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INTEGRAL LAW

Last post 08-20-2007, 4:22 PM by cgnost. 65 replies.
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  •  10-26-2006, 1:22 PM 12674 in reply to 12048

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Off the cuff comment, Turtle.  It seems that rather than being a checklist, which to me implies making sure each is included before considering the next level, that this is more of a flowchart of a process of assessing options.  Consider this, then consider this, then consider this.  There may be sometimes that one particular level is a no or not really, but that it doesn't automatically negate or prevent the implementation.  For example, if something is accessible, attractive, supportive, understandable, but not safe moralistically (your term), that doesn't automatically mean that you shouldn't use it.  You would have to ask, to whom does this appear to be evil (again, your term)?  If it's just a minority of a group, political subgroup, etc., do you want that group to be able to dictate policy?  Here again we run into the problems of asking to whom are we directing this inquiry.  Something may look safe to one group, but not to me.  Similarly, something like gay marriage may seem evil and not fair minded to others while I see nothing but good and fairness in it.  Whose perspective gets referenced to answer the question?  This could get messy quickly. 

    Having said that, within a particular group with a shared perspective looking to act within itself, this would be relatively easily implemented.  But, then it's pretty limited.  I think it's a good start


    One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. --Andre Gide

    Hope is as hollow as fear. --Lao-tzu
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  •  10-27-2006, 2:20 PM 12802 in reply to 12674

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Yes, I see that it is probably overwhelming on first glance!  But I would consider it a checklist for seeking an Integral solution.  Non-Integral solution are the norm, so if only 2/3 of the things on the checklist were to be solved for, then that would be no better or worse than the usual policy!  So, I see that having all of them on there as being crucial.  Obviously, folks who aren't anywhere close to thinking from a worldcentric perspective aren't going to even want to bother with this.  So it's really aimed at second tier-ish folks (whether they are familliar with I-I or not) who want a clear process for analyzing a potential policy.

    Presumably by third tier, you woudn't need it spelled out in such a methodical way, you'd just know the solution intuitively...  But for those of us not quite there yet, a map is a good way to get to where we want to go, right?

    By the way, I'm intending to polish this up and offer it to my old job at a transportational bicycling advocacy organization (where there is a lot of infighting about what the best solution is!).

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  11-05-2006, 7:06 PM 13957 in reply to 831

    • scotpedin is not online. Last active: 04-14-2008, 6:28 PM scotpedin
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    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Lynne started this conversation with a strong question:

     

    “But when it comes to day-to-day practice of law, how do we, the practitioners, even add a modicum of Integral understanding to our duties?”

     

    Here is a partial transcript of Ken Wilber taken from Integral Life Practice Part 2: The Essential Modules of an ILP (available on this site):

     

    “…Once you have, or you are working on your spiritual practice, how do you actively relate that to what you are doing in the world?  How does that become a part of your profession? If you are a lawyer, how do you take compassion into law – but not idiot compassion.  The last thing I want is a lawyer who’s operating on idiot compassion, or boomeritis, or the green meme.  I don’t want my lawyer being sensitive to the person who is suing me (Laughter).  I want my lawyer to kill the son-of-a-bitch…with compassion…smiling…smiling… (Laughter.)  So there a place for all of this but you really do want to be able to carry this into the real world in an authentic, genuine way.”

     

    We could be of great service to our profession if we could make progress on this question.

     

     

     

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  •  11-30-2006, 3:06 PM 15717 in reply to 10604

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for your piece - it's an interesting analysis and an interesting read.  I agree with your central premise, that is, that the Constitution is essentially a stage-5 (orange) document that explicitly rejects any stage-4 or lower reasoning - in particular, that explicitly rejects stage-4 reasoning primarily through the due process clause, and its corresponding requirement that all laws be rational.  Having said that, I think everybody who is participating in this forum knows that this is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the impact of Wilber's ideas on the field of law.  Now, I'm probably not as well read on Wilber as many of the others here, but I am also trying to work on a student note that would develop Wilber's ideas and their impact on legal jurisprudence.  Unfortunately, much of this effort is taking place on such a high level of abstraction that I've had a hard time narrowing my topic to something concrete and tangible.  But let me try here, and see what people on this forum think of some of these ideas.

    First, to summarize the history of American legal thought in a paragraph, I agree with you that the Constitution was essentially an orange document, and the brilliance of the American founders was in their ability to take a red/blue society and get them to support a government founded on orange principles with orange rights.  That is, the founders brilliance in part was their ability to take an advanced mode of consciousness that had only developed in a small elite and use it as the foundation of a government, a government that as a result was able to (slowly, over time) move the baseline consciousness of the population from red/blue to blue/orange.  But even there, I think the relationship between blue and orange in our country's legal history is complex.  For example, the late 19th century formalism and common law tradition is really a blending of orange and blue.  It is orange, in the sense that it affirms of universal human rights and world-centric morality; but it is blue in the sense of believing in the absolute objective reality of legal concepts and legal rights (indeed, as critical legal scholars understood, the human rights tradition - which Wilber sometimes refers to as if it is the essential attribute of orange morality - is inherently a melding of blue and orange as long as people understand human rights to be real, objective things that exist in the world).  The rise of the legal realist school became a clear rejection of blue and affirmation of orange.  That is, realists rejected absolute legal concepts (blue), affirmed the ability of science to reshape the law (orange) and argued that the purpose of the law is to advance social progress (orange).  The progeny of legal realism, the law and economics movement, takes these orange traits to an even greater extreme, rejecting any legal ideas other than market efficiency and taking social utility as the only measure of legal concepts.  And of course, eventually post-modern green comes along in the form of critical legal studies and the perspectivist legal philosophies, legal ideas that share in all the problems associated with the green meme - they provide no basis for legal decisions, they tacitly affirm hierarchy while explicitly rejecting it, they are built on the philosophical traditions that came before them but deny that there is any validity to those traditions, etc.

    OK, all of that is background and translation.  The key question really becomes, what happens next?  While I think the general path of the law is that ideas and progress start out in the academy, and then filter down into the public discourse and legal practice, I think that having established a generally orange level of legal and Constitutional practice, our legal system will never significantly move from orange to green.  The problems of green are just too fundamental to the practice of law to have a green legal system - when there is a defendant in front of your courtroom who is about to lose years of their life, you can't start talking about the indeterminacy of language and the ways in which legal rules reinforce arbitrary social norms - its just too important to the functioning of society to have people believe in the objectivity and certainty of legal rules (of course, critical legal scholars say: and that's the whole point of legal rules, to make people believe that they are objective and certain when in fact they are nothing more than the imposition of power without any real justification.  The false appearance of objectivity is really just a way of gaining people's assent to what is essentially an immoral process.  And they have a point, but society does need to function and it can't function based on that ideology).  So whatever is beyond the practice of orange legal reasoning, it isn't green.  It has to be the jump straight to second-tier legal reasoning.

    Which brings us to the $25,000 question: what does second-tier legal reasoning look like?

    That's a hard question to answer, so I'll address an easier question first: what does second-tier legal reasoning NOT look like?  First of all, it obviosuly cannot be an effort by one meme to dominate over the other memes.  Thus, it can't be Judge Posner's attempt to relegate all forms of legal reasoning to market discourse or efficiency analysis - that is, the attempt to make memes subordinate to one form of orange analysis.  It also can't be the critical legal scholars effort to deconstruct all forms of legal reasoning in the effort to prove that all forms of reasoning are arbitrary - the attempt to make memes subordinate to green.  And it can't be any kind of legal theory that depends on natural law (blue), nor, in my opinion, a legal theory that depends on the objective validity of natural rights.

    Further, second-tier legal reasoning would have to be based integrating all quadrants of experience.  The idea of an all quadrant approach to legal analysis strikes me as incredibly radical, given the current state of legal reasoning.  Let's face it, all forms of legal analysis have essentially ignored the left hand path as much as possible, and focused almost entirely on the right side - and particularly on the lower-right.  It's understandable why the law does this.  It's supposed to be objective!  It's not supposed to be based on softy subejective or inter-subjective realities.  At one point, we believed the law expressed absolute moral truths.  Then we believed the law represented the attempt at scientific social progress.  Then some argued that it was the imposition of cultural norms.  What do these views have in common?  They are all throughly trapped in the lower-right.  Even when legal scholars have to deal with intersubjective concepts like justice, or fairness, or the like, they take great pains to put those concepts in objective terms as quickly as possible.  In doing so, they do a real disservice to many of the people who the law is meant to actually serve.  For example, I imagine that all of us went through that long unit in Property about the Coase Theorum, and it's application to cases like Boomer and Spur - that is, the idea that when property rights conflict, the right should go to the lowest cost avoider, on the grounds that they can presumably sell that right if they choose to, leading to the most efficient outcome possible.  That idea is completely at odds with people's actual experience - when they've studied the issue, they've found that people almost never sell their property rights after judgement regardless of who is the low cost avoider and where the property right has been granted.  People don't look to the law to tell them who is the low cost avoider.  They look to the law to tell them who is right and who is wrong.  But that is too messy, to subjective, for legal analysis to really consider.  So instead, we translate that question into an objective question - turning the Is and yous into its - and give people that result.

    Of course, that raises a difficult question: if you don't translate every question into a right hand question, if you give up your claims of objectivity, than on what basis do you decide the issue?  How do you integrate the inherent subjectivity of the left-hand analysis with the requirement that the law be (or at least appear) objective?  And in particular, how do you do so without having second-tier analysis fall into the same trap as green-meme analysis, and essentially becoming a useless endeavor?  I don't have a great answer to that question.  The best I say is that when a judge makes a legal decision, s/he has to consider left-hand, subjective and intersubjective realities or the resulting judgment will be fractured, and thus even less objective than a purely right-hand analysis.  But the actual analysis requires centauric vision, and it's difficult to write about centauric vision or lay out a clear set of procedures to get there - probably because the desire to write out clear procedures is an inherently first-tier motivation. 

    Unfortunately, I think the law is an awfully long way away from being able to integrate opposing ideas.  Reasoned objectivity is so central to the justification of the law's existence that the law will have a very hard time transcending it.  And yet, ironically, while the explicit text of legal jurisprudence is a long way away from accepting integral ideas, I think that almost all legal practitioners and scholars use integral reasoning as part of their practive.  Indeed, the foundation of legal thinking is an ability to understand that two opposing arguments can both be equally valid - there is a certain Zen to legal thinking that reflects centauric thinking.  I think judges who have taken on a single form of analysis, like Judge Posner, are in the minority; I think most understand that efficiency concerns are one fundamental aspect of jurisprudence, just as justice concerns are a fundamental aspect, as are natural rights concerns, and utilitarian social progress, and Kantian deontological reasoning, and so forth.  And yet the law struggles to express that wisdom explicitly.

    Anyway, I've rambled on long enough.  But I'm curious what people who are greater experts on Wilber's work think of these ideas.  Does this stuff make sense?  Am I on the right track? 
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  •  12-03-2006, 11:39 AM 15801 in reply to 15717

    • cgnost is not online. Last active: 06-08-2008, 6:35 PM cgnost
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    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Wow, this is great.  I'm going to try to raise a number of questions.

    First, I definitely agree with you that what I wrote was just a drop in the ocean - it's only talking about constitutional law, and only one sub-area of that, and only really the last 50 years ago, and only in broad strokes, and only in developmental terms.  And even then, it's got it's problems : )

    That said, I'm not sure I agree with the premise that the constitution *is* an orange document, even when only considering something like 'morals legislation.'  I think it's only been interpreted that way recently.  For example, until the 14th amendment, the Bill of Rights wasn't even interpreted as applying to the states, and even the interpretations that were given didn't support what I think of as orange (exiting blue, at most) - so there was slavery, no rights for women, no 'establishment' of an official religion but lots of religious invocations, and a pre-natural law approach to decisionmaking (and again, none of this hamstrung the states at all).  Then with the 14th amendment, there's at least an equal protection clause and something applying to the states and the beginning of the invocation of natural law (with Holmes, for one), but even that didn't mean much until the 14th was interpreted to apply the Bill of Rights against the states beginning in the early 20th century, and the equal protection clause got teeth with Brown, etc.  I think an orange constitutional interpretation as something solidly established is a recent development, the last 50 years or so.

    And even now, we have blue, orange, even green existing simultaneously - traditionalist/originalists using a blue or blue-orange perspective, strict precedent, law-and-econ, and more general 'rationalists' supporting orange, and critical studies, etc. supporting green.  I'm not sure I agree with you that the constitution can't support green decisionmaking, at least in this area - I'm thinking of affirmative action, Lawrence and privacy, and hate speech legislation (probably struck down today, but maybe not tomorrow?) as areas where green is beginning to poke its head.  It's not green-as-indeterminate, but green values, definitely.  But of course, even in this sub-field, we'd need to look at all quadrants, all types, etc. to get a full picture of what's going on.

    If we expand it to thinking about something like criminal law, that raises a whole bunch of greater questions, and I haven't put enough thought into that to really speak on it (though I know Fleet Maul et al. have).

    As for the rest - i feel like you're suggesting that left Qs vs. Right Qs = subjective vs. objective, and i'm not sure that's right.  Lots of left Q studies claim to be very objective (think spiral dynamics, other similar studies), so maybe it's actually zones 1 and 3 vs 2 and 4 (which is a whole other question i haven't thought about).  Maybe there's something else going on?

    Moreover, I think the law already takes the left Qs into account in a lot of ways - mens rea requirements in criminal law, for example (3px1p, granted), or considering background and upbringing as mitigating circumstances in sentencing.  Perhaps these can/should (but perhaps not) be incorporated into other areas (spiral dynamics as sentencing factors?)?

    And just a few ideas on 2d-tier legal reasoning - I agree it can't focus on supposedly objective natural law, anything like that; but it could depend on intersubjective norms, correct?  And we could even, theoretically, take into account how altitude shapes those norms?  And I actually have a lot of faith that the law can, slowly, integrate opposing ideas - you point out the reasoning of its practitioners already getting there, and looking back, I see the law integrating lots of ideas (traditions, natural rights, new approaches like law and econ) and slowly changing, slowly building on what came before.

    I love batting around these ideas; perhaps we could narrow it down some and go into some greater depth?

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  •  12-07-2006, 9:11 PM 16101 in reply to 15801

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Hmm... Good thoughts, definately.  I'm still trying to get my head around the basic structure of integral legal reasoning.  Let me try things this way:

    What is law?
    - The will of the sovereign imposed on the population as a whole (red; debatably not law at all)
    - The codification of transcendental moral rules that all citizens are required to follow (blue - Thomism, natural law)
    - A social convention or social contract that binds all citizens (blue-ish, maybe a little orange - originalism, textualism)
    - The reasoned elaboration of rules of social conduct, starting from principles derived from transcendent natural rights (blue/orange; formalism)
    - The codification of social rules that have been established through an accepted democratic and constitutional process (blue/orange; legal process)
    - "The prediction of the incidence of the public force through the instrumentality of the courts" (orange; positivism)
    - The effort to establish relationships between citizens that promotes social progress and the commonweal (orange; legal realism)
    - The attempt to resolve social conflicts through an understanding of market relationships and the universal goal of efficient outcomes (orange; law and economics)
    - Arbitrary codes and norms intended to reinforce existing power relations and rationalize the use of violence through tricks of language and reason (green; critical legal studies)
    - The imposition of the viewpoint of an empowered group on society as a whole, meant to reinforce their power and control (green; critical race / gender theory)

    What is integral law?
    A recognition that all of the above viewpoints on the law represent different aspects of legal reasoning, and the attempt to give expression to each legal perspective without attempting to reduce one to another.  The centauric vision that is capable of seeing each of these contradictory elements as part of a single whole.
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  •  12-17-2006, 9:34 AM 16727 in reply to 16101

    • cgnost is not online. Last active: 06-08-2008, 6:35 PM cgnost
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    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Awesome.  one questions - is there not a positive green expression of law?  nothing springs to mind in current academia (i think you've pegged critical studies), but it does seem that green laws have been passed in various places, and that archetypal green communities (communes, etc.) do rest on a set of norms, not just on deconstructionism.  maybe something like: a set of culturally- and socially-bound, communally agreed-upon norms, always open to modification, for the mutual benefit of all members of the community?

    also, i've been thinking more in terms of the reasoning in the law than ideas about what law is (as your post has made me realize).

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  •  12-17-2006, 1:44 PM 16742 in reply to 13957

    • tallen is not online. Last active: 05-05-2007, 6:56 AM tallen
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    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    I agree.  I find as I age I am much more interested in practice than in theory.  What I do to add compassion (or just a larger view) to my own work depends on the situation in the moment.  Sometimes, when I'm feeling critical or impatient, I just breathe.  If I've time, I try to notice what I'm impatient about or set it aside so I can understand my reaction later.  In depositions or other indirectly antagonistic situations, I tend to just play straight so there are as few hooks for the workings of ego as possible.  When I'm in a difficult negotiation or mediation, I try to restate the other side's proposition in a way that makes sense to me.  My therapeutic training and Enneagram background help with this as I can often sense what's unconsciously underlying a tactic or strategy.  So I might say: "So you interpret this clause as trying to say ..."  Or, from an Enneagram perspective, if I know I'm dealing with someone whose egoic strategy is based on anticipating the worst so as to prevent it (i.e., a type Six), I might focus on creating structure and process to help alleviate the unconscious fears that might be getting in the way of moving something forward. 

    I realize I'm not in the flow of this forum, as I'm not including memes or quadrants or ideas on theory, but practical ideas of what works in real life are what are currently useful to me, so I'm offering the flow that's in me to see if others are of similar minds. 


    Tracy Allen
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  •  12-27-2006, 9:12 AM 17249 in reply to 16742

    • makara is not online. Last active: 03-18-2008, 5:43 PM makara
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    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Hey all,

    I just skimmed through all the above comments, and thought I would jump in and say hi. I'm a 1L in Boston recovering from exams. If Ken can recover, I certainly can! Get some rest buddy -- big, big love to you!

    I've been really interested in Integral for about 9 years now, and am wholly committed to explore and practice some form of Integral Law -- whatever that ends up being. For the past 3 months, I've been trying to find ways to shine Integral theory on all the course material I've been drowning in (usually, what's happened is I'll learn something, say "wow, that's actually the rule?," and then get distracted with thoughts--"well, if they just included the left-hand quadrants, feminine perspective, etc...")

    But, in some areas at least, common law actually seems to be open to a natural, flexible process of evolution, in that it can be facilitated to evolve to the extent that lawyers and judges consciously participate in ways that guide its evolutionary process (maybe decisions that are made from a 2nd-Tier perspective). It seems highly important—maybe even a moral imperative—that more people at integral levels of awareness steer the legal process (and build a bigger legal toolbox)—so that more of the important decisions guiding the future of the world are made from higher levels of awareness.

    I recently attended a talk by Prof. Leonard Riskin from MO School of Law about "defining the probem" in mediation. He actually spoke about something that I really think has to be one of the most important tasks of Integral Law -- defining the scope of the legal problem you are addressing in as comprehensive a way as possible (or in as AQAL a way as possible). Of course, many legal problems may be much more than just "legal"--they may also be emotional, interpersonal, cultural, social, or spiritual problems too.

    His material actually seemed to hint at AQAL in a few different ways, and I asked if he knew of KW, which he did to some degree (he actually gave me the same answer as my Crim Law Prof.--"yes, I have one of his books, but I've only read a little of it").

    So, I'm really interested in exploring Integral Law, especially in the next couple years at school. My interests right now include ADR, Environmental Law, and International Business Law (esp. with China). I would love to hear from anyone familiar with or working in these areas!

    Anyone have any advice on finding a good summer internship around Boston?  I'm not aware of any Integrally minded firms or lawyers in the area, but Boston Law Collaborative looks very interesting at the moment.

    I hope Integral Law takes off. It'd be so great to have a community of individuals together exploring this exciting stuff!

    Matt
    ___________________________________

    [T]he Court commends Plaintiff for his vastly improved choice of crayon--Brick Red is much easier on the eyes than Goldenrod, and stands out much better amidst the mustard splotched about Plaintiff's briefing. But at the end of the day, even if you put a calico dress on it and call it Florence, a pig is still a pig.

    Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp., 147 F. Supp. 2d 668, 671 (S.D. Tex. 2001)

    Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.

    ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
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  •  01-08-2007, 7:24 PM 18006 in reply to 16742

    • scotpedin is not online. Last active: 04-14-2008, 6:28 PM scotpedin
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    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    I agree that any integral approach to law must embrace praxis as well as theory. Early on, I was drawn to law school by my undergraduate classes in jurisprudence, but now, like you, I am at least as interested in discovering and elaborating practices which can help lawyers grow along various developmental lines, if not through the practice of law at least despite it. I just think there is a lot of suffering in our profession, as has been empirically shown more often than one would wish to see. The modern practice of law seems at times of itself to work at cross-purposes with development along certain critical lines. I think the practices that you employ are skillful and informed by your therapeutic training, and I thank you for sharing them. As for me, I just keep up with my contemplative and philosophical work and try to keep the philosophical from becoming too remote from life. I admit, however, that I am far from integrating my law practice with my core “life practice”. Sometimes they seem so far divorced as to be aspects of incommensurate realms. Other times it seems like the person I am becoming cannot help but inform the law practice. That's on a good day.

    Best,

    Scot

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  •  01-11-2007, 3:00 PM 18103 in reply to 18006

    • Dunkerly is not online. Last active: 06-01-2008, 6:13 PM Dunkerly
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    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    I am wondering how to incorporate AQAL into the persuasion method. My practice is limited to criminal defense. It seems that creating arguments from each quadrant / perspective might be one way. Has anyone experience in doing this? Know of any articles, books discussing this.

    Edward Dunkerly

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  •  01-11-2007, 5:53 PM 18110 in reply to 1070

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    integrallynne:

    I would like to tackle an issue that several of us hassled over---does becoming 2nd tier mean that you can't stand practicing law?????

    Lynne



    Anyone figured out an answer to this question yet???

    I'm halfway through law school and my employment in a few different firms has not been a particularly positive experience.  Really considering re-entering the social service field after graduation.  

    Elizabeth
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  •  01-12-2007, 1:56 AM 18121 in reply to 18110

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    Integrally-Oriented Friends of the Bar and Law:

     

    I am a "uniformed" criminal defense attorney with roughly 15 years of court-martial litigation experience.  I currently practice overseas in Europe.

     

    I would like to chime in with a few comments about "Integral Law."

     

    I just brewed a stiff cup of coffee and I am going to write until I start to go downhill ...

     

    Here are my arguments.

     

    1. Much legal debate is non-sense.

     

    2. Integral can revolutionize how we talk about the law.

     

    3. "Integral Law" is an ambiguous phrase. Can we be clear what we are talking about?

     

    4. One can be Buddha and shred a witness on the stand.

     

    5. Tonglen is about pain, the law is about pain, so Tonglen should be in the practice of law.

     

    6. Who is writing the integral legal equivalent of The Communist Manifesto for publication in a law review?

     

    7. Dust off your creativity and you will find many ways to use integral practices in law practice.

     

    8. Young integral lawyers should train to be warriors and inspiring orators, not sell out early into senile, money-grubbing ways, at least until they are 40.  

     

    I came to the law with an undergraduate major in philosophy. As a freshman in college I was reading Wilber's Spectrum of Consciousness and knew in my heart that this guy was going to do something huge - which he has. I have read almost everything Wilber has written, most of it many times over.

     

    What I remember most about law school is the sheer volume of non-sense that was spouted. I don't mean that my classmates were making "untrue" or "invalid" statements. Rather, the dialogue often involved the proverbial 6 blind men each touching a different part of the elephant and arguing about who was right in describing the beast.  There was and remains no unifying theory in most legal circles that allows for meaningful dialogue. And, as a result, legal discourse often degenerates into pure mammalian power politics.

     

    The Integral map is the single most compelling tool available to permit us to talk intelligently about the law without confusing perspectives.

     

    Here is what we need: someone needs to beg Wilber to sit down in a cabin for a month with the entire curriculum of a law school.  The different disciplines and their rules as well as the leading cases will soon yield to the power of an AQAL analysis.  Then they need to publish this in a leading law review. That would fire up the debates real fast.

     

    Can I propose something: let us in this community first distinguish between discussion about an "integral theory" that makes sense of the many aspects of "the law" cum "law" and "integral practice" that permits a lawyer to become more integrally informed as a person and maybe translate that into better lawyering and living.

     

    They are two different things.

     

    Lynne asked if being second tier means you cannot stand practicing law. Second tier includes first tier. When you "become second tier," you do not lose the ability to be a zealous defender of your client in an adversarial setting. It does mean that you do not identify with it solely. In my case, I have no problem shredding a lying sack of shit government witness on the stand with compassion. I don't hate the witness.  I will give them the coat off my back when the court is adjourned.  

     

    And for you lawyers out there, try this one on for size: do Tonglen on the eve of trial for all of your opponents as well as those associated with them. You will feel much better, they will be less nasty with you, and trial will be much more fun.  And, if you cannot do Tonglen for your opponent, drop me a line and tell me why not. (Don't tell your senior partner you are doing this.)

     

    Now, if you are defending me, and your inability to kick butt and take names gets me a 5 year tour in the local jail, I do hope that you will take time out of your precious life to visit me and do some second tier prayer for me.  

     

    What I am suggesting is that in an adversarial system, there is a healthy place for vigorous adversarial practice.  Let's cut the saffron and beads.

     

    There are hard blows and then there are cheap blows.  In my experience, many lawyers who fashion themselves as devoted church goers and quite elevated in the eyes of God, turn into vicious, cheap shot artists when you bust them in the chops with a motion to dismiss or a prosecutorial misconduct issue. As 2nd tier personnel, are we so sure we are above that? How do you know?

     

    Question: do I have an ethical duty to inform my client that I have performed Tonglen on the prosecutor and the scumbags he is using to make his case? That would be a very bizarre ethics inquiry before the bar.

     

    Hey, how about .... having your client join you in doing Tonglen for the opponent on the eve of trial?

     

    Better yet, in a nasty jury trial, during closing argument do a Genpo Roshi big mind session with the jurors and then finish off by leading them through 10 minutes of Tonglen breathing to ease the pain of your client and all sentient beings who lie in his ancestral path.

     

    Let me know if you need help answering your bar...

     

    Ed asked: how to incorporate AQAL into the persuasion method. My first thought is - practice your Integral Life Practice and then go out and persuade people like you normally would. Voila - you are incorporating AQAL!

     

    But, on a different level, I would say, for starters, here is how one can approach it:

     

    1. What is my theme? If you have no theme, you are SOL anyway, so stop here. (Believe me, there are lawyers who go into court and don't even know what they are going to say.)

     

    2. What are the facts that support my theme? List the key ones.

     

    3. Analyze the theme and facts from every AQAL perspective you can. You will start to see why you are right and your opponent is less right, based on quadrant, line, level, etc. arguments.

     

    And as I write this, I am having a minor epiphany. AQAL not only can be used during closing argument, it can also be used to frame arguments for discovery! Heck, a good lawyer can AQAL-ize the judge. 

     

    I do this all the time. It is shifting the perspective.

     

     

    Another thing one can do is to request that the government produce Ken Wilber as an expert witness for the defense! If he refuses to show, subpeona him! Why not? He has specialized Kumho knowledge about ... reality? Of course, you won't get him produced, but in the process you can enlighten the Judge and the persecutor into the wisdom of AQAL.

     

    Raise the motion in every case. You will soon get the reputation as the local nutcase of the bar who believes in "equal" or some such nonsense. When the entire local bar greets you on the street shouting "hey aqual!" you will know you have integrated AQAL into your law practice. In time, a few enlightened lawyers will furtively pick up your dog-earred copy of A Theory of Everything. They'll start talking about it. Then you start a bar section called AQAL Law. Etc. Then you'll get rich and then Wilber will sue you for trademark infringement. Do Tonglen for him and his lawyers when this happens.  

     

    Has anyone ever witnessed really great oral advocacy? It is a sight to behold. Go listen to Gerry Spence sometime. He is practicing AQAL law and doesn't even know it. Gerry will make you cry when you listen to him.

     

    Can any of you lawyers out there make a jury cry using a theme from your Integral Practice like "all life is one."

     

    Does anyone know of the Erwin Schroedinger essay about how all life is one.  I used that once in a closing argument and several of my jurors were like, wow!

     

    What am I saying - as lawyers we are one of the few professionals anywhere who people (jurors) have to listen to!! As long as you want to talk. You can plead, pray, shout, and they have to listen to you.

     

    So, if you cannot weave Integral into a presentation to people who are legally obligated to listen to, when can you do it?

     

    I think one of the functions of Integral Law should be turn lawyers into seriously compelling orators who speak the truth and persuade. Check into the literature on Upper Right biology related to oral communication.  If you are a pathetic whiny speaker who cannot take a deep breath and captivate an audience, then you need to give your client a discount and apologize for your inadequacy.  

     

    You want to be an AQAL advocate? Go to your local library and check out Cicero.  Fire up your cam corder, imagine you are standing in the Roman Senate, and deliver one of his speeches from start to finish.  Then watch yourself.  And ask - does this guy light any fires for me?  If not, ask yourself why your ego prevents you from experiencing passion and translating that through your vocal cords.

     

    Matt, you mention: So, I'm really interested in exploring Integral Law, especially in the next couple years at school. My interests right now include ADR, Environmental Law, and International Business Law (esp. with China). I would love to hear from anyone familiar with or working in these areas!

     

     

    Let me offer a few comments: first of all, a Marine Corps Colonel who happened to be a legend as a litigator told me a long time ago - never ever buy into a world or a philosophy that espouses a lack of courage. Here you are, in the prime of your life, getting ready to become a lawyer and practice law in the best legal system in the world.  And you already want to do ADR? What is this? There are plenty of old farts to do that - you need to join the fray! Change the world, at least for one client! Don't succumb to dividing up piles up cookie crumbs at this stage in your life. Learn how to litigate and persuade and advocate. Learn how to be passionate. You can do ADR later.

     

    Environmental Law - you want to drown in tediousity and grow old fast? Instead of practicing "environmental law", droning on with state regulators over picayune issues, why not open up a law practice and start suing some scumbags who are defiling the earth. Take on the suits who are hypnotizing our kids into eating junk and turning their temples in trash holes. Read what Robert Kennedy is doing. Now you are practicing integral law with an emphasis on ecology issues rather than joining the ranks of the uninspired and dead.   

     

    International Business Law with China.  Where is the heart in that? Money, money, all day long. China does not even have a legitimate legal system. IBL with China is basically covering your CEO's backside so he doesn't have adverse IBL experiences in America and her courts. Break out your wingtips and prepare your 401(k) - you will find no one in that environment that inspires you to do anything other than get rich.  Maybe you can make a million dollars and donate it to I-I - now that is Integral Law Practice!  

     

    Sorry Matt - I just want to point out to you and all the other young budding lawyers out there that you are at the Frostian fork in the road and you need to make the choice that makes all the difference.  Pick a path that has heart. One that you can actually help people who are getting hosed. Like me and the earth I live on. We need your immediate help. Take a risk for me, will you? Take some prisoners and get some meat in your teeth. Don't wimp out and become a senile 25 year old.  It is not good for your Integral Life Practice.

     

    Elizabeth. You talk about working for a few different "firms."  That is such a polite and pissy way of referring to a death factory. That word "firm" should tell you what you are getting into.  Do you want to be a lawyer and make a difference? Or do you want to "work in a firm"?  Lawyering integrally is not "work" and you cannot do it in a "firm" where a bunch of old billionaires are squeezing you for billable hours and the fun work is being done by partners.

     

    As a lawyer, you have a license to grab people force them to take you seriously.  Use it. 

     

    Take ownership over your life!! Refuse to sell out! You want to have some fun this summer - go to every "firm" in town and ask them to contribute funds and mentors so that you can fight for someone who needs it. Maybe you and Matt can get together and grab the list of political dissidents in China from Amnesty Int'l. Now that is ADL with a chaser of Int'l Law with China!

     

    Let's use Integral to help make the practice of law a noble profession.

     

    Coffee is done. Back to work. My secretary says my involuntary manslaughter Tonglen client is here for his 9 o'clock.  

     

     

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  •  01-12-2007, 10:51 AM 18138 in reply to 18121

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    schalk:

     

    Here is what we need: someone needs to beg Wilber to sit down in a cabin for a month with the entire curriculum of a law school.  The different disciplines and their rules as well as the leading cases will soon yield to the power of an AQAL analysis.  Then they need to publish this in a leading law review. That would fire up the debates real fast.

     

    Can I propose something: let us in this community first distinguish between discussion about an "integral theory" that makes sense of the many aspects of "the law" cum "law" and "integral practice" that permits a lawyer to become more integrally informed as a person and maybe translate that into better lawyering and living.

     

    They are two different things.

     

     


     



    Great point.

    One frustration I have is the disconnect between legal theories taught in law school and actual legal practice -especially if one is not doing a whole lot of criminal law.  I don't want to just see KW sit down with law school curriculum.  I want to see him sit down with practicing attorneys, and not just criminal defense attorneys.  How does Integral Law change the way one approaches family law, estate planning, business negotiations, etc etc?  How does it change what clients and cases one accepts to begin with? 

    My reference to unpleasant experiences at "firms" does not include the summer I spent clerking at a public interest law firm where I represented children in the foster care system.  I will probably end up doing public interest in one form or another.  (I was a social worker prior to entering law school; helping foster kids was my passion then and probably always will be.)  I just don't want to eliminate the possibility of more traditional areas of law if there is a way that Integral can move things in a positive direction.

    Elizabeth
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  •  01-13-2007, 3:38 PM 18181 in reply to 18138

    Re: INTEGRAL LAW

    But without having Integrally informed laws and courts in the first place, Integral Lawyers aren't going to be able to work very well, and will get pretty darn frustrated I imagine.  So I, myself, would think that we would all be better off if Ken helped inspire the politicians to make some more useful laws and systems for applying them.

    I represented myself in court recently (an occasional dream of mine was to be a lawyer, since I was so good at arguing!), and I used the quadrants very effectively to cover all the aspects of my case.  But I never counted on the judge randomly refusing to admit into evidence the very clearly applicable law that I'd been planning on using to defend myself.  So, no matter how Integral the rest of my argument was, the lower right quadrant of the case was lost on a jury that wasn't allowed to hear it.  And the lower right is kind of crucial in a court of law...  (Though I found out that my upper left description may have been a bit lacking too, but that was my own damn fault.)

    So yeah, we need it to be Intrgral at the base of the legal system, so that the Integral lawyers at the top have something solid to stand on when they do their thing.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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