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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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  •  07-05-2006, 3:24 PM 979 in reply to 962

    • jackhschneider is not online. Last active: 12-16-2007, 9:24 PM jackhschneider
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch.1: Integral Methodological Pluralism

    This seems to get into the idea of automation a little.  Can a holon create another holon?  Is artificial intelligence a dominant monad?

    B & E

    Jack

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  •  07-05-2006, 3:37 PM 983 in reply to 976

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

    Hello Balder my friend,

    Artifacts do not have interiority, but they do have exteriority, which is why they have "it" perspectives. This does not mean that they can 'use them', for they would need an interiority to do that. They do need 3p perspectives in order to be observed by the more gifted ones.

    As in: I see the chair -- 1p x  3-p x 3p in simplified integral math.

    In other words: an artifacts has no quadrants (that is not necessary for 3p), but it has 3p domains.

    The chair's molecules and my molecules are in constant mutual communication, as you said. My relation to the chair is less warm.


    May all sentient beings be liberated, including those in your chair, but I hope you get up first.

    Peter



    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-05-2006, 4:07 PM 984 in reply to 979

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

    jackhschneider:
    This seems to get into the idea of automation a little.  Can a holon create another holon?


    Not counting procreating: I doubt it. It would involve creating a kind of awareness for it...

    Is artificial intelligence a dominant monad?


    No, it's just an artifact created by an intelligent holon.

    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-05-2006, 5:16 PM 986 in reply to 984

    • 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

    Hello Colin, Justin, Balder, Peter, David, Rocky, Bruce, Ken, Jack, Nomali, V, Janne, and Sue,

     

    I’m a bit late to the party, but your posts are wonderful and it’s time for me to dip my toes in the pool! My thoughts on the opening pages of the first chapter of Integral Spirituality: Integral Methodological Pluralism…

     

    I’m struck by how big the intent is. Ken begins with the observation that the “metaphysics” of the spiritual traditions have been trashed by both modernist and postmodern epistemologies. Chapter one will be an overview of Integral Methodological Pluralism, of eight fundamental injunctions for gaining reproducible knowledge (and how they are all related), which can be used to reconstruct the spiritual systems of the great wisdom traditions in a way that addresses the modern and postmodern critiques.

     

    As Balder noted, here is a possible healing of the crippling slashes of modern and postmodern critics to all spiritual paths. A very big deal if we can pull it off!

     

    I often view the happenings in and state of the world through a developmental lens. How are these and this caused by (and creating) fundamental, modern, and postmodern worldviews? What might be a way forward from, usefully into, beyond this dance? How might my in-the-world practices be informed by, created by, transformed by this conversation that Ken is leading us into?

     

    Can this reconstruction (of spiritual systems) be looked at as a way forward for humanity, no less? I was going to say that this has broader implications than for just spirituality, that it is addressing *everything*, but this probably says something about how limited my conception of spirituality usually is. :>)

     

    The other thing I notice right away is that I am being pushed to expand my understanding of what a “holon” is and can be. I’ve read about holons elsewhere in Ken’s writings, and haven’t done much more with this than to think of myself as a holon, as a body with subholons (organs) and as part of a larger holonic Kosmos – and to distinguish myself (and dogs, organs, cells, atoms) from heaps, artifacts, and social holons.

     

    Here in Chapter One, Ken is saying things like,

     

    • all individual (or sentient) holons HAVE or POSSESS four perspectives (or quadrants) through which or with which they view or touch the world
    • We often refer to any event as a holon…and thus each of the items labeled in the various quadrants can be referred to as a holon
    • Start with any phenomenon (or holon) in any of the quadrants – for example the experience of an “I” in the upper left quadrant

     

    …and in this forum “saying”,

     

    • (quoted by Balder, from excerpt C) the universe is composed of sentient beings (holons)…therefore the universe is top to bottom composed of perspectives
    • (quoted by Peter, from his phone call…errr, from Excerpt C, Appendix B) we cannot say that occasions (or holons or beings) come into existence and then see each other, because the “seeing each other” and the “existence” cannot be asserted apart from one another. To say that the quadrants arise simultaneously is to say that ontological dimensions and epistemological perspectives are one and the same thing, which is why we often call them dimension-perspectives.
    • (quoted by David, 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.

     

    …and so I am sitting with what holons are and can be, with an expanding sense of how, as proposed in SES, that reality is fundamentally composed not of particles but of holons.

     

    Thanks to you all for this conversation,

     

    Mike

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  •  07-05-2006, 5:42 PM 987 in reply to 986

    • 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

    And thanks especially for Balder, Peter, and David for doing much of the “heavy lifting,” for helping to move things along so nicely. From my notes…

     

    Balder, I loved your open questions and your holding them as a questioning and distinguishing this from a doubting. * The phenomenal world is a world of cascading perspectives. * Perception without perspective: samsara is a world of perspectives; nirvana (Emptiness) is a freedom from all perspectives.

     

    David, thanks for forwarding the discussion by sharing your experience of meditation. * Ken said, “perspectives arise in emptiness: such is the beginning of sentient worlds. * Barest of perception.

     

    Peter, your responses are enlightening, or at the least lead there. * Consciousness and matter/energy are both perspectives before anything else, arising simultaneously, co-creating each other. * perspectives are always references to sentient beings.

     

    Mike

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  •  07-05-2006, 9:01 PM 995 in reply to 979

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

    Hi Jack,

    Those were interesting questions. I saw Peter already responded and I'd like to offer a different perspective.

    jackhschneider:
    Can a holon create another holon?

    Yes. For example as I mentioned above, if I burn something I (a holon) create an oxide molecule (a holon).

    jackhschneider:
    Is artificial intelligence a dominant monad?

    This is a trickier one. To me it seems natural to think that artifical intelligence can be a dominant monad by the virtue of it controlling it's subcomponents, e.g. the underlying hardware and the various software processes running on that hardware.

    Now what I'm having trouble with is whether or not an AI (or some of its subcomponents) have interiority. I suppose you could say that the way software and electronic components react to the outside world and thus have interiority.

    Other perspectives, anybody? Smile [:)]

    Peace,
      Janne

    Janne Asmala
    janne.asmala@gmail.com
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  •  07-06-2006, 5:30 AM 1010 in reply to 995

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


    Hello Janne,

    I'd like to counter your perspectives with a few questions.

    dreamingone:
    Those were interesting questions. I saw Peter already responded and I'd like to offer a different perspective.

    jackhschneider:
    Can a holon create another holon?

    Yes. For example as I mentioned above, if I burn something I (a holon) create an oxide molecule (a holon).


    Interesting perspective... so burning books is a creative act, you say? Hmm [^o)]

    Maybe it would be somewhat clearer to say that an artifact was once designed by a holon? Copies of the prototype still are artifacts?  Some level of creativity should be involved. Can we think of an example of a holon designing another holon?

    dreamingone:

    To me it seems natural to think that artifical intelligence can be a dominant monad by the virtue of it controlling it's subcomponents, e.g. the underlying hardware and the various software processes running on that hardware.

    Now what I'm having trouble with is whether or not an AI (or some of its subcomponents) have interiority. I suppose you could say that the way software and electronic components react to the outside world and thus have interiority.


    As people advance in their development, they will be able to create ever more advanced artifacts. At some point, these artifacts will appear to do 'clever' things. You can go from a spoon to a clock to a car to a computer. At what point in engineering  history did these inventions start to have an interiority?
    Does a robot die when you shut it off? Will robocide ever become a crime?


    Have fun,

    Peter


    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-06-2006, 7:35 AM 1015 in reply to 1010

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

    Hi Peter,

    You know, looking back at my earlier post I noticed that it was written with a very direct note. I hope you did not take offence. I probably need to be a bit more aware of how my cultural background is reflected in my posts...

    Anyways, thanks for the questions. This is the kind of dialogue I've found somewhat lacking in my physical environment.

    kessels:

    Maybe it would be somewhat clearer to say that an artifact was once designed by a holon? Copies of the prototype still are artifacts?  Some level of creativity should be involved. Can we think of an example of a holon designing another holon?

    Does molecule folding qualify as a holon (humans with computers) designing a holon (molecules)? I would say yes.

    kessels:

    As people advance in their development, they will be able to create ever more advanced artifacts. At some point, these artifacts will appear to do 'clever' things. You can go from a spoon to a clock to a car to a computer. At what point in engineering  history did these inventions start to have an interiority?

    Hmm, now I think I would need some help with defining interiority. I must admit I'm moving on a bit uncertain terrain here but let me explain my logic and maybe you can see where I go wrong:

    1. An AI has a worldspace, i.e. a set of stimuli it can respond to. This would mean data flowing from applications and peripheral hardware cause a certain reaction from the AI.
    2. Some aspects of an AI's functioning needs to be interpreted (interior) rather than observed (exterior); You can observe electric impulses on the micro chip but you need to interpret them via an artifact like the screen. Note that some snippets of the program might never be displayed on the screen.

    Peace,
      Janne

    Janne Asmala
    janne.asmala@gmail.com
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  •  07-06-2006, 7:44 AM 1016 in reply to 941

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

    Hi everybody,

    On 07-05-2006 at 2:01 PM, I wrote:
    Maybe you guys could consider offering some online platform that contains technical definitions for people that like to study the map of the Prison in some more detail? That would be easier to keep it up to date. Could be a group thing as well, something like a wiki as I proposed earlier in the Chapter 2 thread.


    I just found out that there actually already is an integral wiki.

    It has a section on AQAL as well. Not sure if the information is accurate, but maybe some people would like to check it out.

    Injoy,
    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-06-2006, 9:21 AM 1022 in reply to 1015

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

    dreamingone:

    You know, looking back at my earlier post I noticed that it was written with a very direct note. I hope you did not take offence. I probably need to be a bit more aware of how my cultural background is reflected in my posts...

    No worries, I'm not that easy to offend.
    dreamingone:

    Does molecule folding qualify as a holon (humans with computers) designing a holon (molecules)? I would say yes.


    Well, look what I found:
    Fred Kofman:

    Artifacts can include living things. For example, a genetically engineered virus or a genetically modified crop are "hybrids": part holons, part artifacts. The creation of hybrids is a fascinating development, because for the first time consciousness is becoming sufficiently self-aware in the human holon that it can replicate its agency through the creation of other holons. Just like one can say that holons are artifacts of God consciousness, one can say that hybrids such as oil-eating bacteria are artifacts of human consciousness—or God consciousness acting through its human holon-artifact. (from Holons, Heaps and Artifacts)

    Check out the entire article for the finer points on the different types of entities.


    Hmm, now I think I would need some help with defining interiority. I must admit I'm moving on a bit uncertain terrain here but let me explain my logic and maybe you can see where I go wrong:

    An AI has a worldspace, i.e. a set of stimuli it can respond to. This would mean data flowing from applications and peripheral hardware cause a certain reaction from the AI.

    What kind of awareness would you say an AI has, then? It just blindly reacts to stimuli, as it was designed to do. This may result in sophisticated behavior, but it would be as intended by the designers.

    Some aspects of an AI's functioning needs to be interpreted (interior) rather than observed (exterior); You can observe electric impulses on the micro chip but you need to interpret them via an artifact like the screen. Note that some snippets of the program might never be displayed on the screen.

    It would be the person looking to the screen that does the interpretation, not the AI. You can always look at artifacts through a 1p or 2p perspective, but the artifact itself does not possess 1p or 2p.

    Injoy,
    Peter



    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-06-2006, 9:49 AM 1027 in reply to 1022

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

    Friends,

    I'm only somewhat familiar with Whitehead (several of his books are still on my to-read list), but he employs (and Hartshorne elaborates on) the notion of "compound individual."  In a compound individual, there appears to be a particular vertical, organic relationship among all of the subholons out of which it is composed, such that each higher level of organization also entails increasing interior depth.  This does not appear to be the case with artifacts -- at least with the artifacts that we have been able to create to date.  We have not been able to create artifacts which involve increases in vertical organization and corresponding interior depth, perhaps in part because we impose order (almost arbitrarily) from without.

    There's an individual named Liane Gabora who has written an interesting article called Amplifying Phenomenal Information.  Here, the term "phenomenal information" is intended to convey, not just third-person data bits, but sentience as well -- subjectivity.  In his article, he suggests that certain forms (holons) have the capacity, through their organization, to amplify phenomenal information (leading to increasing depth).  According to this perspective, we will be able to create truly "intelligent" artifacts, with agency, interiority, and access to perspectives, only when we understand the processes through which phenomenal information is amplified.

    The Dalai Lama has a somewhat different opinion, though.  He says we won't be able to create a sentient artifact "from the ground up," but he expects we may eventually be able to create a suitable vehicle which a stream of consciousness may choose to inhabit.

    Best wishes,

    Balder

    P.S. I just saw Peter's latest post with the Koffman quotes.  Yes, I agree, some artifacts we have created (oil-eating bacteria) do already have interiority.  But in the case of modified or "designer organisms," we have served more as cooperative causes in influencing and "helping along" organic growth, rather than creating an altogether new entity.

    P.P.S.  We had an interesting discussion on panpsychism and sentience a few months back on Integral Naked:

    http://in.integralinstitute.org/public/forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=6903


    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, 10:05 AM 1032 in reply to 1022

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

    Good stuff!

    Thanks for the document, Peter. It'll certainly be useful also outside this context.

    kessels:

    What kind of awareness would you say an AI has, then? It just blindly reacts to stimuli, as it was designed to do. This may result in sophisticated behavior, but it would be as intended by the designers.

    To a certain extent I agree. An AI is quite obviously an artifact (or a hybrid) so its prehension is at the very least initiated from outside. However with technologies such as neural networks it is possible for an AI to develop behaviors not originally designed (although possibly intended) by its creators.

    kessels:
    dreamingone:

    Some aspects of an AI's functioning needs to be interpreted (interior) rather than observed (exterior); You can observe electric impulses on the micro chip but you need to interpret them via an artifact like the screen. Note that some snippets of the program might never be displayed on the screen.

    It would be the person looking to the screen that does the interpretation, not the AI. You can always look at artifacts through a 1p or 2p perspective, but the artifact itself does not possess 1p or 2p.

    How about an analogy; A person interpretes his/her internal mental imagery and communictes it externally through words, which are then reinterpreted by the the listener. Similarly an AI interpretes its internal signals and communicates them externally through a visual display of data, which is then reinterpreted by the viewer. Does that analogy make sense? In neither case are we observing the interior directly (as per definition).

    Hmm, this discussion is leading down a very interesting path. I can already see a discussion on the nature of sentience around the corner. Wink [;)]

    Enjoy,

    Janne

    Janne Asmala
    janne.asmala@gmail.com
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  •  07-06-2006, 10:28 AM 1036 in reply to 1015

    • slbrown is not online. Last active: 10-26-2006, 10:30 AM slbrown
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    Re: Comments on Integral Spirituality - Ch.1: Integral Methodological Pluralism

    Hi folks,

    The conversation of whether or not a holon (or holons) can create another holon makes me wonder about that old law of science: matter/energy can neither be create nor destroyed (forgive the truncation, been a while since I deeply delved into science so maybe that will shoot this whole wondering to hell!Stick out tongue [:P]). Is it creation or transformation?

    Any thoughts?

    Sue


    And right there was everything I knew and I could not say what that was. - Natalie Goldberg
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  •  07-07-2006, 9:28 AM 1089 in reply to 1036

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

    Hi Sue,

    slbrown:

    The conversation of whether or not a holon (or holons) can create another holon makes me wonder about that old law of science: matter/energy can neither be create nor destroyed (forgive the truncation, been a while since I deeply delved into science so maybe that will shoot this whole wondering to hell!Stick out tongue [:P]). Is it creation or transformation?


    While producing an artifact, energy is being converted to other forms of energy (considering matter as a form of energy). So you would be converting energy, but consciously adding additional structure or complexity. At least, that's wat I think, because...

    I suspect I have been saying things while discussing artifacts that don't make sense. For one thing, it's only half right to say that an artifact has an exterior but not an interior. The part that is right, is that it has no interior, but if it has no interior it has no exterior either. So there.

    But if its has no exterior/interior dimensions, it cannot possess a third-persion perspective either, strictly speaking. Are we just assigning a third-persion perspective to it, because we have decided "it" is an object? Sounds rather arbitrary to me, since we also say "it" to atoms, molecules, and cells. Language does not seem to be a reliable guide here.

    A spoon consists of holons, which are all subjects and objects, so why do we view the sum total of those holons as an object? How do subject and object suddenly become separated? Should I just get a life?

    Help...

    Peter

     

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-07-2006, 10:33 AM 1091 in reply to 1089

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

    Was my post 1027 not helpful?  I think more may be involved than Gabora outlines, but for me it's a helpful way to look at the issue of sentience.

    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.

    Also apparently needing a life,

    Balder


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

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