Holding and Promoting Beliefs: A Develpmental View.

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Murray, T. (2010). Holding and Promoting Beliefs: A Develpmental View. Presented at Integral Education and Sustainability Seminar, Aug. 2010, Mt. Madonna, CA

Murray, T. (2010). Holding and Promoting Beliefs: A Develpmental View. Presented at Integral Education and Sustainability Seminar, Aug. 2010, Mt. Madonna, CA

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  • As parts within us, not as labels
  • As parts within us, not as labelsShow pos and negative3 minutes prep; 30 sec play; plus 30 sec word salad
  • Philsophers!High level talk; firehose; integral theory; integral community; philosophyWilber 5: methodological pluralism and 8 zones;
  • We distinguish oursleves form prior memes…How important are some of these beliefs to you or others?How do we articulate what’s unsettling (or unjustified) about some beliefs? LATER: talk about mythical, magical and metaphysical thinkiing…its ROLE
  • Usefult to distinguish two types of questions
  • Reintegrating the subtle?
  • Looking at epstemology; ways of thinking, capacities; not values/needs.
  • POMO: Focus on what is wrong
  • Beliefs define a communityWhat do we have to offer the wider world? Models? Skils/capacities? Methods; wayts; princilples?(offer the second tier world?)
  • Many ways we talk about it; all the models wilber mentions- stage based models…STRAW man spectrum!- not critique of existing narratives/projects; an exploration into where next
  • Ref Kurt Fischer Skill Theory…
  • puts humans at the forefront of the evolution of consciousness - deeply experience ..access to the motivation (ecstatic impulse) to break free of our egoic and narcissistic tendencies and align with a moral and spiritual sense of purpose and service - more than a surface belief system for its adherents—it is a lived experience that deeply implicates self identity
  • So far, just argued for the different narratives; next argue for problems with beliefs and need for more skills-based; moving along that spectrum- If I had to choose between a Turquise belief system and skills set… “Mean Green Meme” is actually a cultural identity grouping that does not reflect green skill development Think of intelligent/evolved integral non-believers; are hey second tier?
  • Wiping up the crowd; extreem states; - partial, always wrong-
  • reality is not out there waiting to be seen; not simply as it appears
  • Zone == how x what?Who, how, what enact each other (conascent)- Seean EH:Object’s [altitude & quadrivium] XSubject’s [>= devel level & quadrant]
  • OK for Wilber! That certainty and precision creates a force; but WE don’t have to copy it…How can we bring both of these into play?- everybody is partially RIGHT; vs Everybody is (partly) wrong
  • We do these things with a vengeance! We are wired to do this..help us accurately understand the world but can create biases and errors- we also have the opposite drives… (just like we have aggression and nurturance drives in us)See it in yourself. See it in great philosophers….Embodied mind -- Lakoff & Johnson, 1999; Clark 1996; Varela et al. 1993- abstract concepts (e.g. democracy, African-American, god, ego, compassion, spirit, evolution, formal operational thinking, left hand quadrant, green meme, or Eros)
  • POMO: Focus on what is wrong


  • 1. Holding and promoting beliefs:A developmental Perspective
    OnDevelopment, Beliefs, Skills, and Post-metaphysics
    Tom Murray — Integral Education Seminar, Aug. 2010
  • 2. Belief: what, how, why (ethics)?
    Decision Making & Leadership
    Communication & Collaboration
    Wilber-IV: post-metaphysics, methodological pluralism, zones, perspectives…from “What is true?” to “How do we know?”
  • 3. Instinctive/Sensate
    Warrior (& Subjugate)/ Mythic
    ____ Second Tier: ____
    … …
    (figure: see www.spiraldynamics.net)
  • 4. Activity: Reminding ourselves of Developmental “Meme” levels
    Create a 30 second play:
    “Deciding where to go out to dinner”
  • 5. 5
    EDUCATION (and Environmentalism) as conveying/supporting important knowledge
    what is an integral or second tier approach to holding & promoting beliefs?
    In teaching, advocating beliefs when and how do we include (as we “transcend”) magical, mythical, conventional, modern ways of thinking (and believing/knowing)?
    see, FormelessMountain.com
  • 6. Map of the talk – Useful distinctions
    Development of belief-holding (epistemics):
    Mythic/magical (metaphysical/mystical)
    Rational & Conventional
    Integral; Second Tier; Post-metaphysical
    Promoting knowledge: Belief vs. Skills
    What are second tier skills?
    The “post-metaphysical” perspective
    Beliefs in:
    Concepts (what exists) vs.
    Statements (what is True or Good)
    Indeterminacy and Positive vs. Negative Epistemic Capability
  • 7. Some New Age vs. Integral Beliefs
  • 8. What is real (exists)?
    (concepts; metaphysics)
    What is true (or good)? (propositions; validity claims)
  • 9. Magical thinking – imagination as reality
    Nonliving things have an animate life force; intentions, can hurt & bless
    Powerful beings (gods, spirits…) can punish or reward; we are vulnerable
    I have the psychic power to effect the world; bless or curse; pray, manifest (omnipotency)
    I hear inner messages; I use special objects and rituals to access divinations
    Impulses and emotions and power dynamics determine my actions (not abstract ideas or plans)
    All is one; boundary-less; we are all connected
    Wishful thinking (the unwanted is unreal)
    – Very in touch with imagination; subtle phenomena –
  • 10. Magical/mythical Criteria for what is true (and good)
    Authority figures and charismatics
    Magical or sacred books and objects
    Social norms, habit, they way it has been
    Peer identification; what everyone does/says
    My own experience
  • 11. To Blue, Orange…
    • Blue meme: ideals, rules, principles, predictable patterns
    • 12. Orange meme: systematic, possibilities/probabilities, logic; rigor, efficiency & perfection drives
    • 13. Differentiating/discriminating:
    • 14. Feelings vs. thoughts
    • 15. Interiors vs. exteriors (self reflection)
    • 16. True / Good / Beautiful
    • 17. Self vs. group/culture
    • 18. Belief vs. truth
    • 19. Past/Future
    • 20. Statement validity:
    • 21. observation, repeatability, logic
    • 22. Scientific method
  • 23. Ideas as reality
    Magical thinking – imagination as reality
    Mythical thinking – stories as reality
    Conventional thinking – norms as reality
    Modern thinking – concepts/models as reality
    (Postmodern? – mirror as reality?)
  • 24. Integral/Second Tier thinking?
  • 25. Activity #2:reflections on things said to Exist
    Pick something you have tried unsuccessfully to explain to a colleague or friend
    (Collective) consciousness
    LL, UR…quadrants
    Green, orange… meme
    The True, Good, the Beautiful..
    Gross, Subtle, Causalstates
    Subtle energies and chakras
    Spirit; Authentic Self
    Ground of Being; The non-dual
    Involution; Eros & Agape
    Universe is evolving through us
    • Does it exist?
    • 26. In what way?
    • 27. How sure are you?
    • 28. How would I explain/argue for (against) it?
    • 29. Why is it important for others to believe?
  • Ego-centric > Ethnocentric > World-centricPre-conventional > Conventional > Post-conventionalBlack & White (either/or, us/them) > more complexity
    What is an integral (second tier) way of holding (& justifying) our beliefs?
  • 30. Portability of integral ideas
    Beliefs, values??
    US (integralists)
    beliefs, knowledge, values…
  • 31. A heuristic spectrumof developmental narratives
    WHAT one believes
    HOW one believes/thinks
    What on does/can DO
    Skills &Capacities
    Beliefs &World Views
    (Virtues, Habits)
    (Values, Identity,)
  • 32. “Skill” =
    Higher order skills, capacities, capabilities, "skillful means"
    Cognitive, social/ethical/emotional skills
    The beliefs in focus are meaning-generative:cultural, metaphysical, spiritual, philosophical… (not concrete facts)
    Tom Murray | www.perspegrity.com | August 2010
  • 33. E.G. belief & world-view basedNarratives of human development
    Cohen & Hamilton’s Evolutionary Enlightenment
    Kosmos Journal
    McIntosh’s Integral Consciousness
    Beck & Cohen’s Spiral Dynamics
    Wilber? AQAL?...
  • 34. Memes as Beliefs vs. Skills
    Is “Mean Green Meme”about belief or skill?
  • 35. Some Problems with Development as a Worldview or Belief System
    Beliefs: perspectival, culturally bound, fallible
    Attached to identity and support in/out group
    Beliefs can “clash” in struggles of power and identity; skills are “cognitive tools”
    Beliefs-systems can be ideologies/dogmas (manipulation/misconception/misuse)
    Charismatic propaganda, peer pressure (inculcation/adoption vs. teaching/learning)
    Tom Murray | www.perspegrity.com | August 2010
  • 36. The value of belief systems
    Motivation, intention, vision!
    …when and why to USE skills/capacities
    Power of story, myth, narrative
    Shared world-view 
    Synergetic action, solidarity, meaning-generation
    Stable base for new levels of cultural evolution
    Need shared beliefs (community) to create skills(?)
  • 37. Wisdom Skillsfor Second Tier enaction
    Egoawareness (self/ego/will and being/spirit/essence; "I" dimension)
    Relationalawareness (emotional/social/ethical/interpersonal intelligence; "We" dimension)
    Constructawareness(cognitive; "It" dimension)
    Systemsawareness ("Its" dimension; context, cognitive capacity RE dynamic systems and networks of relationships)
  • 38. Integral & post-metaphysical injunctions>> Toward Construct Awareness <<
    Don’t confuse map with territory
    Avoid the Myth of the Given
    Beliefs are perspectives:
    “Things are getting better”
    “Things are getting worse”
    “Things are always perfect”
    Belief …. Skill
  • 39. What is Post-metaphysics?
    • Is not anti-metaphysics (there are non-physical ‘things’)
    • 40. No view from nowhere (privileged perspective), beyond myth of the given; map is not territory;
    • 41. Perspectival: all truths/experiences come from a perspective and are partial/fallible
    • 42. There are no fixed eternal forms, structures, or archetypes, because everything is evolving
    • 43. Phenomena are enacted/co-constructed (makes no sense to say things exists(ed) unless (until) perceived)
    (There is no ideal, transcendental, essential, or primordial in the metaphysical sense)
  • 44. Integral Post-metaphysics
    Kosmic address: altitude + perspective (of S,O)
    Who x How x What
    Who: adequatio (developmental level(s) of perceiver)
    How: method / tool; relationship of S,O; zone
    What: quadrant (I,we,it,its)
    the dog, Santa Claus, √-1, Emptiness, ecosystem,…
    - where/how do the referents to these signifiers exists?
    - “ecosystems exist only in a worldspace of turquoise or higher”
  • 45. Post-metaphysical Validation(Wilber’s “three strands” of knowledge, plus)
    • 1. Injunction — If you want to know this, do this. (IT/how)
    • 46. 2. Experience —Beyond concepts/words. (I/who)
    • 47. 2.5 Conceptualize, Infer, & Communicate — A “truth” from the experience & everything else you know
    • 48. 3. Dialog (with a community of the adequate) — What do others who followed the injunction think? (WE)
    — and “Indeterminacy Analysis” —
    • What are my/our biases, assumptions, capacities?
    • 49. Describe alternatives; limitations; fallibilities…
    • 50. What is the knowledge for and what level of certainty is needed/called for?
    • 51. Other perspectives to invite? New Qs? — Iterate!
  • Positive (epistemic) capability vs.Negative (epistemic) capability
    Positivist attitude:
    clarity, certainty, action
    problem solving, theorizing…
    Negative capability:
    awe, humility, curiosity
    fallibilism & indeterminacy: limits of language, knowledge & method
    tolerance for ambiguity, uncertainty, unknowing
    Tom Murray | www.perspegrity.com | August 2010
  • 52. “Epistemic Drives”(in beliefs, ideas, knowledge)
    Concreteness/reification (of abstractions)
    Seeing connections, patterns
    (over-) Generalize & abstract
    Attribute sharp boundaries to concepts (ignore the grey areas)
    Foundationalism, essentialism, universality
    Unity/oneness, totality/wholeness, integration
    …proto-fascism, grandiosity, hegemony, elitism…?
  • 53. Belief and Emotion, Ethics (1) (embodiment, enaction)
    Certainty / importance / emotional intensity
    Fear, risk, urgency, ecstasy… (states)
    Risk of “misplaced concreteness”
    Magnification of epistemic (and other) drives
    Regression to
    Black & white (us/them; either/or)
    Reliance on authority, peers & norms
  • 54. Pause and reflect…
    Belief and Emotion (and Will)…
    Positive and Negative capability…
  • 55. Belief and Emotion, Ethics (2) (embodiment, enaction)
    Habermas (on the validity of statements):
    Knowledge and truth are strongly related to ethics – fairness, equality, power, and authenticity (and emotion)
  • 56. Statements:A 4th Validity Type?
    True (science)
    Good/Just (morality)
    Beautiful (aesthetics)
    (e.g. reincarnation)
  • 57. Underview– Useful distinctions
    Development of belief-holding (integrating all levels):
    Mythic/magical (metaphysical/mystical)
    Rational & Conventional
    Post-metaphysical; Integral; Second Tier
    Promoting knowledge: Belief vs. Skills
    What are second tier skills?
    The “post-metaphysical” perspective
    Beliefs in:
    Concepts (what exists) – fuzziness; perspectival
    Statements (what is True or Good) – validity claims; Meaningfulness
    Models & Theories – indeterminacy analysis ‘wrappers’
    Indeterminacy and Positive vs. Negative Epistemic Capability
    Implications of embodied thought for ethical decisions
  • 58. Thanks!…
    tommurray.us@gmail.com | www.tommurray.us
  • 59. A few extra slides…
  • 60. Focusing in on construct awareness
    David Bohm: "underneath [humanity's dilemmas] there's something we don't understand about how thought works" and that what is needed is a "very deep [and] very subtle" awareness of thought itself.
    Albert Einstein: "the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
    Deeper understanding mind, thought, language, knowledge, belief…=> the (epistemic or) “post-metaphysical turn”
  • 61. Misplaced Concretenessthrough developmental levels
    Magical thinking – imagination as reality
    Mythical thinking – stories as reality
    Conventional thinking – norms as reality
    Modern thinking – concepts/models/abstractions as reality
    (Postmodern? – mirror/paradox as reality?)
  • Interdependent modes of statement justification/critique
    First hand experience
    Deep intuition (or gut feeling)
    Reasonable assumptions/bases/premises
    Logical inference (supporting truth)
    It is ethically right
    It is pragmatically useful (it works)
    Consistent with other knowledge
    Support of experts/authorities
    Trusted sources (journal, NPR, etc.)
    Most people (peers in my group) believe it
    I used a trusted method
    Aesthetic or elegant
    Tom Murray | www.perspegrity.com | May 2010