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."
And the other side of that coin is of course the Platonic, objective and contentless math of the MHC. Its still a metaphysical view not realizing that math itself is an enacted view-practice. L&J pretty much deconstructed that myth while still retaining the highly pragmatic value of its measuring stick.
And as all men know, their own dipstick has varying height, breadth and depth depending on context. So much more so for their fragile ego.
Since I'm on a Fisher kick I want to reference his article "Dynamic development" in The Cambridge Companion to Piaget (CUP, 2009). Talking about Piaget he says:
"The problem of classic concepts of structure is that they treat structure as form--an abstraction existing in its own right--instead of dynamic organization that emerges as the components organizing themselves together."
He uses the example of how an orange is dynamically organized and then says:
"In contrast to the orange itself, the concept of sphere is an abstract form that describes one characteristic of the dynamic structure--its shape--which applies across many situations. The Greek philosopher Plato suggested that these abstract, idealized forms actually exist in an arena beyond the physical world. The uniformity of the sphere concept makes it useful for characterizing many objects" (402).
He goes on to note that the neo-Piagetian movement intends to retain Piaget's core insights like hierarchical development sans the "universal structures of formal logic" (403). Like the nondual pragmatic approach, "psychological activities do not exist outside of activity--like the concept of sphere--but instead they arise from action systems embedded [embodied] in what people do on a daily basis" (403). However he does emphasize that one element in going post-Piaget is "mathematical modeling" (401), so we'll hopefully see how he uses this measuring stick not as an ideal, Platonic form a la Commons or Wilber. Or even if he can avoid using it as a more conventional "universal structure of formal logic," the criticism of L&K when it comes to set theory, the foundation of mathematical, hierarchical complexity.
Here's what I'm not getting, yet. Fisher notes the difference between the abstraction "circle" from the dynamic process of an orange. And that the former is based on a universal structure of formal logic, hence it missed all of the other characteristics and relationships in the orange by reducing it to one abstract characteristic. Nonetheless mathematical modeling is used to measure altitude in any particular domain. While Fisher will allow the variability of altitude due to this messy process of a living thing, nonetheless from what I've read the altitude stick devised from nested formal operations (aka hierarchical complexity) is never examined. As I demonstrated in the real and false reason thread, this mathematical model is based on set theory, and what goes into each mathematical set is indeed just an abstract portion of any given living "part" that it represents, which then is nested within a larger set (part-whole aka holon), etc. As Fisher admits, such living parts themselves do not fit into any abstract category (set) and yet they can be measured with math that does exactly that? I certainly get the idea that lower skills are needed to build on more complex ones but something is not right in the mathematical modeling of altitude. I must sit and stew and await my Muse to speak to this.
Per above Fisher is into the dynamics of development but seems to be using, like Commons, a static mathematical model to measure it. So why not a dynamic mathematical model based on living systems? Just such a mathematical model exists in dynamic systems theory applied to cognition, which uses differential equations instead of nested algebraic sets. Recall Commons said that "whereas the Model’s unidimensional measure is linear, the tasks it measures are nonlinear performances" (306). Why not a multidimensional, nonlinear measure? And in the same article he admitted: "The MHC is a mathematical theory of the ideal. It is a perfect form as Plato would have described it. It is like a circle. A circle is an ideal form that exists" (315).
In the article cited below it says something interesting about the kind of increasing complexity in dynamic systems:
"Complexity does not have to be constructed from preexisting forms nor follow a universal direction" (39). Emergence comes about through instability when old patterns break down. They are not included or enfolded in the set of a more complex level. Complexity yes, hierarchy not so much.
"it is a central concern for Deleuze...to do away with all ideas about structures...with ideas about ‘timeless forms’ or ‘essences’ that emanate from some Platonic heaven to give shape to the world of real things. Deleuze finds that such ‘essentialism’ pervades our normal perception and ways of thinking...things are thought of as belonging to categories and sub-categories which are defined in terms of invariant properties or, again, essences.
"This is all the more noticeable since Deleuze draws on almost all other branches of mathematics – number theory, the theory of sets; catastrophe theory, the theory of fractals and other branches of topology and in particular calculus and differential geometry.
"I would like to elaborate on this by jumping to one of the places where DeLanda discusses evolution. He says that the idea that evolutionary processes possess an inherent drive toward increased complexity reintroduces teleology – another kind of essentialism – into Darwinism. In this connection he mentions a mechanism in biological evolution called neoteny, which shows that novelty need not be the effect of terminal addition of new features; on the contrary it can be the result of a loss of certain old features.
"It is from the standpoint of this ontology...that Deleuze refutes evolutionism.... Returning to DeLanda’s example, in terms of genetic structuralism neoteny is a fine example of the way structure grows out of structure in a process that at bottom yields increased complexity by generating a new developmental level. The problem that makes discussions of evolution difficult is that Deleuze rejects the notion of epistemological and developmental ‘levels’, which is essential to Piaget. Instead, Deleuze introduces the concept of ‘strata’, which are intermingled or folded into one another and shot through by escape routes or ‘lines of flight’. At one point Deleuze says that among strata there is no fixed order, and one stratum can serve directly as a substratum for another without the intermediaries that one would expect from the standpoint of stages or degrees. Or the apparent order can be reversed.
"As mentioned earlier, Deleuze’s arguments draw heavily on calculus."
In my research I found an ebook called Continental Philosophy of Science and started a thread elsewhere in this forum. Therein I quoted from a chapter on Deleuze which is relevant here so it is copied below:
"Deleuze reads differential calculus not as a pragmatic matter of using differential equations to discover the slope of a particular function at a particular point. Rather, he sees in the differential an entire ontology of difference that can actualize itself into various functions and, consequently, specific curvilinear patterns" (247).
"In the later collaboration between Deleuze and Guttari, the writings of Ilya Prigogine become increasingly important. Prigogine, whose book La nouvelle alliance appeared in 1979, argues for a self-ordering of chemical components into patterns and relationships that cannot be read off from the previous state of chemical disarray.... It is not the introduction of some sort of ordering mechanism that makes the chemical clock appear. It is an inherent capability of the chemicals themselves for self-organization that gives rise to this phenomenon. It is as though there were virtual potentialities for communication or coordination contained in the chemicals themselves, or at least in their groupings, that are actualized under conditions that move away from equilibrium. As Manuel De Landa notes, in an echo of Deleuze’s treatment of Spinoza, ‘Matter, it turns out, can express itself in complex and creative ways, and our awareness of this must be incorporated into any future materialist philosophy'" (247).
Dynamic systems remind me of Henri Bortoft from our previous discussion here. Here's an except from that relevant to many of the comments in this thread:
Bortoft distinguishes between two types of wholeness: the counterfeit and the authentic whole. Both notions of wholeness are based on different faculties of cognition. The counterfeit whole is based on the intellectual mind abstracting from concrete sensual perception. That is, the mind is moving away from the concrete part to get an overview. The result leads to an abstract and non-dynamic notion of the whole. In contrast, the authentic whole is based on a different cognitive capacity, the intuitive mind that is based on opening some higher organs of perception. The intuitive mind is moving right into the concrete parts in order to encounter the whole. This encounter leads to perceiving the dynamic and living multiplicity of the whole.
The distinctions between the two types of whole (the counterfeit and the authentic) correspond to two cognitive capacities (the intellectual mind and the intuitive mind) and to two notions of generalization (the abstracting general versus the concretizing universal) which are at the heart of Bortoft's work.
Says Bortoft (1998, 285): “We cannot know the whole in the way in which we know things because we cannot recognize the whole as a thing. … The whole would be outside its parts in the same way that each part is outside all the other parts. But the whole comes into presence within its parts, and we cannot encounter the whole in the same way that we encounter the parts. We should not think of the whole as if it were a thing.”
Bortoft claims that we can not know the whole in the way in which we know a thing, because the whole is not a thing. Thus, the challenge is to encounter the whole as it comes to presence in the parts. Says Bortoft (1998, 284):
“If the whole presences within its parts, then a part is a place for the presencing of the whole. … a part is special and not accidental, since it must be such as to let the whole come into presence. This specialty of the part is particularly important because it shows us the way to the whole. It clearly indicates that the way to the whole is into and through the parts. It is not to be encountered by stepping back to take an overview, for it is not over and above the parts, as if it were some superior all-encompassing entity. The whole is to be encountered by stepping right into the parts. This is how we enter into the nesting of the whole, and thus move into the whole as we pass through the parts.
As in dynamic systems the parts have an inherent capability (the "whole") for self organization that rearrange themselves into new organizational patterns during disequilibrium. But this new (and temporary) equilibrium, while still containing the parts, isn't of itself a new "whole" that included the former wholes a la cognitive models of hierarchical complexity (the counterfeit whole of Bortoft).
I'm reminded of Wilber's differentiation of enduring and transitional structures (that we've discussed here), where the former are transcended and included while the later are transcended and replaced. It seems he had the gist of the above but that it only applied things like worldviews, values and other self-related lines. He still maintained though that the actual cognitive structures were of the enduring kind.
"It should be acknowledged that the most widespread conceptualization of the mechanism of human cognition is that cognition resembles computational processes, like deductive reasoning or long division, by making use of symbolic representations of objects and events in the world that are manipulated by cognitive operations (typically serially ordered) which might reorder or replace symbols, and draw deductions from them. This approach has been called the computational approach and its best-known articulation is the physical symbol system hypothesis (Newell and Simon, 1972). The theoretical framework of modern linguistics (Chomsky, 1965) also falls within this tradition....the traditional approach hypothesizes that all processes of cognition are accomplished by computational operations that manipulate digital representations in discrete time. The mathematics of such systems is based on an abstract algebra dealing with the manipulation of strings and graphs of distinct symbol tokens. Indeed, Chomsky's work on the foundation of such abstract algebras (Chomsky, 1961) served as a theoretical foundation both for computer science and cognitive science, as well as modern linguistic theory."
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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