Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World
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Today there is a bewildering diversity of views on ecology and the natural environment. With more than two hundred distinct and valuable perspectives on the natural world—and with scientists, economists, ethicists, activists, philosophers, and others often taking completely different stances on the issues—how can we come to agreement to solve our toughest environmental problems?
In response to this pressing need, Integral Ecology unites valuable insights from multiple perspectives into a comprehensive theoretical framework—one that can be put to use right now. The framework is based on Integral Theory, as well as Ken Wilber’s AQAL model, and is the result of over a decade of research exploring the myriad perspectives on ecology available to us today and their respective methodologies.
Dozens of real-life applications and examples of this framework currently in use are examined, including three in-depth case studies: work with marine fisheries in Hawai’i, strategies of eco-activists to protect Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, and a study of community development in El Salvador. In addition, eighteen personal practices of transformation are provided for you to increase your own integral ecological awareness. Integral Ecology provides the most sophisticated application and extension of Integral Theory available today, and as such it serves as a template for any truly integral effort.
humans, have a dominant monad—or an individualized location of awareness—we do not think that this is an insurmountable barrier to direct contact with those interiors. It is difficult to understand the interiors of another, but we do not believe it is impossible. One of the most effective bridges between an animal’s interiority and ours is through shared depth or harmonic resonance.86 Wilber points out that “the agency of each holon establishes an opening or clearing in which similar-depthed
can only be, “All of them.” That is, all of the numerous practices or paradigms of human inquiry—including physics, chemistry, hermeneutics, collaborative inquiry, meditation, neuroscience, vision quest, phenomenology, structuralism, subtle energy research, systems theory, shamanic voyaging, chaos theory, developmental psychology—all of those modes of inquiry have an important piece of the overall puzzle. . . .70 Inclusion does not mean we abandon rigor. Instead, it requires that many kinds
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2000). This article also appeared in the Winter 1993 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. McCoy, E. 1994. A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk: Reclaiming Our Working Relationship with Invisible Helpers. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn. McCully, M., ed. 2002. Life Support: The Environment and Human Health. Cumberland, RI: MIT Press. McDonald, B., ed. 2003. Seeing God Everywhere: Essays on Nature and the Sacred. Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom. McDonough, W., and M. Braungart. 2002. Cradle to
made a full conversion to the science of chaos.”27 One of the first was the mathematical ecologist Robert May, who used modeling to show, contrary to popular belief, that more species inhabiting an area did not automatically create a more stable ecosystem. Chaos ecology has challenged many long-held notions of orderliness, balance, harmony, predictability, and stability of natural systems.28 Daniel Botkin’s Discordant Harmonies is a great example of an approach to ecology that is based on