How important is "Thinking up"?

I’ve been trying to place my finger exactly on what it is that keeps the masses of humanity from embracing integral theory and practice.
So many things just seem spot on and necessary for people:
Waking up - yes!
while Cleaning up - yes, yes!
while Growing up - yes, very insightful!
and then showing up! Amen!

Today I had a thought.
There is quite a lot of effort involved in “Thinking up” different ways to talk about and present “Integral”. Lots of courses to listen to and participate in.

I myself “think up” a lot - it’s very easy for me to get more and more involved in very complex ideas and thinking up different ways to analyze them, rework them, present them differently and so on. While “thinking up” is necessary to a degree, with myself “thinking up” is one of my biggest distractions from “showing up”.

How important for you is “Thinking up” compared to “Waking, Cleaning, Growing and Showing”?

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From my way of thinking, thinking up is the engine you put into the vehicles that are growing up etc. Without thinking up, the vehicles will freewheel to some extent. Thinking up means the vehicles can really move. As such, the comparison depends on your context. To me thinking up outside of growing up etc is fun in its own right, but has no long term impact on my evolution. In this sense it permits me to deal with the stage I’m at.

I agree with Andrew, “thinking up” does seem to be a natural byproduct of “growing up”, particularly when talking about the cognitive line.

However, I like some of the other connotations of “thinking up” we could play with!

  • Dr. Keith and I just did an episode about “the invisible audience” – the voices and perspectives within us who are always observing our actions and intentions and offering their own feedback about them. Some of these voices/perspectives can be “higher” modes of thinking, values, etc. that we can aspire to. In this case, we are “thinking up” to a higher standard than our default levels.

  • I think there is a natural conciliatory enfoldment that comes online at integral altitudes, where “thinking up” becomes sort of a horizontal quality of integral stages — namely the way we can “plus” each other’s perspectives and build off each other’s ideas in a more positive and collaborative way. “Thinking up” = raising the discourse through vertical discernment and horizontal embrace/integration of each other’s point of view.

  • “Thinking up” as a metaphor for creating new imaginal spaces at higher altitudes. We are given a basic map of some of the major landmarks found in these territories, but we are still in the process of actually occupying the territories and filling them with new forms of art, literature, culture, ideas, principles, values, etc. It’s one thing to study the geological formations at these higher altitudes, but quite another to actually populate and inhabit them.

Just kinda riffing in real time, but “thinking up” does have some juicy connotation to it, doesn’t it?


Hi Corey,
I hope you get this message. I have two inquiries. Will Integral Life ever make a two or three part documentary on the history of Integral theory going as far back as the emergence of existentialism?
Is it possible to created so that the average man on the street can understand it at least to some reasonable? We could even create a GoFundMe.

My next question is about Susanne Cook Greuter. If I recall correctly, you mentioned last year that she was writing a book. Is she still working on it? If so, do you know what the premise of the book is?
Will you ask her if you are able to and let us know?

What a thought provoking question! could we say people with progressive mind Think Up? those who embrace change? like Cory mentioned “creating new imaginal space”?