miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2016



With questions from the European Integral Community

Organized, transcribe & translated to Spanish 

by Raquel Torrent


October 12th, 2016

Ken Wilber  &  Raquel Torrent in 2009

With great pleasure and honour, I herewith share the transcription of the FIRST PART of the Interview to Ken, as he was so generous that gave us four hours and a half  of answering questions.  As long as this post is, there are only four questions.  I will keep on posting the following questions as Part TWO, THREE... ETC, as I do not know how long would it take to transcribe (and then translate into Spanish) the 22 quesitons.  The third question is a most current issue as it has to do with the Elections in the United States. 


1) RT:  Hello Ken, as always the first question is:  How do you feel? How's your health...and if you know if they've found any cure for it yet?

KW:  No, there is not a cure yet.  This is a chronic illness that I caught in 1985. Around 300 people in a very small town in North Lake Taho came down with a really profound type of exhaustion, almost to a degree of paralysis; people just couldn't stand up, or get out of bed. It was a complete unknown illness at the time and for about a decade it was interpreted as a psychosomatic illness because the doctors couldn't find anything in standard laboratory tests which would show any problem. Everything came back normal. We were even called "Paper Perfect Patients" . But then more doctors started getting the illness, their family members started getting it.... It was  actually  an Epidemic.  The Center for Disease control in Atlanta, just a basic Government Agency that monitors illness in this country, came out at first saying that it was not a real illness. And they do research enormously ¡ After a decade or so they started to reverse themselves (and  that's of course something they never do) to say that it is a debilitating adult illness.  They originally  estimated that some 500.000 people had the illness and the latest is that over 3 million people have it.  It's chronic. We know an enormous amount about the actual Physiology of the illness. We know what happens in the body. How it functions, how it works but we still don't know what causes it ¡ It's not human to human transmissible, fortunately. But we don't know how people get it. So that's still a problem.

There are now an enormous amount of research projects, several Governments around the world have put entire Departments devoted to the illness as it is economically devastating.  It's really sort of a story for our time. It's based in industrial illness, environmental toxins and contaminants. But whatever its cause, it's really problematic. I am lucky myself as I haven't had any illnesses in my adult life, except this one. Fortunately, and like I always say, before I caught the illness all I did was sit in a corner and write or sit in a corner and meditate, so I can still sit in a corner and do the same. But if  I would've worked  in a gas station, for example, I just had to quit my job as I couldn't stand for that long ¡ 

So, with this illness is like so:  it goes up,  goes down, goes up, goes down but it's always there.  I just got used to it and like in other chronic illness all you have to do is manage the symptoms.  There are all  sorts of things you can take to help with them like all kind of vitamins, nutrients and medicines.  So I basically feel pretty good most of the time. Is not really something that I notice that much;  only when there are times that gets strong and  I have to quit what I'm doing. Otherwise it hasn't really stroke me down that much.  I wrote over 25 books since I got it, so I keep going. Any type of awareness I developed by doing mirrors has really helped me to adapt because I can just bring a detached witnessing. I'm not that attach to it. I don't identify with it, so it's not something that really directly impacts my core awareness and this is a clear result of the years of meditation that I've done.

2) RT:  What explanation could you give from an Integral perspective to the apparent involution of human western values?  For example in Europe there are minority groups who are demonstrating a healthy and integrated levels of consciousness and yet we're hearing again the same discourses used by Fascism.  In many parts of the world welfare states are being destroyed with the global rising of xenophobia, racism and wide status disparities.  Is this a necessary transit or is it possible that humanity is not going up within levels of consciousness but in the contrary retreating to more basic levels, reducing the possibility of an ascending global Evolution?

KW:   Yes, it is a real problem.  In the long run Evolution has a very strong tendency to continue to transcend and include, transcend and include, to continually move up to wider and wider enactive and more inclusive and more embracing entities and realities.  But it goes up and down. It's like I say with the Great Depression in world Economics.  The Economic System is generally showing growth and growth and growth but also periods that took a deep dive.  And in a sense that's what we're seen and is increasing in a certain sense in the last couple of decades for several major reasons. One is that warfare and particularly tribal warfare largely stopped when there were basically two world powers:   the United States and the Soviet Union.  They were at what we would call amber and amber to orange general levels of development and because they threatened each other's existence and because they sort of hover over the world, created a tension that in a strange way stopped warfare.         
What was happening in any country was that as the country was trying to decide its own fate, the Soviet Union would move in and take up half of  the country,  so the United States would go and take the other half: North and South Vietnam, North and South Yemen, North and South Korea.   It's all around the books¡  But that was hollow warfare. As the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin wall came down all of a sudden that forced stability (that even if it wasn't the best way to achieve stability,  there was a fair amount of it while it was there)  broke in and in its place -at the leading edge of cultural Evolution in the Western world-  there was no longer orange which meant rational, achievement, progress, accomplishment, and so on (that were the Modern Enlightenment values),  but Postmodern  multicultural, relativistic values.  That meant that there was no longer any guiding value system or guiding force that would hold Culture up and so the prevailing view with the green altitude pluralistic postmodern sensibility was saying "no culture is better or worse than any other, everybody is equal, all values are special and cannot say what is good or what is bad" and so on.  Now, of course, there were  people that maintained that thought that their view point was the best viewpoint.  They thought their view was superior in a world where nothing  was supposed to be superior. Nonetheless, what they did do is just remove the forceful holding up of cultures.  Since everybody is born in square one and people are moved from egocentric, into ethnocentric and then  worldcentric and kosmocentric, the force that was holding up the worldcentric idea dissolved and people started regressing. In particular most Modern Nations were brought together in many cases by combining several different tribal ethnicities into a single nation and so as national solidarity began to loosen and break down people tended to regress to their ethnocentric racial tribal identities. So, on the one hand the movement that had been going in Western Europe for a long time towards a European Union, a very integrative mode, started to break down.   In fact we're seen it's break down now. Dangerous right wing  forces, ethnocentric, racists, hyper-patriotic forces and in the major European countries¡  We're seeing it in France, in Hungary, Spain, Poland, and even in Germany the right wing has started to present a strong public combat.

All of the above is helped, strangely enough by the growth of Technology. Because when Technology started and the Internet first started most of the people were in a green sort of new paradigm, world transformation, Culture Creative types. So the Internet was going to be a unifying force, one Humanity, one Mind,  one Consciousness.  And what it really did  was allow every fragmented, partial and small group of people to come together and live in their own  world. A very regressive effect. And then Technology itself and its impact in Economics, was increasingly doing many tasks that human beings previously did. So, we're in  a transition point where for  most of our history work  has been thought as this kind of necessary evil.  It was something we were forced to do and certainly the Utopia was to reach a moment where nobody had to work, where machines would do everything for us and we could just relax and sit back in the Riviera.  But in the transition point where people has to work in order to live,  where we find that machines are not doing everything for us, that transition is a nightmare as people just keep losing their jobs.  There are no economic means to support them and so most countries are seriously considering (and in Silicon Valley  -which is sort of the source of a lot of  this Technology- is just taken as a standard belief)  to move toward what's called a "Basic Guarantied Income". Everybody, every citizen, no matter what they are doing receives  a certain amount of money annually from the Government  to live comfortably without work. And if they want extra money then they can go get a job or do extra things to get money, but nobody has to work. Under that circumstance it will be fraudulent to this Technology to continue to display jobs. So, what is doing right now is creating a whole under class of unemployable workers who are  frustrated and   angry.  They want Britain to exit the European Union because they're seeing immigrants are coming in and taking all their jobs.  They want Donald Trump to become president as he's going to build a wall between us and Mexico, he's going to stop all Muslims from coming into the country... and that's the kind of thing that we can expect to see more of, not less of in the coming years.  Two things are going to have to change.  One:  the leading edge is going to have to  move in Western Cultures.  A leading edge that is about 20% of the population in Europe and NorthAmerica  is in green;  pluralistic, relativistic, postmodern. We'll have to see 10% minimum of the population at Integral or Teal, or Second Tier or Vision Logic, or Satoric stages of development.  Those are the first stages that demand Unity. They seek out wholeness and they're truly Holistic in the best possible sense. 

Right now we have the most fragmented stage of development imaginable and is not helping to evolve. In second Tier what we have is that Technological transition into a world where machines do  most of the work and we're left to do what we want to do what we enjoy doing or what we love doing. A standard approach right now is: "find what you love to do and get paid for doing it" And that is a wonderful idea, I fully support if you can do it. But not everybody can do it¡  It's not so easy¡ I was lucky because sometime in my late teens I started getting these ideas about how everything fit together in a truly unified integrated way and so I wrote my first book when I was 23.  That's what I loved doing and fortunately it was good the fact that I could make a bit of a living and so I've been doing that ever since. But not everybody is that lucky. Up to that point where there is that Basic Guarantied Income and we're not and simply based in Technology we're making that unemployable class bigger and bigger;  as that's the class that's getting more and more far right winged,  more and more drawn into themselves,  more and more hyper-patriotic and  hyper-nationalistic. They're not really concerned about anybody but themselves.  And it's understandable. It really is¡  Maslow reminded us that our basic levels of development are what we call pre-personal where you have to satisfy first the needs of the lower levels before the higher levels can emerge. If higher levels get decommissioned we are moving the up down.  So that's what's happening because we have those two major factors: the leading edge who's interior development is at green  -so that's pluralistic, fragmented, relativistic-  and the leading edge of right hand technological development who is at a point of displacing humans from work. Both of those are creating very very unpleasant situations for the world. And as the climate change starts to become more and more dramatic all is going to do is make everything incomparably worst and worst. And that's what we can expect. It's not pretty ¡

3) RT:  Up to now we  very well know the crisis of the First Tier levels.  Could you orient us about how to recognize , manage and overcome the crisis from one tier to the other  that also implies a level crisis... like from the green spirituality to the emerald pragmatism for example?

KW:   Although people  are pretty familiar with these terms, what we mean by First Tier are the early stages of human development,  both historically (up to Postmodernism)  and in individuals  growth and development or from birth through young adulthood.  The developmental studies show that there are five or six major levels of development that Humanity has gone through on the whole going back from 500.000 years.  Also each individual today goes through on its own individual's growth and development. Terms for this, and there are many many terms that can describe these major stages,  are the ones used by Jean Gebser and they go from the Archaic stage to the Magic to the Mythic to the Rational stage to the Pluralistic stage.  This last one is  where we are right now in terms of our sort of leading edge development:  pluralistic. Historically, the pluralistic stage is relatively new. Is the last stage to emerge in a significant way.  It started essentially in the 60's and was responsible for,  said the Revolution of the 60's that we brought in and that meant everything from Civil Rights, to Environmentalism, Personal and Professional Feminism, Multiculturalism and Diversity Movements. And all of these things were truly significant. 

The problem with all those stages up to a stage beyond pluralistic that Gebser refers to as "Integrative" or Integral,  are called First Tier is that everyone of those stages thinks that its truth and values are only from correct truth an values in existence and everybody else's are confused, infantile, or goofy or just wrong.  So even the Pluralists, the green Postmodern Pluralists that says "everybody is right", they still think that their view is the best. It's the only truth there is.  They hate orange values, they hate amber values, they hate magenta values, they hate purple values.  All the earlier stages: archaic, magic, mythical, rational, they despise. They hide the "all inclusive" because in reality there is nothing of the sort, even though it's in their principles. When there is this leap to Second Tier (and Clare Graves, a pioneering developmentalist called this a "monumental leap in meme" "a "cataclysmic leap") what happens is that all of a sudden at the people look at all of the earlier stages of truth and values and they just feel sometimes for reasons they can't fully explain that they're all significant that they're all contributing something and it turns out that if nothing else each of them is a required stage in the  overall human growth and development and we can only get to these highly developed integral levels if we have ourselves got from archaic to magic to mythic to rational to pluralistic.  You can't skip stages.  And so Integral understands this in such a widely highly developed stage of consciousness that it really is all inclusive and all embracing and so it includes all of those earlier levels in its own idea of what's important and what needs to be included.

One of the things that it's important for us as a culture and try to understand it is if we look at Education for example.  Most people don't have any trouble having a general sense of ranking. There are two types of ranking or two types of so call hierarchy. Now most Postmodernists, most Pluralistic, most Feminists, most Culture Creatives hate all hierarchy. They think is the cause for all social ills. You shouldn't rank anything, you shouldn't be judging like that; hierarchies are bad, so they say. But actually the higher you go in a growth hierarchy the more inclusive you are¡ So the hierarchy goes from Egocentric to Ethnocentric, to Worldcentric to Kosmocentric.  It goes from me to us, to all of us, to all sentient beings; so the higher you are in the hierarchy... the better. The less domineering you are, the more inclusive you are. There is what is call Growth Hierarchies and those are good and then there are the Dominator Hierarchies and those are bad. We intuitively sort of understand that Growth Hierarchies are better.  If you look at major things go like from atoms to molecules to cells to organisms, each one of those are more inclusive. Each one of those embraces its former level. Molecules don't hate atoms, they love them, they embrace them, they include them. So we have this intuitive understanding and so that's why we understand that Education itself is a kind of Growth Hierarchy. So we go from grade 1 to grade 12. At some point what enormously helps cultural wisdom is if we understood that when those grades actually are responsible for its moving of people through a Growth Hierarchy what we're doing is helping people heart's grow and develop and become more and more expansive, more and more inclusive in a lower and less egocentric stages and into a more expansive ethnocentric stages and into a more expansive worldcentric stages. That's  from Archaic to Magic to Mythic to Rational to Pluralistic and then to Integral stages. As we start to understand that such kind of ranking is not a Domineering Ranking but a Growth Ranking indicating that's more inclusive and embracing we will be more conscious as we increase our own cultural wisdom.

There  are several different things that we can do in all of the quadrants when moving individually from First Tier to Second Tier. If we are looking just at the upper left (the interior of an individual) a foundation component of Integral Awareness (that humans are not born with but it's absolutely fundamental for stages starting as early as amber and that its command is mandatory when you get to higher stages)  is a capacity that gets more and more expanded and more sophisticated as we grow and develop but is very simple and it's called "Taking the role of other". So if you're talking with somebody in a conversation like we're talking right now, too many people just rest in their own view point and they listen to the other person and to what they say but from their view point and then respond.  So they're taking their own first person perspective and they're talking to a second person but they are not specifically trying to get the role of that person. They are not trying to see how that other person is seeing the conversation, how that other person is seeing the world or how that other person is actually feeling or thinking or what the ideas are. And so when you're doing that, when you're interacting with people just remind yourself:  what is the role of others? How are they actually seeing this situation? How are they interpreting? What are they thinking about it? Is he sad? Is he happy? What does it mean?  That's an absolutely crucial capacity.  If you take a five year old child and you take a ball which is green in one side and red on the other and you put that ball between yourself and the child and you turn it several times so that the child sees that it has two colors: green/red, green/red.  And just as the green side stays in the child's side, you ask the child "what color are you looking at?" and the child very correctly would say "green".  And then you ask him "what color am I looking at ?" and even though you're looking at red, the child would say "green". It doesn't understand your point of view, he can't see how you're seeing the ball. So for him what you're seeing is what he is seeing. At seven years old the child would correctly say "red", as the Concrete Operational Thinking starts.  So this is a capacity that has emerged. It's the capacity when we expand to second person and to third person, fourth and fifth person. But it starts as simple as putting yourself in the role of others. Many people are surprised by the fact that they realize that they understand that other people have different perspectives and different view points and so on but they can hardly remember and have a hard time  actually putting themselves in the role of others and actually ask themselves what do they see? what are they thinking?  It's a very powerful practice. 

If you are doing something like a practice of "Waking Up" or meditating or doing awareness or Mindfulness training you won't do anything like that.  You're set to look at the contents of your own mind.  No meditation system teaches you to say "okay what about the person next to me?" what is she seeing or perceiving As that is the process of  "Growing" which is different from "Waking Up". Growing has to do with these stages of growth and development and Waking Up has to do with changes in  the states of Consciousness toward deeper and deeper realities.  Growing up is becoming more and more inclusive in our perspectives. So that's one fundamental practice.  So whatever stage you're at, it will help you to get to the next stage, starting all the way from Magenta and Red. If taking the role of other (Growing up) is more a kind of emotional intelligence, Waking Up  is more a cognitive intelligence. What we call sensorio-motor intelligence is completed out around the second or so year of life.  Its major accomplishment is to actually see the world as separate enduring things and events through space and time.  If you put a ball behind a pillow the ball continuous to exist.  At twelve months the child thinks that if you put the ball under the pillow then is gone ¡ Then it says: Ah, it doesn't exist anymore¡  But by 24 months the child knows it's still there.  So, it's often said "Oh, well we have this Newtonian Cartesian word view that nobody had until the Western Modern Era. Actually everybody has it about twenty four months old  ¡  It's just a higher world view and they override it¡ The magical world view actually  fails to differentiate subject and object and so they'll think that if you make a mental image of something and if you change that mental image you will change the actual thing that's representing. So, if you make a doll that represents a person and you stick a pin in the doll you actually hurt the real person. That's magic ¡ These guys do understand that there is a doll, there is a person, there is a pin ¡ So we have this sense that the  world is being unfold as separate things that are going around out there.  So simply start not just at individual agency;  as a separate thing wandering about out there but start actually looking at, hearing, intuiting, thinking the communions, the relationship of each thing to every other thing.  If so you do all of a sudden you'll start to see a world of interwoven interconnections and in a certain way essentially everything is interconnected with everything else.  And that's a much more sort of a relational viewpoint but  it's also something that doesn't come naturally to human beings. It doesn't exist in atoms fundamentally.  Animals are really good in some specific tasks and events and they have senses that are highly developed to register certain sounds, certain sights, certain smells;  but they don't see our relational interconnected world.  This is again something that comes only with increasingly higher levels of human awareness. 

One of the things that you want to do is just keep in mind, look forward to these interrelationships.  You can get more sophisticated. One of the things that learning something like an AQAL Integral framework  does is that shows you an enormous number of dimensions that exist out here even though some of them cannot really be seen in the exterior environment like those stages of development that we talked about: Archaic to Magic, to Mythic to Rational to Pluralistic, to Integral.  You cannot see those running around out there in the exterior world. You actually have to look at researches that study human development and determine these stages and make a map of them. And then here is that map to understand that territory. You may be confused with the territory but you don't want to  have a complete screwed up map¡ So when you use an AQAL framework and you learn the quadrants, and you learn levels of development and different lines and states; these are all interconnected, these are all various dimensions or elements which are all related. They're all agency but they all have communion. Agency and communion.  There are things in relationship.  We see the things, we don't see the relationship. So we actually need to train ourselves to do that. It's a muscle that we have to exercise if we want it  to grow.  As we're relating to one another these are two prime ingredients in the emotional line and the cognitive line that would help people move throughout stages.

4)  RTWhat's your opinion about Trump and Hillary Candidacy and the implications for the future of the United States and the rest of the world from an Integral Perspective?

KW:    Oh, dear ¡ It's not a happy day for Politics in the United States.  I don't think we ever had an Election (certainly not in my life) where both candidates were as unpopular as ours are now. They both have huge negative ratings and it's understandable . I mean that I think they're very accurate ratings . There's not too much to like about either of these candidates.  Don is just scary.  It's hard to imagine somebody with that ethnocentric  byassed, prejudice, racist, sexist mentality to be the head of the one remaining superpower  in the world. It's embarrassing ¡  Hillary has an enormous amount of experience but her politics from the beginning have been highly tilted not really to integrative stands but to a sort of extreme lefties point of view.  She was tapping early on in all sorts of rights, including rights for children for example under the green mentality that everybody is essentially the same. So, is just that lack of true integrative understanding that we expect from the leading edge of the Democratic party.  The way that ended up going is that Conservatives had ended up representing essentially amber to orange realities and Liberals thinking as so progressive and being the edge of development tending to go from orange to green.  And so both parties have to wait.  In the Republicans there is the amber wing or just the old time ethnocentric, racist, sexist, white leaders, fundamentalist religious thoughts and rights with mythic view points. And then there is the Wall Street Republicans which think orange, have individual rights and they believe exactly what the old time Liberals.  And then in the liberal camp there are the old time Liberals which are orange and in a bizarre way they sort of share values with the orange Republicans and with their orange individual values. Then there is the leading edge of Liberals which is green. It's a completely confused branch of Politics, because again, the whole Postmodern Relativistic stand is so itself contradictory.  It believes that is universally true and there is no universal truth. It believes that all knowledge is relative and culturally created, except its own view which is true for all cultures and all types and all places but nothing should be superior except its own view which is superior to all .  And so when they actually try to live that is disastrous¡ You end up contradicting yourself all the time¡ 

In this country we watch politicians coming from the green stage of development trying to articulate but in their actions, their views it's just a mess.  They contradict themselves all over the place. They often fall back into their own orange values and then they say "we need excellence, we need achievement, we need accomplishment" and then they get in their green stands and then they say "no,  excellence isn't good because if we say this group is excellent that means that this other group over here is not excellent and that's ranking, and we don't rank".  And so, Internationally , when somebody is at their orange stands they think that the United States should be the world leader and we represent all free countries and we should be very forceful and dictating what the world should do. And then they get in their green stand and they go "Oh no, we are like any other nation. We are not better than anybody".  They won't use the term "Islamic Terrorist" because that's like judging. So Obama has been going back and forth and back and forth and one of the strongest criticism of Obama has come from his green stances.  So we still have to figure out how to put green Politics into political action.  It might be that this is never going to actually work and what we're waiting for is the first political movements that has its fundamental time and space at Second Tier. And that would start to happen when the 10% of the population reach the Second Tier.  We will start to see that kind of tipping point to occur.  In the meantime we're going to see a heightening of candidates like Trump and Clinton.  They actually have very narrow focus and very fragmented values and view points, but that's what we have now. 

4 comentarios :

Adelheid Hörnlein dijo...

Thanks for writing this interview out, RAchel. Today, as Trump seems to become the president, it reads too easy. Now things will get really interesting, or better, frightening.

Anónimo dijo...

Hola Raquel,me gustaria leerte, pero no sé ingles, una lástima. Un beso grande

Raquel Torrent dijo...

Yes Heidi, it's also a shame for so many souls in such an important country for the world ¡¡¡ Only GOD knows WHY this is happening. May be, we Humans have to go down into the mud, to take a big impulse to go UP ¡¡¡ And thanks for your comment. It's been my pleaure and I will keep on posting the rest of the interview :-)

Raquel Torrent dijo...

Hola Anonimo, NO TE PREOCUPES porque en breve sacaré por partes (como en inglés) la traducción al ESPAÑOL ¡¡¡ Es que no me da tiempo a todo :-)
Primero le hago la entrevista, la grabo, la transcribo (escuchando y dándole para adelante y para atrás hasta que pillo lo que dice para poderlo poner exacto) y ya después en la última fase lo traduzco.

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