I wanted to start this discussion because it’s becoming more and more clear to me that there is a wide divide between intellectualizing the why of a particular event as opposed to taking action in response to said event. I think it’s great to be in discussion about the concepts of Integralism, but how are we putting them into practice in our day to day lives?
Moreover, how are we using them to help heal the obvious divides in the US and abroad, particularly between liberal and conservative tribalism? My general sense is we can write all the articles we want, but it’s not going to do much to actually begin the healing process until we put the concepts into practice.
For example, the Kavanaugh confirmation was extremely polarizing. One need only spend a few minutes reviewing his responses to the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee as compared to his responses to the Republicans to see the expression of that divide; there was no question, no statement a Democrat could say that Kavanaugh didn’t feel was an attack against him. This had nothing to do with the substance of the questions and everything to do with what appeared to be his Blue “us vs. them” mentality taking dominance of his consciousness, as well as his Red survival instincts. His defense mechanisms were fully operational.
When one side–like we saw expressed with Brett Kavanaugh–is “closed,” to use the Spiral Dynamics term, what can we do in the world of form to help create opportunities for more open dialogue? While I realize not everyone may be called to facilitate that type of conversation, I recognize that many of us employing 2nd Tier thinking may feel like we can help.
I feel like one way to start is to find ways to make it feel safe for Blue (especially Conservative Blue) to engage in dialogue with those they may perceive as “other.” Defense mechanisms can’t operate if one doesn’t feel as though they’re experiencing some form of conflict, some kind of threat, so how can we make Integral concepts feel more safe, and make us–as the ambassadors of what I’m sure many of us would agree is a better way of being in relationship–“safe” to listen to?
I personally am thinking about how I could create “circle of trust” groups (in the Parker Palmer sense of the phrase) where conservatives and liberals can come together to learn more about one another, and to begin seeing one another as human beings rather than as “other.” These groups would be grounded in knowledge of Spiral Dynamics since I feel that model holds the most promise as a “map” we can use to find common ground in our various stages of consciousness. How I get conservatives to attend I don’t know, but it’s something that feels like it could make a difference.