Frank Visser, CLIMBING THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: Reflections on Ken Wilber's “The Religion of Tomorrow”
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
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Giorgio Piacenza is a sociologist student in the Certificate program leading to a Master's degree in Integral Theory at JFK University.
Towards a Multi-Realm/Multiverse Theory Suitable for Otherworldly Contacts
Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera
Evidence abounds that indeed creatures from other realities are occasionally interacting with us. In this essay, I won't explore this evidence but will inquire into what could assist us to deal with this reality.How can we effectively promote social acceptance and comfort with the possibility of extraterrestrial and otherworldly encounters? Our minds heavily influenced by instincts affecting us through our physical bodies or through our biology as pre-verbal needs of immediate, intuitively Newtonian physical survival interests seem to be at odds with any unusual inter-realm related events that produce physically detectable effects. Unless we are even more inspired by other instincts of a higher nature in touch with the higher realms which our non-physical bodies inhabit, we seem to find ourselves at odds and dumbfounded. Neither the full implications of quantum physics nor any physics of the paranormal or of inter dimensional-inter-realm contacts seem to be widely realized nor to harmonize with the physical, mechanistic survival instincts and this is a major problem impeding acceptance, progress and comfort in the UFO field. Nevertheless, in my understanding, we also need to become familiar with a physical theory deeply dependent upon information and the mind sin order to establish a common ground with any advanced extraterrestrial entities capable of escaping from mechanistic, linear, physical limitations.
Returning to the issue of our psychological wherewithal, we need to understand how our human minds operate in order to make sense of our responses to the UFO phenomenon and hopefully through this stimulate an awakening of the higher instincts given by the higher bodies and eventually make collective and individual strides in our relation with the whole Cosmos. We indeed seem to be collectively attached to a physical-biological way of making sense of our experiences and this way is inimical to a healthy and practical appreciation of otherworldly phenomena. Our physical-biological instincts adapted to a highly entropic world tell us in a very deep and influential way that only a mechanistic world makes sense and these same instincts may distort us into unconsciously reacting as gullible believers or as over-skeptical deniers. In the first case we are surrendering our independence to greater “others” and in the second case we are denying aspects of who we already are.
As exopoliticians we should seriously ask what’s really going on with the human mind to simplify and react with denial or with gullibility. Why do skeptics take exclusivist sides on the UFO phenomenon? More poignantly, why do non skeptics also take exclusivist sides on it? Why should we tend to prefer a particular contact experience, unproven inspiring message or leader, picking and choosing among not too many carefully considered options with little serious analysis and insight? Why is objectivity so influenced by feeling? Aren’t non skeptics responding as radically in their own ways as close-minded skeptics?
We need to understand our human psychological responses to the unknown in order to better understand our own participation with the UFO phenomenon and with other reality-challenging phenomena of physical consequence. We pick and choose so lightly according to our preferences in a field of inquiry that is quite complex. Do we prefer to study or become passionate about the cover-up, about contacts and contactees and their inspiring messages? Do we only render credible a “nuts and bolts” approach? Are abductions more credible than “space brothers”? Is ascension as explained through channeling more suitable than inquiring about secret technology? Off course all of these themes are also somewhat associated in our understandings but most of us also have preferences that exclude a dispassionate analysis of all aspects. Is this a natural human response to uncertainty, especially an uncertainty in which otherworldly phenomena give rise to physically detectable events?
I believe that, unless we come to understand some of the basics of a universal knowledge applicable to the physical, psychological, spiritual and social sciences, we won’t have a sufficient common basis to dialogue with more advanced Multiverse-faring civilizations. In the new and developing idea of the “Multiverse” we should perhaps even consider that it may extend beyond the realm of physicality. By understanding the laws behind iner-realm interactions we may get a deeper appreciation of the origin of physical universes and of their qualitative aspects.
The idea that there are non-physical realms may be a key concept that needs to be carefully developed in order to find common ground with advanced civilizations capable of moving across our physical universe, other physical universes and-or different kinds of universes. The idea of three main kinds of realms correlating with Physical, Mental and Spiritual characteristics should be considered, even to develop a more updated scientific understanding. In this regard, philosopher of science Karl Popper’s proposal of “three worlds” intrigues me. In spite of his materialist stance, in this proposal the recognition of qualitative aspects in what can be theoretically understood opens up and, in my view, unless we better understand how qualitative aspects relate with quantitative ones, theories in which choice plays an important part will not move beyond their current lack of predictability and internal coherence. The scope of these theories may include higher forms of physics and the workings of the mind-body problem as well as paranormal and ufological events. I definitely think that scientists working with non classical (perhaps “quantum” and related) physical theories also currently need to make bold moves to understand the relation of exterior, objective “Matter” with information, evaluation and consciousness.
Thus, physical scientists, social scientists, ufologists and paranormalists may have to open their minds in a non-classical, counter- intuitive way. They may also have to delve into metaphysical issues concerning the nature of reality. The question is how to do it without our minds being distorted by our instinctive blindly favorable and blindly rejectful reactions towards “strangeness.” For instance falling into misguided flights of prophetic-like fancy taken for well-established facts as seems to be the case of some enthusiastic new agers and many genuine and alleged contactees.
All kinds of scientists may have to eventually open their minds against their physically-biologically originating distorting-misinterpreting instincts and do so in a non-classical, counter intuitive way against their intimate “matter of fact” sense of what is and is not “real.” Will this be done without a new kind of “cargo cult” reaction? Will this be done without falling into magical-mythical forms of thinking in which self worth is typically linked with the need to please “superior” deities? Again, can it be done both without a crude rejection of higher spiritual truths and without misguided flights of gullible fancy taken for well-established facts? Well, perhaps it may be done (without genetic modification?) only if the human mind already possesses untapped resources in a higher instinctual contact with the truths or ways of higher realms and if it is flexible enough to educate itself to the point of transcending and including its more primitive instincts. There must be a natural, eye-opening recognition that we already are participants in the “otherworldly,” that we originate in it, that our human constitution extends into other realms and depends upon them, that we can tap into an instinctive sense of safety in relation to other realms and to other vehicles of consciousness we possess in them. Moreover, I think that developing improved theories which can have practical and applicable consequences in relation to otherworldly phenomena would also contribute to the process of becoming comfortable with various manifestations of the otherworldly. Nevertheless, this means that the adequate theoretician on these matters will likely have to connect his or her scientific predispositions to the improvement of essentialist, emanationist, panentheistic metaphysical concepts and to non physical related phenomena.
Regarding future theoretical directions, I think that the relation between the “three worlds” needs to be worked out more clearly. An interesting source of ideas may be Ken Wilber’s “Integral Theory” (which still needs improvement to adequately deal with otherworldly phenomena). In this theory, every event, every detail of reality, eventually recognized as a “holon” or part which is also a whole to other parts is hierarchically connected. I think that even entire realms of existence could be considered as holons and that our Physical Universe may itself be part of a Mental-Subtle Realm. Perhaps an infinite number of physical universes would be part of the Mental-Subtle Realm. Interestingly, each holon (no matter how encompassing or small in the number of sublevels or parts it contains) would possess an Interior psychological aspect, an Exterior material aspect, a single-individual or unitary aspect and a plural-collective aspect. Within a single holon these aspects are said to correlate or to manifest all together in a simultaneous way and no event or occasion is without them. The four main aspects would be the result of duality and they would exist whenever or wherever there is duality…including all of manifestation and the three main realms variously posited through different mystical and esoteric traditions. Nevertheless, what could their relation be like as aspects of holons relating across realms? Extending these concepts to realms relating as holons would be useful to begin deducing the kinds of relations among them. We would find that the Interiors and Exteriors of higher realms would not manifest with the same intensity as the ones of lower realms. For instance, matter or substance would be less intense and influential in the Subtle Realm than in the Physical Realm. I would also expect(speaking in terms of an emanationist essentialism) the Interior, subjective, experiential aspect to be more dominant so that, generally speaking, Exteriors would conform to it. In other words, there would be a differential relation across realms and this would render an interaction (perhaps a unique kind of exchange of forces) possible. This would also mean that a scientific approach to inter-realm activity would be possible.
Another interesting idea (sometimes brought forth by contactees) is that physical universes may come in different varieties and themselves display various degrees of etherealization. My idea is that the various so- called “densities” of different physical universes may occur according to how intensely they interact with the Mental-Subtle and Causal realms. Some extraterrestrial beings may come from less physically restrictive physical universes and by this I mean, from universes in which experience depends less upon exterior causes. In these universes, the influence of the Mental-Subtle Realm in which its matter or substance apparently responds to Interior mental causes without delay may be stronger. For instance, in these universes inertia may be weaker.
Furthermore, how a theory holds on internally and how it corresponds to empirical verifications would remain important. I think that our theories can indeed improve in order to embrace and explain more of the paranormal, the mind-body problem, inter-realm and inter-dimensional physics, the physics of extraterrestrial spacecraft and so forth. Also Popper’s idea of “falsification” (or being able to refute a theory) is adequate as it renders theories open to modification through a scientific objective approach. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be refuted at all costs but that Popper’s idea is more like a normally useful recommendation or guideline like the so-called “Occam’s Razor” is. Even other realms may be suited for scientific exploration through physical instruments that interact with Subtle matter or by using our Subtle and Causal matter senses through collective experimentation and validation or refuttal. Our quest for better knowledge is constant and may progress towards the infinite.
Popper’s “World One” reminds me of what in Vedanta, Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and Theosophy could be called the “Physical Realm,” “World Two” reminds me of the “Mental and/or Subtle Realm” and “World Three” of the “Causal Realm” or world of first principles and first causes. This series could be typically associated with the “Body-Mind-Spirit” metaphysical trilogy. Now, by extending Ken Wilber’s integral model, I understand that each “realm” has an Interior and an Exterior aspect. Every thing describale or recognizable in a dualistic way does.
Popper’s distinction between “World Two” from “World Three” may not be clearly understood as the nature of the Causal or “seed” world may transcend Popper’s understanding of abstract concepts. Moreover, a clear understanding of this issue doesn’t seem to be shared among proponents of the more recognized modern and premodern esoteric schools from the East, the Middle East and the West. Broadly speaking, these “three worlds” seem to have a more direct connection with Vedanta. Moreover, Andean cosmological thinking seems to somewhat agree with it as three worlds have also been traditionally posited as far back as for thousands of years (In “Caral” America’s oldest urban center the stair-like symbol used by the Incas to represent the three worlds has been found).
In the basic 5000 or more years-old Andean cosmology (also inherited by the Incas) there’s an underground world (the normally chaotic and past-oriented world of the deceased, now sometimes associated with the subconscious mind), there’s the world of actual or ‘present’ experience (normally associated with people living in the physical world and now is often associated with the conscious mind) and there’s the higher, future-oriented, heavenly world of abstract ideas and cosmic principles which today is sometimes associated with the higher, supraconscious or cosmic mind. These worlds are called “UKU Pacha,” “KAY Pacha” and “HANAN Pacha” respectively. Persons (called “Runa” in the Quechua Inca language) are said to be able to officiate as a bridge to connect the three worlds. Could we say that his or her consciousness “collapses the wave functions” that appear as possibilities in relation to the lower and higher worlds correspondingly centered in the past and the future?
Are you familiar with the Kabbhala? If the upper trilogy of the transcendental divine Being (Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur) is part of a transcultural, intuitive and rational discovery of three main subdivisions, it may be represent three-in-one transcendental essences giving rise to each of the three main (Causal, Subtle, Physical) realms which would be like their reflections within manifestation, appearance or duality. Expressing through the realms, these three “essences” would be outside of manifested duality but also within its manifestation: “Ain” would correspond with and give rise to the Causal Realm; “Ain Soph” would correspond with and give rise to the Subtle Realm and “Ain Soph Aur” to the Physical Realm. Furthermore, the material exteriors of each realm would be different in that they would respectively respond to physical causes, mental causes and spiritual principle causes.
The Light of the “Ain Soph Aur” essence could be understood as the origin of all the gradations of material exteriors and subdivisions in all of the hierarchically connected realms and their sub-realms. A good theoretical understanding of how these realms relate and interact would be a crucial part of a more complete theoretical model applicable both to physical and non physical sciences. This would be the beginning of an understanding which would perhaps be like a common language shared with older and-or more advanced civilizations in the Cosmos which would have some form of Panentheistic understanding.
This higher, threefold, mystically and rationally-intuited aspects of the Infinite may also correspond to similar intuitions in other religious traditions as in the Christian Trinity since in mystical Christianity the “Father” (as “Ain”) can be considered as that of which nothing can be positively said, “Ain Soph” as the first definition of the limitless (akin to the Logos) and “Ain Soph Aur” as the infinite Light (akin to the Holy Spirit through which non dual “God” creates (by diminishing its plenum and allowing potential entities to express) and maintains a connection with the dependent and apparently real Cosmos). In this little referred to level of mystical understanding within some religious cultural traditions there are shared principles which the rigorous perennialist thinker Fritjoff Schuon elaborates upon. Regardless, the idea of Three Principles (both transcendental but reflected and embedded in the Cosmos) often comes up and I think that (with his own modern-era version) Karl Popper recognized a basic metaphysical pattern that is too profound to ignore.
As a materialist and classical modern era thinker, Popper seems to have proposed an emergentist metaphysical solution making the physical “World One” primary for the emergence of the other two. Nonetheless, in spite of appearances to the contrary, “World One” would originate in “World Two” and “World Two” in “World Three.” While, from a non-dual perspective, these distinctions may be meaningless, from a conceptual and principial perspective the ‘higher’ (meaning more essential) cannot originate from the ‘lower’. Thus, while in a relative sense emergentism may be plausible, from a principial sense it is not. Nonetheless, they may complement from a dialectic, organicist perspective pointing towards a mutually implied, infinitely recursive, non dual relation.
I think that the relation between the “three worlds” proposed by Karl Popper needs to be understood more clearly in order to learn how visitors from exo civilizations move in and out of our particular physical reality and throughout the “Multiverse” (which should be considered to extend beyond our Physical Universe or physical universes into Mental-Subtle sub-realms and also into highly abstract, universal principle, Causal sub-realms). Already cosmologists are considering that the physical universe or Multiverse originates with information. Will it be long before information is understood as making sense or existing only if recognized by consciousness? The way the three main realms may relate could be principial and metaphysical but also interactive as their exterior material aspects may be said to interact. In this way the qualitative and the quantitative may complement still leaving room for a material scientific approach under a more inclusive view of what “matter” is.
Logical internal coherence and correspondence to empirical reality is
part of the legacy or contributions from the Modern Era (which in
spite of the practical materialism it originated also served to free
many millions from poverty, ignorance, slavery and decease) and I
think that it still needs to be recognized even if we feel
spiritually and emotionally predisposed to also recognize a magic and
mythic sense of reality. We must understand that (before the
extraordinary events granted by UFO and plausible extraterrstrial
contacts) subdivisions within the UFO and disclosure movements reflect
our more often than not mutually excluding interpretive preferences.
This needs to change if we don’t want to be permanent unconscious
promoters our own undoing as exopoliticians. An INTEGRAL attitude
towards all aspects of the UFO phenomenon is needed -for instance- to
move beyond “contacteism vs. nuts and bolts” exclusivist preferences
and beyond other such simple dichotomies. An integral attitude should
promote closeness with our “exocivilized” visitors.