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Vertical Development’s Many Gifts

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Beena Sharma, president of the Vertical Development Academy (VeDA), gives a beautifully cogent explanation of the 8-stage, full spectrum model of adult psychological development, Vertical Development — illuminating us not only to the characteristics of each stage of development, but the implications and ramifications of each stage, the process of human development as a whole, and how this model can help us face our current metacrisis.

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The Momentous Leap to Integral Consciousness

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Ken Wilber and Corey deVos explore some of the unique challenges that come with the transition to Integral stages of development — “the momentous leap” as it is often called. Watch as Ken and Corey try to bring a little bit more light to this particular path of transformation, and maybe leave a few signposts for fellow travelers along the way.

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The Integral Storycreator: Using Integral Methodological Pluralism to Create Fictional, Narrative Prose

The intention of this paper is to explore using Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP) to construct a fictional, narrative story as part of a greater consideration into using the distinctions of Integral Theory in creating any kind of story or character driven work of art. The key component is using the mixed method information, especially the developmental knowledge, in combination with one’s own experience to make up the personality content of the characters and the moments of decision, discovery, and tension of the story; making sure to touch all the dimensions of the character’s life and the story’s world. The paper begins by discussing how and why IMP works for story creation, moving into a story I wrote using it. The second half of the paper is an in depth look at the process of locating and utilizing information and knowledge to craft the story, the characters and the relationships.

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An Integral Approach to Parenting in the First Three Years of a Child’s Life

This article provides an introduction to the possible span and depth considered when applying an Integral approach to parenting during early childhood. The relationship between Integral Theory and the practice of parenting is addressed, and key principles and concepts that underlie Integral Parenting are discussed. The task of parenting is placed within an evolutionary context and presented as a possible Integral practice. Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory serves as an inspiration and organizing matrix.

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Music and Personal Experience: Flows and Peaks

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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.

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In Pursuit of Wholeness: Making Room for Everything

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This notion of holons — the idea that the universe is fundamentally made of whole/parts within whole/parts within whole/parts, turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down — this isn’t just important in a theoretical or philosophical sense. Understanding holons also helps us make better sense of the world that we live in, and our inner worlds as well. And it helps guide our own growing up, waking up, and cleaning up process.

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Integral Critical Theory: The 8 Zones of Racism

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Ken and Corey continue their discussion of the 8 critical zones of integral metatheory, and apply them to the ongoing cultural conversation taking place around race, racism, and other kinds of bigotry that we continue to see in the world. This discussion is a great opportunity to not only learn more about these 8 primordial perspectives that are available to us, but also to see how they can be applied to social and cultural challenges and “wicked problems” such as these.

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Integral Mathematics: An AQAL Approach

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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.

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Quadrants as a Scanning and Mapping Device

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.

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AQAL: Beyond the Biopsychosocial Model

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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.

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An Analysis of Integral Coaching Canada Across Eight Zones and Five Methodologies

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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.

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An Integral Age at the Leading Edge

This is the excerpt that started it all — an extraordinary 200-page introduction to Ken Wilber’s updated integral map, kicking off a stunning new evolution in his meta-theoretical work (often refered to as his “post-metaphysical” or “Wilber V” phase). Excerpted from the still-unpublished followup to Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, in this free ebook you will be introduced to some of the key ideas that emerged from this new phase of integral thinking.

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Integral Epistemology

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How do we know stuff? Like all of the great philosophical quandaries, it’s a fundamentally straightforward question that can lead us into an endlessly branching series of chicken-and-egg meditations on the nature of existence (ontology) versus the nature of knowledge (epistemology). In this fascinating episode of The Ken Show, we take a look at a dozen of the most popular schools of epistemological thought — idealism, pragmatism, empiricism, constructivism, etc. — noting their respective contributions and limitations, and how they can all be pulled together into a more Integral epistemology.

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The Transformation Age: America Burning

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America has been on fire these past few weeks. A nation struggling with its racist past, its contemporary racial shadow, its deep political and cultural polarization, and a divisive president who will never be capable of leading a nation, we continue to find ourselves in the heart of The Great Release (and this time, not from an economic depression or disease pandemic, but from our deep and terrible racist heritage). In this brief article, I want to use a few lenses of integral metatheory—concepts you’ll be familiar with, but applied in ways you’ve never seen before—to see if we can get a broader view of what’s happening.

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The Four Quadrants: A Guided Tour

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Ken and Corey take a in-depth tour through one of Ken’s most well-known contributions to integral philosophy: the Four Quadrants. Watch as Ken shares his personal story about the origins of the Four Quadrant model — the day everything came together — as he weaves 3rd-person theoretical descriptions of the model with his own 1st-person experience and creative process.

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The Many Ways We Grow

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Human development is uneven, which means that we are better at some things than we are at others. Some skills come more naturally to us, and others are more difficult to acquire. Watch as Ken and Corey explore each of these developmental capacities in detail, offering a powerful summary of human potentials, talents, and intelligences — a comprehensive map of the territory of “you” that will help guide your own ongoing growth and development.

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Growing Up: A Guided Tour

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In this episode of The Ken Show we explore one of the most central elements of integral metatheory: growing up through multiple stages of developmental maturity. Watch as Ken and Corey offer a guided tour through each of the major stages on the Path of Growing Up — an exploration of your own greatest, deepest potentials — and offer some simple practices to help you actualize those potentials.

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The Many Ways We Touch

We have the intuition that everyone is at least partially right, that no human being is capable of being 100% wrong. But how do you tell just how right everyone is? Some are more right than others — how do you tell the difference? And how do you handle interfacing with limited or partial perspectives when engaging with people in real time? This eBook, from the upcoming Vol. II of Ken Wilber’s “Kosmos Trilogy”, will help.

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The Three Principles of Integral Thinking

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Ken offers an in-depth summary of the three integrative principles, nonexclusion, enfoldment, and enactment, which he uncovered while putting together his Integral Methodological Pluralism framework — a robust meta-paradigmatic scaffolding that seeks to honor, include, and integrate multiple paradigms and methodologies and practices across all domains of human knowing.

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Kosmic Address: Everything In Its Right Place

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Ken Wilber explores the notion of Kosmic Address — a universal “indexing system” that uses the integral framework to situate and constellate all known phenomena (physical, mental, and spiritual), as well our capacity to discern that phenomena. This allows us to not only better understand the nature of each component part, but also how that part relates to every other part and fits into the whole, revealing the hidden architecture of knowledge itself.

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The Four Faces of Truth

In an era when our collective notion of “truth” is being weaponized, balkanized, and smashed to smithereens, it’s important to remind ourselves how we go about discerning truth in the first place. In this introductory chapter from The Eye of Spirit, Ken Wilber explores the four primary methods we use to acquire and verify our knowledge, allowing us to escape our current “post-truth” quagmire by bridging the ever-widening divide between conflicting views, values, and verities.

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Integral Semiotics: The Language of Liberation

How do we derive meaning from the words we use? An integral approach fundamentally changes how we understand the nature of language, communication, and shared meaning. Integral Semiotics offers a comprehensive map or framework of most of the known worldspaces available to humans. Since most of these worldspaces do not possess simple location or material form, they are likely to be denied reality by most realist, empirical, or behavioral schools—where in fact they are home of the vast majority of those things most humans hold valuable. Integral Semiotics is thus a matter, not just of linguistics, but of emancipation.

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The Integral Vision

Integrative metatheory is arguably the only credible global philosophy of the 21st century. Ken Wilber’s The Integral Vision is one of the finest introductions to integrative thought and practice you can find.

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A Miracle Called “We”

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How is it possible that you and I can come together, find resonance with each other, understand each other, even love each other, when we are each separate individuals that possess our own unique perspectives, our own diverse interpretations of reality, and our own unseen landscapes of interior consciousness? How on earth do you get in my mind, and I get in your mind, enough that we are in each other to the point that we both agree that we can each see what the other sees? However this happens, it is a miracle, an absolute, stunning, staggering miracle.

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Human 101: The Psychology of the Future

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How can we formulate an approach to psychology that honors and embraces every legitimate aspect of human consciousness and pulls these multiple aspects together into a single coherent model of the human mind? Watch as Ken Wilber offers one of the finest and most complete summaries of an Integral approach to psychology he has ever recorded, while suggesting how a more comprehensive understanding of human consciousness can help shape a better, kinder, and more sustainable future.

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Supermind and the Primordial Avoidance

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Ken offers a fascinating preview of his upcoming book, The Religion of Tomorrow, where he describes the highest structure of conscious that has yet evolved — the all-pervading, all-embracing stage known as “Supermind” — making this one of the finest meditations on your own highest-possible self you could possibly ask for!

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Allergies and Addictions: States of Consciousness

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From the lowest depths to the highest peaks, there is no place our shadow will not follow us, even into the heart of nonduality itself. Listen as Ken Wilber offers a guided tour through the major states of consciousness described by all the world’s spiritual traditions, while pointing out the many ways that our shadows can impede or even sabotage our efforts to contact and stabilize these states.

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The Shadow Vignettes: A Tale of Reintegration in Six Parts

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Ken Wilber offers what’s got to be one of his most hilarious teachings to date. His focus is on shadow, but this time he adopts a more practice-oriented perspective, offering examples of shadow at each of six levels of development—featuring conversations with a stripper, a monster, a man burning in eternal flame, a radiant being, an oil tanker, and Gaia. As for what these conversations entail, you’ll just have to experience them yourself….