True but partial
The core of integral philosophy is simple (but not easy): every aspect of human knowledge, ever discovered, has some important piece of.
Everything is true, but only partially so: some aspects of human experience are radically wrong, but still have something to teach us. In other words, there must be a way to make sense of the grand total of all human knowledge and experience–from every culture, from every era, from every discipline.
This “big picture view” is why integral philosophy is arguably one of the world’s most comprehensive ways of thinking about human, knowledge, and the world around us that is available. Scholars have already applied it to over 60 different academic fields, sciences, and domains of human knowledge.
In order to support people who want to live their lives integrally, I co-founded Integral Life in 2007 with my partner, Ken Wilber, a leading author and philosopher of the integral stage of consciousness that is just now emerging in humankind, and who has famously been called the “Einstein of consciousness”.
So what exactly does “living integrally” mean?
Humans are meaning-making machines. When we have an experience, we instantly have to make sense of it. What does it mean? How does it impact my life? What seems true and real here? What does this imply about my way of thinking about myself, or my friends, or my life, or the universe?
On and on, we’re simply fountains of meaning generation, creating stories, theories, myths, ideas, parables, and other things to convey our interpretations.
And this, in sort of a crude way, is the story of philosophy.
Whether we know it or not, we all have a philosophy
Through the ages, philosophers have been helping us make sense of our place in what, if we’re completely honest, is a very mysterious existence.
Why are we here?
What are we supposed to do with our lives?
What is really real?
What is truly true?
What art is worth producing or admiring?
How should we conduct ourselves?
What is goodness?
These and dozens of other grand questions, whether we ask them of ourselves or not, whether we ignore them or not, are simply unavoidable… you’re answering all of them in your own way, everyday, whether you know it or not.
And it’s always been the role of philosophy – the love of wisdom – to help us do so in a way that gets us closest to the “truth.”
If you want to have the most profound, broad and integrative way of understanding the sum total of what humans have come to know through history, just read the leading-edge philosophers.
For those of us who have done this–which is several million people alive today–many of us end up at integral philosophy. It simply is one of the most comprehensive ways of organizing, understanding, and making sense of the entire scope of human knowledge, methods, growth and evolution that many of us have found.
And now it’s my job to try to introduce integral philosophy to you and help you begin to “think integrally” in just a few lessons, which is where we’ll start next time: we’ll dive right into where your Integral Life journey will take you.