At our ITP/ILP meeting (Integral Transformative Practice and Integral Life Practice) last night, we had about 10 people attend. Our reservation for a room had been messed up, so we retired to a small meeting room to meditate and dialogue.
SeattleIntegral, the second-largest integral salon in the world (I know....you've heard it before...), has hit a milestone of 150 members this week, and yet, we only have 10 people show up for the ITP/ILP group.
I've been pondering why, out of a group this large, we only have 10-12 members show up on a regular basis. Does this mean that only a small group of people actually have an ITP/ILP? Well, I think it depends on how you define those practices. By Integral Institute's current measurement, the ILP Home Study Kit is the embodiement of the highest practive available anywhere on the planet.*
Can you truly claim to live an integral life, or embody integral, if you're not doing Integral practices that touch on each quadrant? If, like me, you favor one quadrant, and most people do, there's a tendency to remain "stuck" in the safety of that quadrant. One of the things an integral practice should do, is balance you out. It doesn't mean you have to be a superb weightlifter (upper right quadrant activity) for example, but that you're doing something in that quadrant to balance out the tendency to be too much in your head (okay, I gave away my favorite quadrant).
Now, in fairness, we have several other smaller sub-groups of SeattleIntegral that meet specific needs: Couple of study groups, and spiritual, leadership, psychology, and Meetup. groups....but....read what Ken Wilber says in Integral Spirituality, "The Myth of the Given Lives On," appendix III, page 300:
"Not supplementing is no longer something that is without its effects and consequences. Not supplementing - not making one's spiritual practice into an integral spiritual practice - can slowly kill you, more or less literally, or worse: figuratively, because what kills you is the the soul struggling to be reborn into today's integral age, struggling to be born into it's own highest estate of Freedom and Fullness,** struggling to acknoweldge the the Spirit that that embraces the the entire Kosmos whole, with love and charity, valor and compassion, care and consciousness, interiority and identity, radiance and luminosity, ecstacy and clarity, all at once, and once and for all."
What Wilber is talking about, spirit, could easily be any other, and all other, practices.....and without balancing those practices, heart, mind, body, and spirit, you have to stop and ask yourself, "is it integral, or am I not quite there, yet?
*That's too bad, because , as good as it is, and it is very, very good, it is by definition, a solitary practice. i.e., "Home Study Kit." Murphy and Leonard's ITP is, at this point, and in my opinion, more integral than the I-I's ILP. Why? Because ITP does include group practices. There's an entire chapter called "The Magic of Community," something sorely lacking in the ILP Home Study Kit.....so far. It's not that the ILP creators aren't aware of the lower left community aspect, so it's hard to understand why they left the lower right structures out. I think they may have just run out of time. New ILP study groups, like SeattleIntegral, are exploring the community aspects of an ILP.
**"Freedom and Fullness" are the elements of enlightenment: see pg 243, Integral Spirituality, Integral Post-Metaphysics.
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