"Integral for Dummies"


Hi all,

here is a new academic article on integral foresight, in case you are interested:


It also includes “Integral for Dummies” - a short, concise analogy on how to explain integral for folks who are unfamiliar with it.

Best wishes,

JP Jakonen


Thank you @jpjakonen I am commenting from an Integral life perspective, regarding the metaphoric building description. (Quoted Below)

Yes the view from each floor and each room window are different … but no view is wrong. I sometimes sense many individuals in this space are wanting to tear down and redesign the building. If we are simply brought to the top floor and the other levels are explained to us we are in “Integral Theory”.

When we have lived on multiple floors and looked through the windows on all 4 sides to deeply understand the view from each floor. As we finally arrive on the top floors we are living an “Integral Life” … we know and love every one on every floor and in every corner room of our building.

The viewing concerns of those on the lower levels must be fully acknowledged and understood in order to keep the building strong. Because those on the lower floors directly effect the lives of those at the top.

The lower the level the more important it is in the foundational strength of the building. We are all in the same building and many of our loved ones still live on the lower floors. Let’s love and support everyone in the building while doing our best to clean-up our own floor.

********* QUOTED FROM ARTICLE **************
"Integral Theory can be seen through the metaphor of a house with several floors in it, an apartment building, a high-rise, or a multi-storey building. From the first floor I am only able to see my own, first-person view: my own front yard, so to speak. From the second floor, I can see my point of view and your point of view, giving me abilities for a second-person perspective: our mutual front yards. From the third floor, I can see a universal view, a scientific point of view, the rationalist-universalist view, the third-person view: all of the world’s front yards, as an abstract concept. From the fourth floor, I am able to see a fourth-person point of view: the cracks between those universals, their differing contexts, and how those contexts conceal and reveal. These views, like those we would see from a building, are ontological territories which emerge as real for us only when we are at a given level , at a given floor.

From these floors or storeys, we see the world appearing as Views, dependent on the structural floor – Altitude of development – we are currently at. Here we are not talking about a theory, let alone Integral Theory. Rather, we are presenting a picture of a multi-storey house that almost anyone can understand, basically anywhere in the world. The house comes first, and to that we (only) add another spatial analogy: the View that appears before our eyes as we peek out from a certain floor. To these Views we can easily add rooms (Room 1, Room 2, Room 3, Room 4) with a window in each: four rooms at a given storey, giving us four windows, or four quadrants of viewing. So to be a resident of, say, the third floor of the house, with a strong emphasis to look outside the right hand windows (UR and LR), gives us – in the form of a heuristically simple, easy to grasp, and intuitively understandable metaphor – a version of our Modern Worldview. We stay, all the time, with a concrete, spatial analogy whose referent is known to everyone – a multi-storey house – upon which the theoretical part is added. This direction is intentional, of course, as most people are familiar with multi-storey houses but not with Integral Theory."

Thus, in one fell swoop, the essence of Integral Theory is explained.


Thank you - such an important point, as it relates to the three stages of integral embodiment:

  1. Integral love - the first months and years of getting integral, where you very much want everyone else to “get it” too, often in tragicomical manner…
  2. Integral annoyance - after quite some time with integral, unless one finds a way to apply it in real life (e.g. a profession, volunteer work, academia, etc…), one falls out of love with the theory, and sometimes becomes an “integral hater” (see, for example, some of the harshest criticisms in Integral World website)
  3. Integral Embodiment - this happens when one finds a pragmatic application for the theory, which acts as a conduit, as a channel, for the integral theory, giving the spirit a body, so to speak. This stage has many benefits, such as not only seeing but deeply feeling how all levels of the building are as they are and cannot be otherwise, i.e. all the need for “other people to get it” drops, and All is radically accepted, with a nondual-like tinge; the feeling is that “Everything is well”, and “Nothing matters - but everything counts”, with a pervasive but subtle feeling of love towards all levels of manifestation, leading to radical sense of preserving the “building” (in the metaphor) as well as helping it to evolve, through the unique pragmatic application that one is living with in this third stage.

Hope this helps! Thanks for your comment, highly appreciated. In my work with selected CEOs, we help the executive’s journey through these levels.

Best wishes,



I love this quote … as a CEO myself I appreciate the value of this. Are you a sole-proprietor or do you consult through a company? I’d certainly like to continue learning from you … in reviewing your profile I tried to learn more about you, but was unable.


Hi @jpjakonen,

Do you think the multi-story house with multiple rooms is unique in any way to Integral Theory?
Could it be that by associating millennia old architectures with predictive theories that it lends authority that may or may not be due?

I’m still struggling to see Integral Theory’s transition from, what I would consider, an accurate historical/anthropological mapping of human, societal, and cultural development into an extrapolation of Hegel/Marx/Marcuse collectivism into a higher future state?

By referencing the millennia old multi story multi room architecture it would seem to skip right by the history vs accurate predictive transition.

I would not be surprised and fully acknowledge that I might be missing something extremely basic. Wouldn’t be the first time for me. :slight_smile:

P.S. And apologies for being a broken record, but if someone has answered my gnawing question, I missed it - please repost.


Struggle is an interesting adjective … All these negative socialist references you attach to this stuff seems to unsettle you, is this the same feeling some members here get from the other side regarding God and Religion? Can we just let go of the struggle and dance with the entirety of it all and find harmonious love and connection with it?


Hi @excecutive, thanks for the note. Perhaps i can stop struggling and just accept that IT as it is, a philosophical theory from the lineage of Hegel Max Marcuse.


If that helps you assimilate the information into a holistic picture that feeds your soul in a positive way I say go for it. :slight_smile:


Thank you for your response. I consult through my own company, Integral Foresight Finland. We work with both for-profit and non-profit companies. Please send me an email and we can chat: jpjako@gmail.com


Hi! I traced some of the origins of Integral Theory in my PhD dissertation. You can check it out here:


I think the essential thing - which was kinda my core thesis - is in the flourishing of the pragmatic, practical results, when integral model is skilfully applied. I am not that interested in the theory (although I love it) but in the “more love, less pain” -type of results one can get when applying it.

Thank you!



Thanks @jpjakonen,

Good work. Your depth of origins on Integral Theory is a bit beyond my sophomoric psychology and philosophical knowledge. :slight_smile:

I particularly like your 2nd article “Creating wisdom cultures” on Integral Coaching and the concept of Level Negligence. You clearly as looking to apply Integral Theory, in the world, in existing organizations, of a size and structure that you can add value, make progress, impact.