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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Joe Corbett has been living in Shanghai and Beijing since 2001. He has taught at American and Chinese universities using the AQAL model as an analytical tool in Western Literature, Sociology and Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Communications. He has a BA in Philosophy and Religion as well as an MA in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and did his PhD work on modern and postmodern discourses of self-development, all at public universities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at [email protected].
The Integrally Evolving Kosmos
The idea of a Kosmic Storehouse, Akashic field, Implicate Order, or memory bank of the universe is a controversial one, to say the least.
The idea of a Kosmic Storehouse, Akashic field, Implicate Order, or memory bank of the universe is a controversial one, to say the least. It brings up the notion of New Age woo-woo and associated pseudo-scientific claims. Is there any evidence for its existence? And what role might it play in biological systems and ultimately consciousness itself?
Everyday when we go to sleep, we go in and out of various phases of consciousness about a half dozen times throughout the night. We spend nearly a third of our lives (and some animals far more than that) going through these cycles of sleep, and without them our mental and physical systems would soon begin to breakdown, so they are very important to life.
Research shows that sleep, and deep dreamless sleep in particular, is restorative to the body and to the immune system. It is also crucial to establishing neural connections that serve in the formation of long-term memory. Thus what occurs within what ancient eastern traditions called the causal state of formless and empty consciousness provides direct evidence that a subterranean reality, what we may call the deep unconscious, is functionally central to both memory and the formation and maintenance of biological systems.
Elsewhere I have extrapolated the three states of gross, subtle, and causal consciousness to different fractal layers of the Kosmos itself: on the one hand, from the formless plasmic and gaseous causal state of the early universe, to the subtle dream state of luminous star and element formation, to the gross state of terrestrial planetary matter that begins its evolutionary ascent back to the Source; and on the other hand, from the dark matter archetypal realm of formless Forms (or geometric resonances), to the quantum realm of entangled and superpositional realities, to the gross state of physical matter.
If these extrapolations from consciousness to the phases and structure of the Kosmos is correct, and I think there is a good chance that they are, then what we know about deep sleep and its effect on memory and biological systems is therefore indirect evidence that the early universe and dark matter (or whatever may turn out to be the subquantum realm of manifest existence) also served/serve in a formative memory capacity for the forms of the material universe, and have helped to shape and maintain their existence from the Big Bang to the present.
Putting these insights together in order to picture how the interior subtle and causal realms may play a role in the formation of species within the evolutionary process, lets take it as a given that random mutation (UR) and environmental selection (LR) are operating, as in the standard neo-Darwinian picture. To avoid the absurdity and unverifiability of luck as the primary driver behind evolution, and the flatland materialist assumptions it embodies, lets assume subtle quantum potentialities (UL) and causal subquantum geometric resonances (LL) to be in play.
The first thing we must account for from a trans-Darwinian perspective, is that atoms and molecules are in constant vibration, and those vibrations form the underlying fields that guide and shape the forms of organisms. These atomic and molecular fields are the field-forms, an invisible architecture that is both locally and non-locally stored as a memory in the subquantum ocean of fields, and their interference patterns or field-interactions are distributed like ripples into the geometries of the manifest forms and shapes we see in the material universe. These subquantum interference patterns are the field-forms that in-form the basic morphologies upon which more complex forms are gradually built over time through selection.
What creates new (functional) forms are relatively rare synchronicities, unique combinations of resonances that already exist as functionally adjacent quantum possibles, that are then selected by the environment as ultimately fit or unfit. New forms are therefore created not just by random chance and accident, but sometimes also by the adjacent possibles (the quantum potentialities, or intimations of possible form) within the atomic and molecular configurations that already exist and are interacting, especially at unique moments of synchronicity between their vibrational resonances.
One thing evolutionary biologists haven't realized yet is that they aren't dealing with mere billiard balls, though that is an element of physical processes. What they are missing are 1. the potentialities of form (UL), the quantum-molecular adjacent possibles, that come into play in how forms come to be, giving them more directionality and functional teleology than random chance allows, and 2. how the memory of form (LL) as it has resonated in past forms, influences how adjacent possibles in the present are selected as forms even before the environment gets a chance to test their survivability.
Including the subjective element of nature in the quantum potentialities inherent in actually existing forms, along with their collective resonances within the local and non-local subquantum storehouse of causal-archetypal fields, gives us a more complete and integral picture of how the Kosmos is constantly making and remaking itself in a kind of self-organizing intelligent design that is immanent rather than transcendent, and which can be found within us and the Kosmos as well as without.
 Research has shown that water also serves as a medium for memory, and is crucial in the formation and maintenance of biological systems. And it is interesting that elsewhere I have also attributed the quality of water to the LL, along with the Kosmic storehouse, the archetypal forms of dark matter, the causal realm of the unconscious, the strong nuclear force, and culture.
 Interestingly, an analogy can be made between how this subtle-causal mechanism of evolution works and how astrology works. Planets/genes are the fundamental resonant forms, and their alignments and transits (how they come together on or off at different times and places—similar to evo-devo) determines the more complex shapes of the psyche/bodily forms that are manifested (in the birth-chart and in the environment).