Possible to be Conservative, Heterosexual, Christian, and Integral?

Curious if the community thinks that it would be possible to be practicing Christian, practicing Conservative, and monogomamous Heterosexual simultaneously as an Integral Theory practitioner?
Perhaps Integral, but fundamentally level ascendancy limited?

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But basically - why not?

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These are observations that can be applied with many variations on individuals … all of whom can learn to understand and assimilate these differences into an integral framework of understanding.

If fundamentalism is part of it than “No!” So few Christians actually interpret their religion from a structural stage beyond mythic/literal or magical stages. This is a sad fact. I was a Christian growing up and outgrew the earlier stages of interpretation by the time I was 12.

I do think it’s possible to have one or more lines of intelligence evolve to more expanded levels of interpretation while others lines remain at earlier stages and have that be a “tow rope” for the other lines of intelligence to have the opportunity to develop.

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Thanks @Brian_Downey for the thoughtful note. I smile whenever I hear Christianity cast as fundamental, mythic/literal or magical since I don’t even know what this means in the real world. By real world I mean experientially, in practice, outside of an AQAL mapping.
As a devout, yet maybe not so good Christian and likely even worse Integralist what would it look like if I were operating, perhaps often, in the magical or mythic/literal stages?
If I recite the Lord’s Prayer am I being held back? If I pray for 20 minutes every day am I stunting myself? If I weekly worship with peace and joy with others am I contributing to something detrimental to humanity?

These are all questions that are head scratches for me.


Dear @FermentedAgave,

My answer to your question is I certainly hope so. It strikes me that your asking the question seems to show that you are integral or moving in that direction.

To me “being integral” is being aware that humans develop. You seem to have an interest in integral ideas, and that seems to imply that you are open to or interested in ideas of human development.

I’m very curious to know more about how you personally relate to Conservativism and Christianity, and to Integral ideas. Would you be interested in having a private conversation?

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If you were to truly hold the belief that the Catholic Church is the “only true religion” what would that suggest about people who do not share this view?

If you hold the view that marriage is ONLY between one man and one woman … and must annul your previous vows before the church and God as fraudulent; How would you view those who disagree or act differently in this regard?

If you were to hold the view that abortion is murder how would that effect your view of those who choose to abort a baby? If you choose to live your life by these ideals … and simultaneously allow for understanding and accepting those who do not, you are integral in your understanding and open to accepting of the higher mind beyond the limits of fundamental beliefs.

Agreeing with @relational-dialog … from my time here interacting with you I certainly see you as amazingly honest and integral @FermentedAgave.

You’re not afraid to explore and experience everything including your own spiritual space and understanding. We need more honest integral conversations like the many you have already displayed here on this forum. Thank you for being here dialoging with us! :slight_smile:


This reply seems to fall short of an integral understanding …can you share the resource for the “sad fact” you reference?

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This kind of goes back to my question “why not?”
@executive gives the example of Christianity
I didn’t want to do so because it would seem like I was attacking Christianity’s core beliefs.
But with the others, here is an expansion on my reaction.

Why can’t a Conservative person be Integral? Unless they approach conservatism in a non-integral way. That probably has to do with how people define conservatism. Is it an expectation for everyone to follow what you specifically think is conservative? Do you have to beat the political drum and toe the party line to be conservative, even when it flip flops overnight? I don’t think that is integral. If a person’s definition of conservative is FOX news talking points or any other media, hell no. That’s not integral. Just like CNN isn’t Integral. They are media with specific and often nefarious sociopolitical agendas. If one’s understanding of conservatism is a deeper level of values centering on self reliance, pride in self and so on - why couldn’t you be conservative and Integral? Over the past 30 years I’ve seen popular conservatism morph into something unrecognizable from how we understood it before Rush Limbaugh hit the airwaves.

Monogamous - this is a curious question. Monogamy is the norm in modern society. Sociosexual opportunities are very limited to those who reject monogamy. (serial monogamy is also monogamy) Polyamory in all it’s various forms is very difficult for society as a whole to come to terms with. I just don’t understand how someone might feel they can’t be monogamous to be integral, because the alternative is very difficult to pull off without people thinking all kinds of strange things. I’d bet dollars to donuts very few people in here are practicing polyamory.
Heterosexual - Again, this is a strange one. Could it be some kind of perceived peer pressure or desire to conform to what others are doing, or even an imagined perception created by media? If I see two men French kissing, does that mean I have to kiss a man? No, of course not. What if I see 10 men kissing every day? Still no. Even well deep into gay territory such as in a Gay Biker Leatherman Club I’d suspect no one is going to expect you to be gay. Just don.t tell them what they can’t do.


I find that all of the different ideas and descriptions, ideologies and interpretations are all part of the integral understanding. When we can accept and acknowledge them all as part of the whole we are integral.

When we want to eliminate, deny, defame, deplatform, censor, control or cajole others this falls short of an integral understanding. Rather they are Individualized ideological observation presented from some point within the AQAL framework from which some may agree or disagree, but this would not be integral as I see it.

Thanks for the well thought out response Mr. @raybennett .

Let me see if I get the bulletized summary close…

  • Conservative - it depends on the internal states
  • Monogamous - it depends on the internal states
  • Heterosexual - it depends on the internal states

Should we work under the assumption that the entirety of the population is in fact Integral in their approach to the world? Or do we assume they aren’t Integral, until they use Integral lingo?

If we flip the script with:

  • Anti-Theist - it depends on the internal states
  • Progressive - it depends on the internal states
  • Multiple Sex Partners - it depends on the internal states
  • Gay - it depends on the internal states

Should we start with the thesis that these people are integral?

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Decades of interaction with thousands of christians is the source of my criticism. I’m not against Christianity. I just don’t have much patience left for fundamentalism because I’ve seen tremendous damage done to so many people I know. My friends that are LGBT have suffered tremendously as a result of having Christian fundamentalist parents.
You’ve misinterpreted my criticism.

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I was critical of Fundamentalism yet you automatically interpreted that as be against Christianity, prayer, and worship. How did you get there? I said nothing about those things. I think you revealed more about your struggles and nothing about what I was actually saying! Best wishes!!

Most Christians believe they are right and every other religion is wrong or not as good. That’s a fact, sir!! That’s not integral. You said my criticism wasn’t integral. Did you read the next paragraph?

Hi Brian - Thanks for the reply and sorry for the confusion. I was trying to decouple a few terms that you used such that I could understand what they might mean in my experience of Christianity.
I’m trying to figure out if I’m in this Mythic/Literal, Magical, Fundamentalist grouping “So few Christians actually interpret their religion from a structural stage beyond mythic/literal or magical stages”.
Can you describe what my experiences might look like or beliefs might be if I’m doing Christianity at Mythic/Literal and/or Magical stages?
And if I do live part of my live in say the Mythic/Literal or Magical stages does that by definition preclude me from being Integral? Maybe I’m stunting myself or holding back humanity?

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Well, interpreting the metaphors literally. Such as believing that Christ was actually born from a virgin or that Moses actually parted the Red Sea, etc.(Ken uses those often).
I also would add “believing that Christianity is the best or only way to spiritual salvation” to that. I’m cool with the teachings of Christ and I do think they are important. My argument is just with how they are being interpreted and used in our world. Jimmy Carter is a Christian and he walks the walk through compassionate action towards his fellow humans and doesn’t try to convert people or judge other religions as wrong. I like JC!

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I mean, it’s actually in the requirements for pastors to be members of national organizations.
Priests and Pastors have to swear they believe literal mythic interpretations before joining national Christian Organizations and will be booted if they preach otherwise or publish books. Most recognized seminaries also have similar oaths you have to take before even being allowed into their bible study groups / courses.
It’s just facts and how it is. Not for or against national Christian Organizations - just the way it is.
Here’s my list of literal mythic:
Was the Bible written by men or God?
Did Moses physically receive actual stone tablets from big physical hands that descended from heaven?
Did Jesus physically ascend to Heaven 30ish days after his resurrection? As in he’s on the ground, then went up-up-up into the sky.
Is Jesus now actually physically sitting on the right hand of a physical God in a physical Heaven?
Do all people who are not baptized actually physically go to a physical location called hell and actually have physical bodies that burn from a physical fire?
Did Adam ride dinosaurs?

I don’t actually have a problem with what anyone believes. (And I’m not referring to anyone in this discussion) People can believe what they want. But it’s kind of impossible for me to get “on board” or “integrate” with individuals or groups who literally believe they are the only ones who have “the truth”.

I was discussing this with a Christian the other day and between the two of us we agreed to use the terms “Fundamentalist Christian” and “New Age Christian” when talking to each other on this topic to distinguish between two major camps. The Fundamentalist believes everything literal. The New Age Christian is able to accept that other explanations or interpretations might be possible.

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Was hoping for specific breakdown but I can do some research. Youre also responding to multiple posts.

Im not a very good Christian then. But i also understand that the Bible has been retranslated and reinterpreted for several thousand years. It was written in a different time, not our Modern/Post Modern current world. I can see given your context of critical method application that Christianity and the Bible are basically invalid.

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There are millions of Christians who would disagree with you. Being Christian does not require faith in literal interpretations, but most organized Christian Religions try to exclude and persecute them as “not really Christian”