Tracing patterns of popular consciousness over the last three hundred years my, "Toward a Sustainable Future: Integral Leadership in the New World E..." as published in the Integral Leadership Review casts light on an incipient, but previously shrouded, account of why global economics is currently teetering on the brink of calamity (1).
"As the world slides into an economic crisis marked by skyrocketing food and fuel prices and exponentially-growing debt, many people are fearful of a global catastrophe. Continuous warfare, financial bankruptcies, and scarcity of basic resources paint a disturbing picture to which many are responding with scenarios of doom."
Yet similarly, and as Cook notes so insightfully in this same context, "Today's crisis, above all, is spiritual" (2). Stated differently, yet over the last three centuries, because the "certainty generally associated with objective reality" has "been viewed as more tangible or real" and subse- quently "afforded precedence over subjective experience (i.e. 'reality')" the province of consciousness and values "pertaining especially to moral and ethical development" has largely "been eschewed in relegation to the domain of religious doctrine."
For this same reason however, it's notable that scientists like Stuart Kauffman ("Towards a Post Reductionist Science") are expressing the pertinence of expanding scientific thought and inquiry beyond the limits of reductionism so disconcertingly evident across today's academic disciplines (McConnell, 3). Likewise, and stirred "by the urgency of our times", Jennifer Gidley in, "The Evolution of Consciousness as a Planetary Imperative: An Integr...", explains, "(w)e live in critical times —times of apparently human-created complexities, challenges and unprecedented change. In all the major domains of our lives the seams are beginning to fray." Consequently, she cites findings pointing primarily to three of these realms:
For Gidley though, these indicators reflect the view of "(s)everal contemporary ecologists, educators, philosophers and scientists", signaling "an epistemological crisis—or crisis of consciousness" as existing "at the heart of our planetary dilemma" (4). Similarly too, philosopher Ken Wilber's own contribution to Integral thought has led him to identify a "vertical component clash" as the "single greatest problem facing the world" in its impact on the subjective dimensions already referred to above and depicted in his AQAL model as the quadrants of individual (interior) 'intention' (Upper Left - UL) and collective (interior) 'culture' (Lower Left - LL).
Along these same lines, but (p)ointing to the dominance of 'modern disciplines' (i.e. Economics, Education, Medicine, etc.) founded over the last four hundred years on empirical orientations arising from the Scientific Enlightenment, Wilber calls into account traditional Religion's seeming failure to nurture higher stages of spiritual intelligence (or 'ultimate concern') to any significant extent beyond Fowler's Stage 3, or Gebser's mythical, levels of respective development. By way of counterpoint to this assertion however, there's also a common injunction running through the vast scope of his writing involving the term exemplar which he elicits as knowledge emanating from the 'wisdom traditions' in general and contemplative practice even more specifically (5).
2. Cook, Richard. We Hold Theses Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform. Denver: Tendril Press. 2009. Print.
See complete overview of article ("Toward a Sustainable Future: Integral Leadership in the New World E...") at: 'the integral economist'.