Nationalism for Integralists


(Hint, I’m not a religious scholar.)
No, I’m not saying everyone needs a common, as in same, belief system. I’m saying it’s a common “need”. If we look at the uptake on religions, religions are VERY popular globally. This would seem to be people joining in common spiritual practice, rituals, belief systems. I know what we get out of our religious practice is mythic-magic but we might describe as “transcends this world”.
As you point out, even at pre-integral the strong uptake of wicca, neopaganism, astrology, etc would seem regressive to me according to Integral Theory. I don’t see how as example claiming “I’m pre-Integral but headed to my Wiccan meeting” makes much rational Integral sense, but then I’m also not an Integral scholar (perhaps a poor student).

I do see a strong desire for the Integral community to enable the “religious experience” but without really calling it a “religious experience”. If you look at the societies that have effectively eliminated religion (China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam?), they’re not really the kind of societies where you would choose for our daughter’s to raise their daughters (unless they were part of the power elite).

Personally I would recommend focusing on “integrating with” the current systems, as opposed to “creating something outside of and replacement for”. I just don’t see an effective trend here and do actually see it as non-inclusive non-Integral.

  • On effectiveness, I’ll just point to the numbers of people that subscribe to and join the interviews and presentations. When we wandered down to our neighborhood church with everyone still trying to sort out Covid, there were more people in the church for 1 of the 3 weekend services than globally tune in on the Integral interviews (Integral, Life Daily Evolver, etc).
  • Saltzman happened to be critiquing Jordan Peterson so I checked views. Saltzman is viewed by 100’s (1.7K subscribers). Peterson is viewed by 100K’s or M’s (3.7M subscribers).


Yes. Exactly. I would say that if you look deeper into the reward system of capitalism, the naive view, that may very well have started this system out–at least philosophically, is simply not at all representative of reality in our era. The reality is that–like any game–it simply rewards people who are good at playing that particular game. In much smaller measure I have experienced that many times as a manager, executive and business owner: Any time we implemented a reward system that was supposed to reward desired behavior (more sales, better teamwork, putting the company first, etc.) after a short time it turned out it was actually rewarding the people who were most willing to prioritize getting the reward over everything else (gaming the system, holding up sales for the next quarter to maximize commissions and bonuses, putting others down to make themselves better in comparison, etc.) The current stage of capitalism does this, I think, to a very great degree. One idea of a Game B is, to adjust our rewards closer to the goals we really want to achieve as a society. I am certain, that sooner or later it will have its own problems and may be gamed–but it may nevertheless be a good step in the right direction.

While I can see the value in this for sure (and also the danger), it is not exactly what I meant by “the magic”.
To me, the “magic” is in the actual experience, left untouched by explanation or traditional interpretations.
I can have (and have had) these experiences from listening to monks performing gregorian chants during a latin mass, and I can have (and have had) these experiences when chanting bhajans to the Indian Goddess Kali throughout an entire night without sleep. And yes: While it’s been a while, certain chemicals can also instigate those kinds of experiences.
To me the magic has its own meaning and reward, and interpreting it as nothing but chemical reactions in my brain, is just as limiting as interpreting it according to the pre-digested dogmas of a particular religious tradition.

(how post-modern of me! :rofl: )


The issue I have with traditional Mythic belief systems and Religions is that they do not usually “work”. I went to a traditional Church for the first 18 years of my life and mostly got bored and bigger shadows from the experience.
We can shine the “gaming the system” onto religion and spiritual practices. Many (most?) well known “Holy Men” have placed spirituality second to other priorities in order to obtain more and more followers and wealth.


What alternatives have worked better?


A pretty strong, sharp and non-integral conclusion Ray because evidence was introduced by @Mbohu to validate a contrasting point of view. Both polarities or positions exist and perhaps finding the good and connecting elements in these contrasting points of view would better serve this Integral group discussion?


I love this Game B concept @Mbohu … I shared a post about "Conscious Co-Operative Capitalism" … "It’s a new game; a plan B which rewards success differently. It will be through positive altruistic efforts at helping others that we will climb the ladder of success. Competitive people committed to working hard for the success of others will be rewarded with greater access and prominence to influence the collective.

By consciously restructuring the existing profit models toward greater shared benefits and better service toward others we all win. The best of the best will compete for bigger and better ideas at helping others.

Financial success will be less attractive than the social capital and influence earned by the super-stars of conscious cooperative capitalism. They will have the credibility and co-operation of others to serve as conscious leaders in our new economy.

The existing power centers built on competitive capitalism alone will break apart, requiring that they too restructure to this new conscious cooperative effort to remain viable in the marketplace."


Isn’t this the “Mystery” that most (all?) religions refer too? Don’t all religions give you the option to “just believe, just accept, enjoy the peace, quiet the mind” or if you like “take a trip down the rabbit hole” as far your rational modern mind would like to take your decomposition trip of understanding?

By whatever name it’s a great thing (in my experience) to experience that 15 minutes or 5 hours or perhaps a level shift of “pre Adam and Eve apple” child-like presence, calm, love,…

If we decompose the decomposition, do we find something unique and transcendent?


Double check my thinking here. Are we looking to design a rewards system to emphasize the greater good over individual motivations with the intention/hope that over time we can evolve beyond or train out the behaviors that are deemed low-tier / suboptimal?

Does an adaptive system where we implement a rewards system - assess results - adjust rewards system not Integrate and Include by very definition? If taken on intentionally as an adaptive system, would this not be perhaps better than trying to define the “perfect solution”.


Please provide me the evidence again - I might have missed it.
And please refrain from trying to establish who is and who is not integral based on your own limited experiences and judgements - you might find several fingers pointed the other way.


I am certain of the finger pointing and I welcome it. :slight_smile:


This is what I read that triggered my shared thoughts @raybennett


It’s very clear in society today that Religion and Mythic Beliefs do not work for hundreds of millions of people. In the United States majority of people would describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” or nondenominational or agnostic. It’s clear to me that Religion and Mythic belief systems do not “work” for “most” people.
I’m not sure why recognizing the Mythic Level “doesn’t work” isn’t integral.
Or is my method of delivery not academically polished or postmodern enough?
Is it my ideas that are not up to snuff integrally, my methods of delivering them, or me as an individual that is lacking?


I certainly recognize the brilliance in your thought processes … Your view is certainly clearly articulated and many here I am sure agree with your observations, I just shared my observations too.


It’s not brilliance - it’s just the state of the world today and recognizing it. Religion doesn’t work for a lot of people and postmodern attempts to re-introduce or appropriate other older Mythic systems of beliefs have led us to a situation where “New Age Religion” is becoming more derogatory as time goes by.
If you view me, my methods or my argument as non-integral because I recognize these things and say them clearly … that’s your own stuff to deal with.


I completely understand your point of view @raybennett … What, may I inquire, would possibly explain someone else having an opposite view? Maybe asking that question to draw that information out? Rather than pursuing the obvious disconnects in your views how could we promote a similar conversation looking for connections?


We’re connecting fabulously - it’s just that I’m connecting with a part of you that you are yourself disconnected from.

I could list several, but not having mind reading capability or even face to face cues I try not to think anything conclusively about why another person says something.
Instead I think to myself “hmmm … that’s curious. I wonder which of 10 possible reasons this person has for expressing that.”


I love that thought and that question … very integral. :slight_smile:


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?


Thanks for asking @LaWanna :slight_smile:
For me a highly rational view of the world pre-stage, state, post-stage gives me a very rational/structured mapping of the world which fits very well with how my noggin’ noodles on things. Decomposition, assessment, re-assimilation, and inevitable “Over my head. I’m all twisted up. This is a mystery for me.” is all part of the attraction.

Edit: In addition, I don’t see need (at least in my understanding) that any religions would need to be tossed from an Integral development plan. Likewise I would be extremely skeptical if say tribal shamanism or Wiccanism would be considered further along/more conducive to an Integral development path than say Buddhism or Christianity (our most wide spread “transformation” religions).


I’d like to confirm your comment and add a thought. To me an integral life is not a destination or some absolute truth. It’s a perspective that accommodates everything and everybody from a higher place of understanding, a map of reality that leaves no one or any thing out of the picture.

It’s accepting that everything and everybody is a valid part of the whole. Every perspective is worth understanding if we want to know God. If God made it it’s good and needs to be assimilated into our collective consciousness.

If it exists it’s worthy of understanding and worthy of love … I am Love? God is love? We are God? We are love? I AM God? You are God? Who is God? Who is Love? What is God? What is Love? What am I? What are you? and so the integral discovery continues until we become God until we become Love. Enjoy the discovery! :slight_smile: