The Integral Institute is a think-tank founded in 1998 by American author Ken Wilber. The purpose of the Institute is to gather and attempt to integrate the various viewpoints found in a number of major fields of knowledge. For example, the Integral Institute currently has a number of branches including Integral psychology, Integral business, Integral politics, Integral medicine, Integral education, Integral ecology and sustainability, Integral law and criminal justice, Integral art, and Integral spirituality.
This attempt to integrate the knowledge base of a particular field is based on the notion that differing opinions are often true but partial versions of actual reality. Various schools of thought in a particular subject, then, rather than being winner-take-all competitors, are seen as unique but partial contributors to a more realistic or Integral whole. These schools of thought can be likened to the parable about the blind men standing around the elephant each describing what they feel – one feels the elephant’s feet, one feels the ears, the trunk, etc. Integral theory, in a nutshell, says that these viewpoints can be integrated to create a more complete and accurate version of reality.
Integral Institute outreach is occurring through a variety of projects. These include the Integral Institute Workshop Series, Integral Naked, Integral Life Practice, Integral University, and the Integral Spiritual Center. Notable members include Stuart Davis, Alex Grey, Deepak Chopra, Michael Murphy, Roger Walsh, Don Beck, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Ed Kowalczyk (from the band Live).
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