The Integral Chat is a recurring feature on WYT in which I discuss culture and current events with Jeff Salzman, host of the Daily Evolver podcast (which you can find @ www.dailyevolver.com)
On his show, Jeff looks at the world from the perspective of Integral Theory…
Integral theory is a school of philosophy that seeks to integrate all of human wisdom into a new, emergent worldview that is able to accommodate the gifts of all previous worldviews, including those which have been historically at odds: science and religion, eastern and western, and pre-modern, modern and post-modern.
About Jeff Salzman
I am an integralist, an evolutionary, and a public commentator who, swimming against the current of prevailing culture, is heartened by the state and future of things. It seems to me self-evident that life is animated by the power of evolution, inside and out, and that we are riding a geyser of emergence toward a sacred world… and I will make that case or grow trying.
I’ve always liked Jeff’s optimistic, somewhat counterintuitive take on the world, and when I started What’s Your Theory, he was first on my guest list. We have a great time talking about just about anything, and I was thrilled when he agreed that we should keep it going and have regular chats about… anything.
Different perspectives, but a lot of the same conclusions:
I am a story teller by trade. I try to understand the world through a lens of universal myth, history, and applied imagination.To me, the stories a culture tells its children reveal more about its past, present, and future than the stories it tells its adults. I take comfort in the fact that people will continue to remember the names Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Santa Claus, Superman and Skywalker a lot longer than they will remember Bush, Clinton or Trump.
I am not an expert on Integral Theory, though I do understand it well enough to speak the language, and I find it to be an excellent tool for looking at the world. The ideas in Integral Theory range from simple to very complex, but I think I resonated with the basics pretty quickly because, if there is a philosophical through-line in my fiction about reincarnating heroes and villains, it’s centered on this idea: if evolution is how things work, then it is how ALL things work, not just biology. If all things are developing with forward momentum through time, then that must necessarily be true of psychology, culture and spirituality. And that would make us spirit creatures, climbing out of the mud, steadily working through stage after stage of development on our way to bigger and better things.
As the hermeticists say, “as above, so below.” To me, looking at existence as one long Fibonacci sequenced continuum of struggle and growth reveals the deeper secrets and offers a very graspable explanation of where we’ve been and where we may hope to go as a species. Or as a Universe for that matter.
Integral Theory is a deep dive, nuts and bolts explanation of that idea, and a great focussing lens for looking at the world, culture, pop-culture… pretty much anything.
And it comes with a handy chart. If any of what Jeff says in our conversations is confusing, this will likely sort it out. Take a good look… this is a very interesting chart…