A whole new world of integral diversity: this month's application of the integral approach focuses upon diversity. Editor Andrew Lynch contends that diversity is the heartbeat of integralism, and if this basic, evolutionary approach were to be applied it would transform FRS performance in this vital arena.(Learning & Development)(Fire and Rescue Service)

THE INTEGRAL APPROACH OFFERS a clearly-defined structure for drawing everything that works well in the Service into one coherent framework. It draws upon the principle of including and developing aspects that prove efficient, and mapping those across the four dimensions of existence--internal and external, individual and plural--whilst discounting aspects that prove inefficient. With that in mind, FIRE is applying the approach to crucial FRS disciplines before drawing together in one over arching model.

For ease of reference it is recommended that the box on pg 37 is read first followed by contributions in the December issue (pg 5), January (pg 5) and February (pg 28). See also:

On the surface level the Integral Approach is deceptively simple (see AQAL Model, pg 37), yet goes much deeper. To present this methodology appropriately, FIRE will present the basic premise, with an increasing emphasis on practical application for the Service. Fortunately, in the case of diversity--which is at the heart of the Integral Approach--the practicalities are obvious.

First, back to basics.

Increasing Wholeness

Every atom in the universe consists of an internal and external; it is at once individual and part of a collective. Thus reality is four dimensional. Every atom, molecule, cell, every thing in existence resides four-dimensionally. This atom, molecule, cell or human being is a holon (*), a whole part of a greater part.

Further, the atom is a holon resident in the superholon or holarchy of the human body. The body is a holon, a whole member of the family unit, which is the holarchy. In this way holons exist all the way up and all the way down.

Every human being has an internal and external, an individual and collective perspective. Each dimension has a separate, but not detached meaning and function, and can only be grasped in totality when considered as a whole, or a whole part or member within a greater holarchy.

In diversity terms, the deeper structure (the universal) is identical in us all: 208 bones, a heart, lungs etc. The surface structure (pluralism) is the subtle variations of cultural traits: family, beliefs and so forth. The surface structure brings the rich diversity to life.

The purpose of considering everything in these four dimensional terms is to give a total apprehension, a complete sight of the big picture. So, within an organisation, each member is considered as an individual with a rich interior life, as well as being an essential contributor to the internal cultural functioning of the organisation. …

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