Consciousness, as a state of awareness, is not a passive state, but an active process that consists of two essentials: differentiation and integration.
Integration is a cardinal function of man’s consciousness on all the levels of his cognitive development. First, his brain brings order into his sensory chaos by integrating sense data into percepts; this integration is performed automatically; it requires effort, but no conscious volition. His next step is the integration of percepts into concepts, as he learns to speak. Thereafter, his cognitive development consists in integrating concepts into wider and ever wider concepts, expanding the range of his mind. This stage is fully volitional and demands an unremitting effort.
A concept is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition. . . . [In concept-formation], the uniting involved is not a mere sum, but an integration, i.e., a blending of the units into a single, new mental entity which is used thereafter as a single unit of thought (but which can be broken into its component units whenever required).
[The] enemies of reason seem to know that integration is the psycho-epistemological key to reason . . . and that if reason is to be destroyed, it is man’s integrating capacity that has to be destroyed.
Integration is the essential part of understanding.