the question of flourishing

courses & teachers

MEET LEE MASON, FROM AMSTERDAM.  That is the jaunty and straightforward heading for Lee's biographical page on the Practical Integral website. 

The whole thing has a casually friendly tone mixed with deep earnestness.  You can taste that flavour in his invitation to flourishing video.  Or you sample the vibe from this marketing paragraph:

Many people strive to flourish. But what exactly is this elusive phenomenon of flourishing? And what action can you take to flourish more often, both within yourself and in interaction with others?  To find out, take the Integral Flourishing course! "

Lee Mason is a Dutch physical therapist who graduated from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) and then expanded his approach, studying integral metatheory, to include social-organizational, relational-cultural, emotional-mental-spiritual as well as physical-behavioral aspects of well-being.  Now he works with Nomali Perera doing customized coaching, facilitation and teaching with the Practical Integral project.

Together they mix in-depth integral metatheory with shadow work, enneagrams, immunity-to-change processes, meditation, polarity management & more -- but Lee's primary focus is on the Essence of Integral Flourishing

What (as Lee asks in the marketing quote featured above) exactly is this elusive phenomenon of flourishing?  How clear are we about our personal and collective protopian goals?  Whither trendeth our successful interventions?

What does “the field" want?

Wikipedia tells us that “flourishing is the complete goodness of humans in a developmental life-span, that somehow includes positive psychological function and positive social functioning along with other basic goods."

That is good.  It is also very vague and preliminary.  The concept of flourishing enters the discourse through a convergence of ancient religious notions of metanoia and blessedness, Aristotle's notion of eudaimonia & Abraham Maslow's Nietzsche-inspired studies of how psychological health overflows into peak experiences.  Martin Seligman and the Positive Psychology movement have been using this terminology for a couple of decades. 

It is not a bad word. 

We obviously want something like full-spectrum human flourishing in which the minimization of pathology is accompanied by secure & enriching social relations in a thriving biodiverse ecosystem where ancient and leading-edge technology co-facilitate personal depth and public sensemaking to such a degree that we can frequently co-create actionable and meaningful scenarios for which it is worth both living and dying.  Obviously.  Still seems a little fuzzy though.

Are we clear enough, and precise enough, to be effectively attuned to our inner and outer goals?  Are we engaging in robust shared discussions about what we actually want and need?  What do words like flourishing and well-being point towards?  What's our theory of a good life?  What are the details of the target condition toward which the diverse liminal, metamodern, integrative, Game B & regenerative networks can productively align themselves?

What does a “resolved metacrisis" look like?

PS -- Write in if you know the answer!


To get more from Lee and Nomali, trawl the Practical Integral video and interview series on Youtube.
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emerge is convening a field of metamodern praxis