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.
Re-reading more from the voluminous treasure trove of the OOO thread I bring this post and following of relevance over here. At this point I was calling rhetaphor mhetaoric, rather unwieldy.
To reiterate a point made above, for humans mhetaoric is not only the embodied metaphor that is used to translate/transform our basic categories into concepts, it is the basic categories themselves. It is how an object defines its boundary with the world and also how this permeable boundary exchanges with the world. It is at this direct level of body/mind-environment interaction where the boundary-interaction is itself mhetaoric. These basic categories are not just human but an aspect of any object. The boundary is the menu (distinction) and the meal (communion).
I'm reminded of our discussion of Marks-Tarlow in this thread. Some of her opening comments:
“Yet whether we consider our bodies or minds, the subjective experience of closed boundaries rests precisely on the opposite state of affairs – wide-open portals that continually allow transaction between inside and outside, body and world, self and not-self.... Boundaries are everywhere, yet most are permeable.... Fractals are dynamic process-structures that etch time into space. They are boundary keepers that negotiate spatial and temporal interfaces between different forces and dimensions of being. My thesis is that fractals provide the paradoxical foundation by which different levels of nature both connect and separate. Every boundary becomes a door, every border a portal. Because the same dynamics hold inside as well as outside the psyche, fractal geometry provides a bridge and language for linking inside and outside worlds. Whether they occur in nature, our bodies or minds, fractal separatrices or boundaries reveal infinite, hidden frontiers in the space between ordinary, Euclidean dimensions.” (My emphases.)
She then discusses Spencer-Brown and Varela's extension of his work, which abandons Aristotelian logic and the excluded middle and leads to systems that are “functionally closed, yet structurally open.” But Varela went further and “assert[ed] that paradox becomes embodied at the most basic level, in the very form itself.” We see the same discussion in Bryant's Intro to TDOO discussing Spencer-Brown's Laws of Form. And it is to this that I point with mhetaoric, the embodied laws of form that negotiate interfaces of any kind.
Granted I disagree with MT when it comes to her interpretation of this material, where she says things like this: “The still controversial Copenhagen interpretation asserts that at the quantum level, the very act of observation is necessary to materialize that which is observed.” As if there is this consciousness per se, a metaphysical concept, at core creating the material. Whereas Bryant's object ontology defines it much more materially, where the material itself is both observer and observed. Again we see our shentong/rangtong debate. Still, I think MT, like Edwards, is getting at the interface, the media holons, in a way that perhaps Bryant is not.
MT posted her paper in the thread, “Semiotic seams.” While I still see her metaphysics therein using number at origin, she still gets at some important points. For she uses the imaginary/real in ways similar to Bryant's use of the virtual/actual. Quoting Jung for example on p. 50 there is a distinction between an object and its properties and characteristics with its irreducible core. As stated though, instead of Bryant's virtual endo-relations we have the metaphysical number, “by which essences actually precede evolution and biological reproduction” (57). This is extended with Mandelbrot's fractal geometry, which I discussed in this thread as extending the metaphysics. Whereas for Bryant and Delanda, for example, we get a different reading.
Still, I take her point that these boundary conditions are indeed fundamentally ontological and recursive at every level up to the semiotic, hence the name of the article “semiotic seams.” She sees the semiotic level as indicative of the same recursive boundary dynamics as lower, pre-linguistic levels, even as foundational conditions of the ontological. Hence the semiotic as usually construed, while admittedly a higher emergent level concomittant with language, still displays the same boundary dynamics as a simpler object without human consciousness. And how we can use semiotics to express this condition. So I extend the metaphor of rhetoric all the way down, as does MT, to that communication that takes place at every border.
Also see this post and a few above on Zalamea.
I've referenced and quoted from this paper before, “The Mean Green Meme Hypothesis: Fact or Fiction” by Natasha Todorovic (attached). She still adheres to the original Graves Spiral Dynamics (SD) system, not Beck SDi. I think it's time to refresh some of that paper, as I continually see some false kennilingus assumptions taken for granted in the most well-meaning integralists, often elevating lower levels into higher ones based on said assumptions.
The standard kennilingus is that integral yellow (now called teal to differentiate it from SD colors) strongly reject green, having just come out of it and thereby more clearly sees it weaknesses. But the studies Todorovic did do not bear this out. Yellow has a low green reject rate and accepts it more than any other system. Graves later on in fact saw green and yellow as closely related.
Whereas the strongest rejection of green comes from a “more sophisticated” orange. A number of these orange and blue/orange respondents were saavy enough to give yellow answers, as they figured out the proper response after being inculcated in kennilingus. However they did not display thought patterns overall consistent with yellow. She discovered that part of the problem lies with sentence completion tests per se and her group has since found ways to correct for this.
Hence the blue/orange characterisitics of ranking, combined with orange predilection toward classification, led these respondents to feel they had an inflated sense of the 'truth' which must be proseltyzed. These traits are rarely found in green, green/yellow or yellow. Plus the orange enter phase is the most aggressive and caustic of the blue/orange/green/yellow grouping, thereby adding to its vehement green rejection under the guise of yellow language (aka kennilingus).
I am thus more inclined to think that much of kennilingus is not itself yellow or teal but rather more of a “more sophisticated” orange. I've made that case extensively in various posts and threads throughout the forum (including this one), even noting that the model of hierarchical complexity's post-formal stages are more complicated extensions of orange's formal operations. And that yellow or teal is something else entirely, not at all my original idea but expressed in the various sources I've culled.
The above paper is attached.
I've quoted the following in other threads, and since it is relevant to my last post I'll include it here. From Cook-Greuter's '13 ITC paper, “Assumptions versus assertions”:
“In ego development terms, the spiritual evolutionary message thus looks more like a representation of the shift from early conventional meaning making to a conventional, more adult mindset with many 'self-authoring' undertones --a far cry from a second-tier realization” (14).
“I wonder whether the integral movement actually lacks a basic perspective on its own American-flavored assumptions. It seems to privilege a linear, future-oriented and anthropocentric view despite its claim of being multiperspectival, trans-disciplinary and inclusive” (15).
“I suggest that a more complex view must include notions of fundamental 'uncertainty', existential paradox, and the nature of interdependent polar opposites as a basis for making its claims. In terms of its understanding of humans, integral evolutionary assertions sound more as coming from a formal operational, self-authoring, analytical, and future-focused mindset than a truly second-tier one despite 'postconventional' content and worldcentric values” (17-18).
I'm also reminded of this post on Laske in another thread, a few excerpts following:
Some excerpts from Otto Laske’s article in the Aug/Nov ’13 issue of ILR follow. The first 2 paragraphs question the scientific or ‘objective’ facts claimed by developmentalists and see them more as a product of their unconscious societal biases. One of those biases is that very blindness in accepting the modernist (formal) premises of a pure objectivity apart from more subjective biases, as if science or math could get outside of context and determine the final ‘truth’ of things. [...] Another example of that is the incessant obsession with classification in the third paragraph, and that those classes are rigidly structured with clear dividing lines: you’re either in the classification or not. Laske doesn’t see this a representative of dialectical thinking but a continuation of formal logic.
"Commons and Richards’ (1984) General Model of Hierarchical Complexity, for instance, includes stages of metasystematic and cross-paradigmatic reasoning in its scheme. However, the higher stages in this latter model remain wedded to symbolic codification. Complex cognitive behavior is represented as mathematical formulas (operations upon operations upon operations - almost ad infinitum). Purely cognitive models (Commons and Truedeau, 1994; Stein, in progress), for instance, do not realize and/or acknowledge the incommensurability between symbol and that which is symbolized. Their creators do not recognize the limits of rational analysis and of symbolic representation, and thus, they cannot discover the hidden assumptions and paradoxes that they enact in their models" (10).
And Laske in this ILR article. Note Bhaskar figures prominently therein.
"A simple-minded definition of dialecticism would be that contradiction lies in the nature of things, and that wherever reality is thought about holistically, the perception of contradictions enforces a privileging of larger organized wholes over isolated individuals and entities. Felicitously put, Reality is perceived as pervaded by negativity or absence (Bhaskar, 1993), simply because 'something' is defined as being both itself and not itself, and this 'not itself' stems from its intrinsic relationship to 'something else' without which it could not be what it is."
In the next quote I'm not quite sure what he means, given the confusing grammar. It seems that western dialectic at the meta-systematic level maintains that sort of 'positivity' that lacks an understanding of the kind of absence noted above.
"While Asian dialecticism is largely part of people’s common sense, in Western culture dialecticism has never penetrated culture as a whole but has remained more of a philosophical tradition. Due to this fact, Western dialectical thinking has retained a semblance of high-brow thinking (if not leftist ideology), and has set itself apart from understanding (including scientific understanding) as reason. This distinction has been elucidated by 20th century studies in cognitive development that, even when restricted to formal logical thought (Commons, 1981 f.), have shown empirically that adults’ thinking increasingly tends to re-fashion logical tools as a means of dialectical (meta-systemic) discourse and dialog. A not immediately obvious consequence of this is that a purely positive definition of reality—as if no contradictions existed—robs reality of its potential for change since contradiction introduces negativity or 'otherness.'"
This seems to be supported by Laske in his 2010 ITC paper, when he said "the absence of dialectical thinking in adult developmental research is palpable" (2). At 4 he notes that the only developmental psychologist to take up this sort of dialectic was Basseches. On 8, using Bhaskar's interpretation of Hegel, negation is preserved in memory, whereas in formop it is pushed out as false. It seems Wilber's use of Hegel is a different interpretation more like Common's MHC, and Laske notes this absence of absence leads Wilber to "purely logical thinking" (16).
Also on 16 he discusses the usual Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis formula, but given the above it seems to be quite different from than that used by Wilber and Commons. At 17 this is clarified noting that his form of dialectics requires depth-first, instead of breadth-first as in Wilber. Therefore "integral thinking fails at the preservative negation of what it negates and then transcends, missing the dialectical moment while transcending."
He uses technical terms here with which I'm not familiar but my translation is that Wilber, in typical formop and metaphysical fashion, sublates the 'other' in the new synthesis as in set theory, whereas Laske's synthesis preserves the other in mutual entailment more like Zalamea's math using Peirce (here and following). It also seems to support my notion that postmetaphysical thinking spirals back down in depth to perserve/integrate/synthesize (or de/re) the absences or gaps dissociated by metaphysical formop and its more complicated or sophisticated metaphysical extensions a la the MHC. Therefore this spiraling down in depth is simultaneously spiraling up in height or breadth, like our image schema that do both from the middle.
On 19 he launches into a discussion of dialectics similar to that in the ILR article, where he repeats the above paragraph on meta-systematic ops retaining formop's lack of absence (21). In light of everything noted above it seems to support my interpretation.
This is interesting and helpful. I take it as another example of Wilber's apparent "ontological monovalence," which I discussed in my recent Bhaskar paper -- not necessarily as intrinsic to his thought, since as we have discussed his concept of the causal as "absence" or hidden excess in all things can help remedy this, but as not yet worked-out or explicitly expressed and applied in his ontology.
And as we also discussed, Wilber's Causal maintains a formop metaphysical separation, consistent with Laske's and Cook-Greuter's criticism. It could be de/re into more like the above, but that would be your contribution, not at all apparent in Wilber's writings.
Another of Laske's points is the following, from this '10 ITC paper:
"Houlgate suggests that dialectical thinking is pre-suppositionless in the sense of an attitude of mind open to being aware of, and critical of, its own assumptions, and encourages untrammeled thinking beyond the constraints of formal logic. [...] In short, any content, when considered from a pre-suppositionless stance, will spontaneously unfold its implications following the dynamic inherent in untrammeled thought itself (Adorno, 1993; 2008)" (2).
And from the ILR article:
"Negativity is a gift of human awareness that, as Hegel showed, only comes to those who are able to practice pre-suppositionless thinking (Houlgate, 2006). Such thinking is unconstrained by ideologies, habitual assumptions, single organizing principles (such as linear causalities), logical hierarchies, or anything that gets in the way of 'seeing what is before us,' as opened up through dialog and reflection (Hegel, 1812; 1969)."
I'll comment later with similarities to Torbert and some reflections on this, but have to run this morning.
In this post I'm referencing Torbert's triple-loop learning, associated with stages of development. Nonetheless his notion of intentional attention
"keeps up triple-looping around even the highest (as yet), transformational level so that one can consciously choose what level(s), and to what degree(s) and or mixtures, one might enact from among them depending on the unique particulars of a given circumstance. This sounds much more akin to Gebser's integral-apersectival as I pointed out in the real/false reason thread."
And like Laske's pre-suppositionless thinking.