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Integral Theory Primer

Integral Theory Primer

Integral Theory Primer

with Ali Akalin

 

Ali Akalin was born in Turkey, and grew up in Thailand and the Netherlands. Ali is a writer, editor, and teacher at Core Integral. He works closely with Clint Fuhs and Ken Wilber in developing in-depth courses on Integral Theory. Ali currently holds an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University. He would like to invite anyone interested in learning Integral Theory to check out www.coreintegral.com for a curriculum specifically structured to the Integral Approach.

In his own words:

 

What is the Integral Approach?

When introducing the Integral Approach, Ken Wilber writes, “What if we took literally everything that all the various cultures have to tell us about the human potential—about spiritual growth, psychological growth, social growth—and put it all on the table?” And “What if we attempted, based on extensive cross-cultural study, to use all of the world’s great traditions to create a composite map, a comprehensive map, an all-inclusive or integral map that included the best elements of all of them?” This is the goal of the Integral Approach.

Ultimately, the Integral Approach isn’t just interested in a theoretical map, but also in the coordination of all the different methods and practices used to bring forth different experiences available to human beings. In other words, the Integral Approach is experiential and psychoactive. It is a series of cutting-edge practices designed to acquaint us with the many dimensions of our own Being.

Sex, Ecology, SpiritualitySex, Ecology, Spirituality

The Spirit of Evolution

Wilber divides his work into four main phases and describes his fourth phase as being his first “truly comprehensive or integral” model. Books from this phase are ideal starting points for understanding Wilber’s current thought, in addition to being excellent reviews of his earlier material.

Phase-4 was first presented in detail in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality. Popularized versions of this work can be found in A Brief History of Everything and later in A Theory of Everything. These versions are succinct yet comprehensive introductions to the Integral Approach.

 

The Integral VisionThe Integral Vision

A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe, and Everything

Nonetheless, the most accessible and up-to-date, albeit condensed, presentation of the essentials of the Integral Approach, can be found in The Integral Vision. The presentation of The Integral Vision is intended to allow readers to traverse the core of Integral Theory and, in less than an hour, discern whether they are interested in pursuing it further. It’s also a great review for those already familiar with Wilber’s work.




Integral SpiritualityIntegral Spirituality

A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World

Integral Spirituality, which according to some critics is an example of a “fifth phase” in Wilber’s writings, represents his most up-to-date thinking. Although sections of this book contain complex theory, the general content is still highly relevant for those new to Wilber’s work. For instance, in light of the contemporary developments in philosophy, critical theory, and psychology, where does spirituality fit? And, if meditation can both accelerate and entrench development, what supplementary practices are needed? In answering these questions, Integral Spirituality offers the most comprehensive definition of enlightenment available today, as well as provides tools for building an integral life practice and working with personal shadow.

 

The Eye of SpiritThe Eye of Spirit

An Integral Vision for a World Gone Slightly Mad

The detailed application of the Integral model—in cultural studies, psychology, feminism, art, science, and spirituality—was first presented in The Eye of Spirit. This book also contains Integral Art and Literary Theory, which Wilber once referred to as his “own single favorite piece of writing".  It also offers an excellent overview of Wilber’s psychological model, the in-depth version of which can be found in Integral Psychology. In addition to extensive technical discussions in the endnotes, The Eye of Spirit contains what is in my opinion one of the most illuminating pointing-out instructions that Wilber has ever written. It is a must-read for every genuine seeker. (Editor’s note: This title is available in eBook format and is also included in The Collected Works of Ken Wilber: Volume Seven).

 

One TasteOne Taste

Daily Reflections on Integral Spirituality

A great first-person accompaniment to the usual third-person discussions of theoretical concepts is One Taste. Written as a series of journal entries by Ken Wilber when he was publishing The Marriage of Sense and Soul, One Taste is the day-to-day, candid and uncensored reflections of Ken Wilber. This book’s first-person descriptions facilitate an intimate grasping of theoretical concepts by pointing out their experiential correlates in the reader’s own awareness. Around the time of its publication, Wilber had stated, “I think One Taste is probably the best short introduction to my work now available.” I would add that it is also one of the most entertaining presentations of Integral Theory.

 

Eye to EyeEye to Eye

The Quest for the New Paradigm

Finally, I would like to recommend Eye to Eye. It was written prior to the phase-4 model, but nevertheless encompasses issues that are central to all of Wilber’s subsequent works. It fleshes out a full-spectrum empiricism grounding sensory, mental, and spiritual experiences. Eye to Eye also introduces a framework that allows us to discern genuine spirituality from psychopathology and regression. This book unpacks one of the most sophisticated taxonomies of the different types of unconscious and explains their role in psychological as well as spiritual development.

These are just a brief sampling of the works that I believe fully embody and communicate Wilber’s endeavor in the world—an endeavor that I think is relevant to anyone serious about their personal development, and the development of the world, in the twenty-first century.

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  1. The Eye of Spirit

    The Eye of Spirit

    An Integral Vision for a World Gone Slightly Mad

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    In this groundbreaking book, Ken Wilber uses his widely acknowledged "spectrum of consciousness" model to completely rewrite our approach to such important fields as psychology, spirituality, anthropology, cultural studies, art and literary theory, ecology, feminism, and planetary transformation. What would each of those fields look like if we wholeheartedly accepted the existence of not just body and mind but also soul and spirit? In a stunning display of… Read More

    eBook
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  2. Integral Spirituality

    Integral Spirituality

    A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    Integral Spirituality is being widely called the most important book on spirituality in our time. Applying his highly acclaimed integral approach, Ken Wilber formulates a theory of spirituality that honors the truths of modernity and postmodernity—including the revolutions in science and culture—while incorporating the essential insights of the great religions. He shows how spirituality today combines the enlightenment of the East, which excels at cultivating higher states of consciousness,… Read More

    Paperback
    $29.95
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  3. The Integral Vision

    The Integral Vision

    A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe, and Everything

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    Suppose we took everything that all the various world cultures have to tell us about human potential—about psychological, spiritual, and social growth—and identified the basic patterns that connect these pieces of knowledge. What if we attempted to create an all-inclusive map that touches the most important factors from all of the world's great traditions? Ken Wilber's Integral Vision provides such a map. Using all the known systems and models… Read More

    Paperback
    $15.95
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  4. A Theory of Everything

    A Theory of Everything

    An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    Here is a concise, comprehensive overview of Wilber's revolutionary thought and its application in today's world. In A Theory of Everything, Wilber uses clear, nontechnical language to present complex, cutting-edge theories that integrate the realms of body, mind, soul, and spirit. He then demonstrates how these theories and models can be applied to real-world problems in areas such as politics, medicine, business, education, and the environment. Wilber also… Read More

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    $15.95
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  5. A Brief History of Everything

    A Brief History of Everything

    Revised Edition

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    A Brief History of Everything is an altogether friendly and accessible account of men and women's place in a universe of sex, soul, and spirit, written by an author of whom New York Times reporter Tony Schwartz says: "No one has described the path to wisdom better than Ken Wilber." Wilber examines the course of evolution as the unfolding manifestation of Spirit, from matter to life… Read More

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    $19.95
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  6. Eye to Eye
  7. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality

    Sex, Ecology, Spirituality

    The Spirit of Evolution

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    In this tour de force of scholarship and vision, Ken Wilber traces the course of evolution from matter to life to mind and describes the common patterns that evolution takes in all three of these domains. From the emergence of mind, he traces the evolution of human consciousness through its major stages of growth and development. He particularly focuses on modernity and postmodernity: what they mean; how they impact gender… Read More

    Paperback
    $39.95
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  8. One Taste

    One Taste

    Daily Reflections on Integral Spirituality

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    As one who has written extensively about the interior life, meditation, and psychotherapy, Ken Wilber—the leading theorist in the field of integral psychology—naturally arouses the curiosity of his numerous readers. In response to this curiosity, this one-year diary not only offers an unprecedented entrée into his private world, but offers an introduction to his essential thought. "If there is a theme to this journal," Wilber writes, "it is that body,… Read More

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    $26.95
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  9. Integral Psychology

    Integral Psychology

    Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    The goal of an "integral psychology" is to honor and embrace every legitimate aspect of human consciousness under one roof. This book presents one of the first truly integrative models of consciousness, psychology, and therapy. Drawing on hundreds of sources—Eastern and Western, ancient and modern—Wilber creates a psychological model that includes waves of development, streams of development, states of consciousness, and the self, and follows the course of each from… Read More

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    $19.95
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  10. The Collected Works of Ken Wilber: Volume Seven

    The Collected Works of Ken Wilber: Volume Seven

    A Brief History of Everything, The Eye of Spirit

    • by
    • Ken Wilber
    Volume Seven of The Collected Works of Ken Wilber includes: A Brief History of Everything (1996) "Combining spiritual sensitivity with enormous intellectual understanding and a style of elegance and clarity, [this book] is a clarion call for seeing the world as a whole."— San Francisco Chronicle . The Eye of Spirit: An Integral Vision for a World Gone Slightly Mad (1997) uses the spectrum model… Read More

    Paperback
    $49.95
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