In my on-going reflection on what I should do with this here blog I’ve changed the subtitle to “intelligent sounding nonsense.” That line is cribbed from here. I’m guessing its author meant it in a different way than I’m taking it, and just so it’s clear I’m not doing this to re-start some beef between us. I actually think non-sense is the direction more and more I need to go–to becomes less sensical, less practical. Sensical and practical in the common usage. I’ve been thinking for awhile now of how exactly to capture it in a pithy phrase and lo! the Universe responds. Part paradox, part social criticism, part self-mocking. I find what is generally understood in the blogoic-sphere as sensical and practical to not have much relevance for me. Plus the stuff really worth reading on the blogsophere is already out there. I don’t have much to add by way of that conversation anyhow. Or anything to add by way of practical creative originality. I suppose here and there I can just link to things of value (according to what I think is valuable that is) and I might do some of that here and there.
The old subtitle of the blog was Christianity, Integral Philosophy, and Politics. The Christianity stuff has largely (though not entirely) migrated over to my blogging at Credo @ Culture11. Politics is something I find I have less and less to say (maybe it’s less of a need to say?) and might just link here and there as I feel. Probably won’t be able to completely rid myself of some commenting but I expect that to be decreasing in amount. Plus the Skypecast Dialogues with Scott are far more interesting and fun way of discussing politics than straight blog posts.
So that leaves Integral Philosophy.
I’m not sure if what I do constitutes real philosophy. My background is in history so when I came to study philosophy it generally has been more through a history of philosophy stance.
Also I’m only working with one strand or really one camp within Integral (e.g. Wilber, Edwards, McIntosh). A camp that in some fashion or other emphasizes development, worldviews, quadrants, premodern-modern-postmodern-integral sequencing, the integral cycle, etc. That version of integral (in its various sub-formulations) does very well with things like evolutionary components, the interface between technology-economics and ideology, patterns of large scale political-organizational formation, the brain-mind problem, aligining traditional spiritual maps of consciousness with modern science and postmodern hermeneutics and so forth. There are a number of other issues on which it’s not well suited (or helpful).
More than a theory of everything it is as Mark Edwards says a theory for anything. Except it’s really not [which is ok :)]. I’ve never been a huge fan of the language around integral being the most comprehensive and so forth–at least as comprehensive is normally understood as piling on, bigger, more stuff. Most comprehensive as in Whitehead’s understanding of com-prehension now that’s another story for another day.
That being said, I have a bit of history doing commentary on various works in integral-land. I might continue every so often with one of those. But I really want more and more to investigate and experiment with this notion of a perspectival glossary. In Wilber’s book Integral Spirituality he only does a brief introduction on the concept of the integral/perspectival glossary (what he calls a Giga-Glossary) the few examples he gievs are all nouns. Would verbs or adjectives work?
Diderot & Crew in the founding of modernity in The Enlightenment had The Encyclopedia. Derrida had his Glas-sary as one of the key texts of postmodernity. So it makes sense, but how exactly to proceed?
My buddy Joe Perez used to do a series of posts called Holons of the Day (for what a holon is here). He would post a photo of something he felt of value. By affixing the holon label it had a way of subtly shifting the photo into a new lens (at least for me). What I’m thinking about doing here would be something like that except more in the realm of writing. In other words, nonsense.
The notion (via Wilber) of returning philosophy to perspectives–and the Glossary as a way of categorizing terms in light of that philosophical shift–is something like a meta-archaeology. (This version of) integral thought as Wilber says is (essentially) content-less as it deals with the quasi-universal existential structures (of development through lines, of states, 1-2-3 modes of being, the four dimensions of any arising moment, and the self system).
I’m here dealing more with the tone of thought, the tone of thinking, more than anything else. Understanding the same stuff in a different light (to switch my metaphors).