Ken Wilber - an integral or comprehensive map

An introduction to the integral model of Ken Wilber: how to create an integral theory and practise.

The consequences of our knowledge reach now a global dimension. This means that we have to think about the possibility of a constructive or destructive interference with our planet. Therefore we need a global and integral view on our way of thinking and consequently our actions. We have the knowledge of all different human civilizations of different periods: pre-modern, modern and post-modern. In our perspective related to the mythical, ontological and functional paradigm with their specific research methods.

Through modern techniques most human knowledge is now available to us, but we do not use it from an integral view.

What if we attempt to find the critically essential keys to human growth, based on the sum total of human knowledge to develop our human potential to live in co-existence with our planet? What if we attempt to create a composite map, a comprehensive map, an all-inclusive or integral map that combined the best elements from all our available knowledge? Our creations all over this website are attempts to realize this. An integral system dynamic approach insures that you are utilizing the full range of knowledge resources for any situation, with the greater likelihood of success.

Sounds complicated, but a system dynamic approach turns out to be surprisingly simple and elegant. Over the last several decades, there has indeed been an extensive search for a comprehensive map to integrate knowledge. There are many attempts, for example Ken Wilber and others, but no one found an integral methodical system to integrate knowledge with compatible models and concepts. These system dynamic maps or diagrams integrate practically the known systems and models of human knowledge.

The attempt of Ken Wilber to create an integral model is really welcome, so see above an aspect of his Integral Model. He wanted to develop an integral theory of everything or an integral operating system. His way of thinking is important enough to mention. He distils major components into 4 simple factors, factors that are the essential elements or keys to unlocking and facilitating human evolution. What are these 4 elements? Ken Wilber calls them quadrants, levels, lines, states. These 4 elements are not merely theoretical concepts; they are aspects of our own experience, contours of our own consciousness. Read more about Ken Wilbers´ four quadrants of existence.

In the model above you see four quadrants about I, We, It and It’s outlined between internal and external experience on the horizontal and individual and collective experience on the vertical line in this diagram. We investigated his four quadrants and tried to unify it with the system dynamic rules of a diagram. After a few attempts we reached a solution without remodelling his model in our diagram. So we could hypothetical unify his integral model to our diagram with his system dynamical validated positions. Further investigation is needed to explore if it is compatible to all other diagrams.

What is the point of using his integral map or model? Whether you are working in business, medicine, psychotherapy, law, ecology, or simply everyday living and learning, the integral model helps make sure that you are “touching all the bases” about the internal – external and individual – collective dimension of your experience. It looks simple, but it is necessary to differentiate the intra subjective and inter subjective dimension of our behaviour and communication, this dimension is subject related. So the other side is the object related dimension with the differentiation between an intra objective and inter objective dimension.

Usualy we define a subject related and an object related approach as two contrary dynamics in the diagram. Starting from the east: object-related on route through the north indicating an opposing dynamic and subject-related taking the route of the south indicating a merging dynamic, coming together on west, where we see a heteronomous opposition or contraposition of the two important dynamics. Further we position on west the inside or the internal and on east the outside or the external dimension. Also we have a diagram with positioned north the I and on south the WE, on west the SELF and on east the OTHER. We think in this case related interesting hypothetical interferentions with the model of Ken Wilber.

In the model of ken Wilber you can investigate the analogies between intra subjective and I, inter subjective and we, intra objective and it, inter objective and it’s, they have the same positions distributed over the four quadrants. Analogue to this four quadrants you can imagine respectively intentions, cultures, functions and systems. Four quadrants with notions and their hypothetical concepts could now be explored in relation to other compatible diagrams to create an integral knowledge map with dozens of compatible models.

If you learn to spot for example these 4 quadrants of Ken Wilber in your own awareness you can notice them in any event and you can exercise and use this diagram to accelerate your integral view and understanding of an integral holistic system dynamic approach of a more and more complex world. At least you could orient yourself more easily in complex ecological or global problems.

In short, an integral system dynamic approach helps you see both yourself and the world around you in more comprehensive and effective ways. But one thing is important to realize from the start. A system dynamic model is just a map. It is not the territory. We certainly don’t want to confuse the map with the territory, but neither do we want to be working with an inaccurate or faulty map. A system dynamic model is just a map, but it could be helpful to investigate complex organisational or ecological problems we have at this time. Read more about the hypothetical aspects of system dynamic mapping.

System dynamic thinking and working is only possible if we realise an effective `integral operating system` with system dynamic rules and models. The point is simply that, if you are running any software in your brain to think dynamically about complex problems, you want the best operating system you can find. So Artes Sophiae explores the system dynamic rules to create comprehensive and inclusive models with coherent and consistent concepts.

We will also be exploring what is perhaps the most important use, in the words of Ken Wilber, of this integral map or operating system. It can be used to help index and investigate any activity, from art to dance to business to psychology to politics to ecology. It allows each of those domains or disciplines to talk to the others. Using system dynamic thinking and working, business has the terminology with which to communicate fully with ecology, which can communicate with art, which can communicate with law, which can communicate with poetry and education and medicine and spirituality. In the history of humankind is this the next step to a new functional and integral working paradigm.

Regarding shaping interdisciplinary research, by using an integral map or integral operating system, short system dynamics, we are able to facilitate and accelerate cross-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary knowledge, thus creating the worlds’ first integral learning community, which is the aim of Artes Sophiae.