Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I decided to move this post over to its own thread to work on this. I'll also move other related past posts over from other threads to riff on later.
The last post reminded me of something I've been working on using Bergson via Bryant. It's not completely thought through yet, with gaps still, but I thought I'd get it down here and then work on it further.
Now where Bryant might be akin to something like the MHC is in his endo-relational organizational structure. Recall in TDOO his distinction between exo- and endo-relations, and its correlation with intensional and extensional relations in a set (212). Endo-relations reside in the structural organization of its elements, the elements themselves not being autonomous entities. Hence the elements of this set cannot be otherwise; they must be in a relatively fixed pattern to maintain an entity's autonomy (214).
Bryant uses Bergson's diagram on memory to show how endo-relations are maintained (232).
It is similar to hierarchical nests but not quite. ABCD shows the unfoldment of an entity over time. A'B'C'D' show the memory of the entity, which feeds back into its unfoldment and also allows for future anticipation. But what is unfolded and remembered-anticipated is how an entity selectively organizes its structural elements in relation to its environment. This can and does change in response to these relations, but even when it changes it maintains a relatively stable endo-relational structure to maintain autonomy.
Where Bryant didn't go with this, and I do, is in relating this to the Wilber-Combs lattice. As I've laid out in different posts and threads, we might loosely correlate A'B'C'D' with our early development using MHC's stages with Gebser's, from pre-operational/archaic (D') to primary/magic (C') to concrete/mythic (B') to abstract-rational (A'). Formal rationality begins at A, which can be then trained to retrieve through focus and memory to integrate the previous levels throuch meditative or contemplative methods.
But here is where it diverges with the MHC and uses a twist or fold in the W-C lattice. I've claimed that the MHC continues to get more complicated with it's postformal stages, not fully remembering and then integrating the previous stages by not taking into account how the meditative process works. When integrated via meditation there is a fold or twist in both the W-C lattice and in Bergson's diagram above. Hence we get something more akin to Levin's bodies as the integrative process unfolds in reverse order, the prior magic and mythic becoming the transpersonal and the prior archaic becoming the ontological.
This relates to the W-C lattice in that the higher stages are the meditative integration of earlier state-stages in reverse order: gross-abstract, subtle-magic/mythic, causal-archaic. These are the third tier in the lattice. But whereas the lattice continues to differentiate states from stages in postformal levels a la the MHC, the states and stages undergo a transformation in the fulcrum of formal operations with meditation. i.e., they are heretofore more fully integrated and that differentiation is now replaced a la Gebserian IA awaring and the prior analysis-synthesis (de-re) above.
Relating this back to Bryant's endo-relational structure, the endo-relational elements are structurally organized in a specific and nested way akin to transcend and include. Wilber senses that there is a difference between enduring and transitional structures akin to Bryant's endo- and exo-relations. Wilber even uses Luhmann in ways similar to Bryant but not in this way, since Wilber's enduring structures are cogntive like pre-formal to concrete to rational. These would be more akin to Luhmann's independent and autonomous exo-relations.
In terms of the WC lattice then, I'm still inclined that the subtle, causal and nondual are state-stages above the rational level in the vertical aspect,* more integrated and thus transformed earlier and given embodied levels. Whereas the more complex (complicated) aspects of the rational level (systemic, metasystemic, paradigmatic and cross-paradigmatic) are the horizontal axis. In keeping with the kennilingus notion that each state or stage in interpreted by the level, it might take at least a meta-systematic phase at the rational level plus stable meditative training to be considered at the subtle, causal or nondual stage. For one can get more complicated and have a postmetaphysical view I'm guessing at around the systemic phase of the rational stage, but still be without any meditative development to be as a subtle or deeper level. And one can have causal or nondual stage development but still have a metaphysical view, not having developed laterally into the metaysystematic phase.
* But again, this changes the shape (space-time) of the WC lattice at the rational level, which was indeed up to that time linear. It folds back on itself at this point by the integration and development of the state-stages as well as the enfolding of the lateral rational sub-phases. Hence I'm once again reminded of something like the following to represent this inside-outside-in triple-loop de loop. It's like an in-motion version of the Bergson diagram in the first post.
Speaking of the latter, I'll bring in Torbert's triple-looping next, as it relates to the virtual real and provides a grounding for this 'twisted' vision-logic.
Also see this link that inthesaltmine gave me on the above cube, explaining the fourth dimension.
There is certainly a lot of flexibility in what we view as basic phases and what we view as "horizontal" complexifications. Beyond a certain degree of sophistication there is also a distinct difference in mood and basic data-organization moves. Such changes might mean that something more than just elaboration is occurring and that it is entirely valid to suppose that a new stage is presenting itself. Especially if each stage is conceived -- as Wilber does -- as a new level of the integration of the previous materials along with some extra materials. However there seems to be a degree of preference here.
On the other hand I don't think we can reduce states to stages since, as far as I can tell, the basic ontological supports for gross, subtle, causal and non-dual are necessary elements of of any reality description and therefore cannot legitimately be localized to particular structures or procedures within a reality model.
Yet the image of a structure which feeds back from the leading "conscious" edge of its current apex, growing sideways and also folding back to unlock and incorporate prior material with a new flavor is almost certainly an essential component of what's going on here. It seems to operate at each level and relative to the overall set of levels... however many there are. It also resembles the pattern of a moment of time.
I'd like to bring in work from the real/false reason thread starting with this post and several following. Hampson quotes Marchand citing Labouvie-Vief that “the term postformal may not imply a progression in formal complexity. Instead, it could mean that…formal thinking forms a base from which thought branches out [my emphasis] into more nonformal domains” (124). Then quoting Grof:
“The psyche has a multidimensional, holographic nature, and using a linear model to describe it will produce distortions and inaccuracies. … My own observations suggest that, as consciousness evolution proceeds [from Authentic to Transcendent consciousness] and beyond, it does not follow a linear trajectory, but in a sense enfolds into itself" (144).
This is followed by a quote from Marchand herself reiterating the above and suggesting that stages earlier than reason require an integration that heals the metaphysical ego split. Labouvie-Vief concurs while noting that split in inherent to Piaget's assumptions, the very basis for the kennilingual notion of stages inherited from the likes of Commons' MHC.
In this post and then several following. There I noted that the advance into egoic rationality required a temporary and partial separation of abstract ego from the body ego and the 'lower' mind,* thus producing a metaphysical split. Hence the advance into the 4 postformal stages (or lateral phases) of Commons et al. are tainted by this split and maintain this false reason. Gidely using Gebser calls it deficient reason.
"For Gebser, integral-aperspectival [IA] consciousness is not experienced through expanded consciousness, more systematic conceptualization or greater quantities of perspectives. In his view such approaches largely represent over-extended, rational characteristics. Rather it involves an actual re-experiencing, re-embodying and conscious reintegration of the living vitality of magic-interweaving, the imagination at the heart of the mythic-feeling and the purposefulness of mental conception thinking, their presence raised to a higher resonance, in order for the integral transparency to shine through” (111).
Hence I put them on the horizontal plane because they likely are a branching out of formal reason and they do not lead to the higher stage of IA consciousness. The latter for all the above sources involves folding back to heal the ego split and its metaphysical assumptions, all maintained in the likes of Commons postformal descriptions as well as in the more traditional meditative traditions. IA consciousness requires something missing from both approaches as well as something contained in both approaches.
And again, a key to moving this forward is why this thread started, knowing what elements or basic structures to include from prior stages while leaving behind the worldviews in toto. Granted we still acknowledge prior worldviews in accepting and allowing others to be in them as appropriate, but IA does not operate from them. It seems Gebser himself did not fully understand this distinction and hence some conflation.
* See Damasio and Thompson's work for more refined definitions starting with this post and then branching out forward and backward. (I couldn't resist the pun-metaphor.)
Ah -- here is a young woman with an authentically post-modern contemporary sense of clothing aesthetics. She looks hip. Alas she is almost completely lacking in any of the spiritual, mystical or ethical development we would for in such a level. Standing right next to her is an Amber conformist dressed in an almost identical fashion. She is merely embracing the normalized trend of her contemporary people. Telling these two apart is both difficult and essential.
In a similar manner we look at some chap with post-formal cognitive worldviews but lacking in state-training and other kinds of developments that we think are key components of a truly advanced approach to reality. And beside him is a competent formal rationalist who has merely adapted to some of the functional observations and terminologies which we associated with post-formal trans-rationalism. Both appear, in some sense, to be nominal integralists. But they are nominal in quite distinct ways. The latter could be said to be evolving "horizontally" but the former produces nearly identical forms from a "vertical" development operating only in a partial aspect of their being.
Another point I would like to make is that so-called linear should be charitably regarded merely as short-hand for enfoldments. Likewise I charitable regard some of the people you quoted as pragmatically simplifying the situation in order to make a point. The simplification I refer to is the habit of making ego-rationality into the site of a privileged split. Every level of structure (relatively stable adaptation) both sunders itself from and folds its patterning style back through the components of its predecessor structures. New interpretive re-experiencing (including some re-mixing & some re-confirming of elements), which creatively blends with recently accessed potentials, is constantly occurring and gets special mention when it appears with a recognizable distinct flavor that we associate with stable adaptations.
One of the key things that needs to be done, then, is apply a W/C lattice-type approach to the components of holons. That means identifying what kind of "flavor" distinguishes each level's appropriate holding of components from previous levels.
For now just a quote from the Lingam's Gigi Glossary post (my bolding):
“The difference between these states (and their correlative mysticisms) and the structures themselves is that, at 3rd tier, both a structure and a particular state are conjoined: the states are deeply interwoven with the harder structures and basic rungs, and don’t remain as amorphous states free to roam the spectrum. This brings the major states into deep connection with the basic structures, and in their intrinsic order—gross (with para-mind), subtle (with meta-mind), causal (with overmind), and nondual (with supermind). The state-realms themselves also remain intrinsically distinct and can be specifically experienced that way (Buddhas still wake, dream, and sleep, even though their consciousness is permanently open to all of them).
“And of most importance, what happens at each of the 3rd-tier levels is that the basic structure, and the correlative state, are stripped of their exclusive identity with the separate-self sense. The basic rungs remain in existence, with their continuing relational exchanges with corresponding levels in the exterior world; and the major states remain (as we said, Buddhas still wake, sleep, and dream); but the exclusive Views and Vantage Points of reality generated from those structures and states are negated (except for the ones at the present structure or state of proximate identity, which remain as long as the identity does, and then are negated and transcended to make room for the next higher View or Vantage Point). The structures and states themselves are preserved (or included), the exclusionary Views and Vantage Points are negated (or transcended). The net result, at supermind, is that all of the basic rungs or basic structures—and all of the major states—are still in existence, and now fully integrated; but any exclusive identity with any of them is negated, transcended, let go of.”
A few quick points. This worldview negation does not just happen at 3rd tier but in all stages. Although the Lingam is saying at supermind all views are negated in that one no longer identifies with any of them; the ego has been transcended. But I'm sure we can find examples of experienced meditators that have stable so-called state-stage development into nondual supermind. But they still have metaphysical views! So my scheme of using egoic-rationality as the fulcrum for a fuller integration of much earlier developments like dream and deep sleep into so-called 3rd tier state-stages makes more sense, as it also accounts for the formal-rational metaphysical view. Practitioners like that have as yet moved into post-formal rationality so these more laterally developed phases of rationality (so-called 2nd tier) are not required for so-called 3rd tier stability.
They are required for a postmetaphysical view though, or possibly at least the meta-systemic phase. But the latter view in no way elicits that kind of stable state-stages discussed above. For me then a true so-called beginning of 2nd tier is one with at least a meta-systemic view and a subtle meta-mind state stage. Next step, paradigmatic view with causal overmind. Next step, cross-paradigmatic view with nondual supermind. These pairings though are not hand-in-hand and can and do occur without those co-developments, as in our metaphysical view with supermind above. Or say a cross-paradigmatic view with a subtle meta-mind. All kinds of kosmic addresses here. And again, it requires some refiguring of the WC lattice more like I suggest.
If levels are organized by degrees of "blending" (which is a good criteria if it is understand at an expression of active nonduality which can appears as both ubiquitous and specific inbetweenness... adjacency) then presumably different mixes could achieve a particular degree. What I mean is that an $80 blend of consciousness and transcendental consciousness might have the same value as a $40 blend coupled with $40 of emotional or ethical access to transcendence.
So a person who achieves stable supermind has blended something with their ordinary consciousness. That has a significance. But they have not necessarily had much success blending with their thinking -- which has a different significance. So I'm looking for a "level" which could validate both the meta-systemic thinker with some meditative success AND the less than meta-systemic thinker with a lot of meditative access.
Again, I suspect the ego-rational fulcrum is not privileged in this regard but certain I am very sensitive to what I see as the conflation of 3rd tier experience with higher languaging. There appear to have been a lot of supermind achievers, both in part or more stably, which conceptually treat it as if it were mere first tier content. So that mind has, from this angle, had minimal blending with the intellect,.
Layman, I think one idea that might be helpful with what you are trying to do is the idea of subphases that Wilber talks about in Integral Psychology. It's in a footnote that starts on page 238, and I once drew out a simple copy of the diagram he has in there.
So the basic idea appears to be something like this (this is my interpretation because it's too late to bring out IP and look): If you have subphase A you can enter Green, and then if you get subphase B you can move on to Teal. But there may be some who stay behind in Green ("behind" only in one sense) and move on to Green subphases C and D. So they can see some things the Teal fellow can't and vice versa. We might be able to formulate it with multiple lines also.
So with what you're talking about here it seems like Turquoise, Indigo, or Violet subphases (whatever the highest conceptual stages are). You can have a subphase or two of those and move onto Supermind, but some may hang "back" and develop meta-systemic thinking more fully, and some may do both.
So Wilber talks about needing a "basic competence" (subphases A and B) in one level to move on to the next. You don't need to be a wizard deconstructionist to move on to Teal (playing off the diagram I drew above), just a competent pluralist, I suppose.
I brought in Wilber's sub-phase work in this post earlier in the thread, and the one above it. It is one of my rationales for putting the so-called 2nd tier levels on the horizontal plane in the lattice as further lateral developments of the rational level. In this scenario so-called green, teal and turquoise are lateral, while subtle and causal spiral back down and in to integrate dream and deep sleep. I really need to get a better graphic for this than the lattice.
Here's Goddard's graph:
I'd add the post-formal phases horizontally along the line between 2 and 3. Also recall this post from earlier in the thread.
Wilber's notion is tremendously useful. Held loosely it allows us to explore alternative geometries of unfolding. Some (like what Theurj is investigation and which, I long ago argued was the natural implication of Leary's old 8-circuit model).
So, yes, definitely a clear idea of the phases and subphases is necessary to try out my unusual new idea: that we could assign a quantitative intensity to various phases and subphases and then arrange their combinations accordingly in a progression that permits various different combinations to occupy t same quantitative overall "altitude".. This would have to be done in such a way that necessary precedents are not assigned values in excess of their successors...
Essentially to this approach is the idea -- which I situate as a key MOA concept -- that horizontal and vertical development partly share a common functional principle. When we "hang back" to develop elaborations of meta-systemic thinking we are, in some sense, working on the same project as when we "go forward" to merge identity in the Supermind. From the point of view of descriptive mapping both can be understand as examples (in various "amounts") of a particular kind of blending.
There are risks and opportunities in such an approach... thought is daunting to consider.