December 22, 2009

Integral-Aurobindo is the origin and inspiration for Integral altogether

Savitri Era Learning Forum: SELF posits a model of counselling and communicative action as an instrument in order to stimulate the public sphere. The model aims at supplementing the individual’s struggle for a successful social adjustment with more aspirational inputs so as to help one take an informed and balanced attitude towards life as well as society. SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, U.P. - 201014, India. Ph: 0120-2605636 The Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy

Benedikter’s publications are centered around the question of how culture can be understood as a political and social factor in the contemporary world. Most of his writings address what he calls “historically symptomatic” cultural phenomena and try to read them by applying a multilayered expertise of the history of ideas onto them. The innovative focus of his attention lies in its systemically four-dimensional approach. This approach tries to include Politics, Economics, Culture and Religion as the four different, but increasingly intertwined typologies of discourse in post-1989/91 societies into a pluridimensional and transdisciplinary methodology of analysis. Benedikter calls this approach “System Action Theory”, because it combines elements taken from System theory and Action theory.

The main research and teaching focus of Benedikter’s “System Action Theory” - conceptualized as inclusive form of Contextual Political Analysis - is dedicated to the ongoing global change and its relation with the accompanying change of paradigms. Benedikter’s general postulate is that we live in the epoch of a "four-dimensional global systemic shift" connected to "three epochal ends": 1. The end of the "New World Order" (in the system sphere of Politics); 2. The end of Postmodernism (in the system sphere of Culture); 3. The end of Neoliberalism (in the system sphere of Economy). 4. A fourth force enacted parallel to these three ends is the global Renaissance of Religion (in the system sphere of Religion). [...]

To understand the changes within the paradigm formations of “the West”, which are “inscribed” into the "four-dimensional global systemic shift", Benedikter also writes extensively on late postmodernist philosophy, its inbuilt “rational spirituality”, and its “post-postmodern” perspectives. These writings include the future of transcultural inclusive politics potentially arising from postmodern heritage. In this regard, Benedikter pays special attention to the relation between what he calls the “first generation of deconstructive Postmodernism” (1970-2004) and the “neo-idealistic” movements in “Western” civilization since the 1990’s. In the face of the contemporary dialectics between the remnants of “Postmodernism” and the many differing forms of “Neoessentialism” emerging throughout the post-9/11 world, Benedikter is searching for a third, inclusive position between “postmodern” nominalism and “neo-substantialist” idealism. He calls this position sometimes a postmaterialistor neo-integral viewpoint.  Integral thought 

A Synthesis Between Four Versions of Integral, Henry Augustine

My aim with this work is relatively straightforward. I wish to convey as simply yet sufficiently as possible, the distinction between four definitions or “versions” of “Integral” that I believe ought to be recognized by the Integral community (whatever this means) as a whole. I will call these versions “Integral-Aurobindo,” “Integral-NewAge,” “Integral-Wilber,” and “Integral-Europe.” Integral-Aurobindo is the origin and inspiration for Integral altogether. It is strictly 3rd-tier state/stage development- oriented. In other words, Integral-Aurobindo emphasizes above all the transpersonal dimensions of the Kosmos and our role in it as human beings. Integral-NewAge is what “incubated,” if you will, during the 1960s, and emerged more maturely or fully during the following decade. Integral-NewAge denotes what we usually take “New Age” to mean. In Wilberian language, the New Age Movement – which is what I mean by this second version of Integral – primarily discusses prerational concepts in more rational or transrational language and logic. 

Next, Integral-Wilber manifested from its inspiration from and acceptance of Integral-Aurobindo, but its rejection of Integral-NewAge and desire to explain the Kosmos in what it considers not to commit the pre/trans fallacy. Integral-Wilber combines the transpersonality of Integral-Aurobindo with the conceptual complexification we can only find in Enlightenment Europe rationalist philosophy. Lastly, Integral-Europe is a reaction against Integral-Wilber, offering a more systematic and critical approach to AQAL etc. by means of deconstruction and analysis. [...]

Certainly, there is immense worth behind adopting a critical attitude toward concepts Integral-Wilber synthesizes from the original foundation provided by Integral-Aurobindo. As mentioned, we cannot attain intellectual progress without thinking critically of anything. Modernity would never have manifested itself without critical thought, and the same applies for Postmodernity and “Integrality.” While we need the “positivism” (not epistemologically speaking) of Integral-Wilber, we also need the “negativism” of Integral-Europe so that we can confirm everything that the former version produces.

H.B. Augustine is a sophomore undergraduate student at Denison University, where he is studying Philosophy and Communication. He is most interested in grounding Integral theories on formal logic, which is what he has been doing since last January with his book, The Purpose of this Planet: An Integral Articulation on Philosophy and Revolution, which is an Integral reassessment of as many components of classic philosophy as possible. Augustine also runs a Facebook Cause called "The Integral World Revolution," which spreads awareness and understanding of the Integral name via the World Wide Web. The author can be contacted at and is looking for a publisher. 

No comments:

Post a Comment