Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Jóse Díez FaixatJóse Díez Faixat is an architect, non-violent conscientious objector, ecologist, rural community member.From 1979 he has focused on research into basic reality, of form both as experienced (mystical, non-dualistic) and as theoretical (study of spiritual traditions and the sciences of the New Paradigm). In 1993, he published his hypothesis in the journal of general evolution World Futures, edited by Ervin Laszlo, and later, in 1996, develops this work in the book Between Evolution and Eternity (Editorial Kairos). He later published Being nothing, I am All (Editorial Dilema).


The Hidden Rhythm of Evolution

Addendum 6: Toroidal evolution


Everything written so far has basically focused on unraveling the overall pattern of the evolution of life in the universe, in general, and the human being, in particular. As we have seen, the result of this integral research clashes head on with the predictions of the materialist paradigm of classical science. Surprisingly, however, ground-breaking lines of research have started to appear in recent years in different branches of science —physics, chemistry, biology, neurology, among others— that are clearly in tune with the world view that emerges from our evolutionary research and can hence provide key data capable of explaining this unexpected universal pattern that we are revealing here.

To show this suggestive harmony between different cutting-edge research in distinct fields of science, we will begin this addendum by outlining the fundamental characteristics of the universal dynamics that emerge from our inquiry into the rhythm of evolution. To this end, let us start out from the flat images represented in Figures 7-A and 7-B. These, we recall, summarized the overall pattern of universal evolution and the individual development of the human being from pole A (original energy) to pole ? (final consciousness).

On the vertical axis of these graphs, we represented the entire spectrum of energy-consciousness, from the base —with a maximum of energy and a minimum of consciousness— to the summit —with a minimum of energy and a maximum of consciousness—, with all the range of possible intermediate equilibria between these two fundamental facets of manifested reality, traditionally known as “the great chain of Being” and which can be summarized as the “matter-life-mind-soul-spirit” series. The horizontal axis of these graphs simply reflected the overall temporal scale, both of the universe and of the human being, from the origin (A) to the end (?).

Let us recall at this point a couple of ideas that we have discussed previously. We stated that all manifested reality inexorably appears in the form of dualities —there can be no object without subject, no energy without consciousness— and that, as all opposites are mutually dependent, these can be understood as polar manifestations of a reality that transcends them and is “prior” to this dualization. We then argued that the original quantum vacuum posed by physicists and the final mystical void experienced by contemplatives are the same and unique Void, perceived by physicists objectively and by contemplatives in a subjective way, but which, in itself, is neither objective nor subjective, but rather “prior” to this dual perspective. We finally explained that this Void does not allude to a distant metaphysical reality, but to the simple and pure Self-evidence of each present moment, which encompasses in itself all the manifestations of energy and consciousness that are observed in the spatiotemporal universe.

The other idea that we wish to recall here refers to our statement that, as there is no separation between subject and object in the aforementioned Self-evidence and therefore it is not “something” that can be seen by “someone”, in order to manifest itself relatively, it needs to polarize in appearance as subject and object, just as 0 can dualize in +1 and -1 without changing —other than formally— its absolute value. We thus proposed that, in its attempt to see itself, this Self-evidence apparently dualizes as an original pole (basically of energy) and a final pole (basically of consciousness), thus generating an illusory distance between the two, which, on vibrating —like the guitar string of our hypothesis—gives rise to a whole range of harmonics, which are precisely the levels of stability that the cycles of evolution that we have studied run through. We insist, however, that the presumed temporal distance between both poles is completely illusory, as in fact everything happens in the timeless Now of the ever present Self-evidence.

If we wish to graphically reflect these two ideas in the aforementioned Figures 7-A and 7-B —which, as we have seen, summarize the overall patterns of universal evolution and the individual development of the human being from the A pole of original energy to the ? pole of final consciousness— we need to perform a couple of maneouvers on the flat surface on which we have represented both graphs (see Fig. 14-A).

First, having proposed that energy and consciousness are not two different realities, but rather the objective and subjective aspects of the same and ever present Self-evidence, we should unify the horizontal lines at the bottom and the top of the graph. As we have stated, these respectively represent the levels of maximum energy and maximum consciousness that are one and the same in fundamental reality. To do so, it will suffice to fold the flat surface of the drawing in on itself, aligning the upper line with the lower one, thus obtaining a cylinder (see Fig. 14-B).

Then, having affirmed that the temporal distance between the original moment (A) and the final moment (?) is illusory —as everything happens in the timeless Now— we should also unify the vertical lines on the left and the right of the graph. As already stated, these respectively represent the original and final moments of all evolutionary and developmental processes. To do so, once again we will fold our cylinder over onto itself, until the extreme vertical lines coincide, thus obtaining a figure similar to a “doughnut” in which the central hole is reduced to a point without dimensions. It is what is called in geometry a “horn torus” (see Fig. 14-C).

Bearing in mind what we have just explained —taking the guidelines that have been revealed in our research to their ultimate consequences—, everything points towards a fascinating toroidal dynamic of energy-consciousness, both instantaneous and eternal, as the key element for integral comprehension of the universe. According to this scheme, the flows start out from a Center without dimensions —in its facet A—, follow a spiral path —divergent vortex—, reach the external surface of the torus, and return to the same Center —in its facet ?— via another spiral —convergent vortex—, to subsequently restart its endless process from there. Next, we will try to outline the fundamental aspects of this dynamic that is beginning to be glimpsed, as we are possibly on the verge of solving many of the enigmas and blind alleys in which official science and its obsolete materialistic paradigm are trapped.

From the outset, it is crucial to understand the ultimate meaning of the central point of the “horn torus” that we are proposing, as it is where the germ of everything else lies. As we have seen, this center is deduced, on the one hand, from the unified understanding of the infinite potential energy of the quantum vacuum and the unlimited pure consciousness of the mystical void, and, on the other, from the perception of the illusory character of time and hence of the absolute simultaneity of the original pole (A) and the final pole (?) of all processes. The center of this toroidal dynamic, which manifests itself as the spatiotemporal universe as a whole and as each and every one of the structures that compose it, is hence the same and unique non-dual Self-evidence, without form, unlimited, timeless, ineffable, both empty and full, the source and goal of all worlds, absolute potentiality. Let us insist once more, this non-dual center is one and the same in everything and in all, its true nature, its ultimate identity.

Accordingly, for this faceless, pure Self-evidence to contemplate itself, it needs to dualize —at least apparently— in the roles of eye and mirror, subject and object, because this allows it to update its infinite potential in the world of finite forms. In this way, as we have seen, the non-dual center, without ceasing to be so, manifests itself in polar form as the original source of energy and the final attractor of consciousness, generating an illusory temporal distance between both facets. Let us take a good look at this idea, because within it may lie the solution to many of the enigmas that science is encountering. The absolute Void, in which there is no trace of separateness, manifests itself dually in the world of forms, so that the presumed spatiotemporal distances that the “subjects” observe among the “objects” are, ultimately, purely illusory.

Previously we proposed that the vibration of the illusory “string” of energy-consciousness that is created between the A and ? poles, generated, from the very same original moment, a particular fundamental sound and a whole range of harmonics, which constituted the entire spectrum of potential archetypal levels, which, as we have seen, are updated, step by step, throughout evolution and history. We must now apply this very same multilevel energy-consciousness scheme that we proposed in the “string” of our hypothesis to the vibrant “torus” that, as we have proposed, generates the entire universal process. We will thus have a toroidal dynamic deeply nested in a myriad of levels —like a “matryoshka” or nested dolls—, from the tiny scale of Planck to the cosmic totality, thus reflecting the radical fractal structure of the universe (see Fig. 14-D). The fundamental characteristic of this fascinating nested torus lies in the fact that the center is common and identical in all its levels. Thus, all the universal flows, whatever the height of the energy-consciousness spectrum through which these unfold, start out from and end in this ineffable non-dual center that unites in itself the facets of both source —A— and receptacle —?— of all the worlds.

This fractal, toroidal structure of reality greatly facilitates the understanding of the evolutionary process. Thus, starting out from the idea that, in the final analysis, the sole protagonist of all the processes is the same and unique Self-evidence, we will now describe how the dynamics of evolution unfolds, step by step.

We stated earlier that the non-manifest Void apparently polarizes as subject and object to perceive itself subjectively-objectively in infinite ways. Via this artifice, Self-evidence can delve into the furthest corners of its own infinity —illusively and fleetingly identifying its absolute Here-Now with any relative point-instant of pixelated space-time and, from there, contemplate itself from a certain perspective —at any level of the energy-consciousness spectrum of the nested torus—, returning instantaneously to its original fullness. Given that, as we have stated, the temporal dimension is purely imaginary, everything in fact occurs from instant to instant. This exit and return, moment-by-moment, between the non-dual foundation and its finite and fleeting manifestation in space-time allows us to update in the relative world of forms the potential levels of stability of the energy-consciousness spectrum, i.e. the entire hierarchy of “harmonics” generated at the same original moment.

This recursive dynamic between the infinite Void and all its spatiotemporal forms is intrinsically creative and is facilitated by the unified field of memory that is gestating, step by step, at a fundamental level. All the information gathered at any point-instant of the manifested world is immediately introjected into this basic field of collective memory, whose potential is logically increased moment by moment. Thus, any entity, whatever the level of the spectrum in which it develops, has deep down in itself free access to the entirety of this unified field of memory, although it only connects with certain aspects of this field depending on its characteristics specific. The toroidal dynamic thus possesses a holographic structure, in the sense that each “part” of itself has information of the “totality”, and is, in fact, a particular reflection of that totality.

From the perspective that we are proposing here, the evolutionary process can be understood as a natural expression of a toroidal, integral, non-dual, fractal and holographic dynamic of fundamental energy-consciousness. Via this recursive dynamic, the ever present Self-evidence is focused, moment after moment, on the successive levels of the “harmonic” spectrum, beginning with the most basic ones —primarily energy— and ending at the highest levels —primarily consciousness—. On each plane, it updates the specific potential of that level, integrating it with the aspects that have already emerged in previous levels. In each turn, starting from the resources available in the unified field of memory, it is projected in each concrete situation of space-time, it perceives that determined situation according to the possibilities of its structure, and, immediately, introjects that information into the field of collective memory of the fundament. When a specific entity has unfolded the full potential of the stratum in which it basically develops and has integrated it with everything that has emerged in the preceding stages, once it has reached a specific level of complexity, it can resonate with the next “harmonic” of the energy-consciousness spectrum, and thus ascend to a new rung of the long ladder of evolution. And so on.

This toroidal, non-dual, fractal, holographic dynamic of the fundamental energy-consciousness that we are proposing has clear affinities with ancient intuitions of the wisdom traditions —the yin-yang of Taoism, the Celtic triskelion, the Egyptian seed of life, the Greek caduceus, the Hindu kundalini... even the symbol of 8 is no other than the cross section of a horn torus!—. However, as we have stated, it is practically unacceptable for the materialist paradigm of classical science. In the wake of the emergence of quantum physics and relativistic theory, the landscape has changed drastically, with numerous innovative proposals emerging throughout the past century that, in these first decades of the new millennium, have begun to crystallize into a ground-breaking unified theory of fields that, in many aspects, is in tune with the toroidal evolution we are proposing here. Below, we provide a brief recap of some of the work, carried out in very different fields, that has shone new light on the landscape of science.

First, it is important to recall the pioneering proposals on toroidal dynamics by Walter Russell —The Universal One—, R. Buckminster Fuller —Synergetics—, Arthur M. Young —The Reflexive Universe— and Itzhak Bentov —A Brief Tour of Higher Consciousness: A Cosmic Book on the Mechanics of Creation—.

Concerning the creative trend of universal dynamics, it is necessary to mention Jan C. Smuts' “holism” —Holism and Evolution—, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's “Omega Point” —Le Phénomène Humain—, the notion of “syntropy” proposed by Luigi Fantappiè —Principle of a unitary theory of the physical and biological world— and John A. Wheeler's “participatory anthropic principle”.

As to the nested character of the world, reference should be made to the concept of “holon” put forward by Arthur Koestler —The Ghost in the Machine—, that of “fractal geometry” proposed by Benoît Mandelbrot —Fractal geometry of nature—, and Ken Wilber's “holoarchical evolution” —Sex, ecology, spirituality—.

With respect to the holographic principle, it is essential to recall David J. Bohm —Wholeness and the Implicate Order— and his theory of the “holomovement” between deep reality or “implicate order” and superficial reality or “explicate order”, the “holographic brain” proposed by Karl H. Pribram —Languages of the Brain—, Rupert Sheldrake's “morphogenetic fields” —A New Science of Life—, the “Akashic field” of information proposed by Ervin Laszlo —The Akasha Paradigm: Revolution in Science, Evolution in Consciousness—, and the work of Gerard 't Hooft —The Holographic Principle—, improved by Leonard Susskind.

Regarding the relationship between the micro and macro scales, it is worth recalling the work in quantum neuro-bio-physics by Stuart R. Hameroff and Roger Penrose —Consciousness in the universe: A review of the 'Orch OR' theory—, and that by Dirk K.F. Meijer and Hans J.H. Geesink —Consciousness in the Universe is Scale Invariant and Implies an Event Horizon of the Human Brain—.

We will finish this rapid list of research on the cutting edge of science that are in tune with some key points of our proposal, making special mention of the ground-breaking work by Nassim Haramein and his collaborators William D. Brown and Amira Val Baker —The Unified Spacememory Network : from Cosmogenesis to Consciousness —, as their “Holofractographic Theory of the Unified Field” brilliantly integrates the fractal, holographic and toroidal approaches that define our hypothesis.

(There are currently numerous pages on the internet that echo this emerging perspective of a toroidal, holographic and fractal universe. Readers who are interested in this topic are recommended to consult the following websites: “The Fractal-Holographic Universe”, by Andreas Bjerve and “Cosmometry”, by Marshall Lefferts).

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