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Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch.1: Integral Methodological Pluralism

Last post 08-28-2006, 11:52 PM by ralphweidner. 148 replies.
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  •  06-30-2006, 3:06 PM 686 in reply to 675

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi, Peter,

    I look forward to responding in more detail in the next post.  I noticed that the Wilber quote you posted in response to my question is from Appendix B to Excerpt C.  Did he refer you to that paragraph in your conversation?  It does seem to be an especially appropriate quote for the question I was asking.  I still have some questions, but I've got to sit with them a bit.

    May the boundless Knowledge

    that Time presents and Space allows

    illuminate the Native Perspectives

    of your Original Face.

    ~ Balder


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

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  •  06-30-2006, 6:39 PM 692 in reply to 686

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Arg!

    I "sat with it a bit" and all of a sudden there are 3 pages to catch up on! And I missed Ken!

    (hey Ken)



    The only thing I can comment on right now (2:47am) is that the quote "The universe is built of perspectives" might be better read as "The [knowable in any kind of meaningful sense] universe is built of perspectives.

    As Ken says in Excerpt C

    "I am not saying that there is no reality outside of human perspectives, only that those realities are prehended within a matrix of perspectives that always already arrive with whatever else it is that arrives."

    "Human beings can deduce that there are realities on the other side of their perspectives, but those deductions themselves are third-person objects in first-person minds, which does not mean they (or their referents) aren't there, only that they are perceptions that arrive within perspectives"

    I've really got to meditate on this but my question becomes,

    "Are 1, 2, 3 person perspectives nested holons?


    We seem to need 1 to get 2 and 1 and 2 to get 3, is this just a funny isomorphism I've just discovered or is this what Ken is saying and I've only just groked it?

    If it is the case that they are nested (but arising together?) then is your 1p nested in my 3p? Or are they identical?

    Sorry if this is tangental or daft or naive - ignore me if so.


    I'm just glad I've got countless lives to work through all this stuff. I really DO have to quit the day job.

    Someone pass me Spectrum of Consciousness I think I've got to start over!


    Damn you samsara!

    love and bedtime

    \/

    "May the sufferings and negativites of living beings ripen upon me,
    And may my happiness and virtue ripen upon them" - Nagarjuna
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  •  07-01-2006, 12:45 AM 707 in reply to 686

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    balder:

    Hi, Peter,

    I look forward to responding in more detail in the next post.  I noticed that the Wilber quote you posted in response to my question is from Appendix B to Excerpt C.  Did he refer you to that paragraph in your conversation?  It does seem to be an especially appropriate quote for the question I was asking.  I still have some questions, but I've got to sit with them a bit.



    Damn, I'm busted... Wink [;)]
     
    I don't have Ken's number, I was just light-hearted on it. I just took the quote from Excerpt C, Appendix B because, as you said, it was appropriate to your question.

    I really enjoyed  your descriptions (and those of others) of your psychoactive changing-perspectives experiments, by the way.

    Looking forward to your response,

    Peter

    Albert Einstein is the Wilber of physics.
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  •  07-01-2006, 3:39 AM 711 in reply to 692

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    [edit: I think I finally got the essentials, a few hours after this post. I'll write a new post about it.]

    vajrayogini:


    The only thing I can comment on right now (2:47am) is that the quote "The universe is built of perspectives" might be better read as "The [knowable in any kind of meaningful sense] universe is built of perspectives.


    Okay, that's like saying that our map of the universe is a purely perspective map. I think I'll second that. Great point.

    vajrayogini:

    Are 1, 2, 3 person perspectives nested holons?

    We seem to need 1 to get 2 and 1 and 2 to get 3, is this just a funny isomorphism I've just discovered or is this what Ken is saying and I've only just groked it?

    If it is the case that they are nested (but arising together?) then is your 1p nested in my 3p? Or are they identical?


    Perspectives are cascading (nested), so each perspective is constructed out of lower perspectives, and part of other perspectives, so they are whole/parts and therefore holons.

    This does not mean that my 3p perspective is constructed from my 1p and 2p perspective; they all arise simultaneously. Instead, they are generated from lower level perspectives, and I think we could say that these lower perspectives arrived before, and are prior to, my 1p, 2p and 3p perspectives.

    I'm experimenting a bit with examining if a 'we' perspective (such as 1p*p1) can be thought of to be constructed of 1p and 2p, since in language 'we' means something like 'you and I'. Then the first-person plural would be a higher-level perspective than the first-person singular, which kind of makes sense. Highly interesting stuff, but I don't know yet if it really adds up.  

    If every holon is a sentient being, then every perspective is sentient, since every perspective has itself a first-person perspective. This would not mean that a perspective is aware of it's awareness, so it is not psychoactive by itself.

    To me, this is similar to saying that an atom has a basic level of awareness, but it has no self-awareness (no 4p). Besides posessing energy/mass (UR) it also can register other atoms and lower holons such as electrons (UL) and it can be in relation to them, resulting in for instance neon gas, or a piece of iron (LR).  That means that the 'atomistic' behaviour that we observe in atoms is not what we project in them; it is really there. When I would say that an atom decides to move off when it sees certain kind of other atoms (especially the green ones) because it hates them, I'm clearly projecting some of my own perspectives into the atom.  
    So 'us Wilberians' say that there is such a thing as 'atomic consciousness'. This is a really low level of consciousness, which is all for the better, for it would give a really big mess if one of my atoms would suddenly decide to call it a day and split...   


    I'm just glad I've got countless lives to work through all this stuff. I really DO have to quit the day job.


    I know exactly what you mean. As my Higher Self, I've given my brain free leash on this, and it's doing parallel processing on it, consuming 90% CPU time.

    I might have to reboot soon. System is going down for maintenance. Reality bytes.


    Peter
    Albert Einstein is the Wilber of physics.
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  •  07-01-2006, 9:35 AM 716 in reply to 711

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi,

    Okay, it has taken me five days, but I think I finally understand what's going on now after carefully re-reading Excerpt C plus its Appendix B. It was alwas already there...

    It is important to realize that perspectives are always references to sentient beings, and  for me that was the key to understanding.

    Take an integer variable as an example, which is not an integer itself, but it can represent, or refer to, any integer.

    So when I have two integer variables named 'A' and 'B', and I add them, I do not get two integer variables, but a new integer variable C, which is A+B.

    Only after I assign concrete integers to A and B, can I evaluate C.

    Similarly, a pronoun represents or refers to a noun. In the sentence "John is here, and he will help me." it is clear that 'he' refers to the noun 'John'. A bare sentence like "He will help me."  does not give any information about who will help me, so 'he' is then litteraly meaningless.

    Perspectives work similarly: a first person perspective refers to a sentient being, or holon. So saying that a perspective perceives another perspective then means that an as yet undefined but real holon perceives another as yet undefined but real holon.

    Now references only have meaning when there is at least two of something, they refer from something to something. A holon would not need references if nothing else existed. So everything exists only relative to something else. Holons depend on oneanother for their 'existance' to have any meaning.

    Language deals with nouns and pronouns, mathematics deals with integers and variables, and integral  post-metaphysics deals with perspectives and sentient beings.

    Simple. Wink [;)]


    Live long and prosper,

    Peter



    Albert Einstein is the Wilber of physics.
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  •  07-01-2006, 11:45 AM 720 in reply to 716

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Thank "GOD" for small favors and you, Peter.....

    After travelling through the "fog" with you all, I'm glad a "Captain" of the thread has arisen to bring us back to solid "simple" ground!...Wink [;)]

    How's the food in Amsterdam?

    Take Care,

    Justin

     

     

     

     


    The First And Foremost Wonder in This World Is the Thought, "I Am Different From God!" There Is No Greater Wonder Than This.

    Ramana Marharshi
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  •  07-02-2006, 11:34 AM 753 in reply to 716

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi, Peter,

    Thanks for sharing the fruits of your reflections here.  I think you've concisely captured the essence of what Wilber has been arguing in his excerpts, and in this first chapter of his book.  In a sense, post-metaphysics, in dealing with perspectives and sentient beings (instead of nouns and pronouns or integers and variables), is a new way of "languaging" our experience -- one which gives express attention to the pervasiveness of sentience in the "actual occasions" of a living Kosmos.

    Some of my questions on this thread have focused more on the ontological implications of the epistemology of integral post-metaphysics.  In the excerpts, Wilber states clearly that ontology and epistemology cannot really be separated (a common error, privileging either first-person or third-person perspectives and building a "metaphysics" from that bias).  I was wrestling, in part, with what sometimes comes across as an ontological reductionism -- that all "things" are really just perspectives.  I don't think Wilber intends such a reductionism, but some of his statements have given me that impression.  I admit that the confusion in that regard may have been simply from not holding his whole argument in mind when I come across particular passages.  But I'm not certain about that -- and hope he has some more sustained arguments forthcoming in his works.

    I have explored some of these issues in a paper I did on the Time-Space-Knowledge Vision and Integral Theory.  I want to share what I think is a relevant excerpt here. 

    ~*~

    "As a prelude to exploring applications of the TSK vision and its associated practices to Integral pedagogy, it will be helpful to highlight some of the ways time, space, and knowledge are embedded in the fundamental conceptual structures of the Integral model. As universal dimensions or aspects of our experience, it should not be surprising, of course, to discover their presence within any theory or model of existence, but I believe it will be instructive nevertheless to call their names and draw them out of their hiding places in the AQAL framework. If Tarthang Tulku's (1980) contention is correct, that a number of our perennial human problems flow precisely from our habitual relegation of time and space to the background (p. 19) -- from our failure to adequately acknowledge and appreciate their nurturing presence -- we would do well to invite them to the Integral table.

    An obvious place to begin our exploration is the four-quadrant map, first for its centrality to Integral Theory and pedagogy, but also because it purports to capture some of the fundamental features of the Kosmos. The map consists of three components: a cross which divides four basic perspectives (interior and exterior, singular and plural); diagonal arrows through each quadrant which illustrate the dynamic unfolding of forms, structures, patterns, and levels of reality over time; and the open space of the paper which accommodates them. If we take perspectives to be a function of Knowledge or "knowingness," right away the following TSK reading of the AQAL map suggests itself (see Figure 2 below):

    Figure 2. TSK and the Four Quadrants

    Labeling the diagonal arrows "time" is an obvious move, as that is clearly what they are intended to represent: the dynamic flow of evolution, radiating out from the central point which Wilber (1995) identifies with the Big Bang (p. 127). The placement of the other two labels was suggested to me by the following passage in Knowledge of Time and Space:

    As a way of experimenting with [the] capacities of mind, we could allow events and perceptions to arise freely in awareness, in such a way that each object was space and each event time, with the separation between knower and known as knowledge. Patiently cultivated and applied in daily interactions, such a nonstandard way of experiencing could shift awareness to the quality of experience itself [my italics]. (Tarthang Tulku, 1990, p. 388)

    As the lines of "separation" that establish the four basic perspectives, the AQAL cross may thus be seen to stand forth as an enactive gesture of Knowledge, a "halting" in the endless flow of seeing that calls forth world spaces. And the open ground of it all, the allowingness that gives free play to time and "substance" to the inner and outer structures of the known, is Great Space. Together, in integral embrace, these three partners dance the world into being as surely as the native perspectives Wilber evokes -- or perhaps even as none other than them.

    If the above reading of the AQAL map is correct -- if its structural components are indeed describable in these terms -- the question remains whether we have anything to gain by acknowledging this. Are we just playing with words here, tacking on labels that call attention to the obvious without adding anything substantial or new? By insisting that we acknowledge their apparent presence in (and as) the "structure" of the map, are we just muddying up the post-metaphysical water, drawing low-order abstractions back into the open clearing Wilber has been at pains to establish with his emphasis on perspectives?

    Before offering my thoughts here (and some of these questions will be addressed more fully in subsequent sections of the paper), I would like to look at some of the ways time, space, and knowledge make an appearance in Wilber's more recent writings. As the following paragraph should make clear, they actually feature quite prominently in some of them:

    Since space is often taken as ontological and time epistemological, then in third-person terms this amounts to saying that space and time are not separate but rather are a spacetime continuum. Fleshing that out with the AQAL metatheory, we say that the exteriors of spacetime appear topographically as chains of mass-energy interlinked in various networks and systems, while interiors appear as feelings and awareness interlinked in various cascades of intimacy. But they all arise together as perspective-occasions of the self-reflective Kosmos. (Wilber, 2005c, Appendix B, para. 30)

    Wilber (2005c) here is making a rather eloquent case for the inseparability of time, space, and knowledge in the manifest realm, which is wholly consonant with the TSK vision. What is significant for the suggested TSK reading of the AQAL map is that while Wilber asserts that the universe is composed of perspectives, he invokes time and space as fundamental components or aspects of the quadratic arising of any sentient holon or "perspective-occasion." Knowing and being are the same events, he writes, and with that concise statement he places time, space, and knowledge at the center of his model (Wilber, 2005c).

    A word of caution is in order here. In seeking to establish the centrality of time, space, and knowledge to the AQAL map and the worldview it evokes, I am not suggesting that we consider them to be truly existent "special objects," out of which the world is built up. The TSK vision is not to be understood as a metaphysical construct or a map of "how the world really is," but first and foremost as a path of inquiry, in which time, space, and knowledge serve as points of entry to greater intimacy with Being.

    As third-person signifiers, time, space, and knowledge might appear to be on par with the "low-order abstractions" mistaken for realities that Wilber (2005d) criticizes in the models of the great metaphysicians (Part 1, Integral Post-Metaphysics section, para. 16). Like "feelings" and "dharmas," they might yet be further objects of perspectives that have been elevated to the level of absolute reality in a way that eclipses the very perspectives that have disclosed them. But if a focus on time, space, and knowledge, particularly as third-person labels or objects, runs the risk of eclipsing the "priority" of perspectives in the Kosmos, it appears equally true that the notion of perspective itself presupposes the presence of time, space, and knowledge for its very meaning. For whether or not a particular sentient holon is capable of conceiving of time, space, and knowledge as particular types or facets of experience, it is clear that no prehensive occasions, no arising of whole/parts, no interactions of interiors and exteriors, could ever get off the ground without them.

    Of course, such language, while provocative, overstates the point if it gives the impression that time, space, and knowledge are in some way separate from and/or ontologically prior to the tetra-enactment of AQAL space. My point is simply that they are integral to any discussion of perspectives, and in fact to the definition of perspective itself. The etymological root of the word, per-specere, means "to look (at) through," where "through" implies a from/to baseline "along which" the sentient act unfolds. As Tarthang Tulku (1977) discusses at some length in his exploration of a geometry of meaningful experience, the known universe appears to enact itself along such baselines in time (now-then), space (here-there) and knowledge (self-other, subject-object), where each from/to structure may be understood as an expression of a particular focal setting or perspective. In the blooming of world spaces, if perspectives are foundational, so are time, space, and knowledge..."

    ~*~

    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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  •  07-02-2006, 12:11 PM 754 in reply to 753

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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Great Job Peter and Balder!

     

    Even through my sickly fog I get a momentary clearing…before the fog closes in once again!

     

    Balder's question in context became clearer when I read Ken's Note 4, and Peter's post.

     

    Balder said: "I find myself wanting to ask, even if anything I can say about the "being" that has perspectives will be a description determined by the perspective I adopt to view it, and thus another perspective, is there nevertheless "something" there that has arisen and is being perceived (from one perspective or another)?"

     

    Excerpt C, Note 4:  "There are not different holons in the four quadrants; the four quadrants are four dimensions of every holon. There are different dimensions of a single holon in the four quadrants, not separate holons. (Of course, those dimensions can be subconceived as holons in their own right, but those holons themselves then have correlates or dimensions in all the other quadrants, so they themselves are not separate holons either.) So when we say the insides of an interior holon, for example, that actually means the insides of the interior dimensions of a holon. But it is easier and simpler to say things like "holons in the UL quadrant," and so on, which is fine, as long as the tetra-nature of any holon is clearly remembered."

     

     

    Balder asked several posts ago:  "Say two perspectives arise simultaneously in emptiness.  Is that enough to account for the specific content that "appears" within the field of any perspective?  Is there any reason to suppose that those two perspectives, as perspectives-arising-in-emptiness, will ever "see" each other?"

     

    And in my own fog I am reminded of a these lines from Tulku's epilogue to his TSK book:

     

    …Each individual presence is this open-ended centerless center… Space.

    When a single feather and a thousand worlds

    Are equally this space

    Who can say which contains which?

    Who can find limits

    To life’s richness?

     

    By the way, great paper Balder.  I found the full paper on the Integral Visioning web site. 

     

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

     

    Regards,

    David
    "Presence 'is', yet is open-like a drawing in the sky..." Tarthang Tulku
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  •  07-02-2006, 3:16 PM 763 in reply to 753

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi balder,

    I must say that I'm completely unfamiliar with TSK (although it sounds interesting).

    Nonetheless, I'll try to give a few reactions to your paper.

    Although from our perspective objects appear to be inside space, this is not necessarily the case. As Einstein has pointed out (and others before him) spacetime is not necessarily prior to 'objects'. It is therefore possible for some of the first holons, or maybe the very first holons, to create what we call the spacetime continuum.  (I have a book written by Einstein were it is explained, but it is a Dutch translation from a text that was originally written in German, so I hesitate to translate parts of it into English. There seems to be an English version of it entitled Relativity. The Special and the General Theory.)  

    As I understand it, the UL and LL quadrants represent information, while the UR and LR quadrants represent formation. Space (at least the 'space' as in spacetime-continuum) is then only related to the two right-hand quadrants. Maybe that is what you mean, but in Figure 2 you seem to associate the left-hand quadrants with space as well.

    I would locate any knowledge (and meaning) in the left-hand quadrants, but then, how am I?

    The word 'space' is sometimes used to denote abstractions that have nothing to do with physical space, but I get the impression that 'space' in TSK means physical space.

    I interpret the quote you used:


    Since space is often taken as ontological and time epistemological, then in third-person terms this amounts to saying that space and time are not separate but rather are a spacetime continuum. Fleshing that out with the AQAL metatheory, we say that the exteriors of spacetime appear topographically as chains of mass-energy interlinked in various networks and systems, while interiors appear as feelings and awareness interlinked in various cascades of intimacy. But they all arise together as perspective-occasions of the self-reflective Kosmos. (Wilber, 2005c, Appendix B, para. 30)


    as saying that ontology is associated with the right-hand quadrants (for these are the 'exterior' ones), and the left-hand quadrants with epistomology (the 'intrinsic' ones).

    Mass-energy into UR, networks and systems into LR, individual feelings and awareness in UL, and intimacy in LL.

    Could you agree with this, or is there something I'm overlooking?


    Peter

    Albert Einstein is the Wilber of physics.
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  •  07-03-2006, 9:08 AM 801 in reply to 763

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi, Peter,

    kessels:
    Although from our perspective objects appear to be inside space, this is not necessarily the case. As Einstein has pointed out (and others before him) spacetime is not necessarily prior to 'objects'. It is therefore possible for some of the first holons, or maybe the very first holons, to create what we call the spacetime continuum.  (I have a book written by Einstein were it is explained, but it is a Dutch translation from a text that was originally written in German, so I hesitate to translate parts of it into English. There seems to be an English version of it entitled Relativity. The Special and the General Theory.)

    The understanding (and experience) of space being a pre-existing container for objects is described in TSK as first-level space – the conventional understanding of space which TSK seeks to challenge and open up.

    kessels:
    As I understand it, the UL and LL quadrants represent information, while the UR and LR quadrants represent formation. Space (at least the 'space' as in spacetime-continuum) is then only related to the two right-hand quadrants. Maybe that is what you mean, but in Figure 2 you seem to associate the left-hand quadrants with space as well.

    I would locate any knowledge (and meaning) in the left-hand quadrants, but then, how [who?] am I?

    The word 'space' is sometimes used to denote abstractions that have nothing to do with physical space, but I get the impression that 'space' in TSK means physical space.


    The "information/formation" distinction is a good one; I don't think I've heard another Integralite express it that way.  The distinction reminds me of similar models that have been explored, such as Bohm's soma-significance, Chalmer's phenomenal information, and de Quincey's model of panpsychism, which involves a sentience-energy continuum.

    Yes, you could certainly describe the left quadrants as the domain of information.  However, I was looking at things from a different perspective.  I'll explain my reasoning.  In TSK, and in Tibetan tradition in general (note sky-gazing practice), an experiential analogy is drawn between inner and outer space, both of which can be explored phenomenologically and which, in TSK/Tibetan understanding, can actually lead one to a subtler understanding of "space" (not just as an inert container for objects).

    In TSK, objects and systems are understood to be inseparable instantiations of space -- where forms are expressions of space ("Space projecting space into space").  So, the objective realm itself can be identified with space.  But Wilber uses a convention which supports treating the Left quadrants as a type of space as well.  For instance, he describes 1p as a phenomenological space, and employs language like the following: "In my I-space, your first person appears in its second-person dimension when I see you from a first-person perspective. Or: there exists an I-space such that your I-space appears as a second person when viewed from my first-person perspective." This refinement of space to a phenomenological clearing is consonant with general Tibetan/TSK sensibility.

    I have only lightly touched on the tiered understanding of space in TSK; more could certainly be said.  But a similarly tiered understanding of time and knowledge also obtains, with the higher levels challenging and opening up conventional definitions of these terms.  These special definitions, rather than the conventional ones, guided my decisions in placing T, S, and K on the AQAL map as I have.  But I am open to exploring those decisions further, to see if they hold up or may be improved.

    kessels:
    I interpret the quote you used:

    Since space is often taken as ontological and time epistemological, then in third-person terms this amounts to saying that space and time are not separate but rather are a spacetime continuum. Fleshing that out with the AQAL metatheory, we say that the exteriors of spacetime appear topographically as chains of mass-energy interlinked in various networks and systems, while interiors appear as feelings and awareness interlinked in various cascades of intimacy. But they all arise together as perspective-occasions of the self-reflective Kosmos. (Wilber, 2005c, Appendix B, para. 30)

    as saying that ontology is associated with the right-hand quadrants (for these are the 'exterior' ones), and the left-hand quadrants with epistomology (the 'intrinsic' ones).

    Mass-energy into UR, networks and systems into LR, individual feelings and awareness in UL, and intimacy in LL.

    Could you agree with this, or is there something I'm overlooking?


    Yes, I agree that this is a good way to interpret what Wilber was saying -- and it may be what he meant.  However, in my opinion, although Wilber identifies time with epistemology, I don't agree that the presence and activity of "time" in the fabric of the Kosmos should be confined to the left-hand quadrants.  The arrows of time are represented in each of the quadrants, for instance. 

    Of course, all of these elements are intimately related.  TSK posits, not just a space-time continuum, but a space-time-knowing continuum in which worldspaces are enacted by the focal settings sentient beings adopt.  This understanding is consonant, in my view, with AQAL; I have been looking, and continue to look, for the best ways to model them.  Perhaps our conversation, here or elsewhere, will lead to some improvements or refinements, but at this point I still stand (non-defensively!) behind the choices I've made.

    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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  •  07-03-2006, 4:21 PM 813 in reply to 801

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hello Balder,

    I think I understand your use of 'space' now.

    To get back to what I think is your main question: my current view is that TSK can be described using Wilber's fundamental perspectives, but by using less dimensions. You say that in TSK, time and space are both expressions of separation (now-then and here-there). Wilber only needs two perspectives (dimensions) to express separation: individual and collective. In other words: both time and space can be constructed from these two dimensions.

    A space is not a dimension; it is spanned by multiple dimensions. (Strange as it may sound: 'individual' and 'collective' form a two-dimensional space. Neither dimension has any meaning without the other, so they are orthogonal.)

    If time is a separation, is that not equivalent to saying that time has two dimensions (now and then), which would imply that time would be a space? 

    If you describe knowledge as 'self-other, subjective-objective', than these can be constructed by Wilber's four fundamental perspectives as well. So any perspective can be constructed from the four fundamental perspectives.

    It is more precise to note that dimensions and spaces are defined in terms of each other, which here only means that the four quadrants arise simultaneously with the four basic perspectives. All other spaces (which are perspectives) can be defined using just these.

    Placing time in the left-hand quadrants, and space (expanse) in the right-hand quadrants,  does not mean that time and space get separated. Any change in any of the quadrants affects all other quadrants. Increases in complexity of form are inseparable from increases in complexity of awareness. This does therefore not require time to be placed in all quadrants.

    Not meaning to critisize your work in any way, I just enjoy these kind of discussions.

    Peter
    Albert Einstein is the Wilber of physics.
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  •  07-03-2006, 8:59 PM 814 in reply to 813

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi, Peter,

    Thank you for engaging with me on this.  I don't mind your critical appraisal, but I am mindful that we are having this discussion on a thread dedicated to the first chapter of Wilber's new book.  To the extent that anyone views this as a distraction, or if anyone else joins the thread wanting to address questions more directly related to Wilber's first chapter, I'll be happy to move this conversation elsewhere.

    To keep things interesting here, since you've kind of drawn a line between TSK and Integral, I'll take my stand on the TSK side, in the interest of maybe inviting some clarity -- and affording some opportunities for inquiry -- through the contrast.  (I do not believe the two visions are actually opposed or irreconcilable, but neither do I believe that either one is "ultimately" reducible fully to the terms of the other.)

    kessels:
    To get back to what I think is your main question: my current view is that TSK can be described using Wilber's fundamental perspectives, but by using less dimensions. You say that in TSK, time and space are both expressions of separation (now-then and here-there). Wilber only needs two perspectives (dimensions) to express separation: individual and collective. In other words: both time and space can be constructed from these two dimensions.

    I see several points that need to be addressed here.  First, I actually do not define time or space as "expressions of separation."  I realize that I used now-then and here-there as examples of time and space, but technically, both polarities are more properly understood as perspectives made possible by Great Time and Great Space (as they are understood in TSK).  In TSK, neither Great Time nor Great Space involve any separation at all; TSK regards both seriality and "space between" ultimately as fictions, or mere appearances, or as "read outs" of particular focal settings (e.g., perspectives).  A quadratic world unfolds when basic polarities have been introduced (singular/plural, inside/outside, at a minimum). 

    Great Space is defined as "an open-ended accommodation of various views," which is "never exhausted or compromised by a commitment to one particular trend or world order, [and which] supports infinitely many choices of perspective" (Tarthang Tulku, 1977, pp. xl, 69).  Great Time is described ultimately as the primordial creativity that allows for the "arising" of occasions of knowledge (sentient beings and their perspectives), and which exhibits all (apparent) partitioning in Space.  (Although I do not expect Tarthang Tulku is familiar with Whitehead's work, and is likely speaking more from a Dzogchen-influenced perspective, I see his understanding of primordial creativity -- Great Time -- as somewhat similar to Whitehead's).

    At present, I do not see how the two distinctions you mentioned -- individual and collective -- actually serve to either explain or generate space and time, as TSK defines them.  If you'd like to say more about how you think they might do this, I would appreciate it.  In my view, Wilber's model does not really account for the arising of sentient beings at all; and as Wilber admits, the appearance of a collective of sentient beings is "a massive mystery."

    kessels:
    A space is not a dimension; it is spanned by multiple dimensions. (Strange as it may sound: 'individual' and 'collective' form a two-dimensional space. Neither dimension has any meaning without the other, so they are orthogonal.)

    Yes, you could say that 'individual' and 'collective' form a particular bounded space, which is of course an instantiation of the infinite allowingness of Great Space.

    kessels:
    If time is a separation, is that not equivalent to saying that time has two dimensions (now and then), which would imply that time would be a space?

    I believe what I said above should clear up the confusion here.  Great Time is not defined as a separation.

    kessels:
    If you describe knowledge as 'self-other, subjective-objective', than these can be constructed by Wilber's four fundamental perspectives as well. So any perspective can be constructed from the four fundamental perspectives.

    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:
    Placing time in the left-hand quadrants, and space (expanse) in the right-hand quadrants,  does not mean that time and space get separated. Any change in any of the quadrants affects all other quadrants. Increases in complexity of form are inseparable from increases in complexity of awareness. This does therefore not require time to be placed in all quadrants.

    I understand and agree that placing time and space in different locations on the AQAL map (wherever those places may be) does not mean that they therefore get separated.  But if time, or its "evidence," appears in all the quadrants, I see no reason not to represent it as a "line" in each of the quadrants -- picturing a kind of "serene explosion" of fecundity from the zero-point at the center of the map.  And in Wilber's original chart, this is exactly what he does (note the arrows on the end of the diagonal lines).

    kessels:
    Not meaning to critisize your work in any way, I just enjoy these kind of discussions.

    Yeah, me too!

    Best wishes,

    Balder

    P.S.  A question occurred to me today that I thought I might express here, while I'm in my "contra" position.  Perspective-taking presupposes sentience and/or sentient-beings.  In that sense, speaking in terms of perspectives is properly a UL activity.  If Wilber claims that everything "ultimately" is composed of perspectives, is he engaging in another example of quadrant reductionism?


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

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  •  07-04-2006, 1:57 AM 891 in reply to 814

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    balder:
    Thank you for engaging with me on this.  I don't mind your critical appraisal, but I am mindful that we are having this discussion on a thread dedicated to the first chapter of Wilber's new book.  To the extent that anyone views this as a distraction, or if anyone else joins the thread wanting to address questions more directly related to Wilber's first chapter, I'll be happy to move this conversation elsewhere.

    I second that.


    To keep things interesting here, since you've kind of drawn a line between TSK and Integral, I'll take my stand on the TSK side, in the interest of maybe inviting some clarity -- and affording some opportunities for inquiry -- through the contrast.  (I do not believe the two visions are actually opposed or irreconcilable, but neither do I believe that either one is "ultimately" reducible fully to the terms of the other.)

    I didn't call TSK non-integral! I just contrasted it against Wilber's model, which is not the only integral model.

    I see several points that need to be addressed here.  First, I actually do not define time or space as "expressions of separation."  I realize that I used now-then and here-there as examples of time and space, but technically, both polarities are more properly understood as perspectives made possible by Great Time and Great Space (as they are understood in TSK).  In TSK, neither Great Time nor Great Space involve any separation at all; TSK regards both seriality and "space between" ultimately as fictions, or mere appearances, or as "read outs" of particular focal settings (e.g., perspectives).  A quadratic world unfolds when basic polarities have been introduced (singular/plural, inside/outside, at a minimum).

    Okay, I see no problems with that.


    At present, I do not see how the two distinctions you mentioned -- individual and collective -- actually serve to either explain or generate space and time, as TSK defines them.

    They don't, since Great Time and Great Space can not be equated to time and space. Explanations of terms make a lot of difference, as usual.


    In my view, Wilber's model does not really account for the arising of sentient beings at all; and as Wilber admits, the appearance of a collective of sentient beings is "a massive mystery."

    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? Embarrassed [:$]



    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.


    "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?

    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?


    I understand and agree that placing time and space in different locations on the AQAL map (wherever those places may be) does not mean that they therefore get separated.  But if time, or its "evidence," appears in all the quadrants, I see no reason not to represent it as a "line" in each of the quadrants -- picturing a kind of "serene explosion" of fecundity from the zero-point at the center of the map.  And in Wilber's original chart, this is exactly what he does (note the arrows on the end of the diagonal lines).

    Yes, I get that now, Great Time is (more or less) what Wilber refers to as the unfolding of increasing levels of complexity. (Or that which causes it, I'm not completely sure.)


    P.S.  A question occurred to me today that I thought I might express here, while I'm in my "contra" position.  Perspective-taking presupposes sentience and/or sentient-beings.  In that sense, speaking in terms of perspectives is properly a UL activity.  If Wilber claims that everything "ultimately" is composed of perspectives, is he engaging in another example of quadrant reductionism?


    Not at all. Perspective-taking, or perceiving, also involves a quadrivium and a domain, which can be any kind of perspective. Also, the UL quadrant cannot be defined apart from the other quadrants, so it is by no means prior to them. Awareness may 'live in' the UL quadrant, but it does not create or generate whatever 'is in' the other quadrants. 

    It is just that since awareness is required on the part of the referent, that only sentient holons can be referents. This only means that sentient holons are prior to artifacts. A holon cannot be a holon without any of the four basic perspectives, so none of the quadrants is priviliged.

    Finally, any model is a view on reality, and a view is just another word for perspective. So AQAL theory is a perspective, and so is TSK. AQAL is build using perspectives alone, which is why TSK fits snuggly into AQAL space Wink [;)]


    Your turn in this game of mental tennis in which nobody is taking scores,

    Peter

    Albert Einstein is the Wilber of physics.
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  •  07-04-2006, 5:16 AM 894 in reply to 891

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi Balder,

    In addition to my previous post: I just came across a section in A Theory of Everything where Wilber discusses physical spacetime (so NOT Great Time and Great Space), and how he defines and uses words like dimensions and spaces. It's in note 9 to chapter 1, starting on page 147 and covering all of page 148.

    It also discusses different types of experience of time, and I think it offers some support for your case!

    TOE is not Wilber-5 yet, but I think it is still valid.

    Still your turn.

    Peter


    Albert Einstein is the Wilber of physics.
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  •  07-04-2006, 2:10 PM 922 in reply to 894

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    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


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

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