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CONCLUSION: MANDALA CENTRE FOR INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT

INTEGRAL WORLDS

For one of the authors, Ronnie Lessem, as co-founder of the Trans4m Centre for Integral Development in Geneva, from an initially European perspective, the continent has been beset, in the modern era, by, for him, an inauthentic polarity between capitalism (Adam Smith was a Scot) and communism (Karl Marx was German), which belies the cultural variety of Europe, if not of the whole world. Trans4m's "integral realities", then, draws on a similar quaternity to Wilber's, but lodges there in the "South" (we); the "East" ("I"), the "North" (Its) and the "West" (It). Moreover, and like spiral dynamics, what Trans4m calls its developmental "integral rhythm" is Formative (Beige, Purple); Reformative (Red, Blue); Normative (Orange, Green); and ultimately Transformative (Yellow, Turquoise).

For Mandala Consulting, founded by Rica Viljoen in South Africa, working for the last five years in close cooperation with Loraine Laubscher, spiral dynamics has taken an intriguing "Southern" turn. Ansune Coetzee, also from Mandala, is working alongside Laubscher to integrate the Value Circles theory into development initiatives. Coetzee will also be closely involved in the newly formed Mandala Centre of Integral Development. For Laubscher and Coetzee, as for Viljoen, the different human niches are less hierarchical in nature than they are for Graves and Beck.

MANDALA IN PERSPECTIVE

At this point, a quote from the illustrious Afrikaner adventurer, writer and philosopher, Lauren van der Post (26), would be illustrative:

European man walked into Africa by and large totally incapable of understanding Africa, let alone of appreciating the raw material of mind and spirit with which this granary of fate, this ancient treasure house of the lost original way of life, was so richly filled. He had, it is true, an insatiable appetite for the riches in the rocks, diamonds and gold ... but not for the precious metal ringing true in the deep toned laughter of the indigenous people around him.

That "precious metal" to which Van der Post metaphorically refers, in spiral dynamic terms would be "Beige" (Survival) and "Purple" (Kin Spirit), which lies low in the Graves/ Beck order of things. Laubscher and Viljoen warn that the spiral should not be viewed hierarchical, but as a group of diverse niches at which individuals and societies excel due to the specific question of existence that they ask. It is an ever-evolving fractal and a cyclical, emerging form of a mandala.

In that sense the newly forged Spiral Dynamics Integral, between Trans4m represented by Ronnie Lessem and Alexander Schieffer, and Mandala represented by Rica Viljoen, Loraine Laubscher and Ansune Coetzee, as per our newly emergent Mandala Centre for Integral Development, takes a leaf out of our second author, Louis Herman's (27) book:

The mandala is the oldest and most universal symbol of order, representing the relationship of the searching individual to the cosmos. Since the model seems to express an archetypal structure of the search for order that is rooted in the primal human condition – the autonomous creative individual, in face-to-face community, embedded in nature – we find it reappearing at those creative moments of transition in history where one order is collapsing, a new one is emerging, and the big questions resurface.

To that extent, the different cultural niches or thinking systems, so to speak, are cyclical and interactive, as well as being linear and accumulative. It is a system of emerging waves not rigid categories. As indicated elsewhere, the circle and the spiral, as well as the line and the point, have their altogether integral part to play in the whole integral polity (28). To that extent a Mandala Centre for Integral Development, emerging out of South Africa, has a Southern (circular – grounding), Eastern (spiralling – emergent), Northern (linear – navigation) and Western (pointed – effect) ring to it, as should be expected in Mandela's "rainbow nation". We shall end this chapter on emergent culture and spirituality, and its connection with an integral polity in Eastern-Western- Northern-Southern guise, with an amazingly insightful quote from the renowned 19th- century South African novelist Olive Schreiner (29) in her Thoughts on South Africa, written in 1901:

In South Africa, in eighty years' time ... there will be a great and independent nation, and it will be unique, unlike any other in the world ... The blood of the brave Bantu folk may predominate, but it will be a race blended of Asiatic and other peoples; there will be strains of Dutch and French blood, and the Malay, the Indian and even the Hottentot will have a place in it. The two great blended varieties, dark and light, will form the South African nation of the future, their two streams of life, racially distinct, but always interacting.

It is in that respect that the founder of the new political party Agang, Mamphele Ramphele (30), has maintained that the path of "walking together" must take precedence if healing and transformation is to ensue in the country. Ramphele has accepted the invitation by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the biggest opposition party in South Africa, to be its candidate for the office of president of South Africa. As both Agang and the DA have "Blue" thinking systems, the co-operation makes systemic sense. Agang and the DA will be walking together for the benefit of the freedom for which the original freedom fighters fought during the Struggle.

We end this chapter where the last one began. In the worlds of Sri Aurobindo:

Our first decisive step out of ... our normal mentality is an ascent into a higher Mind ... capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming ... [Its] most characteristic movement is a mass ideation, a system of totality of truth-seeing at a single view; the relations of idea with idea, of truth with truth are not established by logic but pre-exist and emerge already self-seen in the integral whole.

We now turn from the spiritually laden human cycle and culturally laden spiral dynamics to the threefold linkage between culture, economy and polity proposed by the "Easterly" oriented Austrian polymath, Rudolph Steiner.

 
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