Note 11 - Conventional Integration

Certainly in scientifically advanced Western societies reduced notions of integration abound (where they are largely associated with differentiation).

This is not surprising as the scientific paradigm itself represents the supreme example of the differentiation of the three fundamental polarities (horizontal, vertical and diagonal).

Because these poles are clearly separated - with no formal recognition of the nature of dynamic interaction entailed - interior is reduced to exterior (and exterior to interior), whole to part (and part to whole) and finally form to emptiness (and emptiness to form).

So because interactive dynamics are ignored, conventional science tends to an understanding of reality that is somewhat distorted from a proper integral perspective and largely devoid of mystery.

Now because in the actual dynamics of experience one has a degree of access to all stages, actual experience often transcends such limited understanding where it can be sharply at variance with the scientific outlook. However - even here - a lack of integration can be manifest with considerable discontinuity remaining between two distinctive worldviews. So for example someone with a genuine contemplative outlook in spiritual terms (where opposite poles are complementary) may still largely believe in their rigid separation in scientific terms.

And because linear (asymmetrical) notions of understanding - which characterise (narrow) science - dominate the general intellectual interpretation of reality e.g. development psychology, this problem is of the first magnitude.

So a great need exists therefore for the development of more integral scientific perspectives that are properly compatible with the spiritual contemplative worldview.

There is still of course a considerable role for analytic understanding. Indeed when placed in proper context this role is thereby enhanced. However by carefully distinguishing the nature of integration from differentiation (at all stages) analytic scientific interpretation can thereby be fully reconciled with properly authentic integral understanding.