Integral Theory is described as a “nondual” developmental paradigm, where ontology and epistemology are paired constructively, and in which developing consciousness is sourced by thought, feeling, and states of consciousness. Emotional and cognitive development intertwine within ego development, and ego is defined by its coordinating and self-identifying functions. Following a review of the literature on emotions and emotional development, criteria are proposed for preconventional, conventional, and post-conventional levels of emotional development.
This article describes seven years of research on an ongoing experiment that fosters the development of individuals and groups through an integrally informed educational program called Generating Transformative Change (GTC). A progressively targeted developmental action research project involving seven cohorts is described and the conclusions about three of these participant groups, involving a total of 30 people, are presented.
This article introduces some of the basic elements of Integral Geography as both theory and practice for applying the AQAL framework to the study of the world. A historical overview elaborates what geography is, how it evolved as a discipline, and how geographers frame a number of key dimensions of inquiry in studying both the human and natural world. These key dimensions are then situated in relation to the AQAL framework and are used to reveal how space, spatiality, and topology are intrinsic to the AQAL map and Integral Theory in general.
This article explores the discipline of subtle energies by using the four quadrants of Integral Theory as a central framework. It offers a way to integrate the disparate views of subtle energies from the traditional descriptions of mystics, saints, yogis, and healers with the leading edge research in the life and health sciences in regards to the subtle energies within and around the living system.
The purpose of this article is to explore the future development of Integral metatheory and to contextualize the absence of a formal method within a general framework for describing an integral meta-studies. The importance of method is discussed within an integral cycle of learning model that shows why method plays such a crucial role in metatheory building and in scientific disciplines in general. An overview of integral meta-studies is presented to contextualise the discussion of method.
This article provides an introduction to the Integral Coaching® method developed by Joanne Hunt and Laura Divine, founders of Integral Coaching Canada, Inc. A brief introduction to the field of coaching is offered using the four quadrants to appreciate the underlying assumptions of how change occurs and how schools of coaching have approached the rapidly growing field of adult development. Further delineation of Integral Coaching Canada’s use of subject-object theory and a “transcend and include” developmental model is provided and resides at the root of this school’s AQAL approach to change.
This article provides an introduction to the set of six lenses used to support client assessment and competency development: the four quadrants (competencies, orientation, and translation), levels of consciousness (including three levels within each level), six lines of development (cognitive, emotional, interpersonal, somatic, spiritual, and moral), states of consciousness (gross, subtle, and causal as well as productive and non-productive, high-energy and low-energy states), gender type structures (feminine and masculine development), and Enneagram type structures.
This article provides an introduction to the process used by Integral Coaching Canada in working with clients over time.
This article proposes an integral approach to sexual identity development that broadens the discussion beyond science and religion or nature versus nurture. A four-quadrant exploration of the research on the origins of sexual identity reveals much more complexity and highlights potential points for social justice interventions as well as ideas to enhance personal spiritual transformation.
Ranked choice voting (RCV) is a practice that offers considerable promise by creating and protecting a more civil commons where more perspectives are included, respect is encouraged, coercion and distortion are minimized, and intersubjective bridging is rewarded.
This article explores the work of Bernadette Roberts, a little-known contemporary Catholic Christian mystic. I analyze her work as a basis for a renewed and complete Christian map of mystical consciousness for the contemporary era. Through her experience, Roberts lays the foundation for a native Christian nonduality.
This article investigates music’s ability to facilitate flow states of consciousness as peak experiences. The research first uses two first-person methods, phenomenology and structuralism. The results of two second-person methods, hermeneutics and ethnomethodology, are then detailed. The final research section uses two third-person methods, empiricism and systems analysis. The empirical section utilizes a survey, while the systems analysis section investigates factors that contributed to the phenomenological research method. Results focus on tracking a conceptual understanding of the terms flow state and peak experience.
Based on Integral Theory, the practice of Integral Education is emerging as a viable and practical discipline. This article demonstrates how an instructor can begin to operate within the AQAL framework by first focusing on the quadrants. Detailed examples of using the quadrants as a pedagogical tool are provided in the context of a senior high school sociology course. In addition, the role of an Integral educator is explored in the context of Integral practices they might employ based on the four quadrants. Although the article presents an application of the AQAL framework within a high school curriculum, the Integral principles in use are instructive for other educational settings using an Integral approach.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been involved in an ongoing collaboration with Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Preventive Medicine, where they have designed a large and epidemiologically sound study exploring the role of “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) on social and health outcomes later in life. This research brings a distinct and compelling relationship between ACEs, health risk behaviors, and physical and mental health into awareness. This article outlines these research findings, pointing also to the role of ACEs in homelessness and criminal justice involvement and addressing service delivery implications. Integral Theory is used to explain ACEs as an underlying syndrome, and Integral Restorative Processes is presented as a useful and flexible intervention model to guide a comprehensive and effective response.
The author uses twelve AQAL dimensions of education as described by Sean Esbjörn-Hargens to approximate a “report card” for evaluating any curriculum with an affective focus. This completeness is not just an academic exercise but shows the practicality and advantage of an Integral approach in the real world. Four affective educational models will also be examined using Integral perspectives. The features of these programs will be measured using an example of an Integral assessment of their strengths, foci, and weaknesses.
The pervasive influence and conceptual complexity of gender as a scientific construct has lead to attempts to explain it from multiple perspectives. When each of these perspectives is offered, it tends to be presented as a complete explanation. Each perspective, however, likely offers only a partial truth concerning the enactment of gender. The recognition of the partiality of these perspectives indicates that each should be considered in some form when trying to address the full complexity of gender. It also makes clear that none should be privileged above any other. Through the application of the Integral model and Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP), this article develops a broader and deeper conceptual and operational model for the study of gender than those that have been typically applied.
An integral political-economic framework is developed first with a quadrant analysis of the economy. The analysis contains a novel separation by quadrant of the effects that either encourage or discourage economic development. It is then shown what quadrant aspects are recognized or emphasized by liberals and conservatives. A review of the Integral approach to capital then allows for the integration of the radical view. Political-economic understanding is then proposed as a learning line of development where conservative, liberal, or radical emphasis in agents is associated with their political-economic personality types. Distinctions are made between less and more mature versions of each type. Finally, an immature/mature fallacy is discovered where more mature views are often mistakenly reduced to less mature versions of that type by less mature views of another type.
This article analyzes pro- and anti-war arguments and situates each within an all-quadrant, all-level perspective. I evaluate each perspective according to its probable sincerity, given that some arguments covered deeper, unarticulated interests. This analysis considers the intended and unintended consequences of warring or abstaining on various scales: global, regional, and national. Finally, I argue that an Integral perspective can recommend actions in an ideal scenario and a real world scenario.
The following article outlines the major approaches to constitutional interpretation and explains how either approach on its own ultimately leads to a narrow and incomplete understanding of the law, which ignores the rich reality that both interior and exterior perspectives carry. The author will introduce Integral Legal Theory as a method of interpretation that will allow each perspective its day in court while offering coherence to a jurisprudence gone slightly mad.
The first part of this article discusses the need for the application of Integral Theory, a postdisciplinary model, to university and academic culture. The second section examines the need for and current status of character education. It uses the AQAL framework to outline an Integral Character Education, which not only includes inculcating values in an individual but also the requisite behaviors associated with those values, as well as the need to anchor them in social interaction and a common ethos.
International development is a diverse field attempting to address some of the most pressing global problems facing humanity today. Although the field has come a long way over the past five decades, it is far from perfect. In this article, Gail Hochachka discusses how the quadrants, lines, and levels of Integral Theory assist in this ongoing refinement of international development practice.
Using Integral Theory as my framework, I explore the four quadrants or fundamental perspectives of reality with respect to writing. This consists of inquiry into the use of subjective, objective, intersubjective, and interobjective perspectives to better understand and express writing. My thesis is that together these interrelated perspectives comprise the whole writing space: an Integral writing space. I also identify three developmental levels within each quadrant (e.g., three increasingly complex subjective perspectives, objective perspectives, etc.). This results in a total of twelve unique perspectives that map the horizontal breadth and vertical depth of the territory of writing. I offer experiential exercises for each of these writing perspectives in order to help the reader recognize them. My conclusion is that each of these perspectives is already present within our experience and is vital for a comprehensive understanding and expression of writing.
This article lays the foundations for a comprehensive formulation of Integral Mathematics. I introduce a number of definitions for an Integral Mathematics, including the perspective of Integral Mathematics in the context of a distinct discipline, Ken Wilber’s symbolic Integral Mathematics of primordial perspectives, and Integral Mathematics as a developmental line. I then focus on the perspective of Integral Mathematics as a distinct discipline and show that the “division” between the worlds of pure and applied mathematics is parallel to the distinction between the Left- and Right-Hand quadrants. I give a four-quadrant analysis for Integral Mathematics as a distinct discipline by applying the quadrants to Perfect Numbers from Recreational Number Theory. Finally, I give an example from Group Theory that illustrates how Integral Mathematics may be applied to explore shifts in levels of consciousness through meditation.
For many the practice of law is a dissatisfying experience. By providing a more comprehensive, AQAL vision for the practice of law, I speculate that lawyers can gain more satisfaction and meaning from their profession.
Suffering and evil challenge us all, but several principles may help Integral practitioners to respond effectively. These include appreciating the role that unrecognized, limited perspectives (and corresponding worldviews) play in creating suffering and evil, and learning to recognize and release such limitations into more integral stances. Doing this skillfully requires taking up effective, authentic psychological and contemplative disciplines, and especially the disciplines of awakening service or karma yoga, whose central elements are described.
Human service organizations aim to address personal and social growth and development in the communities they serve. At the same time, these organizations must respond to increasing client complexity and diversity within a rapidly changing global environment. This includes the ability to respond to the needs of an ever-increasing aging population as well as the spiritual diversity within communities. There is also an increasing emphasis on interorganizational collaboration as a way to better meet the needs of disadvantaged populations. Integral Theory offers a map to guide the human service manager in handling these complex organizational interactions while aligning with the mission of addressing personal and social growth and development.
This essay introduces a methodology for Integral Science called Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP). Tracing the development of epistemological and ontological relationships in the writings of Ken Wilber, the paper demonstrates how such a methodology might be applied. I consider Wilber’s elucidations of three core principles of valid knowledge (injunction, apprehension, and consensual validation) along with three essential elements of an IMP (nonexclusion, enfoldment, and enactment).
Defining the problem space has always been a central task of research and problem solving. In this article Susanne Cook-Greuter argues that the Integral or “all-quadrant” (AQ) approach provides a method to define a problem space that is at once elegant, infinitely adaptable, and panoramic. AQ stands for the first two letters of AQAL, the “all-quadrants, all-levels” aspects of Integral Theory created by Ken Wilber. I am choosing to represent AQ separately from the rest of the Integral Theory because it is independently powerful and useful as a means to explore and describe the human territory of experience.
The biopsychosocial model promised a more integrated psychiatric approach to patients. It assumed biological and psychosocial factors were paramount to effectively treat human disease and suffering. It has not, however, influenced conventional psychiatry as George Engel had envisioned. This article describes many of the strengths and weaknesses of the biopsychosocial model, as well as how AQAL and Integral Methodological Pluralism include the model’s partial truths and transcend its shortcomings.
According to the late ecologist, Stan Rowe, Ken Wilber’s holarchical scheme confuses important issues in the part-whole relationships belonging to organisms and ecosystems, and Wilber’s developmental ideas echo the anthropocentrism found in the work of many other modernists. In the process of articulating and defending Wilber’s views, I argue that Rowe’s alternative flirts with ecofascism, insofar as Rowe depicts human beings as mere “parts” of Gaia, which considers everything smaller than Gaia as functional units. Despite my disagreements with Rowe, I admire him for grappling with these important and highly complex issues.
This article provides an in-depth analysis of Integral Coaching Canada’s coaching model using Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP). The author uses five primary methodologies and the perspectives available through eight zones to evaluate what makes Integral Coaching Canada’s model unique in the field of coaching. This article is based on first-, second-, and third-person approaches to research and an original study and master’s degree thesis that evaluated over 20 coaching models.
This is a two-part paper that offers an overview of Integral Sustainable Development, explaining the rudiments of a practical framework that integrates the crowded conceptual and operational landscape of sustainable development and enables practitioners to 1) identify the full-range of needs and capabilities of individuals and groups, and 2) tailor the specific developmental response that fits each unique situation.
This article seeks to explore Integral Social Work — its meaning and applications. This goal is achieved by exploring the nature of social service in the context of Integral Theory’s AQAL (all- quadrant, all-level) approach. The essence of Integral Social Work is to serve the whole person and the whole of society with the whole of one’s being. This requires that social workers develop themselves, while simultaneously helping others, and society, to develop in as full, complex, and healthy a way as possible.
This article introduces the reader to the profession of social work and its evolution over time. By simultaneously attending to both the person and the environment, social work has been a more comprehensive profession. Although social work has been inherently striving for a more integrative approach from the beginning, it has lacked a meta-theory that could address people, their environments, and integrate previously competing theories. Integral Theory is that meta-theory. Social workers are invited to consider this meta-theoretical approach to the service they provide.
This paper studies the development of some of the key schools of feminist thought, exploring the history of the definition of Woman. Ken Wilber’s framework of Integral Feminism is then used to move toward the processual creation of a more adequately holistic understanding of women and subjectivity.
In this article Willow Pearson proposes that desire, as all lines of development, evolves toward greater complexity and is an all-quadrant phenomenon. For this reason, she situates desire and sex (from preconventional to conventional to postconventional and beyond) within an Integral framework. Integral Theory offers a unique view of desire and a possibility to understand all levels of desire as embodied wisdom, however partial each view might be.
This paper argues for an Integral approach to science, which consists of interior, exterior, individual, and collective dimensions, all of which must be included in the various knowledge quests of science. A basic methodology consisting of injunction, apprehension, and communal consensus is elaborated to help create a broad umbrella for distinguishing valid scientific endeavors. Distinctions are drawn between contemporary science and Integral Science, with the conclusion that an Integral approach allows for a greater opportunity for transdisciplinary learning and cohesiveness in the overall scientific endeavor.
To illustrate the value of the AQAL model for therapists, Paul presents a case study that demonstrates some features of Integral Psychotherapy. He introduces the client and explore three treatment episodes of various lengths. By following the unfolding journey of one client working with an integrally informed psychotherapist, the reader gains a felt sense of at least one way the AQAL model can be clinically applied. Lastly, the client’s situation and progress are explored through an AQAL analysis using the five elements of Integral Theory.
In this article Bert introduces and explores some of the diverse schools of psychotherapeutic thought. He then argues that Integral Theory or the “all-quadrant” approach provides a method of organizing and uniting these competing schools of psychotherapy into a coherent whole. The result, as we will see, is a more inclusive, adaptive clinical assessment and treatment.
This paper introduces Integral Psychology (IP) as a mature embrace to the question of what is human nature and how do we best explore it. Historically, wave after wave of various trends and movements have attempted to give psychology a focus and scientific status. After decades of specialization and segmentation (APA has over 50 divisions), IP aims at a mature synthesis of the field. IP mines and integrates the lasting contributions to our understanding of human nature and potential from all psychological schools of thought, disciplinary divisions, and methods of investigation—paying attention to both research and applications. In this paper I explore six of the major historical predecessors to IP: behaviorism, psychoanalysis, humanistic-existential, transpersonal, constructivist-developmental, and positive psychology.
This article explores how Integral Theory can serve the discipline of psychology in its current, parochial state by offering a framework for unification. While psychology has evolved as a science, the trend toward specialization has rendered it fragmented. Numerous efforts at unification have failed to draw the many specializations together. Until now, no unification theory has offered a sufficiently broad and deep framework to include all aspects of psychology. This paper offers a view of how Integral Theory can serve as a uniting framework for psychology as well as its individual disciplines.
Pharmacological treatments are the mainstay of current psychiatric practice as effective treatments for a variety of mental disorders. Many recognize the inadequacy of a purely biological treatment for most patients. The psychiatric field appears to be shifting into a more integrative stance with biological and psychosocial treatments. With the vast array of therapies, the Integral approach attempts to embrace all schools of treatment into a coherent whole. Two elements of the AQAL framework — quadrants and levels — are introduced as relevant aspects for Integral Psychiatry.
In this time of ideological upheaval, when the old ideologies of left and right, of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism, no longer capture the political imagination as they once did, new political visions are required. Some have tried to formulate a “third way” between social democracy and conservatism. Others have proposed a more spiritually-oriented approach to transcend left and right. In what follows, Gregory Wilpert presents another vision — Integral Politics, based on Integral Theory.
This article briefly outlines the AQAL model and describes the application of the model to family practice—specifically an Integral look at depression and anxiety. Larry discusses major problems facing the Western medical model, particularly gross and subtle reductionism and the mind-body split. He also offers an AQAL perspective on clinical examples from family practice and then apply the AQAL model to the transformation of the physician.
This article presents the state-of-the-art design elements of Integral Life Practice, which is a method of supporting personal or professional growth into greater levels of success and actualization. Integral Life Practice is guided by Integral Theory, the fundamental elements of which are briefly reviewed before the author postulates six tenets of Integral Life Practice. The flexible, modular design of Integral Life Practice is described in detail, and suggestions are given for creating integrally informed basic and advanced practices that will have a high degree of transformative efficacy.
Integral Life Practice — the conscious exercise of body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature — uses the AQAL Integral map to orient the many growth techniques invented by humans throughout the ages.
Integral Healthcare Management, an application of Integral Theory to the management of healthcare organizations, is a comprehensive and inclusive way of providing healthcare. This article explains the “all-quadrant” aspect of Integral Theory in the context of two common healthcare management challenges: operating a hospital in accord with national accreditation standards and complying with modern notions of “patient safety.”
Money is a human abstraction. Although not found in nature, it is pervasively used throughout human activities and undertakings. In so doing, it generates an array of personal and cultural responses in addition to its material manifestations. As such, it is ideally suited for an AQAL analysis. This paper constitutes the introductory theoretical overview for Integral Finance. It introduces the basic principles and presents fundamental applications of Integral principles to money, including money’s nature, its various roles in the world, and its applications to and impacts on other disciplines.
Integral Theory provides a distinct and participatory approach to Ecology. This article introduces Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, distinguishes the Integral approach from other methods, and applies some key concepts to Ecology. The ontology, epistemology, and methodology of environmental phenomena are examined in light of Wilber’s framework and the framework is applied to multidimensional examples of recycling. Finally, an Integral Ecology platform is presented.
There are many competing approaches available for responding to environmental problems and dealing with ecological issues. This article provides an introduction to Integral Ecology, an approach that takes the valuable insights from all the major schools of ecological thought and unites them in a comprehensive framework. First, the difficulty of defining “ecology” is explored. Next, the twenty-five major approaches to ecology are introduced. Finally, Integral Ecology is defined in such a way that it honors the importance of all these approaches.
This article supports the claim that there is substantial agreement within the discipline that criminology (and criminal justice) is in need of a change in approach. This article maintains that a framework is needed to organize the contributions and partial truths of existing disciplinary knowledge. It is argued that criminology needs an “orienting perspective” or a “meta-theory.” The article proposes that the Integral model provides a functional and apposite framework for addressing these problems. An in-depth, AQAL-based justification for this proposition is provided.
This document was produced on the basis of a meeting that took place in March, 2001. There are some revisions reflecting activities and developments that have occurred since that meeting. Our intention is to suggest, in an introductory way, how the Integral approach could be applied to contemporary issues in criminology and criminal justice. We explore issues of the War on Drugs, the death penalty, and juvenile justice as illustrations.
This article is part one of an overview of Integral Correctional Education. It briefly introduces salient aspects of the field of correctional education, defines correctional education, introduces the Integral model, and outlines the historical periods of correctional education practice. A discussion of some core principles of correctional education is followed by some problems that afflict inmate students, correctional educators, and the communities they serve.
Consciousness is not only found in the Upper-Left quadrant in Integral Theory, which concerns itself with individual subjectivity and experience; rather consciousness is located in each of the four quadrants. This short essay examines how consciousness reveals itself and is studied in each of the four quadrants within Integral Theory.
Consciousness is all too often understood purely in subjective terms. An Integral approach recognizes that subjectivity is only one of four dimensions to consciousness. This article proposes that consciousness (subjectivity) cannot be understood independent of its co-arising with bodies (objectivity), cultures (intersubjectivity), and systems (interobjectivity).
This article presents an Integral (AQAL) framework for Christian Ministry. Quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types are introduced and situated within the historical framework of Christianity.
AQAL perspectives provide a uniquely comprehensive holding environment for investigating the various approaches of Christian “confessional theologies”—those understandings of the Divine that are lived within; and “comparative theologies”—those inquiries into the ultimate spiritual values and goals of all human life as perceived and expressed in a variety of religions and wisdom traditions. The authors use the AQAL analytical framework to unite the interior, exterior, individual, and collective dimensions, and to explore aspects of specific lines, levels, states, and types associated with Christian ministry.
This introductory article is an early articulation of Integral approaches to business and leadership in which the authors use the clarifying and synthesizing perspectives of Integral Theory and methodology to update biases, make new connections, and illumine blind spots of the theorists who have gone before: Drucker, McGregor, Kaplan and Norton, Senge, Hammer, and Collins, et al.
This article briefly outlines a general definition of art and the main approaches of art theory andpractice. It then illustrates how those approaches coherently fit together via the four quadrants of AQAL theory. The article concludes that Integral Art preserves the important truths of these approaches (while negating their more extreme versions). Therefore, nothing short of an Integral approach will suffice in both tuning artists to their fullest expression and reminding critics of their widest embrace.