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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]
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The Creative Kosmos,
in a Nutshell
It is our task to choose wisely among the possible forms of our individual and collective selves.
In my theory of Integral Evolution, which I have discussed in previous essays, I maintain that it is unlikely that 96 percent of the universe has had no role in the emergence and evolution of life and consciousness here on Earth and elsewhere throughout the universe in a cosmos fine-tuned for the emergence and evolution of creatures like ourselves. Can you imagine a political campaign using only 4 percent of what is known of the electorate to win an election? Me neither, unless perhaps you're on Hillary Clinton's election campaign, but that's a losing proposition, and something scientific materialist explanations of evolution should pay close attention to.
At the center of my theory and of the universe itself is Dark Energy, or the energy of the vacuum of space sometimes referred to as the zero-point energy field, which is derived from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle that says empty space is a seething cauldron of particle-antiparticle pairs (virtual particles) that pop in-and-out of existence for extremely brief moments of time. As the universe expands and empty space expands with it, the energy contribution from these particle pairs popping in-and-out of existence increases, putting negative pressure on the gravitational force holding the universe together and ultimately causing the universe to expand at an ever accelerating rate.
But Dark Energy does more than just cause the expansion of the universe to accelerate. As the virtual particle-antiparticle pairs pop into existence they briefly interact with the matter in the visible universe wherever matter is present, and they do so on a continual basis at each point in space everywhere in the universe from nano-moment to nano-moment, even where no matter is present. Where matter is present these virtual particles mediate the interactions of all matter particles, already an established fact of quantum mechanics. But I hypothesize that in order to mediate particle interactions virtual particles record their interactions on the 2D surface of space-time near the planck scale that underlies and surrounds matter, which would be the Dark Matter Storehouse, using the Holographic Principle (the idea that information stored on a 2D surface of space is the code-source for 3D phenomena that appear within space) as my explanatory justification.
Once in the Dark Matter Storehouse or Kosmic Storehouse, the record of these interactions is then retrieved in the next moment of particle interactions to “remind” them (the matter particles) what just occurred in the previous moment, and so on from moment to moment in a continual feedback loop between the informational memory bank, or storehouse of dark matter, and the regular matter we see in the universe, all continuously mediated by the virtual particle pairs, the all-seeing eyes of spirit, that pass between the dark-unmanifest and the visible-manifest orders of the universe. Basically, this is a Sheldrakian-Akashic physics that describes a self-organizing universe. But there is also a Whitehead-Bohmian physics that describes a creative-adaptive universe.
In the Whitehead-Bohmian universe, the quantum potentials of the unmanifest-implicate order exist as the active information of the wave-function that never “collapses” or splits into “many worlds” in an interaction with matter, but continues to actively inform the particles of matter at the surface level of phenomena of their potential or possible states, “guiding” them into “choosing” a functional (non-random or limitedly random) fit with their environment. Along with the actual interactions of particles, these quantum potential interactions get recorded into the underlying storehouse memory, recording not only the actual but also the potential forms and interactions that are possible within the ensemble of potentialities. However this record exists at a different level (or resonant frequency, so to speak) than the memory traces of actual particle interactions, and is more of a temporary memory storage that comes and goes with the shifting of particle configurations, whose traces are more etched into the long-term storehouse memory than the quantum potentials.
In other words, in this scheme the universe is not just a self-organizing system that accumulates a history of its experiences (morphic resonances) and uses that as information for how to act in the present. Rather it also retains on a more temporary basis the possible forms of its future as attractors toward which it can evolve into new forms of itself in anticipation of its environment and in aspiration to possible forms of itself. It does not simply organize itself according to what has come before, but creatively adapts to present and anticipated conditions in the environment, making use of its always already existing potentialities, learning what works and what doesn't as it goes. The universe is a self-organizing creative-adaptive learning process just as surely as life and consciousness itself is.
The reason why we find life adapting to its environment and consciousness creatively engaged in making the world what it is is that this is what the universe itself does at each and every moment of its unfolding and enfolding at every point in space and time, always and everywhere, right now. We are the universe becoming and emerging in each moment at every point in space. There is no escape from the creative embrace of the Kosmos, each moment containing an accumulated history as well as a set of potentialities for the future forms of ourselves.
It is our task to choose wisely among the possible forms of our individual and collective selves. Some paths may lead to extinction, and some to civilizations of interdimensional time-travel and hyper-advanced alien technologies. It is a choice of trajectories the universe has immanently given to us, and there is no getting out of it.