Financial advisors need to take clients beyond the numbers.

Polite people don't talk about money or their relationships with it. Personal priorities, love, feelings, values, psychology, spirituality in a financial context? Please. It is just not done. Privately. Or publicly.

Oh, to be sure, there is name-calling, ideological bonding, commonly assumed goods and evils and presumptive rhetoric, but when it gets right down to it, our money conversations aren't much. They rival childhood playgrounds for sophistication and productivity. Mostly, they are some nasty combination of yelling and not listening.

Money requires fundamental, systemic respect. Absent financial literacy, these issues can hurt us, especially with the best of intentions. Without respectful financial conversations about communal decisions and issues, how one bit impacts another bit, how money is an essential aspect of social ecosystems ... Well, it just might not be pretty.

Successful sustainability requires money discussions as if we all occupy the same planet and are not fundamentally barbaric. This means understanding how money works and our individual relationships with it. It means we escape the gravity of the various "isms" to look at money as it is, not as we hope it could be. This means dialogical framework, healthy mutual presumptions, mutual care and vision.

Which moves me deftly to "integralism" and money.

Integralism provides needed analytical tools. It enables a review of all aspects of money and its attendant relationships. The critical distinctions enabled by "exterior," "interior," "personal" and "social" can clarify, simplify and compare. With them, we can go beyond mere numbers, beyond obsolete, dysfunctional ideologies and romantic indulgences.

Recognize the stakes. Our collective relationships with money and the money forces play throughout our lives. They touch every social and psychological question of significance. These relationships enable us to talk healthfully and constructively about money itself, or not. Generally not.

Integral Finance can contain these needed healthy conversations. It can allow us to isolate issues, then integrate them as needed. To briefly review, Integral Finance touches each sector of the holonic quadrant, which includes four quadrants: (clockwise from top left) exterior-individual, interior-individual, exterior-collective and interior-collective. "Everything" is reducible to one quadrant or another. Ken Wilber outlines this philosophy of integralism, including the holonic quadrant, in A Theory of Everything.

The exterior is visible and measurable. The exterior dominates our perceptions of money and finance. The interior is more elusive. You know, the inside stuff like love, soul, beauty, thought, emotion, namely the stuff that makes life worth living. We know it's there but we also know it's not subject to scientific validation. To reference classic Greek philosophy, it is Ethics and Art, the Good and the Beautiful. (Also Sin and Banality, Evil and Ugly.) The Individual, ("I") is personal. The Social ("We") includes our relational arrays, namely our miscellaneous communities like families, business and various other social units.

"Exterior Finance" is what most of us know. Right-side stuff, including the technical, analytical, numbers, black-letter law and charts, products and so on.

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