Monday, December 19, 2005

Integral Accounting: A Framework for Stewardship Within Abundance

Integral Accounting: A Framework for Stewardship Within Abundance

Lux    Gratia   Actio

 We are all here.  All that is necessary to animate, invigorate, and regenerate our lives is all here.  We are indivisible from complete abundance.  From our incarnate origin to our energetic emanation from physical form, we exist in the perpetual currency of lavish sufficiency.

Integral Accounting is a tool used to discern Abundance and animate Stewardship.  Its roots follow humanity to its recorded origins.  It diffracts illumination through all traditions and itself is unbounded within a particular archetypal delimitation.  Coherent with linear Creation narratives and trans-dimensional, cyclic Evolution and Involution, Integral Accounting can be comfortably applied in solidarity with any dogma or cosmology.  Care is taken, therefore, to select language that is entirely open to interpretation to invite ontological harmony and understanding.

Why Integral Accounting:

For the past two millennia, many of our consensus human systems have reified Dominion and Control as the basis for understanding our ecosystem.  In his 1776 opus, An Inquiry into the Nature and the Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith buttressed the 1,000 year-old Christian rites embodied within the Doge of Serenissima’s Marriage of the Sea in which all nature – including human beings – are “resources” over which structures of power must exert dominion.  In the Bible account of Creation, the story records the stated hierarchy: “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.”[1]  From these seemingly innocent threads, manacles of indenture have been woven (and worn) and are now strangling our umbilical to life.  Rather than bathing in the cosmic ocean of abundance, we have built systems that manage scarcity (time, resources, order, control, and money) while allowing our power to be transferred to surrogates who construct and maintain their position by the manufacture and perpetuation of fear.  The very word “livelihood” implies that without participation in the prostitution of human energy and effort, life itself would be impaired or impossible.

We can observe the unsustainable essence of domination and its agent of reinforcement, denomination.  We observe the frequent incapacitation of effort that is stymied by inadequacy projected on our impulses.  We would act but for lack of resources or access thereto.  We would adapt but for communal support or inspiration.  We would engage if we only knew how.  We would endeavor if we had the funding.  We would strive if we had the right tools.  We would passionately live if we felt better.  Is there an isomorphic system that would unleash our unfettered humanity in persistent, generative action?  May it be the case that we merely lack a coherent framework in which we can perceive, discern, and engage the abundance in which we’re enveloped and through which we could fully manifest our incarnate potential?  Integral Accounting and our experience in its application suggests that demonstrable, empirical, reproducible regeneration of the human condition is accessible, completely.

Offered in Service to Humanity!
The Process:

In our experience, we often begin the process of Integral Accounting with a discussion of light and magnetism.  The Sun, the literal and precise metaphor for persistent, generative, energy and light is understood to be a massive nuclear reactor in which matter is converted into energy which is emitted for the sustenance of all the observable world.  This discussion provides a vital metaphor for our final process which we call “Fusion” inspired by our Sun, nuclear fusion and the work of Charles-Augustin de Coulomb[2].  To unleash a fusion reaction, charged particles in the context of a magnetic field are afforded the capacity to ‘overcome’ their individual charges – the natural forces that keep them in opposition.

To demonstrate the sentience derived from Source, we hold a bar magnet over iron filings.  Gradually, the bar magnet is lowered towards the iron filings until the first filings appear to animate, subtly standing on their ends moving towards the magnet.  Slowly, the magnet is then held at that altitude and passed over the filings to demonstrate that different filings respond variously to the positive and negative poles of the bar magnet.  This demonstration opens a dialogue into non-dual sentience.  Each particle, discerning the field elects to respond or not to the moving charge passing above it.  Then the magnet is lowered a bit closer to the iron filings demonstrating that each filing, at its own discernment, elects to attach to one or the other pole without judgment or symmetric bias. The shape of the filings’ attachment are described by the observers to open the discourse around charges serving an agnostic, sentient role in visibly discerning magnetic fields[3].

We use this demonstration to open a simple, wonderment-filled space for the beginning of the Integral Accounting Audit.

To begin the process, we recommend introducing the six dimensions of value [Commodity; Custom & Culture; Knowledge; Money; Technology; Well-being] using the written summaries that are available on-line.  They are summarized as:

Commodity – elements present in communities which, through cultivation, production, or value-add, can be used to generate means of social or commercial engagement. Some examples of Commodities are potential energy, food, water and raw materials.

Custom & Culture - practices and expressions of individual or community held values and traditions which create a context for social interactions. Some examples of Custom and Culture are expressions of social values, gatherings, interactions, art, music, and ceremonies.

Knowledge - information and experiential awareness which can be transmitted through language, art, or other expressions. Some examples of knowledge are the transfer of information and the expansion of understanding through literacy, marketing, negotiation and stories.

Money - a mode of transmitting and recognizing value exchange using physical or virtual surrogates including currency, systems of credit and barter and engaging any artifact constituting a consensus of recognized value exchange which, itself, is devoid of the value it represents. Some examples of money are currency, trade credits, debt, equity, futures, bonds, and contracts.

Technology - artifacts or schemes by which value-added experiences and production can be effectuated including any action, process, thing, or utility which allows for the manifestation of spatially and temporally defined tangible or intangible artifacts or event. Some examples of technology are appliances, tools, logistics, processing, communications, power, and infrastructure.

Well Being - the capacity for any person or ecosystem to function at their optimal level where conditions are suitable for a person to be at liberty to fully engage in any activity or social enterprise entirely of their choosing as and when they so choose. Some examples of well-being are health, sanctuary, medicine, inalienable rights, equitable and gainful engagement, fellowship, and fun.

To begin the auditing process, we find it helpful to provide each participant six sheets of paper, one representing each of the six value attributes.  These become a helpful visual cue for the first organization of abundance impulses.

1.       Integral Accounting Audit:  Identifying Abundance sounds like it should be simple.  For most people, life has made this process subject to considerable filtering.  For the purpose of the Integral Accounting Audit, we encourage people to reflect on everything that they have in their field that exists in abundance.  Abundance is neutral.  A person may have a lot of money and friends, and, in the same instance have a lot of fear and sense of isolation.  All of these “abundances” are explicitly welcome.

Abundance is recorded in writing and is best manifest in an individual, reflective process.  Each thing, attribute, sense, or experience that comes to mind is written on the colored sheet of paper intuitively linked to the value dimension instantly recognized.  It is important not to over think this first classification.  If you think that ‘love’ or ‘computers’ are instantly recognized as ‘Well Being’ and ‘Technology’, respectively, follow the impulse.  The key thing is to write down everything.

Upon completion of the first attempt, stop and reflect on two common errors.  We tend to associate Abundance with ‘Good’ and Scarcity with ‘Bad’.  This binary classification is prone to fallacy.  Free from this judgment duality, invite a reconsideration of the audit to assess whether there are attributes or things that exist in life that are not on the page.  Put them on too.

2.       Polarizing the Optics:  The colors of the Integral Accounting system are intentional.  Each color assists in reflecting wavelengths of energy historically and esoterically associated with the elemental energy represented in each value.  Once filled with identified Abundance, each colored sheet is arranged in the order of the wheel: Yellow, Blue, Purple, Green, Grey, and Red.  Beginning with the Commodity (Yellow) list, each item assigned to that classification is now recast in each of the other dimensions.  A matrix is formed in which each Abundance is described as each other value unit.   In Figure 1 (below) you can see a simple example of the optical matrix which affords the ability to reflect on the energy of each Abundance and its capacity to manifest in other dimensions of value.  It is essential to stay unattached and non-judgmental in this phase too.  Nothing is ‘Good’, ‘Bad’, or any other attribute.  The invitation is to simply see Abundance diffracted through multiple perspectives.  Having done the full diffraction, you return to the first order classifier and offer gratitude for the pathway it illumined.

One can readily see that for maximum value, this experience is engaged over an extended period of time and thoughtful reflection. 

[1] Genesis 1:26
[2] Coulomb (1785) "Premier mémoire sur l’électricité et le magnétisme," Histoire de l’Académie Royale des Sciences, pages 569-577
[3] A video of the magnet demonstration is helpful but, ideally is replicated with an actual magnet and iron filings.

1.       Polarizing the Charges:  Once the matrix is fully populated, we move to the second type of polarization – polarizing the magnetic charges.  This is where we engage intuitive judgment in impulsive expression.  A positive (+) or negative (-) sign is placed next to each Abundance in each classification to create the ‘bar magnet’ field which allows choice and action to emerge.  This process begins to inform the perceived net energetic impact of each Abundance.  By allowing each charge to manifest without deep reflection, the intuitive and reflexive senses inform the audit without attempting to force social projections upon the process.

It is informative to spend some time considering any value dimensions in which excessive charges (either + or - ) manifest and allow the observation to open up consideration as to the roots of that hyperpolarization. 

2.       Lighting the Sun:  Using the fully polarized (optical and magnetic) and charged field, you now have a map of First Order Action.  This First Order Action is the single dimension, abundance, or impulse when, if invited to change its ‘charge’ (positive to negative or vice versa), can unleash persistent, generative Light.  Like the iron filing dancing into fellowship with the bar magnet, allow the field created by the audit (the iron filings) to respond to the field (your magnetism or the magnetism formed in fellowship with others) to unleash sentient action. 
Case Study: Rabaul, Papua New Guinea:

Situated at the top of East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, Rabaul’s colonial history includes the settlement of the town by the Germans in the late 19th century.  In 1994, the most recent eruption of Tavurvur and the Rabaul caldera led the self-proclaimed ‘developed world’ to conclude that Rabaul was not habitable due to its “geological and seismic activity”.  In 1942, Rabaul had witnessed the horror of the “Comfort Women” legacy of the Japanese occupying force where thousands of women were subjected to frequent rape, violence and death.  Overlooking the thousands of people who represent Communities of Persistence who have lived on the volcanic island for thousands of years and the wisdom that has sustained their vibrant lives, forced relocation and dependency was the dominating meme employed during the response to the eruption and the ensuing challenges. 

Over the course of three years, we worked with the Communities of Persistence to learn about their lives, their ecosystem and the Abundance of the region.  A simplification of selections of our audit are below.

Beneath the verdant vines of the rainforest filled with fragrant organic spices lived the inescapable memories of the occupation and violence of the Second World War.  Using the Integral Accounting Audit above, the Communities were able to see that persistent, generative possibility could unleash if the legacy of violence against women and the perpetrators thereof could be aligned with a new energetic engagement. 
To produce essential oils used in cosmetics and fragrances, consumed in great quantity by women in Japan, one needs to have steel fermentation and distillation vessels.  These exist in Abundance – brought to Rabaul by Japanese for utilities of death.  Using the technology designs (Knowledge & Technology) from the Global Innovation Commons, we built state-of-the-art distillation facilities integrating the Japanese steel of war, torpedo tubes, and volcanic ash enhanced concrete.  Once assembled, the women of Rabaul and the surrounding communities led the community production process of harvesting and purifying essential oils to be sold at a premium value to the cosmetics industry – principally buyers for fragrances in Japan. 

The resulting enterprise produces an essential oil of such premium quality that it is ‘contaminated’ by end-users to bring it in line with industrial standards.  The communities have re-integrated the values that they held for thousands of years prior to colonization.  Women are leading this effort and are inspiring the men in the region to see possibility in place of aid dependency. 

Case Study: Soluble Systems LLC, Newport News, VA:

A dentist in the Tidewater region of Virginia wanted to find a palliative treatment for patients with xerostomia – the dry mouth condition that afflicts many oral surgery patients.  His quest led him to researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University who were trying to understand and develop polymers first engineered by DuPont.  Regrettably, when he sought to begin his dental treatment business, he found out the pharmaceutical companies which sell minimally effective drugs that help less than ½ of the patients treated had acquired patents for his polymer therapy to block the very business he was trying to create.

Everything that was needed to launch a business was present – just not the business that was the animating impulse.  By acknowledging that we had Abundance that was quite positive, we knew that we could use the Well Being charge as the core of the Fusion reaction that would create persistent, generative enterprise. 

Soluble Systems LLC identified the uses for the hydrodynamic polymer (still usable for xerostomia) in the wound care arena.  Setting up manufacturing in the Arc of Hampton Roads (a work environment for citizens with mental and cognitive uniqueness), TheraGauze® has become the world’s leading wound dressing.  This smart polymer adheres to tissue with liquid adhesion and can be changed without the pain of detaching conventional adhesive dressings.  From this platform, the firm established the revolutionary TheraSkin® - an acellular matrix that allows skin grafts to integrate patient tissue (including pigmentation) to radically transform the lives of burn and trauma patients.

The transformation of what used to be a “Retarded Citizens” work environment into a premier clean room led the community to see individuals as persons with specialized capabilities and have renamed the once-perjorative “Arc” name with the new identity, VersAbility Resources.


Essential to Integral Trade is a fundamental belief that an informed humanity, in the main, will choose wisely if given adequate visibility. In short, if one knows that slavery produced a cheaper product and fair wages were paid for a more expensive one, the value of human dignity will be accepted at greater cost. If one chooses between renewable, farmed timber versus clear-cut virgin forest, the choice will be for the renewable material. If the consumer electronics product contains metal extracted by despot warriors and its alternative comes from recycled metals, the recycled will prevail. And if water and air were contaminated in the preparation of one product and were respected in another, a premium would be acceptable. In short, the economics of expediency is supported on ignorance. A call center that degrades its workers versus one that provides meaningful life status improvement will be preferred by those seeking its service. Silver and gold would lose their luster if each coin was stained with the blood of those whose lives were lost in its minting.
The mechanics of Integral Trade involve the interaction between producer and consumer. To achieve “Integral Trade Certification”, the producer bears the responsibility to tell the story of the product or service purveyed. This can be achieved in a number of ways which have become infinitely accessible given the expansion of digital communication. However, in its final manifestation, the “Integral Trade Certified” designation is verified when the public can access knowledge about every step of the process required to produce the good or service consumed. 

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