Integral leaders Kateryna Yasko, Vytautas Bučiūnas, and Bence Gánti illuminate many of the most poignant and pressing questions of our time, brought to the fore by the ongoing war in Ukraine: Can postmodern people embrace a warrior consciousness when necessary? Are Russians who explicitly support the war worthy of compassion? Can people remain sane and humane while at the same time taking up arms? How can we handle the effects of the psychological trauma that will cascade over generations? And how do we prevent the mass delusion and psychosis that is so easily propagated via modern media technology?
What are the global consequences of the Russian war on Ukraine? The trillions of dollars now being diverted to defense and military weaponry in the West are trillions of dollars that will not be spent on social programs, global health, education, climate change, and food—many people in Africa will starve as a result of this war on the breadbasket, wheat-producing Ukraine. What is wrong with democracy if its leaders can’t step up to the plate, be authentic, strong, and stand up for what is right, while autocrats do whatever they please? A powerful, heart wrenching conversation asking the right questions, pointing towards the answers.
If you would like to learn more about the fundraiser iAwake is running with Kateryna Yasko and Vytautas Bučiūnas, who are giving on-the-ground support to Ukrainian refugees in the bordering countries, please click here.
Recorded April 15, 2022.
Topics & Timestamps: Part 1
Ukraine update: the level of trauma has grown very high in the last month, both inside and outside Ukraine, with the discoveries in Bucha and elsewhere (03:18)
Everyone feels guilty: the people who have fled, the people in the cities, the people in territorial defense: everyone feels a strong need to contribute more (05:03)
The West is consolidating; there’s less naivete about Russia (07:45)
People around the world can and need to contribute (09:34)
True heroism is coming to the fore; this could be a wake up call for a lot of us (11:35)
Bence Ganti, Integral leader and director of the Integral European Conference, talks about the situation in Hungary and the coming IEC in May 2022 (12:32)
Kateryna’s perspective on recent weeks: facing an overwhelming, multi-fronted battle on all levels, it’s impossible to give yourself space to take care of yourself (15:40)
In Russia, children in school are taught only propaganda; refugee children are traumatized and don’t speak the language of their host countries (18:28)
Disappointment and frustration with opinion leaders, prominent intellectuals in the West, writing articles totally disconnected from the realities of the Ukrainian situation (19:55)
Ukraine is slowing gaining agency on several fronts (21:35)
This is a meta historic conflict; the West saying this conflict is their fault or the US’ fault is going too far; Russia has been threatening Ukraine since before the US existed (24:40)
Otto Scharmer’s article about collaborative diplomacy is not good enough; it’s abstract and divorced from the physical realities of the situation (27:52)
The reality is: “If Russia stops fighting, there will be no war. If Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no more Ukraine.” (30:38)
What is the most strategic response we can make in this situation to directly address this tragedy and its needs? (32:38)
Children in primary school are very tuned in to the collective: smart teachers are using military analogies when teaching (35:12)
We have to integrate the “red” stage of development in the educational system…we have to let boys play with guns and speak about it (37:40)
We need an Integral stage to understand when to act with which stages (38:57)
Green = a postmodern stage where we strive for harmony, unity, authenticity, connectedness and believe only with love we will solve all conflicts; red = the warrior stage; Integral = a yogi with a rifle (40:35)
Ukrainians fighting from a place of love, somehow they are integrated (43:17)
Topics & Timestamps: Part 2
The difference between Ukrainians and Russians is Ukrainians long to be and remain human and humane; but Russians have been through a long dehumanization process (01:00)
How can we stick to the Geneva Conventions and not become what we’re fighting against? (01:59)
Around 60% of Russians on the street honestly believe they are liberating Ukraine (04:59)
The power of today’s information and communication technology, coupled with our awful vulnerability to delusional thinking, is a recipe for inducing culture-wide psychosis (07:05)
The analogy with Nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia is right on (10:30)
Are Russians who are brainwashed and explicitly supporting warfare worthy of our compassion? (11:30)
What are the global ramifications, the psychological and cultural implications, of this great tragedy that will affect global health, social welfare, even the survival of the human species? (16:20)
The systems we have been trusting to maintain global order were not good enough to save us from this challenge (20:34)
How to come up with more Integral, inclusive solutions and systems of sensemaking? (21:22)
The leadership factor in the West over the last 20+ years has been reactive, compliant, generally avoiding facing reality – until Zelensky (Vytautas’ keynote at IEC will be about this) (21:52)
Working on solutions at the Integral European Conference (IEC) May 2022 online and in Budapest (25:05)
How this invasion has opened hearts, created an explosion of trust, people are really “showing up” (Kateryna’s keynote at IEC will be about this) (26:57)
Showing up – what will you do when it’s time to act? There is a way to contribute for everyone (28:09)
iAwake’s Funnel to Help, Heal, and Support the Ukrainian People (30:15)
IEC will be an opportunity to involve people from Latin America in the fight for democracy and freedom in Ukraine, and hear about their ongoing wars as well (32:35)
IEC will sponsor a global discussion on war and peace everywhere; there are more than 100 wars going on at any given time on the planet (35:06)
Are only autocratic leaders allowed to be bold, decisive, real, and authentic? (37:31)
Zelensky is the role model for other democratic leaders (38:50)
Presencing Institute, founded in 2006 by MIT Sloan School of Management Senior Lecturer Otto Scharmer and colleagues to create an “action research platform at the intersection of science, consciousness, and profound social and organizational change.”
I think it’s important to go one step further and see this as a test for Humanity in general.
Putin is only one of many leaders who would do very similar things if they have the opportunity, and would be supported by a large part of the population or even the majority.
It’s god to see the West is less Naïve about Russia - the next step is to be less naive about the support such a leader can gain within their own countries. Then, the absolute moral imperative to stand up to not just the leaders, but also the supporters.
As an example, we can insert alternative words into this Phrase “If Russia stops fighting, there will be no war. If Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no Ukraine”
“If X stops fighting Y, there will be no problem. If Y stops fighting X, there will be no Y”
There are many instances of this playing out in US politics and other developed Western countries.
Integral = A Yogi with a Rifle.
Not just in Ukraine, but in the USA as well, especially. This would have been a very unpopular thing to say prior to Russia’s invasion, but now seems more relevant.
The question of compassion (timestamp 11:30) towards brainwashed a population is not limited to Russia - but is very relevant in the USA as well. A large portion of the US population honestly believes they have the right to overturn an election and place Trump into power - AND ARE ACTING OUT THAT AGENDA in the United States.
I think it’s absolutely crazy that I posted this just 3 days prior to the Russian Invasion.
You’ve managed to get in your trademark digs on the US. Why not stay on topic?
This is a fear that you have @raybennett as well as many others. In reality this fear is unfounded regarding overturning valid elections…
The real fear is that Far Left “Progressives” know that their agenda is bankrupt and all hope is lost when election fraud is minimized and we reinstate integrity of 1 Citizen, 1 vote.
Your fears are not unfounded. You should be scared shirtless so to say… You will lose signicant political influence (power) without the ability to harvest ballots, print additional ballots, manage the collection and counting of ballots. Cest la vie!
And of course we should have all acted decisively to defend Ukraine from a 19th century “imperialst” simply operating in the mold of every other Putin/Catherine/Romanov/Stalin the Great Russian. Sometimes the most “Integral” thing to do is to just do what’s right, decisively.
It’s definitely not as simplistic as White Hat / Black Hat cowboys.
Also have to take into account that Russia’s imperialism included resettling ethnic Russians into their conquered territories as “management”. Don’t know the make-up of the “Ukrainian’s supporting Russia” in Crimea, Donbass, and other “Russia friendly” regions.
I’m not sure how the Ukrainian Nazi’s play into all this. Are they worse than Soviet style Communists, so therefore should be eradicated? Is anyone in Ukraine that fights invasions considered “bad”?
As a general rule, when a video has TRUTH in all caps, I buckle up for some for deception.
I wasn’t disappointed.
In fact, the Ukraine government has been Russia controlled until very recently - that’s what this whole war is about. Russia ruled Ukraine through a Russian minority who was in all positions of power and prevented the democratic process until 2014. Russia even poisoned a sitting Ukrainian President.
It’s a well rehearsed drill - as former Soviet countries seek democracy, for Russia to claim a Russian minority is being oppressed in this country or that country as an excuse to invade it’s neighbors. Ukraine is not the first and we can only hope that if Russia gets a bloody enough nose it will be the last.
Oh the history is even stranger than the craziest sci-fi movie. But this is a real persons view that’s there. Kinda narrative shattering. The history? That’s human normative function shattering. This is a black hole, whose dimensions we have barely begun to sense. Goes back to the dark ages. The masters of disguises. The name stealers. Infiltration instead of transparency. Co-opting instead of combating.
Agreed. From where I am standing, Ray’s comment was technically on topic, if perhaps a bit one-sided — we very clearly have extremists in both aisles here in our own nation, which makes the idea of extending compassion and forgiveness a challenging one for many here in our own culture. That is worth talking about.
Agave, your comment came across to me as defensive, which often seems to be the case when someone here criticizes the political right. You asked to stay on topic, and then immediately dipped back into debate-culture by venting some of your own anti-left grievances, accusations of voter fraud, denial that team Trump attempted to subvert the election, etc. If you think the conversation should stay on topic, then you should return it to the topic yourself, rather than continuing to detour. We don’t need to turn every single thread into a partisan left vs. right ideological battle.
I’m just saying there are plenty of folks on the left that many are also having a hard time extending compassion to, all of which is worth discussing. I think your overall point was on topic (and also reflects my own attitudes about the GOP) — it was simply a bit partial in its scope, in relation to the proliferation of extremists we are seeing across the political spectrum. Same reason I posted the counter-meme in response to Agave So I am just encouraging a more trans-partisan frame as we look together at the many humanitarian crises that are coming out of that region right now.
Controlled, no. Rarely is it so clear of a power dynamic.
Are you saying the Soviets didn’t import loyal Russians to run the businesses, industries, and governments of their “allies” once conquered by the USSR?
After fall of the USSR, there were still significant ethnic Russians living throughout the old empire. A good friend was ethnic Russian / Romanian and the Romanians forced most out after the fall of USSR.
It gets even more complex when you get to the closer ethnic and linguistic neighbors like Ukraine and Belarus.
Maybe the borders were drawn in the wrong locations? Maybe Russian amped up influence.perhaps there is a disinformation campaign being waged - Russia bad, but Ukrainian Nazis are worse???
I don’t have the answers and haven’t found anyone that seems to have more answers than questions.
So as we circle back to “the truth” concept it likely depends upon whomever perspective, the context we take.
But circling back to “moral imperative”, I don’t see the Ukrainian “Nazis” as having exerted visible influence globally. I think fair to say Russian communists do proactively exert global, at least regional Influences.
We also might consider if it’s the USAs “job” to “fix it”.
Or do we take a Trekkie “Prime Directive” approach and observe from low earth orbit?
At some point we, US lens, does have to own whether we are “standing with” Ukraine or actually go to support them in kicking Russias butts out of Ukraine.
Obviously Americans have no interest in supporting genocide be it gas chambers Nazi style or starvation/executions Communist style.
And from a compassion perspective, sometimes the most compassionate approach to all involved is to make it clear you’ll hold them accountable if they get out of line.
Likely lost on many, but Trump identified 200 Wagner Group Mercenaries (private Russian special forces) in Syria committing attrocities and turned them into fertilizer. Sent a very clear message.
It’s really sad for Ukraine and likely Russian people as well. Intended or not, I don’t consider what the US has been doing as “compassionate”.
So here we are donating to refugee centers and changing our FB avatars to Ukrainian flags, watching a 19th century warlord destroy both Ukraine and Russia.
I’ll ignore your subtle daggers and say yes, it was a much more sincere effort to have good faith dialogue instead of the sort of bad faith debate that has become so common in spaces like these.
If I was to try to rephrase Ray’s comment in a way that could maybe generate more post-ideological agreement between us, I might say something like “we have a moral imperative to protect and strengthen democracy, both in our own country and elsewhere, from the forces that would seek to undermine it.”
And then, once we had some degree of common agreement, we could build on that discourse to include all of the unique threats that each of us perceive, whether that is voter fraud, a Presidential administration looking to subvert state election results, free speech infringements, etc. And then once we got it all on the table we could even take the next step, enfoldment, as we step out of our own political biases and have a sober conversation about which of these threats are more or lesser serious than others, bringing evidence and healthy proportionality to the discussion, and then how we might go about solving whatever challenges we ultimately identify. But we’ll never get close if we keep ourselves trapped in a perpetual series of “best of my argument vs. worst of your argument” debates. Which is why you see me trying to uplevel the discourse these days, at least as much as I know how to.