Integral Politics (part 2)

Ken Wilber and Integral Politics. Part 2:

In the previous post we got as far as where green jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

So, what happened to green postmodernism to cause it to jump into the fire as suggested by Wilber in the previous post?

The problem is that postmodern liberalism was so happy with its newfound freedom and ‘enlightenment’ that it forgot to ‘transcend-and-include’ the lower levels of development’s values to arrive at, and consolidate a higher value system from where it could influence, encourage and inspire people at lower levels (Amber and Orange) to move up to the postmodern green level.

They could see so clearly now that all people were the same. All people were equal and in their enthusiasm they made the fatal pre/trans fallacy mistake, believing that everybody from the lowest levels of development knew this and could see this new world of freedom and joy for all mankind.

Ken Wilber explains the problem thus:

“The problem is that liberalism—championing equality—will not face the fact that it is an elitism. It is a value structure held by a minority in most cultures, including ours—but it is an elitism, the only elitism that wishes to treat EVERYBODY fairly and equally, even if they disagree with you. Even if they disagree with you and your values, you as a liberal will accord them equal status before the law. But the number of people who can do that—the number of people at world centric orange or higher—is less than 50% in this country and less than 30% in the world at large (and even less than 30% in South Africa?). And the point in any event is that orange itself is a developmental achievement (and only one of the stages in a hierarchy of stages) reached only at higher stages, and if you don’t get to those higher stages, you simply don’t produce liberalism. (Recap this with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Piaget’s cognitive development, Graves’ development of values as well as Kegan’s orders of consciousness for a better understanding of Wilber’s statement above).

“So, if liberalism stated its own stance more accurately, it would say that liberalism is an elite developmental stance, often reached by a relative minority of people, but whose values insist on treating not just that elite but everybody equally—an unheard-of fairness and generosity (my italics). It is an egalitarianism held by an elite. But the typical liberal, not understanding both of those clauses, often arrives at the disaster of a conclusion that it is an egalitarianism held by everybody, or easily could be. Whereas, at this time in history, very few people share that value, and it’s losing ground. (my italics) Liberalism is an elitism that is open to everybody, but to actually get there and share liberal world centric values require interior hierarchical development from egocentric to ethnocentric to world centric.

But if you deny, and actually despise any form of hierarchy, you enter egalitarian flatland where no social or spiritual progress or evolution is possible. You basically commit suicide and take everyone with you.

“The separation of church and state—some form of which is absolutely necessary, to be sure—degenerates into an extreme and rancid version that amounts to the oppression of all interiors, via a sin not of commission but of a sin of omission, an oppression by silence and consequent ineptitude. Instead of pioneering a new wave of interior talk—higher values talk, higher spiritual talk, higher character talk, higher meaning talk—it talks only of tepid egalitarianism, a supposed plurality of equal values, tractionless multiculturalism, (my italics) … Whereupon every interior, no matter how vulgar and narcissistic and self-serving, is accorded not just equal respect but equal value, period — and the regressive nightmare is about to begin.

“And so classical liberalism, and virtually every variety of the Left, saddled with a flatland psychology, does indeed work very hard to undercut its own existence. (or to self-destruct by a toxic process of deconstruction, led by liberal, intersubjectivist philosophers like Foucault and Derrida.)

“As important as conservative is, there are, of course times in history where embracing tomorrow and Eros—or our upward-moving and forward-looking impulse toward higher wholes—is called for, and not just embracing yesterday and Agape—or our downward- moving and backward-looking impulse (like we find in conservatives in America and indeed all over the world today). The progressives are always the revolutionaries. Of course, not everybody who calls themselves ‘revolutionary’ is necessarily a true progressive: many ‘revolutionaries’ are just lower levels parading as a newly emergent higher levels: which is exactly what happened with the Terror, as every egocentric- power trip was mistaken for world centric compassion—thoroughly confusing pre-conventional and postconventional—and to this day, ‘Off with their heads!’ unfortunately has been the calling card of most revolutionaries pretending to be progressive but who actually embody the worst sort of regression imaginable. (my italics.)

“Around the time right before the Enlightenment, the establishment level was amber. Because the establishment level was amber, then to be conservative meant, of course, to conserve amber, to conserve traditional amber values. That was the Agape side of the street. But evolution was about to bring forth a new and higher level of consciousness: orange. And thus, the Eros or progressive side of the street would soon bring forth a new political orientation, one that conscientiously referred to itself as siding with progress: namely, the progressive movement.

“Thus, the birth of the new and higher level of consciousness (orange), and the birth of the Enlightenment, was the birth of a new political orientation—Liberalism—that was originally both externalist (as all Left parties are) and progressive (for reasons we just discussed). At the new and modern level of orange, this political orientation therefore believed in world-centric, postconventional morality (“all men are created equal”); the external cause of human suffering (e.g., John Stuart Mill); was strongly individualistic (on the individual/collective scale); and decidedly progressive and even revolutionary on the progressive/conservative or Eros/Agape scale. So, there are the three axes and the level of original liberalism or the original Leftist parties.

But evolution marches on: Continue Reading »


Een mooie meisie

Was gisteraand by Kersfees Skouspel in Pretoria. Pragtige musiek deur pragtige jong ( en nie meer so jong) mense.

En dan was daar Dana, die mooie Dana Winner wat vir ons kom sing het, en ek is van voor af versot op die mooie meisie en haar pragtige stem en persoonlikheid.

Hier sing sy vir ons “One moment in time”. Luister en geniet

Integral Politics

Integral Politics (and the road to disaster) as described by Ken Wilber.

In a previous post I undertook to expound on Ken Wilber’s effort to elucidate the utterly unbelievable and unexpected (and overwhelming) win of Donald Trump in the recent election in America, that bastion (so we all believed) of freedom, progressiveness and postmodernism.

What happened is history. Why it happened is still a mystery for most commentators and analysts.

But, because Wilber’s diagnoses and prognosis of the phenomenon (using his Integral Perspective or Integral Meta Theory by way of his EQAL Matrix)  is quite involved and difficult to understand, I thought it best to introduce the Integral Perspective by way of his own Integral explanation of what the difference between Conservative and Liberal is, and how evolution played a role in bringing that divide into existence.

 Yes, I know most people today do not, or can not read more than a short sentence on twitter or Instagram and find even that difficult to comprehend most of the time. For those I suggest you go back to your small and/or big screens and see what new scandals of world-shattering importance by celebs tops the charts at the moment. You do not want to miss out on that, do you?

For the rest, I think you will find this insight into modern politics one of the most important discussions for the future of humanity. We are living in an unstable, dangerous time of transition for the human race and the planet we live on. It is time we take a hard look at where we come from and where we are heading.

So, let’s start with Ken Wilber:

“What is the basic difference between Democrat and Republican, or between the Left and the Right? Here’s an easy way to tell. If you ask the simple question—

Why do human beings suffer? —you will get two major answers. The Right will say, you suffer because of yourself; the Left will say, you suffer because of someone else.

“Likewise, when it comes to social change, the Republican recommends interior development (character education, family values, God values, industriousness, self-responsibility, work ethic); the Democrat recommends exterior development (material improvement, economic redistribution, universal health care, welfare statism). Of course, there are all sorts of exceptions and mixtures. But more often than not, that is a genuinely basic difference in socio-political orientation between the Democrat and the Republican.”

Yes, I also had the interior/exterior thing turned around. I thought that the Democrats were for interior change, while the Republicans were for exterior change. The problem turns out to be one of how they differ in bringing about the desired change. When you look at levels and lines of evolutionary development, especially when it comes to moral and spiritual development, the internal/external axis is turned around 360 degrees. You find that Republicans (or everyone on the amber level of development and lower) employs external means of power like the police and the army, the church and social sanctions to enforce change, or in most cases to prevent change, (think Spanish inquisition and the burning of dissidents on the stake back in the Dark Ages, and harsh riot control in our times). In other words, we will force you to change you to our way of thinking, using external forces, even if it kills you.

The Democrats on the other hand believe that change must come from within the individual (Upper Left Quadrant) by a process of transcend and include (a system of development introduced by Abraham Maslow). The current (orange) values must be transcended to reach higher evolutionary states of being, but it will still include the lower value systems as foundation for the new, higher order that will eventually change the whole system or society (or Holon which includes all 4 Quadrants) from the inside. Or like Thich Nhat Hanh said, “The only way out, is the way in”. Interior change brought about by evolution and the effort  of the individual him- or herself.

The confusion will be cleared up as Wilber expands on the difference in world view between Democrat (or Liberal) and Republican (or Conservative).


“Mainstream Republicans or conservatives have very strong amber/traditional values. Hence, when they say that ‘character counts,’ or that they want to ‘instil values in people,’ or that they are ‘the party of values,’ they almost always mean amber values only, traditional values, ethnocentric values: nationalism, family values, militarism, patriotism, patriarchalism, good ole Biblical injunctions and command morality.

They do not mean green values, red values, teal values, turquoise values, etc.”

The amber, orange, red and other colour designations will become clear as we go on. It is important to get a clear understanding of this hierarchical differentiation in the evolutionary development of people in order to fully understand Wilber’s theory.


“But that sort of (amber) traditional, conservative political movement — grounded in mythic- membership and the amber value system—was the dominant form of governance for most of humanity’s civilized history, East and West, from the great Axial Period (around the 6th century BCE) up to the Enlightenment in the West. This amber value structure, and the governance systems that it supported, were those of the great Republican empires and ancient nations, East and West, North and South, Rome being one of the mightiest. These were agrarian societies (in the Lower Right), and therefore typically they had a corresponding mythic-membership culture of amber or traditional values (in the Lower Left). At their best and healthiest, and for their time, these cultures were a thing of beauty and wonder. (But creation is a dynamic, ongoing process. To stagnate is to die, to evolve is to reach for higher states of being. We cannot stay Romans for ever, we must move on to higher states of civilization, higher states of technological development, higher states of consciousness.)

(“Lower Left” and “Lower Right” of the EQAL matrix, of which more later-on)

“But the important point to note is that, precisely because the spectrum of consciousness and the spiral of values are constantly regenerated — everybody is born at square one and begins their growth through the spiral as it exists in their culture at that time—then, even in today’s modern/orange world, magic/magenta values are still around, and egocentric/red values are still around, and traditional/amber values are still around— and hence there will always be human beings who, stopping (permanently) at those value stations in their own lives, will be attracted to political leaders, philosophies, and systems that give voice to these values—their values. And thus, as we will see, there are red blocks of voters, and amber blocks of voters, and orange blocks and green blocks and so on….

“Up to around 1200 BCE in the West, the highest major mode of average consciousness was traditional amber. In its sophisticated forms, the great Republics organized at that stage produced the roots of what we today would call Republican or conservative political philosophy — aristocratic, hierarchical, disciplined, agrarian-patriarchal, traditional, amber-value oriented, with emphasis on military defence, national identity, and ethnocentric religion.

“But beginning around the Renaissance and culminating with the Enlightenment, an entirely new level of values began to emerge — namely, the orange, modern, world centric value system—and with it, a radically new type of political philosophy was born: liberalism.

It might be more accurate to say that this was the first time that the term ‘liberal’ was used as a label to describe a ‘deviant’ individual or group of individuals who dared to openly defy the existing norms and values of a society. In the past when magic/magenta was the dominant worldview, the emergence of egocentric/red values were more liberal than those of the previous worldview, but when traditional/amber values emerged and replaced the egocentric/red worldview and values, red became the conservative mode of thinking while amber represented the new, more liberal value system though it was not called liberal, it was just called dangerous and to be eradicated by killing the ‘enemy’ of the people. The same happened when (the more liberal) modern/orange worldview and value system replaced the traditional/amber (now the more conservative) worldview and value system. The only difference was that orange represented a rather drastic move away from red and amber values, and thus the term Liberal was somewhat maliciously applied to the new threat to the status quo. We see the same thing today where the term liberal is used even more vehemently and demeaning as Lib-dem, Lib-con and even Neo-libcon.

Back to Wilber: Continue Reading »

Nuwe prentjie gemaak

A Bavarian Night

Olie op doek: 600 x 800cm. (Ongeraam) Nou te koop vir Kersfees. Maak `n aanbod wat ek nie kan weier nie!

Of maak net `n opmerking, opbouend of afbrekend, of wat jy ook al wil. Dis altyd interessant om mense se menings oor kuns te hoor.

Father Thomas Keating

“Silence is God’s first language. Everything else is a poor translation”

Dearest Father Thomas,

I’ve been following your illness as it progresses, and, with so many others, am just distraught at the possibility of your passing on. We’re both spiritual seekers enough to realize that this won’t be an end for you, but simply a transition to yet further journeys with God. But I wanted to tell you, before you take off on that journey, what an extraordinary presence you have been in my life, and literally almost every day since we first met. I can still vividly see the time that Treya brought me to the monastery in Snowmass for the first time; I noticed copies of Up from Eden on several shelves, and knew this would be an unusually intimate relationship for me. Over the years, the enthusiasm that you displayed for my work has been a constant source of inspiration for me, and always helped me believe I was on the right track. Likewise, the work that you were doing—in everything from the Snowmass inter-spiritual dialogues to your own work in Centering Prayer and the many contemplative communities around the world that you started—have always influenced me directly in my own spiritual growth and understanding. Whenever I was asked to name a genuine Christian saint, the first words out of my mouth were always, “Why, Father Thomas Keating, of course. And by the way, he’s still on this planet.”

 Which is why the thought of your passing is just devastating to me. Yes, I’m delighted for the joyous journey ahead of you, but am also heartbroken at the loss for me and for so many. There will simply be noticeably and considerably less light on this planet when you have moved on, and all of us will feel that sadly and deeply. I notice that, over the years, I came more and more to see you as embodying that figure of Jesus Christ that I had put in Up from Eden, representing the evolution of all humanity toward their own Ground and Source. You are still the holiest person that I have ever met—seriously—and I have met quite a few. I know your own humility would not allow you accept that, but do allow me this opinion, because I do mean it—and I’m a fairly bright boy.

 I don’t know how much any of us will be able to go with you on the coming adventure, but I do know that a good deal of you will remain reflected in all of us. You’ve had such a profound and indelible impact on so many—certainly including me—and I thank you enormously for being here, for attending to us all, for caring for us all, and for helping to save each and every one of us. I’m sure right now that you are working to let go of the “famous teacher” ego and rest even more fully in the Divine Presence, but I just wanted you to know that it was exactly that Presence that you presented to each and every one of us, that you showed to us, that you shared with us, and that you freely gave to each and all who were fortunate enough to know you.

 There are few lives I can think of that have been as truly, integrally, authentically engaged. And humanity as a whole is just that much closer to a genuine realization of God because of you. Bless you, bless you, bless you, my friend—I will carry you in my heart forever.

 Eternally yours,

Ken Wilber


“For human beings, the most daunting challenge is to become fully human. For to become fully human is to become fully divine.”

―  Thomas Keating,  Manifesting God

“Having come to deep interior silence, you begin to relate to others beyond the superficial aspects of social status, race, nationality, religion, and personal characteristics.”


Einde van `n pad

Game – Set – Match



Johan op sy driewiel

Die laaste inskrywing op hierdie blog deur Johann. Sondag sal ons sy as gaan strooi op `n koppie by Mooinooi.

Rus in vrede broer, vriend, geesgenoot. Ons mis jou.

Hy was inderdaad `n man van vrede.



Die ou man leun so trug teen die kleimuur, en die riempies van sy stoel buig kwalik onner sy tenger gewig. Ons koffiebekers is lankal koud maar sy skraalte drink nog die hitte vannie muur.

Normaalweg sou ek nou al half ongemaklik begin raak het met ‘n stilte wat so draal. Die peperboom se bessies ritsel in ‘n vae bries en ‘n torrie se koer uit die bloekombos, so ‘n enkie daar agter sy hut, vee die trae lug in lustelose kringe.

Die plooie op sy gesig lyk so gemaklik – assof dit enige oomblik kan vervorm in ‘n glimlag, of verdriet. Skuins strale van die laat middag son ets sy gelaat ‘n rooier bruin en streel die grys halo van sy kort geskeerde hare. Nooit sou ek kon dink dat daar so ‘n vrede in hierdie lewe kon wees nie.

My gedagtes dwaal trug na vroeër, toe ons gesels nog gevloei het. Soos die gekibbel van ‘n bedeesde waterstroompie, wat sy weg kronkel deur die Wes- Transvaal se vlaktes, het ons woorde strominge in mekaar se gedagtes laat blyk. My gemoed waarskynlik meer van ‘n modderkolk . . . en syne . . .? Die vrede was tóé al tasbaar: die rugstring van sy wese.

Die ding van ‘n kleimuur is dat dit hitte opsuig, en later as die lug afgekoel het, weer uitstraal. Dik kleimure, met klein vensterkies soos dié van sy tweevertrek hut, hou ‘n huis se binnekant koel innie somer, en warm innie winter. Buk deur die deur en staan vir ‘n minuut of so eers baie stil. Tot dat jou oë die donkerte gewoont raak . . . tot dat jou siel die koelte vind.

My oë gly oor die groen mielielande, draai trug na sy gesig toe, en ontmoet syne. ‘n Vae glimlag speel om sy mond en die antwoord lê rein in sy kyk.

Het ek ooit ‘n vraag gehad?

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