Bringing Integral Concepts Back Into the Discourse


It can be challenging to express an integral perspective in public discourse, since your audience rarely is familiar with the framework.

I’ve started a project where I try to employ a “show-don’t-tell” approach, and explore cultural issues from an integral perspective without relying on the framework expressly.

I would love your feedback and support. In particular, I would value any ideas for topics, or ways to more clearly provide an integral vantage point. Please check it out.


Very well done @RyanM . You’ve done a masterful job looking at Internal vs External Locus of Control and how the perspectives/predilections manifest in societal structures, often providing reaffirming self biased feedback.

Thank you so much! Really appreciate the kind words.

Please consider sharing or subscribing (its free). Its really hard to push anything nuanced into the discourse, and it means a great deal to me when it feel like I have, in some small way, succeeded.

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Hi Ryan,
Yes your Article is quite interesting, at least to me. I would caution that the Integral group usually tries to stick with Integral vernacular as opposed to 1950’s terms.
There is little difference between Internal Locus of Control (I/me) compared to Upper Left/Upper Right Individual Quadrants, but the lingo is extremely unique and deep in an effort to capture perceived subtleties and nuances. Likewise External Locus of Control (you/they/them) would equate to the Lower Left/Lower Right quadrants.

Old school would have been - “Stop worrying about others. You need to worry about what you do.”, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”, “God grant me the strength to change that which I can, the grace to accept that which I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference.” All are seemingly Internal Locus of Control.

Almost all “great” Western texts focus on Internal Locus of Control primarily with wonderful benefits to be had by External structures supporting Internal Locus of Control for individuals. I’m no philosophy scholar - will look into it some - but you might have highlighted the key difference between classic Western culture and the New Agey External Locus of Control paradigms.

I’ll send you a note on substack. Thanks for sharing.

And here’s a link to the Quadrants…

Thank you for the thoughtful comment and links! I really appreciate the feedback and engagement, it makes the writing process much more enjoyable.

Regarding the use of Integral lingo. I totally agree that I could have been more precise if I had used Integral terminology. In fact, my first draft of this article was a much longer piece, that attempted to place literal belief in the American Dream as an the Amber range understanding, demonstrate that such an understanding would be beneficial for young children, and then argue that such beliefs can evolve through the Orange and Green layers towards an Integral perspective as the child ages.

The problem I had, however, was that the article was either totally inaccessible to an audience unfamiliar with Ken’s work, or required that I spend far too much time developing the framework for new readers (and doing so far less precisely than the excellent work in the field already).

As a result, I reimagined the purpose of the article, and became more interested in taking a “show-don’t-tell” approach regarding Integral concepts. My hope is that by making my work more accessible, it may serve as a gateway to Integral concepts.


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