Good morning from Scotland and best wishes during this challenging time.
The last couple of weeks have been hugely transformative for me. To summarise it briefly, I’ll say there’s been some real periods of time when I’ve been more than Integral in the head, and I’ve been integral all the way through my being, way down into my stomach.
I have been very interested development psychology for the last 3/4 years now, starting off with Spiral Dynamics, then reading The Never-Ending Quest and Stages of Faith (map learning) then moving into Ken’s work, joining integral life and becoming immersed in the Integral world. Almost from the beginning I’ve been very interested intellectually in this work. It made a lot of sense to me. I was able to reflect on my own lifetime using it, and see the patterns in culture. But this is now moving up a few gears. I wish to share my personal experience with this to gain some feedback from those who may have already gone through it.
I’d describe this “integral down to the stomach” (the word “balls” actually seems more appropriate as a description to me but stomach is a much cleaner word!) as a completely new OS taking over my way of seeing, interacting with and being in the world. Let’s begin with 1st person.
When I witness the different objects arising in my awareness, I almost instantly and instinctively know the rung that it’s coming from, and I can almost feel the depth at which these basic structures are embedded within me. For example, when I get an urge to eat, I can see the primitive, million-year-oldness of that drive, whose basic function in evolutionary time was to keep the first complex organisms alive. It’s buried so far down in my psyche in the canyon of built-in habits that are carried forward in the evolutionary, functional, operational Tsunami of Eros. This goes all the way up to uniquely-human abilities such as cognition - my cognitive abilties to remember, plan, scheme, postulate, seem literally “higher up” in my consciousness, above those evolutionary canyons that have been around for millions of years, and uniquely human.
When looking at other people I can see their own development history “behind” or “within” them, and can see the very tip of their own evolutionary unfolding expressing itself, trying to push on! I can see them expressing a level of development, or rung, without a clue that they’re seeing the word through that particular lens, grasping onto it with all of their might, when the next evolutionary jump could be just around the corner. (This isn’t true of everyone I encounter, but many.)
In 3rd person I see the layer cake that Wilber describes. From basic, less developed cultures where survival needs are rife, all the way up to the most developed pockets in the Western world… where is this Tsunami-like cultural movement taking us? What awaits us in the 3rd person? It is a fascinating mystery.
All of this is accompanied by a drive to unite all of this underneath all of the maps I’ve learned so far. It is like standing with a map, I am the driver, my body is the car, and I can see all of the rungs that I can step into and identify with, or step back from, observe, criticise, decide not to act upon. I have never experienced anything like it.
Is this what downloading the Integral OS is like?
Thank you for reading.