Posts Tagged ‘Map 3’

It is amazing to realize that we can optimize the impact of Integral City frameworks in the world simply because adult development is possible.

Integral City Map 3: The Scalar Fractal Relationship of Micro, Meso and Macro Human Systems

Integral City Map 3: The Scalar Fractal Relationship of Micro, Meso and Macro Human Systems

As a pioneering transpersonal psychologist, Roger Walsh emphasized this point at IEC,  he explored how to optimize the impacts of the integral paradigm everywhere.

While integral thinkers not only belong to the school that adult development is a natural phenomenon, many of them are leaders in explaining, developing and promoting capacity development in bio-psycho-cultural-social dimensions. (Ken Wilber, in Integral Psychology, charted the developmental stages named by more than 70 psychologists, psychotherapists, deveopmentalists and researchers). Some of the stage paths have more granularity than others, but all of them identify three developmental levels that are active in cities. Walsh called them: pre-conventional or mythic (also known as pre-modern); conventional or rational (also known as modern); and post-conventional or worldcentric (also known as post-modern).

Integral City is a meta-paradigm – it organizes and aligns the paradigms of human systems within the city, so that the patterns of the “human hive” – the natural living system of the city — can be recognized. As a meta-paradigm for the meso-scale of human systems, it serves the macro-scale of national and planetary systems, but it also depends on the micro-scales of human systems that make it up – the holarchy of social groups to which we all belong (as symbolized in Integral City Map 2).

Interestingly our manifestation of adult development can vary depending on which group we are interacting with – the most advanced worldcentric thinker can devolve to pre-modern sports fan at the World Cup; the most accomplished integral practitioner can happily enjoy the trappings of modernism that make possible all the “mod cons” of the city from flashy car to smart phone; and the most devout integral spiritual leader can appreciate the shamanic practices of Amazonian tribes.

But what distinguishes the adult who practices an integral way of life is the capacity to see all of these experiences as choices that allow and demand the adult to be aware of both their objective qualities and subjective states, and thereby support the facility to make different choices when appropriate.

The capacities to think, act, relate and create along a spectrum of personal conduct, that can be consciously linked to adult development, is in distinct contrast to the majority of people in cities. Most people have not yet discovered that adult psychological development does not cease with the biological maturity of the body. Adult psychological development for many people atrophies when they leave their school and/or their faith teachers and is “normalized” by regular association with peers who live within similar constraints – thus reinforcing the beliefs and behaviors of tribes, clans and cultures.

Moreover, in today’s cities tribes, clans and cultures have converged from the many geographies of the world, each believing that they have the “one right way” and prepared to challenge, fight and even kill others who do not comply with it. In terms of adult development we could say that too many people are arrested at a pre-conventional or conventional stages of development. And the melting pot of the city ensures that the encounter of people at different stages of development will guarantee conflicts and clashes because of their differing worldviews, values and psychological capacities. So there appears to be an optimizing logic that one of the essential weapons to address and vanquish these clashes is through creating the conditions of ongoing adult development. (Core evidence for this argument, might come from the research the “simple” act of educating women in the developing-world, which has improved quality of life measurable in economic, cultural and social terms.)

Some people have misinterpreted the Integral City’s paradigm to be a vision of the city at a steady state and stage of the post-conventional level of development. However, I do not believe that is likely or possible. Firstly, each person in the city traverses the stages of development (as far as they choose and/or are supported). Secondly they do this amidst the ecology of continuously dynamic demographics of the multitude of human lifecycles in cities. Therefore, it seems that these two co-existing conditions will ensure that all stages of human development will always be with us in the Integral City. The dynamics of human systems in cities is precisely what makes them ever-complex and adaptive.

Which brings us back to the proposition that optimizing the impact of Integral City rests on the discovery that adult human development is possible. The development of the city as a complex human system, depends on the assumption that each individual has the possibility of a lifelong learning journey. This is a basic premise that underlies any expectation that the quality of life in the city can be optimized through living with Integral principles.

As Clare Graves reminded us, adult development is a “never-ending quest”. Perhaps creating habitats that optimize the opportunities for adult development is one of the greatest values that Integral City design has to offer the world? Through individual adult development we can then create the conditions to support the intelligences of “WE-space” that has always seemed to me to be the eventual natural legacy of optimizing the impact of the Integral City.


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How do you optimize the impact of Integral City impact by getting our work out to the world?

Integral City AQAL

That is the next question that Roger Walsh asked at IEC.

First consider how important integral ideas are at this time in the world.

The city is the most complex system created by humans – and as such it is subject to information overload. Information overload has the tendency to make life very complicated. This causes and amplifies the stress that we feel at every scale in the city – as individuals trying to do our work, as families trying to stay connected, as teams in our work places trying to produce results, as organizations trying to stay on mission, as sectors trying to meet growing demands, as communities trying to engage neighbourhoods, as the whole city, trying to gain an overview of all this complexity to optimize our quality of life, cultural wellbeing, economic prosperity and infrastructural operation .

The value of thinking about the city using an Integral framework – one that can be negotiated with a compass and four maps –  is that it brings alignment and coherence to the many parts of the city. Our Integral City Compass shape shifts into 4 City Maps that help us to situate the dynamics and the patterns that too often elude us with information overload.

The Integral City framework helps us make sense of the cross-currents of our city lives from four directions:

1. how do the winds of change impact us as individuals? (Map 1 and Map 4).

2. how do the conflicts of relationships impact us in our social holons or collectives? (Maps 2, 3, 4)

3. how does the internal environment of Self and Others impact our awareness, beliefs and intentions? (Maps 1, 2 and 3.

4. how does the external environment of Place and Structure impact our actions, performance and capacity to manifest? (Maps 3 and 4).

With the situational guidance offered by compass and maps, Integral City can then support the unfolding of the intelligences that emerge as we optimize our interactions from the four quadrants of the city.

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Let’s recap core blogs that explore the Principles that could guide a Planet of Integral Cities.


Recently we explored the evolutionary context of the life-giving Principles of  Anthro-Bio-Cosmo emergence (thanks to Integral Geographer Dr. Brian Eddy).

In a much earlier blog we introduced the Principles of Living Systems (developed by Evolutionary Biologist Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris)

Then we introduced the Complex Spiral of Anthropic Principles , derived from developmental evolutionary research of Spiral Dynamics integral (initiated by Dr. Clare Graves and Dr. Don Beck).

We have also explored the core Principle of the Master Code (derived from my exploration of the principles underlying the 12 Integral City Intelligences).

With these suite of principles in place we can then turn to the individual city and recall the Principles related to:

This summary of the Principles we have explored gives us a meta from which to notice how Integral City Process, Practise and Structures rest on these Principles.

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The Key to decoding  the Integral City Maps is the Master Code:

  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Take Care of Each Other
  • Take Care of this Place
  • Take Care of this Planet

Evolutionary Intelligences

This Key is symbolized with the Integral City Compass which decodes the 12 Intelligences we need to explore Integral City Maps with ever-increasing circles of care.

Each of the five Maps for the Integral City, gives the Map Reader a different territory to explore. Because all the territories are interconnected, the Maps shape-shift from one form to another, leading the Reader through a labyrinth of city patterns, that taken together with the Master Code Compass, cohere into a whole.

City explorers who have taken journeys with the Principles of Living Systems and/or the language of PatternDynamics(TM) start to notice that Integral City Maps and Intelligences belong to this cluster of systems that decode patterns of life.

In the last six blogs, we have explored the language of PatternDynamics(PD) in order to translate its symbols into the language of Integral City Maps. In many ways we could say PD provides six archways (marked by a PD symbol) to the different territories of the city.

In this last blog (of this PD series) we enter the archway to the heart of the city – it’s Source.  Here we recognize the territory of City Spirit which we explored in Map 5.

The Source Pattern is foundational to all the other patterns, emerging from evolutionary consciousness: order, identity and purpose.

PatternDynamics Patterns

Like the other PD patterns, the Source Pattern has seven qualities, but as a meta-meta-pattern each of these qualities derives from a marriage of Source with the other 6 PD meta-patterns plus Source itself.

Energy: The Energy Pattern emerges from the conjunction of Source with Rhythm. The Energy Pattern is foundational to the city’s many ways of moving, expressing and evolving. It is evident in the exchanges of Map 3 and the involutionary, evolutionary cycle of Map 5. Energy appears as first cause for the Evolutionary, Integral and Living Intelligences and Emergent result in the experience of Love.

Resource: The Resource pattern is the child of Source and Polarity. In Map 5 Resource is the centre of the city’s Grace, Place and Space and the emergent quality of core values, Beauty, Goodness and Truth. The Resource Pattern reminds us that the city as Gaia’s Reflective Organ adds value to our planet’s evolutionary journey.

Transformity: The Transformity emerges naturally when Source inspires Structure. It is clearly the pattern of Map 4’s spiral of complex organizational structures.  Transfomity is a source of hope, reminding us that evolution has been experimenting with 14 billion years of complex transformations, to which human systems, including the city, belong.

Power: The Power Pattern, emanating from the collision of Source and Exchange, represents  the Big Bang on Earth. As such it lies in the centre of Map 1 and drives the “prime directive” behind all the cycles in all the other Maps. While Energy is multi-directional, Power is multi-cyclical with a central purpose or centered focus (like the beehive’s 40 pounds of honey). The Power Pattern of the Integral City will eventually produce the city’s purpose. And when 10% of Gaia’s cities discover and start to live into their purpose, we will have a Planet of Cities in service to all life on Earth.

Autopoeisis: The Autopoeisis Pattern “makes itself” from combining Source with Creativity. Building on Transformity and Power, Self-making that is adaptive drives the emergence of the nested holarchy of city systems in Map 2, the emergent capacities in Map 3 and the increased complexity of organizations in Map 4. This pattern recognizes how the city as a human system is constantly making and re-making itself through the grand cycles of Spiritual Sourcing and Re-Sourcing in Map 5.

Pattern: The Pattern Pattern is Source’s grand Dynamic Dance with itself on the Universe’s dance floor.  We notice the choreography of patterns in each of Integral City’s Maps. Tracing the Patterns reinforces our appreciation of the miracle that “we get order for free” (1). The PD Book of Patterns, records how Life has chosen to repeat its most productive Patterns at every level of scale in the human systems of the city.

Void: The Void Pattern is Source reflecting on Source. As Source we discover this empty fullness through our meditations, contemplations and other spiritual practices that remind us that we have all evolved from the same Source and will return to the same Source. There is nowhere else to go. Map 5 is a “busy expression” of discovering the Void Pattern in the centre of our Fields of Coherence.

Decoding Integral City Maps, is as simple as accessing the Void through the Source of Source.  And as we practise living with the Patterns of Aliveness that dynamically run through the territories of our bio-psycho-cultural-social lives in the Integral City, we expand our Practise of the Master Code, so that we can evolve to be stewards of a fully conscious, sustainable and resilient Planet of Cities.


1. Kauffman, S. A. (1993). The Origins of Order:  Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution. New York: Oxford Press.

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Integral City how do I capture your spirit? Map 5 gives us a glimpse into the spiritual energy of love, that is ever-present in the Human Hive, as we live on the edge of evolution.

Integral City Map 5: Spirituality in the Human Hive

Integral City Map 5: Spirituality in the Human Hive

Where is it possible to sense the spirit of a city? Is it in the quiet of a chapel, or the chanting on a prayer mat? Is it from a vista that discloses the miracle of light and form that is the city at night? Is it while doing good deeds in the service of those in need? Or is it in the tumult and din of a play-off game for our favourite sport?

Of course, spirit is expressed in all of these ways because spirituality is a universal life force that cycles through existence as an involutionary and evolutionary impulse (Wilber, 1995). The first stage of the cycle, called involution, originates at the non-dual “source” that lies at the centre of existence where it descends from the invisible to the visible; from the immanent to that which is presenced; from the unmanifest source to manifest “re-sources”. The second stage of the cycle, called evolution, attracts all creation back to source so that it ascends from the manifest to the source; from the visible to the invisible; from gross physical bodies to subtle and causal energy fields to non-dual source. Spirituality is not outside of city creation but embedded in it as the source, flowing through it as energetic fields and manifest in its emergent re-sources (Hamilton, 2012).

James Lovelock has called humans Gaia’s Reflective Organ. I take his insight one step further and suggest that cities are the actual organs and individuals are cells within it.

As Reflective Organs we may know spirituality (or God) in all four quadrants of our integral reality (reflected in Integral City Map 1) as: spiritual experience (UL) ; action flow state (UR); collective ecstasy or ethos (LL); and collective creation (LR). Spirituality is also an UL and LL intelligence (or line) that is capable of growing from ego to ethno to world to kosmic levels of development for individuals and cultures. As well (paradoxically), it is the Absolute source of stillness at the centre of existence (Map 1) and the Relative evolutionary impulse that drives all city manifestation (Maps 2, 3, 4).

The city as spiritual container holds not only the spiritual lives of citizens at three scales (Self, Culture and Nature), but also the artefacts of spiritual expression including all the systems, structures and infrastructures within the LR built city. Ironically, although we tend to point at the physical cathedrals, mosques and synagogues as centres of spiritual life, in fact these are mere expressions of the mystical “soul” of the city in all its built form and business.  But it is this very busy-ness that incites people to seek the Space, Place and Grace in a spiritual refuge where coherence can emerge from the over-stimulation of the senses, and spiritual reconnection can occur.

As the city matures through the exchange of energy between spiritual Source and Re-Source a spiritual energy Field emerges. Evidence about spiritual behaviors, attitudes, shared practices and systems, suggest that a field effect is emerging in the city (McTaggart, 2001; Sheldrake, 1988). The field probably arises because the city as container causes the multiplicity of chaotic exchanges (Map 3) within and across holons and social holons to converge into patterns that sustain. A kind of “spiritual groove” becomes carved in the energetic field, that through repetition reinforces itself.

Finally, when we admit all three faces of God (expressed as the Master Code) as the essence of spirit in the city, we make room for an ever evolving field of spirituality.

The perennial values that all spiritual wisdoms share appear to contribute to the human hive as a Reflective Organ. Spiritual guides see Beauty, Goodness and Truth as core values that imbue spiritual life at all expressions of Self, Culture and Nature (DeKay, 2011, p. xxvii; McIntosh, 2007, p. 300; Wilber, 2007, p. 70).

Within an integral frame these values co-arise and their interior and exterior modes seem to cross-connect and rotate or even interchange as they stimulate multiple routes to the emergence of Grace, Place and Space. In tracing the cycle of spirituality in the human hive, we come to a final spirituality map that reveals Grace, Place and Space as outcomes from the dynamic interconnections of Beauty, Goodness and Truth. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the integration of these core spiritual values is apprehended as the meta-value of Love in all the horizontal and vertical zones of the Integral City (as illustrated in Map 5)?

The Source Zone of city spirituality exists as the Absolute, ever-present non-dual infinite ground of spiritual abundance. Here the core value of Beauty may be accessed through the Interior Portal of Appreciation and enacted through the Exterior Practice of Expression. This results in the spiritual outcome of Grace.

The Field Zone of city spirituality arises through the subtle and causal memory patterns created by evolutionary spiritual practise. Here the core value of Goodness may be accessed through the Interior Portal of Stillness and enacted through the Exterior Practice of Service. This results in the spiritual outcome of Place.

At the Resource Zone of city spirituality emerges the relative manifest qualities of the evolutionary container of the human hive. Here the core value of Truth may be accessed through the Interior Portal of Learning and enacted through the Exterior Practice of Teaching and Construction. This results in the spiritual outcome of Space.

Integral City how do I not just capture your spirit – but embrace it?? Map 5 suggests Love is the spiritual pulse through which Gaia’s Reflective Organ makes:

Grace – In Taking Care of Yourself.
Place – In Taking Care of Each Other.
Space – In Taking Care of This City.


DeKay, M. (2011). Integral Sustainable Design: Transformative Perspectives. London, UK: Earthscan.
Esbjörn-Hargens, S., & Zimmerman, M. (2009). Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.
Hamilton, M. (2011). Integral Spirituality in the Human Hive: A Primer Trialog. Retrieved from http://www.integralcity.com/wiki.html
Lovelock, J. (1972). Gaia As Seen Through the Atmosphere, Atmospheric Environment, (Vol. vol. 6, p. 579).
Lovelock, J. (2009). The Vanishing Face of Gaia. New York: Harmony Books.
McIntosh, S. (2007). Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution: How the Integral Worldview is Transforming Politics, Culture and Spirituality. St. Paul, Minnesota: Paragon House.
McTaggart, L. (2001). The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. New York: Harper Perennial.
McTaggart, L. (2011). The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us. New York: Free Press.
Sheldrake, R. (1988). The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (1995 ed.). Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press.
Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, Ecology and Spirituality: the spirit of evolution. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.
Wilber, K. (2001). Marriage of Sense and Soul. New York: Random House.
Wilber, K. (2006). Integral Spirituality. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.
Wilber, K. (2007). The Integral Vision. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

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