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Averroes



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PostSubject: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:00 am

I'm on the last couple of chapters of SES, and I must say that the whole work (600 pages) is an exceptional example of mediocre redundancy.

In the intro to his work, Wilber quotes someone that "no summary of this work is possible".... Yeah right!
The fact is that the entire 600 pages (not conting the mostly useless 300 pages of footnotes in addition to the main body of work) can be collapsed into a third of their length just by taking out the repetition. Chapter after chapter, page after page, and paragraph after paragraphy, or to be more precise, he keeps repeating himself after every other sentence.
NOTE: If you think that I could've substituted the last clause of the previous sentence for the entire sentence, then you get the idea about the kind of extreme redundancy one has to suffer through this work.

Furthermore, his entire work is just a summation of a few "origininal thinker" and it is more then clear that he does not understand, at all, most of the other references that he cites--as if he's just picked their names from some secondhand source and used them just to give an impression that he has read his stuff.

And lastly, he completely misunderstands a whole lot of philosophical disputes; particularly between Kant and Hegel, and between Enlightenment and its critics; and most of all, he does not seem to understand the real conflict within epistemology, about the "reductionist" dogma of "empiricism."

The guy just keeps on rambling blindly, and with boring repetition, about integrating the quadrants. And yet, much as I suspected from a readings of Integral Spirituality (a much more interesting read), he utterly fails to integrate anything.

Simply put, AQAL is not possible, unless of course, you take a collectivist point of view as your overall paradigm--which Wilber equates with mystical monism, and the reslts of which have been devatating. As I've said, ultimately all choices are reductive, and they'll invariably fall into one or the other quadrant; and thus Wilberian Integralism is just another "flatland" ideology based upon a "We & It" two dimensional paradigm, which Wilber would call the "identity of Atman (the World-Soul) and Brahman (Absolute).
The only way out of it is systemic subjectivism and its corollary of methodological individualism (an idea that's been around from the beginning of the 20th century, and particularly in the works of Austrian economists and Vienna circle). Of course, your could choose the other way too--and become a systemic collectivist, in the precise Hegelian/Marxian manner that Wilber repeatedly praises within his writing--with only a few paragraphs designated towards a superficial objection to the kind of world that these ideologies would create--not to mention those of Plato and Plotinus, or those based upon overt mysticism that has dominated both India and China for thousands of years of stagnant and morally abhorant history.

There is another problem: Wilber keeps on using the terms quadrants and holons interchangebly. He begins by stressing that all holons are manifested as four quadrants; but as soon as he's done expalining his "holarchy" and goes on to 'seemingly' tackle issue, he starts referring to quadrants as if they were holons with their own interior and exteriors, which actually violates his own theory--or atleast, makes it rather useless.

There is no system here. Integralism is just a rouse to apologize for the mysticism--both Western, which is dead, and Eastern, which is poisoing the enlightened mind ever since the discovery of Hindu/Arayan mysticism/mythicism and a pull towards it by those Westerners who've lost their own heritage of naivety and now welcome it in a foreign guise, masqurading as something other-than-that.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:08 am

Thanks for taking the time to read SES, Averroes. I've never read that book myself but I have read it's little brother "A Brief History of Everything" which is basically a brief summary of SES. I'm not surprised that you liked "Integral Spirituality" better. It's a much newer work and is a better representation of where Wilber is at right now. Think about where you were at philosophically in 1995 compared to 2006 for instance. That and it's a much more condensed work.

Averroes wrote:
And yet, much as I suspected from a readings of Integral Spirituality (a much more interesting read), he utterly fails to integrate anything... Simply put, AQAL is not possible, unless of course, you take a collectivist point of view as your overall paradigm--which Wilber equates with mystical monism... As I've said, ultimately all choices are reductive, and they'll invariably fall into one or the other quadrant.

After all of your reading Averroes, I sense that you're still misunderstanding what Integralism actually is. Integralism is not a new age methodology for taking everything and synthesizing it so that everyone is happy or some "Marxist Dialectic" that seeks an ideal social system. That is simply not possible in this (non-)dualistic world. You can't be both a capitalist and a socialist or you can't be both alive and dead at the same time for instance. (Even though all of these things are integrally connected to one another.)

What Integralism is, is a methodology for taking in and understanding as many different perspectives as possible before making a reductive or inductive decision with the understanding that everything is ultimately connected.

The reductionism that Wilber argues against is "philosophical reductionism" not the process of reductionism in itself. Philosophical reductionism is referred to as a "flatland methodology" because it only takes one of the quadrants, or one of the levels, into account as a basis for it's world view. Ayn Rand's Objectivism is an example of a "flatland" philosophy because it only takes the right hand quadrants into account as a basis for it's world view. All interiors are simply collapsed to the right hand side of the four quadrants model. Subjectivity is viewed as a secondary side effect of the objective world rather than being viewed as an equally important aspect of reality. Eastern mysticism very often does the direct opposite and views the objective world as an illusion.

So Integralism doesn't try to be everything to everybody. It simply tries to make sure that all perspectives are taken into account whether that perspective is socialist or capitalist, reductionist or wholist, individualist or collectivist. All of these view points are considered to hold partial truths because they are based on a part of reality, but none of them can be considered to hold the whole truth because there is always another side to reality that tugs in the opposite direction.

I think that once all of these basic view points are taken into account we have a much better chance at coming up with new solutions that are dynamic and that have the ability to avoid some of the pitfalls of philosophical reductionism.

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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:17 am

Averroes wrote:
There is another problem: Wilber keeps on using the terms quadrants and holons interchangebly. He begins by stressing that all holons are manifested as four quadrants; but as soon as he's done expalining his "holarchy" and goes on to 'seemingly' tackle issue, he starts referring to quadrants as if they were holons with their own interior and exteriors, which actually violates his own theory--or atleast, makes it rather useless.

Do you have any examples?

My guess would be that he's referring to the different perspectives that one can have on the different quadrants. For example, it's possible to look at the individual subjective aspect of consciousness (upper left hand quadrant) from either the outside (psychology) or the inside (meditation and phenomenology).

Quote :
The only way out of it is systemic subjectivism and its corollary of methodological individualism (an idea that's been around from the beginning of the 20th century, and particularly in the works of Austrian economists and Vienna circle). Of course, your could choose the other way too--and become a t, in the precise Hegelian/Marxian manner that Wilber repeatedly praises within his writing--with only a few paragraphs designated towards a superficial objection to the kind of world that these ideologies would create--not to mention those of Plato and Plotinus, or those based upon overt mysticism that has dominated both India and China for thousands of years of stagnant and morally abhorant history.

Both methodological individualism and methodological collectivism in their purest forms are true but partial world views that have the ability to work but only for short periods of time under certain ideal existential conditions. The reason that they (or any reductive methodology) doesn't work for any considerable length of time is because they are not in tuned with the whole of reality and they fail to look at both the big and little pictures at the same time.

One thing that the post-modernists realized is that the world is not linearly rational. There is no "invisible guiding hand" or any one true way that reality works. The problem is that the post-modernists took this view to mean that reality was ultimately hopeless, meaningless, and that modernity and it's fixation on rational solutions was nothing but a waste of time.

What Integralism says is that "no there is some hope". There are dynamic patterns in nature that, if we can remain in tuned with, we can use some aspects of the various methodologies that where devised in the modernist mindset to continue to evolve and even excel.

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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:54 pm

Aaron wrote:
I'm not surprised that you liked "Integral Spirituality" better. It's a much newer work and is a better representation of where Wilber is at right now. Think about where you were at philosophically in 1995 compared to 2006 for instance. That and it's a much more condensed work.

You know what they say, bigger is not always better. I really enjoyed Integral Spirituality, partly because it is a more mature work, and partly because the entire of SES is summarized within the first section of it (if I can remember correctly).
In the very beginning I was confused about the title of the book; until the very end where he picks up the issues of feminism and deep ecology, addressed in much detail in the first couple of chapters, and it hit me that What Wilber is trying to do is bring both modern feminism and environmental movements into a much bigger picture of "spirituality" that would then make them "Integral." If this is the entire purpose of SES, which I think it is, then I really have no qualms with it, for it is only an in-house debate over issues that concern only the modern left--which aptly fits into the We & It quadrant of flatland within my systemic understanding.

The confusion that arises is that in the process of doing so he makes two irreconcilable points: At first he begins with trying to show that deep ecology is wrong when it looks at humans (noospheric beings) as part of the network of nature, which takes away their genuine superiority (or transcendence of the noosphere over the biosphere)--and I couldn't be more happier while reading this; but then when he readdresses these issue of eco-sophia within the realm of spirituality (in his second section of the book) he also makes the point that the reason environmentalist spirituality is wrong is because its perspective is pantheistic (we humans are part of the network of nature) while a genuine spiritual non-dual perspective (advaita vedanta) is that the Ultimate (which he calls Nature vs. mere nature) is in every part of nature. Thus a genuine Integral view is not just to prize our existence within network of Nature, but to realize that we are Nature, I'm Nature, that is Nature--in their entirety. In other words, like the Muslim mystic of the 10th century Baghdad, we all proclaim: I Am the Truth!
Not part of the truth, but the whole truth.

Now, I find this idea fantastic. It essentially makes no sense from a rational-empiric point of view. The problem is that Brick Wall Wilber concedes, and repeatedly, that its not supposed to make sense from the "flatland" of "subtle reductionism." And yet, after all of his harangue, I still remain unconvinced by his argument, because like Hegel he does not understand that the epistemic wrestling that Kant was doing with Hume's skepticism. Like Hegel, whose dialectical thought is precisely what "transcendence" means within Integralism, Wilber just oversteps the dualism of nomina/phenomena and proclaims that the reason for non contradiction between reality and appearance is that reality itself corresponds to the process of our cognition, which produces appearance. Thus, if our thought process is dialectical, then Nature is dialectical, and appearance unfolds in front of us is a dialectical process, where the new synthesis partially retains both opposing premises and adds something new to them--Wilber calls this "emergence". Now, I don't disagree that new phenomenon arises "emergently" with new properties that cannot be understood by simply analyzing the previous parts. However, I'm not convinced that the mind of God (Nature) correlates to our thought process. Where is the proof of that? I don't see the world unraveling dialectically? And this is key, because if you disagree with Integralism's Hegelian/Marxist premise, then the entire structure collapses into a flatland of We (World-Self/Atman) & It (Absolute/Brahman)--as in the diagram that you placed within my first post, thank you.


Aaron wrote:
After all of your reading Averroes, I sense that you're still misunderstanding what Integralism actually is. Integralism is not a new age methodology for taking everything and synthesizing it so that everyone is happy or some "Marxist Dialectic" that seeks an ideal social system. That is simply not possible in this (non-)dualistic world. You can't be both a capitalist and a socialist or you can't be both alive and dead at the same time for instance. (Even though all of these things are integrally connected to one another.)

The whole start of Hegel's dialectical methodology is in the emergence of synthesis from opposites. Now, I don't dispute that human thought often (but not always) progresses that way; but consider how Hegel puts this process within Nature:

He starts with the idea of Being (the absolute transcendent reality), and asks what does that mean to us? The answer is "nothing," such an infinite entity is utterly out of the reach of human cognition. Then from this he extrapolates that within the idea of the Being, there is the idea of non-being or Nothing. Now, the way this unravels in this world is that these dialectically opposite views produce a synthesis (emergence) that partially validates both of them and yet transcends them in "becoming."

There is a problem with this: If the laws of our reason are correspondent with reality (Kantian things in themselves), then shouldn't these two opposite view cancel each other out? I mean, under the rules of Analytics, opposites contradict and cancel each other. Now, this is the exact problem we see in the entire structure of Spiral Dynamics (to step aside momentarily): It plays with opposites in a perpetual way, transcending every stage and then producing its opposite. Now, all that shows is human rational and fragmented paradigms (Me & IT vs. We & It) are constantly as war with each other as technology improves and existential conditions change; however, that does not mean that our consciousness in moving up higher "stages." Our consciousness is pretty much linear after the post-conventional development; and then we hop around, blindly, between the three rational flatlands as I've described. My evidence is common place, and I've yet to see any evidence that in adult life humans who become more mature (or perhaps advance to higher stages) do so vertically in a hierarchy--that is, I've yet to see that those few humans that do advance to higher stages must do so in the same manner through the same process."

And the same goes for the higher stages of spiritual consciousness, within Integralism. Wilber refers to quite a few western medieval mystics, and their eastern counterparts, and shows a similarity of their progression. However, I'm still not convinced that this necessarily correlates to the structure of reality. I mean, degenerative schizophrenia also follows a universal path in its victims and yet we do not concede the reality of the schizophrenic world--stepping aside the question about what is real in the first place, a question that in my opinion only has circular answers unless we start off in a strict Cartesian manner from the Self, as I do within systemic subjectivism--and thus even if it's conceded that all spiritual phenomenon unfolds within our psyche in a particular way (a contention that I've never disputed, even as I do not believe in it) still, it does not go to show a ontological identity between our conception of nature (phenomenon) and Nature itself (nomina). And it is really this Hegelian premise in which I find all of my opposition to both Integralism and Spiral Dynamics (much like the mythic vs. mystic, they while concluding differently have the same premise; and so if you destroy the premise you destroy both the conclusions).

Aaron wrote:
What Integralism is, is a methodology for taking in and understanding as many different perspectives as possible before making a reductive or inductive decision with the understanding that everything is ultimately connected.

Okay, I can agree with that. And if you recall, in all of our discussion on this subject, I've always stated that Integralism is a tool for understanding diverse perspective and their interconnectedness, and is quite useful in business and diplomacy etc. where the goal is not the truth, but a settlement. However, whenever Integralism makes claims about reality (as it must, given its Hegelian premises) that is where the epistemic divide opens as it was never successfully bridged by Hegel when dealing with Kant's legacy.


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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:54 pm

Aaron wrote:
The reductionism that Wilber argues against is "philosophical reductionism" not the process of reductionism in itself. Philosophical reductionism is referred to as a "flatland methodology" because it only takes one of the quadrants, or one of the levels, into account as a basis for it's world view. Ayn Rand's Objectivism is an example of a "flatland" philosophy because it only takes the right hand quadrants into account as a basis for it's world view. All interiors are simply collapsed to the right hand side of the four quadrants model. Subjectivity is viewed as a secondary side effect of the objective world rather than being viewed as an equally important aspect of reality. Eastern mysticism very often does the direct opposite and views the objective world as an illusion.

You're partially correct to the extent that Objectivism is an atheist libertarian philosophy, and commits Wilber's "Epicurean mistake" of positing that only atoms exists. However, the proper dispute over "reductionism" is within epistemology of empiricism and positivism.

You see, the split within empiricism begins with Hume (poor guy was only being a skeptic). In the Enquiry he claims that all synthetic knowledge find its correlate in sense experience, while analytic concepts are properties of the mind. Analytical statements are those where the predicate (defining quality) lies within the subject (a square is a four sided object) and which cannot be denied without contradiction or making the statement senseless. Synthetic statements are those that come from sense experience and are thus non-contradictory in nature.

The problem as it emerges in Hume's writings is that he claims that any synthetic judgment that does not correspond to a sense experience must be denied. Thus, in the most famous of instances, when Hume does not find a sense experience corresponding to the notion of causality, he categorically rejects it as a facade and tries to show that it is merely a cognitive habit of association (between two objects that occur in sequence) that gives us the illusion of causality.

This of course, doesn't do much to help the cause of science, which, ever since Newton and Descartes, was strictly grounded in mathematical causality. This is where Kant comes in declaring that judgments of the types "All squares have four sides" are not strictly analytical a-priori, but synthetic a-priori. The idea being that although we discover these facts through experience, yet we can be certain that the experience is going to be universal. Thus he proclaims that all mathematical and scientific judgments are of this nature. And so in the process of saving scientific certainty, he sacrifices metaphysics at the helm of Humean skepticism.

This is important because it was this Hume-Kant epistemic discourse that lead towards a radical split within 19th century whereby emerges Positivism in Anglo-Saxon culture and Idealism within German culture.
And both these ideas are epistemically untenable.

I've already discussed the problems with Hegel's Absolute Idealism, and the unnecessary venture in trying to rid all skepticism and uncertainty from metaphysics--which is now impossible given Heisenberg's principle of Uncertainty and Godel's Incompleteness theorem that boldly, in a very Kantian anti-Hegelian manner, proclaims that even mathematical knowledge is not complete:

1. If the system is consistent, it cannot be complete.
2. The consistency of the axioms cannot be proved within the system.
(source: Wikipedia)

I would like to now refer to Positivism and its two dogmas:
Analytic-Synthetic dichotomy and reductionism: There is a famous paper written by Quine under the title, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism," wherein by empiricism he really means positivism (in my opinion).

The first dogma (analytic-synthetic dichotomy) is false, because no such strict division exists--as was shown by Kant. And the other dogma, "reductionism", is false to the extent that not all phenomenon can be reduced to sense experience.

This much being true, in my opinion Wilber does not understand the real quarrel within epistemology/philosophy. He does not grasp that the problems of gross reductionism are not problems with empiricism, upon which is built the edifice of modern science, but positivism.
He further does not realize that the entire scheme of existentialist writers also comes out of these two dogmas as pronounced within Locke and Hume. That is, unlike the positivists who only find reality in mere sense experience, the existentialists et al. simply deny reality (apparent, right hand, objective reality) on count that: if knowledge is based upon based upon synthetic judgments and synthetic judgments are based upon sense-experience, then really there are just as many realities as perspective: Foolishness to the extreme. I can understand why the interwar and postwar French mind would produce such nonsense, on account of the utter devastation that faced their country after the failure of the French revolution and collapse of the First Republic into Napoleon's empire, and the ganging up of Europe's "ancien regimes" over it, then the devastation that they suffered during WWI, and the further humiliated during WWII--the French world, by the middle of the twentieth century was like a madhouse: A world class colonial empire that was being constantly overpowered by its neighbors, and susceptible to any revolution from the inside. No wonder existentialism, postmodernism, post-structuralism, deonstructionism, nihilism, all emerge out of France. Just like Idealism was the domain of 19th century German Zeitgeist.
But that does not render any of these perspectives true; and neither is positivism, not withstanding its popularity in the Anglo-American academia; or its manifestation as Pramaticism in United States--corresponding to its emergence as positivism in Great Britain.
All these 19th-20th century episteme, coming out of Britain (positivism), France (existentialism) and Germany (Idealism) are simply partial rational paradigms corresponding to the flatlands within my systemic subjectivism, to "It & Me", "Me & We", and "We & It", respectively.

Aaron wrote:
So Integralism doesn't try to be everything to everybody. It simply tries to make sure that all perspectives are taken into account whether that perspective is socialist or capitalist, reductionist or holist, individualist or collectivist. All of these view points are considered to hold partial truths because they are based on a part of reality, but none of them can be considered to hold the whole truth because there is always another side to reality that tugs in the opposite direction.

You see this is where my Systemic philosophy fundamentally differs from Integralism, on two counts:
1. The way to bridge/transcend these dichotomies is methodological individualism. For instance, as a Liberal (or Libertarian) I do not believe either in socialism or capitalism. I've previously outlined, in quite detail, my reservation against this Marxist term "capitalism." I don't believe in a world simply made up of corporations, neither to I believe in a totalitarian state. Methodological Individualism begins with the supremacy of Individuals (the holons or independent systemic units), and thus while it allows them privacy in their enterprise (capitalism if we must use that term, although, a better term would be free markets of an open society) and yet places a superstructure over them in order to ensure that no one's rights are violated (socialism if you must call it that, although, I'd prefer to call it a limited state or a liberal constitutional federal democratic republic).

2. Unlike Integralism, Systemic theory is not based upon a "synthetic imperative," or "yin/yang synthesis. Instead, being systematically subjective, it is based upon "categorical imperative" that includes a categorical rejection of false/incomplete ideas, not trying to manufacture reality out of them; and at the same time, it properly places the subjective within its objective and conjunctive spheres.

Aaron wrote:
I think that once all of these basic view points are taken into account we have a much better chance at coming up with new solutions that are dynamic and that have the ability to avoid some of the pitfalls of philosophical reductionism.

Sure, new solutions; but not new paradigms. That is what I meant when I first discussed this issue with Helium, over a thread posted either by you or Travis, wherein it was asked if we are entering a new paradigm today. And my answer was that paradigms appear as new only to those who are stuck in a flatland between the varying synthetic (albeit fractured)perspectives of We, Me, and It. In contrast, systemic subjectivism is a transcendent paradigm wherein new solutions may arise, but no paradigm shift occurs. And this perspective have been available to us since the time of the Greeks.

This goes back to my notion of Ataraxia. My philosophy is based upon "methodological individualism." However, "systemic subjectivism" is simply a way to achieve ataraxia--or what the Skeptics use to call the calmness of the mind that comes from canceling the contradictions and then relaxing in the ensuing perpetual skepticism. No doubt, my notion of ataraxia is not identical to theirs, but close enough I suppose.


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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:43 pm

Averroes wrote:
The whole start of Hegel's dialectical methodology is in the emergence of synthesis from opposites. Now, I don't dispute that human thought often (but not always) progresses that way; but consider how Hegel puts this process within Nature:

He starts with the idea of Being (the absolute transcendent reality), and asks what does that mean to us? The answer is "nothing," such an infinite entity is utterly out of the reach of human cognition. Then from this he extrapolates that within the idea of the Being, there is the idea of non-being or Nothing. Now, the way this unravels in this world is that these dialectically opposite views produce a synthesis (emergence) that partially validates both of them and yet transcends them in "becoming."

There is a problem with this: If the laws of our reason are correspondent with reality (Kantian things in themselves), then shouldn't these two opposite view cancel each other out? I mean, under the rules of Analytics, opposites contradict and cancel each other.

Do yin and yang cancel each other out? Yin Yang

I would say no, because they're dynamic and co-creative/co-canceling. Also dialectics emerge in a spiral fashion rather than a circular fashion or a linear fashion. If the flow was linear they would cancel each other out.

Averroes wrote:
Now, this is the exact problem we see in the entire structure of Spiral Dynamics (to step aside momentarily): It plays with opposites in a perpetual way, transcending every stage and then producing its opposite.

I agree with you there. I think development is much more complicated than that. I think Loevinger's stages are much more realistic and don't rely on this simplistic dialectic stage structure.

Averroes wrote:
Our consciousness is pretty much linear after the post-conventional development; and then we hop around, blindly, between the three rational flatlands as I've described. My evidence is common place, and I've yet to see any evidence that in adult life humans who become more mature (or perhaps advance to higher stages) do so vertically in a hierarchy--that is, I've yet to see that those few humans that do advance to higher stages must do so in the same manner through the same process."

I disagree with you there. As for the process, no one's really sure how the process actually works. Evolutionary dialectics seem to play a role (the dynamic interplay of subject and object) but there are other factors as well.

Averroes wrote:
And the same goes for the higher stages of spiritual consciousness, within Integralism. Wilber refers to quite a few western medieval mystics, and their eastern counterparts, and shows a similarity of their progression.

I'm in partial agreement with you there. I think Wilber confuses structures with states. I think that many of the sages have reached permanent states of consciousness like non-dual awareness but there is no reason to elevate these "higher" states to higher stage or structures of consciousness.

FYI, I read your second post but I'll have to get back to it later.

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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:39 pm

Averroes wrote:
All these 19th-20th century episteme, coming out of Britain (positivism), France (existentialism) and Germany (Idealism) are simply partial rational paradigms corresponding to the flatlands...

I'm in basic agreement that those are all partial paradigms however IMO those paradigms are based on their respective levels of world view.

Averroes wrote:
You see this is where my Systemic philosophy fundamentally differs from Integralism, on two counts:
1. The way to bridge/transcend these dichotomies is methodological individualism. Methodological Individualism begins with the supremacy of Individuals (the holons or independent systemic units), and thus while it allows them privacy in their enterprise and yet places a superstructure over them in order to ensure that no one's rights are violated.

I pretty much agree, however I don't necessarily place supremacy on either the whole or the individual. I think they need to work together based on existential conditions. For instance, there are some cases, such as post Katrina New Orleans, in which the whole needs to take supremacy over individualism. Curfews were imposed, despite the imposition on individual freedom, in order to maintain order. There are other times where the climate is more peaceful and the social makeup is more mature where individual agency should take supremacy.

Averroes wrote:
2. Unlike Integralism, Systemic theory is not based upon a "synthetic imperative," or "yin/yang synthesis. Instead, being systematically subjective, it is based upon "categorical imperative" that includes a categorical rejection of false/incomplete ideas, not trying to manufacture reality out of them; and at the same time, it properly places the subjective within its objective and conjunctive spheres.

Well that's kind of like throwing the baby out with the bath water IMO. I think one loses the opportunity to gain a lot of knowledge and insight by doing that.

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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:57 am

Aaron wrote:
Do yin and yang cancel each other out?

I would say no, because they're dynamic and co-creative/co-canceling. Also dialectics emerge in a spiral fashion rather than a circular fashion or a linear fashion. If the flow was linear they would cancel each other out.

Hegelian thought progresses dialectically, in a criss-cross fastion, which is what spiral dynamics is. That I agree.

Where I disagree is that the nature of reality is Yin/Yang. Nature does not manifest itself in opposites; it just manifests itself. Phenomenon "emerges" hierarchially, but not in a dialectical fashion. This is where Hegel was wrong, this is where both Indian and Chinese mysticism is wrong, and this is where Communism went wrong.

Aaron wrote:
I pretty much agree, however I don't necessarily place supremacy on either the whole or the individual. I think they need to work together based on existential conditions. For instance, there are some cases, such as post Katrina New Orleans, in which the whole needs to take supremacy over individualism. Curfews were imposed, despite the imposition on individual freedom, in order to maintain order. There are other times where the climate is more peaceful and the social makeup is more mature where individual agency should take supremacy.

This goes out of ontology and into politics, and so while I do have definite statements to make about the matter, I'll refrain from doing so under this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:07 am

Aaron wrote:
I disagree with you there. As for the process, no one's really sure how the process actually works. Evolutionary dialectics seem to play a role (the dynamic interplay of subject and object) but there are other factors as well.

I agree with the first statment that no one really knows how nomina correlates to phenomena. However, there is not dialectical interplay. For instance, every holon has a subjective, objective, and conjuctive side. This is not a dialectical manifestation. It is simply the interior, exterior, and interactive sides of a system. What makes the process dialectical is oppositional ideas, as in egoism (It & Me) vs. holism (We & It); or socialism vs. capitalism = communism (at least according to Marx).

As you can see, my quadrants are better illustrative of this dialectical process upon which Hegel, Marx, and Wilber's schemes are based.
I really wish I could draw the diagrams using using Office etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:21 pm

Averroes wrote:
Phenomenon "emerges" hierarchially, but not in a dialectical fashion

I just want to clarify a point: I do not deny hierarchy within nature, and its manifestation as objective, subjective, and conjunctive. The source of our dispute has been the hierarchy within human development after post-conventional stage?

I do not believe in ascension within the Great Chain of Being. Reason is the pinnacle of material development and that is the end of it; Beyond the trans-form-op (my fifth stage in addition to Piaget's four stages of consciousness development) I don't think there is any higher stage of development. Of course, I could be proven wrong, but the only way to do that would be to show that those on a higher stage of consciousness are better functional or more advantaged than mere rational stage humans.

That is, not withstanding the claim that lower stages cannot recognize the higher stages of consciousness, it is fairly obvious to every child that its status compared to an adult is that of a minor/dependent, and so if we meet such an advance stage human being, it ought to be obvious to us lowly rational creatures that he is at a more elevated position--even as we do not understand that stage from our level of development.

And lastly, given that genuine hierarchic development supposedly makes the system/holon more effective, it follows that any rishi or yogi or transcendentalist who claims to have achieved any of the higher stages of consciousness, would not loose his ability for rational thought. If that happens than it proves that his situation is not a higher stage but an altered state of consciousness.

For instance, the victims of transcendental meditation are a classic example of those who are suffering through involution of their rational faculties. Such meditative techniques end up altering their mind. Too bad, that Wilber takes the research comming out of Maharishi Univ. of Managment, in Fairfiled Iowa, as genuine, when most of it is not replicated elsewhere; for instance, he openly professes to believe in that idiotic claim known as "Maharishi Effect" (and I wonder if he believes in their claim to "yogic flying")--this is the kind of stuff that people beleive in when they get into spirituality and mysticism. And whats worse, there are former instructors and administrators of that institute that've testified in court that TM inhibits the students ability to learn subjects such as physics or economics, after intense meditational retreats where the meditatior experiences all kinds of weird mental phenomenon, easily explained as dissociation, spacing-out, or any other psychological dis-ease.

Mysticism is like Intelligent Design (and apparently Wilber and Chopra have both approved of ID) that uses science to destroy it. By building a reality above and beyond reason, it demolishes reason and then we're back into the darkages--no trascendence take place, only regression.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:53 pm

If what you are referring to is the "3rd Tier" as it's represented in this chart (and even more so as it's represented in "Integral Spirituality"), then I'm pretty much in agreement with you, however I think that you're somewhat misrepresenting Wilber's position on "the mystical".


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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:57 am

Averroes wrote:
For instance, every holon has a subjective, objective, and conjunctive side. This is not a dialectical manifestation.

How do you know that?

If you were to look at it from more of a panexperiential or proto-panexperiential perspective maybe you wouldn't feel that way. IMO there is as much ground for that view as there is for either materialistic or idealistic monism or dualism. As a matter of fact I think non-dual panexperientialism helps to solve a lot of the problems raised by monism and dualism.

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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:23 am

Quote :
What Integralism is, is a methodology for taking in and understanding as many different perspectives as possible before making a reductive or inductive decision with the understanding that everything is ultimately connected.

After reading Wilbur's A BRIEF HISTORY OF EVERYTHING a few years ago, I was impressed with his global erudition, and his down-home / non-guru demeanor. His general worldview seemed to be similar to mine (this was pre-deism), with one major exception: as an innate rationalist and a lifelong realist, I had difficulty empathizing with his fundamental mysticism. And yet, as I get older, I find myself edging ever closer to the dark abyss of nebulous-mysticality---and it's scary, because I never learned to swim in mystical waters.

Apart from a few mundane childhood out-of-body experiences, I have never felt mystical in-the-least. Prayer was like talking to the wall. My sister claims to have had a conventional, Christian, life-changing "experience", but for me---nothing. My various attempts at meditation were relaxing, but hardly profound. My general impression of the few new-agey, guru-quoting, crystal-power folks I met: they seemed to be emotionally-needy and intellectually-gullible.

Therefore, while I am in tune, intellectually, with much of his Integral Theory, I just don't resonate emotionally with the direct experience of God. For me, God is still just an abstract concept. Have any of you become one with the All? Is there any hope for a mystically-handicapped seeker-of-truth?

Wikipedia:
Wilber begins by acknowledging and validating mystical experience, rather than denying its reality.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:17 am

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Wilber begins by acknowledging and validating mystical experience, rather than denying its reality.

The issue is not with mystical experiences. For those that have it, it is surreal enough, and no rationalist or skeptic can deny that. The problem is with "mysticism" that equates the mystical experience with the reality itself; it "assumes" that by going inwards, inside our self, we are able to bridge the gap between the phenomenal world and have recourse to ultimate reality. That, to me, is a sensational and existential confusion. Even if the quantum mechanical world appears "kinda" like the world described by a mystic, that is not a valid argument for the equation of transcendent reality with mystical experience; afterall, when the world was defined in Newtonian/Epicurean terms, the mystics didn't giveup their quest for spiritual enlightenment and neither did it discourage the romantics or idealists from disparging empirical and atomistic science.
The key to solving this dillema is to realize that "reality" as dealt within science is objective and thus subject to falsification (what Wilber calls fallibilist) and reductionism, while mystical experiences being strictly of a subjective nature are neither reducible to sense-experience nor falsifiable. And so, in my opinion, while the mystical experience is genuine, and perhaps worthy of pursuit; nevertheless, the identity of reality with mystery is one of the three schizophrenic tendencies prevalent within the Western Civilization that I've criticized elsewhere in detail.


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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:03 am

Aaron wrote:
Averroes wrote:
For instance, every holon has a subjective, objective, and conjunctive side. This is not a dialectical manifestation.


How do you know that?
A dialectical manifestation, must by definition, arise out of contradictions. But subjective and objective are not each other's contradictions.
There is a confusion arising over here due the dual meaning applied to these terms. In ontology subjectivism and objectivism are each others opposites (although, not necessarily polar opposites, but I'll concede that for the sake of argument) to the extent that the former is a statement of skepticism and the latter of realism/dogmatism.

However, in epistemology, the idea of subjectivity is not opposite to objectivity. For instance, both Locke and Hume are epistemological empiricists, and thus both believe that knowledge derives from sense experience; however, in Locke there is a certainity that our sensational perception of the world outside our self (which includes our body) is exactly how the world exists--objectivism. And Hume is of the opinion that we can't be sure how the outside world really is, and that we simply come to know stuff on a perpetual trial and error basis--subjectivism. That is why, Locke looks back to the Epicureans and Stoics for inspiration, while Hume to the Skeptics. In famous epistemic disputations, most of the opposing views are not necessarily each others logical contradictions.
Of course, a die hard Hegelian (like Wilber) would probably see a dialectical contradiction within these two points and a synthesis of these views within Kant's neo-empiricism: Our knowledge of the world outside of our self is shaped by our mental categories and so it is not entirely objective, or subjective in Hume's sense of the term. The problem is that while I don't deny that human thought works dialectically, just that I don't see nature unfold itself in that way, as I'll explain below.


Aaron wrote:
If you were to look at it from more of a panexperiential or proto-panexperiential perspective maybe you wouldn't feel that way. IMO there is as much ground for that view as there is for either materialistic or idealistic monism or dualism. As a matter of fact I think non-dual panexperientialism helps to solve a lot of the problems raised by monism and dualism.
Panpsychism is a species of non-dual monism. And it is an invalid ontological point of view. It is for the same precise reason as I've stated above: Hegel never refuted Kant's limitations on reason and just went above and beyond it inorder to build a system on top of it.

People may find comfort in the notion that they are part of a cosmic organism/consciousness that operated like our-self/our-thoughts (anthropomorphism); yet there is no evidence of that. By that what I mean is that the objective world view (based upon cosmology and biology) does not reveal empirical reasons to justify that the evolution of the universe, or life on Earth, is necessarily the same as the evolution of thought within our psyche. That is, while "clash" and "confrontation" may give rise to emergence/synthesis in the real world (entirely understood in terms of its constitutent parts--reductionism), nevertheless, the opposition is not dialectical/logical.

That is, under the rules of Logic, dialectical opposites cancel each other out and nothing is the remainder; in contrast, when two opposite positions clash (whether in cosmology, biology, and psychology) to the extent that they do not completely annihilate each other, a new synthesis emerges.

When two hydrogen atoms combine with an oxygen atom, a water molecule emerges. Notice how there is confrontation but no contradiction in nature.

When a particle and anti-particle collide with each other (say an electron and a positron in a particle accelarator), and given that they are each other's exact opposites, they cancel each other out and nothing remains.

Thus, even if all emergence can be called a synthesis of opposing forces, it is still not a dialectical opposition. And that is the key to realize the mistake in Hegel/Wilber, in addition to the original epistemic uncertainity as posited by Kant that ends up negating any "future metaphysics."
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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:50 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Therefore, while I am in tune, intellectually, with much of his Integral Theory, I just don't resonate emotionally with the direct experience of God. For me, God is still just an abstract concept. Have any of you become one with the All? Is there any hope for a mystically-handicapped seeker-of-truth?

Wikipedia:
Wilber begins by acknowledging and validating mystical experience, rather than denying its reality.

I guess that depends on how one defines mysticism and how one defines god. For instance, in my view god is everything and everywhere, therefore it's impossible not to experience god.

I think that a lot of mysticism is based on the idea that god in it's pure form is metaphysically idealistic and that the material world is just a retardation of god's true form. Therefore the best way to get back in touch with pure godhead is by blocking out the material world and getting in touch with pure consciousness. One of the ways of doing this is through causal meditation.

Causal meditation is the practice of basically going into a state of deep sleep while staying consciously aware at the same time. It sounds strange but advanced meditators do all the time. In deep sleep the material world and all thought essentially drop away. Therefore the idealist mystic perceives this as a way of experiencing god directly.

I'm personally not a metaphysical idealist nor do I subscribe to non-dual monism which is basically another type of metaphysical idealism. I am a non-dual panendeist or essentially a non-dual non-dualist, which means that I believe that god is ultimately neither material nor ideal and yet both at the same time.

IMO mystical experiences are essentially peak conscious experiences. In other words they are experiences in which we are able to gain greater insight and conscious awareness of both/either the subjective "conscious" world and/or the objective "material" world.

So IMO mysticism isn't about blocking out and rejecting the material world so that one can gain access to "ultimate reality". IMO mysticism is about taking in and paying as close attention to all aspects of existence from phenomenal experience to sensual awareness.

I don't know if that helps. Suspect

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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:30 am

Aaron wrote:
I guess that depends on how one defines mysticism and how one defines god. For instance, in my view god is everything and everywhere, therefore it's impossible not to experience god.
That's what I would call Pantheistic Naturalism, not mysticism.

Aaron wrote:
I think that a lot of mysticism is based on the idea that god in it's pure form is metaphysically idealistic and that the material world is just a retardation of god's true form. Therefore the best way to get back in touch with pure godhead is by blocking out the material world and getting in touch with pure consciousness. One of the ways of doing this is through causal meditation.
I have concluded that G*D is literally an "idea", in the sense of pure mental stuff, instead of physical stuff. But again, I don't find anything mystical about ideas, per se. I sometimes hear about people who experience "God Consciousness", but I just have to take their word for it. I have experienced altered states of consciousness, but again there was nothing spooky or enlightening about it---just odd.

Aaron wrote:
Causal meditation is the practice of basically going into a state of deep sleep while staying consciously aware at the same time. It sounds strange but advanced meditators do all the time. In deep sleep the material world and all thought essentially drop away. Therefore the idealist mystic perceives this as a way of experiencing god directly.
How does he know it's God on the other end, and not left brain communing with right brain? As before, I have experienced "lucid dreaming", but I perceived it simply as being conscious of the flow of subconscious dream-like images in often absurd juxapositions. I'm guessing that deeper states may shut-down pictorial or verbal processing modules, leaving only pre-verbal alphabet soup that seems portentous but meaningless.

Aaron wrote:
I'm personally not a metaphysical idealist nor do I subscribe to non-dual monism which is basically another type of metaphysical idealism. I am a non-dual panendeist or essentially a non-dual non-dualist, which means that I believe that god is ultimately neither material nor ideal and yet both at the same time.
I agree. But I don't understand. I'm still agnostic regarding the ding an sich of deity.

Aaron wrote:
IMO mystical experiences are essentially peak conscious experiences. In other words they are experiences in which we are able to gain greater insight and conscious awareness of both/either the subjective "conscious" world and/or the objective "material" world.
My hypothesis is that people in mystical states are actually experiencing the normally-hidden contents of their own brain/mind. They may interpret the absurdities and paradoxes as cryptic messages from God. But their reports seldom reveal much of significance beyond generic platitudes. We don't need God to tell us to seek world peace.

Aaron wrote:
So IMO mysticism isn't about blocking out and rejecting the material world so that one can gain access to "ultimate reality". IMO mysticism is about taking in and paying as close attention to all aspects of existence from phenomenal experience to sensual awareness.
I think you are on the right track. Our mystical visions tend to be much more "objective" and less centered on self. In effect, we are able to briefly glimpse some part of the mundane world from God's point-of-view.

Aaron wrote:
I don't know if that helps. Suspect
Thanks for the insights. cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:50 am

Gnomon wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Causal meditation is the practice of basically going into a state of deep sleep while staying consciously aware at the same time. It sounds strange but advanced meditators do all the time. In deep sleep the material world and all thought essentially drop away. Therefore the idealist mystic perceives this as a way of experiencing god directly.
How does he know it's God on the other end, and not left brain communing with right brain?

Idealist metaphysics suggest that god is pure consciousness and pure consciousness is god. From the idealist perspective there's no evidence that our brains even exist in reality outside of our own consciousness.

Gnomon wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I'm personally not a metaphysical idealist nor do I subscribe to non-dual monism which is basically another type of metaphysical idealism. I am a non-dual panendeist or essentially a non-dual non-dualist, which means that I believe that god is ultimately neither material nor ideal and yet both at the same time.
I agree. But I don't understand. I'm still agnostic regarding the ding an sich of deity.

It's based on my own little pet model of existence. There are some that would posit that there's no reason to call what I'm referring to god. IMO it fits however. "The Tao", "the One", "the Absolute", "Spirit", Deity, etc... all work for me as well.

In other words instead of starting from the position that god exists and then trying to figure out god's ding an sich, I've started with a model of reality and then labeled an aspect of that model "god".

Gnomon wrote:
My hypothesis is that people in mystical states are actually experiencing the normally-hidden contents of their own brain/mind. They may interpret the absurdities and paradoxes as cryptic messages from God. But their reports seldom reveal much of significance beyond generic platitudes. We don't need God to tell us to seek world peace.

I agree. But that sort of interpretation generally comes from a dualistic mythic understanding of the mystical experience.

Gnomon wrote:
Aaron wrote:
So IMO mysticism isn't about blocking out and rejecting the material world so that one can gain access to "ultimate reality". IMO mysticism is about taking in and paying as close attention to all aspects of existence from phenomenal experience to sensual awareness.
I think you are on the right track. Our mystical visions tend to be much more "objective" and less centered on self. In effect, we are able to briefly glimpse some part of the mundane world from God's point-of-view.

Yes, the eastern sages would call this type of mystical experience "gross" mystical awareness because it occurres during "gross" waking consciousness. It's often described as a feeling of oneness with nature. For me it's generally just a heightened state of awareness however.

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PostSubject: Re: Sex Ecology Spirtuality   Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:28 pm

Aaron wrote:
It's based on my own little pet model of existence. There are some that would posit that there's no reason to call what I'm referring to god. IMO it fits however. "The Tao", "the One", "the Absolute", "Spirit", Deity, etc... all work for me as well.

In other words instead of starting from the position that god exists and then trying to figure out god's ding an sich, I've started with a model of reality and then labeled an aspect of that model "god".

Amen, brother! I began by studying, then ignoring, a plethora of absurd or outmoded religious models of reality. Yet I continued to learn all I could about the mundane natural universe. A couple of years ago, I discovered that some Quantum researchers have concluded that matter and energy are ultimately sense-able forms of information. In other words, physical reality is made of mind stuff. Suddenly, the god-concept made sense again. However, my new cybernetic/informational world-model required a larger context to "contain" the system---otherwise it would be open-ended and undefinable. That ultimate context is what I label G*D.

Since I know absolutely nothing about god-an-sich, I have constructed a personal myth to serve as my scientific/philosophical paradigm of reality. However, to ensure that I don't fall into the idolatry trap, I must constantly remind myself that the myth/model is a fictional story, not an empirical fact or a direct revelation. Surprisingly, there seems to be a lot of overlap between my modern myth and almost all of the traditional world-views. Either we are all seeing the same illusion, or maybe there is a kernel of truth in the God Hypothesis of old-time religion.
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