"If ordinary people don’t perceive that our grand ideas are working in their lives, then they can’t develop the higher level of consciousness, if I can use a kind of touchy-feely word, that American philosopher Ken Wilber wrote a whole book about, called…
"If ordinary people don’t perceive that our grand ideas are working in their lives, then they can’t develop the higher level of consciousness, if I can use a kind of touchy-feely word, that American philosopher Ken Wilber wrote a whole book about, called A Theory of Everything. He said, you know, the problem is the world needs to be more integrated but it requires a consciousness that’s way up here, and an ability to see beyond the differences among us...."
There are millions of people around the world who feel altogether alienated from the world of politics, unable to find their own unique combination of perspectives, values, and identities reflected in the representational options available to them. They have been taught through the political process to believe that they have to pick one side or the other, despite the fact that neither side fully represents their own values.
But the trans-partisan impulse is to move beyond such intensely polarized ideologies, recognizing that many of our own values and beliefs are naturally in conflict with each other—especially as individuals begin to approach an authentically integral value system, and capable for the first time of recognizing the inherent beauty and importance of everyone else's worldview.
It is an extraordinarily complex world, requiring equally complex perspectives in order to make sense of it all—and as no political party in history has had a monopoly on truth or justice, we must begin to look to all possible political parties, past and present, in order to find and synthesize a new set of tools for a new century.
Here we can see the immediate value the Integral model has to offer: a comprehensive framework through which we can begin to understand the different values, motivations, and perspectives that exist in the world, all of which may be appropriate in certain historical and geopolitical and circumstances. In order to begin moving toward a trans-partisan civic in America, we must have an accurate account of the two major political parties, including such aspects as:
- stages of development (e.g. traditional/fundamentalist worldviews, modern/scientific worldviews, postmodern/pluralistic worldviews, etc.)
- interior and exterior dimensions (e.g. the Left tends to attribute human suffering to unfair exterior social systems and circumstances, while the Right looks to interior motivations, family values, etc.)
- individualist and collectivist values (e.g. Libertarian vs. Socialist)
There are several other important dimensions tracked by the Integral model, but even just these three very general distinctions, we can see that the future of politics will no longer be as black and white as it may currently seem.
We must include values and perspectives from all over the political spectrum, while knowing the appropriate amount of weight to give any particular perspective in any given situation. Only this sort of comprehensive approach to politics and governance can offer the degree of clarity and sophistication the world so desperately needs—helping us all to make sense of the staggering complexity that surrounds us, to move beyond the front lines of the ever-degenerating culture wars, to understand our collective past while forging a new path into the future.
We hope you enjoy.