Founder’s Forum


Welcome to the website for the International Consortium for Academic and Societal Transformation!

The idea for ICAST gradually took shape as a direct extension of my work as musician, pedagogue, scholar and change visionary.

After publication of my book Improvisation, Creativity and Consciousness, the first to apply principles of Integral Theory to music, I began to think in terms of mobilizing individuals from diverse fields around its basic theme.

Summed up in the book’s final chapter—”Planet Earth Takes a Solo”–the idea could not be more self-evident:

  In order to address the challenges unique to the present moment in history, the 8-billion  plus member improvising ensemble called Humanity needs to function with the same interconnectedness, transcendent depth and commitment to both individual and collective fulfillment as a jazz quintet.   

Jazz’s long legacy of musicians/contemplatives exemplifies the integral synthesis of spirituality, art and science in ways that can be applied across fields. Whereas prevailing materialist views of consciousness deny the existence of soul and run counter to spiritual traditions across the globe, jazz-driven integral understanding–with a jazz/Vedanta nexus at its core–unites age-old wisdom with cutting edge insights in the sciences and humanities. Entirely new interventions such as harnessing the transformative potential in collective consciousness, a realm in which jazz’s improvisatory and meditative legacies unite, move from the periphery of the academic imagination to front and center stage.

This principle of creativity/consciousness-based unity is as applicable to sports, science, medicine, industry, environment, government and global peace building as it is to music.

ICAST seeks to unite individuals from all backgrounds who resonate with this idea and its ramifications for the future of a world at the precipice of collapse yet brimming with hope for a new era of planetary awakening.

An educational paradigm that neglects, if not overtly denies, the innermost, spiritual dimensions of the human being signifies a civilization in sharp decline.

The time is long overdue for the transformation of this model around the farthest reaches of human creative and spiritual potential for individual and global benefit.

The world is waiting.

Ed Sarath

PS As you explore the ICAST website and its 20 Pillars of dialogue and action, with more to come, I encourage you to seek out those that resonate with your life and work. As powerful as it will be when individuals begin to coalesce around the various pillars, even greater transformative impact will result when the different groups begin talking to one another across not only a given campus but across the world.

The Structure of Musical Revolution

More information will be added soon.

Who Owns Consciousness Studies(?)

More information will be added soon.

Integral Theory

While the term ‘integral’ has a long history, the philosopher Ken Wilber has articulated an IT model that is both massive in the range of perspectives–philosophical, spiritual, psychological, aesthetic, cultural, etc.–that it interweaves, but also its applicability to virtually all areas of human endeavor.  ICAST’s spirituality/arts/science foundations correlate directly with IT’s first-second-third person realities and related epistemologies.

See further commentary under Pillar #1 below.

Noetic Sciences

ICAST’s connection with Noetic Sciences is largely inspired by the important work done at Institute for Noetic Sciences, founded by Edgar Mitchell to promote inquiry into the farther reaches of consciousness and human creative and spiritual potential Isee

See further commentary under Pillar #1 below.


Important sources here include: Afrofuturism 2.0, particularly its essays dealing with consciousness/spirituality; phycisist Stephan Alexander’s work at the intersection of Quantum mechanics, jazz and Vedanta (see ee Fear of a Black Universe and the Jazz of Physics and Fear of a Black Universe;Robert Blauval’s and Thomas Brophy’s work in astroarcheology, see African Genesis; and Edward Bynum’s Our Black Subconscious: The African Origins of Mysticism and Psychology.

See further commentary under Pillar #1 below.

Apaurasheya Bhasha

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Apaurusheya Bhashya, commentary on Rig Veda, offers an extraordinary account of how the vast diversity of creation sequentially unfolds from the self-referral dynamics of the eternal, silent—yet infinitely dynamic—cosmic source reverberating within itself. Inherent in this cosmic play of creation, or lila, is the interplay of subject, process and object, or rishi, devata and chandas dimensions (the basis for Integral Theory’s first-second-third person realities) in every instant of space, time and experience. Two important principles emerge that are key to music’s transformative potential. From a structural standpoint, the primordial vibrations or frequencies that comprise the basic building blocks of creation manifest in musical sounds. From a process standpoint, the improvisatory core of musical creativity is a direct manifestation of cosmic improvisatory creativity, thus supporting the idea of improvisation as a primordial process.
(See Pillar #1 commentary—under read more).