Sunday, October 12, 2014

Global Warming and the Cross Currents of Evolution

“No one knows what the Earth’s climate will be at the end of the century.  Based on history, it is possible to hazard a prediction of a different kind.  Before the end of the century, the Western mind will conceive another environmental crisis necessitating the ending of the modern industrial economy, the only form of economic arrangements that has lifted mankind to undreamt of prosperity.

“The big question is whether the Western mind will be sovereign at the century’s end and the West remain the core of the world economy or relegated to its periphery—something only the passing of the present century can answer.”

      —Rupert Durwall, The Age of Global Warming

It is a curiosity of current evolution that the determination to “fix” the problem of climate change is so thoroughly the property of a single political faction, whose “solutions” are so universally resisted by another. 

The trained integralist sees at once the first tier food fight that this has, inevitably, become.  But since there are actually very few well-trained integralists, it is a worthy exercise to look into the actual dynamics and how they so lawfully reflect evolutionary structures.

The leading edge of consciousness evolution resides in the impulse to what I call “high green”—that structure of green striving, without much success so far, to emerge from the immature form that is “Boomeritis.”  Green is the first stage of consciousness to become aware of the fundamental and universal equality of all humans, which inspires its desires to create a world that honors and protects that equality.  The orange stage which it transcends was, in its turn, the first to create and sanctify individual identity as it emerged from its tribal wave.  At orange we explore with abandon our newly found individual identity; at green we explore the universality of this structure.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Towards an Authentic Integral Politics

There will be no authentic integral politics until a critical mass of humanity makes the momentous leap into second tier consciousness.

Until then it might be valuable to strengthen our cognitive hypothesis about the nature and contours of a potential integral politics, because the practice of seeking to take and embrace multiple perspectives could very well contribute to the necessary transcendence.  

Some, including a number in the Boulder orbit, have made the noble attempt to step into a hypothetical integral politics, but never quite develop a perspective that satisfies the demands of the Integral Model.  While we will take note of some of these deficiencies for the purposes of looking more deeply into the matter, we do this collegially and affectionately.

The biggest challenge, illustrated by the various Boulder efforts that miss the mark, is to note the distinction between what will arise politically in the second tier versus what we think that might be from here in the first. Green is not integral regardless of our capacity to think about it.

Ken Wilber illustrates the dynamics of this structural disparity when he noted that the Constitution of the United States offered a “stage 5” method of governance in a “stage 3” society.  By that he meant that the founding principles of the nation set forth in both that document and the Declaration of Independence reflected the possibilities of self-governance developed out of the centuries-old English tradition of limited government as improved by the insights of the Scottish Enlightenment with its commitment to individual liberty and sovereignty.  These were principles for a nation whose citizens had developed to the moral understanding of the stage 5, postconventional worldcentric perspective.

But the United States did not become a stage 5 society on June 21, 1788, the day the Constitution was formally ratified.  Indeed, even after the Civil War and adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments eradicating slavery and guaranteeing the political rights of all citizens, the U. S. continued its evolution toward the orange rational/industrial stage 5 nation it finally became after World War II.  It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that the majority of the citizenry made it to stage 4, and it was only in the 1960s that the possibility of mass stage 5 consciousness emerged.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Boomer Banality of Barack Obama

During commencement remarks delivered yesterday at University of California at Irvine, President Barack Obama demonstrated yet again how thoroughly and banally ensnared in the Boomeritis wave he is. 

According to an article by Mark Landler published in the New York Times,

Speaking in gleefully sarcastic terms to a commencement ceremony at the University of California, Irvine, Mr. Obama likened those who deny climate change to people who would have told John F. Kennedy, at the dawn of the space program, that the moon “was made of cheese.”

He saved his most scathing words for lawmakers who say they are not qualified to judge the issue because they are not scientists. These people, the president said, recognize the truth but will not utter it for fear of being “run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot.”

“I’m not a scientist either,” Mr. Obama told this young audience, “but we’ve got some good ones at NASA. I do know the overwhelming majority of scientists who work on climate change, including some who once disputed the data, have put the debate to rest.”

For Terry Patten, Jeff Salzman, and the other Obama acolytes in the Integral Institute, this should put paid to the fantasy that the President represents the possibility of an integral transcendence in the Democratic Party.  Obama and all his yes men have never evinced anything but the impoverished depradations of the narcissism that has, so far, eviscerated green’s powerful potential.