Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Recently, Layman Pascal shared with me a very interesting document -- a manifesto of sorts -- that I thought would be fun (and illuminating) to explore and discuss in depth, if anyone is interested.
I'll post the first page of the document below, since it summarizes the contents of the paper, and I'll post the full document as an attachment.
The Rules of MetaTheory
c. 2014 CE
The Governing Principles &
Teleological Ethos of Integrative MetaTheory
(expressing and clarifying the Dionysian Cultural Revolution)
This brings together, in both content and style, my personal contributions to “integral
meta-theory” and a summary of much important material from the collective conservations
of Alderman’s online forum devoted to: postmetaphysical spirituality.
1. THE NATURE OF METATHEORY
2. THE PRIMAL SPLICE
4. GENERIC METATHEORY
5. THE DIONYSIAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION
6. POSTMETAPHYSICAL SPIRITUALITY
7. THE “LR EMPHASIS”
I was reminded of LP's response to this post a while back, wherein I posited that our universal hyperobject is multiplicity/differance itself. LP seems to have agreed, noting this requires 'mystical' experience, part of his rules in this doc. If the nature of reality is differance itself, which itself is not only the same but different with each manifestation as well as with each virtuality, how then can we posit that there is one metatheoretical expression of it which is best?
I understand that we can choose one within which to frame the others, and that is useful but far from complete. And that we can examine several metatheories with a yet further meta-meta-theory that tries to incorporate them. But does this process 'end' in the one true metatheory? This process doesn't have to necessarily be 'just' pluralistic relativism but could be ontological pluralism which includes universals like the hyperobject endo-structure of differance.
I see it similarly, theurj. The splice, in LP's Rules of Meta-Theory, is such a universal: la même-différance. And the benevolent hegemony or all-incorporative gesture LP describes can indeed be useful and fruitful ... that is part of the integral drive ... but if we take LP's rules as general rules for metatheorizing per se (and not as exclusive principles and properties of IT), then it seems we cannot escape the scenario that I described above, where such a (post)metaphysical sensibility can be expected to be plurally instantiated -- multiply realized and enacted (from different meta-theoretical centers, in similar-different integrative gestures): perichoresis by another name, or some descendent thereof. To me, perichoresis and plurisingularity are better images for an Integral endeavor than the old One of perennial philosophical (or traditional religious) inclusivism.
Speaking of splices reminded me of the movie Splice, a good one with interesting themes for this thread.
In response to some Theurjy remarks:
It should be obvious but who doesn't love redundancy...
The Rules of Metatheory make it clear that I am not choosing IT as the One in some sort of objective assertion. Our conventional associations with examples of "one theory" and the advocates of such approaches should not too strongly color our understanding of the convergent pole of ontological pluralism.
Selecting a "the One theory" is necessarily a temporary and pragmatic wager based on, among other things, contingent cultural factors. The best theory is not the result of an unshakeable logical postulation but rather of a supportive relationship between (a) trans-genre cultural viability, and (b) flexible comprehensiveness. IT currently meets a lot of this criteria. If we take it as the current "mark to beat" (by challenging in various ways its capacity to configure its meaning to subsume the insights of metatheorists) we are not therefore stating a dogma of its completion.
That the supertheory of this historical moment need not be IT is as obvious as the fact that it currently "may as well be" IT. LIkewise, it would be as stupid to assume that one existing model already objectively subsumes all others... as it would be to refuse to attempt to subsume all others within one currently existing model.
MOA-3 approaches must deploy MOA-1 and MOA-2 in mutually beneficial ways. That means, in particular, that it must safeguard the harvesting new insights & possible alternative models from MOA-1 efforts. It must also secure and encourage the attempt to work these together into an existing MOA-2 supermodel which has populist, generic and trans-academic vitality.
I understand that we can choose one within which to frame the others, and that is useful but far from complete. And that we can examine several metatheories with a yet further meta-meta-theory that tries to incorporate them. But does this process 'end' in the one true metatheory?
The process does not "end" in the sense of a fixed and definitive objective conclusion. But that is impossible and therefore not the correct sense. What is possible is an "other end" -- a cathode or North Pole towards which the lines of insight and creative effort in metatheory can be presumed to converge.
This process doesn't have to necessarily be 'just' pluralistic relativism but could be ontological pluralism which includes universals like the hyperobject endo-structure of differance.
Ontological pluralism is a view that operates by complementary convergence & divergence. If the divergent end is isolated it is "just" pluralistic relative. If the convergent end is isolated it is "just" a pre-meta-theoretical supermodel. But when both ends are operating functionally...
In response to some Balder-y remarks:
Okay, let's talk "generic metatheory" :
There are two different angles from which to approach it. One builds up from MOA-1 toward MOA-2. It uses divergent alterity as the basis of establishing convergent subsumption. That is to say: Yes, different practitioners of different approaches should indeed attempt to subsume other metatheories into their MOA-2 model. As they succeed their models will progressively come to resemble other models which are also succeeding from different starting points. A general convergent metatheory will then begin to haunt them.
The other angle uses a convergent presumption as the starting point. This will incline us to make a gamble about the metatheory that is most likely to operate with (a) trans-genre cultural vitality and (b) flexibly interpretable comprehensibility. From there it begins to work "backwards" to illuminate common elements in diverse methatheories and inscribe the as pre-included in the Generic Metatheory.
MOA-3 approaches are then called upon to oversee the MOA-1 and MOA-2 interactions no matter which direction they are proceeding in.