An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
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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.
While the material world matters in matters of life and evolution, there is another invisible and intangible world underlying this one.
If the structure of the universe resembles a giant brain, with 4 percent as the conscious manifest part and the rest hidden as an unconscious dark part, then all of life and the stars and galaxies are as thoughts in the Mind of God, Brahma, the Kosmos. What's more, just as in the case of our own consciousness, much of what we see and experience in the world will have been influenced by the depths of the surface appearances, deep down in the realm of archetypal forms and forces.
As I have discussed in other essays, this archetypal realm is the Kosmic Storehouse (Akashic field) of memory known as the dark matter, the Kosmic Unconscious of the universe. It is information that is generated and stored through the dynamic process of quantum fluctuations in the vacuum (the virtual particles of dark energy) interacting with the manifest universe, creating an infinitely complex mosaic of underlying interference patterns (archetypal and morphic forms) recorded at or near the Planck scale as dark matter, which is then mediated back into the manifest realm by the quantum phenomena of entanglement and synchronicity (or vibrational harmonics), all in an endless feedback loop of a continuously evolving Kosmic Holomovement.
From a Trans-Darwinian worldview, many of the processes and events of evolution are the result of interaction and influence between the manifest and the unmanifest realms, between material and immaterial forces, and between conscious and unconscious factors. Indeed, the evolution of the universe and of life itself cannot have been separate from the interaction of matter with itself and of matter with dark matter and dark energy.
Looking to the unconscious influences on our conscious life, we know that the influence is not small or insignificant, with there being many pathological manifestations at the individual and collective level when this influence is disturbed by various inharmonious factors in the environment, such as rampant greed, uncontrolled power, and social inequality, for example. Control and discipline of the dark passions (of infinite potential) is necessary to a healthy individual and collective life. The dark forces must be in balance with the physical limitations of the manifest world of light, otherwise insanity and societal decay will be the result.
In evolutionary terms, an organism must find functional fit within its ecological environment, which means functioning within a harmonious balance at relative equilibrium, otherwise ecological collapse and species extinction may result. But with these collapses and extinctions new ecological dynamics and species are generated, as are new societies and paradigms when they collapse and go extinct, too. The death and generation of dynamic self-organizing systems is the eternal play of the Kosmos.
Everywhere the law of entropy (chaos) is at play with self-organizing complexity (order) in the creative-destructive flow of the universe. And everywhere that creative-destructive flow involves the dynamic exchange of information between an unmanifest dark realm (genes, passions, archetypes), which provides the formative energy, and a manifest realm of physical limitation, which sets the rules for how the dark forces can operate in order for them to exist in the manifest realm.
This dynamic exchange of information between organism and environment is no coincidence, since it is also at the core dynamic of the universe as whole. It is the fractal dynamic of the Kosmic Mind, the self-similar iteration of an ancient structure-process that began with the birth of the universe itself. The first moment of creation was the separation between what would become a visible exterior universe of matter and an invisible interior universe of informational potentiality, with the interior not only being far vaster and greater in depth, but giving shape to the exterior and guiding it in the formation of the galaxies, replicating the fractal foam-like structure of the quantum fluctuations that gave rise to our existence at the initial moment of expansion. With this initial iteration, this bifurcation between an interior and an exterior universe, we get our conscious and unconscious distinction in consciousness, as well as the fractal neuronal structure of the brain itself (not to mention the genetic code and phenotype distinction, as well as the fractal branching structure of multi-cellular organisms).
The vast sea of interference patterns (endless fields of overlapping wavelets) from matter in interaction with itself and with the dark energy of virtual particles would (with regularly repeating patterns) become encoded into dark matter (the Kosmic Storehouse), at first as dynamically evolving and then as more permanently in-formed standing waves. These would become the morphic and archetypal forms of the quantum deep, which serve as the templates for the atomic shapes, crystals, molecular structures, and other grooved imprints that eventually gave rise to the stars, planets, life and consciousness throughout the universe.
In this view, everything that happens in the universe, and especially those things that are repeated, are stored in a cosmic memory bank, the Kosmic Unconscious, as information that can be retrieved and called forth, or which spontaneously emerges into conscious material manifestation through morphic resonance. This could help explain things like past life memories and ghosts, the exotic shapes seen in psychedelic experiences and crop circles, as well as a whole array of archetypal phenomena such as UFO's that seem to appear and disappear out of nowhere, and the uncanny appearance of planetary archetypes in the lives and history of people who have certain harmonic resonances to them.
If the numerous latent forms in our unconscious can influence the way we think and behave in the world, so the numerous latent forms in the Kosmic Unconscious can influence how stars and galaxies are formed, how organisms are shaped by their environment, how species and societies arise and decline, and whether we will have a happy and successful life or one of struggle and misfortune. This is not to say that there is nothing we can do to influence our own developmental and evolutionary direction because we are governed by mysterious and invisible forces. It is simply to suggest that while the material world matters in matters of life and evolution, there is another invisible and intangible world underlying this one that has great influence on manifest outcomes, and we would be served well by regarding how these influences might be operating in our lives, as well as in the evolution of life, consciousness, and the universe at large.