The Paradox of "Knowledge"


I think it’s interesting that even while recorded time has passed for several thousands of years, as the evolution of our knowledge has "progressed", we continue to organize and systematize our observations and notions of reality so as to hopefully better inform our sense of what exists. Yet we are still left with virtually nothing, as every single aspect of ecology conceived of is nothing more than another individual's perspective: based on [a whole bunch of theory], we should do __________ (fill in the blank as you see fit). We are still making decisions based on systematized assertions, though at least now we have more or less acknowledged and accepted the idea that we can't ever know everything (dare I say anything?). Thus arises the need to bring it all together (through interwoven perspectives). As such, we have not so much evolved our knowledge as refined our ignorance:


"What we call 'facts', in other words, are not ready-made but emerge in a complex process of perceptual, emotional, and cognitive negotiation between knower and known. According to perspectivalism every assertion is made by a person occupying a viewpoint within a cultural worldspace....consciousness is embodied in flesh…Assertions about environmental problems are created and interpreted by people with different perspectives and interests...Hence, a 'perturbation' in a complex system is determined as such by scientists with a methodology, informed by a hypothesis, which is influenced by a larger theoretical perspective [the 'best' one being one informed by an AQAL lens, of course]." Integral Sustainability 35


I wonder however, if this concept of "Integral" only perpetuates the folly of "confusing the map for the territory." The arrogance of attempting to authoritatively categorize "everything" in a relatively short handbook seems to be an unabashedly disturbing depiction of reality lending credibility to notions of "Ecofacism." When one categorizes, systematizes, organizes, hierarchizes, and taxonomizes the various phenomena we are all exposed to, it seems natural to put one's self at the top of the stages of conscious development (if not, there would be no possibility to recognize everything "below") so that OF COURSE when defending Integral Theory or AQAL as the most enlightened "Theory of Everything", it would seem natural that its main proponent (Wilber) would qualify as an "Eco-Sage" simply because he invented or refined the particular perspective being defended.


Of course that logic of theory would seem to follow: we are all the hero or protagonist in our own stories and will thus obviously try to inspire and motivate others on "lower" levels of consciousness to be more like “us.” Perhaps this self-centeredness is the basis for all writing in general (as we would have no reason to communicate to others anything we were not especially proud enough of to begin with), yet it becomes problematic when that pedestal becomes the foundational reason for telling others to do what we think is right.


Coming back to "Ecofacism," defined as a human institution where individuals are subordinate to a state of consciousness in which society is depicted as "developing according to the dialectical laws of history" (551), which, perhaps not incorrectly, presupposes that communal vitality is being drained by 3 factors: (571)


1) Urban industrialism (which cuts off the citizenry from its instinctual roots and natural setting)


2) racial mixing (here defined as the "abomination" of letting those "unworthy of ruling", i.e. "lower" levels of consciousness--red, amber, orange..., act in non-integral ways-- like waging war based on ethnocentric perspectives...)




3) misplaced pity that supports the "degenerate and otherwise deficient people" (i.e. letting those persons of a "lower developed consciousness" stay in charge...).


Through integral logic, "ecofacism" then becomes simply another perspective to be united in a comprehensive meshwork so as to more clearly articulate the "right" way to proceed.


For instance, Freeman writes it is necessary to create a "unifying solution" that "exists to control consumer costs, protecting the security of this nation, combat the awesome threat of global warming, reduce the existing health menace of local air pollution, and decrease the radioactive dangers," (9) by expunging the poisonous energy systems (oil, coal, and nuclear energy systems) and focusing on Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Biomass, Hydrogen (renewables)...so that "the needs of the nation will prevail over the self-centered views of any individuals or group...(174)...With inexhaustible and relatively clean and economical energy, we can satisfy the basic need for food and material comforts for all people inhabiting the Earth. But first, Americans must recognize and value a LIMIT on personal material affluence." (Freeman 206)


With the synchronization of the world through democratically elected policies, a procedure for change can take place, enacting a manifested evolution. Whether that change will be beneficial or not will depend on whether it is motivated by an Integrally conceived of system of habitual practices geared towards solving for pattern: "the spiritual practices that evolved were varied, but all concentrated on focusing and guiding the mind with simple precepts and practices whose repetition in daily life would gradually and truly change the heart. Enlightenment was not an end--equanimity, kindness, and compassion were." (Hawken 185)


So, by recognizing the value of interiority and internalizing a theoretic interpretation of reality that appreciates and conforms to such a belief (while remaining unique, but that should be taken for granted), clear objectives may be organized so that


"transformative practices such as therapy, contemplation, meditation, and community service help individuals discover the roots of their attitudes, beliefs, and emotions that give rise to care for or damage the environment. We stress the importance of individual (UR) and collective (LR) transformative practices so as to support individual development (UL), which in turn can affect collective attitudes and practices (LL), leading to new institutions (LR) that further support interior development (UL). Until we can create healthy expressions of each level of development and until we have leaders who embody worldcentric and planetcentric levels of development, we will continue to misuse nature." 195 Integral Ecology


Basically authority comes from synthesizing the work of others.


Anyone disagree?

[dialectical philosophy needed for paradigm shift where the future of democracy is sped up so that in acting we will be participating in the manifestation a new government]

Implications: we can better predict the future by creating it ourselves

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