The Big Integrity Movement


The Big Integrity movement is about to burst onto the scene. A google search for "Big Integrity" today (October 2009) produced 515 results. I predict that by January 2011, googling "Big Integrity" will result in tens of thousands of references. Within five years, the results will be in the millions.

How can I be so sure? Because what I'm calling "the Big Integrity movement" includes everyone who is either working toward a better understanding of the nature of reality or helping humanity come into right relationship with reality. The movement encompasses the countless individuals and organizations around the world committed to ushering our species into greater alignment with objective and subjective truth—with the way things really are. Currently, of course, most of us don't see ourselves as part of a unified whole or worldwide movement. This will change...soon, I predict. In fact, the shift has already begun. 

Paul Hawken points to what I'm calling "the Big Integrity movement" in his book, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World. His WiserEarth website is designed to help people within this movement learn about and connect with one another. Sociologist Paul Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson refer to the more than 50 million Americans who identify with Big Integrity values as "Cultural Creatives".

Big Integrity is the art and science of coming into right relationship with Reality and supporting others in doing the same. It can be spoken of as "getting right with God," but religious language is not necessary and may in some circles be counterproductive, given the fact that so many people still have trivial, unnatural views of the divine. (Indeed, as I suggest here, atheist scientists such as PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins are playing traditionally prophetic roles in this process when they speak on behalf of reality.) Thus, I prefer thinking of Big Integrity simply as "being in right relationship with Reality"—both objective reality: the actual, physical Universe that dozens of scientific disciplines help us understand, and subjective reality: the inner realm of meaning, values, inspiration, and interpretation that has historically been the focus of religion, psychology, and spirituality.

I have been pondering along these lines since my 50th birthday, last November. In the May issue of The Evolutionary Times, I spoke of "The Gospel of Big Integrity" and offered some choice quotes on the nature of integrity from Edward Morler's acclaimed book, The Leadership Integrity Challenge. The standard evening program I offered after my United Nations presentation in April was "Evolution and the Global Integrity Crisis". Just after President Obama was inaugurated, I wrote a blog post on "Global Integrity: An Invitation to Religious Leaders". And one of the books I plan to write over the course of the next year (assuming I survive having cancer) is tentatively titled, Big Integrity: Where Science, Sustainability, and the Sacred Converge.

While concepts such as "Global Integrity" and "Big Integrity" have been resonating within me for some time, only in the last few weeks have I become convinced that Big Integrity describes something much larger than I had previously supposed. I foresee Big Integrity becoming one of the most powerful, unifying memes in human history. I intend to interview dozens of Big Integrity leaders—scientists, activists, educators, and politicians alike—in the coming months.

Providentially or coincidentally, just last week my 24 year old son, Shane, a recent graduate of Landmark Education's Introduction Leader Program, emailed me a Harvard Negotiation, Organization, and Markets Research Paper titled "Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics, and Legality," co-authored by Werner H. Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, and Steve Zaffron. I cannot recommend this working paper too highly. It is without a doubt the single most helpful thing that I have ever read on personal, interpersonal, and organizational integrity.

The Big Integrity movement is a natural, emergent, evolutionary force. I'm not inventing it. Nobody is inventing it. Rather, we're watching it emerge all over the world and pointing it out. I'm simply helping to connect a mass of dots that are already there. By connecting the dots, out of the seeming chaos a magnificent stallion appears.

As my new website proclaims, "Reality is my God and Big Integrity is my religion. By this, I mean that what is real is my ultimate commitment and being in right relationship with reality, and assisting humanity in this process, is my calling and deepest inspiration."