Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
—I Corinthians 15:52
Integralites have spilled gallons of ink (literally and figuratively) on the Donald Trump phenomenon; I am no exception (although my spillage is perhaps somewhat more modest in quantity). Last summer I penned “Integral Trump, or the Center Cannot Hold” in an attempt to apply an integral lens to this weird, unsettling, and unexpected dynamic. At the time I was less interested in Mr. Trump the human being and more in both what he had tapped into in the United States and how that fit into an obvious global dynamic that includes the election of Narendra Modi as Indian prime minister, the depredations of ISIL and Bashar al-Assad, Brexit, the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, the reconsolidation of dictatorships in Russia and China, and other political disruptions. Further, I was and am most interested in answering the question, what then must we (integralites) do?
Additionally, I have been skeptical about attempts to “colorize” political leaders, starting with Ken Wilber’s boasts that Al Gore and Bill Clinton were reading his works and leading up to current integralite labeling of people like Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, or Bernie Sanders as “integral leaders.” It is unclear to me how, without a rigorous analysis of our own wishes and beliefs, we can avoid projecting onto folks like these our own worldviews. I took a close look at this phenomenon during the last American presidential election when Boulderite Terry Patten claimed Mr. Obama “the best hope we have for more integral politics and policies” in urging all of us to vote for his re-election.
There is also the evergreen assumption among many integralites that waves of consciousness, including this first transpersonal one, generate a particular and specific political economic policy perspective, a belief rife with the mythic amber worldview that integralites have presumably transcended, included, and integrated.
Until someone demonstrates otherwise, I will continue to insist that levels of consciousness are not political platforms. I tend to agree with Ken Wilber’s long-held assertion that “left” and “right” are types—the fifth element of the Integral Model. That means that within each level folks can skew “liberal” and “conservative” and remain consistent with the contours of each stage of consciousness. Even in Spiral Dynamics, an integral model I find inadequate for understanding the evolutionary phenomenon, many caution against the tendency to assign specifics to the SD levels.
We can demonstrate this by making the case that Donald Trump and many of his faction offer a non-left Boomeritis green perspective, rather than the orange (or earlier) version that most integralites presume.