Integral Consciousness on Lateral Conversations [Podcast]

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Dear friends,

I am pleased to let you know about another podcast appearance: this one with Tom Amarque of Lateral Conversations.

Tom’s audience is at least familiar with the “integral movement,” and has situated itself as a locus of discussion on culture, consciousness, politics, and integral thinking—I was glad to be on to discuss my book (STTW) with Tom, explore the differences between Gebser’s concepts and that of the contemporary integral philosopher, Ken Wilber’s, and how important it is that our models of emergence be expressed with more clarity in new “integral aperspectival” styles of thinking.

Two Glasses, a Metaphor

Bonnitta Roy’s previous interview with Tom is a great companion to this conversation. In my interview, I drew from Bonnitta’s metaphor about two “existential” orientations towards consciousness emergence: one, the structuralist, perceives emergence happening as discrete and “perspectivally” segmented stages that need to be distinguished in succession or discrete in kind, while the second orientation perceives said “stages” immersed in the fluidic dynamics of the whole and don’t get tripped up with statements about “discontinuous leaps.”

In the first, there are two distinct glasses of water on the table while in the second, the two glasses are already immersed in a tank of water. It’s a twist on the “glass half-full” metaphor. Yet, the new existential—integral—orientation is not so much the mythical “flux” of Oceanus (via Heraclitus) but the complex-dynamic realities of the intensified temporics.

If we’re trying to articulate new reality, do we need to keep using the styles of thinking that are still statically, and spatially, fixed? What happens if the models that claim to be articulating a new consciousness are still using styles of thinking and language that are no longer appropriate to describe the very subject that they address: emergence? How much does spatializing consciousness into layers and fixed striations really help you to become intimate with the so-called lower, past, or earlier “stages” of human emergence? What if you need to draw it out in yourself in order to understand it in another? (i.e. “I can perceive where this person is coming from because I can recognize it in myself”) Not just intimate, but integral. What if we started from integrality and the co-presence and co-efficacy of all the mutations of consciousness?

How do we talk about a new consciousness without clarifying just how much we’re still enacting the old?

Thanks for listening! Until the next conversation.