Derrida's descriptions of khora and differance superficially appear to be like Wilber's description of consciousness per se in Integral Spirituality (Shambhala, 2007). For example Wilber says in Chapter 2:

"This happens to fit nicely with the Madhyamaka-Yogachara Buddhist view of consciousness as emptiness or openness. Consciousness is not anything itself, just the degree of openness or emptiness, the clearing in which the phenomena of the various lines appear (but consciousness is not itself a phenomena—it is the space in which phenomena arise)" (66).

Compare with this from Deconstruction in a Nutshell (Fordham UP, 1997):

“But something like khora is 'indeconstructible' not because she/it is a firm foundation, like a metaphysical ground or principle... Rather her indeconstructibility arises because she is...the space in which everything constructible and deconstructible is constituted, and hence...older, prior, preoriginary. Far from being a likeness to the God of the monotheisms...[it] is better compared to...the incomparable, unmetaphorizable, desert-like place without properties or genus....which is not be to confused with the Eternal, Originary Truth...of the intelligible paradigms above” (97-8).

I went into an exploration of Wilber's use of CPS on pages 4 and 5 of the IPN thread, how I think he uses the distinction metaphysically. So let's see how Derrida might be different. “Let us then, like the fool...ask 'what' differance 'is,' in a nutshell....[it] doesn't 'mean' anything at all” (99). After that quote Caputo launches into a discussion of linguistics, about how any word can only be defined in context with other words, and how that definition will change depending on the context of different words around it. In that sense meaning is all within relative context, and yet that differential between meanings, that space or interval in which meaning takes place, is itself not part of the context or meaning. Thus there is not one “essential” meaning of any word because it is contextualized within this play of differences, the play itself being a groundless ground in which meaning takes place.

This seems different than Wilber's metaphysical ground wherein all forms arise. The latter seems much more like Plato's archetypal realm of Ideal forms that step down into the sensible world and “in”form it. Granted Wilber doesn't see them as “pre-formed” but rather much more amorphous involutionary and morphogenetic “potentials.” Still, it seems this is part of the involutionary versus evolutionary dualistic scheme with one side being origin and absolute, with the other being result and relative. Derrida's differant khora is both outside and within that duality, not taking sides, as it were, but providing the stage upon which they play out their differences and similarities.

He does not stake out the ground of a higher principle but concedes a certain an-arche at the bottom of our principles. Derrida is not denying that we have 'principles' or 'truth'.... He is just reinscribing our truth and principles in the an-arche of differance, attaching to them a co-efficient of 'contingency.' For the only 'necessity' he acknowledges is the necessity that precedes all oppositions...inscribing them in a vast and meaning-less receptacle called differance. This is why you cannot ask what differance 'is,' for its 'meaning' or 'truth'....[it] but points a mute, Buddhist finger at the moon” (102).

This differant khora is thus a way to keep meaning open so that it doesn't become fixed and rigidified. All possibilities reside therein so that different contexts as yet unseen will provide new meaning. It requires that we are ceaselessly pushing out boundaries and testing our limits, boldly going where no one—except perhaps Jean Luc and crew—have gone before.

Or maybe those Buddhists to whom Wilber refers? Balder and Bonnitta have made the case for a similar type of open, groundless ground that is in Dzogchen. Maybe so. And that perhaps Wilber, while using that Buddhism, still retains some metaphysics in his interpretation?

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I'm going to transfer over some commentary from the IPN thread relevant to Wilber's views, with the page # of that thread in parentheses:

And we can find his dualistic nondualism again on display in page 2 of the series [Excerpt G] in his discussion of the Two Truths which he says "are of radically different orders." (2)

And lest we forget, Integral Spirituality is full of the same type of metaphysical descriptions. As one example of several see Appendix II, The sliding scale of enlightenment:

“Enlightenment is a union of both Emptiness and Form, or a union of Freedom and Fullness. To realize infinite Emptiness is to be free from all finite things, free from all pain, all suffering, all limitation, all qualities—the via negativa that soars to a transcendental freedom from the known, a nirvikalpa
samadhi beyond desire and death, beyond pain and time, longing and remorse, fear and hope, a
timeless Dharmakaya of the Unborn, the great Ayin or Abyss that is free from all finite qualities whatsoever (including that one).” (3)

Wilber is certainly metaphysical in this way as well. To reiterate something I've posted numerous times before, from Integral Spirituality, Chapter 5, section "emptiness and view are not two":

"When one is in deep meditation or contemplation, touching even that which is formless and unmanifest—the purest emptiness of cessation—there are of course no conceptual forms arising. This pure 'nonconceptual' mind—a causal state of formlessness—is an essential part of our liberation, realization, and enlightenment.... When it comes to the nature of enlightenment or realization, this means that a complete, full, or nondual realization has two components, absolute (emptiness) and relative (form). The 'nonconceptual mind' gives us the former, and the 'conceptual mind' gives us the latter."

Wilber's definition of "postmetaphysical" in IS is described in Appendix II, section "what is the address of an object in the kosmos?" where he notes that there is no fundamental, pregiven world apart from all perception of it. There are only perspectives in relation to each other. Thus we need to establish this relation via a kosmic address, which includes the altitude and perspective (aka quadrant or quadrivium) of both the subject and the object. Although he does slip up in this section and admit this only refers to the "manifest world." Which goes with what he said above about the radically different realms of emptiness and form.

And how do we determine altitude? He makes this clear in Chapter 2, section "the relation of the different lines to each other," discussing consciousness per se:

"This happens to fit nicely with the Madhyamaka-Yogachara* Buddhist view of consciousness as emptiness or openness. Consciousness is not anything itself, just the degree of openness or emptiness, the clearing in which the phenomena of the various lines appear (but consciousness is not itself a phenomena—it is the space in which phenomena arise)."

So the formless unmanifest consciousness experienced in nirvikalpa samadhi is the measure of the relative altitude in any kosmic address. Hello! This is "post" metaphysical?

* Here he slips again in admitting this as a Yogacara doctrine, and as I've said numerous times before, it is this type of "Vajrayana" Buddhism he equates with Vendanta, and rightly so. (4)

I think Wilber definitely does provide the basis of his kosmic addressing system in his definition of enlightenment as the combination of the highest state and stage present at any particular time in history. For now that it indigo altitude with a nondual state. (Which is our course his own personal kosmic address so he decides.) And his descriptions of both of those are highly problematic, aka metaphysical. So while the actual statement that one has to be enlightened to be postmetaphyhsical isn't contained in IS (that I can find) the implication is clear. And we know who is enlightened in IS, don't we?

Some of you might find this ancient (started 3/23/07) Lightmind discussion on this topic will provide a lot of context. kela participated in this one.

Take a look at the above referenced section in IS on consciousness per se. He notes that it is the contentless measuring stick of altitude, using the metaphor* of inches. The difference is that inches are a "relative" convention constructed to provide useful grids to accomplish practical functions. Which is of course how L&J describe basic metaphors in their relation to and applicability with the environment. But note that for Wilber CPS is not a convention, i.e., it is the absolute from which the relative depends. In itself (yes, the thing in itself) it has no qualities, being formless. And this ultimate realm is directly contacted-experienced in nirvikalpa samadhi practice. This is laid out plainly in IS. So the problem is how to relate this metaphysically derived model of two realms from a "completely different order." Somehow (magically? but it seems such a skyhook is required) the unqualifiable becomes qualified inches. (How many inches in your CPS-dick?) Whereas the cogsciprago postmeta (re)solution is that there aren't two radically different orders to begin with, i.e., an alternative, postmetaphysical nondualism, integral to boot.

* The key is that CPS is indeed a conventional metaphor, not a thing in itself. Same for the AQAL holon of everything. Just this realization goes a long way toward making Wilber's whole edifice postmetaphysical and puts it into useful context, like inches.

Copied from the Dennett thread, as it applies here. In Appendix II of IS, in talking about kosmic addressing, Wilber says this:

"Thus, we cannot make any ontic or assertic statement...without being able to specify the Kosmic address of the subject, which also means the injunctions that the subject must perform in order to enact and access the worldspace of the object....if I want to know if there is a referent to the signifier Ayin or Godhead, then one among the necessary routes is to take a concentrative form of meditation....a clear majority of those who complete the experiment report that the signifier Ayin or Emptiness...can be said that, among other things, that Spirit is a vast infinite abyss or emptiness out of which all thing arise" (267-68).

Now it would be fine if Wilber keeps this in the "state" category, as in this state will then be interpreted by the level. But as we saw this state is interpreted as the measure of altitude level in the kosmic address! I guess it takes an indigo level, combined with this state, to make that interpretation (aka enlightenment)? All of which plays right into kela's thesis of privileged access.

For you see, when you are of the highest absolute state and relative stage, i.e., enlightened, the distinction between states and stages dissolves into the nondual... Glory be unto God, amen. (5)
We've explored the philosophy of Nishida in the past. Here's an excerpt from an article* relating his view of basho to Derrida's khora.

"In a certain sense, Nishida’s description of non-relative nothingness as infinitely elusive, on the one hand, and inherently ambiguous, on the other, seems to echo Derrida’s descriptions of Plato’s khora:

'As it is neither this nor that (neither intelligible nor sensible), one may speak as if it were a joint participant in both. Neither/nor easily becomes both…and, both this and that.… Khora is nothing positive or negative. It is impassive, but it is neither passive nor active.'

"Nishida’s statements about 'place of non-relative nothingness' seem to echo the discourse of 'neither this nor that… and both this and that,' and hence to expose their own internal ambiguity. The idea of basho is 'neither the noesis nor the noema… and both noesis and noema,' and hence is neither their symmetry nor their asymmetry… and yet and both their symmetry and their asymmetry" (41-2).

* Kopf, G. "Between foundationalism and relativism." Nanzan Bulletin 27 / 2003
From the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy entry on Derrida, with my brief (for now) commentary:

"Derrida has provided many definitions of deconstruction. But three definitions are classical. The first is early, being found in the 1971 interview Positions and in the 1972 Preface to Dissemination: deconstruction consists in 'two phases' (Positions, pp. 41-42, Dissemination, pp.4-6)....deconstruction is a criticism of Platonism, which is defined by the belief that existence is structured in terms of oppositions (separate substances or forms) and that the oppositions are hierarchical, with one side of the opposition being more valuable than the other. The first phase of deconstruction attacks this belief by reversing the Platonistic hierarchies....the second 'phase' of deconstruction....the previously inferior term must be re-inscribed as the 'origin' or 'resource' of the opposition and hierarchy itself.... In the experience of the present, there is always a small difference between the moment of now-ness and the past and the future....this infinitesimal difference is not only a difference that is non-dualistic, but also it is a difference that is, as Derrida would say, 'undecidable.' Although the minuscule difference is virtually unnoticeable in everyday common experience, when we in fact notice it, we cannot decide if we are experiencing the past or the present, if we are experiencing the present or the future. Insofar as the difference is undecidable, it destabilizes the original decision that instituted the hierarchy....to refer to the resource that is indeed 'older' than the metaphysical decision."

I am here reminded of Young's idea of cessation of phenomena, only in a different light (or is that shade?). And this is a methodology for experiencing this gap between now and then, between manifest phenomena as experienced through our usual dichotomous apparatus and "as it is" nondually prior to this distinction.

The other definitions are not useful to my purposes in this particular gap between the worlds of absolute and relative.
We also see this gap between the intelligible and the sensible in Merleau-Ponty. From his entry in the Internet encyclopedia of philosophy:

"Rather than maintaining a traditional dualism in which mind and body, subject and object, self and other, and so forth, are discrete and separate entities, in The Visible and the Invisible Merleau-Ponty argues that there is an important sense in which such pairs are also associated....he does not dispute that there is a...difference that exists between...the sentient and the sensible in his own vocabulary. On the contrary, this divergence is considered to be a necessary and constitutive factor in allowing subjectivity to be possible at all. However, he suggests that rather than involving a simple dualism, this divergence...allows for the possibility of overlapping and encroachment between these two terms.

"There is then, a gap (or ecart in French) between...the sentient and sensible aspects of our existence, but this gap is importantly distinct from merely reinstating yet another dualism.... Our embodied subjectivity is never located purely in either our tangibility...but in the intertwining of these two aspects, or where the two lines of a chiasm intersect with one another. The chiasm then, is simply an image to describe how this overlapping and encroachment can take place between a pair that nevertheless retains a divergence, in that [they] are obviously never exactly the same thing."
The above article goes into the relation of MP and Derrida on this, but then discusses MP's method of hyper-reflection which is reminiscent of Derrida's bastard reasoning:

"There is a temporal divergence that precludes the attempted recovery of meaning via reflection from coinciding with that which it attempts to demarcate. The task of hyper-reflection then, is to ensure that reflection is always aware of its own finitude. It is hence somewhat removed from philosophical reflection itself, and resides in what several theorists have referred to as the non-space of philosophy."

Here is a temporal gap similar to Derrida's located in non-space that our hyper-reflection catches and allows us to be aware of reflection's finitude. MP also calls his method hyper-dialectic and is quoted in the article:

“What we call hyper-dialectic is a thought that, on the contrary, is capable of reaching truth because it envisages without restriction the plurality of the relationships and what has been called ambiguity. The bad dialectic is that which thinks it recomposes being by a thetic thought, by an assemblage of statements, by thesis, antithesis, and synthesis; the good dialectic is that which is conscious of the fact that every thesis is an idealization, that Being is not made up of idealizations or of things said… but of bound wholes where signification never is except in tendency” (VI 94)."

The author continues:

"Merleau-Ponty’s hyper-dialectic is envisaged as being a situational thought that must criticize all thinking that ignores the conditional nature of idealizations, and it must also maintain a vigilance to ensure that it does not itself become one of them. This is why Merleau-Ponty describes his project as propounding an ‘indirect’ ontology, rather than a direct ontology (VI 179)."

Given my own personal and idiosyncretic twist, I see in the above the emptiness of emptiness doctrine, in that emptiness must not itself be reified and become another conditional idealization, that it must remain in the unconditional gap that is indeed ambiguous and ill-defined. And we get "there" (here) with bastard-hyper-reason-dialectic. Or at least that's one method, one that is already built into a postmetaphysical wineskin. One that functionally fits nicely with me.
This article suggests that the bastard reasoning that apprehends khora is "as if in a dream," quoting the Timaeus. This is extended into artistic creation and divination, both through inspiration from the divine. I would concede that indeed the apprehension is through this type of creative inspiration but that the source is not some essential ground but rather our very embodiment, and it is our unconscious wisdom coming through, both bodily and socio-culturally via the lifeworld (Habermas, for example). The latter are in fact various layers of "embodiment" we discussed earlier, from physical to social to hermeneutic (Levin also talks about this). Hence I sometimes play the tarot meditation game, as it is this bastard means to apprehending khora, an embodied reasoning that reaches both into the past and future in that gap between now and then.
When e reflected my own words back to me in the tarot thread about old wineskins being only capable of producing old wine, this thread reminded me of Derrida's take on all this. For him "tradition" was not something to run away from but rather to embrace. At the same time though one had to find those cracks or openings in the tradition from which something new could emerge. Hence deconstruction was not about eliminating the tradition but rather carrying it forward, building new layers on its firm foundation. So indeed old wineskins can be made anew, but not completely so.
On the other hand, when you try to open up a tradition you often end up getting ostracized for any number of rationalizations. This even happens, quite frequently in fact, within the trademarked kennilinguist community. I cannot tell you how many really bright and capable people have been kicked out just for questioning and/or trying to expand on the dogma. So it makes it especially difficult to remain "within" a tradition when you want to build on or change it.


theurj said:
When e reflected my own words back to me in the tarot thread about old wineskins being only capable of producing old wine, this thread reminded me of Derrida's take on all this. For him "tradition" was not something to run away from but rather to embrace. At the same time though one had to find those cracks or openings in the tradition from which something new could emerge. Hence deconstruction was not about eliminating the tradition but rather carrying it forward, building new layers on its firm foundation. So indeed old wineskins can be made anew, but not completely so.

Well you seemed not to be listening to me so I had to use your own words! :-)

Integral has a long way before it becomes a "tradition". But Ed are you being a little idealistic...politics is anywhere 3 or more people meet.
Here you're just flat wrong e. Politics is not the same as Kennilingus, a dogma that has pretty much been "validated" by a larger integral community. It is not idealistic to recognize and speak out against that. (Or any other dogma including Buddhism.) I negotiate quite realistically within the politics of the larger integral community, thank you.


theurj said:
Here you're just flat wrong e. Politics is not the same as Kennilingus, a dogma that has pretty much been "validated" by a larger integral community. It is not idealistic to recognize and speak out against that. (Or any other dogma including Buddhism.) I negotiate quite realistically within the politics of the larger integral community, thank you.

No problem Ed...take my lance and donkey if yours gets tired and have at it! Those dogmatic Integralists and Buddhists causing so much harm in the world won't know what hit them!!
Ah, a rationalizing, minimalizing, enabling approach, quite common in kennilingusville.

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