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Healing Integral 2: Transformations for the Future (Volume 2) Paperback – May 18, 2017
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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Splitting the material up into two volumes was a smart move. Volume I basically introduces the reader to the general principles behind the specific critical evaluations of the Integral community and of its blind spots. It was a challenging read especially if one is open and honest about one's own behavior and patterns of denial. Volume II moves more into the area of what can be practically useful and beneficial in becoming more balanced in the tetra-mesh of things. How to be more balanced between one's interior and exterior interactions with the world, at whatever level of development you may honestly find yourself at. And to be more balanced in one's development between all four quadrants of the Integral theory framework (individual interior, individual exterior, collective interior, collective exterior). Or another way of saying it is between the subjective, objective, intersubjective, and interobjective.
As Dillard's observations in Volume I made clear the imbalance in the interpretation and practice within that Integral framework has been to concentrate on cultivating an attachment to one's own perception of one's own interior self, and to over-identify with it by way of that over-attachment, at the cost of ignoring or playing down and even denying how one actually interacts in the world. Hence, the over-identification with the 'self' reinforces the elevation and dominance of a self-centric perception of the world and of a self-centric base of operations instead of developing a wider and deeper life-centric focus and practice. Self-centeredness at the exclusion of multi-perspectival.
In Volume II Dillard expands upon his criticism with practical suggestions of how to help correct this imbalance. One way is by putting the work in to clarify the meaning of specific language. He gives the example of how when discussing concepts or beliefs about such things as God, spirit, spirituality, etc. with others we must try to understand that often our experience and definition of those words and concepts differ greatly from who we are speaking with and listening to. Which can create real problems in communication and in creating blocks to healthy relationships and understandings. Which can create real distortions in thinking and in self-perception and in the perception of others. It may seem like an obvious point to make, but I know from my own experience that I have rarely considered addressing it in any meaningful or practical way. Instead, I've usually fallen into the trap of being enmeshed in frustrating arguments that go nowhere instead. Because the self takes over.
Dillard also talks about developing an Integral Life Practice that encourages and enables the 'thinning of the self' by taking much more of a multi-perspective experiential approach in order to transcend and include one's self into a much broader and deeper community of perspectives. Where rigid dualities begin to weaken. Where you're able to avoid being so easily caught up in the drama triangle of victim, persecutor, rescuer.
He gives examples of how to interview dream characters and emerging potentials within oneself and outside one's self to explore those various perspectives. The example he lays out with the lengthy interview with God is particular enlightening.
Other suggestions he makes to challenge, shake loose, and to contribute to the thinning of the self are:
-Assume you're narcissistic and grandiose, because you are
-Get over yourself
-Stop personalizing everything
-Practice being transparent
-Focus on clarity and objectivity
-Experience radical multi-perspectivalism
Nothing too highfalutin. But not easy stuff. Just straight ahead practical work. So go read the book. And get to it.
If you dare.