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Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution Hardcover – September 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

McIntosh makes a signal contribution to the debate on the direction and nature of evolution, one of the most fundamental issues of our time. He frames his ideas in the context of an integral worldview, likewise a critical aspect of the new understanding. His theory merits sustained consideration and development. (Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Distinguished system scientist, President of the Club of Budapest, and author of over 30 books on evolution)

This is a very thoughtful, informed and readable book. It will be of great interest to anyone interested in the future of civilization, the planet and the universe itself. It demonstrates wide familiarity with the natural sciences, developmental psychology, political thought, philosophy and spiritual traditions. It is the sort of synthesis that we can all profit from as we face the next century. - Dr. John Haught, Professor of Theology, Georgetown University, and author of Deeper Than Darwin. (Dr. John Haught, Professor of Theology, Georgetown University, and author of Deeper Than Darwin.)

McIntosh's book is an educational journey through the fundamentals of integral philosophy and a fascinating exploration of some its most important themes. Carefully researched and tightly argued, this work is an important contribution to a field destined to impact world culture and the direction of human evolution. (Carter Phipps, Senior Editor, What is Enlightenment?)

From the Publisher

The integral worldview represents the next crucial step in the development of our civilization. Through its enlarged understanding of the evolution of consciousness and culture, the emerging perspective known as integral consciousness provides realistic and pragmatic solutions to our growing global problems, both environmental and political. As McIntosh convincingly demonstrates, the integral worldview's transformational potential provides a way to literally become the change we want to see in the world.

This is really two books in one: the first half serves as an accessible and highly readable introduction to the power of integral consciousness, with the second half making a variety of original contributions to the integral perspective and breaking new ground in the application of integral philosophy to politics and spirituality. Moreover, McIntosh provides a much-needed contextualization and critique of the integral worldview's leading author, Ken Wilber, which helps make integral philosophy relevant to a larger audience.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House; First Edition first Printing edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557788677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557788672
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Leopold Boeckl on June 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mr. McIntosh does a superb job in refining what the integralists had previously written concerning the spiral integral. His prose is easy to read and his points are made very clearly. If you have ever been frustrated or confused with Cowan and Beck's explanations in Spiral Dynamics then please read this book. It explains and refines their model in a lucid and succinct style. If you have ever felt that Wilber's explanations for his AQAL model left you wanting then read this book as McIntosh lays it out and then builds on it beautifully.

What the author does exceptionally well, five stars in Amazon parlance, is layout a model where he cores the evolution of spiral integral theory to three main topics. Those topics are psychology, science and religion. He does the best job of all the integralists' writings to explain how the integral model evolved into existence on the psychology and science. Though he does not denigrate religion he does not explain the evolution for the third leg of the stool with the detail and deftness he delivers on the other two legs.

Mr. McIntosh should not be faulted for this as this flaw is one which all of the integralist theorists share. That is they play fast and loose with history, quoting events in time as it suits their arguments instead of adhering to the evolved model as they do with psychology, science, biology etc. This is somewhat ironic as the author dings Wilber for this in the book and then proceeds to replicate the same behavior himself in support of his arguments.

McIntosh departs from the integralist theorist peers in majoring in the explanation and refinement of integralist theory almost completely for the group spiral and not the individual.
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Format: Hardcover
Instructive, impassioned, and articulate, Steve McIntosh has gifted us with a provocative synthesis of integral thought and thinkers. Both historical retrospective and moral-evolutionary prognosis, Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution challenges us to test what we already know against what we hope may one day be possible.

Fans of Ken Wilber may have differing reactions to the fair-handed but discerning treatment of their intellectual hero that makes up a relatively small part of this book. In addition to his very thorough walk-through of integral thought and thinkers, McIntosh also provides fresh and original insights, especially with regard to integral politics and the actual real-time functioning of the inter-subjective realm of being.

As a life-long student of integral thought and thinking, I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wishes to continue including-yet-transcending the bounds of their own spiritual and philosophical inquiries.

-- Jordan Gruber, J.D., M.A.; CEO, Enlightenment.Com; Founding Member, Integral Institute; Producer of and Interviewer for: Speaking of Everything, the first-ever audio interview with Ken Wilber; The Practical Wordsmith and Ghostwriter-at-Large; Pioneer: ChiBounding.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Hollo on January 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
McIntosh begins his book with some ambitious promises. Published in December 2007, Integral Consciousness is his first book and, in it, he spends 342 pages - in three parts - helping readers `wire up their brains' to adopt the `new' worldview of integral consciousness. He says that this worldview - or `higher state of consciousness' - creates a larger and more complex experiential awareness that means the reader will see things they didn't see before. And, that's not all: "more energy for life, more compassion for others, more personal power and strategic wisdom". And, before I forget, the ability to participate in a cultural revolution that is as profound as the Enlightenment was a few hundred years ago. Not bad for $26.95 and a couple of days of reading, huh?

I judge the success of the book like McIntosh's if it can `pace and lead' me to three things:
provide me with a different description of concepts I already know, in this case, the stages of consciousness and culture originally discerned by Clare Graves and refined into the body of work known as Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Chris Cowan;
explain and clarify ideas that I've formerly felt confused by. Here, McIntosh provides a very cogent explanation of the dialectical nature of the spiral of development. Also, for someone like me who's quarter-read several of Ken Wilber's books, McIntosh has done the hard work and provides helpful and clear explanations of holons, the AQAL model, and Wilber's conception of lines and levels of development.
create some a-ha! moments.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My first note is: "the next step."

The two Appendices are, in my view, a better starting place for the book as a whole.

The author synthesizes natural sciences, developmental psychology, political thought, philosophy, and spiritual traditions. I have a note later in the book on "this helps to understand the DNA of the body-mind-soul."

The author tells us that integral philosophy can and should be used to design a world federation Constitution, and later on in the book tells us that philosophy should be the bridge between science and religion and later on suggests that philosophy, science, and spirituality (the opposite of rote religion) should retain their distinct values, and not be "blended" inappropriately.

The author is confident that a global self-governance network, while moving some powers up from the national level, will also result in moving many more powers *down* to the local and provincial levels, and this struck me as a point that needs to be developed further if we are to reunite the 27 secessionist movements in the US and the 5,000 secessionist and indigenous splinter groups around the world. That could be a second book in the making!

The author posits (and provides) a universal declaration of human rights, and suggests that tiered membership in a World Federation could start with the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan, and gradually absorb others who are at differing levels of consciousness.
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