About the Author
Greg Thomas

Greg Thomas

Greg Thomas has over 25 years of experience as a writer, producer, broadcaster and educator, and has been featured in publications as various as The Root, All About Jazz, Salon, London's Guardian Observer, the Village Voice, Africana, American Legacy, Savoy, New York's Daily News, as well as the scholarly journal Callaloo. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Harlem World magazine from 2003-2006.

After graduating from Hamilton College in 1985, where he majored in Public Policy and minored in Music, Greg began pursuing study of religions and models of spiritual development beyond his Christian upbringing. In addition to study of Taoism and Yoga, he began to investigate the mythological cosmology of ancient Egypt (Kamit).

In 1990 Greg edited Metu Neter: The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyptian System of Spiritual Cultivation, a book by Ra Un Nefer Amen which posed a syncretism among the spiritual systems of the East (especially Indus Valley civilizations), Africa (including ancient Kamit), and the Tree of Life cosmogram of the Kabala, as a guide to evolutionary stages of human development, and to map states of consciousness achieved via meditation.

Greg has devoted several decades of deep study and research into the intersubjective dimensions of American culture, particularly as viewed through the interpretive prism of his own native cultural group, black Americans. In this light, the arts have been a primary focus, especially jazz. He has developed expertise in the work of two of the most sophisticated thinkers on jazz, literature, American and black American culture: Ralph Ellison (author of the mid-century literary classic, Invisible Man) and Albert Murray, author of over a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction, and has shared insights from these two pillars of 20th century U.S. cultural writing here at Integral Life.

In June 2010 the University of Alabama Press published Albert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination of a Nation. Greg's essay in the volume, "Greg Thomas and the Professor," elaborates my interpersonal relationship with Murray and touches upon the profound effect of Murray's cultural, intellectual, aesthetic and philosophical worldview—Cosmos Murray—on the course of his intellectual development.

Greg views his increasingly deep engagement with the Integral approach of Ken Wilber as what Murray would call an "extension, elaboration and refinement" of his earlier studies.

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Power, Privilege, and Fragility: Leveling Up Our Conversations About Race and Racism

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Diane and Corey are joined by guests Greg Thomas and Mark Palmer in this groundbreaking discussion about racism, anti-racism, and racial integration, highlighting a number of critical views that have been largely missing from the larger conversation that’s been taking place culturally in recent weeks, months, and years.

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#EnoughIsEnough: Overcoming Racism in America

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In light of the recent violent deaths of three black Americans — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd — at the hands of current and former police officers in the United States, we wanted to deepen our discussion of race and racism and how we as Integralists can contribute to change by becoming powerful anti-racists in our own circles of influence.

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Finding the Rhythm of Improvisational Leadership

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Greg Thomas talks to David about what is moving him as our cultural disruption continues to unfold, particularly concerning the issues of race and culture. Listen as Greg outlines his improvised response to all that is arising. He is particularly noticing a lack of moderate voices on both sides of the conversation. Although, Jazz Leadership has been his practice for some time he, like the rest of us, he is experiencing an acceleration and intensity to the cultural conversation since the 2016 election.

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Race, Rooted Cosmopolitanism, and Hope in the 21st Century

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The political storm that has visited the United States over the past few years have exposed a number of crises: cultural, political, and environmental. One of these crises is our society’s ongoing struggles with how we define and treat one another according to our ideas of “race.” The moment is ripe for bringing together healthier understandings of ethnic identity that can replace the largely toxic idea of race from our past. In this episode of Psychology Now, special guest Greg Thomas joins co-host Mark Forman to discuss these issues.

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The Soul of Jazz

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Art is often the leading edge of cultural and conscious evolution, and jazz today continues to lead the way. Listen as Greg Thomas takes us through the history of jazz — from its roots in the magic, mythic and traditional interiors of African Americans at the turn of the last century, through the modern and postmodern strains of the mid and late 20th Century, to the more wild wooly contemporary scene.

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An Integral Take on the Blues Idiom

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From an integral perspective, the blues has many dimensions, from the personal to the bio-behavioral aspects of the individual, to the cultural and social dynamics of collectives. The blues can be experienced from an egocentric, ethnocentric, and world-centric value level or stage of development. We can view the blues as a musical or cognitive or aesthetic line of intelligence or development also, and even as a philosophical proposition—an existential response to life in the late-19th through the 20th century.

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Albert Murray Defines Art

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Whether or not Albert Murray’s thought and frameworks of analysis are Integral remains to be seen and decided by Integral readers and scholars; however, what’s indisputable is his deeply pluralistic and interdisciplinary approach to knowledge. A prime example, in which he elaborates definitions of art and aesthetic statement, follows.