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Healing Integral: 1:Toward a Global Re-Alignment (Volume 1) Paperback – May 18, 2017
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About the Author
Joseph Dillard, LCSW, PhD is a licensed clinical social worker with advanced education in holistic health sciences. He has over forty years experience helping individuals, couples and families to not only return their lives to balance but to help them realize their potentials through meditation training and dreamwork. Author of twenty books on pranayama, meditation, dreamwork, nightmares and Integral Deep Listening, Dr. Dillard focuses on common-sense, practical tools for improvement of everyday life and enhancing peace of mind.
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I really gotta say that I'm learning a lot here. Not just about the blind spots in the practice and interpretation of Integral Theory, but in myself too. One of my favorite writers/speakers, Richard Rohr, has said that one of the best compliments he gets from people who read/listen to his stuff is that they tell him that they already knew what he was telling them. They just didn't know that they knew...until they heard him say it. I feel the same about what Dillard has written in this revelatory work of his. It's like an uncovering of sorts. Taking the blinders off. And I'm surprisingly grateful for that.
The message in Healing Integral is that Integral Theory, as practiced and interpreted (along with many of its intellectual allies on the progressive side of things) is top heavy with its concentration and emphasis on the development of consciousness/beliefs of the individual, emphasizing the interior quadrants of AQAL while lagging (lacking) in the emphasis and practice within the social (exterior) quadrants. This is so obvious in myself, if I'm really honest with whoever I think I am. It's a real wake-up call. Especially when I can see so much evidence of how I've been foolishly convincing myself into believing that I've arrived somehow, because I've convinced me that I think, feel, or perceive things at a higher developmental level, or that I have certain higher/deeper intentions or values which is the only proof I need---in the proverbial Integral pudding. But the idea of balance seems to be missing here, not only in myself (if I'm being honest) but in many observed so-called Integral practitioners (true believers?). Dillard has introduced the concept of tetra-mesh here, which is a new concept for me. But I think I get it. It just makes such obvious sense (you'll have to read the book to get the full depth and meaning of it, I'm still learning).
But he makes his point: It's not so much what you think, believe, value, understand, or intend that matters most. It's what you DO that matters most. Because we live in a world where we have to interact with other sentient beings. And our actions matter. I really don't think that most people (or even my dogs) really care what my intentions are, or what my perceptions are, or what my developmental level is along any one or more lines of personal development. But they do seem to care about what I DO. Especially if it effects them.
Dillard clearly demonstrates how one can easily fall into the trap of becoming an elevationist or elitist by this self-absorbed, imbalanced way of deluding one's self. It's a crucial point. And so true...and even embarrassing (for me at least). The acid test of how "Integral" you are isn't passed by how you perceive yourself or by how much you think you may understand or may have internalized things. The real test is how others react to and perceive you.
This should be a real eye opener for the whole Integral community. And to be honest, for anyone else even if they don't have all the Integral lingo or concepts down.
There's lots of great end notes and interesting stuff here that's real new to me too (i.e. the Zen Buddhists concept of 'wars of compassion', etc.). And I really like Dillard's sense of humor. And his honest self-evaluation. He's speaking not only from his observations of the Integral (progressive?) community, but from personal and professional experience and self-observation. It takes a lot to admit that one hasn't completed the journey yet. That there's still more work to do. And that maybe I'm not even as far along the path as I've been trying to convince myself that I am. Not easy stuff. The ego won't take kindly to that kind of awakening. Dillard doesn't challenge the reader to anything that he hasn't obviously and seriously been challenging himself with.
And this is challenging stuff. No getting around it. I'm sure it will raise some feathers and maybe even some cackles among a certain segment of the Integral community (the ones who are self-assured that they've not only arrived but that they're obviously stabilized on the 2nd Tier of things)
I'll be exploring much more of Joseph Dillard's work after this reading experience. Especially the IDL (Integral Deep Listening) stuff. He's got me real curious.
I hope Ken Wilber reads this book. I'd like to hear what he has to say. Dillard is critical but honest and respectful in what he has to say about Wilber's work and especially about what he has to say about many self-described Integralists. And he doesn't pull any punches in the process. Seems to me that Wilber (as well as all the others in the Integral community) should admire that.
I really appreciate how Dillard bravely ties into the mix, with obvious examples, how the immorality of the behavior and decisions of Bill Clinton-Barak Obama-Hillary Clinton (sanctions against Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of children, assassinations ordered from the oval office, the silencing of whistle blowers, the bombing and destruction of Libya and the murder of Gaddafi which for Hillary seemed to be hilarious, etc.) is basically ignored by their (Integral? Progressive?) loyal followers, who rarely if ever seem to question or even acknowledge any of that immoral decision making and behavior. Especially when it comes to election time. I observed much of this ignoring (denial via blind-spots?) before reading this book but recognize it even clearer now in some of my more liberal/progressive friends (and in much of the progressive media, political activists/pundits etc.) who are no less defensive and blind-spotted about their Clinton-Obama-Clinton admiration (adoration?) than fundamentalists on the other side of things are about their self-delusions and their hero worshiping (I, like Dillard, of course, naively voted for Jill Stein...wasting my vote according to some of my more 'progressive' or 'pragmatic' Clinton supporting friends).
Well, there ya have it. There's a lot more to discover here. Too much to cover in one short review. I could probably write a whole book of thoughts and of reactions about Healing Integral that have been floating around in my head while and since reading through it. But I highly recommend that you read the book yourself. It's well worth the trip. But get ready to be honest with yourself. And then---to go to work.