Watch as Corey deVos, Ryan Oelke, and special guest Rollie Stanich explore the vast and tender territories of the Integral Heart.
As Albert Einstein famously wrote, “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. The same can be said for the imbalance we sometimes see between the Integral Mind and and the Integral Heart.
The Integral mind differentiates, carefully separating reality into its most fundamental structures, factors, and patterns that help us better understand the staggering complexity we are surrounded by. But without the Integral Heart, this understanding can easily become cold, distant, and brittle — and if we allow ourselves to identify with the products of mind, it more often than not ends up creating more division between us, because no two people will ever enact this complexity in the exact same way.
The Integral Heart integrates, bridging the gaps between perspectives by pulling all of the differentiated pieces back together into a coherent whole, while also preventing us from succumbing to the grasping tendencies of mind that often cause us to maybe take ourselves just a little too seriously and dismiss each other’s points of view. But without an equally Integral Mind, this heartfelt wholeness we feel can easily become directionless and undiscerning, resulting in unwise displays of sentimentality, inaction, and idiot compassion.
And of course, while we want to consciously work to keep our heart and mind integrated, they are also are in many ways inseparable. The Integral Heart is the natural emanation of an awakened mind, and is given its shape by the many natural intelligences we possess — our cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, our interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, our moral and ethical intelligence, etc. All these multiple intelligences intersect in the innermost core of the Integral Heart, and each offers a unique vehicle that allows us to express our heart in the world, and expand that heart to include the vast multitudes of the Kosmos, however we conceive of it.
The Integral space is inherently a multi-perspectival space — meaning a place where we can exchange perspectives freely, and then do our best to fold these perspectives together so that we can walk away with a deeper and hopefully more comprehensive understanding. When our minds and hearts are integrated together, we naturally try not to be hostile to each other’s views or insulting to each other personally, as we can recognize that there is a very good change that each of these perspectives has something valuable to be included, something that the rest of us are missing — and also some parts that may need rethinking. Which is why we try to engage with each other in good faith, with both open minds and open hearts.
Integral, after all, is a framework that each of us can use to enact our reality in different ways. What we see through that lens will largely be a result of our embodied familiarity with the framework itself, as well as our unique personal and cultural kosmic address (that is, our own personal levels, lines, states, and types, as well as those from our surrounding culture, and our overall informational terrain). Which means there will never be one “correct” answer when it comes to complex topics such as war, peace, and geopolitics, but rather an entire living stack of shifting views, values, and interpretations that all need to be accounted for.
That’s why the goal of an integralist is not to “be right”, but rather to “get it right” through an ongoing process of examination in all four quadrants, constantly pulling in new data and new perspectives as they presents themselves. This requires both a rigorous Integral Mind that very much wants to get it right, tempered by a brave and curious Integral Heart that isn’t afraid to admit when we might be getting it wrong.
So this discussion is an invitation to continue opening your own most Integral heart, and allow it to infuse and inform all of our actions and interactions together — to lead our lives with both wisdom and compassion, with both discernment and tenderness, with both insight and humility — so that we may use our integral minds and hearts to recognize, appreciate, and incorporate the partial truths that each of us are trying to bring to each other.
Written and produced by Corey deVos
Previous Episodes of Inhabit
Ryan Oelke and Corey deVos
Corey and Ryan discuss the importance of cultivating and inhabiting a “confident humility” with relation to our own physical bodies, mental processes, and spiritual health. We also have a fun segment at the end designed to put your own humility to the test, by looking at 10 common integral caricatures — stereotypes that many of us fall into at one point or another during our Integral lives.
Diane Musho Hamilton, Gabe Wilson, Kim Loh, and Corey deVos
Diane and Corey are joined by Gabe Wilson and Kim Loh, co-authors of Diane’s new book Compassionate Conversations, in this far-ranging discussion about growth, empathy, dignity, and integrity. Join us as we unpack one of the primary polarities at the core of Diane’s book — the polarity between sameness and difference — and how we can draw upon both our uniqueness and our commonalities in our pursuit for social justice and our efforts to reduce suffering within us, between us, and outside of us.
Father Thomas Keating
In this deeply moving reflection, Father Thomas Keating offers a personal glimpse into his own spiritual practice, allowing us precious insight into the heart and mind of one of the world’s most cherished mystics. Watch as Fr. Keating shares how his innermost experience of the sacred continues to transform as he approaches the twilight years of his life, and feel for yourself the incredible warmth and grace that radiates as the translucent skin of mortality gets peeled away layer by layer, revealing an unshakable mountain of timeless consciousness beneath.
About Corey deVos
Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of KenWilber.com. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.
About Ryan Oelke
Ryan Oelke is a co-founder of Buddhist Geeks and founder of Awakening in Life. He has an MSEd in counseling psychology and is contemplative teacher of awakening, healing, and embodiment. He has 18 years experience in meditation, particularly in the Tibetan Buddhist and Dzogchen lineages, he is a Buddhist Geeks teacher, and is a fully certified teacher in Judith Blackstone’s Realization Process. Ryan teaches meditation and a way of living dedicated to revealing natural presence and awakening in each moment of our lives, regardless of how it appears to us. He lives in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC with his partner Alyssa and stepdaughter Fiona.
About Rollie Stanich
Rollie has played a vital part in the emerging Integral movement as the Chief Facillitator of Integral Spiritual Center, as a former managing editor of Integral Naked from 2004-2005, and as an ongoing contributor to Integral Life. Rollie's spiritual path is that of contemplative Christianity—he is a practitioner of Centering Prayer and a longtime student of Fr. Thomas Keating.