What are Forward and Backward Integration?
Here is the gist of a message that was relayed to me:
Right now, what is predominantly happening on this planet is that many of us are attempting to integrate our spiritual life into our material life. This is what my guide calls backward integration. He states that we can observe what is ‘backward’ in our spiritual understanding from examining the ‘fruits.’ If you look at the world, it is out of balance and getting more so rather than less so regardless of thousands of people focusing more on a spirituality of whatever kind (Christianity, Buddhism, Muslim, New-Age, etc.). We try to own the earth and to find ourselves and our self-worth through what we acquire and own. Why? Because of backward integration: the attempt to integrate our spiritual life into our material life. The false unconscious or conscious belief that we will find our salvation through what we can manifest within the material world.
So, what is forward integration? Forward integration is the integration of our lesser material life into our fuller spiritual life. When we are forward integrated, our “salvation” comes through recognizing what we are in spirit and what we inherit as sons of God. The focus is less upon money, culture, and possessions. This is the way Jesus, Buddha, Native Elders, and the great mystics of the world have taught. When forward integrated, our material life does not take too dominant an expression and will not have us submitting to lifestyles, forms, and ways of mankind which make us unable to attain true freedom (for example, from certain constructs within life, the monetary system, land ownership, laws, and forms).
In the end, how we are integrated reflects our service. For example, we can choose to serve the self or the whole, other men or God, materialism, or spirit. One form of integration creates “good” fruits and the other form of service will create “bad” fruits. Not that we are supposed to focus on dualities. We only need to focus on them until we can see where we are in alignment with Peace, Love, and Spirit, and where we are not. You will know what you are serving from the fruits it yields. You will also know the truth of any leader, teacher, or another parent you follow or submit to from their fruits (not just in a personal sense but in the greater scope of the world).
As it turns out, both of these terms—forward integration and backward integration—are used in microeconomics and management. They are forms of “vertical integration” which describe a style of management control. When a company controls its distributors and subsidiaries to minimize costs, this is called backward integration. A company tends to be forward integrated when it only controls the retail and distribution centers where the product is sold. So, in a way, there is a top-down form of integration in how we presently live where we are treated as products that are owned by a larger corporation (our nation or government). This larger corporation controls us and what we create.
What Do We Do If We Are Backward Integrated?
According to my guide, the way out is to question everything and to begin to recognize the fruits of the “prophets” or “false idols” we obey and serve.
Are the “prophets” we serve asking us to serve our country, the collective consciousness, or what restricts our true freedom, or do they motivate us to serve the divine in a greater way? The “prophets” are merely the ones who are speaking of the ways we need to or should live, according to God, or what is “righteous” or lawful.
According to my guide, we will know if our service is forward integrated because it will create peaceful and loving fruits. We will serve spirit before we serve materialism and the corrupt ways of men that yield corrupt fruits upon the Earth. What I am discussing sounds a little anarchistic, but my guide says that adopting a lifestyle of simplicity is all that is necessary. Simplicity allows us to withdraw from our active service toward what is maintaining our own enslavement and empowering the corruption of the Earth. Predominant culture wants us to believe that simplicity is harmful and will result in its collapse (the collapse of the economic and political systems). Simplicity, however, is an act of courage to begin to serve in humility the laws of Love and God over the wayward laws and conventions of man.
We do have the ability to be forward integrated. We can take steps every day out of the hustle and bustle of life to give a prayer of thanks to our Creator for all we are blessed with and the beauty of life that surrounds us and all that we are. This is where we can return to find the Holy Spark within all that is living. As we begin to return to serving this Holy Spark instead of human-made things which turn to waste and the corporate entity or mind-set of a nation, we will begin to see the return of sacredness within our world.
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:11).