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INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber



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Peter CollinsAs an economics’ student in Dublin in the late 1960’s, Peter Collins underwent a significant “scientific conversion”. Since then he has devoted considerable attention to the implications of a full spectrum developmental approach for radical new interpretations of mathematics and its related sciences. Though potentially of growing relevance for better understanding of our present problems, so far, he believes, these have been greatly overlooked by both the scientific and integral communities.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

A New Scientific Vision

Part 2: The Hidden Holistic Dimension of Science

Peter Collins

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.” William Blake

End of Science

Some years ago John Horgan, the well known science correspondent, wrote a controversial book “The End of Science”.[1] It consisted of fascinating interviews with leading representatives of a number of different scientific fields, Philosophy, Cosmology, Evolutionary Biology, Social Science, Neuroscience, Chaoplexity and Machine Science. For example in relation to Evolutionary Biology, he interviewed Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Lynn Margulis, Stuart Kauffman and Stanley Miller.

Horgan's view was that the really great developments in science had already occurred so that future progress would be largely confined to fleshing out the implications of what had already been discovered.

My own view would be somewhat different. What I think—and indeed ardently hope—may be happening is that we are perhaps reaching a peak in the dominance of just one kind of science i.e. the rational analytic model. However other valid forms of scientific enquiry exist for which little or no recognition presently exists in our culture.

I would in fact see three major types of mature scientific understanding of which the rational analytic represents the first. To put this in context it might be helpful to look again at the full spectrum of consciousness.

For convenience, I will outline a simplified version of the spectrum, which however should broadly suffice for the purposes I have in mind.

The first major band relates to the lower levels of development which are well documented in Western psychology e.g. archaic, magic and mythic.

Then we have the second middle band which in terms of science is concerned with the specialised differentiation of analytic structures i.e. concrete operational (conop), formal operation (formop) and vision logic. So conop provides the empirical data for science; formop provides the conceptual hypotheses and vision logic can then enable a more creative type of scientific approach that is implicitly fuelled by intuition.

However, we have seen in the previous article that a major problem with such differentiation of structures is that the qualitative integral aspect of understanding can thereby be become strongly reduced in a merely quantitative manner.

So the next major band of contemplative type development relates directly relates to a continual cleansing of understanding that greatly refines the holistic intuitive aspect of awareness to which true integration relates. In the past such development was associated with the mystical aspect of specific religious traditions. Here the emphasis was mainly on meditative states without due consideration of the implications of such states and accompanying structures for science. However because of the need for a holistic response to many of our most pressing problems, I strongly believe that an opportunity now exists for exploring these higher stages with respect to radical new forms of scientific understanding.

Then the final most comprehensive band—which I refer to as radial development—is concerned with the coherent interaction of both quantitative and qualitative aspects (that have already achieved a significant degree of specialisation).

Therefore associated with the mature bands of development i.e. middle, higher and radial are corresponding distinctive types of science.

So associated with the middle band of rational development, we have analytic science of a quantitative nature.

Then associated with the higher band of contemplative development, we have holistic science of a qualitative kind. This science depends directly on a refined type of intuition relating to the infinite dimension of reality. Indirectly, however it is represented in a circular manner by dynamic rational structures which operate through the appreciation of complementary opposites in experience.

Then finally the third type—which I refer to as radial—represents the most comprehensive vision of science, where both quantitative (rational) and qualitative (intuitive) notions of truth, as finite and infinite respectively, can at last seamlessly interpenetrate with each other in a form of understanding that can be both immensely creative and highly productive.

And it is only with this third type that the true integration of science with religion can properly take place.

However to pave the way for this eventual marriage, there are two major requirements.

Firstly, conventional religious notions expressive of the distinctive cultural clothing of their respective traditions must be fully discarded. In this sense, I quite understand the irritation of scientists such as Richard Dawkins when encountering religious beliefs that have not been properly divested of their mythical content.

However I do believe that the primary core of all religious truth can be expressed in an appropriate scientific manner, which can eventually warrant universal acceptance. And this primary core relates directly to the nature of holistic as opposed to analytic meaning i.e. qualitative as opposed to quantitative appreciation.

So religion needs to get rid of all its mythical trappings where the dialogue with science is concerned.[2]

However, in turn scientists are required to abandon exclusive attachment to the present analytic model that relates solely to what is verifiable in a quantitative manner. And just as analytic science is rooted in a quantitative interpretation of mathematical symbols, holistic science is likewise rooted in the corresponding qualitative appreciation of these same symbols.

So in my own approach, holistic science is underpinned by appropriate holistic mathematical notions.

And as this is an area with which I have been deeply engaged now for more than 50 years, I feel that I can speak with a degree of confidence. It is not however my intention in this article to present a full outline of this scientific vision but rather to give some insight into the great potential importance of the second type i.e. holistic science.

Probably my first real insight with respect to this occurred as an economics' student in the late 60's when a book by Herbert Marcuse “One Dimensional Man”[3] was very popular in left wing campus circles.

I began to appreciate how the nature of science is indeed truly 1-dimensional. This represents the linear rational approach that is thereby given a merely quantitative interpretation.

The same reduced approach exists in Mathematics and can be easily illustrated. If we have a rectangular table say with width 2 metres and length 3 metres, the corresponding area is 6 square metres. So in multiplying the width by the length we move from 1-dimensional to 2-dimensional measurements.

However in conventional terms, when we multiply 2 * 3, the answer is given in a reduced manner as 6, which is located on the 1-dimensional number line.

Thus through a qualitative change has taken place through multiplication in the dimensional nature of the units, this is then ignored in terms of the formal interpretation of multiplication. Though mathematics is revered for its rigorous purity of thought, in fact it suffers from the most basic form of reductionism where the qualitative in every context is reduced to quantitative meaning.

Adopting this new-found holistic interpretation of number to describe the qualitative nature of reality, I began to clearly understand how mathematics and all its related sciences are formally interpreted in a 1-dimensional manner, where once again qualitative is reduced to quantitative meaning. Of course, informally as we have seen, qualitative aspects are always necessarily involved. Substantial misinterpretation then occurs when one explicitly adopts 1-dimensional interpretation in any branch of mathematics or science.

So at this point, I began to wonder, for example, what a 2-dimensional interpretation might imply for science. And after a couple of years immersed in Hegelian philosophy, where such understanding is employed, I began to better appreciate what this would entail.

And a vast new world of meaning now began to open up. For whereas analytic appreciation is exclusively tied to the default holistic notion of 1 (as its linear asymmetrical means of interpretation) and is of an absolute type nature, new interpretations of science can in principle be identified with all of the other natural numbers. Therefore, a unique holistic meaning is associated with 2, 3, 4, 5, ? dimensions. These dimensions in turn are then associated with distinctive scientific interpretations of reality. And all of these pertain to a strictly dynamic relative notion of truth.

However, as the understanding associated with 2 represents the most accessible form of true holistic appreciation, it can thereby serve as a blueprint for all other numbers greater than 1.

To give an idea of what this involves, I frequently use the deceptively simple example of a crossroads.[4]

Imagine that the crossroads can be assessed on a straight road from two opposite directions.

If one defines left and right turns—without the direction of access to the crossroads specified—the answer is paradoxical.

However when one approaches the crossroads from below, while travelling in a N direction, left and right turns have an unambiguous meaning. Likewise when one approaches from above, while travelling S, again left and rights turns have an unambiguous meaning. However what is a left turn from one direction is right from the other; and what is right from one direction is left from the other.

So, without a direction of access being given, each turn is potentially both left and right simultaneously. And this relates to an appreciation of the two-way interdependence of left and right (and right and left) turns, where both are understood as complementary opposites.

This potential appreciation of interdependence constitutes the essence of 2-dimensional interpretation. However, once again when a direction of access to the crossroads is given, each turn is unambiguously either left or right in an actual manner. And this constitutes standard 1-dimensional interpretation.

The significance of this crossroads illustration relates to the fact that all experience is necessarily conditioned by opposite poles such as external and internal. So when we appreciate the holistic interdependence of these two poles, in potential terms what is external is likewise internal and what is internal is external.

Of course this is paradoxical when understood in dualistic i.e. either/or rational terms. However that is the very point, for appreciation occurs directly as nondual awareness, whereby it relates to intuitive recognition.

Therefore this simplest notion of interdependence (as 2-dimensional) occurs in a nondual intuitive manner. However, indirectly it can then be rationally expressed in a paradoxical fashion as bi-directional in linear terms.

As the intellectual interpretation of interdependence is persistently misrepresented in Ken Wilber's writings, it might be instructive to stay with this point just a little longer. Indeed the famous statement of Heraclitus is frequently invoked here to illustrate such complementary interdependence i.e. the way up is the way down; the way down is the way up.

However, while often giving poetic type descriptions of nondual reality that appear consistent with such interdependence, in intellectual interpretation Wilber typically reduces the notion in linear asymmetric terms, akin to the ascent and descent of a ladder. This is evident for example in the manner he deals with the relationship between pre and trans, where for Wilber the way up is certainly not the way down. However the integral—as opposed to the differentiated—aspect of pre and trans, requires a paradoxical interpretation of direction where these opposites are understood as complementary.

To better appreciate what is involved, open a book page in front of a mirror and on this page (facing the mirror) draw a line from the left to the right. Then the image in the mirror will be reversed so that the same line runs from the right to the left of the page. So in terms of the page and its mirror image, what is left is simultaneously right and what is right is simultaneously left.

Thus nondual intuitive appreciation implies that we can directly experience each pole as the mirror of the other. Therefore, it entails that we can fully appreciate in this context for example that objective reality (as external) and its mental interpretation (as internal) are truly interdependent in a complementary manner.

I will now briefly illustrate four ways where I see the holistic scientific perspective, based on this paradoxical notion of interdependence, as being of special relevance.

1 Consistent Interpretation of Development

We have been enabled to make a very important distinction, which has enormous significance regarding consistent interpretation of the stages of human development. Where differentiation is concerned, in a relatively independent manner, the appropriate method of interpretation is 1-dimensional, entailing linear asymmetric connections between variables.

However, where integration is concerned in a corresponding interdependent manner, the simplest appropriate means of interpretation entails 2-dimensional appreciation relating to the complementarity of opposites. And the most fundamental problem that exists in Integral Studies is the persistent manner that—with respect to intellectual interpretation—the integral aspect of development is confused with that of differentiation.[5]

In terms of integration, we can designate three increasingly refined degrees of appreciation, which correspond in turn to the three higher levels of development.

So corresponding to what Ken Wilber terms the subtle realm (Higher 1) is the simplest type of horizontal integration, which entails both the external and internal aspects within each stage of development. In holistic mathematical terms, this requires 2-dimensional understanding. Now once again, in 1-dimensional terms external and internal can be unambiguously identified. However from a 2-dimensional perspective, these positions are rendered paradoxical. And this is what constitutes the true meaning of interdependence!

Then corresponding to what Wilber refers to as the causal realm (Higher 2) we have additionally, vertical integration that works as between higher and lower stages that are now understood as likewise complementary with each other. This requires 4-dimensional understanding. And as I pointed out in my previous contribution such integration works in two ways;

(i) top-down where the lower stages are integrated in transcendent fashion with reference to their complementary higher spiritual levels.

(ii) bottom-up where the higher stages are integrated in an immanent fashion with respect to their complementary lower physical stages (with of course both higher and lower now understood in a strictly relative manner).

Finally corresponding to the ultimate stage (Higher 3) which approaches close to a pure nondual state of awareness, integration takes place in a diagonal fashion, simultaneously within and between levels. This now requires 8-dimensional holistic appreciation.[6]

There are interesting connections here with Jungian notions. Jung highlighted the importance of mandalas as pictorial aids to psychic integration. The most common mandalas relate to highly ornate images in the form of a circle arranged around 4 or perhaps 8 equidistant points.

Holistic mathematical interpretation is based directly on the circular number system. So 4-dimensional in this context is represented in geometric terms by a unit circle (in the complex plane) with horizontal and vertical lines used to connect the 4 equidistant points. Then 8-dimensional in geometric terms entails a circle with 8 equidistant points now connected through horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines.

In analytic terms these points represent geometrically the 4 and 8 roots of 1 respectively, where these roots are considered as separate from each other. Then with corresponding holistic appreciation, all roots, now understood in a distinct qualitative manner, are seen as interdependent. In this sense therefore Jung's mandalas, which serve as symbols of integration, can be given a precise holistic mathematical interpretation.

However once again, the simplest form of holistic interdependence entails just two equidistant points on the unit circle. In analytic terms, these represent the two roots of 1, i.e. + 1 and—1 respectively. So in corresponding holistic terms + 1 and—1 are now understood as complementary. This entails that as soon as one direction e.g. the external is consciously posited in experience, it is immediately negated in an unconscious manner.

And then in turn, as soon as the internal direction is posited, it is likewise immediately negated. Therefore neither the independent identity of objective phenomena nor interpretation of these same phenomena is affirmed but rather the holistic interdependence of both aspects.

Just as 1—1 = 0, in analytic terms, likewise 1—1 = 0, in a corresponding holistic manner. What happens here is quite similar to what happens in physics when matter and antimatter particles fuse together in the creation of physical energy. Likewise when psychic matter (as object) combines with psychic anti-matter (as interpretation) this leads to an experiential fusion in the generation of spiritual energy. And this is what is commonly referred to as intuition.

So once again, in the interpretation of development, there is a clear need to properly distinguish the discrete differentiation of each stage from the corresponding continuous integration of all stages.

It has long been my intention to provide a coherent scientific means of achieving this task that is based on holistic mathematical notions. And at its simplest this involves a binary digital approach.

Let me briefly explain! As is now well understood, the digital revolution is based on the potential ability to encode all information through the two digits 1 and 0 respectively. So this relates to the standard analytic interpretation of these digits.

However it is equally possible to encode all transformation processes through the same two digits 1 and 0, where they are now given a holistic—rather than analytic—interpretation.

And as human development represents an especially important transformation process, the holistic binary system is thereby suited for the precise encoding of all its stages.

So 1, in this context, again relates to the linear logic of form where asymmetrical connections are made. This as we have seen is properly suited for the differentiation of stages in development.

However, 0 relates to the circular logic of emptiness that is suited for integration. In direct terms this is ineffable representing pure intuition. However indirectly, it can be represented through bi-directional linear understanding. And again in the simplest case of 2-dimensional interpretation, we have just two real directions that are positive and negative with respect to each other.

So in a very brief manner, I will outline how development proceeds according to this dynamic model.

Infant development starts from a state of mere potential i.e. where no proper differentiation of structures has yet taken place. So in binary terms this represents, with respect to all stages of development yet to unfold, the confusion of 1 and 0 i.e. form and emptiness.

The first task in development is to gradually achieve the conscious differentiation of structures which proceeds through the lower stages with respect to the three fundamental polarities form/emptiness, whole/part and external/internal that I have already mentioned in my previous article.

So the earliest differentiation of form from emptiness occurs through the unfolding of a distinctive bodyself. The next task is to distinguish whole from part thereby ending the magical confusion of childhood. This occurs with the establishment of a separate emotional self. And the third stage leads to the emergence of a new mental identity through the gradual dissolution of mythic type influences, whereby internal reality is distinguished from the external world.

Then the middle stages, which are completely dominant in Western society, lead in scientific terms to the specialised development of the linear rational mode i.e. 1 in holistic binary terms. Therefore, early development is explicitly geared to the successful differentiation of structures. Though integration does implicitly also take place, it is largely geared to supporting an emerging dualistic worldview.

The higher stages relate to the developing unconscious in the mature explicit unfolding of the integral aspect of development. And these stages are defined in a manner that highlights their (circular) complementary relationship with corresponding lower stages. So in reverse fashion from the lower mythic stage where these aspects are still somewhat confused, the subtle stage entails growing appreciation of the complementarity of external and internal in experience.

At the next causal stage the true integral complementarity of whole and part (and part and whole) likewise emerges and finally at the third stage the most refined understanding of form and emptiness is attained, where distinct notions of phenomena are now rendered so fleeting as to no longer even appear to arise in consciousness.

Just as we have specialisation of rational understanding and the differentiated worldview at the middle levels, likewise we can now have specialisation of the spiritual contemplative worldview at the higher levels (increasingly understood as fully complementary with the lower). This represents the true integral aspect of understanding, which in binary terms is 0.

Finally where development realises its full actualisation, we have several further stages in terms of radial understanding where both differentiated and integral aspects respectively can increasingly interpenetrate with each other in a seamless manner.

And in holistic binary terms this represents both 1 and 0 in mature terms with respect to development.

Now I would like to highlight the distinctive features of this holistic binary digital approach.

It clearly distinguishes differentiation from integration. Every stage is defined as representing a unique configuration of both differentiation and integration, which can be precisely encoded in a holistic mathematical manner. This thereby represents a truly scientific approach to development.

There is of course a valid sense in which stages discretely unfold in hierarchic fashion. I refer to this first significant unfolding of stages as their default understanding. So for example the default understanding of conop (concrete operational) typically unfolds between the ages of 7 and 12. However further enhancement of conop takes place through continual revisiting in development, as one seeks to better integrate it with other stages.

So properly understood, where integration is concerned, one needs constantly to return to all stages throughout development. So paradoxically, though the differentiation of the bodyself may be the first to discretely unfold, its corresponding successful integration with all other stages is the most difficult to achieve and generally the last—if ever—to be successfully attained.[7] Therefore from a mature integral perspective, higher and lower have a merely relative meaning with respect to stages in development.

Once again, what I have repeatedly discovered is that all stages are given their most coherent interpretation through holistic mathematical understanding. So, just as number in a quantitative sense is the basis for order in the analytic sciences, likewise number in a qualitative holistic manner, likewise is the basis for true order with respect to development.

There exists a fundamental problem with Integral Studies that I have not yet seen properly addressed. This relates to the fact that distinctive methods of intellectual interpretation are required for differentiation and integration respectively. Otherwise the integral aspect gets reduced in many ways to that of differentiation. However the linear asymmetric approach greatly dominates in practice. And this problem is very much in evidence in the manner that Ken Wilber, the most influential writer in the field, approaches development, where he repeatedly associates integration with multi-differentiation.

Put simply, though I fully accept that Wilber is indeed inspired by an integral vision, in has been my consistent opinion for the past 30 years that he fails to successfully distinguish in his writings the process of integration from that of differentiation.

His preferred method of interpretation is vision logic, which is the most advanced of the middle levels. However though this represents, as used by Wilber, a form of reason that is indeed inspired with intuition, in formal terms it remains at the linear asymmetrical level of dualistic understanding.

Therefore it is inherently unsuited for proper interpretation of the distinctive nature of integration in development.

And because in effect Ken Wilber's approach is therefore somewhat mechanical and lacking in true holistic integral appreciation, his treatment of the various issues involved in development leads to numerous inconsistencies that cannot be properly resolved within his own framework.[8]

So I will just briefly list some of the deficiencies that I see in this approach.

Firstly, in being so wedded to the Eastern mystical traditions, Wilber attempts to understand the higher stages of development predominantly in terms of states. Little detailed attention is thereby given to the refined dynamic structures, affective, cognitive and volitional, which properly unfold at the higher levels. Also he mistakenly attempts to identify Christian mysticism with his interpretation of Eastern traditions, when in several important respects it is substantially different.[9]

In terms of cognitive understanding, he misleadingly identifies the vision logic of the centaur as its most advanced form without recognising that distinctive increasingly refined forms of reason are associated with each of the higher levels. And once again these are vitally necessary for consistent integral interpretation in a holistic manner.

He then over identifies stages with their internal psychological dimension.

Now one might immediately retort that his four quadrant approach equally allows for an external physical dimension, but in practice, regarding the higher levels, this remains greatly undeveloped in his work.

For due recognition of the external dimension should lead to the corresponding realisation that associated with each of the higher levels are unique forms of scientific understanding properly suited to the qualitative appreciation of reality. So we have for example a new understanding of physics associated with each of these levels. Even more fundamentally we have a new understanding of mathematics, which I refer to as holistic mathematics. And this holistic understanding in principle can then be extended to every scientific discipline.

There are also significant problems in Wilber's treatment of the vertical dimensions of development.

Because of the lack of a bottom-up approach (to complement the top-down), Wilber tends to devalue the nature of the physical world. He often maintains that this represents the lowest level, when properly understood a distinctive interpretation of physical reality applies at every level of development.

As we have seen this has been a major factor in his failure to properly integrate the spiritual approach to evolution with established scientific findings.

At an even deeper level, he has likewise failed to appreciate how quantum reality is complementary with the higher levels. Therefore the understanding that is required to intuitively appreciate the findings of quantum mechanics relates directly to this more advanced understanding. This in turn has led to unbalanced criticism of physicists such as David Bohm based on a misguided view that quantum mechanics has nothing to say about the higher levels.[10]

A similar problem exists in relation to his treatment of the pre/trans fallacy.

This is based on the clear differentiation of pre and trans as separate from each other. So for Wilber development basically proceeds from prepersonal to personal to transpersonal in an asymmetrical manner. And once again there is certainly a valid sense in which the differentiation of these distinct aspects in development is important.

However from an integral perspective pre and trans are complementary notions, where pre implies trans and trans implies pre. In this context pre and trans properly relate to the immanent and transcendent aspects of spirit, which are interrelated throughout development. So in an integral context, it is misleading therefore to give priority to either aspect.

It is very common for example in development for one who is at the mythical default stage (denoted as pre) to peak the experience of the corresponding subtle stage (denoted as trans). This is due to the complementary nature of these levels where growing integration at one level is always with respect to lack of integration at the other. So whereas the mythic relates to the gradual separation of internal and external, the subtle is concerned with their corresponding integration. Thus there is an important overlap here as between the still confused notion of integration in terms of these poles at the mythic level and the corresponding mature notion that emerges at the subtle level.

Wilber would of course admit to this possibility of a temporary peak experience of a higher from a lower level. However he does not provide a satisfactory explanation. Therefore he cannot properly explain the difficulty in peaking say the formal rational stage from the mythic even though in his terms the rational is a lower stage that the subtle. Now the true reason is that whereas the mythic and subtle stages are largely complementary with each other, the mythic and formal rational are related in a much more asymmetric manner. Therefore a far greater degree of two-way dynamic interaction initially characterises the relationship as between mythic and subtle stages in experience than the mythic and formal rational.

Also Wilber makes a misleading distinction as between states and structures maintaining that only higher states can be peaked from lower stages, when in fact states and structures are necessarily interrelated at all stages of development.

And as is typical with his approach, he tends to see relationships occurring solely from one direction. So whereas he admits the possibility of a peak of a higher from a lower stage, he has little or nothing to say on the equally important phenomenon, whereby one can have a valley experience of a lower from a corresponding higher stage. So, for example, it is very common for someone whose customary experience is of the subtle to have frequent valley experiences with respect to the complementary mythic stage, where unresolved shadow elements are now instinctively projected into experience. And typically this represents an on-going need to properly balance the immanent with the transcendent aspect of spirit. Proper healing with respect to such involuntary projection may eventually require one to return for a prolonged period of time to the lower levels.[11]

Again Wilber has repeatedly made unfair criticism of other writers on the basis of a somewhat distorted view of the pre/trans fallacy where the complementary relationship as between pre and trans is significantly overlooked.

Wilber's tendency to dismiss the wisdom of indigenous cultures as pre-rational points to this lack of dynamic appreciation of the nature of pre and trans.[12] For once one accepts that mature and confused expressions of integration are necessarily interdependent with each other in experience, the possibility then arises that a significant transpersonal dimension can apply to indigenous cultures, especially where cognitive development at the middle levels is also in evidence.

However by contrast in developed Western society based on mere personal development, science has in effect become the new religion. Therefore dynamic access to both pre and trans aspects is greatly reduced. So undue development here of cognitive structures, severely limits the possibility of authentic integration of both the higher and lower levels.

Thus I have consistently argued that over-specialisation of rational understanding creates a substantial barrier in terms of further progress to the more advanced contemplative levels. With respect to science and especially mathematics, the middle is then considered the only valid band of the spectrum with which to interpret reality, with all other bands completely dismissed from consideration.

Indeed we can readily see how the middle band has dominated intellectual discussion of evolution on Integral World in recent years.

There often seems to be a mistaken perception in disputes e.g. with respect to whether natural selection eliminates the need for an intelligent designer, that the issue can be comprehensively discussed from the one narrow level of the spectrum that equates directly with the rational analytic viewpoint.

However my key point here, which I have consistently repeated over the years, is that a distinctive interpretation arises at each of the major bands. So in general terms we can attempt to have a middle band, a higher band or radial band interpretation of these issues.

Again with the middle band the emphasis is on quantitative analytic type interpretation; with the higher it is on holistic qualitative type appreciation; with the radial, which is the most comprehensive, it entails the dynamic interaction of both analytic and holistic type understanding.

However once more in this contribution, I am concentrating on what a scientific holistic interpretation of reality might mean. And one extremely important application of this is in terms of the spectrum of development itself providing a proper scientific rationale that can consistently relate both differentiated and integral aspects.

Again I repeat that this remains a key issue in the interpretation of development that has never been coherently addressed by Ken Wilber.

2. Psychology and Physics

However the potential use of this new scientific approach by no means ends here.

When one realises the dynamic relationship that exists as between the internal and external aspects of reality, it leads to a new type of holistic interpretation. Here for example physics and psychology can be understood in a complementary manner.

So holistic physics (or integral physics) relates to a distinctive type of understanding, where for every physical interpretation of the external, a complementary psychological interpretation of the internal aspect can equally be given. Equally coming from the psychological side, for every internal, a matching complementary physical interpretation exists. And it is in the realisation of such complementary relationships that the inherent interdependence of both physical and psychological with respect to all aspects of reality can be greatly enhanced. So this indeed represents a true holistic approach.

In my own work, I have given this type of science a great deal of attention over the years detailing significant two-way linkages for example in terms of special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, fractals, string theory and monster moonshine.

In earlier contributions to the Reading Room on integral physics, I outlined many of these connections.[13]

One of the most interesting relates to structural similarities as between the mystical experience of a dark night and the physical phenomenon of a black hole.

In the mid 1970's, Stephen Hawking startled the physics world with his view that black holes could radiate. Virtual particle pairs form at the event horizon of the black hole. Then the positive particle can escape thereby enabling radiation (with the negative sucked back in to hole). Over time through such radiation, the black hole could in principle completely evaporate.

Now an analogous issue, which has not been properly addressed in the contemplative literature, arises through a prolonged dark night episode. Here one can suffer profound grief representing the psycho-spiritual counterpart of gravity, with one's instinctive responses becoming greatly repressed through intense spiritual discipline of a transcendent nature. This in turn can then lead to pathological symptoms of depression that culminate in a traumatic crisis.

In order to deal with such depression, a decisive change in direction is required at the height of the dark night, where one switches from a transcendent to a more immanent natural focus. This then enables long repressed instincts to be gradually released in the form of short-lived psychological projections. And as this spontaneous activity increases, the intensely congested experience of the dark night is gradually relieved and eventually can be completely eliminated.

And just as Hawking's work was designed to combine relativity theory (macro) with quantum mechanics (micro), the corresponding psychological counterpart that I developed in a complementary manner is likewise designed to combine the transcendent (collective) with the immanent (individual) aspect of spiritual development.

Some years ago, I became interested in the related information paradox (also associated with Stephen Hawking). Basically he believed that information sucked into a black hole would be irretrievably lost, a position however which was in conflict with some of the fundamental laws of physics.

However information is defined in a mere analytic manner in physical terms, which is highly reduced. So properly understood there are analytical and holistic aspects to all information. Thus, what I believe happens on entering a black hole is that information dramatically changes from its analytic to holistic aspect and then in reverse manner from holistic to analytic aspect when escaping the black hole. And my conclusions here were heavily based on the complementary personal experience of what happens to conscious phenomena during the dark night episode.[14]

There is another interesting matter from physics which has a direct bearing on the true nature of nondual reality. In attempting to report the Eastern mystical traditions, I believe that Ken Wilber in some respects fails to relate the proper dynamic nature of what occurs as experience approaches a nondual state.

In truth this “nondual” state is one that necessarily is teeming with phenomenal dualistic activity of a virtual kind.

Just as nature abhors a vacuum in physical, likewise nature abhors a vacuum in psychological terms. Therefore the closer one approaches a nondual state, the more virtual activity in the form of short-lived imaginary projections tend to be emitted from the unconscious. As is realised in physics that a quantum vacuum is never in fact empty, due to spontaneously created virtual particles, likewise a nondual state is never empty due to spontaneously emitted psychological projections.

I believe therefore that in experiential terms, dual and nondual can never be completely separated and that an important dualistic component necessarily remains, even with the purest spiritual experience. Ultimately as dual and nondual are themselves complementary, the most advanced stages of development—which I refer to as radial—should increasingly focus on incorporating both activity and contemplation in a dynamic balanced fashion.

Perhaps because of a greater traditional attention to form, more emphasis is placed on this final advanced period of development—sometimes referred to as the unitive life—in Western mysticism. However little or no consideration has yet been given as to what it might imply for the understanding of science and mathematics.

So I have been concentrating here on the complementary nature of physical and psychological reality, where through common structural similarities, novel connections can be made with respect to both areas. And these connections relate directly to a developed form of intuition that facilitates the making of such connections.

Holistic science represents a direct training in the development of this refined intuitive capacity. This then can lead to remarkable linkages being made between disciplines that would otherwise be completely overlooked from an analytic perspective.

And holistic science, based on complementary external and internal aspects, is not limited to just physics and psychology. In my own work, I have also given considerable attention to complementary links in relation to economics and especially mathematics.

3. Importance for Quantum Mechanics

I now want to move on a third area which can illustrate the value of holistic science. And this relates to quantum mechanics.

Though quantum mechanics has proven remarkably successful in predictive terms, it remains deeply non-intuitive. And the reason it is non-intuitive is precisely because an attempt is made to understand its findings from the conventional 1-dimensional paradigm.

Holistic science however can provide the means to appreciate quantum mechanical behaviour in a fully intuitive manner.

As we know, quantum mechanics relates to the physical behaviour of matter at the sub-atomic level.

And because the lower are complementary with the higher levels, this implies that the intuitive understanding that emerges at these “higher” is directly required to interpret corresponding “lower” level quantum mechanical findings.

Perhaps the first issue that we can fruitfully discuss is the interpretation problem. There is nothing “out there” that independently exists and what is observed in a quantum mechanical experiment depends on the precise manner of measurement.

However this is precisely the same dilemma that emerges at the “higher” levels of understanding. Entry to these levels generally follows an existential crisis, where the dualistic certainty that characterised former experience begins to break down, sometimes in dramatic fashion. So the unconscious becomes much more prominent, with external and internal polarities inherently combined.

Therefore for example, attachment to scientific truth, in the separate identity of the external aspect of experience, becomes gradually eroded. So typically one experiences a growing sense of disillusionment in terms of one's former dualistic understanding.

Awareness now moves to a more subtle participative state, where external phenomena cannot be divorced from their internal interpretation. Thus an interactive dialogue is continually maintained between both aspects.

Thus from this perspective it is very easy to appreciate the corresponding phenomenon in quantum physics where the separate objective identity of particles now becomes less tenable to maintain.

It is also easy to approach the superposition problem whereby a particle can apparently be in two positions at the same time. In fact the crossroads example that I have already used to illustrate the nature of 2-dimensional understanding is relevant here.

So potentially one can readily recognise before a direction of approach is given that a left can equally be a right turn. Then when a direction is given, this potential state collapses, as it were, so that in actual terms a turn is either left or right. It is precisely the same problem in quantum mechanics, where a particle can potentially exist in two opposite states before an actual measurement is made leading to one ambiguous result.

Due to the influence of Hegelian philosophy, I had already formulated a holistic mathematical interpretation of this 2-dimensional issue by 1970.

Therefore, to posit a pole (holistic addition) is to make conscious and then to negate (holistic subtraction) the same pole is to make unconscious. So the interaction of conscious and unconscious implies the continual positing and negating of external and internal polarities (+ 1 and—1).

Wave/particle duality properly requires however a more refined form of 4-dimensional interpretation.

However it took me some further time to properly appreciate the holistic mathematical significance of the important imaginary notion (i.e. the square root of—1). Then the study of Jung in the early 80's was to prove invaluable. Though not a mathematician, Jung formulated his ideas in a manner that I found directly amenable to holistic mathematical interpretation.

Marie Louise von Franz has said that Jung devoted practically all his life to the enormous psychological significance of the number four. And it was the circular holistic notion of 4 that she had in mind.

So when I studied Jung's treatment of Personality Types, I realised that the two conscious functions, which typically obtain dominance in personality, relate to what are “real”. However, in a precise holistic mathematical manner, the opposite unconscious functions, to which one normally remains considerably blind, represent what are “imaginary”.

Thus whole notions (relating directly to the unconscious) enter normal everyday experience through imaginary projections, whereby they become embodied with real part notions.[15] Though Ken Wilber has stated that nobody has seen the square root of negative one running around out there in the empirical world, in a very important sense he is mistaken.

When one recognises an object as a part, the real notion of 1 is implicitly involved, whereby it is recognised in conscious terms as a unit. However when one recognises an object as a whole, the corresponding imaginary notion of 1, i.e. the square root of—1 is thereby necessarily involved. Once again the imaginary notion relates to the indirect conscious expression of what is unconscious in nature! However the appreciation of this important fact involves the holistic rather than the analytic interpretation of number. When the unconscious is not sufficiently developed, the imaginary notion of wholeness is blindly transmitted in experience and not properly understood. However given sufficient cleansing of faculties, it expresses itself as pure intuition.

With true holistic appreciation, the remarkable realisation dawns that in like manner to the imaginary, every mathematical notion, regardless of how abstruse, in principle can be given complementary physical and psychological interpretations that directly resonate with experience in an intuitively satisfying manner.

The holistic imaginary notion is extremely relevant for example with respect to the reduced approach of evolutionary science. Here only “real” parts are explicitly recognised as having any validity. Then the whole notion representing the “imaginary” aspect of experience is projected on to these parts without formal recognition of its distinctive identity.

So in truth, when one properly allows for whole/parts and part/wholes in experience, one advances from a real to a complex interpretation of reality i.e. combining both real and imaginary aspects in holistic mathematical terms.

Complex numbers are widely used at the quantum level of reality. However in the interpretation of sub-atomic behaviour, scientific understanding remains confined to mere quantitative interpretation. Therefore it requires true holistic scientific appreciation to then philosophically appreciate why complex numbers are in fact required. And the reason simply is that at the sub-atomic levels, we cannot properly divorce the (part) identification of distinct particles from their (whole) interdependent relationship with other particles.

So both real notions (relating to quantitative independence) and imaginary notions (relating to qualitative interdependence) are thereby required. And the manner in which the real and imaginary aspects are made manifest is through waves and particles respectively.

Though strictly all objects contain both wave and particle aspects, at the everyday macro level of reality the wave aspect is ignored. So objects then assume a real independent identity, as for example in biological science, where reduced assumptions based on the recognition of mere part identity now appear valid.

So wave/particle complementarity in quantum mechanics relates to the fact that arising from the greatly increased dynamic interaction of particles, reality must be treated in terms of whole/parts and part/wholes, where both the part independence and whole interdependence of particles is properly recognised. Therefore, when the wave manifestation relates to the whole/part then the particle relates to the part/whole aspect.

Thus in a precise holistic mathematical sense, particles and waves are thereby real and imaginary (and imaginary and real) with respect to each other.

So once again we can see how the interpretation changes at each level. Therefore at the middle level, interpretation is strictly 1-dimensional, where reality is made up of reduced parts that can be unambiguously interpreted in a real objective external manner.

At the first of the higher levels, the world is now revealed as 2-dimensional, where the external aspect always entails a two-way dialogue with respect to internal mental interpretation. So reality now contains, in relative terms, both positive (conscious) and negative (unconscious) aspects, which leads to the continual switching of polarities in the dynamics of experience, creating thereby the holistic appreciation of interdependence.

Then the next of the higher levels is revealed as 4-dimensional, where with respect to external and internal directions, reality is now seen in complex terms as comprising both real and imaginary aspects, as again for example with particles and waves that again keep switching in a dynamic manner.

Finally, the highest level is associated with 8-dimensional interpretation, where one no longer understands in terms of separate real and imaginary aspects but rather in terms of their simultaneous interaction. So the four new dimensions here relate to a situation where real and imaginary parts are equal. This implies complete balance with respect to both conscious and unconscious in experience where neither aspect is allowed to achieve an undue dominance.

Such appreciation has a direct connection with the holistic nature of light in both physical and spiritual terms.

As we know physical light can manifest itself in terms of both particles and waves, which are real and imaginary with respect to each other.

However at light speed, particles and waves lose any distinct phenomenal identity in what are referred to in physics as null lines which have no magnitude.[16]

Physical light exists continuously in the present moment in terms of its own speed. And phenomenal notions of space and time are then relatively defined with respect to the speed of light, which serves as an absolute reference point for such measurement.

There are obvious complementary links here with spiritual light, which likewise “travels” in the present moment. Also we equally have wave and particle aspects in the transcendent and immanent expressions of spiritual development respectively. And the ultimate spiritual goal is to attain that state where both immanent and transcendent are identical, which is indistinguishable from the present moment continually renewed. And then the relative existence of psychological phenomena in space and time is defined with respect to the absolute nature of spiritual light in the present moment.

Finally just as a force such as electromagnetic radiation in physical terms is the source of motion, a force such as immanent desire e.g. wonder, in spiritual terms is the source of motivation.

So again with an even more refined 8-dimensional interpretation of reality, one would now clearly appreciate how both motion and motivation are inherently built into evolution. And motivation can be fundamentally identified, as I stated in my previous article, with the notion of mystery.

Mystery represents both a form of immanent desire as the source of all scientific investigation and transcendent desire when one clearly realises that science by its very nature can only provide relative—and thereby inherently paradoxical—notions of truth.

So once again properly understood, science begins in mystery and ends in even deeper mystery. However the scientific quest in attempting to obtain greater knowledge—though necessarily of a relative nature—plays a vital role in preparing for this ultimate realisation of mystery

4. New Understanding of Space and Time

Finally a fourth illustration of the potential importance of the holistic scientific approach, relates to the fact that it leads to a fundamentally new interpretation of the nature of space and time. And this interpretation is directly related to the holistic interpretation of number.

So for example in conventional quantitative terms, we speak of a world of 4 dimensions (3 of space and 1 of time).

However in a corresponding holistic qualitative manner, we equally can speak of a world of 4 dimensions.

And the structure of these dimensions relates directly as we have seen to the circular number system as the four roots of 1. So in holistic mathematical terms, the geometrical representation in the complex plane of the four roots of unity (+ 1,—1,+ i and—i), where opposite points on the circle are connected through horizontal and vertical lines, generate the four quadrants of the circle. However once again, whereas in a conventional analytic manner these are understood as separate, in corresponding holistic fashion, they are considered as interdependent with each other.

Therefore we have two real dimensions and two imaginary dimensions with one positive and one negative respectively.

As we have seen, the positive aspect arises directly through conscious experience, where one posits phenomena with respect to space and time. The negative aspect then arises through the unconscious, whereby one literally negates what has been phenomenally posited.

And it is the continual operation of this negative aspect that enables one to switch as between external and internal polarities in space and time i.e. as between the world (in relation to self) and the self (in relation to the world).

Again the real aspect of both space and time arises from analytic type appreciation where one understands reality in terms of parts. The imaginary aspect then arises from corresponding intuitive appreciation where the whole aspect (directly of unconscious origin) is projected on to these parts. And as we have seen in the last article, there are two complementary aspects to this holistic interpretation of the imaginary i.e. whole-parts, in a collective transcendent notion of wholeness and part-wholes, where an immanent notion of individual uniqueness operates. And these constitute the positive and negative imaginary directions respectively of space and time.

So there are two dimensions (or directions) with respect to both space and time i.e. one positive and one negative. And then in turn, both space and time have real and imaginary aspects. In experience, in a manner very much consistent with Jungian notions, when the real aspect is consciously posited regarding phenomena in space, the imaginary remains unconscious regarding phenomena in time; likewise when the real aspect is consciously posited regarding phenomena in time, the imaginary now remains unconscious regarding phenomena in space.

And these dynamics universally apply in both physical and psychological terms, which are complementary with each other.

These are extremely important in terms of how both cognitive (rational) and affective (emotional) modes interact in experience. So when reason is conscious (i.e. real), emotion is thereby unconscious (i.e. imaginary); however, when emotion is conscious (real), reason is thereby unconscious (imaginary).

Undue emphasis on merely conscious experience can therefore lead to a considerable imbalance in the manner in which reason and emotion interact. Typically, in such a situation, where for example reason is dominant, emotion will then express itself in an involuntarily manner (where one remains blind as to its true nature).

So associated with all interactions as between reason and emotion, are unique qualitative configurations of space and time.

Some years ago, following on from my interest in Jung's treatment of Personality Types, I was studying the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, based on Jung's work that lists 16 fundamental personality types. Then by defining each personality as representing a unique configuration of the four holistic dimensions, I extended this to 24 personality types. Whereas 16 of these were in fact identical to the Myers-Briggs formulations, 8 additional types emerged not catered for in the standard typology.[17]

Then by seeing each personality as representing a unique manner of experiencing space and time, I could make a direct connection with the world of strings, where in one of the earlier models, an asymmetrical string vibrated in 24 dimensions. From this perspective, just as there are 24 distinct personality types in psychological, equally there are 24 distinct “impersonality types” (i.e. asymmetrical strings) in corresponding physical terms.

This in turn provided a new holistic manner of interpreting the notion of dimensions in string theory where the conventional notion of 4 no longer holds.

In fact, properly understood these string “dimensions” can best be understood as representing varying configurations of the original 4 dimensions. Ken Wilber's four quadrants deserve mention here. Though I have always recognised the value of the four quadrants in structuring reality, Wilber adopts an unduly mechanical type approach, based largely on asymmetrical type analysis, in attempting to understand their interaction. However, consistent interpretation of the four quadrants, in a coherent integral manner, requires the 4-dimensional holistic mathematical approach I am outlining here. And this entails a new appreciation in complex terms of the very nature of space and time. Also, as I have suggested, 8-dimensional interpretation, though much more intricate, is likewise extremely important in an integral holistic sense.[18]

Whereas conventional scientific interpretation is locked into the fixed quantitative notion of 4 dimensions, holistic mathematics is associated with a unique interpretation of space and time for every natural number.

So for example, corresponding to the notion of 17 in holistic terms is a unique 17 dimensional configuration of space and time (that analytically is given by the 17 roots of 1). And with the roots combining real and imaginary parts, these dimensions therefore relate to a distinctive holistic manner in which quantitative and qualitative aspects are combined both with respect to the physical world and corresponding psychological interpretation.

In recent years I have come to better realise that the distinctive qualitative features that apply to all phenomena in nature, correspond in turn to highly complex holistic mathematical configurations of space and time, which ultimately reflect the corresponding holistic interaction of numbers. So reality is not just written in number in a quantitative manner; it is equally written in number in a qualitative sense, though as yet there is remarkably little recognition of this fundamental fact.

And ultimately it is only when both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of interpretation are properly recognised, in dynamic interaction with each other, that the true nature of mathematics can be seen, like a hidden software code, to underlie all phenomenal relationships in reality both physically and psychologically.

So there is a whole world of new holistic scientific understanding out there awaiting investigation. However such holistic understanding cannot be divorced from the need for authentic spiritual contemplative awareness.

And unfortunately present understanding is based largely on esoteric mystical traditions that offer little direct assistance in a scientific context.

Thus there is an important need to trace out clearly the associated dynamic affective, cognitive and volitional structures of the more advanced levels, which I have long been attempting to do, before their associated scientific riches can be properly discovered.

Notes and References:

[1] The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Science in the Twilight of the Scientific Age; John Horgan: Basic Books, New Edition, April 14, 2015.

Horgan maintained in a foreword to the second edition that the position he had first advocated some 20 years earlier was still largely valid.

[2] This of course is not to suggest that one should thereby abandon affiliation to specific religious traditions, which may indeed remain a very appropriate means through which authentic spiritual meaning is communicated. However in the dialogue with science a more universal approach is required.

[3] One Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Societies; Herbert Marcuse: Beacon Press 2nd edition, October 1st 1991

[4] The crossroads is an especially appropriate illustration, given that the representation of the complex number system (to which the holistic mathematical interpretations relate) is of a similar form.

[5] As a long time critic of Ken Wilber, especially on the Ken Wilber Forum (hosted by Shambhala), I was invited to summarise my criticism and submit it to—what was then—the World of Ken Wilber.

This invitation was made under the guise that he was now ready to engage with prominent amateur contributors (in a similar manner to professional contributors in “Ken Wilber in Dialogue”). So, in good faith I submitted a lengthy article to the Reading Room “Dynamics of Development” back in June 1999. My basic point was that a fundamental problem existed with Wilber's work, whereby he failed to properly distinguish, in an intellectual manner, the nature of integration from differentiation in development. The numerous inconsistencies in his treatment of various issues (addressed in the article), I maintained, arose from this central issue. I also proposed how this problem could be resolved through the recognition of distinctive forms of interpretation associated with each of the major levels of the spectrum.

Though this was the first time to my knowledge that a coherent overall critique of his integral approach had been presented, it provoked a perfunctory and somewhat disingenuous response from Ken Wilber, who sought to vaguely dismiss the article without revealing a single clue as to its substance. This was despite the fact that it contained many important ideas not previously advanced by anyone (professional or otherwise) in the field. Later a blunt rejection of the article by Ray Harris appeared in the Reading Room based on a complete distortion of its rationale.

In recent times, I have noticed a degree of fragmentation on Integral World, where the merits of a reduced scientific approach have been promoted through many contributions on evolution without regard for the holistic implications involved. And in a way, this is perhaps inevitable, given that Ken Wilber's work lacks the appropriate integral framework to deal coherently with the issue, which of course was the very subject matter of my first contribution here all those years ago!

In view of the continued relevance therefore of what constitutes a true integral approach, some participants may be interested in reading my initial Response to Ken Wilber and the later comprehensive Reply to Ray Harris (The Meaning of Integral) which were both submitted to the Reading Room for consideration at the time. Indeed a chapter of this latter reply, in highlighting Wilber's inconsistency, establishes the case for an enlarged scientific vision.

[6] Because of the necessary constraints of space, I have been unable to develop several important holistic mathematical notions at greater length.

For example, the odd dimensions holistically operate in a somewhat different manner to the even. Basically the even relate directly to integral, whereas the odd relate to a more refined form of differentiated understanding.

For example, following acquisition of integral appreciation of a 2-dimensional nature, one may then seek to incorporate it with former linear understanding. However this leads to a new distinctive form of differentiated appreciation that is 3-dimensional. What this means in effect is that one's linear understanding now becomes increasingly sensitive to imaginary primitive projections (both external and internal) from the unconscious. Then when this problem is sufficiently resolved, an enhanced analytic perspective in scientific terms is obtained.

So the even dimensions relate to an increased integral and the odd an increased differentiated ability (free of unwanted projections). With the active mystical approach, the odd dimensions more readily emerge. However with the contemplative, the even dimensions initially tend to dominate in experience.

The higher dimensions (> 8), which relate to increasingly refined configurations of analytic and holistic aspects in experience, only properly unfold during the radial stages of development.

Finally the positive dimensions (+) properly relate to (conscious) rational understanding of their nature. The negative dimensions (—) relate directly to corresponding (unconscious) intuitive realisation.

[7] An imbalance often characterises the contemplative literature, whereby undue attention is given to higher stages of spiritual development, without an emphasis on the need to repeatedly return to the lower stages associated with emotion and primitive instinctive development (from these stages). If one does not properly address this issue, one's shadow personality can thereby become increasingly exposed in a very naked manner. And it is all too obvious that this is what has happened with various cult leaders, who have used their spiritual power over followers in a highly abusive fashion.

[8] This represents just one example; Evolutionh and Involution 1 - an assessment of Ken Wilber's position, where on the Ken Wilber Forum (circa 1998) I sought to show the considerable inconsistency in Wilber's shifting positions on the topic up to that point. Some of my criticism of Ken Wilber (pre 2000) can be found at Contributions to the Ken Wilber Forum.

[9] I sought to deal comprehensively with this very important issue (circa 2002) in the essay: Integral Approach: A Comparison of Underhill and Wilber.

[10] This has been ably addressed by Geoffrey Falk in Wilber and Bohm in the Reading Room.

[11] From my perspective, Wilber deals with states and structures in a confusing manner, especially when dealing with the higher levels.

For example at the formal rational stage we have a relationship between the (conscious) waking state, which is empty of form and corresponding structures such as cognitive, that interpret the phenomena associated with the stage. It is likewise similar with each of the higher levels. For example at the subtle level we have an intuitive dream state that is strictly empty of form and refined structures (cognitive, affective and volitional) that interpret the paradoxical nature of the dynamic phenomena associated with this level.

However when dealing with the higher levels, Wilber misleadingly tends to identify structures as the permanent attainment of the states associated with these levels. So in effect he identifies no appropriate structures. This represents a huge omission, which in turn prevents him from properly recognising the distinctive qualitative nature of science associated with these levels.

He seems to be under the misleading impression that transpersonal development transcends such phenomenal structures in relating solely to meditative states.

However in proper experiential terms, dual and nondual aspects (structures and states) are necessarily interrelated in an interactive manner at all stages of development (especially at the higher and lower stages).

So contrary to what Wilber maintains, it is certainly possible to peak a higher structure (as well as state) from a lower complementary stage. I can testify this from personal experience. For example I formed an appreciation of the reduced nature of multiplication at a very early age, which coincided with an embryonic appreciation of the distinctive holistic aspect of mathematics.

[12] The inadequate response by Ken Wilber to Jurgen Kremer's contribution “The Shadow of Evolutionary Thinking” in “Ken Wilber in Dialogue” illustrates this point very well.

[13] See Integral Science as part of my recent web-site Original Vision

[14] See especially Black Holes and Dark Night Radiation and The Information Paradox et alia

[15] The common form of the imaginary in experience remains confused, whereby projections occur involuntarily thereby becoming blindly enmeshed in real phenomena. A mature form relates to archetypal spiritual images that are experienced without undue attachment.

[16] Because of this connection with light, I frequently refer to this 3rd higher stage as the null level.

It should also perhaps be stated that entanglement, which is now accepted as a feature of the quantum world points to a holistic—rather than analytic—connection between particles. However the physics community, while reluctantly accepting the evidence of repeated experiments confirming quantum entanglement, have yet to take on board the immense philosophical implications of this finding i.e. the need for explicit recognition of the holistic aspect of science.

Also entanglement does not operate just at the “lower” micro, but equally at the “higher” macro level, where one can view interdependent phenomenal connections in an increasingly refined intuitive manner.

And then the complementarity as between “higher” and “lower” enables one to properly appreciate the true holistic nature of entanglement at both levels of investigation.

[17] These 24 Personality Types were organised into 3 distinct groupings each combining 8 types.

In holistic mathematical terms the 1st grouping comprises the “real” (conscious) types that correspond to S in the Myers-Briggs classification.

The 2nd grouping comprises the “imaginary” (unconscious) types that correspond to N in the Myers-Briggs.

The new 3rd grouping comprises the “complex” (both “real” and “imaginary”) types that are orientated primarily neither to conscious nor unconscious as such but rather the spiritual centre that co-ordinates both aspects. For example, one would be defined here, in a primary sense, neither as an extrovert nor introvert but rather as a “centrovert”. Potentially these represent the most mystical of types but are especially sensitive to their shadow selves.

The 1st grouping could achieve psychological integration largely at the centaur level; the 2nd grouping would require considerable more development at the “higher” levels, whereas the 3rd type would only find proper integration at the radial stages. And where this is achieved, which happens to the fullest degree only rarely, they then become the simplest of all types in a spiritual realisation that is continually maintained in the midst of all activities.

[18] From one perspective the 8-dimensional structure is necessary so as to properly express the holistic interpretation of physical forces such as electromagnetic radiation (of which natural light serves as one component) and spiritual “forces” such as immanence. It is necessary in a psychological sense to properly express the relationship as between the volitional aspect of will and the cognitive and affective aspects of reason and emotion respectively.

It is also important in terms of the correct interpretation of psychophysical interactions which cannot be properly incorporated within a 4-dimensional structure.

Even in analytic terms, Ken Wilber's four quadrants are not sufficient for interpretation of such relationships. More importantly, Wilber has never provided a coherent holistic interpretation of his quadrants.







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