Out of curiosity I did a Google search on the above three words in parentheses as a phrase. In the entire internet there was only one hit and it was to this forum in my discussion of ladder, climber, view. It is a unique phrase and even more, a valid contender for what this forum purports. It might even be a misnomer to call something postmetaphysical "spirituality" given what I said in the thread:

[Referencing "to see a world," see link] "As for turquoise, it reinjects 'Spirit' back into the equation. And therein lies the question for an IPS, how to have a nondual spirituality that doesn’t separate spirituality from the mundane, that doesn’t 'include' the metaphysical interpretations from prior WVs. It might even be an expression of a metaphysical WV holdover to call something 'spirituality,' since the very term indicates the metaphysical notion of an absolute world apart from a relative WV. Granted we can re-define it any way we like but nevertheless its etymology is one of a split, dualistic origin. Another term that can be more easily separated from its metaphysical baggage is 'nondual.' Integral Postmetaphysical nonduality? I’ve already made a strong case that the intersection of American Pragmatism with second generation cognitive science is precisely this WV based on postformal cognitive functioning. And AQAL to boot, though they don’t use those terms."

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I'm still leery of claims like this: "it's use of purely quantitative principles" (362). I just don't think there is such an animal and the nondual cogsciprago tradition would surely agree.

Moving on, the transition steps are an expanded version of Wilber's fusion, differentiation and integration but using 8 steps instead of 3. The equilibrium of one stage is upset when new task challenges arise that cannot be solved within the status quo. This leads to deconstruction and antithesis, followed by vacillation between the former equilibrium and challenge, into a chaos of mix and matching, and finally synthesis and integration of the new elements.

The foregoing is again just a description of the process, but what is the motivator, the catalyst for this change process? "Equilibrium is supported by reinforcement. These initial steps ensue in the face of a drop in perceived reinforcement to continue the previous task behavior" (366). So someone(s) or something(s) in the environment no longer reinforce a particular performance; it is no longer good enough. New behaviors are tried and either reinforced or not. It might be for example that a parent says "goo goo" is baby language and you're a big boy now, it's time to use more appropriate language. The education system is a fine reinforcer and mover along the trajectory of development, at least up to formal logic.

The next section gets too technical for my understanding so I cannot comment. But aside from the above brief mention of reinforcement there was no further discussion of the catalysts of change, just further descriptions of modeling the what of change, not the how.
Returning to teleos, Maturana and Varela say in Autopoiesis and Cognition (Springer, 1980):

"Teleonomy becomes only an artifice of their description which does not reveal any feature of their organization, but which reveals the consistency in their operation within the domain of observation. Living systems, as physical autopoietic machines, are purposeless systems" (86).
Here are some interesting excerpts from an article called "Interstitial Life" by Steven Shaviro:

"Darwin provides an immanent, non-teleological mechanism for the development of life.

"I have elsewhere (Shaviro 2003, 205-212) criticized the way that devotees of evolutionary
psychology, in particular, tend to invoke “purpose,” attributed to such reified agencies as “evolution.”

"The outcome of a process is not the same as the conditions that led to its existence in the first place. To equate the two is precisely to confuse the “efficient cause” that gave rise to the trait with the trait’s concrete action as “final cause.”

"But selection is rendered intelligible, in retrospect, only by means of the “teleological principle”
that particular traits have been selected for because they are adaptive. Thus the theory of natural selection takes away teleology with one hand, but gives it back with the other. The “argument from design” is rejected as an appeal to a transcendent, external cause, but restored as an immanent principle of emergent order.

"Kant thus insists that linear, mechanistic causality is universally valid for all phenomena. But at the same time, he also proposes a second kind of causality, one that is purposive and freely willed. This second causality does not negate the first, and does not offer any exceptions to it. Rather, “freedom” and “purpose” exist alongside “natural mechanism”: Derrida would say that they are supplementary
to it.

"Purposive (teleological) causality is not altogether eliminated, but it can only be accorded a ghostly, supplemental status.... But in cases of complexity, or of higher-order emergence, supplemental causality becomes far more important.

"The idea of purpose, or of final cause, involves a circular relation between parts and whole. The whole precedes the parts, in the sense that “the possibility of [a thing’s] parts (as concerns both their existence and their form) must depend on their relation to the whole.” But the parts also precede and produce the whole, insofar as they mutually determine, and adapt to, one another: “the parts of the thing combine into the unity of a whole because they are reciprocally cause and effect of their form” (252). An organism must therefore be regarded as “both an organized and a self-organizing being.” It is both the passive effect of preceding, external causes, and something that is actively, immanently self-caused and selfgenerating."
As I've said before, there is also downward causation in addition to its upward forebear. But it seems that capacity only arises, or rather emerges, at a particular level of development somewhere around egoic rationality. Recall Levin's scheme where it is only at his level 3 that the journey to integrate earlier levels can even begin, and in so doing the higher level integrates and transforms the earlier levels, that is, reciprocal downward causation. Hence prepersonal dream and deep sleep become subtle and causal transpersonal enactions. And all by virtue of the personal ego sans skyhooks, aka integral postmetaphysical nonduality.
Also recall in the "real and false reason" thread, particularly from page 7, the discussion of how basic categories arise in the middle of a representational, "hierarchical" scale.* It is much like the above, where the fulcrum in the middle (ego) is the nondual interrelation of higher and lower and without which those terms are meaningless. Ironically the ego created that duality (and its hierarchy) and only through it can it also thus "taketh it away."

* Remember the caveat above about confusing efficient cause from final cause.
As to the easy confusion of abstract categories with the thing in itself, this neuroscience article demonstrates how symbols and metaphors arise in the same brain areas as physical responses. Hence we get the feeling that our abstractions (like Spirit) exist "out there." L&J also talk about this in PF.
L&J say in PF:

“The basic level is the level at which people interact optimally with their environments….basic level categorization tells us why metaphysical realism makes sense….it appears as if our conceptual categories fit the categories of the world. If you look at categories at other levels it does not. It is not surprising, therefore, that philosophical discussions about the relationship between our categories and things in the world tend to use basic-level examples. Evolution has not required us to be as accurate above and below the basic level, and so we are not” (29-30).

Remember the example of the orange as prototype for hierarchical complexity. This is one of those basic-level categories using the container schema to relate to the whole-part relationships of size, which makes sense at that level. But when we start abstracting that basic level onto the mathematics of hierarchical inclusion it’s not a (close to) 1-to-1 representation anymore and such general abstractions leave out much of the necessary particulars. Hence basic categories, developed for survival, are in the middle of classical hierarchies that do not translate so well in their upper (more general) or lower (more particular) extremes. And it is at these extremes where the metaphysics creeps in because things work so well in the middle.

Would medium or vessel or dharma be a better term than "body?" Did I use the word dharma correctly? Not sure. Seems I've heard it described as being a sort of vehicle of expression. Work is dharma. Like a car to deliver spirit to earthly manifestations?  


theurj said:

Part of Dawkins message is that there is nothing that doesn't have a natural base, ie, something supernatural without a "body," so to speak. And of course because of this he has been criticized by the likes of Wilber for being reductionist, reducing everything to matter. But he doesn't do this. He notes for example:

"Human thoughts and emotions emerge [his emphasis] from exceedingly complex interactions of physical entities in the brain" (14). But a kennilinguist might reply: "But see, he is reducing mind to a its physical correlate, reducing the left to the right hand quadrant." But again this is a fallacious argument hiding behind a dualistic separation of inner-outer. While it might be useful to speak of inner-outer quadrants it's another thing again to think there is a actual ontological separation. As I demonstrated elsewhere the cogscipragos, through the principle of continuity, show the continuous relation between the levels of mind from its bodily base and the inseparable relation between the inside and outside. There is no actual, dualistic separation. One consequence of this is that there is no mind without a body, which doesn't reduce the mind to a body, since a mind emerges from and out of a body; a matter of degree, not kind.

Wilber did discuss the different meanings of the term "body," which includes the above two usages, that of body as a level (body-emotion-mind-spirit) and between inner-outer (body as physical base for consciousness).* In both cases though to say that because one recognizes the continuous, nondual relation between them is reductive because it doesn't accept a supernatural (aka spiritual) agent apart from them is to me metaphysical elevationism.

* Also recall the cogscipragos noting other meanings of "body" beyond the physical, associated with an social and cultural body, a hermeneutic body, all of which are emergent, developmental aspects of, but never separate from, a physical body. Granted a societal culture exists in its artifacts, like books, so any particular physical body is not required to perpetuate it. But without some body around to embody it it's moot as to its inherent existence apart from it. And to be sure this cultural artifact was created by body-minds.

Also note that Mark Edwards has criticized Wilber for his own reduction of the so-called exterior quadrants as being "merely material" and lacking in exactly the kind of developmental "bodies" referenced above.

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

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