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Integral New York

Integral New York

28 June 2013
by JuliaB


What is gender? Does an integral worldview offer an increased understanding of gender and sexual roles?
Does it help us to answer questions such as:

Is gender binary? A spectrum?

How tied to gender are our sexual roles?

Where do our ideas about gender come from?

Has integral theory added anything to our understanding of gender at all? If not, why not?
Join us July 15th at 7pm at One Spirit Learning Alliance (247 West 36th Street, New York, New York) as our very own Gilles Herrada gives us a preview of his upcoming Integral Theory Conference presentation on this topic.

From Gilles:
Why has integral failed to offer a compelling solution to the gender issue? I believe the problem resides in the fact that the integral worldview remains tethered to the symbolic/mythic framework of the Axial Age and its so-called perennial philosophies. Despite their great wisdom, Axial/perennial philosophies are the primary cause of our confusion regarding gender and sexual roles. And it is only when axial philosophies and their genderized vision of the Kosmos are put into a historical perspective that a truly integral approach to gender and sexual roles becomes possible.

Head on over to Meetup.com to RSVP and for details on this and future events: http://www.meetup.com/kenwilber-58/

21 June 2013
by Logan Beaux

Notes from the Global Integral Community: 21 June 2013

Happy Friday, everyone! Here’s what’s happening.

Sally Kempton, “The Protective Power of the Sacred Feminine”

I know I just mentioned Sally two weeks ago, but she’s on fire lately promoting her recent book, Awakening Shakti. This week she wrote a piece at Patheos on bringing the feminine power of the goddess Durga into your life. Check it:

As postmodern practitioners, we usually prefer to take a gentler attitude toward our own dark side. . . .

But there are moments when the only way to put our narcissism in its place is with a sword—the sword of wisdom wielded by a warrior who takes no prisoners. This is Durga’s role, whether she is operating in the outer world or the inner world.

Read the whole thing. There’s even a practice there to get you started.

Mindfulness in Silicon Valley

A fun article in Wired this week: Enlightenment Engineer.  It seems tech companies are getting serious about meditation and mindfulness. Of course,  there might be a decidedly Upper-Right Quadrant motivation to what we usually think of as an Upper-Left Quadrant practice. A telling quotation:

MANY OF THE PEOPLE who shaped the personal computer industry and the Internet were once members of the hippie counterculture. So an interest in Eastern faiths is all but hardwired into the modern tech world. . . .

But in today’s Silicon Valley, there’s little patience for what many are happy to dismiss as “hippie bullshit.” Meditation here isn’t an opportunity to reflect upon the impermanence of existence but a tool to better oneself and improve productivity.

I suspect it’s the ability to meditate and still call yourself an atheist that’s attractive in Silicon Valley. The next article I want to read is what interior side effects these results-based meditators are experiencing!

Pop Culture Recommendation

Because I find, generally speaking, that we as integral folks seem a little less in touch with popular culture than we could be (it’s a huge part of America’s Lower Left quadrant people–get on it!), I’ll be devoting a little space each week to help you stay up to speed.

It doesn’t need to be said, I’m sure. You’re all hunkering down for the season finale of Mad Men, which you’ve been watching all Spring, right? Good.

I hope you didn’t see Man of Steel. Superman is firmly enshrined in American culture, but I’m not sure that makes this movie worth it, even as a dose of cultural broccoli! And it’s hard to say if World War Z will be much better, though the buzz gives some hope. Heck, I’ll go so far as to say if you already know you’re the kind of person who would like a zombie movie starring Brad Pitt, go see it.

If you’re looking for something a little less humongous to see in the theater, the Bling Ring, directed by Sophia Coppola (Lost in Translation) could be just the thing.


7 June 2013
by Logan Beaux

Notes from the Global Integral Community: 7 June 2013

Here’s what’s happening.

Sally Kempton in Origin

I’ve been waiting for this one ever since I heard it announced. Sally Kempton was interviewed in Origin Magazine in support of her new book, Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga. I’ve always thought that if I were to seek a formal spiritual teacher it would be Sally Kempton. Whenever I hear or read her words, I’m brought to a present, centered place. So I was happy to see this interview finally online, and I’m excited for the new book.

Thich Nhat Hahn in New York

Is Thich Nhat Hahn part of the integral community? Well, I don’t have any reason to think we’re on his radar, and he was singled out as an example of the Myth of the Given in Integral Spirituality, after all. But who cares? He’s awesome, and he obviously has a lot wisdom to share. And as luck would have it he’ll be in town for two events in September, a calligraphy exhibit and a public talk on the 7th. More info here.

Video of Helen Palmer at Bay Area Integral

Is it just me, or does it seem like the Enneagram is the unofficial official typology of the integral crowd? I’ll confess to being more of a MBTI man myself, but I thought many of us might be interested in this video presentation Helen Palmer gave to our friends in the Bay Area. It’s $10 to view, and will be up for another week. From their site:

Helen’s presentation was full of deep insights into the nature of consciousness and how the structure of our egos can be both an obstacle to spiritual growth and the vehicle of transcendence. Her presentation deftly balanced the findings of her many years of study with experiential exercises that gave participants a deeper understanding and a deeper felt sense of their own consciousness states and stages.

Pop Culture Recommendation

Because I find, generally speaking, that we as integral folks seem a little less in touch with popular culture than we could be (it’s a huge part of America’s Lower Left quadrant people–get on it!), I’ll be devoting a little space each week to help you stay up to speed.

Yet another week without a strong movie recommendation, unless you just can’t keep yourself away from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the Internship. Hey, they were okay in Wedding Crashers back in 2005, right?  And like I always say, there’s value in watching what America’s watching. I’ll be watching it, begrudgingly, for my full time gig, for what that’s worth.

But what I really hope you’ll be watching this weekend is the season finale of Game of Thrones. Holy moly what an episode we had last Sunday! I’m sure you noticed the Internet practically breaking with grief and shock. This Sunday is the last episode of the season. Even though it can’t be as intense as last week’s, it’s definitely the weekend’s must-watch.

And, oh yeah, it’s National Donut Day today. You know what to do.

31 May 2013
by Barbara Larisch

Don Beck to present at the UN on Tuesday, June 4th

Good news all!

The NGO Committee on Spirituality Values and Global Concerns (NY) and Source of Synergy Foundation/Evolutionary Leaders Circle cordially invite you to attend their upcoming event at the UN in honor of World Environment Day.

One of the highlights for sure is Don Beck and Elza Maalouff’s 15 minute TED-style talk specifically designed to address the theme for the day:

The Great Transition: Humanity at the Tipping Point Evolutionary Responses to Global Challenges

This event is free and open to the public, but you must RSVP to the e-mail address on the attached flyer prior to Tuesday, June 2nd.

Event Details:
Date: Tuesday, June 4th
Time: 1-4pm
Address: 828 Second Ave @ 44th Street, 21st Floor, New York City
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

Event Description:

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently described the unprecedented changes facing the world today. “Throughout the ages, people have said that the world is in the midst of big change. But the level and degree of global change that we face today is far more profound than at any other period in my adult lifetime. I call this period the Great Transition”

The Secretary-General’s challenge to meet this Great Transition calls for change agents in every domain to step up to a new level of creative engagement – an evolutionary leap for the entire human species.

This program will present creative and effective evolutionary responses in social and human development, scientific inquiry and global citizen action by some of the world’s leading visionaries including:

His Excellency Mr. Usman Sarki, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Jean Paul Affana, Brian Kaufman, Ken Kitatani, Miro Polzer, and

Members of the Evolutionary Leaders circle

Don Beck, Duane Elgin, Mark Gerzon, Jean Houston, Bruce Lipton, Lynnaea Lumbard, Elza Maalouf, Ocean Robbins, Jeff Vander Clute, Katherine Woodward Thomas and Claire Zammit 

Please be sure to RSVP according to the instructions in the attached flyer and feel free to pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested!

The Great Transition June 4th Event Flyer

29 May 2013
by Logan Beaux

June 17, 2013 – Rites of Passage

Monday, June 17, 2013
7:00 PM

One Spirit Learning Alliance
247 West 36th Street
6th Floor
New York, NY (map)

Suggested Fee: $10.00/per person


What were your major rites of passage?

Are there major transitions in your life that you feel lacked, but should have been marked by such a ritual?

Traditionally, rites of passage are the ceremonials rituals surrounding the transition from one life stage into another. Birth, childhood to adolescence/adulthood, marriage, childbirth, adulthood to elderhood, secret society initiations, and death are some longstanding examples from indigenous communities. Anthropologist and historian Mircea Eliade explained that a rite of passage, no matter the life stage in question, opens the doors for the initiate to receive the spiritual teachings of his/her community. A rite of passage is an initiation into the cultural mythos, the spiritual wisdom of the collective.

The Western world is largely void of these ceremonial passages, a deficit that results in distinct pathologies. Psychologist Bill Plotkin refers to the Western psyche as “patho-adolescent,” meaning it possesses all of the psychological pathology of adolescence, without harnessing the evolutionary potential.

Mackenzie Amara is a student of psychology and passionate about the potential that the archetype of initiation holds for our collective evolution. In this evening’s discussion, we will explore the history and context of traditional rites of passage, what potential they hold for unlocking a collective awakening, and what modern developmental psychology has to offer us in paving this new road.

24 May 2013
by Logan Beaux

Notes from the Global Integral Community: 24 May 2013

Big week out there. Here’s what you should be aware of.

Guru and Pandit

The next installment of Ken Wilber’s and Andrew Cohen’s Guru & Pandit web series is tomorrow, May 25, at 2:00pm EDT. According to the intro blog post on Cohen’s site, the topic will be “exploring the complex and subtle relationship between the Enlightenment-based and psychology-based approaches to higher human development.”

Another sign of Ken’s returning health and capacity to engage the world? Exciting!

Salzman takes on David Brooks

The Daily Evolver’s Jeff Salzman responded this week to New York Times columnist David Brooks’s column, “What Our Words Tell Us.” Brooks brings up Google’s Ngram Viewer, which allows you to see the evolving frequency of words in books from the last couple centuries. He notes that words associated with individuality (e.g., “standout,” “unique,” “I come first”)  have been on the rise since the 1960’s, and he also mentions a study that found words traditionally associated with morality (e.g.,  “virtue,” “decency,” “conscience”) have been on the decline. Among other things, Brooks argues that social connections, including morality, have become less central to our lives.

Salzman’s piece, “Are boy scouts more more moral hippies?,” suggests an alternative, development-based explanation for the shift: that, as should be expected, language has been evolving to reflect a higher level of values and consciousness–from a traditional concept of morality to a more modern one.

Read them both. As conservative as Brooks is, I tend to enjoy much of his writing for his often quite thoughtful take on how culture plays an important role in politics and in our lives. And, of course, Salzman is one of the more prolific contributors we have to integral discourse. I’d love to hear what you think about these points of view.

Entheon Kickstarter Success

As I mentioned a few week ago, Alex Grey launched a Kickstarter campaign to help install the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in their new home. As of this week, great news–they’ve hit and exceeded their goal of $125,000! But. There’s more to be done. Alex says if they can hit $140,000, they’ll be the second highest funded art project on Kickstarter.

Pop Culture Recommendations

Because I find, generally speaking, that we as integral folks seem a little less in touch with popular culture than we could be (it’s a huge part of America’s Lower Left quadrant people–get on it!), I’ll be devoting a little space each week to help you stay up to speed.

Although Memorial Day weekend means summer blockbuster movie season is now firmly entrenched in our lives, this weekend’s movies aren’t the big draw. The real news is that the long awaited new season of Arrested Development drops on Netflix on Sunday. All fifteen episodes will be released at once. It’s exciting because, for one, Arrested Development was/is one of the smartest comedies of the past ten years, prematurely canceled but brought back to life after many years, and two, Netflix is really trying to pioneer a new way of distributing original TV content. (Is it the wave of the future? Maybe yes, maybe no–the jury’s still out for me, but I love to see a company swing for the fences.)

If you simply must see a movie, forego the big budget flicks Fast & Furious 6 and the Hangover Part III. (Yes, we want to embrace pop culture as a way of participating in America’s we-space, but there are limits!) The animated Epic probably won’t be bad. But the real gem this week will be Before Midnight, the third movie in Richard Linklater’s eighteen-year(!) trilogy that includes Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

Or, you know, you can always spend some of the long weekend outside. If you really want to.

22 May 2013
by Barbara Larisch

Two Upcoming Events in May & July 2013

Two highly respected teachers will be presenting in the very near future and I thought these events would be of interest to our integral community here in New York.

Waking Down in Mutuality

The Founder of the Waking Down in Mutuality work, Saniel Bonder, will be giving a sitting in NYC on July 18th.  This is a rare opportunity to experience Saniel Bonder’s teachings in person so please join us if you can!

Date: Thursday, July 18th
Time: 7:00PM to 9:30PM
Suggested Donation: $20

RSVP for this Meetup event here .

For more information, visit WhyWDMWorks.com and read about Ten Reasons Why Waking Down in Mutuality works so well for people who want a direct, rapid path to embodied Awakening.

The Further Reaches of Adult Development: Thoughts on the ‘Self-Transforming’ Mind

RSA Keynote Speaker: Robert Kegan, Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Robert Kegan has spent a lifetime studying the development of adult meaning-making or consciousness. His theory of an evolving succession of increasingly encompassing “mindsets” has influenced theory and practice in multiple disciplines on every continent. In a special talk at the RSA, he will address what he has learned about the highest stage in his model, the “self-transforming mind.”

Is it really possible to grow beyond the self-possession and psychological independence of the “self-authoring mind,” so often seen as the zenith of adult development?  Is this the province only of a select few human exemplars, or might such capacities be more widely present?  What difference does such capacity actually make? And how much does the world need it?

Date: Thursday, May 23rd
Time: 18:00 (BST) / 1:00PM (EDT)

Note: This event is being sponsored by the Royal Society of Arts ( RSA) in London, but you can listen to this event live online! Also, it should be possible to catch Kegan’s lecture at a later date by visiting the RSA’s audio archive.

P.S. Many thanks to Matthew Kalman from London Integral for helping to organize this event and for passing along the word!

18 May 2013
by Logan Beaux

Notes from the Global Integral Community: 17 May 2013

And away we go!

Reality Sandwich Kickstarter

Although not formally connected to what I think of, however imprecisely, as the Integral movement (or even informally to any significant degree as far as I know), Reality Sandwich and the Evolver Network have always struck me as a fellow community with big time second-tier aspirations. I’ve only attended one local Evolver Spore event, where I made a presentation on behalf of Conscious Capitalism, but I was impressed by the energy and ambition to push evolution I felt there.

Now it looks like they’re trying to expand their reach with a Kickstarter campaign designed to take their website to the next level. I know, I know, so many kickstarters theses days! If you’re not familiar with their whole program, check ’em out. See if they’ve got a drive you want to get on board with.

Stuart Davis

Like the salmon swimming upstream to spawn, Stuart Davis returned to his birthplace of Des Moines, Iowa and played songs for the local morning show. Watch it if it’s been a while since you’ve seen Stu play and heard his classic banter. And if it’s been a really long time, remember he’s got a TV show too. You can see some episodes by renting them from Amazon Instant Video.

Pop Culture Recommendations

Because I find, generally speaking, that we as integral folks seem a little less in touch with popular culture than we could be (it’s a huge part of America’s Lower Left quadrant people–get on it!), I’ll be devoting a little space each week to help you stay up to speed.

We’re getting into summer blockbuster season, so if you want to stay up with the culture it’s gonna be heavy on movies for a while. The big event this week is Star Trek Into Darkness, the latest in the comic-book-like reboot of the classic franchise. If it’s anything like 2009’s Star Trek, it should be an entertaining romp with a mix of both old-school Trek references and departures from canon. Director JJ Abrams’ prints will be all over this one again, which is great for a summer blockbuster, and so far so good for the Trek factor. This is the place where I admit to being a huge Trek fan, which means it’s always hard for me to predict how non-fans will like it. The reviews are mostly positive, for what that’s worth. I know I’ll be seeing it!

If you just can’t bring yourself to go so low brow as to see a summer blockbuster, this week’s indie movie pick is Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha. It’s a take on the age-old New York story of a dancer dreaming of hitting it big but starting to face the possibility she might not make it after all. Baumbach’s got a decent track record (GreenbergMargot at the Weddingthe Squid and the Whale), though I’ll admit I usually like-not-love his work. Reviews seem solid. You should enjoy it if you go.

17 May 2013
by Barbara Larisch

World Thinkers 2013 — And the Winners Are . . .

After more than 10,000 votes from over 100 countries, the results of Prospect Magazine’s world thinkers 2013 poll are in.  Unfortunately, Ken Wilber didn’t make the cut, but I came away feeling somewhat optimistic about the future! 

So what to make of the 65 winners who made the list and what can we possibly conclude?  According to one of the survey analysts, David Wolf, the absences are as revealing as the familiar names at the top. As he puts it, “The failure of environmental thinkers to win many votes may be a sign of the faltering energy of the green movement. Despite the presence of climate scientists lower down the list, the movement seems to lack successors to influential public intellectuals such as Rachel Carson and James Lovelock. Serious thinkers about the internet and technology are also conspicuous by their absence. The highest-placed representative of Silicon Valley is the entrepreneur Elon Musk, but beyond journalist-critics such as Evgeny Morozov and Nicholas Carr, technology still awaits its heavyweight public intellectuals.”

However, if we were to examine the list of the world’s most prominent thinkers using Wilber’s four quadrants, could we expect to see any interesting patterns emerge? I thought it was a worthwhile exercise so I gave it a shot.  Mainly I was curious to see which aspect of reality (ie. the interior/exterior of the individual/collective) had the most outstanding contributors and I wanted to know which areas were least represented.  

What struck me the most is the number of individuals who seem to straddle multiple quadrants and are most equipped to “connect the dots.”  Nate Silver, Steven Pinker, Paul Krugman and Daniel Kahneman stand out in particular here as does Jared Diamond. Unfortunately, women were woefully under-represented on the list for 2013, but I appreciated the cross-cultural scope of the survey and I hope that the contributors continue to serve as exemplars for our youth and help to deepen our understanding of the world we live in. 

Interior/Subjective of the Individual (UL)
Daniel Kahneman, psychologist
Jonathan Haidt, psychologist
Ai Weiwei, artist
Arundhati Roy, writer
Zadie Smith, novelist
Andrew Solomon, writer
Hilary Mantel, novelist
David Grossman, novelist
Asgar Farhadi, filmmaker
Roberto Unger, philosopher
Fernando Savater, philosopher
Martha Nussbaum, philosopher
Michael Sandel, philosopher
Slavoj Žižek, philosopher


Exterior/Objective of the Individual (UR)
Peter Higgs,
Jared Diamond, biologist
Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author
Craig Venter, biologist
Shinya Yamanaka, biologist
Steven Weinberg, physicist


Interior/Subjective of the Collective (LL)
Richard Dawkins – evolutionary biologist

Steven Pinker, evolutionary psychology

George Soros, philanthropist
Nate Silver, statistician
Hans Rosling, statistician
Ramachandra Guha, historian
Niall Ferguson, historian
Anne Applebaum, journalist
Katherine Boo, journalist
Chen Guangcheng, activist
Alexei Navalny, activist
Mohamed ElBaradei – Political Activist

Amartya Sen – Activist/Public Intellectual
Theda Skocpol, sociologist
Ivan Krastev, political scientist
Jessica Tuchman Mathews, political scientist
Wang Hui, political scientist
Anne-Marie Slaughter, political scientist
Moisés Naím, political scientist
Francis Fukuyama, political scientist
James Robinson and Daron Acemoglu, political scientist and economist
Robert Silvers, editor
Ashraf Ghani, Finance Minister, policy expert
Exterior/Objective of the Collective (LR)
Paul Krugman
Mario Draghi, economist
Hernando de Soto, economist
Raghuram Rajan, economist
Christine Lagarde, economist
Esther Duflo, economist
Carmen Reinhart, economist
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, economist
Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, economists
Jean Pisani-Ferry, economist
Robert Shiller, economist
Nicholas Stern, economist
Ha-Joon Chang, economist
Elon Musk, businessman
Eric Schmidt, businessman
Sheryl Sandberg, businesswoman
Jeremy Grantham, investment strategist
Paul Collier, development economist
Sebastian Thrun, computer scientist
James Hansen, climate scientist
Margaret Chan, health policy expert


10 May 2013
by Logan Beaux

Notes from the Global Integral Community: 10 May 2013

Honestly, a bit less seems to be going on this week. But there’s still plenty!

John Mackey and Marc Gafni

How did I only just find out about this? John Mackey and Marc Gafni (both controversial, but both of whom have recorded conversations with Ken Wilber) are releasing, week by week, a conversation revolving around each of their two respective books, Conscious Capitalism and Your Unique Self. Honestly, in my opinion this week’s clip on obligation falls a bit flat compared to some of the others. The two don’t quite agree on the subject and the integration feels forced. But some of the others are much better, like this one on conscious capitalism (personal shout out to John, my brotha in conscious libertarianism!) and this one on Unique Self specifically. Props to both for making an unexpectedly close and significant connection between the two concepts.

‘Tis the Season for Spirituality Workshops/Retreats/What-Have-You

Maybe it seems like the buzz is quieter this week because everyone’s getting ready to teach or attend an integral workshop. Check out these offerings in coming weeks:


Pop Culture Recommendations

Because I find, generally speaking, that we as integral folks seem a little less in touch with popular culture than we could be (it’s a huge part of America’s Lower Left quadrant people–get on it!), I’ll be devoting a little space each week to help you stay up to speed.

Go see the Great Gatsby, opening this weekend. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is quite possibly the work of literature read by more Americans than any other due to its central place in high school English classes. That alone should make this flick worth seeing. I’ll be honest with you. The reviews are generally mediocre–mixed at best. But the cast is good, and director Baz Luhrmann is usually capable of visually appealing work (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet). So it shouldn’t be a total snooze-fest. Ultimately, though, I won’t promise you it’s an Oscar contender. But remember, I’m trying to get us in touch with the culture, here. And this will do that.

Extra credit: Family Tree, a new series on HBO by Christopher Guest, starts this Sunday. It’s about an Irish-British man, played by Chris O’Dowd, who discovers an interest in genealogy. The premises of Guest’s work are usually beside the point (you know, This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and all that), so who knows how that’ll play out. But reviews are promising. If you like Guest, O’Dowd, or stuff on HBO, it should be worth watching.