Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What Is Integral Islam

To be theoretical, the term "Integral" and the term "Islam" actually go hand in hand. Being Integral means being True to One Self and being Islamic means being Submissive to One Self so for all intensive purposes, the two terms actually go hand in hand. The issue of course is degrees, levels, and stages. This is where things get very intricate and, therefore, requires deep elaboration. First. let's start off with what Integral Theory is.

*****WHAT IS INTEGRAL THEORY*****
Integral Theory is a broad concept that was introduced by Ken Wilber, who, as far as I'm concerned is one of the greatest thinkers of our time. It was introduced by Wilber, approximately thirty years ago, to take into account as many of the greatest traditions, religions, philosophies, perspectives, and ideologies as possible so as to create an Integral Theory of Existence. Some have called it a "theory of everything," and based upon my own personal inquiry, I am quite obliged to agree. Integral theory states that Conscious Evolution is the context before which ALL THINGS MUST BE VIEWED, assuming - of course - one wishes to take an Integral Approach to things. Thus, if capitalist economics is evaluated, integral theorists, thus, argue that it must be evaluated within the greater context of Conscious Evolution. If, revolutionary movements are evaluated, Integral theorists argue that they must be evaluated within the greater context of Conscious Evolution, etc. Thus, according to the Integral perspective, Conscious Evolution serves as the Only Context before which anything can be appropriately evaluated.

*****WHAT IS ISLAM*****
Being as theoretical as possible, Islam is actually a way of life. Again; we're being theoretical. Islam is a way of life designed to create an overall awareness of the Divine Self and to bring about Overall Self-Realization. The term Islam comes from the three letter arabic root slm - meaning peace/submission. Thus, the term Islam, theoretically speaking, is meant to induce a sense of peace and satisfaction within OUR SELF

So the Islamic way of life is a way of life designed to bring about Overall Peace with and Submission to the Divine Self, or the Authentic Self as Wilber might put it.


*****WHY ISLAM HAS SO MANY FALSE CANNOTATIONS****
Islam, much like Integral Theory, is a philosophy intended to bring about Peace and Justice to a world riddled with inequity. Of course, any concept that enters the human realm becomes potentially corrupted. It is for this reason, that Islam has prophets and messengers so as clarify the message and create an Overall Renewal surrounding Our understanding of the message. Islam is commonly connotated with certain customs, rituals and mannerisms but I would like to personally clarify that those rituals, customs and mannerisms are NOT NECESSARILY Definite; that FORM DOES NOT CONFINE SPIRIT. I will, God Willing, elaborate upon this much more in the future, IA but I did want to state that very quickly.



*****WHY ISLAM AND INTEGRAL THEORY MUST BE TAKEN HAND IN HAND*****
It is extremely important that the two are taken hand in hand and regarded as ONE, not only because they are, in fact, ONE but most importantly, because IF THE ISLAMIC WORLD DOES NOT RECOGNIZE ITS ONENESS WITH THE WORLD OF SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM and IF THE WORLD OF SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM DOES NOT RECOGNIZE ITS ONENESS WITH THE ISLAMIC WORLD THEN THERE WILL INEVITABLY BE A CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE TWO. In my humble opinion, Integral Theory is the ONLY WAY the Western World will be able to merge with the Islamic world AND VICE VERSA.


*****WHAT WE CAN DO TO PREVENT THE CLASH*****
The best thing for people to do to prevent the clash is to become familiar with each other's perspectives and values. THIS GOES FOR BOTH SIDES!




5 comments:

  1. Salaams,

    Interesting idea for a blog. To be honest, I'm not sure if there is really enough material out there for a sustained productive blog on the topic. I'm in the middle of reading Wilber's Integral Spirituality. I read The Essential Ken Wilber a while back. And now I'm mostly looking at videos of his talks (and talks by others) online. Wilber doesn't seem to have much background in Islam, he has more experience with Buddhism , Vedanta and other Eastern traditions.

    Another blog you may find interesting is Inspirations and Creative Thoughts by Sadiq Alam. He likes Wilber as well but doesn't mention him all the time. But he emphasizes Sufism and mysticism more in a very "integral" almost syncretic way.

    At this point, I would say that the Integral project is interesting, but if you want to develop an "integral islam" wilber isn't enough and you should definitely look into Fritjof Schuon, S.H. Nasr, Martin Lings, Charles Eaton, Huston Smith, and many others.

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  2. Hi, I'm interested in discussing Integral Islam, do you have an email address I can contact? I'm also in the very beginning of reading Wilber :) You can contact me at rpramadita@gmail.com
    Thanks!

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  3. I would like to add something on the ethics of integration. In particular, I am interested in what is required to be true to oneself and the difference between the belief system of on who is authentically true to self and one who believes so. I am know that religious extremists believe they are true to themselves...I have some thoughts on that...

    Secondly, I would like to talk about what is required to be true to the self...the discipline of that truthfulness. I beleive those requirements are universal and above the specifics of any religious or philosophical belief system.

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  4. Hi Grammy Tweetie - where r u now in your search for authenticity?...I am now beginning to revisit these questions (mostly out of boredom) and I would love to reignite the conversation.

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