Today's word is Integration. Today, being 10/19/2009, seems perfect for integrating. In 10/19, there are two ones, perfect for combining with the single nine to create by simple addition and combination, 2009. Well, that's my explanation.

The first principle of integration seems to be that the story I create to explain the integration might not make sense to anyone but me. You just had to be there at the 'point of integration' for the story to provide full impact, to experience that ah-ha instant. I got to experience it first hand. My story is inevitably used goods. What's well integrated for me might not seem very well combined to you.

Integration involves combining previously separated distinctions in such a way that their differences seem less important than their now obvious similarities.

There's always an Elephant Factor involved. What's an Elephant Factor? Drawing on my book, The Blind men and the Elephant, and the Hindu parable upon which I based it, the Elephant Factor is the degree to which the blind men are convinced that their differentiating experiences are definitive. "The elephant is obviously a Fan!" exclaimed the blind man touching the elephant's ear. This assertion alone is no barrier to integration. The certainty about what 'this fan' could not also be, or also be a part of, seems the real Elephant Factor at play.

Elephant Factors can be huge, such as the EF separating terrorist from pacifist, or tiny, such as the EF between me, myself, and I. But even small EFs can be troublesome, blinding, disintegrating.

We are fortunately integrative by nature. Gordon MacKenzie in his Orbiting The Giant Hairball recounts that when he asks a class of kindergardeners how many are artists, every single one of them raises their hand. By the time these same kids reach third grade, only one or two will admit to this, and they are chided by their fellows. Of course we are all artists, creators, and creative by our very nature. What could have convinced us otherwise?

Many things that are not things. There will be more, much more coming on this topic.

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