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INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber



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Joseph DillardDr. Joseph Dillard is a psychotherapist with over forty year’s clinical experience treating individual, couple, and family issues. Dr. Dillard also has extensive experience with pain management and meditation training. The creator of Integral Deep Listening (IDL), Dr. Dillard is the author of over ten books on IDL, dreaming, nightmares, and meditation. He lives in Berlin, Germany. See: integraldeeplistening.com

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Comparing Cognitive and Experiential Multi-Perspectivalisms

Joseph Dillard

Is achieving a vision-logic world view the same as accessing vision-logic as a developmental stage? No, it isn't, and the reasons why it isn't are important, because they lead us to exploration of practices that support our overall development.

 

What is multi-perspectivalism?

it is a common error to assume that if we have attained an understanding of Integral AQAL that we have attained to vision-logic overall.

Multi-perspectivalism is the ability to take a perspective that consists of many perspectives. Integral perspectives, which combine the world views of multiple thinkers, disciplines, and cultures are an example of a cognitive multi-perpectivalism. Within Ken Wilber's Integral AQAL model,[1] which is itself an example of cognitive multi-perspectivalism, when one achieves a world view that grasps and integrates multiple points of view, they have attained vision-logic on one line, the cognitive line of development. Their overall development is not at vision-logic, but only their cognitive development. This is because overall development is composed of a number of developmental lines, some of which are core. “Core” means that they are essential for stage-to-stage development.

If a core line is not in balanced in its four holonic quadrants, it cannot “tetra-mesh;”[2] if it is unable to tetra-mesh, it stops overall development. Individual lines, particularly the cognitive and self-system core lines, but also a number of auxiliary lines[3] will normally race ahead in an attempt to compensate for the stoppage, by redirecting energy and attention or by simply ignoring the importance of the core line.[4] The result is an increasingly precarious imbalance in overall development, which at some point has to deal with its fundamental imbalance.[5] Because cognitive multi-perspectivalism emphasizes the development of one line, the cognitive line, it tends to fuel this fundamental imbalance. Because experiential multi-perspectivalism takes all core lines into account, it tends to generate balanced overall development.

Obviously, every perspective intrinsically contains multiple perspectives. We can see this with sensory perception, as depth and dimensionality assume familiarity with a number of past encounters from various angles that allow the automatic approximation of depth and dimensionality. We can also see multiple perspectives contributing to the development of emotions, which are in type, intensity, and duration based on remembered previous similar experiences as well as genetic predispositions. Vision-logic includes and transcends earlier, simpler forms of cognitive multi-perspectivalism, called by Piaget sensorimotor, preconceptual, intuitive, concrete operational and formal operational.[6]

Because how and what we think generally is core to our sense of self, we typically identify with our thoughts. Therefore, it is a common error to assume that if we have attained an understanding of Integral AQAL or some other multi-perspectival developmental model, such as Beck's Spiral Dynamics,[7] or O'Fallon's Stages,[8] that we have attained to vision-logic overall, and not just on the cognitive line. This is not correct, because overall development requires tetra-mesh, or balanced development in all four holonic quadrants, of at least two other core lines: the self-system and moral lines.

The self-system line

The self-system line is itself composed of a number of sub-lines. It is both the center of identity and the center of meaning generation for humans. The self-system is the primary frame of reference that we project onto ourselves and the world around us. It helps determine the general depth and quality of our experience. The Integral model assigns to the self-system the following characteristics, each of which evolves on its own sub-line. The self-system

  • is the locus of identification (“I” vs. “not-I”);
  • gives (or attempts to give) organization or unity to the mind;
  • is the center of will and free choice;
  • is the center of defense mechanisms;
  • metabolizes experience; and,
  • is the center of navigation, or the holding on versus letting go of identification.[9]

The developmental growth of the self-system normally accompanies the cognitive line

Each of these characteristics of the self-system unfolds, level to level, with each iteration including and transcending the last. Clearly, if your development is missing any of these fundamental building blocks at any stage, it will be off-balance, unable to tetra-mesh, and therefore not able to advance as a whole from one level to the next. Development will continue, on various lines, but will be off-balance, and that imbalance will be compounded with each successive advance in level. Therefore, it is not sufficient to simply have an understanding of a multi-perspectival world view in order to attain a multi-perspectivalism that is more than a cognitive line advance; the self-system also has to evolve, stage by stage.[10]

The self-system is normally not far behind the cognitive line in its development, since self-systems can be expected to evolve naturally, as part of normal human physical, emotional and cognitive development, to at least conventional or late personal, so that one not only thinks at late personal or vision-logic, they experience themselves as being at some high level of development.[11] Together, these two core lines reinforce the delusion that we really have attained a high level of development - late personal, vision-logic, or above.

Why is the moral line a core line?

However, for overall development to occur, the moral line also has to develop, because it is also a core line. While moral judgment, as a sub-line of the cognitive line, normally develops more or less in tandem with the stages of cognitive development outlined by Piaget, the other moral sub-line, moral behavior, does not. Moral behavior is not a sub-line of cognition, but of collective, lower right, norms or laws.[12] Because reality demands that your consciousness interface with objective others, you cannot evolve holonically, that is, in all four quadrants, without meeting reality criteria in the exterior quadrants. This means that in the upper right quadrant of behavior, your actions have to be adaptive; they have to support your survival and growth. In the lower right quadrant of relationships, your actions have to have inter-objective fit, meaning that relevant others have to validate the meaningfulness or usefulness (or lack thereof) of your behavior.[13],[14]

Note that you can advance on many different individual lines without this validation. For instance, you can be a meditating hermit and become a mystical genius on the spiritual intelligence line; you can learn to play a musical instrument by yourself and become talented if you have the innate ability; you can do science by yourself, study, and write by yourself and produce extraordinary work. Idiot savants can be precocious in mathematics, feats of memory, or the arts without any obvious connection with others. Similarly, you can develop a post-post conventional level of moral judgment totally independent of the opinions of others regarding your actual behavior. Moral theorists, from Plato through Kant, provide examples. However, advancement on the exterior moral line of behavior is different. Others don't care about our intent; they care about whether or not we give correct change, keep our word, are respectful or abusive. While these are moral judgments of others, they are based on what we do or do not do, not on our own estimation of our level of moral development, or even collective assessments of our level of moral judgment. If I hurt you, you do not care about collective assessments of my level of moral development. You want justice, meaning some consideration of the harm done to you and assurance that it will not be repeated. We will see how we can assess someone as being of high development in moral judgment and for them to still be capable of amoral and immoral behaviors that indicate a low level of development on the line of moral behavior.

To ignore this distinction between morality as interior quadrant judgment and morality as exterior quadrant behavior is, to put it both simply and dramatically, to isolate ourselves from reality. And that is what we typically do. Our self-conception generally does not match out-group assessments of ourselves, based on our behavior and collective group norms. It is possible we are correct and the collective norms are incorrect, as in witch trials and the scapegoating of people like Spinoza. After all, you do not find guilty people in jails, based on the narratives of the accused, because we normally determine our morality based on our intent, and therefore conclude that public determinations of our guilt are unjust. The basic reason we indulge in this logical fallacy is to reduce the cognitive dissonance created by having to face the discrepancy between our self-image and how we are perceived by others. Normally, we assess our maturity much higher than does the collective, or else we fool the collective into believing our level of maturity is much higher than it actually is. This is, of course, the tactic normally used by politicians, actors, artists, and all professionals. This delusion is often mutual, because we really believe the lie - we are convinced we really are much more highly developed than we actually are. Such misperceptions are cognitive biases that are more or less baked into human nature. They are prepersonal, emotionally-based delusions, and they represent significant areas in which our cognition does not rise to personal rationality, much less to vision-logic.[15]

The normalcy of the delusion of a high level of development

When you put on top of logical and self-system competencies various attainments on auxiliary lines, such as the line of spiritual intelligence, as evidenced by mystical or near death experiences, or the attainment of high status within your professional and social in-groups, with other people telling you that you really are something special, it is easy to understand how an inflated sense of personal overall development, otherwise known as grandiosity and narcissism, elitism, and exceptionalism, can naturally develop. In fact, it is wise to assume that this is indeed the normal assumption and that what is indeed rare is for one not to fall into this trap.

How misunderstandings of morality generate unrealistically high self-assessments of development

The behavioral branch of the moral line provides a highly necessary wake-up call out of these delusional assumptions. This is not immediately evident, largely due to misunderstandings based on the work of Kohlberg and Wilber. Kohlberg delineated stages of moral judgment, showing that decision-making regarding moral choices advances through pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional developmental stages. Wilber supports this model and adds a post-post conventional stage. The Kohlberg-Wilber model is an interior quadrant measurement of judgment or moral intent. Few go away from a reading of the Kohlberg-Wilber model with the recognition that there is no necessary correlation between moral intent or judgment, and moral behavior, which is quite different, since ethical intention or judgment can be and often is quite at variance from public assessment of the morality of our actions. To the best of my knowledge, Wilber has never noted that morality develops differently on interior and exterior lines, one of intent or judgment and the other of behavior, and has allowed this common misconception to exist, unchallenged and unaddressed, within his model.[16]

Why the behavioral moral line matters

The moral line cannot tetra-mesh, or advance from one level to the next, without the outer two quadrants of the moral line coming into balance, that is, keeping up. Most people will agree that morality is indeed a core developmental line. That is because fundamental to relationships in the lower right quadrant are the questions, “Can I trust you?” “Will you reciprocate?” “Will you lie to me?” “Will you steal from me?” “Will you abuse me?” Notice that the answers to these questions vary from role to role. As a member of one of your professional in-groups, you may be able to trust me in that context, as a fellow lawyer, politician, teacher, doctor, or thief. However, that does not mean I will give you accurate change or separate your whites from darks when I do your laundry. So although these examples seem trivial, they have a bearing on trust, and if you do not trust me, it affects my moral standing in your eyes. Normally, we discriminate. We recognize people as trustworthy in this role and not in that one, and either limit our contact or take their untrustworthiness into account when we deal with them, as the spouse and children of an alcoholic do. If groups of people do not trust me, in this or that area that matters to them, then they are wise not only to not deal with me in that context, but to question my morality. To not do so is to make oneself complicit in deception, delusion, and abuse. This is what we do when we look the other way at the abuses of our children, partners, employers, gurus, politicians, or our country as a whole.

Reciprocity

Another fundamental issue of morality that the Kohlberg-Wilber assessment of morality does not address is reciprocity. Is reciprocity relevant to the assessment of our level of moral development? It does not matter to you what I think my level of moral judgment is, or what various others have assessed my level of moral development to be, if I do not reciprocate in areas where you have extended your trust. If I do not keep my commitments to you, why should I expect you to trust me? A classic example of this is Barak Obama. I was not the only voter who placed both trust and hope in him. There were multiple reasons to do so. He was a Constitutional scholar and had been active in promoting human rights in Chicago. There is little reason to doubt that he would have scored at least at post-conventional, if not at post-post conventional, on the Kohlberg-Wilber Scale of Moral Judgment. However, what conclusions can you draw about the level of moral development of someone who prosecuted whistle blowers, that is, those who exposed governmental crimes, more relentlessly than any previous president? What level of moral development is implied by personally endorsing a list of targets for extra-legal drone assassinations on Tuesday mornings? What level of moral development is implied by the arming of terrorists in Libya and Syria and the support of the overthrow of a head of state, resulting in the descent of the richest country in Africa into a state of tribal chaos and continuous guerrilla warfare?

The point is not to slam Obama or Democrats, but to illustrate that morality in the lower right quadrant is a social compact based on trust. If that collective trust does not exist, or is broken, a critical element of a core developmental line, the behavioral moral line, cannot advance. Without it, there is no tetra-mesh. Without tetra-mesh, there is not enough balance for the moral line to evolve. Without the development of the moral line there can be no balanced overall development. The result is that other lines race ahead and severely imbalance the entire developmental enterprise, making a severe and messy catastrophic collapse increasingly likely and necessary. Look at the justifications, rationalizations, and excuses that you make for the immoral behavior of Obama or whoever you vote for or admire. Then look at how you do the same for yourself. What price do you think you might pay if you minimize the importance of the moral line?

Why morality stops overall development

The conclusion we have to draw is that the moral line, in its behavioral sub-line, can and does block overall development.

Wilber responds by saying such actions do not reflect low moral development, but are the “shadow” of a high level of overall development. In our example, this would be illustrated by Obama's performance in various other roles. Although this is hardly its intention, this use of “shadow” is fundamentally an obscene justification of and excuse for immoral behavior. Is this the position that is taken by the families of individuals assassinated by Obama's drone attacks, civilians killed in his illegal wars of choice, or by the whistleblowers prosecuted and persecuted under his direction? Is it a conclusion that would hold up in any court of law? The United States has signed off on the inadmissibility of that standard at Nuremberg, in declaring that following orders, that is performance of role requirements in this or that position, is not a valid justification for behavior that violates human rights.[17]

The conclusion we have to draw is that the moral line, in its behavioral sub-line, can and does block overall development, regardless of the level of development of the cognitive, self-system, or various auxiliary lines. You can be an adored guru, but if you abuse others, you declare that your overall development is prepersonal, not personal, and certainly not vision-logic or above, regardless of how high your development is in other lines. We now have a long line of adored gurus who fall into this category: Chögyam Trungpa, Rajneesh, Da Free John, Genpo Roshi, Marc Gafni, Andrew Cohen. Robert Masters, and yes, Ken Wilber.[18] Abuse is not the shadow of a higher level of development; abuse is a sign that moral development does not reach global commons assessments of reciprocity and trustworthiness.

Notice that in the context of collective determinants of morality, one screw-up can torpedo the significant talents and contributions on any number of other lines. There are any number of outrageously talented alcoholics and drug abusers that fit this description. Prisons are filled with talented, capable people. It is not that untrustworthiness in the eyes of society eliminates or neutralizes the positives on this or that line of an individual; criminals remain talented painters, poets, philosophers, and musicians. The punishment is not a statement regarding competency in any other area; it speaks only to evidence of infraction in one or more specific instance or circumstance.

Areas of developmental excellence are maintained and are in no way canceled out by a determination of abuse of trust or reciprocity. For example, it is unjust to shun or scapegoat a criminal. Criminals remain persons of multiple talents, abilities, and strengths. To equate morality with character makes sense; to equate it with overall development does not. While morality can and does limit and stop overall development, it has no bearing on the legitimacy of other lines. We can continue to admire the accomplishments of people who we do not trust or respect based on moral character. There is no contradiction between recognizing and even rewarding and praising those strengths while demanding imprisonment, or some other appropriate consequence, and restitution.

White collar criminals need to be punished in the way that makes the most sense; not by incarceration, but by impounding their wealth. People who commit moral offenses need to be as free as possible to use their talents and abilities to benefit society while being as controlled and confined as necessary to maintain public safety. Also, people who commit moral offenses need to provide restitution that suits the offense. Crimes against society dictate both punishment, generally as a statement of caution to others, and in response to the demand that the state protect its citizens. The conviction and jailing of talented comedian and “America's Dad” Bill Cosby, fits this description. The demolition of the career of talented actor Kevin Spacey is another example. The South African Truth and Reconciliation process, following the collapse of the apartheid government, is an example of how moral condemnation does not have to result in a pariah social status.[19]

To repeat: because the moral line is a core line, if it is unable to tetra-mesh due to failure to meet lower right collective norms, it stops overall development in its tracks, regardless of how extraordinary we are in multiple developmental lines. Various lines can continue to develop while overall development becomes increasingly out of balance.

People don't like this conclusion; it is a direct threat to our self-image. It says that while I imagine that I am at vision-logic, based on my cognitive grasp of multiple perspectives, the development of my self-system lines, because of my brilliance in this or that auxiliary line, as well as the public validation of my sterling accomplishments in this or that role, my overall level of development remains fixated due to my lack of reciprocity and/or abusiveness in some role that violates law, human rights, or trust. For the moral line to tetra-mesh, respect and trustworthiness have to be consistent across roles. Behavior that is stellar for in-groups and horrible for out-groups is not moral behavior. Moral behavior is not magnificent in eight desirable roles and terrible in one undesirable, or widely ignored area of life.

Of course, corrupt exceptions are so common as to be the rule. For example, if a person is a liar or thief or murderer but society doesn't care, as is typically the case with politicians, celebrities, and the wealthy, people can carry an aura of respectability to their graves. We see this in the grotesque and maudlin tributes to mass murderers, such as George H.W. Bush and John McCain. The public will also typically look the other way when plutocrats and professional exploiters, such as the Koch brothers, John D. Rockefeller, or Andrew Carnegie, cover their crimes with philanthropy. Some people simply ignore morality, because “might makes right” and money buys loyalty. You do not have to be a gangster or Trump “deplorable” to barely attain to a pre-conventional level of morality; all you have to do is be a member of a powerful elite. Other people, like Thomas Jefferson, die recognized for their accomplishments while their immorality remains unknown.[20]

If this standard seems unrealistically high to you, consider the possibility that your assessment betrays a lack of empathy, an inability or unwillingness to put yourself in the perspective of the recipients of whatever abuse is being dished out. Try putting yourself in the perspective of the victim of this or that abuse and then see what conclusion you come up with.

Experiential multi-perspectivalism

“What is experiential multi-perspectivalism?” “How does it differ from cognitive multi-perspectivalism?” “What is its relationship to the cognitive, self-system, and moral lines?” “What is its relationship to the issue of linear vs. overall development?”

Cognitive multi-perspectivalism is a statement of the level of cognitive development of one percipient, the self. It is a world view or perceptual framework that is achieved by the self, the climber of the rungs of the developmental ladder or the one who flies up the developmental spiral. This self develops on the self-system lines, progresses through stages of development, and can achieve higher stages of cognitive development, such as cognitive multi-perspectivalism Therefore, cognitive multi-perspectivalism is psychologically geocentric, meaning that like pre-Copernican world views, reality orbits around the perceiving self. In the transpersonal bands, beginning with vision-logic, this changes to psychological heliocentrism, as the self experiences various forms of oneness with nature, the sacred, formlessness, and the non-dual. The self accrues to the all; the self becomes the Self, God, the One, Eros, the ineffable Ground of Being, the Non-Dual. Like an identity shifted from Earth-centric to sun-centric, self becomes inflated until it is coextensive with all. But note that this is still a self-centered, or psychologically geocentric perspective at its root, because the witness of the witness is still a specific perspective, called the self, which is evolving and which controls development. Therefore, even psychological heliocentrism is still a form of psychological geocentrism.

Experiential multi-perspectivalism is fundamentally different, in that it is not based on any privileged perspective. It does not rely on an orienting, integrating, integrative self. Experiential multi-perspectivalism intentionally and methodically minimizes identification with one centralized identity. This is classically associated with assumptions of decompensation, loss of self-control, fragmentation, and psychosis. Giving up self is either understood as sailing off the end of the Earth (“Here There Be Dragons”) into insanity and discontrol, or the substitution of Atman with anatman and sunyata. But one can practice experiential multi-perspectivalism without losing their mind, and one can attain anatman and sunyata without practicing multi-perspectivalism or indeed, knowing anything about it.

The object is not to eliminate the ego, self, or Self, but to reduce them to functional, useful tools and adaptive processes. The self becomes just one more perspective among many others. “Self control” becomes an increasingly amusing myth. Yes, the self remains privileged, in that it is the executive that mediates sensory input and moment-to-moment decisions. But an increasing number of these can be taken over by specialized “muses,” perspectives that are better than you are at conflict resolution, staying out of drama, experiencing inner peace, or being confident. Over time, you may discover that they are more capable than any and all self conceptions, and that realization represents an extraordinary de-centralization of identity.

Characteristics of experiential multi-perspectivalism

The ego, self, Self, God, consciousness is not the locus of identification (“I” vs. “not-I”)

Experience is not centered on and around the self-system. Instead, whatever perspective you take defines your self, your core identity. It is not a “role;” you become it. You do not incorporate that perspective into some stable, centralized sense of self; rather you allow your sense of self to be incorporated into that perspective. The closest analogy is to the ancient Greek concept of descent of a muse, which “possesses” us and whom we “become.”[22] The next closest analogy is also from ancient Greece, the Oracle at Delphi. It was thought that she allowed herself to be possessed by gods.[23] However, this analogy is less exact, because it, along with other analogies to channeling, spiritualism, shamanism, and the taking of psychoactive substances, all imply some degree of trance. While trance can indeed induce multi-perspectivalism, trance is not a requirement to experience multi-perspectivalism, nor is it the preferred approach.[23]

This concept is not only foreign to most people; it is downright threatening. So much socio-cultural and genetic scripting has gone into maintaining the self as locus of control that it even exists in the distorted reality of the dream state. When you dream, normally or in lucid dreams, “you,” who you normally consider yourself to be, is the interpreter of your experience, even if waking assumptions regarding, time, gravity, knowledge, death, and identity are altered. For example, if you dream you are a velociraptor, you remain highly likely to still be “you” in a velociraptor's body rather than to take the perspective of a velociraptor itself. This is the distinction between psychological geocentrism and experiential multi-perspectivalism.

You carry no intent for your self-system to provide organization or unity to the mind

The assumed perspective, such as the velociraptor, not the self, provides its organization and unity. The question is, “What is my reality when I allow my identity to be organized and unified by this or that perspective?”

Will and free choice are not directed by the self but by the controlling perspective.

This may be the most difficult aspect of experiential multi-perspectivalism for people to grasp. All of our lives we have been taught to maintain self-control. It is basic survival, adaptive programming that is physiologically wired. Even when we decide to “extinguish” the self in the transpersonal, we are the ones making the decision to move toward no self, and therefore remain in control. However, we cannot experience either the will of the other or allow a perspective to exercise free choice if we do not surrender our own will to it. Doing so boils down to an act of trust. The question here is, “Am I willing to entrust myself to this perspective?” If so, how much?” “If not, why not?”

The ego, self, or Self is no longer the center of defense mechanisms

Because defense mechanisms operate out of awareness, it is unrealistic to imagine that the practice of experiential multi-perspectivalism will eliminate them. However, it can take them into account, watch out for them, and attempt to neutralize them. You will find that alternative perspectives will often spot defense mechanisms you are missing. Experiential multi-perspectivalism does not assume that assumed perspectives are themselves free of defense mechanisms. They may express projection, identification, rationalization, repression, regression, denial, or any other defense mechanism.

Your ego, self, or Self does not metabolize experience while identified with this or that perspective

Later on, after the identification or interview, there will be plenty of time for the self to metabolize the experience of becoming this or that perspective. However during the experience itself, the muse does the metabolizing.

Your ego, self, or Self is no longer the center of navigation or the holding on versus letting go of identification

The self does indeed make the choice whether to hold on or let go of identification with this or that perspective. However, once it is made, navigation is given over to the perspective. If someone else is leading the interview, one surrenders navigation responsibilities to him or her. If you are directing your own interview of some perspective, the interviewing protocol becomes the center of navigation.

It is not unusual for the ego, self, or Self to have difficulty letting go of its identification with itself and holding on to an identification with a foreign perspective. This is in fact a sophisticated and advanced integral life practice, and it takes time, practice, and some skill to make this change in locus of control.

Phenomenological

Experiential multi-perspectivalisms are phenomenological in that they consciously attempt to suspend all assumptions, interpretations, and preferences in favor of becoming and listening to this or that perspective. Some approaches are much more thorough-going than others. It is unrealistic to believe all assumptions can be dropped, but we can be aware of those we have in an attempt to choose those that support experiential multi-perspectivalism and minimize those that do not. Fundamental to this is the decision to surrender control but to stay present and aware. We might describe this as the ego, self, and Self being placed in the perspective of neutral witness or witness of the witness: observing, as in meditation, the answers to questions as well as how the perspective or muse embodies waking roles and life issues.[24]

Embodied perspectives are not assumed to be self-aspects, “parts,” “shadow,” or any other sub-component of some larger, unitary self

No, what is going on is not “really” taking on a role or letting some self-aspect speak. No, the purpose of multi-perspectivalism is not to integrate broken off, regressed, or conflictual aspects of the self, nor is it to achieve some transpersonal state of selflessness. These are self-based projections and interpretations, and any thoroughgoing phenomenological approach tables them. Experiential multi-perspectivalism is autopoietic, or self-creating, and its purposes and destinations are unknown and cannot be known. Indeed, the desire to do so reflects a waking desire by the self to maintain control.

To view embodied perspectives as self-aspects is reductionistic. Such an assumption attempts to discount any indications of autonomy in order to maximize self-responsibility as part of a therapeutic enterprise of advancing self-control. But experiential multi-perspectivalism is not about the self or about advancing self-control. It is not primarily about taking responsibility for one's experience, although that certainly is one notable outcome or side effect of the process. Instead, one is purposefully amplifying the autonomous and “not-self” aspects of the experience, because these are both sources of information and normative autopoiesis. A thorough-going phenomenological approach requires that we suspend our assumption that embodied perspectives are self-aspects.

Embodied perspectives are assumed to be of “indefinite ontology.”

Ontological assumptions are suspended in favor of asking the perspective itself: “Are you an aspect of me?” “Are you an objective reality?” “Are you both?” “Are you neither?” Embodied perspectives exist on a continuum of reality, from absolute objectivity to absolute subjectivity. But the most ostensibly objective ones, like your deceased aunt Mildred who comes to you in a dream, or your sat guru who appears to you in a vision, are filtered through your subjectivity and therefore are not absolutely objective. The most ostensibly subjective perspectives, like fever hallucinations, have elements of perspectival autonomy when interviewed, and therefore are not absolutely subjective. Do not trust your determinations regarding the objectivity or subjectivity of experienced perspectives. Instead, ask them, as well as other interviewed perspectives, their opinion.

Various dualistic assumptions are tabled

Although some approaches to experiential multi-perspectivalism, like Tibetan Deity Yoga, assume that some perspectives are more real, objective, sacred, important, personal, or timely than others, this is not a requirement of experiential multi-perspectivalisms. For example, IDL does not make that assumption, nor does it assume that some perspectives are more illusory, subjective, mundane, irrelevant, impersonal, or insignificant than others. These are additional assumptions to be laid aside in favor of a thorough-going phenomenalism. We table our pet psychological theories of what these perspectives “really” are in favor of a raw, immediate, spontaneous possession by the unknown.

Three major core lines are taken into account

When moral considerations are barriers to such benefits they are generally ignored or avoided, unless measures of accountability demand them.

While cognitive multi-perspectivalisms advance the cognitive and self-system lines, they can and often do ignore the moral line. This is because cognitive and self-system development not only does not require moral development but often actively or covertly discourages or promotes abusive and corrupt practices. We see this in scientists, businessmen, politicians, and professionals in any field who are rewarded by status, power, and wealth for their contributions in their fields, not for their morality. When moral considerations are barriers to such benefits they are generally ignored or avoided, unless measures of accountability demand them.[25] Experiential multi-perspectivalism supports the cognitive line by addressing cognitive perspectives that have not been taken into account or which are adversarial. It supports the self-system line by contextualizing it with the perspectives that are in alignment with evolutionary autopoiesis. That is, the self is experienced as one perspective among many, as expendable and in essence functional, not privileged. Experiential multi-perspectivalism supports the moral lines by encouraging the development of moral judgment by taking into account multiple perspectives in moral decision-making and by encouraging the development of moral behavior by generating narratives that depict the costs of moral neglect to overall development as well as offering hypothetical solutions to these imbalances.[26]

Optional characteristics that may apply to some forms of experiential multi-perspectivalism but not to others

The above characteristics, as well as the following, apply to Integral Deep Listening (IDL), one particular approach to experiential multi-perspectivalism. They may not apply to other approaches. These underlying assumptions of IDL are suspended during interviewing in favor of respectfully listening to the priorities, preferences, and interpretations of this or that interviewed perspective.

Intrasocial

If the social domain of the lower right quadrant is interpersonal, or pertains to relationships between or among people, entities, system elements, or systems, and if intrapsychic pertains to elements within the interior quadrants of interior experience, then intrasocial pertains to relationships that are within relationships. These may be thought of as interior collectives, in the lower left or “cultural” quadrant, because they are subjectively accessed, as long as their ontology remains indeterminate. Just as the fact that other people can be objective and still represent parts of ourselves, so subjectively accessed perspectives can still provide genuine autonomy, objectivity, and reality. The intrasocial is the realm of these subjective perspectives of indeterminate ontology, which are accessed through identification and interviewing. It remains largely invisible as long as an ego, self, or Self-based perspective is maintained.

Interview-based

While identification, not interviewing, is required for experiential multi-perspectivalism, it vastly broadens and deepens the experience, since interviewing not only requires identification but extends and amplifies it. Interviewing provides multiple opportunities for the self to expand into a new perspective. In IDL, interviewing is based on a pre-set protocol and which may interview one character or several. In various ways shares elements with Socratic dialogue or elenchus.[27] Subjects of interviews include the personifications of life issues, such as the “pit” in one's “pit of despair,” a dream character, such as a car or wall, a fictional character, such as a Dementor from Harry Potter, a character from history, such as Jesus, a current event, like the Twin Towers of 9/11, or something from a mystical experience, such as a tunnel, angel, white light, or deceased relative. Children as well as adults can interview and be interviewed. Issues ranging from anxiety disorders, PTSD, gender issues, relationship challenges, career decisions, meditation, lucid dreaming, and personal development can be addressed.

Emerging-potential based hermeneutics

Therapists are normally taught to provide interpretations to reframe the experience of the client as well as to formulate diagnoses and devise treatment plans. In IDL, interviewers defer these responsibilities to the interviewed perspective(s). After these are heard, the subject is invited to give their interpretations. It is only after interviewed perspectives have been heard that the interviewer gives his or her interpretations. It is not that the parent, friend, coach or therapist is not to provide interpretations, only that theirs are tertiary in priority, after those of the interviewed perspective and the subject being interviewed.[28]

Role as director of integral life practices

Integral life practices are normally set by the self. Our priorities and goals determine what practices we take up. We do not stop to think whether or not our priorities and goals are in alignment with our life compass, much less evolutionary autopoiesis. The assumption is, “Of course they are!” But we also know, from painful past experience, that goals we set in previous years that we were certain were healthy, important, or valuable, turned out to be something much less than what we expected. Why? How could we have been so mistaken? And could we be as mistaken, in the goals and priorities we choose for ourselves today, although we may be equally certain of their correctness? What will we think in ten years when we look back at our choices today? Experiential multi-perspectivalism is a tool for aligning our priorities with those of our life compass, thereby reducing the likelihood that we waste our time on “Atman projects.” It does so by getting feedback on our priorities from a wide variety of interviewed emerging potentials. It is in this regard that experiential multi-perspectivalism can act as a director or co-director with you in the development and elaboration of your integral life practice.

Empirically validated

Skepticism is not only encouraged, it is a requirement of IDL. Without skepticism there can be no questioning; without questioning there is no way to formulate hypotheses and test them or to test the method itself. Therefore, nothing any muse says is to be taken at face value. Questions are meant to challenge interviewed emerging potentials and to generate explanatory elaborations. Recommendations made by interviewed perspectives are to be operationalized and tested, because that is the only way to determine the usefulness and trustworthiness of the methodology.

Trans-rational

IDL interviewing is a trans-rational form of multi-perspectivalism because it includes, yet transcends both prepersonal beliefs (for instance, the value of identification and a phenomenological approach) and reason. It involves a rational methodology by which to test pre-rational imagery, dream, and fictional characters. This rational methodology is itself included and transcended in a trans-rational process of surrendering or suspending self-identification, which might be called an injunctive yoga. We know IDL is trans-rational because the responses of interviewed perspectives make sense, even though they may not make sense within the context of the self-system or identity. Forms of oneness and unity are accessed that are multi-perspectival, non-linear, and holographic, not self-system centered.

Transpersonal

IDL interviewing is transpersonal in that the suspension of ego, self, and Self accesses perspectives and identities that include the self, in that they know what you know, but transcend the self, in that they add their perspective not only to your own, but to the perspectives of Self or God. They can do so because they are autopoietic, endlessly self-creative potentials. Therefore, this understanding of transpersonal is not to be confused with the transcendence of ego in a multi-perspectival sense of oneness, which is the typical understanding of “transpersonal.” Instead, it is transpersonal in the sense that the climber of the ladder, the self-system itself, is transcended through substitution of the identity of the “other” for that of ego, self, or Self. This is in contrast to incorporating or integrating multiple perspectives into a broader, more inclusive self-sense. If you do not understand this distinction you will not understand experiential multi-perspectivalism.

Transpersonal practices are generally associated with meditation. In this sense, to be “transpersonal,” a practice needs to thin your identification with the self and the contents of awareness. Typically, this involves practices in objectification, identification, or both. Practices of objectification observe the contents of awareness, then awareness itself, then the awareness that is witnessing awareness. Practices of identification involve mergence with the object of practice: a flame, color, shape, or letter held in the mind, sound, or deity. The object of both practices is to disidentify with the self and identify with either some form of oneness or with no-self.

Experiential multi-perspectivalisms are transpersonal practices that share meditation's twin practices of objectification and identification, but use a wide variety of imagery. Tibetan Deity Yoga, a form of Buddhist meditation, is one example.[29] Other forms of experiential multi-perspectivalism, like IDL, intentionally choose not only real, sentient and sacred perspectives, but also imaginary, non-sentient, and secular ones. Objectification comes from distancing oneself from, or laying aside, identification with ego, self, Self, Atman or any form of psychological geocentrism or heliocentrism. Identification comes from mergence with the perspective, as fully as possible. In Tibetan Deity Yoga this is done through the visualization of the details of the yantra or mandalic portrayal of the deity. In IDL, it is done through interviewing, requiring the answering of questions from the perspective of the interviewed image or character.

Experiential multi-perspectivalism is indeed an authentic transpersonal practice in that it not only moves beyond the ego or self, but beyond identification with any self as a permanent locus of identity. The shift from one perspective to another provides practice in both objectification from all self-constructs and identification with any and all perspectives without discrimination as to their value or meaning. It has the additional value of not requiring the stilling of mental contents or the sort of focused discipline associated with most forms of meditation.

Non-discriminatory

IDL multi-perspectivalism does not differentiate between screwdrivers and gurus, snow plows and angels, walruses and saints, or between “day residue” dreams and epiphanies. There is simply no way of telling, until perspectives are interviewed, which will provide a more direct wormhole into clarity.

Value-based

It is most likely an anthropomorphism to project values onto evolution, just as it would be to project any sense of morality onto nature. However, there is no doubt that interviewed emerging potentials have values, and that these often differ in both quantity and quality from those held by waking identity.

These values include respect, reciprocity and empathy. Respect is demonstrated by a phenomenalistic laying aside of assumptions, identification, asking about the perceptions of the other, and checking to see if we have heard accurately. Reciprocity is hard-wired into interdependence and is seen throughout the natural world. As such, it is amoral, yet constitutes the foundation of morality. Multi-perspectival empathy is not imagining how others must feel or what their world view or experience must be. That is emotive and cognitive projection. Instead, multi-perspectival empathy is validated identification. It is not enough to say, “I feel your pain;” you have to say, “When I take your perspective, I feel pain. Is that what you are feeling?” Experiential multi-perspectivalism does not assume it knows what other perspectives are experiencing. Instead, it does the experiment of taking some different point of view and then asks for verification of the accuracy of one's identification. This moves empathy from an interior interpretive experience to a shared experience grounded in the lower right quadrant of relationship.

IDL takes a multi-perspectival approach to values, refusing to reduce them to one or another, such as love (Christianity), wisdom (Hinduism and Buddhism), or harmony (China). Instead it observes the sensory-grounded cycle of breathing, recognizing that it has at least six recognizable components: abdominal inhalation, chest inhalation, a short pause after inhalation, chest exhalation, abdominal exhalation, and a longer pause after exhalation. Each of these stages can be correlated with a different process, associated with the time of day, a stage of life, a time of year, or the evolution of a civilization. From these correlations values can be extrapolated:

Stage of Breath Associated Process Associated Value
abdominal inhalation: awakening: confidence
chest inhalation: aliveness: empathy
pause after inhalation: balance: wisdom
chest exhalation: detachment: acceptance
abdominal exhalation: freedom: at peace
pause after exhalation: clarity: witnessing

One is free to substitute whatever processes or values best resonate for them with each stage of the round of breath. However, the fundamental idea is to anchor values in a physiological cycle that is core to life. These values are then used in the interviewing process by asking characters how they score themselves 0-10 in each of them. The patterns of response can be surprising, and the differences from waking self-scoring can often be highly instructive.[30]

In this regard, IDL is emphatically not value neutral, because we both approach interviewing with values that we desire that others extend to us (respect, reciprocity, and empathy) and interviewed perspectives themselves express values. If they did not, they could choose to score “don't know,” or “don't care” in response to these questions.[31]That interviewed perspectives make value discriminations is not meant to imply that values are embedded in evolution or some teleological framing of development. What we can definitely say is that experiential multi-perspectivalism exposes values which are often radically different from those of waking identity, and that these variations are highly instructive.

Why multi-perspectivalism is effective therapy

While self-control has both survival and important social adaptive functions that make it perhaps the number one and central work of children, it is not only easy to over-learn self control, but even when it is not over-learned, it must be unlearned in later stages of development. Too much self-control means over-polarization between self and other, leading to splitting, conflict, competition, distress, and various anxiety disorders. Too much emphasis on self-control and taking on responsibility, for instance, by viewing every problem as “shadow,” is one reason why anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health disorders.

Experiential multi-perspectivalism is practice at suspending self-control. It is also practice at entertaining or provisionally expanding into alternative perspectives that may well possess adaptive capabilities that you lack, such as a detachment from drama and your favorite addictions. This thinning and expanding of ego/self boundaries reduces the polarity of self-other, thereby reducing the perception of threat, defensiveness, fear, and anxiety. At the same time, experiential multi-perspectivalism develops trust and explores normative values that enrich life while generating creativity and offering solutions to ongoing real life issues of concern to you today.

Much childhood trauma leaves lasting scars because children either lack a meaningful narrative by which to incorporate it or have a toxic or inappropriate one echoing in their hearts and minds through the years. Experiential multi-perspectivalism puts children and adults in touch with narratives regarding life traumas that are authentic, meaningful, and adequate. These are typically surprising in their creativity and effectiveness. [32]

Attempts extrapolation to a “life compass”

For IDL, “life compass” is a hypothetical fluctuating process, akin to a gyroscope, toward which a consensus of interviewed emerging potentials point. The life compass is not a thing, nor is it a being; it is an evolving process that adapts as we adapt. It might be an imaginary conceptual abstraction. If so, it is a highly useful one. Its closest manifestation in human experience may be what is called “Dream Consciousness,” which is the set from which individual dream characters are derived. It is a perspective that includes but transcends the perspectives of individual interviewed dream characters and which is normally interviewed in multiple character, Dream Sociometric interviews.

Attempts derivation from evolutionary autopoiesis

The life compass is itself conceived as a personalized source of autopoiesis, or self-creation, which has nothing to do with any self-sense. Even further removed from self-sense is evolutionary autopoiesis itself, of which the life compass is a particularized manifestation. Evolutionary autopoiesis is seen in the generation of dreams, which is itself a significant source of creativity and adaptive novelty. However, the nature of this autopoiesis is generally misperceived by the projections of waking interpretations. We move much closer to recognizing and understanding evolutionary autopoiesis when we practice taking the perspectives of a wide variety of interviewed emerging potentials.

Evolutionary autopoiesis is not assumed to be moral, good, or purposeful. Nature is amoral, cruel, and extraordinarily wasteful. However, just as morality is an evolutionary development made necessary by the intersection of language and human interdependence, so the positive aspects of evolutionary negentropy can be, and probably should be, acknowledged and emphasized. However, it is important to do so within the context of recognizing that this is a projection of human values and preferences onto an amoral but extraordinarily creative autopoietic evolutionary process.

In summary

Cognitive multi-perspectivalism is a necessary first step toward experiential multi-perspectivalism. Meditation is a sister practice, which thins attachments without necessarily de-centralizing the self or Self. Meditation accesses dimensions of the transpersonal that experiential multi-perspectivalism does not, and experiential multi-perspectivalism accesses dimensions of the transpersonal that meditation does not. When the two are combined, one can be expected to make developmental progress faster than if only one or the other is employed.

Most fundamentally, experiential multi-perspectivalism generates respect, trust, and empathy, core qualities of the moral line. We have seen how the behavioral branch of the moral line is most likely to block our overall development. Therefore, tools that awaken us to our blind spots and build the components that generate a strong moral sense are likely to help postpone or avoid serious line imbalances that can lead to catastrophic collapses. Multi-perspectivalism needs to be carefully considered as an overlooked, misunderstood, but extremely important integral life practice to overcome fundamental barriers to human development, confusion of self and Self with life compass and a self-serving misreading of our level of moral development.[33]

NOTES

[1] For an overview of AQAL, see Wilber, K., The Five Elements of AQAL

[2] The act whereby a holon meshes or fits with the selection pressures (i.e., the validity claims) of all four quadrants. In order to tetra-mesh, each holon must, to some degree, be able to register its own exterior accurately enough (truth), its own interior accurately enough (truthfulness), understand its cultural milieu (mutual understanding), and fit within its social system (functional fit). Also referred to as tetra-enactment or tetra-evolution, meaning that all four selection pressures must be dealt with adequately in order for a holon to evolve. Corey deVos, IntegralLife.Com

[3]

  • What am I aware of? (cognition) 
  • What do I need? (needs) 
  • Who am I? (self-identity) 
  • What is important to me? (values) 
  • How do I feel about this? (emotional intelligence)
  • What is the right thing to do? (morals)
  • How should we interact? (interpersonal)
  • How should I physically do this? (kinesthetic) 
  • What is of ultimate concern to me? (spirituality)  

[4] Examples of redirecting attention can include focusing on sports, music, the arts, or social skills when one isn't doing well academically, focusing on inner development, such as meditation, dreaming, shamanism, or lucid dreaming, or psychism to compensate for a lack of confidence and success in the social or scientific arenas, or redirecting public attention to issues that do not change an unequal balance of power, such as shifting attention away from elite accountability to issues of gender or racial discrimination. Examples of ignoring the importance of a core line occur when mystics like Maharaj ji (Neem karoli baba) ignore physical health in favor of accessing various states of oneness, ignoring critics of your world view on the cognitive line, as Wilber has been accused of doing by multiple sources, or ignoring the exploitation and abuse of human rights carried out in your name by politicians you voted for. 

[5] If we are unwilling or unable to see or address core imbalances (generally due to investment of identity and social status in some highly developed line or because of role and peer pressure to maintain an imbalance, such as an imperialist foreign policy or an exploitative business plan), we create bubbles. We may be fully aware that we have creating and continue to support an economic, intellectual, emotional, relationship, or behavioral bubble, as smokers do when they are fully aware that they are greatly increasing their chanced of fatal disease, or almost everyone knows regarding current (as of early 2019) world economic conditions, and simply have too much of our identity invested in the bubble to correct the imbalance. This tends to be the default position of human nature, and those who are willing to wake up and address their core imbalances are relatively rare, because socio-cultural forces not only do not support same; they actively punish it, in many cases. 

[6]  Piaget, J. The early growth of logic in the child (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964) 

[7] Beck, D., Spiral Dynamics in Action: Humanity's Master Code. Wiley, 2018. 

[8] O'Fallon, T., https://www.stagesinternational.com 

[9] Wilber, K. (2000). Integral psychology: Consciousness, spirit, psychology, therapy. Boston: Shambhala. 

[10]  This reality is typically hidden by precociousness in one or more lines. Human nature seeks examples to emulate. Because we identify with these examples, whether they be politicians, CEOs, actors, scientists, artists, professors, or athletes, awareness of shortcomings in these ego ideals is a threat to our own sense of self. Therefore, through our denial of each others' limitations we encourage fundamental developmental imbalances that are rewarded in the short-run and are yet both personally and societally destructive in the long run. 

[11] While this has hardly been the case historically, it seems like a fair statement today, when most people are literate, educated, and exposed to a deluge of different perspectives and opinions. With the wisdom of the world at our fingertips and access to expert advice more available to lay persons than ever before, ignorance and imbalance is primarily our responsibility. It becomes harder and harder to lay a lack of self-system development to conventional, if not post-conventional development, at the feet of the system. But because we typically experience ourselves as having made it if we have a level of education, status, work and family satisfaction comparable to that of our peers, we have little incentive to see, much less do anything about, fundamental imbalances in our core lines, or to boost overall development beyond that recognized and reinforced by our socio-cultural context.  

[12] While norms and laws reflect values and therefore are characteristics of the interior collective quadrant of holons, when values manifest as actions, such as reciprocity, lying, or killing, they are external facts, not subjective values, and appropriately are assigned to the lower right quadrant of interaction. This is important, because it grounds morality in collective behavior and does not allow it to be reduced to post-modern relative, and therefore subjective and inter-subjective, contexts. It avoids aperspectival madness, as Alice experiences in the Queen's Court in Alice in Wonderland. Courts of law attempt to deliver judgments based on facts and collectively derived norms, with intent and values clearly taking a second seat to evidence. For example, all that is required for guilt to be assessed, in terms of interior quadrant factors, is sanity, in the sense of capability to know right from wrong, that is, be capable of Kohlberg's preconventional level of moral judgment. Although intent is often taken into account as special pleadings, the community standard of guilt or innocence is evidence-based. Collective or social moral standards are grounded in the external quadrants, not interior intent. Historically, law and societal norms evolved because of lower right collective demands, and in spite of individual, personal intent. 

[13]  Of course, as our definition of relevant others changes, so does our conception of what is moral and what is not. If relevant others are our spouse and boss, then our consideration of what is moral is what conforms to permissible moral standards of that in-group. For example, if your spouse is a drug dealer and user, immoral behavior is permissible within that in-group. If your boss values profit before people and encourages working the grey area between outright unlawfulness and common business practices, then as a member of that in-group, you will be under heavy pressure to adopt a similar conception of morality. However, as our definition of relevant others expands to include the global commons, our definition of in-group also expands, meaning that what is considered moral is extended to a much broader group of individuals. 

Of course, people like Peter Singer, in his The Expanding Circle, have extended this moral circle to include other species, and experiential multi-perspectivalisms such as Integral Deep Listening (IDL) extend relevant others to include the perspectives of interviewed emerging potentials. This, however, does not mean that human rights are extended to fantasy or imaginary characters, dream images, or the personifications of our life issues, but only simple respect of a type that we desire to have extended to ourselves by others. Curiosity, combined with the incompetence of my own interpretations, are the genesis of my approach to experiential multi-perspectivalism, not morality or issues of egalitarianism or pluralism. 

[14] Is moral behavior a separate sub-line or is it merely the externalization of the moral line of judgment? Kohlberg and Wilber would argue that behavior is the exterior manifestation of one line, the moral line, with judgment being its interior or cognitive manifestation. Why is this not the case? The exterior of moral judgment is the determination of our moral judgment or intent by others, not the determination of the morality of our behavior. So when Kohlberg and others test others on moral judgment and develop an empirical, repeatable protocol for determining moral judgment, that is the exterior collective quadrant of the line of moral judgment, not the exterior collective quadrant of actual moral behavior. The interior of moral behavior is the determination by others, particularly our out-groups, of our trustworthiness, not our intent or moral judgment. While it is true that courts of law may take into account intent in their determination of guilt and innocence, it is not a requirement for that finding, largely because it is not evidential - it has little bearing on the harm that was actually done. Of course, when courts are co-opted or captured, and become a member of an in-group, reflecting the socio-cultural assumptions of the accused rather than the plaintiff, intent is often leveraged to justify abuse and criminality. This is what has happened in the western legal system as a whole, with white collar criminals rarely sentenced to jail time or personal financial penalties. While a case can be made that judgment and behavior are two faces of one moral line, due to the confusion and abuse that follows from a failure to separate out these two functions, it seems wise to proceed on the premise that they are indeed two separate sub-lines of morality.  

[15] This brings into question how developed our cognitive line actually is. If we believe we have attained a high level of development and the normative standards of our contemporary culture confirm it, even by scientific measurements, but do so by leaving out critical data, how are we to know differently. For instance, the entire field of cognitive bias is a relatively new one. It is now commonly known that cognition is normally and naturally captured by what are both perceptual and emotionally-based biases that are prepersonal in both origin and function. What is our level of cognitive development when our cognitive biases and logical cognitive distortions and fallacies are taken into account? Could it possibly be as high as we assume that it is? 

[16]  In fact, in his most recent major work as of this date, The Religion of Tomorrow, morality is hardly mentioned, and it is unclear whether Wilber even considers morality a core developmental line, since he does not clearly state same. My assumption is that he does indeed consider it a core line, but as a sub-line of cognition, since the Kohlberg-Wilber model of the development of moral judgment addresses reasoning and intent, not consensual determinations of actual behavior.

[17] The Nuremberg Principles:

  • Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.
  • The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.
  • The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law, acted as Head of State or responsible government official, does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.
  • The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

This principle could be paraphrased as follows: "It is not an acceptable excuse to say 'I was just following my superior's orders'".

The Nuremberg War Trials marked the birth date of a new age in international law -- the creation of an International Tribunal to try war criminals. Mr. Robert Jackson, the Allied Forces' Chief Prosecutor, stated on various occasions in 1945 that, "the U.S. itself will be bound in the future by the rules they are imposing on the German war criminals in Nuremberg today.”

Readers may dismiss this assessment as a green egalitarian and pluralistic position that favors heterarchy over hierarchy. That may be, but I think not. While awareness of morality, in the form of reciprocity and respect for basic human rights, is associated with a late personal level of development, morality itself as a collective behavioral assessment, is not associated with any level of development. It is consistent across all levels of development. We see this when gurus attempt to justify sexual or other forms of abuse in terms of their higher stage of development. The reason this does not work is that collectives have collective standards of morality that include and transcend the standard of morality of the guru. A guru, president, CEO, or judge can be absolutely convinced that his position is the morally correct one, but that remains the position of one member of a sub-set; the set is the collective judgment of the set to which a member belongs. This is why behavioral assessments of morality cannot be convincingly dismissed as green or favoring heterarchy over hierarchy.

[18] There now exists a very large data base of evidence to support these conclusions. Consult the sources of various essays found at IntegralWorld.Net and form your own conclusions.

[19] Truth and Reconciliation Commission

[20] I am basing that assessment on Jefferson's decision to have sex with a slave and to not financially support the children he fathered, not on the fact she was of a different race or was not his spouse

[21] Manea, Irina-Maria., Divine Madness in Ancient Greece.

[22] Manea, Irina-Maria., Divine Madness in Ancient Greece.

[23] The reason it is not preferred because waking identity or the self is anesthetized or in some other way incapacitated. Ideally, in multi-perspectivalism, the self is present but non-projective. It neither interprets nor intervenes in the perspectives and world views of experienced alternative perspectives

[24] For the relationship between phenomenalism and IDL experiential multi-perspectivalism, see IDL and the Phenomenological Perspective.

[25] For example, HSBC, the largest bank in England and one of the largest in the world, laundered drug cash for years, knowing that officers would not be prosecuted and factoring any legal financial penalties as costs of doing business, a small percentage of the illegal profits raked in. Forbes: HSBC Helped Terrorists, Iran, Mexican Drug Cartels Launder Money, Senate Report Says This represents a common practice and mentality among elites world-wide in most, if not all, professions.

[26] Many examples of how experiential multi-perspectivalism supports core developmental lines can be found on IntegralDeepListening.Com,

[27] Dillard, J. Socratic Method and Integral Deep Listening.

[28] See Dillard, J., Integral Deep Listening Interviewing Techniques; also, Understanding the IDL Interviewing Protocols

[29] Dillard, J., Tibetan Dream Yoga

[30] See Dillard, J., Seven Octaves of Enlightenment: Integral Deep Listening Pranayama.

[31] In Dream Sociometry, interviewed characters are given the opportunity to state I don't know, or I don't care as a value. However, most perspectives, most of the time, state other preferences which reflect values: like, like a lot, love, dislike, dislike a lot, hate, and acceptance that transcends positive, negative, or neutral preferences.

[32] Experiential multi-perspectivalism is one aspect of a therapeutic and transformational regime laid out in Dillard, J. Waking Up. (2012) Berlin: Deep Listening Press

[33] Examples of multi-perspectival interviewing are available at IntegralDeepListening.Com. Also available at that site are individual and multiple character interviewing questionnaires that automatically collect answers. The multiple interviewing format is called Dream Sociometry and is based on the the work of J.L. Moreno. The individual character interviewing format is based on Dream Sociometry. 






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