“Integral doesn’t tell us what to believe, it tells us how to believe.”Corey deVosI
t’s harder than ever these days to tell fact from fiction. Our lives have become so inundated with information — some good, some bad, most biased, all partial — at the end of the day it can be hard for some people to tell up from down. And as we spend more and more of our time on the deconstructive postmodern platforms of social media, truth becomes increasingly fragmented and balkanized and reduced to all sorts of low-resolution narratives.
All because we lack any real social mechanism for enfoldment, the process whereby multiple partial and even contradictory truths can be assembled into a more complex and coherent understanding of reality.
Take “conspiracy theories” for example. Everyone knows that genuine conspiracies occur behind the scenes all the time. We can talk about dozens of proven conspiracies that have come to the light over the decades. And at the same time, we can talk about hundreds of other conspiracy theories that are just plain silly. The problem, of course, is that few of us possess the epistemic tools required to discern genuine plots from paranoia and propaganda. Which can be a major problem when the Dunning-Kruger effect (the inability to discern when one is “over their heads”) confidently assures us that we do.
And so without these basic epistemic guardrails, a segment of our population has swerved off the road into conspiracy thinking, all while real-world conspiracies are taking place in plain sight, right before our very eyes.
Life in the “Information Age” seems to resemble fundamentalist religion more than some technocratic utopia:
- Separates people into “believers” and “non-believers”,
- Reduces meta-systemic complexity, real-world pressures, and power dynamics to oversimplified black-and-white narratives,
- Only supports data that reinforces their narrative beliefs, and rejects data that goes against that narrative,
- Resists ambiguity and prefers narratives that create a false sense of certainty.
Which may be because we really aren’t in the Information Age at all, and haven’t been for some time — we are now living in the “Attention Age” where depth is replaced by volume, where facts are replaced by feelings, and where an increasingly noisy minority sets the frame and tone for everyone else.
Which is why Ryan and I wanted to do this particular show, around the theme of fully inhabiting, embodying, and enacting truth — how to find it, how to wield it, and how to avoid the false certainties fed to us by both mainstream and fringe media. We don’t try to tell you what to believe, but rather try to help you avoid overly identifying with the contents of our views and to liberate yourself from your beliefs, whatever they happen to be.
If there are any topics or questions that you would like us to explore in future episodes of Inhabit, please let us know in the comments below, or by getting in touch with Corey.
Previous Episodes of Inhabit
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.
Ryan Oelke and Corey deVos
Ryan and Corey invite us to deepen our practice in the face of uncertainty, finding strategies in all four quadrants to help us better acclimate ourselves to the massive pressures, social responsibilities, and societal realignments that are coming to the surface as we plunge into the opening act of the Transformation Age.
Ken Wilber and Corey deVos
Ken and Corey explore how today’s transnational challenges and realities may be hastening humanity’s eventual growth toward increasingly inclusive and global forms of governance, what government might look like at the level of the global holon, and how we might actually be able to get there from here.
Dr. Keith Witt and Corey deVos
Dr. Keith Witt talks about our shared emotional reactions to the election and ongoing cultural upheavals, and some strategies help us not only cope, but actually grow through these times.
About Corey deVos
Corey W. deVos is the proverbial "man behind the curtain". He 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.
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 of experience in meditation, particularly in the Tibetan Buddhist and Dzogchen lineages, and is a certified teacher in Judith Blackstone’s Realization Process. Ryan teaches meditation and practices to reveal natural presence and to cultivate an engaged, responsive life. He lives in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC.