The Beauty (and Baggage) of Traditionalism

Jeff SalzmanCognitive, Free, Perspectives, The Daily Evolver, Values, Video, World Affairs, Worldviews 1 Comment

Today, in a more theoretical turn, Jeff looks at key principles of Integral theory that illuminate the traditional stage of development (amber altitude) and how it arises both within human culture and in each individual human being.

The goal of traditionalism is to civilize the chaos of the previous warrior stage (red altitude). “Might is right” becomes “right is right,” as we enter a world of meaning and purpose oriented toward a transcendent God or Pureland.

One goal of integralism (teal and turquoise altitudes) is to reclaim what is good, true and beautiful from all previous stages. In this episode, Jeff looks at the deep structures of traditionalism and how we can nurture its most healthy expression in our culture, and in our own minds and hearts.

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Jeff Salzman

About Jeff Salzman

Jeff Salzman worked with Ken Wilber for several years in building the Integral Institute. He is a co-founder of Boulder Integral, the first bricks-and-mortar venue dedicated to the development of integral consciousness. These days Jeff provides integrally-inspired commentary on politics and culture on Integral Life and The Daily Evolver.


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    Jeff, it might be worth you revisiting the distinctions within integral psychology, regarding enduring vs. transitional structures. We need to affirm the healthy expression of amber/traditionalism collectively, while personally, the goal is to heal any remaining amber sub-personalities, so that we can experience that “mini-transformation” that comes from no longer having any of our subjectivity stuck there. In other words, the view of traditional is gone for us as at anything beyond a traditional stage, although we might be able to remember what it was like for us when we were traditional. The rung of amber is built into the cognitive structure we already have now, in that formal operational cognition literally enfolds the concrete operational structure….we don’t have to worry about that.

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