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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.
Atman-Brahman: The Primordial Fractal
A dynamic feedback system of information exchange between an inside and an outside would be the patterned vehicle to serve such a purpose.
Consciousness, and life itself, does not emerge as an epiphenomenon or a by-product of the universe, like a rabbit out of a hat, but are themselves self-similar iterations of the larger structure and process of the Kosmos and the multiverse of which it is a fractal branch.
The causal realm of morphic and archetypal forms, the unmanifest Akashic holofield of dynamically evolving standing waves and interference patterns, the implicate order of undivided wholeness, the Kosmic Unconscious of the gross material universe in which we live and experience the world. All of these are different ways of alluding to the dark matter informational ground of the universe, or Kosmic Storehouse, which is in constant interaction with the physical or gross material universe as the virtual particles of the quantum vacuum (dark energy) flicker in and out of existence, recording each new moment into the fabric of expanding space at the planck scale as it dynamically evolves in an unbroken stream of holomovement, or Spirit-in-Action.
This dynamic feedback loop between the unmanifest and the manifest, the unconscious and the conscious, is also featured in the core structure-process of consciousness and life. And not only is it a central feature of our universe, but of countless other universes in a multiverse of budding and branching cells of universes, perhaps each of them performing different functions within the body of some larger Being, just like the different cells in our own body. In this case, universes near to us are likely to be very similar, but universes that are more distant are likely to be very different with completely different operations and functions within the larger multiverse, again just like the cells of our body.
Along this same line of thinking, does the origin of life replicate the origin of the universe and the branching of universes into a multiverse, with each successive cell contributing to the overall functioning of a larger whole? Does the tree of life itself replicate this multiverse branching in a successive evolution of different species of universes with their corresponding levels of evolutionary development? Is a cell, or bacterium, a self-similar iteration of the universe with its informational feedback loops between the manifest and unmanifest realms, and are multicellular organisms a fractal iteration of the multiverse that also has feedback loops in-forming and coordinating the movements of all the cells-universes?
Consciousness also creates cells, bubbles of thought and action, different tribes, cultures, and nations. Human beings seem to be replicating their multicellularity with multicultural diversity, but whether they learn to function in harmony between themselves and between themselves and their environment remains to be seen. The complexity of the body is really about the complexity of all the different cells of the body, and how they operate and interact with the chemical messages within and between them. The same applies to different people and societies, and the ideas they generate and exchange.
We can assume this harmony (or disharmony) of interaction and messaging between cells and between people to be a fractal iteration of the multiverse itself, a mirror of what must be true of the relations between universes within the multiverse. They must all somehow “get along”. But what would this even mean at a trans-cosmic scale? What purpose might our cellular universe be serving to the multiverse, and what might the signaling message be?
The purpose of any part must be to sustain and replicate the whole, with some (limited or small) freedom for variation. The alternative would be disease and decay, but also stagnation and death by boredom (total equilibrium, maximum entropy). The message of such a purpose would be encoded in laws and patterns of behavior that are stable, yet dynamically changing and diverse to prevent the heat death of equilibrium. A dynamic feedback system of information exchange between an inside (unmanifest) and an outside (manifest) would be the patterned vehicle to serve such a purpose.
The continued existence of such a system would first of all involve replicating by branching and budding because it is only with the birth of each new universe (cell, culture, system) that a slightly different set of laws and patterns are encoded, allowing the whole to expand and diversify its internal functions for external adaptability and development.
What then is the environment into which the multiverse might be growing and adapting? Another, larger reality than the multiverse itself? A fractal view of life, consciousness, and the Kosmos would suggest so, as there is no beginning and no end to the uroborus, it's turtles all the way up and all the way down, and therefore you are That, right here and right now in this moment, Atman is Brahman, the Kosmos is an endless iteration of Itself.