I began writing this compact book four years ago as a brief digression at the beginning of an article on my particular formulation of integral economics, wherein I thought it might be appropriate to clarify what I meant by the integral that I was using to reconstruct this economics. That article was being written for an academic audience at the First Biennial Integral Theory Conference, so my digression to explicate the critical integral praxis that had long resided inchoate, in the back of my mind, was written in a formal academic style. Two years after that first draft of an article, which was incompletely satisfying enough to encourage further effort, I began writing once again during intermittent pockets of time between projects. My intent was to write a long academic article, or perhaps a series of articles, but certainly not a book, and I think that creative tension between what I wanted this to be and what it apparently needed to be accounts for the relative density and directness of the resulting presentation.
The ideas articulated in this book are precisely the same as those I introduced at that conference, and although this articulation is not as comprehensive as some scholars might prefer, or as accessible as some practitioners might like, I do hope it is sufficient to foment the sort of action-oriented discourses I have in mind. It should come as no surprise that I don’t anticipate a large audience for a rather speculative book of philosophy by an unknown author who didn’t even have the good sense to secure the services of a reputable academic publisher or a brazen literary agent. Nevertheless, I do anticipate a savvy audience of scholar-practitioners who recognize that the worldly challenges in response to which these ideas are being proposed simply will not wait two more years while I take the standard route to publication. Consequently, I have chosen to self-publish this first edition and to do so with a Creative Commons license that relieves you of any financial cost to read, discuss, and share this book as widely as you choose.
Should you choose to read, discuss, and share this work, it will help to remember that its primary purpose is to seed derivative applications in such real-world fields of human action as economics, business, politics, governance, sociology, journalism, and activism. While I have already been doing so in economics and business, there is no shortage of opportunities for critical integral reconstruction of established theories and practices within, between, and beyond disciplinary and institutional boundaries. If you would like to apply Awareness-in-Action in your particular field, please let me know. I would be glad to help in any way I can.
Daniel J. O'Connor Bainbridge Island, Washington March 2012