Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boysen Hogdson - Honing Our Integral Edges

Several years ago, one of my clients (a Mankind Project group leader) told me that he had heard there was effort being made to include an integral perspective, specifically a Spiral Dynamics Integral approach, into the Mankind Project training and leadership systems.

Boysen Hodgson, one of the national leaders of MKP, recently posted an article about where those efforts have led - a new telecourse to introduce members to the integral model.

I'd be curious to see if this leads to some reevaluation of their training model (New Warrior Weekends) that some initiates have claimed are emotionally abusive.

Honing Our Integral Edges

All Quadrants, All Levels

by Boysen Hodgson
August 17, 2011

In the ManKind Project, we’re voracious integrators. Our trainings and groups are a tightly mixed alchemical combination of exercises, modalities and practices from across the spectrum of personal growth, psychology, spiritual, ritual and physical practices. Men from different traditions and multiple generations have brought their unique gifts to the ManKind Project and our men’s circles, and men show up around them to learn and integrate new ways of thinking and new skills to use in the work that we do.

We’re a learning organization, at every level. Here’s one of the ways I’ve learned.

For nearly 2 years, Rich Tosi, David Kaar, Tom Pittner, George Daranyi, Carl Griesser, John Gaughn, Bill Kauth, myself  and a up to 5 other ManKind Project leaders and community members met on the phone every two weeks to talk about the intersection and integration of Spiral Dynamics and Integral thinking into the DNA of the ManKind Project.

The call was commonly called the ‘Spiral Call’. It started as a court of support for our past Chairman, George Daranyi. It evolved into a platform for a close knit tribe of men to discuss cultural change on a micro and a macro level.

We explored how to fully embody the kind of leadership we want to model in MKP – an Integral style that deeply honors and values the differences and stages that men who come to us are in, and invites them to push their edges. A style of leadership that seeks to transcend attachment to any one way of seeing the world … and embraces and honors them all for the gifts they bring and the ways they have helped all of us evolve (to transcend AND include).

We weren’t holding theoretical discussions. We were looking on every phone call at specific issues, challenges and evolutionary steps that the ManKind Project was facing.
Read the whole article.


Anonymous said...

“Higher levels” know what’s best for the “lower levels”—they’ve already “transcended and included” them. Hence the neoconservative politics of Beck, Wilber, etc. So if the higher levels think that the “lower levels” need a traumatic shake-up then that’s that. While they might go information-gathering and talk to the lower levels, it’s not actually a dialogue. If there’s an appearance of dialogue, it’s because those in the “lower” levels have accepted that they will be deferential to the authority and explanations of the “higher” as a condition of entry. This is a defining feature of a cult.

There’s a reason Spiral Dynamics became so central to Integral at just the moment it veered off into right-wing politics and narcissistic guru worship: because that’s what it’s built to do. It’s amusing to suggest that MKP would become more open and less abusive if they adopted the ideologies of Andrew Cohen’s ashram.

Anonymous said...

Great. More following of the latest "New Agey" flavor of the month.

When I was considering attending an MKP weekend I decided no primarily because of the secrecy and the apparent reliance on New Age Psuedoscience. I seem to have made the right choice.

After the leadership tires of Wilber what will be next Byron Katie worksheets? Using a course in miracles to speak to Jesus?

Sounds like MKP is turning into Oprah with testicles.

Anonymous said...

Here's a little irony that Boysen might grasp if he read beyond the Oprah-Wilber New Age reading list:

History suggests, very clearly, that when your group adopts the belief that it's History's magical cutting-edge vanguard, things start to go very bad very quickly.

But hey, "men" have always had ridiculously grandiose notions about their awesome awesomeness, so maybe men's movements are a logical place for Spiral Dynamics to find its terminal recruits.

(Mean green! Mean green! Say it with me! Two Minute Hate! Mean green! We yellow are victims all!)