Ken Wilber and Integral Post Metaphysics(IPM)
Dr. Abdul Lathief
According to Ken Wilber the world consists of Holons.Reality
in all domain consists of holon.A
Holon at each level consists of 4 quadrants or dimensions.left and right quadrants ( interior and exterior) and singular and collective.UL(I,subject)LL(we,culture)UR(It,object)LR(Its,Social) or subjective,intersubjective,objective and interobjective quadrants.
Each quadrant consists of levels(waves)lines(streams),states,and types.
if we take humans UL levels are 1-beige,2-purple,3-red,4-blue,5-orange&green(1-5 first tier),6-yellow&turquoise(second tier),7-coral ,8-lavander,9-silver and 10-platinum.the last four are transpersonal and third tier and roughly corresponds to psychic( nature mysticism),subtle(deity or form mysticism),causual (formless)and non dual) levels.Strictly speaking this is only one of the developmental lines or the waves of value stream ,but it can be used to illustrate general UL.
(According to ken wilber evolution produce greater complexity of material body and this is correlated with increased subtle energies and consiousness.So increased complexity of the physical form is the vehicle for manifestation of subtle energy and consiousness.He supports the view that subtle cannot be reduced to consiousness but these energy accompany and support the correlative level of consiousness.According to him with increased complexity of physical forms more subtler energy also evolve.with physical particle gross energy like gravitation etc,with viruses etheric body and with brain stem astral body etc....According to Wilber each of the seven chakras also contain three type of subtle energies and the corresponding minds(gross,subtle,causual).)
Corresponding LL levels are premodern like archaic, magic,power gods and mythic,modern like rational and post modern like pluralistic,integral and holonic
RL are survival clans(foraging),ethinic tribes (horticultural)(feudal empires &early nations)(agrarian)corporate states(industrial)value communities,integral communes,holistic mesh works(informational)
Lines(streams )are developmental factors like kinesthetic,cognitive,moral,emotional,spiritual,self identity etc.
States are like waking,dreaming,sleeping , nondual and altered,non ordinary and meditatives.
Types are different orientation at every level like personaliy types(jungian),gender styles.
According to ken wilber an integral post meta physics need the AQAL matrix approach.This is all quadrant ,all level,states,lines &types.Now the AQAL of the holon of every moment is the out come of the Karma of the previous moments quadrants with the creativity of the present moments quadrants.Each quadrants include the previous moments four quadrants but also transend due to this moments creativity.So this moment is determined by the tetra meshing of the last moments four quadrants with this moments four quadrants.The karma of the previous moment is inherited to the present moment in UL by whitehead's prehension,subjective identity and agentic memory and in UR. by morphic resonance ,formatic causation,autopoiesis and genetic inheritence and LL by habitus,cultural memory,mutual prehensions and intersubjective background and LR by Systems memory,Ecosystem autopoiesis,Chaotic and strange attractors,Social autopoiesis.,Collective formative causation.As nature of complete reality of any holon depends on all these quadrents and their tetra mesh, taking only one quadrant view like phenomenology(UL) hermeneutics,collabrative inquiry(LL) empiricism,behaviorism(UR) and Systems theory(LR) only gives a partial view of reality or quadrant absolutism..
So the first principles in PIM(Post Integral Metaphysics) are nonexclusion,unfoldment and enactment .Non exclusion means all philosophy are partially right.Unfoldment is some are more right and so enfold the lesser theory .Enactment is reality is enacted and brought forth by injunctions,paradigms or social practice of a subject or group of subject so it is coloured by subject's or group of subjects perspective.
The four quadrants are divided into insides and out sides so there are eight native perspectives.They are inside of an I or UL dealt in phenomenology,outside of an I or UL dealt in structuralism,inside of a WE or LL dealt in hermeneutics,out side of a WE or LL dealt in cultural anthropology,inside of a IT or UR dealt in autopoiesis,out side of an IT or UR dealt in empiricism,inside of an ITS or LR dealt in social autopoiesis ,and out side of an ITS or LR dealt in systems theory.
I am inside an higher I when my lesser I's(I as emotions like anger,etc) transcended and included in higher I's ,but when I am inside a WE or IT (inside a culture or society)my subjectivity(I) is not in it but only my inter action or communication is inside the We or It.
So according to wilber the Reality is built of perspectives which are primary and perception is only secondary.The great philosophers are wrong in saying consiousness or awareness is the primary nature of reality.
There is no doubt that ken wilber is one of the great philosopher of today. He is the only one who integates all the philosophies of this post modern era which are in themselves only partial view of reality and present a holistic spectrum.As we know phenomenology's approach is only from the subjectivist angle and only stresses on the intentionaliy of the subject.Behaviorism,Empiricism and Positivism on the other hand neglects subjectivity and intentionality and stresses on the observable form and behaviour of the exterior and analyse the interior from these behavior.According to post modernist's relativistic pluralism there is no absolute truth but truth depends on the culture .So truth is culturally moulded and no universal application.According to systems theorists and ecologists external environments and social systems are the most decisive factors.According to Marxist Historical materialism, the basis of society or infrastructure is material, economic and social relations. Religion and morality are super structure of this base so only a reflection of the infrastructure and never the basis of society.Ken wilber integrates all these partial philosophies in eight native perspectives by his novel idea of karma and creativty .According to this every moment of the holon is the resultant of the tetra meshing of the karma of the last moments quadrants with the creativity of the present moments quadrants.So every moment the quadrands include the previous moments quadrants but also transend them.So previous moments subjective holon,objective holon,cultural holon and social holon becomes subholons in this moments subjective,objective,cultural,and social holons.
Now it is true that
ken wilber says "Strictly speaking, a collective or communal holon (cultural or social) does not have a singular agency, will, or consciousness, and thus communal holons do not directly prehend their ancestors, or previous communal holons, in the same way that individual holons do".This not seems a correct view.Every I is a whole with these 4 dimensions and one I pervades all and underlies all quadrants.It is also the subject which initiates all changes.So all real changes starts from the UL even though this subjective awareness is the resultant of the tetramesh of all quadrants.
This we can illustrate with a simple example.As a result of tetramesh of 4 quadrants a new idea or awareness or a higher state dimly arise in my consiousness(UL).At first this is a vague intution which I intutes must need a paradigm to make it a permanant and real state..As I make a paradigm by injunctions and practices(UR)like some meditative and spiritual practices this higher state become permanant .Now if I want to bring my wife and child also into this higher awareness I have to bring a paradigm,injunctions and practises for them to follow (LR) like meditative and spiritual methods before they can attain to the higher awareness(LL).this is what marxism says social structure moulds and determine culture.Now it is nether social structure nor culture nor all the quadrents together but UL or subject which initiate all the changes.
About the terminology of Holon also there are confusing statements.Many times wilber says quadrants are not itself holons but dimensions of holons .Still he treat them as holons and use as I described above terms like subjective holon,objective holon,communal holon(social or cultural holon).Now what wilber says as holon is in other words individual spirits. so subjective,intersubjective,objective and inter objective are only aspects of or dimensions or quadrents of holon.None of them are in them selves holon.They are what we rather say "sub holons".
But Wilber use sub holon for a holon which is a part of another holon.eg.atoms are sub holon in a molecule holon.But as wilber says every holon is simultaneously whole and part of another holon and as there is no beginning or end(turtles all the way up and down) all holon are sub holon also and there is no much difference between these terms.
Now if we take reality as involution and evolution as I described
elsewhere Universal spirit and corresponding Radio photon is the begining of manifestations.So
this the begining of holon.
Like that human spirt at the nondual
level(Absolute Spirit) is the end.There
Now the 8 native perspectives are really comes to the same four quadrents.Both phenomenology(insideUL)and autopoiesis (insideUR) deals with subjective dimensions. the only difference is phenomenology exclusively deals with humans and autopoiesis the enactment of other living organism.Like that both structuralism(out sideUL) and empricism(out sideUR) deals with objective dimension both depending on external observable behaviour.Both hermeneutics(insideLL)and social autopoiesis (inside LR) are intersubjective dimensions and cultural anthropology(outsideLL) and systems theory(outside LR) are inter objective dimensions depending on external observable behaviour of society and nature.
Now about wilber's theory that perspectives are primary and perception secondary.It is true that every moment is the out come of the tetra mesh of the karma of the 4 quadrants of the previous moment(UL or subjective,LL or inter subjective,UR or objective,LR or inter objective) with the creativity of the quadrants of this moment.But actual moment cannot be reduced to any of the quadrant perspectives or to a sum of them.Every moment can be only analyzed into perspectives or divided into perspectives.This is the function of discursive thought.The same analytical reason make the perspectives of first person(I),second person(You) and third person(He,It). But as a living experience what mystics call immediate knowledge or with speculative reason(Hegel) this is a whole undivided moment to moment existence as consciousness or awareness where every being as an I simultaneously feel the I in every other thing(we,you,he,it).
Every being as sentient being experience every moment as "I" whose content can be analyzed into(but cannot be reduced to) I as universal subject,I as individual subject,I as universal object,I as individual object at every moment ("I" is being and thought and universal and particular-Hegel).
So after all it seems that the great sages and philosophers are right in saying ultimate nature of reality is consciousness or idea.
ken wilber in his integral psychology agreeing with others treat spirituality and self sense or self identity(loevinger )as developmental lines(streams).But spirit and self is one and the same thing .Spiritual consiousness and self identification is the same thing.They are not the developmental lines ,but all these lines like cognition,values,etc are the components of the spirit or self.Spirituality or self identity express through all these lines.As all of these lines depends on cognition for their existence spiritualty or self identity measured by the cognition level.Now as level(wave) of consiousness is also primarly cognition level spiritualty and self identity is measured by the wave of cognition stream.
Wilber in his theory of subtle energies states that subtle energies support the corresponding consiousness.Even though in his discussion of the "Hard problem" he states at Satori(self realisation)there is nondual awareness and subject object,mind body duality is dissolved when discussing subtle energy he says it is the vehicle of mind or mind is supported by subtle enegy.
It is true that gross bodies or subtle bodies cannot be reduced to mind or consiousness but they are not two different things. As Hegel says Thought as being and Thought as idea is one and the same or as Spinoza says "substance thinking and substance extended are one and the same substance,comprehended now through one attribute,now through the the other."So in reality neither support the other nor one is the vehicle of other.
In his theory of subtle energies wilber says "each chakra must contain gross, subtle, and causal energies and their correlative consciousness".
This is a totally confused statement. According to tradition chakra are vortex of psychic energy which represent evolutionary spectrum of consiousness(Kundalini)and denoted by imaginary points in the spinal cord.. It passes from lower to higher level.So first "Muladhara"represent only gross body and gross mind.Swadishtan(2) represent only life and its body(etheric).like that manipura(3),anahata(4),vishuddi(5)only represend other subtle minds and bodies likeastral &psychic.Ajna(6) represent causal body and mind and Sahasrara(7) represent non dual state.So lower chaka represent gross body &mind, middle subtle body and mind and higher causual &nondual.
Lastly through out his all books he critises plato,hegel and others saying that archetypes are not fixed and predetrmined from the begining and every thing already there to unfold in the present .He denies such archetypes and says what they describe as archetype is the karma of the previous quadrants which by continuous repetition carried to the present as subjective prehension and cosmic memory. But what hegel and plato says as archetype is the essence of beings or the nature which cannot be altered.Hegel illustrates this by saying an acorn is the archetype of an oak .This does not mean the actual form of oak tree like its root,trunk and branches are present in the acorn in a minute form but the real meaning is acorn gives rise to oak and not mango tree.So archetype means Essentiall nature. Whether one become a Philosopher or Artist is determined by his archetypes and no amount of cosmic memory can make one a Philosopher if his essential nature or Archetype is Artistic nature.
E-MAILS SENT TO KEN WILBER(not replied to any mails)
I am now reading your book "Theory of every thing".
Is mental holon and physical holon two different holons or are they one type of holons with different aspects.When looking the holon from interior & whole aspect(ULQ,I,)appear as individual mind,individual soul or individual spirit and when looking from the interior &parts aspect(LLQ,We) appear as culture and history,and from the exterior &whole aspect(URQ,It) appear as individual matter& individual body and from exterior&parts (LRQ,Its)appear as nature or society.
or are there physical holons with 4 quadrants,body holons with four quadrants and similarly mental,soul and spiritual holons with 4 quadrants.
I have only your "Theory of every thing" with me(very difficult to get your book here) and other ideas about holons I got from third party sources in the net.so I am a litter confused.
According to Spinoza thought and extension are two side of the same coin or different name of the same thing.(my understanding)
According to Hegel also Idea as Thought and Idea as Being is one and the same thing.(my understanding)
please enlighten me.
"Holons Spirals all the way up and down"
In the end note of your book TOE you say there is no fundamental holons down and up there is no end also.Now I am a little confused by what you mean by Holon.Is each and every thing holon or only the spirits of every thing holon.Contingent and transient things are sure enough a sub category of the absolute(Hegel) but they depends for their existence and manifestation on their spirits.So the permanent is the spirit of things.According to whitehead also eternal objects change only in the nest cosmic epoch.
Now if we take the spirit of oxygen atom as Holon I can under stand that it has 4 aspects(Quadrants).internal& whole(thought and imagination of the absolute as oxygen being)(Absolute thinking itself as being-Hegel),internal& part (thought and imagination as part of water,external&whole(as material oxygen atom),external &part(as material water).
Now if we take
one aspect of this spirit as
Now according to philosophy and mysticism Nirguna Brahman(absolute without quality) descends to the plane of Saguna Brahman(absolute with quality) for manifestation.Nirguna is abstract without subject object distinction and absolute as Universal I or absolute subject is from the plane of saguna Brahman.
now according to mystics the first manifestation is spirits ,then mind(thoughts),then imagination,then matter.what aurabindo call stage of involution and Sufis Descend.then evolution(aurabindo)or ascend(Sufis)through fire ,air,water,earth,minerals,plants,animals upto man.
Now if we take
universal spirit,(absolute subject) as the first manifestation its UlQ is as Universal I and its URQ is energy with minimum frequency,what I called Radio Photons in my book(what Hegel
call ideal absolute objectivity or space(URQ) and ideal absolute subjectivity
or time (ULQ). Now this Spirit has no LLQ and LRQ. as
it is the whole and there is no bigger whole. so this
can be taken as fundamental
Now in the
ascending scale of spirits upto animal spirit(
but when we reach human sprit there only ULQ(subject) and URQ(object). no LLQ &LRQ because it is no part of any thing.it is the whole in potentiality.Every human spirit is Universal and particular at the same time.(Hegel).the development of the spirit through subjective mind(soul,consciousness,mind) objective mind(law,moral conscience,social ethics) absolute mind(artistic mind ,religious mind,philosophic mind) is only unfolding of the absolute idea, or implicit absolute idea become explicit absolute mind.
Like that beige,purple,red,blue ,orange,green,yellow turquoise,coral consciousness is implicitly there in every human spirit.in that case every new stage is not a new holon(which transcends and include the preceding holon).so if spirit is holon every individual has only one holon and what is prehended(white head) is the four quadrant to the present quadrant.So every moment of the holon is the sum of the past of the 4 quadrants and the creativity of the present quadrant.So when the one individual spirit(holon) unfolds there is change in the 4 quadrent accordingly(but the lower quadrents are not parts but completing their implicit wholeness(according to white head also holons,spirits(eternal objects) are permanent in one cosmic epoch.
so in human holons(spirits) there is an end also .that is trans personal or non dual consciousness.
P.S.Sir,please be kind enough to clear my doubts and illuminate me.This is my third letter to you.
"Strictly speaking, a collective or communal holon (cultural or social) does not have a singular agency, will, or consciousness, and thus communal holons do not directly prehend their ancestors, or previous communal holons, in the same way that individual holons do(Kosmos Trilogy 2 Excerpt-A-end note-2)
Now if as I told in last letter if human spirits are holons the one agency pervade all.
According to mystics human spirits are universal and particular (I is both universal and particular-Hegel) and subject and object (Idea as being and idea as thought) at the same time.
So this means the same and one self or sprit or I pervade ULQ as individual subject and in LLQ as universal subject and in URQ as individual object and in LRQ as universal object.
As I told in my earlier letter every form and manifestations depends on their spirit for their existence.So all forms of manifestations are only different aspect of that thing's spirit.
Now every spirit can be viewed from two angles.One as nirguna(with out attributes)your's causal or formless level and the second as saguna(with attributes)Your's psychic or Deity level.
Now take the spirit of oxygen .when viewed from the angle of form it has 4 aspects(Quadrants). ONE internal& whole,ULQ,subjective &singular or as particular subject.(thought and imagination of the absolute as oxygen being)(Absolute thinking itself as being-Hegel), SECOND internal& part,LLQ,subjective&collective or universal subject (thought and imagination as part of water, THIRD external&whole,URQ,objective&singular or particular object(as material oxygen atom), FOURTH external &part,LRQ,objective&collective or universal object (as material water).now if the spirit is holon these aspects are sub holons.or every holon has 4 sub holons(quadrants).but if we take one sub holon(quadrant(oxygen atom) as holon it has no 4 quadrants because it is only one of the sub holons.
so spirits are holons and quadrants are sub holons.
holons are holarchy because human holons (spirits) include and transcend Ape holons(spirits).like this other spirits are also in holarchies.
sub holons are also holarchies because every moments sub holons(quadrants) are the resultant of previous moments quadrants(as karma)and this moments creativity.so every moment to moment subholons tetra mesh .so in every moment there is holarchy in the sub holon because this moments sub holon include the last moments sub holons(quadrants) and also transcend them due to this moments creativity.
Mainly in Kosmos 2 Excerpt C introduction,part 1 ,page 2&3 and in other places You says of 8 major indigenous perspectives.They are ULQ inside,ULQ out side,LLQ inside,LLQ outside,URQ inside,URQ outside,LRQ inside,LRQ out side.but while explaining it turns out that ULQ inside is same as ULQ and ULQ out side is same as LLQ.Like that URQ inside is same as URQ and URQ out side is same as LRQ. so in reality it becomes only 4 perspectives.
You illustrates it with the following examples.
In a Cell URQ inside is mitochondria,DNA and other parts inside the cell.(but this is same as URQ or external ,single,objective view.).Other cells and the surrounding environment of the cell is URQ out side(but this is same as external ,collective ,inter objective view or LRQ.)
Or in human subject ULQ inside is consciousness as I(but this is same as ULQ or internal individual subjectivity).URQ out side is other thoughts and imagination which are the activity of I or outside I(but the same I is present in all thoughts and imagination ,so this is nothing but ULQ) another example given for ULQ out side is other I 's out side my I or as We(but this is same as internal,collective,intersubjectivity or LLQ).
From this angle You further states that Autopoiesis in Systems theory is not subjective enactment of the system but it is only inside of an external from third person perspective.
" One of the first and most important suggested changes in the development of postmetaphysics is that the idea of perception be replaced by perspective. The great wisdom traditions and philosopher-sages (from Plotinus to Shankara to Gautama Buddha to Hegel to Aurobindo to Whitehead) built much of their interpretive frameworks with the concept of perception (as awareness/consciousness):
But there are no perceptions anywhere in the real world; there are only perspectives. A subject perceiving an object is always already in a relationship of first-person, second-person, and third-person when it comes to the perceived occasions. If the manifest world is indeed panpsychic-or built of sentient beings (all the way up, all the way down)-then the manifest world is built of perspectives, not perceptions. Moving from perceptions to perspectives is the first radical step in the move from metaphysics to post-metaphysics."(Kosmos 2 Excerpt D Part 1)
It is true that every moment is the out come of the tetra mesh of the karma of the 4 quadrants of the previous moment(UL or subjective,LL or inter subjective,UR or objective,LR or inter objective) with the creativity of the quadrants of this moment.But actual moment cannot be reduced to any of the quadrant perspectives or to a sum of them.Every moment can be only analyzed into perspectives or divided into perspectives.this is the function of discursive thought.The same analytical reason make the perspectives of first person(I),second person(You) and third person(He,It). but as a living experience what mystics call immediate knowledge or with speculative reason(Hegel) this is a whole undivided moment to moment existence as consciousness or awareness where every being as an I simultaneously feel the I in every thing(we,you,he,it).
As I told in earlier letter every being as sentient being experience every moment as "I" whose content can be analyzed into(but cannot be reduced to) I as universal subject,I as individual subject,I as universal object,I as individual object at every moment ("I" is being and thought and universal and particular-Hegel).
So after all it seems that the great sages and philosophers are right in saying ultimate nature of reality is consciousness or idea.