The Meaning of the Avant Garde

Ed KowalczykAesthetic, Art & Creativity, Cognitive, Conversations, Creative, Entertainment, Perspectives, Presentations, Video Leave a Comment

Ken Wilber, Ed Kowalczyk, and Stuart Davis met at the Ken Wilber’s house in Boulder for a special meeting focusing on Integral Art and Transformative Practice. What followed was an afternoon of vibrant discussion and electrifying performances, centered on the themes: What is the relation of art and transformation? How can art be part of an Integral Life Practice?

As Ken notes in his introductory remarks, one of the goals of Integral Institute is to resurrect the concept of the avant garde. “Avant garde” in the broadest sense refers to anyone who is pushing the evolutionary edge. However, historically, it has often been the artists who have pushed it most profoundly. That’s because artists, as Ken points out, have a freedom to experiment that people in most other vocations don’t.

Of course, for just that reason, avant-garde art has often been the product of some less-than-balanced souls. But if the leading edge is now integral, then we can look to artists whose consciousness is integrally informed to give us glimpses of a saner, more inclusive future—and the radical potentials that await us there.

Also central to the conversation is the notion of Integral Life Practice, and how it can serve the unfolding of conscious evolution. The essential idea of ILP is that the more human capacities one exercises simultaneously, the more rapid the human transformation, and the more profound the human creativity. Think of ILP as spiritual cross-training: the exercise of body, mind, soul, and spirit in self, culture, and nature. (For more on ILP, check out the practice section of this website.)

Ed Kowalczyk

About Ed Kowalczyk

Ed Kowalczyk is the lead singer for the band Live. He counts among his influences the writer Jiddu Krishnamurti and integral thinker Ken Wilber, and his lyrics reflect his mystical and spiritual tendency. He has influenced bands such as Daughtry, Matchbox Twenty and Breaking Benjamin.

Stuart Davis

About Stuart Davis

Stuart Davis is a longtime friend of Integral Life and Ken Wilber, and has acted as guest host for many Integral Life dialogues over the last decade. With fifteen full-length albums to his credit, Stuart has carved out a unique wavelength in the musical spectrum. Taking the topics of God, sex and death, and crafting them into inimitable pop songs with lyrical flair and unforgettable hooks, Stuart also works in television, film, painting, and books.

Ken Wilber

About Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.

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