Where is your Fierce Compassion?



Green Tier Higher education and Intellectuals emphasize compassion of the passive variety. They often conflate nonviolent action with pacifism, and pacifism with passivism. Somehow the Green intellectual believes that fierceness is lower tier, while inactivity except using polysyllabic written words to describe are higher.
In religion and spirituality, many people believe that being fierce activity is less spiritual than turning the other cheek, and that turning the other cheek is always the more spiritual path. People want to achieve Nirvana, yet fail to see that is an Egoistic and selfish desire, to achieve the greatest achievement and leave the rest of humanity in the muck. Contrast this to the the Bodhisattva, whose goal is to raise the rest of humanity up while postponing their path.

My work here the past year or so has been to practice alternatives to passivism. Certain actors have been the ones I’ve interacted with, but all the while I’ve been observing the rest of the community. I’ve been curious about your fucking passivism, lol.

This, I believe is the missing link that prevents Integral Theory and Integral Practice from being anything other than just another descriptive model that is impotent in addressing the crisis facing the planet and our species. I judge it to be baggage from Green hindering collective passage to 2nd Tier.

I may be wrong




Integral altitudes transcend our ancient biological drives, desires, passions.

Sex, Ecology and Spirituality was in essence the “Old Testament” description which has been transformed, transcended by the meta noosphere of KW 2.0.

Biggest impediment to Integral Development are the billions of humans that embrace their lower altitude desires, drives, passions.

Idea is that a world devoid of fierceness (passion) will be unencumbered from the 100Ms of year of biological domain creatures, subsequent inter relationships and hierarchies. This biological basis is, in theory, defined solely by power/domination in every interaction.

Integral creates a new noosphere, created free from these biological trappings.


Just a note to say that not only is this an impediment to “integral development”, but these are exactly the developmental and historical inertias that have run counter to every major post-traditional stage of development, including the modern Orange humanitarian stage, and things like Civil Rights that have emerged out of pluralistic Green. At every step, we’ve needed to take people kicking and screaming into the next stage of social and cultural development (at least in terms of the behaviors that we expect at those stages).


@raybennett Who you talking to, or about, Ray? There’s only been a handful of us here the last few weeks or months. I do appreciate the topic in that I spent a large part of the afternoon working with someone to help him integrate his own fierceness and compassion. Isn’t that synchronistic? And, proof perfect that some of this kind of work goes on off-site…

Fierceness has a number of definitions: intense or ferocious aggressiveness (“the tiger is a fierce predator”); powerful and destructive (“fierce storms lashed the country”); showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity (“he kissed her with a fierce demanding passion”); fashionable and attractive in a bold or striking way (“the actress looked as fierce as ever”). Are you wanting more of us to be tigers, storms, passionate kissers, or fashion-forward actors? Just joking, lol; I do get your gist.

Bear with me as I again use a little yogic information to address some of your comments. In yoga philosophy, people are said to be born with a natural proclivity towards one of three “gunas” or ‘states of nature’: tamas (inertia, heaviness), rajas (action-oriented, passion/desire), and sattva (harmonious, “light”). While (again in yoga philosophy) people can transform their state through intentional practices, these are natural states, inherent tendencies/ways of being that people are born with and most continue with throughout life. So following this train of thought, not everyone has a proclivity towards fierceness or any kind of activism, and I think we have to allow for that.

Secondly, while I appreciate what the articles you linked to and the video are pointing out, and I do get the gist of your post, and therefore may be sidetracking here a little bit, but since I haven’t posted in a while, I’m going to indulge myself to say it’s a bit of pet peeve of mine that fierceness is the primary trait usually referenced in regard to warriors. There are many others that are important: strategizing, perseverance, self-control, discipline, humility, use of a strong and skillful and good will, forbearance, equanimity, adaptiveness, sobriety, acute senses, listening and communication skills, trustworthiness, able to be solitary as well as a team member, a certain amount of detachment or emptiness even, a desire to protect and serve, etc. The old tradition in many American Indian tribes is that the greatest warriors became Chiefs, leaders of the people, whether or not they continued in battles. And their becoming Chiefs was due to more than their fierceness.

And speaking of communication skills and in alignment with the references to Buddhism, I believe the Buddha spoke of four criteria for determining what is “right speech”–is it true? is it correct (appropriate manner)? is it beneficial? is it timely? Not bad criteria.

I would also say, continuing along the Buddhism line and hopefully contributing something useful to your post, that both of those articles you linked to, while having some great points, could have benefitted by mentioning the Buddhist fierceness in Myanmar responsible for the deaths of many Rohingya and making refugees out of countless others. Granted, I doubt many of these Buddhists were/are bodhisattvas, but still, an example of Buddhism in its full amber-mythic glory. Like Hinduism in its amber-mythic glory also oppressing Muslims in India in its nationalism fervor. As the Dalai Lama says, there are two kinds of anger–one that is born of compassion and desire to protect others or serve justice, and another kind that is motivated by an inner hatred towards another, which often leads to destruction.

Finally, just a few words about the “impotence” of Integralism in addressing the planetary and species crises. Just think back to when you first started participating here at ILC, or when you first became aware of IT. Have you learned anything? Has what you learned helped you or made you more helpful to others? I’ve never thought of Integral as a “saving grace”–well, that’s not entirely true, I did years ago. But I’ve grown up a bit, and now see it as a rather organic step in humanity’s evolution. Whether it ever reaches a ‘tipping point’ and emerges as a full-blown stage of development fully “populated” and widely recognized, well, I don’t know. But I don’t see Integral has having to or needing to carry either the burden or the bliss of achieving world transformation. For those who have ears and eyes…something like that…it will, I think, be a gateway to a kind of clarity that I for one haven’t found anywhere else.

Thanks for your post! I appreciate your honesty and sharing, even as I sit here wondering a little bit–is he talking about me?!? It’s a great teaching, the integration of fierceness and compassion.


To? I think … to myself, lol. Although I think I did have in mind a particular discussion about a month ago that I can’t find.

About? I think that’s more broad - far far broader than just people in here. I think I figured it out in responding to your next paragraph.

I understand you are joking, but I think we do need more of all of those right now. Yes, bring your fierceness to bear in all it’s aspects. Of course, only if it’s in your nature to do so and you are currently holding back. Yes, I think that is who I am talking about - people who are fierce and whose nature is action, but for some reason they think it is somehow “spiritually” “higher” or more “conscious” or whatever to not be a fierce fashionist - or even a fierce kisser, lol.
I think I perceive that (using your Yogic terms) most people I know interested in this sort of thing believe sattva is “higher” than rajas. Thinking about it in these terms, I’m curious if the cycles of the planet make one course or another more futile during certain periods, and are we in or approaching such a period?

I think the current period we are in, there is no lack of other primary traits, and there is no lacking of unhealthy and damaging fierceness. What I see is a great lacking of compassionate fierceness species wide, and a reluctance of the “spiritual vanguard” to even recognize it as a thing that exists. It’s surprisingly hard to find anyone talking about it. I can only guess at motives, one of which might be fear that they will be seen as encouraging conflict.

I’m not one who holds any individual or group as inviolate. Gautema was a great man, and he also recognized that he taught a specific path, the progress of which is so subtle it’s measured across many lifetimes. I see Buddhists who violate Gautema’s basic teachings as not actually Buddhists. Yes, it is a scary idea that the key difference is the person’s inner state, which observers cannot know for sure. Are they showing anger because they are out of control or are they showing anger but internally compassionate? I think I judge the first case in Myanmar - and of course my opinion is based on nothing but my own prejudices in this case, lol.

I personally see Integral Theory and ILC as kind of like cartographers - describing the terrain - which is very useful. Maps are very important tools. Also in those charts I’d be curious to see where Fierce Compassion is placed. Is it under a sign that says “Here be Dragons”, or along a major pathway. How it is shown on a map will influence how or if people navigate that terrain.

I didn’t have you specifically in mind, no. Only you can say if I was accidentally talking about you.

I judge that I am very “tamas”, using the yoga terms you described. You may just be seeing me gaining momentum in a particular direction and writing this was part of that.


There’s two parts of this.
The first part is that you can’t be free from your biology, and attempts to “fake it until you make it” are doomed to fail horribly. Also with regards to @corey-devos point, attempting to force people to deny their basic biology ends very messily and very badly.

The other part is that it is entirely possible to redirect and repurpose biological urges. For example the sexual desires of prehistoric man to reproduce was redirected by bronze age civilization into marriage, the bath house and “Sex Temples”. In the Christian era it was channeled into marriage, prostitution and closeted homosexuality. The biological basis does not disappear - it has to be accounted for and channeled into something.
People want power, and when this is frustrated within themselves they seek to dominate others. You cannot eliminate the desire for personal power, and the answer to stopping people from wanting to dominate others is to build their own internal personal power within themselves.
And so on with all the other biological urges.


While you’ve used Integral vernacular to describe a small number of humanity’s developments, these are all definitely pre-Integral Theory.

What examples of “take people kicking and screaming into the next stage” have Integralists or Integral Theory contributed to?
Who exactly are the “we” to which you refer?


Wise examples of sexuality throughout the ages.

Agree. To rephrase, strong healthy individuals are more likely to manifest healthy societies (less dominance games…).
You might know Frank Furedi (Hungarian). He might interest you. “He is well known for his work on sociology of fear, education, therapy culture, paranoid parenting and sociology of knowledge.” He would call this Personal Agency with a no non-sense, no shortcut development through accomplishments, skill, vocation/expertise.

And to the discussion on the term “Fierce” - I simply equate it to “passionate”. Passionate warrior, passionate caregiver, passionate worker, passionate mother. Physiologically we might want to remember that passion fuels sustained effort, resilience, persistence. Most people view these as highly positive traits, without which it’s a very dull, boring, and likely unfulfilling world.
If we take this one step further, is it possible for a human being to have a “meaningful” like without passion, without the ability to be fierce?


I’m not sure that matters. Integral is just one among many stages of vertical transformation that people and cultures grow through, my point is simply that every one of these stages has needed to find its own way to transcend and include the “lower angels” of their early-stage drives. The integral stage, in many ways, is no different.

Well, maybe it’s a little different. Previous stage transformations were for the most part “pushing off” of the previous stage (Green emerged by pushing off of the excesses and blindspots of Orange, for example). This is the dialectic of growth — each new stage creates new problems that can only be solved from the following stage.

But the Integral stage isn’t just “pushing off” of Green, it is pushing off of the entire 1st-tier spiral of development. That is, the life conditions that allow Teal and Turquoise to emerge don’t come from any one stage alone, but rather from the full-on flare up of every preceding stage. The prediction has always been that postmodern Green would eventually create a space where, despite their virtuous pursuit of “harmony”, all depth would become flattened in the name of relativism and egalitarianism, allowing Nazis and Bodhisattvas to co-exist in the same stream and be given the same “weight” (that is, none at all) within a frictionless postmodern milieu.

I think those predictions have come to pass, and we now live the majority of our lives on these frictionless platforms. And that is causing people not to transform, but to regress and to re-consolidate at whatever stage feels the most stable for them. Integral is simultaneously trying to be a pied piper that can lead people out of this mess and toward a more comprehensive sanity, giving them a more robust experiential and epistemological framework they can use to make better sense of these exceptionally complex realities, while also suggesting stage-specific interventions that can help close the widening gaps between stages that so many people are falling into. Which is why we often use the analogy of a conveyor belt — it’s not about taking all people to the integral stage, but rather helping people become healthy wherever they are at, so they can move into whatever the next stage is for them as smoothly and easily as possible. Another frequently used metaphor is “the pig in the python” — that is, the overall bell curve of human development is always inching toward deeper stages as the pig slowly makes its way through the python.

Humanity. The Royal We :slight_smile:

What examples of “take people kicking and screaming into the next stage” have Integralists or Integral Theory contributed to?

** Gestures broadly at all of our past discussions **


A more (half) serious answer: we’ve been here for just about 20 years now, and there has been plenty of kicking and screaming in that time. Sometimes my own. That’s what happens when individuals and groups take something like “shadow work” as an essential value.

You could even look at any of our JITP articles, each of which is taking its own discipline “kicking and screaming” toward a deeper and wider integration. Which is what happens whenever a person realizes that they, or their particular field of interest, is not quite as holistic and all-inclusive as they thought it was, and is instead a small (but important) piece in a larger epistemic puzzle.


I think so, yes - and I think it would be beneficial to the species if more people were supported in living such lives. Right now either you have to be independently wealthy or be supported by some kind of religious organization. Monks come to mind.

On passionate vs fierce - I think I’ll take one of the examples you listed and say I prefer to distinguish a a fierce mother vs a passionate mother, for example - but without saying one is better or preferable in all circumstances. Sometimes mothers need to be passionate, sometimes at peace and accepting, and sometimes fierce.


@raybennett Yes, I too know people…


Lol That’s hilarious. Yes, most definitely that’s where my “disposition” is if I don’t take active steps to change it to the other two. Maybe think back to our prior conversations.

And yes, I agree it’s a good idea not to get “stuck”, and remember that it’s all temporary, both with the self and with the planet - and also remember that with enough practice we can pick and choose practices to facilitate one or the other or the other. If I do certain techniques, I can live in peace, purity and bliss. Other practices light the fire. And also, I think that if you go deep enough into one, it blurs into the others anyway. I don’t think that’s canon, though. Just my own observation of people crying in states of bliss and things like that. I wonder if there are no “Bohirajas” or “Bodhitamas” simply because Gautema chose to teach one specific path, and it became the overwhelmingly popular vehicle - or if it actually is the only path.

I don’t think I was accidentally talking about you, though. You don’t strike me as a bypasser or a sidestepper. I would not want to get in the habit of making that determination of people, though, lol.



[quote=“raybennett, post:12, topic:26091”]
I think that if you go deep enough into one, it blurs into the others anyway.

I think too of people who have reported that when intoxicated with alcohol or certain drugs, in a “tamas” state we might say, have touched something very “god like” in the depths of their unconscious. I also think of stages of development, where the boundaries between stages are not ‘hard,’ but somewhat soft/blurry, bleeding into one another.

I’ve sometimes thought of the gunas en total as a Whole, with a process of hierarchical enfoldment/unfolding happening within that Whole. I’m reading another book on trees (The Wild Trees, about redwoods and the first people who identified and climbed (and fell to their deaths) and researched and slept in the canopies of the tallest redwoods known to date), so…

Tamas, for instance, could be thought of as the seeds of a bodhi tree, lying apparently inert underground in dark heavy soil. The seeds begin to open, which is a process of destruction of the seed’s original form. Then a sprout rises above ground, and rajas takes over; with the sprout-of-a-tree actively and energetically growing and developing, battling insects and ill-winds while adding height, width, depth, and branching out in fullness, fruiting, its ‘passion and desire’ for light and air and water in evidence. Sattva is the full-grown bodhi tree, just “being.” (Sat and sattva in Sanskrit also mean Being, Existence.) Full of goodness (fruit, medicinal qualities, shade-offerings), peaceful, serene.

There. I think I’ve nearly beaten this subject of the gunas to death!

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