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An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Giorgio Piacenza Giorgio Piacenza is a sociologist student in the Certificate program leading to a Master's degree in Integral Theory at JFK University.


Higher Worlds

Can Integral Theorists be "Integral" without
Correcting Misinterpretations on this?

Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera

Without embracing all of the Kosmos we are lying to ourselves.

In "The Invisible Shadow of Integral Theory" Barclay Powers wrote:

"The super subtle body is the primary body, not the physical body. It is a point of super space, which lies dormant within all human beings. Each point of super space contains the entire field of information and is simultaneously contained by the entire information field."

I agree and think it is important to seriously include and expand on the "three bodies" as Barclay points out in order to understand in a more complete way what NON DUALITY is. Without embracing all of the Kosmos we are lying to ourselves. However I would like to add that, while FROM the PHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE it is correct to say that that "point of super space" lies dormant, we must consider the reciprocal: FROM ITS OWN VANTAGE POINT it is active. Also, from the physical perspective (unless experienced in the ‘present’ of experiential consciousness) it is POTENTIAL. But from its own perspective it is ACTUAL. In other words, when interaction happens it is actual, when it doesn’t it is potential and consciousness is not just the metaphorical “space” where things happen and perspectives can be embraced/taken; it is what allows actualization because (as some medievalists might agree) in its essence it is Pure Actuality.

Traditional evidence and subtle-gross interactive metaphysical phenomena repeatedly show that "Higher worlds" exist in an ACTUAL state as well and can (mostly if we want to follow modernity's and postmodernity's general criticisms) be disclosed at various altitudes through the "three strands of valid knowledge." In other words we can speak of metaphysical realities not only speculatively but through experience, disclosure and interpretation. That emphasis is also missing in Ken Wilber's writings and it is seriously inappropriate. We are beings about to move anytime ‘soon’ into those other realms. We “came” from those realms and due to our lack of integration –upon being born- we forgot and rejected those realms. This is a big issue that has to be integrally addressed. Why is this happening? Is there an inter-realm line capacity that tends to be blocked upon being born in a physical human life? Can integral theorists be “integral” without addressing this problem?

We normally like to focus on the survival requirements of a dense physical world. However, we are increasingly in need to learn to relate with the complexity of the web of life, simplified at its energetics subtle base and need to sense and relate with that base more wisely with a “both-and” approach which transcends and includes the “either-or” logic more applicable to a rigid materialism.

The term "post metaphysics" is flawed as metaphysics isn't always non-probable speculation. It may have given rise to wilds of fantasy but that’s why we also have degrees of seriousness and credibility and why we have Rational Metaphysics. Rational Metaphysics is not "just speculation" but uses logic self-consistently (a disclosure method that brings experience/illumination to the mind) to reach evidence/knowledge. Moreover, since the Subtle is both body and mind (and spirit as they all interrelate in different proportions), there’s no reason why some of this “mental experience” cannot correspond to an “eye of the Subtle Body” empirical experience, in other words, to the Subtle Body’s sensorial capacities.

I also agree when Barclay Powers refers to "The shadow of Integral Theory is the hubris of a postmodern perspective, which has told itself that the pre-modern definition of enlightenment is outdated by virtue of evolution.” Furthermore, experientially and communally disclosed aspects of the Subtle Realm by pre modern peoples (even after following a shared method) is not being clearly recognized or discussed by many leading Integralists and this is another form of hubris. There's a pick and choose of knowledge if it fits with our type of "post metaphysics" or not.

Therefore, I see great room for improvement in the Integral approach.

Therefore, I see great room for improvement in the Integral approach. This would make it more “integral” and in accord to the revolution in thinking and being we need. We need to rediscover our three-bodied natural constitution and without thinking that the Subtle and Causal bodies and realms only exist if we empirically evolve by prehending and disclosing only from the perspective of the Physical body and realm. Furthermore, there is no reason why what is reduced into a simplistic “pre-givens” concept (which doesn’t seem to coincide with modern evolution theory, modern methods and postmodern constructivism (in order to dismiss Subtle and Causal actuality)) may not also be capable of INTERACTING, of modifying while being modified rather than remain not just pre-given but static. “Higher worlds” like the many levels of the Subtle and Causal shouldn’t just be understood as "unchanging." They are dual and since they have different quadratic expressions or degrees of exteriority subjected to interiority, they can interact among each other.

This more comprehensive inclusion for Integral Theory could finally coincide with the important discoveries being made (for instance at IONS or even outside of academia by “ghost hunters” working with electromagnetic detectors and simultaneously with mediums) in relation to subtle realm phenomena that may have influence with the physical world. Thus, perhaps IT could become more meaningful and relevant to an emerging transdimensional information holographic physics besides its current social sciences and self-development applications. Thus, perhaps IT could then really be the basis that supports a profound transformation of being human rather than a still cosmetic (albeit semi integral) trans-paradigmatic worldview and theoretical in the world. It would be a “who am I” fundamental reconsideration of how we naturally feel when we exist in a material world. It would include non-duality but inseparably from its vital connection with our three bodies and from the whole kosmic range of existence. It would also involve extending out into the Kosmos and experiencing beyond our cocooned, ostrich head-hiding existence.

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