Community Road Rules

Integral Life strives to provide a community space that is integral—comprehensive, open, inclusive, and transparent. The quality of this integral space depends on the quality of your participation. Therefore, like all communities we have guidelines, and ours are integral. The following guidelines are designed to help make everyone’s experience in this “we-space” a fulfilling one:

  1. Let your very next communication in this space come from your Highest Self.

If you understand what “integral” means, then let the next words out of your mouth be from your own integral mind or integral awareness. If you don’t know exactly what integral means, then use “Highest or Higher Self,” “True Self that is no-self,” “Spirit Mind,” “Big Mind,” or whatever you are comfortable with that evokes the highest or deepest or brightest You.

  1. Feel the thinker.

Feel your self, feel your ego, feel the self-contraction. That which feels the thinker is beyond the thinker, that which feels the self is beyond the self, that which feels the ego is beyond the ego, that which feels the self-contraction is free of the self-contraction. When you feel the thinker (or ego, etc.), you engage your Higher Self. You take the stance of the Witness, the I that is aware of I, the I-I in you that is beyond you. And the Witness, although itself empty, takes on and speaks integral at any level.

Therefore, feel your ego, or feel your self-contraction, and then speak and act from the awareness that’s doing the feeling; that sees the ego as an object like any other; that impartial Mirror Mind reflecting and embracing the universe in its brightness and luminous equanimity, the higher perspective that is no special perspective but open to all. Make the subject object whenever you can, and this will help you come from your Highest Self.

But don’t make a big deal out of this. Simply try to feel the thinker or feel the self-contraction every now and then, and sooner or later it will make sense and feel natural to act from a higher level that is not the ego but is aware of the ego.

(Those rules help with your Higher Self, however you understand and intuit it. And now, a few rules to help with your lower self (aka, your unconscious, your shadow, the disowned self, or the self that will sabotage your every move, given a chance).

  1. Discern your “emotional buttons,” or the things to which you overreact.

In many cases, whether or not your judgment is true, a hyper-emotional recoil often means that shadow elements have been triggered, or as everyday parlance has it, somebody “pushed your buttons.” Simply notice this happening; try to make the subject an object (which, as we know, is the fundamental rule of development). In other words, try to make the reactive self (the lower self) an object of awareness. Just see and feel your emotional reaction; you don’t have to do anything else. It’s that simple. Don’t worry whether something spectacular happens or not; that very act has already caused a small transformation and disidentification, and repetitions of that simple act will have a profoundly cumulative effect. Of course, you can do more work on it if you choose, but most essentially, they are ways to just further that process.

You can investigate this more if you want. If someone or some comment gets on your nerves, what are you pushing against? Seek the underlying value in you that is trying to be expressed in your emotional charge. If you’re experiencing strong recoil, resistance, or rage, odds are what you are experiencing is a symptom of your own shadow. If this is so, we recommend doing a little shadow work with your response (ahhh, so that’s what the Shadow Channel is for!). Again, don’t make a big deal out of this, but work on it in whatever way you know how.

If you don’t want to do shadow work, or don’t have the time for it, not to worry: as we said, simply feel the self that is recoiling and acting negatively. Simply try to make the subject an object. And then go on about enjoying the community.

  1. Don’t wait for others to make the experience you’d like; ask explicitly for what you want and take steps yourself to help create it.

  2. Before you offer your wisdom to or about others, remember that your perspective is yours, and just one of many.

Can you admit that your perspective is a limited one? Can you distill out your clear observations from your interpretations and assessments? Are you still curious about other perspectives? Are there any shadow elements in any of your interactions in the community? Before pointing out the negatives in others, we try to clean our own house first. Don’t be afraid to make judgments—we want your opinions and judgments very much—just try to have the next judgment that comes out of your mouth be a discernment from your Higher Self.

It is your imperative to do your best to understand and accurately represent other people’s viewpoints. It is also your imperative to clarify your own viewpoint if you are feeling misrepresented.

  1. Your participation in the Integral Life community indicates that you have read and accepted these general guidelines, and that you will do your best to live up to them.

Like communities elsewhere, IL reserves the right to refuse community service to anyone for whatever reason. We relish diversity of perspective; we also value basic remembering of the I-Thou We-space. If you’re routinely causing a disturbance, or not living up the guidelines, you will very probably be asked to leave the community. If you enter this community, you are agreeing that you can be removed for any reasons whatsoever judged necessary by IL, and reasons that do not have to be argued or explained; you are entering this We-space with that understanding and agreement.

This mutual understanding is a pledge we all make to each other to engage or live up to the highest, deepest, best, brightest, clearest, caring Self that we can. This is our promise to each other, because we are here not merely to share, but to grow.

Other communities share; IL community helps us grow, because the guidelines actually foster transformation and help us grow, even as we share. We all want to change the world, and IL actually does it—and you are now a member of that wonderful community, and we dearly welcome you.

Just remember the single most basic Road Rule: when in IL, speak from I-I.

We are here to grow, but also to play, to practice, to hear, to be heard, to dance, to reflect, to contemplate, to receive and to contribute.

Stir the pot. Have fun. Debate. Put it out there. Reveal Spirit. It always already Is, and It always already is HERE.

Community Etiquette

The community that forms Integal Life is a dynamic part of the whole that contributes in immense ways to the experience for everyone involved. With this in mind, it is the policy of Integral Life to adhere to very particular guidelines with regards to internet abuse that might diminish the experience for any one of our community members. Integral Life does not encourage, nor propagate the use of Spam or Phishing in any of its manifestations, such as E-Mail Spam, Instant Messaging and Chat Room Spam, Chat Spam, Forum Spam, Blog Spam, Video Sharing Spam, and Social Networking Spam.

An Integral Life Representative will never ask a member for a password. Should there be any question or concern regarding spam or phishing, please contactMember Support with detailed information into the matter at hand. Each inquiry will be dealt with on a case to case basis. Serious infractions may result in suspension or cancellation of a member’s account.

Also, Integral Life is a community that honors diversity and breadth of opinion and experience in all manifestations. Community interaction at all levels of experience is not only necessary, but also inevitable. Therefore, there might be times that arise when the dialogue between two or more members escalates in intensity. Even during these times Integral Life strives to hold a safe container that recognizes and respects the myriad views that we all hold. However intense the interactions may be, we ask that members refrain from personal attacks, defamations of character, and trolling, baiting, or flaming other members. For a great guideline to community interaction that is held here in high regard, check out the above Community Guidelines.

The Integral Life Forum encourages passionate discussion, respectful disagreement, and even interpersonal “shadow work”. Members are invited to explore, engage, and challenge each other. However there comes a point when prolonged clashing is unproductive for everyone. It is healthy for individuals to let go and important for Site Moderators to cultivate an atmosphere that is attractive to many participants. Moderators will use their discretion in giving warnings which may lead to a decision to suspend one or more participants.

Suspension is not a judgement by Integral Life about the validity, morality or developmental capacity of those who get removed. It is a practical calculation. Suspended parties are not being “blamed” but merely acknowledged as a catalyst for ongoing, unproductive and publicly distressing exchanges.

Should there be any question or concern regarding general or particular community interactions, please contact Member Support with detailed information into the matter at hand. Each inquiry will be dealt with on a case to case basis. Serious infractions may result in the deletion of posted blogs, inquiries, or responses, and suspension or cancellation of a member’s account.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Spend time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for every new arrival. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.

Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

Let’s leave our community better than we found it.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Always Be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

Post Only Your Own Stuff

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

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