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The subject of integrity is often discussed in the context of leadership as it is an important component of character development and personal growth. Here is a classic definition of integrity in the context of honesty and morality

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness

In the physical, mental, psychological and spiritual context, integrity can also be defined as a state of being whole, being undivided. It is a unique word which (according to the thesaurus) implies a combination of honesty, honor, good character, principles, ethics, virtue, decency, fairness, sincerity, truthfulness and trustworthiness. Any and all of these words could form a basis of discussion in our weekly #SpiritChat ~ so, we choose integrity!

The concept of integrity – the Great Integrity, to be exact – forms the basis of the classic Tao Te Ching written by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (also called LaoTse). He proposes that we are all moving towards a return to the Great Integrity – a state of wholeness within ourselves, and a state where we are in wholeness and harmony with nature.

“To be in harmony is to live in the Great Integrity, the ultimate wisdom.” ~ Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu’s thesis is that we need to act and evolve towards Integrity by knowing its importance, how to achieve it, what its enemies are, and more. He exhorts us to achieve a state where we can balance the different aspects of our life to incorporate true Integrity in all our actions. According to Lao Tzu, the Great Integrity is the return to intuition and the merging of our Self and non-Self.

“We need to be good, to trust, because goodness and trust are in the very nature of the Great Integrity.” ~ Lao Tzu

In addition to the Tao Te Ching, ethics texts explain integrity as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. We discussed Spirit-Based Action in our January 5th #SpiritChat. Integrity of thought, word and action can thus form the pathway towards the highest form of integrity ~ that of our spiritual core.

How do we know that we are behaving with integrity? What are the obstacles towards achieving spiritual integrity with nature? How do we incorporate integrity into our spiritual practice? I invite you to join us in #SpiritChat on Sunday January 20th at 9amET to discuss some of these questions, and put a spotlight on the role of integrity in our spiritual evolution.

In integrity with all who have read, and all who share in #SpiritChat ~


P.S. January 21st 2013 marks Martin Luther King, Jr. day in the United States. What did he have to say about integrity and our actions? Please allow me to share –

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Update: Here is the html/web Transcript for the chat, with links for responding on twitter, RTing etc. Shortened transcripts for Qs 1 to 8 only are also available. Thank you to all who shared with integrity.

Ready? Q1. Integrity. Where does it come from? What is/are its source(s)? #SpiritChat 

Q2. How does our value system, our beliefs, affect our sense of integrity? #SpiritChat 

Q3. Our desire to see integrity in others lead us to judgement, value/belief imposition. Agree/Disagree? #SpiritChat 

Q4. Once "lost", can personal integrity be rebuilt - within and without? If so, how? #SpiritChat 

Q5. Our vision and our dreams. Can spiritual integrity help us achieve them? How? #SpiritChat 

Q6. Integrity with nature. Are we moving towards this dream or away from it? #SpiritChat 

Q7. Jan 21. MLK Day. Day of service. What is the importance of integrity as we engage in service? #SpiritChat

Final Q8. What actions will you take to move towards greater spiritual integrity this week?  #SpiritChat