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 schools of thought, and pre-modern, modern and post-modern worldviews.
Integral theory builds on the foundations of evolutionary theory. Evolution is well established by science and is non-controversial for anyone with a modern or post-modern worldview. We know from ever-more sophisticated observation and analyses that the cosmos burst into being about 13.8 billion years ago, first as energy then as matter, arising as atoms and molecules that formed the heavenly bodies, including our home planet, Earth.
On Earth we know that molecular evolution continued, creating cells (life!) then organisms which grew in complexity, from amoebae to sponges to fish to reptiles to mammals, culminating in the human being, the most complex entity in the known universe.
The whole process of evolution is accelerating exponentially: if all of known time is seen as a 24-hour day, life showed up in the last three hours, mammals in the last three minutes, and human beings in the last 1.5 seconds. The pyramids were built .07 seconds ago and Hey Jude was written .0007 seconds ago.
Integral theory posits that evolution is not limited to the exterior forms of reality (matter and organisms), but is also evident in the interior spaces of reality, namely in the development of culture and consciousness.
An integral view of history maintains that the collective consciousness of the human race has evolved through pre-modern, modern and post-modern structures, and is emerging into a new structure of consciousness, the integral stage, which is characterized by an ability to think and act from multiple worldviews.
Video series on the Basics of Integral Theory
Here is a series of introductory videos I was invited to create with Nomali Perera and Lee Mason of Practical Integral. These are great primers for anyone new to studying the Integral approach.
Introduction to Integral Philosophy with a focus on the Four Quadrants
Introduction to the Lines of Development (Intelligences)
Stages of Development
Part 1 of 2
Stages of Development
Part 2 of 2
Types, Part 1 of 2
(Enneagram Types 8 – 4)
Types, Part 2 of 2
(Enneagram Types 5 – 7)
States of Being