Saturday, December 09, 2006

Good News on Ken and Some Observations

Now that we're all breathing just a little easier about Ken's health, I want to address some reactions I've seen over the last couple of days about how we look at criticism, and the current management issues at Integral Institute.

I know Ken is not out of the woods, yet, and I want to remain mindful that my primary concern and hope, and I'm sure yours, is for his full and healthy recovery. Colin Bigelow expressed his, and I'm sure, most everyone's most soulful sentiments on Ken's Blog this morning. Colin, thank you. Your words touched me deeply and brought tears to my eyes. It was as if I were reading Ken’s own words.

While we're waiting for more good news about Ken, there have been some who have been fairly, and even righteously, indignant about the recent criticism over what's been happening at I-I. One of those criticisms has focused on indignation that there would be criticism going on while Ken was in the hospital in a coma.

I couldn't agree more.

However, one of the issues some criticism has focused around is the lack of transparency from I-I. Because I'm active in integral blogging, and am always checking on what's going on, I knew that Ken was ill fairly quickly, and passed the news on quickly to others who I knew shared my passion for him and his work, but a lot of people didn't, and a firestorm of speculation and analysis had already begun around the continually unfolding events at I-I. Even with the sudden and delayed news of Ken's hospitalization moving from blog to blog, from email to email, that firestorm could not possibly have come to a sudden, screeching halt.

We also need to distinguish between people who are offering honest, heartfelt criticism because they care deeply about Ken, his model of consciousness, and I-I, and those who are engaged in personal attacks. Isn't this partly what the AQAL model is about? Who, what, how, and why? It's also fairly obvious that there are those who cannot justify, or tolerate, any criticism of Ken, or his version, comprehensive as it is, of the integral movement. I personally know some of them and it's apparent fairly quickly, that their loyalty and obsession with "one way" borders on blind fundamentalism, however well intentioned, and think the rest of us are basically committing blasphemy. You, my integrally informed friends, are the ones that are on the verge of turning
integral into a religion.

I know there's the beginning of a discussion on whether some of what happens at I-I should be transparent at all, but I think it should. Only by knowing what and why things happen, can we make informed decisions on how we feel about them....and while I'm a member of I-I (that's what my $20 a month is about, right?), I know I'm also not part of the management team, but second tier demands discernment, accountability, and competence.

I feel like a stockholder, or at least a stakeholder, in the dream of I-I, and that my stake has been bought and paid for by my soul, my caring, and what I vested in the success of I-I. Please don't think that because you might not see that Ken is also a man with human frailties and, yes, shortcoming, that I love him any less than you do, or that because I see, and point out, some of those frailties, that I love him any less than you do, or that I'm the enemy. I'm not.

Let's all hope that Ken recovers soon.

"All You Need Is Love" graphic by Gary Stamper

1 comment:

Tom Mull said...

Hey Gary:I have been following this conversation here on your blog, on the SI yahoogroup, and in personal conversations with you. Concerning a critique (critique meaning simply "to speak about or judging(be it negative, positive, or otherwise)) of I-I and Ken Wilber's work, I don't see why that should go on hold because Ken is not well (perhaps it would be wise to leave him alone personally but the rest of us can talk/write). I would make a distinction between an objective critiquing of Ken's work and the operation of I-I and subjectivly critiquing Ken's personality. Recall the first principal of sociocracy re Consent and argued and paramount objections. We can apply that to I-I's operations and Kw's work but not his personality. --You may recall my "Pluralism" and "Assimulation/Contrast Effect" on the SI Yahoo "Files" ( --I am inclined to think that many of those with highly monistic opinions for or against Ken are coming from the lower end of that ACE chart. I tend to chalk it up to negative and positive father transference issues. Quite common in young adults but one would hope they would grow out of it by age 40 =). I to feel like a stakeholder in this Integral Movement and I-I and I would like to see some transparency. =)