Today is an exclusive live video interview with Steve McIntosh, for the interview series “Interviews with the Leading Edge.”
In this series of interviews, I engage with people who are on the leading edge of transformational change, doing work to further the consciousness revolution and how it is manifesting in culture, politics and spirituality, in order to help bring along a more enlightened society.
Steve McIntosh is one such person.
Steve is author of the recent book The Presence of the Infinite, and has written two other books, Evolution’s Purpose, and Integral Consciousness. He is a leader in the integral philosophy movement and currently works as President of the social policy foundation The Institute for Cultural Evolution.
In addition to the ICE think tank, and his work in philosophy, Steve has had a variety of other successful careers, including founding the consumer products company Now & Zen, practicing law with one of America’s largest firms, working as an executive with Celestial Seasonings Tea Company, and Olympic-class bicycle racing. He is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and the University of Southern California Business School.
In connection with his early interest in spirituality, Steve became a dedicated scholar of philosophy and spirituality in his teens. He was especially drawn to the evolutionary philosophy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and later to the work of Alfred North Whitehead, Ken Wilber, and Holmes Rolston. Then in 2000 he became part of Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute, where he served in both the Integral Art and Integral Business branches.
In 2002 Steve left the Integral Institute on good terms in order to become an independent and sometimes critical voice within the integral movement. This led to his 2007 book, Integral Consciousness, and to What Is Enlightenment? Magazine’s featured interview of him entitled Integral Politics Comes of Age.
In 2008 he was invited to join the Evolutionary Leaders group spearheaded by Deepak Chopra. And in 2012, his second major book, Evolution’s Purpose, was published by Select Books New York. In 2013 Steve co-founded The Institute for Cultural Evolution, which applies integral philosophy to help develop solutions for political problems.
Then in 2015 Quest Books published Steve’s most ambitious work so far, The Presence of the Infinite, The Spiritual Experience of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness, which builds on his thinking in Evolution’s Purpose and Integral Consciousness. This latest book takes the integral perspective into new territory and brings new light to the important subject of spiritual experience, and the cultural leadership potential of evolutionary spirituality.
I met with Steve while he was in New York City as part of a book tour for The Presence of the Infinite. During our far ranging conversation, Steve talked about his own personal spiritual and career path, his development of the best-selling Zen Alarm Clock, the ideas behind his first two books and his current book, the distinction between progressive spirituality and evolutionary spirituality, and the intersection of evolutionary spirituality and politics, which is the focus of the Institute for Cultural Evolution.
As Steve explains, evolutionary spirituality, which is the new, emerging form of spirituality, differs from progressive spirituality, which is the current form of spiritual practice for many people – especially for those who label themselves as “spiritual but not religious.”
Steve is a brilliant man, whose far-sighted grasp of the evolution of spirituality, consciousness and culture, and his desire to demonstrate not only how evolutionary spirituality intersects with politics but to try and take these ideas and reform the political arena through his Institute for Cultural Evolution, clearly are major contributions and puts him on the leading edge in terms of transforming society.
To learn more about Steve McIntosh’s work, you can go to his website http://www.stevemcintosh.com/
And to learn about his foundation The Institute for Cultural Evolution, you can go to http://www.culturalevolution.org/