Integrative worldviews

People with integrative worldviews generally try to bring together and synthesize elements or domains that in other worldviews are viewed as mutually exclusive, such as science and spirituality, rationality and imagination, economy and ecology, humanity and nature ~ domains that in the West have been in conflict for centuries. In this worldview, such opposing perspectives or domains are understood “on a deeper level” to be part of a greater whole or synthesis.

The view of reality is of a great interconnected whole, which is both spiritual and physical ~ a larger consciousness or divine reality uniting all the separate elements of our experience. The divine is both immanent and transcendent: God is in the world, and the world is in God. The process of (biological) evolution is frequently understood as driven by a creative spirit or divine force.

Such a holistic perspective results in “both-and” rather than “either-or” thinking, which can lead to great social, cultural, economic, and technological innovations. It may also lead to a profound sense of connection with nature, and an understanding of earthly life as imbued with consciousness or “spirit.” Nature tends to be seen as having intrinsic value and spiritual significance.

The individual is prominent in this worldview, and there often is a great focus on the development or evolution of one’s “higher self” or full human potential (e.g., through spiritual or other practices). Universal, existential concerns ~ such as life and death, self-actualization, global awareness, and serving society, humanity, or even “life” at large ~ are often of central importance.

source: Annick de Witt (Ph.D.)

Annick de Witt (Ph.D.) is an author, change-maker, and consultant in the field of cultural and inner transformation for global sustainability. She has extensively researched worldviews, and developed the worldview-test.

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