What's your biggest disagreement with Integral theory?


Am I correct in seeing that you argue for a different form of logic to explain awe, grace or even the creativity of imagination? Or are these to be accepted because there isn’t a different form of logic, but likely just a faith that they carry meaning and affect the mental play of energies? Can thermodynamics explain these mental forms/constructs/energies? And if not, what can be used to explain and understand this realm in a reproducable way? I see a frustration when one just uses the idea of “spirit” as the only explanation for the phenomenon in the “I” and “We” realm. Perhaps we have yet to develop the form of logic needed to predict and explain phenomenon in these realms?


Frank, have you seen this article/summary? https://www.iiste.org/PDFshare/APTA-PAGENO-332792-336925.pdf About 3/4 of this 4000pg+ article is formulas with 1/4 having some fascinating discussion. For example, pg 122ff: " A Transcendental Argument Seeks To Elucidate The Conditions Under Which Certain Acknowledged Practices And Forms Of Cognition Are Possible. Kant, For Example, Asked What Must Be The Case For Mathematical Judgments To Be Possible. How Is It Both That We Are Able To Extend Our Knowledge, As If By Magic, Through Mathematical Judgments And, More Significantly, That These Judgments Are Able To Provide Genuine Knowledge Of The World Despite The Fact That These Forms Of Reasoning Are Not Based On Experience? Part Of Kant’s Argument Consisted In Claiming That Mind Imposes The Forms Of Space And Time On The Data Of Experience. In Other Words, Space And Time Are Not Attributes Of Being Itself But Rather Of The Mind That Regards Being. Insofar, Kant Argues, As Mathematics Is Ultimately A Rumination On The Nature Of Space And Time Taken In Their Most Abstract Form And Insofar As The Mind Imposes Space And Time On The Manifold Of Sensation, It Thus Follows That A Priori Judgments About The Nature Of Spatio-Temporal Relations Are Possible That Anticipate The Structure Of Actual-Space Times Without Directly Experiencing These Space-Times. Why? Because Any Manifold Of Sensation Must Necessarily Be Structured By These Forms Imposed By Intuition Onticology– A Manifesto For Object-Oriented Ontology Part I Posted By Larval Subjects Under Object-Oriented Philosophy. ………. it is necessary to distinguish the being of objects from the manifestation of objects…"
Hope you’ll take a look at this. It is largely about consciousness.


I, too, will probably never attend the pricey Integral gatherings, but as long as I can afford to be a member of Integral life and to purchase books, I have access to almost everything the people who attend the events have.
I’m a retired adult education teacher, and I would like to be involved in creating an affordable, interactive workshop to introduce people to the Integral perspective. I envision a workshop that would include small and large group sharing, practice using Integral materials, and watching videos.


Amazing La Wanna! Thank you for this post, so helpful. Warms my heart.


Warm hearts are good :slightly_smiling_face: Thank you Mary.


Sorry but a PDF of 4.000 pages, most of which is formulas, and all words written in Title Cap?
I can’t take this seriously. It is a journal based in Pakistan, with impact factor 0.6 (in 0-10 range).


My own experience and criticism’s of Ken’s work have dramatically changed over time. My first judgement of one or two of his key points were of admiration that these particular theories were brilliant and the rest I believed was complete dog poo. Being that the core of integral appears to me to be one of epistemological/ ontological/ cultural/ social exchange injunctions, the more I have enacted the recommended injunctions the less criticisms I have. However, I do have my disagreements. I do see these disagreements more as sensory and points of exchange preferences, and less as fundamental disagreements on the perspectives taken. In a sense I even see a summation of tier 1 as constant conflict over simple preferences, people in affect killing each other because a person has preference for rocky road ice cream instead of mint chocolate chip!


Well your response causes me to ponder how people might have taken on Christopher Columbus’ findings and if some dismissed him for being Portuguese. Anyway, let’s continue the discussion. How do you take on this collection of scientists and their manifesto?
“The modern scientific worldview is predominantly predicated on assumptions that are closely associated with classical physics. Materialism—the idea that matter is the only reality—is one of these assumptions. A related assumption is reductionism, the notion that complex things can be understood by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things such as tiny material particles.” – Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science
more at http://www.opensciences.org/about/manifesto-for-a-post-materialist-science


Some initial observations regarding this initiative:

  • We don’t understand mind better by blowing it up to cosmic proportions (Mind).
  • Having a different, quantum view of matter doesn’t make it spiritual. In fact, the quantum world is nuts, with dozens of unstable particles flying around.
  • Jumping from a not yet well understood mind to a “post-materialist” worldview is a huge ontological investment.
  • “Post-materialism” doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t specified (soul world?, spirit world?)
  • i am sympathetic to the inclusion of subjectivity and consciousness but don’t want to open the door to psi, spirits, etc. Been there too long.
  • the role of the observer is grossly exaggerated in quantum studies, i mean things exist even if we don’t look at them (and don’t tell me it is God looking at them that makes them exist).


the role of the observer is grossly exaggerated in quantum studies, i mean things exist even if we don’t look at them (and don’t tell me it is God looking at them that makes them exist).

What if it’s something like a collective subconscious that’s keeping things in place?


Thanks so much for the link to this organization @pretiare !
I especially like and appreciate how they succinctly summarize scientific philosophy:

“6. Science is first and foremost a non-dogmatic, open-minded method of acquiring knowledge about nature through the observation, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. Its methodology is not synonymous with materialism and should not be committed to any particular beliefs, dogmas, or ideologies.”

And follows it with their explanation of what they mean by post-materialist science (via 15 + 16):
“16. Post-materialist science does not reject the empirical observations and great value of scientific achievements realized up until now. It seeks to expand the human capacity to better understand the wonders of nature, and in the process rediscover the importance of mind and spirit as being part of the core fabric of the universe. Post-materialism is inclusive of matter, which is seen as a basic constituent of the universe.”

To me, 16 sounds like a specific statement regarding the integral nature of the post-materialist paradigm.

Here is a research paper describing one of the more rigorous experiments investigating psychological activity’s effects on water crystal formation at a distance:

Here is a similar experiment which measured a variety of properties of the water samples:

I found both to be very intriguing.

Help with an evolving proposition

Your concern is my concern. Being an european (portuguese living in Belgium) I would say “it’s the american way”…It touches me to see you convey the same difficulty!


But do check out

Dunning, B. “The Water Woo of Masaru Emoto.” Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, 23 Sep 2014. Web. 8 Sep 2018. http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4433


Hello this is Ottó from Budapest Hungary.
Im following your posts and discussions and was wondering if you could guide me to the right direction where I could get some light on a question that bothers me for a long time. I dare to ask because you have touched upon the subject in your discussions.
I wonder how an objectively and independently existing physical reality would look like? How could we possible know? Aren’t we limited to an extremely narrow spectrum of perception from the environment around us? How can we know what is there that is necessarily outside of our spectrum of perception. Or, do we say that the Universe has expected a human mind to appear one day to finally perceive its vastness? Or, everything out there is suspended in a Superposition and each conscious being carves out a particular view what he or she will consider to be reality? I know from personal experience how mailable reality seems to be just by slightly modifying my state of consciousness. So how do I know what particular mental state renders the Right view on reality. I just can’t see at all how any subject in the Universe can even mention Reality to be Objective. Am I missing something vital here? Your guidance would be much appreciated


Hi Otto,

it may be true that we see only a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum in the range of visible light, but with the help of telescopes we see the whole spectrum, from radio waves to gamma waves. See for an overview : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum

Some idealistically included thinkers see objective reality as consciousness-dependent, but I am more of the realistic type. We send probes to the sun these days to measure its radiation. that’s “objective” enough to me.

Not sure if that answers your question of if the question was directed at me.


Hi Frank,

Thank you for taking your time to respond.

Yes you have made clear the realist’ position which make sense if we assume that evolution has peaked with us.

But if it has not, there maybe other fields and dimensions out there which we have no knowledge of. Perhaps what comes after us will have a slightly broader view.

Our instruments are only extensions of our senses. They are not capable of discovering dimensions that we can not perceive.

Is it possible that the belief of “what we don’t know doesn’t exist” is the proof of how limited we are?

Im neither idealist nor realist or anything else. I just see that reality to my dog is very different from what it is to me.

Perhaps evolution has some more juice in it to produce creatures with way more scope of perception who will laugh at our assumptions.

Trying to understand what makes us to believe that billions of years of evolutionary process has come to an end and all what left is some fine details to fill in.

I don’ mean to be sarcastic as I greatly value and admire human achievement. Hope to find some solid answers.

The question meant to be open for anyone who maybe interested to respond.

Thank you kindly.


Jeb, I feel that your critique is very important, and I thank you for taking the initiative to speak out about it. I don’t see anything negative, still less mean-spirited, about the way you point out this serious problem. However, I would add that it’s a very widespread flaw, and one which is far from being particular to Integral philosophy… when you talk about feeliing

sucked into a spiritual community which is constantly asking for money,

I would not only echo your feeling, but add that it reflects a problem that is rampant in many spiritual communities (perhaps even most) that I am interested in … and I daresay, communities whose teachings might interest many people in this forum. However, the quality and authenticity of the teaching, and of the offerings themselves, are not what is in question, at least not in the ones I’m thinking of … I find that even in some online spiritual communities with teachers for whom I have the deepest respect, and who are very generous people at heart, no matter how much, and how long I participate, the bottom line is that I’m ultimately always reduced to the role of customer, not a member of a community. However … I don’t believe that greed is the real problem here (though something almost as bad as greed can occur, especially when overgrowth happens, and big-time institutionalization sets in, so that certain staff have jobs they just want to keep, whether they’re necessary, or of any real service or not … so that there’s a rigid, and never-ending pressure to maintain a certain level of revenue ) … more likely, the real problem is lack of imagination, and fear of experimentation.
This much is for sure: we have a long way to go — especially in America — to find more skillful ways of forming online spiritual communities that even admit that this unconscious materialism exists, much less are doing something about it.



Funny conclusion: " The distant control condition resulted in slightly more beautiful crystals than the intentional condition when considering all trials." So better to leave these crystals alone.


Hi Jeb, you pose a good question and there is no offense taken. I don’t have the time or space to write the pages it might take to fully unpack the nature of economic life today and why spiritual commerce is (or isn’t) subject to those conditions, but I will hopefully set your mind at ease by giving you a few insider details about Integral Life in particular.

First, we’ve never really made money: what we sell goes to cover our costs, and not much else.

Second, we’ve made a conscious decision to support many competitors going into business to compete with us over the years in order to support the healthy diversification of the movement; we could only do this because we view what we do as a labor of love more than a business.

Third, we lose money every year on our membership offerings, and if we don’t sell products or events we will no longer be able to continue; we have run experiments where people get to choose what they pay or we appeal to their generosity to support us, and for the most part those have been unsuccessful. The bottom line is if our members want us to continue what we’re doing, we have to charge, we have to offer a selection of things that people can invest in, and even then it’s just sustainable. (By the way, FWIW, integral is a very niche community worldwide of just a few thousand people (maybe 10,000-20,000?): we’ve never seen the numbers of people that might make an all-free YouTube and Patreon model sustainable. This might be changing, but in our experience we’re not there yet.)

Finally, Ken and I are both volunteering our time right now, which is ludicrous given today’s grueling economic demands. This enterprise has personally cost me millions of dollars in diverted time and focus, which I’ve done because I want to see people served by these ideas. It’s actually idiotic if I think about it too closely, but fortunately I have an understanding wife, and I’ve also been well-served personally by having access to what we create.

I hope this helps.



Hi @Jeb_W_Carroll yes. I guess all organisations have their fees and charges and we all now have an expectation that stuff on the interweb should be free. Happy to pay to go to a live event but not for downloading content. Still there is lots of free content and books in the local library. Theres the movie coming out soon. Grief and somthing or other . one of Ken’s books. Blessings #infinitelove