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AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

Last post 12-16-2006, 11:51 PM by balder. 60 replies.
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  •  07-04-2006, 7:47 PM 933

    AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    This thread is a continuation of a "side discussion" that started on the thread dedicated to Chapter 1 of Integral Spirituality, starting with the following post:

    http://multiplex.integralinstitute.org/Public/cs/forums/ShowThread.aspx?PageIndex=3&PostID=307#753

    I'm copying my last two unanswered posts over to this thread, for the sake of continuity.  I would like to continue discussing and debating the interface of AQAL/Integral Theory with the Tarthang Tulku's Time, Space, Knowledge vision.  In keeping with Peter's suggestion, however, I'd also like to welcome discussion on this thread of any other "alternative integral visions" that might complement Integral Theory.

    ~*~

    Hi, Peter,

    Thank you for directing my attention to that footnote in A Theory of Everything.  I hadn't seen it before, otherwise I certainly would have used it in my paper.  (Darn that BBG, always hiding gems in his epic notes!)  I'll comment more on it later.

    kessels:
    I think AQAL is a map of the manifested universe. Wilber says that there is also an Eros or creativity at play. I'm not completely sure, but I think Wilber places this outside of the universe (but pouring into it).  I think that this Eros is called 'Great Time' in TSK?

    Eros having a Great Time?


    If anyone's having a great time, it's Eros!  And yes, I do think there is at least a general correspondence between Eros and Great Time.  As I have seen it used in Integral Theory, however, Eros is not often discussed as something that can be directly realized and experienced as Spirit's creative and nurturing vitality, which is in contrast to TSK's use of time.

    I wrote: Again, TSK does not define knowledge as the polarities of self-other, subjective-objective.  More properly, these perspectives are understood as occasions of knowledge.  Any perspective is an occasion of knowledge.  "Taking a perspective" presupposes sentience, a basic luminosity or knowing, without which there would be no resonance or "registration" of any perspective-dimension at all.

    kessels:
    "Taking a perspective" may presuppose sentience (being), but sentience in turn has no meaning if there is nothing else (existence) to be sentient of, which presupposes perspectives. Therefore, since sentient holons and perspectives can not logically presuppose eachother, they must arise together. Is that what you mean?

    While I believe Great Knowledge, as the essential luminosity of Spirit -- part of the "trinity" of openness (Great Space), clarity or luminosity (Great Knowledge), and creativity (Great Time) -- is not dependent upon "existence," I agree that in the manifest realm (which is AQAL's concern), sentient holons and perspectives arise together.  TSK describes this in terms of "field dynamics," in which subject and object, mental and physical, mutually arise in particular field-relationships.

    kessels:
    Does that mean that we have the following similarities?

    perspectives - Knowledge
    Eros - Great Time

    Instead of stating that each perspective is an occasion of Knowledge, could I equivalently say that every perspective is a dimension of Knowledge? In that case, AQAL space (which is a perspectival space) could be matched to Knowledge. If not, how do you define an occasion? (Note that you cannot define 'occasion' in terms of perspectives in that case, which I think will be pretty hard to do...)

    How about Great Space?


    We have agreed that Time, in TSK terms, is essentially equivalent to Eros.  In a previous post, I argued that subjective and objective realms can both be seen in spatial terms.  In the footnote you pointed out, Wilber appears to confirm this:

    "It is common to count time as another (though inseparable) dimension.  If we do so, this means that each level has at least five dimensions (namely, the four quadrants as they each unfold in that level's time).  With five major levels, each of which has four "spatial" dimensions (I, we, it, its) and a correlative time dimension, then we have twenty-five level-dimensions of being." ~ Wilber, TOE, p. 148

    With regard to my decision to label the central cross of AQAL as TSK's Knowledge, I relied in part on passages from the TSK literature, but also on the following passage from Wilber's appendix on Integral Mathematics:

    Once we arbitrarily slam our foot down and perceive something, or feel something, or notice something, we have temporarily frozen the stream at that instant, and around that frozen singularity an AQAL matrix jumps into existence. Once I register another entity, a first and second person have jumped out of the stream; once we communicate about anything, third persons are everywhere--and all of that happens at the point, and only at the point, that I stutter the stream and temporarily stop the flow.

    The "stop" symbol (/p) in integral mathematics means: this is the occasion (the first, second, or third person event) where I arbitrarily stopped the stream and began my process of knowing in the midst of other sentient beings. The stop symbol means: "freeze frame." Freeze the flow at that frame, and let me start the knowing, feeling, perceiving of that event.

    Thus, with "I see the tree," we have, in simplified form: 1p(1p) x 1p(3-p) x 3p(3/p), which means, I have arbitrarily focused my attention on that tree over there, so I have stopped the cascade at the objective surfaces of that tree [3p(3/p)] and I have begun the knowing process there, so that now I will assert that my first person [1p(1p)] has an objective view [1p(3-p)] of that object over there [3p(3/p)], and THERE IT STOPS (which also means, and there it starts: the knowing process starts only when I dig my feet in and stop the flow). Without the 123/p moment (or the stopping moment), then perspectives cascade endlessly. In the manifest world, it is literally perspectives all the way up, all the way down, and without the arbitrary stopping moment or freeze frame, nothing gets registered. But initiate a stop, and the AQAL matrix jumps into existence around that point. (Bolding and italics mine)


    I decided to read the central cross of AQAL as a symbol of this "freeze frame" gesture which immediately calls forth AQAL space and allows particular ("manifest") occasions of knowing (first-, second-, or third-person) to take place.

    What do you think? 

    Best wishes,

    Balder

    ~*~

    I have a "part 2" to my letter too.  Just some footnotes, really, to what I said above.

    1. I found it interesting that Wilber mentioned 25 level-dimensions of being, since Tarthang Tulku suggests that there are 27 possible T-S-K configurations that any individual (holon) may inhabit and embody.  I'm not sure how much overlap there is, but it may be something to explore at a later date.

    2. While Integral has a new form of calculus, TSK has its own geometry.  I have also been exploring some of the correspondences between them, since TSK also builds its geometry out of sentient occasions in space and time.  Below is an example of a TSK geometric figure.  The center is the "zero-point" of Great Time-Space-Knowledge, and the cones represent cones of knowledge unfolding in time.  Interestingly, the placement of cones and "fields" in this figure mirrors, to some extent, the AQAL matrix and its lines of Eros:

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  07-05-2006, 3:19 PM 978 in reply to 933

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi Balder,

    Thanks for creating the new thread -- I like the title.

    This TSK thing is starting to look more and more interesting. What would be good introductory material, besides your posts?

    I think that in order to get a good understanding of the common ground of TSK and AQAL, is to proceed to find out what relates to what. We kind of agreed that Great Time loosely compares to Eros. It looks like Great Space is a space of holons/artifacts/heaps? And then Knowledge relate to perspectives...

    Since Knowledge relates to perspectives, then it relates to all quadrants space. It is still kind of okay to place Knowledge at the axes, since they span the quadrants.

    If Great Space relates to holons, then it can also be placed over the quadrants, since all perspectives ultimately point to holons. I notice that this is depicted in the figure as well.

    So I think that the way you draw your united view of AQAL and TSK is pretty valid. A few points that initially confused me: it looked like you are drawing eight axes, and that you are therefore presenting an 8-dimensional space. It also looked like you were implying that Knowledge dimensions span Great Space. But that's clearly not what you attempt to convey.

    My suggestion would be (happily ignore it if you want to) to just match the axes of AQAL space to the radial lines of cones as being perspectives/knowledge unfolding in time. Although naming some of the axes Knowledge and some Great Time leads to a better visual resemblance, my insignificant opinion is that that does not lead to a  more accurate comparison of TSK and AQAL.

    All those details aside: the overlap of both visions is indeed striking. Now let's focus on the differences somewhat.


     I found it interesting that Wilber mentioned 25 level-dimensions of being, since Tarthang Tulku suggests that there are 27 possible T-S-K configurations that any individual (holon) may inhabit and embody.  I'm not sure how much overlap there is, but it may be something to explore at a later date.


    The number of level-dimensions depends heavily on the number of stages (levels) you choose to have. It's kind of arbitrary to divide a developmental line into 5, 7 or 12 stages, or any other number.

    I think it is more interesting to look at the number of dimensions per se. In AQAL, it is stated that a minimum of four basic irreducible dimensions should be considered, and having any less would be reductionistic -- which is a Bad Thing. How many basic perspective dimensions does TSK claim as a minimum? Looks like he has a multiple of 3, if he ends up with 27?

    Spicy question: is there anything in TSK that Wilber might regard as 'metaphysical bagage', as he calls it?

    Does Tarthang Tulku really claim that any holon can  inhabit all level-dimensions (even atoms), or does he see that as a maximum, only reachable for humans and Dutch people?


    Taking four bows,

    Peter


    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-06-2006, 12:01 AM 1007 in reply to 978

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Peter,

    kessels:
    This TSK thing is starting to look more and more interesting. What would be good introductory material, besides your posts?

    Davidu cited a paper I wrote last year, in which I explored some of the potential for cross-pollination between these two visions. 

    http://integralvisioning.org/article.php?story=ba-tsk1

    In the paper, I looked mainly at how TSK could be used in Integral Education -- how some of the experiential/phenomenological explorations and inquiries could help elucidate key Integral concepts.  So, not to toot my horn (TSK literature is a much better place to learn about TSK than my paper), but that's one place you could start. 

    If you did want to read TSK literature, I'd recommend one of the first three books to begin with (Time, Space, and Knowledge; Love of Knowledge; and Knowledge of Time and Space). 

    I also started a couple threads on Integral Naked that deal with TSK:

    http://in.integralinstitute.org/public/forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=246

    http://in.integralinstitute.org/public/forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=14055

    kessels:
    I think that in order to get a good understanding of the common ground of TSK and AQAL, is to proceed to find out what relates to what. We kind of agreed that Great Time loosely compares to Eros. It looks like Great Space is a space of holons/artifacts/heaps? And then Knowledge relates to perspectives...

    That comparison could be refined, obviously, and maybe we can do that in subsequent posts, but for the time being, yes, I'd say we can regard these categories as areas of significant overlap and move on to the other issues you raise.

    kessels:
    ...I think that the way you draw your united view of AQAL and TSK is pretty valid. A few points that initially confused me: it looked like you are drawing eight axes, and that you are therefore presenting an 8-dimensional space. It also looked like you were implying that Knowledge dimensions span Great Space. But that's clearly not what you attempt to convey.

    I agree that the AQAL/TSK map could be clearer.  A friend very graciously created it for me from my verbal descriptions, since I'm not very savvy with graphics (though I'm remedying that!).  Ideally, the "S" would be a transparent overlay on top of each quadrant, to show that it coincides with each domain (I, We, It, Its).  The arrows might be lighter, or a different color, to indicate that they are meant to convey the thrust of Eros or Time through/as the quadrant-spaces, rather than to divide the map into further domains.  Etc.

    However, your suggestion is also interesting.  Sounds like you're saying I should use the TSK geometric figure I showed you, and maybe build from there? 

    I wrote: I found it interesting that Wilber mentioned 25 level-dimensions of being, since Tarthang Tulku suggests that there are 27 possible T-S-K configurations that any individual (holon) may inhabit and embody.  I'm not sure how much overlap there is, but it may be something to explore at a later date.

    kessels:
    The number of level-dimensions depends heavily on the number of stages (levels) you choose to have. It's kind of arbitrary to divide a developmental line into 5, 7 or 12 stages, or any other number.

    I think it is more interesting to look at the number of dimensions per se. In AQAL, it is stated that a minimum of four basic irreducible dimensions should be considered, and having any less would be reductionistic -- which is a Bad Thing. How many basic perspective dimensions does TSK claim as a minimum? Looks like he has a multiple of 3, if he ends up with 27?


    Yes, Tarthang Tulku gets the figure 27 from multiples of three: Time, Space, and Knowledge each understood and embodied at three different levels (first-level Time, second-level Time, Great Time; first-level Space, second-level Space, and so on).  The "Great" levels correspond generally to Causal/Nondual in Wilber's scheme.

    Tarthang Tulku's use of these levels is intended more as "skillful means" than as an exhaustive map of human development.  For instance, TSK literature  describes a number of developmental stages of time perception besides these three general stages (somewhat mirroring the types of time-experience Wilber describes in the footnote in TOE, plus others, such as post-post-conventional/pre-nondual "dynamic time").  He uses the three-level scheme primarily as a starting point for inquiry, with first-level experience generally corresponding to modern man's commonly held, but not often examined presuppositions about the nature of these three dimensions of being.

    Concerning the number of dimensions that TSK considers basic, I think you could fairly say that it deals with six of them.  Since TSK treats all forms, whether individual holons or systems, as "space," without reducing everything ultimately to either "monism" or "pluralism," you could say TSK encompasses the four dimensions which Wilber's quadrants spell out, while also adding the dimensions of "time" and "luminosity" (or "knowingness").  In the footnote to TOE that you mentioned, Wilber also says that time can be treated as a fifth dimension in addition to the four person-perspective-dimensions.  Whether or not "knowingness" or luminosity can be considered a sixth dimension is an open question for me.  In TSK understanding, it pervades all forms while not being limited or defined by any particular perspective.  All perspectives (focal settings) are ultimately inseparable from Great Knowledge.

    kessels:
    Spicy question: is there anything in TSK that Wilber might regard as 'metaphysical bagage', as he calls it?

    I honestly do not think so.  That was an argument I made in my paper: I think TSK qualifies properly as a post-metaphysical vehicle.  It does not posit any self-existing structures or levels of reality apart from the enactive power of knowledge (focal settings) in time and space.  And conventional spacetime itself is challenged and "opened up." 

    But don't take my word for it.  We can talk about this some more.

    kessels:
    Does Tarthang Tulku really claim that any holon can  inhabit all level-dimensions (even atoms), or does he see that as a maximum, only reachable for humans and Dutch people?

    No, he actually suggested the 27 configurations as a way to classify human development.  I expect he would afford the Dutch an extra ten or so.

    Best wishes,

    Balder


     


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  07-06-2006, 9:41 AM 1025 in reply to 1007

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi Balder,

    balder:
    Davidu cited a paper I wrote last year, in which I explored some of the potential for cross-pollination between these two visions.

    I've seen the link, and then I totally forgot about it. I'll spend some quality time with your article first, and then continue taking part in the discussion.

    Thanks for pointing me to the books, I might take some of that up as well.

    (By the way: how are you David, feeling any better yet?)

    [Tarthang Tulku] actually suggested the 27 configurations as a way to classify human development.  I expect he would afford the Dutch an extra ten or so.

    Well, if the Dutch have ten extra, they are highly confused about how to properly use them, lately.

    Injoy,
    Peter 


    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-06-2006, 10:01 AM 1030 in reply to 1025

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    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi Peter,

     

    kessels:

     (By the way: how are you David, feeling any better yet?)

     

    I'm just beginning to crawl out of this blob-fog.  Thanks for asking.  But I have been following your exchange with Balder.  I admire the precision that your questioning hones, and enjoy the clearing the responses evoke.  I do hope you continue the inquiry.  We all benefit.

     

    And thank you Peter for that great Fred Kofman link on the other thread regarding Holons, Heaps and Artifacts.  I'm going to enjoy exploring that!

     

    Regards,

    David


    "Presence 'is', yet is open-like a drawing in the sky..." Tarthang Tulku
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  •  07-06-2006, 1:41 PM 1055 in reply to 1007

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    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

     

     

    Ideally, the "S" would be a transparent overlay on top of each quadrant, to show that it coincides with each domain (I, We, It, Its).  The arrows might be lighter, or a different color, to indicate that they are meant to convey the thrust of Eros or Time through/as the quadrant-spaces, rather than to divide the map into further domains.  Etc.

    Hi Peter and Balder,

    I tried to incorporate the suggestions for the AQAL-TSK figure into this admittedly rudimentary attempt.  Was this what you were getting at?

    Regards,

    David

    P.S.  Click on the picture to get a larger view.

    P. P. S.  I toned the drawing down a tad... Embarrassed [:$]

     



    "Presence 'is', yet is open-like a drawing in the sky..." Tarthang Tulku
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  •  07-06-2006, 2:57 PM 1057 in reply to 1055

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi, Brother D,

    Thank you for that!  Yes, that is close to what I was envisioning.

    Peace,

    B. 


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  07-07-2006, 2:25 AM 1078 in reply to 1057

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi Balder, David,

    When thinking about what development means in terms of perspectives, an image popped into my mind of a circle over the four quadrants. There was a line going from the origin to a point on the circle, and this line represents the cognitive line. Since one end of the line is 'attached' to the circle, the circle gets bigger when the cognitive line extends. (Regression is going the other way, of course.)

    For any holon, the inside of the circle defines the perspectives it has available to it. So an atom has just a small circle, for instance. It is immediately obvious that when the cognitive line extends, more perspectives become available in all four quadrants simultaneously.

    You can then go on the draw other developmental lines, many of which do not reach the circle, but none of them can extend beyond the boundary represented by the circle. This is a visual presentation of how the cognitive line is the most important line of driving development.

    In my visual, the cognitive line is in the UL quadrant, and it's colored red to make it stand out from other developmental lines (don't know why it's red, but it is). There is a dot at the point where the circle and the cognitive line meet, to indicate that they are connected.

    The actual cognitive line is more like a radial line of a hypersphere, since the four basic perspectives of AQAL form a 4-dimensional space, so it might also be valid to draw the cognitive line in all four quadrants, as a reminder of this. Also helps to show why doing some kind of ILP helps growth.

    For me, this is a very strong visual aid in understanding/remembering how several things fit together, and maybe it works for others as well. I think it works best when seeing it being animated. If you can use any of this in your work, or combine it with what you already have, then be my guest. There is copyleft on it.

    Keep pushing those boundaries,
    Peter

     
    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-07-2006, 9:20 AM 1088 in reply to 1078

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi, Peter,

    Thanks for sharing that visual.  I think that is a helpful way to illustrate the expansion of perspectival space in a holon.  Like you, I tend to see AQAL in dynamic terms -- not as a static object, but as something best represented with an animated figure.  I wish I had a droid that could beam out a 3-D holographic film for me!  I see the "cross" of AQAL as a dynamic, enactive gesture, for instance, not as static boundaries.

    One reason I'm wanting to learn computer animation/graphics is because I've got a number of images inspired by TSK Geometry and Integral Math in my head, and I'd love to be able to work them out visually.

    Best wishes,

    Balder wan Kenobi


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  07-07-2006, 9:29 PM 1114 in reply to 1088

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    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi

    Okay! I'm going to stop this, but while I sent Balder some alternative sketches, really just for the fun of it.  I thought I would post this one, which has the rings that Peter mentioned.  You know Peter, one vision feeds off another.  In this one we see expanding rings of time.  They were left out in previous sketches because it was felt that perhaps the arrows of time were sufficient to suggest expansion.  So I tried them on here.  The time rings grow in intensity of color from the zero point centerSpace 'S' stays in the allowing background, knowledge divides into perspectives as it grows in complexity.

     

    So much for playing with the symbolic map.  Now back to the article on Holons.

     

    Peace,

    David

     

     

     

    7/8/06 Edit Note:

    Looking at the figure has me envisioning it as representing a moment of knowing, and the knowing that arises is depicted as if emerging from deep within the interior of the circle, like looking into a cone.  Regarding the present moment and each emerging cone of knowledge, Tarthang Tulku says in, Sacred Dimensions of Time and Space:

     

    Ordinary knowledge depends on making the point. The starting point is the observer, the one who knows. But the point is also to know the object, and it is also the object known. The knowledge pointer moves from point to point, going round the 360 degrees of a circle, specifying first this, then that. Perceptions and thoughts lead to shapes and forms, and these in turn lead to meanings, distinctions, associations, and con­clusions. In making the point, knowledge relies on space and time… We can see in our own experience that different kinds of thoughts and perceptions engage space and time differently.

     

    More fundamental than these variations are the structures of time and space inherent in a way of know­ing that proceeds from point to point. For such a know­ing, points proliferate fast and furious, far too quickly to take note of. The circle or sphere that marks out the potential range of experience is always thickly filled with branching possibilities and overlapping cones.

     

    Still, the whole of this structure is based on the point of knowledge. If we knew how to open each point as it arose, there would be no opportunity for the momentum of the whole to develop. The effect on our well-being, our sense of being at home in the world, could be enormous. And at the same time, the way might be open for different forms of knowledge to develop.

     

    To open the point of knowledge, we would have to recognize it as the zero-point. At the very beginning of conventional, first-level knowledge, the zero-point is available—the prior of perception. To return to that point is to engage the openness of space, to accommodate experience differently.

    (My emphasis in Bold)  

     



    "Presence 'is', yet is open-like a drawing in the sky..." Tarthang Tulku
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  •  07-08-2006, 3:24 AM 1124 in reply to 1114

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi David,

    I don't know how others feel about it, but if you want to keep posting visualizations here of what we are discussing, then I consider that a great and welcome contribution. So thanks!

    Balder, I was reading The Simple Feeling of Being this morning, when I came across the following line:

    In SES I was trying to pull together dozens of disciplines in all four quadrants [domains of knowledge], and this was a seemingly unending nightmare. -- p. 64


    This is in turn taken from One Taste, p. 392-393 and is part of a transcription of a conversation between Scott Warren and Ken. I guess the text in brackets was not in the conversation, but was edited in for clarification. In your paper, you use a quote from Wilber where he seems to relate knowledge to perceiving, but not directly to perspectives.

    I see that Tulku differentiates between three levels of knowledge, and his 'lower knowledge' seems to relate to people in first-tier stages of development.

    TSK's second level of knowledge seems to relate to applying different perspectives, as is done in AQAL. Humans in second-tier stages of development, maybe third-tier as well?

    The third level sounds to me like mysticism (in the positive sense of the word) and surpasses the modes of inquiry of AQAL, since a point of view (perspective) is no longer required. Maybe it could more accurately be stated that Great Knowledge is the entire space of perspectives.

    Is that about right?

    I haven't finished your paper yet, but it has already ignited enough interest in me to want to learn all about it, and to get some of Tarthang's books.

    Off to the local online bookstore,
    Peter



    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-08-2006, 9:49 PM 1172 in reply to 1124

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi, Hokai,

    Mandala:
    in excerpt B, kw gives "three useful principles" or integrative guidelines as basic AQAL meta-theoretical strategy. these three are non-exclusion, unfoldment and enactment. if we wish, we can substitute these terms with space, time and knowledge. somewhat impracticable, but let's play. "non-exclusion" is the spaciousness of the multiperspectival space, the unrestricted semantic opening delineated by perspectives, worldspaces or hori-zones. after that, there's unfoldment, or time. and finally, within the unfoldment, and from the unfoldment, comes knowledge, produced or enacted from within any of the eight native perspectives. if this is generally right, and avoiding Platonic givens, time and knowledge are objective and subjective potentials of perspectival space. they formulate and unfold and present and enact what space allows in the first place.

    knowledge is dependent on perspectives in this sense...


    I'm diggin' this play!  Non-exclusion, unfoldment, and enactment exhibit the dynamics of space, time, and knowledge quite nicely, don't they?  When you look at "knowledge" in a more conventional sense, as the cognitive product or the emergent "content" of certain processes, it does make sense to put it at the "end" of the temporal unfolding which (multi- or open-perspectival) space allows.  Not limiting ourselves to conventional notions of spacetime, you could say that time continuously sounds the depths of space, and knowledge (as particular perceptual occasions) is the offspring of this sacred marriage.

    But, from another perspective, I believe you could say that all three are actually equally fundamental.  If time is not just unfoldment, but the creativity or Eros which allows perspectives and sentient beings, as well as perceptions, to "arise"; and if knowledge is not just perceptions, but the luminosity "behind" or "suffusing" any perspective-event, then time, space, and knowledge are actually inseparable dimensions of Spirit (and the Kosmos that is its incandescent gesture). 

    What is a perspective?  While its objects are "knowledge," in the conventional sense, in itself it is a particular mode of knowing, a bracketed or "bounded" attending -- as the name "hori-zone" suggests.  Great Knowledge is not a consciousness, but it makes "consciousness of" possible.  Perspectives or "focal settings" enact and draw forth the fecund possibilities of Great Space.

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  07-09-2006, 6:28 PM 1217 in reply to 1124

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi, Peter,

    I was reading in Love of Knowledge today, and came across a passage which reminded me of something you wrote in your last post:

    kessels:
    I see that Tulku differentiates between three levels of knowledge, and his 'lower knowledge' seems to relate to people in first-tier stages of development.

    TSK's second level of knowledge seems to relate to applying different perspectives, as is done in AQAL. Humans in second-tier stages of development, maybe third-tier as well?

    The third level sounds to me like mysticism (in the positive sense of the word) and surpasses the modes of inquiry of AQAL, since a point of view (perspective) is no longer required. Maybe it could more accurately be stated that Great Knowledge is the entire space of perspectives.

    In the following excerpt, Tarthang Tulku uses the example of "three brothers" to illustrate three levels of Knowledge.  Although he doesn't really spell out the "depths" of the different levels in this example, I find that the general distinctions he draws correspond fairly closely to your own:

    "Brotherhood of Knowledge

    As inquiry and investigation unfold the dynamics of observation, interpretation, and negation, three differ­ent kinds of knowledge are revealed. We can think of them as being like three brothers.

    The youngest brother understands what is known as consisting of what has appeared historically. Reality is ‘what has happened’, and his responsibility is to find out what this is.

    The second brother sees the value of what the youngest is doing, but does not agree that the proper domain of knowledge is ‘what has been presented’. Basic structures such as the three times or existence in space all need to be investigated. And so he invites his brother to go further and do more. He knows that inves­tigation exercises knowledge and awakens intelligence, fostering a more healthy and complete way of being.

    The third, oldest brother is pleased with what has already been done, but suspects that both his brothers may be lazy, or else that they fail to see their situation as a whole. In his view, the second brother still wants to reach a final destination—a goal or resting place where he can stop and say, “This is it!” To counteract this tendency, he is alert to point out to his brother that ‘this’ is not ‘it; that there is no ‘it’ and no holding onto something as established and beyond questioning. He is always asking his brother why he wants to stop—but is careful not to set up another form of ‘wanting’ instead. He is confident that knowledge can be self-validating.

    Although all three brothers remain the best of friends, their understanding differs greatly. For the first brother, history—the domain of objective fact—is the witness to knowledge. The structure within which knowledge takes place is not an appropriate subject for inquiry, except perhaps in a historical or ‘objective’ way. He finds his brothers’ activity incomprehensible, perhaps even subversive.

    For the second brother, inquiry and the intelligence that it fosters are the witnesses to knowledge. He sees the structures on which his younger brother relies as ‘read-outs’ that restrict knowledge, and explores those ‘read-outs’ so that the artificial restraints they impose can be dissolved. He recognizes inquiry itself as knowl­edge in action, and delights in the opportunity to deepen and extend his intelligence. He worries that his oldest brother has taken on an exhausting, hopeless task. For there will always be more ‘read-outs’, stretching back­ward and forward in time and extending throughout space, even shaping space and time themselves.

    The third brother, too, sees the ‘read-outs’ that the second brother has discovered, but understands them in a more fundamental way as instances of what could be called the ‘read-out principle’. He sees that there are only self-validating ‘read-outs’; nothing else. And he recognizes that even this ‘nothing-else’ is a ‘read-out’. He explains to his younger brother that his anxiety is groundless: There is no one to be exhausted and no task to be accomplished. There is only the ‘read-out princi­ple’ itself, which is not ‘self-validating’ but ‘self-negat­ing’. The only witness to knowledge is knowledge.

    Grateful for the vital work performed by his two younger brothers, the third brother devotes himself to sharing with them the fruits of his realization, without insisting on these fruits as ‘real’ in the way that his brothers might think. He invites them to participate in a global knowledge.

    But even this possibility requires a certain level of understanding. According to the first-level understand­ing of the first brother, global knowledge is impossible, for it would require traveling to the ends of the universe to discover the whole of the existent realm. No one has the power to do this: Time is too short, and ‘located­ness’ in space imposes insurmountable limits.

    For the second brother, global knowledge is like­wise impossible. We can discover new layers’ of space and new ‘rhythms’ within time; we can penetrate the realms of the known to disclose the unknown. But the whole of what appears in space and time – the infinite range of possible ‘read-outs’ – is too vast to be encom­passed by such a knowing.

    For the third brother, however, knowledge is global from the outset. It ‘contains’ the universe and consti­tutes all ‘read-outs’. Through the intimacy of knowledge with time and space, an intimacy of knower and known manifests as fundamental. The objects of knowledge do not ‘approach’ us, nor must we journey ‘somewhere else’ to know ‘more’. For it is the nature of time, space, and knowledge to be inseparable. As we come to embody space and time, knowledge is revealed as intrinsic to the nature of all being." (Tarthang Tulku, Love of Knowledge, pp. 365-368)

    ~*~

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  07-10-2006, 2:37 PM 1257 in reply to 1217

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi Balder,

    Thanks for the parable, I like it a lot, especially the last few lines. I've come across a few other jewels lately, and they tend to stick. Maybe I should create an altar of parables here, modeled after your altar of thanks...

    Every older brother transcends and includes it's junior, so there you have your stages in action indeed.

    I've ordered some of Tulku's books now, and I should get them within a week. I'm kind of busy doing other things right now, but every now and then I take a couple of minutes out for your paper. In the mean time, there are a few issues/questions I'd like to throw up.

    In order to understand the term global knowledge correctly: I heard some kind of guru once say that if you would reach a certain level of development, you'd know everything. I have a very hard time believing that, but I guess Tulku means by global knowledge that everything is (phenomenologically?) observable, and not that you would automatically understand everything?

    Secondly, KW argues that epistomology (knowledge, perspectives) and ontology (dimensions) are essentially the same (knowledge-perspectives).  Since Tulku uses both knowledge and space explicitly without separating them, I was wondering if this gives TSK something that is missing, or  more hidden, in AQAL.

    Thirdly, time/creativity is explicitly present in TSK, while AQAL, although certainly a developmental model, seams to offer more static images.  (I'm exaggerating here, I know.) The role of creativity and the experience of time is touched on occasionaly in KW's work. Do you consider this the area where TSK could complement AQAL the most?

    Lastly: I have read The Conscious Universe by Dean Radin some time ago. This book presents a variaty of results in psi research, and shows convincingly that the mind can do things that we simply cannot explain at this time. (Radin lost his university position after publication, by the way.) One of the book's chapters  is about time and precognition, and the conclusions drawn there require our relationship to time to be very fluid, to say the least. Does TSK leave room for such phenomena?

    Wish you well,
    Peter
     

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-10-2006, 9:07 PM 1266 in reply to 1257

    Re: AQAL and TSK: Complementary Integral Visions

    Hi, Peter,

    kessels:
    In order to understand the term global knowledge correctly: I heard some kind of guru once say that if you would reach a certain level of development, you'd know everything. I have a very hard time believing that, but I guess Tulku means by global knowledge that everything is (phenomenologically?) observable, and not that you would automatically understand everything?

    Tulku ties the realization of global knowledge to the discovery of the implicit illumination in not-knowing, which dissolves our conventional orientation towards knowledge and being.  I do not believe he is saying that with the realization of global knowledge, we suddenly know every fact there is to know in the universe.  The "global" quality appears, to me, to refer to the discovery of a fundamental clarity that is inseparable from the whole of time and space, at all "levels," without referring to the simultaneous apprehension of infinte facts.  However, even though he may not be describing conventional "omniscience," I do believe he is nevertheless saying something quite radical: that as the usual limitations on knowledge dissolve, any form of knowledge becomes potentially knowable in a direct manner. 

    A passage from the first book, Time, Space, and Knowledge, explains Knowledge from several perspectives, including knowledge of the "totality."  Interestingly, I think some of the comments reflect both on the burgeoning Integral project, as well as the necessary "horizons" that certain focal settings will evoke for those engaged in it.

    "We can, then, distinguish three levels of relating to ‘knowingness.’ On the first, we draw heavily upon the ‘knowingness’ of Great Knowledge, but are unaware of doing so. The overall character of such a condition has been described at length in Chapters Eleven through Thirteen.

    By cultivating more clarity and knowingness, we can attain the second level, which permits us to form a new vision of the status and interrelationship of the elements constituting ordinary reality. We can see what it might mean for such elements to be a totality in some way. We see that such totality can be approached and attained as a lived view rather than just an abstract conception. As we approach the totality and embrace even more of it, we come to have a different understanding of what ‘totality’ means. It turns out not to be a thing or aggregate of component things. It is not a matter of quantity. The closer our approach, the more we see that the approach must itself reflect the nature of totality, which includes the fact that it is not a result of an additive process.

    An approach to totality requires that we re-evaluate our relation to ordinary things, that we cease to rob them of their value and significance by accepting them as finite, discrete isolates. For no attempt to assemble a comprehensive view out of such a restrictive relation to ‘individuals’ will succeed. We can reach everything, but not by reaching out in the old ways predicated on ‘not having’. The ‘everything’ which is finally realized is not the ‘whole universe’ postulated by our initial view or read-out.

    A second level acquaintance with ‘knowingness’ shows everything—the entire universe—to be more open-ended in scope by showing a great deal more space, time, and encounters to be available, pervading and surrounding all apparently finite things and intervals. In this way, finite things are appreciated in a way that is more in keeping with their Space, Time, and Knowledge nature. However, the result, the ‘output’ of this appreciation, is still expressed in terms of the first level view of things, meanings, quantities, and so on. There is still a reality, but it is no longer of determinate extent.

    In the more developed phases of the second level, presentations are offered which do not fit into even a quantitatively extended picture of that world order. Rather, they suggest a collapse of that order or the peeping through of others. These are all still due to interpreting Space-Time- Knowledge in accordance with ordinary parameters.

    On the third level of understanding, where Great Knowledge is completely exposed, there is no fixed universe or totality because there is only Space and Time. Things are Space and Time, but in the sense that there are no things at all—-any appearance is purely Space and Time. There are neither units nor a total. Often this would be interpreted as a comment about ‘reality’—-that, for instance, reality is open-ended, without fixed boundaries, without being made up of particular sets or types of ‘things’, and without being in a particular state at a given time. But for the Space-Time-Knowledge vision, totality—-the comprehensive view and way of being—-does not involve any ‘reality’ that could, for instance, be open.

    Space, Time, and Knowledge are ‘what is’ without this meaning that they are things that are, such as a fundamental substratum, truth, or reality. Their openness is not in any sense a condition. Similarly, totality is not supportive of things or of something beyond things. This point is important for understanding the path of this vision, because without it, the second-level accommodation of Space-Time-Knowledge to ordinary views could lead to a dead-end experience of a ‘Whole’. Since initial motives for making progress would have been put to rest in such an absorption, we could become stuck—-until Time began to free us again, offering us the chance of opening and knowing more.

    When totality is understood in a truly liberating (rather than freezing) way, we have attained the third level. But what specifically is liberated by this attainment? Is it the body, the mind, the personality, emotions,external environment, blades of grass, rocks, wind—-what? If in asking this we want to preserve a concern for first level presuppositions, so that the question relates to the things of the ordinary world view, the answer is “Everything!” Our awakening is the awakening of all those, apparently in the past or yet to come, who have attained it. It is also the awakening of everyone who is apparently still fettered by ordinary views.

    From the perspective of first level read-outs, it seems that we are making effort and progress as individuals, so that the third stage goal should be an individual attainment.  However, rather than being drawn further and further away from the rest of the world through our transcending efforts, we become more appreciative of what everything is and more intimately integrated with it. This is not really a merging or awakening of ordinary ‘things’, but a switchover to a view which sees all things as being no things—no things which need to be transformed
    or unified. Every ‘thing’ is perfectly integrated as Space-Time-Knowledge." ~ Tarthang Tulku, Time, Space, and Knowledge, pp. 283-286)

    kessels:
    Secondly, KW argues that epistomology (knowledge, perspectives) and ontology (dimensions) are essentially the same (knowledge-perspectives).  Since Tulku uses both knowledge and space explicitly without separating them, I was wondering if this gives TSK something that is missing, or  more hidden, in AQAL.

    I believe that TSK, studied in conjunction with Integral, has the potential to highlight very important and nurturing aspects of the Kosmos that are certainly present in AQAL, but not always equally emphasized or appreciated.

    kessels:
    Thirdly, time/creativity is explicitly present in TSK, while AQAL, although certainly a developmental model, seams to offer more static images.  (I'm exaggerating here, I know.) The role of creativity and the experience of time is touched on occasionaly in KW's work. Do you consider this the area where TSK could complement AQAL the most?

    I'm not sure if this is the most important contribution TSK can make to Integral/AQAL, but it is certainly one of them.  Closely related to an appreciation of Time (as dynamic, nurturing creativity) is the spirit of open-ended, nimble inquiry that TSK cultivates and awakens, which I think would benefit anyone interested in folding Integral Methodological Pluralism more deeply into their lives.  (This was one of the theses of my paper.)

    kessels:
    Lastly: I have read The Conscious Universe by Dean Radin some time ago. This book presents a variaty of results in psi research, and shows convincingly that the mind can do things that we simply cannot explain at this time. (Radin lost his university position after publication, by the way.) One of the book's chapters  is about time and precognition, and the conclusions drawn there require our relationship to time to be very fluid, to say the least. Does TSK leave room for such phenomena?

    Yes, it does.  It doesn't emphasize them, but Tarthang Tulku suggests in a number of places that what is "knowable" goes beyond the conventional limits of "first-level" space and time.  Some of his long-time students have told me about unusual things he has done or demonstrated knowledge of that appear to bear this out. 

    Although I don't think Wilber is absolutely committed to a conventional, linear view of time (with the limits that imposes), he often appears to presuppose it in his arguments and the models he builds.  Linear time is conventional for a reason, of course -- it fits well with the "logos" of our present world order, at this stage of our development -- but I think it is helpful to be reminded that we need not take it for granted, as a fixed absolute.

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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