Questions for integral people/humans/systems/things a like?


I’ve been following Ken for now almost three years or at least two+, I was fascinated when I listened to the content of his audiobooks. I listened to a lot of them and was deeply entrenched and entertained into Ken’s insights and perspectives. Also, then re-tracing that partially by looking up some of the literature and its validity. Which is rather difficult.

Now, I do have some questions regarding how one can benefit from being integral, also it is quite difficult to tell if I am integral. Since I do not know many people who think integrally, yet I started around the perfect time to move up the stages and did the practices quite intensely, besides this year. I am currently 24 years old and I study at a university in Germany. ( I am half German/American / bi-racial) as far as identity goes.

Anyway, here is what I did to move up the spiral:
-> Travelled and stayed in China for 6 months and meditated regularly for 1h a day.
->Started a meditation habit in 2015 moved up to 1 hour a day in that year.
->Started a journaling habit in 2015 and wrote quite rigorously
->Started studying in 2016
-> Started shadow work in 2017 ( Cleaning up habit, not growing up)

Now, from what I read/heard all of this can but are not necessarily enough move one up through the stages. I’ve met while I travelled people from Norway and from Germany and Britain who were very different from the average person I knew before.

They were very open-minded, interested in spirituality and culture ( I am overlapping all the traits of the people) , multiculturalism, gender identity and roles, rights etc.

Now, I was raised partially with people gay people, since my aunt is a lesbian. So, all of this behaviour was not very new to me, but the topics were and how the interactions between people unfolded / humans was a bit more fun. Then “good’ol” animal rights. Which my Aunt is a biggy in. Still, my friends and the region in total seem sort of blue/orange even sometimes, with the youth being more orange/green.

While I read and listened to integral theory, I was fascinated with the facets of spirituality and meditation, especially rebirth during that time, since I went to China and read a bit about the culture and Buddhism beforehand. Listening to Allan Watts also etc.

Now, even though I think and sometimes feel that I have an integral value structure and cognition. Ever since I felt, that I am finally included through the green meme, I was quickly unsatisfied since I hate conformity since I was little and sort of went through that rather quickly. I am listing all of this to receive potential feedback from people if I could be integral or not also is it that important?

Sometimes I also don’t feel that I am morally or value vice integral since I do not care that much about animals and the environment, yet partially since I saw that with my aunt and I do like animals of course. Yet, when I see people who really care and complain, now I would ask my self is that because of a genetic / personality based difference or a “psychological structure” / a stage of development. Of course, all of that can have an influence, but I do not have the knowledge or know how to know every partial truth and which truth is true…

Well, here are some questions before I continue to ramble:

Recently, I perceive everything as a system, but I do not know if other stages perceive it as vividly as I do for instance, how nature interacts with people/humans/ other systems. It is like they sense and adopt certain tones, vibes, a behaviour of people. You can see that with a cat or dog. But, birds are the animals which seem to make sounds every time to keep an equilibrium of silence and noise for people, while also sensing intentions especially hostile ones based on… intelligence. Or even things like, what happens with plastic bottles when they are received, who benefits from that, the folk, companies? The grocery store? What system is in place in order to take care of that? Same thing with traffic and such.

Also, I tend to not click anymore with people, I love green people but sometimes I feel left out, I am ( I say to myself that …) a minority of a minority I am a bi-racial half black and white german living in Germany. People mistake me for a refugee, a Turkish person, with good luck American or even Egyptian / French etc. So, identity never made sense to me meditation helped a lot. Can too much inclusivity like the green stage tends to love cause isolation and a herd mentality which excludes people again? I find it easier to connect with green people on a yellow stage then as a green stage, since I feel I am more about flexibility and opportunity, and a good bond won’t be torn that fast. But, then I feel they keep themselves available for their friend group, which I then feel excluded since nobody asks me to join. Often these groups imo only consists of Germans who are green, with one or two exceptions. This is my … experience so far. Yet, they are very inclusive, yet I don’t get why I always have to join a green group instead of having or being in a green group. I don’t know.

It’s either only germans, only multi-national people, or a lot of Germans with one or two multi-national friends. Then I feel they complain that we are not similar so they rather seek someone who had a German upbringing in order to have that “German Green Bond Feeling”, this is how I imagine it, and see it at college/uni. Sometimes I feel I am not reaching out enough, but sometimes I just need to laugh at some weird perceptions and ideas that they have and that they exclude ideas who would benefit the whole, then I sometimes I am so odd talking about meditation or even spiral dynamics, integral theory. I can talk with two people about this one studies political science and the other one computer science and they are actually interested, but my “old”/“real” friends or people at uni, don’t seem to care or don’t get it. I can’t understand why one would not even look it up, one real friend was open enough to watch two videos about spiral dynamics. But, without further interest.

What can an integral person do to find friends in real-life ?
Which companies are integral since I will soon join the working force?
What are some common pitfalls that happened when one starts to be integral?
Is it normal that I feel so lonely, but at the same time I am not very interested to have friends who are like everyone…?
Is it normal to yearn for complexity?
Can multiculturalism actually be racist in a sense that it tries to make everyone equal and denies differences, sometimes people feel confused how to deal with me, instead of seeing me as an individual, who can also be part of a group, but then I can’t express my identity fully, because I am to wild ? lol ? Or do people just don’t like me lol.
Which country is ideal for meeting integral people? In the audiobook cosmic consciousness, Ken Wilber talked about how Paris was the heartland of revolutions or at least the student’s revolution because of the Vietnam war and the use of chemical weapons? Which brought the green meme, love and peace movement. My mom is a boomer. Sometimes I feel she resembles that spirit. Anyway, my friend studies political science there, I feel she is sometimes quite integral, but top stuck in the green meme with sometimes blue hang-ups as a shadow.
Is it safe to be black and odd ??? I did a zen retreat and the zen master there at one point seemed a bit scared about me, and I felt like I am soon going to get shot…(In Germany as if…)
How can I deal with people? Sometimes I feel they become jealous when I use language different, and I feel I do not have the right to self-express myself with the new words that suddenly emerge from my psyche. I read a bit about Susan-Cook Greuters Ego Development ( the paper and on Wikipedia or w/e) and that ego development was cohesive… with a change in language.

I feel adopting any other stage limits me, is effective for dealing with people, sometimes I feel I just hit integral and hit people with complexity that in the end is quite simple. Which is… odd.

Also, I feel that privilege is quite real, in the sense that the culture were people live in, the people who live there have prerogatives, that are simply based on habit, they are used to treating each other in the way people in that particular country w/e treat each other. But, are dumbfounded or feel scared /frustrated/guilty when dealing with people from other countries and a different dynamic develops. I mean it feels great, that people change and find some new personality traits … about themselves but. It’s just odd. I am nothing and everything identity-wise.

After I did the zen retreat this year I saw how difficult it is to accurately tell other peoples stage. Simply because of the fact of language, when someone is from a different culture and they interact on a green meme which was quite present there, I could see the green meme, but I could not decipher a language that I could not speak. I thought one guy was rather blue, I was projecting or I simply could not tell since his English was bad.

Would really appreciate some insights and feedback. I am struggling a bit with building the life that I want and finding ways to stop procrastination and depressive phases.


Anyone who has followed KW for 3 years has definitely caught a touch of Integral. I wouldn’t worry too much about how integral you are, but if you would like to be a little clearer about that, take the “Worldview Questionnaire” at Steve McIntosh’s Institute for Cultural Evolution website at It’s free and you get an immediate assessment.
As for building an integral life, the must-read is “Integral Life Practice,” by Ken, Terry Patten and others. A good model for how to think integrally about current affairs and cultural trends is Jeff Salzman’s Daily Evolver shows.

Best wishes,
C. Marxer

1 Like

Hey Charles_Marxer,

thank you for reaching out! It is quite important for me since this has improved my life a lot and I feel that I am able to let go of people who are stuck in formal operational paradigms or modern thinking, in case I am using this formal operational here correctly.

I finished the book Integral Psychology now, I am not an avid reader yet. I listened to a lot of Audiobooks including Integral Life Practice and had some insights into a psychic stage of development when I am trying to “cross-paradgim”… this then it would be stage tourquise. Or simply being one with all sentient beings, I want to move into this as fast as possible since it seems quite pleasurable, also will help me to clear my vision, which is actually a modern end result.

Well, I don’t know but I am assuming human beings here or Menschen are quite open here, I had that insight during a psychedelic trip and I interpreted it through, a systematic lense. Since, I became almost one and moved closer into being one with a sentient being, a bird in the garden. During an inquiry about nature and intelligence, since I am quite tired of this paradigm and I wished people would appreciate competence and incompetence a bit more, to open a playfield for creativity.

How valuable are Audiobooks and Videos, I traveled a bit and worked on my body a bit and consumed most of the material concerning “integral theory/spirituality etc.” and the work I enjoyed the most was. Kosmic Consciousness with Ken Wilber obviously and Tami Simon from sounds true. Also other Audiobooks are Spiral Dynamics, Integral Life Pratice, The future of spirituality and integral transformation. It is definitely not as nuanced as the book, but it opened many doors into different spiritual practices and perspectives one can unlock

I asked on other forums and the test that gives apparently the greatest results / best results… are from Susan Cook Greuter, yet the test costs a couple of thousand dollars.

Is there an integral approach to get rid of procrastination and purposelessness, I finished an online course and even though I think it is valuable, I feel that I am moving slow. Thinking integrally is in my opinion… not that difficult if one is exposed to more or less complex material, and since I am studying I can see this and sometimes I am not sure if I am going overboard with my ideas since I am by structural standard a big picture thinker and synthesizer. So, I can easily connect dots, but I need more information to pull through in order to produce a result. Also, I saw a bit here about vision logic and that it is made up out of three criteria. I can name one non-exclusiveness which says everyone is right in some way, then there is every perspective is true but partial and also some are more right than others, and also the term enactment that acting on truths one finds will allow one to propel forward(or simply acting on something). Also that there are different stages of vision-logic like early where one is aware of pluralism, contextualism, and diversity? Then there is a cross-paradigmatic thinking ? In middle and late vision logic where one tries to integrate different systems and patterns in order to compare and contrast to either reflect and build upon both and or one these systems, or complete an entirely new approach to smth. Systems within Systems and then being all with all sentient beings?

Now, I took the test and I have 10 points in integrative and -14 in traditional, I always disliked them for various reasons. (I took also the test from Don Beck which comes with the Audiobook and you have to print this stuff :smile:, so I am unsure how “highly diagnostic” all of this is.) Yet, to compare this with the ten ox-herding pictures is reaching stage tourquise being one with all sentient beings or psychic stage the same as catching the ox. The is the sense of what I am getting after doing a couple of retreats this year. And just finishing one from Shinzen Young. ( 3 almost 4 Micro Retreats from Shinzen Young and 1 14 day Zen Retreat at a Soto Tempel with recommendations from Shinzen Young)

During the retreat my solar plexus/der Weltenschmerz and in general pain at the core or sternum popped twice and I had to cry two times one time, directly at the beginning as soon as I heard the teachers voice, since I dislike my family a lot and was just happy to hear even if it is not true a somehow caring voice, and then as my mom came into the apartment and I had to cry, since I felt I am missing a dimension that she has, but never shows to me. But, mostly since I somehow knew that I never really cared for her, because of various reasons.

Therefore, when one becomes one with all sentient beings will I even be able to care about my mom since I am quite angry with my family, also listening to so many spiritual talks in confusing.

Is there an integral approach to stop procrastination and foster habit creation ? I keep failing a lot with this and would like to be more of service towards others, inwhich I have difficullties in since I care but, as soon as someone does not care about the cause or the process of creation, I become quite complacent and do nothing.

Any comments towards all of this, I want to provide value, but I hate it when people take it I am doing shadow work around once a week, is that even productive ? In terms of cleaning up.

With Regards,
once3900 (This already feels sarcastic)

1 Like

Dear @once3900,
I was impressed to read how you’ve been an integral devotee for 3 years. Me only 4 months ish.
I would definitely classify you as integral and I totally understand why you question whether you are actually integral. Integral is so new and its not like theres anIntegral Centre in every town where you can just go along and fellowship with other integrals and integral teachers. Although you will be surprised how it could grow in the next few years. With your grounding in IT you have a lot to offer the fraternity. You appear to be ver smart so it wouldn’t surprise me there could be a fit for you somewhere in the IT framework. So stay positive and keep an eye out for opportunities.
I come from a christian background and it was common for new folk coming in to wonder when they actually became a christian. I also read Buddhism and Koran but I don’t claim to be Buddhist or a Moslim or care really. There are questionnaires but there is no test. You are integral if you choose to be integral.

You may find like minded people also within interfaith circles. There would be an interfaith community in your area. I belong to one in Sydney Australia. They are incredibly inclusive and welcoming. I see enormous synergy between IT and interfaith.
Dont fret too much about you relationship with your Mother. Its not uncommon and you have lots of time to work on that. Small steps.

You are incredibly fortunate to have found IT at such a young age. You will grow up with it (pun intended). Be patient with it. You seem to be devouring the IT resources as quickly as they are published. I encourage you to expand your research and seek more life experience to round out your learnings. e.g travel, work, volunteering etc.
Be patient in relationships too. Not everyone is as bright as you but you must learn to forgive others that and accept it. Also being integral also sets us a little apart but you will eventually find others to bond with and build a network of friends.
I hope this response is in empathy with you and resonates. Feel free to chat anytime. Blessings. and happy Christmas. #infinitelove.

1 Like


thank you very much for your reply! That is what I personally like about Christianity that family is a priority or value, but this is what also scares me. Hopefully, as soon as I finish studying I can choose a place where there are more people to interact with, so I can learn and grow. I think many people would be interested in an integral perspective, especially spiral dynamics and especially young people. As long as they are not too fond of their greatness ( I am assuming). IT is a bit scary, I assume most companies skew orange and therefore embrace humor and behavior that is quite insensitive, but this is my personal interpretation. That can have many reasons such as the BIG 5 model even at Green levels, but that feels completely or clearly different.

Thank you for your compliment and for your kind-heartedness! I can recommend the Audiobooks they are very humorous especially Kosmic Consciousness, I also come technically from a Christian background or Catholic background, the region here is more orange/blue depending on which city you go to or nearby “hub”?. But, my mother is agnostic and you meet so many people from different backgrounds, it’s insane. Especially since 40k Americans live here. I talked with Turkish people about the Quran and with people from Laos and Vietnam about their ideation of what constitutes a religion. Since many humans are disrooted from their origins or suffered some tragedy. Mainly people are ignorant about their cultural beliefs I saw that for the first time when I lived in China for 6 months. I basically lost all my courtesy or social conventions and now see it more or less as some form of social masking to either protect oneself, hide from one’s opinion or go along with the majority or as some actual exchange of politeness. Which broke apart some of my blue ideas about empathy.

Apparently, Mr. Donal Trump visited the military station here and most likely flew then to Iraq without telling any German officials that, anyway it’s an American territory, but this action is quite odd for me. You can see the excesses of American Materialism quite well here without seeing America, but just by observing the behavior of the people.

Especially, black people, it is like they are forced to adapt to the media culture and when I wear as a tall bi-racial black person, some more European clothes. I get “the looks” or whatever also they are so confused that everyone can be so quiet ( Americans in general), and that everyone can hear anyone at some point at some time. Last time I walked through the city the big’s came out and I am quite confused since I never meet many Americans who are liberal. Anyway, I felt like I had a serotonin rush, which was odd.

I would love to talk more about integral stuff, yet I don’t have that much knowledge yet and more questions than answers myself, especially with stages beyond integral, since this is what I ultimately aim for with meditation.

I still hope this was somehow useful or is useful for reflections or contemplating in daily life or as some form of idea / perspective.

I could give a big superficial overview of what I saw and read but Ken’s work is more fitting for that, than some loosey eclectic follower of nothing and everything. :slight_smile:

Dear @once3900. I’m on holidays this week reading Integral Meditation. It has a useful chapter about relationships which might help you.

in regards your mother. Perhaps she is at a different state or structure stage than you so you both view things from very different perspectives. I highlighted one paragraph in the photo of a particularly relevant point. The focus was on couples but it also applies to all types of relationships. Ideally both parties are on an upward path through the states and levels of IT but that is going to be very rare. It falls to the Integral to be tolerant of the others behaviour based on their ignorance of IT. If one is fortunate their relationship is with someone at a high state on the mindfulness scale who is full of compassion and tolerance. However there is also a generational gap where parents and their offspring are concerned and unfortunately sometimes it is up to the progeny to be the bigger more mature person.

Your admission that you are still learning is evidence of a mature and humble attitude. I am sorry to break it to you but no matter how much you think you’ve learnt, the feeling that you don’t know enough never goes away. BUT I do have good news. And its something I realised only yesterday.

KW repeats how integrals are at the cutting edge of human development. He is very clever how he pumps up his readers. But you know with what I’ve already learned from IT and also I guess from many years of studying faiths, the important thing to know is how to forgive and love others. One doesn’t need knowledge to know how to do that. But you do need grace and maturity and humility. With that understanding I no longer need to stress over gaining that next piece of knowlegde, reading those next few authors or attending those expensive talks and conferences. I can just be who I am. That integral who can understand people and their behaviours and forgive them. Maybe I can influence them a little with the understanding I have.

I have the rest of my life to gain that knowledge. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.

I heard someome on the radio say if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Sometimes life really is that simple.


1 Like

My mom changed after my grandma became ill and moved more into a green understanding maybe even and became more humble and not as irascible ( yes, I am googling). I wanted to read Boomeritis from Ken Wilber since she is from the Boomer generation and sometimes I can’t tell if I am projecting etc. Or the value structure is just expressed differently and there needs to be more communication, empathy, and compassion. Which again could be a point of disturbance, because of the different value structures.

The part that is outlined at the top is currently my “prime directive” in finding a partner besides other things, I like the Quote from a meditation teacher. The family that sits together fits together. Yet, it is difficult to find young people who are interested in having an interest in waking up. Yoga yes most likely there is a possibility. Or on the internet. Otherwise, I can relate to the outlined paragraph.

Also, to add to the point of knowledge because I am doing shadow work for one year now with the 3-2-1 process from KW at least once a week approx. and do it when something triggered me badly. So, even though you thank me for my humility I’ve grown more arrogant than before :smiley: This is partly because sometimes I feel people constantly one-up me, because of my skin color, and then I have to assess is this normal does every stage do that, am I going to further interact with that person because of the way he/she uses language or behaves. Is it me? Am I projecting? Is it normal? Sometimes even how jealous can people be of a minority which is simply amazing. Yet, nobody really admits that. Which makes it difficult to be non-judgemental. Or to create a framework for an embrace of equality and differences. Not sure, if I understand everything correctly.

It is also quite funny that you say that forgiveness and love are important aspects. I just wanted to open a book I received for Christmas from the Dalai Lama and continue reading, about the practices in there to counter-act the arrogance with compassion. I did tong leng for about a year( a contemplative prayer) . After daily meditation sessions. Which helped me a lot in dealing with jealousy and this is all creeping back now. Even with shadow work or cleaning up.

Overall what I wanted to say is that I understand that reaching stage tourquise requires one to let go of knowledge which is scary, even if I never acquired as much as I wanted to. Yet, embracing an I don’t know mindset and doing a Soto Zen retreat this year helped a bit more to see how people have let go of knowledge and are still functioning. Especially, when I look at some interviews Doshin Roshi from Integral Zen and compare it to other spiritual masters, mostly Eckhart Tolle, Sadhguru, Shinzen Young and others it is insane how a don’t know mind suddenly or seemingly recaptures insights and intuitions about long learned topics.? I just clicked into a video before I went to this forum and saw an instant which reminded me of the retreat. A care passed by and during the retreat, which was a week ago, I tried the technique Auto-Speak from Shinzen Young and it’s like saying a mantra, but I was just spamming numbers, as he explained it so 1287348737487834 etc, and it felt like I transcended time, also especially as cars came by and I sat for a couple of hours. So, I can relate somehow and from different perspectives such as the BIG 5 model and conscientiousness. I am not sure how one is supposed to increase the emotional line. I listned to the Audiobook version of Integral Meditation the book looks already more promising (P.S it was not narreted by Ken Wilber :smiley: ) so, enough of that hope this is somehow perspectively helpful.

Enjoy your holiday and thank you again for the reply! I enjoy sharing knowledge that is why I want to gain more and understand difficult subjects and systems in general.

I am not sure yet, potentially this mindset of what makes up integral thinking helps.

Non-exclusivity -> Everyone is right
Enactment -> Do that and “see” what happens
Enfoldment -> Some are more right than others.

This is what I found useful from watching a video here not completely about, integral thinking and vision logic. I can recommend the book integral psychology for a more secular view with tons of resources quoted.

Also, why do you see an overlap between IT and faith? Using faith similar to trust?

Dear once,
You will find a partner one day who is everything you seek. Although he/she may not be integral now but already living integral without even knowing it. I 'd never heard of KenWilber till I just picked up his book the Religion of Tomorrow from the new book display at my library 4 months ago.

Now I go back to read his older work. I will look up Integral Psychology as you suggested and the book thats being made into a movie about his child that died I think. I heard its very good.

I don’t know how to advise you regarding being dark skinned as I have grown up a white in a predominantly white culture. However I love people of colour and have some close friends who are Indian and middle eastern. I sometimes feel ashamed of the past history of white colonialists and feel strong empathy for coloured people who have suffered under white suppression. I ama Gandhi fan read a lot abouthis life and work. My best advice is own your skin colour. Be proud of your heritage and call out people who discriminate but at the same time realise they disvriminate be cause of their hidden map that they are not even aware of.

Now I forgot your question. I’ll come back.

In regard to faiths and IT, you used the word overlap. I referred to my combined knowledge of both.

IT is intended to be a philosophical framework in which all knowledge can fit. So faith is therefore a subset within IT. It is the knowledge which has been gained since the beginning of language through humanity’s attempt to understand the universe and largely without the benefits of modern science. so through meditation and perceived contact with the divine consciousness. And through the teachings of the Avatars. Lau Tsu, Moses, Christ, etc

KW shares some of sciences latest findings which support a concept of a universal intelligence which may be what the faiths call God.

My experience of meditation is really poor but a few times in my life I have experienced moments of extreme bliss happiness harmony with everything and combined with other peoples’ testimonies, which lead me to think there is a “heaven”, an everlasting soul which goes on after I die. Its not enough that I call proof but its enough to give me HOPE and motivate me on the journey, the search.

I’m Peter Warren of Sydney, Australia.

I hope this makes sense. I wish you a happy new year. That you enjoy your search journey.