Sunday, February 27, 2011

Integral political economy

As a follow up to the progressive economics post consider Ray Harris' 2 essays, "Left, right or just plain wrong" and "Thoughts toward an integral political economy." In the first Harris is critical of the lack of challenge in the integral community toward the existing and unjust economic paradigm controlling much of the world's weath. Both essays were written in 2004, long before trademarked integral's support of this system in "conscious capitalism," so instead of a needed critique they've gone even farther in the wrong direction. Hence Harris' critique is more relevant than ever. The second essay is even better, as it focused on his positive vision. A vision much like we've seen in progressive economics, but informed with an integral perspective. For these views he was ostracized from trademarked integral and branded a mean green meme. I'd say he was more like a healthy turquoise that wasn't recognized through a capitalistic lens. The whole "mean green meme" meme is itself an unconscious pathological denial of all the implications Ray points out projected onto the messenger. Talk about the need for some serious shadow work.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Integral postmetaphysical enaction

It is with much ado that I change the name of my blog to “integral postmetaphysical enaction.” The term nonduality is too limited and too attached to certain metaphysical schools of philosophy and religion. Yes, I can recontextualize the term, make it mean whatever I want, but the weight of its historical association is more than my miniscule influence can overcome. On the other hand the term enaction is within the historical context of recent developments in cognitive science yet applicable to all methodologies across the spectrum. Plus it specifically denotes the kind of nonduality in which I'm interested through continuity, both within an individual and between an individual with others and the environment. In AQALese, the integrated and inseparable relations between the one and the many, the inside and the outside. And all within a postmetaphysical, developmental trajectory that dynamically enacts a worldspace, not discovers a universal, given world. It also demonstrates the relation of action and theory, for it is my hope to inspire action in those who read these theoretical ramblings.

Here is a good working definition of enaction from Enaction School 2010:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Progressive Economics

Yesterday Integral Options featured a story by Kalle Lassn called "Paradigm shift: the great machine of capitalism starts to heave." Lassn speaks of a movement afoot to challenge neo-classical models of economics. A new model is emerging that takes account of the usually hidden environmental costs in any economic formula. We must contextualize within the larger bioeconomy and go beyond typical reductionist views of merely material or monetary concerns. He points to the website for more info.

One of their introductory articles on the movement's pioneers features E.F. Schumacher, who, interestingly, is also seen as an integral predecessor to Wilber. However unlike Wilber Schumacher was interested in an alternative economic model. Here are a few excerpts:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Varieties of Religious Experience

I referenced this book in the horror & spirituality and creative madness threads, linking to a free e-copy. This is one of those pivotal and seminal tomes that in essence started the human potential and transpersonal psychology movements, ultimately leading to us here. I think it might behoove us to explore it, especially since it is free, and also quite deep and fascinating. Recall some of the insights it provided in the above threads. To kick off this thread, since we're exploring expressions of an integral postmetaphysical spirituality, let's see how James defines religion and divinity in Lecture II:

"Religion therefore, as I now ask you arbitrarily to take it, shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine. Since the relation may be either moral, physical, or ritual, it is evident that out of religion in the sense in which we take it, theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organizations may secondarily grow. In these lectures, however, as I have already said, the immediate personal experiences will amply fill our time, and we shall hardly consider theology or ecclesiasticism at all."

(Recall recently this article that points to exactly this focus in transpersonal psychology, and to the neglect of the social aspect.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Wisconsin matters

If you're keeping up with current events in the US you know there have been mass, public demonstrations in Wisconsin because the Republican governor and his Republican dominated legislature are trying to pass a bill that would neuter union bargaining power. (See this link, for example.) The Republican argument for this is that their pension plans are too generous and expensive and thus causing a budget shortfall. A New York Times article made clear that pension plans are broke not because of earned retirement payouts but because of government mismanagement of the funds. They made bad investments into the exact type of banking and insurance frauds on which Taibbi reports in this previous post. So the answer is to take away union bargaining for fair retirement benefits?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why isn't Wall Street in jail?

Building on the Alan Grayson thread, the brilliant Rolling Stone investigative reporter Matt Taibbi has done it again with an article by the above name. The US government is complicit in Wall Street's crimes. The worst financial crimes in the history of the world and not one prosecution. Well, Bernie Madoff was prosecuted but he had nothing to do with creating the crisis; he was just a bit player in doing what was created for him by the banks and government. Those banks “were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grayson questions IG of Fed Reserve

I highly recommend not only viewing but passing this video along to others. I also encourage you to contact your Reps and Senators, even the President, to bring these crimes to justice and change the government that enables them. It was this kind of work for the people that stirred a huge corporate campaign backed my millions of dollars to get Alan Grayson voted out of office in the last election.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update to F-35 story

Update on the F-35 legislation that began the "conservative lie" post. The US House voted yesterday against funding the program, with nearly half of the Republican freshman agreeing. They broke ranks with Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner, who supported the funding. Kudos to those Republicans who kept their campaign promises about cutting wasteful spending. Now let's see how they vote on cutting appropriate, humane, social spending. And if they go after much, much more in the military budget that should be cut.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Postmetaphysical teleological ethics

In distinction from the conservative values of the last post, Balder is exploring how a more postconventional ethics expresses in the thread "postmetaphysical teleological ethics" at the IPS forum. I here provide excerpts from that thread.


In one of my classes, we’ve been reviewing a number of different moral theorists, and I thought about introducing the work of one of them here: Alasdair MacIntyre.  I decided to post something about him based on our recent discussion of Sam Harris’ work, particularly in The Moral Landscape.  In that text, Harris argues that science can contribute meaningfully to the shaping of our moral values, especially if we define morality as that domain of thought and practice concerned with understanding and promoting human well-being or thriving.  As I will discuss below, I think MacIntyre’s work could likely serve as a philosophical complement to Harris' proposal.

MacIntyre is a British moral and political philosopher (and, more recently, theologian).  He converted to Catholicism back in the 1980s when he was wrestling with Thomist thought (initially attempting to discredit it), and consequently has been working to outline and clarify possible Aristotelian and Thomist contributions to modern moral philosophy.  He has worked largely “at the margins” of academia, as he puts it, and has held a number of positions at multiple universities, including serving as Professor of Darkness and Despair at the University of Notre Dame.  (What a cool title!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The conservative lie about deficit reduction

Deficit reduction has been the conservative calling cry in the last US election, that when they take power it will be addressed and remedied. So what exactly are they doing about it since they've taken office? What are their proposals?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lady Gaga

In the last post on creativity and madness I had a photo of Lady Gaga. I first became aware of her at local west coast swing dances. They play a number of her songs and women of all ages seem to go wild and sing along with her songs. They are great dance tunes but I'm starting to become aware of her as an international performance art phenomenon. She is so avant-garde and off-the-wall in her TV performances that I've become fascinated like millions of others around the globe. For example check out this video of her hit Bad Romance. It also doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous to look at it her skimpy outfits. And the artistic imagery and costumes!

According to Wikipedia, “The main idea behind the video is that of Gaga being kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her and sell her off to the Russian Mafia.” Lady Gaga said about the song: “What I'm really trying to say is I want the deepest, darkest, sickest parts of you that you are afraid to share with anyone because I love you that much.”

Recall her lyrics:

I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your love.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

Creativity and madness

We explored this theme in two recent threads, "Black Swan" and "horror and spirituality." Here's an article that explores the relationship between creativity and schizophrenia. A few excerpts:

"Brain scans reveal striking similarities in the thought pathways of highly creative people and those with schizophrenia. Both groups lack important receptors used to filter and direct thought. It could be this uninhibited processing that allows creative people to 'think outside the box,' say experts from Sweden's Karolinska Institute.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roundtable on quantum mind

Excerpt from this link:

The salon was held at the Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination....a roundtable about the quantum mind, the theory that quantum mechanical phenomena, such as quantum entanglement and superposition, may form the basis of an explanation of consciousness. The discussion was moderated by Deepak Chopra, MD.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Comments on Paradise Unbound

The article in the previous post reminds me of some of Mark Edwards'  criticisms. For example recall this from the Institute for Integral Studies thread:

"Particularly when applied to the area of spirituality the stage-based model suffers from serious shortcomings.... My view is that the archaic view of the teacher-guru and student-disciple has done its dash and can only be defended by those who are so immersed in stage-based development that they see no other meta-level possibilities for articulating growth (this is one of the many forms of altitude sickness that I wrote about in my last blog). I see development and learning relationships moving way beyond these limiting views of guru and student and engaging much more with the language of relationality, situational choice, shared play, communal learning, distributed intelligence, collective wisdom, reflexive learning, and action inquiry. The defense of the ancient models of student-teacher relationship, particularly where development is focused on the stage-based lens, seems to me to be a sign of regression rather than evolution."

I appreciate that Lahood also sees the relation of this type of spirituality to capitalism. For example:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Paradise Unbound

Subtltle: "relational spirituality and other heresies in new age transpersonalism" by G.A. Lahood.
I was made aware of this extended essay (short book) at the P2P foundation. Subsequently I found the entire essay at this link. The abstract follows:

"I write this paper with the aim of teasing out from the New Age religion and religious transpersonal psychology a more 'relational spirituality‘. New Age-transpersonalism leans toward a restrictive non-relational spirituality because of its historical affirmation of individualism and transcendence. Relational spirituality (which is central to the emerging participatory-paradigm) swims against strong and popular currents in New Age-transpersonal thinking, belief, and practice which tend to see spirituality as an individual, personal, 'inner‘ pursuit (often) into Eastern/Oriental non-dualism (e.g. Ramana Maharshi etc) as promulgated in popular quasi-Christian, Western, New Age thinking (e.g. A Course in Miracles or Eckhart Tolle, and in transpersonal psychology (e.g. Ken Wilber or Stanislav Grof), whatever the merits of Advaita Vedanta (and I assume there are merits) it is not 'relational spirituality‘ not in the way that I understand the practice.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

kelamuni's blog @ IPS

I'd like to highlight kelamuni's blog @ IPS, a recent development. I first interacted with him at the old Lightmind Ken Wilber forum, now defunct. One thread in particular I started there was "causal versus nondual nonduality" in which kela participated and added clarity to my inquiry. Part of that topic dealt with Wilber's conception of consciousness per se, an admitted Yogacara notion.* Kela discusses this in his IPS blog "Wilber and Adi Da's Nirvanasara." You can also see kela's prior blog at this link.

* Also see my prior post "what 'is' the differance," where I explore Derrida's notion of khora, which is similar to, yet different from, Wilber's consciousness per se.