Does Integral have anything unique to say about the morality of US involvement in the Russia/Ukraine war?


What’s coming to mind is a conversation I had with my daughter this week about wearing mask in public.
She was wearing one I was not. I asked her why she was wearing it and if she knew that it was now ok to not wear one. She said “I don’t want people to think I’m an anti-masker” (amber). I challenged this. I said we never were wearing mask to be a part of group, we were wearing mask because we choose to follow the guidance of medical experts. She thought for a moment and said “ok, I get that, but the virus is still here and wearing a mask is still the best way to limit the spread of it” (orange).

I wasn’t trying to control here choice, but I was trying to push her awareness to a higher developmental level. We continued. I said, ok that’s a good reason. I think I am still not going to wear it when we are not in a crowd because I don’t like how it feels physically, it makes me stressed, and I like being able to see peoples faces when I interact with them. Is that ok with you? She said, yes but I don’t mind wearing it, I’m used to how it feels and I feel less stressed wearing it, but I get what you are saying about seeing people faces (quadrant recognition).

In a traditional or first tier parenting conversation we would be discussing should I use my authority to enforce my beliefs or engage in a conversation where I am trying to get her to agree with me. I think this is a control system. I was not interested in controlling the outcome but I was interested in the developmental level that was driving her choice. Sometimes I, as a parent, need to just employ a CS, it’s not that they are never appropriate, I just think we overuse them.

If we look at say Florida removing text book with SEL curriculum, the Parent Rights bill, CRT, carbon tax, etc. before we can engage in a conversation, we need to first identify the developmental levels driving the issue, establish the level we would like to move to, look at this from all 4 quadrants, then engage in finding directive solutions. What I see is without this process we are all, right and left, just employing control systems and trying to get the outcome we want. I don’t think that is teal, even if the outcome is teal, the process needs to be integral for it to truly be healthy.

In any of these issues I mentioned, there will be multiple stage drivers, but if we identify them first then we can work to reinforce the highest developmental driver in each case. This will produce better solutions, less muddled and less susceptible to lower stage abuse, right or left.


This is what I don’t get about Russia or the USA. What is the great big boogeyman about homosexuality and not letting bosses me too every woman under their control? What drives the fear of recognizing other races as just as human?
I just don’t get it and as a result I’m one of these people with mostly conservative core values who prefers Liberal communities.

I think with capitalism what is needed is a reworking of capitalism. Capitalism can exist without growth and consumption as the main priority. But I don’t think we have enough smart people in leadership to understand the economic concepts.


I take it that you don’t think much parenting similar to your discussion with your daughter goes on today?

Lots in this paragraph but at a fundamental level, these are the policy questions being discussed today in both the public commons and political commons.
Essentially everyone is left to develop at their own rates in their own directions, until policy becomes law or regulation.

How should we have these discussions among the population?


Every parent I know employs both CS and DD. So does our school system. What I see is much healthier and happier kids and communities. My little brother is 15 years younger than me, and I saw this shift from how I was parented to how he was to better results for him. My family is very conservative so, again, it’s not a right or left thing.

I don’t see this being used or discussed in politics. In politics we only use control systems. I think this is the reason we are so fragmented. How do we start this process, good question. Politics reflects the trailing edge not the leading edge, so it may be coming in 10-20 years. But I think it would be interesting to try something like that on this type of platform. These are the places they start. I know there are many groups out there, more organized, doing this type of work, but I think it also matters to look at how do we enact these practices in unorganized daily life, develop these type of skills, start to employ them in local governments, school boards, etc. I think this will be a top down UL then bottom up LL/LR kind of thing.

I find when I try it just gets weird. It’s like people are so use to the angry debate or the amen choir that when you switch that up on them everyone just goes quite. I can talk in community meetings or even drinks with friends and just shut the whole conversation down. It’s like no one can follow me. It’s awkward.

Ray suggested a matrix, I don’t know, do we need to get more formal? This type of discussion format will not work for the wicked problems of the world. I get we are not solving them but we, the ordinary people, still need the skills if anything is ever going to be enacted. How do we get there?


Careful… Youre getting political… :wink:

While the CS vs DD spectrum is interesting, I’ll be interested to see if your mapping breaks out or aligns closely with Conservative bad, progressive good paradigm.

What comes to mind is Emotional I telligence by Goleman.


If we assume that Putin is crazy or suicidal and therefore willing to order a first-strike nuclear attack on the US or NATO, then we might as well hand over all of Europe to him, because there will be no end to his nuclear blackmailing. Read my essay ( arguing that the Biden administration is assuming, despite the President’s publicly expressed fears of WWIII, that Putin is bluffing about using nuclear weapons. Like all nuclear powers since the 1950’s, he is guided by the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction.


Biden will “stand with” Ukraine until Ukraine is completely destroyed, Russia is essential kneecapped, the US economy crippled then try to sell his “Great Reset” again in 2024.
Biden and the DNC is doing exactly what they promised in 2020 campaigns.
Which coincidentally much or the Integral Elite resoundingly supported as 2nd Tier or Transcendent.
Seemingly all those low altitude people were simply “defending their out dated ways” by pointing out the extremely obvious consequences, based on vast historical evidence of similar Nirvana “solutions”.

Also Biden and family are likely highly compromised with Ukrainian, Chinese, and Russian groups.

So here we are - DNC using disinformation campaigns to justify failure strategies in order to drive the US and world into instability.


Thanks for engaging Michelle. I think @Charles_Marxer gave a good answer to this question in a prior post here:

I agree with that, and to be real clear, I have not been advocating for US boots-on-the-ground in Ukraine (at this point). What I am doing is raising questions, along with countless others. There is disagreement among US military officials as to whether or not the US/NATO acted quickly enough in supplying weapons to Ukraine. Secretary of Defense Austin apparently tried to get both the US and NATO to act more quickly, to supply weapons 6 days before the invasion actually began, during the time that Putin was amassing troops on the Ukrainian border, Putin telling the world he was simply preparing to do some “military training exercises.” This is akin to what he has told Russians, that this is not an invasion or war against Ukraine, this is a “special military operation.” Russian citizens are subject to 15 year prison sentences if they refer to the Ukrainian events as ‘war.’

Of course, whether we acted quickly enough or not is a moot point now.

Putin in my view is an authoritarian who uses propaganda and fear to motivate people to do as he wants them to do. He does this within Russia with his own people, and has a record of doing it with the rest of the world, e.g. interference in US elections through propaganda on social media. His threat of use of nukes seems to me to be also using fear to motivate people/nations to do as he wants them to do–stay out of his way. Whether his threat is a bluff or a promise, I do not know.
I can view through one lens that he is essentially making a land grab as imperialists tend to do. From what I’ve read, he has his sights set on creating a land corridor to Crimea, which will involve more than just attack/invasion of Ukraine, but on other countries as well. Which is the source of my question to Ray: what then?

Ukraine is a sovereign nation that applied for NATO membership back in 2008. Membership was denied due to various factors: corruption in the country, military issues. Ukraine also agreed to give up its nuclear weapons along the way, apparently in response to the West’s request. Putin took Crimea in 2014, and the Ukrainian people have been pretty angry and revolutionary ever since–which partially accounts for their ‘fierceness’ in this fight with Putin. (And I do keep emphasizing this is Putin’s war against Ukraine; most of the Russian people themselves only know what the state-approved media allow them to hear and know, and as I say, those Russians who disagree with Putin’s invasion are subject to stiff criminal penalties if they speak out. I have watched countless videos of on-the-street interviews with Russians earlier on in this war, and clearly people opposed to what is happening are afraid to speak their minds.

Best guesses by some, including some integralists, is that Russia under Putin is developmentally amber/ethnocentric with red underbelly and a little orange economics thrown in. I myself do not know for sure, of course, but it sort of looks that way from the outside, from what media I’ve consumed. I would also add that I spent a little time working with adults from Russia, Siberia, and prior Soviet Union states who were in the U.S. on a spiritual exchange program in the early 90s. I was recruited by the Unity Church to teach them some shamanic knowledge and practices, given shamanism was forced underground during the Soviet era, and they were quite interested in retrieving their ancestral knowledge. I also worked with teens from the same area during the same period who were in the US on educational exchange programs. They spoke a variety of languages (I worked with a translator), but every one of them, maybe 50 people total, was incredibly grateful for the demise of the Soviet Union, and they were quite inspirational, with fresh joy and hope. I cannot imagine that there aren’t people in Russia now who feel the same kinds of oppression as this group voiced their relief from.

So when Charles says “take the other’s point of view seriously,” I agree with that. And as he also says, maybe if there had been talks prior to this invasion in which Putin’s sense of threat of NATO expansionism were taken more seriously, none of this would be happening. I don’t know. But I also do not believe that a country is solely its leader, and in the case of Putin, I certainly don’t believe that he is Russia. Gorbachav himself warned about Putin. As I do not believe Trump was the US, or that Biden is either, for that matter. And I think, talk among leaders aside, that we have to consider the point of view of a nation’s citizens seriously too. And yes, it is up to the people of Russia ultimately to determine their own future, using whatever developmental drivers are available to them. The people of Ukraine have made it clear their point of view–they do not want this invasion or take-over or wipe-out or whatever else it ends up being

In some ways, by providing weapons and intelligence and sanctions, the US/NATO already are in this war. I don’t see this as a bald-faced attempt to spread Western liberal values to the degree that some other Western ventures have been. I do see it in the context of conflicts between authoritarianism and democracy, which is spread across the world now, with the U.S having had its own brush with a sort of authoritarianism. If a country and its people are happy with being an authoritarian nation, that’s fine with me, but when authoritarian tactics begin to be used against other parts of the world, we’re in different territory I think. And yes, restraint is necessary. And yes, to acknowledge our ordinariness is important–we, the US, also make errors in judgment, we too gamble on events, we too have had bouts of imperialist ambitions, we, as Trump said, are “not so innocent,” etc. And yes, we share many common traits with both Russia and Ukraine, and should remember that.

And here is what I really think about war. In my deepest and wisest good heart, I know that war is insane, so insane I can hardly believe it, relate to it. So horrifying, atrocious, sorrowful, grievous, a “missing-the-mark,” a “sin.” So unspeakable, it makes me mute. From my knowledge of the history of humanity and civilization, I know it is not new, not a fresh discovery of brutal death and destruction. It is not a happenstance, but intentional, so very ordinary, normal but not sane. From my Integral perspective, I understand the war of worldviews, and the way of evolution–progression and regression. This cools the heat in my mind but does not make me aloof, disconnected, unfeeling or uncaring. It still hurts. From my knowledge of psychology, of human behavior, I see the ills of self-importance and of competition, of egoic desire for power and control. I see the flawed thinking, the cognitive distortions, the delusion, and behold the traumatized minds and souls of the individual and the masses. From my experience of Spirit, I know that death is not an end. I know there is more to come. I know there is that which was never born and never dies. I know Krishna’s conversation with Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita as truth. And yet, still, so many dead, wounded, broken, homeless.


Yes, I agree.
Here’s the thing - I don’t see an “All or nothing” scenario with nuclear weapons - or Biological or Chemical, for that matter. What if Putin uses a tactical Nuke in Ukraine and blames Ukraine or NATO as the ones who did it against Russian troops? Russia time and again has staged bogus “atrocities” in many armed conflicts.
A nuclear device can fit in a suitcase. At that point it’s really hard to prove whose device it was. Both sides of course accuse the other. In fact - I would not put it above the CIA’s morals to do such a thing themselves and blame it on Putin.
Or, or or … here’s an oldie but a goodie - Just make up that Putin fully intends to use Nuclear Weapons as a pretense to crank the US military industrial complex into overdrive and launch “Operation Moscow Freedom”

Strategically, I would see that as a win for Putin, but the Black Sea only goes into the Mediterranean so it’s only a regional win, not a global win.
But at this point, I really do not see him digging the Ukrainians out of the defensive positions they have been building for the past 8 years. as a rule of thumb you need a 3:1 ratio of attackers to defenders, and then there is the tactical matter that when Russia does these “Pincer” attacks, their flanks are completely exposed to counterattack. But even more, troops attacking an enemy that is well dug in have to be VERY motivated. It’s very easy for an attacker to just “hole up” or move slowly and never take any risks. This is and complete lack of training on how to actually take out an enemy position leads me to think that Russia will never take the Donbas by conventional attacks unless they spend a few years completely re-working their soldiers’ training from the bottom up. We hear interviews of Russian soldiers who had never fired their AK-47 before they were sent to Ukraine. How could those men possibly know how to crawl up under machinegun fire, cut barbed wire, probe for land mines, coordinate with others to lay down covering fire while they move, then toss a grenade they’ve never thrown before through a small opening, how to bandage themselves when they do get hit by shrapnel or a bullet - and a hundred other things soldiers need to know to not die quickly and horribly when attacking a dug in defensive position.
Ultimately, I do not see Russia taking possession of that land bridge to Crimea unless Putin decides to use some kind of Nuclear Biological Chemical operation. There is just too much we can see that it’s very unlikely he can do it with conventional weapons.
The terrible thing, of course is the children. I hope as many are able to get out of the region as possible.


I think one piece that get’s missed with the transcend and include idea is that when you transcend a stage, how you include it changes the felt experience of the stage. There is a kind of resonance with a stage that is not carried over in the same way as when you fully embody it. Do I feel and understand nationalism, of course. But not like my Dad does. This I can hold this with awe, but the piece of how he feels about gay sex makes me angry.

It’s like the stage has a positive and negative charge. This charge is what drives evolution. The aspect that draws us, that we include when we transcend and the aspect that is left behind. A healthy DD system would have to address both the positive and negative charge in a mature way and be accepted in a mutual understanding and respect by both parties.

The way Progressive Integral is now looked at is that only the less embodied understanding (the transcended and included aspect) is what we will be working with. The idea is this will be enough. I know that is wrong. It will never be enough when you at in the embodied stage. It’s like an echo.

The exciting part to me is this sets up that we NEED each stage embodied, but we also need each stage to have the capacity to recognize and respect the other stages. In this way we must work with both horizontal and vertical development. Without both, we cannot have developmental drivers working. DD for many will have to be horizontal and not just the assumed vertical. This is how we escape the conservative bad progressive good trap.

I have often wondered if horizontal development meets vertical development. Can you horizontally develop in such a way that the stage itself becomes awakened? This is more interesting to me.

My nationalism, not my Dad’s…a bridge that can not be crossed?
Bruce Springsteen Performs “Land of Hope and Dreams”| Biden-Harris Inauguration 2021 - Bing video


I also found this analysis pretty interesting:


@raybennett Yes, interesting. Lots of info in that short clip; thanks for posting. While I was aware of some of this, I really did not know about the demographics crisis in Russia. The disproportionality of birth and death rates is something many parts of the world are or potentially will be facing this century. I looked Peter Zeihan up, read a little about him, a few comments from critics. Nice to have even more context for what’s going on. (Also appreciate many of your comments, like about the size of a tactical nuke, for instance. I’m dumb about weaponry.)


Let me see if I’ve got a handle on the Horizontal and Vertical development.
Vertical is the classic Integral Levels.
Horizontal is the enfolding of the entire level, and also the fixing of the level psychoses. Since it’s bandied about so much, let’s take the Religion - Ethnocentric Literal Mythic level. It’s not that Religion its is a bad thing, it’s when Religion is holding back further development. The Ethnocentricism (Amber) isn’t a bad thing, unless it’s exclusionary thus blocking pluralism (Green). Literal Mythic beliefs aren’t bad, only as long as they aren’t blocking rationalism and performance focus of Orange.

I try to “be ok” with having various communities that have specific focus areas. Church is about religion, spirituality - it’s not about politics or doing business. Family is about love and support, but not so much about business or politics or religion. Business is about supporting myself and family, as well as expressing myself in the adult world.

I guess where I’m going with this is I’m ok having friends to work out with to have Red/Amber fun. And go to church with people where we have spiritual Green fun. While there is nothing hidden, I wouldn’t expect my mother-in-law to spend 30 minutes with me talking Integral Theory (plus she doesn’t speak English. LOL). Likewise I would never assume to “confront” the pastor with politics or Integral Theory or investment advice. If it naturally flowed, perhaps.

As a younger man, I would try to discuss what I felt amazingly spiritual transformative topics with my parents or siblings. And they would often ask “what are you talking about”. It was the Tower of Babel scenario - and then I realized we can love, still provide warmth, comfort, unfailing support for each other and I don’t have to “convince” anyone or anything.

Hmmm, so I think this horizontal enfoldment might best happen respectfully and organically perhaps? Kind of a walk the talk, instead of talk the talk.


Well, maybe not Red exactly, except maybe boxing or other refereed competitions? That’s generally for the young, though. Generally hanging out with people living predominantly in Red tends to result in real life setbacks. At least when I was working at the mental hospital they were on meds and we had the restraint chair if they got physical. But I wouldn’t hang out with any of them on the outside, lol.

I think it’s impossible to talk about transformative experiences, really - except in your specific transformational “cohort”. The difficulty is that the physicality is always different and people tent to get caught up on what they did or saw. One person might see Jesus and be born again and the other might see benevolent Aliens - or whatever. The metaphysical experience tends to be the same at various levels of “waking up” but humans tend to believe it was a different experience because of what their intellect is trying to make logical sense of and control.

The difficulty of working horizontally is you have to be “stronger” than the entire community in which you are trying to work horizontally in. If you work in a Green population you have to be strong enough to deal with being accused of not being woke enough and a metric ton of passive aggressiveness. If you work horizontally in Academia, you have to be able to meet point and counterpoint with articles published in academic journals. If you want to work horizontally in the Literal Mythic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you have to accept you can’t show your legs in public and a thousand other things.


Horizontal is the enfolding of the entire level, and also the fixing of the level psychoses. Since it’s bandied about so much, let’s take the Religion - Ethnocentric Literal Mythic level. It’s not that Religion its is a bad thing, it’s when Religion is holding back further development. The Ethnocentricism (Amber) isn’t a bad thing, unless it’s exclusionary thus blocking pluralism (Green). Literal Mythic beliefs aren’t bad, only as long as they aren’t blocking rationalism and performance focus of Orange.

How I see Horizontal development is the expanding of the level. I’ll use amber. There was a time when men could hold professional jobs and women didn’t. People, mostly from an orange or green stage wanted to change this. This happens two ways, develop into orange where this isn’t an issue or change the rules of amber. I think both happened. Today, even someone who is in a mythic literal WV can also not have issue with a women doctor (development in amber).

When the development, both H & V are happening too slowly, there can be pressure put on the level through regulations, school curriculums, cancel culture, etc. Amber doesn’t like this pressure, (no level does) but when we look at women’s movement and civil rights, we have examples of its effectiveness.

This process can be rough, both for people feeling forced to expand or jump levels and it’s rough for those who are fighting for inclusion. The time and money spent on this is enormous. I feel like so much energy is given to trying to vertically develop or jumping to the pressure strategies.

I don’t know, what if we switched this up. I think it’s a lot of what happened with marriage equality, the criminal justice reform bill during Trumps administration also did a beautiful job addressing the horizontal approach. I just think there is a better way. I get the “hold it lightly”, be patient, not caring if things are painful as well as needing to push for needed change. I’m pretty pragmatic in the end and if there is a better way, less suffering, cost less money, why not just do it. At his point I sort of think we don’t want to because we just like to fight.


One thing I’d also like to add is what I observe and people who are “stuck” never seem to get.
Failure to achieve a level can result in pain for the person or group that the person or group experiencing the pain perceives is intentional and from the other groups, when it is in fact just the pain of not advancing.

I’ll give the example of my cousin. Back in 2000 or so, he was one of those guys who would send jokes out to everyone in his email list and also that email list was easily seen by everyone else in that list. And, yes, he was one of those guys who sent THOSE jokes. Yeah. and also by the way he used his company email and most the people on that list were people he met through work.
He was an engineer at Intel, I think it was. One day he was called in and fired and he hasn’t held a job since.
Now of course the group he blames are woke culture warriors and feminists. But it really is an Orange tier thing to fire a person who isn’t able to draw the line between personal life and opinions and work, and even worse that an IT engineer doesn’t understand what “bcc” is for and why it’s absolutely imperative to not cc everyone you’ve ever met at work and in your personal life.
To me this was a perfectly valid Orange firing, but of course he sees it as that he was targeted by Green.

There are examples of this all over the place, especially with jobs. I can go into 100% Orange and see they just are not good workers, do not even attempt to retrain themselves to remain competitive, do not move to where jobs are, and do not live within their means. From a purely Orange capitalist point of view, they do not deserve to be employed and it’s ridiculous to keep industries going that are not competitive in the modern economy just because voters want jobs.
But these unemployed and unemployable people of course tend to blame Green for all their problems.


It’s not that people just like to fight, it’s that they fundamentally have different drivers. Some want to control their own lives, others want the government to essentially take much more control over themselves and others.

If people can take a breath regarding “hurry up, faster, at all costs”, there might be an opportunity for dialog and collaboration.

The mainstream terminology around this is Progressophobia, where progressives simply cannot accept that progress is being made. And if there was a smidge of progress, it didn’t happen fast enough, and is now simply part of the Control System. Sadly the most outspoken not only cannot honor, they can’t even see the progress to acknowledge it if they wanted.

I think the better way is through gratitude.


patience is easy when it’s not your life being harmed, that is what drives the call for more government. The time for “we will get to that when we are ready” is done. The left sees the progress, they just are tired of the baby steps.

I am accepting that the mess is just what has to happen.


Who is being harmed in and in what way?

Let’s get specific and start fixing things.


Well, the most obvious to me is that people are harming themselves by not advancing. The unemployed coal worker waiting for coal to come back is perhaps a god trope to symbolize this. People in Detroit who see environmentalism and Al Gore as the problem as they drank poisoned water is another clear example. As a woke example, the person who experiences pain for not being recognized as nonbinary is another trope you probably can get on board with as doing more emotional harm to themselves.

There isn’t always necessarily someone doing harm to another. Many times the fix is with the person feeling the pain.