To prepare for the Integral Living Room gathering here in Boulder last week, Diane Hamilton, Terry Patten, and Jeff spent the last year talking with Ken Wilber about the idea of soul. What do the great spiritual traditions tell us about it, and is there a trans-rational conception of the soul that integralists can work with?

In this podcast, Jeff takes us on a brief tour of how this idea of the soul shows up at different stages of development, along with Ken’s own emerging ideas on the subject.

So is there any part of us that survives this life, any part of us as unique individuals that continues on? Ken offers an argument for the affirmative, and Jeff shows how experimenting with that idea illuminates his own developmental path.

A look at the soul of conservatism

In the second half of the show, Jeff responds to a question from a listener:

“When will you share the microphone with an integral conservative? These terms are not mutually exclusive! Conservative thinkers are not isolationists, or messianic, magical thinkers. Conservatism embodies great wisdom that should be integrated into this conversation.”

Jeff agrees, and so he spoke to Rich Tafel, integral thinker and founder of the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization working within the GOP since 1977 to advocate for gay rights. Rich dispels the myth that liberals are postmodern/integral and conservatives are traditional/modern. “My experience is that there are polarities in each of these levels of development,” he tells Jeff. So rather than being merely reactionary or obstructionist, conservatism can be thought of as the ever-evolving disposition that wants to preserve what’s good at each stage of development.

Conservatives and progressives are biased towards different quadrants (in the AQAL model) to explain and solve for social dysfunction—the interiors and exteriors, the individual and the collective. This causes a lot of conflict, not to mention sub-optimal public policy, but that seems to be the way nature moves us forward.  We integrate and synthesize the best that each side has to offer, and create something new, and better. Something more integral…

Due to a very busy schedule, there is no transcript this week.