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 a sociologist student in the Certificate program leading to a Master's degree in Integral Theory at JFK University.
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Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera
This evolving article explores the idea that some quadratic models constructed previous to Ken Wilber are compatible and complementary to the quadrants of Integral Theory. It presents some characteristics of these “alternative” quadrants and explores the idea that they were created under a similar way of perceiving reality which may correspond to a dialectical logic capable of representing a fluid, participatory reality and of manifesting across cultural stages.
Keywords: Chakana, Dialectic, Holon, Organicism, Quaternio, Yanantin.
First we need to understand the comprehensive map that is Integral Theory. This theory posits that all occasions or events, in fact, anything that arises in duality, has four simultaneous aspects: Individual and Internal, Individual and External, Collective and Internal, Collective and External. These derive from a epistemological and ontological structural unit called "HOLON" which is like a “part-whole” universal pattern that was posited by Arthur Koestler. Later it was observed by K en Wilber that a Holon forms quadrants or has four fundamental expressions based on combining into pairs that which is Individual, that which is Collective, that which is Interior and that which is Exterior. This was discovered by the observation of a pattern based upon the accumulation of many answers, ideas and theories related to different ways of understanding reality. Holons can also be understood as complete and incomplete structural units of objective and subjective reality, and as "part-wholes" that can also be deduced from “complementary poles." In general, quadratures seem to arise when we consider dualities as essential for explaining the cosmos or reality with a non reductionist stance and it appears that Ken Wilber's momentous “Integral Theory” seems to have arisen within a historical continuity of insights that explained reality quite similarly.
These quadrants or "maps of reality" seem to render compatible what previously appeared as incompatible ways of thinking about reality under what are considered "First Tier," non multi systemic patterns of thinking that relied too much on "either-or" or on mutually exclusive binary logic and tended to be too partial, exclusivist and reductionist.
When the demands for clear, analytical distinctions were assumed during the modernist, scientific, rational stage of cultural formation, mental or qualitative aspects of life and human experience were not seen as logically compatible with objective or subjective aspects of life and human experience but their opposition as poles in these quadrants make them seem mutually necessary and compatible. These quadratures can help us to see in a rational way how compatible are distinct philosophical positions and I think that –due to their dynamic inclusive equilibrium- they represent higher forms of rational thinking closer to the processes of reality and to forms of non dual understanding.
I think that all of these quadratic expressions or “quadratures” arise from variants of dialectical logic, a kind of logic that may be capable of including the classic, “either-or” “binary logic” but also the post modern alternatives of “fuzzy logic” “modal logic” “multi value logic” etc. While arising from similar principles the different quadratures may offer contrasting and complementing 'hues' or emphasis in the use of our overall Integral Quadrants lens. For instance, the “Chakana” quadrature may help us to understand general cosmic principles or universals. The Organicistic quadrature may help us think rationally about a greater number of metaphysically relevant complementary poles that we can choose in a participatory way to understand reality. Even perhaps the dynamic relations between quadrants (taken as complementary poles) could be analyzed. The Jung-Pauli quadratures may help us to develop clearer insights on the physical effects of the mind-matter interaction and of pansychism in relation to various interpretations of quantum theory. Finally, Schumacher's quadrature may help us to distinguish and apply quadratic relations in a personal way and relational.
FIRST QUADRATURE OR CROSS
The land of the Incas was divided into four regions and their culture considered duality as essential. There was a "Chekalluwa," a path of wisdom or of truth most commonly symbolized by the step cross or "Chakana.” "Chakana" refers to the Southern Cross Constellation but also to stairs used to go up and down and to a material that blocks but can also serve as a bridge. There were many versions of the Andean cross but the most complex version of the cross that I know of is the cross with 12 zigzagging points forming the “ladder” touching a circle's perimeter. Here the circle's diameter is equal to that of the 12 points. It is called the “Tawa Chakana” and it is inscribed between an outer square and a circle. The 12 points show 4 segments of 3 zigzagging steps.
The geometry of the cross is formed with 3 concentric circles. The innermost one represents the “Uku Pacha” or under world/inner world; the middle (Kay Pacha”) circle represents the everyday outer or surface world; the circle that coincides with the tips of the Tawa Chakana cross represents the “Hanan Pacha” or celestial or pure world. Repeated proportional relations between the circles and the squares construct geometrically and I think that this construction could in principle continue in a fractal manner. Nonetheless, the coincidence of the diameter of third circle and the tips of the “Tawa Chakana” symbolize a universal equilibrium between the masculine and the feminine (“tawa” means “four” in Quechua).
The Incas and previous Andeans thought about three independent and interconnected worlds in the Cosmos, three levels that the Chakana also represented. According to Javier Lajo, author of Qhapaq Ñan: The Inka Path to Wisdom, the cross formed by sub dividing a square is like “Pachatata,” a masculine representation of the world. The circle is like a “Pachamama,” a feminine representation of the world. These two aspects are a complementary duality apparently well understood across the minds of wise individuals in various times and cultures in the Andes. The angle of one of the points would be 45 degrees left or West of the vertical and it would be aligned in a larger scale in the territory of Peru with Inca places of spiritual power (or “huacas”) along the main component of the Inca Road called “Capac Ñan” (“the way of the just” or “the royal road”). These wakas or temples would run from Tiahuanaco, pass through the Amantani Island in Lake Titicaca, Pukara, the Temple of Wiracocha, Cuzco and (in North West Peru) through the town of Cajamarca(where Inca Atahualpa was captured by conquistador Francisco Pizarro). This alignment was discovered by mathematician Maria Scholten de D'ebneth in 1977. According to Javier Lajo, the Chakana also forms another angle of 22 degrees and 30' (also West of the vertical) that would correspond to "Pachatusan," a vital line that connects all other spiritually powerful lines and is also recognized in indigenous traditional "mesas." This chakana seems to represent the Andean vision of complementary poles or pairs and I think that this is crucial in forming holons and quadrants under a general dialectical logic.
The three levels are connected and represented by four groups of three stair- like divisions whose tips touch the circle's perimeter. This three step element of the Andean Cross can even be found in the ruins of Caral, the oldest urban center in America (dating at least at 5000 yrs old). These three levels of reality are consider to be the 'lower or underground world' (which has physical, subtle energy and subconscious aspects), the outer physical/realm and ordinary conscious 'middle world' where we live now as exteriorized humans and the physical realm/pure energy and superconscious 'higher world' of the highest “Apus” (mountain deities) and universal beings: The Uku Pacha, Kay Pacha and Hanan Pacha, respectively. Since there are serious anecdotes and reports of both physical and visionary encounters with benign and malevolent beings inhabiting the Uku Pacha, I think that what constitutes this Pacha is not only physical or imaginary but the kinds of energies that may express in a physical or in a liminal way. The highest Pacha is allegedly made of clean or pure beings, forces and awareness (it may correspond to Integral Theory's “causal realm”) of a universal nature and only certain highly advanced, non egotistical “Alto Misayoq” (high Andean priests/initiates whose ego self is in service of all beings) may effectively command an interaction with this realm. Of course this Pacha also has an Interior and an Exterior dimension but I think that its Interior dimension is proportionally more manifest than its Exterior one. We as self conscious beings the middle realm of “Kay Pacha,” (in our everyday, mostly concrete physical world) can also bridge or connect the two other realms. Our “Kay Pacha” also is more exteriorized but its Interior dimension can relate more directly with the realities of the other two pachas.
Again, these three 'pachas' or worlds seem to correspond to combinations of what we correspondingly call in Integral Theory, the “Subtle, Gross and Causal Realms.” Different combinations of exteriority and interiority may even make possible degrees of physicality in the Kay Pacha as well as in the other pachas and this idea may partially assist us to explain inter realm relations in a future version of Integral Theory. I think that this will be especially so when Integral Theory adopts some classic philosophical concepts such as “Potentia” and “Explicit” “Pure Act” or “Agency” and “Structure” “Form” and “Substance” “Initia” and “Inertia,” what is “Absolute” and what is “Contingent,” polar elements of manifestation related to the differences in Interiority and Exteriority across realms; elements that can be analyzed dialectically. Now I won't indulge more on the more complex (but necessary) idea of 'combined realms' but will say that this idea makes the three worlds of the Andeans and Inca compatible with Integral Theory's three basic realms. What I'll say is that there's more to a validly inclusive “post metaphysical” attitude than rejecting essential metaphysical categories, confounding classical metaphysics with new age visionary speculation and considering metaphysics less valuable if it is based on reason while limiting it to a diminished exploration of Integral Theory's principles for valid knowledge and Integral Methodological Pluralism. I'll also say that all the “eyes of knowledge” could be used to actively research all three realms and leave it at that for now.
In the Andes most or all cultures (including the Inca) used the concept of voluntary cooperation and reciprocity (“AYNI”) in their communal organization, in their rituals and cosmology. Apparently, there are relations between dissimilar ideas, things or people and relations between similar ideas, things or people. I don't have much clear evidence but (after following a line of thought probably re- transmitted by anthropologist Nuñez del Prado), perhaps the Andeans and Incas' wisest may have had a concept of "MASINTIN" or union/inseparable relation (not unity) of similar things (in the sense of things that may not imply hierarchical difference). We could perhaps validly represent this idea by placing it in one extreme of a line in contrast with "YANANTIN" or union/inseparable relation of dissimilar things (which imply hierarchical differences) at the opposite extreme of the line. "Masintin" was referred to me by professional musician Guido Nuñez del Prado, a man knowledgeable of Inca traditions in Cuzco. He told me that his relative anthropologist Juan Nuñez del Prado used this idea. I'm temporarily incorporating this idea but it need to be verified.
"Masi" in Quechua (or Runa Simi “the speech of man”) means "similar" and "equal." "Tinkuy" essentially means "encounter" so (if we fuse these two words adequately) with "Masintin" we may be speaking of an encounter of similars or equals.) In the Andes we may also have two other polar concepts that could relate with the quadratic dimensions. One is the essential, substantial and clear "YANAN" in one of the vertices and the dependent and dark or 'enamored' "YANA" in its opposite vertex. These four aspects of Inca wisdom might correspond to the Individual, Collective, Interior and Exterior dimensions that generate the Wilber 4 quadrants of Integral Theory. Interesting sources of information are: "Andean Structural Dualism and Arguedien Novelistic Space" found in (http://www.ifeanet.org/publicaciones/boletines/31(2)/153.pdf). Also the Diccionario Quechua-Castellano, Castellano Quecha by Jorge A. Lira and Mario Mejía Huamán and Qhuapaq Ñan: The Inca Path of Wisdom by Javier Lajo.
There may be a common strand of conceptual knowledge coexisting besides different stages of cultural and social evolution. It could have existed even within the general pre-hispanic magical-mythical stage and perhaps certain few “Alto Misayoc” priests and “Amautas” may have preserved it. This could have been a kind of knowledge shared within a "Perennial" revelation by a first-rate minority able to bridge stages and realms.
SECOND QUADRATURE OR CROSS
Archie J. Bahm philosopher emeritus of the University of New Mexico discovered before Ken Wilber and largely by reason that complementary poles generate four aspects which we can now relate to an integral worldview. There's the One Pole aspect, the Other Pole aspect, the aspect in which both poles are subsumed by the indivisibility of their common dimension (called "Aspectism") and the aspect that the poles are clearly not each other or that they are separate (extreme dualism). Bahm developed a second tier philosophy by finding that the four extreme understandings on the nature of polarity are all true. I believe that the “one pole” corresponds to Interiority or what is because it affirms in an undeniable way a self referential solipsism or that this one pole is what is real. It basically says “I am the self-reference of this pole.” The “other pole” is the affirmation that "only the other pole is real" which would correspond to the Exterior dimension in Integral quadrants. It says, “Only the object that relates intelligibly and externally to me is real.” Next, I think that the aspect of polarity that subsumes the poles into their common dimension corresponds to that which cannot be divided, i.e. that which is indivisible or in Integral parlance, “individual.” Finally, I think that the extreme dual aspect of complete independence or separation with which poles can also be seen corresponds to the collective dimension because this separation is the origin of plurality (2 or more as separate is plural or collective).
Archie J. Bahm also found that intermediate philosophical positions between the extreme ones were also equally true from a Taoist, logical "both-and" perspective that I think also incorporates or includes the classical "either-or" Western Aristotelian logic. By looking at Bahm's analysis carefully, we can also say that he just extended the "either-or" logic to its limits and found the "both-and" logic. I also think that “both-and” logics are more ambiguous and that this is crucial for relating to life and to the fluidity of existence in general. On the other hand, “either-or” logics deal with more concrete things and may serve to better manipulate the concrete, exterior dimension of the Gross, physical world. Nonetheless, the Interior dimension of the Gross, physical world may be better understood (and perhaps manipulated) also by a “both-and” logic.
When the 4 intermediate philosophical positions are added to the 4 extreme ones we get eight along two axes. This begs the question: Are they related to the 8 methodological "zones" of Integral Theory? While Bahm's diagrams are made by the crossing of two lines and each extreme position (represented by a point) defines each line vertically and horizontally, in Integral Theory I see lines defining areas (the 4 quadratic areas). While the subdivided lines in Bahm's diagrams represent apparently irreconcilable ways of epistemologically seeing or understanding the polar nature of existence (only made compatible by considering the central point where lines criss- cross, the central point called "Organicism"), the "dimensions" that can be represented as lines in Integral Theory form spaces. So, in the first, case we have points forming lines all of which are valid from the perspective of a central point where the lines cross. And, in the second case, we have lines forming areas.
Archie J. Bahm discovered this through deduction of experienced categories of existence (the complementary poles). Wilber discovered the same pattern through induction (by observing in his house during a brainstorming retreat piles of theories that were distributed as solutions to the questions of interpreting reality). Bahm validates deduction and a priori knowledge. Wilber validates inductions, empirical a posteriori knowledge. BOTH ARE VALID and reached similar conclusions about the essential quadrants of manifest existence. Bahm can add much more to Integral Theory through his other in depth analysis of the polar characteristics and 2nd Tier Meta philosophy that ensues. Also, existence and questions about the nature of reality can be placed along the axes in Bahm's quadratic diagrams and be interpreted under the light of a new way of inclusive thinking that arises and he called "ORGANICISM." What Organicism rejects is the rejection of the posits of philosophical positions corresponding to points along the two axes.
The main philosophical explanations about the nature of reality can be placed along Archie Bahm's axes by considering the complementary poles "Spirit" and "Matter." Organicistic analysis shows that the basic 8 positions that arise are all mutually necessary. This may be valuable for attempting to reach a reconciliation or a state of mutual respect among schools of thought and religious styles in today's complex world (at least for those willing to value reason). There might be other useful consequences of Bahm's Organicistic treatment using other essential poles that seem to define the nature of reality and Integral Theory could emerge out of a limited non metaphysical stance acquired to overcome post modern criticisms.
Archie J. Bahm later subdivided his positions further and extended his 8 positions on polar relations to 12. Complementary Poles (2) led to 4 extremes, 4 extremes led to 8 (adding the intermediate or moderate positions) and 8 led to 12 possible philosophical positions that could be interpreted with "both-and" logic. More positions are perhaps possible but also perhaps impractical. Interestingly, the Andean cross or "Chakana" also has 12 points in which the tips of the "stairs" can touch the perimeter of a circle, suggesting a connection between Organicism, a possible advanced Andean polar thinking and Integral Theory.
THIRD QUADRATURE OR CROSS
The Jung-Pauli Quaternio.
Carl Jung and Wolfang Pauli (of Pauli Exclusion Principle fame) were inspired by each other. They sought explanations for synchronicities and uncanny occurrences that occurred to Pauli (and others Jung knew). They thought that there was an underlying level of reality that had both aspects of mind and matter-energy as a whole. Delving into synchronicity and into the meaning of quantum physics and philosophies such as Leibnitz's, and also while respecting a empirical view of life that included psychic phenomena, they came up with a quadratic model. The elements of the QUATERNIO are indestructible or indivisible energy as one aspect, opposite to energy in the space-time continuum or divided energy. Then, on another perpendicular side, is synchronicity and opposite to this causality. The first aspect corresponds to Individual in the sense that it cannot be divided because it is indestructible. The second aspect corresponds to the Collective dimension as energy that is divided in time-space. The third aspect corresponds to the Interior dimension or to the mental or meaningful sense of synchronicity (as meaningful occurrences without a causal explanation). The fourth aspect corresponds to the Exterior Dimension since causality is of external objects and opposite to synchronicity in this scheme.
In another version of Jung-Pauli's Quaternio, we have Momentum and Space aligning with Synchronicity. We also have Energy and Time aligning with Causality. They also form quadrants, a cross of existence corresponding to the emphasis given by Jung and Pauli, shedding light on the relation between mind and matter while coming up with similar concepts to Wilber's 4 quadratic divisions in their own ways. This should be studied as well. The same essential universal pattern seems to spring up again, albeit useful for a specific concern.
This information can be found in The Innermost Kernel: Depth Psychology and Quantum Physics by Suzanne Gieser.
FOURTH QUADRATURE OR CROSS
From E. F. Schumacher in Guide for the Perplexed:
In this book Schumacher mentions the "Four Fields of Knowledge" and he came up with a description that includes 'what I feel like, what you feel like, what I look like and what you look like. In a sense the basic universal quadratic division is here already in simple form. "What I feel like" corresponds to Individual Interiority (combining the Individual and Interior dimensions). "What you feel like" corresponds to Collective Interiority (combining the Collective and Interior dimensions) in the 'We' relation or in recognizing the 'you' as another being with interiority. "What I look like" corresponds to Individual Exteriority (combining the Individual and Exterior dimensions). Finally, "what you look like" corresponds to Collective Exteriority (combining the Collective and Exterior dimensions).
I think that he discovery of the aspects or dimensions that lead to the quadrants and the quadrants themselves are fundamental for humanity to understand its place in the Cosmos. We may gain once again a relational perspective suitable for our complex modern, post modern, post postmodern and highly technologically manipulative world. These quadrants, which share common essential features, are also fundamental for us in practical terms as individuals. This cannot be overstated. We are coming to an age in which maybe the wisdom of the ancient past may be reconciled with today's most advanced discoveries of patterns. Maybe the Andean idea of complementary pairs generating the quadratic complexity of the Chakana is witness to this. What is clear is that the quadratic elements of Wilber's fourth stage of theory building were not just discovered in the 1990's. Professor Archie J. Bahm came up with a fairly complex complementary concept, Jung and Pauli and Schumacher also came up with similar ideas with greater or lesser degrees complexity and sophistication. All of them are great examples of awareness unfolding for the collective good. Bahm's ideas need to be discovered almost anew because of the little attention they received while he was alive in relation to his “Organicism.” The other creative ideas or models here mentioned that also make use of forms of dialectical logical thinking need also to be reconsidered to overcome the deficiencies that “either-or” or binary thinking has with respect to discovering the unfolding of the Kosmos in a participatory, living way.
Also, there may be more useful pre-Wilber 4 quadratic models to be discovered. I, like the Incas believe that these quadratures represent how a living cosmos unfolds and they aren't only useful or interesting but SACRED and capable of assisting us to restructure how we participate as conscious entities in unfoldment. The discovery of the aforementioned quadrants by other individuals before the mid 90's may indicate that they had at least a partial ability to link with a 2nd Tier multi-systemic awareness. This awareness was capable of disclosing the great Meta patterns of the unfoldment of fluid yet structured reality and of how reality is perceived when it is perceived holonically. They are a step forward from the limits assigned to reason if the potential and credibility of reason is limited to a binary logic. Perhaps the overemphasis upon a limited logical-rational view led to the disasters of modernity and to the warranted but limited critiques (about the possibilities of rational thinking) of a post modernity that didn't recognize that there were other forms of thinking based upon more inclusive logical dialectics.
It seems that dialectical thinking doesn't promote objective, rigid detachment from the object of study because it doesn't promote one unequivocal way of understanding a phenomenon. For this reason it can be more fluid, multivalued and participatory. Yes, perhaps these more inclusive logical dialectics inspire a form of participatory way of being in the world that retains forms of rational order even if change and the organic fluidity of life is embraced and the Western search for extreme precision is relaxed.
The specific ways in which the quadratic meta patterns were discovered are applicable to the specific concerns of their discoverers which are not exactly like Ken Wilber's. Nonetheless, Wilber's indubitable contribution to the history of thought is momentous not only because the “quadrants of reality” were rediscovered but also because other universal elements such as states, levels, types and perspectives were reunited in an integral way in the developmental areas provided by those quadrants. I wonder how Archie J. Bahm's quadrature could incorporate other elements of Integral Theory being that it shows static positions (depicted along lines and not apparently forming areas) that relate dynamically under dialectical reasoning.
In spite of Wilber's integration of many important elements of reality, there may also be elements of blindness in his approximating model which may be biased by a strong psychological developmental perspective as an individual thoroughly embedded in a modern and postmodern academically competitive, individualist American culture. Wilber's crucial limit seems to revolve around establishing credibility and is weary of associating his model to the more speculative aspects of mystical, metaphysical and participatory spirituality. This may be why seriously considering more metaphysical aspects of a universally valid knowledge and wisdom (partially displayed within premodern cultures) may be irrationally rejected. This is why Integral Theory is more associated with an intellectual Buddhist thought, not particularly committal with realms and with a crucial relation with “other physical” (not “metaphysical”) beings when presenting the spiritual dimension of life. This may be why the 'post metaphysical' stage (a statement that can be considered as self contradictory) of Wilber's Integral Theory seems to dismiss a deeper exploration of the valid aspects of esoteric contributions.
Some of the other quadratic discoveries that came before Wilber may be compatible with a truly Integral attitude towards ALL aspects of reality, including what in our ignorance we call the “otherworldly” (and which, in fact, may be an integral part of our know Gross world). To be more “integral” would also correspond to valuing all of the valid discoveries that came before the modern era and, perhaps, also the participatory imprecision accepted by pre modern cultures goes hand in hand with the multiple valid possibilities offered by inclusive, integral, dialectical forms of logic. This is perhaps why some of the information we are normally discarding as less inclusive “mythic stage” may -in some ways- represent a more reliable representation of reality even if it comes from a less accurate or stringent way of thinking. The less differentiated categories of life under weak “either-or” forms of thinking may have allowed accepting in a natural easy-going way aspects of reality such as the importance of a (in Integral parlance) 'subtle' world. Moreover, as there also are examples of dialectical thinking among representatives of the modern-'rational' (more strict "either-or") binary stage, dialectical thinking may transcend or cut across all cultural stages. Off course, this may be equally true of the “either-or” logic of no-nonsense, concrete use of things. Nonetheless, in an Integral way of thinking we should make use of both kinds of logics under a Meta pattern. In fact, this is what Integral Theories are also about. In other words, Integral Theory allows each kind of logic and should not prefer the “either-or” one when it comes to establishing itself in the modern, post modern world, because it might lose its original integrative contribution. We could say that Integral Awareness springs from Life after rationally differentiating the Interior and Exterior dimensions (with an “either-or” logic) and re-establishing a deeper relationship with the life world more clearly associated with the world of multiple possibilities disclosed with “both-and” logic. In doing this, we should not only delve into the non dual and mystical but also into all aspects and levels of expression of that non dual or mystical, including all beings in all realms and our mutually beneficial or destructive relations.
Apparently, a “both-and” logic is capable of striving the cognitive world of relative understanding with greater or lesser degrees of differentiation and the cognitive world of non dual understanding when distinctions among contrasting poles become infinitely recursive and thus (as Archie J. Bahm discovered late in life in relation to the meaning of the Yin/Yan idea) mutually immanent. When the first world is explored under the preference for mutually exclusive, extreme poles, a no- nonsense logic suitable for more concrete exterior objects ensues. The Chakana seems to differentiate and integrate worlds of thought, concrete realms and their Interior and Exterior dimensions. It may serve as an example for integral theorists striving between a strict academic logic of distinction and restriction and a living logic of ambiguity, multiple possibilities and integration under an overall Meta pattern.
If in the pre-modern mindset there was an emphasis in undifferentiated or 'fused' ways of thinking and relating with “reality;” in the modern mindset there was a differentiated and even separated way of thinking and relating with “reality,” perhaps in an Integral mindset there can be ways that integrate differentiation and fusion with reality. Can we intelligently combine ambiguity and exactness? Can we embrace the fluidity of life and the precision of its exterior or more or less stable or congealed aspects?
Perhaps there's a stage-like progression of valid understanding leading from distinctionlessness (a logic that transcends discursive logic), to ambiguity to exactness, akin to the “neti net” or “neither-nor” logic of Indian philosophy, the “both-and” dialectical logic of Organicism and the “either-or” logic of concrete, exclusivist distinctions. The first case (exemplified by Shankara and Nagarjuna) seems to be more like a negation of any posit about what reality is. It, nonetheless, retains the use of the so called Identity Principle of thought. That is, in demonstrating that no attributes or definitions correspond to reality without falling into some kind of contradiction, contrasts between what is and what is not are retained. In fact, maybe the way an individual like Nagarjuna did this made use of both a dialectical logic and a binary, “either-or” one. What seems certain to me in this discussion is that what remains as the foundation for all recognizable contingent holons which can be given name and perceived with form can only be pointed to sort of metaphorically and incompletely as “Being” itself or as “Absolute or Unqualified Being.” Whether we call this foundation “Being” or “Sunyatta” is a matter of preference because both names refer to an unqualifiable suchness, a non dual foundation for both mystical Westerners working with “negative theology” as much as it is for Buddhists who prefer not to mention Being as a positive entity. I also think that this Absolute or Unqualified Being which could be called “Sunyatta” may be appreciated as the Ultimate Subject by privileging the Interior over the Exterior quadrants when it comes to contrasting what is ultimately real with what is ultimately real but as illusion. Perhaps, ultimately, smaller degrees of illusion do correspond to smaller degrees of duality and smaller degrees of explicit exterior manifestations.
In the quadratic examples we've seen earlier in this article, each way of reaching the equivalent quadratic Meta patterns could act as a unique lens or perspective that contributes to Integral Theory (as a lens with different hues?) and I believe that the closest we come to a more participatory and universalist approach (even while retaining an “either-or” logic where appropriate), the better. Integral Theory (which inevitably is at peace with dialectical logic) may have to be re acquainted with other dialectical discoveries and some of what is now dismissed as "mythic" or "pre rational" by a view too exclusively dependent upon "either-or" strictures will have to give in.
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