Vision Casting an Integral World

I’m currently reading The Emerging Church by Bruce Sanguin for one of my ministerial classes. Sanguin speaks lucidly about an Integral approach to church organization for the 21st century, and he got me thinking about how we, as the Integral community, are vision casting our idea of a world where Integralism has become the guiding worldview.

For those who may not be familiar with the term vision casting (in my experience, it’s most commonly used in spiritual communities), it is simply the casting of a vision for the larger community to consume. Vision casting is probably the most important step any leader can take to build their community and get buy-in for the worldview they want to realize.

Sanguin uses Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as well as Mahatma Gandhi as vision caster examples of how an Integral approach to fostering a tipping point in a community can be effective. The key approach they used was focusing on their vision, rather than the problems and folks who didn’t (and probably would never) “get” their vision. Simon Sinek’s comment in his TED Talk about disruptive adoption trends really hits this point home; he commented that had Dr. King said “I have a plan” instead of “I have a dream,” nobody would have listened to him. Gandhi similarly laid out his non-violent vision for an India free of British rule and helped to create that tipping point by focusing on what he believed that could look like.

That gets me wondering, what is our Integral vision, and how are we casting it for the larger society? What does our “end state” look like? Not in the abstract philosophical terminology, but how does an Integral world look in concrete, every day terms? I once had one of my ministerial mentors tell me “I love Spiral Dynamics, but nobody has ever been able to tell me how it’s useful in my ministry.” What makes the Integral vision better for the common person?

Moreover, what are our non-negotiables with the Integral mission? How do those tie in to the larger Integral vision? I think clearly laying these items out can help keep us from falling into the flatland / aperspectival madness, “What do those Integral folks really stand for, they think EVERYTHING is true!” trap.

I believe that if we can start to get really clear and accessible on our messaging, we can go a very long way toward the fabled tipping point. That’s what Dr. King and Gandhi did; they continued to focus on their vision of why their world was better, and kept repeating that message until they reached their own respective tipping points.

So, what would a realized Integral Vision mean for you in your day to day lives? What is good and appealing about that vision?



I think there is one Institution who has a very humane everyday life picture of what certain areas of human life could be like in the (near) future:



Hi David, thanks for posting this video, I appreciate you jumping into this discussion!

My general gut reaction is this video is predominantly Orange / Green and not necessarily Integral. There seems to be a trend of homogenization throughout, and the part about a purely secular society seems to avoid the spiritual components inherent in a truly Integral worldview. In parts it seems to want to move Integral without quite making it there. I’m also getting a bit of a materialist vibe from it from a cosmological point of view (ie, where is the desire for this society to explore the unknown rather than existing solely to solve problems?). I get the feeling that Jeremy Bentham would really like this society given how utilitarian it is… even the art has to serve a purpose, which I think would kill the heart of just about every artist I know, myself included! :slight_smile:

That doesn’t mean there aren’t aspects of that view that aren’t desirable, as a lot of things it says resonate.

That’s my gut reaction, anyway, without diving further into analyzing that video. Please take my words with a grain of salt! :slight_smile:

This also gets me wondering, where are all the Integral TED Talks? Integralism seems like it would be a perfect topic for a TED Talk.

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Hey Russ,

I have noticed that a recurring theme of your posts is something like: How can we make Integral more and more practical, and more available for everyone? I really appreciate this emphasis, and I’m sure as a minister, this is very important for your work.

One of my prime interests is in how to facilitate Integral conversations with people - sort of like your idea about circles of trust. I envision a world where people can even be “trained” in how to gently nudge people into a more holistic and integral direction, especially as it relates to political, social, and personal issues. Every conflict is an opportunity to inject 2nd tier insights for problem solving. I am planning on doing a podcast where I Interview people about personal and social issues, and gently try to question, probe, and explore with them alternate possibilities and perspectives. I try and do this with all of my relationships with everyone I know - and hope to inspire just a tiny bit of Integral thinking in their hearts and minds. Sometimes I think that more important than what we stand for is how we think and talk about issues, since we all probably have differing stances on everything.

Also great point with clearly delineating our non-negotiables, especially so that we don’t get too mixed up with Green (the EVERYTHING IS TRUE trap). I am especially interested in how much Green we should incorporate - how far, exactly, should we integrate political correctness, identity politics, etc… and how to draw the line so we don’t embark on a Green slippery slope. My poor girlfriend has been having a nightmare of a time at work, as the “Mean Green Meme” SJW’s have created a miasma of racial stress and tension and completely deviated from the mission of the non-profit. I’m trying to envisage an appropriate Integral response - though because she is white, she can’t say anything without being shut down and reprimanded as a racist. (She’s applying for another job as I’m typing this :stuck_out_tongue:)

And yes, Integral TED talks! How can we make this happen?!

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You caught me red handed! It’s true, one of the main thrusts of my particular ministerial path is de-jargoning a philosophy (Science of Mind and New Thought) that tends to be rather focused on jargon (we’re called Religious Scientists, after all, so it’s no surprise we’d fall down a taxonomical rabbit hole from time to time!). I think accessibility is one of the biggest issues we face in Tier 2, and when we can solve that problem, evolution toward Tier 2 thinking will become much easier. I speak regularly in my ministry and if I used all the jargon in our philosophy, I would lose all the new people within five minutes!

In Bruce Sanguin’s book, he talks about the cognitive dissonance experienced by the lower tiers when confronted with higher-tier thinking, so I absolutely agree that anything we can do to make it a “gentle” encounter is helpful (though, on the contrary, I wonder if gentle is the right way to approach Red, given it tends to respond only to power, but that’s probably another discussion). I do think some of that cognitive dissonance is helpful, given it can be the trigger to push someone to a higher stage of thinking, even if only for a moment. I’m quite eager to hear your podcast, I hope you’ll post a link here when it’s ready.

I wonder about how much Green is incorporated, too. Perhaps it’s a matter of looking at Green from the “what works and what doesn’t” point of view. Clearly, the “our way is the right and only way” part of Green doesn’t really work, nor does the aperspectival flatland, but the desires for Green to alleviate unnecessary suffering and pain and to fight for equity and equality are valuable, as are the ecological views. Maybe we look at it by asking the question, “What parts of Green help to foster human evolution, and what parts stifle it?”