Integral wisdom is the reweaving of the great story. In the earlier world, what we call the traditional period, there were great stories which connected the dots of reality and explained to us how things work. Those stories had great strengths. They told us an enormous amount that was important in mapping the inner and the outer, the interior and the exterior nature of reality.
The problem is, those stories were true but partial, they were limited, they overreached, and they claimed information they didn’t have. They were dogmatic, they were often xenophobic, they were often homophobic, they didn’t honor the feminine, and they didn’t have a sense of equitable fairness for all human beings.
So, they were insufficient, they had important truths about the inner nature of essence, and yet, they didn’t have critical truths that we need in terms of what it means to be a human being. Then erupted the modern period. And the modern period was the period of the emergence of democracy and human rights, and feminism, and rationalism, and personal achievement, and individuality; and that period had important and critical truths.
It lost, it forgot some of the critical truths of the earlier period. The forgotten truths of the traditional period that told us about enlightenment, that told us about direct relationship to the personal face of spirit that knows your name; that spoke to us of Shamanism; that spoke to us of the earth which is alive; that invited us to genuine transformation through practices of waking up.
And yet, that traditional period, that premodern period didn’t have all of the goods, all of the dignities of modernity in its wisdom that I just described. Along came postmodernism. And postmodernism was the realization that actually all truths seem to be context-bound, as Derrida said it, “everything lives in a context, all truth lives in context.” There is no truth that actually lives independently.
And postmodernism said that you actually have to know what’s the underlying social context, historical context, psychological context for any narrative. But in doing so, and making this important critical observation that produced multiculturalism, that produced pluralism. What postmodernism did, was actually denuded and destroys all narratives. It said that all narratives are merely contextual, that they don’t actually contain genuine insight, genuine truth, genuine guidance which is rooted in eternal and lasting understanding and truth.
That was postmodernism: great contribution, again of wisdom but also partial, also denuding and robbing us of any sense of a grand narrative. You might even say that, postmodernism’s contribution was the belief that there are no grand narratives. In fact, the only grand narrative of postmodernity was that there is no grand narrative and therein lay its problem. That itself was a grand narrative, that itself was a claim; the denial of all universals itself was a universal. So postmodernity actually left us wanting, left us without any source, without any sense of a vision of the patterns that connect.
Zero, ground zero, level zero, you’ve got the wisdoms of the traditional, premodern period.
At Level 1, you have the wisdom of the modern period.
At Level 2, you have the critical wisdom of the postmodern period.
Wisdom 3.0, that’s Integral Wisdom.
What Integral Wisdom does, is integrate the best of premodern, modern and postmodern, and realizing that everyone of these wisdoms had incredibly important insights, was actually mapping part of reality that was accurately seen, discerned, understood, and realized with profound depth. And if you actually link together, if you integrate all of these maps, the best maps of premodernity, the best maps of modernity, and the best maps of postmodernity, and you link them together, you get a vision, a stunning and gorgeous vision of a map of reality.
What reality feels like in the interior, what reality is like in the exterior. There’s a place for brain science and for quarks, and for quantum physics, and for psychology, and for the eleven different schools of psychology, and for ethnomethodology, and for mathematics, and for all the great spiritual traditions… All of it has a place, and all of it is seamlessly integrated, in the best evolutionary vision we have at this moment, of wisdom.
Wisdom. That’s how we live our lives. That’s how we guide our lives. Let’s reclaim a story, let’s reclaim a new universe story, let’s reclaim an integral wisdom which we can use to heal and transform, to evolve ourselves and reality itself.
Welcome to Integral Wisdom.
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