06/29 – Integral ecology, Wilber, Heidegger, and Nietzsche: Michael E. Zimmerman meets Eugene Pustoshkin in St. Petersburg

Eugene Pustoshkin

Waking up, growing up, vertical development, horizontal development

Eugene Pustoshkin

Michael ZimmermanThis interview was taken by Eugene Pustoshkin, Integral Leadership Review’s Bureau Chief / Associate Editor for Russia, on May 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Russia,

Eugene:   Hello Michael, welcome to Saint Petersburg.

Michael:   Thank you very much. I’ve looked forward to coming to this great city for many, many years and I’m very happy to be here.

Eugene:   Before we start, can you please share why you wanted to come to the city?

Michael:   Well, really, there are two reasons. One is because I’ve heard of the Hermitage for many years and I’ve always wanted to see its collection of great European art work, as well as work from other parts of the world. The Hermitage is also an astonishing palace, whose gilded and ornate rooms sometimes eclipse the art work on display there. I was disappointed that the famous collection of Impressionist art was closed because of an international legal conference, but hopefully there will be another opportunity to visit. The city’s canals, magnificent architecture, cafes, and so on are superb. The other reason that I wanted to visit was in some way to pay homage to Leningrad, as it was known during World War II. The city was under siege for an incredible 900 days by the Nazis. The story of the heroism and enormous suffering of the population has long resonated with me, especially as I have come to understand World War II better over the years. Americans like to celebrate D-Day, and we should. But there would have been no D-Day without the Soviet Union’s extraordinary stand against the Nazi invasion, and the subsequent long road to victory with the capture of Berlin in May 1945. The debt Europe and America owe to Russia’s victory—with such terrible misery and loss of life–is incalculable. Having landed in Moscow on May 9th, 2019, we saw the parade of countless thousands of families holding photos of their relatives who died or served in the Great Patriotic War. This was a humbling and moving experience.

Eugene:   Let’s start our conversation about the work you do; and to begin with, because your works haven’t been translated yet to Russian, could you please just briefly describe what kind of work you’ve done?

Michael:   As a young philosophy professor 45 years ago, I was very much interested in German philosophy, especially work done by Martin Heidegger as well as by Friedrich Nietzsche. These brilliant thinkers also had far-right political views. Heidegger, infamously, became a member of the Nazi party. Given my progressive views, at one point I regarded myself as a socialist, I was nevertheless attracted to the writings of these two thinkers. As in the case of so many high-level intellectuals and artists who fell in with National Socialism, the philosophical genius of Heidegger and Nietzsche transcended political categories. Nevertheless, such genius also makes their writings dangerous, especially if one sought to “apply” them to the modern world. The beginnings of a resolution to my puzzlement began in 1982 when I read Ken Wilber’s book, Up From Eden. I know a lot of people for whom this book had the same time of transformational effect it had on me.  So many things began to make sense as they never had before.  Wilber’s developmental model, as well as his multiperspectival way of interpreting a very complex world (“everyone has a bit of the truth”) opened up a higher perspective from which to understand Western and ultimately world history. You can be a genius in some domain, as Nietzsche and Wagner and Heidegger were, but occupy a level of socio-political development that is inconsistent with the world-centrism promoted by modernity. Moreover, as Wilber makes clear, modernity itself has noble as well as unhealthy aspects, including its tendency to dissociate itself from previous waves of development.  Apart from Heidegger, Ken Wilber’s work has been perhaps the most influential on my own thinking.

Over the years, I have learned to differentiate between Heideggger’s phenomenology, that is, his remarkable interpretation of human existence as well as his reading of many major thinkers, from his interpretation of Western history as a long decline from its great beginning in ancient Greece. Yes, much was lost along the way to modernity and post-modernity, but so much was gained as well.

Eugene:   Ken Wilber is the founder of Integral Theory and Practice and you’re a co-author of the book called, Integral Ecology. Would you please summarize what it means—Integral ecology?

Michael:   Integral ecology is an example of how Integral Theory can be applied to the environmental domain of inquiry as well as to political and economic practice. According to Integral ecology, you must characterize an environmental issue or problem in a way that takes into account a number of perspectives, including how that problem is affecting people and ecosystems and animals and so on. For some people, an environmental “problem” is not a problem at all. Unless you allow for many voices to be heard, you are not going to come up with very useful proposals to the problem, because those whose views were ignored (and here I am thinking of experts as well as ordinary citizens) will find ways to undermine or compromise what seems like a good idea to a certain segment of people. True, you cannot please everyone, but everyone knows of situations in which a decision to take action went astray, because not all the right perspectives were represented in the process of characterizing what the problem is to begin with. Wilber’s developmental and all-quadrants models provide a template for making sure appropriate perspectives are not only included, but also sincerely appreciated. This was a key idea that we tried to articulate in our book.

Eugene:   You worked with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens on that book, how was this collaboration? What can you share with us in terms of your experience?

Michael:   Working with Sean was really incredible. Sean and I were almost always completely in sync about what we were doing. We had a great relationship. The book came into fruition without any real problems. I was amazed because I have known co-authors who’ve had a lot of trouble, but we never had any serious disagreements. We agreed about just about everything and if we didn’t agree, we would easily work out the problem. It was a real pleasure and honor to work with Sean.

Eugene:   For the Russian readers or listeners, if we publish it in audio format, especially English-speaking listeners, if they listen to it—can you introduce Sean, who he is and what kind of work he does in your understanding?

Michael:   Sean is much younger than I am. He’s in his mid 40s. Like me, he has a PhD in philosophy. In addition to writing Integral Ecology, Sean has also organized a whole series of books about Integral philosophy published by SUNY Press. He also created the MetaIntegral Institute, which has seminars, sponsors Integral Theory conferences every four years, and does coaching for corporations and organizations that are using Integral Theory. He is involved with other projects as well.  For instance, he has started an investment company informed by Integral Theory. Sean has enormous energy, a great imaginative vision, and is open to conversation. He’s always interested in exploring new things and he’s a delightful person. I’m very glad to know him.

Eugene:   Have you ever met in person, had a conversation with Ken Wilber?

Michael:   Yes, on several occasions, not to mention engaging in extensive correspondence. For example, Sean and I met with Ken in his Denver digs for two days to go over a lot of issues,  trying to gain clarity about some things that Sean and I weren’t sure about. Ken was a good participant in our dialogue. He didn’t insist on seeing things this or that way. He respected the fact that Sean and I were authoring the book. He wanted to help us understand what he was trying to say, and I think it was a very fruitful dialogue with him. We also communicated by email with him about it. He was very helpful in getting the book into the right condition.

Eugene:   Do you remember any kind of specific example of Ken’s contribution to this work?

Michael:  There was one really difficult issue about how to understand “nature.” In Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, Wilber distinguished among NATURE, Nature, and nature. Let me give a brief account of the problem. Eighteenth century modernity began the process of doing away with the meaning-giving cosmic hierarchy (Kosmos for the Greeks, Creation for monotheists) and replacing it with what moderns call Nature. By “Nature” moderns mean a reality that is nothing but the totality of the causally ordered material universe. This flatland Nature strips Kosmos/Creation of all divinity, meaning, purpose, value, feeling, sensation, and consciousness. Such a cosmology is behind the metaphor of the Great Web of Life.  This system’s view is devoid of interiority, a fact that generates a host of social and cultural consequences, both beneficial and harmful. The Great Web of Life, in which “life” is nothing more than the complex of organic systems and their various habitats. This Web metaphor is favored by some environmentalists, who worry that introducing interiority into Nature always ends up with human beings on top. Finally, there is nature, which Wilber defines as a) sensory (seeing, hearing, etc.) experience of the exterior domain, that is, of all natural phenomena, including humankind, and b) the interior domain of representing, thinking, feeling, yearning, judging, so on. Romantic poets rejected modernity’s sterile mechanistic worldview, as well as modernity’s concomitant overemphasis on reason, mind, objectification, analysis, “murdering to dissect.” Romantics celebrated the emotive, expressive aspect of consciousness, enthralled by beauty and ennobled by fervor.  Because for many romantics, passionate intensity was what really matters, emotional states become exalted and often projected. What is called nature Romanticism sometimes projects passionate states of feeling onto the natural world,  but can mistake this for attaining transcendent, non-suL identity with Spirit (akin in some ways to Kosmos/Creation). The pull of narcissism is strong, and an overemphasis on feeling can have psychologically regressive tendencies.  Teasing all this out, and especially developing diagrams about it, was quite a chore. Sean came up with the great majority of diagrams, which are wonderfully rendered in the book.  Trying to figure out how all those fit together was really challenging, but Sean and I learned in the process. Ken can be a very good teacher, and so there were issues like that where we needed to get greater clarity about what he was up to so that we could bring his thinking into the book. Now we don’t think of the book as strictly a Ken Wilber book, but it’s obviously much influenced by him.

One thing I would add is this.  The book that Sean and I wrote is not the only approach to integral ecology. Someone else could write an integral ecology book that would be rather different in some way or would emphasize things we left out.  To be an integral ecology book though, you need to have some place for a developmental model of the universe and an evolutionary view of things as well as a multi-perspectival understanding, but these things can be expressed somewhat differently, and so this is not the only integral ecology book that could come into being.

Eugene:   True, so coming back to your original interest. In your current understanding given that you know integral theory, transpersonal theories, transpersonal psychology, what would be your take on Heidegger?

Michael:   Heidegger is such a complicated figure. From the point of view of moderns his view of history is “reactionary” or “arch-conservative.” Nevertheless, he did not want to bring back the past, but instead to help create a viable future in the face of the enormous and ever-growing impact of modern technology. In his view, modern technology is in an important sense the fulfillment of the metaphysical views of Plato and Aristotle. Heidegger’s reading of Western history as culminating in the domination of the planet by industrial technology resonates with many environmentalists as well as with critics of technology that—in the form of AI (artificial intelligence)–aims to replace humankind.

What I like most about Heidegger is his idea that human existence is the clearing or openness within which entities or things can be, in the sense of manifesting themselves. This self-showing of beings is fulfilled in the world opened up by language, which is not a human possession but instead possesses humankind. Words “let things be.” But words can constrain entities, so that they can show only show themselves in limited ways, such as raw material for enhancing techno-industrial power. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, I introduced Heidegger as a proto-environmental philosopher. His idea of “letting things be,” that is, allowing things to show themselves as more than raw material, became a kind of motto for the Deep Ecology movement with which I was involved at the time. Eventually, however, I concluded that the anti-modernist views of some Deep Ecologists overlapped in some important respects with the problematic kinds of anti-modernism. Hence, Heidegger should be used only with caution when it comes to environmental theory. Deep Ecologists, for their part, eventually concluded that Heidegger could not be regarded as a theoretical forerunner of their movement, because he rejected a precept of Western metaphysics, according to which humans are rational animals. To the contrary, Heidegger insisted that humans are essentially other than animals. Hence, any effort to devise a cosmological history in which humankind has evolved would be misguided. Heidegger gave no “reason” for the sudden transformation of humankind into the clearing in which things can be. Given such non-naturalistic views, Heidegger’s influential student Hans Jonas later accused his teacher of being a Gnostic, for which humankind is thrown into an alien kosmos. Recently, in Naturalizing Heidegger, David E. Storey argues that we can understand human existence as a highly-developed instance of the openness that all entities share, however constrained such openness might be at the level of cells and even atoms. Storey does a great job of re-thinking Heidegger in terms drawn from Wilber’s developmental model. (For someone like me, at least, reading this book was very exciting and satisfying! Eugene, you should really look into doing an interview with him.)

Michael: Wilber is sympathetic to Heidegger’s notion that humans are the linguistic clearing in which things can manifest themselves, and in this sense can “be,” but Heidegger did not share Wilber’s developmental model. For Heidegger history is a history of decline from a great beginning in Greece 2500 years ago. Although golden, this beginning nevertheless contained the seeds that eventually unfolded in the age-old depiction of the three stahes of decline: a silver age, a bronze age, and now an iron age, that is, our age in which modern technology organizes everything for the sake of ever-greater power for its own sake.

Michael    Moderns like Hegel and Marx viewed history as a developmental process in which institutions arises to sustain more differentiated and complex modes of awareness, yet mainstream modernity views entities primarily as objects capable of being exhaustively understood in terms of scientific analysis. Each of these two competing models of history, either as a gradual descent from a great beginning, or as the gradual ascent from more primitive origins, contains elements of truth. Much that is great about premodern cultures was lost when modernity triumphed, but premodern cultures also contained views and practices that moderns regard as unacceptable and oppressive.  Wilber reminds us that in moving from one development wave to another, there is a tendency to dissociate ourselves from the previous wave. In so doing, however, we neglect to see why that wave was and remains important. Integral thinking invites us consider and promote a healthy version of modernity, pre-modernity, and postmodernity.  Postmodernity often dissociates itself from modernity in the process of condemning it, thus failing to see that a healthy modernity is a prerequisite for a successful version of postmodernity.

Eugene:   Heidegger has introduced this main notion of Dasein. In terms of your being an integrally informed scholar, how would you explain the meaning of this idea? What does it mean, Dasein?

Michael:   In everyday German this word means “existence” or “presence.” It has no particular technical meaning, but Heidegger gave it one. He defined Dasein as the intelligible clearing in which entities can show up. That’s really an interesting thing to think about. When you’re an infant, there are no “things” or “entities.”  The world remains undifferentiated. In gradually acquiring words, however, things that were already showing themselves suddenly come into being. The word helps to complete the process by which an entity makes itself accessible. In high school, college, and beyond you discover linguistic/conceptual distinctions that open up whole new domains that were previously unavailable to you. Language allows things to reveal themselves to us. This understanding of things can allow us to exploit them in order to survive, but an authentic way of being in the world would also cultivate and allow for disclosing and appreciating the diversity and beauty of things, independent of their usefulness or lack of usefulness for human beings.

Eugene:   Ken Wilber interprets this notion of “clearing” in a way transrational, transpersonal way and Heidegger is often associated with spirituality. Was Heidegger a philosopher of spirituality of some sort. Do you know if he has had any spiritual mystical experience?

Michael:   Heidegger had what we would call spiritual interests, because he wanted to become a Jesuit priest, but heart problems kept him from pursuing this aim. Only then did he opt to study theology and philosophy. He was deeply what is called non-dual spirituality. As found in Meister Eckhart, the great German mystic. He became critical of Christianity, which he regarded as too dogmatic. Many 20th century German theologians, such as Rudolf Bultmann, were very drawn to Heidegger’s ideas about Being and human existence, because those seemingly shed light on theological

As for the transpersonal, perhaps we could say that a shared linguistic clearing is transpersonal. Individuals gradually become persons bu talojg part in complex conversations that were already going on before those individuals were born. It’s complicated to talk about the “spiritual” when it comes to Heidegger, because his nemesis Hegel interpreted human (and natural history) as the process by which Spirit (Geist) brings about its own self-actualization in and through history. Heidegger was interested in spiritual issues, however. In fact, he once reported that much of what he had discovered was already to be found in Zen Buddhism, in which he had a long-term interest. There are several translations of Heidegger’s most famous book, Being and Time, into Japanese, because Buddhist scholars there are very interested in the key role assigned to nothingness (das Nichts) in that book and in other works by Heidegger. When Heidegger was in his 60s, his interlocutor Ernst Jünger encouraged him to take LSD, but Heidegger apparently declined. He is not an easy fit with transpersonal philosophy. There are elements that are overlap, but I wouldn’t go too far with it.

Eugene:   Now, another figure, a major figure in your work, Friedrich Nietzsche. What’s your, again, integral take on Nietzsche?

Michael:   Nietzsche, like Heidegger, sees the European world as in catastrophic decline, and sees modernity as exemplified by the Last Man, the spiritually bankrupt,  cowardly, urban man who wants everything to be insured, safe, and comfortable. Surely, we can all recognize aspects of ourselves in this “last man.” Nietzsche expressed contempt for such a way of life—although many modern people understandably prefer a life without war, with fewer diseases and no starvation, with great mediums of transportation and communication, in other words with all the things that modernity promises. For Nietzsche, however, modernity’s resistance to pain undermines the possibility of great human beings, including the Overmen. For Nietzsche, the death of God left a void for European humankind. Why not posit a new highest goal, the production of higher and even Overmen, in whom the rest of humankind could experience a sense of grandeur and purpose fulfilled?  Overmen should be the new goal of human history, according to Nietzsche. Modernity’s goal of planetary domination continues, but it become compromised by the rise of a consumer society demanding comfort and ease.

Michael:   Like Heidegger, Nietzsche criticized the prevailing modern idea of development, the idea that things were improving. He said no, things are degenerating, they’re getting worse. Now, both Heidegger and Nietzsche express what for modernity are very dangerous ideas, for example, that constitutional democracy ignores the importance of rank and order in human affairs. Likewise, individual liberty is perceived as promoting the “revolt of the masses.”  Heidegger and Nietzsche were both profound thinkers in their own ways. Nietzsche’s writing is particularly tempting, so much so that some think his work should not be read by just anyone. You should have some preparation for reading Nietzsche so that you can be able to criticize or call into question some of the claims he makes. In German literature circles, Nietzsche is regarded as one of the greatest German prose stylists. Reading him even in translation shows his brilliance at work. But he needs to be read thoughtfully and not naively, I think. The same goes for Heidegger.

Eugene:   I translated your essay or a couple of essays. One of them is devoted to looking into the roots of transhumanism and post-humanism. Could you please briefly say the main gist of that?

Michael:   I’ve become very interested in techno-posthumanism. My interest in philosophy of technology arose in the early 1970s, when I was a Fulbright fellow in Belgium. This gave me the opportunity to read Heidegger’s remarkable two-volume collection of courses on Nietzsche. According to Heidegger, in a controversial reading, Nietzsche’s metaphysics brings to a culmination the long-term Western drive to become master of nature. More recently, the quest for artificial intelligence will allow for human enhancement, sometimes called Humanity 2.0, which would be a kind of technological trans-humanism. Then, there is the second prospect: technological post-humanism in which human beings are replaced by artificial general intelligence. Ray Kurzweil, who has had a very good record of predicting computing power, claims that we will have machines with human-level intelligence within twenty years. The implications of such developments are obviously massive, and we are not prepared for them.

Michael:   Then the question becomes, what is the human future? Are we going to be left behind by our artificial descendants?  Can we possibly create a self-conscious computer? If so, what would motivate such a being?  We give meaning and purpose to our lives, but does a computer need any of those things? Would humanity-eclipsing computers constitute a stage in evolutionary process?  Nietzsche said that we should hand the evolutionary baton to Higher Men who will eventually make possible Overman. According to techo-posthumanism, the human species is a bridge, not the goal of the evolution of consciousness. That we are not merely ends in ourselves, but also temporary waves in a cosmic development process that transcends us—this is a possibility that we have to take seriously.

Eugene:   It’s definitely where we come back to Ken Wilber and his evolutionary view, right?

Michael:   Yes. I think that the question is: what’s coming next. We’re at a stage that pre-imodern people could not even imagine. Could we now be involved in a process of creating things that transcend us?

Eugene:   The very big emphasis that Ken makes is on the importance for the whole humanity of an authentic spiritual experience and interiority which our current view of our interiority for our consciousness is very limited in terms of what can be reached. As far as I understand you’re attracted to Ken’s work as well because of his interest in mysticism. Am I right?

Michael:   Yes. I think there are various non-ordinary, transpersonal domains of consciousness to which humans have access, and many spiritual traditions have developed practices which make such access possible. These domains of consciousness reveal aspects of reality which are not available in ordinary life. I know of this firsthand, having participated in intensive meditation sessions. But at the same time access to these domains of reality do not belittle our ordinary practices, but instead can bestow on everyday life a greater significance.  The Zen tradition has many pertinent sayings such as: “What is Zen? Zen is chopping wood and carrying water.” In other words, Zen is everyday life conducted from a standpoint transfused with transpersonal awareness. Nietzsche was right that the death of God (that is, the decline of the Jewish/Christian table of values) has been a calamity for modernity, insofar as the significance of everyday life has been put into question.

Michael:   Religion typically has had the role of investing life with meaning and purpose, and if you take that away, you have a big problem. Marxism tried to offer a different purpose than religion, but even Marxism was often viewed as a seeking a this-worldly heaven. If so, it was a colossal failure. What is to replace the meaning-giving horizon offered by spiritual tradition? Consumerism is, I think, ultimately unsatisfying. All these billionaires, are they really happy? I mean, how much money and stuff can you have? What really satisfies is achievement, making a contribution, being of service, developing and sustaining deep relationships, being involved in the wellbeing of others as well as yourself, and finding ways to explore and relate to what transcends this plane. You cannot buy these things. But how to articulate this, how to emphasize it, how to develop it in a world governed by smart phones and their underlying technology—I think this is a big challenge for the 21st century.

Eugene:   The last, probably, question. Here we are in Saint Petersburg, it’s a place where the great Russian thinker and author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky lived and worked. He wrote many books here and he is—just like Nietzsche—he’s one of the authors who is referred by, the now famous thinker Jordan Peterson. And he’s also occasionally an author who has a very great insight into certain transpersonal states. Have you read much of him and what would be your kind of taste of Dostoyevsky’s work?

Michael:   I have not read nearly as much of Dostoyevsky as you have, but I’ve read The Brothers Karamazov twice. Clearly this is one of the greatest novels ever written. Dostoyevsky is profound author and thinker. To think that a person could have penetrated so deeply into human interiority, the conflicts and complexities of which Dostoyevsky was particularly good at depicting. His account of human aspirations and doubts is really unparalleled. He is one of the greatest gifts to humankind ever. Dostoyevsky was very much aware of the consequences of the death of God. In the tale of the Grand Inquisitor, found in The Brothers Karamazov, Jesus returns unexpectedly in today’s world, but is turned away by a teacher who says, “No, no, people don’t want to be responsible in the way you propose. We’re going to ease their burden.” Here, the teacher was anticipating what Nietzsche would end up calling the Last Man. Jesus wanted to make my life more demanding in the sense that you have to take responsibility and come from the heart. Dostoyevsky was attuned to all that. As a late 19th century writer, he knew about the problem of nihilism, the decline of Christianity, and the big questions lying ahead for us. Modern people in the world who are still thirsting for spiritual satisfaction, for a greater sense of that there are domains to which we have access that can be reached and can bestow meaning on our lives. But the materialist and reductive scientific way of thinking about things—which is more or less mainstream way of thinking—is not making that easy. For many moderns, of course, the notion of spirit, and of domains transcending the material plane, is unacceptable. This implacably anti-spiritual and anti-interior aspect of modernity helped to give rise to the countercultural of the 1960s, which ushered in the possibility of serious discourse once again about the transpersonal and the spiritual

Eugene:   Dostoyevsky anticipated many of the things that came in 20th century.

Michael:   Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I mean he was terrific.

Eugene:   You think like, a conclusion, maybe you would like to send a message to Russian or non-Russian readers.

Michael:   One of the reasons Russia is famous is for its mystical tradition. There have been many great Russian scientists and academics, as well as great artists like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky and others, but Russian history also includes many saints and seers and mystics. Tolstoy himself was deeply attracted to that tradition. This country is rich with transpersonal experiences of all sorts. How to tap into that in the 21st century in a way that’s consistent with what modern science tells us, but without making modern science the only arbiter of truth?

Michael:   There’s a lot of other ways of seeing things besides modern science, but it has to be taken into account. Even the Dalai Lama talks like that. That’s I think part of what Russian people may be able to contribute, is to explore transpersonal spirituality consistent with modern science. You could even see elements of that in the Soviet era, with its striving to create the new Soviet man and woman. The striving for a higher meaning and purpose was there, but the transpersonal/spiritual element was missing.  Russia has a long history of a spiritual yearning, and I hope that is brought to the fore again.

Eugene:   I hope so too. Okay, thank you, Michael.

Michael:   Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you tonight.

About the Authors

Michael E. Zimmerman, PhD in Philosophy, is a co-author (with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens) of the book Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World. The book was written in collaboration with Ken Wilber, the founder of Integral Metatheory. He was Professor of Philosophy at Tulane University and then retired as Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at University of Colorado (in 2015). He had an extraordinarily productive and successful scholarly career, writing in environmental philosophy, Integral Metatheory, Heidegger and Nietzsche, and Buddhism. He now devotes time to oil painting, while remaining interested in philosophical developments, especially in Integral Metatheory.

Eugene Pustoshkin is the Integral Leadership Review’s Associate Editor and Bureau Chief for Russia. He is a citizen of the world who currently lives in St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Eugene is a clinical psychologist, translator, and integral scholar-practitioner. He currently serves as the Chief Editor of Eros & Kosmos (see:, the Integral online magazine for Russian speakers.  He co-founded the Holoscendence Project (, an initiative that applies the Holoscendence meta-method (developed by Sergey Kupriyanov, MD) and Integral framework towards human psychological transformation. He has translated numerous books by Ken Wilber (the founder of Integral Meta-Theory) and other authors to the Russian language. He is a pioneer of Integral Meditation (which, in his version, is a unique combination of Holoscendence and the Wilberian approach as well as Eugene’s own extensive experience in the field of contemplative phenomenology, consciousness exploration, and facilitating individual and group transformative processes). Eugene teaches this integrative method of mindfulness and contemplative phenomenology to individuals and groups both online and offline (see:, and maintains private practice as a therapist and consultant.

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