Sort of, but not really. The ethnocentric stage is primarily looking at the self-identity and values lines of development — the “us. vs. them” structure of consciousness associated with the Amber stage. And it’s not something that ever totally goes away after we transclude the Amber stage – it is simply transcended and included. I can be integral, but still ethnocentric when it comes to protecting my family, serving my community, etc. To the extent that we have a community here in Integral Land that we care about, we are practicing some degree of ethnocentrism. But it is a very “soft” ethnocentrism, which does not limit or constrict our other behaviors in other sectors of the world. I care about the integral community, for example, but not the the exclusion or detriment of other communities.
Of course Integral Life doesn’t have racial, gender or religious exclusionary rules or criteria. It’s not overt racism but more a structural bias/racism that limits adherents to seemingly very specific demographics.
Might be worth swiveling the Eye of Zones at the Integral Culture to see how to expand the audience given that Whites will be a minority very soon.
I wasn’t sure if this was 100% sincere or not, or if you were trying to expose some of the flaws of either “critical theory” (distinct from “critical race theory”) or the sort of 8 Zone approach that I’ve been working with (which you may also consider to be a form of “critical theory” but I am not sure). But yes, these analyses are absolutely worth doing! I think we’ve talked about this in the past — what are some of the reasons that predominantly white Americans and Europeans have selected into Integral communities like this one? At which point, I think need to take a hard look at things like economic conditions in Zones 7 and 8 — most people who come to Integral are coming from middle class, with some degree of disposable time and income to invest in self-improvement projects. This would definitely be worthy of analysis.
But, we don’t want to oversimplify either — we have significantly large followings in Spanish-speaking countries, for example, as well as some Asian countries. But when it comes to the English-speaking world, we should take a look at some of the developmental barriers and challenges in all four quadrants that make it more or less difficult for certain groups to pursue their own growth, development, awakening, and self-actualization.
Alongside these economic and environmental factors in Zones 7 and 8, we could look at the Zone 4 integral — is it primarily using cultural tropes and reference points that are more meaningful to some groups than others? We can look at Zone 3 — is there something about integral discourse itself that is more or less attractive to certain groups? I can look at my own Zone 2 — do I have any unconscious biases that prevent me from bringing more diversity into this space? We can look at behavioral zones 5 and 6 — should I personally be doing anything in particular to increase the amount of diversity in the space? Should I exercise an “integral affirmative action” where I am looking to meet a particular quota of diversity in the community? Or should I allow things to run their own natural course? (I tend to be somewhere between, I think).
Overall it’s a very worthwhile analysis, and one that I myself am always sort of running in the background of my consciousness. Great question! These are EXACTLY the kinds of conversations I want to be having more regularly
Somehow these ethnocentric (barring your fundamentalist whack job examples) churches do seemingly have something figured out that spans race, gender, orientation even in the face of being frozen in Amber.
Some more than others, but yes! As I mentioned before, ideally when a new social transformation emerges (such as the rise of Green multiculturalism), that exerts an influence on previous stages that causes them to re-translate their stage in different ways. I used the example of interracial marriage — 4% approval in 1958, 94% approval in 2022. This doesn’t mean that 94% of people are suddenly post-ethnocentric, it simply means that many at the ethnocentric stage in this society were able to re-translate their ethnocentrism to be generally supportive of things like interracial marriage. And this is genuine progress! Sort of a horizontal translative development, more than a vertical transformational development, but we take all the development we can get. Healthy translations are vital to a healthy society. But so is creating opportunity for healthy transformation to later/deeper stages, which I very much believe is something that religious institutions can evolve toward in the long run.
Do you or Ken have actual experience of practicing Christianity as a free to choose adult? Or is it solely during adolescence or as Integral analysis?
I’ve talked about my own Christian practices, beliefs, and experiences in the past. Ken himself is primarily buddhist, in a sense, but really he practices an “integral spirituality” that can find its roots in all of these traditions. But he has spoken to, about, and from a Christian perspective many times in the past — particularly from the deep esoteric traditions “hidden” within the Christian faith.
“Is Integral Theory experiential?”
Integral theory is enactive. Which means, it is based on a series of repeatable methodologies across a number of knowledge domains. It’s the third of the three major integral principles — nonexclusion (everyone is right, everyone has some piece of the puzzle), enfoldment (some are more right than others, some truths are more true, and methodologies can only disclose realities in their own zone), and enactment (if you want to know this, do that). So in that sense, integral is deeply empirical and experience-based, as is all good science (if you want to know how many moons are orbiting Jupiter, you need to look in a telescope and have an experience). No one is asking you to believe in integral concepts as a matter of faith.
This is particularly true for integral spirituality — which is fundamentally based on the premise that all human beings can experience the same transcendent states as the world’s most realized mystics, teachers, and religious founders. Integral spirituality is built on a set of practices that allow you to confirm or falsify its central claims. But in this case, it’s not looking through a telescope and having an experience, it’s engaging in a different kind of interior injunction — sit on a cushion every day for 20 minutes and look at your own mind, for example.