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

Last post 04-01-2007, 9:59 AM by gfjrbarr. 154 replies.
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  •  07-07-2006, 12:22 PM 1098 in reply to 1091

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

    balder:
    I think it is fair to say that there is "interiority," to some degree, "within" any physical artifact or heap that we can point to, but that that interiority is not a unique, coherent property of the whole.  In other words, the "interiority" of a chair is no different -- no deeper -- than the interiority of a car or a spoon.  Neither chair nor spoon has interiority, as chair or spoon, but they are composed of elements which do have interiority.  If you attempt to interact with a chair, you will not get any responses from the chair itself, but the atoms that leak from your body may still be interacting with the atoms of that object, at that (sub-artifact) level.


    I completely agree with that, but that's why I encounter a problem. I was toying with integral math, and at a certain moment I wanted to go from a holon to an artifact using perspectives. As I understand it, perspectives are referring holons to other holons, with some restrictions. So how do they take me from a holon to an entity that is not a holon?

    When I look in the direction of a spoon, I do not just see the spoon, but everything around it as well. I seem to identify the spoon immediately, but that can obviously not be the case. My brain filters the information, and eventually fires off a 'spoon' signal, since I have learned in the past that structures like that are spoons. So there is no 'spoon' there before I finish the act of perceiving, so to speak. Other than its particular shape or structure, there is nothing to distuinguish it objectively from any piece of  metal, except that if I had never seen a spoon before, I would have probably recognized that it would have been manufactured.

    What I was wondering about, is how all of this works out in terms of perspectives. Why do we say that the spoon "has a 3p" when I look at the spoon: 1p x 3-p x 3p ?

    We say that there's no 1p or 2p at the spoon-level (and that's the part I agree with), but it seems to me that that implies that there is no interior, and therefore also no exterior on the spoon-level. That leaves little room for 3p. It seems to me as saying: it has no interiority and therefore only exteriority. The logic of it escapes me.

    I hope I made my problem clear.  I may be missing something, but where do I go wrong?

    Any clues?

    Peter






    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-07-2006, 1:21 PM 1101 in reply to 1098

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


    Hi, Peter,

    Here is how I see things (at this point in my understanding).  I disagree with the idea that a spoon, in itself, possesses a third person perspective.  I may not understand what is meant by "possessing a perspective," but it seems to me that it entails being able to "perceive" that dimension of phenomena, and I don't believe a spoon (as a spoon) is able to register or perceive anything.  It does have a "surface," however, which can interact with other surfaces in a physical or objective sense -- vibrating, heating up, getting bent, etc.  If that is what is meant by "having a 3p," then I can agree with it -- but calling it a perspective (or a person) seems problematic or potentially confusing.

    When I see a spoon, I perceive a particular form and recognize its spoon-ness as a conceptual holon, situated within other contexts of meaning.  I believe Buddhists describe this as an object's imputed identity -- interdependently arisen within the mindstream of a sentient being, but not a property of the "thing itself."

    The spoon, as a whole, does not have interiority; it is not a compound individual.  Rather, its atomic and molecular components -- sentient beings one and all -- have gathered into a particular relationship with one another which allows them to present a particular 3p surface to other sentient holons.  This surface forms a whole which is greater than the individual parts, and which can be registered as a 3p object by sentient holons, but the object itself does not have sentience or agency.  It is the 3p "production" of the interaction of sentient sub-holons that does not "draw up" the sentience of the parts into a transcendent, coherent whole.

    Does this make sense?

    Balder


    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, 2:28 PM 1104 in reply to 1101

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

    Hi Balder,

    What you're saying makes sense to me, and it helped, thanks.

    I think what we could say is that the spoon, when it was created by a human being, was structuraly formed, meaning that it gained exterior complexity as a whole. But that does not induce an interiority for the whole. It's structural complexity now induces a recognition in humans, who are then able to identify it as a spoon.

    So its particular form is not a result of the combined action of the constituent holons, although the collective behavior of the holons is such that the shape of the spoon is preserved (which is why humans make spoons out of solid material; they make intelligent use of what they know about other holons).

    Maybe we could say that an artifact shows a kind of asymmetry: they can not be represented by a circle in a four-quadrant representation. In that sense, an artifact 'has' a third-person perspective, 'created ' during its manufacturing.

    In contrast, any natural development (as opposed to artificial) of a sentient holon means an increase in complexity in all four quadrants simultaneously.

    Never realized how much you could learn by staring at a spoon. Now let's see if I can mentally bend it....

    Peter


    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-07-2006, 9:51 PM 1118 in reply to 1104

    • mikeginn is not online. Last active: 04-12-2008, 10:04 AM mikeginn
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch.1: Integral Methodological Pluralism

    Ok, a few more comments and questions on Chapter One…

     

    On page 5, Ken says that we can call the sum total of the 8 views, these 8 primordial perspectives of any occasion, “Integral Perspectivism.” We inhabit each of these spaces, zones, lifeworlds, as practical realities – they are not just perspectives, but an action, injunction, a concrete set of actions in a real world zone. He continues to say that each injunction brings forth or discloses (in a simultaneously tetra-arising) the phenomena that are apprehended through the various perspectives. 

     

    I’ve been an organizational consultant (trained in organizational development) for the past few decades. So I am (perhaps naturally) asking, what could Integral Perspectivism bring to organizational consulting?

     

    Could our consulting practices include those that would at minimum bring forth the phenomena of the 8 perspectives? What would be provided if part of our consulting practice was training and coaching our clients in this viewing-acting disclosing of these 8 – all 8 – perspectival phenomena? Would these 8 perspectives and sets of injunctions and the tetra-arising itself become subject, and then eventually object, for ourselves and then our clients? What intersubjective space would then exist (or be possible) and what could be created inside of it?

     

    Mike

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  •  07-08-2006, 2:22 AM 1122 in reply to 496

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    I keep getting this sense that I'm a youngster in a room full of wise grown-ups and as such I have deeply appreciated being in the same room with each of you. 

    I'm getting stuck on something and I'm here to ask for some help and clarification....

    What's the distinction (and maybe relationship) between perspective and perception?  I believe I understand what a perspective is and that it is a locator for a holon but I'm not clear how perception is unique to that, let alone how perception is important.

    - Michael

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  •  07-08-2006, 3:23 AM 1123 in reply to 307

    • Padmakara is not online. Last active: 26 Jul 2008, 4:37 AM Padmakara
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch.1: Integral Methodological Pluralism

    Hi Everyone - I have just joined ISC and am rather apprehensive about sending my first post as I am pretty new to web forums. Anyway, I'm sure you will put me on the right path if I'm astray! (Of course I'm astray).

    When I get confused with the 4 Quadrant complex I go back to Ken's simplification of I, We, It (1st, 2nd, 3rd person perspectives). I am currently thinking of them as 'doors'.

    There are three doorways to reality: The doorway of 'I'; the doorway of 'We' and the doorway of 'It'.
    From the point of view of 'I' I see things and experience things as subjective reality. Subjective reality is to do with quality, personal depth, inner growth and development, psychological development, inner spiritual experience, meditative depth, aesthetic experience.

    From the point of view of 'We' we see things and experience things as intersubjective reality. Intersubjective reality is to do with collective
    values, shared understanding, collective psychological development (from negative group mentality to positive group mentality to sangha), collective interpretations of the world, group spiritual experience, the interiority of any group.

    From the point of view of 'It' we see things as objective reality. Objective reality is to do with quantity, observable phenomena, objects
    'out there', measurability, empirical science, objective truth.

    All three doorways are valid.

    All three doorways are needed for a complete perspective.

    Each doorway has its strengths and weaknesses.

    This side of full awareness there is always a tendency to see things through the bias of one of the doorways (e.g. empirical science wants to reduce all experience to observable empirical data; mysticism wants to reduce everything to mystery).

    Each doorway presents a dynamic path which is ever-unfolding (objective science develops from linear mechanistic models to Newtonian models to
    quantum models; inner science (meditative technique) leads from basic physical awareness to mental concentration to lower dhyanas to higher
    dhyanas to 'cosmic oneness'; intersubjective development moves from tribal survival to national survival to global survival, or from ethnocentric
    perception to worldcentric perception to cosmic perception - the sphere of collective care gets ever greater.

    So I send you an post. You read it on the level of words on this screen - the 'doorway of It' enables you to engage with the objective fact of
    computer/screen/words/Padmakara's words etc.
    That then has an effect (probably bewilderment!!!) - but lets say its a positive one - a sense of connection with a friend in the sangha, a sense
    of being challenged, an inner shift as new thoughts arise, maybe some concentrated awareness, maybe some pleasure, maybe some frustration etc.
    This is the opening of the 'doorway of I'. You have your own subjective experience - no-one else can know fully what that is (especially an empirical scientist), but its real and fully valid.
    But then you talk it all over with friends. They too read Padmakara's post but everyone has a different take on it. Each was touched in a different
    way. And yet, as you talk, you start to have a sense that some common understanding is emerging. This is the opening of the 'doorway of We'.
    There is an intersubjective experience - somehow you know that you understand each other (or there is a mutual clarity that there are misunderstandings).


    Why is any of this relevant??? Because I believe that the unenlightened mind always has partial perception. We will all be biased towards some
    model. That model will be conditioned by various factors. We are conditioned very heavily towards the material ('doorway of It') way of looking at things. The cultural bias is strongly against the idea that there is a non-material reality - It is generally not taken seriously at all. But then people come across a genuine spiritual tradition and the danger is to swing the other way - reject the material world, climb the spiral, transcend the whole damn thing. But, it's partial and problematic to do that.
    So what I am going on about is only relevant to the extent it makes you think about your own partial perceptions.

    Objective reality is valid - it's out there and worth pursuing, what we will find will be wonderful and strange and endless, there will be benefits
    and there will be tragedies and it will always be partial. Three cheers for objective reality!!!

    Subjective reality is valid - it's in here and worth pursuing, what we will find will be wonderful and strange and endless, there will be benefits and
    there will be tragedies and it will always be partial. Three cheers for subjective reality!!!

    Intersubjective reality is valid - it's amongst us and worth pursuing, what we will find will be wonderful and strange and endless, there will be benefits and there will be tragedies and it will always be partial. Three cheers for intersubjective reality!!!

    I need a cup of coffee.

    Best wishes
    Padmakara
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  •  07-08-2006, 7:56 AM 1126 in reply to 1122

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi Michael,

    akaRocco:
    What's the distinction (and maybe relationship) between perspective and perception?  I believe I understand what a perspective is and that it is a locator for a holon but I'm not clear how perception is unique to that, let alone how perception is important.

    I think I'm a bit closer to understanding it all myself now, so here goes.

    Every sentient holon has several types of perspectives available to it, with which it can refer to any entity that arises in it's awareness. This means that any entity, as it arises in an awareness, is some type of perspective as far as the perceiving holon is concerned, and nothing else. An entity can be a sentient holon, a social holon, an artifact, a heap, etcetera.

    Only sentient holons have an awareness, so only sentient holons can perceive entities. That's the law.

    The relationships between perceptions and perspectives are as follows:
    1. Since perceptions arise in the awareness of the holon, they are seen as perspectives by the sentient holon.
    2. Since every perception occurs in the awareness of a sentient holon, that perception can be described in terms of the perspectives that that holon has available. (who perceives what and how; where 'who', 'what' and 'how' represent different types of perspectives)
    3. [edit:] By shifting to different perspectives, sentient holons can have different perceptions of themselves or others, and learn more.

    Since an awareness is a first-person perspective (UL) to a sentient holon, everything can be described in terms of perspectives.

    Does this help?

    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-08-2006, 9:18 AM 1132 in reply to 1122

    • mikeginn is not online. Last active: 04-12-2008, 10:04 AM mikeginn
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Michael,

     

    I like that you ask how they (perspectives and perceptions) are related.

     

    On our page 10 (page 55 of the book) Ken says that once we acknowledging that the different zones (such as zone one and two) are important, the trick is then understanding how they are related (one with two, and then indeed all eight). This is the primary topic of this book.

     

    How perspectives and perceptions are related is also an interesting and important question, and I don’t know the answer. Here is how I am exploring, and only being somewhat sure that I am on the right track…

     

    On page 13 (page 58 of the book): “This Integral Post-Metaphysics replaces perceptions with perspectives, and thus redefines the manifest realm as the realm of perspectives…” and not as the realm of perceptions – perceptions arise (together with injunctions) as a perspective (or quadrant) is engaged (or looked through).

     

    Later, on that same page: “Each moment is not a subject prehending an object, it is a perspective prehending a perspective…”

     

    Well, my experience of the world is that I am seeing (or otherwise having perceptions of) things in the world. So this statement is somewhat jarring, is requiring me to let go of something...which is…oh! – my attachment to how I know that things are, which is that it starts with me and objects that I see.

     

    But I can consider (am considering, in this moment) that it begins with a first person prehending a third person, a perspective prehending a perspective. That my perceptions, which I have experienced as nothing less than the world as it exists, actually only arise within a perspective.

     

    What this opens up for me is that I can relate to you as a perception or abstraction or object (which is there to “relate to” but this relating will be at the level of a manipulation); and I can also relate (be related) to you though a perspective of intersubjective understanding that is itself not simply another abstraction or object. Hooray!!!

     

    Thanks for asking this question,

     

    Mike

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  •  07-08-2006, 10:05 AM 1136 in reply to 1123

    • mikeginn is not online. Last active: 04-12-2008, 10:04 AM mikeginn
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch.1: Integral Methodological Pluralism

    Welcome, Padmakara.

    Three cheers for Padmakara!!!

    Big Smile [:D]Mike

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  •  07-08-2006, 10:23 AM 1138 in reply to 1126

    • mandala is not online. Last active: 15 Aug 2008, 4:07 PM mandala
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    hi everyone. great discussion, if i may add a thought or two... "perception" is an old and loaded notion playing a pivotal role in traditional metaphysical systems. depending on tradition and the use of terms, it's equivalent or similar to "awareness" and "cognition", however, it usually refers to dualistic awareness, i.e. subject and object are implied in the very notion itself. for example, in buddhist abhidharma perception is explained in the classification of eighteen elements (dhatu), which are six objects apprehended by six faculties reflected by six types of consciousness. the famous heart sutra proclaimed all these to be empty of independent existence, of course, but that's not what kw is after when he opts for "perspectives". i'm discussing english-buddhist meanings here, of course, but in other cases perception also refers to the third skandha (samjna), as well as any experience at all, such as in perception-only (vijnapti-matra) of vasubandhu, but it's consistently found in the UL domain.

    perspective is not just a new term for the same idea. kw clearly says that perceptions and object and subject are already perspectives. "integral post-metaphysics replaces perception with perspectives" means that perspectives play the fundamental role perception used to play in metaphysical systems. metaphysical systems, it's increasingly clear, describe the content of the moment in their relative mode (perception), and the nature of the moment in their absolute mode (emtpiness), but not the deeper structure of the moment itself (perspective). they tell us what is in the moment, but not what is the moment. perspectives only become visible upon integrating simultaneous investigations from different domains (such as in 4Q or zones), whereupon their fundamental nature becomes obvious. (or, in other words, just as cultural conditioning is invisible to contemplation, so the nature of perspectives is invisible to any mode of perception as such, at least in the standard meaning of "perception". one might argue perspectives are discerned by post-formal meta-perception or meta-cognition becoming more available as we speak.)

    historically, it was necessary for the Big Three to be thoroughly differentiated as a common acquisition (which took awhile) and sometimes dissociated, before they could be integrated by anyone, and it is only from that vantage point that perspectives make profound sense. perception arise, when they do, only within perspectives. which are always prior and more fundamental. perspectival space is, at this point, the first aspect to be discerned, since everything else follows from that as potential, time and knowledge included. i hope this makes any sense.

    hokai

    may all be well.
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  •  07-08-2006, 11:49 AM 1141 in reply to 1138

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi Hokai,

    Good post. You mention that time and knowledge follow as potentials out of perspectival space, right? I'm not saying I disagree, but could you explain how you think that works, and why you consider knowledge to be different from perspectives?

    Thanks,

    Peter



    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-08-2006, 1:08 PM 1150 in reply to 1141

    • mandala is not online. Last active: 15 Aug 2008, 4:07 PM mandala
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    hi peter. i believe balder has a signature saying something about knowledge which "time presents and space allows", or something along those lines... of course there are various concepts of space etc. but in general "space" is that which allows for something to happen.

    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, but then we could give a different meaning to each of these, resulting perhaps in some non-sensical statement i have already made.:-)

    i'm not sure this is good for your question.

    hokai

    may all be well.
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  •  07-08-2006, 4:56 PM 1158 in reply to 1150

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    I sat down to write a response to Hokai's recent letters (I really appreciate them for their intelligence and clarity), but instead, the following inquiry emerged.  I will return later to Hokai's letters....

    For now, I'll just post my latest reflections and questions:

    Of the four quadrant-perspectives of AQAL, are some more fundamental than others?  In other words, for example, are first-person plural perspectives (1-p*pl, the LL POV) primordial, or developmentally emergent?  As Wilber describes it in Appendix B to Excerpt C, the 1-p*pl perspective seems to involve a capacity to comprehend and imaginatively assume others' perspectives.  But at least among human holons, we cannot adopt a first-person plural perspective for the first several years of our lives -- e.g., prior to the emergence of a fairly high degree of cognitive sophistication (comparably greater than many other organisms).

    If 1-p*pl does emerge simultaneously with the other quadrant-perspectives, at all levels of existence, then what would an atom's or a bacterium's first-person plural perspective involve?  If the LL perspective is not available at all levels of existence, does this impact Wilber's thesis in any way?

    Let's look at Wilber's description of the "beginning" of a perspectival Kosmos:

    An integral calculus starts instead with the simultaneous appearance of inside and outside in singular and plural (or the four quadrants, or simply a 123 world). That is, we start with a 1p, 2p, and 3p occasion, arising together, each of which registers the others in its own experiential or proto-experiential fashion. That gives us a 123 of a 123 (i.e., a first, second, or third person resonating/reflecting another first, second, or third person--with each necessarily quadratically registering the other--which is to say, sentient beings operating within the four quadrants of indigenous perspectives)... ~ Wilber, Appendix B, Excerpt C (Bold added)

    This description makes sense from the point of view of certain sophisticated sentient holons (e.g., human beings) who have the capacity to imagine that the primordial explosion of particles at the beginning of our present universe was also a mutual arising of subjects.  In other words, we can consciously take 1-p, 2-p, and 3-p perspectives of these elementary entities.  My question is, were these perspectival distinctions also available to these beings?  What is the difference, for instance, between having a 2-p and a 3-p perception?  As I see it, 2-p involves the recognition that I am dealing with another sentient subject; 3-p is the registration of forms and surfaces, vibrations and feelings, regardless of whether those forms and surfaces also involve or originate from sentient beings; and 1-p*pl appears to involve the recognition that my perspective (on forms, feelings, etc) is shared by others.

    Part of the difficulty here may come from Wilber's decision (perhaps for ease of communication) to use human examples of second-person and first-person plural perspectives -- examples which involve sophisticated degrees of interpretation and cognition.  My question is really whether certain perspectives demand this level of development to even emerge.  Is early perspectival space really quadratic space, phenomenologically, from the POV of the entities involved?  Or is it quadratic only from the POV of cognitively sophisticated sentient beings who imaginatively reconstruct a "world" of interacting sentient beings?

    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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  •  07-08-2006, 9:48 PM 1171 in reply to 1158

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi, Hokai (Mandala),

    I'm responding to you in two posts.  The first one, which is most related to the topic of this thread, follows.  I'll provide a link to the second one down below.

    Mandala:
    perspective is not just a new term for the same idea. kw clearly says that perceptions and object and subject are already perspectives. "integral post-metaphysics replaces perception with perspectives" means that perspectives play the fundamental role perception used to play in metaphysical systems. metaphysical systems, it's increasingly clear, describe the content of the moment in their relative mode (perception), and the nature of the moment in their absolute mode (emtpiness), but not the deeper structure of the moment itself (perspective). they tell us what is in the moment, but not what is the moment. perspectives only become visible upon integrating simultaneous investigations from different domains (such as in 4Q or zones), whereupon their fundamental nature becomes obvious.(Italics added.)

    Thank you for this very clear statement.  I think you make several important observations: 1) moments are perspectives (in which dependently arisen, ultimately "empty" perceptions circulate), and 2) perspectives, unlike perceptions, are generally transparent to direct phenomenological observation.  I am still "sitting with" the notion of perspectives and exploring it from different angles, but what you write here rings true to me.

    I think one of the primary strengths of a shift of focus to perspectives is that it highlights the enactively emergent nature of perceptions, the recognition of which opens a kind of clearing or space in our experience and loosens identification with particular objects of perspectives.  And it's integrative potential is, of course, obvious from the fruit of Wilber's recent investigations.

    I'm happy to be walking this way with all of you.

    I have also written a response to your second post, but I am going to post it on a thread dedicated to TSK and AQAL:

    http://multiplex.integralinstitute.org/Public/cs/forums/1172/ShowThread.aspx#1172

    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, 2:17 AM 1193 in reply to 1158

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi Balder,

    balder:
    Of the four quadrant-perspectives of AQAL, are some more fundamental than others?  In other words, for example, are first-person plural perspectives (1-p*pl, the LL POV) primordial, or developmentally emergent?  As Wilber describes it in Appendix B to Excerpt C, the 1-p*pl perspective seems to involve a capacity to comprehend and imaginatively assume others' perspectives.  But at least among human holons, we cannot adopt a first-person plural perspective for the first several years of our lives -- e.g., prior to the emergence of a fairly high degree of cognitive sophistication (comparably greater than many other organisms).


    I've been wrestling with this myself, and my understanding at this point is that the perspectives as denoted by 1p, 2p, 1p*pl etcetera, are not related to a single quadrant, but instead constructed out of the fundamental perspectives.  For instance, the fundamental UL perspective means just 'subjective perspective' and nothing more. So 1p refers to something far more complex  than to 'my UL quadrant'

    Wilber says as much in the second paragraph of the footnote on page 58 of Chapter 1.

    It is impossible, at least for me, to match 2p (second person singular perspective, indicating 'you') with any of the for quadrants exclusively. In other words: none of the quadrants represents 'second person singular' all by itself. So indeed, only highly advanced holons have access to some of these perspectives. An atom does not necessarily have a 1-p*pl perspective, but it does need intersubjectivity (LL) as a 'building block' for the perspectives that  it does have.

    This is as I see it now, hope this is useful.

    Peter

    PS: I agree with the notion of perspectives being transparant to getting at them phenomenoligically; in my own words: whatever you would see about perspectives appears as a perception in your awareness, and that perception is in turn a perspective constructed out of other perspectives, and so on indefinitely. Or: taking a different angle on perspectives will just put another perspective on top of those perspectives...... until you just stop.


    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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