“Almost every problem is a problem of consciousness.”Steve McIntosh
Steve McIntosh, philosopher, author of the groundbreaking book Developmental Politics, and co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, outlines an extraordinary framework to make sense of our political conflicts—extraordinary in that it points to ways through and out of our persistent polarity consciousness.
Steve convincingly argues our opportunity is right now: to create a synthesis, a cooperative agreement space, that transcends and includes thesis and antithesis, left and right, individual and community.
Steve’s is a passionate and prophetic voice; there is hope for politics. With vertical development we can recover a common sense of truth, a common sense of goodness—transcendent ideals could become social norms. Steve ends with an invitation to listeners to investigate this new concept of cultural intelligence and the implications of the new truth: consciousness and culture co-evolve.
Recorded on September 8, 2021.
Topics & Timestamps: Part 1
- Introducing Steve McIntosh and Developmental Politics (02:08)
- Normality is not the ceiling of development—more like a collective form of developmental arrest (04:04)
- We can keep growing, not only personally but politically and culturally; right now we have the perfect conditions for the next phase to emerge: a cultural renaissance (06:22)
- Progressive spirituality: the intersection of science and spirituality (08:08)
- Spiral Dynamics, the Cultural Creatives, and Integral consciousness (10:51)
- The emergence of the post-progressive worldview and the profound truth that consciousness evolves (13:02)
- A calling to apply the new worldview to politics, climate change: founding the Institute of Cultural Evolution (15:17)
- Making the ideas and political philosophy of developmental politics accessible to people, so people can recognize their worldview and the positive and negative of other worldviews too (20:23)
- The structure of emergence in the noosphere: America’s trajectory in the world is not done yet—we can grow our way out of this and give birth to a new worldview (25:10)
- Breaking out of modernity: progressive postmodernism breaks the spell of the old establishment (29:04)
- Our bedrock values have energetic properties like magnets, attracting and repelling. How can we create new forms of agreement so we can all work together in a new type of culture? Cultural intelligence (32:19)
- Recognizing how the hinges of history continue to animate our political climate and that the dialectical pattern of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis is in the structure of emergence itself (34:58)
- Worldviews oscillate between focusing on the whole/community and focusing on the part/individual (36:33)
- Tug of war between moral systems on either side of modernity with traditionalism pulling on one side and progressivism pulling from the other (37:49)
- Our current opportunity is to create a synthesis, a new cultural agreement space, that includes traditionalism, modernity, and progressivism, characterized by interdependence (39:07)
- How can we overcome hyperpolarization if people have their own facts? (42:49)
- Transcendence is the key to reclaiming a sense of common good and restoring sufficient unity for a functioning democracy (44:37)
- Higher ground rather than common ground: a new political agreement space, where people can begin to appreciate that the existential polarity in politics is permanent and interdependent, where people can embody the left and the right in themselves, preserving what’s right and fixing what’s wrong (47:07)
Topics & Timestamps: Part 2
- The practice of virtues: character development is an important psychological technology (01:34)
- Deep happiness, Aristotle’s eudaimonia (05:07)
- Reestablishing cultural agreements around transcendent character development: an “upward current of the good” (06:48)
- How do you practice courage? (11:26)
- The magnetism towards being better: towards the good, the true, the beautiful (12:12)
- The evolutionary power of value polarities (13:05)
- Understanding the new inter-subjective We Space: a social medicine that can help heal the wounds of history (20:11)
- How do we begin to walk this path of cultural emergence and post-progressivism as a practice? This new truth that consciousness and culture co-evolve? (21:43)
- The need to build a political movement, break through into mainstream culture with the new truth of the vertical dimension of development (25:27)
- Truth is one of the casualties of the current culture wars (28:25)
- How does technology come into it? (35:05)
- The Black Death plague and the impact of COVID-19 (38:14)
- With post-progressivism, we’re trying to negate the negations of progressivism (40:18)
- The role of contemplative practices and spiritual development in fostering psychological development and helping transcendent ideals become social norms (43:10)
- An invitation to listeners to participate and investigate this new cultural intelligence (48:41)
Resources & References
- Steve McIntosh, Developmental Politics: How America Can Grow into a Better Version of Itself*
- Steve McIntosh, Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution*
- Steve McIntosh, Evolution’s Purpose*
- Institute for Cultural Evolution, think tank co-founded by Steve McIntosh with Carter Phipps
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man*
- Paul Ray, The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World*
- Clare Graves, adult developmental stages psychologist foundational to Spiral Dynamics
- Don Beck & Christopher Cowan, Spiral Dynamics*
- Integral Institute and Ken Wilber
- Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth
- Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
- Esalen Institute, leading center for exploring human potential
- John Mackey, Carter Phipps, and Steve McIntosh, Conscious Leadership*
- John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, Conscious Capitalism*
- Brandon Goleman, Emotional Intelligence*
- Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
- Herbert Spencer’s Theory of Social Evolution
- Charles Taylor, A Secular Age*
- Steve McIntosh’s author website: stevemcintosh.com
- Aristotle’s eudaimonia, the highest human good
- Create your personal Portrait of the Good, online character development exercise at Institute for Cultural Evolution
- Lao Tzu, Heraclitus, Nicholas of Cusa
- The Post-Progressive Post (now The Developmentalist)
- The Worldview Questionnaire at The Developmentalist
- Aldous Huxley, Island*
- Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth
- Winston Churchill, “…truth should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies”
- Jesus, “…the truth will set you free”
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit*
- Steve McIntosh, Developmental Politics: How America Can Grow Into a Better Version of Itself*
- Institute for Cultural Evolution, co-founded by Steve McIntosh
- Post-progressive.org is now The Developmentalist.org
- * As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.
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About the Deep Transformation series
We are clearly in a new era, facing world-threatening challenges and graced with barely conceivable opportunities. In this mind-boggling new world, we all face two crucial questions:
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Deep Transformation: Self-Society-Spirit draws on diverse ideas from around the world. It goes beyond traditional positions and polarities—beyond left and right, material and spiritual—to seek syntheses of deep wisdom and practical know-how that integrate the best of all positions.
About Steve McIntosh
Steve McIntosh J.D. is a leader in the integral philosophy movement and author of the acclaimed books: The Presence of the Infinite—The Spiritual Experience of Beauty, Truth, & Goodness (Quest 2015), Evolution’s Purpose—An Integral Interpretation of the Scientific Story of Our Origins (SelectBooks 2012), and Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution—How the Integral Worldview Is Transforming Politics, Culture and Spirituality (Paragon House 2007).
About Roger Walsh
Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., has spent nearly a quarter century researching and practicing in the world's great spiritual traditions. His critically acclaimed book, Essential Spirituality, is a summary of that wisdom, outlining the seven spiritual practices common to the world's major religions.
About John Dupuy
John Dupuy is co-founder and CEO of iAwake Technologies, a company that creates cutting-edge, high-tech brainwave entrainment soundtracks that support the healing of emotional/shadow issues, deepen meditation, mental focus, creativity, and flow states, and enhance a daily integral transformative practice. John has been working personally and professionally with brainwave entrainment technology since 2004, and travels internationally to teach and inspire on the subjects of Integral Transformative Practice and Integral Recovery®. John is also the author of Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction (SUNY Press, 2013), winner of the 2013 USA Best Book Award, and co-host of the popular Journey of Integral Recovery podcast. John also hosts the online series Spiritual Tech Talks 2.0, in which he converses with leaders, pioneers, and inventors on the current wave of emerging spiritual technologies.