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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 | Part 4 | Part 5
Just as it makes no sense to claim that the Kosmos is composed of sentient holons, equally it makes no sense to maintain that the Kosmos is now composed of sentient perspectives.

Revisiting Perspectives

Part 1: From Quadrants to Perspectives

Peter Collins

Introduction

In the early 2000's there was a flurry of excitement in relation to Wilber's novel development of perspectives, which was intended as a major component of the 2nd book of his Kosmos trilogy, “Sex, Karma, Creativity.” [1] Extensive extracts were made available, which received considerable attention on Integral World at the time. Though frequent messages have been posted since then regarding the impending publication of this book, it has not yet appeared. However since the last published extracts on the Internet dated 2006, it is difficult to know whether these accurately represent his present thinking on the matter. It is perhaps the case arising from earlier feedback that Wilber himself recognised certain problems with his treatment which he wished to amend. However it is still somewhat puzzling that such a lengthy delay should have elapsed without a definitive publication of his views on this important topic.

As I had long been looking at the same issue from a dynamic interactive perspective, I thought it might be valuable to revisit Wilber's work with a view to making a number of additional observations that perhaps can assist further exploration of a very promising area of enquiry.

Fundamental Problem with Approach

In many ways, Wilber's approach to perspectives represents a natural extension of his investigation of holons.

Whereas earlier he had proposed that the Kosmos is composed of sentient holons, he has now replaced this claim with the even more confident assertion that the Kosmos is composed of sentient perspectives.

“This Integral Post-Metaphysics replaces perceptions with perspectives and thus redefines the manifest realm as the realm of perspectives, not things nor events not structures nor processes nor systems nor vasanas nor archetypes nor dharmas, because all of these are perspectives before they are anything else, and cannot be adopted or even stated without first assuming a perspective.” [2]

In this approach, the four quadrants as dimensions of the sentient holons, give rise to eight indigenous perspectives, which provide the basis for all possible experience of the Kosmos. In this sense, the perspectives in Wilber's estimation precede every other way of viewing the fundamental nature of phenomenal reality in that they are, by definition, already contained in any (sentient) experience that arises.

However, I would immediately question Wilber's absolute approach here—in a similar manner to his treatment of holons—as misleading. And this arises from attempting to deal with reality in a somewhat mechanical dualistic fashion.

Wilber repeatedly points to the ultimate integral nature of the Kosmos in proclaiming that these perspective tetra-enact, arising simultaneously with respect to all four quadrants. However this immediately raises the paradox that ultimate reality is nondual, without any distinct perspective. Yet he maintains that the Kosmos is composed of perspectives (which he then proposes to differentiate from each other).

So this again raises the fundamental problem with Wilber's overall approach—that I raised in the last article—that because of the lack of a dynamic interactive method, he can never satisfactorily relate the ultimate integral nature of reality (as nondual) with its manifest differentiated expressions (as dual).

Therefore, he attempts to deal with phenomenal reality through the making of absolute dualistic type distinctions within isolated reference frames. Then, in following the logical implications of such partial assumptions, he is frequently led to conclusions that are quite inconsistent with any coherent integral perspective.

As we have already seen, this especially applies to the untenable distinction as between sentient and insentient holons. This arises from the attempt to treat the individual aspect of holons in a compartmentalised manner as somehow separate from the collective and then associating sentience merely with the individual aspect. This then leads to the ridiculous conclusion, from an integral perspective, that the Kosmos is composed of merely sentient i.e. individual holons, whereas in truth the vast bulk of what we see in nature such as the oceans, rivers, lakes, rocks, mountains, natural landscapes, the earth, beaches and deserts are in Wilberian terms heaps, which being insentient holons are thereby excluded as legitimate “building blocks” of his Kosmos.

Just as it makes no sense to claim that the Kosmos is composed of sentient holons, equally it makes no sense to maintain that the Kosmos is now composed of sentient perspectives.

Also there is a subtle but important problem in Wilber's claim that the quadrants tetra-enact, with all perspectives arising simultaneously.

For perspectives to have meaning in a phenomenal sense, then they must arise in a temporal framework of space and time (where they can in some manner be distinguished from each other). In this sense, manifest perspectives never arise simultaneously.

Therefore the true nondual state is without any manifest perspectives. So in dynamic interactive terms we have two extremes, where on the one hand perspectives can be distinguished from each other in a relatively independent manner and on the other where they become so dynamically interdependent as to appear to arise simultaneously, which approaches their pure integral nature. However, once again with Wilber there is no satisfactory interface as between differentiated and integral expressions. He seems to think that it is enough to repeatedly express their ultimate integral tetra-enactment, while then attempting to understand their distinct nature in a highly compartmentalised fashion. In fact, Wilber never really attempts to show how we can move from this differentiated interpretation of perspectives to a more dynamic integral understanding (which ultimately is without any distinct perspective).

And this significant failing is clearly demonstrated through his equating of integral appreciation in a reduced manner as the sum total of his (differentiated) perspectives.

The Many Meanings of Perspectives

Though Wilber is entitled to define the word “perspectives” as he chooses, I would see many potential problems associated with this, as in popular usage, it carries a variety of different meanings.

Wilber's main intention in using the word is admirable. So, in combating, as he sees it, undue attention to merely one type of intellectual methodology that relies excessively on 3rd person understanding, he is anxious to show that a variety of important perspectives exist in 1st 2nd and 3rd person terms, with Wilber then identifying 8 primordial or indigenous perspectives.

Therefore in this work, he is chiefly attempting to clarify the most significant types of perspectives on which human and indeed holonic interactions in general are based. And this indeed is an important task.

However the word “perspective” is more generally used to refer to the contents of experience that are revealed within a given perspective (as identified by Wilber). And this frequently is of a 3rd person nature!

So for example, one might ask a professional commentator for a perspective on the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. A wide range of views is then possible within the same 3rd person perspective. One of the problems that I find with Wilber's treatment (especially in the context of his Integral Mathematics) is that these two meanings of perspectives frequently overlap. However, there could be mutual agreement that we are both speaking from the same general perspective e.g. 3rd person, yet considerable disagreement as to any contents viewed from within that perspective.

There is also a further problem in that Wilber in his accustomed analytic fashion, chiefly concentrates on the differentiation of distinctive perspectives and identifies in this context 8 primordial or indigenous categories.

However there is an equally important holistic manner of approach, which represents a characteristic manner in which a person employs the various perspectives.

Thus the Myers-Briggs typology of personality types is based on the overall manner in which the four basic functions, sensation, intuition, thinking and feeling (closely related to distinct perspectives) are used by each personality type. And 16 such personality types are identified. Therefore, each personality type views reality from a unique overall perspective (based on the manner in which the respective functions are configured).

And when I use the word “perspective”, it is this latter holistic meaning that I customarily employ. So, when I claim that I view integral theory from a distinctive perspective, I am using the word in a holistic rather than analytic sense. And again we can identify a number of distinctive holistic perspectives (16 in the MBTI system) and in turn varying perspectives i.e. viewpoints within those perspectives.

Therefore, two people with the same personality type (representing a similar overall perspective) could offer distinctive views on any subject of discussion.

So we now have identified perspectives with four distinctive meanings

There is also a further problem that arises with their use in a dynamic context, which Wilber never really addresses.

He starts by identify the four quadrants as dimensions which he frequently also refers to as perspectives. He then identifies 8 indigenous perspectives, which he derives from the four quadrants.

Indeed his whole approach to perspectives is somewhat confusing, as he switches between three or four distinctive definitions without clearly identifying the relationship between them.

So firstly, he refers to the four quadrants frequently as dimensions or perspectives.

Later, when relating them to the natural use of pronouns, he identifies six perspectives (representing the singular and plural of 1st, 2nd and 3rd person respectively).

Then when attempting to reconcile this with the earlier 4-quadrant definition, he is led to formally drop the 2nd person altogether (including it very unconvincingly under 1st person plural).

His derivation of the 8 primordial perspectives comes from giving the 4-quadrants both an inside and outside meaning. However, dynamic complementary understanding of the heterarchical interaction as between these perspectives is significantly missing from Wilber's treatment.

Finally, when introducing his “Integral Mathematics”, he switches to yet another meaning, where in effect 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person perspectives (singular and plural) are linked in a reflexive manner, representing a composite notion of perspectives (that can be extended indefinitely).

There is also a further confusion in that when speaking about the 4-quadrants as representing dimensions (or perspectives), he switches without explanation as between two different meanings. Though he announces emphatically that the Kosmos consists of (sentient) perspectives, he seemingly ignores the constraint that in order to identify a perspective, one must fix the viewpoint in 1st person, 2nd person or 3rd person terms. So, for example in referring to a 1st person perspective (singular and plural), one must identify the person (1st, 2nd or 3rd) with which it originates.

Thus, for appropriate communication one must identify the fixed person vantage points from which perspectives take place. And these fixed person positions are not strictly perspectives. Therefore, in order to meaningfully speak about indigenous perspectives, one must adopt vantage points (which themselves are not perspectives). From my vantage point, I can view you and in turn from your vantage point you can view me. However this implies that from an integral viewpoint (where all perspectives appear to co-arise) that these separate perspectives are not in proper perspective. So in dynamic terms, any distinct perspective, by definition, can never be fully in perspective (from an overall integral viewpoint).

Put another way, one can only view sequentially from one direction in a differentiated manner. So, my perspective of you is thereby distinct from the reverse position of your perspective of me. Therefore it is only in nondual terms, where true mutual understanding arises in a simultaneous manner, that both directions can be truly integrated.

Wilber never gets to grips with the dynamic nature of how perspectives keep switching in experience. And this integral aspect requires deep exploration of the manner in which perspectives are complementary with each other in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms.

Therefore, he effectively ignores the important process by which one gradually moves from a dualistic understanding of distinct perspectives to true nondual appreciation, where all distinct perspectives are reconciled in an overall integral experience without perspective.

And Wilber uses the word “perspective” as if it possesses some magic property that no other word can convey. And having assured us that the Kosmos is built of perspectives and not perceptions, he frequently uses in his Integral Mathematics the word “perceptions” in place of perspectives.

However other words can be equally appropriate. Though it has its own limitations, I often use the simpler word “relationships” or the term “dynamic relationships”, which at least both avoid the misleading tendency to understand reality dualistically in terms of building blocks.

Also in scientific discourse, other terms may be more helpful. For example from an early stage, I looked on perspectives as unique space-time configurations, which could be given a distinctive mathematical interpretation. This enabled me to view the personality types in an entirely new form as holistic dimensions, which then enabled fascinating connections to be made with the world of string theory. And it is highly unlikely that these important connections could have been made without looking for alternative terminology to perspectives.

So Wilber's absolute claim regarding perspectives is neither helpful nor accurate in coming to terms with their true nature.

The Personal Pronouns and Their Ambiguities

Wilber lays great emphasis on the fact that the common pronouns that we use in everyday speech constitute the basic language of perspectives. I would broadly accept this contention, while however stressing that such language is full of important anomalies. Unfortunately, these are sometimes extremely hard to appreciate due to the manner in which the personal pronouns have become so embedded in everyday experience.

The following is a list of these pronouns, with their varied expressions.

We could also perhaps include here the pronoun “who” which can be used as an interrogative pronoun e.g. “Who is there?” and a relative pronoun e.g. “the man who ruled the world” with its objective form “whom” and possessive form “whose” and indefinite forms “whosoever”, “whomsoever” and “whosesoever”.

There are also other indefinite pronouns such as “anybody”, “anyone”, “everybody”, “everyone”, “nobody”, “no one”, ”everything”, “few”, “many”, “none”, “several” and “one”.

So we have three personal pronouns, 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person with singular and plural forms.

The problem I immediately have with this normal use of language is again that it is full of anomalies, some of which have very important implications for the true appreciation of perspectives. For example, though distinct singular and plural forms are used in 1st person and 3rd person terms, this does not apply to the 2nd person (where both singular and plural are “you”). Likewise, though distinctive objective pronouns are used in 1st and 3rd person terms (both singular and plural) again this does not apply with respect to the 2nd person (with “you” once again being used in both cases).

However in some languages, a distinction is made as between the more intimate as opposed to formal use of “you”. So for example, in French “tu” would be used in the former and “vous” in the latter case respectively, where singular use of “you” is involved.

Then in relation to 3rd person (singular), a clear distinction is made as between “him”, “her” and “it”. Though the first two carry a personal identity as masculine and feminine respectively, “it” is generally given an impersonal meaning.

However in certain languages such as French and Spanish, nouns referring to objects are given a masculine or feminine form.

For example “the rock” in French is “le rocher” (masculine) whereas “the chair” is “la chaise” (feminine). Now, it is has to be said that there is a somewhat arbitrary quality in the various languages concerned as to which words are masculine or feminine. Interestingly, though such distinctions are not made in English, some words carry a definite sexual connotation. For example “car” (or “automobile”) typically is given a feminine meaning.

However there are certain nouns with a stronger archetypal nature that are defined in this manner with much greater consistency. So “the sun”, which placed such an important spiritual role in early Egyptian culture, typically is given a masculine meaning (linked with consciousness), whereas “the moon” by contrast carries a feminine meaning (linked with the unconscious).

A particularly striking example of this latter emphasis appears in the title of a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein “The Moon is A Harsh Mistress”, which was later adopted as the title of a superb song by Jimmy Webb. And in this context it is interesting to recall “the Canticle of the Sun” by St. Francis of Assisi, where he refers to “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”.

So there are reminders, even in normal language, that the scientific worldview is very limiting, in that by its very nature it is only designed to recognise the exterior impersonal nature of objective phenomena. However, properly understood, all phenomena contain both personal and impersonal aspects, which interact with each other in a dynamic complementary manner. There are further anomalies in that the distinctions made between “he” “she” and “it” at the 3rd person singular level are then ignored in plural terms (where “they” is universally applied). And in 1st person and 2nd person terms (both singular and plural), no distinction as between masculine and feminine identity is made. To maintain appropriate integral balance, personal must be matched by impersonal meaning. However, the very use of terms, 1st personal, 2nd personal and 3rd personal, does not convey such balance. When we examine more closely, 1st person and 2nd person do normally convey a subjective meaning. However 3rd person often conveys a more indirect meaning of an objective nature. Thus in relating directly, I will refer to a person as “you”; however when relating indirectly (in a more objective manner), I will refer to the same person as “he” or “she” or, if an object, “it”.

And here is another huge problem! When we ignore Wilber's untenable distinction as between sentient and insentient holons, then all holons in dynamic interactive terms must be considered as sentient and insentient containing both personal (subjective) and impersonal (objective) aspects.

However in normal language, we confer the subjective notion of personhood solely on human beings. So, one would refer to a human being as a person. However one might experience more difficulty in referring to the family dog as a person, though accepting that the dog possesses a distinctive personality. One certainly would have great difficulty in referring to an organism such as a cell as a person, while perhaps conceding that it contains a distinctive life system. However when it comes to so-called inanimate “it” object such as a rock, one would normally view it in a purely impersonal manner. And the scientific mentality, which is so dominant in our culture, greatly fosters this mindset.

However, all holons do indeed possess both personal and impersonal aspects. Therefore, a rock possesses a personal (interior) as well as impersonal (exterior) aspect. [3] And this latter recognition relates to aesthetic appreciation (conveyed through the senses and feeling) rather than scientific interpretation (relating to reason and logic).

One of the most visited historic sites in Ireland is known as the Rock of Cashel (a stone fort dating from the 11th century). And the most popular tourist destination in recent years has been the Cliffs of Moher (which is a rock formation off the West of Ireland, formed many millennia ago). Therefore, rocks can in appropriate circumstances be associated with a deep aesthetic sense, which evoke powerful feelings of awe and wonder.

The important point I am making here is that when one relates with a so-called object in an aesthetic manner, that one is thereby communicating with that holon in a direct “you” fashion. In fact, the deepest mystical feelings can be associated with the experience of nature, involving what Wilber inelegantly calls heaps, which he views as insentient holons. However from any coherent integral perspective, Wilber's position makes no sense whatsoever. Indeed we often use the term “communing with nature” to relate to this intimate interior dialogue, which in essence is simply the deep recognition of a shared spiritual meaning. So properly understood, just as “he” and “she” (as 3rd person) refer to what in direct terms is “you” (as 2nd person), likewise this is true of all “its”, which when viewed in a direct aesthetic sense are thereby understood in 2nd person “you” terms.

I raised this very point in another context recently when referring to a quote by Richard Dawkins from his biography “An Appetite for Wonder”.

“And it doesn't matter how many rainbows you see throughout your life. The glory is reinvented afresh, and the heart leaps up every time”.

Once again, in Wilberian terms, a rainbow is an example of a heap (representing the reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets creating a spectrum effect), which would be viewed as an insentient holon.

However, whereas the rational scientific interpretation of a rainbow refers to the insentient aspect (in 3rd person objective terms), its aesthetic appreciation by contrast relates to the sentient aspect (directly in a 2nd person subjective manner).

Thus properly understood, the inside of every “it” (viewed in 3rd person exterior terms) is an interior that is directly revealed in 2nd person “you” terms. And this interior ultimately relates to its spiritual nature.

However, Wilber significantly fails to make this important connection. He does indeed recognise, when dealing with autopoiesis, that when viewed in 3rd person terms, that organisms are associated with a 1st person interior reality. However, he fails to realise that we can then access this interior 1st person reality directly in 2nd person “you” terms.

For example, I would refer to your male colleague, who I have not yet met, in 3rd person terms as “he”. I could then validly say that that this 3rd person as “he” possesses his own 1st person interior. However, if he was now to become my friend, I could then relate directly with this interior in 2nd person “you” terms.

Likewise, in principle, this is true of all holons, which initially might be viewed in 3rd person abstract terms as objective “its”. By switching to a corresponding aesthetic appreciation of these holons, which now entails a participative relationship, one can understand them directly in 2nd person “you” terms. However again, because of the anomalies associated with the common use of language, we tend to make a clear dualistic divide as between what is subjective and what is objective, whereas, in truth, all holons, in dynamic interactive terms, possess both subjective (personal) and objective (impersonal) aspects.

So, as we have seen, a strong personal dimension can be validly associated with rocks, which might initially be viewed as an archetype of inanimate matter.

Equally a strong impersonal dimension can be associated with relationships that commonly are defined in subjective terms.

The need to impose objective standards applicable to a wide range of human behaviour is rightly seen as a necessary requirement for a fair society. For example, in Ireland entry to higher level university courses is rigorously based on a points system relating to student performance in a state examination. So if a student receives a letter stating “You have been unsuccessful in obtaining a place on your chosen course” though the personal subjective “you” is employed, the relationship in this case is clearly of an objective (impersonal) nature.

Thus we have 1st person and 2nd person (as personal) and 3rd person (as impersonal). 2nd person suggests a degree of subjectivity and closeness; 3rd person however implies objectivity and a sense of distance from the other.

However normal language use can be very deceptive in this regard. As we have seen, one can freely use the subjective “you” when addressing a person, even though no empathetic connection is intended. Likewise one can indirectly refer to a person as “he” or “she”, while deeply recognising the interior personal dimension of that individual.

So in the first case, even though one may be addressed in subjective 2nd person terms, a merely indirect 3rd person stance may often be employed. Then in the latter case, though an indirect 3rd person stance is adopted, in reality, one may be viewing that person directly in 2nd person terms.

And of course assessing relationships on the basis of physical presence can be equally deceptive. So again, though I may directly address a person in my close company, this in itself does not confer any genuine intimacy on the relationship. In reverse, it is clearly possible to feel a strong sense of intimacy with another person, even when not physically present. And this is summed up very well in the phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

So very importantly, though in normal language usage, a subjective personal form of communication may be employed, an objective impersonal relationship may frequently operate. Likewise when “impersonal” objects are involved, a subjective relationship, as with all artistic type appreciation, may be implied.

However there is another major problem with ordinary language in that 1st person, which is generally viewed in a subjective manner, is not balanced by a distinctive objective recognition of “I” (and “we”).

Just as we have an objective impersonal counterpart to 2nd person (as 3rd person), we likewise should have a corresponding objective impersonal counterpart to 1st person (which would therefore be now distinctively viewed as 4th person). 4

This might initially seem very strange as conventional language usage does not accustom us to view relationships in this way.

However, one could look at it like this. Again, if I am speaking objectively regarding a female colleague for example, she would be referred to indirectly in 3rd person terms as “she”. However if she was to then enter into my circle of friends, I could now relate to her directly in 2nd person “you” terms.

There is then a matching correspondence in 1st person and 4th person terms.

So if I relate to myself in an objective manner, perhaps in an attempt to keep feelings at a distance, this properly speaking, represents a 4th person perspective. [5]

This behaviour is very common following the death of a loved one, which normally entails a major emotional adjustment. Due to the pressures of life, one might for example quickly return to work, resuming onerous responsibilities. For perhaps a considerable period one may then be forced to keep one's grief at arms length, as it were, in a form of denial. However emotional health requires one to eventually confront this grief through literally befriending the self in acknowledging inevitable interior feelings of pain and loss. In doing so, one thereby switches from a 4th person objective to a 1st person subjective perspective. Therefore, just as one can befriend the other, converting 3rd person to 2nd person, one can likewise befriend the self, converting 4th person to 1st person perspective.

There is another very important point here in that a natural dynamic complementarity binds 1st and 2nd person perspectives (in a subjective manner) and 3rd and 4th person perspectives (in a corresponding objective fashion).

Unfortunately I would see a considerable weakness with Wilber's approach in this regard. With respect to 1st and 2nd persons, he places far too little emphasis on the 2nd person “you” allowing it to be dominated by the 1st person perspective (in both singular and plural terms). It sometimes seems as if he does not recognise at all the independent nature of 2nd person “you”. [6]

However, properly understood, both “I” and “you” (and “we” and “you”) are equally important in subjective terms. In fact, there can be no meaningful notion of “I” (and “we”) in the absence of the complementary notions of “you” (and “you” plural). However, because of his inadequate absolute interpretation of the four quadrants (where each quadrant is given a fixed position), Wilber has become accustomed to identifying the Left hand quadrants with 1st person subjective and the Right Hand quadrants with 3rd person objective meaning, respectively.

This therefore entails that there is no place for independent recognition of the 2nd person “you” perspective. So, in a most unconvincing manner, he attempts to bundle the 2nd person perspective with 1st person (plural).

However, arising from explicit recognition of the 4th person perspective, there is an equally big problem with Wilber's treatment of the Right Hand quadrants. Now, again Wilber has become accustomed to viewing the Right Hand quadrants in objective “it” terms, as if such “its” have a meaning independent of the Left Hand quadrants.

However, in truth, 3rd person empirical objects have no meaning independent of 4th person interpretation. So without the objective mental constructs of the self, empirical “its” cannot be defined. So, just as 1st person subjective experience of “I” (and “we”) is naturally linked to other(s) recognised in 2nd person “you” terms, 3rd person objective experience of “its” is naturally linked to 4th person, as corresponding mental interpretation (of these “its”).

The 4 Four Quadrants

Though Wilber has the right idea in attempting to derive his primordial perspectives from the four quadrants, he is hampered by the fact that ordinary pronoun language does not accurately describe the dynamics that are involved. [7]

So properly understood, all holons have both personal (sentient) and impersonal (insentient) aspects in both interior and exterior terms. In this sense, 2nd person is exterior to 1st person (and vice versa) and 3rd person is exterior to 4th person (and vice versa).

And if we now allow for both singular and plural expressions of these 4 persons, this would yield 8 indigenous perspectives.

In fairness, Wilber does indeed identify 8 indigenous perspectives. However, as we shall see, because he fails to use a dynamic interactive manner of understanding, in significant ways he misidentifies the true nature of these perspectives.

There is a further problem in that Wilber likewise overlooks the bi-directional manner in which both individual and collective aspects of the quadrants interact.

Thus he consistently identifies the Upper Left with subjective and the Upper Right with objective meaning respectively, in a fixed manner. Then he identifies the Lower Left with intersubjective and the Lower Right with interobjective meaning respectively.

However, we can equally associate intersubjective and interobjective meaning with the Upper quadrants and subjective and objective meaning respectively with the lower quadrants. And when we allow for this switching, we obtain 16—rather than 8—indigenous perspectives.

Therefore a key issue is to demonstrate how these 16 perspectives naturally arise from the 4 quadrants.

And to do this, we need to look at the quadrants in a dynamic interactive manner, which leads to 4 distinctive interpretations, which are relatively independent in differentiated terms from each other.

Then through complementary understanding in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms, we can likewise show how these 4 interpretations are relatively interdependent with each other in an integral manner.

The first representation is the one characteristically used by Ken Wilber, where personal meaning (“I” and “we”) is dualistically identified with the Left Hand and impersonal meaning (“it” and “its”) with the Right Hand quadrants. Likewise, both subjective and objective meaning are again dualistically identified with the Upper quadrants (Left Hand and Right Hand) and intersubjective and interobjective meaning with the Lower quadrants (Left Hand and Right Hand) respectively. One of the clear limitations of this representation is that it allows no place for the 2nd person “you” perspective. Also, in 3rd person terms, the Right Hand quadrants are confined strictly to “it” (and “its”) understanding.

Wilber has never really addressed the dynamic nature of the quadrants, where complementary interactions continually take place in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms.

So the 2nd representation allows for horizontal switching as between Left Hand and Right Hand, in the Upper and Lower Quadrants.

Whereas subjective (and intersubjective) were formerly associated with the Left Hand, they are now in complementary fashion associated with the Right Hand quadrants. Likewise where objective (and interobjective) were formerly associated with the Right Hand, they are now associated in complementary fashion with the Left Hand quadrants.

Subjective (and intersubjective) meaning can equally apply in 1st person and 2nd person terms. So instead of identifying emotional feelings with “I” and “we” (as 1st person), it is now identified in complementary fashion with “you” and “you” plural (as 2nd person).

Likewise objective (and interobjective) meaning can equally apply in 3rd person and (unrecognised) 4th person terms. What this means in effect is that objective “it” and interobjective “its” that were formerly recognised in 3rd person terms, have no strict meaning in the absence of the mental interpretation of these objects (in what should be identified separately as 4th person).

So we started by identifying personal meaning with the Left-Hand quadrants (in 1st person terms) to find that such meaning also applies in complementary fashion to the opposite Right Hand quadrants (in 2nd person terms).

Likewise, we started by identifying impersonal meaning with the Right Hand quadrants (in 3rd person terms) to find that such meaning also applies to the opposite Left Hand quadrants (in 4th person terms) as rational interpretation.

Now, again the big problem with the ordinary use of “I” and “we” is that it does not distinguish as between personal meaning (conveyed through emotional feelings) and impersonal meaning (conveyed through abstract thought).

So, on the one hand for example, two close friends might say: “We share a mutual relationship based on deep intimacy”. This clearly implies the use of “we” in direct 1st person terms.

However, on the other hand a commercial organisation might say in these Covid times: “We are only open to do business online”. This now implies an indirect objective notion of “we”.

And just as we recognise that the indirect reference to what is 2nd person (in direct personal terms) entails 3rd person (in an impersonal manner), likewise the merely indirect reference to what is 1st person (in direct personal terms) properly entails 4th person (in an impersonal manner). This however is not formally recognised in conventional language.

Though it might initially appear artificial, because of the anomalies of conventional usage, in some contexts, it would be very helpful to properly separate 1st and 4th persons, through using different pronouns in both cases.

So whereas, we can continue to identify 1st person (singular) as “I”, we properly need a new pronoun to refer to 4th person (singular). My suggestion here is “Mi”. And just as we identify 1st person (plural) as “we”, we again need a new pronoun to refer to 4th person (plural) which I simply suggest as “wi”.

Thus from a dynamic interactive perspective, the important point to grasp is that personal meaning, relating directly to the affective mode of emotion, has both an interior expression as 1st person, and an exterior expression as 2nd person (with both aspects complementary in a heterarchical manner). [8]

Likewise impersonal meaning, relating directly to the cognitive mode of reason, has both an exterior expression as 3rd person and an interior expression as 4th person (with again both aspects complementary in a heterarchical manner). This switching of quadrants in a complementary horizontal fashion thereby enables one to obtain 8 primordial (1st order) perspectives that are 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person and 4th person (in singular and plural forms).

The third configuration of the four quadrants now allows for vertical switching as between Upper and Lower quadrants (both Left Hand and Right Hand).

Wilber has maintained an untenable distinction as between subjective and intersubjective on the one hand and objective and interobjective on the other, dualistically assigning then in an arbitrary fixed manner to the Upper and Lower quadrants respectively.

However, in dynamic interactive terms, subjective (as relatively independent) and intersubjective (as relatively interdependent) mutually imply each other in complementary fashion. So two friends, for example, while recognising a separate individuality, may also acknowledge a shared connection, which embraces both. Thus each possesses a unique subjective identity, while also possessing a common intersubjectivity, in a mutually experienced relstionship.

And properly understood, one cannot have the one without the other, as the existential realisation of individual uniqueness continually overlaps with the social realisation of a shared cultural background. So, when one identifies with the former, this represents the subjective aspect as a separate individual. However, when one identifies with the latter, the intersubjective aspect is now to the fore in one's awareness as a social being,

Therefore, quite clearly, one can equally identify the Upper Left quadrant with its complementary aspect of intersubjective meaning.

Likewise there are two ways to look at the personal experience of a wider collective grouping.

One can, as Wilber typically does, emphasise the shared intersubjective experience of this grouping. However, equally one can emphasise the unique subjective contribution that each member brings to the group. Now again, in dynamic terms, both of these aspects continually interact with each other in complementary fashion. However, as I have stated before, I can see remarkably little evidence of such complementary dynamics in Ken Wilber's approach, for quite simply this would invalidate his arbitrary dualistic identification of intersubjective with the Lower Left quadrant.

So once more, we can look at the Lower Left quadrant holistically as a collective grouping, in emphasising its shared personal meaning; equally we can look at such a grouping in more analytic terms, where a number of individuals contribute their personal experience to the group. And when we emphasise this latter aspect, the Lower Left quadrant then relates to the subjective—rather than intersubjective—aspect.

And then again, it is not tenable to identify the Upper Right quadrant solely with objective meaning. Wilber typically refers to this quadrant in empirical terms. However empirical data have no meaning in the absence of the collective system (of which they are parts). So once again one can attempt to see a phenomenon with respect to its distinctive part nature (which would be objective in Wilberian terms) or with respect to its shared relationship with other phenomena as a whole, which would properly represent its interobjective nature.

Again this latter emphasis is significantly missing from Wilber's treatment.

Finally with relation to the Lower Right quadrant, again systems of objects can be viewed holistically in terms of their shared aspects as interobjective, or alternatively in more analytic terms with respect to their distinct individual features i.e. as a collection of parts.

And again this latter objective aspect is significantly missing from Wilber's treatment.

The final 4-quadrant designation entails diagonal switching with respect to Upper Left and Lower Right (and Upper Right and Lower Left) quadrants respectively. Looked on another way, it entails both horizontal and vertical switching as between quadrants.

We are now at the furthest extreme from the original Wilberian designation of quadrants. So, whereas the Upper Left was formerly associated in 1st person “I” terms with individual personal meaning of an existential nature, it is now associated in 4th person terms with social meaning in interobjective terms, i.e. where one defines the self in terms of outward activities of a shared objective manner.

Likewise, whereas the Lower Left was formerly associated in 1st person “we” terms with a shared cultural experience of an intersubjective nature, it is now defined in 4th person terms with objective meaning, where outer activities are interpreted in a quantitative analytical manner e.g. “We voted for Joe Biden as the only rational decision in the election”.

The Upper Right was initially associated in 3rd person terms with objective meaning of an analytical nature; now it is associated with 2nd person “you” meaning of a holistic intersubjective nature, e.g. where I can emotionally relate to “you” in terms of your social being as a cultured individual. [9]

Finally, while the Lower Right quadrant was initially associated in 3rd person terms with interobjective meaning of a holistic nature, it is now associated in 2nd person terms with subjective meaning as the sum of individual experiences e.g. the aesthetic appreciation of a beautiful scene (in “you” terms) by a number of different people..

When we adopt this dynamic interactive understanding of quadrants, we are enabled to properly balance both the differentiated interpretation of distinct quadrants with the integral tetra-enaction of all quadrants.

So, on the one hand we can differentiate 16 distinctive meanings with respect to the quadrants (arising from four unique configurations in terms of quadrant locations). And these 16 interpretations relate directly to the 16 primordial (1st order) perspectives, associated with the four quadrants.

Equally, through recognising the complementary linkages in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms between quadrant locations, we can show how one moves coherently from the differentiated interpretation of 16 distinct perspectives to the integral appreciation of nondual reality (represented as the tetra-enaction of all quadrants simultaneously).

When the four quadrants are understood in the dynamic interactive manner that I have sought to outline here, the differentiation of meanings associated sequentially with distinct quadrants can be fully reconciled with corresponding integral appreciation that simultaneously involves all the quadrants. For due to the continual interaction as between opposite quadrants, all four locations thereby become associated with each individual location. So each holon thereby transcends each of its individual quadrants while equally the holon is made fully immanent in each quadrant.

Likewise, each holon collectively transcends all perspectives, while also being deeply immanent in each individual perspective.

Some Concluding Remarks

Though Wilber's work on perspectives represents an interesting new departure, which is capable of much further fruitful development, there are many important areas, which from my more holistic perspective, are not sufficiently addressed or indeed in many cases not addressed at all.

Differentiated and Integrated Aspects of Perspectives

Wilber in his analysis adopts a remarkably static freeze frame kind of approach, which is suited solely for differentiated appreciation of the distinct primary perspectives involved in experience. He then quite alarmingly and mistakenly identifies the integral approach as the summation of these distinct perspectives (which represents but a grossly reduced notion of integration).

I have been emphasising, both in this and indeed all my articles, that to properly distinguish both the differentiated and integral aspects, an inherently dynamic interactive approach must be employed, where the relative independence of distinct aspects of development is balanced with the relative interdependence of all aspects.

And whereas linear asymmetrical analysis, based on arbitrary dualistic assumptions is suited to the differentiated aspect (within partial limited reference frames), true integral synthesis is based on complementary circular type appreciation (where all dualistic distinctions, at a partial level of analysis, are rendered ultimately paradoxical).

Since my very first contribution to this site over 20 years ago (and for several years before on other forums), I have steadfastly maintained that Ken Wilber does not employ a genuine integral approach. And this is the simple reason that despite the enormous range of his work and breadth of insight, many of his most important findings are not consistent with any coherent overall perspective. So the integral appreciation of perspectives only properly arises when one carefully studies the ways in which they are mutually complementary with each other in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms. Without such integral appreciation, it is not possible for example to explain how dynamic switching takes place as between the various perspectives or why in actual practice, experience can become largely confined to a very limited number of perspectives.

Perspectives and Hidden (Shadow) Perspectives.

The first step in dynamic understanding is the recognition that associated with every perspective is a hidden or shadow perspective, which only arises in the dynamic context of relating perspectives.

A perspective represents a view from a particular vantage point.

So, for example, I may be aware of you from my 1st person perspective. However the opposite direction of your perspective in relation to me remains hidden. So in this respect, I am confined to an interior space attempting to reach out to what is exterior to me i.e. as an “I” in relation to “you”. However I cannot directly take up your position (as a “you” in relation to an “I”).

It is the recognition of this shadow perspective that thereby leads to constant switching in experience from 1st person (“I”) to 2nd person (“you”) and in turn from 2nd person (“you”) to 1st person (“I”). There are two extreme tendencies here. If, as in a narcissistic type relationship, I am only strongly aware of 1st person (“I”), very little switching can take place regarding recognition of a 2nd person (“you”). On the other hand, if I am in a very dependent relationship, based on strong recognition of 2nd person (“you”), little switching in turn regarding recognition of 1st person (“I”) can take place.

Associated directly with this shadow aspect of perspectives is corresponding recognition of the unconscious aspect of experience. So, to understand perspectives in terms of both their differentiated (dual) and integrated (nondual) aspects respectively, then one must explicitly incorporate both conscious and unconscious aspects of experience.

Implicit and Explicit Perspectives

There can be a huge gap as between our explicit understanding of what happens in experience and implicitly what actually takes place. . For example, I may believe I am focusing on you in subjective 2nd person terms, while in fact implicitly distancing myself from you in an objective 3rd person manner, thereby not displaying any true empathy with your situation.

So there can be a considerable mismatch as between explicit and implicit perspectives adopted. And this is frequently the cause of major breakdown in personal communication between people.

Indeed one may become very practiced, as unfortunately is true of many politicians in addressing social issues, of always appearing to adopt concerned 2nd person perspectives, while in truth remaining considerably detached from the real issues involved (in a 3rd person manner). Insincerity and hypocrisy are good words for such behaviour.

Real and Imaginary Perspectives

Another very important distinction, which is related to the shadow aspect is the relationship as between real (actual) and imaginary (potential) perspectives. Indeed implicit in the ability to switch perspectives is the capacity to imagine a potential situation that is distinct from one's present actual perspective. Then through the interaction of real and imaginary aspects, a continual transformation of one's actual perspectives can take place.

However, proper appreciation of this capacity requires once more incorporation of the unconscious with manifest conscious understanding. Again this is another key area that remains largely unaddressed in Wilber's approach. The distinction as between subjective and objective on the one hand and intersubjective and interobjective on the other does require clarification of the corresponding distinction as between real and imaginary, but Wilber never goes down this route effectively sticking to actual i.e. real perspectives. In fact, the imaginary (potential) appreciation of perspectives properly requires the holistic use of intuition in terms of both cognitive (rational) and affective (emotional) understanding.

And the specialised development of such understanding can only take place at the advanced contemplative stages.

Primary and Composite Perspectives

Though proper clarification of the fundamental primary (or primordial) perspectives is indeed important, actual experience always entails a complex mix of composite perspectives, where both the personal and impersonal and individual and collective aspects of perspectives continually interact in a dynamic manner.

Unfortunately, as it is customary e.g. due to one's personality profile, to give some perspectives much more prominence than others, considerable rigidities and blockages can characterise customary experience.

Thus where radical spiritual development is involved, it may be necessary to substantially erode all one's previous perspectives, so as to be truly born again in a more enlightened manner.

Then in the developing of new perspectives, considerable attention is given to the careful balancing of the primary perspectives in terms of both their differential and integral aspects. With these securely in place, very rapid development with respect to a rich variety of composite perspectives can unfold in a free unattached manner.

Perspectives and Metaperspectives

Wilber's treatment of perspectives is properly consistent with the centaur stage of intellectual development, representing his own unique brand of vision-logic.

However, once we realise that intellectual life does not culminate with the centaur but stretches way beyond into higher contemplative stages, in terms of both its ascent and descent and then later into—what I term—radial reality, with several more distinctive stages of development, then one must recognise several metaperspectives on perspectives.

So once again Wilber adopts a multi-differentiated approach in the manner related to centaur type intellectual understanding, where the integral aspect of perspectives is substantially reduced in a differentiated manner.

This therefore constitutes one metaperspective of perspectives (Analytic 2), which is consistent with the most refined use of the linear asymmetrical approach. A more limited form of metaperspective (Analytic 1) represents the situation, as an in conventional science, where all perspectives are reduced in terms of just one.

In my model of development, Wilber's vision-logic understanding represents the transition between Bands 2 and Band 3 i.e. the middle and contemplative stages.

Band 3 is then concerned with the transcendent ascent, where the analytic appreciation of perspectives slowly gives way, through the appreciation of horizontal, vertical and diagonal type complementarity, to a nondual integral perspective beyond all phenomenal form (that is without distinct perspectives).

Thus the outlining of these complementary relationships in multi-directional dynamic terms, thereby enabling one to move from differentiated to integrated appreciation, constitutes a new metaperspective (Integral 1) of perspectives.

Then Band 4 representing the specialised intuitive appreciation of nondual reality (in its transcendent aspect) bridges the way to Band 5 where true integral appreciation now takes place in terms of both its transcendent and immanent dimensions. So this more refined integral appreciation of perspectives constitutes yet another metaperspective (Integral 2)).

In the past, I have sought to explain Bands 6, 7 and 8, corresponding to radial reality, through three distinct types of appreciation, Radial 1, Radial 2 and Radial 3. Here, one learns in a transparent flexible manner to combine the relative validity of the independent differentiated aspect of perspectives with their overall relative interdependence in an integral manner that becomes increasingly multi-faceted. With Radial 1 there still is a bias towards the differentiated and with Radial 2 a bias towards the integral aspect. Only with Radial 3 can both aspects be fully balanced with each other in an immensely creative yet productive manner.

So we could associate three further metaperspectives of perspectives with these radial divisions (Radial 1, Radial 2 and Radial 3).

Notes

1. Wilber initially intended Volume 2 of the Kosmos trilogy as the book tentatively entitled as “Sex, God and Gender: The Ecology of Men and Women”, which was designed to bring an “all quadrant, all level” approach to gender issues. However he subsequently brought forward, what was originally intended to be Volume 3 as Volume 2, now entitled as “Sex, Karma and Creativity”. We were informed before the publication of “The Religion of Tomorrow” in 2017 that this had been completed and would be issued as his next major publication. It is puzzling why it is all taking so much time as Wilber stated as long ago as 1997 that drafts of the final two Volumes of Kosmos had been largely completed.

In Wilber's “Rnase Enzyme Deficiency Disease”, written in 2002, he stated that he had completed Volume 2, which at 1400 pages long was in need of some editing. Much of this was new material related to his Integral Methodological Pluralism, which was posted as lengthy excerpts on the Shambhala site. These provoked informed discussion on “Integral World” at the time from Mark Edwards and others. A number of revised excerpts, apparently dating from 2006, can be found at the Integral Archive, with my present comments on Wilber's work largely based on this material. However, 15 more years have since elapsed without the long awaited formal publication taking place. Perhaps Wilber was awaiting further feedback before finally committing himself. However, as I make clear, though his approach on perspectives represents a very interesting and indeed exciting new departure, it is marred by a number of inconsistencies, which render many of his conclusions untenable from an integral perspective.

2. Integral Spirituality—A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World, Chapter 1, p.12.

3. All holons by definition have a capacity for independent existence, thereby exercising a degree of control with respect to other holons and a corresponding capacity of dependence, in being able to respond in some measure to these same holons. In this way, combining both capacities, holons can thereby interact with other holons. So if we associate the independent capacity (of control) with the exterior aspect of manifest “it” existence, then the dependent capacity (of response) is thereby associated with the interior (sentient) aspect. It might be helpful in this regard to recognise that the cognitive mode of reason (as in science and technology) represents the attempt to exercise objective control of the environment, whereas the affective mode of emotion (as in the arts and personal relationships) represents the corresponding attempt to subjectively respond to the same environment. This in the most general sense, all holons are universally defined by their twin complementary capacities of control and response respectively, thus enabling dynamic interactions to take place.

4. This should not be confused with Wilber's own definition of 4th person. Wilber refers to 4th person as the recognition of 1st, 2nd and 3rd perspectives. He then refers to 5th person as the recognition from a 1st, 2nd or 3rd person perspective of another 1st 2nd or 3rd person perspective, and then a 6th person as the recognition from a 1st 2nd or 3rd person perspective of a 1st 2nd or 3rd person perspective of another 1st 2nd or 3rd person perspective and so on. Though again he is free to define terms as he wishes, I do not find this use of language particularly helpful. My own preference is based on the approach in the MBTI, where 16 distinct personality types, can be identified with 16 person perspectives. So we have 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th persons considered in a horizontal manner, with each of these again having four dimensions in vertical terms. So combining horizontal and vertical dimensions this gives rise to 4 x 4 = 16 distinct persons.

5. A fascinating example of this relates to Diego Maradona, who maintained a very clear distinction when playing with Napoli in the late 80's, as between his private and public personas. So in private, where he felt free to relax with friends and associates he would refer to himself in 1st personal terms as “I” and engaged in behaviour e.g. drug taking, promiscuous sex and consorting with criminals that did not at all fit his public persona as the adored football star. So, in public he frequently would refer to himself as Diego Maradona, as if to objectively distance himself from his unacceptable private persona. In doing this, he was in effect referring to himself in 4th person terms.

6. Wilber displays a marked tendency to deal with criticism solely on his own terms, as if this provides the only valid perspective with which to view his work. Whereas he places big demands on critics to see issues accurately from his position, he rarely shows the same desire to properly appreciate his critics' standpoints. So he can be very cavalier indeed in blithely ignoring and indeed misrepresenting criticism that he does not readily appreciate.

As we have seen, in his approach to perspectives, Wilber has been led to include 2nd person “you” as part of 1st person (plural) “we” on the grounds that where mutual agreement is reached “I” and “you” thereby form a common “we”. However this leaves no place for any independent notion of a distinctive “you”

The clear implication of this is that if in fact you disagree with Wilber, and especially if you sharply disagree with him on some fundamental issue, then he does not recognise the separate “you” as possessing a valid identity. And we saw how this played out in the past with various contributors to Integral World, whose criticism of his work he no longer recognises. So acceptable “critics” are now confined to those in his integral “we” circle.

Wilber is very mistaken in the manner he attempts to dismiss the separate “you” from his quadrant perspectives. He is equally mistaken in the manner he attempts to dismiss valid criticism of his work from outside his own integral circle. And while he persists with such behaviour, his work does not deserve to be embraced by the wider integral and intellectual communities.

7. In a series of lengthy articles, 2002-2003, “Though AQAL Eyes” Mark Edwards especially made a very significant contribution on Integral World to the better understanding of holons, quadrants and perspectives. In those articles, Edwards rightly criticised Wilber's fragmented treatment of the holon (which he referred to as “Wilber's schizoid holon”). However in attempting to overcome this problem, I believe he then went to the other extreme in trying to divorce his treatment of perspectives completely from the quadrants. Edwards maintained that the perspectives had nothing to do with the quadrants and insisted on associating each perspective with its own distinctive holon. So, just as Wilber's approach to the quadrants is unduly fragmented, Edwards' approach to perspectives is equally fragmented (through the need to associate each perspective with a distinctive holon).

So I agree with Edwards in his criticism of Wilber's fragmented treatment of quadrants. However I agree in turn with Wilber that the perspectives are indeed directly associated with the quadrants. The common problem therefore is that both Wilber and Edwards do not understand the quadrants in a dynamic interactive manner, which is the only way to satisfactorily reconcile the differentiated appreciation of each indigenous perspective with integral appreciation of the relationship between all perspectives.

Edwards' approach—which displays considerable understanding of developmental issues—is based on the 6 perspectives (1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person in singular and plural terms). These in effect constitute just 6 indigenous perspectives, from which he derives 36 further perspectives (which in effect are the same 6 perspectives when seen in relation to each other). Therefore 6 indigenous perspectives, when considered without reference to a vantage point lead to 6 x 6 = 36 perspectives (when these are considered with respect to 6 relative vantage points). This would imply in turn that 16 indigenous perspectives (as in my own treatment) would lead to 16 x 16 = 256 perspectives (when considered relative to the 16 vantage points).

Edwards in an Appendix also provides a detailed listing of important notional (imaginary) perspectives, where, for example, I can attempt to form a notion of your perspective of me, which represents a further fascinating addition to his detailed research on perspectives.

8. Wilber typically associates intentionality with the Upper Left quadrant. I would however have considerable reservations regarding this practice. Properly understood, we have three fundamental modes, affective, cognitive and volitional. And in a direct sense, intentionality is associated with the volitional mode.

Whereas the affective is associated with what is subjective and personal, the cognitive by contrast is associated with what is objective and impersonal. And the true role of volition is in attempting to balance both of these modes in line with the desire to achieve moral meaning. Therefore intentionality is not properly associated with either Left or Right quadrants (as separate) but rather as the central mode of the self that attempts to reconcile both quadrants.

Of course in some cases it is heavily influenced by subjective factors; however equally in other cases, as with a programmatic approach to religion, it can be biased towards objective criteria.

9. The great problem with conventional science is that holistic appreciation of the whole is inseparable from analytic appreciation of its various parts, with such science based on the reduced quantitative notion of the whole as the sum of its quantitative parts. So here the interobjective cannot be properly distinguished from what is objective.

Though perhaps less obvious, the same problem can apply in relation to the subjective and the intersubjective. When personal relationships are experienced largely in terms of the merely conscious aspect of experience, the intersubjective cannot be properly distinguished from the subjective. So here, the intersubjective is largely seen as the sum of individual subjective experiences, with little overall transformation in relationships taking place.

To properly distinguish objective from interobjective and subjective from intersubjective, both dual (conscious) and nondual (unconscious) aspects of experience must be explicitly recognised.

References

Ken Wilber; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution; Shambhala Publications, New Edition 1st December, 2000

Ken Wilber; Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World; Shambhala Publications, US Reprint Edition, 28th December, 2007

Ken Wilber in Dialogue; Conversations with Leading Transpersonal Thinkers; editors Donald Rothberg and Sean Kelly; Quest Books, April 1st 1998

Ken Wilber; Excerpt C: The Ways We are in This Together; kenwilber.com, 2006

Ken Wilber; Rnase Enzyme Deficiency Disease; Integral World, 2002

Mark Edwards; Through AQAL Eyes; Part 1: “I” and “Me” “we” and “Us” “You” and “Yous”; Integral World, 2003

Peter Collins; Clarifying Perspectives, Parts 1-4; Integral World, 2004





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