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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sri Aurobindo hismelf first coined and defined "Integral" in a spiritual evolutionary context

My new essay - "Evolutionary allies - an Integral approach" - has just the other day been posted on Frank's Integral World website, and also given a mention on Integral Praxis. This essay (the title inspired by the AUM 2007 conference) represents a major policy shift for me, as I have already mentioned on Zaadz. My previous work in the Integral Movement as critic and, so to speak, Wilber rival, has, I would like to think, been helpful in furthering a number of goals, among which are:
  • (a) explaining that it was Sri Aurobindo hismelf who first coined and defined "Integral" in a spiritual evolutionary context
  • (b) reclaiming Sri Aurobindo's actual teachings from mainstream Integralist misinterpretations;
  • (c) illustrating the limitations of Wilber's purely mental-intellectual approach (lacking esotericism and gnosis) in explaining the "big questions";
  • (d) showing how the Integral Movement is much larger than just Wilberian ideas or the Integral Institute alone; and
  • (e) contributing to broader definitions of Integralism.

Now, having done all that, and also defined my own position, and hopefully not made too much of a fool of myself in doing so :-) I feel much more enthusiastic about emphasising similarities and working together in cooperation, in bringing about the new world; through dialogue and unity in diversity (and diversity in unity). Especially since I find myself identifying equally strongly with both the Integral Yoga community and the Larger Integral Movement.

Some people may wonder why I bothered to critique Wilber in the first place, since he is not an esoteric thinker. The answer is that as a popular new consciousness writer he plays an influential role in the current paradigm shift and process of global transformation, even if it is "only" on an exoteric level. Because exoteric and esoteric are equally necessary. And the future and currently emerging society or cicvilisation will honour both (as well as the "trans-esoteric" position of the Supramental transformation)
My interest now is in writing my books, in cooperation and friendly dialogue with others who share the same aim of making this a better world, respecting and honouring differences as well as commonalities, and presenting a new worldview inspired both by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's teachings and by esotericism and science in general.
By "esotericism and science" I mean that all esoteric and spiritual knowledge should conform to the empirical discoveries of science on the material level. So on the one hand, no facile New Age pop Quantum physics (you know, what the Bleep, all that stuff). And on the other, no freaking out about evolutionary science. It is no good rejecting Darwinian science because it offends one's religious or philosophical sensibilities! A true esoteric evolutionary integral worldview has to include all these things, both authentic science and authentic esotericism. And evolution, even material evolution, is a mighty spiritual truth, for those who have eyes to see it as such.

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