Stimulated by a conversation in the Integral Life forum I entered into a period of private pondering which produced the following 17 points.  They are, I would argue, quite consonant with the basic scaffolding of Integral Theory although obviously somewhat divergent from the usual, casual or populist-Vedantic communication of that theory.

1. "States" can refer to many things but this term becomes frequently misleading when applied to the 4 implicit ontological domains (gross, subtle, causal & nondual) -- even if we are consider them as "states of access to realms" or "alternate bodies")  

2. Each basic domain exhibits its own 4-quadrant reality.  There are subjective, objective, intersubjective & collective-structural (configurational) aspects in each of the 4 domains.  Gross, subtle, causal & nondual domains unfold outward in singular, plural, inner and outer dimensions, expanding in circles of increasing complexity, inclusion and profundity.  This can be mapped.

3. Each structural stage or layer of development, along any line, stabilizes a progressive degree of the integration of these 4 domain-genres of experience. 

4. Meditations of all kinds (not only "witnessing" meditations) move identity temporarily from less coherent to more coherent degrees of functioning.  They do not move upward through levels of gross to subtle to causal to nondual (although that appearance is understandable).

5. Meditation progresses through an increasingly familiar sequence of inter-phases between a starting point and the culmination threshold (whether it is reached or not).

6. Meditation begins with the current circumstantial degree of coherence at your current structural stage (including its degree of integration of the 4 basic domains).

7. Meditation moves through progressively stable and comprehensively coherent inter-phases which intensity proximity to an absorptive (or else epiphanic) threshold which indicates the ego's current tolerance for experiential coherence.

8. Progressive inter-phases of meditation are increasingly integrated (temporary) blends of the 4 basic domains.

9. The epiphanic limit of your tolerance for coherence occurs at the emergence boundary of your next structural stage.

10. Each subsequent structural stage exhibits more and more of the overall pattern of development through the temporary inter-phases of domain integration.  Thus the structural layers sequentially reveal a more complete picture of the journey along the stage-stages (inter-phases) toward generic epiphanic coherence.

11. Emergent structural stages unfold or elaborate implicit (but radically minimal) involutional pattern potentials which initially inhabit relatively separate (pre-integrated) domains.

12. Previous integrators have laid down "morphic grooves" which make higher degrees and more expansive spheres of integration more probable/accessible.

13. Meditation oscillates between, or rapidly traverses, elements of all 4 domains -- organizing them to produce "higher state-stages". 

14. Meditation with a mystical focus upon the "witness" tends to progressively emphasis the causal domain and its effects.  However...

15. Meditation with subtle energy tends to initiate conductivity (either ascending or descending-ascending) through the frequencies, qualities and functional spectrum of the "chakras". And meditation done by bodily manipulations tends to produce health and capacity.

16.  The emphasis on movement from the gross identity concerns through subtle forms to causal identity and then supra-causal absorption represents a particular emphasis relative to a particular class of meditation methods and a particular temperament of meditators and theorists.

17. The transcend-and-include mechanism is associated with a Transcendental Subjective Potential -- presumed to radically enable conditional subjectivity to transform itself by enfolding its previous patterns as objects and subsequently identifying with an expanded ego.  However the notion that this Transcendent "virtual something" is the "I-I" or "I AM" tends to typically emphasize the Causal domain form. Yet it is equally associated with each of the other domains.  Thus certain styles of embodiment, qualitative energy and in/difference can also operate the mechanism of integration.  

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I think along these lines: the gross are dimensions of space-time ; the subtle are dimensions of mind; the causal dimensions of spirit; not worth talking about the last one other than to call it ---:) 

Science works well within the gross; not so much in the subtle dimensions; not at all in the causal. IMO, there will not be any new scientific discoveries that allude to anything amounting to a unified theory from the subtle; although there may well be 'smaller' new discoveries within psychic/paranormal. The subtle dimensions are too fine for measurement at this time. Anything new here will come from REVELATION from the causal. Again, imo, science is of the gross; has limited access to the subtle, so it will not discover a subtle realm proving the existence of astral bodies, etc.

I should probably mention that the reason we won't find a unified theory is because the gross dimensions are indeed; intertwined and inter-connected to the subtle, causal, and non-dual. 

A.I. may give us new insight into the dimensions of mind.

This guy isn't exactly a slacker:

He's saying that mind (subtle) is wired into the gross at the quantum level. He also says that there is nothing in current scientific laws that renders the causal (spirit), as myth. 

Hey Andrew,

I don't quite agree.  Space & time are necessary conditions of thought.  Therefore they to any manifest reality -- whether subtle or gross.  Space (locatability) and time (occurability) are, I think, causal phenomenon.  They are themselves eternal, formless, etc. 

Science also is a kind of search to apply logical necessity (a causal property) to phenomenon.  This is easy when the phenomenon as mass but that is not a requirement.  As long as there is energy and effects then scientific methods can make progress.  I think it is extremely likely that the progress of technology will involve the increasing technologization of the subtle domains -- or at least the subtle-gross interface.  All we have to do, from a mathematical point of view, is to start quantifying massless transformations.  And that is possible because it is always a creative affair. 

But clearly if we constrain ourselves to ordinary mass-bearing particles then we will have significant explanatory gaps that remain when we attempt to unify all the data at our disposal. 

Hey Layman, you seem to be in the process of redefining words; which is cool, I don't have a problem with that, but it would be nice to grok your ideas. Are you saying that the 3 dimensions of this universe-plus time are thought constructs only? Or , are you saying that thought is not possible without space and time? And, what would be the difference between saying 'ontological domain' compared to multidimensional? Is the quantum field for example, an ontological domain to you; or is it the 'finest' dimension of gross 4 dimensional space-time? ( a gross-subtle interface). And what about, say, the noosphere ? Is that an ontological domain? Or another dimension of mind? You also seem to be implying the notion that space is eternal because of the notion that emptiness is form and form emptiness; but this seems to contradict the scientific theory of the ultimate demise of the physical universe. 

Anyway, my fave licence plate is, 'everyone is entitled to their wrong opinion.' lol But I'm not saying you're wrong…...

I like the bumper sticker which says "You don't have to believe everything you think!" -- although I'm not entirely sure I agree with it... (!)

Space (if you refer to the Christmas Wiki) has three common meanings.  It can mean the quality of spaciousness, the physicality of a proto-material fluid underlying all material structures or (most generally) the principle of locate-ability. If we confine ourselves to the second one then we can imagine this transparent, gravitational, minimally mass-bearing universal substance to expand, contract, start or stop.  But we cannot likewise believe such things about the principle of location.  The general concept of space, like the general concept of time, are necessary conditions of thought/manifestation.  They apply therefore to both subtle and material realities and can be considered as part of the "causal" structure of any and all realities.

What interfaces between subtle and gross reality?  Something which which is non-local in physical process, minimally qualitative, massless but possessing an energy that is convertible into mass-bearing charges.  Some concepts of space and some conceptions of "the quantum field" approximate that.  It depends upon what physical model we are starting with.  But things like the noosphere are certainly not ontological (except in the most minimal sense that every type of patterning may have a non-temporal root in a basic differential computation or something of that sort).  The noosphere is a "something".  It occurs somewhere.  Space and time are conditions which permit occurrence. 

It remains quite undetermined whether the physical universe can reach a demise or not.  Some suppositions and math lead to that outcome.  But whether mass-bearing forms of energy are endlessly present, periodically present or uniquely present they do not constitute the entirety of the energetic universe whose massless forms are not subject to the quasi-mythological story of creation and apocalypse.

Using my proposal, we would expect to find a different typical version of gross, subtle, causal & nondual at each stage -- a version which embodies the increased mutual integration. We would also expect to find distinct versions appropriate to each line of development. Here are some potential (brainstorming) variants which are appropriate to a few of the major lines:

LOVE = beings + feelings + recognition + shared spirit

COGNITION = objects + style + witnessing + coherent meaningfulness

KINESTHETICS = flesh + proprioceptive energy sensing + gestural exactness + dance/coupling

ETHICS = vulnerable beings + compassion + the balance of fairness + mutual identification

INTELLECT = brains + interest + pattern identification + matching

SPIRITUALITY = gross body + subtle body + causal body + nondual body

ART = mechanical skill + inspiration + detail precision + general harmony, etc.

And here is a possible view of the four domains showing up at the most common human developmental levels:


inertial embodiment / archetypal & qualitative form-flow-frequencies / differential syntax / in/difference


gross body & realm / subtle body & realm / causal witness & realm / nondual realm


organic objects & ingredients-in-backgrounds / virtuality, qualitative immersion, mythopoetics / frames, quotes, brackets, differences / irony


mass-machines / imagination, secondary qualities / deep sleep, logic, essences / warmth & wonder


the world / the dogmatic otherworld / law & the orders of invisible things / sacred fusion through obedience, the mysticism of masses


shit, treasure & tools / magic / commands & ranks / triumph, revelry & repose

For the record , my first nation name might be, ' one who annoys the !@#$%^ out of mensa's':) 

Okay, I think I am starting to absorb some of this! I make a good sponge. 

Is there any thing you are proposing here that would alter the W.C. lattice?

Why do you put holistic above integrative? Holistic is not in the usual kennlingus hierarchy.

I used it that way because I had recently been glancing at google images most colorful AQAL picture -- so I went with its phrasing since there is no particularly good or consistent terminology for trans-integral levels.  I probably would have used meta-integral if I was focusing more directly on the cognitive line but "holistic" isn't terrible... although it is a little lame.  In this investigation I am also looking for structural reasons why aspects of that level initially seemed appropriate to call "subtle" or "soul" etc.  What would you call it?


No -- the W.C. Lattice remains perfectly valid.  It establishes a grid of intersections between structural layers and what I would call "domains" (rather than "states").  Those specific two-variable distinctions still hold up very well.

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