Surface judgments in the aqal world

One thing I notice among some in the integral world, including from Wilber himself sometimes, are quick judgments of what others are doing based on surface characteristics.

Sometimes, it seems that folks are looking for the official aqal lingo and if they don’t find it, then it can’t be aqal. Or they may look for something to be explicitly expressed, and if it isn’t, at least not where they are looking, then it is assumed that the author don’t understand it in the first place.

Again, this is something we all do, but to me, this is especially obvious in the integral world.

For instance, at the end of “Integral Spirituality”, Ken Wilber lists a number of popular teachers and authors, and apparently automatically gives them the stamp of being blind to the “myth of the given”.

I may be wrong, but for the ones I am more familiar with, they certainly do not seem to be in the grips of the myth of the given. If anything, they offer a practical path out of it. For instance, by doing The Work, we come to see any story as just a story, nothing more. And the same is the case for Hameed Ali (Almaas, Diamond Approach). Even as he uses certain descriptive terms to point to certain experiences, he is obviously clear on experiences as influenced by culture, biology, states, development and much more, and that there is nothing absolute in any of it.

Another example may be this blog, which I am sure does not appear very aqal to most people. After all, it is almost exclusively upper left quadrant focused, and does hardly ever use aqal terminology. But by looking at the content rather than surface markers, you’d find an acknowledgment of the equal importance and contribution of each quadrant, and of the importance of evolution/development and how the world is filtered differently through a combination of lines centered at different phases of their development.

And that is the case with a great deal of other writing that does not use explicit aqal terminology.

3 thoughts to “Surface judgments in the aqal world”

  1. I would generally agree with your passing observation. I used to think that when I was studying these things too. Arrogance and the wish to prove others of “lesser opinions” wrong is probably our biggest obstacle in our personal evolution.

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