concerned about.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

    • Post Points: 20
    • Report abuse
  •  12-18-2006, 6:48 PM 16805 in reply to 16779

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I


    balder,

    the question you've asked is an important one, but one that none of us on the outside can possibly answer. my own guess is that if someone on the inside of this could have given us a good answer, they would have already have done so (there is huy lam's message at zaadz--have you seen it?). things are a little chaotic at what hopes to be the leading edge of an integral age!

    what appears unmistakable to me is the effort ken is putting into this, at some risk to his own health. i wonder if he isn't overdoing it, and if he is, my guess is that it is out of an enormous sense of responsibility. it seems to me, then, that the most important question is how can we help. this thread may help--it can serve to lighten his load a bit, but that depends on how we approach it.

    about the blurring, i think ken is doing everything he can to follow up on all his promises. maybe he promised too much, involving, as it inevitably did, so many other people--even us. he's reached out to both of us, and now it's our turn to reach back as best we can.

    in appreciation of all your efforts,

    ralph

    • Post Points: 20
    • Report abuse
  •  12-18-2006, 9:11 PM 16809 in reply to 16805

    • rollie is not online. Last active: 08-23-2008, 4:33 PM rollie
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-19-2006
    • Boulder, CO and Alberta, Canada
    • Posts 164
    • Points 23,260

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    Balder, Ralph,

    Thank you both for your thoughtful questions and comments.  I'll try to respond to them as best I can from inside, not as the official voice of I-I, but as someone who has worked here for some time and has some familiarity with what's happening.

    Oh dear, we are not trying to emulate the fictional "Integral Center" that first appeared in Boomeritis and has reappeared in its sequel, The Many Faces.  The fictional center pre-dates I-I by a couple of years, and the two have emerged relatively independently.  We sometimes joke about placing ourselves at the fulcrum of humanity, but we don't actually see ourselves at "the helm of transformation."  We're just a group of people who consider Ken's message important and are doing our best to get that message out.

    We consider our content second-to-none, but of all the resources we have, our members are the most important.  Our first priority is to fulfill our membership commitments, which we are hard at work delivering.  And one of our biggest frustrations has been an inability to respond to our members as fully as we'd have liked.  Know that it really was a case of having not enough hours in the day.

    Charges that Integral University is "vaporware" are actually somewhat disingeneous.  We launched a public beta of the IU website over a year ago, and after considerable feedback, we decided that the delivery was not up to the level of the content.  It was good, but not brilliant.  And so, with respect to the website, we've gone back to the drawing board.  Meanwhile, we've laid the groundwork for numerous centers, as well as a central core to provide services (such as media, academics, etc.) to the various centers.  Some of the centers are extremely active (e.g. Business and Leadership, Psychology, International Development), holding their own seminars and events, and writing their own textbooks.  Others are less so, requiring more input from directors and volunteers outside the core of I-I.  We have also made huge strides in partnering with various institutions such as Fielding and JFK.  I have no doubt that the grand vision of IU will come to fruition.  But I can't tell you exactly when that will be, or exactly what that will look like.  If it is to emerge, it will indeed require all of our (and all of your) efforts.  We'll let you know how you can participate.

    Thank you for this and for every discussion.  It's an honor to walk this road with you.  We'll do our best to be here for you - God knows you've been here for us....

    ~Rollie @ ISC
    • Post Points: 50
    • Report abuse
  •  12-18-2006, 10:14 PM 16812 in reply to 16809

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    Rollie, 

    You 've given me potent reassurence. To witness a balenced reciprocity in this dialogue is a tremendous gift. ..especially for who, like me, don't always refrain from worried projecting. I still feel most grateful for the chance to participate by being excited, concerned, inspired/floored/delighted/aggetated/tolerated/appreciated/educated in this context of learning how to realize an Integral way of living.

    Be Well,  kcd

     


    'takes all kinds.
    • Post Points: 5
    • Report abuse
  •  12-19-2006, 11:15 AM 16831 in reply to 16809

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    Rollie,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and to share an "insider" perspective with us.  I have followed your blogs and other postings and know you are quite busy there -- doing very interesting things!

    Oh dear, we are not trying to emulate the fictional "Integral Center" that first appeared in Boomeritis and has reappeared in its sequel, The Many Faces.  The fictional center pre-dates I-I by a couple of years, and the two have emerged relatively independently.  We sometimes joke about placing ourselves at the fulcrum of humanity, but we don't actually see ourselves at "the helm of transformation."  We're just a group of people who consider Ken's message important and are doing our best to get that message out.

    Yes, I consider myself one of those people too, so I relate to that.  And I've sort of been following things with I-I since I went to a meet-up at Ken's house several years ago and the opening of Integral Naked was announced, so I feel I have somewhat of an idea of what is going on, but I still think the combination of a fictionalized I-I and a tendency to over-promise what the real I-I is doing and can deliver is likely to contribute to unrealistic expectations, especially in general public perception.  Even long-time subscribers to IN like me have been somewhat foggy about what is actually happening "on the ground" at I-I, in terms of functional systems and programs, and what is still largely conceptual.  This lack of clarity has been compounded by the sorts of messages we have received about what is happening and what is upcoming, particularly early on.

    We consider our content second-to-none, but of all the resources we have, our members are the most important.  Our first priority is to fulfill our membership commitments, which we are hard at work delivering.  And one of our biggest frustrations has been an inability to respond to our members as fully as we'd have liked.  Know that it really was a case of having not enough hours in the day.

    I believe this, and I wish we could come up with a way to make more hours in the day!  Or even better, make I-I solvent enough that it has the resources to do all that its members intend and desire.  I think those days are coming -- I hope so!

    Charges that Integral University is "vaporware" are actually somewhat disingeneous.  We launched a public beta of the IU website over a year ago, and after considerable feedback, we decided that the delivery was not up to the level of the content.  It was good, but not brilliant.  And so, with respect to the website, we've gone back to the drawing board.

    I was one of the beta testers for IU back then, and I remember that there was concern that it wasn't very university-like yet.  It had great material on it, and looked like a good place to read integrally informed papers on different subjects, as well as discuss things with other members and faculty, but it wasn't clear yet how it was going to function as an actual university.

    I respect the drive for excellence that sent you all back to the drawing board, and believe that is going to lead to better things in the long run, but the relative silence about what was happening, and why nothing was manifesting (when its immanent opening had been touted with great fanfare), was a bit confusing to the membership, from my observations of comments made on the message boards.

    Meanwhile, we've laid the groundwork for numerous centers, as well as a central core to provide services (such as media, academics, etc.) to the various centers.  Some of the centers are extremely active (e.g. Business and Leadership, Psychology, International Development), holding their own seminars and events, and writing their own textbooks.  Others are less so, requiring more input from directors and volunteers outside the core of I-I.  We have also made huge strides in partnering with various institutions such as Fielding and JFK.

    Yes, I graduated from JFKU's MA program in Integral Psychology, which was based on the AQAL model, and have spoken with Sean Hargens about the new developments in the Integral Studies program now that IU is partnering with JFKU, and it all sounds exciting and very promising.  I hope it continues to grow.

    I have no doubt that the grand vision of IU will come to fruition.  But I can't tell you exactly when that will be, or exactly what that will look like.  If it is to emerge, it will indeed require all of our (and all of your) efforts.  We'll let you know how you can participate.

    I agree with you -- I think it's going to happen too.  I certainly wish you well, and will be happy to contribute in whatever ways I can at the appropriate time.

    Thank you for this and for every discussion.  It's an honor to walk this road with you.  We'll do our best to be here for you - God knows you've been here for us....

    We're all in this together!  Continue to walk in beauty, Rollie.

    Best wishes,

    B.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

    • Post Points: 5
    • Report abuse
  •  06-07-2007, 10:05 PM 24188 in reply to 16809

    Re: Blurring Fact and Fiction: Telling Stories About I-I

    Hey Rollie, Balder

    Rollie, you probably won't read this because this post was so long ago. Hi. I miss you. Nice post.

    Balder, I appreciate your concerns. All I can tell you about my experience of working for II for many years is that all that is said about us (just to be clear, we are not a monolith, as you well know, but a number of individuals working together with varying perspectives on just about everything), is partial!

    This is not my way of being diplomatic, though it does also serve that function. I am unwilling to talk trash about those that have left II or those that have stayed, but rest assured the way an entire organization of individuals has been represented is not actually how we are, even if different individuals at different moments had a point.

    Further, for me, I never felt comfortable discussing "what is going on at II or our relationships" on the internet. I think that it is often the wrong place to work out "what really happened" or "what is really happening." So much can be misinterpreted, and many of us did (do) not have time to discuss a multifaceted, complex community in one page blogs. We just can't, and I would contest that we shouldn't.

    Integral has always been about manifesting a vision, and a nascent one for many. And let's face it, Ken seems like a visionary, among other things. It may be useful here to consider types. I imagine that Ken is attempting to translate some experience of consciousness into the manifest realm (I hate that word manifest, btw, but can't think of another one). That is what he does, so as he talks about his visions, he is in no way attempting to mislead... I bet he actually sees his vision fully formed and what he wants (which may be different than what he gets), but rest assured, he sees his vision whole and perfect and true. Now that vision may take a while to actually produce, but that does not necessarily concern a visionary. (Of course, I am projecting from what I have observed, just because I see ken as a visionary does not mean he sees himself that way, and ultimately, the guy also has a right to define himself as sees fit, regardless of how we interpret him).

    I can speak about AQAL Journal and Integral Books, as those were my jobs. So AQAL Journal did launch. It was a lot of work and a hell of a lot of reveiw calls. The review process was so totally rigorous, we pissed some authors off... but we all persevered, authors included. There is more content there than I think most of us can get to in a year. Volume 2 is now just out.

    And the journal is a beginning step toward IU. (I really have no idea what is going on now, so don't consider this an inside perspective). As Katie and others began to develop IU, we realized we needed content and a justification for the Integral Model. That is what these first volumes of the Journal (which Katie was also instrumental in) appear to be about. The beginning application and justification of an integral model in various disciplines. From what I hear, they are being used as content in the JFK program.

    Joe Perez, an author aside from Ken, the first of an Integral book series is out. There are more books to come, though I am no longer employed there so I can't say which. And now Integral has Rob, the new CEO, and things are starting to look downright stable. Rob seems really fantastic, and I don't easily give praise.

    Is there a lot to accomplish? You bet. Is everyone doing the best they can... I believe they are. Will it occur on your timetable? I don't know. That is for you to decide. You are rearing to go now, and the integral vision can be put to work now.


    annie
    • Post Points: 20
    • Report abuse
Page 1 of 2 (18 items)   1 2 Next >
View as RSS news feed in XML
 © Integral Institute, 2006. all rights reserved - powered by enlight™ email this page del.icio.us | terms of service | privacy policy | suggestion box | help