A practical guide to building an integral world

World Futures 58 (2 & 3):241 – 263 (2002)
Abstract
We stand at the start of a new millennium with a growing awareness of what is wrong with our civilization but little agreement as to what to do. From environmental crises to democratic systems dominated by moneyed interests, the list of dangers is long and growing. Each issue has a band of defenders who struggle to right that particular wrong but, because these bands are disjointed, the broad movement they serve remains incoherent and weak. The broad movement is usually described as toward "sustainable civilization," but its precise designation is "integral society." The challenge for the emerging "new science" is to provide a framework for understanding that unifies and gives direction to the disparate efforts that comprise the integral movement. This framework must address three needs. First, it must provide a sound understanding of why, despite our sophistication, things seem to be going badly in so many spheres. Secondly, it must present a believable vision of where our civilization should be headed. Finally, it must provide a sense that there are concrete steps we can take to achieve the deep dreams that most of us actually share. What we need, in short, is not more disparate insights, but rather a collective intellectual unity that integrates existing insights into a logically coherent and emotionally compelling whole. Such integration, however, cannot be constructed artificially, by committee or consensus. Rather, true integration can only come from a unified scientific understanding of why various ideas connect. Today, a scientific story capable of such unifying understanding is found in the expanded theory of evolution that is emerging from the union of a broad range of scientific efforts. This theory also serves as a unifying thread for an integrated new science. This article outlines the "dynamic" view of evolution and how it unites integral efforts.
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