Ken Wilber: “Barack Obama is likely moving into truly Integral waves of development”

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 30, 2009
get elephant's newsletter

Ken Wilber, one of the leading spiritual philosophers of our time, has finally condescended to illuminate us as to his admiration for our new President—now that Mr. Obama has won and, you know, the election’s already decided.

You heard it here first. Well, third. Okay, sixth


“There probably hasn’t been as much rampantly enthusiastic idealism surrounding a president since the election of John F. Kennedy than there is around Barack Obama. In the Integral community, this naturally translates into the question, “Is Obama Integral?”

I have put off responding to this question until now, first, because I didn’t want to get involved in active politics (because there is as yet no Integral Politics in place), but second (and over-riding the first), I don’t think we’ve have enough genuine information to tell. Notice, for example, that a major watchdog organization ranked Obama in the top 1 or 2 most liberal senators in Congress—hardly a badge of integral inclusiveness.

And yet, particularly as the campaign progressed, Obama began making increasingly Integral-sounding pronouncements. In fact, an Integral analysis of his acceptance speech by Corey deVos and Clint Fuhs showed a genuinely high percentage of Integrally-comprehensive language and ideas (especially compared to the other candidates). It seems, in fact, that somewhere during the campaign itself, Obama went from green exit (the pluralistic stage of development, with its inherently high liberalism) to initial teal Integral waves (the first Integral stages of development, with inherent Integrally-oriented political stances). Increasingly his language and his values systems seemed to shift, right before one’s eyes, into Integral spaces.

It is, of course, still too soon to make a solid judgment about this, but it seems safe to say that Barack Obama is likely moving into truly Integral waves of development and therefore beginning to evidence truly Integral values and positions. Combined with his already significantly developed states (which gives the very notable Radiance and Presence to his being), this means we might very well be seeing, certainly for the first time in this century, a truly Integrally-oriented President of the United States. In this climate of possibility, reigns the intense idealism and sense of promise that this new President brings with him: the hope and promise that a new tomorrow is truly possible, and that it is beginning now, right now. If so, this is indeed a genuinely historical moment, when Integral consciousness has actually descended in and through the voice and vision of the most powerful person on the planet. We are truly beginning to enter the Integral Age, and Barack Obama’s voice might be the most notable and important Integral voice in the political arena. How can we know for sure? Stay tuned!”



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to “Ken Wilber: “Barack Obama is likely moving into truly Integral waves of development””

  1. […] See the original post: Ken Wilber: “Barack Obama is likely moving into truly Integral … […]

  2. […] Ken Wilber is one of today’s greatest philosophers, a towering man built like an athlete whose brain is bigger than elephantjournal dot com’s 68K monthly readers combined. Because I’ve had the honor of knowing him a bit since way back in my days slaving away at Shambhala Publications, and have interviewed him for elephant, folks often ask me about him. They always start with this question (always): is Ken Wilber really as arrogant as he seems?). And I always answer, “Definitely. But at least he has something to be arrogant about. Me, I’m at least as arrogant as Wilber, but I have no excuse—I’m no genius.” […]

  3. Anon says:

    You guys are terrifying. Please remember the last politician annointed by Wilber, and welcomed to his respective country's position as nation's most powerful with similar fanfare and hope – Tony Blair. And yes, many of the British people still hate him for what he has done (and it ain't just about Iraq).

    Integral, PLEASE stop being taken in by charismatics (well intentioned or not) willing to use coercive State power to improve the world. And please learn some sound classical economics, the West's most important lineage carrying the ethical and Natural Law limitations of what the State thinks it can achieve.