INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Joe Corbett has spent the last ten years living in Shanghai and Beijing, China. He has taught at American and Chinese universities using the AQAL model as an analytical tool in Western Literature, Sociology and Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Communications. He has a BA in Philosophy and Religion as well as an MA in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and did his PhD work on modern and postmodern discourses of self-development, all at public universities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Quantum-Archetypal Technologies
of Astrology, Tarot, and the I-Ching: An integral approach
In my article, 'Blueprint for a flying-saucer engine', I noted that the four quadrants of the AQAL correspond to the quantum-fields of the four fundamental forces of the universe, entangled and enfolded together at each and every point of space-time as the seed-patterns out of which the fabric of the universe is woven. The AQAL itself is a Kosmic Hologram with dialectical holomovements between its quantum-fields in different intensities and combinations at different times and places, evolving into ever more complex forms of individual and collective being and consciousness in the manner of a self-organizing fractal-organism, a Great Kosmic Self.
The dialectical interactions of primordial forces, chemical elements, and linguistic codes spin and weave the physical and social structures that become the universe. At higher stages of development the quantum-fields of the Kosmic Hologram take-on the distinct morphogenetic resonances of human behavior, which become archetypal patterns. Each quantum-field is therefore also simultaneously an archetypal-field manifesting the long and complex evolution of the universe itself. The four quadrants of truth, beauty, goodness, and justice are specific human expressions of force-fields that are enfolded into the fabric of reality just as the four forces of the universe themselves are, as specific interior (subatomic) and exterior (gravitational and electro-magnetic) domains and fields of force.
The specific archetypal forms of body, mind, soul, and spirit have appeared throughout human history, serving as the agents of the dialectics within the Kosmic Hologram, the engines of evolution within civilization and the Great Self. Applying what we already know of archetypes through such ancient knowledge systems as astrology, tarot, and the I-Ching, we can fit traditionally known archetypes into the model of the Kosmic Hologram to see what kinds of relationships and dialectics exist among them. What do astrology, tarot, and the I-Ching have to tell us about the Kosmic Hologram, and what does the Hologram tell us about the dialectics of the archetypes? By exploring these questions we can begin to construct an integrally informed archetypal model of the universe according to the well-worn and tested knowledge of these ancient traditions. If we take the planetary archetypes from astrology and fit them into the four quadrants according to their corresponding characteristics, we get some interesting results. First, the transformational energy of technology and nature in the upper right quadrant seems to describe the characteristics of Pluto and the moon, as well as Chiron (the wounded healer), an errant satellite of Pluto. This placement is further justified by the fact that the moon, Pluto, and Chiron are associated with the body, the unconscious, and the mother, as shadow companions and embodiments of earth and gravitation.
Next, in the upper left quadrant, we find the airy planets of mind and higher consciousness, as well as the lesser ego and the higher self, and these are characteristics of Mercury and Mars at lower levels or octaves of expression, and Uranus, the maverick rebel and creative genius, at a higher octave of expression. In the lower left quadrant of soul and culture, spirituality and collective unity, we find the characteristic of Venus the passionate lover as the lower octave, and Neptune, or collective self-dissolution, as the higher octave. Chiron is also in this quadrant as the mediator between Neptune and Pluto (religion and science) and as cultivator of compassion and the soul.
Finally, in the lower right quadrant of society we find the heavy-handed structures of discipline and authority in the form of Saturn (power and the state), as well as the abundance, strength, energy, and fortune of Jupiter (money and capital). Also in this quadrant is Mars in the form of war and societal violence and aggression, and serving as mediator in the eternal battle between ego-self (freedom) and institutional-society (constraint). Thus, we are given here a picture of what the higher and lower octaves of the quadrants are in their archetypal forms, and what intermediary factors are crucial to forming higher syntheses between them.
With this brief analysis we have a template for an integrally informed astrology of the Kosmic Hologram as it appears to us through the astrological archetypes. By matching the planetary archetypes to their correspondences in the four quadrants we can see the dialectics of the archetypal-fields and their possible syntheses in real world events and history. And anybody who wants to do so might find 'Cosmos and Psyche' by Richard Tarnas extremely helpful. Whenever the planetary archetypes are in aspect we can look for the emergence of specific kinds of energy and dialectics in the world, and therein try to facilitate higher syntheses of the archetypes, as they are the specifically human portals through which the quantum potentials contained in the quantum-fields of the Kosmic Hologram are realized.
Astrology is a cyclical timing mechanism for the non-local synchronistic unfolding of archetypal-fields into the phenomenal world. The tarot and the I-Ching are the same thing as astrology, but for a more immediate and linear unfolding in time rather than the fixed and cyclical events of celestial alignments. All of these ancient systems give us access to subterranean or implicate information in the quantum-fields of the Kosmic Hologram that is non-local and otherwise inaccessible by ordinary conscious means. They operate on the basis of synchronicity, or morphogenetic-archetypal resonance, which is why these systems often seem to have psychic powers, and it is why I refer to them as 'quantum technologies'. Moreover, all of these archetypal systems have archetypes that fit into the four quadrants, which serve as the morphic seed-patterns of the archetypes and their dialectics. By substituting the archetypes of these ancient systems into the AQAL model, new and integrally informed ways of reading and interpreting astrology, tarot, and the I-Ching are suggested.
If we take a sample of the archetypes of the tarot and fit them into the four quadrants as we did for the planetary archetypes of astrology, we can see how the dialectics of the AQAL quadrants are shaped by the archetypes that occupy the various quadrants, and therefore suggest new ways to read the tarot cards that is based on the Kosmic Hologram. Where any one of these archetypes are placed in a reading, and drawn in relation to one another, will vary from reading to reading. But whatever configuration of cards is drawn and placed, the archetypes will always fall into one of the four quadrants, and hence into a particular dialectical relationship with other archetypes.
In the above interpretation of the tarot archetypes, in the upper right quadrant the magician (alchemist) shares with the scientist, technology, and Pluto the transformative energy of nature, its immediacy and surface truth. This is also the earthen mother-queen to whom we return in death as the pre-condition for new life, whereas death itself represents the unconscious or pre-consciousness of the body, the transitional resting place of the womb, the incubator of new life and conscious awareness to come.
In the upper left quadrant of consciousness and the self, the fool is the wanderer and the trickster, the joker who makes light of the heavy, and the rebel who is in dialectical (and diabolical) opposition to kings, fathers, and patriarchs. He is the anti-Christ, the consummate individualist, the creative genius who brings both death and new life as the wild card, the quantum-potential mutant and long-shot at a new evolutionary course for humanity.
In the lower left quadrant is the cultural hero-savior, our ray of hope, our incorruptible celebrity Christ, Buddha, and white-knight, born of the purity and innocence of a virgin. This is our inner spiritual exemplar with the spiritual legitimacy and morality of the good, represented by the Pope, the Imam, and the Dalai Lama. They represent the collective soul of humanity, our officially purified and refined inner beliefs and values.
Finally, in the lower right quadrant of society and the realm of power and money, there is the king, the worldly authority of state, capital, and the military. This is the patriarchal father of strength and conquest represented by the institutionalized vehicle of the chariot. These fathers have discipline and organization to exert suppressive power, and to control the temper of evolution within human civilization by either holding it back with constraint or moving it forward with the guidance and direction of wise leadership.
The Kosmic Hologram is made of these archetypal-fields and their dialectics in different combinations and overlapping complexities just as surely as it is by the fundamental forces of nature, building on atomic, molecular, and linguistic chains of interconnection into the minute and grand structures of the Kosmic Self, the self-organizing fractal-organism and universal being and intelligence we commonly refer to as God. The archetypes of astrology, tarot, and the I-Ching are the specifically human forms of the quantum-fields that have always served as the engines of evolution within the universe at different levels of complexity. And it is through the non-local synchronistic nature of their holo-movements (from the implicate order) that we can gain access to information in the Kosmic Hologram that we otherwise have no access to in everyday rational (explicate) consciousness.
As for the I-Ching, most obviously, the opposition of individual and collective overlapping with the opposition of interior and exterior, constitutes two overlapping yin-yang dialectics, one of active-initiative versus passive-receptive and one of freedom-flexibility versus constraint-firmness. Moreover, there are two archetypes in each quadrant, each with roughly 8 levels of transformative development as described by the great chain of being in the chakra system as well as modern developmental psychology, giving us 16 permutations in each quadrant and 64 total transformative state/stages of the trigram form.
In the I-Ching the archetypes are the trigrams, which are stacked on top of one another to create a hexagram of the dialectics of change and comparison within the Kosmic Hologram. The chart below shows what quadrant each trigram may fit into, and the corresponding dialectics of change that are suggested by their placement in a hexagram if and when the trigrams are drawn in a reading. As one tosses the coins to unfold the implicate information of the archetypes from the Hologram, the I-Ching suggests what quadrants are involved and what dialectics will be necessary to consider in order to address the question or problem posed in the reading. The often obscure interpretations that the text of the I-Ching itself gives can be given a more modern and concrete interpretation when placed within the four quadrants, whose meanings we already know through a series of correspondences and comparisons with the great chain of being from body, to mind, to soul, to spirit, and from nature, to self, to culture, to society, and from science, to art, to religion, to political-economy, etc.
Taken together, these three ancient systems of archetypal knowledge and the access they give us to the implicate order of synchronistic information in the Kosmic Hologram, can supplement the more explicitly materialist technologies of the empirical sciences. The archetypal systems of astrology, tarot, and the I-Ching can also be contemplative vehicles for psychological and even social growth toward a more spiritually informed existence through reflection on the dialectics of life-forces-and-events as they unfold and arise from the Great Self. As a window into the emergent properties of the universe from the archetypal-fields and their dialectics, the Kosmic Hologram is like a crystal ball into which we can enter as a trans-dimensional portal to our guided and chosen interior and exterior individual and collective destiny.