For anyone interested --

Tom, a former member of IPS, has posted an interesting -- and lengthy! -- blog on Integral Life.


Quantum Enlightenment 

Views: 3230

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Well, I seem to be inching into a better understanding of what you mean by postmetaphysics, Bruce.  : )


LOL, well, that has been something of a moving target!  It has been evolving over the past few years, in real time along with the discussions on this forum.

It seems we must distinguish between the different phases of Bohr’s QM, since his last phase was a return to metaphysical objectivism. And how this last phase might be interjected into his earlier work, thus containing hidden absolutes of the metaphysical kind. For example, from the referenced dissertation in this post.

From around 1950 onward, Bohr’s dynamic conception of complementarity gave way entirely to his static-symmetrical conception, on the basis of which he developed a ‘late’-period objectivist philosophy. He came to assert the thoroughly unambiguous and objective character of the description of nature as offered by quantum theory, stressing, in particular, “our position as detached observers of nature”.... In this way, Bohr went through a complex philosophical path over the three periods, finally arriving at an objectivist standpoint quite distant from his earlier positions.

Among various studies on the relation between Bohr’s and Kant’s thought, I have specifically focused on Kaiser’s attempt to connect the two thinkers’ ideas in terms of the mechanism of “conceptual containment.” Although Kaiser’s argument points to an important aspect of Bohr’s thought, it does not accord with his dynamic conception of complementarity, which, unlike Kant’s philosophy, implies that concepts and words – while subject to a movement of containment – can never be fully contained. On the other hand, Bohr’s objectivist thought in the ‘late’ period, based on his static-symmetrical conception, entails the necessity as well as the attainability of full containment, thus coming close to Kaiser’s point of view (239-40).

What is crucial to Bohr’s complementarity argument in the ‘late’ period is his renewed account of the objectivity and unambiguity of the description of nature.... Bohr closely associates, or rather virtually equates, the concept of objectivity with that of “unambiguous communication.” That is, by “objective description” he means the “communication of information” in which “no ambiguity is involved.” According to Bohr, one must account for experience “in a manner independent of individual subjective judgment and therefore objective in the sense that it can be unambiguously communicated”.

He now holds, our common language, which is characterized by its sharp distinction between subject and object, constitutes a solid basis for unambiguous description and communication.... In particular...“the use of mathematical symbols secures the unambiguity of definition required for objective description”.... Bohr conceives this linguistic requirement for unambiguity as correlative with the epistemological demand of the subject/object distinction. He stresses that, as in every other “field of experience,” so also in quantum theory, we must draw a sharp line “between subject and object” for the purpose of unambiguous communication. This implies not only “a fundamental distinction between the measuring apparatus and the objects under investigation”, but, more generally, “a sharp distinction between the observer and the content of the observations” (56-9). 

Also see the last couple of posts on p. 4 in the Varela thread.

From Derrida’s SEP entry:

“Derrida discusses negative theology by means of the idea of “dénégation,” “denegation” or “denial.” The French word “dénégation” translates Freud's term “Verneinung.” With its negative prefix (“ver”), this German term implies a negation of a negation, a denial then but one that is also an affirmation. The fundamental question then…is how to deny and yet also not deny….it is a negation that denies itself. It de-negates itself.”

theurj said:

Derrida didn't differance his differance.

I'm not going to defend against this statement, just point. See this, for example. Or this.

I'll tell ya what. The First shit that starts to talk about Bohm, or Krishnamurti... 'll kick him in the fuickin nuts. The next dude who brings up asshole "Wilber," has to fucking wrestle me to the gorund. Fuck u Ken. And fuck u tom. I wrestled in high school, ass hole. Yer a lame ass piece of shit now mine. QED







now kela, ya know there is no going ape shit on this site! non-violence is the only way to protest hypothetical spiritual theories.......

hell, at times i think that EVERYONE on this planet is being duped by invisible beings, so i'm an idiot!WTF.......

my sweetie went out tonight so mr mojo (our cat) and i are listening to music thru my marantz 28/ nakamichi cassette deck/ thorens turntable and klh speakers...ahhh, that analog sound! 


is there a point here?


he sure is a little brat!


oh yes, and reading this in light of todays events:

i new something was up with suckerpunch..

Your explanation makes sense to me Tom. Certainly measurement via quantum math can be quite precise and implement rather practical application in an "objective" sense. Just because there is relationship between subject and object doesn't mean they are reducible to one another, or that there are no empirical "facts" if we grant some form of enaction (measurement), quantum or otherwise. You qualify this by accepting no "thing" being measured which seems the crux of the dissertation contention of a return to metaphysical objectivity. Perhaps the dissertator was misapprehending Bohr, and given my lack of time and energy to prove otherwise I will take your capable word for it.

On another note in the "real and false reason thread" we looked a bit into the speculative realism of Meillassoux and his mentor Badiou. Balder brought up the former on p. 4 and on p.5 we went into some discussion. Granted these realists were not using quantum math that I'm aware of but rather set theory. However they were, unlike Commons et al, not using it in a metaphysical, Platonic way. I'm wondering how their philosophical implications line up with what your saying here. For example, this from p. 5:

"Badiou explains in the difficult opening meditations of Being and Event, mathematics is the only discourse suited to the literal articulation of pure being qua being, or being considered without regard to being-this or being-that, being without reference to particular qualities or ways of being: being that simply is. More precisely, mathematics is the only discourse suited to the articulation of being as pure multiplicity, a multiplicity subtracted from any unity or unifying process.


"What is...crucial for Badiou is that the structural form of the count-as-one, which makes multiplicities thinkable, implies that the proper name of being does not belong to an element as such (an original 'one'), but rather the void set (written Ø), the set to which nothing (not even the void set itself) belongs."


On that page I referenced and cited from the book Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy (Continuum, NY: 2004). I provided a link but it is now gone. However the book can be found at this Scribd link.

On my Participatory Worldviews resource thread, I provided a link to a website dedicated to various integral-participatory perspectives and approaches.  Looking around the site this morning, I came across a brief article on Gebser that looked relevant to our discussion here:

Gebser's Atemporal



In the work of many contemporary authors evolution has been aligned with a linear developmental view of consciousness. The work of Jean Gebser suggests consciousness unfolds in leaps or mutations, what he terms spiritual evolution.  He adds to this that the coming mutation will be atemporal and acausal rather than linear or cyclical.   For this deep intuition to be applied in any real way it requires a clearer elucidation of the process of spiritual evolution whereby novelty ingresses in actuality.  This paper illustrates how Alfred North Whitehead’s consideration of propositional feelings, intellectual feelings, and rational knowing we can find a coherent description of an originating impulse that he terms Creativity.  Creativity is the process whereby leaps of novelty can occur.  By combining the work of these two authors we can grow a deep and penetrating understanding of evolution and consciousness.

Yes, I noticed that too.  I thought that was nicely consonant with, and supportive of, some of the themes you've been developing.

Tom:  This generates, in my mind, the leap into yellow, a "momentous" leap that redefines linear causation, wraps it in a larger non-temporal, non-causal frame.  That wrapping is a rebirth of the circularity of earlier stages (beige, purple), which is now returning to be recycled in a fractal replay at higher octaves.

This echoes, in my mind, the re-emergence of a 'participatory' perspective, which Sherman discusses in The Participatory Turn, tracing out a genealogy of participatory perspectives (from pre-modern, pre-rational circularity to post-modern, post-rational(ist) forms), and which I have discussed in a few places on this forum.  Wilber once criticized Ferrer's discussion of "the participatory turn" as Green, but I understand the more sophisticated, emergent 'participatory' sensibilities to be 'integral' to, and perhaps homeomorphically equivalent to, the non-linear, aperspectival orientation Gebser anticipated (and Bitbol, Finkelstein, Skolimowski, Bohr,  you, and others are describing).  Your ideas, Tom, have helped me see Bitbol's (and others') work a little differently, and perhaps also more clearly, but prior to that, I had already intuited 'integral postmetaphysical enaction' (Theurj's phrasing!) as deeply participatory (circular, mutually bootstrapping) and so decided to ignore Wilber's dismissal of the term and to append it as a tagline on this forum when I put it through its remodeling.  (I mention this because I felt -- imagined -- pressure from the popular Integral community, that associating our work here with that term would 'brand' IPS as Green, but I chose to embrace it instead because of a nagging feeling that the habitual use of 'holon' in popular Integral discourse has preserved, rather than overcome, thing-thinking, when the term actually has the potential to point the radical relativity and relationality that Panikkar describes and which I see as central to an integral post-metaphysical sensibility.)

Tom:  Good for you for ignoring Wilber's dismissal.  I don't think he really understands these issues, which suggests an important part of his thinking and inner process and integration is pre-yellow.  Yellow takes the relative world of Einstein's relativity and turbo-charges it.  Gone, then, is any notion of relative apart from absolute.

Yes, it's strange.  I do see something like this as implied in, and following from, what he's doing -- or at least, perhaps what he's leading up to -- in parts of his Wilber-V work, but I don't find it often 'developed' or applied in much of his popular output.  (Perhaps he would benefit from returning to quantum material.  It seems he's developed a distaste for it, after getting mixed up in, and then seeing through and dismissing, certain muddled forms of quantum mysticism.)

Tom:  A worldview that preferences 1P/3P is imo thinglike.  I suspect the leap into yellow replaces 3P with 2P, such that 3P perhaps becomes suchness, which is at once objective and super-subjective.  3P thus remains as the objectivity of measurement, which is non-causal, non-conceptual (ie, suchness).  Just some off-the-cuff speculations.

Hmm, interesting.  Can you say more about what you mean (relating 'objectivity of measurement' and 'suchness')?

Tom:  I see that now, Bruce.  Pardon my previous rudeness.


Oh, no problem, Tom.  I've appreciated, and feel I've grown from, challenges from you, theurj, Kela, and others here.

Hi Tom and Bruce


Really appreciating this conversation you're having here.


Tom, I smell something highly significant in your statement here, but I can barely "grok" what you're pointing to: "Re Wilber, über-participation (QM) is 2P (non-thinged version of which).  His AQAL is a grid of 1P and 3P only.  There, smack in the middle of his main framework, is a gaping hole central to a participatory understanding."


Would you care to expand on this a bit more please? I guess I'm really looking for clarification on whether AQAL really does not include 2P in the way you state.





Now I have to P2P pee. Or maybe I have a big P2P pee? How about don't poo poo my P2P pee?

Reply to Discussion


What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2023   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service