Integral Evolution is the title of a new book that has been published in Spanish by Kairós in October 2009 in Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. It will be presented at the VII Integral Conference in Barcelona where Joanna Hunt, and Laura Divine will be lecturing about their well known, useful and well structured Integral Coaching and where Ken Wilber will be holding an hour and a half Q&A session on a teleconference call.
Little could I imagine 20 years ago that this event was going to take place in my lifetime. My dream was to meet Ken Wilber, whose books had touched my soul as well as impelled my motivation to act upon inferior quadrants of my life that had been somehow left aside, ignored or had disintegrated. My relationships were not that integral while social work or political conciousness were just words and concepts far away from my everyday life. A laborious investigation and learning about resources and information provided a ladder to climb toward my dream, which was vivid in my imagination. Step by step I envisioned and nourished my integral consciousness. What was high before started to disolve in the recogniton that all creation is perfect in its imperfection. Although there are levels and hierarchies, every step of the ladder, as Ken Wilber or Don Beck would say, is wonderful and awesome in itself and its own ways. “High” doesn’t mean more important, more dignified or even more lovable. It only means more complex. That’s why through research and comprehension of the depths of Integral Consciousness, a means to analyse and act upon reality, I was able to disolve the blury smog and halo of the higher realms to give a real meaning and importance to myself and every human being—which I had done before in my soul but without knowing how to express it and put it out in relationship with my own self and others.
Therefore, “complexity” and “evolution” may co-exist together not as opposites or antagonist but as two qualities or characteristics of existance. Whether we are coming from biology, theology or politics, there is a reality that everything evolves toward a more complex composition or organization of its structure, although, as we know, the final result may take the simplest form (but in order to arrive at such a conclusion a previous walk through the path has been needed).
Sitting in the armchair today looking back to my experiences and to the wonders to come, I smile with the inner joy of the dream fulfilled, of the shadow worked in many instances, because even though there may be still “barbarians in the basement,” as Ken Wilber calls them, I know I have the communication skills to get to them and sufficient resources to make them come out. Thus, my dream fulfilled is not only to have known Ken personally or to have created the Spanish Integral Association with more than 50 members or to have been the founder of the Spanish Integral Conference (now in its 7th edition), but the gratefulness and recognition of having consciousness, which is the uppermost power, and to apply it to the five elements of reality with its eight perspectives and beyond. This consciousness is the present and continuous discernment to act with love and wisdom in any given situation. Because of the shadow I know I will not do it like that all the time, but I have the possibility of starting again and again in the perfection of my imperfection.
In August 2009 at his home I offered Ken Wilber a present from the Spanish Integral Association as recognition of his ample work and great influence in the world of thought and consciousness. I met with him for a long time the day after I attended his first public appearance at the Boulder Integral Center. There he gave a lecture saying that in 10 years or so we will be seeing changes that will surprise humanity and not all of them nice, neither all of them devastating. Among other things he talked about the importance of recognizing with pride our belonging to the leading edge of change in the world through an Integral Life. That reminded me of the attitude that people have in the world toward someone who shows up with some purpose. The tendency is to maintain things as flat as possible by saying, “Don’t move too much! Don’t rock the boat! Don’t make waves!” A person who fulfils a dream has the power to accomplish more and more tasks along the way. That is scary for those who do not want to move from their beliefs, comfort zones and standardization. Those who have an Integral view do not have to think that we’re special or better than others. On the contrary, we do have the difficult and necessary task of pulling all the rest toward a higher realm of transformation. It is a responsibility or as some one said, we are the ones that have the “ability” to respond to the crossroads challenge that humanity is confronting. At the same time, we may be proud of having such an ability, such determination and evolutionary impulse as to be present in the Integral movement, leading the way.
The book “Integral Evolution” is a living result of the ability to share inner presence with others. Twenty-eight people gathered to offer their visions of understanding and application of Integral Theory and Practice. I worked with the very best of the speakers and sympathizers of the six previous Integral Conference’s editions and edited their work in a 500 page book that offers integral articles on diverse disciplines (psychology, philosophy, spirituality, enterprise, technology, sexuality, etc.) in Spanish. It offers an academic strategy through the proposal of integral methodological pluralism. While the authors offer a mixed palette of methodologies, their diverse views show reality from different perspectives. As reductionist as it may seem, because reality cannot be reduced to just one quadrant if we are to be integral, the book is presented quadrant by quadrant to make it more comprehensive. There are six authors in each quadrant and then a final integrated view of the four quadrants written by Latin American authors.
We’re all in evolution and therefore experiencing more and more complexity, but this doesn’t mean that our dreams have to do the same. Martin Luther King dreamt outloud and many of us keep on dreaming. The State of the World Forum will demonstrate this in February. Therefore, we’re not through with this; we will allways be on the move. I myself will keep on dreaming with the clear view that all dreams that we may have are in reality already fulfilled, because the blessings are already given as we co-create them together with conciousness or without it. Like Ramana Maharshi said “there is not a path to walk and yet we cannot stop our feet.” Peace be still.
Raquel Torrent is based in Madrid, Spain. She is a psychologist and integral therapist. She is also a transpersonal consultant. Raquel is the Founder and President of Honor of the Spanish Integral Association. She is a Director of Aelotrans, an annual integral conference in Spain.www.torrentranspersonalintegral.com.