Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I posted the following in the Yahoo Adult Development forum and am cross-posting here. I'll keep you apprised of some key responses, provided I get any:
Building on the post below* regarding Lakoff's embodied reason, he seems to call into question the type of abstract reasoning usually found at the formal operational level. This appears to be false reasoning based on the idea that reason is abstract, literal, conscious, can fit the world directly and works by logic (also see for example this article ). If formal reasoning is false wouldn't this call into question some of the assumptions of the MHC? That perhaps this "stage" is a dysfunction instead of a step toward post-formal reasoning?
Now Lakoff has his own hierarchy of how embodied reason develops: image-schematic, propositional, metaphoric, metonymic, symbolic. (See for example "Metaphor, cognitive models and language" by Steve Howell.) So I'm wondering how the MHC takes into account Lakoff's work here and how it answers his charge of false reason? Terri Robinett noted in his Ph.D. dissertation (at the Dare Association site) that "work has already begun by Commons and Robinett (2006) on a hierarchically designed instrument to measure Lakoff’s (2002) theory of political worldview." So perhaps you can shed some light on this?
* This is the referenced post:
Since Michael brought up Lakoff as perhaps being "at right angles to the stage dimension" I read this by Lakoff this evening: "Why 'rational reason' doesn't work in contemporary politics." He distinguishes between real and false reason, the former being bodily based and the latter existing in some sort of objective, abstract realm. Very interesting indeed. Here are a few excerpts:
"Real reason is embodied in two ways. It is physical, in our brain circuitry. And it is based on our bodies as the function in the everyday world, using thought that arises from embodied metaphors. And it is mostly unconscious. False reason sees reason as fully conscious, as literal, disembodied, yet somehow fitting the world directly, and working not via frame-based, metaphorical, narrative and emotional logic, but via the logic of logicians alone."
"Real reason is inexplicably tied up with emotion; you cannot be rational without being emotional. False reason thinks that emotion is the enemy of reason, that it is unscrupulous to call on emotion. Yet people with brain damage who cannot feel emotion cannot make rational decisions because they do not know what to want, since like and not like mean nothing. 'Rational' decisions are based on a long history of emotional responses by oneself and others. Real reason requires emotion."
From chapter 1 of ISVP, quoting Deleuze:
"Multiplicity must not designate a combination of the many and the one, but rather an organization belonging to the many as such, which has no need whatsoever of unity in order to form a system" (13).
Some posts pulled from the complexity and pomo thread:
Quoting ISVP: "Besides the avoidance of essentialist thinking, Deleuze's speculation about virtuality is guided by the closely related constraint of avoiding typological thinking, that style of thought in which individuation is achieved through the creation of classifications and of formal criteria for membership in those classifications. Although some classifications are essentialist, that is, use transcendent essences as the criterion for membership in a class, this is not always the case. For example, unlike Platonic essences which are transcendent entities, Aristotle's 'natural states,' those states toward which an individual tends, and which would be achieved if there were not interfering forces, are not transcendent but immanent to those individuals. But while Aristotelian philosophy is indeed non-essentialist, it is still completely typological, that is, concerned with defining the criteria which group individuals into species, and species into genera" (41).
"Species are individuals, not kinds...[and] does not represent a higher ontological category than the individual organisms that compose it.... The relations of individual species to individual organisms is one of whole to parts, much as the relation between an organism and the individual cells that compose it. Moreover, the relation of parts to whole is causal; the whole emerges from the causal interactions between the component parts.... While an ontology based on relations between general types and particular instances is hierarchical, each level representing a different ontological category (organism, species, genera), an approach in terms of interacting parts and emerging wholes leads to a flat ontology, one made exclusively of unique, singular individuals, differing in spatio-temporal scale but not in ontological status" (46-7).
As he said earlier, he uses the science of dynamic systems. From this he explores how undifferentiated, intensive capacities give rise to differentiated, extensive forms. As but one example he uses embryogenesis. When an extensive form is completed we get an idea similar to Bryant's withdrawal. He says:
"But the basic idea is that is that once a process of individuation is completed, the intensive factors that defined this process disappear or become hidden underneath the extensive and qualitative properties of the final product" (59).
Here's more on the virtual, similar to the withdrawn. (Bryant discusses the differences between the concepts in TDOO, particularly chapter 3.*)
"An individual may be characterized by a fixed number definite properties (extensive and qualitative) and yet possess an indefinite number of capacities to affect and be affected by other individuals.... Deleuze, in fact, always gives a two-fold definition of the virtual (and the intensive), using both singularities (unactualized tendencies) and and what he calls affects (unactualized capacities to affect and be affected)" (62).
* For example: "Another way of understanding the concept of virtual singularities or attractors is in terms of Spinoza's concept of affect....[which] links the concept of affect to the capacities of an object.... Tthese affects consist of both an entity's 'receptivity' to other entities and the various capacities an entity has to act" (3.4).
More from TDOO on DeLanda:
"The attractors of a substance....are the generative mechanisms within an object that preside over the events or qualities of which the object is capable. However, while serving as the condition of these events or qualities, these attractors are not themselves qualitative or events. As DeLanda puts it, 'attractors are never actualized, since no point of a trajectory [of an object] ever reaches the attractor itself.' As such, the attractors or singularities inhabiting the endo-structure of an object are radically withdrawn. They are that which serves as the condition for the actual dimension of an object, for the local manifestations of an object, but are never themselves found on the actual side of an object" (3.3).
On 69 DeLanda uses a familiar image, with a twist. Extensive structures are at the bottom, intensive in the middle and the continuous and undifferentiated virtual at the top. However he notes this should not be considered a hierarchical relation. His preferred image is as follows: "A better image here would be a nested set of spaces, with the cascade acting to unfold spaces which are embedded into one another." I'm picturing more the venn diagrams I've used before, since embeddedness in not complete subsumption of one into the other hierarchically but rather in shared spaces, still maintaining their own space(s) apart from such relations.
Also recall TDOO: "This is a variation of Cantor's Paradox. Cantor's paradox demonstrates that there can be no greatest cardinal number precisely because the power set of any cardinal number will necessarily be larger than the cardinal number itself. In a stunning inversion of the ancient thesis that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the power set axiom reveals, to the contrary, that the parts are always greater than the whole" (6.2).
In TDOO Bryant criticizes Deleuze's virtual, which "seems to consist of a single continuum, such that there is only one virtual, one substance, that is then partitioned into apparently distinct entities" (3.2). Whereas DeLanda's reconstruction of Deleuze in ISVP says: "This virtual continuum cannot be conceived as a single, homogenous space, but rather as a heterogeneous space made out of a population of multiplicities, each with a topological space of its own" (69).
And as I've been suggesting, even given the above, "we need a way of meshing these together into a heterogeneous whole" (69). A whole that is of a different kind though, as we've observed. He discusses how so in the pages following.
Deleuze ...play[s] a big role in a number of the essays in Polydoxy.
I like this from Polydoxy, quoting Deleuze:
"A multiplicity certainly contains points of unification, centers of totalization, points of subjectivation, but these are factors that can prevent its growth and stop its lines. These factors are in the multiplicity they belong to, not the reverse" (2).
Which reminds me of this post in the polydoxy thread, quoting Faber:
"Deleuze deeply honored Whitehead, and precisely because of the...appreciation of the unconquerable wildness of openended becoming over against any systematic derivation of multiplicity from hierarchical unity.... In a rhizomatic world of infinite differentiations and interrelations, 'unity' always appears as finite unification of multiple relations. Nothing is fixed; nothing is perfect; nothing is for ever. The metaphor of the rhizome frees our mind from 'false unifications' that defy multiplicity and, as a political category, empowers resistance against 'oppressive unifications' of hierarchies."
To put the above in language that Bonnie (and Tom) use, there is indeed an asymmetric relation between unity and multiplicity, with the latter being ground instead of the other way around. And of course multiplicty isn't just one side of a one-many pole, as that sort of framing only comes from the formal, hierarchical thinking inherent to unifiers. As stated previously, multiplicity (aka khora or differance to me) is the (an)hierarchic ground within which oppositions take form. Or put in DeLanda's terms above, multiplicity is the undifferentiated (withdrawn) virtual from which oppositions arise in the differentiated actual. And the virtual is embodied, immanent, without essence. I know, a tough, acerbic pill to swallow for a holist. Perhaps take Alanis Morissette's advice and swallow it down? If so you just might, as she says, learn.
Ah, this one in ISVP deals with previous speculations about evolution and complexity:
"Neoteny illustrates that novelty need not be the effect of terminal addition of new features, but on the contrary, that is can be the result of a loss of certain old features.... To Deleuze this aspect...is highly significant because it eliminates the idea that evolutionary processes possess an inherent drive towards an increase in complexity." *
* At this point in the Scribd document the page numbers have been cut off from the bottom so identification is problematic. I'm guessing around p. 98.
This one is interesting, about 10 pages from the end of chapter 3:
“This virtual form of time, involving the idea of absolute simultaneity, would seem to violate the laws of relativity. In relativistic physics two events cease to be simultaneous the moment they become separated in space, the dislocation in time becoming all the more evident the larger the separating distance....[but] in virtual space there are no metric distances, only ordinal distances that join rather than separate events.... Unlike a transcendent heaven inhabited by pure beings without becoming (unchanging essences or laws with a permanent identity) the virtual needs to be populated exclusively by pure becomings without being. Unlike actual becomings which have at most an intensive form of temporality (bundles of sequential processes occurring in parallel) a pure becoming must be characterized by a parallelism without any trace of sequentiality, or even directionality. Deleuze finds inspiration for this conception of time in phase transitions, or more exactly, in the critical events defining unactualized transitions. When seen as a pure becoming, a critical point of of temperature of 0 degrees C, for example, marks neither a melting nor a freezing of water, both of which are actual becomings...occurring as the critical threshold is crossed in a definite direction. A pure becoming, on the other hand, would involve both directions at once, a melting-freezing event which never actually occurs, but is 'always forthcoming and already past.'”
Oh, this gets curiouser in the following paragraph:
"Unlike actual time which is asymmetric relative to the direction of relative pasts and futures, a pure becoming would imply a temporality which is perfectly symmetric in this respect, the direction of the arrow of time emerging as a broken symmetry only as the virtual is actualized."
It seems that DeLanda's presentation "A new ontology for the social sciences" was later included in Intensive Science, in some cases verbatim.
While he accepts that we must “construct an ontology around the basic notion of emergent property, that is, a property of a whole that is more than the sum of its parts, hence irreducible to those parts,” this is not an hierarchical mereological relation. This ontology must eliminate both Platonic essences as well as Aristotelian general categories or abstract classes. There is of course legitimate uses for general categories but the problem comes from their reification. His “flat” ontology therefore doesn't replace the nature of emergent wholes (a kind of hierarchy), just the emergent's claims to an essence and/or reified abstract class, which in both cases subsume the parts in its hegemonic inclusion. Flat in this case means both the constituent elements and the emergent entities retain their individual autonomy instead of one being completely subsumed or “integrated” by the other.
As an example he uses a species, which is neither an essence nor a general class, since “there simply isn't any core set of properties, any essence, which all the organisms which compose a species must have in common.” The difference then between viewing this mereology hierarchically is that it assumes an unchangeable “idea” underlying observed phenomenon, the abstract category within which they must fit nice and tidy. If the mereology is flat then each individual part is never subsumed within an abstract category, since its higher whole is also an individual and they “share” spaces on interaction.
Also see DeLanda's chapter 23 in The Speculative Turn, "Emergence, causality and realism." I like this quote, similar to the relation between multiplicity and unity:
"The terms ‘linear’ and ‘nonlinear’ are not a dichotomy. Rather than being a unique opposite, nonlinear patterns represent a variety of possibilities of which the linear case is but a limiting case" (383).
There is quite a bit in the last post upon which to comment. For now I'll address the issue of neoteny per above, that novelty or evolution can also be about what is lost or left behind, not just about an advance in complexity. This is a key point throughout this thread and brings me back around to Wilber's use of transitional structures which are transcended and replaced. (See the thread on the topic for a more detailed examination.) Transitional structures include worldviews and moral outlooks. E.g., once one gives up slavery for equal rights there is no turning back unless there is a regression or dysfunction. The same holds for democracy and feudalism.
But again per above, there are not clear dividing lines and there are all sorts of mixes, hybrids, transitional phases and ups and downs in the process, as well as how this manifests in different lines. Conscious capitalism, for example, is a transitional phase between capitalism and socialism, orange-green in color-coded terms. The same might be said for models or hierarchical complexity, which account for the non-linear nature of complexity but still describe it in formal linear mathematical models, not yet taking the advance into non-linear differential calculus and geometry.
In terms of consciousness evolution, what needs to be replaced is the formal operational notion that it must get more complex to evolve. It reaches a point at formal operations when it must turn back and more fully integrate previous levels. More complexity without this is just making consciousness more complicated instead of complex. (See for example Cilliars distinction.) This sort of integration then leads to a different kind of nonlinear complexity that doesn’t keep growing in a linear fashion ad infinitum. It adds depth and breadth, and in so doing also height but of a completely different order that requires a different math to model. The Levin thread is one place to see how this plays out, as well as the pomo and complexity thread.
Another example is this post from earlier in this thread:
Another connection occurring to me (as gift from my Muse) is that these image schemas, as well as Edwards' different lenses, taken singly can represent the various theoretical ideologies. We've already seen how a focus on the container schema can lead to an ideology of objectivist hierarchical complexity. And using Bonnie's talk above, how a focus on a cyclic image schema might lead to what Gebser called the mythic structure (or ideology). Gebser's integral-aperspectival (IA) structure though, at least according to Gidley (2007),* is a means to allow for all previous structures to be as they are and co-exist together simultaneously. The IA is not another isolated structure that transcends and replaces previous structures, including the mental. In this sense it breaks with the pattern of progression in deficient rational. And we see exactly this type of coordination of the various image schemas in Lakoff, that each has its place, none are replaced. Same for Edwards' lenses. This produces a new kind of transparent, postmeta paradigm of multiplicty, in Deleuzes's terms, or IA in Gebser's. One that is relative according to Lakoff, but also constrained by the real.
* For example: "For Gebser, integral-aperspectival consciousness is not experienced through expanded consciousness, more systematic conceptualizations, 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 re-integration of the living vitality of magic-interweaving, the imagination at the heart of mythic-feeling and the purposefulness of mental conceptual thinking, their presence raised to a higher resonance, in order for the integral transparency to shine through" (111).
Gidley, J. (2007). "The evolution of consciousness as a planetary imperative." In Integral Review 5.
I've changed some of my views on the above since that older posting but it is basically the same. What is replaced is the formal notion of ever more complexification. The integration of the 'lower' levels isn't integrating them as they were when we were within them. They too have been developing below awareness so then when we go 'back' to get them they have evolved in themselves. Another way of looking at it is that previous 'levels' become through their independent growth, and an aperpectival integrating awareness, all at the same level. Seeing them as higher/lower levels is another aspect that needs to be replaced. And the previously 'lower' levels are indeed replaced because in the integrative process they too are now up to speed, so to speak. This is the integral-aperspectival leap to 2nd tier. This twist in the program changes the entire dynamic of levels, lines, states etc.
Another slant or trajectory on this is this post in the OOO thread, how the different levels in a human being are different systems that have to communicate with each other via structural coupling.
"In Luhmann's theory the 'human being' is not conceptualised as forming a systemic unity. Instead it has to be understood as a conglomerate of organic and psychic systems. The former consists of biochemical elements, the latter of thoughts. Both systems are operatively closed against each other: no system can contribute elements to the respectively other system. The systems are however structurally coupled; i.e. their respective structures are adjusted to each other in such a way as to allow mutual irritations" (9-10).
Only with IA awareness we 'integrate' the various levels-systems not by subsuming them into the higher or unitary level but by the levels now structurally coupling with and communicating with each other. Our consciousness is now an hier(an)archical multiplicity with many often irritating voices.
Also see this prior post and following, a discussion of the different definitions of body Wilber uses, including subtle and causal. This fits in to the above also but no time to go into it at the moment. More later.
In the last reference as to a body being the right quadrant of any left quadrant consciousness, then body in this sense isn't just a lower level but has an equivalent level, even for the highest inner level. So we can see that putting the body in the left quadrant as a lower level is problematic.
Another problem per Gebser is that prior consciousness-body levels aren't really levels in that they are transcended and included or enfolded in the next level, for they are discontinuous mutations. Recall this post, which was during an extended discussion of basic-transitional structures on p. 1 of the "ladder, climber, view" thread.
The following excerpt is about Eric Weiss, “Jean Gebser: the mutation of structures of consciousness” presented at Esalen’s CTR first annual invitational conference on evolutionary metaphysics, December 2006. To be fair, this doesn't take into account Wilber's differentiation of cogntive structures with worldviews. It does highlight though the discontinuous nature of said views.
"To read Gebser in a Hegelian manner, as Ken Wilber does with his popular slogan 'transcend and include,' is, in a sense, to grasp the letter of Gebser while missing the living spirit of his work. Gebser himself discussed the limits of the famous Hegelian dialectic. He said that because mental thought tends to be dichotomizing, it necessitates the generation of a third term to move toward reconciliation. But even this third term (the Hegelian 'synthesis') is in turn split again as the overall process marches onward. Gebser saw this dialectic as an unsatisfying expression of the deficient phase of the mental structure of consciousness (which will be described below). Overall, Weiss wanted to be clear that Gebser's thought should not be mistaken for a new version of Hegelianism, nor should it be reduced to it, and in his own life Gebser tried to distance himself from Hegel's work.
"Weiss said that Gebser was clear that his work did not describe a linear evolution, development, or progress of consciousness. Instead, he claimed that the process described in book The Ever-Present Origin was more complex and nuanced. Gebser used the term 'mutation'to describe the process of moving from one consciousness structure to another, but this was not intended to reduce the development of consciousness to a biological metaphor. Rather, he used this term to emphasize the discontinuous nature of the various structures of consciousness. The word 'mutation' connotes the sense of a leap that is more sudden in comparison to the gradualism of Darwin's biological evolution. Gebser viewed each structure of consciousness as a latent possibility or inherent disposition within Origin – i.e., within the ultimate origin of all that is. He saw humanity as naturally predisposed to the discontinuous transformations that have taken place during the course of history and pre-history. But crucially for Gebser, the later mutations do not 'transcend and include,' as in Wilber's model of evolution. Instead, they are discontinuous and autonomous modes of awareness, each of which has its own intrinsic validity, and for which the perception and appearance of time and space are radically different."
Leaving aside for the moment the metaphysical notion that each structure was inherent in Origin, note that each structure (consciousness and body) "are discontinuous and autonomous." This is much more akin to Luhmann's statement above, and Bryant's strange mereology. And my for now incipient and somewhat nebulous attempts to translate them into kennilingus.
It also confirms Bryant's notion that there is no teleos (eros) to the process, that each autonomous 'stage' was due to material-energetic conditions on the ground, so to speak. Recall this post, also in the same thread as the last post, dealing with involutionary rather than evolutionary givens. Excerpt:
Wilber notes this:
“So, even though certain epochs were especially marked by a particular worldview -- foraging, by magic; agrarian, by mythic; and industrial, by mentalrational, for example -- nonetheless, all of these major modes of interpreting our experience seem to be potentials of the human organism, and any of them can be brought forth in any individual under the right circumstances.”
The more postmetaphysical, pragmatic and pomo worldview and SD [not SDi] might argue that life conditions are more likely the evolutionary co-creators of stages of consciousness and worldview formation, not metaphysical involutionary givens, even as amorphous potentials.
I referenced the TFA and TOE thread in a recent post. In rereading it I found a few posts to transfer here:
From this post, but also see the 2 following it in the link:
I was reading from our old Gaia thread on "transpersonal psychology" and found this post of mine, relevant to this thread:
In Chapter 6 of Goddard’s Transpersonal Theory he reiterates something I said in the Krishnamurti 2 thread about Gebser. Previous structures are not holonically subsumed into the next higher structure. The lower structures continue to develop laterally within the dominant higher structure. However successively higher structures up to the mental-ego are by nature “divisive” or exclusive into a higher-lower polarity whereby one pole is dominant, and higher tends to at least consciously (epistemologically) subsume the lower. Nonetheless ontologically the repressed (and previous) pole (structure) continues to develop but unconsciously and it is not until the so-called centaur structure (Geber’s IA) that we begin the return arc of integration of our formerly repressed structures. This conscious return then finds those previous structures having gone through their own developments unbeknownst to us so that they are not the immature magical and mythical worldviews they were on the upward arc of development. Add in the conscious ego’s recognition and integration of them and we get an IA structure that holds all of the structures as they are without contradiction.
From the 2 following posts in the link above:
Here are some relevant excerpts from the above referenced chapter 6. Keep in mind that he is using astrological signs as metaphors, not as a literal, pre-modern belief system.
"But rather than pure cycles that illustrate simple change and development within an established pattern, the cycles are actually spirals depicting emergent properties mapped as an evolutionary trajectory with reference not only to the two horizontal axes (Horizon and Meridian) but also to an implicit vertical axis. Viewed in this way, we can represent different levels of consciousness mapped as ascending spirals of evolutionary development or as descending spirals of regression through time.
"In subsequent cycles of development, the new level of Aries would optimally signify a higher level of development than the Virgo stage of the previous cycle. But no principle, or person manifesting the principle, can be said to be innately higher or lower than any other by virtue of its simple location on the two-dimensional wheel.... For example, psychologically speaking, a lower level of the first sign Aries includes instinctual precipitous action and aggression while a higher manifestation would be pioneering courage, strong and appropriate assertiveness. Astrologers have called these higher and lower expressions or manifestations of each archetype, the higher and lower octaves of a sign, house or planetary configuration which in terms of spatial modelling, require mapping along an axis at right angles to the two axes describing the zodiacal circle.
"As any developmental line—of an individual or culture—proceeds from one archetypal configuration through another, each subsequent astrological category does not (as already said) stand higher than the previous category even though optimally a higher level is reached. The emergence of a subsequent dimension (e.g. Taurus following Aries; Gemini following Taurus) is a product of a certain relative limit reached, a certain learning that takes place in terms of the former at a particular level; but rather than being subsumed in a ‘superior’ subsequent (horizontal) archetypal structure, the former structure optimally continues to grow and develop along with the subsequent archetypal structure once the breakthrough to the new level has occurred."
I'd like to refresh this idea of “higher octaves” noted above. One understanding is that a lower “level” like aries (red) continues to develop within itself while higher levels like reason (orange) overtake and subsume it. This within a level octave phasing can be described by kennilingual fusion-differentiation-integration, or spiral dynamics enter and exist with a stabilized node between. (But this doesn't have to be in an subsuming inclusivist way per above.) Another sense in that when a “cycle” of levels has run its course, e.g. a “tier” say from red to green, another tier or octave is begun, aka second tier.* So there is some validity to kennilingus (I've never disputed that). And of course this second tier hinges around what we might label Gebser's integral-aperspectival level, which itself has its own developmental phases from entry to stable to exit. (Or does it?) So there is lateral, translative and legitimate debate about exactly what constitutes this new level and how it operates, even how levels are organized via nested holarchies or otherwise, since apparently there are new rules (to be enacted) that have heretofore been unavailable. The “real and false reason” thread gives a good genealogy of the various ways this legitimation process is playing out.
*E.g., in spiral dynamics yellow is aka a higher octave of the very first vmeme. See this faq, for example, which says:
"Graves also began to see a similarity between GT (yellow) being and the first level, AN (beige), since both look to individualistic survival. Thus the designation, A'N' rather than GT to suggest the possible repetition of a basic theme.... Successful living at each level produces the new existential problems and energy to look to the next system. Graves' letter pairs include the first tier of AN through FS; the second tier of primes A'-N' through F'-S'; the third tier of double-primes (A''-N'', etc.) and so on.... The repeating pattern of 6-on-6 was a hypothesis; not a demonstrable fact."**
Interestingly, turquoise is a spiral octave above purple, as is coral above red. We might see some of these earlier and repetitive dynamics playing out in this legitimation battle for defining, and thereby controlling (or not), the higher (v)memes.
** Incidentally, this 6-on-6 structure seems remarkably similar to Goddard's ideas.