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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
SEE MORE ESSAYS WRITTEN BY LEXI NEALE
studied in 1966-1969, B.Sc. Zoology and Psychology, London University. In 1972 he met his Master, Prem Rawat
, in India. He is still with him doing Integral Practice. As an Enlightenment Master, Prem Rawat teaches a time-honored Integral Practice that he calls Knowledge of the Self – as in Know the Knower. It involves deep absorption meditation practice (First Person), listening to guidance from the Master (Second Person), and participating in service (Third Person). Lexi Neale is affiliated with The Prem Rawat Foundation, an award winning charity providing aid for the relief of human suffering. Contact tprf.org
(wopg.org), and [email protected]
The AQAL Cube
A Second Tier Differentiation
Of Ken Wilber's AQAL Square
The AQAL Cube is predicated on a development of Ken Wilber's Four Quadrants Integral model, as the AQAL Square, to the proposed Eight Octants of the AQAL Cube. The addition of a second set of Quadrants to form an AQAL Cube is the result of identifying an AQAL dimension of Consciousness, as Non-Material Identity Structures/States, that correlate with the Material Mind Structures/States defined by the AQAL Square. The AQAL Cube development also expands the "Eight Fundamental Perspectives" of Wilber's "Eight Zones" model to Eight Octant Perspectives per Person, through the Three Persons and beyond.
This essay proposes that Integral Theory needs to be elevated from the AQAL Square to the All-Persons AQAL Cube model in order to address these non-material issues.
The essay presented here is with the assumption that the reader is familiar with Integral Theory. (If not, I suggest the primer by Sean Esbjorn-Hargens called "An Overview Of Integral Theory"). This essay is an invitation, an appeal, to the Integral Academia to revaluate the current Integral Model. Integral Theory is increasingly coming under fire as not viable for integrating the non-material issues being raised by Transpersonal research at one extreme to Quantum Consciousness research at the other. The result is that Integral Theory as it stands has passed its heyday, and is now on a downslide because of the shortcomings of its core AQAL model. To not throw the baby out with the bathwater this essay proposes that Integral Theory needs to be elevated from the AQAL Square to the All-Persons AQAL Cube model in order to address these non-material issues.
This hypothesis of the AQAL Cube in no way detracts from any aspect of Ken Wilber's Integral Model, or from any aspect of Integral Theory. Instead, in transcending and including the AQAL Square, the AQAL Cube differentiates and integrates the non-material dimension of Consciousness that I will attempt to show has always been implicit in the AQAL Model. Therefore, my approach to presenting the AQAL Cube will be towards making explicit what is already implicit of an innate non-material AQAL dimension, which Integral Theory fuses with the material AQAL dimension. That state of "fused with" is how I define the AQAL Square as a First Tier Model of awareness; whereas the implications of our evolving awareness learning to differentiate a non-material AQAL Consciousness, which is "hand-in-glove" with our material AQAL being, is how I define the AQAL Cube as a Second Tier Model.
In other words, everything that Ken Wilber has so far accomplished with his AQAL Square continues to stand in this hypothesis of an AQAL Cube Model. In my dialogue with Wilber over this development, I referred to the AQAL Cube on the kewilber.com blog site November 4th '09 ["Introducing The AQAL Cube Perspectives" and "The AQAL Cube in Integral Practice"] as "more fundamental" than the AQAL Square, on which he correctly disagreed in his Introduction to that piecewhile nevertheless endorsing it as a viable extension. (In an open communication to the Integral Scholars, Sean Esbjorn-Hargens also endorsed this model, be it with insufficient scientific corroboration for JITP publication.) I subsequently propose that the AQAL Square, as a First Tier Model, is as equally fundamental as the AQAL Cube, as a Second Tier Model, because they both emerge from the same Point Of Origin; and my hypothesis is that the emergent property defining Second Tier is our evolving capacity to differentiate our material AQAL existence, which includes Mind, from our co-existent non-material AQAL Consciousness. I conclude this hypothesis with the latest developments in Quantum Physics leading to this same conclusion: That the fundamental property of the non-material Quantum Field is Consciousness.
The proposed AQAL Cube is a metatheory, in that it may be able to kill at least five birds in one throw: It may provide the necessary model to explain the Mind/Consciousness differentiation in the Quantum Consciousness hypothesis, and also explain how Quantum Consciousness differentiates the "Eight Primordial Perspectives"; it may provide the necessary model to map the Integral Relativity of Gross, Subtle and Causal existence as Quadrant Levels as well as AQAL Domains; it may explain the unfolding of the Three Tiers as an AQAL Cube dynamic between Mind and Consciousness; it may also explain States of Mind and Consciousness through that same AQAL Cube dynamic; and it may show how various Lines in Integral Theory may be represented as Octants in the 24 Octant-perspectives through the Three Persons, detailed in the Appendix. Here, it is shown how each Person has its own set of Eight Perspectives, or Octant Perspectives, that address deficiencies encountered with the AQAL Square model.
I propose that the AQAL Cube is the first major development in Integral Theory since Wilber introduced the AQAL Square model in 1995.
In the same way that Einstein's proposed Theory of Relativity also predicted the gravitational curvature of space, and also time dilation, this proposal of what amounts to an Integral Theory of Relativity via the AQAL Cube metatheory also predicts that: The failure of Integral Theory to explain non-material Consciousness processes is the failure of a First Tier model that can be resolved in Second Tier. In this essay I do not attempt to prove the AQAL Cube metatheory, but instead invite the Integral Academia to try re-evaluating their own existing data to Second Tier using these expanded AQAL Cube perspectives. I propose that the AQAL Cube is the first major development in Integral Theory since Wilber introduced the AQAL Square model in 1995, in that it opens up an entire Consciousness dimension for integration. In my unpublished Journal of Integral Theory and Practice paper on the kenwilber.com blog, June 12th '09, I suggested that this All-Persons AQAL Cube model should become Wilber 6. He has thus far declined.
(Note: In that paper I named the AP-AQAL Cubes model "The Integral Cube". The original JITP editor of that paper in '07 was David Zeitler, who subsequently presented his own more limited Integral Cube at the Integral Theory Conference 2010 ["A New Model of Self" ], without any mention of mine; the point being that The Integral Cube has now entered Integral Theory regardless. I invite the Integral Scholars to compare the two Integral Cubes and draw their own conclusions.)
It remains for me to simply proceed with a series of examples of how a second set of Quadrants, which form the AQAL Cube, is implicit in the AQAL Square to differentiate Consciousness and Mind. My hypothesis unfolds as a Quest, a series of deepening questions, as to the nature of that elusive "hand" of Consciousness within the material "glove" of Mind.
The "Hand" And "Glove" In Traditional Context
The clearest by far traditional differentiation of the Non-Material and Material Realms as being co-equal and co-AQAL is given by Amit Goswami in his book The Self-Aware Universe (19), pages 49-50, in his defining "idealist philosophy":
'In the Vedanta literature of India, the Sanskrit word nama is used to denote transcendent archetypes, and rupa signifies their immanent form. Beyond nama and rupa shines the light of Brahman, the universal consciousness, the one without a second, the ground of all being...
'Perhaps the Taoist symbol of yin and yang is more generally familiar than are the Indian symbols. The light yang, regarded as the male symbol, defines the transcendent realm, and the dark yin, regarded as the female symbol, defines the immanent. "That which lets now the dark, now the light appear is the Tao", the one that transcends its complementary manifestations...
'In all these descriptions, note that the one consciousness is said to come to us through complementary manifestations: ideas and forms, nama and rupa, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya, yang and yin, heaven and earth. This complementary description is an important facet of idealist philosophy.'
In other words, Goswami asserts that the non-material and material realms co-exist as the two polarities of manifestation from the one un-manifest; and as two polarities they are complementary to each other, and therefore co-manifest and co-evolve as two co-equally AQAL realms. Hence the AQAL Cube of Eight Primordial Perspectives. We deal with the integral relativity of the Gross and Subtle as Realms as well as Levels in the last section, Conceiving A Kosmos.
The Eight Primordial Perspectives
Ken Wilber introduced the Four Quadrants map with personal pronoun perspectives in Integral Psychology (1). The Quadrants, in differentiating the primal space in which the Kosmos unfolds, are Integral by inclusively inter-relating known phenomena, shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. The Four Quadrants Model, or The AQAL Square.
Wilber's Four Quadrants model differentiates two fundamental bipolarities of perspective: Subjective/Objective and Individual/Collective, which, through recombination, gives four fundamental perspectives through which the Kosmos is perceived. Later, in his book Integral Spirituality(2), he introduced a third bipolarity, where each Quadrant was assigned an Inside and Outside view. This results in eight perspective permutations (2 x 2 x 2), which he calls the "Eight Primordial Perspectives", shown in Fig. 2.
Fig 2. Wilber's "Eight Primordial Perspectives".
In other words, the third Inside/Outside axis turns the four-sided AQAL Square into a six-sided AQAL Cube with eight Octant Perspectives; where each Perspective is a triplet combination (of six available polarities) converging at each of the eight corners of the Cube, as shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. The AQAL Cube Perspectives As Eight Triplet Combinations
This then begs the question: what brings the third "Inside/Outside" dimension into being, to transform the AQAL Square into the AQAL Cube? The answer suggests an emergent property of Consciousness that can take "Inside" and "Outside" perspectives.
The Personal Pronoun Perspectives
It will be noted in Figs. 1 and 2 how Wilber attributed each Quadrant perspective with a personal pronoun, first person for the Left Quadrants and third person for the Right Quadrants, as Subjective and Objective respectively. Herein lies the clue. The very way our eight fundamental perspectives are generated as an AQAL Cube, through the biological necessity for an organism to identify itself and its environment, has also predicated our need to identify these fundamental perspectives in language. Fundamental to the point where the personal pronouns are the foundation of any language: "Me Tarzan, you Jane".
The way the personal pronoun-perspectives are generated is a cultural constant, a universal given for any language. Once again, the Cube of six faces provides the basic orientation framework, with the resulting eight perspectives as triplet combinations shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. The AQAL Cube Perspectives As Eight Triplet Combinations
Like the AQAL Square, we have the Subjective/Objective and Individual/Collective axes, now called Subjective/Objective and Singular/Plural; and on the vertical axis we have Possessive (Below) and Non-Possessive (Above). Possessive pertains to our material/physical identity; and Non-Possessive pertains to our non-material/non-physical identity. These are in complete correspondence with Wilber's "Outside" and "Inside" views: The tangible and the intangible. In Fig. 4., we show the First Person octad taking "Inside" and "Outside" views, numbered as the "8 Zones".
Fig. 4. First Person Perspectives Corresponding To the 8 Zones
When we look at the First Person Cube, the first thing we notice is that there is no differentiation between the Upper and Lower Subjective Quadrants, "I" and "We", as English First Person pronouns. Language is a two-way street: One the one hand it identifies pre-existing perspectives as a common experience, which then become cultural givens; but on the other hand, in naming them, it can culturally bias some perspectives at the expense of others. Cultures that are objective diminish the subjective; cultures that are collective diminish the individual; cultures that are materialistic diminish the non-materialby not differentiating them. In Russian there is a differentiation between an "inner We" and an "outer collective We" as in "We the people". And in Yiddish there is a differentiation between the "I" as the spiritual identity, and the "I" of everyday life.
In evaluating the "8 Zones", Wilber encountered this anomaly himself in differentiating an Inside "I" from an Outside "I"; and an Inside "We" from an Outside "We". From Integral Spirituality I quote(3):
"for example, the experience of an "I" in the UL Quadrant. That "I" can be looked at from the inside or the outside. I can experience my own "I" from the inside [Octant 1], in this moment, as the felt experience of being a subject of my present experience, a 1st person having a 1st person experience. If I do so, the results include such things as introspection, meditation, phenomenology, contemplation, and so on (all simply summarized as phenomenology… But I can also approach this "I" from the outside [Octant 2], in the stance of an objective or "scientific" observer. I can so in my own awareness (when I try to be "objective" about myself, or try to "see myself as others see me") …Likewise, I can approach the study of a "we" from its inside or its outside. From the inside [Octant 3], this includes the attempts that you and I make to understand each other right now. How is it that you and I can reach a mutual understanding about anything, including when we simply talk to each other? How do your "I" and my "I" come together in something you and I both call "we" (as in, "Do you and Ido weunderstand each other?"). The art and science of we-interpretation is typically called hermeneutics.
"But I can also attempt to study this "we" from the outside [Octant 4], perhaps as a cultural anthropologist, or an ethnomethodologist, or a Foucauldian archaeologist...And so on around the quadrants. Thus, 8 basic perspectives and 8 basic methodologies." (The Octant designations in brackets are mine.)
Looking at the Third Person AQAL Cube perspectives, Fig. 5., we see how the correspondence continues as the 8 Methodologies(4), which appears to endorse the AQAL Cube as an Integral model through First and Third Persons. Wilber is making a by proxy First Person differentiation between two "I's" and two "We's", which are fully differentiated by the AQAL Cube Octants 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Fig. 5. Third Person AQAL Cube As 8 Methodologies
Going back to Wilber's First Person differentiation of an Inner and Outer "I" and an Inner and Outer "We", he does not extend this argument to the First Person Right Hand Quadrants. To continue to Octant 5, this is the Distal Self, or the way I formulate my Proximate Self as a Persona in its true etymological sense, as my mask, as how "I" self-identify as "Me". This is the All Level "Me" Inside. (Note: This differentiation of Persona is not the persona of fulcrum 4.) And the corresponding behavior of this Persona is "My" personality Outside or how "I" want others to identify with "My"self. The Enneagram as elucidated by Riso (5) makes this differentiation very clearly. Equally, the Social Persona or our identification with "Us" Inside, and the Social Personality-behavior in "Our" tribe Outside, follow the same differentiations. These eight important First Person Self-differentiations have not yet been made in Integral Psychology, even though they are experientially self-evident. This will be dealt with later.
Each one of the eight triplet combinations of the First Person Cube gives a unique Self-perspective of Mind and Consciousness that has such survival value as to be identified in the earliest vocabularies of all languages, ancient and modern. These perspectives on the First Person AQAL Cube are shown to emerge from a "ground zero", implying that they are present in even the simplest organisms, and even in their components. On the one hand, a non-dual Integral view sees every holon on every Level as having its own fractal version or "take" of the Big Picture. On the other hand, consciousness structures differentiate personal pronoun perspectives starting around Red on the Wilber spectrum. However, it should be noted that the developmental sequence of a child verbalizing these perspectives, such as "Me" followed by "You", does not mean they did not exist pre-verbally, because they do. Anyone who grew up with dogs and cats knows even they have their own take of "Me" and "You", and "Mine" and "Yours", which are nevertheless fused with their own "I" Self-sense. The point being, that to not know our Self through these lenses, especially through the material and non-material lenses, gives us little depth and survival value as an evolving species whose direction is Consciousness.
What, then, is the nature of these Material/Outside and Non-Material/Inside views? By definition, the possessive first-person pronouns pertain to how we identify outwardly and physically with empirical tangibility; whereas the non-possessive first-person pronouns pertain to how we identify inwardly our intangible self. In Integral Theory, this differentiation is made via the added dimension of "Outside" and "Inside" views, which brings objectivity and subjectivity into the realm of Integral Relativity. The implication is that there is a non-material hand "Inside" a material glove "Outside". Are these two different modes, or two different domains, of awareness? We find clues in both the Upper Left and Right Quadrants.
Consciousness in the Upper Left
In the classic AQAL Square, Fig. 1., the Upper Left shows the Levels of consciousness structures, from irritability to vision logic. In the Appendix of Integral Spirituality (6) is Fig I.6., "Some Aspects of the 4 Quadrants as They Appear in Humans". The view given here is called Self & Consciousness, as Levels of the Self-system, from instinctual self to integral self. Mind in Integral Theory is the epistemological means of knowing, and used by the Self or Consciousness as the knower. The inference is that the view Outside is Mind, and the view Inside is Consciousness; and that Consciousness is the non-material experiencer through Mind as the material inner experience, where material inner experience is the Mind's interpretation of the information available to it as intelligence. It will be seen later that the experiential confusion between the Mind as experience, and Consciousness as the experiencer, is because the two are experientially fused on the level of Lower Mind, and are differentiated later on the level of Higher Mind.
This differentiation is already implicit in Integral Theory. In Wilber's Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, Note 28, p635-6, clearly makes this differentiation:
'Plotinus has a remarkable theory of the self, which is still altogether viable. Aside from the notion that we have "two souls" (the timeless witness and the temporal self), the self (or Soul) for Plotinus has two different meanings. One, it is a particular level or dimension of existencethe World Soul (or psychic level). But two, the Soul is what we moderns would call the "self-system", the actual navigator of the great holarchynot a particular stage but the "traveler" of each stage; not a rung in the ladder but the climber of the ladder. As such, the Soul or self-system can span the entire spectrum of development (except the higher limits, where it is transcended or becomes the Absolute)… Development, then, is a case of the Soul growing and expanding, taking more and more of the external world into itself, as Plotinus puts it… In other words, the level at which the self places its attention is the level at which it remains: you become what you contemplate.'
We deal with the Self as Levels of Attention later.
The question of whether these two self-views (the fulcrum ladder and the climber of the ladder) belong in the same Upper Left Quadrant of the AQAL Square, or in differentiated Upper Left Octants of the AQAL Cube (Outer ladder and Inner climber), also extends to the Upper Right Quadrant, which we deal with next.
Complexification Of Gross Forms Accompanied By Subtler Energies
Fig. 6. " Complexification Of Gross Forms Is Accompanied By Subtler Energies"
In Fig 6, from Integral Spirituality (7), Wilber shows the Upper Right Quadrant of "Gross material structures" through Levels of increasing complexity, out of which emerge accompanying Levels of "Subtle Energies" through Gross, Etheric, Astral, Psychic and Causal. What we find here is the same non-differentiation that we found in the AQAL Square Upper Left between the material Mind fulcrums and the correlating non-material Consciousness identities of the Self-system. Once again, the AQAL Cube differentiates Gross structures of increasing complexity (Below, Upper Right, on Octant 6) from corresponding Subtler Energies (Above, Upper Right, on Octant 5). This classification maps Energy Bodies (Octant 5) as used by Consciousness Identity States (Octant 1); and these correlate with the Body/Brain Structures (Octant 6), as used by Mind Structures (Octant 2).
The emerging picture is clear, that the AQAL Square appears to flatland the Material/Physical with the Non-Material in both the Upper Left and Right Quadrants, while at the same time still making that differentiation by proxy. Therefore, on the Third Person AQAL Cube, I propose that Wilber's "Subtle Energies" in the Material context (Octant 6) would more accurately be called "Fundamental Energies", of Quantum and Electromagnetic orders, that process the more complex Levels of brain structure/function; while the accompanying truly Non-Material "Subtle Energies" belong to correlating Non-Material Energy Bodies (Octant 5) on the Third Person AQAL Cube.
That said, the underlying problem still remains unanswered: What is Non-Material Consciousness that it can be differentiated from Matter/Mind as equally AQAL? What is that hand inside the glove? We begin with some issues from the Transpersonal agenda. It will be proposed that the Transpersonal, while on the one hand is Subtle as a Level in the AQAL Square, is also an entire Non-Material AQAL dimension in the AQAL Cube.
An Analogy For Mind And Consciousness
The proposed situation is somewhat like a driver (Consciousness) and the car she drives (Matter/Mind). The driver is independent of the car, in that cars are disposable; but the driver is also dependent on the car in order to evolve as a driver. And as the driver evolves, so the cars she drives become more powerful, computerized and complex. This co-evolution implies the integral necessity of a material/physical incarnation to ultimately attain the Grand Prix of ConsciousnessEnlightenment. If this is the case, then also implied is that when the driver gets out of the car, or when the car falls apart along with all its onboard software, the driver, Consciousness, continues to exist.
In the Pali Canon(8), written by the disciples of Buddha as he spoke in real-time, he talked about the conditions of continuous Consciousness: First, that we choose the womb of our incarnation unknowingly, remain in it unknowingly, and are then born from it unknowingly. Next, we choose the womb of our incarnation knowingly, remain in it unknowingly, and are born from it unknowingly. Next, we choose the womb of our incarnation knowingly, remain in it knowingly, and are then born from it unknowingly. Finally, we choose the womb of our incarnation knowingly, remain in it knowingly, and are born from it knowingly. This is the secret of continuous Consciousness. If Buddha was right, and the Pali Canon is valid as a first-hand account, we need a model of Consciousness that fulfils these criteria, and with the capacity to map all the karmic variables that differentiate an unknowing individual from a knowing one.
The Human Consciousness Project(9) is developing a huge database of near-death-experiences, out-of-body experiences, other realms and past-life experiences, with sufficient empirical cross-references to confirm the validity of these claims. In the near-death experiences, the subjects underwent clinical death, where the brain flat-lines for a few minutes, also meaning zero mind activity, before being resuscitated. A significant percentage of these had a continuity of awareness of leaving the body and even the Physical Universe, in experiencing other realms while in the flat-lined state. As an experiential model, the First-Person AQAL Cube maps the Non-Material Consciousness as Identity (Octant 1), its corresponding Energy Body activity (Octant 5), the corresponding Energy Realm it occupies (Octant 7), and its shared experience in that Realm (Octant 3).
One You Tube documentary in 2009 ["11 year old boy reincarnated FOX 8 News"]chronicled a small boy in America who had been having recurrent nightmares of being in a burning, crashing plane. Then he said the plane was Japanese, and he was Japanese, knowing his name and the fighter squadron he came from. His parents researched that indeed such an individual belonging to that fighter squadron was killed at Pearl Harbor. There were still a few survivors from that squadron, so the parents arranged for the boy to meet them in Japan; and the documentary covers that visit. The boy immediately recognized the survivors, and called them by name, and told them intimate recollections of their time together. The dead pilot's sister was also still alive, and the boy led them straight to her house unaided. He asked her if she still had the portrait she painted of him before he went to war; and dumbfounded, she found it locked away in an old trunk. These kinds of events are becoming commonplace, with ample empirical evidence of an independent Consciousness.
These Transpersonal phenomena demand a deeper definition of Consciousness, if Consciousness is truly independent of Mind and its material structures. In other words on physical death, when all those material structures of Mind dissolve, from Instinctive structures to Wisdom structures, what truly is that on-going All Level awareness embracing the Non-Material Quadrants, with its identities, its memories, its karmas, and its intentions for rebirth?
Defining Consciousness and Mind
Integral Theory has many definitions of Consciousness that seamlessly inter-relate: It is the field of subjective and inter-subjective phenomena in the Left Hand Quadrants; it is the First Person perspective, Individual and Collective (I, We), again in the Left Hand Quadrants; it is the field of intentionality, of motive and purpose, which then determines behavior; and as such, it is perspectives taking perspectives. (These definitions also apply to Energy in the Right Hand Quadrants, as objective and inter-objective behavior and activity, and the Third Person perspective. We deal with this later). Consciousness is also defined as the All Level Self-system of the Upper Left, as the subjective experiencer of phenomena. As such, it is first fused with the Lower Mind and later differentiated from the Higher Mind, where Mind is the subjective experience of phenomena. It is here that the AQAL Square gets a little shaky in the Upper Left in trying to differentiate a subjective experiencer-as-Consciousness from the subjective experience-as-Mind. This was remedied by the Inside and Outside views that differentiated the Eight "Zones" as perspectives, but thereby giving Consciousness-as-Self and Mind-as-experiential-structures only one Quadrant perspective each.
The First Person AQAL Cube differentiates, equally and AQAL-ly, Material and Non-Material Identity Structure/States totaling eight perspectives. First we take a dive into Integral Relativity by acknowledging that we do have a First Person Objective Consciousness as well as a Subjective one; that we do have a First Person Collective Consciousness as well as an Individual one; and that we do have a First Person Non-Material Consciousness as well as the Material one we call Mind. As an organism evolves it gains deeper perspectives of itself as a subject and object, as an individual and as a collective part, and as a mortal, material being who is also immortal and immaterial.
Looking closer at the First Person Cube, the Consciousness Quadrants "Inside" pertain to Identity Structure/States, and the Mind Quadrants "Outside" pertain to correlating Intelligence Structure/States. These First Person perspectives are therefore Self-referential as the Consciousness-experiencer identifying (Octants 1,3,5,7); and as the Mind-experience interpreting (Octants 2,4,6,8):
- Proximate Self "I" through Levels of Witness-identity, as Id, Ego, Soul and God.
- Material Self "I" through Levels of interpretive awareness as Feeling, Thinking, Envisioning and All-seeing/Akashic Wisdom.
- Inter-Proximate Self "We" through Levels of shared Witnessing as Inter-Id (fused "I-We"), Inter-Ego (personal "We"), Inter-Soul (transpersonal "We") and Causal "We".
- Cultural Self "We" through Levels of shared experience as Tribal member (fused "I-We"), Cultural Creative, Culture Hero and Spiritual Iconoclast.
- Distal Self/Persona "Me" through Levels of self-image as body-centered, ego-centered, soul-centered and pneumo-centered.
- Behavioral Persona "My" through Levels of personality-as-Enneatype, through magic, rational, integral and spiritually wise.
- Inter-Distal Persona "Us" through Levels of social Self-image as survivor, server-dominator, integrator, compassionate.
- Social Persona "Our" through Levels of social personality-as-Enneatype as tribal member, nationalist, globalist and utopian.
This is dealt with more fully in the Appendix.
As yet Integral Theory has not differentiated all these eight First Person perspectives, but they are nevertheless implicit in the Integral model. We find evidence for this in the way the developmental Lines, as differentiated by Integral Psychology, have an eerie correspondence with the eight Self-identities of the First Person AQAL Cube. Developmental Lines, after all, do pertain to the Self. I re-introduce this hypothesis(16): that the First Person Octants differentiate the developmental Lines of the Self-system; and that Integral Psychology lacks a Second Tier model to differentiate these Self-Lines as eight First Person perspectives. As a crude demonstration in the art of self-evidence, I would tentatively assign the following First Person Self- Lines to the following First Person Octants: Cognitive, Octant 2; Moral, Octants 3 & 4; Emotion/Affect, Octant 2; Interpersonal/Role-taking, Octants 7 & 8; Needs, All Octants; Self-identity, Octants 1 & 2; aesthetic, Octant 2; Eros, All Octants (Below); Spiritual, Octant 1; Values, All Octants.
Notably absent are Octants 5 & 6, because Integral Psychology has not differentiated any form of All-Level Objective Self, an absence that the First Person AQAL Cube addresses. Nevertheless, Integral Theory does differentiate the Proximate Self (I) from the Distal Self (Me); and also the Proximate Self (the climber) from the correlative basic structure fulcrums it navigates (the ladder). So it is a short step to redress this issue.
The Material and Non-Material Selves
On the "Individuals" face of the AQAL Cube are differentiated four Selves as Subjective/Objective and Material/Non-Material permutations. In Wilber's Integral Psychology (Shambhala, 2000), page 92, he says:
'…therefore I outline the nine correlative fulcrums that the self goes through in a complete evolution or development through the entire Great Nest.'
The evolving self and its correlative fulcrums are an Octant 1 and Octant 2 differentiation on the First Person AQAL Cube. And on page 33 he says:
'If you get a sense of yourself right nowsimply notice what it is that you call "you"you might notice at least two parts to this self: one, there is some sort of observing self (an inner subject or watcher); and two, there is some sort of observed self (some objective things that you can see or know about yourself… The first is experienced as an "I", the second as a "me"… I call the first the proximate self (since it is closer to "you"), and the second the distal self (since it is objective and "farther away").'
The proximate and distal selves are an Octant 1 and Octant 5 differentiation on the First Person AQAL Cube. Octant 6 pertains to "my" personality experience through "my" behavior.
So when we talk about the self as navigating through the Levels, the integration of four "selves" on the Four "Individuals" Quadrants is a far more complicated process than Integral Theory describes. The First Person AQAL Cube shows that a fulcrum shift is a complex integration between Octants 1, 2, 5 and 6, where stable subjective identity-shifts (Octants 1 and 2) also need to be accompanied by stable objective persona-shifts and personality-shifts (Octants 5 and 6), shown in Fig. 7.
Fig. 7. First Person AQAL Cube, Integrating The Four Individual Selves
I propose that when our Proximate Self "I" (Octant 1.) transcends and includes its previous fulcrum structure "I" (Octant 2.) to its next Level of identity, it also becomes objectified as the Distal Self/Persona "Me" (Octant 5.); and those identities then materially consolidate as the next structure stage of the correlated "My" Personality (Octant 6.). This is a very tricky balancing act, and there is many a slip twixt cup and lip. I propose that this entire process needs to be re-evaluated using the First Person AQAL Cube perspectives. Integral Theory lacks a First Person AQAL model to map the psychopathologies associated with fulcrum failures, and to map appropriate psychotherapies; so I urge the Integral Academia, including David Zeitler, to consider applying the AP-AQAL Integral Cube in Integral Psychology and Psychotherapy.
A very simple example of this entire First Person dynamic is the breath cycle. In consciously taking and experiencing my breath (Octant 6), I experience a calming of my thoughts (Octant 2), which I Witness (Octant 1), as transforming me (Octant 5). This is how the breath cycle can be analyzed as a transformative meditative AQAL practice towards greater self-awareness. In other words, every self-aware act we undertake becomes potentially transformative. This crucial factor of self-awareness is amply borne out by the latest Quantum Consciousness research, to be dealt with later.
However, the story is more complete tracking this process in the Third Person: The 8 Methodologies correspond exactly with the Third Person perspectives of the AQAL Cube. All this is dealt with in the Appendix. Suffice it to say at this point that 8 perspectives per Person is an emerging pattern.
Going back to the Integral definition that Consciousness is First Person experience, we are now beginning to realize that the Four Material First Person Quadrants (Below) are not of Consciousness but of Mind, all of whose Structures and assumed Identities disappear on physical death. Summing up so far: Mind is the First Person AQAL experience of material Energy via material Structure/States; and Consciousness is the First Person AQAL experiencer of Energy via non-material Identity Structure/States. When we have Consciousness we are self-aware as the experiencer; when we are unconscious we are aware only of our experience, which is Mind. In Mind we are at the mercy of our experience only when we identify with it; in Consciousness we can differentiate or detach from our experience only when we identify with the experiencer. Which then brings us back to: What are the Non-Material Consciousness Identities? "The Three Tiers of Consciousness" of Integral Theory provide the next implicit clue.
The Three Tiers
My hypothesis here is that, as a First Tier model, the AQAL Square by definition cannot model the differentiation of other Tiers.
The Spectrum of Consciousness illustrated in Integral Spirituality (10) is divided into three phases of unfolding, or Tiers. First Tier awareness up to Teal cannot appreciate the existence of other Levels than the one where it is located, as essentially egocentric. Teal itself intuitively anticipates other Levels. Second Tier awareness from Teal up to Indigo takes a quantum leap in differentiating a basic understanding of the entire spectrum, as essentially world-centric. Third Tier awareness from Indigo to Clear Light integrates this understanding through pneumo-centric Levels of realization to Non-Dual awareness. What Integral Theory does not adequately explain, is why the Tiers empirically unfold in the way they do: Why First Tier cannot differentiate Levels; why Second Tier can take that quantum leap to see the whole Spectrum; and why Third Tier becomes Non-Dual. My hypothesis here is that, as a First Tier model, the AQAL Square by definition cannot model the differentiation of other Tiers; and that as a Second Tier model, the AQAL Cube by definition can model that differentiation.
First Tier is where the Lower Mind, embedded in its material ego structures, assumes itself to be the knower-as-Ego when it becomes self-aware in Red. It does not yet know that it is a borrowed light from non-material Consciousness with which it is fused. As a result it assumes a material identity, as Ego, with all the material pursuits of the Lower Mind; and also assumes the Body as its means-of-knowing. Second Tier is when the seat of identity in Consciousness begins to become self-aware in Teal, and disidentifies from its previously fused material identification with the Lower Mind. As a result it assumes a new non-material or spiritual identity, the knower-as-Soul; and also assumes the Lower/Higher Mind as its means-of-knowing. Third Tier is where the seat of identity shifts yet again, from Consciousness to "Sciousness", in becoming Self-aware in Indigo. "It" disidentifies from It's previously fused spiritual identification with Soul in realizing Itself as God, the Knower-as-Witness; and also assumes the Big Mind, as the entire Kosmos, as It's means-of-knowing. It is therefore in Third Tier that the answer to the nature of the Non-Material Consciousness and its Quadrants deepens: That Consciousness is just another spectral series of mistaken identities along with its correlate Mind. We deal with this next.
Consciousness As The AQAL Witness
It is in Third Tier that we arrive at the root of Consciousness, in a Non-Duality that embraces Consciousness and Energy as not-two. The AQAL Square does a very good First Tier job of making this equation through First (Subjective) and Third (Objective) Person perspectives, along with all the Integral Relativity it involves. The AQAL Cube also does a very good Second Tier job of involving even more perspective-variables and associated Integral Relativity by introducing the Material/Mind (relatively objective) and the Non-Material/Consciousness (relatively subjective) into the mix, subsequently making the differentiation between First Person Consciousness-as-experiencer and Mind-as-experience even more diffuse. This is ultimately resolved in Non-Dual experience, where there is only the Supreme Witness as the Supreme Perspective; and for It's field of manifestation we call Kosmos there is only a fundamental Energy Matrix, like play dough, which the Supreme Witness will make of it what It will. Consciousness and Energy are merely how It Identifies with It's manifest Form before It rolls Itself back into the Formlessness from whence It came. There is no modeling to be done in Third Tier.
That said, in Third Tier we arrive at the common denominator of Being and Knowing, the true Kosmic Konstant of Integral Relativity, a.k.a. The Knower, to wit The Witness. Con-Sciousness means "Knowing-With", or The Knower witnessing-with First Person AQAL perspectives, through both Consciousness and Mind. Energy means "At Work", "Activity", or The Knower manifesting with Third Person AQAL perspectives. This definition implies Mind as First Person Energy; and Integral Relativity would agree in that Mind, as the "glove", is material Energy acting through the intention or "hand" of non-material Consciousness within it. The experience of an autonomous "Mind" is therefore the delusion of an undifferentiated Consciousness operating it. So Integral Relativity is about equating Consciousness with Energy via All Person perspectives assumed by The Witness as Kosmic Konstant. In other words, Consciousness and Energy are two sides of the same coin, where the coin itself is The One Witness.
Taking this one step further, the Integral Witness takes All-Person AQAL Cube perspectives in its manifestation as Kosmos. In this definition, the AQAL Cube becomes the AP-AQAL Cube, as nested Person-Cubes contained as an Integral Cube. So the Integral Witness operates through All Persons, All Quadrants and All Levels as Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience. But the Integral Witness is equally our own Person, Quadrant and Level of witnessing, or the way we personally manifest in the Kosmos. As such, manifestation is really about our own AP-AQAL Witness, who makes conscious our First Person AQAL intentions to cause All Person AQAL effects on our Energy environment. In this context, the Integral Witness makes Consciousness as transparent as Consciousness made Matter/Mind.
We now look at this Witness/Knower to see how it operates. Meditation is one way to go to that root; psychotropic drugs are another. Either way, we become aware of the Attention, and Levels of Attention that correspond to Levels of identity on the Spectrum of Consciousness. The Attention is the First Person Witness "holding-on" to its location on the Spectrum of Consciousness as a Level of AQAL Identity shown in Fig. 8.
Fig. 8. The AQAL Witness Through Four Representative Levels Of Attention
My own experience with psychotropic substances (earlier) and meditation (later) led me to the same conclusion as my peers, and others such as Carlos Castaneda(11), that there are three main Levels of Attention that exactly correspond with the Three Tiers. The "First" Attention enables our function in everyday physical reality, as the Ego level of identity and material identification. The "Second" Attention enables our function in non-physical reality, as the Soul level of identity/identification. The "Third" Attention leads us to identify with the Knower, as the God level of identity. At each Level our "holding-on" becomes more relaxed and fluid, from the clutching as Ego to the final let-go as God. When Socrates, as an enlightened teacher, said "Know Thy Self", he was saying Know The Knower. In other words, Let Go.
The Level we hold to, and operate from, is the Level we identify with, and all its corresponding realities. This is why Consciousness and Identity are one and the same. But Identity is fluid, and is therefore a Consciousness Structure/State capable of moving independently of its fulcrum correlates as Mind. Although we irrevocably evolve our way through the material fulcrums as Mind, our corresponding Consciousness Identity can shift, such as in "a fall from Grace" from Soul back into Ego, or in an epiphany from Ego to Soul. The spiritual path is all about experiencing these identity shifts, and many a Saint has fallen to the Devil along the way. Which leads us to other States Of Consciousness and Mind, as a dynamic of the First Person AQAL Cube.
States Of Consciousness And Mind
In the same way I proposed the hypothesis that the Three Tiers are a function of the dynamic between Consciousness identities and correlated Mind fulcrums, so I propose that States of Consciousness and Mind are also a function of, and explainable by, various states of engagement and disengagement between Mind and Consciousness in the First Person AQAL Cube. These Consciousness/Mind Identity States pertain to the Self in waking, dreaming, lucid dreaming, deep sleep, deep absorption meditation, out-of-body and near-death experience, after-death and past life memories, hallucinogenic, and delusional states. Some of these evaluations stem from personal meditative experience.
- In the waking state the Mind is in full awareness. In First Tier, when Lower Mind becomes self-aware, it assumes itself as the knower of phenomena and identifies with its thoughts, emotions and feelings; and also assumes the Body as its means of knowing. This is a result of being fused with Consciousness in a material identity we call Ego. But in Second Tier, when Consciousness differentiates from the Mind in becoming self-aware, the assumption accordingly shifts to Consciousness as the Knower of phenomena, with its Conscious Identity we call Soul. Its Higher Mind correlate accordingly assumes itself as the means of knowing. In Third Tier, the ever-awake Witness, in realizing Itself as the Knower of phenomena, has a corresponding Conscious Identity we call God. Its assumed Big Mind correlate as Kosmos is the assumed means of knowing. In the Non-Dual state, Mind, Consciousness and Witness are Integral, as the All-Knower.
- In dreaming sleep the Mind is in partial shutdown to allow its structures metabolize its waking experience; and is able to remember its dreams on waking. However, Consciousness never shuts down. In First Tier, if it is fused or over-identified with the Mind, then it plays no part in dreaming sleep other than as a fused witness of the dreams. In this state the Conscious Identity is fluid, and can change according to the dream. In Second Tier, the Conscious Self can witness and even participate in the Mind's dream, in a state called lucid dreaming that has full conscious recall. In one lucid dream a far-away friend visited me and we went on a lucid journey. The next morning she called me to ask if I had experienced it.
- In deep sleep there is total shutdown of the Mind. In First Tier, with a Consciousness fused or over-identified with Mind, the result is total unconsciousness. In Second Tier, while the Mind is in shutdown, the Consciousness can enter states of deep absorption into Causal Consciousness,
- Deep absorption can also be entered with the waking Mind through meditation. Here the Mind is shut down intentionally by the Attention. The Attention then surrenders its hold on all lesser Consciousness identities until there is only Knower in Causal Consciousness. This is a Third Tier experience.
- In near-death experience a trauma shuts down the Mind, leaving the Conscious identity in limbo and free to witness the transition from material reality (such as the scene of an accident, and leaving one's body) to the non-material reality of the after-death state, and finally the return back to one's body. There is a great amount of empirical evidence that comes with n.d.e's, when the brain and Mind flatline, When the Mind and Consciousness remain fused, the result is an unconscious coma until reawakening. But if the Consciousness is differentiated it witnesses the surrounding events, along with many commonalities such as entering a tunnel of light and entering non-material realms "beyond" the physical, all of which are remembered despite the flatlined brain. This attests to the autonomy of a non-material Consciousness from the material reality of brain and Mind.
- In real death, the material body and Mind disintegrate, leaving the Consciousness free to experience and identify with after-life phenomena at the Level to which it had evolved. In First Tier the process begins with the "death swoon", when Consciousness is fused with Mind and lapses into unconsciousness when the Mind shuts down. It then reawakens in whatever after-death state, or Bardo, that corresponds to its Level of evolution until the time comes to choose a corresponding incarnation. In Second Tier, Consciousness is drawn to the its Causal State and is given the opportunity to let go into post-mortal Enlightenment. If it cannot, it retreats to whatever Bardo corresponds to its Level of evolution until the time comes to choose a corresponding incarnation. In Third Tier, Consciousness automatically merges with its Source in post-mortal Enlightenment. From the latter perspective of Continuous Consciousness between incarnations, accounts of the after-death state come from such Enlightened souls as the Buddha, living Dalai Lamas and bhodisattvas, whose words carry great weight. A Dalai Lama consciously chooses the next reincarnation and is identified by the devotees who find the child by its ability to correctly identify possessions from the previous life. This is as empirical as it gets.
- Hallucinogenic states can also lead to out-of-body experiences and n.d.e's, following the same process where the Consciousness is fully awake and differentiated from the Mind, and where the resulting experience is Level-specific.
- Delusional states such as Schizophrenia with multiple personalities usually happens at an early fulcrum arrest of the Mind (Octant 2) due to trauma, where the First Person Consciousness safely splits off the traumatized proximate "I" (Octant 1)as a compartmentalized distal "Me" (Octant 5), with its accompanied sub-personalities as "My" (Octant 6).
- There are also Mind States and Consciousness Structures. The former are all our felt-states and emotional states at All Levels of Mind, where feelings in both the Mind and Body (Material Upper Left and Right) form a combined experience. Consciousness Structures are intentional, as a behavioral motive in any given Consciousness Identity State (Non-Material Upper Left and Right).
We have arrived at a point where we need to accurately map this dynamic between Conscious Identity States and Structures and the Material-Mind Structures and States they occupy. This is the importance of Kosmic Address.
The system of Integral Calculus to determine the location of any Kosmic event, introduced by Wilber in Integral Spirituality (12), is very sound. I would only add that introducing "Zone" numbers to identify the Octants (18) of each AQAL Cube/Person make the transition from Square to Cube very simple; and that Cube/Person numbers (1p, 2p, 3p etc) make the transition from AQAL Square Quadrants to corresponding AQAL Cubes equally simple.
More complex, however, is introducing the notion of binary perspectives; where any perspective can be the subject of any other perspective as object, as in "perspectives taking perspectives". This is also the notion of "Quadrivia", where an object can be seen in a Four Quadrant context; or in the case of the AQAL Cube, in an Eight Octant context as "Octavia". This is truly reminiscent of Roman Generals! Ken's joke(14). I would therefore propose that the subject of any binary perspective is the dominant pole, and featured in integral calculus as the first Octant number in a binary pair; and that the object as the recessive pole is the second. E.g. Octant 1 dominant, Octant 3 recessive is (1-3).
At the Integral Theory Conference 2008, Clint Fuhs(13) introduced an expanded system of Integral Calculus to include many more perspectives ["An Integral Map of Perspective Taking"]. He then peer-reviewed the AQAL Cube's version I submitted in a paper (not published) to the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. We neither had positive feelings for each other's expanded system, so I will simply continue here with my attempt to show how the AQAL Cube and its perspective permutations through All Persons are implicit in the original AQAL model.
The traditional rendition of the AQAL Square's Quadrant-perspectives is on a horizontal/vertical grid to show Level-specific translations between the Quadrants (horizontal) and corresponding transformations through the Levels (vertical). Then came the Wilber-Combs lattice(14), which showed 16 binary-perspective permutations between two Quadrants, of 4 Levels each. One axis (cognitive structures) is the classic Upper Left Quadrant of the AQAL Square, and the other axis (States of Consciousness) is an alternative rendition of the Upper Left through State levels corresponding to Gross, Subtle, Causal and Non-Dual, shown in Fig. 9.
Fig. 9. Wilber-Combs Lattice As Third Person AQAL Cube Upper Left Quadrants
In Integral Psychology (15) Wilber mentions that he has played with several variables for the "grid"; and in one of my versions Octant #1 of the AQAL Cube shows the Consciousness Identity States through representative levels of Id, Ego, Soul, and Supreme Witness. My point being, the AQAL Cube indeed does differentiate these two Upper Left Quadrants, one as Consciousness Identity Structure/States (Octant #1, Above) and the other as their correlating Mind Structure/States (Octant #2, Below). This being the case, both the AQAL Square and the AQAL Cube can be re-configured from the standard grid to lattices to show all possible binary perspective permutations (of subject and object) between any two Quadrants, as shown in Fig. 10.
Fig 10. A Binary Perspective Lattice Between Any Two All-Level Quadrants
Ideally, the evolution of any binary perspective is in a state of balance between the two Quadrants. But human nature is that we fumble for that balance through bitter experience, meandering though extremes at the lower end of the Consciousness/Mind spectra until we find balance higher up.
Each AP-AQAL Cube generates 32 binary perspective lattices, or 64 reversed-perspective lattices as shown in Fig. 11., where the subject becomes the object, and the object becomes the subject. Three Cubes through the Three Persons generate 3 x 64 = 192 reversed-perspective lattices, through 64 x 64 x 64 = 262,144 reversed perspective permutations. If there are 10 Levels per Octant (Spectrum color initial in the calculus such as "r" for Red, "g" for Green), the permutations are 262,144,000. But each Octant is really a thick cable of Lines, so all the Octant Lines (Octant number + Line in the calculus) generate an almost incalculable number of perspective permutations. And when First Person Cube perspectives triangulate Second and Third Person Cube perspectives, or when the Fourth Person of placing ourselves into another's perspective comes into play, the trinary and quaternary permutations between Cubes grow exponentially.
Fig. 11. Reversed-Perspective Lattices Generated By The AQAL Cube
I propose that this AQAL Cube hypothesis provides the expanded model needed by the Second Tier quantum sciences to map the differentiation already being made between the material field of Mind and the non-material field of Consciousness. We deal with this next.
Consciousness As Differentiated By Quantum Physics
I propose that the First Person AQAL Cube can model the reconciliation between the Bohr and the Penrose interpretations of Consciousness and the quantum wave collapse.
The entire thrust of this paper has been to show how within the accepted First Tier Integral Model of the AQAL Square there is an implicit differentiation of Material/Mind Structure/States from correlating Non-Material Consciousness Structure/States, which are explicitly differentiated by the Second Tier AP-AQAL Cubes. But my previous attempt to hypothesize Consciousness as an AQAL domain unto itself(16) did not go down well, in my neglecting to include the latest empirical evidence to that end; and so I make brief mention of it here to "rest my case".
It is just and fitting that Quantum Physics, in its pursuit of the Field of Consciousness, has differentiated itself as a Second Tier science in making the differentiation between Non-Material Consciousness and the Material Mind in exactly the same way that Second Tier awareness differentiates from First Tier. The main proponents of the Consciousness Field are Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose who, as a team, are in the process of equating the non-material Quantum Field with nonmaterial Consciousness(17).
In a recent quote in an EnlightenNext interview(18), Hameroff said:
"Neutral monism says that there's one common underlying entity that gives rise to, on the one hand, matter, and on the other hand, mind. In our model, that underlying entity that gives rise to both matter and mind is quantum spacetime geometry. In the Vedic traditions you could call it Brahman, the underlying ground of being. So it's not materialisticit goes below matter… You can call it whatever you likeSpirit, the cosmos, quantum gravitywhatever it is that gives rise to both mind and matter and underlies all of reality… You know, most people think that consciousness emerged over eons as a byproduct of random mutations and the inherent complexity of natural selection, but I look at it the other way around. I think a fundamental field of protoconscious experience has been embedded all alongsince the big bangin the Planck scale, and that biology evolved and adapted in order to access it and to maximize the qualities and potentials implicit within it. Of course, putting consciousness at the most fundamental level of the universe also has big implications for enlightenment and spirituality… In fact, the Kabbalah says that we have this world of wisdom and light, and then we have the world of aggravation and strife, and that consciousness dances on the edge between the two worlds… And that's why I believe that if the quantum consciousness hypothesis is proven, it will give credence to the spiritual dimension of life…"
In my discussion of the quantum question, it is important to remember that I do make the Third Person differentiation between quantum processing in the brain (Material Upper Right octant 6) and correlative experiential structures (Material Upper Left octant 2); because I must say that even I have my reservations about equating the fundamental Quantum Consciousness with Brahman and God, in that I do differentiate the Supreme Source/Witness from the AQAL Consciousness-identities Spectrum, and AQAL Consciousness from the correlated AQAL Mind/Matter Spectrum. Nevertheless, Consciousness as a Non-Material Domain is at the root of my hypothesis in differentiating the Consciousness Quadrants of the AQAL Cube.
In dealing with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, where the role of experimenter-observer can influence the outcome of the experiment, Danish physicist Niels Bohr popularized a model called the Copenhagen interpretation, which claims that Consciousness causes the quantum wave-function to collapse, resulting in experimental quantum unpredictability. But there is also an alternative interpretation proposed by Roger Penrose.
Hameroff continues in the EnlightenNext interview:
"Rather, he (Penrose) suggested that consciousness is the wave-function collapse, or at least one particular kind of collapse. It's a quantum collapse that gives off fundamental units of conscious awareness, just like an electron orbital shift gives off a photon of light. And like photons, quanta of consciousness come in a spectrum of different intensities, frequencies and qualities. . .
"In Roger's model, which he calls orchestrated objective reduction, you don't always need an outside observer. If a quantum system evolves to a critical thresholdwhich involves gravitational warping on the quantum scaleit will self-collapse. There's an objective, natural reduction of the quantum wave function that results in a simple moment of consciousness, or a simple "quantum" of consciousness, if you will. And when these collapses happen again and again in your brain, you get a series of conscious moments that give rise to your experience of a stream of consciousness. So consciousness, in this model, consists of a series of discrete events, yet is experienced as continuous. You can think of it kind of as frames in a movie, only with a movie you have an outside observer. In this case, the frame itself has the observer built into it. The conscious moment and the quantum wave-function collapse are one and the same event. . .
"We know that consciousness in the brain happens at about forty times per second. It's called gamma synchrony. . . And in the model that Roger and I have developed, we've proposed that Singer's gamma synchrony is actually evidence of quantum-state collapses happening forty times per secondor moreamong coherent, organized networks of the brain's microtubules. . .
"And a few years ago, the Dalai Lama sent some of his best meditators to a lab up in Wisconsin. They found that, while meditating, the monks had the highest gamma synchrony ever recorded. They were actually operating at about eighty to one hundred hertz, whereas the experimental control subjects were at forty. . . Years of meditating had changed their brains so that they were just normally in this higher-frequency gamma range. That suggests they're having a richer and more intense conscious experience more frequently than the average person."
This essay has attempted to disentangle Non-Material Consciousness from the coexistent and coevolving Material Mind via the All-Persons AQAL Cube. I propose that the First Person AQAL Cube can model the reconciliation between the Bohr and the Penrose interpretations of Consciousness and the quantum wave collapse. Even in the scientific community the terms "Consciousness" and "Mind" are interchangeable, because in the West they have not been differentiated from each other. But in the East "Manas", etymologically as Mind, is the field of reference within which we orient our experiential awareness of material Life or "Jivan"; whereas "Atman", as non-material Consciousness, is the experiencer of that experience within that field of reference.
I therefore propose that Consciousness initiates its own wave-collapse through Intent, as per Bohr; but releases a quantum of Mind, as per Penrose, through which a correlated Behavior can be enacted. The higher the Level of Consciousness we access, the greater the gamma-synchrony we produce at the correlating Level of Mind, with its increased capacity to act. The converse is also true: In Mind there is the experience, the thinking, feeling, and perception; whereas in Consciousness there is none of that, only the experiencer/identifier. So to pass from Mind to Consciousness, such as in meditation, we intend the suspension of wave-collapse of Consciousness into Mind, resulting in the suspension of Mind, which is meditation. This has also been corroborated experimentally by the experimenter suspending a quantum outcome by meditatively suspending the intent for an outcome(19). This is why in Second Tier Consciousness we, as a self-aware Witness, can choose to remain in non-material or non-local awareness instead of, and as well as, in material or local awareness.
We began this AQAL Cube hypothesis by investigating Wilber's "Eight Primordial Perspectives". It remains for us to see how they may mesh with the Quantum Consciousness hypothesis. In Fig. 3., we saw how the Eight Perspectives are produced as triplet-combinations from the three axes of the Cube and their six polarities. At the primordial Quantum Level of the Cube I propose that those three axes represent the fundamental nature of Energy/Consciousness: Amplitude, Frequency and Polarity. Amplitude translates as amplification from an individual effect to a collective effect, which is Gravitation. Frequency translates as interior and exterior activity of Consciousness/Energy, which is the Electromagnetic Spectrum. Polarity translates as the quantum dynamic, which is Particle/Wave, or Locality/Non-Locality, or Material/Non-Material. This bears out Stuart Hameroff's statement that protoconsciousness could come into existence at the most fundamental level. I therefore propose that all Eight Fundamental Perspectives of the AQAL Cube are produced at the most fundamental Quantum Consciousness Level as eight triplet-permutations between the three fundamental vibratory modes of Consciousness/Energy: Amplitude (Large/Small), Frequency (High/Low), and Polarity (Non-Material/Material), or AFP.
The AFP triplet could be capable of encoding an incalculable number of sub-permutations using variables of Amplitude, Frequency and Polarity, which could be a match for the permutations of Kosmic address generated by the binary-perspective lattices shown in Fig. 11. It therefore seems probable that the microtubule lattices made of tubulin may even form the framework of the binary-perspective lattices, where gamma-synchronous quanta of Mind manifesting in various locations on the lattices produce a cohesive experience of correlating binary perspectives. The AQAL Cube model therefore predicts that the tubulin lattices differentiate the Eight Primordial Perspectives on a molecular level, where each Perspective-lattice is encoded with its own AFP triplet combination. Similarly, the AQAL Cube model predicts that each quantum of Consciousness/Energy arrives in the Perspective-lattice as its own AFP triplet, as a key that opens its own Perspective lock, resulting in a moment of intended experience from that Perspective. This could further suggest that experiential pathologies could result from AFP experiential distortions that get encoded on the correlated tubulin lattice, but that could be erased once knowing its Kosmic Address. For these reasons I propose that the AP-AQAL Cube be examined as a viable model for the Penrose/Hameroff Quantum Consciousness hypothesis.
Conceiving A Kosmos
We have seen how the apparent dualistic complexity between the myriad perspectives of the AP-AQAL Cubes is ultimately resolved in the Non-Dual Supreme-Witness-as-Kosmos. To conclude this hypothesis, it remains for me to propose how this same Integral Relativity may also reconcile apparently dualistic views of Kosmic manifestation through Gross, Subtle and Causal as AQAL Levels on the one hand, and through Gross, Subtle and Causal as AQAL Domains on the other.
Throughout this hypothesis I have avoided referring to the Material/Mind Domain as Gross; the Non-Material Consciousness Domain as Subtle; and their common One Source as the Causal Domain, purely to avoid confusion with Integral terminology. Nevertheless, Integral Relativity has no problem with these distinctions, because when the Spectrum of Consciousness is viewed in parallel with the Spectrum of Energy, the Gross Energy band pertains to the entire Physical Universe of Matter/Mind, as the Matrix for Non-Material Consciousness; the Subtle Energy band pertains to the Non-Material Energy Bodies and Realms as the Matrix for Non-Material Consciousness; and the Causal Energy band pertains to the Non-Dual Matrix in which Consciousness and Energy are One. Evolving through both Spectrums, Consciousness leads us to Who we are; and Energy leads us to What we are.
All this brings us to a Second Tier understanding. Throughout history the cultures of the world have consistently discussed human awareness as an interaction between two Domains or Fields of awareness: Of Gross Life and Subtle Consciousness; or Ming and Hsing (Chinese), Soma and Psyche (Greek), Tonal and Nagual (Mayan), Jivan and Atman (Hindu), Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya (Buddhist), Body-mind and Soul (Christian), Earth and Moon (Alchemy). In each pair, the former is the incarnate vehicle of the latter. And beyond each is their respective Causal Source in Tao, Pneuma, Tonacatecuhtli, Brahman, Dharmakaya, Spirit, and the Sun. These "holy trinities" are shown as Levels in the AQAL Square, but in Integral Relativity the Gross/Mind and Subtle/Consciousness also are each equally AQAL Domains in the Causal Source, as this hypothesis of the AQAL Cube has attempted to demonstrate. As Lao Tzu intoned in the Tao Te Ching: Out of the One came Two; out of the Two came Three; and out of the Three came Ten Thousand Things. The AP-AQAL Cubes, as the nested Spectrums of Consciousness and Energy, is that emergent Kosmos of "ten thousand things". It is fitting that an old kosmological model called the Vesica Piscis gives birth to a new kosmological model called the AQAL Cube, shown in Fig. 12.
Fig. 12. The Vesica Piscis And The AQAL Cube.
As the kosmogram suggests, the One Source differentiates from Itself a Primal Matrix, and then proceeds to penetrate it in an act of Kosmic Love. The Big Bang, as it were! This model demonstrates how Formlessness involves Itself into Form, as involution; while Form simultaneously evolves itself into Formlessness, as evolution. As their field of mutual inter-penetration begins to dilate, like a vulva, the emergent Baby-as-Kosmos (represented by the AQAL Cube or Sphere, it matters not) expands through the Spectrum of Non-Material Consciousness/Energy (Above) and the corresponding Spectrum of Material Mind/Energy (Below). The kosmogram therefore suggests that Consciousness and Mind are not entities in themselves, but are an overlap, a dilating or evolving field of self-reference, in which we as the Knower identify with our material nature (Below) through Ego, and with our spiritual nature (Above) through Soul. To transcend/include from Ego identity to Soul identity has been called "turning around in the Seat of Consciousness" in Tibetan mysticism. As the field of overlap continues to dilate through the Spectrum to a "total eclipse", there is no more duality differentiating Matter/Mind from Consciousness from Supreme Witness. They are always already All One.
The following is a brief survey of the 3 x 8 = 24 AQAL Cube perspectives through the Three Persons. The various Lines of Self-development are to be found in the First Person Cube. Each perspective is presented through four representative Levels of interpretation, as Red, Orange, Blue and Violet on Wilber's spectrum. It is here that the entire hypothesis of the AP-AQAL Cubes may be empirically validated when Integral Research takes it upon itself to re-evaluate and re-categorize existing data according to these 24 perspectives. I invite the Integral Scholars to identify the perspective(s) pertaining to their own field of research and let me know their choices.
FIRST PERSON CUBE
Octant 1: Proximate Self as the "I" Consciousness. Core self-reference witnessing through Levels of assumed Identity States. Lines here are self-identity, spiritual. Representative Levels of Self-identity-as-witness are: Redthe Id, or Fascination, fused with the Lower Mind; Orangethe Ego, or the Attention, self-awareness also fused with the Lower Mind; Bluethe Soul, or the Second Attention, self-awareness differentiated from Lower Mind. VioletGod-as-Witness, or the Third Attention.
Octant 2: Material Self as the "I" Mind. Interpretive, experiential self-reference between Consciousness and the environment. Experiential Structures of Mind are comprised of various Lines of Intelligence such as cognitive, affective, psychosexual, aesthetic, spiritual. Representative Levels of experiential interpretation are: Redsensing, feeling, emoting; Orangethinking; Bluevisioning; Violetwisdom/Akashic experience.
Octant 3: Inter-Proximate Self as the "We" Consciousness. Shared self-awareness witnessed through Levels of assumed Identity States. Lines are inter-proximate identity, shared identity. Representative Levels are: RedInter-Id as fused "I-We"; OrangeInter-Ego "We"; BlueInter-Soul transpersonal "We"; VioletCausal "We".
Octant 4: Cultural Self as the "We" Mind. Interpretive shared or common experience as cultural awareness, and comprised of cultural intelligence structures as moral/worldview identity. Representative Levels are: RedTribal member (fused "I-We"); Orangecultural independent; Bluecultural visionary; Violetspiritual iconoclast.
Octant 5: Distal Self (Persona) as the "Me" Consciousness. Objectively differentiated from the Proximate Self of Octant 1, the Persona is how the Self sees itself as a Self- image. This is the intentional persona of the Enneagram, the objective evaluator of the Self-system and home of the Self-judging Super-Ego and various inner voices. After death experience or Bardo is a projection of this self-evaluation, and the Intentional Persona therefore determines its next incarnation. Representative Levels as State-stages are: RedId-centered, 4th Bardo; OrangeEgo-centered, 3rd Bardo; BlueSoul-centered, 2nd Bardo; VioletPneumo-centered, 1st Bardo.
Octant 6: Behavioral Persona as the "My" Mind. Objectively differentiated from the Material Self of Octant 2, the Behavioral Persona is the objective expression of Mind as our Personality and its Enneatypes. This is the arena of behavioral psychology with the cognitive, affective, psychosexual Lines as applied to personality behavior. Representative Levels as Structure-stages are: Redmagic; Orangerational; Blueintegral; Violetspiritually wise.
Octant 7: Inter-Distal Persona as the "Us" Consciousness. The Social Self-image is a fused "Me-Us" until socio-centric, after which the Social Identity differentiates through the inter-personal Line. Here we identify with our peers in social groups with social identities. Representative Levels as State-stages are: Redsymbiont; Orangeserver-dominator; Blueintegrator; Violetcompassionate.
Octant 8: Social Persona as the "Our" Mind. The Social Persona's Structure-stages evolve through Levels of cooperative behavior, and Lines of sociocultural behavior, relational exchange, ethics. The world in action makes its own demands, resulting in cooperative social skills for survival and growth. Representative Structure-stages are: Redtribal member; Orangenationalist; Blueglobalist; Violetutopian.
SECOND PERSON CUBE
Octant 1: Proximate Self in individual relationship as "You/Thou" Consciousness. Individually identifying with and relating to another implies intimacy. In times gone by "Thou" implied true identity, trust and respect reserved for an honored relationship. Representative State-stages are: RedId-Fascination (you fascinate me); Orange -Ego-Attention (you have my attention); BlueSoul-Attention (you are my soul-mate); VioletDivine Attention (You and I are One).
Octant 2: Material Self in individual relationship as "Your/Thy" Mind. Individual empirical relationship with another. Representative Structure-stages are: Redfeelings; Orangerationale; Bluevisions; Violetspiritual wisdom.
Octant 3: Inter-Subjective relationship as "You (plural)/Ye" Consciousness. Identification between Selves. Representative State-stages are: RedInter-Id fascination; OrangeInter-Ego Attention; BlueInter-Soul Attention; VioletInter-Witness Attention.
Octant 4: Cultural Relationship as "Your (plural)" Mind. Relating through the communication of morals and worldviews. Representative Structure-stages are: Redmagic-mythic; Orangerationalistic; Blueholistic; Violetcausal.
Octant 5: Distal Persona in individual relationship as "You/Thee" Consciousness. Here is how one sees and evaluates another as an objective identity. Representative State-stages are: Redbody-centered; Orangeego-centered; Bluesoul-centered; Violetpneumo-centered.
Octant 6: Behavioral Persona in individual relationship as "Your/Thy" Mind. Relating to the behavior and objectives of another person. Representative Structure-stages are: Redbody-centric; Orangeegocentric; Bluesoul-centric; Violetpneumo-centric.
Octant 7: Inter-Objective Relationship as "You (plural)" Consciousness. Socially identifying with others. Representative State-stages are: Redsymbionts; Orangeserver-dominators; Blueintegrators; Violetcompassionates.
Octant 8: Social Relationship as "Your (plural)" Mind. Shared objectives in organizations, political parties, groups. Representative Structure-stages are: Redfamily-tribal; Orangenational; Blueglobal; Violetutopian.
THIRD PERSON CUBE
Zone 1: Phenomenological experience, as "He/She" Consciousness. Identity State-stages as Id, Ego, Soul and God correlate with Sub-conscious, Conscious, Super-conscious and Enlightened States; or Gross, Subtle, Causal and Non-Dual experience.
Zone 2: Structural experience as "His/Her" Mind. The Intelligence Structure-stages of Body-mind, Lower Mind, Higher Mind and Big Mind correlate to the fulcrum developmental structures of magic, rational, integral and super-integral/Akashic.
Zone 3: Hermeneutic experience as "They" Consciousness. The Levels of Cultural Identity are according to the capacity to identify, communicate and interpret collective interiors as worldviews.
Zone 4: Ethnomethodological experience as "Their" Mind. The cultural community where worldviews take form. Representative Structure-stages are; Redmagical; Orangescientific-rational; Blueintegral; Violet post-integral.
Zone 5: Autopoietic experience as "Him/Her" Consciousness. The embedded observer visualizing and imaging through "Inside" processes. Representative State-stages are: RedPrepersonal; OrangeEgo Persona; BlueIntegrated Persona; VioletTranspersonal.
Zone 6: Empirical experience as "His/Her" Mind. The embodied observer evolving through Levels of increasing physical complexity, through information processing using increasingly fundamental states of energy. Representative Structure-stages are: RedLimbic/electrochemical; OrangeNeocortex/electromagnetic; BluePineal/quantum; VioletSupra-pineal/supraquantum.
Zone 7: Social Autopoietic experience as "They" Consciousness. The inside agenda of organized activity and communication between organizers. Representative State-stages are: Redsymbiotic; Orangeserver-dominance; Blueintegral; Violetcompassion.
Zone 8: Social Systems experience as "Their" Mind. The arena of organized activity as social environments. Representative Structure-stages: RedBiosphere; OrangeNoosphere; BlueWorldsphere; VioletTheophere.
(1) Wilber, K. 2000. Integral Psychology. Boston: Shambhala. (P.63, Fig. 5.)
(2) Wilber, K. 2006. Integral Spirituality. Boston: Integral Books (P.36, Fig.1.2.)
(4) (P.37, Fig.1.3.)
(5) Riso, Don. Hudson, Russ. 1996. Personality Types.
(6) Wilber, K. 2006. Integral Spirituality. Boston: Integral Books. (P.226, Fig. 1.6.)
(7) (P.228, Fig. 1.7.)
(8) Pali Canon. palicanon.org
(9) Human Consciousness Project. horizonresearch.org
(10) Wilber, K. 2006. Integral Spirituality. Boston: Integral Books. (P.68, Fig. 2.4.)
(11) Carlos Castaneda. 1974. Tales Of Power. Simon & Schuster.
(12) Wilber, K. 2006. Integral Spirituality. Boston: Integral Books. (P.248)
(13) Clint Fuhs. 2008. An Integral Map of Perspective Taking, Integral Theory Conference.
(14) Wilber, K. 2006. Integral Spirituality. Boston: Integral Books. (P.90, Fig. 4.1.)
(15) Wilber, K. 2000. Integral Psychology. Boston: Shambhala. (P. 267-269.)
(16) Kenwilber.com Blog June 12, 09. Lexi Neale. "Introducing The AQAL Cube".
(17) Penrose and Hameroff 1996."Towards A Science Of Consciousness". MIT Press, (pp507-540.)
(18) EnlightenNext, Spring/Summer 2010, Issue 46. "An Exploration Of Quantum Consciousness". (P. 55-56.)
(19) Goswami, Amit. 1995. The Self Aware Universe. Tarcher/Penguin. (Chaper 8, P. 113.)