Thanks for your response FermentedAgave; I understand better what you were getting at, and agree with you that there is a great common need for meaning which people do find in religion and various spiritual practices/traditions. You seem relatively happy with your own religious orientation, or at least I think I’m picking up on that. And I say, that’s great, good for you!
There are a couple of things I wanted to comment on, Wicca and Integralism.
First, I can see how one might view Wicca as regressive, as it is based on pre-Christian aboriginal traditions such as nature worship, natural/herbal healing and such. It probably has more in common with Native American spirituality than it does with the Big 3: Christianity, Judaism, Islam. For what it’s worth, and you’re probably aware of this, it is a federally protected religion for 1st Amendment purposes. While it’s never come before the Supreme Court, numerous state, district, and federal appeals courts have upheld it as having “ultimate concerns” (and doctrine and practices in support of its ultimate concerns) in the same way as more traditional or accepted religions. It is also, according to studies I’ve read, the fastest growing religion in the West.
Also, it is possible for Wiccan practitioners to be trans-rational. That is, the stage of development in the Integral holarchy where presumably most contemporary Wiccans are situated is the pre-integral stage (pre-integral is a relatively new term some of us are using, to refer to the stage that in Wilber’s color-coding is called “green,” which refers to pluralism and is associated with postmodernity). This pre-integral “green” stage succeeds the “orange” stage of modernity, associated with Rationalism. So at least some things and practices at the (healthy) green stage can legitimately be called trans-rational. (The Integral stage of development is also trans-rational, meaning it “transcends but includes” the rational stage.)
I am not a Wiccan, but I have in the past participated in a few Wiccan ceremonies (as I have participated in quite a few of the world’s religious practices, even though my own natural orientation and spiritual grounding are in the shamanic and yogic traditions). I was invited to these ceremonies by friends, one of whom was the “High Priestess” of a Wiccan group in a large city. She was a woman working on a PhD; I remember others in that group too: several teachers, a chef, an organizational consultant/trainer, a member of the City Council, and a Quechan Indian (who invited me to the circus where I had an incredible experience with an elephant, but that’s another story…). My point being, all of them were ordinary people, and certainly rational. While I at the time probably thought of it as “New Age,” I don’t anymore; it’s simply another religion that people find meaning in. (I’m not even sure what “New Age” means anymore; I’ve harped on this subject a lot–that many of the practices of people called New Age are really rooted in very ancient “old age” things. I personally don’t care if people worship the earth; God knows somebody needs to: “Speak to the Earth, and it will teach Thee.”)
Theoretically, a person could be of almost any religion at the Integral stage; there are no dictates. There are in fact Integral Christians who are hosting websites and writing books and teaching Integral Christianity. There are Integral Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, etc. In classes I have taught on the Integral model, the students have come from a large variety of religions/traditions. So there is some integration going on.
Which brings me to the second topic I wanted to speak to, your comments about Integral “effectiveness.”
Like you, I too have noticed, on You Tube for instance, the number of views and such of Integral topics and other things. The Integral Life leaders (Corey and Robb) would be the first to point out (as they have) that Integral Life is a “niche” community. Ken Wilber is frank in stating only about 2-5% of the world’s population are at the Integral stage. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story, in the sense that Integral theory has been around for a few decades now, people have come and gone, moved on to, as others at this site have pointed out, incorporate their understanding of at least some of the Integral “map” in their own personal and professional endeavors. Plus, the Integral reality framework has been applied to somewhere around 65 different projects/disciplines (and that number has probably grown and is growing right now) in various fields–education, business, politics, medicine, environmental/climate studies (even exo-or paranormal studies now).
I personally do believe that Integral is an emergent worldview, a “baby” yet in some senses, but a legitimate stage of development for individuals and cultures. That it hasn’t reached mass appeal is due to a lot of factors, some of which Integral itself has no control over. It’s also important to note that present-day popularity does not equate with worth/value. I think of Jesus Christ, for instance, who didn’t receive a lot of “clicks, views, or subscribers” during his time, and look at what that all came to. I think of how popular Hitler was in the mid-20th century in Germany and other parts of Europe, and look at what that all came to. (And no, I am not comparing Integral, (or the Beatles for that matter), to Christ; nor am I comparing Jordan Peterson to Hitler, or that Jordan Peterson’s popularity isn’t a good thing.) The point is that popularity/mass appeal doesn’t always speak to (higher/greater) value (sugar is quite popular too, even with me, I loooooooove chocolate!), just as “normal” is not the same as “sane.”
Anyway, thanks for engaging and answering my question. I am curious, what interests or attracts you to Integral?