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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 been living in Shanghai and Beijing since 2001. 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 email@example.com.
The Fractal Holomovement
The universe takes on the self-similar form of intelligence, or rather intelligence takes on the form of the cosmos.
In a previous essay I proposed that the structure of consciousness (gross, subtle, causal, non-dual) comes from the dynamic structure of the cosmos itself (matter, quantum reality, dark matter, dark energy), and that the universe is an informational storehouse that accumulates information as it interacts, expands, and evolves. In short, our consciousness (and evolution itself) is a fractal iteration of the Kosmic Mind, which is none other than the evolving universe as a whole.
Other examples of fractal patterns in the universe are apparent as well, such as points of energy that revolve around a center, from atoms to cities to solar systems to galaxies; or take the example of the large scale structure of galactic distribution and the neuronal pathway structure of the brain, showing once again that the universe takes on the self-similar form of intelligence, or rather that intelligence takes on the form of the cosmos. Within the parts the pattern of the whole seems to prevail wherever we look, with self-similar patterns recurring all the way up and all the way down.
One other fractal pattern that may be occurring on a cosmic scale concerns the multiverse, the branching of universes one from another as inflationary space pops entire universes into existence much as the quantum fluctuations of empty space do for virtual particles. What shape might this branching take, and could this branching of universes itself bifurcate into separate pockets of branching universes, creating in effect a megaverse of multiverses? And could this megaverse then branch off into separate pockets of megaverses creating a gigaverse, and so on ad infinitum?
There is no reason to believe that the fractal self-similarity we observe in our universe would suddenly cease with the branching of other universes. Hence what we might expect of the large scale structure of the multi-, mega-, and giga-verses is a full-blown mandelbrot set of fractal patterns branching and bubbling off from one another ad infinitum. In this case, atoms, stars, galaxies, and even entire universes would no longer be the fundamental unit, but rather clusters and even clusters of clusters of multiverses, megaverses, and gigaverses would need to be used to discern the large-scale structure or pattern that would emerge. And what would that pattern look like?
One thing we can be fairly certain of is that it would take the shape of something that appears at a much smaller scale, as this is the rule of self-similarity we see operating at every scale within our own universe. Would the emergent structure therefore look like a tree, or the vascular system of a living organism, or perhaps again like the tissue of a brain? Most probably, yes, because those are the patterns of self-similarity we already see in our own universe.
However it is not just the shape of such a structure that we should concern ourselves with here, for as my Kosmic Mind model demonstrates, it is in the dynamical relations of such a structure that the truly interesting aspects of its existence emerge. In that model, consciousness and evolution itself comes from the many different possible gross relations of matter to itself, mediated by the subtle influences of quantum entanglement and synchronicity, which then gets recorded into the informational ground or storehouse of causal dark matter (and into the fabric of space itself at the plank scale of tetrahedral qu-bits) via the recording instrument of virtual particles interacting with matter in a constant state of flux. This, in a nut shell, is the dynamics of the Kosmic Mind.
Considering that string theory estimates the landscape of possibilities for the existence of universes to be in the range of 10 to the 500th power, that leaves room for many many kinds of Kosmic Mind, not to mention the many many contingent variations on the Kosmic Mind we already live in depending on both random and non-random events that can shift us (and the universe as a whole) towards different adjacent possibilities or quantum potentials from moment to moment. In other words, each universe within the multiverse landscape has its own unique set of laws, parameters, and set of circumstances from moment to moment in its evolution that define its own wave function, or mathematical description for its quantum informational state, defining its possibilities and probabilities for any given moment. And this conceptualization of the multiverse landscape now provides us with the material necessary to expand the dynamic Kosmic Mind model beyond our universe.
Each universe within the multiverse system most probably has, as I just said above, its own set of quantum variables defined by a single wave function that, as branched universes from the same inflationary space, would not interact physically but could interact informationally with adjacent universes through spatial entanglement. Each universe in this system would essentially act as a separate body of matter with respect to other universes, but the possibility for an exchange of information between them would exist since the space between them is presumably filled with empty space, and therefore with virtual particles capable of recording the informational interaction of the universes defined by their variable wave functions.
This information of the ever-changing wave functions of each universe could then be recorded in a super-informational storehouse that surrounds and engulfs the universes much as dark matter surrounds and engulfs galaxies. In this process, all the information from each universe would be recorded into the fabric of space as it evolved, and in a continual feedback loop between each universe as they evolved internally as well as between one another within the larger multiverse. Welcome then to the Super Kosmic Mind, or the Multiversal Mind, the dynamically evolving storehouse of information between universes as they evolve in the larger system of the multiverse.
Such an Akashic record or informational ground for the multiverse (and the megaverse, gigaverse, ad infinitum) would immanently guide and coordinate the relations of the universes as they evolved both internally to themselves (as their wave functions changed) and externally to one another (as the interaction of their changing wave functions changed). In essence, the multiverse would be a complexly organized system of universes on some unimaginably larger scale than our universe, the dynamically complex organization of the Kosmic Mind of which we are a self-similar iteration.
Toward what end this dynamically immanent intelligence of multiple universes is evolving we cannot say. But what it seems to be pressing toward in the meantime is an ever expanding self-monitoring and self-awareness that eerily remind us of the same processes involved in consciousness and life itself: that fractal holomovement that is most intimately ourselves.
 Joe Corbett, States of Consciousness and the Structure of the Kosmos, www.integralworld.net
 As far as the AQAL quadrants are concerned, I propose that gross matter is UR, subtle consciousness (quantum reality) is UL, causal archetype (dark matter) is LL, and non-dual spirit (dark energy) or the inter-objective relations of the whole (the infinite and eternal) is LR. This is a physio-spiritual explanation for why the evolution of the universe consists of the tetra-meshing of the four quadrants, all the way up and all the way down.
 Joe Corbett, Corbett's AQAL Cube: The Dark AQAL, www.integralworld.net