The struggle between the Muslim and Western worlds is not only a clash of civilizations, but also a clash of development. I had a good conversation on this subject with Dr. Aftab Omer, a sociologist, psychologist and integralist who was raised in Pakistan, India and Turkey, and who has lived in the US for much of his life.

Aftab is president of Meridian University in Petaluma, California, and has written on topics including cultural leadership, transformational learning and the power of imagination.

Here’s some of what we talk about in this podcast…


4:13 The intrinsic developmental effect of living in multiple cultures and speaking multiple languages.

6:45 The unique histories and soul-spaces of Muslims in South Asia and the Middle East.

16:00 Accommodating the shamanic legacy that underlies traditional religions, and the need for spiritual anchors, initiation and embodiment.

21:00 The developmental adolescence of militant groups like ISIS who lack the consciousness required to lead and govern a complex state.

32:00 Colonization: the special problems of cultures that are conquered by more developmentally advanced cultures.

42:40 From Cairo to Mosul: what are the successes and failures of the new Obama Doctrine of restraint?

48:00 Integralists can help by demonstrating developmental compassion, personal humility and the ability to live in multiple worldspaces.

56:40 Integral sectarianism: how we can use the lessons of geopolitics to help solve the problems of the integral movement, and make the next stage of human development more healthy and vibrant.

…and the profound question for us, our inquiry, is what constitutes effective integral action in response to the intensity of this [Muslim] anguish? It’s not World War Two, its not the Holocaust, yet in the specific places where the fire is burning at the time the experience is as intense. So Aleppo isn’t any better than the Warsaw ghetto.   ~Dr. Aftab Omer