Integrity and thrivability are intricately linked!
We will have to live our lives with a lot of personal integrity – each and every one of us - if we want to thrive in this fundamentally interconnected and interdependent world that faces an unprecedented era of transformation.
Integrity, well contemplated, can lead to both a deep insight about the nature of being as being-in-relationship-to-a-larger-whole, and it can foster an attitude that helps us to dynamically steer our path into an unpredictable and turbulent future.
Integrity and thrivability are both linked to inner and outer (or systemic) resilience. In order to thrive, a person, community, company, bioregion, nation or civilization needs to be resilient to the influences of unpredictable, and sometimes disruptive, sometimes creative change. Systemic integrity, the pattern that connects, the matrix of wholeness that weaves the local, to the regional and the global, is at the heart of nurturing and maintaining systemic resilience.
Integrity is all about wholeness. I mean real participatory living, transforming, ever-changing wholeness. It is about asking with every decision: does this serve the health and healing of the whole (community or planet). It is about salutogenic (health-generating) design, about scale-linking appropriate participation. Thrivability is about maintaining the integrity of the holarchy.
Integrity is remembering that as individuals we are indivisible from the whole process in which we are participating – the integral evolution of life and consciousness.
Integrity is about embracing the paradox that while most of us live our lives in a state of consciousness that separates subject and objects, self and world, even humanity and nature, there is a deeper ground of being and becoming – a quantum-entangled, implicate order of fundamental interconnectedness and co-creative reciprocity. We are individual nodes of consciousness. Each with our own unique co-creative agency, and simultaneously we are integral participants and emergent properties of the whole community of life, the w-holly unity of the universe transforming, consciousness evolving, being and becoming. Einstein put it like this:
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. [She/He] experiences [her/him]self, [her/his] thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of [her/his] consciousness.”
The Bhagvagita simply reminds us: “The seen and the seer are one.”
Integrity is about honouring multiplicity in unity, about reverence for life, about recognizing - as late Thomas Berry put it - that “the universe is not a collection of objects but a communion of subjects.”
Integrity is at the heart of integral philosophy, integral psychology, integral spirituality, integral enlightenment, and all the other facets integral theory and practice so eloquently described and explored by people like Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, and Craig Hamilton. Their work is helping people to live their life with more integrity.
Integrity is about living in congruence with the insight that, as co-creative participants in the world we live in, we can all contribute to the transition towards a sustaining, resilient and thriving culture, moving from the mess we are in, beyond sustainability, to the thrivability of the whole community of life.
In the end, as Buckminster Fuller said: “Only integrity is going to count.”