Daring to tread where Giants have gone
The word ‘integral’ is a word in the English vocabulary that has been there for quite some time. In recent years and with thanks to Ken Wilber it has made its way into Spiritual and theoretical Psychology. In fact, depending upon who you talk to and where you live, you may note that the original mathematical reference to the word integral is fast fading and being replaced by the spiritual reference. Now, ‘integral’ has become integrated into our consciousness and in theory has even become a necessary step in the evolution of mass consciousness on the planet.
In past years the word integral was reserved more for the spiritually elite in that it was used strictly in conjuncture with Ken Wilber’s ‘Integral Theory’ and in subsequent application at the cutting edge JFK University or School of Consciousness. However, as with any vocabulary word, once integrated into the mass mind, it becomes fair game for anyone on the grid of consciousness to interpret or reinterpret it as their perspective will render in their individual experience. Further, as with anything in consciousness, there is always a forward motion, an expansion that takes place, and new meanings will inevitably emerge from the foundations of the old.
What is Integration?
Integration in the spiritual sense refers to assimilating fragmented aspects of one’s own psyche into the whole. In other words, it is the healing of suppressed emotional charges or sub personalities and the allowing of them to merge with the overall dominant facility of an individual personality.
In extreme cases there is no dominant personality as it were and integration becomes a life long process for the individual. In this event the dominant personality traits are yet to be discovered as the thought patterns of the individual are too incoherent and do not lend to any particular neural firing pattern. In other words, this is a person who cannot focus on any one thing for any length of time and day to day societal functionality is yet a challenge.
Integration is the merging into oneness of one’s whole bio-energetic sphere, body, mind, emotion, and spirit. It is an ultimate centering and grounding of one’s small self into the larger Self. It is the ultimate augmentation of consciousness as is able to be in a three dimensional physical body.
How do I lead an integral life?
An integrated person has overcome the manifestation of their own suppressed emotional charges and been able, with much self discipline and practice, to actualize the deepest level of healing. An integrated lifestyle could be considered more complex as it deals with how human beings interact and exchange information between each other and the planet they inhabit. On a three dimensional and individual level a person may attempt the integrated lifestyle by becoming mindful of how they energetically and physically impact the people around them and also their own biological footprint. Here, however, things become convoluted as it may suddenly dawn on anyone attempting to live an integrated lifestyle that they are attempting it. In other words, by the very act of attempting it one may become aware that they are not yet fully integrated since a fully integrated human being never attempts anything. Thus it is that the attempt at anything integral may, by the very definition, preclude the actual integration being striven for.
For instance take the biological footprint. If one is approaching their own biological footprint from the point of consciousness where they have created it, then one is not actualizing an integral approach. Conversely, from an integral perspective, the biological footprint no longer even exists as the integrated individual lives integral with the planet itself. In other words one needn’t strive for something that has already been achieved unless, of course, it has not truly been achieved; then more striving may be necessary.
The paradox arises from the creation of the spiritual ego. This is a personality created solely from the accumulation of data and subsequent feeling of self importance relative to the amount of data collected. This is a perspective created from the projection of self importance and a certain level of seriousness also attributed to the accumulation of data which lends itself to a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ consciousness. At this level of consciousness the ego becomes dangerous as it projects factoids and data outwards to secure its own position of importance and authority into the world around it in an attempt to secure itself from diminishment and desolation.
This fear based consciousness is denoted by control, authoritativeness, and seriousness. It is usually accompanied by a complete absence of the heart center which is further denoted by an absence of smiling and laughter. In this form of spiritual projection the spiritual stance is used to subvert for means of power and manipulation as many of the organized religions of the world have done. It is a further paradox that many of the supposed most spiritual places in the world are full of men with serious expressions upon their faces thus exemplifying a complete absence of the presence of spirit.
Then, how do lead an integrated life?
When one is striving for integration of the small self into the larger Self, then one can only strive to lead the integrated life. This means that they can do the very best that they can to be integrated while maintaining the consciousness awareness of the lack of integration yet to be achieved within their own psyche. Thus the phrase, ‘I know that I don’t know’ becomes the mantra. In this way one can attempt to keep themselves from developing a spiritual ego and also with the assistance of members within their own spiritual community in a consciousness system of ‘checks and balances’.
Thus, the individual’s life may not be fully integrated, but their perspective is. In this way an ‘Integrated Perspective’ may be obtained before a fully integrated life has been achieved. The integrated perspective allows for the continued study, application, and refinement of the lifestyle and psyche of the individual. Now, one is able to continue to pursue the fully integrated life without the worry of either suffering personality diminishment or developing spiritual egoism. In this way a balanced approach is wrought and a new type of human being has begun to inhabit the planet. Indeed the Integral Perspective is the answer that many are seeking as it supersedes the need for an absolute in favor of an ideal to pursue in the name of creating a better way of living and a higher level of consciousness on the planet.