Joop is a physician in Holland who’s been a Wilberite for twenty years. I met him at Integral European Conference 2014 in Budapest where he gave a talk in the Medicine and Health module — Health, Healing & Dying.
He has grown and fostered a vibrant community in Holland devoted to holistic health and integral mindfulness. They meet regularly on a farm to learn and practice together. “We’ve created a we-space that really feels 2nd tier,” he says, “not because all the people are integral all the time, but because of the group intentions. Everybody is honored in his own developmental place. People feel at home there, and there is a silence that never leaves.”
They regularly host integral teachers and some of our friends have visited there in recent years: Pam and John Dupuy, Martin Ucik, and just this month Leslie Flood Hershberger is hosting a workshop on the Enneagram.
Joop used to be a self-described modern doctor like most in his field, oriented to a psycho-mental approach. Over the years he has changed and turned toward other ways of knowing and healing. In addition to his conventional medical training he has educated himself about NLP, hypnotherapy, family constellation and integral theory. He is now developing what he calls a post-integral evolutionary shamanism.
With integral practice we bring forth the very best of the previous, first tier structures. Shamanism is one of the features of the very earliest stages of human evolution — archaic, indigenous, and tribal. As we move into integral functioning we can bring this magic back online.
To be intentionally, consciously, skillfully bringing this pre-modern, tribal technology into a post-postmodern world is essential in order to move to the integral structures of consciousness.~Jeff Salzman
Joop sees magic as the power of ritual. “Ritual talks to your soul. That’s very powerful,” he says. It’s sometimes what is needed to help a person let go of what isn’t serving him anymore and to take the next step forward.
Shamans are healers that live in the community as examples. They are able to walk through different states of being, to go beyond what is known and what is shown. The integral shaman will be deeply grounded in science, says Joop.
In addition to educating general practitioners in an integral theory approach, he is also involved in challenging the village he works in to be the healthiest it can be. This is inspired by Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones project, which uses the knowledge gained from studying the cultures of the most long-lived people on earth.
Conventional medicine trains doctors to know. In the podcast you’ll hear Joop tell Jeff that biggest shift in his practice came when he began to value not knowing. “When I think I know something it keeps me from really getting close to it. I tell the doctors I work with, ‘try to not know as long as you can, because as soon as you know you close the door.’”
When I can really be fully present with the other, and really be open, then there’s a kind of dance in which we are one, and in that oneness I might know better what the other one needs to take that next step. ~Joop de Vette