In this episode, I point out a heartening trend among cultural commentators: an increasing recognition that people, particularly people fighting a culture war, not only think different things, they think differently.
A key teaching of integral theory is that human consciousness and culture evolve through stages of development. Each stage has its own receptors, processors and algorithms, and each reveals a different “worldspace” which their subjects occupy.
When conflicts arise among people of different worldspaces, there is limited common ground and deep divisions remain that are immune to influence. Philosopher Robert Fogelin refers to this divide as “deep disagreement” where successful argument is not an option. What is called for is integral consciousness, a worldspace occupied by someone who is capable of holding multiple perspectives, a person that Peter Limberg and Conor Barnes describe as a “pan-tribalist participant, who has the ability to communicate across tribes in a way that seems fair and reasonable to each tribe. They would have the mental agility, empathy, and wisdom needed to shift between a multitude of perspectives.”
In this podcast, I place the notion of “integral pluralism” in a developmental context, which I think helps us understand it not just as a psychological capacity but as a movement of human history. I also highlight how it helped me consider the high-profile public apologies offered this week by two of my least-favorite people: Marjorie Taylor Greene and Chrissy Teigen. Enjoy!
For more on the application of integral pluralism in the current culture war, see Greg Thomas’s excellent new essay “Why I Am a Radical Moderate.”
June 26th: Grace and Grit: From Book to Movie to Integral Life Practice
On another note, my friends and colleagues, Nomali Perera and writer/director Grace and Grit (the movie), Sebastian Siegel, would like to invite you to a zoom call where they’ll discuss the movie, as well as engage in community practice. It is free and open to all. You can find more details here.