Integral sees each method of understanding, learning, and teaching as holding some part of truth, while acknowledging that the whole truth is still evolving and can never be completely captured. It honors Life to its fullest, realizing that it is we who limit what this existence is all about, but that it is also our privilege and responsibility to recognize and appreciate ever greater degrees of fullness, depth, breadth, and mystery. Integral Theory attempts to take the many facets of Life into consideration and to discover how they inform, interweave, and complement each other. This includes approaches to any topic from biological, neurological, societal, cultural, psychological, and spiritual areas of study. It involves considering the individual and collective aspects of existence, as well as the interior and exterior modes of experience and reality, termed the four quadrants (see graph below). An integral approach also considers the many developmental lines in a human being — the cognitive, emotional, social, psychosexual, musical, moral, spiritual, and others. In addition the Integral framework understands that consciousness evolves in stages, or levels, and that each human being passes through these levels and cannot skip any one. It also acknowledges the importance of states of consciousness (e.g. waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and access to higher states through peak experiences) for an individual’s development, motivation, and insight. And lastly, integral considers types — a person’s gender, as well as his or her particular enduring tendencies and inclinations, e.g. whether someone is generally introverted or extraverted.
In short, an integral approach acknowledges and addresses mind, body, soul and spirit; the individual and the collective; as well as the interior and exterior aspects of Life.