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.
Following up on this recent post from Monday, I'm reminded of this article from our FB thread. In discussing the r-terms as the basis of the a-terms he said: "As the concrete includes and exceeds the abstract." I.e, the concrete transcends and includes the abstract. This is an entirely different mereology than kennilingus where the more abstract transcends and includes the concrete. The most particular and the most general are the abstract a-terms while the basic categories are the most concrete and r-terms. Since basic categories are our most concrete connection with ourselves and our environments, and in the middle of such formal hierarchies, this turns such formal hierarchies inside out. I'm having a hard time picturing this and how it affects hierarchies (or holarchies), so will have to consult with Musique and report back.
This is the card chosen at random through which Musique hints. The first impression is of a wealthy man giving charity to the poor. But he holds a scale in the other hand, as if to measure how much generosity the poor deserve. It looks almost like crumbs he's doling out, sort of like trickle down economics.
But in relation to my question above, the scale has a fulcrum with two balancing dishes. As it's in his left hand this indicates it resides in our subconscious, as do the basic categories. Since we cannot directly access them we must infer them and this symbol provides such a conscious inference.
The fulcrum is the basic categories in the middle, the pans the abstract particular and general. The fulcrum is higher, the pans lower, thus consistent with the concrete transcending and including the abstract.
This motif is repeated with the rich man being the fulcrum above and between the two poor men. Thus the basic categories are 'rich' in the sense of being the concrete foundation of the 'poor' abstractions, who on their own are bereft without such a connection. Note that pentacles are the symbol not only for money but earth, the most concrete of elements and the fundament for the others.
Which of course reminds me of thoughts earlier in the thread, how differance is the foundation for the sensible and the intelligible, that dividing/connecting line at every boundary, like in/out or up/down. Which of course are concrete basic categories. They are the concrete boundary fulcrum between the abstract particular and general. And the scale is the image for how this hier(an)archy works.
I prefer the following symbol though, since the basic categories are akin to the objet a at the center of the diagram. I.e., they are that which traverses all boundaries which being at all boundaries.
And yet the following gif shows the dynamics in action, how the inside center is always moving out, enfolding the general/particular. And simultaneously the outside is always moving in, being infolded by the concrete. All kinds of folds going on. It's a bit harder to imagine how the above looks translated into the below, since the edges are rounded and no corners. Can anyone create it?
I'm reminded of this video on the geometry of the Borromean rings. It is better to see them in 3-D.
I uploaded the video to YouTube:
So in terms of hier(an)archy, the object a as embodied image schema 'in the middle' is the networked interactions of the particular and the general. It appears as a hole or absence in such diagrams but it's not nothing. Like Emptiness it is the transcendental interrelations of dependent origination, not some outside or transcendent force and ground. This doesn't negate hierarchy per se, just contextualizes it with the middle ground as that which transcendentalizes the apparent transcendent and abstract top/bottom on a vertical ladder via formal, metaphysical reason. The top/bottom curve back on themselves, infolding back into the middle, while the middle curves out to enfold and relate the top/bottom. Hier(an)archy indeed.
Symbolic thinkers treat abstractions as individual concrete things -- Mr. Jesus the THE Lord. Modernists-of-the-soul unfold that remarkable capacity for "formal abstraction" which is then extended by pluralists into an indefinite number of potential metacontexts. This is either a cul-de-sac or else the first level of the Metaphysics of Adjacency.
The next level is uniquely concerned with structuralizing all those contexts. But it can approach from the bottom or the top. It is impulsed to find the abstractions in the concrete and source the manifest in abstractions. Both are always being tried.
This indecision points to a resolution at the holistic, meta-integrative level which rises up luminously from the apparent "midpoint" between top-down & bottom-up approaches.
Also see this post in another thread, relevant to previous posts earlier in this thread on Laske. And how the linked post relates to recent comments above about how alternative structural paradigms which include absence and relationship lead to transforming the notion of integral.
I'm going to park this link here for now, from Balder on FB, on a new book on flow.
The interplay between "absence" and "presence", and an emphasis upon relationship, strike me as seed-conditions of the pluralistic level of insight. And this forms an interesting picture in terms of the development of modernistic mathematics (involving the deployment of the zero function) -- in which peaks into Green provided the perspective from which to produce Orange maths.
Laske's form of dialectic is not of the Hegelian variety. It sound more akin to Balder's recent post about Desmond:
"The metaxological can be thought of as a different way to relate to the same and different, in contrast to the Hegelian way of 'dialectical' mediation, which unites them in a higher unity. For the upshot of Hegelian mediation, he argues, is to close the circle between the same and the different and thereby to subordinate everything to the rule of a higher integration and sameness. The 'between' means to keep this circle open and in that way to preserve difference. Never attaining the ground of a higher totalizing and integrating unity, the 'between' occupies the open space that preserves the distance of the same from the different. The same does not return to itself through the different; rather the space of the play between the same and the different is sustained, allowing for relations of otherness, difference, and plurality to obtain along several orders."
And from the following post in that thread:
"Being as Univocal, Equivocal, or Dialectical. These relate, of course, to monistic (emphasis on oneness, the One), pluralistic (emphasis on the Many, the Other), and dialectical (the two are sublated within a third, a new 'one' or 'same') orientations dominant in philosophy. The opening quote in this thread touched on these themes, which are the context for his metaphysics of the between (MOB): an approach which does not dismiss, but neither privileges nor permanently abides within, any one of these options. Univocity alone tends towards reductionism or hegemony, equivocity alone towards postmodern/pluralist equivocation and paralysis, and dialectics -- while showing a deeper relationality between the 'two' (and so a kind of MOB) -- tends to collapse difference in, or subordinate it to, a new sameness. The 'between' is the khora-like affordance for each."
And "IT, if identified primarily with the dialectical moment, falls short of its own fourfold spirit." If by that we mean the Hegelian sort of dialectic, which as explored above Laske does not and criticizes Wilber on this very point.
Also see this post from the Desmond thread.