INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
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is 34 and lives in Odessa, Ukraine. He's got two high degrees in mathematics and psychology from Odessa State University where he has learned and worked. He's currently employed in high technologies and communications. For over the last 20 years he has studied and practiced mysticism. For a certain period of time he has traveled in India, Nepal, Tibet where he studied Buddhism and Advaita-Vedanta. He is founder and co-editor of the portal www.integralportal.ru
AQAL 2.0 or the
Deconstruction of the
Last Myth of the Given
About methodological amendment that makes AQAL
a post-metaphysical model, gives a ticket
into science and reconciles Wilber with Visser,
Edwards, Laslo, Capra and even New Age
Laozi would burst out laughing.
Mahakashyapa would give a smile.
Buddha would keep silent.
Bodhidharma would say:
"Nothing sacred, vast emptiness..."
The metaphysical postulate of the present AQAL model says: "An individual holon... has an I, we, it, and its dimension-perspective" (IS, footnote 34). In other words, "Only individual holons POSSESS 4 quadrants; the others can be looked at FROM 4 quadrants..." (IS, footnote 146). This article is aimed to demonstrate the pure metaphysical nature of this postulate. And if we take it away we will get the incredible breakthrough in post-metaphysical version of AQAL model and a whole lot of of new facts.
The irony is that we can find the phrase "the individual holons have or possess four quadrants" (IS, 253) even in Appendix II to Integral Spirituality which is a manifest of post-metaphysics! And what will be the Kosmic address of this holon? In fact, Kosmic address = altitude + perspective. In what space the referent of this "holon" is disposed? Which one of the 8 methodologies can empirically indicate that the holon POSSESSES all 4 quadrants? None! Such a "holon" doesn't have any address in post-metaphysical Kosmos. This is becoming a metaphysical postulate.
The point is that we can learn empirically only 4 different types of objects in 4 various quadrants. But then we don't have any reasonable grounds to glue together four parts of this Frankenstein in a whole unknowable object and define it as a whole holon. The same as we can't legally accept the Unity of the Creation only on the grounds of rational conclusions. Mental compilation can't be the legitimate ground and method for postulating the existence of a single transcendent object based only on the knowledge of its 4 potential projections. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. In order to assert that a holon that POSSESSES all 4 perspectives exists, we need to provide an empirical proof of the fact that 4 projections in various quadrants belong to the given holon. But it's impossible since the presentation of this holon out of the quadrants demands a way of cognition different from those available for us. It may be said that any phenomenon can be looked at/analyzed from the 8 types of methodologies (or 4 domains of experience), but it is unacceptable for post-metaphysics to infer something about the nature of the reality without empirical cognition.
And here, "exist" means "ex-ist": to stand out, to be known, to be disclosed, to be tetra-enacted - anything except being part of a pregiven worldlying around out there waiting to be perceived. Part of an object's Kosmic address is the fact that objects come into being, or are enacted, only at various developmental levels of complexity and consciousness. Whether they exist in some other way CANNOT BE KNOWN in any event, and assuming that they do exist entirely independently of a knowing mind is nothing but the myth of the given and the representational paradigm - that is, is just another type of metaphysical thinking and thus not adequately grounded. At any event, post-metaphysical thinking does not rely on the existence of a pregiven world and the myth of that giveness." (IS, 251-2)
"What's the perspective part? It is simply the quadrant in which the referent ex-ists. Metaphysical thinking assumes a perspective-free universe, and then make assertions about things that exist as if they were free of perspectives and free of contexts in general, which is not only the myth of the given, but a desperately egocentric version of the myth of the given. All real objects are first and foremost perspectives. NOT "are seen from perspectives", but 'ARE PERSPECTIVES".
"Because, we can now see, metaphysics from an AQAL perspective means anything that does not (or cannot) generally specify the quadrant, level, line, state, and type of an occasion. If a writer does not consciously specify those components - that is, if some version of a Kosmic address is not specified - it is virtually always because that writer is unconsciously assuming that those components are pregiven and thus don't need to be specified... All of those approaches that do not specify the Kosmic address of the referents of the signifiers of their assertions are caught in meaningless assertions and abstractions." (IS, 257-258)
There is another argument that is not so difficult for understanding. If I as a holon had all 4 quadrants I would be able to get each of them known directly like I can perceive my body and mind. So the same level people's LR-quadrants would be equal (otherwise we would all live in our own non-intersecting social realities). However, I can experience LR-quadrant only indirectly through my mind by interpreting my perceptions. EACH individual has its own tunnel of reality (T. Leary's term). And these individual tunnels differ not only from altitude to altitude but within the particular altitude as well, for example, turquoise one. Therefore LR-quadrant can't be experienced directly, but it's modeled by mind on interpretations (it is a known fact). Therefore, it doesn't exist for an individual empirically, according to the quotation above. (IS, 258).
The above page would be already enough for the profound methodological criticism (below I'll show that AQAL contains more myths of the given that could be eliminated easily). This article will focus on the complete view of AQAL saved from the last myth of the given - the myth about existence of a self-contained human (and holon) that possesses all 4 quadrants. Actually, it's not easy to perceive post-metaphysical world without its habitual own existence. But real Buddhists know that life is a kind of flow of dharmas without substance, so this view is not new. The Buddist's Abhidharma says that dharmas in total combine into the flow of permanently transforming elementary psychophysical states that empirically could be experienced as a "sentient being".
AQAL 2.0 is not just a theoretic patch. This model actually reveals integral potential, involves even more partial truths and provides explanations to the new contradictions that have not been considered before. It explains some weak moments of the present model, that were bypassed before. This model reveals radically new approach to the human being and his existence. In contrast to mostly mechanical compilation of existent knowledge in 4 quadrants, AQAL 2.0 presents quite new system properties that provide a new knowledge grounded on the accepted truth. Below I'll demonstrate that AQAL 2.0 includes all truths of AQAL and transcends it in elucidative capability, including truths of the major spiritual traditions and even new age insights.
At any moment if you want you can switch to the chapter "The Most Important Chapter" that briefly contains theses of the whole article.
- Holons and Quadrants
- A Whole and a Part
- Two Hands of God
- Solution to the Mind-Body Problem
- Illustration to the Mind-Body Problem
- Lines of Development
- Artifacts and Heaps
- 8 Basic Methodologies
- Other Myths of the Given and Challenge of the Integral Psychology
- The Most Important Chapter or Mistake of Phase-5
- The Way Integrity Works
- 1-2-3 of God or Solving the Discrepancy between Edwards and Wilber
- Ways of Enlightenment
- 6 Drives of All Holons
The present AQAL's understanding of holons is contradictory and collective. It is based on the number of disparate assumptions that sometimes don't add up. Let's go over these points
"holon - "whole/part", or a whole that is a part of other wholes" (IS, 34)
"each of the items labeled in the various quadrants can also be referred to as a holon" (IS, 34)
"8 primordial perspectives - the inside and the outside view of a holon in any of the 4 quadrants" (IS, 34)
"Only individual holons have or possess 4 quadrants" (IS, 253)
"Individual and social holons possess interior and exterior dimensions" (Interview to Shambhala)
The statement that "there are individual holons, social holons, artifacts and heaps" does not conform to that all the phenomena in various quadrants are holons. We can see a contradiction within the very Integral Spirituality (IS, 34):
"In the UR quadrant, a molecule is a holon that contains whole atoms and is contained by whole cells; in the UL, a concept is a holon that contains whole symbols and is contained by whole rules, and so on"
And so, is the "concept" an individual or a social holon? If we consider a molecule as an individual holon why it is referred to UR quadrant here? It must possess all 4 quadrants!
Then in the following quotation Wilber on the one hand admits the existence of cultural holons and on the other hand he refuses examining them and denies the fact that they possess upper quadrants (IS, footnote 148):
"Let's also note that in AQAL, the word social has a broad and a narrow meaning. The broad meaning is any collective system, communal holon, group, or society (or the lower two quadrants taken together). When we say "social holon" with no further ado, that broader meaning is intended. But "social holon" can also mean the exterior of any collective, as contrasted with its interior, and then "social" means only the Lower-Right Upper quadrant, and" cultural" is then used for the Lower-Left quadrant. So whenever I say "social holon" in general, I mean "socio-cultural holon", and cultural holon and social holon then refer specifically to the LL and LR, respectively."
From this extract it follows that cultural and social holons are also referred to the specific quadrants and do not possess all of them. The terminological (or even conceptual) welter is obvious here: some of the holons belong to the certain quadrants, some of them (for example social in broad meaning) belong to the couple of the quadrants and at the same time it is asserted that individual and social holons possess all 4 quadrants. The contradiction is obvious.
The situation is similar with holarchies
"Since each holon is embraced in a larger holon, holons themselves exist in nested hierarchies - or holarchies" (IS, 7)
"But the more I looked at these various holarchies, the more it dawned on me that there were actually four very different types of holarchies, four very different types of holistic sequences" (BHE, 107)
But in a couple of paragraphs, holarchies transform from the sequences of holons into the sequences of their projections:
"These four types of holarchies are actually dealing with the inside and the outside of a holon, in both its individual and collective forms - and that gives us four quadrants" (BHE, 107).
Holons and Quadrants
In fact, having 4 quadrants bears no relation to the definition of the holon. It's just additional theoretical burden, without which AQAL model does not fall to pieces but even blossoms out.
As it was already mentioned, since any phenomenon (for example, holon) can be empirically determined only by using a specific method and in the certain quadrant, it would be methodologically right to consider holons only within the quadrants. Indeed, not anything can be identified as an individual holon. For example, the "body-mind" formation cannot be recognized as a holon by definition (as a whole/part), because it's impossible to ascertain the "body-mind" wholeness. There are no methods that can study the "body-mind" subject as a whole. We can study either mind or body or relations between them, but not body and mind together. That's why we can discuss either the body holon or the mind holon (consciousness holon). And that would be epistemologically correct. On the Fig. 1.1 you can see a very generalized implicit localization of the holons in present AQAL. The Fig.1.2 shows how the holons are located in our further consideration.
In this approach, each type of the holons inhabits the certain quadrant and the whole/part relation links them in twos. Every holon reveals two correlates in neighboring quadrants. Therefore, previously discussed individual holon is placed in UL-quadrant, social holon - in LR-quadrant and cultural holon - in LL quadrant. Let's call UR holon an organism holon for our convenience. Then we'll have four basic holon types: individual, organism, cultural, and social. And we just don't have the right neither to confuse, nor to unite them. It is methodologically incorrect! The whole isn't a sum of its parts.
Holons can construct their holarchies only within their quadrants. And these holarchies don't overlap. As a matter of fact, it has been demonstrated many times. For example, diagram 2 demonstrates accustomed holarchies in various quadrants. Here it can be seen also, that holistic holarchy constructed simply by putting together the upper, lower and lateral quadrants just cannot exist. Such operation is inadmissible.
"Individual and social holons possess interior and exterior dimensions" (Interview to Shambhala)
The term "dimension" in the presence of certain right and left quadrants was methodologically questionable from the very beginning. And after determination of the exact holons' position in the AQAL quadrants space the metaphor of interior and exterior "dimensions" of the holons doesn't make any sense at all.
In order to interact holons need two types of links - horizontal and vertical. In holarchies, within the limits of their quadrants holons are linked by "transcendence and inclusion" pattern. This possibility is supported by vertical links, i.e. intraholarchy interaction. For example, a molecule is not just a sum of material components of atoms, but an incredibly complicated autopoetic web of their interactions.
Horizontal links support the possibility of interactions between holons. In present version of AQAL model, holons are linked between each other only vertically, within their holarchies. Having their own 4 quadrants, they are not linked between each other outside the holarchies in any way, but just hanging like clusters in Kosmic emptiness. For example, me and advaita, we don't have any common holarchy, nevertheless the connection becomes apparent. And correlates are those horizontal links that ensure connections between the holons from different quadrants.
Correlates are, first of all, the inter-quadrant relations through which holons that don't belong to the same holarchy connect to each other or whereby they are conditioned. As an example of such relations let's examine the body-mind pair. If my body is injured I feel pain in my consciousness. On the contrary, having interior intension I can turn my head or make a cup of tea. As the number of such links is increasing the interaction quality of holons from different quadrants is growing. The nature of this connection is unknown and cannot be determined within the given AQAL epistemology. It is such inter-quadrant relations and respective holons in other quadrants that we'll call correlates.
A Whole and a Part
Using everyday language, people constitute cultures, social systems include cultures, organisms include consciousness of their owners, and societies include individual organisms and cultures. But all these holons are referred to various quadrants and cannot include each other entirely. The solution is that holons of one quadrant don't include holons of the other quadrants but they constitute links between each other, i.e. they have correlates.
My individual holon's correlate in UR-quadrant will be "my" organism, in the sense that I experience it through senses and ability to control it. As an organism holon, it includes all its atoms, molecules, cells and even microorganisms, as well as interconnections between all these elements. As I can control only behavior of the organism and some of its processes, the organism holon of "my" organism includes not only my individual holon's UR correlate but also other individual holons' UR correlates, like cells or molecules. This means that my individual holon's UR correlate will be just a part in relation to the whole organism in the system of its interconnections. And it's not only me who controls it, there are other holons that do this at other levels.
Likewise, with this new innerquadrant holons consideration my individual holon's LL correlate becomes only a part (a participant) in relation to the whole culture in the system of its interrelations.
Wilber often has to explain the difference between membership and compound element because he considers social/individual relations as the whole/part ones while he himself criticizes the same ecofeminists position for their reductionism.
"Social holons contain individual holons, artifacts, and heaps, but the individual holons are "parts" of a society, not as constituent elements of the whole, but as members of the whole. That is, for individual holons, "part" means ingredient or constituent element; but for social holons, "part" means member, co-partner, fellow, participant." (Interview to Shambhala)
He puts them in the same row and that's why he has to introduce a conception of "membership" which also wich becomes pointless now. Residing in the different quadrants, individual and social holons technically don't form the part/whole relations.
The very necessity of this explanation disappears with our definition of the correlate, as no holon CAN include holons from other quadrant. No cultural or social group includes consciousness of its members. It doesn't include their organisms as well. The holons of each quadrant include only the phenomena correlates corresponding to this quadrant. Only in case when a part and the whole are inside of the same quadrant (any quadrant) we can talk about the whole/part relations.
The Two Hands of God
From the illustration above we can see that social holons don't have correlates with individual holons. Indeed, these quadrants don't have adjacent sides, and it means that individual holons can't directly perceive social holons (social reality). In particular, people don't have proper means of perception to do it. The correlates between UL and UR are formed by the five sense organs (at every level - gross, subtle and causal). The correlates between UL and LL result from the group resonance, or simply speaking, it's just a feeling of mutual understanding (also at every level - gross, subtle and causal). I experience directly whether I understand others or not. The mechanism of formation of all these correlates by the very individual holon can't be ascertained, but we all can observe our ability to sense (corresponds with 5 indrias), ability to understand (the 6th indria, manas) and the ability to use discriminative consciousness (vijnana and chitta).
So, we can cognize social holons only indirectly, by mind. In the broad sense it's our planet, biosphere, nature, and virtually all Creation. We can experience directly an organism and group coherence, but the Creation (LR quadrant) will always pose a mystery for us in a sense (Creation is unknowable directly), and we can only construct some mental models about its real organization. And that's another AQAL pitfall because if I could experience directly all the quadrants (all the reality), the mysticism wouldn't be necessary. The Mystery is immanently included in the Creation.
Meanwhile the geometry of the quadrants is not arbitrary. Whole/part relations link correlates and quadrants strictly in a certain manner. Arrows on the picture above show these directions. The lower round points at the direction towards the social holon through communion, the upper one follows the direction through behavior or agency. The lower arc could be identified as feminine, the upper arc - masculine, as it corresponds with the known accents in the development of men and women. So, it is "The two hands of God" - cognition through organism's sensation and cognition through understanding. Then the consciousness of the individual holon metabolizes the results of cognition into certain models.
It can be noticed that for the eastern traditions this approach isn't new. For example, in philosophy of Dharma there are bases of consciousness - ayatanas, the elements on the bases of which the consciousness can appear or the "gates" through which it enters. Six pairs of ayatanas correspond to five sense organs and the sixth non-sensory dharma element. All together they form six-united consciousness. Indeed, "all-level, all-quadrant" approach should correlate the knowledge of spiritual traditions with the modern model, as modernity and post-modernity can't offer anything more profound relating to UL.
Solution to the Body-Mind Problem
Considering myself as an individual holon first of all I mean Self. This is really something that we can at least somehow call individual. But Self includes links with other quadrants that affect its formation and at the same time let self manifest itself. My correlate in UR-quadrant is a part of the whole organism. UR-quadrant is also called Behavioral. Mainly what we can do in relation to our bodies is to control their behavior. As for the whole organism we present only consciousness of the upper "captain" level, that can control behavior in general, control big elements. But it doesn't mean at all that the organism is a part of us. What we identify as body ("body" with a lowercase letter) is just a correlate of an individual holon in UR-quadrant. Usually, my UR correlate is an analogue of highest level autopoetic pattern. Autopoetic patterns of the lower level, for example controlling blood circulation or breathing, are out of my control. But people that work on their bodies (for example, yogis) are quite capable to rule the organism holons of the lower levels (such as heart activity, breathing, some brain parameters). The sum total of all organism holons, which an individual holon can control, is a correlate of that individual holon in the UR-quadrant.
My correlate in LL-quadrant is also only a part of the whole culture. If my correlate in LL-quadrant has Buddhist culture the UL correlate of the Buddhism holon will be not my consciousness, but the sum total of all Buddhists' consciousness which belong to the Buddhist culture holon, and it's quite clear. A person is as much a part in relation to his/her culture, as he/she is a part in relation to his organism outside. The equality of horizontal and vertical relations can be seen here.
The holon of my organism ("Body" with the capital letter) will have as a correlate in UL-quadrant NOT MY SELF, but the sum total of all consciousnesses (autopoetic patterns) of sentient holons that constitute the organism including my SELF! Even consciousnesses of other organisms with symbiotic relations could be seen among them. They all constitute UL-correlate of the given organism. And it's very important for understanding the mind-body interrelation. There is no entire holon spreading out on both quadrants.
It's important and subtle point. In due time Wilber made an important contribution into solving the mind-body problem, he separated "body" and "Body" and claimed that "the body is in the mind, but the brain is in the Body" (IP, 179). Unfortunately, later he pointed out the unsolvability of the problem on the rational level and called for developing of its "all-level and all-quadrants" understanding. Ok, we started developing it! He made a sad logical mistake. He concluded that if evolution takes place in each quadrant and evolution in various quadrants is related to evolution in other quadrants, then it happens in one substance, which possesses 4 dimensions. But all dharmas are empty - this is the bases of the Madhyamika. And it doesn't contradict to post-metaphysical AQAL.
As soon as Wilber separated these two notions the problem solving emerged. But after he put them back together the knot was tightened again. It's impossible to get a new quality only by adding up quadrants mechanically! The unity of the centaur is not the absence of borders between mind and body. The unity is in the capability to separate them and realize as many interrelations between them as possible,. And now we are going to separate these substances again, but we'll do it more thoroughly. In Wilber's terms in our case "Body" is an organism holon and "body" is the UR correlate of the individual holon.
So, according to Wilber MY SELF from outside is my ORGANISM, and my ORGANISM inside is MY SELF. But it's absolutely groundless! My organism is the widest autopoetic web of the great number of organism holons., and my organism inside corresponds to the sum of UL-correlates of all these organism holons. As a result he had to introduce "dimensions" that made everything complicated. But there is no whole holon like "body-mind" or "body-mind-culture-society". This mental construction is artificial and unviable, it's Frankenstein. You can forget about healthy organism if you don't admit that it is a part of you only regarding UL-quadrant, but you yourself are a part of the organism regarding UR-quadrant.
"An individual holon (like you or me) has an I, we, it and its dimension-perspective (and hence a view through)" (IS, footnote 34).
It is exactly an unverifiable metaphysics Epistemology implies that there is a method but not a groundless assertion about possession. In K. Popper's terms this assertion is unfalsifiable and hence it's disguised dogma. NEITHER an individual holon NOR any other one CAN POSSESS 4 quadrants until a method that could prove it would be offered, but this is impossible in the context of post-metaphysics. So we have to admit that all the base holons are different phenomena formed by relations and interacting among themselves.
Apropos, no form of quadrant simultreking or cross-disciplinary studies (like psychosomatics) couldn't be treated as a science (neither in narrow nor in wide sense) because it doesn't have a methodologically correct SUBJECT to study. Such studies (like those in Institute of Mind and Life founded by Varela and Dalai Lama) don't deal with holons' characteristics but rather with qualities of their links. It's rather important issue too, but it's not valid knowledge in science sense.
Illustration for Mind-Body Problem
To understand better how the pair mind-body operates, after reconsidering the term holon let's look at the illustrations below. You can see an idea of the individual holon in the current version of AQAL on the picture 4.
The individual holon possesses dimensions-perspectives I, we, it, and its. "The inner dimension" of my ORGANISM is MYSELF. "The external dimension" of MYSELF is my ORGANISM. I and ORGANISM happens to be in a rigid hitch. Culture and social systems only interact with my mind-body and condition them, they influence on one another.
Let's have a look on the other variant of the interaction I-ORGANISM on the picture 5.
In such approach, the individual holon" I" has correlates in two neighboring quadrants. As soon as we want to consider my organism it will be another holon, an organism holon. It wil be a certain organism in UR-quadrant with correlates in the neighboring quadrants. Moreover his UL-correlate will have its own intentionality and in LR-correlate there will be own systems. For instance, a cancer cell could be a part of the organism, it would possess it's prehension and make decisions that are not in consistency with my interests and the entirety of the whole organism. But it controls a part of the whole organism! It could be a collibacillus or even a whole lymphatic system. Information webs are a part of my social systems but it doesn't make any difference for my organism. And atoms that constitute the organism have their own social magnetic web with changes of which the whole organism will be suffering. Thus, the correlates of my organism don't coincide with the correlates of my holon. An individual holon of my Self and the organism holon of my organism are different subject matters.
Unfortunately, the present version of AQAL is half struck by the myth of the given. According to Kesler's definition holon is a characteristic of the type of relations but not a substance. It is identified through interrelations and not through possessing of any characteristics. According to the definition of the holon it doesn't follow that they possess quadrants. To assume this would mean to substitute the epistemology by ontology. Probably Wilber understood it himself, since he always placed these important points in the footnotes. In his book "Integral Vision" we see the word "holon" only once and in a footnote. We can't talk about Kosmos in the terms different from our experience or relations. And holons are not exception. A holon is not a substance but it's a characteristics of interactions among phenomena.
Assuming a holon to be a substance that possesses quadrants is not exactly the same as to assert that any phenomenon can be considered from the position of the 4 quadrants! Not only material objects but everything in this world can only be considered from various perspectives. It's a demand of elementary scientific validity - no holon can POSSES 4 quadrants. There is no such an organ of perception that could perceive such a holon. (The only one possibility is Satori, but in this case there would be only one holon and subject and object merge at this moment). That's why all holarchies can be formed only within their quadrants. A holon can't exist out of a quadrant. But links between quadrants are permanently shifting. That's why it's legitimate to consider only current correlates of the holon in the neighboring quadrants. It's necessary and sufficient to solve any kind of cognition problem in practice. But without this assertion none of scientific epistemology would accept this model. It wouldn't be legitimate (for any level of consciousness except the enlightened one) because none of the requirements of authenticity is satisfied.
Such holon as "human being" that possesss 4 quadrants also doesn't exist. The reason is that there is no method to ascertain the existence of that human being, in other words there is no possibility to perceive it simultaneously in all 4 quadrants. Why do we accept the possibility of the mechanical compilation of various models (for instance body and mind) that we've got through different organs of perception? What legitimate methodology do we use for this purpose? The answer will be: NONE! It's just an habit of our consciousness, endarkment. "Reality doesn't exist, it is seen!" Denying this profound truth of UL-quadrant means refusing Vivartavada in Advaita, Sunyavada and Vijnanavada in Buddhism, Abhasavada in Kashmir Shaivism. But then what our present and the future will inherit from traditions of wisdom? 4 quadrants self-enquiring? For what purpose such distinguished people as Abhinavagupta, Vasubandhu, Shankarachar'ja, Nagarjuna spent their lives in meditation?
In the commentaries on Buddhist logic school founder Dignaga's logic based on his treatises The Treatise on the Principles of Logic (Nyâya-mukha), The Treatise on Systems of Cognition (Pramâ?a-samuccaya) and The Treatise on the Objects of Cognition (Âlambana-parîk?â) the following definition of the term "thesis" is given: "Thesis is an admitted quality carrier and admitted quality in the case when there is a link between them in the same assertion" (reliance on method). Thesis recognized as mistaken, i.e. inadequate for the assertion, when one or another part of it or the logic of assertion isn't admitted by one of the contesting parties.
For example if Samkhya follower would say to Buddhist "'I' is a conscious activity" there would be a logic mistake because of unadmitted subject. The commentary explains this rule as follows. "Predicate "conscious activity" is admitted by both parties. But the subject, "I" is unadmitted by most of Buddhists, as phenomenon hadn't established through the right methods of cognition, i.e. direct outer or inner observation or through conclusion. Since we cannot perceive that "I" as direct experience there is no need to explain this imaginary phenomenon and institute special higher reality, soul or "I" among transcendent/metaphysical elements". In these worlds we can notice the direct analogy with the notion of the 4 quadrants holon!
A little bit later I will show what delusion caused this. For now lets summarize that ultimately, body-mind problem doesn't exist out of specific tasks that we have to resolve. We need to choose an appropriate method for each task taking into account proper context (profundity) and understanding of interactions among all aspects of the integral model in it.
Lines of Development
Let's touch upon the lines of development. There've been some points to discuss too.
"Developmental lines occur in all 4 quadrants, but because we are focussing on individual development, we can look at how some of these lines appear in the Upper-Left-quadrant." (IS, 23)
Why does Wilber consider the lines only in the UL-quadrant and avoid the others? You can see this in all his books and articles. Sophisticated speculations on this matter cover the practical impossibility to specify the lines of development of an individual holon in the quadrants other than UL-one.
"Figure 7 is another, taken from a Notre Dame business school presentation that uses the AQAL model in business" (IS, 24)
Why there are no such diagrams for the other quadrants yet?
"As noted, all of the quadrants have developmental lines. We just focused on those in the Upper Left. In the Upper-Right quadrant, when it comes to humans, one of the most important is the bodily matter-energy line, which runs, as we saw, from gross energy to subtle energy to causal energy. As a developmental sequence, this refers to the permanent acquisition of a capacity to consciously master these energetic components of your being (otherwise, they appear merely as states)." (IS, 24-25)
This is an attempt to drag into the UR quadrant a line which doesn't have any relation to it. We cannot consider "the ability to control consciously" as the UR line of development.
"In the Lower-Left quadrant, cultural development itself often unfolds in waves, moving from what the pioneering genius Jean Gebser called archaic to magic to mythic to mental to integral and higher". (IS, 25)
This assertion seems to be even rougher. On what methodological ground interpersonal and moral lines refer to UL quadrant and cultural development refers to LL at the same time? Why the result of Jean Gebser's genius is called the cultural line of development NOWHERE? At the very least because he studied cultural artifacts and not the human being!
It seems to me that the conclusion is obvious. The lines of development appear ONLY in UL quadrant. So what's it gonna be? Culture and nature don't develop? No, they do! This proves once again that the individual holon is situated in UL quadrant exclusively and all its capabilities are related to this quadrant. The Self, the Nature and the Culture are evolving of course but in different interrelated holarchies, each one in its own certain quadrant. It results in the fact that organism holons, cultural holons, and social holons have their own unique bundles of developmental lines, which belong ONLY to them, and correspond ONLY to the certain quadrants.
Artifacts and Heaps
Now let's consider the issue of artifacts and heaps. As it is quite clear by now, artifacts can be of four types. Each basic holon as sentient holon can produce its own artifacts. Let's just give some examples for each quadrant, and it will be quite enough.
- UL: notion is the product of the consciousness, which consists of thoughts about the subject;
- UR: caoutchouc and cow milk are examples of organism product;
- LL: ethics and fashion are examples of cultural product;
- LR: sea currents and technologies are examples of socio-economical product.
All these are artifacts in corresponding quadrants. Unlike the present AQAL model these artifacts have their correlates in all quadrants. The key point here is that the artifact's correlates in all quadrants can be only artifacts of corresponding quadrants, and never sentient (individual, organism, cultural, social) holons.
For example, if we consider a work of art (LR), its correlate in UL quadrant can be conceptions of its authors, in UR - starting materials from which it was made of, in LL quadrant - manner and style of implementation. A holon may have a great number of correlates in each quadrant, but in case of sentient holons the correlates always will be sentient ones and for insentient holons they always will be insentient.
Now let's turn our attention to heaps. In his Shambhala interview Wilber says:
"A rock, for example, is a heap. There is no enduring or defining pattern to a rock - its particular shape and form is accidental; it is not self-fashioned (like individual or social holons) nor other-fashioned (i.e., its pattern is not intentionally imposed on it by the intelligence of an other, which would make it an artifact)".
And we have to give a thought to this. When the theory of chaos describes complex processes it defines behavior of the non-linear dynamic process with unpredictable output as chaotic. Unpredictability of system's behavior is caused by its high complexity, that's why its behavior near the bifurcation point seems to be accidental for observer. In other words, accidental or chaotic character is the characteristic of a certain observer's attitude towards the complexity of the observing processes and it doesn't have an ontologically objective status.
A rock belongs to a certain social holon product of which it is, this is Gaia. If we don't understand the meaning of location of this rock in the certain space and time or we don't understand its particular form, this is not a reason to say there is no sense for this rock to be in this place. Otherwise we are taken by the myth of the given again. We can't say about a pattern if it exists or not. We can find it or inscribe our own sense to phenomena. But if I don't see a pattern, it doesn't mean that this pattern doesn't exist. If I cannot understand why Americans elected Bush as the President twice, it does not mean that the American political forces are similar to shapeless heap. It only means that I don't recognize the pattern, which made Bush come into power.
Summing up the above, we don't witness heaps as holons neither inside, nor outside. For each phenomenon there is a system, which generated this phenomenon, and within its framework there is a purpose and meaning for existence of this phenomenon. This also concerns a quite familiar for everyone inner dialogue, which seems to be an accidental and formless heap - it is also an artifact of the UL quadrant.
8 Basic Methodologies
But this is not the whole story. Let's consider the following chart (IS, 37):
I'd like to turn your attention to the following. Unlike the other methodologies autopoesis is not the name of a research method. Autopoesis is a model explaining the origin and evolution of the living systems. And as far as a holon was defined as POSSESSING all four quadrants it was sufficient for a whole holon to use only one model of evolution. But after holons were allocated to their quadrants, some of them lost their evolution theory as a result. We will correct this mistake too.
A lot of studies aimed to apply the self-organizing theory to human consciousness have appeared recently. In particular, Combs, Abraham, Goertzel, Goerner demonstrate that consciousness appears to be an eco-system in which streams of cognitive, perceptive and emotional information flows form the complex of interrelations similar to living cell interactive metabolism. It results in the self-replicating or autopoetic system consistently reproducing itself.
So, perhaps, in the zone #1 autopoesis also takes place? It's highly probable that it does. In "Excerpt A" Wilber also partially touches upon this question:
"This inheritance is almost certainly a four-quadrant affair--that is, all four dimensions of holons bequeath their present to the future as the past." (Excerpt A)
As Maturana and Varela asserted autopoesis is a pattern of life. And life is inherent to all holons in all quadrants (the statement requires some additional studies, but this hypothesis results from the logic of consideration). It's obvious that the terms in zones #5 and #7 were chosen incorrectly. The term "autopoesis" should be replaced with "cognitive science" because autopoesis is not a methodology of research, but the model of evolution for all quadrants.
But what explains the evolution in LL quadrant then? As such theory we can consider Lev Gumilev's passionarity ethnogenesis theory that was expounded in his treatise "Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere of Earth". This theory concerns the origin and changes of ethnos against the background of chaotic changes in the nature environment and in some aspects it resembles autopoesis and system theory in application to ethnos.
So we have certain evolution theorists in every quadrant. But we can dig a bit far down.
"If you imagine any of the phenomena (or holons) in the various quadrants, you can look at them from their own inside or outside. This gives you 8 primordial perspectives - the inside and the outside view of a holon in any of the 4 quadrants." (IS, 34)
The theory considers 3 perspectives, from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person. Therefore it would be logically appropriate to consider each quadrants' holons from all three perspectives. Why does Ken discard the 2nd person perspective? Or maybe these are not views from the inside and the outside? I suggest looking at the issue closer. What is the difference between inside and outside methodologies? The difference is in norms! If I suffer from schizophrenia and see a tiger in my garage, I can describe it and measure its tale's length, but nobody is going to take into account this knowledge from the 3rd person as objective.
It happens because the question isn't only in the inside or the outside view. The outside methodology's data obligatory demands collective verification in all quadrants. The problem is that the described 8 methodologies deal not only with the inside and the outside views. It is subjective and objective look at the holons in the 4 quadrants! Objective here means Intersubjective and not any "more real then subjective", because there is no any independent observer. And this difference is quite important. From the phenomenological point of view my consciousness can be occupied with anything in anytime, but from the structuralism point of view if I hadn't mastered certain operations by the age of 20, I would be determined as mentally ill person. Likewise can I understand my opponent or not, and it's my own business. But if I stay at the magic worldview by the age of 20, I would be determined as sociopathic.
Thus we have some content of phenomena and norms of this content in each quadrant. In other words, as soon as any phenomenon becomes a Kosmic habit, the science in the certain quadrant gains an opportunity to acknowledge them as a norm, conserving this shared knowledge. That's why conservatism isn't a disaster, but a function for both culture and science. This shared and legalized knowledge about projections of phenomena content would be outer or relative (objective) view at the holons.
But with such approach IMP chart becomes a great illustration of evolutionary process in all 4 quadrants. United evolutionary theory cannot exist, but we can easily imagine such a theory for each separate quadrant, and also methodologies, from which they derive.
Other Myths of the Given and Challenge of the Integral Psychology
"each of the items labeled in the various quadrants can also be referred to as a holon" (IS, 34)
This statement is also unverifiable. But it is this statement that gives Wilber a right to call the AQAL "a theory of everything". The only way out is to degrade its rank to the "theory of something" and to define this "something". Then we actually will have a model with really great explaining ability.
And I would suggest starting this story with words: "IF we choose a notion of holon as an organizing metaphor, then it will be possible to study and describe effectively with a help of AQAL those phenomena that could be referred to as holons". Otherwise we'll have some very dangerous statements, which push off both modernity and post-modernity:
"All four of these holarchies are dealing with real aspects of real holons - which is why these four types of holarchies keep insistently showing up on the various maps around the world" (BHE, 108)
"So the first tenet says that reality is composed neither of things nor processes, neither wholes, nor parts, but whole/parts, or holons". (BHE, 70)
Using the current definition of holons the system can cope with description of exterior and collective objects, but it isn't applicable to study human being because "body-mind" comes out to be a thinking artifact, but not an individual holon! Its referent in AQAL is a fictional Frankenstein.
Now we have to legitimize quadrants. The point is that Wilber's post-metaphysics is grounded on the existence of quadrants and levels of development. And if the levels of development are more or less acknowledged by various branches of science, the situation is not that positive with quadrants. The term quadrant is defined quite nebulously in Wilber's books. As a rule, Ken describes a way that caused his insight rather than gives a clear and grounded definition of the quadrants.
"But once I put all of these holarchies into these four groups - and they instantly fell into place at that point - then it was very obvious that each holarchy in each group was indeed dealing with the same territory" (BHE, 118-119)
"The four quadrants are four of the basic ways that we can look at any event: from the inside or from the outside, and in singular and plural forms. This gives us the inside and the outside of the individual and the collective. These four perspectives are not merely arbitrary conventions. Rather, they are dimensions that are so fundamental that they have become embedded in language as pronouns during the natural course of evolution." (Excerpt A)
"The AQAL Matrix can be derived in any number of ways. The most straightforward is simply to acknowledge the existence of the most widely used methodologies in human history. Give the human beings using those methodologies the decency of supposing that they know what they are doing, and are doing the best they can - instead of assuming that they are complete idiots caught in total error." (IS, 207)
Taking in a view that any language other than injunctive is mataphysics, we have to admit that all above is nothing more then lyrics. The majority, though, agrees with that the quadrants reflect different spheres of our experience. Yet the main value of the quadrants is that these spheres of experience are irreducible to each other. But this still remains a metaphysical statement and we have to get rid of it as soon as possible. And here neither IMP nor Kosmic address can help us, because all the AQAL is entirely based on quadrants.
There is only one invariant that can help with legitimization of the quadrants. This is our own perception, our direct experience. There are no other means, because everything else goes after experience. The meaning is an injunction of its enactment and primordial fundamental injunctions are determined by our perception abilities. And it means that the primary task for integral psychology is validation of various ways of perception (that is partially constructed of course). The experience of various quadrants is irreducible precisely because it is based on various types of perception. These types are more incommensurable then the smell and thorns of roses. We can only sum up these two types of knowledge in the concept of rose (mind artifact). Not "there are 4 quadrants that we can apportion all experience in", but "experience differs by fundamental injunctions".
As yet, relying on my own experience and contemplative traditions I can assert 5 sensory channels of perception, 1 non-sensory channel and mind in every human being. Virtually everyone is familiar with non-sensory channel, because everyone has an experience how to understand something a priori without preliminary reflection. Usually consciousness and mind work synchronously with all channels of perception. In peculiar situations we at first sense and even act and then realize what has happened. It concerns both sensory and non-sensory channels. And no one is surprised in case of the sensory channels. In case of non-sensory perception we call it intuition. Meanwhile all contemplative traditions discriminated an ability to understand (or to unconsciously co-adjust) as distinct channel of perception.
Owing to that understanding ability only bhakti yoga (devotion yoga) works when comprehension happens beyond understanding by the reason, due to deep love and total surrender. The same way of perception women often call "seeing by heart". Due to that we tend to understand better those disciplines where we feel sympathy to a teacher. The more we open the more efficient understanding is. Sometimes this kind of mutual adjustment happens less intensively, sometimes more. Below is Robert Kegan's description of his own experience of this kind of understanding:
«I remember Paul Tillich, the theologian-where I actually felt that I was inhabiting the text, where I could feel like I knew where he was going to go next. I knew in a way that was astonishing to me how connected I was to the inner rhythms-and I realized that I understood it from the inside out in a way that I could tell other people didn't.» (Grabbing the Tiger by the Tail)
Only via perception (that includes interpretation and all intersubjective truths, but is not constituted only from them) we can approach an issue of irreducibility of experience, and without it postmetaphysical AQAL costs next to nothing. Because we have no reason to assert that a microscope cannot be used in hermeneutics so as we have no reasons to institute a Kosmic address. On fig. 12 below I demonstrated quite roughly on which types of perception are mainly based those injunctions that form experience in every quadrant. It is their difference that ensures irreducibility of experience and methods to deal with it.
Don't be confused with Sanskrit terms. Psychology will invent some other.
- 5 Indirias - the means of sensory perceiving
- Manas - the means of non-sensory perceiving; understanding mind
- Chitta - the means of intellectual perception; conceptual mind
- Vijnana - consciousness and self-consciousness.
I don't want to overcomplicate this article with precise explanations of eastern theories of consciousness and don't assert we have to believe in it. But we have to prove it experimentally by ourselves. It's important that these are the categories of direct experience, which EVERYONE has. Isn't it a pure metaphysics to base four quadrants concept on Wilber's successful positioning of all human knowledge maps on a table into 4 heaps? Who will guarantee that tomorrow there will be no some new dogon's model of the universe which doesn't fit to present quadrants? Or that structuralism won't be able to explain the trajectory of descent of a cannonball?
Along with the search of the "paths beyond ego", it would be nice to examine ego within its own frames. The four quadrants' concept can have only psychological grounds. We don't know if there is something existing outside the perceiver, that's why all epistemology, as well post-metaphysics are based on the cognition through experience of the perceiver. Nor 4 quadrants exist outside it. Wilber brilliantly captured the idea of irreducible spheres of perception. It is not so much left to validate it. And this task is addressed to integral psychology which deepened in the work with altitudes leaving out of account its own basis. The wings are quite developed, but at the expense of the dispirited roots. Two hands of God are not left and right, but UR arc (male) and LL arc (female), agency and community. Spectrum of consciousness is not the only thing to be grounded by integral psychology. It's only vertical (male) part of the story. But we also have horizontal (female) part. After that we will be able to legally talk about all five elements: quadrants, levels, lines, states and types. Four of them are well grounded already.
And of course it isn't the last myth of the given. As the ability of discerning wisdom increases people will find and abandon other "givens". The observer can recognize only a thing that he is not identified with. But we can say for sure that the next myths won't concern the objects of cognition but the subject, because the integral post-metaphysics conclusively takes the issue of searching objects in the Kosmos off the table.
The Most Important Chapter or Mistake of Phase-5
There are no any seams in Kosmos. Kosmos is integral and continuous. Alongside with that human cognition is discontinuous or discrete. There are seams in the ways of perception! The 4 quadrants reflect methodologically irreducible spheres of perception and it means that until absolute and relative truths exist, four different evolution theories and different classes of sciences will exist either. And three of them will always remain monological! (which means that they speak "I" and "It" language, but not "We") And this is their intrinsic quality and great advantage. This is their sincerity and authenticity. But monolologicity has nothing to do with the myth of the given, whatever postmodernists may think. The post-modernity tries to expand the truth of LL quadrant to all quadrants. It is a profound delusion, and Wilber has done its bidding.
"for the winner on the humanities side of the street - namely, the postmodern Intersubjectivists - all of the modern humanities (phenomenology, existentialism, and introspection) are viewed as being all of a piece with the modern sciences (from systems theory to chaos and complexity theory), because what all of them do indeed have in common is the myth of the given, the philosophy of the subject, and a deeply monological methodology. In those very specific areas, the Subjectivists and the scientific materialists were all of a methodological piece. Which is indeed the case." (IS, 283)
An attempt to create an integral super-science which would combine all quadrant methodologies is similar to Don Quixote's fight with windmills. Archeological excavations will say nothing about system's behavior. Atomic researches will say nothing about culture development. So far nobody succeeded in inventing a method which would bring any valid results at once in several branches of science from different quadrants. Such method is utopia. Just because they all deal with different objects, different holons. None valid evolution theory can exist to explain all phenomena, because they are simply different in different quadrants.
Here we are approaching to the main delusion, which entailed a problem with holons.
"AQAL is simply a meta-paradigm of simultracking at least 8 methodologies. One of the ways to conceptualize the relationship of all of the resulting experiences and phenomenal worlds is the AQAL matrix."(IS, 207)
The above quote indicates that Wilber believes in existence of something like "real" phenomena beyond quadrants, which can be thoroughly studied if we apply to them simultaneously all 8 methodologies (or examining them from all quadrivias) that is a typical example of metaphysical thinking, stroke by the myth of the given. As a result, holons that possess all 4 quadrants and holons that can be studied through quadrivias have appeared. We don't know and it is not possible to know whether such phenomena exist. Moreover we can't apply to them any of methodologies because the fact of perception itself already uses fundamental methodologies in some quadrants! What Wilber calls "phenomenon" is named "noumenon" in philosophy (Kant's "Ding an sich") and it's an artifact of the mind (UL) but not anything "real". Phenomenon appears in the moment of observation and already is referred to some quadrant. That is why different quadrants experiences are irreducible and we can't apply all methodologies to phenomena/holons. Actually, Wilber confirms that by himself:
"Whether they [objects] exist in some other way CANNOT BE KNOWN in any event, and assuming that they do exist entirely independently of a knowing mind is nothing but the myth of the given and the representational paradigm - that is, is just another type of metaphysical thinking and thus not adequately grounded." (IS, 252)
But then Wilber again uses holon, that exists beyond cognition, before experience, not in quadrants.
In general I can agree, that those of us who have had an experience at least nirvikalpa-samadhi or sahaja-samadhi can assert with reference to their experience that holon is seamless and does contain all 4 quadrants. But if the integral approach demands that scientists experience causality, such version of integral theory is not worth a nickel! Mystics say that the reality is seamless and integral. The immediate experience says that reality is discrete and consists of 4 quadrants. That's why we can only have 4 types of holons in various quadrants using the types of perception available for humankind for at least last 5 thousand years. These holons are perceived absolutely differently and there are no any other holons that possess 4 quadrants.
Truths and insights described by Wilber appear to be a profound wisdom. Calls to create a united four-quadrant science - is a deep utopia. Integral approach united 4 spheres of cognition that allowed discerning of reductionism in each quadrant. It's really brilliant and we have lots of work to do further. But then Ken has started to demand that Capra, Lazlo, Varela, Sheldrake and others include in their theories dialogical truths (intersubjective in a sence of LL quadrant) and this led integral approach to the disaster!
"Capra would like that 10% to embrace monological systems theory, entirely devoid of the interior quadrants (on their own terms), and especially devoid of zones #2 and #4, which cannot be seen with his scientific methodologies. This is classic flatland subtle reductionism, extending the myth of the given into more territories, thus extending falsehoods into new larger areas". (IS, 285)
"This got Sheldrake rejected by both modernists - who found that his work threatened their established worldviews - and postmodernists - because Sheldrake proposed all of this using merely modernist (monological) epistemologies, which is enough to get some extremely important ideas rejected outright, when a slight shift would take the same ideas and simply reframe them in more contextual ways". (IS, 297)
Why should Right-Hand quadrants dance to post-modernists' tune? From the scientific philosophy point of view such super-theory, that can explain everything, cannot exist. It's an illusion. (below I will show what can be done) Methodologies of various branches of science collect data in various quadrants and explain this data in their own framework exclusively through valid for these quadrants methods. It is a qualitative science and it won't change until one learns this world through his perception and mind. Context-oriented patches will not help here. In particular, for right side quadrants intersubjectivity means objectivity (consensus), but not anything cultural. (It's easy to understand: we have subjective views and perceptions, therefore we can have intersubjective views and intersubjective perceptions).
"...Subjectivists (from spiritual studies to Buddhism to new paradigm to meditation to contemplative studies) are all approaches that have failed miserably to come to terms with the Intersubjectivists..." (IS, 283)
Evidently, nobody of them set the task like this. Buddhists ontology is adequate enough for gnosis search aim. None of the quadrants has to come to terms with others, it's impossible. The methodologies from different quadrants explore different objects and we can't offer any legal method of unification of their knowledge, because there is no any ground to ascribe these pieces of knowledge to one object.
"Meditation is still hobbled by the myth of the given because it is still monological; it still assumes that what I see in meditation or contemplative prayer is actually real... Meditators think that they actually ARE SEEING dharmas... Awareness and meditation per se are simply perpetuating the myth of the given and the illusions it generates... Again, meditation is not wrong but partial, and unless its partialness is addressed, it simply houses these implicit lies..." (IS, 289)
Unlike Zen practitioners, that from IXñ. proclaimed that "awakening is transmitted from heart to heart without support on written symbols" and in China even allowed themselves to burn sutras, Mahayana practitioners (and moreover Vajrayana) since Nagarjuna (IIc.) knew the teaching about emptiness of dharmas (madhyamika), and since Asanga (IVc.) - teaching about emptiness of consciousness (yogachara). Both of them set a goal to disclaim all metaphysical theories about true reality. That is why equalization of monology of UL quadrant and the myth of the given is simply an archness. Maybe OSHO followers only or other new age adherents can still believe that dharmas are real. Neither present spirituality nor present science have nothing to do with the myth of the given nowadays.
After reading Integral Spirituality I've come to the conclusion that Ken does not understand the philosophy of science enough and that's why he cannot come to an understanding with it. And this is a part of the same system problem. In particular, Wilber uses the term "epistemology" incorrectly.
"For the traditions, as schematically summarized in Huston's diagram, there were levels of reality, conceived often as actual realms or trans-physical locations (heavens, lokas, dhatus), and the number and types of objects in those levels constituted ontology. The knowledge of those independently existing objects constituted epistemology". (IS, 270)
«Buddhist epistemology (including Zen, vipassana, and Vajrayana) is steeped in the myth of the given" (IS, 290)
This is abuse of the term. "Epistemology" as this term entered the science only in the second half of XX century along with appearance of cybernetics and system approach. Until that the term "gnoseology" have been widely used. Both of them are translated from Latin as "doctrine about knowledge", but they are extremely different in substance. Gnoseology studies the live knowledge (gnosis) from the point of view of the myth of the given. As if we can only improve the methods of studying the "actually" existing reality. Epistemology is a contemporary scientific approach to knowledge which is based on the method where the object of study doesn't exist a priory, but is determined by the methodology of cognition. Episteme is a projection, a dead knowledge. That's why it is incorrect to talk about "Buddhist epistemology" or "modern epistemology". They both are about gnoseology.
The contemporary science isn't suffering from the myth of the given for a long time anymore. It uses actively Popper's falsifiability. Where there is an epistemology, there is no myth of the given by DEFINITION. These terms are antonyms. Science of the right quadrants doesn't pretend to describe reality from the moment when the systems approach appeared. Ken at the suggestion of the post-modernists stigmatizes with the myth of the given everything that doesn't take into account post-modernists' intersubjectivity. It is similar that we would say that Ken is gay just because gays also live in Denver. This way integrality falls down into pluralism.
First of all we have to recognize and distinguish different methods of cognition. The cognition of the "world within myself", gnosis, and the cognition of "myself in the world", episteme. Both of them exist in parallel as long as man exists. They cannot be mingled under any circumstances, because they are fundamentally different. Three validation criteria and post-metaphysics are the tools of social agreement (consensus) in all quadrants. But for a person there is nothing more valid rather then his own experience for which these criterions don't work. In the first case we have consensual models, the conceptions of reality. In the second case we have the direct comprehension, a unique experience. None of these knowledge is reducible to another. We have to legitimize them and define the links between them. This is a difference between subjective and objective cognition methods (the ways of knowledge shaping).
Since we have 4 quadrants, there are also 4 different types of knowledge. Moreover, as Wilber correctly noticed each of these quadrants has its own validity criterion: it's truthfulness for UL, truth for UR, justness for LL and functional correspondence for LR. In each quadrant the knowledge may have both objective and subjective format, and we have no way to compare truthfulness with justness or truth with truthfulness. These are incomparable knowledge categories (the types of knowledge sources) which cannot be referred to one holon as for such a holon we have no any validity criterion at all.
Wilber so fiercely blame the science and spirituality in that he himself hasn't managed to do yet, namely to show how exactly fit up the various quadrants cognition in a unite model. As a result the science turned away from both Wilber and integral approach, because Ken had put it into a corner. There is no problem with the science: it is based on the method, and various quadrants' methods don't overlap. The science sails its own boat. The problem is with the integral approach. And it lies particularly in the fact in which Wilber aggressively blames his opponents, namely in the myth of the given. Science doesn't believe in the integrality exactly because of suggested method of integration is built upon the myth of the given. As soon as we stop believing in existence of phenomena/holons beyond the quadrants everything will click into place.
Eclecticism must be replaced by synthesis. And this article will show how to do this. We won't be able to suggest method of the unification of the quadrants and their methodologies, but we can coordinate their knowledge and integrate them in a system. As a first step our task would be to stop to accuse all quadrants of lie and to admit the existence of for types of reliable maps and initiate inter-quadrants researches.
In The Atman Project Wilber announces: "There are no seams in the world, in things, in people, in God". There are no seams in Kosmos, but they are in cognition! And this changes everything. A very good metaphor will help us here. When we cut off the whole globe in order to have a plain map, we get a picture like the one below. There are still no seams on the globe, but they are on the map!
Then geographers come to agreement about the principles of joining and filling of the breaches. Likewise the reality, cut off by the perception looks similar as the one on fig. 12, rather then common 4 quadrants. We have to admit reliability of all 4 petals in their zones and come to agreement what has to be done on the lines of section.
The efforts to justify connection between mind and body have been made during all human history. After 70 years from the beginning of Reich and Lowen researches psychosomatics has been widely spread, but it isn't acknowledged as science yet owing largely to pseudoscientific of orgone and bioenergetic theories which in particular were trying to explain this connection. Why that? Because classic psychosomatics has not got a valid research subject! There is valid subject in psychology and in medicine. But psychosomatics often studies the links between holons instead of the holons themselves! (The connection between "Body" and "body"). And we even cannot say that it studies these links. It rather watches them, than systematically researches them. But this watching gives us some interesting statistical data and therefore has certain value. This is a steams study. Such researches are recognized as interdisciplinary and they don't have a scientific status. They have not got any legitimate subject and method. Inter-disciplinary researches are probabilistic and supported only by statistics. Today they bear on new age, but integral approach must validate them and include in the model. The knowledge about properties of horizontal links between correlates and holons is similar to knowledge of vertical levels of development.
As an example of the second category inter-disciplinary researches we can consider Rupert Sheldrake's studies of morphogenetic resonance (the connection between "Culture" and "culture"). Sheldrake gathered an incredible amount of amazing facts, which probably will never be admitted by any strict science because they relate to the connection of upper and lower quadrants and don't study the precise holons within them. The nature of this resonance cannot be found out either, because the nature of the inter-quadrants links lies beyond the cognition. That's why I can predict than none of the researches of UR quadrant subtle fields (such as Kirlian's effect) will shed light on the nature of morphogenetic fields. Morphogenetic causality is inherent in all upper quadrants' holons, and the very mechanism of resonance is the basis of the upper and lower quadrants connection. Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox of nonlocal causality, John Bell's nonlocal hidden variables theory, Bohm's nonlocal correlations - all these theories relate precisely to the nature of connection between upper and lower quadrants. We can say than the science has set its limit here.
It's time now to seam our maps in one globe, and it's an integral theory, which has to do this. We value all maps and all seams between them. The task of integral approach is not only to point out the importance of various maps, but also to demonstrate how to seal them! Meanwhile Wilber blames everyone because neither he nor others were able to animate this integral Frankenstein. Ken is right, with the level of consciousness moving higher the individual four quadrants mismatch partly seams by itself. When the petals of this flower strain after the Sun, gap between them decreases.
However, we must remember that knowledge in various quadrants is not a various maps of the same territory or object. We don't know this object. They are maps of various phenomena. A man cannot research a phenomenon in 4 quadrants, because this phenomenon is already observed in only one quadrant. But we can slide from holon to holon through the quadrants with the help of correlates. That's why the real metaphysical integral approach must include at least 5 AQAL elements, 8 basic methodologies, 4 classes of inter-disciplinary researches and integral instructions for use of all these elements. AQAL 2.0 suggests a dynamic map, which is constructed anew for each case/task form various methodological maps of various holons. Below we will dive in the integral journey across quadrants and holons by the example of integral medicine.
The Way Integrity Works
Then what is the essence of integral approach and how can we apply it? Is it scientific at all? This question has not been answered yet. We'll try. When we encounter with some phenomenon, it's already localized in one of four quadrants (commonly, we encounter many at the same time). We never deal with a holon in present AQAL meaning of that, because none of perception means allows to perceive it. One applies "episteme", a dead knowledge, that humanity had accumulated lots of theories with decent predictive ability for. This knowledge is perfectly organized and with its help we can predict many aspects of phenomena's behavior.
Real life situations are more then just a sum of phenomena in different quadrants. That's why integral approach starts from renunciation of reductionism (i.e. awareness of the fact that no science studies the real phenomena) and ability to choose method or methods appropriate for the moment and task. As soon as the situation ends, we have a new knowledge and the major task of good science is to compose the mosaic of its quadrant projections into the best model available. All epistemological sciences of certain quadrants create reliable models of their dead knowledge.
So, the integral approach has its own action field. This is real life. In general, integrality deals with the present, and the science with the past. Life demands integrality. But sorting out available knowledge does not. Any method is valid within its quadrant. We cannot change this. We can only remind to a science that situations and any available knowledge about them aren't the same. Not just "map is not a territory", but that there can be a lot of reliable maps for a territory. Nobody can make a claim for final truth, but each quadrant can propose own models. And in this sense the first task of integral approach is to stand against the claims for absoluteness and not to demand a lot from science. (What we actually can try to demand from them is gradual expansion of empirism from gross level to gross/subtle/causal). Ken enunciates this, but for some reason doesn't follow it:
"Integral Methodological Pluralism is one way of handling those difficult issues. It explicitly finds room for premodern truths, modern truths, and postmodern truths, all in an integral framework not of conclusions, but of perspectives and methodologies. Moreover, it doesn't "cheat" by watering down the various truths in such a horrid way that they are hardly recognizable. It takes all of those truths more or less as it finds them. The only thing it alters is their claim to absoluteness, and any scaffolding (and metaphysics) meant to justify that unjustifiable claim." (IS, 49)
Let me illustrate this on a well-known example. Dr. Gregory House can be considered as an integral doctor (at least cognitively). He has a striking ability to solve the most complicated tasks that seem to be unsolvable to other doctors. Even though House's brilliant team consists of professionals, they usually cannot find the right answer in extraordinary situations. The secret is in their different attitude to health, illness and situation.
When a patient enters the hospital, House along with his colleagues uses all known types of methodologies in order to approach the studying of the problem; they make body examination, find out the psychological state of the patient, inspect patient's flat or house, talk to near relatives, and check many other things that may have any relation to symptoms. It is perfectly shown in the series, that having exhaustive information from all the quadrants and being equipped with scientific theories is not enough for colleagues to comprehend the phenomenon and be able to explain the symptoms. Physicians are sure that phenomenon is illness that localized in the patient; it becomes apparent through the symptoms and can be studied from the perspective of 8 methodologies. They explore all they can but it doesn't work in case of non-trivial tasks solving. House and his team have the same facts, the same data but different logic.
Dr.House has really integral vision. It means he looks for the reason of the malfunction in all holarchies in all quadrants of any of the holons related to the symptom. He uses reliable scientific knowledge for each phenomenon in any quadrant and applies cross-disciplinary research data to move between the quadrants. Dr. House not simply treats the symptoms but gets at the roots of the malfunction reason inside the holarchies. As a rule, the reason lies neither in the organism nor in the individual holon of the patient.
An investigation starts from the symptom. For example, the patient has low blood pressure. They give him a medicine after which his kidneys stop working. It's statistically known that this happens mostly when a patient takes colchicine, the medicine to treat gout. But the youth denies it's usage at all. So what caused the symptom? Dr. House moves to the LR quadrant to explore the social holon. In college they say the youth has a cheery girlfriend. The girlfriend is and individual holon different from the one of the patient, but from her confession it became known that from time to time she were mixing some dope into his cough medicine before sex. But she knows nothing about colchicine. Cough medicine is an artifact of the LR quadrant. Further analysis of this medicine showed that drug sellers add colchicine to it to make more money. So what can be referred to as illness in this case and in which holon it is located? Is it the girlfriend's cultural environment? Or it's environment of the youth? Or it's society illness? Did Dr. House test the patient using all 8 methodologies? Obviously not only him.
A first-class bicyclist gets into the hospital due to faint and having many other symptoms. Patient examination reveals some malfunctions. The bicyclist is telling lies that he does not use any steroid, and House knows about that. Then it becomes known that bicyclist's manager had poisoned him before some major competitions in order to float a rumor about cancer and rise his rating this way. She left out of account that medicine's effect and steroid would overlap with unpredictable result. What can we call an illness in this case? Is it steroid usage? Or it is the relations of bicyclist and manager? Or it is their lie to each other? Or it is the sick desire to win and money at all costs? Dr. House explored few different holarchies in different quadrants until he got at the roots of the situation.
There is one more example. A virus gets into an organism. It's diagnosing is difficult due to some parasite that suppressed the immune system and doesn't allow antibodies to be produced. Dr. House goes down to the level of those organisms (the parasite and the virus) and studies their social environment, their preferences, behavior logic and mutual pretensions but not the social holon of the patient. He does not care about the individual patient's holon either as this is not its problem. During this investigation they also establish that the parasite got into the patient's organism through his cultural environment: he is a fan of the hunt for foxes and caught that parasite while hunting.
Thereby, Dr. House doesn't search for an illness but he rather tries to reveal the natural processes malfunctions in all correlative holarchies. The method he uses is quite simple to understand for an integrally informed person. Dr. House takes any holarchy where the syptom can be seen (for instance, the organism) and chooses those holons that contain the symptoms (for instance, liver, stomach, lungs). Then, if the reason of the symptoms is not clear he discriminates the correlates of each holon where the malfunctions are occurring (individual and social ones, for instance) and studies them thoroughly. If the reason has not been found yet, Dr. House examines the whole of the holarchies containing these holons in the corresponding quadrants, in order to find out where there is a problem. If the problem is revealed on some level he singles out this holon and examines it's correlates. This process is recursive and can go on for long time. The reason elimination restores the normal flow of all relative processes. As a rule, the result can be achieved on the 2-d or 3-d step. Integral medicine obviously cannot be non-procedural.
Dr. House demonstrates that an organism (as well as an individual or society) is a sum total of the processes that he is included in the inside and the outside. His vision is polycontextual. And he uses not integral tests or methodologies but common ones. The diagnosis is approved as valid one only after all symptoms in all quadrants are checked out using their own methodologies against the background of it. Dr. House himself describes the diagnosis in a very metaphoric manner. He narrates what the cells or viruses are thinking about, how they behave themselves, what in their environment can be embarrassing or disturbing for them. In each case he explores a great number of different holons of different quadrants and depth.
Dr. House artfully slides along infinite web of holons up and down in holarchies and between quadrants, without help of any particular integral model. He applies everything already known, but in integral way. He takes into account all the quadrants, lines, types, levels and states and deals with them within the frames of familiar approaches. He never works with one holon but discovers all the web of nearest correlative holons! Then he verifies his solutions in 4 quadrants on the basis of their own methods. And Integral approach works for him. But when Wilber demands Sheldrake of thinking how to correct his theory to appease LL quadrant, or criticize James' empiricism, I wonder how it can affect the result. The task of integral informing of the academia is the greatest challenge faced to the integral pioneers. But it is inadmissible to confuse reductionism and unreliability. Maturana and Varela brilliantly explained the results of their researches and constructed edifice and workable model. They mentioned that only UR relations are considered in their theories. Who is entitled to criticize them for not taking into account intersubjective truths? Subject of their researches is a biological frog without any cultural correlations.
Science should remain a science. Integral approach has to transcend it and include it but not to accuse it. As a discipline, integral approach should find its place in the general system of human knowledge and take back his shadow projections. This way it will complete its emancipation phase.
Let me give another example to demonstrate where Wilber makes a methodological mistake. In his article "Integral Medicine: A Noetic Reader" Wilber quite reasonably pointed out the necessity to take into account as much as possible contexts:
"Whole point about any truly integral approach is that it touches bases with as many important areas of research as possible before returning very quickly to the specific issues and applications of a given practice."
Then Wilber asks himself an interesting methodological question:
"And the only really interesting question is, what type of framework can we devise that finds a place for the important if partial truths of all of those methodologies?"
"What theoretical framework can account for the important if partial truths..."
and gives logically incorrect answer:
"In psychology and consciousness studies, here is one result of such an integral approach... but the point, in any event, is that if we have a more integral psychology, we might very well be getting closer to what it means to be an integral physician"
It's not a problem to construct a unifying theory within one quadrant. The problem is that we cannot unify the knowledge from various quadrants in one model by any contextual-oriented means. This is a mistake. The analogy with integral psychology is incorrect. And this is the sticking point on integral approach's way to science.
Eventually Wilber accepts everyone, and he is discontented with everyone. Everyone has partial truths and no one understands where the integral truth is. People experience cognitive dissonance. For many of them Ken appears like arrogant and incompliant and nothing can reason them out of this opinion.
«Wilber's system claims universal validity, is immune for criticism and uses empirical data only by way of illustration.» (Hans-Willy Weis)
Unlike me they even don't want to go deeply into the theory, because it appears methodologically inconsistent from the very beginning. If the integral approach works only with Ken, then who needs such integrality? That's why Ken looks like Gregory House. He is loved and isn't understood at the same time. Wilber himself is very disappointed with this fact:
"To me personally, this is simply sad, because all if it can be salvaged with a few simple moves. But I've been watching this field for almost 30 years, and few of its authors nave yet gotten the point about intersubjectivity (which basically means, they have not included the Lower-Left quadrant; or more specifically zone #2 in the UL and zone #4 in the LL)." (IS, 178)
One man is no man, even if this one is nondual. Simple moves cannot help when the problem is fundamental. It appears that Frank Visser, Alan Kazlev, Jeff Meyerhoff and others also feel this disharmony; even though they haven't managed to express this disharmony as particular problem yet. However the stress manifests itself quite clear. Suggested amendment in integral epistemology and, perhaps, some methodological and terminological audit can correct the theory. It takes off many pretensions from AQAL (like http://www.kheper.net/topics/Wilber/Wilbers_method.html) and is even capable to explain many esoteric phenomena.
Also it's necessary to remember that integral approach can and has to collaborate with the science, but it will never be a part of the science. The integral approach is the science leading edge, and it's rather disadvantage for academic science then advantage.
1-2-3 of God or Solving the Discrepancy between Edwards and Wilber
The main difference of views between Ken Wilber and Mark Edwards touches upon the subject of holons. Mark believes that social holons possess some kind of consciousness and that's why they possess all quadrants. Meanwhile Ken believes that it is possible to look at social holons only through quadrivià. Integral vision presupposes an ability to find a position where two partial truths would be reconciled. That we will do below.
Actually, Mark's opinion deals with the meaning. I'm ready to agree that creation is experienced to be sentient (reasonable). We have an understanding through our experience that many events in the life are not accidental and are the subject to a sovereign intention. The probability of many events is very very low, but the meaning of them is rather clear. On the one hand we have meaningfulness (which associates with consciousness); on the other hand we have a visible absence of a dominant monade. I'm going to demonstrate how it would be possible to bring them together.
We've touched upon the interesting subject of attractors above. I would like to unfold this subject a bit. According to synergetics, compound dissipative structures emerge and develop in open non-linear systems. Synergetics (as an area about self-organization) asserts that on the developed stages of the processes there is potential spectrum of structures (forms of organization) that could emerge within them.
The discrete spectrum of structures-attractors latent in non-linear system appears to be a spectrum of goals of evolution. It's resulted in a problem of mysterious predeterminacy. Present is not only determined by the past and prehistory of the system, it's built and formed from the future in accordance with forthcoming. "A breeze blows imperceptibly from the future", - Nietzsche said. If a system got into the cone of an attractor's gravitation, then there is a firm determination on a certain future state. The future attracts the present.
The future selects such elements of the present that are congruent to the expected future. Tomorrow is the cause of today as it creates the present day perceiving the "pieces of the future" in it that need to be synthesized. The present is considered by synergetics as partially determined by the future. Future is covered only partly because possible forms (structures) of its organization and the paths to them are anticipated. At the same time future is opened because the certain option of a structure out of the spectrum happens by a chance (according chaos theory) or by individual's will. Moreover in the process of evolution these open non-linear environments are also changing that entails modification of the spectrum of possible evolutionary structures.
The synergic world view (in particular autopoetic) reveals an ambivalent nature of the new. On the one hand it's unpredictable, unexpected, and emergent. On the other hand the new has been programmed, potentially given in the present. It is some kind of déjà vu, a coincidence of the result and concealed presupposition. According to Prigozhin the general characteristic of chaotic systems is happened to be the possibility of a very precise qualitative (but not quantitative) forecast of behavior.
On the fig. 9 the holons in all 4 quadrants are pictured. The attractors in the direction of which holons could develop are pictured symbolically. Since autopoesis, as we assumed above, acts in all 4 quadrants, all 4 basic types of holons are subjected to trends of the future. There is a power that forces them to gravitate to a certain state or form. This power is an evolutionary inertness of quadrants. I think that people tend to project this power onto God image. And it is this power that is in sense realized as conscious.
Indeed, every person had an experience of meeting with another person or happening of any other event, the probability of which was almost equal to zero. Nevertheless such situations do happen. They are so noticeable that Karl Jung even introduced the term "synchronism". According to Jung, events could be classified not even by causality but by their meaning as well. Synchronisms are typical example of attractors in the LR quadrant. If for the purposes of manifesting goal the event must happen there will be a strong tendency to this. Sometimes it can't be explained at all. It's the manifestation of the attracting cone of the social attractor, and AQAL's "God in 3rd person" corresponds to it. In UR quadrant the manifestation of Spirit is not so noticeable because it touches morphogenetic changes of organisms and is rather expanded in time. But miraculous healings and other incredible events also could be referred to "God in 3rd person".
As for attractors' power of attraction in UL quadrant that ensures the higher states of consciousness and insights, emerging of "divine proud" and happiness, with the help of which we can develop higher stages, it corresponds to "God in 1 person". Samscaras (inexplicable attractors-impulses) are often happened to be such attractors of consciousness, products of evolutionary inertness that can be observed in meditation. Passionarity pushes can be treated like this too.
In LL quadrant attractors manifest themselves through attracting us in new cultural groups and formations. Some people feel attraction to spiritual teachers or schools so intensively that they are ready to leave their families and plunge into sweet world of devotion and gratitude. Sometimes cultural attractors create strong streams that involve people into chaotic whirlpools of events to perceive "God in the 2nd person" - love to a significant other in all kinds of it.
All these attractors and inertial forces are realized by many people like external forces that create future and influence on events of our lives as somewhat super-Self of social holons. The evolution theory of Teilhard de Chardin, hypothesis of Lovelock, Lamark and Bergson supposed the existence of creative mind. Most likely Mark feels effect of evolution of social forms as a conscious force. But it's rather intelligent (has a meaning) then conscious (is aware) and follows the tendency of order dispassionately that has been set by summarized morphogenetic field. Awareness is empty. Having a meaning is inertial. So, social holons don't have their own consciousness but at the same time they have rather strong factors that affect our lives not only through conditioning.
4 Ways of Enlightenment
Have you ever asked yourself why the enlightened Masters of today are getting simplified? There are evidences that ancient enlightened yogis were able to create universes and rule the time and the space. Gautama Buddha could talk to animals and predict the future. As it's known about more late mahasiddhas of our age, they perfectly controlled their bodies. But New Age Masters are similar to common people except for their assertions about understanding the nature of mind. Looking at Eckhart Tolle I'm questioning myself if his enlightenment is the same as it was of Milarepa, Haidakan Babaji, or Guatama Buddha?
It's easy to notice that satori experience doesn't give knowledge of new languages, of driving a jeep or any other knowledge of social reality. So, the enlightenment in common sense neither reaches the LR quadrant, nor entails the social reality comprehension, it does not give any practical knowledge! And with it, even though one can read many books and accumulate knowledge, this will not allow to realize his own true nature. You have to embody the information in your own experience so that it becomes the knowledge. Thus, satori is not complete enlightenment?
Indeed, if cognition of the true nature of mind was the ultimate goal, why Tibetan traditions followers would practiced the Six Yogas of Naropa (working with energy). And why the enlightened Masters of advaita are not able to realize the rainbow body? In my view, the point is that we can observe not one or even two phenomena of enlightenment (horizontal or vertical ones). We encounter several types of realization observed in different quadrants!
After one of the definitions, enlightenment is elimination of all leads of ignorance concerning Reality. But Reality appears to us in relative and absolute aspects! Moreover, an embodied being as we found out, possesses 4 tools of cognition. Thus it is possible to consider enlightenment as a result of ignorance elimination through any of the quadrants!
The most widely-spread today is the realization in the UL quadrant through non-duality comprehension. But there is no way this comprehension could bring an enlightened one closer to the playing or at least harmonious life in relative Reality. Such enlightened possess no any siddhas. Why would then Dzogchen and Mahamudra (Chagchen) master the 72000 Nadis for "complete realization" - body dissolution into the light stream? It seems this way the realization of the UR quadrant is being attained. At some certain period such realization is accompanied by emergent siddhi like clairvoyance, teleportation, leaving the body and other rare abilities of the body.
Recalling Gautama Buddha, Seraphim Sorovsky and some other mystics of various traditions were able to understand the language of animals and just a quick glance was enough for them to comprehend the problems of individuals, we can conclude that comprehension ability (an ability of mutual resonance or simply a love) of the LL quadrant also makes some special direction to be cognized. Its ultimate realization can be considered as absolute bodhicitta, or unconditional compassion beyond the conceptual mind - ultimate love. Only having learned to understand other sentient beings at all levels from body to the Spirit we can fully compassionate and love them. The possibility of direct transmission from guru to disciple exists only due to the LL quadrant. Sufi way of total love and acceptance also exploits realization through the LL quadrant.
Finally, we have to remember there is the LR quadrant which is being known not directly, but by means of the conceptual mind. Immediate enlightenment is not possible to be attained to in the LR as it itself is the base of ignorance and delusion concerning the nature of Reality. But the LR is a part of Reality and thus it's cognizable. It can't be realized by direct perception but various stories about mediation, by conceptual mind resonance, run through the whole history of the humankind. We can recall for example Tilopa who got directions from daikini, and the very Mahamudra teaching was transmitted to him from Buddha Vajradhara. Vasugupta got the Shiva-sutra teaching from Shiva appeared before him. The new age teachings were granted to Alice Bailey and Elena Blavatsky by appeared gurus. Edgar Kasey whose predictions were 95% accurate talked about the guides enabling Akashi Chronicles access to him. St.John the Divine, Isaiah, Mohammed, Moses ... Prophets existed over the whole human history and all they received the information from some essences but not from enlightenment in meditation. Thousands of people testify to the facts of contacts and communication with raised teachers and channeling cases with different kinds of essences. They all cannot be wrong for 100% either! For now AQAL completely ignores those phenomena shifting them all to pre/post fallacy.
So finally we have 4 paths to have ultimate cognition of Reality with all 4 means we have: Self, Organism, Mutual understanding and Conceptual Mind. They all guide to Spirit, but we feel it a bit different way. For our Self the ultimate Truth is experienced as Emptiness or dissolution of Self. For our Organism the ultimate Truth is experienced as becoming pure Light. For our Understanding ability the ultimate Truth is experienced as infinite Love. And for our Conceptual Mind the ultimate Truth is experienced as a Channel through which we have access to information about past, present and future in relative reality.
"the generic definition of Enlightenment is a full realization of, or being one with, Emptiness and all Form" (IS, 241)
"Enlightenment is the realization of oneness with all states and all structures that are in existence at any given time" (IS, 241)
I assert that enlightenment (common UL one) does not entail the unity of Emptiness and the ALL Form, at least because an enlightened individual neither unites with knowledge of the LR quadrant or acquires any abilities in the other quadrants, nor he cognizes Form in any other way. Enlightenment leaves the limits of conceptual mind and karmic vision, and brings an inexpressible unity of all dualities which a particular Atman is aware of. Enlightenment manifests the unity of Form's flow/content (gross and/or subtle and/or causal) of an individual consciousness with common impersonal emptiness base. (When Self disappears, we keep witnessing what arises in certain Self's correlates, but not someone else's!) "Experiencing the Truth" means only that - experiencing freedom and unity with all that arises in OUR correlates. The unity of Emptiness with any other Form manifestations is unapproachable for the one who experiences enlightenment in UL. Enlightenment does not enable any truths comprehension of the relative and shared Reality, in spite of that is a part of the Reality!
Buddhist's philosophy defines a human to consist of body (UR), speech (LL) and mind (UL). Those are exactly the three quadrants that use Buddhism traditions and through which directly experienced cognition is feasible. Enlightenment in common sense is impossible to attain through the quadrant of conceptual mind since enlightenment itself is going out of its limits. It cannot be realized from enlightenment what is the aggregate social reality in the LR quadrant along with all riddles of the past and future tendencies (but it's possible by other ways). History of the humankind, its future and the mysteries of the universe remain unknowable for enlightened ones. They are able to reflect this like all other people as much skillfully as their comprehension (LL), body (UR) and conceptual mind (LR) are developed. Advaita, for instance, does not pay any attention to such development. That is why enlightened advaitists are so shallow nowadays!
Buddha Shakiamuni gave 3 classes of teachings corresponding with three turns of Dharma wheel. The first turn is a metaphysic teaching about dharmas or teaching about relative Reality (actually corresponds to theories of cosmic habits). The second turn is a teaching about emptiness or teaching about absolute Reality. The third one is a middle-way teaching about Reality both as Emptiness and Form and about their synthesis. In my view, both poles of Reality, Enlightenment and Akashi Chronics access are essential parts of integral Reality comprehension ignoring which means to create another boundary.
6 Drives of All Holons
Although the following speculations are somewhat metaphysical, I think they are valuable for understanding the AQAL model. I'm going to talk about "four drives of all holons". This concept in some degree reflects the misconception about the nature of Self.
Wilber allocates 20 organizing principles for sentient holons, including 4 drives of the holons:
- self-transcendence (vertical moving up)
- self-immanence (vertical moving down)
- agency (horizontal individuation)
- communion (horizontal linking)
According to Wilber (BHE), because each holon represents the whole/part, it inherences two tendencies: to support its wholeness and it's partialness.
The vertical pair of drives reflects wholeness/partialness within the holarchy. Horizontally Wilber considers only relations of individual and social holons, and due to this fact there is a tendency to suppose that when we discuss a part we mean an individual holon as a part of some community. And "partiality" of horizontal is considered only in the context of "membership". Meanwhile, as it was demonstrated above, body/mind relations also have whole/part characteristics, and it means that the holons must have 3 pairs of drives. And we'll have the following horizontal pairs:
- individuality (personal individuation)
- community (collective linking)
- agency (interior individuation)
- exteriority (exterior linking).
Taken together these 6 types of tendencies support the holons' ability to interact:
- vertical - holons' ability to combine into holarchies;
- horizontal collective - ability to understand and form communities;
- horizontal exterior - ability to self-expression and manifestation.
On fig. 10 I've demonstrated my apprehension of the drives. Transcendent forces are marked red, and immanent forces are marked blue. Eventually, all 3 drive pairs present a manifestation of immanent and transcendent qualities of the Spirit. They are inherent to the Universe and interweave in the Kosmic fabrics; they give an impact to evolution, further transcendence, step out the boundaries of already-existing but embracing all that have been already manifested in all spheres.
We can only guess if the drives exist or not and can only use it as metaphor, so I placed this discussion in the end of the article and never based on them. This consideration was necessary to demonstrate that two Kosmic tendencies were lost and interior and exterior holons were mixed not accidentally. This sad mistake persists on various levels and in various elements of AQAL.
These tendencies remind us, that the concepts of whole/part regarding an individual holon has two valuable contexts at least: culture and organism. In each case we have in some sense such kind of relations to an individual holon that a whole has to a part. Individual holon has a correlate which is a part of cultural holon and at the same time it has a correlate which is a part of organism holon. This is fundamental dual binding of a holon in the manifestation. It was the division of individual and social holons, which let Wilber found absolutely brilliant solution of the problem of their relations. Thus he destroyed the illusory wholeness of quadrants inside the holon. Only after that we've got an opportunity to describe their links and relations. Now it's time to clarify relations between self and organism and AQAL 2.0 can accomplish this task.
Thus, discarding only one unfalsified statement that individual holons posses dimensions-perspectives I, we, it and its (and replacing possession with relations), we come to the truly post-metaphysical version of AQAL, which gives a new interpretation of the entire conception, help us to solve old problems, open new perspectives and transform AQAL epistemology to make it acceptable for the science.
I'm personally infinitely appreciating everything that Ken does and I think that his works have enriched my life enormously. That's why I think that deep understanding and constructive criticism, which can improve the model, is the best acknowledgement that attentive and reflective reader can express.