We are witnesses to an exciting time with the recent U.S. election and the inspiring change that has swept into the new American leadership. But could the historical significance of the election of Barak Obama as President of the United States go beyond the obvious? Could the significance transcend the facts that he is the first African-American president and first post-baby boomer generation president? Is it possible that President Obama could also be the first “integrally oriented” president?
Watching Obama conduct himself over the past several months through the rigors of the campaign and up to the inauguration, I was struck again and again by hints of Integral in his thoughts, words and actions. Of course, time will tell if President Obama emerges as a truly “Integral Leader”, or not. But if he does, then this is a significance that is far greater than being the first black, post-baby boomer president. Of course, with the weight that such a position carries, and a national and international political system that is thoroughly entrenched in pre-integral structures, this may be too much to hope for. But if there is anyone who can give us hope, then it is this new American President.
Could we actually be seeing the worlds first “Integral Leader”? Below is a recent thought provoking post by Ken Wilber on this topic that is up on Integral Life (in fact, if you’re interested you can click the link to see other integral voices addressing the question). Who better to look into this question than Mr. Integral himself? Take it away Ken…..
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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!