In my life there have been few things that have shaken me and improved how I live as much as my discovery of the integral approach to living and understanding the world.
Integral as a theory is a synthesis of the truths from various disciplines, from hard sciences to religion to art to medicine to business, and from every aspect of our lives. As a lived experience, it is a comprehensive, practical and exciting emergence that offers a step beyond the partial and blinded approaches we have all lived through; every aspect of our lives enters into the embrace of our awareness and we can no longer ignore the invigorating delight of turning from nothing. It is a way to be more free and more whole that we are all called to.
But a “Theory of Everything” is incredibly daunting to many people. Ken Wilber, the leading integral thinker, has produced many long, intimidating and appendix-heavy books that detail his integral theory with incredible accuracy. 800 pages can understandably scare off a lot of people who could benefit themselves and others by applying the integral framework to their lives and their work.
I’ve been wishing for a book that I could give my parents, who are elementary school teachers, in order to introduce them to this integral stuff I’ve been so excited by for a while now. They’re the sort of people who don’t have a lot of time for theoretical reading but I suspect who would understand and appreciate integral. Finally, with Ken Wilber’s new book, The Integral Vision, we have a genuinely accessible and beautiful introduction to integral.
Subtitled “A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe and Everything”, The Integral Vision presents an integral framework – in the form of AQAL – in an entertaining and informative way, without some of the headier data and concepts that may turn some off from learning to use this valuable approach. The presentation is simple but still with a great scope, as all the major ingredients of the theory are explored and practical applications in personal growth (Integral Life Practice), business, medicine, ecology and religion are laid out. The text is peppered with beautiful illustrations, diagrams and photographs that bring the book to life, emphasizing that integral theory is a map of real territory that is meant to be lived with all the spice, fire and light we can bring to it.
There is no better way to dive into integral, so if you haven’t joined this adventure yet, what are you waiting for? Ken’s closing is a clarion call for our future:
New work to be done, new glories to be told, new ground to be revealed, and secrets of the heart yet to unfold when it is too full to speak, too radiant to see, too infinite to hold, too eternal to touch, but only because it is right here and now, closer to you than your own breath, more inside you than your own thoughts, and closer to Spirit than all of them…
It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new man, it’s a new woman. The new human is integral, and so is the new world.