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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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  •  07-09-2006, 6:35 AM 1195 in reply to 1171

    • mandala is not online. Last active: 27 Sep 2008, 4:46 PM mandala
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    thank you, balder. let me give another classical example involving perspectives not perceptions. this one comes from the avatamsaka/huayen tradition and it's called "the net of indra", and it's a metaphor of a cosmic web of fine jewels in which every jewel reflects all surrounding jewels and is simultaneously reflected in them. the metaphor was being used to describe the interrelatedness of all phenomena arising together as the realm of phenomenal reality, and in that luminous spaciousness and mutual transparence this realm is recognized as the very realm of ultimate reality, wherein all phenomena are not mere appearances but unobstructed gestures of their own emptiness. such metaphor takes place in a context of so-called "four realities", which are the realm of phenomena, the realm of noumenon (true emptiness), the realm of noninterference between noumenon and phenomena, and the realm of noninterference among phenomena. since relative/absolute are implicit in kw's work, when discussing perspectives, we're dealing with the third and fourth of these four.

    now, phenomena are events/dharmas, of course, which in turn are found to be perspectives. the net-metaphor still stands, though, since perspectives prehend each other endlessly. it's easy to skip, however, that when we make a step backward to contemplate reality as composed of perspectives, we necessarily take another perspective to do that. this is basically a fundamental issue of two truths, and not on a doctrinal/conceptual level, but on the level of awareness itself.

    the specific taste of each perspective, as well as the perspectival dimensionality common to all putative perspectives and their mutations, is only realised from the no-point of vast unobstructed awareness, or as the avatamsaka says, "a great mind vast as space, an unhindered mind... an unobstructed mind... an unimpeded mind entering into all oceans of spaces, a pure mind entering into all realms of knowledge, a clearly aware mind perceiveing the adornments of this site of awakening, a vast broad mind entering into the ocean of all enlightening teachings, an all-pervasive mind edifying all sentient beings, an immeasurable mind purifyin all lands, an inexhaustible mind living through all times, an ultimate mind..." etc. such "mind" indeed "sees" in every particle every feature of relative and absolute, filling the Kosmos spontaneously.

    i believe that the fundamental feature of perspectives is their noninterference with emptiness, and they are deliberately used in that very sense. it's basically a non-dual concept employed at the level of postformal reasoning, freely embracing paradox. hence, we better beware of making "fractal" definitions that may impair the flowing character which is the nature of perspectives themselves. that is, a perspective is simultaneously not a perspective.:-)

    hokai

    may all be well.
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  •  07-09-2006, 7:32 AM 1196 in reply to 1195

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hello Hokai,

    You're obviously writing from a level of development where I'm not, but by reading your post three times I went from ''"huh??" to "hmm" to "ah!".

    KW also mentions the Indra's net metaphor in relation to perspectives, by the way.

    It's interesting for me to see that (on a rational level) perspectives can only be 'defined' recursively, so in terms of perspectives themselves. That also seems to be the case for energy, and I suspect also for consciousness.   Do you see any meeting point between them?

    Many Thanks,
    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-09-2006, 8:33 AM 1197 in reply to 1196

    • mandala is not online. Last active: 27 Sep 2008, 4:46 PM mandala
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    hi peter. i don't know where i'm writing from, because i keep going from "huh''" to "ah!" myself.:-) yes, the net metaphor is quite potent as a visualisation exercise. the recursiveness on the rational level is the foundation for aperspectival madness, and that's exactly the reason for my pointing out the importance of perspectives' transparence and their noninterference with emptiness.

    in the aspect of true emptiness, sheer cognizance is not a perspective as such. we must enter the realm of opposites, but then - and this is extraordinary - perspectives are already there. it's then a question of the manner of establishing that. if one establishes perspectives a posteriori, through logical deduction, than conclusion is dependent on the veracity of evidence presented. if evidence pertains to post-formal reasonng, as it does in this case, then we need to establish the nature of perspectives in that framework. trying to verbalize it in formal rational terms is like playing golf in a room with the field drawn on the wall. if, on the other hand, one observes immediately the very arising of such multifarious reality, then it becomes a question of interpretation and consequently of communication, still quite tricky nonetheless. consciousness is perspectives, right?  "energy" may be defined as a pattern of appearances' arising, and that pattern may still be observed or established internally and externally, so we need a working definition for energy. i hope this addresses some of your post.

    hokai

    may all be well.
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  •  07-09-2006, 9:07 AM 1198 in reply to 1197

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi Hokai,


    the recursiveness on the rational level is the foundation for aperspectival madness, and that's exactly the reason for my pointing out the importance of perspectives' transparence and their noninterference with emptiness.


    Exactly, every paradox is resolved on a higher level, right? Except on the 'highest' level, that is, which is... not a level and all levels simultaneously?


    consciousness is perspectives, right?  "energy" may be defined as a pattern of appearances' arising, and that pattern may still be observed or established internally and externally, so we need a working definition for energy.


    Not getting that. By equating consciousness to perspectives, and energy arising out of that, that amounts to saying that consciousness creates energy and therefore matter.  This seems to me in direct conflict with what  KW is saying, since he places consciousness in the UL. Unless I'm misrepresenting something...

    I could live with consciousness and energy ultimately being two sides of a cosmic coin, but I'm on very slippery ground here.

    Slipsliding out of here,
    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-09-2006, 10:22 AM 1200 in reply to 1198

    • mandala is not online. Last active: 27 Sep 2008, 4:46 PM mandala
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    right, peter. consciousness does not create energy. :-) as i said, we need a definition for energy, since the notion as "pattern" it may be established internally and externally i.e. in all 4Q. but, if you imply energy being a property of RQ, as i'm getting it from your post, then we already have a partial definition. you're not misrepresenting anything, you're just reading something into what i said.

    now, the phrase "pattern of appearances' arising" doesn't mean much, really, in terms of the causal relationship between mind and energy. it simply means that, if Mind is fundamentally Wisdom cognizing Emptiness, then Energy is fundamentally a property of Form, hence "a pattern of appearances' arising". however, Form in this sense is all 4Q, and i believe you see energy in the exteriors only, and that's an entirely legitimate usage of the word. i was only emphasizing that there's a pattern of appearances' arising in every quadrant (not necessarily in every quadrivium, though, since not all methodologies are after patterns in phenomena - fortunately - some deal with relationships and structures and development etc.).

    kw has elaborated on subtle energies (see excerpt G), and there he used the URQ to demonstrate the spectrum from gross through subtle to causal energy with corresponding "fields". when energy is distributed in its corresponding field it creates patterns (i had to save that word :-). kw has also suggested nondual mass-energy, being consistent with the proposition that each conceptualized level of conssciousness necessarily implies a level of matter/energy. thre he also suggested some solutions to the present situation with the question of creation.

    when you say  "consciousness and energy ultimately being two sides of a cosmic coin" then you refer to interior/subjective and exterior/objective, i guess. but that still refers just to the manifest realm. in that sense we cannot equate perspectives with consciousness without causing confusion. when i did that, however, i was using a 1p language there, sorry.:-), in a mode where everything is consciousness, and everything exhibits a pattern of arising - nonetheless, even then, consciousness does not "create" energy, since both are aspects of nondual. to create energy, consciousness should be apart from it, but it never is. in kw's words, "Spirit is not another dimension of reality." so, you may rest assured, the coin is still one, and it still has two sides.:-)

    hokai

    may all be well.
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  •  07-09-2006, 1:34 PM 1203 in reply to 1200

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Thanks for clearing that up, Hokai. Glad you're here.

    Glad to be here as well,
    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  07-09-2006, 5:05 PM 1211 in reply to 1195

    Re: It's all about perspectives

     

    Hello Hokai and all participants in this fantistic thread:

    What a truly "enlightening" post Hokai - Thank you for the totality of the post, but specifically for " The "Net of Indra" and ....

    "a great mind vast as space, an unhindered mind... an unobstructed mind... an unimpeded mind entering into all oceans of spaces, a pure mind entering into all realms of knowledge, a clearly aware mind perceiveing the adornments of this site of awakening, a vast broad mind entering into the ocean of all enlightening teachings, an all-pervasive mind edifying all sentient beings, an immeasurable mind purifyin all lands, an inexhaustible mind living through all times, an ultimate mind..."

    Now onto my contribution, but first a brief digression to give a further sense of  "where I am coming from": I have recently begun a study of the first two chapters of "Integral Spirituality" so up until 7 days ago the "perspective of perspective's of...." and the terminology and meaning of "Integral Methodological Pluralism" did not yet exist for me... Now onto my comments:

    I think that much of the initial confusion regarding IMP relates directly to the limitations of descriptive language and terminology definitions, for what is essentially, at least to me, "a new language". So.... my first order of business is to put myself to school regarding this "new language" so that I can speak from "its" point of view.

    I feel some of the KW quotes from the following sections listed, are important to retain as a "center of gravity", as we continue our exploration of "deep space"; my page number references are of course, from the first 2 chapters:

    1. Pg. 53 - "Here's the point: you can sit on your meditation mat for decades, and you will NEVER see anything resembling the stages of Spiral Dynamics. And you can study Spiral Dynamics till the cows come home, and you will NEVER have a satori. And the integral point is, if you don't include both, you will likely never understand human beings or their relation to Reality, divine or otherwise."

    2. Pg. 57 - ("You can actually go on to build a type or real mathematics here, with the equal sign representing "mutual understanding or resonance." As far as we know, this is a radical new type of mathematics that replaces variables with perspectives and objects with sentient beings.")

    3. Pg 91 - "But in all of this, please remember one thing: these stages (and stage models) are just conceptual snapshots of the great and ever-flowing River of Life. There is simply nothing anywhere in the Kosmos called the blue vMeme (except in the conceptual space of theoreticians who believe it). This is not to say that stages are mere constructions or are are socially constructed, which is the oppositely lopsided view. Stages are real in the sense that there is something actually existing that occurs in the real world and that we call development growth. It's just that "stages" of that growth are indeed simply snapshots that we take at paticular points in time and from a particular perspective (which itself grows and develops).

    Yes....

    Enough for now - my next post will contain some of my own questions/comments about this new "postmetaphysics"....

    Best Regards and a HEART felt Namaste to all....

    Justin

     


    "Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink".

    SHUNRYU SUZUKI
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  •  07-09-2006, 8:00 PM 1218 in reply to 1211

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

    Hi all,

     

    …welcome Hokai, and thanks for your extraordinary posts,

     

    …welcome back Justin, and I'm looking forward to your questions/comments,

     

    I also feel blessed to be here with you, in this remarkable conversation. II could probably offer a course on just the material in and the questions evoked by and the intersubjective space possible through this first chapter?

     

    A few more comments and questions that I’ve noted as I continue to read (and reread) chapter one…   

     

    I am a first year doctoral student (still feeling my way around!) in a program that encourages phenomenological dissertations. I am currently studying epistemology, the differences between ontological and epistemological approaches to research, and trying to understand the different flavors of “phenomenology” that various faculty practice and teach. I am still somewhat bewildered by it all, and so this reading of and discussion about chapter one (such as that related to figure 1.3 on page 52) is really great and very timely.

     

    A year from now I may have some expertise to contribute in these areas, but for now I’ll simply present two of the approaches to phenomenology that are being “offered.”  

     

    For what it is worth, this is me trying to make sense of a) how a few of the eight major methodologies are (or can be) related in the context of their teaching and practice in a university, b) how a researcher (for example, me!) might expand into the promise of Integral Methodological Pluralism from more partial epistemological habits, and c) the possible impact to phenomenological research given  the relatedness of perspectives and perception as discussed in this chapter (and here as well).

     

    Here are two statements, each about an approach to phenomenology:

     

    1) Phenomenography is the study of the variation in the ways people perceive, understand, and make meaning. It attempts to discover the elements that contribute to these variations, and to uncover patterns and relationships among these elements.

     

    2) This seminar on interpretive phenomenology will introduce the domains of phenomenology and hermeneutics through experientially grounded activities that display the foundations and orientation of interpretive ways of knowing. I’ll offer my own experience of doing this type of research while a member of an orchestra – I became interested in my experience of playing with them and as we developed a we-relationship among us. I’ll also describe how the concept of a “lifeworld” provided a framework for me to explicate symphonic life in a richer and more meaningful way.

     

    The questions I have now (appreciating that it will be helpful to have more to go on than the above statements): Are these approaches two flavors of phenomenology, or are they structuralist and hermeneutic approaches that have chosen to study human experience? Or are they paired methodologies, a structuralist-phenomenology and a hermeneutic-phenomenology?

     

    What does one bring to the other, if anything? How does one get from either (or both) to perspectives, to Integral Perspectivism?

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  •  07-09-2006, 11:16 PM 1226 in reply to 1126

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Peter, Mike and Hokai ~

    Thank you all for the thoughtful reponses to my questions about perspective and perception.  I've read through each of your responses several times and found them (especially when combined) to be very insightful. 

    I intend to reply to - err, try to regurgitate - what I learned from your your posts but need a little more time. 

    Just wanted to let you know that I was here, and grateful and working to internalize the meaning of what you wrote. Smile [:)]

    - Michael

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  •  07-10-2006, 1:21 AM 1229 in reply to 1226

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

    Thanks Michael,

     

    …for the encouraging words and for letting us know what you are up to. I’m looking forward to the further reflections that you might have, even if just a summary of what you have taken in.

     

    Mike

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  •  07-10-2006, 1:24 AM 1230 in reply to 1229

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

    Hey! Should we move the party to the next room (chapter two discussion)?

     

    Hokai is ready to move on (see his post there) and I could be as well. It’s just that this conversation is (and you are) so sweet that I don’t want to move on unless most of you come with us!

     

    We could focus on the material of the next chapter while allowing some referring back to (completing) posts that have been made here? Does this sound workable?

     

    Mike

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  •  07-11-2006, 9:07 AM 1291 in reply to 1230

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi, Mike,

    I think that sounds like a good idea.  I read chapter two last week, but will return to it again and then review the new thread.

    Thanks for contributing so nicely to this spirit of community that appears to be growing here.

    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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  •  07-12-2006, 7:55 PM 1360 in reply to 1193

    • SimonM is not online. Last active: 29 Apr 2007, 6:22 PM SimonM
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    Hi all,
      Remembering that this is all about developing a language in which to discuss the Kosmos, it is probably worth being very clear about the difference between a holon which only participates in a LL 2-p*pl manifestation and a holon which can take a 1-p perspective on its participation in a 2-p*pl .   The 1-p perspective doesn't seem to me to be a necessary condition to be in the 2-p*pl relation.

      The UL reaction of a holon to its 2-p*pl setting can probably be thought of and described usefully in terms of developmental lines and levels.

      What drove me to this is that human infants are in a 2-p*pl relation at least as soon as they are born.  It's safe to say, based on all sorts of developmental research, that this body, when it was newly born, was intensely interested in the female body from which it emerged AND in the communication with that body, which took place via the human mimetic language (see Merlin Donald: the Origins of the Modern Mind for clarity on mimetic communication).  That there was only a rudimentary ego structure around which this body organised its perspectives/perceptions isn't relevant to the "existence" of the LL perspective in which it participated.

     After that, it's "follow the turtles:"  In my understanding, it is exactly the "interiority" of atoms or molecules, as with humans, that condition their responses to entities with which they interact.  They may not be able to take a 2p perspective on their ionic mates, or a 1-p perspective on themselves, but our 3-p perspective on them is quite justified in discussing their worlds in term,s of their 2-p*pl interactions. 

    Simon

    Keep things as simple as possible....but NO simpler:  A. Einstein.

    Simon M.
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  •  07-13-2006, 5:13 PM 1396 in reply to 1360

    Re: It's all about perspectives

    I appreciated your comments, Simon.  I have continued with this line of questioning as long as I have -- though I promised earlier to help "move the party" to Chapter 2 -- because I am quite interested in this new, developing Kosmic language, and I'm trying to get as clear about the terms and the ideas (and the implications of the ideas) as I can.  So, I'm going against my promise to move on to the new thread in order to respond to your thoughtful post.

    I'm aware of interesting research in developmental psychology which makes it evident that infants are, indeed, born into a sea of intersubjective relationships, prior to stable ego formation.  Daniel Stern has done impressive work in this area.  Several theorists I've read (Varela, de Quincey, Bruteau) similarly contend that intersubjectivity forms the "ground" out of which individual selves emerge -- which seems to support your idea that the "1-p perspective doesn't seem...to be a necessary condition to be in the 2-p*pl relation."

    However, if this is the case -- if, as you say, atoms "may not be able to take a 2p perspective on their ionic mates, or a 1-p perspective on themselves" -- then the question arises:  What exactly is a 2-p*pl relation, if it is not technically a perspective?  Wilber argues that the universe is composed of perspectives before it is composed of anything else, and that perspectives are quadratically emergent (and presumably tetra-enactive) at all levels of being.  However, you seem to be suggesting that basic relationships and simple holons can exist apart from (or without immediate access to) the quadratic perspectives by which holons are supposedly enacted or called forth. 

    An interesting thing about the idea that the world is composed of perspectives, all the way down, is that it means that not only can we physically describe all levels of reality, we can also -- in some sense -- phenomenologically reconstruct them.  Although I confess that I can only really speculate what the "worldspace" of an atom would be, I have been trying to do that in these discussions.  If an atom does have perspectives available to it -- and Wilber says it does, at some rudimentary level at least -- then presumably it has an immediate sense of (non-reflexive) interiority and some basic registration of other entities.  However, if it registers other entities and resonates with them in some way, is it capable of registering them in 2p and 3p ways?  What would constitute a rudimentary 2-p perspective and differentiate it from a 3-p one, at this level, such that we can meaningfully say that atoms tetra-enact in perspectival space?

    At this point in my understanding, this is how I would put describe the "bare bones" of the three native perspectives:

    1-p = basic subjectivity or interiority, prehension, feeling

    2-p = intersubjective resonance, "feeling together," sensing and responding to similar subjective spaces

    3-p = registering sensations, vibrations, forms

    If you consider various (panpsychic) models of consciousness that have been proposed -- Chalmers, de Quincey, even Bohm -- then holons or entities at all levels engage in exchanges of meaning or information (phenomenal information, soma-significant transformations), which would suggest a social or sociocultural perspective as well is available even at very simple or primitive levels.  I've been having a hard time trying to imagine what a "we" or "its" perspective (as opposed to simple interior and exterior distinctions) would be for a simple holon, since for us these perspectives are so cognitively laden, but I have come around to agreeing that Wilber's essential proposal is sensible and sound.

    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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  •  07-14-2006, 1:54 AM 1406 in reply to 1396

    • mandala is not online. Last active: 27 Sep 2008, 4:46 PM mandala
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    Re: It's all about perspectives

    exactly, balder. "taking" a perspective indicates a conscious, reflective move, and in that sense an infant is absent in all domains. however, the perspectives themselves are native not with a birth of a infant, but with the birth of universe. we almost automatically equate perspectives with knowledge and awareness and complex experiential status. but that only arises with reflective capacities.

    hokai

    may all be well.
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