The Wilderness - podcast

I am in awe of this podcast. I first would encourage everyone to listen to it and then I would love to hear an integral view of it.

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So I binge listened to this the today and yesterday. Thank you for recommending it, it was awesome.

The presenter, Jon Favreau, openly shared how deeply connected he is to the Democrat party and I think it biased the podcast heavily.

For example he mentions for a very short moment that email hacks from the DNC caused the resignation of Debbie Schultz was “embarrassing”. This glosses over what the emails uncovered, that the DNC conspired to rig the primaries in Hillary’s favour over Bernie Sanders. This is, IMHO, a way bigger issue to discuss than what policies the Dem’s should be supporting the next election. If the DNC had been legit, Bernie may have been the candidate and he would have beat Trump.

The hosts focus on “it’s hard to be a big tent party” was well put and made a lot of sense. I really liked hearing some of the behind the scenes stories of the Obama administration and Hillary campaign but the host was way too close to both to be anything impartial. If anything I felt while listening to it that the podcast was designed to try and dupe lost Democrats back to the party. “Obama had to give the banks money, you don’t understand how hard it was”, “Hillary was told to look like a man and talk like a robot at the Primaries”. Good stories but not very critical.

I really enjoyed the history lesson of how the Democrats went from being the most racist party of America to the civil rights party. That boggled me for a long time and was very educational.

Overall I feel that Jon Favreau, the host, is a solid green meme pundit that didn’t learn the lessons from the past election. His focus on health care, immigration rights, work unions, globalization trade deals is very typical. What he didn’t talk about is transparency within the DNC or Washington, honesty and integrity of the DNC, reducing the power of lobbyists, or even how to put their own citizens first.

I think a sign of Integral attitudes shinning out of the DNC may include Bernie Sanders because he wants to protect gun owner rights. Which I interpret as a Red meme value. But I may be misunderstanding that.

Very good podcasts to listen to. I recommend it.

(Please note, all my comments are made as a Canadian who enjoys American Politics with popcorn for entertainment. My understanding and attitude may be off due to that).

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For me, one thing that is interesting to contemplate is “what is Integral?”. I think one interpretation is healthy integration of the stages that you are working with. So the term integral can look at “what is healthy orange, amber etc” and separate that from higher consciousness. Somehow when the system is healthy, altitude is less important.

When we discuss integral we focus a lot on the integral stage of consciousness. This, of course has it’s value but I think there is a tendency to see higher consciousness as the “magic bullet”, I know I can do that., This can lead to a type of fantasy about what the future will look like if we just get there.

One condition that feeds this fantasy is integral as a stage only exist in the UL. Because it is emerging and we don’t have a flush out culture, architecture, education system, etc, there are real limits to how we can actually understand what it is as a stage, therefore what it looks like as a system or culture. We project a lot onto it.

What I like about this podcast is I think it’s an honest effort for a healthy understanding of what’s going on in green. Is there shadow? Of course, there always is. I think pointing it out is really important. I would love to see the far left offer some self reflection too (they are a part of green). I don’t see that right now, I see them only wanting to point out shadow. The far left seems to be more taken in with the fantasy of what higher consciousness looks like, but I think that is a part of the process too…The fantasy is possibly what actually drives evolution.

Personally, I feel a bit of evolutionary fatigue, I would trade it in right now for a healthy system:)


I second this recommendation. I’m finding The Wilderness informative and inspiring. I listen to a lot of the other Crooked Media podcasts as well.

I take back some of my concluding statements about this podcast. I assumed that it was a ten part series and that I had heard them all. But after just listening to the 11th recently released episode I realize that the series is on going and therefore may cover some subjects in greater depth in the future. I certainly hope they discuss the DNC internal corruption in greater depth.

Michelle, in regards to your comments I agree and sort of hold reservation for doubt. I agree that we (most certainly I) can project onto systems my/our perceptions of integral. And therefore can be dismissive of anything that we don’t view as matching our ideal. Total 100%. And fantasy drives evolution, I can dig that.

Not sure what you mean by the far left here? I agree they are progressive in some senses lacking in maturity (growing up) in others but they still have the marks of being green by attacking their enemy the right. If they are attacking the “right” then they’re green and not integral. Just my two cents on that.

I would dream of a integral political movement that vehemently fights against the terms left and right wing, terms from the time leading up to the fucked up french revolution. I won’t go on a tangient of all my weird integral utopia political day dreams but think there should be a thread to do so.

I heard on Daily Evolover Steve McDonald was writing an integral political book. Any word on that coming out?

Development is a two step process.

  1. Transcend: Detach from the previous stage and start to view the world through a new lens of values, consciousness, morality, etc.

  2. Include: Reevaluate all the previous stages of values, consciousness, morality, etc.
    through this new lens. What is amber through a green lens (marriage equality), amber through a orange lens (non-profits, tax incentives), red through a green lens (rock-n-roll), red through a orange lens (corporate take overs of mom and pops) etc.

I hear people in this community calling “integral” the include stage of the developmental process. I think Jordan Peterson is a great example of this. I don’t hear him embodying the green altitude, he can see it because there is an active LR for him to respond to, but it seems like green though an amber/orange lens. This is different than a green stage. But still really important.

For me the DP has two rough groups. The first, which I am calling the far left I think is at the transcend stage of green (they actively detach from orange and fully embody the green altitude). The second is the center. I think this includes people who are both at the include stage (Obama) and people who are at orange stage but can clearly see green and people who are just less healthy at the include stage. My verdict is out on Hilary.

I think making this distinction is really important. The actual integral stage when it emerges in the UL is noted by one key feature. Depression. There is a dark night that seems to accompany this stage. Is it just a phenomenon of what happens when your consciousness exceeds your culture? In part, but I also think it is a product of what happens when you drop the fantasy. Beginning to embody the reality of the human condition is brutal. How will this manifest as a cultural condition? I am not sure it will be the sunshine and roses that everyone thinks. Because mass populations wont arrive at the same time, I doubt there will be anything catastrophic. Thank god for the spectrum! In fact, this is a real point of what integral will see. It’s not just tolerance for development, it’s deeply held appreciation.

Basically, I think there is some cart before the horse here. I think what we, as a world, are actually working on is healthy integration at green. Which is great. Making this distinction helps to better frame the conditions, which is after all what the integral community is really about. Getting a more accurate frame. I am not sure the real objective is to “get people to evolve”, but more so to help people with healthy integration of all levels.

Getting green healthy matters on two points. First, we need healthy green leadership. Second we need a healthy green expression for those at others stages to respond to. We have a beautiful Civil Rights Museum in my town. I asked my dad (amber/orange) if he wanted to go. His response was he didn’t need to because he lived through the riots. That is how he reacts to green. In part this is his choice to only see the unhealthy manifestation, but it also demonstrates the importance of health in the spiral. I think one reason the “right” is freaking over Obama was that is was so healthy. This is shattering their world view of green. They don’t know their enemy anymore. Hilary was a return to what they knew, but the genie is out of the bottle…There is a healthy green coming. The question is what does it look like???..I’m not convinced that it is Democratic Socialism, but open to this conversation.

PS Your Canadian views are very welcomed!

This is such a fun conversation! But we are both speaking in such generalities we should be forgiving for glossing over fine points to quickly. Which I may do in lumping people and summarizing them.

This statement about objectives is interesting. IMHO I view each stage on the first tier as trying to integrate their meme and fight the others. I don’t see any difference in that with the Green Meme as demonstrated by the Dem’s far left or center. As discussed in the Wilderness the objective of the Democratic Party to move closer to the center was for votes, not because they believed they needed to honour the developmental path of Republican/Conservative values. The Wilderness is constantly repeating that the Democrats need to have their own integrated values as opposed to chasing whatever the polls suggest they should say or believe. When they get into power they just pick poor fights such as Obama declaring the withdrawal from middle East only to return screwing up the Libya campaign, screwing up Syria, and becoming the Drone strike kill score champ.

Being an open minded Green meme’r doesn’t make you integral, I believe the defining characteristic of a integralist is that you see there is a developmental progression and want to honour and help that progression. Hence has Integralists our job is to help people evolve. I may be way out to lunch on that, I’m pretty young and quick to make conclusions, someone come school me if I am wrong.

Obama being healthy is an opinion which I don’t support. He was possibly more two faced than any previous President. The NSA/CIA collection of world and civilian date, expansion of Drone warfare being two of the easiest to point examples. I was a really big Obama fan, by his last year I was outright shocked, disappointed, and felt betrayed.

I would argue that Green can only be healthy for and according to Green. Every other level will be oppressed, beat down, jailed, sent to sensitivity training camps, or written off as being backwards.

I would like to add a thought I have had for the past two-three years about the Green Meme in America which is primarily regarding slavery in the world. Ken Wilber is fond of pointing out that it was when 10% of the world hit Green that slavery was abolished around the world by every modernized country.

But that’s not true. We banned Slavery where we had the legislative power to do so and created complex trade agreements with countries which still had slavery. Today there are more slaves than any other period in history. To learn more about this phenomena visit

We moved the slavery positions offshore.

For me as a integral thinker I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this. Should I stop buying clothes made in China because I am against slavery? Or should I buy clothes from China because I support the spiral and therefore support slavery lower down on the spiral?

Can we have higher levels without slavery? Maybe only by replacing human slaves with digital/robotic slaves. But there is an aweful lot of grunt work we need done at inhuman levels of compensation and the first world, Green meme is not preoccupied with the stats.

Be it MAGA hats or Black Live Matters shirts they are probably made by some level of slave work in a foreign country.

I don’t know what to think on this subject of world slavery. I struggle with it, I struggle integrating it but feel it is part of that dark humanity that I must integrate and therefore do so. But interested in others opinions on Integral sitting on top of progressive spiral which includes the largest slave population in human history.

Please school me if I am wrong on this.

I think it’s important to remember that Integral is more of a practice than a theory. At the Coke Museum there is a game where you try to guess the “Secret Formula” by turning dials of sweet, bitter and fizz. These molecules float around and tell you how close you get. I like to think of the spiral like this. Everyone gets to turn their dials of magenta, red, amber…so on. A lot of orange, a touch of amber, a good dose of red…What’s your formula? The question is, is there a “secret formula”, one that fits the whole world? For you Obama missed it completely, but his formula hit my taste buds just right. What does that mean? Am I sick? Are you sick? Do we just have different taste?

This is the challenge with Integral theory as a theory instead of a practice. Integral theory leaves people to hope for a secret formula. I am pretty sure there will only be disappointment there. But, as a practice what can you do about your slavery dilemma? Myself, I tune into my inner slaver. What part of me wants something for nothing. I own it. What part of me wants the best deal on something? I own it. Then I pay the struggling sometimes homeless guys who mow my lawn twice what it’s worth. What is in your power to do better. Start there. The world is vast the human condition is deep…and possibly not really meant to be fixed, but instead lived consciously.