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Introduction by Genita M. Mason H.H.P., N.C., M.H. - Medical Director, The BioSanctuary Green Body & Mind Healing Center

Ms. Mason & Inner-Fit team up for another full house lecture on Shangrila Biospa's CORE Detox, Chelation and Individual Biochemical Corrective Analysis at In-Shape Health Club March 11th. Visit for more information.

At the core of Integral Life Practice™, is a sophisticated model of personal development, the AQAL Map. Developed by author and philosopher Ken Wilber, the AQAL Map engages body, mind, heart and spirit to produce extraordinary healthand awakeningon all levels of your being. 


The first step to “make the soil rich” for effective counseling is clearing the body of the symptoms and damage that encouraged one to seek legal / illegal drugs and/or alcohol.  It is our position that counseling that focuses on the psychological  / emotional states caused by the drugs or alcohol is ineffective and unnecessary.  As the person moves into their authentic self they are far more interested in creating a life plan focused on how they can enjoy life to the fullest and fulfill whatever purpose they feel driven by.   As you experience a true healing event from addiction, much of the negative ‘mind speak’ naturally disappears because you did not own it to begin with; it was created by the effects of the toxic drug which pulled you away from alignment with the natural laws that produce a sense of well-being and abundance consciousness.   

Everyone wants every aspect of their life to serve the others so that they have a sense of evolving effortlessly toward their highest vision for themselves.  Aligning your day to serve your highest vision for yourself brings a quality of life that springs forth from the resulting sense of being truly connected on all levels to the events, people, health initiatives, career choices, spiritual practice, and community you consciously bring into your life.

A much more enlightened approach of counseling  for someone that has suffered with addiction for many years focuses on the person’s universal embodiment as a human being challenged with those same challenges as everyone else in creating a lifestyle fully integrated with their highest vision of themselves, with one added layer:  helping that person that has been disassociated by drugs and / or alcohol from experiencing their environment and life circumstance as an individual with the full spectrum capacity they were born capable of, learn how to adapt to their new full spectrum capacity and navigate their lives in accordance with their hopes, dreams, needs and purpose in life.

Addiction to any substance affects every aspect of our lives, whether it be illicit drugs, alcohol or psychiatric (toxic) medications. You cannot harm one aspect of your life without it affecting all others and you cannot heal one aspect without it affecting all others.  This is why detoxification is a powerful method for healing the body and mind from the ravages of alcohol abuse or drug addiction. Neuroendocrine health and brain chemistry balance cause people to feel centered and “on top of their game” and they naturally begin to heal all other aspects of their lives.

However, depending on the degree of damage to any aspect of a person’s life during their addiction crisis which affected all others, or because that person may be wounded by an event or series of events, or possibly may be in the midst of a life crisis besides their addiction- caused by it or not, the person seeking peace within, freedom from addiction, and a full life would certainly benefit from guidance and being provided the tools and support systems to carry them through their healing event and evolve as a person toward their highest vision of themselves.  

Conventional psychology and addiction counseling do not touch on all the core issues patients struggle with, such as trying to function in a world while their body and mind are fighting them every inch of the way.  Conventional psychology, talk therapy, and of course psychiatry do not recognize that a person struggling with addiction cannot create lasting change or healing by just meditating, thinking differently or talking about their problems. They will be struggling with the very core of their survival system designed to reduce pain as long as they are fighting the cravings from the addiction, the symptoms of their damaged neuroendocrine system that brought them to it, and whatever damage the addiction caused. They are searching for a way to reduce their emotional, psychological or physical pain and most of the time in conventional therapy that results in relapse.

That is why biochemical treatment services at Shangri La BioSpa & Resort are essential for effective counseling therapy. They cancel not only the symptoms but the root cause by healing the mind and body, freeing people to seek a full lives.  However, because in all cases a portion of their lives were spent out of synch with their environment and circumstances, we nurture them through an adaptation and growth stage.

There, in that space, in-between the mind / body and its life events and environment there is an adaptation phase that is initiated on every level and in every aspect of that person’s life when healing from addiction.  Here good, functional counseling medicine in the way of support and guidance in how to take command of those spaces in-between and look at all the aspects of one’s life and address them on their terms so that they may grow toward the person they see in their mind’s eye is certainly going to be a prescription for success on all levels.

Since every person is different, the combination of tools to help them heal is going to be different for each individual.  Integral Life Practice helps each patient come to her or his own awareness for exactly how to blend all the various aspects of life into one streamlined, flowing approach toward happiness, peace and enlightenment.  Each aspect of a person’s life should serve the highest vision of oneself. Mastering this brings one to mastering one’s self.  Integral Life Practice brings the fragmented lives of every person at our Resort into one fully integrated core self, mastering their relationship with their environment and the universe as a whole.  Our Integral Life Practice counselor understands the space in-between created from drug and alcohol addiction and has brought together a combination of the most powerful tools and insights available to integrate you into your highest vision of yourself while filling that space in-between with YOU.

The healing achieved at Shangri La BioSpa & Resort will give you a healthy body and mind full of inspiration, tranquility, focus, enthusiasm, energy, peace within, and most importantly the ability to successfully follow through with any mind/body energy medicine or therapy program you choose.  Healing the mind and body makes the soil rich for new growth and awareness. Integral Life Practice will help you choose and then plant the seeds for new growth in every area of your life. bringing you closer to your highest vision of yourself and nurturing growth in all aspects of your life.

There is nothing more exhilarating after becoming healthy in mind and body than to quickly sweep away the residual issues and begin planning and nurturing your new life.  Experienced professional assistance in our counseling program will fully integrate you into all aspects of your life. Focused on the needs and challenges of one filling with presence areas that were once vacant will not only ensure success, but accelerate the manifestation of a life lived with the full capacity you were born with to experience it.


From the Founder of Integral Life Practice (ILP)


AQALDear Friend,

We live in a complex, fast-paced world that has many of us literally chasing the tail of our own busy lives. We often ask ourselves why our activities don’t seem to fit together in a way that makes sense. If you think briefly about your job, what motivates you, how you communicate with others, your exercise and nutrition, your spiritual practices (or perhaps none at all), your friends, your relationships, what you read, etc. … do these things all make sense to you in a way that feels like you are living an authentic expression of who you are (or want to be)? If not, Integral Life may be able to help you better understand your life and how you experience it.
Running between the yoga studio and work (in jobs many of us are not in love with), reading about the daily disaster in the morning paper, hearing the latest culture war in religion or politics, putting on one persona for work and another for our family life… the list goes on and on. Integral living is about taking these separate parts of our lives – seemingly fragmented parts – and organizing them in the only place that counts: our own awareness. (In fact, our awareness is the only place where fragmentation can possibly be integrated.)

Living integrally means a life where things finally make sense through broader and deeper awareness. Integral awareness allows you to expand and deepen your experience of every moment, make sense of your world and your relationship to it, and to organize all the fragmentation of modern living in a way that doesn’t exclude any part of you. An integral life is a way to process your own life experience that includes everything you are while leaving nothing out. Imagine living in a state of self-awareness such that in every moment you are capable of saying "Here I am, fully present. I know who I am in this moment and why."
This is what integral awareness can do for the life you lead right now, just as it has for some of the most successful people in the world, from the world’s most respected academics and spiritual teachers to Hollywood producers; from journalists to heads of state; from university professors to yoga dads. If you want to join the Integral Life community in using the most comprehensive map of human awareness ever developed to make sense of your life, we welcome you, and look forward to getting to know you.
Loving regards,
Robb Smith
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

P.S. And remember, you are complete right now. The perpetual seeking for a better life will always yield a feeling of inadequacy. What Integral Life offers you is not more self-improvement knowledge or tools that make you feel inadequate, but the opposite: a way to fully understand your life experience, the natural result of which is radical freedom that in turn produces well-being in every moment.


ILP is Based on the Functional Philosophy of Ken Wilber’s

All Quadrants All Levels ( AQAL) Map of the entirety of human physical existence, consciousness, and spirituality

AQAL represents the core of Ken Wilber’s work, an American author who writes on psychology, philosophy, mysticism, ecology, and spiritual evolution. AQAL stands for "all quadrants all levels." The quadrants represent:  Intentional, Behavioral, Cultural and Social.  It’s a sophisticated system of personal development that engages body, mind, heart, and spirit to produce extraordinary health and awakening on all levels of our being.

Click Here to read the full  Introduction to Integral Theory and Practice IOS Basic and the AQAL Map

Introduction to Integral Theory and Practice
IOS Basic and the AQAL Map

All Quadrants All Levels 

The first form Ken Wilber‘s unified theory took was of a bifurcating Spectrum of Consciousness supported by a an underlying Ground of Being. This then gave way to a very different diagram – the involution-evolution pre-trans cycle. The final stage or metamorphosis of his cosmology, and the most sophisticated, is the holon-quadrant

The Big Three

In 1995 Wilber published his 800 page opus Sex, Ecology, Spirituality. The core of its argument was a call to integrate "the Big Three"–the big three of art, morals, and science; or the Beautiful, the Good, and the True; or I, we, and it; or first-, second-, and third-person dimension. These are each associated with a pronoun:

"Sir Karl Popper’s ‘three worlds’ (subjective, cultural, and objective); Plato’s the Good (as the ground of morals, the ‘we’ of the Lower Left), the True (objective truth or it-propositions, the Right Hand), and the Beautiful (the aesthetic beauty in the I of each beholder, the Upper Left); Habermas’ three validity claims (subjective truthfulness of I, cultural justness of we, and objective truth of its). Historically of great importance, these are also the three major domains of Kant’s three critiques: science or its (Critique of Pure Reason), morals or we (Critique of Practical Reason), and art and self-expression of the I (Critique of Judgment)."

An integral theory of consciousness; Journal of Consciousness Studies, 4 (1), pp.71-92, 1997

Here we see Wilber’s representation of the four quadrants, with the characteristics of intentional (individual subjective) , neurological (individual objective), cultural (collective intersubjective) and social or socio-economic (collective interobjective). In addition, each has its own pronoun, the personal pronouns for the interior quadrants (individual subjective being "I" and the collective subjective "We" or "You"), and the impersonal (including a plural "it") for the exterior ones.


Or in other word Arts (Upper Left), Morals (Lower Left) and Science (Upper and Lower Right ); the True (Upper and Lower Right ), the Good (Lower Left) and the Beautiful (Upper Left); and Self (Upper Left), Culture (Lower Left), and Nature (Upper and Lower Right).

And indeed anyone who has studied comparitive esotericism may have many examples of Archetypal triads. These might range from the theological trinities of many religions (Egyptian, Hindu, Christian, etc), to the early Vedantics (Being, Consciousness Bliss), Samkhyans (three gunas), Neoplatonists (Abiding, Precession, Return; and Being, Life, and Mind, etc), Gnostics, Kashmir Shaivites, Tantriks (three main nadis), and Taoists (three Tan Tiens), to twentieth century esotericists like Steiner (Thinking, Feeling, Willing, three streams of evolution, and the Three Fold Commonwealth), Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (Law of Three), and many others have done. However it seems to the present author that Wilber’s triads don’t match the conventional ones. The two left-hand quadrants are often similar – corresponding to Steiner’s or Jung’s feeling principle (Arts and Morals, or the Beautiful and the Good). The two right ones which he groups together correspond to the thinking principle. There is a match here with some of the polarities in Stan Gooch’s Total Man. So it is not a true triad, but rather a quaternity, which indeed is the basis of Wilber’s system.

The Holarchy

Four QuadrantsThis Phase of Wilber’s work, further refined in follow up works like Eye of Spirit (1997), Integral Psychology (2000) and the grandly but appropriately named A Theory of Everything (2000), Wilber’s edifice reaches its maximum complexity, with the development of a so-called "integral theory of consciousness." Here he incorporates the physical, neurological, social, cultural, philosophical, and spiritual dimensions of human consciousness, creating an even more detailed map than his earlier ones, known as AQAL – all quadrants, all levels.
This all-embracing worldview is based on the wholistic interplay of four distinct but complementary and interrelated, interweaving realities, each with its own set of correspondences. Essentially this is the mandala of traditional correspondence systems, but updated to the modern western secular multi-specialised world. Just like the Greek elements which matched hot and cold, wet and dry, Wilber contrasts individual and collective, interior and exterior.

Each quadrant even has its own Great Chain of Being, although Ken himself rejects the latter term.

The Great Chain is perhaps a misnomer. It is not a linear chain but a series of enfolded spheres: it is said that spirit transcends but includes soul, which transcends but includes mind, which transcends but includes body, which transcends but includes matter. Accordingly, this is more accurately called "the Great Nest of Being."

Ken Wilber Waves, Streams, States, and Self–A Summary of My Psychological Model (Or, Outline of An Integral Psychology)

In other words "a nested hierarchy of Spirit", or more accurately, "a nested holarchy of ever more embracing spheres of existence" [Reynolds, Where’s Wilber At? p.8], each higher of which includes the ones beneath it. Here Wilber breaks with the Perennial Tradition of Huston Smith, Fritjof Schuon, and others; considering them too hierarchical; although there are also big problems with his own interpretation. In any case, Wilber interprets Arthur Koestler‘s concept of the holon, which along with the Four Quadrants replaces the Chain of Being as the basis of his metaphysics

"the world is not composed of atoms or symbols or cells or concepts. It is composed of holons"

A Brief History of Everything p.21.

According to Koestler, a holon is both itself a whole while at the same time being a part of a larger whole, so that reality becomes a series of nested Holons. But unlike Koestler, Wilber describes the characteristics of holons in terms of vitalism and teleology. Holons have drives to maintain their wholeness and their partness, they are units of consciousness. This Consciousness is diffused through all four of their quadrants.

"consciousness actually exists distributed across all four quadrants with all of their various levels and dimensions. There is no one quadrant (and certainly no one level) to which we can point and say, There is consciousness. Consciousness is in no way localized in that fashion. It is true that the Upper Left quadrant is the locus of consciousness as it appears in an individual, but that’s the point: as it appears in an individual. Yet consciousness on the whole is anchored in, and distributed across, all of the quadrants intentional, behavioral, cultural, and social. If you "erase" any quadrant, they all disappear, because each is intrinsically necessary for the existence of the others."

Eye of Spirit p. 273


The AQAL Holon

The AQAL Holon

Graphic © from Wake Up, The AQAL Matrix Has You: AQAL Matrix Revolution

Thus all the four quadrants are simply four interrelated aspects of a single holon

A fundamental concept of the AQAL is that a holon cannot be reduced to any one of the four quadrants with the exclusion of the others. Doing so results in a partial and incomplete view of reality, as indicated by the one-sidedness of views that base themselves on only one quadrant, and doubt the validity of the other quadrants. Wilber applies the term "flatland" to those situations or systems of knowledge when the Left Quadrants (Subjective) are ignored in favor of the Right Quadrants; and "wonderland" to when the Right Quadrants (Objective) are ignored in favor of the ones on the Left. While Wilber’s formulation is original, he is by no means the first to present this insight; as Stan Gooch was saying very much the same thing 20 years earlier, in his book Total Man. Gooch’s System A corresponds to Flatland, his System B to Wonderland (I agree Ken’s terms are more poetic!)

Tied in with quadrants and holons is a detailed array of structures, levels, and waves, designating the various evolutionary and psychodevelopmental stages that make up the "Great Nest of Being"

" "Structure" indicates that each stage has a holistic pattern that blends all of its elements into a structured whole. "Level" means that these patterns tend to unfold in a relational sequence, with each senior wave transcending but including its juniors (just as cells transcend but include molecules, which transcend but include atoms, which transcend but include quarks). And "wave" indicates that these levels nonetheless are fluid and flowing affairs; the senior dimensions do not sit on top of the junior dimensions like rungs in a ladder, but rather embrace and enfold them (just as cells embrace molecules which embrace atoms). These developmental stages appear to be concentric spheres of increasing embrace, inclusion, and holistic capacity."

Ken Wilber Waves, Streams, States, and Self–A Summary of My Psychological Model (Or, Outline of An Integral Psychology)

Moreover, as the diagram indicates, each higher holon includes the ones beneath it, and is itself included in the ones above it. The whole thing is summed up in the following cosmological diagram

But while impressive, this diagram also contains a lot of arbitrary assumptions, and there are many inconsistencies between quadrants and levels, and indeed in Wilber’s entire holistic AQAL philosophy, as explained here

It is at the Wilber-IV phase that he proposes 4 stages of his own writings, and critiques his earlier work. As he later explains, "the earlier books (are only)…useful in forming the subcomponents of a more integral theory." [Wilber, forward to Frank Visser, Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion 2003]. Of these earlier books, Phase I, which he calls his Romantic-Jungian stage, is the result of his own Pre-Trans fallacy, whilst Phase II with its Involution-Evolution cycle he sometimes refers to as (among other things) the Aurobindo/Wilber model [Eye of Spirit], thus associating his own misreading of Aurobindo with Aurobindo himself.

Wilber uses the word "integral" – meaning "to integrate, to bring together, to join, to link, to embrace. Not in the sense of uniformity…but in the sense of unity-in-diversity, shared commonalities along with our wonderful differences" [A Theory of Everything] to describe his philosophy. In 1999 some Sri Aurobindo followers expressed concern at Ken Wilber using the term "Integral Psychology" as a title for one of his new books, as this term has already been used by the Aurobindo community to refer to a spiritual/esoteric/occult psychology based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. In the 1960s Swami Satchidananda had also adopted the Aurobindoan term "Integral Yoga" for his own completely unrelated teaching).  However, Wilber himself actually adopted the term from Swiss cultural historian Gene Gebser (1905-1973) as early as the mid 1970s [Where’s Wilber At? p.28 n.8]

Wilber-IV and AQAL marks the beginnings of Wilber’s Postmodernism, and postmodernistic techniques of criticism are enthusiastically applied to all fields of knowledge. Through his model, Wilber claims to have deconstructed the compartmentalized, disconnected worldview of science (objective), religion (subjective), and ethics (intersubjective) and replaced it with a more unified integrated one, with each area of knowledge going in one of the quadrants. Each quadrant has its own validity claim, its own relative, partial, but still totally authentic truth. With each type or knowledge there are specific types types of evidence and validation procedures. Thus he says

…Propositions in the Upper Right are said to be true if they match a specific fact or objective state of affairs: a statement is true if the map matches the territory – so-called objective truth representational truth and the correspondence theory of truth)….

In the Upper Left quadrant, on the other hand, a statement is valid…if it authentically expresses a subjective reality…not just truth but truthfulness or sincerity

In the Lower Right quadrant of interobjective realities, the validity claim is concerned with how individual holons fit together into interlocking systems; truth in this quadrant concerns the elucidating of the networks of mutually reciprocal systems within systems of complex interaction…(the) functional fit. In the Lower Left quadrant, on the other hand, we are concerned not simply with how objects fit together in physical space, but how subjects fit together in cultural space. The validity claim here concerns the way that my subjective consciousness fits with your subjective consciousness, and how we together decide upon those cultural practices that allow us to inhabit the same cultural space…in other words, concerns the appropriateness or justness of our statements and actions (ethics in the broadest sense).

An integral theory of consciousness

This is shown in the following diagram:


The above represents a very profound approach, which can serves as contributing to the foundation for a new universal science. The only thing I would disagree with is, why only four types of validity claim? Yes I know this is tied in with the four-quadrant model, but one could equally posit seven (corresponding to Christopher Hill’s Phoneix Evolution), twelve (as in classical astrology), or more realities or perspectives of consciousness, each with their own truth and justification.

In the late part of this phase, Wilber publishes AQALIntegral Psychology which integrates over a hundred different psychologies and models of the levels of consciousness, East and West, premodern, modern, and postmodern; and the grandly but appropriately named A Theory of Everything, in which he proposes the intriguing idea of the "Human Consciousness Project" (A Theory of Everything, p. 7). This would involve the mapping of consciousness found in cross-cultural variations of the Great Chain or Nest of Being, the Four Quadrants, and the "waves and streams" of consciousness of the Spiral Dynamics of Clare Graves, Don Beck and Christopher Cowan, to create an "all-level, all-quadrant" model of consciousness, equivalent to, or even greater than in scope and importance, the Human Genome Project.