Divine Pride and the Integral Movement

Ken Wilber
March 17th, 2010
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Ken Wilber offers a fascinating glimpse into his own life and work, describing the many influences that led to his explorations of Integral theory and practice.  He talks about the importance of cultivating a sense of "divine pride", stripped of arrogance and tempered by humility, calling us to offer our greatest possible gifts to the world.

"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."
-Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

You are the cutting edge of evolution.

Go ahead, take a few moments to feel into that. It's not hyperbole—billions of years of evolution are at your back, plunging you into greater consciousness, greater compassion, greater freedom, and greater fullness. You are already perfect, and always have been—and yet, there is something making you even more perfect, something shaping you in its own image, something inviting you to step more fully into your own life.

And that something is you.

There is a God living in you, which is the same God that lives in me. God is looking through both of our eyes, gazing at Her own ubiquitous splendor. There is nothing that is not God. Everything is God.

Which means, in a very real sense, that you are God.

Now take a few moments to feel into that one. It's okay, it's not heresy—we are by no means saying that the ego or separate self is God. The entire universe does not revolve around you. No, the entire universe evolves within you. Not within your mind, or your heart, or even your soul—but within the effortless, unchanging vista of awareness behind all of your experiences, the unseen Ground of All Things, where every possible thought, feeling, and inspiration arises, dances for awhile, and fades into the twilight.

This is what we mean by "divine pride". It is a simple recognition of our holy heritage, and an acknowledgement of the tremendous responsibility that comes along with this recognition. This is not the braggadocio of a new age narcissist—it is a pride stripped of all arrogance, tempered by humility, and held with unwavering devotion to an intelligence infinitely greater than our own.

It's important to make this distinction, to dislodge ourselves from the tyranny of the ever-grasping ego. Otherwise, it would be next to impossible to feel the full gravity of this next statement:

God needs you.

Here, we are talking about your ego, your separate self, your finite body/mind. There is a reason why you were born. It was no happy accident. You are being called on by God to make some contribution to this world. You hold a unique perspective, a unique piece of the puzzle, and are obligated to find a way to offer your own deepest gifts to the world. We are the process of evolution becoming self-aware, and as such are tasked to participate in our own fate. In order to do so, we must jettison our neurotic attachment to weakness, anxiety, and brokenness; and surrender ourselves to the timeless perfection that we are forever immersed in.

In other words, we have to start taking ourselves more seriously and drop this damned debilitating fear of our own greatness.

We should not be asking ourselves "what's the meaning of life?" Instead we should be asking, "what's the meaning of my life?"

It is no accident that we are witnessing the emergence of the Integral movement at this precise point in history, when our problems have already become too big and too complex for piecemeal solutions. Dealing with problems on such an enormous scale requires at least a comprehensive view of reality, as anything less will only make things worse. This is why we say that you are the cutting edge of evolution—the simple fact that you are interested in the material we offer here at Integral Life demonstrates that some part of you is "lighting up" or resonating with this stuff. Don't get us wrong—we are not saying that you need to subscribe to this website or Ken Wilber's version of integral theory in order to participate in the emerging Integral movement (though we think that Ken's is far and away the best version available), but your interest in this or any other "theory of everything" indicates that you almost certainly have a role to play in this historic unfolding.

It's up to you to figure out what that role is, but we promise to make every tool available for you that we possibly can.


written by Corey W. deVos

Images: God and The Forge (Swords Into Plowshares) by Bo Bartlett


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Putter along & peter out?  My Dear Ken, it simply is unable work that way!

Evolution keeps evolving and at some point along the path all the bridges "back" are simply gone.

Integral Theory is there now.

There is no need to religion-ize it to make it last.

This conscious evolutionary 'experiment' is well past the 100th monkey phase.


You, we, get to this place ...


You move forward in spite of yourself and any desires to stay put, or go back & "be normal".


It simply becomes impossible to stop evolving.

Know that, my virtual friend.  Know it in your bones.


Trust the process, the unfolding. 


Trust the conscious Teir2 style revolution already underway, unstoppable, and flourishing.


Right place, right time, right words flow out of our mouths to just the right people who are hungry for a new way of understanding.


It. Just. Happens.



Peter Putter picked his pack of pickles.

The rest of us, are changing the world.

:) <3 Michelle  <OOO  (that one's an ice cream cone :)

I took me a while to remember that I had already seen those videos. Probably in 2010, when it came out. I also now remember asking myself, since I was in a state of low self esteem, how can we, individually, say such a thing, that we are at the leading edge. Coming from a family with too much mental illness, living with people who are sure that they got it, I became afraid of such statements. Always wondering who, between them & me, was fooling themselves.

Lets said two years have passed. Two years during which I have engaged to a more full extent in my practices. Studying. along meditating, getting fit, doing Shadow work, creating, transmitting Reiki & others healing tools. Two years, among more than 30 years of investigation, where the accumulation of all this work has manifested in ways unpredictable to me. Two years where I, & people around me, saw some amazing changes in my life, for the best ;-). To make a long story short, I was sick from two chronic diseases, being disable for more than 20 years & now I radiate health. Even my doctors don't understand with the level of incapacity I had, how come I can be so well.

I just can testify that those changes were based on trying to understand the Integral path & applying it to my best knowledge. This vision has given me a sense of wholeness that was missing so much in my life for me to heal. Understanding on top that, to know if your subjective world, vision, is making sense, you only have to look at the results you are experiencing through your life : The proof of the pudding is in the eating. This proof was even more obvious when I saw my son changing to the point of passing from diffunctional beaviours to a life that he is deeply enjoying, in part because he saw his mom living with a new energy, a new perspective that he likes & inspired him. Even if we don't discuss the Integral Theory in itself.

Two years later, I can truly feel this Divine Pride, knowing the difference between fooling myself & having experience a path that is working.

Since we are in the Holiday Seasons, I wish you all a damn good pudding of your own & may you be proud of it.


I'm enjoying this talk, but Wilber wasn't the first since William James to try his hand at poetic scholarship. Check out another semi-integral philosopher, Bill Thompson, and his use of poetry and creative scholarship he called "wissenkunst." I think a lot of folks try this out. But it's good that it's present in Wilber's work, especially, because of the sheer amount of technical knowledge that is also present in the writings.

Renée Gadsden: Towards a Definition of Knowledge Art/Wissenskunst


What is the connection between knowledge and art, and is there such a thing as 'knowledge art' itself? The term Wissenskunst was created by the English speaking social philosopher and author William Irwin Thompson. After a discussion with physicist Werner Heisenberg in Munich, Thompson created the word Wissenskunst to describe his attempt to define an essay-narrative that was not just non-fiction, but something more art-oriented for a culture that is no longer simply orally bardic or academically literate.1 Thompson contrasted his word Wissenskunst with the German word for science, Wissenschaft, and contended: "As fiction and music are coming close to reorganizing knowledge, scholarship is becoming closer to art."2 Other artists and thinkers found this phrase to be inspiring and accurate to describe their own attempts to move beyond rigid linguistic and perceptual boundaries. Composer David Dunn, who explores new frontiers of mathematics and synthesis, tries to contribute in his work and writings to what he calls "the longed for dream of an artist and scientist, which has yet to materialize." He includes himself and his work in Thompson’s definition of Wissenskunst as "the play of knowledge in a world of serious data processors."3 The word Wissenskunst however, is perhaps most often used in reference to visual art.4

Also, maybe check out: Bridging Worlds of Myth and Science: the Poetic Scholarship of William Irwin Thompson (A piece I did last year):


It's good that this art-scholarship style seems to be present in multiple integral authors. Also, Sri Aurobindo did end up writing an Epic Poem, Savitri. It's a beautiful text, comparable maybe in scope to Dante.

At any rate, enjoying the story-telling. Onto the rest of the video. :)

Thanks for this piece. Nice to see Ken in good health.


There is something good, true, and beautiful in what is healthy in all developmental levels. Few people seem to be able to get this and it can be lonely at the top. For our movement to not fizzle out it can be good to huddle together in a sublime way. To huddle together we need new rules for the gifted. Ken Wilber shared some beautiful rules for us to consider;

Divine pride






One worthy service to consider is to work to stop culture wars. One way to do this is to gather with groups at earlier developmental levels with a tone of appreciation for what is beautiful in them. For example, the national Occupy gathering will be in place until July 4, 2012.

If we huddle together in a beautiful way, acting on Ken's rules for the gifted, we can help each other learn a glorious new way of living. I am hopeful we can do that here.

Is anyone meeting in local integral groups? How is that working out for you? I sat in for a period of time with an integral group in Wilmington, DE USA. They did study and discuss all of Ken's books and then fizzled out I think mainly due to health problems of the organizer.

I think that this is a really good talk that explains well what integral is and why it is important to come together to support it's continued existence and flourishing.