Below are the first few paragraphs (and before that, the editor’s note) on a piece I wrote for Beams and Struts (www.beamsandstruts.com) regarding the launch of MetaIntegral (www.metaintegral.org) as a nascent institution within the Integral world. In this article I try and make sense of the lack of ‘integral level’ functionality within the actual larger Integral scene itself, why the ‘big containers’ in Integral to date are not currently configured to support a more mature enactment of the Integral ‘we’, and why I think the emergence and design of the MetaIntegral initiative is important in this regard. In this context, I use PatternDynamics (www.patterndynamics.com.au) as a tool to explore some of the important ‘meta-patterns’ at work in the Integral space and through this provide an example of how PatternDynamics may be used as a way of understanding, communicating and designing better power and politics outcomes within a community of practice.
Tim (ThePatternGuy) Winton
“[Editor’s Introduction Chris]: This week we are publishing two pieces on MetaIntegral, a new organization launching their online presence later this week. Part of our mission here at Beams is to be a platform for new projects and new voices to be heard. Also we seek to further the discourse of integral theory and practice, fostering dialogue, and including as many perspectives as possible. We believe that these pieces fit within that overall mission. At the same time, I hope it’s clear that the views are those of the authors. We encourage folks to leave their comments below. This piece by Tim Winton explores the topic of whether there should even be ‘big container’ organizations within integral, and if so how to create them in an appopriate way–looking to ecosystems as a learning model. The second piece (on the Integral Planet Endowment) by Jordan Luftig and Sean Hargens is here. Also checkout the followupblog piece by Carissa Wieler on grief and love within the integral world.
“Techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstances, you should be: hard like a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water or empty as space.”
–Morihei Ushiba (1972, p. 71)
In writing this piece I’m feeling a little like the guy who asks what might be a really dumb question in an auditorium full of really smart people. Intuitively, deep in my gut, I feel like I need to start a conversation, but I’m not really confident about how it’s going to go. I can’t stop myself from putting my hand up, and, now that I’m speaking into the mic, I’m getting those cold sweats down my spine and my stomach is in a knot.
I’m not sure I’m necessarily the most qualified person to start this, and I’m not even sure it’s going to be as important to you as it is to me, but, if it is, then it’ll be worth the risk. And, I’m prepared to be flat out wrong about how to go about this. Starting this conversation is not just about the ‘Integral community’–to a large degree it’s also about my own journey in Integral and my need, at this particular time, to try and make sense of what is going on and what I’m doing within the Integral space.
The question at the heart of this conversation, for me–and this is what I’ve been struggling with for a while now–is exactly how do we find meaning in what has gone down with the ‘Integral Enterprise’ to date. What happened to all the promise, the confidence, the potential for the more evolved organisation of the larger movement itself? How did we get to this underwhelming state of affairs when we were meant to be so fricken onto it–when our whole raison d’etre is that we think we have a better way of doing this sort of thing?”
Click here to read the rest of the article.