New Integral Sciences Consultant at CIHS – Dr. Thomas Brophy
Central to the mission of CIHS is an Integral vision, that human reality consists fundamentally of physical-material aspect and spiritual (or consciousness) aspect, both – neither reducible to the other. Modern academia has tended to segregate disciplines into the “physical sciences” such as physics and chemistry and the “humanities” such as philosophy, religious studies, and the arts. After the European Renaissance great successes of the physical sciences eventually led to a modern academic hegemony and dissociative mentality, a belief that physical-material studies are the only “valid” academic pursuits, to such an extent that fields such as biology and even psychology at times try to re-define themselves as physical sciences. The Integrative mission of CIHS as an academic institution is to re-unite the study of the fundamental aspects of Human-being in totality, as a newly Integral 21st century vision. It is the role of the Integral Sciences Consultant to leverage the best of modern physical science training and research toward the realization of this new post-modern revisioning at CIHS.
The movement toward an Integral vision, importantly, must be an advance to a higher stage of collective awareness that includes the magnificent advances of physical science, while transcending its disslocations. This Integral vision is thus not a regression to pre-differentiated modes of the past that suffered from dogmatic “infallible” myths of some particular metaphysical given. In research, integrity of quantity and measure – the Platonic “true” – must be rigorously maintained. For, combined with two more fundamental aspects – the Individual and the Social (both fundamental, neither reducible to the other) – the Integral vision also maps into the three great value spheres described by Plato: the True, the Good, and the Beautiful which informed the modern academic divisions: Sciences, Humanities, and Arts. That initially healthy differentiation of Renaissance-Modernity has fallen into an unhealthy, barren, even nihilistic, philosophical materialism. It is the Integral mission of CIHS through research and academics to bring the great successes of scientific Modernity forward into a new re-Integration.
Given such a prologue, a story about a certain Zen master comes to mind. When asked what should one do after one has had a powerful satori experience, the Zen teacher replied, “chop wood and carry water…” Thus the tasks of the Integral Sciences Consultant at CIHS include the mundane: oversee laboratory facilities and consult on research programs, coordinate Integral Sciences related aspects of academic programs and special events, and teach one course per quarter. Those familiar with ancient CIHS history will remember that I had an administrative role around the turn of the millennium. Since that time, in addition to my other businesses and authoring books, I have regularly taught courses and occasionally consulted, such as for the organization of the Integral Health Studies program. I am continually impressed by the unique qualifications and self-determination of CIHS students. Because CIHS is a living evolving entity, I encourage all interested students and faculty to meet with me regarding the incorporation of this vision into your program, as well as offer your ideas for CIHS.