The Integral Vision
A brief introduction by Copthorne Macdonald
In several of his books, Ken Wilber discusses the positive and negative
effects of modernity. He identifies one of the negative effects as the disassociation
of the three great value spheres, variously called:
Modernism led to cultural dominance by science and its exclusive focus on
the IT realm, with truths from the subjective (I) and intersubjective (WE)
realms being ignored and devalued. Postmodernism has had its own agenda,
one that in many respects has not brought about correction and healing.
Sadly, in their present forms, neither modernism nor postmodernism represent
the cultural foundation which the world desparately needs if humanity is
going to thrive in a long-term sustainable way. Wilber and others are calling
for corrective measures that will set right some of the imbalances caused
by science's domination of our culture. He has used the term "integral vision,"
and one of his key meanings of integration is the integration of truths
from whatever sphere of human knowledge they come from science of
course, but also central truths from anthropology, art and literary theory,
feminism, philosophy, psychology, psychotherapy, theories of consciousness,
and spiritual practice.
- morals, science, and art
- the WE, the IT, and the I
- the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
There are, of course, various interpretations and spins on the terms
integration, integral culture, and integral vision.
Paul Ray, sociologist and researcher, has referred to the integral culture
as the "spiritualization of modernism," and his studies indicate that
one fourth of the U.S. adult population would identify with at least his
definition of it. (Paul Ray, "The Rise of Integral Culture," Noetic
Sciences Review, Spring 1996.) Find our more about his work in creating
an integral culture by visiting his Cultural
Creatives web site.