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Integral Reality: Center Everywhere
Collective Guidance Within the Whole

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Keyword indexing under development

ALL DECISIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE WHOLE

This framework offers an initial and sketchy but comprehensive and integrated master-architecture for a "world that works for everyone". It combines elements of universal spirituality and holism with ideas from science and governance, suggesting the basic dimensions of an ideal new science of communal self-governance (democracy) based on inclusion, networks, wholeness and centered judgment.

Clearly, this is an idealistic and utopian notion. Its success in the world would depend not so much on the technical facets of this or some similar design as on a kind of widespread philosophical or spiritual conversion experience shared among millions of people. "Yes, we recognize we are one community and must solve our problems together." Is the evolution of our civilization forcing us into a context where human beings must work together across all boundaries and borders? This framework supposes the answer is "yes" and is addressed to leaders and far-seers anywhere who know we must draw these elements together if we are to thrive together on this planet.

Select ontology only to review technical details of an emerging universal semantics. Select collective guidance to see all facets.

Show ontology only | Show collective guidance    

Interactive Draft in Progress

This statement is an introduction to a broadly inclusive vision of social organization
intended to support the emergence of "a world that works".

More to come, thanks

Contents
Top | Sub-sections are shown. HIDE

1. Invocation
2. Synopsis
3. Prologue
4. Major converging forces
5. Axial alignment and universal center
6. Integral Vision
Science of the one |
7. The Integration of the World
8. Relativity
9. Natural Law, Divine Law
10. The Power of Circle
11. Ontology - This Project
12. Holistic intuition
13. Theory of concepts
14. Dimensions
15. Epistemology
16. Ontology
17. Absolute Foundations
The universal container |
18. Levels of coding
19. Strategy
20. Vocabulary
21. Mapping the Line
22. Universal Spirituality and Religion
23. Governance
24. The Spiritual Mission
25. Building a Movement

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1. INVOCATION

"Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

"And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.

"And I saw that it was holy."

"At the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit.
And that center is really everywhere.
It is within each of us."

~ Black Elk, Oglala Sioux

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 4:10 PM PST

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2. SYNOPSIS
This essay presents a comprehensive thesis and blueprint for social change organized through a concept of universal oneness and centerpoint. It is intended to support collaboration across all social sectors within a single "resonant" context.

It outlines the development of a transformative social movement based on co-creative agreement, and reviews many details regarding the emergence of an enlightened and idealized democracy supported through internet communications.

The thesis is based on the proposition that all human understanding can be seen as derived from within a single universal ontology, a single container, a single framework, a single concept of "The One".

BABEL

The basic theme of the essay is absolute wholeness and bridging differences within that wholeness. The objective is the synthesis of a universal spirit of collaboration.

There is no doubt that the world today is facing a myriad of unprecedented issues and problems which can only be successfully addressed though a broad spirit of collaboration. These problems certainly include weather and climate issues, ecology and environmental issues, energy resources, population and economic inequity -- and many others. These issues are often overlapping, interdependent, and fraught with a high complexity that absolutely resists simplistic solutions.

Yet we must ask ourselves -- are we working together successfully to take on these challenges?

Today, many people would say no -- and affirm that the differences and misunderstandings between us are far too often deadly. This proposal suggests a blueprint for developing a collaborative unity of spirit in the context of national and global differences, taking a form that embraces science, religion and spirituality, and is grounded in the essence of reality itself.

RESONANT SEMANTICS

Emerging from a conjunction of ancient wisdom and enlightened new-world spirituality, the concept of "resonance" has taken hold in popular culture. In a world where communication is mediated through language, and human differences and "diversity" are dangerously fragmenting national and global culture, how can people reasonably hope or expect to work together effectively? It seems that today, in so many ways and in so many contexts, we humans are failing to cooperate successfully. In this essay, we are exploring the concepts of resonance and "resonant semantics" as facets of a broad trust-building process that can help fuse the distinct cultural and demographic groups of the world into effective working alliances.

In our explorations of "group process" -- a broad subject that embraces themes like dialogue and deliberation and collective decision-making, and any sort of formal or structured method for successfully convening the wisdom and intelligence of a group of people -- there is much to be learned from the ancient concept of "circle".

In his book "Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together", MIT Professor William Isaacs offers a profound definition. "Dialogue is a conversation with a center, not sides". The approach taken within this project follows this insight, and draws its inspiration from indigenous cultures and council circles, from Quaker deliberation, and from any method of convening human beings in a context of diversity and possible disagreement, in ways which promote harmonious and constructive interaction.

"In the ART, the stability of conceptual learning is achieved by division of labor between two processing subsystems: attentional and orienting subsystems. An attentional subsystem is responsible for storing activity patterns into long-term memory. When perceptual (bottom-up) and conceptual (top-down) signals are sufficiently similar, they generate resonance in the attentional subsystem, which supports memorization of current network activity. Conversely, a mismatch between perceptual and conceptual signals triggers the activation of the orienting subsystem, which sends a global reset signal to the attentional subsystem. The reset signal temporarily disables the currently active concept node and forces the attentional subsystem to search for a new node. If there is no category node that matches the input, a new concept node is dedicated to learning the current input pattern. In other words, activation of the orienting subsystem indicates that the network encounters a new input pattern. An orienting subsystem operates as a novelty detector, and it prevents the recoding of old memories when confronting new input. Thus, the orienting subsystem ensures the stability of old memories and simultaneously enables the acquisition of new ones."

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00139/full

The notion of "resonant semantics" has emerged within this context. Though of course it is true that languages are based on a generally shared pool of common word meanings, every person on the planet has their own "private dictionary", from which they draw their personal understanding of what words mean -- and very often, by extension, what some other person means by that word. If I interpret what you mean by a word in terms of what I mean by the word, we may immediately misunderstand one another, perhaps in pejorative ways.

We have to learn to listen -- to fully receive the "intent of the other" -- to fully tune our interpretation of what is spoken or written to the intent of the speaker or writer. This is a skill emerging new leaders must cultivate. The spirit of group resonance in an authentically trust-based context liberates the powers of co-creativity. When we truly listen to one another across all boundaries of difference, the true power of collective intelligence can be liberated and the genius of the human spirit empowered throughout the world.

CO-CREATION AND TRUST

In a context of tension or disagreement, where difficult or controversial subjects are being considered, the experience of "group resonance" emerges from a trust-building process based on mutual respect and co-creation, and may lead to a profound and new ideas that work for everyone involved. Skilled mediators and facilitators will suggest that to best contribute to a challenging group discussion, participants should do their best to understand what other participants mean by the words they use, and should not presume that your meaning is their meaning. If in doubt -- or in anger -- inquire. Probe. Engage in dialogue. Take the time to drill down. Ensure that real understanding is taking place.

This practice promotes the constructive experience of resonance. In a resonant context, disagreement is OK, and very likely creative. You and I might disagree on some point -- but if we truly listen to one another in a co-creative way, we have a good chance of coming up with some entirely new approach that works for both of us.

ONE TREE, CENTER EVERYWHERE

In this model, human social organization takes the form of a tree or a vine. Like the trunk of a tree, the center of human social organization is replicated at multiple levels (individual, small group, large group) -- much like the flow of sap through the trunk of a tree or a vine out to its branches. This framework is not centralized in a traditional sense. There is no "one single centerpoint" or any single top-down point of control (e.g., the base of the trunk, the top of the tree). The framework instead is "multi-level" where every branch or level has its own center -- just like real trees do. In this sense, the framework is "omnicentric" -- not "top-down" or "bottom-up" but both ("both/and" rather than "either/or"), as ancient and modern mystics have described, with "center everywhere".

In brief summary, these guiding principles include the following:

  • All ideas and concepts in the human mind, regardless of culture or context or purpose, emerge as distinctions within a common universal form of being or oneness (such as "God" or "Tao"). This motivated act of distinction creates "duality" -- difference -- which can lead to disagreement, misunderstanding and war.

  • Throughout history, this oneness has been described by philosophy, religion and spirituality in many different terms and is the fundamental concept of most religions of the world.

  • This common universal oneness is "the whole" and is "absolute". All "parts" (of anything) or "locales" or "regions" or "sub-sets" that may arise in human thinking are "relative" to this one universal and absolute all-inclusive center.

THE PERFECTION OF DEMOCRACY

This point of view leads to the possibility of refining or perfecting the process of democracy. Perhaps the question is "Can we humans be guided by the whole to wisely serve the whole -- in ourselves as individuals and in all our relationships and in the whole?" We are supposing the answer might be "yes."

  • Every issue, every concern, every division or difference, every conceptual or actual distinction that supports or enables disagreement between people or groups emerges from within this universal form, and can and most properly should be reconciled within this oneness, in a process that preserves alignment with the absolute center and the absolute whole.

  • This process can be organized as a network and supported over the internet, in a way that recognizes local and regional independence within a single integral context and wholeness. This creates the possibility of an "electronic people's congress" which could operate at all levels of social organization.

  • Toward a More Perfect Union. Think Global, Act Local. E Pluribus Unum. Out of Many, One.

Links on origin.org
Spectrum: symbolism and the nature of abstraction
Bridge: perennialism
Many/One: database of guiding quotes

Wikipedia references
Plotinus on Oneness
Transformative social change

Saturday, August 19, 2017, 5:15 PM PST

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3. PROLOGUE
This essay and internet framework begins to offer the outline of a vast project that no one person can possibly hope to complete. It is at once a design and a call to action, and might be understood as a culmination of history and evolution. It is so entirely inclusive and composite that it might be reasonable to understand this intention as a kind of summa of history, a composite drawn from the entire collective enterprise of history. It is an abstract compilation of what we humans have accomplished thus far, gathered from an array of separate disciplines and brought into focus as an idealistic activist design for the transformation and healing of national and global civilization.

ALIGNMENT

We are are calling forth a new era in human experience -- a "shift" -- a "great transition" -- a "revolution in higher consciousness". This shift involves every facet of human life, and is grounded in the individual through a profound personal realization of the wholeness and oneness that throughout history has been understood as spiritual or religious. Today, the power and implications of this realization are emerging in ways that are also consistent with science. This convergence has profound implications for governance, social organization and democracy.

The extension of this same individual wholeness to the members of a group or of an entire society begins to bring that entire society "into alignment" and into "resonance". If one human being can do it, so can others. If many find this enterprise interesting and worthy and feasible, we are opening the way to profound cultural shift.

THE ONE

We are awakening to a simple unification of world religion and spirituality. What has been throughout history and evolution highly complex and apparently conflicting is converging all over the world towards something simple and unified in its essence. Religion and spirituality everywhere is about oneness -- perhaps unknowable or inconceivable itself -- yet still recognized as the highest container and framework for life and truth and energy and everything we know or can know. Today, this same oneness or unity or wholeness is merging with our scientific understanding.

IDEAS EMERGE WITHIN THE ONE

In the context of this One, we are unfolding a profound central integration of ideas, based on the emergence of a "universal ontology" reminiscent of the Mathesis Universalis of Leibniz -- a single philosophic and analytic framework that defines the origin and structure of every imaginable concept, in a single universal language grounded in the principle of "distinction" -- the smallest possible atomic unit of difference.

This thesis is grounded in a theory of concepts developed from the principle of distinction, and proposes that all human ideas and concepts emerge from within the One as distinctions or composites of distinctions that serve human intention in some way. This is a "constructivist" approach to semantics and meaning, suggesting that all ideas and concepts are "assembled" from distinctions, as "integral cascades of distinctions", in ways we can explicitly know and understand.

This approach is intimately consistent with mainstream and fundamental computer science. Though the integral and holistic aspects of this project are "revolutionary", the underlying fundamentals are extremely simple, and can quickly be explained to almost anyone.

A UNIVERSAL THEORY OF CONCEPTS

In brief:

  • A distinction is some small difference or dimension of reality we can perceive and name and perhaps measure.
  • All concepts -- scientific or religious, empirical or abstract -- are made from or contain specific distinctions.
  • All distinctions arise within oneness under the drive of some ad hoc or local motivation and purpose/need/intention.
  • Concepts are essentially "stipulative" and serve the intentions of the person using them, taking a specific form in alignment with those intentions.
  • Distinctions become part of a loose social contract if they are broadly useful.
  • Social agreements can be formed around these definitions to enable the collaborative interactions of society, but there is no one absolute all-purpose taxonomy of reality.
  • Concepts are inherently "discrete" and reality is inherently "continuous". Concepts are at best an approximation.
  • Concepts are "holons" -- an inherently "Janus-faced many/one". Every concept is an abstract "whole", composed of those nested and implicit distinctions which are its inherent "parts" and its meaning.
  • The "levels of nesting" inherent within any concept characterize the process of abstraction, which occurs within a hierarchical spectrum ranging from concrete and specific to abstract and universal. A taxonomy is such a "hierarchy of abstraction", as it ranges up levels of abstraction from particular concrete instances to broad general categories.
  • All concepts, in any language, are formed this way, as composite units (holons) of implicitly nested (contained within the holon) distinctions.
  • All conceptual form, and all ideas, take this same general and universal form -- a broader containing abstraction which has as its "parts" its inherent implications.
  • Though this universal Rosetta Stone of semantic interpretation, all understanding can be rendered absolute fluent.

Within such a framework, human collaboration and intercultural harmony has some hope to flourish. The entire human enterprise can be "brought into alignment" in collaborative resonance, as each individual human being aligns their own existence and mind and mind with the universal center of the omnipresent Axis Mundi, interconnecting and aligning all things in wholeness.

THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

All of this reflects high ambition and a profoundly innovative and revolutionary new vision and philosophy. The world today is highly splintered into "sectors and silos" -- "bubbles" -- embodying very different levels of expertise and fundamental assumptions. Can different cultures work together? Can scientists and religionists work together? Can different religions work together? Today this is proving very difficult, in ways that are often dangerous.

Is this clash of cultures an expression of the ancient principle of "Babel" -- that humans have divided the world into innumerable small fragments and "local pockets" that not only cannot understand one another, but view one another with positive distrust or disdain?

We are suggesting the emergence of a new paradigm, a new model of human understanding, a new foundation for human thinking. We are are offering a holistic model of human thinking that sees science and religion as alternative poles within a single common spectrum. We are proposing models of religion and spirituality that see all these traditions and ideologies as emerging from a single underlying common oneness.

COLLABORATION

This project is too big for any one person or any small team of persons. Its objectives imply a vast and loosely interconnected collaborative project drawn together by inspiration and magnetic resonance and vision, and empowered and activated through networking, spirituality and science. If the principles of "center everywhere" prove authentic and workable, this form can preserve a natural inherent cohesion without the imposition of authority. Its wholeness is its law.

In our efforts now, we are assembling an all-inclusive unity of fact, theory, specialization -- and a social activism based on it. We are replacing fumbling linear sequentiality -- where everything has to "get on the agenda" and probably doesn't -- to a world where our decision-making responds instantly to the simple fact of reality that "everything is happening at once".

We need a whole-system spiritual science that can radiate this insight everywhere in the world where the forces of civilization are getting out of balance.

A SEED

Clearly, this project is pointing towards the broadest sort of objectives, and many of its aspects are complex, controversial, under development or experimental. This essay is a sketch, an overview, an initial collection of "dots" or jig-saw puzzle pieces, that we can only begin to put together. Completing the puzzle is the work of the centuries.

But the core of the project, the vision of oneness, the vision of centered axial alignment across levels of organization -- these things are new, unprecedented, and technically simple.

Given this grand objective, it makes sense to be patient with this framework, and to give it time to grow and work itself out. At best, this is a "mustard seed", very tiny, with some hope to grow if nurtured by grace and good fortune.


Friday, March 3, 2017, 10:01 AM PST

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4. MAJOR CONVERGING FORCES
Across the entire planet, and here in the USA, we are working our way through a time of major social transition. Many new possibilities are emerging. Some of these elements are highly revolutionary and unprecedented. Some are experimental and unproven. These issues extend across all facets of human understanding and capacity, and point towards a shift in consciousness.

Here we are talking about "convergence" and the emergent synthesis of powerful and uplifting new possibilities.

In this framework, we suggest ways that these elements are coming together in ways that can be highly beneficial and transformative. New solutions for ancient problems are becoming feasible.


Positive cultural factors driving change

  1. Globalization - tremendous consequences across the entire range of human experience and thinking, including
    • Economics - inequality, imbalance, injury and abuse, waste, pollution
    • Ideas - technical, philosophic, spiritual/religious
    • Interdisciplinary cross-fertilization and emerging new hybrid or integral forms
  2. Interconnectivity, simultaneity
  3. Computer science, cognitive science, semantics and "universal language"
  4. Internet power - 1 billion users, 1/7th of the entire population of Earth, on Facebook on the same day, tremendous interconnectivity between people - "one world" understanding and ethics
  5. Global citizens movement
Critical problems
  1. Complexity
  2. Individual human "cognitive bandwidth" - how much can one person handle at a time? Will culture explode from sheer information overload and the confused semantics of mistrust?
  3. Cultural and demographic fragmentation - Babel - "red state / blue state" issues
  4. Governmental gridlock, inability for large diverse groups to work together to solve common problems, or even to recognize that the problems exist
  5. Rage, blame, frustration, myopic perspective, skepticism, loss of trust, apathy, indifference, rise of inaccurate and prejudicial or non-scientific/non-rational thinking
We are seeing the emergence of

  1. Integral models of human understanding -- including
    • Science
    • Philosophy
    • Religion
    • Spirituality
    • Organizational design
  2. New potentials for collective decision-making (democracy)
    • New ways to develop alliances
    • Advanced forms of "co-creativity" as people work together in "resonant" ways to address common problems
    • Internet-supported connections between groups
  3. Internet power
    • Tremendous capacity for research and breadth of inclusion
    • Complex and "integral" projects become feasible for the first time in history
  4. New concepts of cybernetics and self-control
    • Homeostatic self-regulation of society and "Gaia"
    • New concepts of law -- divine law, human law -- interconnected boundary values supporting and maintaining "the whole"
Universal spirituality
  1. Globalization and global intercultural encounter is driving the emergence of a universal spirituality generally consistent with the ancient and classical concept of "Philosophia Perennis" -- the "Perennial Philosophy"

The Emergence of Holistic Democracy

Search for "holistic democracy - lot of good stuff out there:

  • http://www.integral-review.org/issues/vol_7_no_2_inglis_holistic_democracy_and_citizen_motivation.pdf
  • Holism in science: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism_in_science

In this context, all these ideas come together into a common activist framework and proposal. Hundreds or thousands of factors come together to form a single model or framework that we are proposing as an idealistic but feasible and effective new form of enlightened democracy -- the self-governance of large and diverse social groups.

Guiding principles

  1. "Everything is connected to everything else" -- because everything is actually "one", and divisions and boundaries and categories are intentional human constructions
  2. All things are contained within this oneness or wholeness, and this truth leads to a universal global ethic of wholeness and balance in all things, and a new definition and understanding of law and justice based on the whole
  3. It is possible to conceive and activate a common shared center of alignment and common ground interconnecting human beings across all levels of scale and social organization
  4. In the context of the science/religion convergence and emerging new possibilities for interconnecting the local to the global (the part to the whole, the individual to the divine), potent new possibilities for unification and collaboration in a context of high diversity become increasingly feasible.
Emerging forces for enlightenment

  1. Groups working for better understanding of "group process" and dialogue
  2. Collective intelligence
  3. Emerging common ground in spirituality, humanism and religion
  4. New internet systems for connectivity
  5. New scientific models of major problems like global warming and global economics
  6. Improved understanding of "whole systems" and interdependence
A New "Whole Systems" Democracy
  1. Direct people-power combines with expertise and wisdom, without simplistic "either/or" fragmentation
  2. Political deliberation and collective decision-making can be supported and organized at a large scale through internet connections
  3. Internet connections can also support many kind of self-regulatory policies that may be critical for ecological and environmental health -- and very likely for economic health as well
  4. Systems can be interconnected in profound ways, to support collaboration between geographic regions where appropriate, or interdependence of related issues (economy, ecology, local-global, etc.)
  5. All of this guided by and held within the context of wholeness and oneness, leading to
    • Better decisions
    • Vitalized economy
    • Smooth interconnection and collaboration between sectors of society that have formerly been divided
    • Vibrant (local, regional, national, global) community grounded in trust and co-creation
Transition - Creating a movement

  1. Transition from fragmented and serially organized (linearly sequential) ways of organizing human affairs to integral and simultaneous ways of organizing (what does this mean in specifics -- action will always be "serially organized" -- so we are talking abut "chunking" our actions in some way)
  2. These ideas are powerful with deep implications for human psychology, in many areas
    • Fundamental understanding of religion
    • Principles of reasonable/rational thinking -- today millions of people are very careless in their thinking, and their insights and conclusions are often very muddy, confusing, inaccurate, unfair, or distorted
  3. This transition movement can occur at all levels at the same time, in every area of relevance, but might best be led from a spiritual/religious point of view. This process is so profound, and involves so much new information, that most people will not be able to assimilate all of it, but will have to "believe" or "trust" the process

Friday, March 3, 2017, 10:11 AM PST

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5. AXIAL ALIGNMENT AND UNIVERSAL CENTER
"There is only ONE SINGLE CENTER in the universe…it impels the whole of creation along one and the same line, first towards the fullest development of consciousness, and later towards the highest degree of holiness."
Pierre Teilhard deChardin

The power of this project emerges from the concept of "universal center", which extends the principle of center-point across levels of social organization.

The concept is simple, deeply intuitive, and powerful.

  • Every human being has a "center".
  • When organized as a circle, every small social group has a center.
  • In the same way, every large social group has a center.
  • Our objective is to define universal center in terms which can be exactly replicated across all these levels.
  • This is the master-key for creating cooperation, shared understanding and "creative harmonic resonance" between dispersed groups and individuals.
Concentric circles as a governance model
  • Each individual makes personal decisions on the basis of a kind of "balancing of all factors" which is directly related to homeostasis.
  • Homeostasis involves a center point around which all factors are balanced.
  • We can generalize, and say that all decisions affecting society at any level could and should be made through a process of centering and balance. Bring all factors to the table, and bring them into balance through a process that depends on each person being themselves centered.


Joseph Campbell on Indra's Net

Friday, March 3, 2017, 10:12 AM PST

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Dawn of a new understanding | The spirit of community | A crisis in governance | Ideal community | Co-creativity - the driving force for ideal social change | Universal center | Network power | Science of the one | Integral reality: everything at once | Bandwidth / sectors / specialization / human capacity | One World Tree, Axis Mundi, Universal Center | Oneness, Logos, God | Universal Religion and Spirituality
6. INTEGRAL VISION
Oneness | Circles | Spirituality | Religion | Science | Governance | Ontology | Alignment
Global Shift / Great Transition
INTEGRAL REALITY: BACKBONE FOR A COLLABORATIVE APOCALYPSE
Manifesto for a world that works

This manifesto offers a vision of a new world civilization grounded in "wholeness and oneness in all things". It is intended as a guiding blueprint for a new kind of collaborative social-change activism, grounded in the whole and interconnecting perspectives from across the entire spectrum of human experience.

It is written for imaginative and idealistic activists convinced the world is at a critical point of transition. It embraces the full range of human knowledge and understanding and has been influenced by thousands of innovative and creative individuals and communities from all over the world. It is a collaborative vision of human co-creation that spans every cultural sector, every type of science and all of religion and spirituality.

Within one integral framework, with respect for many creative projects and the spirit of high idealism, it suggests explicit and intentional ways that science (empiricism), spirituality (religion) and governance (democracy) can and should all interact together in a constructive integral web (network) of interconnected influences, in ways that can guide individuals and entire societies to their own highest and best destiny.

It is intended as a uniquely capable approach for addressing what today seems to be a wide-spread and complex crisis afflicting national and global civilization, by re-conceptualizing the way we humans make our collective decisions and govern our world. It harnesses the highest potentials of collective intuition and wisdom, while fully engaging across the spectrum with relevant sciences and all contingent influences.

But yes, of course, this broadly integrating ambition immediately raises many critical questions. Isn't this just a naive or repressive religious vision? How can this work? Religion, you might say, is at best a confused and controversial subject, and in the west, church-state separation has been essential to our success. And yes, of course, it's true that most people see religion and science as antithetical, barely related to one another and perhaps even opposites. It's not possible, you might be convinced, to "be religious and scientific at the same time." Isn't that right? "And you are hoping to introduce this confused mishmash into the critical context of politics and governance? How can this overreaching and controversial conjunction possibly help move us forward?"

This manifesto on integral reality is intended as an answer to that question. These points are a brief review of this integral approach, which we propose to unpack in greater detail:

  • Oneness is the common framework of all things (explain how and why this is true, introduce the concept of "ontology", cite tradition and visionaries)
  • Science and spirituality arise within the same framework of oneness (explain how)
  • Religion is a "local" or culture-specific interpretation of a universal spirituality grounded in oneness (explain how and why this is important)
  • This oneness is a workable and correct framework for interconnecting all religious and spiritual groups through common ground (show how)
  • This same oneness also contains the full spectrum of scientific and "system" ideas needed to resolve the most pressing and dangerous issues facing the human community (show how, based on integral ontology and system science)
  • Oneness and wholeness contain an inherent guiding ethic for collective deliberation (oneness is the key to reconciliation of many apparent contradictions because oneness contains a global ethic that is consistent with religion, secular humanism and science)
  • Collective deliberation in this context creates a link across levels from the high abstraction of oneness to the details of any specific issue at the local level

INTEGRAL GOVERNANCE

This manifesto not only suggests this idealistic and comprehensive is approach is possible, but finds precedents for these approaches throughout history and in the present day. The world is ripe for change. Current politics are fractious and fragmented to a dangerous degree. Not only do our political leaders fail to work together successfully (as per the gridlock in the USA), but their failure to adequately address many growing world problems (economic inequity and instability, global warming, the challenge of globalization versus nationalism, etc.) is making the world an increasingly dangerous and unstable place. The spirit of misunderstanding fuels the spirit of suspicion and mistrust. Issues are complicated and multifaceted. Yet limits to human cognitive capacity leave us confused and arguing, like the famous parable of the blind men and the elephant. Today global complexity and the multi-faceted and interconnected nature of important issues threaten a kind of inflammatory social paralysis, that we see exemplified in the gridlock of the US Congress. Today, America society is the blind men and the elephant multiplied by 100,000.

Yet at the same time, beautiful and potent new ideas are arising all over the world. New visions of human potential, new scientific insights into reality, and a rising common call to illuminated and holistic community are emerging. Taking many different forms, and emphasizing different aspects of human potential and need (spirituality, ecology, economy, organizational change, co-creativity) these emerging new perspectives embody common factors that invite interconnection.

We are conceiving the broadest kind of collaborative alliance, intended to span the entire range of human differences, within the single integral context of an underlying primal unity or oneness that has been understood by philosophers and mystics since the beginning of civilization. We are supposing the world is at a kind of tipping point, recognizing that something new and innovative must emerge, recognizing that the old ways are failing us. Millions of us know we have to find a way to respond. We have to engage all our resources and all our capacity. We need to call on all our skills and knowledge -- and indeed on "the better angels of our nature".

Led by those better angels, we should be contacting activists and concerned groups of all types, inviting them into a single "resonant field" for collaborative discourse. Just as reality itself involves "everything connected to everything else", so are the collective problems we face in national and global culture interconnected. At the core of this work can be a simple covenant or social contract, a simple bond of mutual respect and co-creative listening, as human beings anywhere step into a common pool of co-creative deliberation to help guide the human community -- locally and globally -- into its own best possibilities.

THE POWER OF CIRCLE

The activist network proposals conceived and designed within this framework are grounded in the ancient principles of "resonant council circle". They are convergently guided towards common center and resolution through the simple fact and principle that "circles have centers", as MIT Professor William Isaacs affirms in his book "Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together" ("Dialogue is a conversation with a center, not sides").

This is a powerful and generic principle which we amplify and clarify though formal methods of collective deliberation and the mathematics of network science. Understood within this framework and approached in a humble and cocreative spirit, the people of the world CAN resolve their endless fragmented and accusatory bickering on every subject imaginable and begin to come into constructive and creative resonance across all boundaries and divisions.

The power of circle is not a new idea. But what is emerging today is a clarified realization that this this power can extend beyond traditional holistic intuition and into formal principles of hierarchy and convergence and collective decision-making. We are learning how to do this today, in small groups, often under the guidance of expert facilitators and conveners -- and as this work continues, we are learning the basics of expanding this methods across borders, into 'intersector collaboration" -- and from there, sustained over the internet, into geographically dispersed locales. As we perfect these methods, and the spirit of this work becomes more widely understood and recognized, it is reasonable to suppose that a powerful and primal movement for idealistic social change can emerge.

Since this idea is so deeply intuitive and natural, and has emerged repeatedly in diverse cultures throughout history, it seems reasonable to suppose that in this model, we are unfolding a natural form of universal alliance. Yes, for now, it may be true that people are doubtful, they are suspicious, they have been habituated to bad manners and insults in a secular political context -- but there is a strong counter-hunger in the world, for "conversations that work", for ways people who have never met in person can begin to interact in constructive ways.

In the spirit of the old Christian spiritual, perhaps there can arise a deep natural force that will make it possible for "the circle to be unbroken". These below quotes from recent articles introduce these ideas as they are generally understood by this growing international movement and community.

April 19, 2006
Eternal Ring: The Power Of The Circle
http://goo.gl/nAZhNv

There are many reasons for why a gathering of people in a circle is powerful. A circle is a shape that is found repeatedly throughout the natural world, and it is a symbol of perfection. We recreate this perfect shape when we join others to form a circle. Being in a circle allows us experience each other as equals. Each person is the same distance apart from the next participant, and no one is seated higher than or stands apart from others in a circle. From tribal circles to the mythical round table of King Arthur, the circle has been the shape adopted by gatherings throughout history.

The circle is acknowledged as an archetype of wholeness and integration, with the center of a circle universally understood to symbolize Spirit - the Source. When a group of people come together in a circle, they are united. This unity becomes even more powerful when each person reaches out to touch a neighbor and clasps hands. This physical connection unites thought and action, mind and body, and spirit and form in a circle. Because a circle has no beginning and no end, the agreement to connect in a circle allows energy to circulate from one person to the next, rather than being dissipated into the environment.

Like a candle used to light another candle, the connection with spirit that results when one person joins hands with another is greater than if each person were to stand alone. People who take part in a circle find that their power increases exponentially while with the group. Like a drop of water rippling on the surface of a pond, the waves of energy produced in a circle radiate outward in circular motion. While one person may act like a single beacon that emanates light, a circle of people is like a satellite dish that sends out energy. There is power in numbers, and when the commitment is made by many to face one another, clasp hands, and focus on one intention, their circle emanates ripples of energy that can change the world.

The Next Evolutionary Step: The Power of Circle
http://goo.gl/ceeUkU

We hear a lot about the anxiety people feel during these uncertain economic times, when long-held systems are breaking down and new ones are not yet visible. A discomforting chaos comes along with these breakdowns, but we can also see them as breakthroughs, where an opportunity for a new, stronger order can emerge. In that sense, it’s a very exciting time, when things can really be different. This applies especially to women, who, unlike any previous time, now have an opportunity to take their rightful place in the new order as leaders. Depending on the choices we make, we will either evolve to a higher level of consciousness or devolve and regress to old outdated but familiar structures.

As we go through this social transformation, how can we feel secure when the ground beneath us is shifting? How can we stay clear and centered when all around us is ambiguity? In our interconnected and interdependent work, security lies within our positive connections to others, in being part of a community. From these positive connections, we women have an opportunity to realize our collective power to impact the things around us; we can be agents of change if we stick together.

How do I get there from here? Start a power circle.

When I was in Australia doing research for my book Iron