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Integral Studies – Lesson 1

Since part of me reason for taking courses in Integral Theory is to be accepted into the cult and thus help spread the good word I am going to try sharing my responses to assignments on this here blog. I know that some of you are wondering what the hell I have gotten myself into while others have an inkling and are curious to know more. Some already know quite a bit and perhaps as this progresses you shall learn even more with me. Please feel free to question and criticize at al times.

We have short weekly assignments in the form of written responses to readings that we are doing during the week. We post these responses in our ‘classroom’ which is actually an online forum where we are also required to comment on one another’s responses. Already, simply pondering the possibility of this I feel more engaged with my classmates than I often did in the regular brick and mortar atmosphere of undergraduate work where I rarely knew what others work consisted of, never mind engaged it actively. This could be fun.

Lesson #1 is a practice lesson based on about 75 pages of introductory reading on Integral Theory.

Dig it:

In my attempts to help consciousness blossom in myself, and all of those I come in contact with, few things seem to allow room for as much hope as the integral model. By using five elements of the AQAL model (quadrants, levels, lines, states and types) I am able to approach and understand the intricacies of interaction that play out within, between and around us in ever more subtle and effective ways. With the Integral Operating system as a tool walls come down, bridges are built, and new tools emerge from the synthesis of once disparate fields.

When working with children simply recognizing the need for a young, preconventional child to learn what is expected of them in society and reach a conventional level of development can be enlightening for someone who tends towards postconventional thoughts and wishes to foster the same in said child. Understanding that stages or levels unfold sequentially and can not be skipped allows us to appreciate the steps along the way and nurture them as healthy and natural rather than scolding them as less than ideal.

It can also be eye opening to recognize the lines of development that individuals exceed in or struggle with. Having this ability allows one the ability to appreciate one child’s cognitive skills, while recognizing that she may need your help when dealing with the other children emotionally. At the same time another child may be the perfect, emotionally outreaching playmate for her, but be lacking in his kinesthetic or physical sense of self and need encouragement or shelter from those more physically able or aggressive.