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How do we view and approach our complex world if we are to fulfill our 21st century task of building a global civilization for the highest good of all?
A global age requires a comprehensive map that combines knowledge of both inner and outer realms of being, from the individual as well as the collective perspective. We need a compelling vision of a global civilization.
New methods, modes, approaches, ways of relating, leadership styles, organizational development and ways of thinking, intuition and trained minds to interpret complexity are essential as we transition from egocentric to ethnocentric and nationalistic loyalties to becoming true citizens of the world identified with and loyal to all living beings.
It is not only the world we are transforming but ourselves as well, so that we may have the capacity to fulfill what we are called to do at the beginning of this century.
Such a worldview must transcend but include the range of belief systems that have evolved throughout history and which are a still part of current cultures: from early mythic views to scientific materialism, to cultural relativism, and now to the integral worldview that embraces the entire developmental spectrum of humanity while seeing our global future as a whole.
It must include spiritual development through matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit. It must certainly account for the various institutional systems set up to organize different societies. Only through an integral view of the world can we discern the clashing core mindsets and the impasses that underlie the surface conflicts of our times which consequently obstruct the unfolding of our global future.
The beauty of an integral worldview is that it accepts every view as contextually appropriate but partial – temporarily suited for the conditions to which it corresponds while including and anticipating what comes next in our unfolding emergence. The argument is shifted from narrow, partial right/wrong choices to what appropriately serves the whole.
In short, we must look for the most comprehensive map of reality to guide our thinking for the future.
The Integral Worldview is both a developmental stage and a systemic approach to human change and transformation. It addresses the systemic challenge of what is appropriate for which people living where in which life conditions. It is a dynamic process of creative emergence formed and informed by a multiplicity of impulses and perspectives. And it is a framework that gives meaningful coherence to fragmented and partial ideas, creating a synthesis of the whole of human emergence throughout time. Natural designs are central to this belief system.
The Integral Worldview recognizes reality as evolving throughout time in four interdependent dimensions: inner personal emergence and development, measurable biological development, collective subjectivity (culture) and collective exterior systems (the social, political and economic structures, institutions and systems we create.)
In the Western scientific materialistic worldview until now, the inner dimension of reality which has to do with depth, value and quality has been primarily neglected and suppressed. This means that our technological advancements are mostly devoid of moral direction, and our failing institutions are not up to the task of containing the emerging new global consciousness.
We also recognize the shadow side of globalization – the growing gaps between rich and poor, expansion of crime on a global level, drug cartels and, of course, global terrorism. We regard these endemic problems as the result of people being stuck in developmental stages, unable to move on because their needs are not being met at the particular levels where they are, thereby creating toxic behavior on both individual and collective levels. We believe that conflict has more to do with diverse deep core values than surface manifestations such as race, ethnicity or religion.
A map of reality is not the territory. We look to how our values are formed, entrenched and perpetuated through media, religions, cultures and education. Several of our Advisory Board members are deeply engaged in these areas. Media expert Danny Schechter brings in various news sources from around the world to help us begin to be informed by a democratic and global perspective. Patricia Mische was one of the first to recognize the need for values based education. She co-founded Global Education Associates in the 1970s. Gayatri Naraine has been instrumental in fostering global values through books and workshops worldwide. Don Beck is the founder of Spiral Dynamics Integral, the leading edge worldview which we endorse and aspire towards.