INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Milos Petrovic is an author from Serbia with an MA in psychology. His main interests include theories of reality, metaphysics, perennial philosophy and spirituality. He is the author of two books – Epiphany of Consciousness
and Depths of Emptiness – An Integral Metaphysical Map of Experience
. If you have some interest in the books mentioned above, you can contact Milos at email@example.com.
An Integral Metaphysical
Map of Experience
What exactly is this “everything” with which we live? What does it actually mean that everything is? When we think of everything, we are trying to truly address everything, and not something general on the outside or something general from the inside, but absolutely everything. This spans from existence to nonexistence and from intrinsic to external. If we assess these problems, we can pose the question, “Where is the human being positioned as an embodiment of the colossal potential when thinking and understanding takes place?” Human beings may be able answer the previous question from the immediately, however, what is the correct way of using the mind, or even, do we need to use it to understand the basic principles of Being? In which circumstances, and how should we use that thing we call mind? How can that mind understand the concept of “everything” anyway, while at the same time absorbing the concept of “nothing”? This book addresses all of these topics, and a summary of the text will follow.
Besides all of the differences that we encounter in external and internal experience, can we say that there really exists some primordial basic principle or force? Does one exist that hides through all of these differences, and as a result somehow disintegrates the apparent differences of all phenomena and unravels universal and eternal background. It is a well-established fact that every separate thing, whether it is physical or psychological, exists, and that it is permanent and stable in Being. We can easily analyse and explore everything, but can we analyse the very essence of Being – of all that which exists? Can we ask questions about “Is-ness” of things that actually are? Whether we want to or not, the previous sentence introduces us to metaphysics and all its disgusting horror and majestic beauty. Accordingly, we can say that metaphysics points out questions that can't stay unanswered before we start to uncover facts about some concrete things. Ultimately, it seems that we shouldn't ask questions about things that exist if we can't answer the question of “what is existence (Being)?” in the first place.
Through time, metaphysical questions were overleaped, and all that remained was the fragile surface of Being, without much interest in the depths and core of existence. After that dangerous step, we have a significant dilemma: Is that question – “What is Being?” a question of the past or a question of the future? Does the answer to that problem lay at the very beginning of time, blurred and covered with trivialities, or does the answer hide somewhere in the future and wait for us to uncover it. Either way, topics about existence aren't so difficult, because existence (Being) always stands in front of our hands and minds. We don't need to go to the very distant past or some mysterious future to find perennial answers, because the Being that we chase is inseparable from us, essentially and frighteningly inseparable. Even if the majority of paradigms that try to impose the dualistic view stating that everything important to us is actually opposite of us, and that in the end, these are pure material things that must be sought with a goal in place, the answer to the main question is not some kind of opposite to achieve. The answer is essentially bound to us as humans, or, to put more correctly – we as humans are truly bound to it. If we want to find the answer to the core metaphysical question, we don't need any movement, but, on the contrary, all we need is existing. We need pure, motionless existence in Being, detached of any becoming or disappearing.
My main aspirations involved in this work lead toward those places without a definite or clear destination. Also, my aspirations aim at places that don't recognize any kind of motion, yet only represent basic inertia in the eternity of Being. The mitigating circumstances are that the ulterior and omnipresent fundamentality of Being has its expression in all the differences of the mundane world. As a result, we, the people, can achieve that basic core of reality through discernment convergence (in Heidegger's words). By convergence of scattered differences in the totality of existence, we can reach true Being in itself. This book also takes the approach of integration through specification, which focuses on differences. As a result, the book is divided into two main parts – firstly, one that represents the way of specification, i.e., integrating the parts into more progressive unions. The second part conceptualizes the final whole, or union. In other words, the book represents the flow through the labyrinth of distinctions that uncover universal Being, i.e., the background. To find a way to the invisible code of reality, we must first attack existence with some constructs that have the power to knock on the invisible doors of Being. Those constructs will represent the walls of the labyrinth that we must discover in the first place, since the question of existence and essence is so invisible and far beyond the usual usage of mind and perception.
The fundamental and basic starting point or axiom through which we want to unravel the final background of Being represents the following: Every aspect or fragment of the mundane and subtle experience possesses two dimensions, properties or endeavors, that is, Deepness and Wideness. This axiom represents the kind of intrinsic search code for the invisible, unmanifested and general core of everything.
Part I – “Pars”
The first part in its entirety refers to the search for essence, as well as developing a way to that essence. It develops an evolution that strikes a balance between specification and integration. Every step made in this part of the text represents a new opening and closing, and new division and convergence, until it faces the final integration. On the other hand, we can say that this first part of the book represents some sort of violence against existence. The issue of violence against existence comes up here because we make attempts to divide Being into parts we can understand and can later integrate. We take the risk to behave violently when a great intention to see something that nobody has seen before is present. We then harm reality with unnecessary cuts, because it is already given to us in its very perfection. Nevertheless, because human beings possess a mind, and the mind stands as a convergence tool, man needs all sorts of parts and diversities through which he can make holes that are invisible to him at the time. That will be the case here too, where we will deal with parts of reality and some new wholes, and these wholes will be parts of some other unified integrations.
Deepness and Wideness
Therefore, to expose the invisible passages of reality and to find the answer at the destination, we use the hypothesis of Deepness and Wideness. It is very important to indicate that Deepness and Wideness represent essential elements of the map that we will use on this path of discovering. On the other hand, Deepness and Wideness represent only that (elements of the map), and nothing more, and don't stand for the marrow or essence of that which really Is. The hypothesis of Deepness and Wideness doesn't represent “Is-ness” in itself. We only try to feel or sense that “Is-ness” through these two constructs. Before we start with defining these basic pulses of Being, we must first represent one key concept in this book. A holon stands for the whole that, in the path of development, becomes part of some next whole. It makes moving through existence much easier. A holon represents the whole and the part at the same time. In the world of holons, there is no place for orders like hierarchy or heterarchy. Additionally, a holon stands for domains of embracing where every next holon represents a more progressive field of reality. Thus, every phenomenon, physical and psychological, can be a form of a holon.
Because this concept of Deepness attempts to address the much more abstract aspect of Being, it is defined through some other, already known, constructs where integration will give us a very new quality and new power to this idea. Deepness, as a moving pulse of existence, also represents a holon that tends to embrace previous holons. This then creates some very fresh and new qualities, and, in this case, new Deepness.
Deepness can be defined as:
- The Holonisation impulse – Deepness can represent the collection force that embraces less comprehensive parts in the process of making more, new comprehensive wholes. It is very important that the whole is not only the ordinary sum of parts, but rather a new entity that is constructed out of some less comprehensive entities. In this process, what emerges is a new functional and comprehensive whole.
- Intrinsically emerging strength – Deepness represents internal phenomena. It is not visible or clearly understandable and it can't be isolated or analyzed. It is not in itself observable, but its effects are.
- Capacity/Potential – Deepness stands for capacity. It is the base and core that enables further developments. In this case, Deepness represents those properties that lay in the essence of entity and have the power to encourage self-transcendence. At the point where Capacity becomes active, it transforms into Potential. Potential directly depends on Capacity and vice versa.
- Intention – In some mental or spiritual holons, we can observe the emergence of the intrinsic necessity for all kinds of actions. Every urge to make internal life more intense or colorful represents the exertion of Deepness through intention. Here, Deepness stands for the tendency for something forthcoming.
- Self-organization pulse – In this case, Deepness is a force that develops and envelops more complex and more ordered systems from the state of randomness. Deepness represents the tendency for making a new kind of order. Every following type of self-organization is a manifestation of Deepness.
- Deep structure – Deep structure represents the kind of code on which the very essence of some specified holon stands. In this case, Deepness preserves autonomy and integrity of phenomena. Also, Deepness can represent the fundamental and defining order of things.
- Decrease of Egocentrism – In some transpersonal domains, Deepness can address expansion of identity, i.e., the disappearing of conventional barriers or limits of Ego. Here, Deepness represents a loss of any kind of “centrism”.
- Symmetry break – Deepness can also be a tendency to breach the stable condition or balance, and to give rise to new potential of emerging entities. Here, Deepness coordinates with the break of established autonomy, which will result in the making of a new unity.
- Secondary value – Here, Deepness receives its graded value. Every entity of Being can be in some way positioned in the chain of continual holarchy. However, this value is not discriminative, but a kind of value with predisposition. As opposed to secondary values, there are also primary values that address those phenomena that are the same for every entity. The primary value can't be assigned to varieties of Being, but to Being itself.
- Integral motivation – Deepness represents the general tendency for connection, which brings new integrations without specified properties of that integration. Here, we talk about the general integral drive without any defined possible outcome.
- Morphogenetic field – Deepness as a morphogenetic field refers to the unique code of holarchy that sustains and preserves the true nature of entities. At every “level” of holons, there is the subtle operating of Deepness creating a specific morphogenetic field. That field contains all properties of individual phenomena.
- Level of consciousness – Deepness as a level of consciousness can address those properties that relate to differing amounts of consciousness in certain entities. With the growth of integration and constructive complexity, there emerges a proportional increase of consciousness in various things.
After introducing some background for creating the final definition of Deepness, which represents something very abstract and invisible, yet also escapes any easy explanation, we can define it in the following way: Deepness represents the omnipresent intrinsical intention, i.e., the tendency to develop more ordered states, which develop successive gradient holonisation according to the progressive potentials.
Wideness represents the other side of this theoretical duality. If Deepness can be related to invisible/intentional aspects of development, then Wideness refers to the external and concrete expansion of that intention. Wideness represents the concrete side of existence. Precisely, Deepness stands for tendency, while Wideness stands for degree and way of realization of that tendency. The main task and purpose of Wideness is to constitute and develop adequate expansion of the specified level of Deepness. For example, we can say that religion, as mythical way of perceiving the world represents one level of Deepness. At the same time, Wideness refers to all of the concrete and quantitative variations of that world view. If we defined Deepness as the sum of multiple constructs, which are fundamental for its definition, then Wideness represents every possible way of expanding and constituting all of these multiple concepts.
If we consider Deepness and Wideness relatively, we can see that these two tendencies intertwine, supplement and complement each other. Deepness generates and creates, while Wideness constitutes what was previously created. Deepness holonizes, while Wideness expands those holons.
Furthermore, we can say that there are two separate kinds of Wideness – external and internal. Viewed form a developmental standpoint, the one that emerges first is external, and later, by the interjection of Deepness, emerges the internal. External Wideness represents the concretization, extent and constitution of the material domain of Being. External Wideness is related to inanimate domains of existence like the Physiosphere and the partial Biosphere (defined later) where it represents both palpable and impalpable contents of space. Internal Wideness emerges after the emergence of Deepness, which possesses properties enabling the capacity and potential for the creation of consciousness, or, more precisely – self-consciousness. By contrast, internal Wideness is inherent to the Noosphere and Theosphere (psychological and transpersonal domains of reality). The Internal possesses wider and bigger degrees of freedom and wider space to spread itself. It is important to indicate that both forms of Wideness exist simultaneously. After the emergence of the Noosphere, External Wideness doesn't simply disappear. Both External and Internal Wideness coexist separately in their different domains of existence. We must also note that Internal Wideness directly depends on the External due to the fundamentality of the External domains of Being.
Wideness can also be described in various ways. Wideness, as a tendency in reality next to Deepness, can demonstrate somewhat expressed pathological tendencies. It can be undeveloped, optimal and overdone. Undeveloped stands for a deficient constitution of a specific level of Deepness, i.e., a holon. If Wideness of some particular level of holon is undeveloped, Deepness would not be able to create a more comprehensive realm of existence. Another type of Wideness represents Optimal Wideness, which stands for a “healthy and mature” level enabling the emergence of the next successful degree of Deepness. (Relational intervening and inseparability of Deepness and Wideness will be the main topic of the next chapter). Overdone Wideness represents a form of extensive and quantitative hyperproduction. It stands for the excessive growth and constitution of a particular holon, and the resistance to emergence of the next level of Deepness. Therefore, when we talk about Wideness, Undeveloped and Overdone refer to regressive tendencies, while Optimal Wideness represents progressive expanding tendencies.
After describing the idea of Wideness, we can come up with one summarized definition: Wideness represents the extensive emergence of an approximately optimal quantitative domain within a specific level of Deepness.
Comparative defining of Deepness and Wideness
This chapter deals with defining Deepness and Wideness according to their relational properties, which represent vital aspects of the developmental dynamics of existence.
- Deepness as an active aspect of creation is qualitative, while Wideness stands for a quantitative pulse. Deepness makes qualitative “deepening”, while Wideness makes quantitative “externalization”.
- Deepness represents the active domain of a creative act, while, on the other hand, Wideness represents the less active and more passive domain of creation.
- Deepness can be symbolically presented in terms of “through (something)”, while following the same logic, we can say that Wideness is a movement “towards (something)”. Deepness can be found “through” everything and it doesn't have a determined localization in things, while Wideness goes “towards” everything and it can be somehow conceptualized or perceived.
- In addition to the previous statement, Deepness stands for the subjective properties of holons, which “go through” things, while Wideness represents objective properties of holons “going toward” something.
- Deepness can be explained as self-transcendence, while Wideness represents self-preservation. Deepness represents a constant progression towards new comprehensions, while Wideness stands for the facilitation and self-preservation of already established levels of holon. Deepness can be a kind of primal increase, while Wideness can be a kind of primal cessation.
- Deepness can be described as a pulse of integration, while Wideness can be described as a pulse of specification. Deepness goes toward the integration of holons into a holonic chain, whereas Wideness goes toward the specification of some particular level of holon. Therefore, Deepness and Wideness together form an integral, yet specific spiral.
- Deepness manifests its activity in the spirit of holarchy, whereas Wideness manifests itself in the spirit of heterarchy. When we talk about Deepness, every holon represents the core of some other holon. On the other hand, Wideness represents all variations inside a particular holon, which are inherent to one distinctive level.
- In its developmental stages, Deepness can be described as “becoming”, whereas Wideness can be presented as “existing”. Deepness represents the creative dynamics behind the phenomenon of “origination”, while Wideness stands for an extensive force related to the phenomenon of “persisting”. Becoming/origination and existing/persisting are in a continual state of interchange and complementarity.
- Deepness can be explained as an affirmation of a break in symmetry, while Wideness can be explained as an affirmation of symmetry enhancement. The activity of Deepness creates new wholes, whereas Wideness creates wider wholes.
- In the context of the nature of progress, Deepness can represent true development, while Wideness represents a less progressive force, which can even sometimes be an example of progress illusion. However, when we look at progress from another point of view, we can say that Deepness represents the propulsion force of progress, wherein Wideness represents the foundation of the newborn or the next progression.
- At last, Deepness can be explained as the construct of Transformation, while Wideness can be described as Translation. Deepness as Transformation creates new worlds, while Wideness as Translation stands for the translation of the same world into many different manifestations of that particular world (or worldview).
After defining Deepness and Wideness through comparison logic, it is very important to emphasize certain points: the hypothesis of Deepness and Wideness is not a world, yet a world-view. It doesn't represent Being in itself, but one interpretation of Being. It is not truth, but a distant distortion of truth - one that can never be heard in its primordial and cardinal mode. Truth that fills everything can be heard according to the properties and possibilities of our ears. In that moment when truth becomes influxed in our perceptive matrix, it becomes partial in its core.
Relations and Dynamics between Deepness and Wideness
In this chapter, we will talk especially about relations between Deepness and Wideness, without an intentional attempt to define those two constructs. The most basic way to introduce their relation is shown in the figure below.
Deepness is illustrated as vertical, whereas Wideness represents the horizontal dimension. The axis in the middle represents Deepness, i.e., different levels of Deepness, while the horizontal intersection can be described as Wideness corresponding to its level of Deepness. Every level of Deepness creates its own Wideness. Also, we can see that Deepness exerts its movement upwards and downwards, possessing characteristics of ascension and descension. Alternatively, Wideness exerts movement left and right. Deepness can be represented as an axis, while Wideness can represent strenghtening of that axis.
Furthermore, we can see that levels of Deepness are not discrete, whereas Wideness has strictly separated sections. This situation suggests that Deepness is connective in its essence, while Wideness is fundamentally distinctive. Two points between different levels of Deepness represent spots of flexibility, transparency and openness. Contrary to Deepness, Wideness creates clearly distinguishable derivatives of axial Deepness.
If we take a closer look, we can see that there are places in which Deepness is in Wideness, and vice versa. Exactly at these junctions, where these two proto and perennial forces meet, emerges the creation of all that we call existence, reality, Being, etc. That place or spot, represents a Proto – unit, which is illustrated the figure below.
The Proto – unit constructed of Deepness and Wideness represents the basic drive of the creative process. Deepness operates vertically, whereas Wideness operates horizontally. Nevertheless, in this form of the Proto - unit, those two basic forces represents one inseparable entity. Deepness can't be deepened without a previous widening (Wideness activity), while widening cannot exist without the emergence of something that we can expand (Deepness activity). Both forces in this Proto – unit can perform normal or pathological predispositions and activity. Now is the time to introduce some pathological tendencies of Deepness. We will show that, besides Wideness, Deepness can be maladaptive in its nature too.
Deepness can be progressive, fixated or regressive. Progressive Deepness represents a result of optimal development of Wideness, which establishes the previous level of Deepness. If a new level of Deepness emerges at the Optimal Wideness point, then we can refer to the “healthy” and unhindered next comprehension. The Optimal Wideness point represents a spot on the Wideness continuum at which widening, expansion and magnification reach an optimal level, defining a new, vivid holon. Fixated or Regressive Deepness stands for the result of non-optimized development of Wideness. If the growth of Wideness becomes overdone or reduced, then every operation of Deepness on that pathological point of Wideness will be fixated or regressive. Regressive Deepness emerges when activity of Wideness is reduced, while Fixated Deepness appears when the activity of Wideness becomes overdone.
In the following, we can see a figure illustrating the emergence of a new Proto – unit.
As is evident in the above figure, we have outlined two holons, i.e., two levels of Deepness/Wideness. One (lower) is formed while the other (upper) is in the process of emergence. The Main horizontal lines represent Wideness activity and its effects. The short vertical lines within the two main horizontal lines represent a tendency and achievement of the Optimal Wideness point, which is illustrated as a discontinuation of the two horizontal lines and dots above. Every next widening after that optimal point stands for one point or another of pathological activity. The main horizontal lines represent examples of symmetry enhancement, whereas the emergence of the next Proto – unit (“upper” holon) represents a break in symmetry of the “lower” holon. Through this symmetry break of the previously created level (or Deepness activity), breach of autonomy emerges leading to new potentials for another holonic embrace. After the symmetry break of the previous optimally widened holon, self-organization and a tendency for new regularities start to establish. Self-organizing tendencies of Wideness represent the creation of a more imminent establishment, while self-organizing tendencies of Deepness stand for the creation of more intensive self-trancendency. The previously mentioned Deep structure constitutes the very essence of the new Proto – unit, which was inaccessible to the previous level of Deepness/Wideness. The new Deep structure therefore represents the beating heart of a new, more comprehensive holon, i.e., Deepness/Wideness domain. The Proto – unit represents an integration of a complete and optimally widened previous holon, with the addition of something new and formerly invisible and absent. That “formerly unvisible and absent” becomes visible only with the very present, very established and developed previous level of Deepness/Wideness.
Previously described dynamics figuratively represent the creative contraction of existence. Continous interchange of creation and destruction in favor of a new existential embrace and new range of Being. The emergence of a new Proto – unit or new Deepness/Wideness can be presented as a sum of eight distinctive steps:
- Deepening of the primary level (D)
- Widening of the primary level (W)
- Optimization of the degree of symmetry (W)
- Establishment of optimal degree symmetry (W)
- Symmetry break of the primary holon (D)
- Surrender of autonomy to new integrations (D)
- Morphogenetic field emergence of a new Proto - unit (D)
- Initial conditions widening the new Proto – unit (W)
The first six steps represent activity within the basic holon, i.e., Deepness/Wideness level, while the next two steps represent activity within the new Proto – unit. Bracket marks indicate the primary force (D – Deepness/W – Wideness). In the real text, every step is described through an example of cognitive development (through deepening from symbols to concepts).
After we briefly described the emergence of a new Deepness/Wideness level, it is time to integrate Wilber's concepts of Depth and Span into the story. It is important to outline that the whole story about Deepness and Wideness (or emergence of the new Proto – unit) represents internal dynamics within every entity or every holon. On the other hand, the concepts of Depth and Span stand for the gradation and relations between different holons. We can say that Wilber's constructs of Depth and Span provide a really good contribution to the scaling of reality, especially with some constructs like Fundamentality and Significance. If some entity embraces more of reality, then it has more Depth and less Span. Every next step of evolution creates more Depth and less Span (a process that is described and quoted in the book).
The properties and behavior of Depth and Span are represented in the figure below.
The x-axis represents the major domains of Being (PS - Physiosphere, BS - Biosphere, NS - Noosphere and TS - Theosphere), while the y-axis represents the presence (P) and activity of Depth and Span in those domains of reality (D – Depth, S – Span). Evidently, through the process of evolution, entities go towards more Depth and less Span. Through this process, Depth increases while Span decreases. The end of the Theosphere presents another unique situation: Depth becomes infinite while Span plummets toward a null point. Again, it is important to distinguish that here we are referring to the gradation of holons and not about inner dynamics. Inner dynamics are represented by Deepness and Wideness, which create the next embraces of Being. Deepness and Wideness represent the creation of Being, while Depth and Span represent a way of providing a gradient scaling of that Being.
At the end of this chapter, one fundamental issue arises, which is the question of primacy of one of these primary forces. More precisely, we want to determine which of these essential forces, Deepness or Wideness, represent the starting point of the whole Being. We want to know which force starts the process of cosmic holonization and which follows the other. If both forces equally drive the process of holonization, one of them must start that process. After that starting point, those two drives becomes equally important. Here, we ask precisely that question: How does that whole process of creation emerge? Which activity starts it?
If we remember how we defined Deepness and Wideness, it could be possible to answer those questions: If the lack of manifestation is latent, while manifestation is manifest (it is available to our senses), and if we know that Wideness (not Deepness) primarily creates manifestation of that latention, we can assume that Deepness lies in the very beginning of creation. If Deepness represents something that we will never perceive and experience in its true state, and if we know that Deepness isn't some clearly differentiated entity, it can give some advantage and priority to it. If the primary state before existence represents something unmanifested, something without any physical, biological, conscious and transpersonal form, then that state represents a state without Wideness. If there is a lack of manifestation, then Wideness does not exist either. We do not yet know the part of the story that is responsible for manifesting concrete and separate entities. There is no expansion, but only intention without its expanded form. Hence, if we don't have Wideness, the only thing we have left is Deepness. Deepness can represent pure, unmanifested intention or an integrative pulse that possesses a morphogenetic field charged with enormous potential (without its concrete manifestation).
It can be assumed that before anything, before any form (physical, biological, mental or transmental), there was only one and only omipotent Proto – unit. That Proto – unit was without proto – Wideness and had only proto – Deepness. This Proto - Deepness represents the premordial and basic state of Being, one that is fully charged with potential. It is “maximal” and unmanifested. It is nowhere, but at the same time, it is everywhere. It is simultaneously nothing and everything.
After describing the previous issues, it is time to move on to next chapter. At this point, it is imperative to give life to everything that was previously said about this dry, abstract theory.
Physio, Bio, Noo… Theo…
After the definition and explanation of Deepness and Wideness, one can relate those two abstract concepts to our experience. Here, we will try to connect the theoretical axiom with everyday life. The best way to do this is to implement Deepness and Wideness into the four domains of existence, or four superholons of Being – the Physiosphere, Biosphere, Noosphere and Theosphere. The Physiosphere stands for the inanimate sphere of existence. The Biosphere represents the domain of life and the Noosphere stands for the conscious or mental domain. Lastly, the Theosphere represents transpersonal or spiritual domain. Every domain, or superholon, will be presented through these two basic creative forces – Deepness and Wideness. In this summary text, we will only briefly mention theories, constructs and authors that will represent the dynamics of every particular superholon. It is important to outline that we will include Wilber's theory of Depth and Span, as a result of which the whole conceptualization will have an evolutionary tone. Every superholon will represent some kind of gradation of existence.
The issues in this chapter are: the range and extent of the Physiosphere, the distance of the Physiosphere to human perception, gravity, knowing of Physiosphere effects but not the Physiosphere itself, the fundamental nature of the Physiosphere, the emergence of the first Wideness from unmanifested Deepness (Proto – Deepness), the fundamental forces of the Physiosphere, Implicit and Explicit order (David Bohm) and the inaccessibility of the Physiosphere to direct experience.
Biosphere (materia + vita)
In this chapter we will address: Abiogenesis, Biogenesis, Panspermia, the works of Alexander Oparin, the hypothesis of the premordial soup, progression from atoms to organisms, relations between the Physiosphere and Biosphere, the (Phylogenetic) tree of life and the emergence of the nervous system towards the Noosphere.
Noosphere (materia + vita + cogitatio)
Themes in this part of the book represent the following: the direct availability of the Noosphere in contrast to previous superholons, difficulties with Noosphere mapping and its infinitive nature, relations between the Noosphere and the other two previous superholons, the emergence of consciousness, self-consciousness and identity, the work of Jean Gebser (phylogenetic development of cognition), Lawrence Kohlberg (stages of moral development) and Clare Grawes (Spiral dynamics).
Theosphere (materia + vita + cogitatio + spiritus)
The “Theosphere” chapter, among other topics, includes one specific map of progress from Noosphere to Theosphere. This is called the “Theo – transition” and it numbers six developmental steps that can characterize a shift from mental to transmental domains. Those steps are the following (which are explained in the book):
Besides this developmental transition, this chapter addresses other topics such as: subjectivity, the experience of identity, definitions of spirituality, the nature of Ego, the work of David Chalmers (defining of consciousness), Wilber's transpersonal domains (gross, subtle, causal and non-dual), Ramana Maharshi, the work of Peter Russell, the Kosha system, the work of William James (characteristics of spiritual experience), Wilber's transpersonal minds (visionary, illuminated, intuituve, over and super mind), time and space in the Theosphere and metaphysical and developmental difficulties in the Theosphere.
After those issues, it is time to exit the domain of Theosphere. That process is presented through the eight steps of holonization, or more precisely, the eight steps of emerging from the new Proto – unit (the steps are numbered in a way that explains the relations between Deepness and Wideness). The last parts before the final integration represent internal and external non-duality. Those two parts were the subject of the eight steps of building the new Proto – unit.
Scala Omnia represents an attempt to determine and resume Deepness behavior through previously mentioned superholons. Because Deepness is more primary and a more essential force in the variability of Being, outlined here is one example of scaling and defining of its activity through the major holons of existence. According to this, we can number these kinds of Deepness:
- Fundamental – initial (Physiosphere)
- Extensive (Biosphere)
- Intent (Noosphere)
- Dispersive (Theosphere)
- Empty (Emptiness/Nothingness)
In the following figure we can see Scala Omnia:
Evidently, after exiting the Theosphere, Deepness obtains a new property, one which represents its empty “nature”. Deepness becomes empty after exiting the Theosphere because there are no parts to integrate into some deeper whole. Deepness of Emptiness represents the final whole that can be conceptualized. It doesn't possess any quality, shape or clear distinctions. It is equidistant to every phenomenon, yet it is in every phenomenon, as well as unmanifested. It represents Nothingness, which infuses “Somethingness” or existence (everything).
Part II – Conexis
The second part of the book involves the defining and describing unexplainable Emptiness or Nothingness. With the progressive embracing and comprehension of every superholon (PS, BS, NS, TS) into one whole, we arrive into the state cleaned of any demarcations and distinctions. In the Deepness of Emptiness, there is no quality since it embraces every quality and doesn't possess any kind of Wideness. One single “thing” that this Nothingness “possesses” is one ineffable Proto – unit that at the end becomes Imus – Deepness, or the Last Deepness. Integration of the last two parts from the Theosphere, the internal and external non-duality, leads to the emergence of the Deepness of Emptiness that doesn't possess Wideness (internal non-duality stands for non-dual insight, while external non-duality stands for the ever present non-dual state of Being). Deepness of Emptiness emerges through the vanishing of any kind of parts. The Deepness of Emptiness represents an integration of every domain of experience and Being from atoms, animals, thoughts to “overthoughts”. Whole Deepness of Emptiness contains in its comprehensive “existence” those two tendencies (Deepness and Wideness) that creates and preserves everything, while in its own nature, it represents pure unmanifested Deepness without Wideness. Every level of Depth and state of Deepness in the entire holonization represents the Deepness of Emptiness in the end.
To make an easier integration of “Empty Deepness” into the developmental story of superholons, we can use a new term for this final state – the Omnosphere. The term “Omnosphere” should indicate that this domain of existence represents the final omnism of Being.
In this chapter we analyse the following themes: absence and needlessness of thoughts and the ability to differentiate, retrospective of Omnosphere content, organization and disorganization towards the Omnosphere, the phenomenon of form in Deepness of Emptiness, an attempt to explain Emptiness or Nothingness, Mahayana Buddhism and Emptiness, the notion of Primary value in contrast to the Secondary value, which was present before the emergence of the Deepness of Emptiness (absence of any value in the Deepness of Emptiness), the problem of map and territory in relation to Emptiness (Emptiness represents territory without a map or not even a kind of territory), the problem of completion or finiteness, the making of Deepness of Emptiness accesible to everyday senses and the everyday experience through trans-thoughts and trans-emotions (trans-thought of integration and trans-emotion of unattached love), the knowable “content” of Emptiness and an inaccessibility of the Deepness of Emptiness or Nothingness.
Closure – Conclusio
In the Closure, we try to summarize and comment on the following: the commentary of the motives behind writing this theoretical subject, describing the inaccessibility of the final metaphysical understanding, essentiality of making questions about Being and its core and nature, giving indication that the theory of Deepness and Wideness represents just another hypothesis, and questions about whether Being is the cause or effect with an emphasis of integration and attachment to it.
The End – Exitus
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