Integral Institute Australia has been very quiet, way too quiet, for rather a long time now. There have been some important reasons for this, but the current directors, myself included, are determined to end this state of affairs. To that end, we have decided that we want to stimulate some dialog on matters that are or may be of strong interest to the Australia/New Zealand integral community. It would be very useful to hear from you what you might like to discuss.
I have one issue that I feel sure I am not alone in wanting to have aired more, which is what our attitude is or should be to philosophical materialism. Those of you who may be on the Integral Global Facebook group, or who delve from time to time into Frank Visser’s Integral World website, cannot be unaware that certain persons, Frank chief among them, have been aggressively pushing versions of integral that are basically materialist, or at least naturalist, and accuse Wilber vehemently of abusing science, and particularly evolutionary science, in promoting his decidedly spiritual take on reality. This can be very off-putting, annoying and even exasperating, if I may take my experience as in any way typical. Opposing perspectives, however learned and careful, are routinely brushed off or ignored, and insults fly – admittedly sometimes in both directions! It does not feel as if any real respectful meeting of minds, far less a ‘transcend and include’, is going on there.
Wilber always says that everyone is right, but partial. How much right can we concede to the materialists, and how partial are they? I have been studying and thinking about these matters ever since I first went to university more than forty years ago, so I have a particular interest and involvement with the issue. In fact, I am writing a book about it! What do you think?