Life 3.0 from an Integral Perspective

As readers of this blog have probably noticed, I have been struggling with an exact definition for “Life 3.0.” I know that it occurs after a “shift” and that it typically occurs during the second half of life.

When I first enrolled in the IPEC coach training program, after paying my tuition but before attending the initial session, I stumbled upon Integral Coaching Canada’s coach training program. I subsequently spent several weeks soul searching about whether I should instead under-take that program. I spent a significant, but as it turns out insufficient, amount of time reviewing Ken Wilbur’s Integral Life Practices and A Theory of Everything. Ultimately I decided that my goal was to follow a path ever forward, and so I could certainly participate in this program upon completion of my current commitment, if I still felt inclined.

While actively working through the Energy Leadership path of iPEC and Bruce Schenider, and after I was trained in basic and advanced PSYCH-K (R) defined by Rob Williams and based on Spiral Dynamics (as is Ken’s work), I attempted to co-learn Integral Theory. Fortunately, I remembered a lesson my ninth grade teacher related about a child in a Swiss family that was not learning to speak at the expected age.  It turns out that all four Swiss languages were being used in the family home and the child was not learning any of them. The child psychologist suggested they pick one language to focus on first in order to master each language sequentially with less distraction, minimizing over-load and maximizing building upon previous knowledge.  This is the concept I subsequently applied to Energy Leadership.

Now that I have completed the intense iPEC learning series, I find myself once again attracted to Integral theory and practice, particularly as it applies to Integral Relationships.  Our use of “OnCore” language and theory in our practice is to relay in our own terms what we believe it means to live an Integral Life.

Integral theory writers extensively use vocabulary which can be very confusing to outsiders. In the past, when picking up an advanced book on one of the finer points of integral theory, for example how it is applied to relationships, I would quickly become frustrated and often exclaim “why can’t you just speak English!?!.” This time however, when I went back to Ken’s 2000 book A Theory of Everything, consistent with the laws of the universe (ask and ye shall receive), I found a very clear definition of what Life 3.0 really is.  It is, quite simply, an Integral Life.

For many years I, like the majority of boomers, have proudly identified with the cultural creatives in America. Yet, if there are so many of these creative around, why is America not on a better course? Ken shares that “As the cultural creatives move into the second half of life, this is exactly the time that a further transformation of consciousness……into a mature second-tier awareness can most easily occur.”  Admittedly, when I first read this book ten years ago, I had no idea what he was talking about and promptly stopped reading.

Had I continued reading, I might have understood more and sooner.  Ken Wilbur believes there are four factors important for this transformation to an Integral Life to take place.  These factors include fulfillment, dissonance, insight and opening.  My recent musings on Life 3.0 awakening describe, in my own words, these four stages and my long struggle to transcend them.  Would that I could have “gotten them” from one page of a book.  But as is often the case, at least for those of us that must kinesthetically learn by doing for ourselves, it’s just not that simple.

To summarize Ken’s very clear description; when fulfillment occurs, we have then “had enough” of our Life 2.0 existence. At that point, we move into dissonance where our current situation simply no longer works for us. In the words of a teenager, it is a time when “life sucks.” When this happens we become open to growth and work at gaining insight. Ken points out that we begin to organize our feelings and thoughts during this time through “introspections, conversations with friends, by therapy, by meditation or, more often than not, in ways that absolutely nobody understands, by simply living.” He goes on to say “Finally, if all of those forces fall into place, then an opening to the next wave of consciousness, deeper, higher, wider, more encompassing, becomes more possible.”  Here at OnCore Ventures, we call this time “Life 3.0” which translates to living an integral “On Core” life.

I recently discovered this again over the last few weeks as I began to go to market with my offerings.  In creating language that defines what I do, I had fallen back to earlier levels of awareness and my “boomeritis” (Ken’s term) kicked in.  Life 3.0 is a personal transformation.  In trying to describe this concept I landed on the explanation that is currently on the main page of this site which states: “We’d like to see a large network of OnCore Ventures stretch from neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city across this nation and our world. And we are actively working to create as many OnCore Ventures as we can.”

But after further processing, this is not so much where we want to go. By focusing on the ego of creation and the effects of transformation, we are not being precise about our intention.  To clarify, we intend to see more and more people in Life 3.0 ventures of any kind, expanding their consciousness of themselves and the world around them, each and every day.  We operate upon the principles of Deepak Chopra and Ghandi who agree that “We transform the world by transforming ourselves,” and we must all “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

We are still playing with the “marketing messages” that must be crafted to describe what it is that “we do”, and perhaps what we do in concept is as confusing to others as Integral theory has been to me up until now.  But, let me be very clear or, as I like to say, put my order in to the universe; I intend for others that want to live an integral, on core life in the second half of life to wake up and do so, and it is our mission to help you do exactly that. We see ourselves as fishers of men. We have walked, and in many ways are still walking, this path that you have now stumbled upon. We are here to shine a light in the darkness ahead so that each step for you is just a little bit easier.

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