How Theory Comes Alive

This week I want to share a poem written by my friend, Vanessa Fisher. Vanessa is an artist, activist and global nomad who shares my love of Integral Theory and expresses her hope for its impact this way  . . .

The Art of Theory

Let this theory be living imagination an artist’s communication an infinitely varied color palette in the mind of God

So together we might paint worlds once deemed impossible and hurtle towards a future with trust in the unforeseeable

lifeboats labyrinths breakthroughs and cul de sacs

dead ends rhythmic trends and unexpected sideways bends

it seems that like an artist evolution rarely travels on clear tracks

So let this theory be like a rhyme a crack in time a lifeline to the ever-deepening mystery of God’s unpredictable creativity

I should have used the poem in my early posts but didn’t think of it until recently. It reminds us that the theory is a map of the territory of human and planetary evolution. That map is not dry theory; rather it is rich and deep and helps us to see that we have evolved over a very long span of time. From the first simple cells, 3.8 billion years ago to the emergence of the modern human, 200,000 years ago, life has been evolving. Alfred North Whitehead famously explained this amazing process called evolution as a “creative advance into novelty.” Today we are beginning to get our heads and hearts around our capacity to co-create each creative advance. The Integral Model rests on the premise that this evolutionary unfolding of the Kosmos is Spirit-in-Action. Spirit-in-Action is a self-transcending process that seems built into the fabric of Kosmos. Or as Wilber likes to say “absolute spirit is the fundamental reality.” This single process describes a formative drive. Its ground is Spirit or Emptiness, its drive is the organization of Form. The organization of form is the evolutionary pattern that proceed by a process of increasing orders of wholeness and inclusion . . . molecules to atoms to cells; letters to words to sentences; 3 yr. olds to 15 yr. olds to 29 yr. olds . . . each transcending and including what came before it. Evolution goes beyond what went before, its nature is to transcend and include and therefore has inherent directionality . . . toward increasing depth and complexity. This is the telos from Wilber’s point of view and he says it like this:

Evolution is best thought of as Spirit-in-action, God-in-the making, where Spirit unfolds itself at every stage of development, thus manifesting more of itself, and realizing more of itself, at every unfolding. Spirit is not some particular stage, or some favorite ideology, or some specific god or goddess, but rather the entire process of unfolding itself, an infinite process that is completely present at every finite stage, but becomes more available to itself with every evolutionary opening.

A Brief History of Everything p.9

Do you know what this means? It means that you are integral to Spirit’s creative action. You have the opportunity to express the creative love of Spirit as creation is manifested through you. Go for it!







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