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Joe CorbettJoe 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


A Brief History
of the AQAL Universe

Joe Corbett

Could it be that the Emptiness which is full, the ground state of the universe coming alive through the awakened dark energy, is the universe awakening in us?

One can speculate that the AQAL is a Mandala of the Big Bang. As the universe rapidly expanded and cooled in the earliest moments of its existence, the 4 fundamental forces froze out into their present values like a crystal from the phase space of a hot dense energy soup, and from that moment forward they would serve as the quantum-fields from which Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Justice would eventually emerge as archetypal attributes of the cosmos itself.

Whether in the form of the “strong” bonds of morality, the creative-destructive “weak” force of the individual, the grounded and physical gravity of empirical facts, or the dual influence of money (electro-) and power (magnetism), the 4 quadrants are direct manifestations of the 4 fundamental forces themselves, and as such are present at each and every point in space and time. We might say the universe is a self-similar construct of the inner short-range forces (the beauty-weak force and the goodness-strong force), on the one hand, and of the outer long-range forces (of truth-gravity and justice-electromagnetism) on the other hand. We are literally living, breathing manifestations of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Justice even as our bodies and societies are dynamic flows and interactions of them at this very moment, right now, and now, and now, in a complex mix and match of combinations. There is nowhere that they do not permeate our existence as the strange attractors and fundamental forces in our lives.













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As the structural lattice from which all of the forms of the universe would emerge and evolve, the quantum-archetypal fields of the 4 quadrant-forces have served as the onto-genetic morphic seed patterns of everything under the sun, as well as the sun itself and beyond. From a human perspective, all the stars in the universe are glowing, burning expressions of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Justice in their pre-formative phase. And just as we are the stardust created by these forces, we, in turn, create and apprehend these forces in our own (human) ways. We are the stuff of which we are created, and of which we create. As above, so below, and as within, so without.

If we are to allow that the 4 quadrants emerge from the 4 forces, then where do the 4 forces come from, and why are there 4 of them? For this we need to look at the structure of space-time itself at the Planck scale. Here we could speculate that space itself is constructed out of a tetrahedral qubit (or a four-sided cubic triangle of quantum information). These tetrahedral qubits would be the fundamental pixels out of which space is constructed.

The three primary qualities of particles (mass, spin, charge) might then derive from the three sides of each triangle in the tetrahedral qubit. The surfaces of the triangles on each side of the tetrahedron might contain and record other information as needed. They would also most probably be the geometric surfaces out of which the quantum-fields themselves would ultimately emerge in the hot dense phase-space of the early universe.

Thus, the tetrahedral qubit would be the primordial AQAL, the seed of God, so to speak, the geometry of existence itself. It would serve as the irreducible bit from which the universe is constructed bit-by-bit in an infinitely complex polyhedral matrix of encoded information, first from the tetrahedral qubit itself, and then from the recorded information of innumerable qubits in overlapping and entangled interference patterns as space expands and the qubits interact, whose increasingly complex patterns could then become the codes or morphic seed patterns for the forms of ever higher-level constructs in the matrix of qubits.

Of course, all of this only covers the 4 dimensions of the conscious, manifest universe of ordinary matter and time. There is still the greater unconscious, unmanifest universe of dark matter, not to mention the greatest mystery of all, and what is currently dominating all of this process, the dark energy that comes from nothing (or the Emptiness that is full) to accelerate our expansion out, and up, into further reaches of our being. Is this Eros, the driving force of cosmic evolution itself?

“Go forth, and multiply!”, it says, “Wake up and expand consciousness!”. And is that not exactly what the universe is doing now, you and me? Are we, and life, and the universe itself not expressions of this dominant command, “Let there be Light and growth and expansion!”? This was a command that began in earnest some 4-5 billion years ago, at precisely the time when life was in its pre-formative stage, and dark energy (Eros) was just then becoming the predominant force in the universe for the first time since before the big bang. Could it be that the Emptiness which is full, the ground state of the universe coming alive through the awakened dark energy, is the universe awakening in us, in our emergence as life-evolving consciousness?

Truly, to look up and out at this great expanding expanse is to look down and into the very depths of who we are.

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