Reflections on Ken Wilber's The Religion of Tomorrow (2017) - Parts I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII - PDF
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".
Giorgio Piacenza is a sociologist student in the Certificate program leading to a Master's degree in Integral Theory at JFK University. .
|POLARITY INVOLVES AT LEAST 3 CATEGORIES and their subcategories:|
|1. OPPOSITENESS||2. COMPLEMENTARITY||3. TENSION|
Inter Level Tension
Evolutionary Usefulness of Organicism
Although Organicism's flexible, inclusive “both-and” use of the Identity Principle is helpful for understanding the polar complexities of existence, and can assist us with quadratic analysis, it CANNOT conceptually connect with a non-relative, Absolute Reality. Organicism just seems to arrive at hints of non duality issuing from the dynamics of dual existence as it is rationally experienced. Nonetheless, I think that it occupies a relational position between Shankara's interpreting existence as Maya, Nagarjuna's connection of ordinary experience with Sunya and the emphasis on exclusivist clarity found in most of Western's logic use of a strong “Excluded Middle.” Organicistic logic offers an in-between, rational tool BETWEEN transcendence and concreteness constantly showing us how to reconcile the polar paradoxes of existence. Organicism and its Taoist-inspired logic assisting our rational understanding of organizational patterns, holarchies and systems may also help our minds leap into transrational intuition.
The richness of polar existence (as understood in this Taoism-related “both-and' logic) could also lead to an attitude of simple acceptance of Being so that “Suchness” could eventually be intuited. The relationship Sunya-Suchness could eventually be reached as the simple acceptance of ordinary experience increases with support from both-and, 2nd Tier logic. This logic that informs Organicism is a 2nd Tier thinking tool which could ease the way for intellectually-inclined people seeking non dual realization. Organicism could become an eye-opening, rational way of complexly thinking about duality-existence, preparing some to intuit the non dual Ground which appears to be connected with the essential and less causally describable phenomenon of polar mutual immanence. For post modernists still over-relying in naďve “either-or” Western logical clarity to discredit tradition and modernism, Organicism could be an eye-opening “Samadhi” or mind-stopping experience comparable to when inquisitive Westerners abandon extreme polar contrasts and utterly surrender to “faith” in an Absolute Other.
While either-or logic is a great tool for producing practical results by manipulating the partialness of existence, “both-and” logic may do a better job of linking rational and transrational thought from the vantage point of a Consciousness embedded in polar experience.
Can we Integrate the three logical preferences here exposed since they all make use of the same Identity Principle?
--According to A.J. Bahm, Westerners ideally tend to emphasize willfulness, Indians ideally tend to emphasize willessness and the Chinese ideally tend to emphasize willingness. Maybe each logic supplements what the other doesn't provide in relation to our will, our call for relational action?
Either-or logic is associated with worldly, efficient causal precision and with exclusively rejecting or accepting transcendence/God in order to find God outside of the world or the world as primary. It uses the Principle of Identity in a way that favors clear, Excluded Middle distinctions between concepts, emphasizing external relations between parts. Either-or can be a logic of existence and Being but in a restrictive sense. An “ideal Westerner” may reach non dual awareness by surrendering his or her inquiring mind and whole being to God as a sacred Other that can spiritually suffuse him or her. Spirit and Matter are normally conceived as separate. This logic calls for 3rd person relations.
Neither-nor logic (Indian Four-Cornered Negation) is about transcending and then integrating into distinctionlesness. In Nagarjuna the world is seen as non other than distinctionless “Sunya” and in Shankara the world is seen as an illusion included of also distinctionless Nirguna Brahman. The Principle of Identity is still used to logically reject all distinctions about Ultimate Reality and to show how futile 'it” with incomplete mental concepts. Direct, intuitive “experience” of Sunya or Brahman is seen as the way to Ultimate Reality. Spirit and Matter are conceived either as illusory or as real entities of a common Ground for which all conceptual distinctions are abandoned. This logic calls for 1st person relations.
Both-and logic is associated with engaging the world of existence as it is and can also be associated with complexly understanding it as it holonically appears to us. It is a promising way to augment our understanding of the complex, polar and quadratic/kosmic expressions of Spirit. I think that Bahm's concept of “Organic Unity” and “Mutual Immanence” (at the heart of Organicism) include and transcend the polarities and can serve as a vision-logical conceptual basis to eventually reach a transrational disclosure of non duality. Sunya-Suchness may eventually be intuited as we imbibe with Taoist naturalness how all of relative reality unfolds in our manifest experience. This logic calls for 2nd person (we) relations.
On Being and the Identity Principle
I think that BEING –both as transcendental and as participatory- is ultimately Spirit and ourselves making sense of our illusory interplay between self and other, sameness and difference. To make sense of things (including objects of thought), we normally make rational use of the “Laws of Thought” intuitively derived from the Identity Principle which originates in the transcendental Unity of our Being.
The static and dynamic aspects of Being as disclosed by Organicism and Integral Theory complement each other. In Organicism, individual thinkers using static categories of polar analysis disclose existence as PROCESS and, in Integral Theory, individual thinkers already embedded in inductive processes disclose STATIC PATTERNS (like quadrants and stages) of manifestation. Their respective 2-axes diagrams correlate well showing complementary aspects.
I think that the Identity Principle “A=A,” the defining requirement of the 3 logics here exposed and of meaningful, reasonable understanding, derives from Being because (as Parmenides may have agreed) “Non Being” can only be conceived as part of a polar relation opposing Being but not all by itself. So, I think that “A=A” reflects our inherent relationship to that One Absolute Being which is our own Being and Absolute Ground of manifestation. I also think that well used reason following any of the 3 logics can lead us to stand with a choice before Absolute Being priming us to allow or not to allow an all inclusive, 1st person, non-dual intuition to flourish.
In his latter period, Archie J. Bahm found that polar relations can be ultimately considered as “mutually immanent” and thus, mutually inherent as in the Yin-Yan relation known in Taoism. Thus the origin sustaining polarity could now be understood as primordially acausal. Even now, the Identity Principle remained useful as he could consigned each subsisting mutually immanent polar position in his 12-value diagram. For me this “marriage” between necessary logical sense and an acausal, transcendental, even non-dual concept at the root of polarity connects acausal, 1st p, non dual Identity with objectified, polar, 3 p, relational identity thanks to Being's inherent characteristic to show up or appear as dual in “ex-istence” (existence means “stepping out” or coming out of pure isness/Being) even when essentially Being simply is or is non-dual.
Quadratic Relations and Organicism
Perhaps Organicism could assist us to improve our understanding of existence interpreting quadrant as polar relations. Quadrants are normally said to be “correlated” but I also think that at least 6 complementary poles sharing common dimensions may also be ready to be studied more in-depth with polar analysis.
Thus, vertically and horizontally we have: Interior-Exterior and Individual-Plural and (perhaps diagonally) UL-LR and LL-UR relations could perhaps be analyzed using polar analysis and Organic logic. The implied relation between quadrants could be a fruitful avenue of inquiry.
Perhaps relative, causal interdependence and acausal mutual immanence could both be used to better understand the relative differences in “intensity” with which quadrants are populated by their particular contents.
Regarding UR, inter realm connections: these may also occur with a modulation of actualities and potentials of the more fundamental illusory polar aspects of Matter-Spirit. Could UR realms with more potential and less objective-material actuality transcends-include realms with less potential and more objective-material actuality?
Also, more agency of pure Being (Spirit) may relate with less material actuality and less agency of pure Being (Spirit) may relate with more material expression. Lesser levels of existence may be associated with greater levels of pure Being and when pure, non dual Being and pure Agency is reached, all part-whole, holonic relations may vanish as illusions.
I think that, at the level of Mutual Immanence, there isn't a fundamental differentiation among quadratic poles but there still are combined dialectical degrees of potential and expressed states among these poles. Spirit may be perceived through Mutual Immanence as producing the “appearance” (as in making an apparition into existence and as in producing the illusion of existence) of relative causality. Pure Being or Spirit's own self-referring interiority generates Mutual Immanence in an illusory dialectical appearance.
Polarity is such that there is
- Extreme One-Pole-ism : a sense in which polarity consists in the one pole only,
- Extreme Other Pole-ism : a sense in which polarity consists in the other pole only,
- Modified One Pole-ism : a sense in which polarity consists in the one pole more than the other pole,
- Modified Other Pole-ism : a sense in which polarity consists in the other pole more than the one pole,
- Extreme Dualism : a sense in which polarity consists in two poles entirely without dimension,
- Extreme Aspectism : a sense in which polarity consists in the dimension entirely without the poles,
- Modified Dualism : a sense in which polarity consists more in the two poles than in dimension,
- Modified Aspectism : a sense in which polarity consists more in the dimension than in the two poles. 4 more positions added for consistency:
- Extreme Middlism : a sense in which polarity consists in both of the poles exactly equally,
- Extreme Equalism : a sense in which polarity consists in both dimension and poles exactly equally,
- Modified Middlism : a sense in which polarity consists in both of the poles but not exactly equally, and
- Modified Equalism : a sense in which polarity consists in both dimension and poles but nor exactly equally.
Organicism (13) holds that polarity consists in something that which is not wholly describable but such that there is in it some basis for the positive claims made by each of the twelve preceding theories. Organicism accepts the positive affirmations of the 12 positions (or theories) and rejects their denials of each other's affirmations. Organicism as an evolving theory about theories of polarity states that EXPERIENCE as EXPERIENCED presents its apparently essential conditions as POLAR OPPOSITES. (A.J. Bahm, Organicism: Origin and Development, 1996)
ORGANICISM Validates 8 Important Metaphysical Posits that Inform Many 1st Tier Faiths and Philosophies
Crucial concepts behind allegedly irreconcilable philosophies are all validated. By applying Organic Logic to the Spirit-Matter polar category we find that 8 fundamental assumptions about the Nature of Reality combine with the 8 essential theories about polarity. Organicism, (finding that each assumption is logically necessary for consistency) occupies a 9th, 2nd Tier, central position that transcends, includes and coordinates them all.
- Spiritualism (in One Pole-ism): Only Spirit exists.
- Materialism (in Other Pole-ism): Only Matter exists.
- Emanationism (in Modified One Pole-ism): Matter depends upon Spirit.
- Emergentism (in Modified Other Pole-ism): Spirit depends upon matter.
- Advaita Vedantism, (in Extreme Aspectism): Neither Spirit nor Matter exist but are illusory aspects of their common dimension.
- Neutral Monism (in Modified Aspectism): Spirit and Matter are two dependent attributes or aspects of an underlying neutral substance.
- Boodin's Creationism (in Modified Dualism): Although claiming independence for Spirit (God) and Matter it also recognized the dependence of each upon the other in all creative processes. (Not identical with classical Christian metaphyscis).
- Dualism (in Extreme Dualism): Spirit and Matter both exist but in complete independence of each other and there's nothing upon which they depend.
Organicism's Hypothesis About the Nature of Existence
(Based on Inclusive and Exclusive, but Mutually Involved Polar Relations Found in Existence as Experienced and Disclosed to Reason)
“Organicism finds itself between creationism and neutral monism in holding (1) that there is a sense in which spirit and matter genuinely exist and (2) that that each functions also as an aspect of something which underlies both. Not only do wholes and parts exist interdependently, but that which is both whole and parts exists. In sum, spirit and matter both exists and that which is both spiritual and material exists. Spirit and matter are partly independent of each other and partly dependent upon each other, and that which is both spiritual and material is partly independent of and partly dependent upon spirit and matter. Whatever is both spiritual and material can be reduced neither to the spiritual nor to the material. Spirit cannot be reduced to matter, matter cannot be reduced to spirit, and neither spirit nor matter can be reduced to that which is both spiritual and material.” (A.J. Bahm).
“Spiritualism is correct in claiming that spirit exists but mistaken in denying that matter exists. Materialism is correct in believing that matter exists but incorrect in claiming that spirit does not exist. Emanationism is right in saying that matter depends on Spirit, but wrong when it says that spirit does not depend upon matter. Emergentism is true when it says that spirit depends upon matter, but false in its presupposing that matter may be completely independent of spirit. Vedantists and Neutral Monists truthfully claim that spirit and matter are aspects of something underlying both, but falsely deny that spirit and matter have no independence whatsoever. Dualists and creationists rightfully hold that spirit and matter both exist, somewhat independently, but they are mistaken to the extent that they claim complete independence of matter and spirit from each other and from something that underlies or includes both.” (A.J. Bahm)
SOME EXISTENTIAL POLAR CATEGORIES
Whole-Part (generate holons)
Spirit-Matter (generate substance?)
Actual-Potential (relate realms?)
Some Dialectical-Structural Aspects
(Implicated in the function of the 20 Tenets, and useful for deepening our understanding of holons)
THESIS: A POSIT which is or has being, agency and patiency. Each occasion or “eventity” is a thesis.”
ANTITHESIS: A NEGATION or being an opposing thesis.
Multi Antitheses: Possible for inapposite opposites, each thesis is not any other thesis in existence.
SYNTHESIS: Togetherness of 2 or more Theses.
Homothesis: What two antitheses have in common.
Henothesis: 2 antitheses + their homothesis acting as a new thesis.
Partithesis: Any thesis that functions as part of a whole.
Holothesis: Any thesis that functions as a whole of parts.
Analytic Dialectic: The emergence of two or more theses (Analytheses) functioning as a consequence of differentiation of parts within a larger whole.
Synthetic Dialectic: The emergence of a new thesis as the synthesis of two theses functioning as antitheses.
Organitic Dialectic: The joint emergence of a new synthesis and of two or more parts or Analytheses
Self-Reincorporation: The endurance of a thesis by means of self-extension receiving the effects it has caused interacting with other selves. It's the incorporation of otherness (either horizontally or vertically) allowing a thesis to grow.
Negation: Allows plurality and experience and is prior to being positive for when something comes into existence it negates all other things which already exist. Each thing exists as a negation of anything else that is different.
Coarchy: The mutual conditioning and cooperation of theses on the same level.
Lowerarchy: The conditioning of theses of higher levels by those of lower levels.
Organarchy: The mutual conditioning of all theses in all levels by each other.
(Source: Polarity, Dialectic, Organicity by A.J. Bahm, 1970)
(From a 12-position polar perspective)
Existence is such that there is a sense in which it exists only as wholes , a sense in which it exists only as parts, a sense in which it exists more as wholes than as parts, a sense in which it exists more as parts than as wholes, a sense in which it exists as having wholes and parts which are completely different from each other, a sense in which it exists as having wholes and parts more different from than like each other, a sense in which it exists as having wholes and parts more alike than different from each other, a sense in which it exists as consisting exactly equally of wholes and parts, a sense in which it exists as consisting of wholes and parts which are exactly equally alike and different, a sense in which it exists as consisting unequally of wholes and parts, and a sense in which it exists as consisting of wholes and parts which are unequally alike and different (From A. J. Bahm's Polarity, Dialectic, Organicity, 1970).
Organicism Relies on Relative Existence
“Organicism regards negation as a category of existence. The only way to negate all negation is to negate all existence, but Organicism claims existence cannot be entirely negated. Non existence does not exist…. Organicism affirms all negation except the negation of existence which would include the negation of all negation… Although more sympathetic to the views of Nagarjuna, Organicism regards Nagarjuna's negation of the negation of all negation (assertion the Suchness is not non Sunya) as unduly prolix as well as false. Differences do exist. Differences are experienced….The organic is closer to Lao Tzu's Tao, which is always Yan and Yin, than to even the Suchness of Nagarjuna….Organicism sees existence and experience as always incomplete, always partially graspable by thought, but always such that there can be more thinking about it, i.e. more differences to discover along with each new thing, but also more similarities. Negation can be negated only by what is possible. Hence, there can be no complete negation of negation.” (From A. J. Bahm's Polarity, Dialectic, Organicity, 1970).
- If when applying logical analysis we use an experiential, both-and, participatory (1st and 2nd p) thinking attitude rather than a 3rd p, distancing attitude, Being reveals to our reason the conceptual correlates of existence and these disclosures are similar to those found in Integral Theory. I see these correlates as static but dynamically related.
- Integral Theory already partially uses a “both-and” logic such as in inter-level comparisons. Thus levels are thought to be distinct but mutually-combining “waves.” Nonetheless, Organicism hasn't developed a sophisticated model of psychological, cultural and social levels.
- A.J. Bahm almost came to differentiate UR, UL, LL and LR quadrants but may have combined LL and LR indistinctively. Apparently, he also didn't developed the concepts of states and types.
- IMP emphasizes injunctive methodical participation, observation, pattern recognition and Organic Logic seems to rely on deduction, using the self referential, polarity-unifying and polarity-manifesting qualities of Being, intuitively disclosed to our Awareness which informed by the inherent, living recognition of what we call the “Identity Principle.”
- IMP discloses partial knowledge of dynamic (evolving-devolving) holonic contents expressing in fixed patterns (i.e. in the 4 quadrants and revealed in IMP's 8 “disclosure” hori-zones). Organicism discloses the dynamical relations among static, but conceptually necessary polar positions. IMP is modeled using bi-diminensional quadrants and Organicism using mono-dimensional axes. IMP appears to be more participatory and Organicism appears to be more 3rd person logical.
- Because some conceptually necessary (and conceptually existing), but practically unlikely aspects of existence can also be represented by some polar positions, A. J. Bahm would probably prefer to yield to experiential-participatory observation of reality as a more reliable arbiter. Nevertheless, he would also prefer a thorough use of analysis and Organicism to thoroughly disclose all of the conceptual possibilities that can be revealed to our minds in any genuine polar dilemma.
- Existents include conceptual, physical, cultural and systemic aspects.
Archie J. Bahm, Comparative Philosophy, World Books, 1977. ISBN: 0-911714-10-3
------. Epistemology: Theory of Knowledge, World Books,1995 ISBN: 0-911714-21-9
------. Metaphysics: An Introduction. World Books, 1974. ISBN: 0-911714-17-0
------. Organicism: Origin and Development, World Books, 1996. ISBN: 0-911714-23-5
------. Polarity, Dialectic and Organicity, World Books, 1970. ISBM: 911714-18-9
------. The Philosopher's World Model, Greenwood Press, 1979. ISBN: 0-313-21198-1
Giorgio Piacenza's e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org