For me, ultimately, the most powerful examples of integral theory in action are the people that don't use all of the terminology or the insider speak or give in to the name dropping or book referencing or any of that stuff. I mean, it's all fine and it's all got it's place somewhere, I suppose. It's good to be well-read and there are -- in its better moments -- some really amazing and intelligent and compassionate people that are part of the larger integral community.
But when the rubber hits the road, I often find myself thinking, "Stop talking about it and just do it already." The strongest advocates are the people who act in an integrally informed fashion because that's just where they are in their guts.
So it was with that in mind that I found myself watching the video of Bruce Springsteen's keynote address to this years SXSW Festival with rapt attention. If what I've said above resonates with you, you need to watch this video. If you have an interest in the evolutionary story of music and the ways in which our ideas about the developmental impulse play out in perhaps our most ubiquitous art form, you need to watch this video.
If you just like Bruce Springsteen, you need to watch this fucking video. You get the idea.
Of course, the entire video isn't available for embedding, but below is a clip of the last five minutes to give you a taste:
The whole video is viewable here. The section that most got my attention was this:
So as the records that my music was initially released on give way to a cloud of ones and zeroes, and as I carry my entire record collection since I was thirteen in my breast pocket, I'd like to talk about the one thing that's been consistent over the years, the genesis and power of creativity, the power of the songwriter, or let's say, composer, or just creator. So whether you're making dance music, Americana, rap music, electronica, it's all about how you are putting what you do together. The elements you're using don't matter. Purity of human expression and experience is not confined to guitars, to tubes, to turntables, to microchips. There is no right way, no pure way, of doing it. There's just doing it.
We live in a post–authentic world. And today authenticity is a house of mirrors. It's all just what you're bringing when the lights go down. It's your teachers, your influences, your personal history; and at the end of the day, it's the power and purpose of your music that still matters.
A full transcript of the speech is available at Rolling Stone.
"Stay hard, stay hungry, and stay alive." Words to live by from a man who knows of where he speaks.