Do you like this website? Please support Integral World!
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Mark Edwards has an M.Psych in Developmental Psychology and a PhD in organisation theory from the University of Western Australia. He now works at Jönköping University in Sweden where he teaches and researches in the area of sustainability and ethics. Before becoming an academic he worked with people with disabilities for twenty years. He is the author of Organizational Transformation for Sustainability: An Integral Metatheory (Routledge, 2009) .
Through AQAL Eyes
|Indexing Factors and Levels|
|1. four quadrants - consciousness, personal behaviour, worldview, social action|
|2. three levels - the minimum of pre-normative, normative, and post-normative|
|3. three streams per quadrants - there are many candidates here|
|4. two vertical dynamics - evolution and involution|
|5. two horizontal dynamics - Integral cycle and translational dynamics|
|6. external dynamics – holonic systems dynamics|
The first 5 factors give a basic indexing matrix that can unlock 144 derivative forms, diagnostic categories, explanatory reference points, functional exemplars, etc. Of course, not all of these variants need to be injected into the model on every occasion. But there should be at least some consideration of each of the five types of factors for any systematic consideration of any developmental phenomenon. The sixth factor, that of external dynamics can be considered in many different ways. One is to look at those external dynamics that hinder, maintain/legitimise, or initiate development. Another way to consider externals is via Wilber's relational exchanges and cross-level dynamics. This is an immense topic and really requires a detailed outlining of the principles of holonic systems. This will be the focus of Part 4 of this series on holons. For present purposes the external relations for a holon can be regarded as described above.
An Integral methodology will include some consideration of all these elements of quadrants, levels, lines, internal and external dynamics. For example, it is possible to consider the development of a holon across all evolutionary quadrants and through all major levels of development but if the developmental lines of that holon are not considered the resulting analysis can lack the multidimensionality that is required for a truly Integral approach. In my view, Spiral Dynamics, even in its new SDi form, falls into this category. It still has not consciously incorporated the core feature of developmental lines and associated dynamics. Hence, its analytical tools of four quadrants and eight levels will not be sufficient to accurately describe any complex developmental phenomena. Ray Harris' (2001) recent analysis of the conflict between fundamentalist Islam and Western modernity is successful in so far as it deals with the topic not only in terms of quadrants and levels but also in terms of separate collective lines such as political, corporate, cultural, historical and religious lines of collective growth. SDi needs to do this in a much more deliberate and systematic way before it can truly lay claim to being an Integral approach to social development. The basic quadrants and levels analysis is fine as a basic scanning process to open up discussion on a topic such as International terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the Vietnam war, but several more layers of analysis are essential for uncovering the reality of the issues involved in such events. Relying purely on the worldview's line of cultural development as an explanatory model is simply too reductive to engage with the historical and social complexities implicit in international relations and global development. A more thorough mapping of the analytical tools required for these tasks is essential for a valid form of IMP to be applied to complex issues. To help clarify this point I will present some diagrams of the key elements that make up Integral theory structures and dynamics.
Holonic structures of development
In this section I will present the basic structures and dynamics outlined above in diagrammatic and tabular form. Hopefully this will help with the terminology problems that also abound in discussion about development. I stress that the structures and dynamics represented below are relevant to the life of all types of holons and holarchies (holonic series), be they personal, collective, functional, scientific, cultural, etc. I will then use these diagrams and tables to outline an indexing example of psychopathologies and treatments for the individual human person and for human collectives that is derived from the application of the methodology described above.
Figure 1 shows the key structures of the personal holon in its healthy condition. To simplify matters I have reduced the spectrum of levels to three - body, mind and soul (those that relate to pre-rational existence, those that relate to rational-egoic existence and those that relate to trans-rational existence); and I have reduced the major structural features to Quadrants, Levels, and Lines.
It should be noted that this diagram refers to the single holon of the human person. The "collective" or, as I prefer to call them, the communal quadrants are not to be treated as somehow separate from the "individual" quadrants or, as I usually prefer to call them, the agentic quadrants. As I have explained in previous essays, the communal quadrants are as much a part of personal experience and behaviour as the agentic quadrants. They are both inherent to holonic identity. This issue is a crucial one for Integral holonics and it results directly from the full integration of AQAL principles (where the individual/collective distinction is used) and holonic tenets (where the agentic/communal distinction is used). The communal is fully present in the individual in the same way that all the information of the holographic image is contained in each part of a holographic plate. The communal is fully present in the individual in the same way that the genetic information of the entire organism in contained within each cell. The communal quadrants of a holon are not to be regarded as representing some interactive or mediated process between the "individual" holon and some collective entity. The subjective communal quadrant (the cultural quadrant) is as much interior to the holon as the interior individual quadrant (the experiential quadrant). And the objective social quadrant is as much a part of the exterior of the holon as the individual behavioural quadrant. The communal quadrants are that aspect of the single holon (irrespective of whether it is an individual holon or a collective holon) that relate to the presence of the many in the one. The communal quadrants do not lie outside of the boundaries of the holon any more than the agentic quadrants do.
The holonic structures of quadrants, levels, and lines are the minimum dimensional categories required for an Integral analysis of any developmental event, i.e. holon, holonic system, or holarchy. Of course these categories are shared by all holons. Figure 2 shows these same structures for a human social holon (a community). As well as the dimensional structures of development Integral theory proposes a number of key process-related dynamics. These dynamics are the motivating processes that generate change in structures and developmental forms and are the subject of the next section.
It can be seen from these diagrams that I regard each quadrant in any holon as being ontologically equivalent in that the exteriors of a holon are just as rich as the interiors, just as developmentally complex, and display the same holarchical evidence of development as the interiors. It is not that the exteriors are physical correlates of ontologically complex. Unlike Wilber I do not regard exteriors as simply displaying different levels of material complexity. They also display different level of ontological and developmental complexity. Consequently, for me holons have equivalent structural levels in each quadrant. Using Wilber's terminology, the "basic" or "deep structures" of the consciousness quadrant (the "All Levels" aspects of the AQAL model) will have precisely corresponding "basic" or "deep structures" in each of the other quadrants. For example, I do not regard the exterior quadrants as only reflecting changes in material forms that simply "correlate" with real ontological changes in the interiors (see Wilber 's diagrams on pgs. 71, 72 of a "A Theory of Everything"). (This is why I always refer to the exterior quadrants are behavioural quadrants and not simply as quadrants of material or neural complexity. The neurological complexity of the nervous system is simple material complexity not necessarily ontological complexity. The brain is not behaviour, it is matter. Its complexity is material complexity. It's complexity does correlate with ontological levels in consciousness and behaviour but its relationship to consciousness is very different from that of behaviour. A fuller discussion of this topic must wait another time.) The exterior levels are as much generative of holonic identity as interiors. Hence they will have their own ontologically distinct holarchy of deep structures. Wilber has already presented a nomenclature for the Consciousness and Cultural quadrants and the following table outlines my suggestions for labels for the deep basic structures for the behavioural and Social quadrants for a individual human (personal) holon.
(life domain) for the personal holon
|Consciousness Structures (UL)||Behavioural Structures (UR)||Worldview Structures (LL)||Social Structures (LR)|
|Sensori-physical||Physical movement, corporal behaviour||Archaic-undifferentiated||Sensori-physical roles/relations|
|Reflexive-Instinctual||Reflexive Impulse, Imitative behaviour||Magical, self-centric||Significant-other dyad roles/relations|
|Representation Mind||Modelling behavioural, Signalling behaviour||Mythic||Familial roles/relations|
|Rule Mind||Declarative behaviour||Material rational||Extended familial/kinship roles/relations|
|Role Mind||Goal-directed behaviour||Formal rational||Peer group roles/relations|
|Formal-reflexive Mind||Role-Oriented behaviour||Pluralistic Relativist||Community roles/relations|
|Vision-logic||Vision-logic centauric action||Holistic-Integral||Leadership roles/relations|
|Psychic-Subtle||Contemplative in action||Integrated Spirutal||Prophetic roles/relations|
|Causal-Nondual||Sagely behaviour||Nondual||Integrated spiritual-social|
The same process can be performed for any collective holon. Again, the exterior levels of a collective holon should not be seen as just changes in material relations or physical productive capacities. Exterior social forms such as institutions are themselves as much about a collective holon's developmental nature as its interiors. I also do not regard the communal quadrants of collective holons simply as the aggregate of its constituent individual minds and bodies. Collective holons have full agency to the same degree that an individual holon does. Collective agency is bot simply a function of pschometrics. It has its won life and activity. Collective holons also have a full measure of interior-agency or collective consciousness to the same degree that an individual holon does (see "Through AQAL Eyes, Part1). Wilber has a different perspective on this issue. Wilber has a very valid desire to ensure that collective holons do not usurp the rights of the individual, but his means of doing this is to treat the quadratic dimensions for individual and collective holons very differently. This issue cuts both ways: i) the intersubjective/cultural quadrant of the individual holon need not be treated as theoretically different in kind to the intersubjective/cultural quadrant of the collective holon; and ii) the subjective/consciousness quadrant of the collective holon need not be treated as theoretically different in kind to the subjective/consciousness quadrant of the individual holon. With regard to the first point, the Vygotskian notion that the consciousness of the collective is always present in the consciousness of the individual is well articulated by Vila (1996) who states that,
"from birth on, babies are included in social routines, building up an "intersubjectivity" by adjusting their rudiments of awareness to the subjectivity of others".
Thus, individual consciousness is also always an intersubjectivity. With regard to the second point I have argued strongly elsewhere (Edwards, 2002) that the consciousness of a collective has a holonic agency that is, in terms of the application of holonic theory, comparable to that of an individual holon. Consequently, it is not necessarily evident that the consciousness of collective and individual holons should be treated as separate theoretical entities (they are clearly different entities in many toerh respects). I agree completely with Wilber that individual holons and collective holons need to be seen as separate holarchic entities but this does not mean that their subjectivity has to be treated as different in methodological terms. This means that a thorough application of the model must, i) see the collective/social/cultural as pertaining fully to the individual/personal holon, and ii) see consciousness and agency as pertaining fully to the life of the collective/social holon. As a result there will be intersubjective deep structures existing completely within the "boundaries" of the individual holon and there will be deep structures of consciousness existing completely within the "boundaries" of collective holons (remembering that these structures that are not reducible to the qualities of its individual members). The resulting deep structure levels for each quadrant of a collective holon could be as suggested in Table 3.
for the collective human holon.
|Consciousness Structures (UL) (as represented in universal archetypes)||Behavioural Structures (UR)||Worldview Structures (LL) (as represented in universal mythologies)||Social Structures (LR)|
|Bio-genetic prehension||Bio-genetic predispositions||Collective Undifferentiated (paradise myths)||Physical infrastructure|
|Familial identity and clan archetypes||Kinship behaviour – bonding rituals||Archaic-undifferentiated (hermaphrodite myth)||Housing structures|
|Peer group/mob identity, "group think"||Peer-related archetypes||Group behaviour, Magical, ethno-centric (creation myths)||Community organisations|
|Social class consciousness (the heroarchetype)||Organisational behaviour||Mythos-centric (empire and war mythology)||Corporate/bureaucratic institutions|
|National consciousness and archetypes (the motherland, fatherland)||Community goals-directed behaviour||Rational democratic (patriotic myths)||National government institutions|
|Humanistic, international identity, archetypes for freedom (Statue of Liberty)||Inter-group mediation, multicultural relations||Social democratic (egalitarian mythologies)||International NGO's and institutions (UN)|
|Noo-sphere consciousness, global archetypes (God the Father/Mother)||Integrated consensus governance||Holistic-Integral (developmental mythologies)||Global networks for enacted IMP, at all levels|
|Integrated identity – noos/socio/bio/sphere, Integrated Archetypes (Holy Trinity)||Integrated Sangha actions||Mystic-Integral mythologies of spiritual communities (the communion of the saints)||Global networks for integrated social spirituality.|
|Kosmic consciousness, Kosmic Archetypes (The Kosmic Christ)||Sagely behaviour||Kosmic-Integral (integrated spiritual mythologies – the Sermon on the Mount)||The Kosmic Sangha|
The deep/basic structure descriptions given here are not to be taken as definitive. They are merely suggestions to convey the idea that deep structures exist in all quadrants for all types of holons and that this is a core aspect of any application of an IMP in general and Integral holonics in particular. Having considered the structural aspects of Integral holonics let's now look at the dynamics that motivate these structures.
Holonic dynamics of development
Figure 3 shows the key developmental dynamics that operate across, between, and within the four main holonic quadrants (I also refer to these as developmental domains). These dynamics are as important to the AQAL framework as the more frequently associated quadrants or levels. As with developmental structures, developmental dynamics follow the homologous principle where the pattern of structures and processes in one quadrants is reflected in the others.
Although Wilber uses the AQAL acronym as shorthand to include other elements of the model like All States and All Types he does not explicitly include the dynamics of evolution/involution, ascent/descent, eros/agape, transformation/translation, and emergence/integration. Within the context of Integral holonics, the AQAL acronym does very much include these more process-oriented elements of the framework. Because of this I sometimes refer to the AQAL acronym as the All Quadrants, All Levels, All Lines, All Dynamics. Figure 3 present a diagrammatic summary of these dynamics. Again these dynamics should be taken to relate to all holons in precisely the same way irrespective of what holarchies particular holons may belong to.
These dynamics are often left out of discussions and applications of Integral theory and their inclusion can result in a very different perspective on developmental phenomena. For example, the inclusion of involution as a prime developmental dynamic can result in a different estimation of the meaning of indigenous expressions of spirituality. The inclusion of stream and state dynamics in the collective quadrants can also influence the analysis of political and other social events. In political and social applications of Integral theory the stream structures and dynamics are often left out of it's analysis (particularly when it only uses the rather limited SDi principles of quadrants and vMemes). This sometimes results in generalisations that ignore historical complexities and the power relationships between collective developmental streams. It also means that particular streams in a society are not to be taken as representative of the overall level of development at which a society operates.
At this point it might be useful to clarify a few issues concerning terminology. In holonic terms the vertical dynamics of growth and integration are hierarchical dynamics. The horizontal dynamics of translation and Integral Cycle dynamics are heterarchical dynamics. Holarchical development is the result of both hierarchical and heterarchical dynamics. This means that Integral cycle dynamics are intimately involved in the evolution-involution process. Whenever developmental issues are being considered the dynamics and structures of both the hierarchy and the heterarchy must be considered. Particular branches of the social sciences are often associated with a focus on one of these types of dynamics. Developmentalists often think of human growth only in terms of evolutionary dynamics. On the other hand many psychotherapists think of health only in terms of integrative, involutional dynamics and have often omitted the issue of evolutionary transformation that calls for new emergent experiences and needs to be more fully explored. Behavioural psychologists have often looked at translational and Integral cycle dynamics without considering transformational or integrative processes. Economists have only recently begun to look at involutionary factors. A more holistic Integral perspective will consider all these dynamics.
In summary, there are two meta-dynamics that drive personal development and well-being in general. These are the Evolution-Involution Cycle and the Integral Cycle. When transformational dynamics plus integrative dynamics are considered together they form the cycle of Evolution-Involution. When translational dynamics are considered in the quadrants they form the Integral Cycle. Both are fundamentally essential for stable development and personal health to be attained and maintained. Table 4 is a summary of the key holonic dynamics involved in Integral theory.
|Integral Cycle Dynamics||The Integral cycle is the holistic drive that holds the four quadrants in creative mutuality. These dynamics generate the four-fold dialectic nature of the quadrants. The Integral Cycle operates through all quadrants via holographic mutuality and is not merely an interactive force.||Learning and cognitive development is a dynamic process that involves the agentic quadrants (Piaget's genetic epistemology, behavioural capacities) as well as the communal quadrants (Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory, Bandura's Social learning theory).|
|Growth (Evolutionary) Dynamics||Human development requires evolutionary growth dynamics for new emergent structures to arise. These ascending dynamics stimulate transformative processes.||Many developmentalists have investigated personal growth dynamics including Loevinger, Erikson, Baldwin, Vygotsky, Piaget.|
|Integrative (Involutionary) Dynamics||Human development requires involutionary dynamics that stabilise and integrate the submergent characteristics of previous developmental phases. The descending dynamics stimulate healing and therapeutic processes.||In human development integrative dynamics have usually been the province of therapists and health practitioners. On the agentic side -physical exercise, nutrition & behavioural therapies, structure building techniques, regression in service of the ego, talk therapies. On the communal side - vocational & relationships counselling, social involvement & community networking.|
|Translational (heterarchical) Dynamics||Translational dynamics work to stabilise and legitimise the current emergent capacities by enabling relation exchange. Translational dynamics operate within the same level of one or even two quadrants. The Integral Cycle is really the sum of major translations across all quadrants.||Translational dynamics are involved in same-level investigations and analyses. The maintenance of a physical self through metabolic processes, egoic self through mental-verbal translations, social self through social relations, spiritual self through mystical communion.|
|State Dynamics||State dynamics are a subset of the vertical dynamics of growth and integration and are related to the overall strength and coherency of the holonic identity (e.g. the coherency in the developmental streams profile) . They are characterised by short or episodic time duration, often chemically induced, and dramatically altered internal awareness and external behaviour.||Altered states above the present level of identity are called "peak experiences". Altered states below the present level of identity are often the result of substance abuse or psychological disorders, or collective pathologies, e.g. mob dynamics. (The dreaming and deep sleep "states" are actually the vestiges of involutional stages, i.e. previous stages of development that are fully integrated with in the current identity.)|
|Stream Dynamics||The balancing of the various streams of development to result in a stable personality is a complex process. It is a function of all the dynamics listed above as they play out through all the structures shown in Diagram 1, but of particular relevance is the Integral cycle.||All quadrants have their own salient streams of development. Hence each investigative discipline will study these streams from a particular perspective, e.g. social psychology, individual psychology, community psychology, behavioural psychology.|
Holonic stream and state dynamics are rather difficult to represent in a static diagram. State dynamics are best thought of as an interaction between situational variables and the many types of streams of development. Situational variables such as intoxication, rapid environmental change, crisis situations, social pressures, and extreme natural events can interact with behavioural and consciousness streams to result in either unusual levels of peak experience or regressive episodes. The more uniform the relationship between streams in all quadrants the more likelihood there is that a crisis will result in sustainable long-term transformation. The greater the level of differentiation among streams for all quadrants the greater the likelihood that these interactions will result in unstable experiential and behavioural regressions and psychotic states. Figures 4a and 4b attempt to capture this idea of stream/state dynamics using Wilber's concept of psychographs.
* Unstable Holonic identity: this is why we sometimes have the phenomenon of psychosis and mystical experience occurring together. Weak identity structure and big variations in developmental streams result in destabilising swings in holonic dynamics causing turbulent personal interior and exterior states (experiences and behaviours).
The Integral cycle is important in this process because it's strength and unifying function is interdependent with the strength and function of stream-state dynamics. The Integral cycle brings equanimity to the developmental streams between quadrants and the streams. The stronger the Integral cycle, i.e. the more integrated the developmental domains are in the life of the holon, the more mutual support there is for the developmental balance of the different streams of development. Of course, this is also reliant on the sufficiency of physical, affective, familial, economic, and cultural environments to support development. But if a sufficient threshold of supportive environmental exchange is available then growth becomes largely a question of the healthy functioning of Integral cycle and stream dynamics. The more developmentally equivalent the levels of streams of development, the stronger and more robust the Integral cycle dynamic of the holon and the more likely it is that crisis and rapid situational and environmental change will result in growth transformations that can accommodate the crisis. The more developmental variation there is the profile of developmental streams the weaker the balancing effect of the Integral cycle dynamics and the more likely it is that crises will result in regressive states and systemic developmental decline.
Basic developmental pathologies
Given that we have a primary list of candidates for the indexing of developmental pathologies, we can now point out the overall categories that can be derived. These pathologies can be present in any holon of adequate depth including both individual holons and collective holons.
Quadrant (life domain) pathologies: This occurs when there is incomplete development across the four major domains of life. For example, the inner life of an individual holon might be developed while social and meaning-making concerns are underdeveloped, and for a collective holon, its national social health programs might be very advanced while its global relations are severely underdeveloped. There are four basic types of quadrant pathologies – interiorism (e.g. introversion, New Age spiritualism), exteriorism (e.g. extroversion, flatland materialism), individualism (e.g. "hero mentality", laissez faire capitalism), and communalism (e.g. co-dependency, totalitarian communism). Each, or any combination of these pathological forms can be present in a holon.
Evolutionary or Transformative pathologies: Evolutionary pathologies come in two forms. They can either be too strong and overpower involutionary drives, or they can be too weak and be unable to negotiate the transformative task at hand. Subsequently, the ascending evolutionary task is either not accomplished, or significantly delayed or not achieved at an appropriate age/historical period. Evolutionary drives that are too strong result in dissociation and/or imbalances in unitive dynamics (see below) because the evolutionary thrust outstrips the holon capacity for integration and stability. Evolutionary dynamics that are too weak result in developmental fixation or regression or social collapse to at formative and less integrative stages of growth.
Involutionary or Integrative pathologies: These involve problems in involutionary dynamics where there are difficulties in integrating emergent capacities into a sustainable and healthy growth trajectory. Here also involutionary dynamics can be either too strong or too weak. When they are too strong there is a delay in the appropriate pace of evolution and a reluctance to move beyond normative levels of growth. Ultimately there can be outright deliberate pursuit of regressive stages of being and activity leading to hedonism in individuals and moral decline in social collectives. On the other hand where involutionary dynamics are too weak there can be severe problems with meeting the therapeutic and integrative needs of holons. In general, it seems to be the case that pathologically strong evolutionary dynamics are coupled with pathologically weak involutionary ones and vice versa. Hence, evolutionary excess is strongly associated with severe integrative deficit, and involutionary excess is strongly associated with severe delays in growth.
Developmental Level pathologies: In Transformations of Consciousness Wilber outlined the categories of pathologies that can occur when the crucial "developmental fulcrum" is not adequately negotiated in the consciousness quadrant. This can also apply to any of the other quadrants. Hence for each level in each quadrant there is a specific family of pathologies resulting from unsuccessful transformation. These are often called, in both psychology and sociology, developmental disorders or difficulties.
Stream pathologies: When there is uneven development across streams the holon can lack evolutionary-involutionary balance and unity in integrative grow. Stream pathologies can occur within individual and social holons. In individual holons this often results in unstable self-identity and erratic behaviour or at least a self-sense that is vulnerable during periods of stress. In collective holons stream pathologies lead to inequitable power relations, "class warfare", irreconcilable differences between internal laws and foreign policies, the "have and have nots" phenomenon, and eventually extreme social division and breakdown. Stream pathologies can apply to specific lines in specific quadrants or more generally across lines and/or quadrants.
Integral Cycle pathologies: The Integral cycle is the main dynamic that conveys the quadratic form of development into a coherent holonic unit. This is an immense topic and I have only touched briefly on it in the above section and in previous essays (Edwards, 1999, 2002). There are many ways in which the unitive flow from one life domain to another can be disrupted and cause systemic illness and social dislocation. The cycle can be distorted to privilege particular quadrants as discussed above. If the Integral cycle is to weak or only partial then large aspect of personal and social life can be undeveloped and identities and behaviours can become very biased towards unhealthy forms of both intra-holonic and inter-holonic being and activity. It is often the case that Integral cycle pathologies in the collective holon are recapitulated in the life of the personal holon and they reinforce each other.
I have concentrated in the above on forms of pathologies that Integral theory would predict could be present in the structures and dynamics of any holon. There are, of course, corresponding interventions that can also be aimed at reconstituting healthy states in each of these aspects of holons. Together, these considerations form the basic techniques that are required of a pluralistic Integral methodology. Wilber has already mapped most of these aspects of Integral theory. My task here is to try to bring all this into a single presentation with my own particular understanding of how the principles of Integral theory work together on an applied topic. I will do this by applying my approach to IMP to the topics of, first, personal development and, second, social development.
Example application of Integral holonics
So far I have presented the basic structures and dynamics that might make up the methodology for an applied Integral holonics. A consideration of each of these elements will have some part to play in an Integral analysis of a developmental event. Such an analysis would utilise what Wilber refers to as Integral Methodological Pluralism. That is the inclusion of both holistic (enfoldment/unfoldment) and reductionist explanations (non-exclusion) in a model that can implement methods that situate the valid truths of the competing theories (enactment). The example presented below builds on the early work by Wilber in the area of personal psychopathologies and their corresponding treatment.
Table 5 (a)-(h) presents an index of the basic forms of health and pathology for the example case of a personal holon via a Quadrants (4) by Levels (9) by Lines (3) by Evolutionary-Involutionary dynamics (__) by translational dynamics (_) by Integral Cycle dynamics (¤) indexing procedure. The presence of arrows indicate whether the pathology is associated with evolutionary or involutionary dynamics, where "_" indicates a pathology associated with an evolutionary dynamic and "_" indicates a pathology with an involutionary dynamic, where "_" indicates a pathology in heterarchical translation, and "¤" represents a pathology in the Integral cycle. I have only indicated these dynamics pathologies for some of the entries. The resulting matrix (of 864 possible diagnostic possibilities) gives a initial overview of developmental disruptions and disorders according to a systematic application of Integral theory.
Such tables could form the basis of an Integral theory form of diagnostic manual (some of the index cells are blank for want of more fine grain diagnostic methods) for both personal (as with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) and collective pathologies (I feel that the possibilities for indexing collective pathologies are more interesting and provide an opportunity for much greater analysis of social problems than is currently the case and these are presented in Table 6 (a)-(h)).
It should be noted that in each of the following tables, I identify a spectrum of deep structure levels for a number of streams of development for each quadrant. I believe that this is the first time that this has ever been done on a consistent basis across all quadrants. In other words I have provided suggestions for the deep structures that are intrinsic to the particular nature of each holonic quadrant. These deep structures (also called basic structures or levels) should be seen as ontologically equivalent across all quadrants. By this I mean that a particular basic structure in one quadrant will have corresponding deep structures in the other three quadrants. For example, someone the basic structure of formal-reflexive cognition in the consciousness quadrant will have the corresponding deep structures of rational-perspectival worldview (cultural quadrant), goal-oriented behaviour (behavioural quadrant), and normative community roles (social quadrant). This is called the principle of homologous structures as outlined by Wilber and as discussed in detail in Edwards (2002). Same level structures in each developmental stream in each quadrant will complement each other in critical ways. Hence there will be corresponding and complementary deep structures in each of the quadrants. In contrast to Wilber, I do not regard the exterior quadrants as relating only to matter, or surfaces, or monological methodologies. They are as ontologically rich as the interior quadrants. From an Integral theory perspective, when holon A encounters the behaviour of other holon B it engages with the full spectrum of B's identity and is not simply observing surfaces. So in this presentation, the interior quadrants are not, in any way, to be regarded as ontologically privileged or as more complex than the exterior quadrants.
There is another issue that immediately becomes apparent in considering these tables. The tables really can be seen to represent indexes of either holarchies or complex individual holons. A holarchy is a developmental series that is made up of autonomous holons. Its is usually presented in a serial form as one holon followed by its next developmental senior and so on until the holarchy is built up. The holarchic series can also be shown in a "nested" format where the holons are embedded within each other. Finally, the series can be shown in tabular form (see Figure 5).
In general, I prefer to use the nested graphic form which shows the transcend-and-include nature of holons so well (and as typically used by Wilber). In using the tabular form it is easy to lose sight of the dynamic and holistic nature of holonic development. It might be useful to keep the nested graphic form in mind when interpreting the following tables. Because the tables relate to the whole spectrum of structures they can be interpreted as portraying complete holarchies. They can also be seen to represent a single ideal holon that embraces the whole gamut of developmental possibilities.
Tables 5(a)-(h) present the healthy and pathological forms for a personal or individual holon. Pathologies arise in structures when transformational or integrative dynamics are disrupted in any of the basic levels of the particular developmental streams in question. I will base all the indexes on nine levels of development. In presenting these indexes it is not my intention to show that any condition of health or illness can be categorised into a simple diagnostic box. These tables are presented merely to show that development is multifactorial and that Integral holonics, i.e. the application of an integrated AQAL/holon model, can be used to gain useful a perspectives on an immense variety of human conditions. This Integral indexing process can also clarify patterns of aetiology, symptomology, reinforcement, treatment and so on. It is also true that the identification of states of health, pathology or treatment within the individual must also be accompanied by a corresponding review of the physical, emotional, mental, and social environment in which that individual lives and develops. Individual pathology does not stand alone, outside of an environmental context no matter how fundamental the pathological condition. (In many instances pathology may not even seem to be an appropriate term. I use the term here in the sense that pathology is a "dis-ease", a state of not being in balance. I am not suggesting that the cause of that imbalance is a personal affair).
of consciousness structures (UL) for three developmental streams
|Basic Consciousness Structure (UL)||
Healthy forms of three developmental streams
from the Consciousness Quadrant
|Sensori-physical mind||Undifferentiated uroboric||Sensation, Proprioception||Reactivity, physio-states|
|Image mind||Axial body, Image body||Perception, Pre-conceptual||#1 Proto-emotions|
|Representation Mind||Name self, Emoto-centric||Single representation set||#2 emotions- anxiety, anger, liking, happiness|
|Rule Mind||Conceptual self, early membership||Representational mapping|
|Role Mind||Membership self||Symbolic||#3 emotions- belongingness, joy, hate|
|Formal-reflexive Mind||Mature Egoic self||Intra-systemic||#4 emotions- universal affect, justice|
|Vision-logic||Centauric Mind-Body self||Autonomous, Inter-systemic||#5 emotions- compassion, rapture, awe, affinity|
|Psychic-Subtle||Psychic-Subtle self||Illumined Mind||# 6 emotions- saintly compassion, spiritual bliss|
|Causal/Non/dual||Pure Witness, Self/No Self||No Mind/Original Mind||# 7 infinite freedom/joy, pure love|
of consciousness structures (UL) for three developmental streams
|Basic Consciousness Structure (UL)||
Pathologies in three developmental streams
from the Consciousness Quadrant
|Self-Identity pathologies||Cognitive pathologies||Affect pathologies|
|Sensori-physical mind||Schizophrenia||Delirium, Dementia _||Catatonic disorders|
|Image mind||Narcissistic disorders _||Amnesia, Dissociative disorders||Bipolar disorder|
|Representation Mind||Borderline disorders||Delusional disorder||Mood disorders _|
|Rule Mind||Neurotic disorders _||Chronic ruminative worry _|
|Role Mind||False belief patterns, Script Disorders_||Chronic narrow mindedness, Role inflexibility ¤||Self-esteem problems, performance anxiety _|
|Formal-reflexive Mind||Identity disorders, egomania_||Positivism, extreme rationalism _||Mind/Affect dissociation|
|Vision-logic||Existential disorders ¤||Hyper-relativism ("Boomeritis"), meaninglessness ¤||Existential depression _|
|Psychic-Subtle||Dark night of the Soul, Dukha, bliss fixation||Infallibility, Moral absolutism,||Crazy saint phenomenon, mortification of body|
|Causal||Emptiness fixation _||Non-integrated Supermind||Pernicious peace|
behavioural structures (UR) for three developmental streams
|Basic Behavioural Structure (UR)||
Healthy forms of three developmental streams
from the Behavioural Quadrant
|Self-other relations||Learning Behaviour||Problem solving|
|Sensori-physical movement||Incorporative||Habituation||Random action|
|Reflexive behaviour||Impulsive/affective relations||Classical conditioning||Repetition|
|Signalling behaviour||"Imperial" self-centric behaviour,||Instrumental learning||Trial and error|
|Communicative behaviour||Team player, social member||Operative conditioning||Simple communication & action|
|Rule-directed behaviour||Interpersonal network||Imitative learning||Copying and imitation|
|Role-Oriented behaviour||Formal institutional, humanistic||Observational learning, Social learning (Bandura)||Planning, evaluation & coordination of self-network resources|
|Centauric action||Post-formal relations||Integrated holistic learning||"Everyday" problem solving|
|Contemplative in action||Relationship with all sentient beings||Universal learning/Witnessing||Prophetic, Integrated socio-spiritual challenging|
|Sagely behaviour||Bodhisattva compassion||Messianic, AQAL revolutionary|
of behavioural structures (UR) for three developmental streams
|Basic Behavioural Structure (UR)||
Pathologies in three developmental streams
from the Behavioural Quadrant
|Self-other relations pathologies||Learning behaviour pathologies||Problem-solving pathologies|
|Sensori-physical activity||Profound Autism _||Motor Skills/ CNS disorders _||Paralysis _|
|Reflexive behaviour||Sexual Disorders (eg. paedophilia) _||Associative leaning disorder, memory disorders||Sensory disability|
|Signalling behaviour||Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders _ ¤||Learning disorders, Hyperactivity disorders||Relational problem-solving|
|Communicative behaviour||Inability to engage peer-group problem solving ¤|
|Rule-directed behaviour||Neurotic interpersonal behaviour _||Attention disorders _||Inability to apply analytical skills _|
|Role-Oriented behaviour||Severe lack of life skills _||Role confusion ¤||Meta-cognitive weakness_|
|Vision-logic centauric action||Stagnation, Non-recognition of accomplishments __||Lack of reflection/action flow in all quadrants ¤||Spontaneity/Impulsiveness confusion|
|Contemplative in action||Lack of a "social spirituality" ¤||Sole reliance on meditative techniques ¤||Kismet error, leaving all to the "Divine" _|
|Sagely behaviour||Lacking "revolutionary" behaviour ¤||Lack of revolutionary behavioural impact on community problems ¤|
of worldview structures (LL) for three developmental streams
|Personal Worldview Structures (LL)||
Healthy forms of three streams
from the Worldview/Meaning-making Quadrant
|Values||Meaning making||Aesthetic Sense|
|Archaic-Somatic||Pleromatic||Physio-sensory pleasure, play||Instinctual attraction|
|Magic-Contingent||Desire fulfilment, membership, survival||Environmentally contingent, wish dependent, superstitious truth||Environment/group feeling, form/place attraction|
|Mythic-Narrative||Security, social network survival||Mythos, literal story meaning, fundamental religious truth||Literal/formal appreciation, colour-form beauty|
|Rational-Abstract||Formalism, cultural-national prosperity||Logos, uni-systemic interpretive process, abstracting, scientific truth||Interpretive appreciation, form-balance, perspectival|
|Pluralistic-Relativistic||Multiculturalism, values diversity||Pluros, multi-systemic interpretive process, artistic, humanistic truth||Abstract appreciation, aperspectival,|
|Holistic-Integral||Dialectical development as world process, integrated sustenance||Integrated multi-systemic interpretive process, global truth||Holistic appreciation, integrated interpretation, global perspective|
|Psychic/Subtle-Unitive||Union with the other, inter-species reverence, nature/deity mysticism||Universal play, Mystical truth||Symbolist-Unitive perspective, unitive feeling (awe/bliss)|
|Non-dual Witnessing||Union with source of manifest||Kosmic play, One Taste truth||Kosmic perspective, form/noform|
of worldview structures (LL) for three developmental streams
|Personal Worldview Structures (LL)||Pathologies in three developmental streams from the Meaning-making Quadrant|
|Values pathologies||Meaning-making pathologies||Aesthetic sense pathologies|
|Archaic-Somatic||Mass/serial murder as meaningful _||Hedonism, harmful play||Instinctual/sensory obsessions|
|Magic-Contingent||"Black magic" harm on members of other social groups, Outlaw gangs _||Unreal wish fulfilment, superstitious truth as controlling of life||Beauty as fashion, Pop culture as final judge of beauty/art|
|Mythic-Narrative||Security, social network survival at the expense of other groups _||Mythos as sole source of truth, mythic judgement as independent from communal judgement||Tradition as final judge of beauty/art, Moral sense determines cultural value, Art is subject to conscience _|
|Rational-Abstract||Evolutionism, _ Individualism, ¤ Exteriorism ¤||Logos as sole source of truth, meaning dissociated from life source_||Beauty is analysable in terms of form-balance, technical mastery|
|Pluristic-Relativistic||Aculturalism, martyr syndrome, pluralistic permissiveness _||Pluros as sole source of truth, meaning is solely context dependent||Beauty is only lack of form, anti-technical, completely unmediated|
|Holistic-Integral||Anti-intellectualism, social "drop out", romantic regression||Holism as sole source of truth, Analytical truth as invalid ¤||The Whole is the only form of beauty, integration as only physical_|
|Psychic/Subtle-Unitive||Interiorism, New Age spiritualism, non-critical acceptance of evil ¤||Gnosticism as sole source of truth, Mystical idealism ¤||Bliss is the only quality of the Beautiful¤|
|Nondual-True Nature||Arhat's disease||All meaning comes from formlessness ¤||Ultimate aesthetic beauty is the Kosmos in self-absorption|
of social structures (LR) for three developmental streams
|Basic Social Roles (LR)||
Healthy forms of three streams
from the Social/Communal Roles Quadrant
|Exchange relations||Interpersonal||Economic relations|
|Physical Role||Food, comfort, tactile and sensory contact exchange/stimulation||Neonate, uroboric involvement||Consumer of food, shelter, material, basic human resource|
|Instinct/Reflexive roles/relations||Safety, security, emotive exchange||Infant, significant other involvement||Consumes of time, energy, emotional and planning resources Produces play|
|Communicative roles/relations||Belongingness, image/sign exchange||The child learner/player|
|Familial Roles/Relations||Membership agreement, familial interaction, symbolic exchange||The family member/participator, emotional involvement||Produces emotional outputs, Consumes of images/toys/TV|
|Peer roles/relations||Peer group interactions and contracting, team membership, peer group exchanges||The friend, "one of the gang" role, peer group involvement||Produces peer social commodities (fashions, fads), Consumes familial planning, fad industry products|
|Community Roles/relations||Designated community interactions, Social Role Valourisation||Student role, worker role, neighbour role, community involvement||Produces material goods and services, community functioning Consumes art, sport, pop culture|
|Leadership roles/relations||Centauric exchange, autonomous & cultural values exchange,||Community leader/teacher role, social activist, global involvement||Produces elite cultural goods and services, education, Consumes self-development, humanist/spiritual goods|
|Prophetic/Mystic roles/relations||Spiritual exchange and soul-focused ways of relating, exchanging Dharma assets||Spiritual teacher/leader/activist role, prophet, Sangha/spiritual community involvement||Produces spiritual-cultural products, sacred writings, transmission of the Dharma, Consumes ultimate teachings|
|Integrated spiritual social roles||Godhead unity in all relationships||Unmediated Kosmic involvements||Produces leading edge developmental directions for individuals and cultures|
of social structures (LR) for three developmental streams
|Basic social roles (LR)||
Pathologies in developmental streams
in social/communal (roles) quadrant
|Pathological exchange relations||Pathological interpersonal roles||Pathological Economic rolesathological Economic roles|
|Physical Role||Anatomical/Metabolic disorders _||N/A||Excessive consumer of food, shelter, material, basic human resource ¤|
|Instinct/Reflexive roles/relations||Lack of basic relating due to profound levels of intellectual disability _||Limited range of instinctual or reflexive responses _||Excessive consumer of time, energy, emotional and planning resources; lacks play|
|Communicative roles/relations||Autistic, Asocial, non-communicative, selective mutism, _||The "problem" child, chronically aggressive child, playground bully_||Excessive consumer toys, play resources; does not produce or imagine own "toys"|
|Familial Roles/Relations||Disruptive behaviour disorders, chronic aggression exchanges _||"Loner", Non-participatory family member, "runaway"_||Fixation on emotional outputs; excessive consumption of TV, no familial work role|
|Peer roles/relations||Chronic unlawful and antisocial relations & exchanges, outlaw groups||Outlaw roles, drug pusher, pimp, recidivist or white collar criminal, corrupt authorities||Infatuation with peer social commodities (fashions, fads); does not produce consumes familial planning, fad industry products|
|Community Roles/relations||No community involvement, non-political, non-voter, apathetic relations||Chronically limited social roles, "crazy recluse or hermit", _¤||Produces endless amounts of meaningless material goods and services, no community input|
|Leadership roles/relations||Celebrity syndrome, delusions of importance, fame dependent relations __||Inept leaders, abstract/dissociated leadership, non-visionary style, inability to adopt "statesman" role||Has no leadership role, passively consumes others achievements through e-media. _¤ Workshop junky|
|Prophetic and mystic roles/relations||Unintegrated spiritual exchange and neglect of physical/emotional or social exchanges _¤||"Crazy" teacher role, infallible pope/guru role _¤||Consumer of spiritual products, teaches but does not fully enact sacred writings, the consumption of spiritual ritual replaces the production of insight.|
|Integrated spiritual social roles||Godhead unity without integrated social exchange||Produces leading edge developmental directions with unhealthy distortions|
As well as these indexes of healthy and pathological structures as described in Table 5(a)–(h), there is also the possibility of developing corresponding indexes of treatment approaches for each of the pathologies (dis-eases) described. With an AQAL indexing methodology made up of 4 quadrants, 9 levels, 3 streams and 2 vertical dynamics (transformation and integration) we have the theoretical possibility of categorising 216 pathologies with an equal number of corresponding treatments. But to simply engage in such a categorising process devoid of the holistic context of holonic life would be a grave error. In reality, the holistic nature of the holon entity, with its unitive dynamics and include-and-transcend structure, means that pathologies and treatments do not simply fall into categorical boxes but are multidimensional in aetiology and cannot be diagnosed without consideration of many other layers of context. For example, individual pathology does not reside simply in individuals but can be completely the result of environmental and situational factors. In addition to this, pathologies in one aspect of a person's life will affect them in a holistic way and treatments need to include holistic-unitive dynamics that connect and rebalance all aspects of the holon system.
To understanding individual pathology it is essential to include the consideration of forms of collective pathology. Consequently, I have followed a similar indexing procedure for the collective holon (or more correctly holarchy since we will be carrying out this indexing up from the physical aspects of collective holons all the way to the Nondual aspects of collective holons). For the following case of a collective holon, I use the indexing factors of four quadrants, five levels, three streams and dynamics. As with the above case of a single personal holon, these categories of pathology could be furthered analysed in terms of the developmental dynamics of transformation, translation, integration and the unitive dynamics of the Integral cycle. And I will include in the tables some suggestions for pathologies in certain dynamics. I will deal in more detail with some basic issues concerning the dynamics within Integral holonics in a later section which deals with pathologies in global development.
In performing this Integral indexing process it needs to be understood that I treat the collective holon as a unitary holon and not as a collection of individuals. At the risk of repeating myself, in contrast to Wilber, I see the methodological application of the developmental dimensions of agency-communion and interior-exterior to be theoretically equivalent for both social and personal holons. And so the social holon has its own agentic interior (consciousness quadrant) and agentic exterior (behavioural quadrant) and its own communal interior (cultural quadrant) and communal exterior (social structures) which are not reducible to the consciousness, behaviour, cultural or social activity of individuals persons. Consequently, the consciousness quadrant of the social holon is qualitatively different from and not reducible to the consciousness of individual persons who are interacting within that social holon. For me, the consciousness of the collective is evidenced in its mythologies and in particular as distilled in the collective interior form of the archetypes. And this includes both conscious and unconscious myths and archetypes. In this way of thinking about cultural forms of awareness, the stages of collective consciousness are investigated and identified through the exploration of the myths/archetypes of a culture. Each stage of communal consciousness will have its own corresponding myth and mythic narrative.
Let me give an example of this. Jungian analytical psychology was the very first serious examination of the contents of cultural (un)conscious. Roughly speaking, these cultural contents consist of the archetypes of collective identity and correspond to the unfolding layers of subjective collective development. Jung and later Joseph Campbell have studied the collective psyche of humanity through their studies of mythologies, archetypes, national epics and sagas. It is in this Jungian concept of the archetype within the collective unconscious, indicates the existence of definite structures in the a cultural psyche which often seem to contain cross-cultural themes at all levels. Take the following quotes from Jung (1968):
My thesis, then, is as follows: In addition to our immediate consciousness, ... there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually, but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.
The collective unconscious is a part of the psyche which can be negatively distinguished from a personal unconscious by the fact that is does not, like the latter, owe its existence to personal experience and consequently is not a personal acquisition. While the personal unconscious is made up essentially of contents which have at one time been conscious, but which have disappeared from consciousness through having been forgotten or repressed, the contents of the collective unconscious have never been in consciousness, and therefore have never been individually acquired but owe their existence exclusively to heredity. Whereas the personal unconscious consists for the most part of complexes, the content of the collective unconscious is made up essentially of archetypes.
The concept of the archetype, which is an indispensable correlate to the idea of the collective unconscious, indicates the existence of definite forms in the psyche which seem to be present always and everywhere. Mythological research calls them "motifs"; in the psychology of primitives they correspond to Levy-Bruhl's concept of "representations collectives," and in the field of comparative religion they have been defined by Hubert and Mauss as "categories of the imagination." Adolf Bastian long ago called them "elementary" or "primordial thoughts." From these references, it should be clear enough that my idea of the archetype -- literally a pre-existent form -- does not stand alone, but is something that is recognized and named in other fields of knowledge.
The collective unconscious -- so far as we can say anything about it at all -- appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious.
All passages are from the "Definition" portion of Carl Jung's lecture in 1936, "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious", Collected Works, Vol. 9.i, pars. 87-110; and from Carl Jung's "The Structure of the Psyche", 1927, Coll. Works Vol. 8. , Presented in "The Portable Jung", Edited by Joseph Campbell, translated by R. F. C. Hull, copyrighted & published in USA by Viking Penguin Inc., 1971, Penguin Books 1976.
These collective structures – or as I would say, these interiors of social holons - are not "a personal acquisition". Myth and archetype are pre-eminent examples of structures that consciousness can take when it appears in collective form. To put it another way, the investigation of the interior quadrants of the collective holon are essentially investigations of myth and archetype (in the broad sense of those terms). More specifically, when Integral theory studies archetypal structures it investigates the consciousness quadrant (UL) of the collective holon, i.e. the interior of the agentic structures of the collective holon. When it studies the mythos structures it investigates the cultural quadrants (LL) of the collective holon, i.e. the interior of the communal structures of the collective holon. I want to again stress that the agentic aspects of the social holon are not to be seen as theoretically different to those of the personal holon. The agentic conscious and behaviour of the group has its own particular agency that is not reducible to the interactions of the persons in that group. The whole history of social psychology since the 1950's is testament to this. The research of Stanley Milgram, Solomon Asch and Philip Zimbardo show that group dynamics, i.e. the dynamics of social holons, must be seen firstly as a unique aspect of groups and only secondarily as expressions of individual interactions. Milgram, for example, stated that when an individual, "merges ... into an organizational structure, a new creature replaces autonomous man, unhindered by the limitations of individual morality, freed of human inhibition". And this "new creature" is a social complex (holon) not an individual one.
On the basis of these considerations both the healthy and pathological expressions of the life of collective holons will be unique and not simple reducible to interactions between personal holons. This is all fairly well accepted. My aim in drawing this point out is only to show that the holon construct can be applied to investigate the developmental "life' of any phenomenon in the same basic way. Tables 6 (a-h) presents my labelling suggestions for forms of life of collective human holons. As with the labels of the personal holon structures, these labels are suggestions only and are very open to improvement and debate.
of consciousness structures (UL) for three developmental streams
|Basic Consciousness Structure (UL)||Healthy forms of three developmental streams from the collective consciousness quadrant|
|Collective Identity (collective awareness)||Collective epistemology (collective ways of knowing)||Collective Archetypes (and their cultural symbols)|
|Familial/kinship consciousness, Family mind||Ethno-centric identity, group mind||Mythic cultural knowledge, epic sagas, creation myths||The Great Mother, The Great Father, Warring families of gods|
|Peer group/class consciousness, peer group mind||Class-centric identity, social class milieux, corporate identity||Popular culture, corporate/sport culture, popular religion||The Hero, Individuus, Dianne Artimus,|
|National consciousness, civil-social mind||National psyche/character, Culture-centric identity, statehood||National system of science, national broadcasting media, political culture||Civilus, Athena Polias,|
|Global Consciousness, global mind||Anthropocentric identity, Multicultural spirit, Cosmopolitanism||Integral Methodological Pluralism, Integrated knowledge quests||Rex/Regina union, Arjuna, Universal unity|
|Kosmic consciousness, Over-Mind/Super Mind||Kosmic Christ, communion of saints, Perusha, Fellowship of the Holy Spirit||Omniscient godhead, Kosmic gnosis||The Self, The Transcendent Hero|
of consciousness structures (UL) for three developmental streams
|Basic Consciousness Structure (UL)||Pathologies in three developmental streams from the collective consciousness quadrant|
|Collective identity pathologies||Pathologies in collective epistemology||Pathologies of Collective Archetypes|
|Familial/kinship consciousness/ mind||Racial supremacy, group mind Ethno-centrism, _ _||Fundamentalist interpretation of myth, unquestioning submission to mythos||The Destroyer Mother|
|Peer/class consciousness, peer group mind||Group think, mob psychology, bystander apathy, corporate greed, _ _||Peer mind fixation, eg tribal knowledge used to deal with national problems, _||The Evil Child, The Judging Father God, _|
|National consciousness, civic-mind||Nationalism, Jingoism, nation wide fundamentalism,||National war mentality, war as international solution to conflict||The Bad King/Queen|
|Global consciousness/ mind excessive global development||Human supremacy, non-integrated globalisation, ¤,||Globalisation at any cost, world-centric views need not include tribal or community views, _||The Syzygy (the Divine Couple), _|
|Kosmic Consciousness, Over-Mind/Super Mind||Spiritual community as elite, pure, infallible and separated from "evil", _||Mystical reductionism - The solution to all social issues lies in interior development, ¤||Kali, The Final judgement|
of behavioural structures (UR) for three developmental streams
|Basic Behavioural Structure (UR)||Healthy forms of three developmental streams from the collective behavioural quadrant|
|Economic Production||Collective Entertainment||Collective Media|
|Familial/kinship behaviour||Personal/family economy, family income/industry||Simple play as physical expression of happiness||Oral traditions, fairy stories Ritual meetings, gatherings|
|Peer group/class behaviour||Corporate production, business economics||Peer rituals and "pushing the boundaries", drug experimentation||Peer communication, gossip, jargon, "the scene"|
|Community behaviour||Community building, local economy,||Community rituals, seasonal & historical commemoration||Local print and electronic media, local political discussions & movements|
|National behaviour||Social economy, social welfare, national economy||National sports, national film culture, multicultural events||National print and electronic media, national political debate and policy|
|Global behaviour||The triple (quadruple) bottom line, world economy||Olympic games, global film industry, international arts festivals||Internet, International electronic media, UN debates and communiqués|
|Kosmic behaviour||The products of all life, Kosmic economy||Shiva's Dance, the Play of Lila, "all the world is a stage"||Kosmic mediation of life through all forms|
of behavioural structures (UR) for three developmental streams
|Basic Behavioural Structure (UR)||Pathologies in three developmental streams from the collective behavioural quadrant|
|Economic Pathologies||Entertainment pathologies||Media pathologies|
|Familial/kinship behaviour||Family poverty, inadequate means of income/production, _||Fixation with play as simple sensori-physical fun _||Stories as media for controlling or producing fear|
|Peer group/class behaviour||Corporate loss or collapse, production, business economics, _ _ ¤||Peer entertainment as substitute for friendship, __||Peer communications as means for exclusion and intimidation|
|Community behaviour||Community poverty and social economic disadvantage, _||Community entertainment as means for ignoring crucial local issues||Community communication as means for controlling local politics, _ ¤|
|National behaviour||Social economic recession or depression, unsustainable economic production||National entertainment as means for dissociating from national problems, _ ¤||Domination of national media by individuals and corporate groups, _ _ ¤|
|Global behaviour||Global distortions of national and local economies, destruction of global environment, _ _ ¤||International entertainment as elite events, manipulated for making money, _ _ ¤||International media as means for hiding/distorting truth|
|Kosmic behaviour||Impoverishment of the Kosmos at any level, any reduction in the gifts/products of the Kosmos,_¤||The Kosmic Play as reason for not addressing issues of poverty, non-development|
worldview structures (LL) for three developmental streams
|Basic Worldview Structures (LL)||Healthy forms of three streams from the collective meaning-making quadrant|
|Collective Mythology||Collective Communication of Meaning||Collective Values|
|Familial/kinship worldview||Totemism, animism clan mytholgoies, ancetser worship, hierarchy of panteism families of gods||Familial narratives, stories||Trust, honesty, dignity|
|Organisational/Peer group worldview||Peer myths, secret "men's/women's business", corporate myths,||Organisational policy statements, mission statements, strategic plans||Friendship, loyalty, honour|
|Community worldview||Local mythologies, shared community assumptions||Community plans, local policies, council bylaws, community demonstrations Intergenerational||Commitment, Social welfare|
|National worldview||National Motherland-Fatherland mythologies, national epics and sagas, Democratic mythology,||National constitutions, policies, laws||Justice, respect for valid laws, critical patriotism, citizenship, democracy|
|Global worldview||Postmodern mythologies, Internet mythology,||UN Declarations, Global agreements, International law||World democracy and integral development, participatory democracy|
|Kosmic worldview||"The Word", Dharma law, Kosmic revelation||Kosmic egalitarianism, inter-species welfare|
of worldview structures (LL) for three developmental streams
|Basic Worldview Structures (LL)||Pathologies in three developmental streams from the worldview quadrant|
|Pathology in Mythology||Communicative pathology||Pathologies in social values|
|Familial/kinship worldview||The wicked witch, Edeipus/Electra, fairy stories, Typhon, _||The shadow of familial narratives, untold stories _||Dignity as capacity to withstand/commit violence|
|Peer group/class worldview||The Hero is falls, tragic forms of narrative, the fallen King, gang loyalty, fascist nationalism _||Inability for organisations to identity or express policy, mission, aims or plans _ _||Group/corporate duty or honour overrides moral sensitivity _|
|Community worldview||Suppression of individualism for the collective good _||Urban silence, the breakdown of communal communication and dialogue _ ¤||Social welfare creates poverty traps _|
|National worldview||Conservative or benign Nationalism, _||National constitutions that endorse violations of human rights, inhuman laws||Culture of (Western) progress as the only/best direction of global development_ ¤|
|Global worldview||Dystopias, global levels of social control, ¤||Refusal to ratify UN Declarations, WTO distortions||Indiscriminate Globalisation, ¤|
|Kosmic worldview||The Kosmic law as social law, ¤||"The Word" as final arbiter, Dharma law as non-rational _||Kosmic revelation as unrelated to the bahavioural, ¤|
of social structures (LR) for three developmental streams
|Basic Social Institutions (LR)||Healthy forms of three streams from the collective social structures quadrant|
|Political institutions||Institutions of Education & Knowledge||Institutions of Social Relations|
|Familial/kinship institutions||Formal and informal political sub-branches or groups||The family/kinship network||The family/kinship network|
|Peer group/class institutions||Formal political party||Institutions for Compulsory education (K-12)||Public gathering venues – campfires, pubs, clubs|
|Community institutions||Council, local government, local representatives||Universities, colleges, adult eduction centres||Community churches, community/learning centres|
|National institutions||State/federal Parliaments, Cabinet, Federal offices of political parties||National Library, national centres for science, national university||National public service, diplomatic services,|
|Global institutions||United Nations||International universities, Internet communities for learning, the "Deep Net"||Non-government organisations – Amnesty, Greenpeace. International centres for trade, social welfare, development|
of worldview structures (LR) for three developmental streams
|Basic Social Roles (LR)||Pathologies in developmental streams in social/communal structures quadrant|
|Pathologies in Political Institutions||Pathologies in Educational Institutions||Pathologies on Institutions of Social Relations|
|Familial/kinship institutions||Branch stacking, local political violence and manipulation_ _ _ ¤||Family breakdown||Dysfunctional family/kinship network _|
|Peer group/class institutions||"party politics", over-conformity to party rules _||Under-funded schools _||Vandalism, gang warfare _|
|Community institutions||Lack of community involvement, low social capital, _ ¤||Corrupt local government, nepotism, cronyism, _ _||Private universities not based on scientific principles, _|
|National institutions||Coup d'état, non-compulsory voting, ineffective parliament||Lack of public education or national library system, etc, _||Politicised public service, violent security services|
|Global institutions||Weak United Nations, UN without legislative power or moral authority, _ ¤||An Internet that restrains individual rights or that ignores social responsibilities, _ _ ¤||Lack of functional and resourced global institutions, _ ¤|
The above tables outline the various deep structures of holarchies or developmental streams that can be identified by a more thorough integration of holon theory and the AQAL principles. These categories are not intended as neat pigeon holes for boxing the immensely rich and fluid nature of personal and social human holons. These labels do however, give a good indication of the true breadth of topic that an applied holonic theory can cover. For purposes of clarification and summary the above tables for collective holons can be represented in diagrammatic form as shown in Figure 6:
I have included in Tables 5 and 6 only a very cursory indication of the part that developmental dynamics can part in the analysis of holonic health or pathology. As I have mentioned the fundamental dynamics of Integral holonics are Involution-Evolution, transformation-integration, Integral Cycle dynamics and translational dynamics. In their healthy state these dynamics are characterised by a balance or equilibrium in their drive strength. Accordingly, their pathological forms are characterised by severe levels of imbalance and disequilibrium. The following section will present an introductory discussion of the holonic dynamics as applied to the issue of global development.
Pathologies in holonic dynamics: Example from the field of global development
To this point I have shown how the flexibility of a truly integrated Integral holonics can be applied to the healthy and pathological forms of holonic structures. The application of Integral holonics can follow a more interpretive and hermeneutic methodology. This is particularly so when the Integral theory is applied to issues of the developmental dynamics of a holon. I will illustrate this in the following descriptive approach to pathologies in holonic dynamics at a global level of focus. I want to illustrate how an understanding of some basic pathologies in holonic dynamics can open up a novel perspective on some major social pathologies currently afflicting global developmental.
I have already shown in Figure 3 above that the evolution-involution dynamic and the Integral cycle dynamic are two of the major energising processes through which development is motivated. One central aspect to developmental health is that these dynamics need to be operating in a creative and sustainable balance of ascent and descent and of mutuality between quadrants. Figure 3 is intended to show this balancing aspect in the holonic dynamics of development. So in this ideal condition emergent, evolutionary growth is balanced by integrative, involutionary inclusion and that this evolution-involution dialectic is complemented by a dynamic that flows through consciousness, behaviour, cultural identity and social action. Applying this Integral understanding of health to the issue of global change I propose that the current crises in global development finds its aetiology in three very fundamental imbalances in the dynamics of most forms of personal and social holons. These are that:
- Evolutionary dynamics are pathologically dominating developmental concepts and activities in that we see a fundamental bias (at all social holonic levels) towards a progressive, growth obsessed and evolutionary worldview which dominates everything from our conceptions of time, to our approach to health systems, to the measurement of economic progress;
- Integral cycle dynamics are displaying a pathological distortion towards the valuing of the agentic qualities of individual (i.e. personal and corporate) freedoms, rights, and responsibilities over and above communal qualities of public freedoms, rights and responsibilities;
- Integral Cycle dynamics are displaying a pathological emphasis on a material, external worldview of life and knowledge and a widespread neglect or even denial of the interior dimensions of life and knowledge.
Integral theory would predict that any evolving system that suffered from these three pathological states would be heading for major developmental collapse unless steps were taken to re-establish creative balance through supporting the complementary developmental dynamic. Table 6 summarises the relationship between these developmental dynamic and the corresponding form of social and/or personal pathology.
These pathologies of modern and postmodern life (for these qualities also characterise those social forms that we often label as postmodern) have, of course, been pointed out many times previously. However, they have not, to my knowledge, been systematically discussed in a theoretical context that can systematically link these factors with other agents of change and hence provide ways for moving the public debate of these matters onto new ground. Ken Wilber himself has written copiously on the third of these social pathologies, i.e. the contemporary focus on external realities and the neglect of interior ones. However, Wilber has not drawn attention to the first two of these widespread social imbalances – evolutionism and individualism - which, to my mind, are even more crucial to understanding the current problems in national and international development. These issues are so basic that only through addressing them in a consistent way can a more sustainable form of global growth be achieved. These three areas and the impact they have on public policy and corporate planning need to be debated at a very wide level and the following pages will present a few topics on which this debate might focus. However, before that I want to spend a few moments considering how these imbalances relate to the issues of cultural values and particularly Western values.
|Integral theory principle||Corresponding pathology in current global/personal development|
The Evolution-Involution Principle
Evolution is a ubiquitous movement across all spheres of reality, not only biological, but also personal, communal, cultural, social, and political. It's purpose is to transcend current structures and forms of knowledge through the generation of emergent ones. It is balanced and complemented by Involution - the ubiquitous movement to integrate, include and sustain current and formative structures and forms of knowledge in a way that is cognizant of supportive environmental systems.
The evolutionary drive overrides the need for involutionary sustainability and formative integration. Hence the reckless quest for growth dominates public and private policy rather than the more inclusive aim of sustainable development. This is evidenced in unrealistic national targets for GDP growth at the cost of natural and social systems, in the corporative frenzy to grow, takeover, and merge business organisations, and in the popular movement for unrealistic personal achievement and wealth attainment.
The Individual-Communal Principle
The individual-communal dimension of life is another of the key settings in which evolution-involution operates. Individual and communal identity, agency and relationship complement and co-create each other in all aspects of healthy growth. Both the particular and the general forms of being are recognised and honoured. Once again the individual-communal poles define an ontological continuity and not a dualistic interaction.
The rights of the (powerful) individual and the perspective of individuality usurp communal rights and perspectives. Systems are analysed and policies developed in terms of the patterns of beliefs and behaviours of individual parts and not of dynamic systems. This pathology gives rise to the deregulation of national and international corporate behaviour and responsibility, the legal immunity of powerful individuals, social and employment policies that focus on individual agents rather than communities, social factors or systems of wealth creation.
The Interiority-Exteriority Principle
The interior-exterior dimension of life is one of the key settings within which the principle of evolution-involution operates. The inner and the outer, consciousness and physical behaviour complement and co-create each other in all aspects of healthy growth. Both subjective identities and material and behavioural realities are recognised and honoured. The subject-object poles define an ontological continuity and not a dualistic interaction.
Exteriority usurps the world of the interior. The inner life of individual identity, consciousness and experiential subjectivity, and of communal identity, knowledge and experience is neglected or denied. Ken Wilber calls this desubjectified reductive world "Flatland". This pathology appears as forms of social development that ignore cultural communities/subjects, as health systems that ignore subject well-being, as instrumental cultures that ignore spiritual realities, and as the quest for economic wealth that ignores cultural and interior resources.
I am proposing that pathological forms of evolutionism, individualism and objectivism/materialism are causative factors in the social and environmental ills that now plague us. And that these can be analysed in terms of pathological forms of some of the major dynamics that constitute Integral theory.
Evolution-Involution pathology: Evolutionism and excessive drive to transcend
Integral theory proposes that the evolution-involution dynamics is a ubiquitous movement that, i) generates new structures that possess creative and emergent qualities (the evolutionary movement), and, ii) integrates and includes all preceding structures into the current structure in a dynamic yet sustainable way (the involutionary movement). Involutionary dynamics perform the job of developmental integration, stability, sustainability, and relational involvement that balance the ever onward and upward march of emergent processes. The discipline of future studies has been not systematically included the involutionary side of the development equation into its interpretations of current global issues. While the topic of sustainable development, a decidedly involutionary approach, has received some attention from futurists, in general involutionary development has been far less attention from future studies scholars than its more glamorous and exciting cousin. To my mind it is the involutionary phase of development that we now need to urgently investigate in our imaginations of viable and sustainable futures. It is within these involutionary dynamics of growth that we will find visionary and inclusive solutions to the dilemma of furthering our personal and collective evolution while at the same time addressing the environmental and social ills that confront us.
There are many areas of contemporary social life that display blatant forms of pathological evolutionism. These include:
- clinical health systems that focus almost exclusively on overcoming illness and aging through curative medicine, clinical wizardry, and cosmetic surgery
- the hyper-technology industries of nano-technology, AI, nuclear fusion, and GM agriculture
- the allocation of immense resources on research and development in areas as diverse as pharmaceuticals research, space development, and reproductive and genetic sciences when much existing knowledge is ignored
- economic systems where health is defined as continuous and unrestrained growth at all costs and where the focus of economic indices is on short-term fiscal expansion.
- technological developments that outstrips a society's moral/ethical capacity to deal with new technical possibilities
- futurist worldviews that are dominated by transhuman and ultra-technological speculations rather than by innovative, viable, sustainable and inclusive visions of human social possibilities.
Integral Cycle pathology 1: Individualism and the drive to take control (power)
The Integral cycle (for a preliminary discussion of the Integral Cycle see the essay by the same name on Frank Visser's website) is often best seen as the process by which holons learn and acquire knowledge and experience through the dynamic flow that unifies their quadratic identity. Holons learn through the four strands of injunction (UR), apprehension (UL), interpretation (LL) and validation (LR). This process engages the behavioural domain (injunction), the experiential domain (apprehension), the cultural domain (interpretation and meaning), and the social domain (communicative validation) in a unitive process. So there is dynamic flow that mutually interpenetrates all of a holon's life domains. This process is a re-iterative one in that it occurs over and over again through time in a very dynamic manner. This is what Wilber calls tetra-meshing or tetra-interaction (although this is not an interactive process but a mutually interpenetrating one). When the cycle only engages with agentic quadrants, or only with communal quadrants, or only with the interior quadrants, or only with the exterior quadrants then the resulting knowledge and subsequent decision-making outcomes will reflect this pathological form of the knowledge. A healthy holon will have a balance in agentic rights and responsibilities as well as its communal rights and responsibilities for any adequate level of developmental health to be achieved. From my assessment of the political and social landscape of major nations and key global organisations, the agentic pole of this developmental dimension is currently in a very ascendant position which, in many quarters, has reached a state of extreme dominance. And these days of extreme deregulation the major agents of national and international policies are more usually associated with private corporations and agentic organisations such as accrediting agencies (e.g. Moody's), financial markets and stock exchanges rather than collective regulating institutions such as national governments, or international/global regulatory agencies.
The areas where a pathological form of individualism has quite strongly taken hold in the contemporary world include:
- Threats to democratic power: The decreasing level of state/collective power compared to that of individual corporations, privately sponsored terrorism, media moguls/corporations, and deregulated free markets.
- Public policy: The direction of public policy on issues such as deregulation, privatisation, user-pays principles of welfare provision, crime prevention, substance abuse, and the public-private debate in education and health all evidence varying degrees of individualism.
- Corporate governance: Corporate leaders, accounting firms, CEO's, and company directors are not held accountable under the law for their corporate actions.
- International relations: In the last decade there has been a move by many conservative governments to seek bilateral, i.e. individual-to–individual, agreements on trade and other areas, rather than multilateral/collective international agreements.
- Regional security: The continued attempt by many nations to acquire regional military superiority (individual power) as a method of national defence, instead of joint defence through international agreements and interdependence in security matters (collective power).
- Rogue states and USA military supremacy: Some individual rogue states choose to operate outside of global institutions that regulate the international law and diplomatic convention. In response the USA has recently opted to act outside of UN processes to pursue its own agendas (however laudable or otherwise) these may be. These individual actions profoundly destabilise global governance processes that operate at a collective level.
In each of these areas the direction of influence and power is increasing at the individual end of the individual-communal dimension of development. By this I do not mean that the average citizen or individual person is being currently vested with more power. I mean that in all areas of social activity from economic development to public policy, to political decision-making, to media influence and ownership are all heavily biased towards perspectives that see the "individual" as the source of both all good and all harm, and therefore that real social change and growth will only come about by initiating and supporting the useful actions of the individual or by inhibiting or defeating their harmful actions. It also means that individual social holons (such as nations) are currently more likely to act out of their own agentic aims and motivations without a prevailing collective balance (such as UN resolutions). Figure 8 shows this bias in graphic terms.
Integral Cycle pathology 2: Flatland Exteriorism and the drive to possess (consume)
One of the foundational elements of Integral theory is the proposition that all reality is constituted by both exterior and interior structures. Development requires that these structures evolve (display emergent qualities) and involve (display integrative qualities) through many qualitatively different phases. For several hundred of years Western culture has generally turned away from perspectives that give credence to internal realties and emphasised external measurement, objective evidence, material enterprise, and physical models of reality. Ken Wilber has been one of the most vocal critics of contemporary western culture's predilection for discounting the vital importance of interiority and the reality of the subject in both its personal and social guises. Wilber has given the very apt term "Flatland" to this subjectless world of contemporary western life. In contrast to this, Integral theory has argued very strongly and persuasively for the equal inclusion of the interior world and the notion of an evolving subject into our conceptions of reality.
The subjectless world of Flatland gives rise to a pathological form of developmentalism that values physical and material attainment at the cost of an internal growth in moral responsibility or world-centric perspective. I don't think there is any need to point out examples here of how this materialism/exteriorism occupies a place of dominance in contemporary global culture. What I would like to point out here is that materialism and excessive accumulation of physical property are pathological forms of an otherwise essentially human quality. While materialism has been widely recognised as a damaging feature of modern societies, in both its personal and social forms, it has not been widely acknowledged that it derives from an underlying drive that is definitive of human development. As such it needs to be returned to a state of balance through the application of its complementary developmental cousin – the recognition and open encouragement of personal and cultural interiors. Integral theory defines culture as the interior of the community/society. It is the subjective glue that holds a society together. Culture comes out of shared visions and common worldviews. It does not come from the imitation of lifestyles or equality in standards of living. The counterweight to materialism is not some abstract spiritualism but cultural identity and respect for the culture of others. Integral theory would suggest that the first step to rebalancing the materialistic nightmare of Flatland is to be found in the rediscovery of culture and in the meaning that flows from cultural visions of life.
Combinations of the pathologies
The three pathologies of evolutionism, individualism and exteriorism probably never exist in a pure form but combine together to result in the particularly damaging social forces that we see are threatening continued global viability. For example, evolutionism combines with exteriorism to result in the mad rush to acquire, to invent, to build, to possess far beyond any possibility for actual enjoyment or reasonable use. I believe that ultra-technologies have already reached a point of transcendental objectivism that is no longer interested in the health of the subject but only in the emergence of new objects of power for their own sake. There are several areas of science now that deliberately seek public funding through offering a future that is based on complete control of, and dissociation from, natural systems. This, to my mind, this level of infatuation with evolutionist-exteriorist values is a severe form of social pathology. It's is also a form of thinking about the future that has captured the imaginations of many writers in the area of future studies. Based on my reading of Integral theory however, this ultra-tech path leads not to a thrilling future of possibility but to disconnected world where many of the world's current social ills will be greatly amplified.
The unhappy alliance between evolutionism and exteriorism can also be seen in various religious forms, for example in the dominant movement within evangelical Christianity known as the "Prosperity Gospel". When spiritual growth and the social vision that accompanies it is stifled through lack of public recognition of higher values or through fundamentalist distortions the evolutionary instinct is translated into the desire for material attainment and the social pathologies that go with it - status seeking, egoic gratification, economic power. The natural balance of development is stunted into the substitute pathological hierarchy of material attainment. Instead of the social vision supporting the unfolding of the individual potential for spiritual growth and collective religious well-being the social vision becomes one simply of becoming rich and/or glamorous. The collective evolutionary drive towards developmental health is short-circuited into a drive towards simple material production, consumption, and display. The wider cultural task of promoting and supporting individual and collective developmental health is subverted into the economic vision of supporting and promoting material wealth. When evolutionism-materialism runs amuck the social drive to build more humane, inclusive and liberating civic structures is redirected into the building and acquisition of just more buildings, more land, and more physical structures.
To give but one cultural examples of unhealthy forms of these meta-values, evolutionism plus individualism results in our infatuation with celebrity, fame, and the cult of personality at the popular level and the phenomenon of the tyrant and absolute corruption at the political level. The death of Princess Diana provided a social window on the strength and rather strange dynamics of this phenomenon within the popular world. Intimations and dreams of transcendent saintliness and beauty combined with the individual world of personalised identification to form a very powerful example of how human values can surge up in spontaneous movements that show both their inherent humanity as well as how easily they can be distorted and misplaced. The world of politics has long been witness to this type of infatuation. I need not point out how disastrous this has been for humanity in our past and how it will be again in our future.
There is presently a very misunderstood combination of pathological forms of individualism and exteriorism/materialism that is having a strong impact on post-modern values and worldviews. When a lack of social-cultural meaning combines with a very objectified view of life the result is a particularly nihilistic and pessimistic outlook that is having a very broad impact on many levels of society. This combination is manifested in a wide range of social phenomena – from the public loss of interest in political participation to the dramatic drop-off in community engagement of virtually any sort. One particularly important area that is susceptible to this type of values distortion is that of youth and adolescent development. It shows up when younger generations must often try to assemble their own values and social connections in the absence of family and community values or any social recognition of inner life. Hence the "lack of meaning", youth suicide, vandalism, and social dislocation that is a significant problem in many different cultures across the world.
There is also the possibility that the three developmental imbalances I have identified here can come together to form a particularly unhealthy form of social activity that causes extreme social disruption and violence. When an excessive need for growth combines with extreme materialism, a disregard for interior values, and a rampant form of individualism the result is devastating for societies and whole nations. Figure 4 shows this extreme distortion where all three pathologies combine to produce a very unstable system. I believe that this extreme level of social pathology has existed in several different forms in recent history. A possible contender at the national level is Stalinist Russia which had an extreme dose of the cult of personality, industrialised madness, and an intense disregard for inherent human and cultural values. The result was social and environmental devastation on an unprecedented scale. But then the Soviet Union was, theoretically at least, governed on collectivist political principles. A more pertinent example for our current purposes is probably to be found in the actions of some multinational corporations. Trans-national governing bodies have yet to develop an adequate system of regulatory principles and enforceable legal process that can harness the enterprise and energy of corporate activity for the common good. Too much corporate activity is still dominated by the unaccountable individual behaviour that embodies the types of excesses and developmental imbalances that I have pointed out throughout this essay. The result is the abuse of natural environments, the wasting of immense resources for questionable technological gain, and the undervaluing of cultural values and interior forms of development. But I believe these difficulties, vast as they may be, can be managed. And Integral theory does provide a very useful analytical tool for setting directions on how that management should proceed.
I have given here a very generalised overview of how Integral theory can be used to analyse holonic health and pathology for both the personal and social contexts. I have done this through the application of what I can integral holonics. Integral holonics can follow any number of methodologies and I have out lined two such methods here. The first has been the method of Integral indexing that uses the full complement of Integral holonics principles. This indexing approach relies more on the structural elements of Integral holonics. The second has been the analysis of developmental change through the interpretive application of integral developmental dynamics. This methods relies more on the analysis of change and the dynamic aspects of the model. I have applied these methods to the analysis of both personal and social holons. I have not dealt at all with the historical or situational factors that also play a crucial role in understanding personal and social health or illness. It is my understanding that the complexity of personal and social life requires the full use of the principles of Integral holonics as well as the inclusion of the contextual factors of developmental history and situational contingencies to be adequately understood. Any interpretive process that attempts to analyse personal and social events without at least these essentials is likely to produce reductive and invalid explanations.
Edwards, M. (2000) "The Integral Cycle of Knowledge: Some thoughts on integrating Ken Wilber's Developmental and Epistemological Models". Available on-line at: http://www.integralworld.net/
Edwards, M. (2002) "The way up is the way down: Integral socio-cultural studies and cultural evolution". ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, 24, 21-31.
Harris, R. (2002) "The Blood Brotherhoods: A developmental look at terrorism from the perspective of mythos". Available on-line at: http://www.integralworld.net/
Vila, I. (1996) "Intentionality, communication and language", In A. Tryphon & J. Voneche (Eds.), Piaget-Vygotsky: The social genesis of thought (pp189-200). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
Wilber, K (2002a) "Excerpts from the Kosmos Trilogy - Excerpt A". Available Online at: http://wilber.shambhala.com/
Wilber, K (2002b) "Excerpts from the Kosmos Trilogy – Excerpt B - The Many Ways We Touch, Three Principles Helpful for Any Integrative Approach - Part II". Available Online at: http://wilber.shambhala.com/
© Mark Edwards