Read "Climbing the Stairway to Heaven", my 7-part review of Wilber's The Religion of Tomorrow (2017).
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".
is a sociologist student in the Certificate program leading to a Master's degree in Integral Theory at JFK University.
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Waiting for Technology
in Order to Dare?
Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera
A truly "integral" attitude must be iconoclast of realm-reductionist taboos.
So far most IT practitioners have been psychologists or people attracted to social activism, ecology, education and self- development. That's very good but for IT to be applicable as a Theory of Everything (and perhaps to become more useful to objective science) it also has to move into the new kind of physics that converges with metaphysics in an objective way. Other worlds and other realities have to be considered and actively explored. A truly "integral" attitude must be iconoclast of realm-reductionist taboos. That's part of the next major cultural stage, else we feel happy to fall behind some of the more important developments our times and still pretend to call “Integral Model” the most advanced thus far.
Should we wait for Technology to Move Forward?
Much is being discussed nowadays about how to take Integral Theory to the mainstream but I think that the “quadratic time” for a full fledge IT is not here yet. By this I mean that IT is incomplete because IT has yet to include a better understanding of the relations among REALMS in a scientific manner. Perhaps when publicly available developments in the four quadrants align-correlate IT explorers will be forced to catch up theoretically. I mean that at some point technology will open up a massive evidence demonstrating the reality of Subtle Realm interactions with Gross physical matter and only perhaps then, Integral theorists will catch up to what has been slowly brewing over decades and finally feel an urgency to complete their theory to include aspects of Life that today still are too academically risky. Perhaps then IT will become more useful for making predictions in the next phase of scientific discoveries which should involve the (so-called “interdimensional”) interactions of the Gross with the Subtle and a new found respect for what is known as “Metaphysics.”
However, as individuals and small collectives we can think and feel, detect, disclose and interpret ahead of that future ideal time of almost universal acceptance which will show post postmodern humanity that we are not (and should not be) limited to the Gross Realm. Perhaps as of today (2013) IT is still in its initial “culturally vanilla” stages and hasn't yet “come of age.” To become a more useful and profound “Theory of Everything” recognition of practical life extending into other non-physical worlds is a must. Recognizing the role of these subtle or non-physical worlds will also be necessary for a more powerful and complete science. Now, if all major human development movements are four-quadrant affairs we may still be waiting for technology and science to make of an Integral Theory (that accepts the existence of other realms) a feasible, bona fide socio cultural movement in the world. Perhaps we are waiting for more of a technology to validate the pre-quadratic origins not only directly based on dualities but on threes. Perhaps to take the lead before the discovery is inevitable- we need to rediscover right now the importance of “the Three” in our theory-building.
Perhaps as conscious beings already aware of many aspects of the next phase of human development we can also take part in these discoveries. This would mean that, even if without a highly developed inter-realm technology of the future IT won't “come of age” as a major developmental stage in the human world, we can still be present in its cultural formative stages and produce much more intellectually while moving the theory forward. We still hold the structure of the Kosmos in us and our consciousness still bridges all realms of reality. Thus, we could also be part of the discussion and prepare the ethical and theoretical terrain for the momentous discovery rather than to react late in order to be bashfully safe now.
Continuous Sources of Updated Knowledge Passing Us By
In order to update IT as per the anomalies arena insistently beckoning us through other people's (usually non IT theorists or practitioners) continuous research (anomalies which are already being regularly detected by also incipient electronic instruments) we need to treat IT not just as a broad set of “Integral” recommendations based on patterns (that a post postmodern mindset more readily perceives) but to ground its theory on what can explain physical-subtle events which are already being increasingly (and ever more objectively) recorded. Information and clues are “out there” in the web, in books, in cable programs, in people's experiences, in more or less serious research efforts and it's just a matter to want to find it. For instance, as a small sample we have The Biography Channel's multiple objective programs on “ghost research,” the mediumship and parapsychological research Dr. Gary Schwarz from the University of Arizona, Dr. Judy Beischel's survival research with the Windbridge Institute, Dr. Eben Alexander's experiences, IANDS, the Association for Trans Communication research, the Association for the Scientific Study of Paranormal Phenomena research, and so much more. Where are the “Integral” voices responding to this research and conducting their own? Will the “Integral Movement” be present when life after death is finally scientifically proven thus marking an important shift in human history?
Being Iconoclasts to Prevent the Next Cultural Escapist Shadow/Degeneration
We can be active participants in the cultural lead to produce a balanced Integral View (which includes a universal compassionate spirituality) before not just a recognition of life after physical death emerges but also with it a novel kind of technological manipulative culture side by side with improvements in inter-realm technology. Thus, even if at this point in our “Integral History” shyness prevails in order to fit in with the rest of academia and crucial areas of integral awareness are best avoided (because a full-fledge technology doesn't back it up) it would really behoove us as caring, concerned people to take the cultural lead also in relation to inter-realm theory, inter-realm events, science, technology, metaphysics and its ethical consequences. In fact, through our trans-temporal, pre-quadratic, conscious awareness we can become ICONOCLASTS, leaving that shyness behind and assuming our leading cultural roles ahead of “quadratic time.” We wouldn't just be part of the next major shift in which humans scientifically demonstrate the role of consciousness and its survival in a multi-realm, multi-dimensional Cosmos but we would prevent a possible cultural attachment to inter-realm technological manipulation without spirituality or higher Integral spiritual principles. We would (perhaps for the first time) be part of a movements capable of changing the historical uneasiness humans have experienced against their own otherworldly nature, a most profound forgetfulness that becomes entrenched when we incarnate and which we have carried across all cultural stages (even in tribal, shamanic, magic-mythic times in which sacrifices to entities and deities signaled this trans stage distress).
Exploring “THE THREE” Prior to the “Quadrants”
So far in the development of Integral Theory –for the most part- we have avoided the importance of “the Three” and its implications. In theory making, we've tended to jump from Non Duality (the Absolute Ground) to Duality (holons as “part-wholes”) to four pre-quadratic “dimensions,” to “quadrants” (and their contents or expressions or lines, states, levels, types). What has been missing is the pre-quadratic importance represented by that Principle of THREE, by that number THREE. Even when the “BIG THREE” (Beauty, Good, Truth) are recognized (like by Steve McIntosh) as representative of the quadrants after the quadrants have first been recognized, the fundamental pre-quadratic “Three” (as a unique step previous to the “Four”) must be vitally explored much further. And “the Three” have to do with ontological creation patterns (with the emanation, interpenetration, mutual immanence, evolution and involution of the three main realms).
The “Three” also have to do with the three main “logics” suitable to the three main (Vedic and esoteric) realms and this has to be explored in earnest in theory and experience. In the Seed or Causal Realm the “neither-nor” logic of being mutually immanent to each other makes “objects” indefinable but still part of principles in which Interiority (approximating non dual Spirit) prevails over Exteriority. In the Subtle or Mental Realm the logic of “both-and” mutual dependence or relations makes all possibilities and makes Exterior objects as dominant or prevalent as Interiorities. That logic subsumes and transcends the classical either-or Aristotelian logic. In the Gross or Physical Realm the logic of “either-or” makes well defined Exterior, objective structures dominant over Interiorities. Each “logic” and each realm's “causality” also follow these patterns.
Without a clearer understanding of the role of the “Three” (in logics, in ontological patterning, in causality) IT will be incomplete. IT will be an academic cultural affair with partially adequate but incomplete political pretensions. Without understanding how the “THREE” metaphysically precedes the “quaternity” (quadratic spaces of consciousness with expressions as lines, states, types, levels) the theory will not really look into the nature of the Kosmic structure and a long-standing, multi-stage historical and pre-historical uneasiness with our participation in the “otherworldly” will remain suppressed, distorted and “in the shadows.”
A More Predictive IT
To make IT more predictive in the emerging science that deals with inter-realm events, laws, technology, its role has to be metaphysical and practical. The science and technology of the future and our sense of place in the Kosmos will have much to do with this advancement. When technology allows us to discover and interact with the reality of other realms (when these realms cease feeling like taboos), the missing role of the “Three” PRIOR to the “quadrants” may be discovered in order to give IT a clearer measure of a vaster reality that was previously ignored. This would be beneficial to create a more Integral world. Can we be integrally ahead of normal social and cultural developments and think integrally about these things before technology forces us to (and forces us to expand what IT may encompass?).
What is the role of a physically important (and disclosure-actualization necessary) holographic but non- physical (without objective space & time distinctions) information realm? How can information without the conveyance of space and time exist and influence physical matter? Can we theoretically generate a valid inter-realm science and metaphysics by exploring the concepts of interactive cause, interpenetrating (and mutually defining) cause and, finally, mutually immanent cause, each directly appropriate to the Gross, Subtle and Causal Realms?
A Subtle Realm Gross Realm Information-Based Science?
If we took the lead and acted as if the technology of the next full fledge stage of human development were already here, that would be truly visionary. The main technological advances would come in due time but as conscious, visionary beings feeling potential, worldwide, cultural developments we could act ahead of time. There already are so many good indications accumulating that show that indeed there's something “less physical” connecting us, our world with the non-physical as information, scalar, quantum potential interaction with the Subtle Realm. Moreover, it seems that this “less physical” is amenable to intention and to our psyches. There's so much already in the literature that we can begin to add up. Have you read The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart? If this is not admissible to your objective mind, have you read the works of Dean Radin, William A. Tiller, Claude Swanson and Tom Campbell? Have you read Dr. Ervin Laszlo's Cosmos? Have your considered that-perhaps- the UFO phenomenon and the ghost/apparitions phenomenon are related through a similar inter-realm physics? Have you considered that in order to embrace all of reality in a “non-dual” way we must truly come to embrace the Subtle Realm?
In terms of a connector with the “Astral” or Subtle Realm it seems that the “consciousness creates or defines reality” version of the Copenhagen Interpretation can be accompanied by the Klein-Gordon equations (allowing retrocausality and connecting Special Relativity with Quantum Mechanics) and by Tesla's longitudinal waves (see the experimental demonstrations of Dr. Konstatin Meyl). Besides the role of consciousness in the “measurement problem” there seems to be many ways of speaking about an intermediate level of normally undetected semi-physical energies that connect the Gross with the Subtle. You might find the work of Ulisse di Corpo and Antonella Vannini useful to understand the role of “retro causality” and its connection with sustaining Life and with conscious and unconscious experience. Also, Maxwell's original quaternion EM theory (please read Thomas E. Bearden's works) recognized a kind of “ether” or complementary physical level accompanying regular transversal EM waves. Quantum electrodynamics also recognizes the importance of interaction with “clouds of virtual particles” which are born in the Zero-Point energy fields which impinge on uncertainty, information and entropy reduction and which may be related with this discussion. Furthermore, the work of N.A. Kozyrev, A.D. Popov and other Russians with time manipulation (perhaps through a subquantum “torsion field”) is relevant.
The complementary physical level would have negentropic and vibrational functions and connect to some degree with ordinary gross matter to link it with the Subtle or space-less, time-less information Realm. I think that the more the complementary physical level fuses with the ordinary, time-forward, entropic space and matter the more it connects the Physical Realm with the Subtle Realm and the subtler the former becomes. I think that the space-time divergence cancels out into null time and space of the Subtle Realm which also is of a higher symmetry from which physicality emerged. Perhaps Vedanta with its concept of three types of “Akasha” responding to different causes in each of the three main realms can give us an idea on what would the exterior quadrants of the Subtle Realm be like. These are the issues we have to explore: Three akashas, three main vehicles or “shariras,” three main logical ways to describe the Yin/Yang symbol, three main realms (which combine with each other), three main divine and realm-structuring principles (like the Trinity).
When electronic Instrumental Transcommunication devices and other electronic devices (like regular EM field meters) give abnormal readings before or during genuine ghost detection events (often preceded by a general physical cooling and a decrease of kinetic energy) we have a physical event interacting with a non-physical one that could be theorized upon both using physics and metaphysics. In fact the latter will be necessary to talk about the differences between realms because these differences are what allow interactions to occur. Furthermore, electronic events can sometimes correlate with Subtle Realm events and be corroborated both by Subtle and Physical body senses.
The Three Eyes, Metaphysics, New Research Methods
Definitely psychic research and parapsychology have demonstrated that some people are more sensitive to certain ranges of subtle perceptions. Saying that psychic phenomena are real and that people can detect physical and non-physical phenomena would be a more sincere way to respect that advice known as “Occam's Razor.” The simplest explanation is that we indeed have a non-physical psychic aspect even while incarnated in physical bodies. In other words, we can also speak of an "Eye of the Flesh" related with the Subtle Body senses and, following this trend, it would also be correct to speak of an “Eye of the Spirit” and “Eye of the Mind” for each realm-level of existence and body. Thus, it would be possible to use the “Three Eyes of Knowledge” for all three main realms and bodies and also to disclose-interpret the Subtle Realm by itself and in interaction with the Gross. That disclosure of the Subtle Realm would perhaps depend on altitude and address (and other interpretive aspects) as Wilber suggests but it would make “actual” what is mistakenly merely considered as “potential.” It would make “Metaphysics” more than “speculation” and would allow it to revive and to meet the demands of modernity and post modernity.
In fact, Wilber's suggestion to use shared method (or injunction), empirical detection and hermeneutics (among those that used the method and experienced data) are perfectly applicable to this research. Knowing how to interpret the disclosure of exterior, objective aspects in the Subtle Realm may be different as these exteriors may be more flexible and less stably patterned as Physical Realm exteriors an their causal relations with subjective interiors may occur on a one-to-one or equally dominant (mutually defined) basis.
The Subtle Realm is becoming increasingly important to the scientific endeavor. Physicists are grudgingly getting to approve not only that “information rules” but that higher/deeper realms of being are becoming necessary to explain physical phenomena. It remains to be seen whether IT theorists and practitioners become instrumental in exploring and corroborating the importance of Subtle Realm phenomena and if they also begin expanding IT to accommodate Subtle Realm-Gross Realm interactive events (before the arrival of more advanced Subtle Realm corroborating technology forcing them to catch up). If they do get involved in these developments (already promoted by people who may not be cognizant of IT) then the idea of an “integral awareness” that truly leads the way toward the next stage of cultural evolution may be genuine.
If (for credibility and acceptance reasons) most IT practitioners prefer to “wait and see” and don't care to participate in these surreptitiously emerging, cultural, transformative developments (or at least to be involved in the ethical implications of a science that can manipulate Subtle Realm forces and their connected physical space-time forces) perhaps we may think that Integral awareness (teal, turquoise?) is not necessarily capable of calling people into action as genuine “Integral” leaders if that action takes place in fields which are seemingly outside of their convergence of knowledge interests. In that case, perhaps current “Integral practitioners” surrounding Ken Wilber's “Integral Theory” (which is heavily influenced by the domains of psychology and self-development) can't still overcome the influence of their local surrounding culture and can't delve into the importance of psychic research, survival research, alternative physics and such complementary research interests that would expand the meaning and applicability of IT and be as capable of changing the world.
However, in one way or another, perhaps the confluence of survival research, psychic research, new and alternative physics, esoteric information and UFO-ET contacts and research along with Integral Theory may sooner or later serve to unblock a historical uneasiness and forgetfulness that has apparently been accompanying most human beings in relation to their own otherworldly components and non-physical existence across cultural stages (apparently also including, thus far “early integral”). It would behoove “Integral” theorists and practitioners to rise to the call of such a historically imperative, human society- transforming and essential issue.