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Of Syntheses and Surprises:Toward a Critical Integral Theory

Author(s): Daniel Gustav Anderson

Journal: Integral Review
ISSN 1553-3069

Issue: 3;
Start page: 62;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: ideology | integral | critical | becoming-other | transformational practice | Aurobindo | Deleuze | Guattari | Ziporyn | Tarthang | Trungpa | Benjamin | Gurdjieff | Laclau | Mouffe | Zizek

The central concern of this article is how the search for formal structures with universal values functions ideologically, addressing Zizek’s claim that East-West syntheses may represent the dominant ideology par excellance of global capitalism. To this end, the article offers a Foucaultian genealogy of Integral theory, tracing its origins to the cultural and subjective contingencies of the British Empire, primarily in the work of Integral theory’s foundational thinker, Aurobindo Ghose. The article poses a primary critique of synthesis and evolution as mythological keys to Ultimate Reality which suggests that Zizek’s critique may have some validity, and offers the potential for a “critical integral theory” as an alternative. Situated in Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of becoming, and represented in the ideas and practices of a constellation of thinkers inclusive of Gurdjieff, Benjamin, and Trungpa, the article’s view of integration supports radical democracy as presented in the writings of Laclau and Mouffe as a model outcome for social and personal transformational practices.
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