Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (7)

I will finish this series of blog entries with a brief comparison as between the standard mathematical notions of differentiation and integration and the corresponding psychological notions as used in a developmental context.

It is illuminating in this context to start with perhaps the best known simple example of differentiation in mathematics i.e. where y = x2. So here dy/dx (i.e. the differential) = 2x.

What has happened in effect is that the number "2", which initially was designed to represent a dimensional notion now has been in effect reduced to its base number meaning.

(Once again with reference to the general expression ab, a represent the base and b the dimensional number respectively).

What is fascinating here, as I am once again demonstrating at present on my Riemann Hypothesis blog, is that both dimensional and base numbers are, in dynamic interactive terms, qualitative and quantitative with respect to each
Therefore if as in conventional terms, we view "2" as a (base) number quantity, then - relatively - "2" when then used to represent a dimensional number, is of a qualitative nature. In other words "2" as dimension, strictly relates to the quality of "twoness" which all numbers - in a 2-dimensional context - share. So for example the areas of different fields share this quality of "twoness" (in being of a 2-dimensional nature) which thereby enables us to relate their quantitative measurements.

Now in psychological terms the process of differentiation is fundamentally of a similar nature.
Thus when we differentiate, we thereby reduce the qualitative nature of experience (that expresses the relational aspect of interdependence) in a merely quantitative manner.
So for example, when differentiated, the objects of experience - especially in a scientific context - appear to assume an independent identity (as separate from everything else).

In this way, the processes of differentiation in both a holistic mathematical (where dynamic interaction is recognised) and psychological developmental sense are similar, in that they both entail the reduction of the qualitative (interdependent) aspect of experience in a quantitative (independent) manner.  

Just as integration in Mathematics can be viewed as the reverse of differentiation, likewise it is the same in psychological terms.

Therefore in mathematical terms when we integrate, in reverse fashion, 2x, we obtain  x2.  So now we have transformed, as it were, from the meaning of "2" as representing a base quantity, to the corresponding meaning of "2" as representing a dimensional quality!

Likewise in psychological terms, when we integrate in experience, we move from the notion of separate independent phenomena to the corresponding qualitative notion of interdependence. So integration in this sense always implicitly implies the notion of qualitative interdependence.

A special case attaches in mathematical terms to the differentiation of ex, which remains unchanged.
This equally means that that reverse procedure of integrating e equally will leave it unchanged.

This therefore conveys a special meaning on ein holistic mathematical terms as it entails that it is likewise invariant, as with respect to differentiation and integration.

This implies a greatly advanced state of spiritual contemplation, where dualistic phenomena are now so refined that they immediately dissolve in experience (and do not even appear therefore to arise). This is then compatible with a continual nondual spiritual presence (representing the integral dimension). In this way both dual and nondual aspects remain fully compatible with each other. In other words the differentiated aspect of experience becomes completely harmonised with the integral aspect.

Then for a particular value of x = 2iπ, ex  = 1. In other words, when the purely circular qualitative notion of dimension is attained (approaching 0) in experience, emptiness (as 0) becomes compatible with the unity of all form (as 1).

In this sense, in holistic mathematical terms, the Euler Identity, which is widely regarded as the most remarkable equation in Mathematics, can be associated with the great spiritual mystery, where form and emptiness coincide in one's spiritual realisation.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (6)

As we have seen, in basic terms, differentiation in development relates to the linear approach (1) in the discrete separation of opposite polarities in experience.
By contrast integration in development relates to the corresponding circular approach (0) in the continuous uniting of polarities through recognition of their complementary nature.

So the very processes of differentiation and integration, representing transformation with respect to development, can be fundamentally encoded in mathematical terms through the holistic binary system.

However it is only with the onset of Band 6 (with respect to my map) that mature specialisation with respect to both to the differentiated (linear) and integrated (circular) aspects can take place, This then enables, through the unfolding of the 3 Levels of Band 6, the smooth interaction of both the dual (phenomenal) and nondual (spiritual) aspects to take place in experience, that is both extremely creative and immensely productive.

Now I am conscious here of being capable of giving but an impoverished perspective on these most advanced stages. In my blog entries, I hope to be continue to clarify key features (based on personal experience) up to the onset of the 3rd level of Band 5. However as there is a valid sense in which on-going future levels are already implicit in what has already unfolded, one can, to a degree, project this development forward to see what might transpire later (though necessarily in a somewhat diminished sense).

Though I can therefore fill in the structures associated with Band 6 (and to a lesser extent Band 7) I cannot yet provide a precise account of the lived experience associated with these levels.

So with this warning in place we will now proceed!

Once again, though there is a certain discrete differentiated sense in which these new levels can be located with one particular band (i.e. Band 6), it is also very important to remember that a high level of two-way integration now attaches to these levels with all other major levels on the spectrum.

So from one perspective, the Levels of Band 6 represent the full fruition of the earlier Levels of Band 2. However these were initially experienced in a somewhat rigid manner (reflecting over-differentiation) which thereby significantly reduced dynamic access to the other Bands on the Spectrum, this situation is now rectified. So the dualistic differentiating capacity (early associated with Band 2)  is now restored in an enhanced flexible manner, whereby it is made fully compatible with the need to integrate this level with all other levels.

Likewise from an equally valid perspective, the Levels of Band 6 represent the full fruition of the earlier Levels of Band 4. However whereas these were initially experienced in an unstable flexible manner (where nondual realisation was not properly grounded in the phenomenal world), this situation now likewise has been rectified, so that both dual and nondual aspects can mutually serve each other.

And as Band 4 had earlier represented the significant integration of the Bands 1 and Bands 3, we have now - literally - reached the stage at Band 6, where the Levels of earlier Bands can be given a certain distinct discrete (differentiated) identity, while equally being given a continuous (integral) identity through their relationships with all other Levels.

As I would see it (as an extension of my own particular perspective), the 1st of the 3 levels of Band 6 (which I customarily refer to as Radial Reality) would represent, from a scientific perspective, a refined intuitive vision logic type of understanding that would be highly creative (indeed truly visionary) in quality, but still lacking full grounding in phenomenal reality.

The second level would then be more formalised, reflecting the integrated use of linear reason with intuition, while the 3rd level would open up full access to concrete reality (now fully experienced in the light of a mature nondual awareness).

So in this way, the 3 levels of Band 6 would unfold in a reverse manner to the corresponding situation at Band 2.

As regards Band 7, I must of necessity be more speculative.
In some respects this represents on-going development with respect to Band 6. However I have suggested before that it is likely to be associated with a stronger emphasis on suffering involvement with the world.

From one perspective, this could well reflect the diminishments of age and a decline in physical (and perhaps mental) ability, associated with increasing health difficulties.

However, equally it is likely to reflect the final big surrender of personality in deliberately going against type.

Thus I have portrayed two principle types i.e. active and passive. Now the active are typically more likely to feel better able to engage with the dualistic world of everyday affairs.
The passive (who are inherently more contemplative) may however instinctively experience a natural reluctance for such involvement and even a strong distaste for much natural activity. I would see myself as belonging to this latter group.

So in the final stages, the active type may be required to go against type in adopting a more contemplative stance, whereas the passive type may equally feel required to go against type in becoming deeply committed to some active cause.

In neither case, will this late "conversion" come easily and is therefore likely to cause much suffering.

So Band 6 in my account is principally associated with the attainment of true wisdom (representing the now highly refined spiritualised cognitive function).

Band 7 is then principally associated with the attainment of true compassion (representing the corresponding refinement of the spiritualised affective function).

And of course the motivation which enables the ultimate harmony in the personality of these two complementary functions itself represents the full refinement of the spiritualised volitional function as the pure expression of divine love (expressed through the limitations of the human personality).

There is of course a small select group of highly talented individuals that belong to the "mixed" group (with strong inherent capacities for both dual and nondual experience).

However because of their special gifts (often associated with strong charisma of personality) greater demands and responsibilities are likely to be placed on such individuals, which again may culminate in a great deal of suffering later in life.

So in the end the final purpose of life is to learn to properly face death, which thereby represents the culmination of all psychological development.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (5)

I will deal briefly here with the features of  Band 4.

Basically, as this properly is of a nondual nature, the discrete identification of the 3 levels, designated here, ultimately lose any meaning. So properly it represents the integral extreme with respect to development, where both "higher" and "lower" levels are harmonised in two-way heterarchical terms (within levels), two-way holarchical terms (between levels) and ultimately both simultaneously in four-way heterarchical and holarchical terms (within and between levels).

However as such continuous integration can only be approximated in  a relative manner with some degree of phenomenal rigidity remaining, there is therefore a limited sense in which a degree of differentiation can still be applied to these levels in a discrete manner.

So Band 4 (Level 1) is associated with the transcendent extreme of contemplative type development, whereby the nondual spiritual nature of reality (as beyond all phenomenal form) is attained.

However when this transcendent aspect is not fully complemented by the corresponding immanent aspect of spirit (as existing prior to all form), it thereby can become associated with a subtle involuntary negative attachment to form (in a superior sense) where one adopts an unduly otherworldly attitude to everyday involvement in affairs. This also will be coupled by a corresponding involuntary positive attachment to form (in an inferior sense) where one remains, to a degree, the victim of the instinctive physical promptings (of the "lower" self).

Level 2 is thereby associated with the passive withdrawal of identification with the (mere) transcendent aspect of nondual attainment. Then as the involuntary negative attachment to remaining form is thereby gradually eroded, equally at the instinctive level, involuntary physical promptings are likewise gradually eroded.

This then culminates  at Level 3 in a more balanced nondual spiritual attainment. Now, one can simultaneously reconcile both transcendent and immanent aspects, whereby formless spirit is seen as both the goal of all phenomenal evolution and equally as  the original source of that same evolution. It this way, reality is experienced as the continual present moment that is an eternity, and alternatively as an eternity that is but the immediate present moment!

However in my own case, I was soon to come to the realisation that this nondual emphasis is itself unbalanced. Therefore paradoxically, for full realisation of the nondual aspect (in absolute terms), equal attention must be given to the dual aspect (in relative terms).

So truly, with the more advanced stages, attention now increasingly switches to the manner in which both dual and nondual aspects of experience can interpenetrate in a successful manner with each other.

So I would now see the task of Band 4 (in specialised attainment of an integral nondual extreme) as the complementary side of the task of Band 2 (in specialised attainment of a differentiated dualistic extreme).

Therefore properly both of these tasks are dependent on the task of Band 6 (and in a qualified sense Band 7) in the balanced attainment in relative terms of both the integral and differentiated extremes.

Thus the wonderful thing about development, which initially one may view with a degree of frustration, is that the most complete fulfilment (that is always approximate) of any stage of development, is intimately dependent on corresponding fulfilment with respect to all stages. So development is in truth always an ongoing process, where we never fully reach our final destination and yet where the ongoing journey is vital so as to better clarify those places through which we have already passed.

Band 5 in many ways is similar to Band 3. However whereas on the outgoing journey though the three Levels of Band 3, the dualistic element (reflecting residual phenomenal attachment) is continually eroded, thus enabling the nondual aspect to clearly emerge, on the homecoming journey this dualistic element is now once again restored (in a non-attached manner).

With Band 5 (Level 1) the dualistic element is restored to the diagonal polarities, which now can operate more successfully with respect to both a complementary nondual and - relatively - separate dual polarities.
Again though this Level does have a certain discrete identity, the emphasis is still largely on the complementary links both with the earlier expression of this level (in Band 3) and its corresponding vertical links with Level 1 (Band 1).
However the emergence of the discrete differentiated aspect also helps to establish links with Level 3 (Band 2) and Level 1 (Band 6).

With Band 5 (Level 2) the dualistic element is restored to the vertical polarities, which again can now operate more successfully with respect to both complementary nondual and separate dual polarities.

Though again it has a certain discrete identity in a differentiated manner, the emphasis is still mainly on continuous integral links with Bands 3 and 1 respectively.
However, insofar as the differentiated aspect is involved, this increases the connection with Level 2 of both Bands 2 and in diminished form Band 6.

Finally with Band 5 (Level 3) the dualistic element is restored also to the horizontal polarities.

So with all this preliminary work concluded, the stage is set for the combined mature specialisation of both linear (dual) and circular (nondual) polarities in the fullest expression of both differentiated and integrated development respectively.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (4)

We now address the "higher" contemplative stages in the unfolding of the three main levels of Band 3.
With Level 1, the gradual two-way integration of both (horizontal) external and internal polarities takes place (which I have detailed at length in previous entries).

Though this seemingly initially takes place within a given level (as discretely understood), because of its inherently dynamic nature, it also starts to reopen new vertical links (this time in a mature fashion) with the earlier levels of Band 1. 

In short, though earlier development will have been successful to a degree in achieving (conscious) differentiation with respect to the three main sets of polarities involved, proper (unconscious) integration will - of necessity - have been significantly bypassed in the process. 

So it is only now in the light of the mature integration of these polarities (with Band 3) that one can now begin to successfully revisit Band 1, with a view to properly appreciating the psychological dynamics of (unconscious) instinctive behaviour.

With Level 2, the gradual two-way integration of both (vertical) whole and part polarities takes place (which I have likewise detailed at length in previous blog entries).

Though again there is a certain limited sense in which such development can again be identified with this one level in a discrete manner, in truth because of the increasing emphasis on integration, dynamic access to the previous levels of Band 1 (especially Level 2) is greatly increased.

So once again it is only now, following on the "higher" integrated development with respect to Band 3, that one can now successfully return to Band 1 (with a view to "unearthing" the deeper layers of instinctive confusion  that still necessarily remain).

Finally with Level 3, the gradual - this time - four-way integration of  (diagonal) form and emptiness polarities takes place (which I have only recently started to address at length in my blog entries).   

Now, because of the exceptionally dynamic nature of complementary polarities in experience (working simultaneously both within and between levels), there is only a very limited sense in which such development can be identified in discrete terms with just one particular level (that is identified as the highest yet attained in development).

In truth the growing task of development at this level, is to achieve the successful integration of all levels "higher" and "lower" that have so far unfolded in development. 

In particular this enables one to now return to the earliest level of Band 1 (Level 3) which represents the most blindly instinctive of all levels with a view to gradually unravelling residual unconscious confusion. In this way with "lower" physical instinctive behaviour now considerably refined, it can be more successfully combined with "higher" spiritual awareness, so that both the transcendent and immanent directions can approach equal balance. 

In this way, while from one valid perspective, spirit is rightly experienced as going beyond all phenomenal form (as goal); from an equally valid perspective, it is also experienced as being already immanent in physical form (as its source). 

However a significant problem is likely to remain, which in my own case I only subsequently properly realised much later in development.

Once again, at the earlier Band 1, differentiation with respect to the three main polarities takes place.

Then with Band 2, specialised development of such differentiated polarities unfolds. However, as previously stated, if such specialisation takes place to a significant degree, then development becomes largely associated in discrete terms with merely the middle levels, related to the personal ego. This greatly cuts off dynamic links with other bands so that development then largely plateaus at this Band.

Therefore for one who is destined to attain a marked degree of authentic contemplative awareness, substantial conflicts are likely to arise early in life, making it extremely difficult to remain satisfied with dualistic type understanding. Thus experience of the middle levels is likely to significantly break down before consolidation of these levels can arise.

Then with respect to the "higher" levels of Band 3, one remains extremely sensitive to dualistic attachments of any kind. Therefore the emphasis is continually on the transcendent direction of eroding such attachment. In other words, the emphasis turns increasingly to the integration of the "higher" levels of Band 3 with the complementary "lower" levels of Band 1.

However in effect this means that proper integration with the middle levels of Band 2 is not yet possible.

Therefore a new distinctive type of problem arises when one attempts to go on to Band 4 in the specialisation of nondual type intuitive awareness.

Just as earlier one discovered that undue (linear) specialisation at Band 2 becomes too rigid, greatly reducing access to both "higher" and "lower" Bands, undue (circular) specialisation at Band 4 tends to be unduly dynamic, so that one begins to lose any foothold in the dualistic world of form (exemplified by Band 2).

So just as experience can become too active in a rigid dualistic manner, at the other extreme, experience can become too passive in a contemplative nondual manner.

Now it is true that a small number of people by temperament and training are destined for specialisation with respect to the contemplative life. In the past this was institutionalised in religious terms through the rise of monastic orders entailing a considerable withdrawal from every day life. 

However the most advanced development entails the balanced interaction of both the dual and nondual with respect to both contemplation and activity. So paradoxically, as is expressed for example so well in the mystical writings of Ruysbroeck, the most  fruitful involvement in active affairs is best served served through a deep immersion in spiritual contemplation. Likewise from the alternative perspective, the intensification and widening of such contemplation is best served through a growing commitment to active responsibilities.

In my own case I was to discover that my experience had become too contemplative in an unbalanced manner. And this corresponded with an undue emphasis on the transcendent direction of spirituality in the attainment of ever "higher" stages of development, with a consequent insufficient emphasis on the immanent direction in the proper grounding of spirit in everyday physical reality. 

Therefore just as earlier, consolidation of experience with respect to the (linear) dualistic levels of Band 2 had not been possible, now once again I was to discover that consolidation with respect to (circular) nondual "levels" of Band 4, likewise would not be possible.

Therefore the next stage of development was to lead to the gradual process of simultaneously balancing both (linear) dual and (circular) nondual aspects with respect to development. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (3)

I will briefly outline in this entry my approach to dealing with differentiation and integration with respect to the overall Spectrum of Development (which will be continued in subsequent entries).

Band 1 (as with all Bands) contains 3 major levels which by a unique configuration with respect to the three fundamental polarities.

The Lowest Level (which I term Level 3) starts from a state of total confusion of these polarities. Because no meaningful differentiation has taken place, no meaningful integration is yet possible.

The first task is to achieve successful differentiation with respect to the diagonal polarities so that - literally - form in the acquired consciousness of a stable body mind, can be separated from emptiness.
However this still represents a very instinctive type of development, where (real) consciousness is still greatly confused with the (imaginary) unconscious.
Though to the extent that conscious differentiation takes place, we can identify the first level in a relatively discrete manner. However, in truth, experience still remains highly dynamic and unstable ranging over all the spectrum in a temporary fleeting unsustainable fashion. Therefore Level 3 remains continuous - especially with respect to the complementary Level 3 (Band 3) - in a greatly confused manner.

Thus the structure of each level in complementary "Lower" and "Higher" bands is very similar. However, whereas at this stage of the "Lower" Band (Band 1, Level 3), one still suffers from great confusion with respect to the proper integration of the three sets of polarities (which have not yet been properly differentiated), later - if development successfully proceeds that far - one can achieve the mature integration with respect to all three sets (Band 3, Level 3).

However it is vital to appreciate that a dynamic two-way vertical complementary characteristics the relationship as between both levels. So properly understood from an integral perspective, the "lower" level is both pre and trans (in a confused manner, though not totally), whereas the higher level is likewise both pre and trans (in a mature manner, though again not totally).

This is why there is always the possibility of dynamic overlap as between complementary confused and mature expressions of this relationship between pre and trans. Thus one may temporarily have peak experience of the "higher" level from the "lower" habitually confused state (though it would be still too early in development for meaningful peak experiences to arise). Equally however, one can have a temporary valley experience of the "lower" level from the habitually attained mature state (though again this would be be very fleeting given a sustained level of contemplative attainment).

However I am making this point because it seems to me to be generally misrepresented with respect to development. In other words, from a dynamic integral perspective, we must emphasise the two-way interaction as between both transcendent and immanent directions of development, which are relatively "higher" and "lower" (trans and pre) with respect to each other.
Also the mature appreciation of the relationship of opposite polarities is always complemented in experience by their corresponding confused relationship. Thus even with the most advanced degrees of spiritual attainment, the instinctive apparatus of the body remains (though now considerably more refined in its expression)

Over-concentration on the transcendent direction of development - which unfortunately is typical - leads to an unbalanced emphasis on merely "top-down" integration. This is most misleading with respect to true dynamics of integration!.

The next task in development (Band 1, Level 2) is to achieve successful (initial) differentiation with respect to the vertical polarities of whole and part, which when achieved, leads to the emergence of the emotional self.

Increasing conscious differentiation now leads to greater stability in experience, and more rooted in one discrete stage (though confused links with other stages on the spectrum continue).
From an integral perspective, this is directly complementary with Level 2 (Band 3) facilitating the possibility of occasional peak experience of the complementary "higher", or valley experience of the complementary "lower" stage respectively.

Development then proceeds (Band 1, Level 1) to differentiation of the final set of polarities (internal and external) respectively, in the successful unfolding of the mental self. With each further stage of successful differentiation, the unstable interaction with other levels of the spectrum (which have yet to properly unfold) ceases further. So development becomes more firmly rooted in one discrete level.

However because a considerable degree of conscious differentiation has now taken place, the possibility of truly meaningful peak experience of the complementary "higher" level in Band 3 is now very strong. In other words the most common form of temporary peak experience is likely to occur as between mythical and subtle level understanding.(Level 1 of Band's 1 and 3 respectively).

Equally it is very common for those who have genuinely attained a subtle level of understanding to still confuse this in various ways with mythical interpretations (especially with respect to the teachings of the various religious traditions).

Then at Band 2, the specialised differentiated development with respect to these 3 polarities takes place. This is certainly true of scientific and mathematical appreciation in our culture, which is largely governed by an unambiguous linear logic..

Though a certain amount of supporting integration necessarily also occurs, by its very nature it becomes greatly reduced (because of the strong conscious emphasis).

This means that development now becomes firmly identified with the levels of this Band (Middle Levels) in a merely discrete manner, where the continuous dynamic ties with the other Bands on the Spectrum become greatly eroded.

This is why mathematicians especially have so little capacity to recognise the hidden qualitative domains of this key discipline. In other words Mathematics in formal terms remains completely identified with the understanding of just one limited Band on the overall Spectrum!

The first of the Middle Levels leads to specialisation with respect to the differentiated external and internal polarities enabling the recognition of objective data in an impersonal manner (conop).

The second of the Middle Levels then leads to specialisation with respect to the differentiated whole and part polarities. This enables the pursuit of an increasingly abstract theoretical understanding (formop).

Finally the third of the Middle Levels leads to the specialisation with respect to the simultaneous interaction of both horizontal (internal and external) and vertical (whole and part) differentiated polarities.

This can then in its most complete expression lead to a vast network of interlocking hypotheses and facts that are implicitly fueled by intuitive insight (vision-logic).  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (2)

As is well known, the binary system, employing the two numerical digits of 1 and 0 is central to modern information technology. Just through the simple use of these two digits all information processes can potentially be encoded in binary form.

I may clarify a little further that here we are using 1 and 0 in the standard accepted analytic manner (where they are absolutely separated from each other).

However what is not yet at all appreciated is that the same two digits (1 and 0) have an equally important role with respect to the encoding of all transformation processes. However by contrast in this latter unrecognised context, the two digits are understood in a dynamic holistic manner (where ultimately 1 and 0 are identical with each other).

Now the full spectrum of human development clearly represents an extremely important transformation process!

Therefore the holistic binary system (that I have just mentioned) can thereby in principle be used to successfully encode all possible stages of development with respect to this spectrum.

In this latter holistic context the notion of 1 relates directly to the dimensional notion of 1 i.e. as 1-dimensional. Now in geometrical terms this is customarily illustrated using a (straight) line that extends indefinitely in just one unambiguous direction.

Therefore in holistic terms, 1 can be directly related to linear type understanding (of an absolute unambiguous kind). In more precise terms such understanding is dualistic in nature, where however in any relevant context just one pole is recognised. So for example though all experience is necessarily governed by the interplay of external and internal poles, scientific observation is based on the explicit recognition of just one pole (i.e. external).

By contrast the holistic notion of 0 is closely associated in geometrical terms with the circle. Here the directions of  movement are inherently paradoxical. Thus if we start to move from any point on the circle in two opposite directions, we will ultimately arrive back at the same starting point!

Thus circular understanding by its very nature is relative and paradoxical based on the inherent complementarity of fundamental opposite poles (external/internal, whole/part and form/emptiness). Thus from this perspective, external and internal, for example, have a merely relative validity and ultimately can be seen through intuitive nondual recognition to be identical with each other.

So when I seriously started to develop my holistic mathematical approach (in the early 90's) corresponding to the unfolding of Level 3 (Band 3), I grew to the extraordinary realisation that all stages on the Spectrum of Development are of a holistic mathematical nature and that their simplest scientific encoding could be directly provided through the corresponding holistic use of the binary system.

In fact the two holistic digits of 1 and 0 are directly linked with the respective nature in experience (and indeed all nature) of differentiation and integration respectively.

Thus differentiation always relates to development as the unfolding of a certain independent identity relating to a linear logical interpretation; by contrast integration always relates to the corresponding unfolding of an interdependent identity (entailing the complementary of opposites) relating to a circular logical interpretation (that ultimately is of a nondual nature).

However the holistic interpretation of 1 and 0 is - literally - of a more complex nature than in the corresponding analytic case.

In conventional analytic terms 1 and 0 are treated as real numbers. (No one might question that 0 represents a real number; however it is conventionally represented on the real number line in Mathematics).

However in corresponding holistic terms, 1 and 0 must be defined in both a real and imaginary fashion (separately) and then in a complex fashion (as both real and imaginary simultaneously).

In this way we can then accommodate the three vital polarity sets that fundamentally condition all experience.

So the first set of horizontal polarities (external and internal) condition development within a given level. These are defined in real terms.

The next set of vertical polarities (whole and part) condition development between different levels. These are defined in imaginary terms.

Finally the third set of vertical polarities (form and emptiness) simultaneously condition development both within and between different levels. These are defined in complex terms (with both real and imaginary parts equal).

Now the very nature of differentiation is that the polarities (with respect to any of the three sets) are separated in an absolute manner. This always leads to a collapse (or reduction) in understanding in a real manner that relates to linear dualistic interpretation (as 1).

This is a very important point. It means for example that as long as we wish to identify progessively higher stages of contemplative type development (in a discrete manner) that we must accept that a certain dualistic level of understanding still attaches to them. So in truth as stages become more advanced in this manner, they become less and less amenable to successful definition in a hierarchical discrete manner, but rather must be understood through their bi-directional dynamic interaction with all other stages on the spectrum.

By contrast the very nature of integration is that polarities (again with respect to the three sets) are understood in a two-way complementary (circular) manner. This always leads to a relative paradoxical mode of appreciation that ultimately is nondual and empty of all phenomena (as 0).

Now in my most recent model of development (with 7 major Bands and 21 major levels), each level is defined with respect to a certain appropriate configuration with respect to the three main sets of polarities.

This enables one therefore to properly distinguish both the nature of differentiation and integration appropriate to each level. And this is by no means rigid as the manner in which the various levels are navigated (and continually re-navigated) vary considerably from person to person, depending on many factors such as personality type, cultural context, special talents and interests, life events, strength of commitment to development etc.

However the key point about this binary approach is that we never view the development of any change in isolation. The differentiation in discrete terms of a new stage equally has implications for its corresponding integration with all stages. Likewise integration in a continuous manner with respect to all stages, has corresponding implications for the differentiated interpretation of each stage.

The ultimate lesson is that successful differentiation in development is not possible in the absence of corresponding integration; and equally successful integration in development is not possible in the absence of  corresponding differentiation.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Differentiation and Integration (1)

Though this certainly one of the most important issues with respect to development, it amazes me how little attention is given in Integral Studies as to the precise nature of both aspects.

Basically, as I would see it, typically the emphasis is largely on the differentiated aspect of development in the hierarchical unfolding of distinctive stages in a somewhat discrete sense.

Then in a way, that is never made very clear (from the differentiated perspective) one is expected somehow to integrate all these stages in a satisfactory manner.

However the process of integration is uniquely distinct from that of differentiation, which can only be properly understood in a dynamic interactive manner.

Thus ultimately we have three important sets of  polarities that condition all development.

These are the horizontal polarities i.e. external and internal that operate within a given level.

Then we have the vertical polarities i.e. whole and part that operate between different levels.

Finally, we have the most fundamental diagonal polarities i.e. form and emptiness, that operate simultaneously both within and between levels.

Earliest development is characterised by the almost total confusion of these sets of polarities. Because no meaningful differentiation (with respect to these polarities) has yet taken place, no meaningful integration is thereby possible.

Thus the initial undifferentiated state with respect to any stage of development is equally consistent with the confused integration of all stages.

Now, when proper development begins to unfold, this does indeed represent a certain differentiation with respect to the bodymind.

We can therefore indeed identify such development in discrete terms, as representing (in a linear manner) the 1st major stage. However this should only be understood in a relative - rather than absolute - manner.

Thus the child's experience of this "lowest" stage (from a differentiated perspective) is still largely defined by the confused access to all other stages, except the "highest" (from an integral perspective).

Looked at from another valid perspective, whereas the first important stage to be properly differentiated in development is that of the bodymind, by the same token, the last stage to be subsequently properly integrated in experience is also that of the bodymind.

That is why I have always believed that the attempt to sharply differentiate prepersonal from transpersonal stages (in a merely discrete fashion), ultimately leads to a considerable misrepresentation of the true dynamics of development.

Again it is true that a certain valid discrete development with respect to emerging personal development occurs with the differentiation of the bodymind. However this aspect (of the preliminary separation of the diagonal polarities of form and emptiness) relates strictly to personal development. However with respect to later stages (not yet differentiated) experience still remains of a confused prepersonal nature. And as the very nature of such confusion entails that pre cannot yet be properly distinguished from trans, equally it represents experience of a confused transpersonal nature.

Then at the next discrete stage, additional differentiation with respect to the emotional self takes place. So again this represents a further advance in terms of personal development (in differentiated terms).

However with respect to the mental self (still not differentiated) a confused relationship of both prepersonal and transpersonal aspects still persists.

Then finally with successful differentiation of the mental self (with the separation of external and internal polarities), the full specialised development of the personal self (largely free of confused prepersonal and transpersonal elements) can then proceed.

However the price that is paid for this success is that development can now significantly plateau at the middle levels (with confused links to both earlier and later more advanced stages significantly eroded).

So the middle levels, that are associated with the fullest emergence of the personal self in physical, emotional and rational terms, represent the most extreme situation with respect to the merely differentiated aspect of development (identified directly with unambiguous discrete stages).

Put another way, it represents the triumph of absolute linear over more paradoxical relative circular type notions.

Thus the higher stages of development from a discrete perspective now represent the corresponding mature appreciation of the interaction of the true integral interaction of pre and trans. Firstly this occurs - in reverse form - with respect to the mental self. Then all going well, it occurs later with respect to the emotional self. Finally it then ultimately occurs with respect to the physical body self.

So once again this stage that was first to unfold from the discrete differentiated perspective, is in fact last to unfold from the corresponding integral perspective!

So what basically happens is that development proceeds from the initial total confusion of pre and trans (through the "lower" stages) to the middle stages where pre and trans have now largely been separated. This is thereby consistent with specialised development that is largely of a merely personal egoic nature (i.e. neither pre nor trans).

Then with the "higher" stages the interaction of pre and trans is now once again gradually restored in a mature dynamic interactive manner. This first takes place - in reverse manner - with respect to the mental self, then the emotional self and finally the body self.

Therefore though there is indeed a limited partial validity to the extent that we can successfully differentiate higher stages in a discrete manner, ultimately all such hierarchical distinctions are eroded in the full two way reconciliation in development: of the horizontal polarities within each stage (external and internal); of the vertical polarities (whole and part) between complementary "higher" and "lower" stages; finally of the diagonal polarities (form and emptiness) simultaneously operating both within and between all stages.

And this finally signifies the (transcendent) nondual empty experience of spirit, that equally represents the (immanent) potential fullness of all form.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Diagonal Polarities

In this blog entry, I wish to establish the precise need for the Null Level (i.e. Band 3, Level 3) in development.

Basically, the Circular Level (Band 3, Level 1) is devoted to achieving a certain specialisation with respect to the dynamic two-way interaction of the horizontal polarities (external and internal).

These mainly operate within a given level of development. However because a necessary interaction necessarily exists as between both the horizontal and vertical polarities, attempted specialisation in this regard, leads to an unexpected vertical aspect also operating between stages, that are - relatively - "higher" and "lower" with respect to each other.

Indeed this is one of the reasons why the experience of the "dark night of the soul" can initially prove so confusing.

One starts off by thinking that one has now reached a "higher" level of contemplative spiritual development, requiring a significant amount of purgation (i.e. cleansing of ego attachment) for its benefits to be properly realised. However one quickly finds that in the process as if the floor has literally opened under one so that one becomes deeply immersed in earlier "lower" levels. And because one is not directly prepared for this, uncertainty thereby grows as to whether one is in effect making genuine spiritual progress.

So one gradually realises that the very tendency to identify development rigidly with higher and lower stages in a discrete manner is itself a significant problem that must be addressed.

Therefore with the next Point Level (Band 3, Level 2)  one now is prepared to attain a new specialisation with respect to the vertical polarities of whole and part (or alternatively collective and individual, general and particular etc.) that operate in a two-way interactive manner between complementary levels, that are now understood as "higher and "lower" in a strictly relative manner.

This is a crucial point on which considerable confusion still reigns within Integral Studies. Here the mistaken view is frequently given that increasing holistic capacity in development operates in just one direction, where each higher stage thereby transcends and includes the corresponding lower stage. However as I have stated before this leads to an unbalanced emphasis on merely "top-down" integration.

However there is an equally important complementary aspect to holistic capacity, where each higher stage is made immanent and thereby included in the corresponding lower stage. This then leads to a counterbalancing emphasis on "bottom-up" integration with respect to development.

And both of these necessary aspects can only be properly reconciled by understanding "higher" and "lower" in a truly relative manner. So just as "left" and "right" turns at a crossroads depend on the direction (N or S) from which the crossroads is approached, likewise "higher" and "lower" likewise have an arbitrary relative meaning, depending on the direction of development (transcendent or immanent) from which they are approached.

Let me briefly emphasise the distinction here! With the transcendent aspect, one comes to see the "higher" whole as going beyond mere identification of its constituent parts in phenomenal terms. Ultimately, this leads to an utterly formless notion of the whole notion (as beyond all phenomenal constituents).

However with the immanent aspect - in reverse fashion - one comes to see the "higher" whole as being immanent (i.e. deeply inherent) in each individual part. Indeed it is this realisation that gives each part a unique spiritual identity, so that we can ultimately see as with William Blake "a whole world in a grain of sand".

So properly understood (i.e. in complementary relative fashion) the whole in this context is "lower" with respect to each individual part which is now - relatively "higher".

In other words we must once again emphasise both "top-down" and "bottom-up" integration.

So certainly we must go beyond in development and continually strive to integrate "lower" stages from this newly attained "higher" perspective.

However equally we must go beneath, as it were, in development and continually strive to properly ground and thereby integrate in "bottom-up" fashion - what we initially identify as - the "higher" stages, from the perspective of continually revisited "lower" stages. Thus in fact from this latter perspective, the "higher" understanding now relates to a new enhanced appreciation of the most recent revisited earlier stages in development.

Indeed from my own perspective - which I imagine would in truth be the general experience - I have found it more difficult properly coming to terms with the earliest stages, which I misleadingly once viewed as lower, than the latest stages to unfold (which I again once in a somewhat elitist fashion viewed unambiguously as the highest and thereby most advanced).

So there are two equally important directions with respect to the horizontal polarities. So we must try and integrate the external aspect with the internal aspect; likewise we must try and integrate - in reverse manner - the internal with the external.

Likewise there are two important directions with respect to the vertical polarities. So me must try and integrate the individual part notions with the collective whole (in transcendent fashion); however equally we must try and integrate the collective whole notion with each individual part in immanent fashion (thereby enhancing appreciation of its spiritual uniqueness).

However the problem that emerges, is that with respect to development, both of these sets of polarities undergo specialisation initially in a somewhat separate manner.

Thus predominantly with Level 1, the emphasis is on two-way integration with respect to the horizontal polarities (external and internal), within a given level.

Then at Level 2, the emphasis is now on two-way integration with respect to the vertical polarities (whole and part), between complementary "higher" and "lower" levels .

So the next major task is to achieve the combined integration with respect to both horizontal and vertical polarities simultaneously.  

Another way of expressing this, is that emphasis now switches directly to diagonal integration with respect to development.

This now requires an 8-dimensional perspective in holistic mathematical terms, where again the reduced linear expression of these dimensions is given in terms of the corresponding eight roots of 1.

Now we have already dealt with 4 of these roots (relating to the horizontal and vertical polarities).

So the remaining 4 roots now relate to the diagonal polarities which we will explore in greater depth in future blog entries.

The Null Level

Using holistic geometrical terminology, I generally refer to the "higher" contemplative stage of Band 3 (i.e. Level 3) as the Null Level.

So in this entry, I will try and explain its precise rationale.

As we have seen, Level 1 (Band 3), which I refer to as the Circular Level, is profoundly characterised by the dynamic two-way interplay of external and internal polarities, with respect to conscious phenomena of form. In precise holistic mathematical terms, these relate to both the positive (+ 1) and negative (– 1) poles in a real manner, which are indirectly represented through the 2 roots of 1.

So these roots express, in a reduced linear format, the inherent nature of 2-dimensional appreciation, that appears paradoxical (i.e. circular) from a conventional dualistic perspective. So the growing appreciation of such paradox, first in terms of more superficial perceptions and then later in terms of the most firmly tooted concepts, becomes the very means of dissolving phenomenal rigidity and thereby entering on the path of true nondual spiritual contemplation.

Then Level 2 (Band 3) which I refer to as the Point Level is further characterised by the dynamic two-way interplay of  whole and part polarities (whereby each aspect preserves its distinct identity).
In other words by this level direct i.e. real dualistic consciousness has become so significantly eroded that attention in experience switches largely to the more indirect conscious expression of what directly pertains to the holistic unconscious. This is the "imaginary" - as opposed to the "real" - aspect of consciousness.

Thus the more refined task here is now to erode any undue attachment with respect to this "imaginary" aspect of consciousness which once again is achieved through the paradoxical appreciation of the relationship between whole and part (in every relevant context).

So ultimately one is led to the realisation that the spirit transcends any whole notion (as phenomenally understood), while paradoxically being already - relatively - immanent in any starting part notion!

Thus Level 2, provides a completely novel manner of understanding the true holistic significance of 4-dimensional experience.

Conventional dualistic experience is based as we know on the analytic interpretation of 4 dimensions (3 of space and 1 of time).

However, here we have the much deeper dynamic holistic appreciation of 4 dimensions, based on the interaction of horizontal polarities (external and internal) that are positive and negative with respect to each other, in a real fashion. These are then coupled with vertical polarities (whole and part) that again are positive and negative with respect to each other, in an imaginary fashion.

So in dynamic interactive terms, all relationships (or holons) are characterised in holistic mathematical terms by the continual interaction as between both real and imaginary aspects (in positive and negative terms). So again, this is the circular (paradoxical) way that "higher" 4-dimensional appreciation of reality appears, when one attempts to translate it in a customary linear (i.e. 1-dimensional) fashion!

In other words it now appears deeply paradoxical from this perspective, in both a direct (real) conscious and indirect (imaginary) conscious manner.

So this represents the true holistic mathematical appreciation of the four quadrants (where the unit circle in the complex plane is divided into four equal quadrants through the intersection of both real and imaginary axes).

Now of course, though in analytic terms, the delineation of real and imaginary axes (and positive and negative direction) remains fixed, in holistic mathematical terms, they are understood in a merely relative fashion. Thus depending on arbitrary perspective, real and imaginary axes can switch; likewise positive and negative directions can switch. Thus, because polarities continually alternate in this manner with respect to experience, every relationship (or if one wishes "holon") can now be properly understood as necessarily of a 4-quadrant nature, in a dynamic interactive manner.

In fact, as I have already expressed in a previous blog entry, the holistic mathematical interpretation of 4-dimensional reality, has direct repercussions for the very nature of space and time.
Thus from this perspective, we live in a world with two real and two imaginary space dimensions (in each case with a positive and negative aspect). Likewise because space and time are now properly understood in complementary fashion, the two real dimensions of space equate with the two imaginary dimensions of time; likewise the two imaginary dimensions of space equate with the two real dimensions of time!

So, all in all this appreciation resonates well with Jungian notions where what is explicitly conscious (i.e. real) in experience is balanced implicitly by an unconscious (i.e. imaginary) aspect and vice versa.

However with Level 3, an even further refinement in appreciation takes place, where phenomenal experience now properly requires an 8-dimensional  interpretation (in holistic mathematical terms).

So we will carefully outline the precise nature of this Level 3 understanding in future blog entries.      

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Turning Point

When I look back at the 3 major Levels of Band 3 (from my personal perspective) I can clearly see now how they culminated in a crisis event that in each case was appropriate to the Level in question.

So the first Level culminated with the death of my father. Closely associated with this was the corresponding "death" of my masculine ego identity which was greatly compounded at the time with employment difficulties and a withdrawal from all the customary activities (that earlier had supported this limited identity).

Then the second Level culminated with the death of my mother. This in turn corresponded with the "death" of a fledgling female identity (in the unconscious recognition of the feminine side of my own personality). And this too was compounded in turn by the complete lack of romance in my life at the time together with growing isolation with respect to the network of personal friends that had earlier helped to foster my social identity.

The period preceding my mother's death was characterised by a series of psychic occurrences of unusual clarity. I had always recognised a marked psychic capacity in my mother's personality, where she could see events as carrying a very different emotional message from what was conveyed on the surface.  Indeed I attributed my intuitive capacity directly to this genetic link with my mother.

My father was then the total opposite in personality, cerebral and unimaginative but completely reliable and trustworthy.

In outward behaviour, I resembled very much my father, in being seemingly conformist with a marked commitment to duty. So for example I spent the last 25 years in my lecturing job without missing a class. It became a little ridiculous however in the end when I developed a bad bout of laryngitis completely losing my voice. So determined to keep going, I duly arrived to be left with the considerable difficulty of then communicating that the class could not in fact proceed. And I always have striven to ensure that I turn up on time for appointments!.

However from an interior perspective, I am completely different in being ready to embark on the wildest adventures of the mind and spirit, which I then readily pursue without attention to the considerable difficulties involved.

So I do have a strange attitude to problem solving. If the problem is of a practical conventional nature, I often lack confidence in reaching a solution.

However if it is something that no one has solved before, I can become completely energised and utterly confident that I will eventually resolve the issue.

So in many ways my own life journey has been the attempt to reconcile within my own personality the extreme opposites (with respect to the male and female principles) that I inherited from my parents.

The year before my mother's death were marked by a series of psychic events coupled with extraordinary coincidences that have never since been repeated in my life.

It seems to me now that the unconscious mind can often know well what the conscious mind will not yet admit!

Thus when on a holiday with my mother a year before her death, I experienced a deep sense of grief (that was more intense that when the actual event occurred). I also foresaw in a lucid dream the exact manner of her death. This was also accompanied by a remarkable series of coincidences that occurred shortly afterwards directly related to the dream.

In fact it is this kind of lucid dreaming that I believe is associated with the interesting phenomenon of apparitions. For example shortly before this time in Ireland, there were regular reports of people seeing "moving statues" in certain places such as Ballinspittle associated with Our Lady (i.e. Mary, the mother of Christ).

There was also the more dramatic case of many witnesses at Fatima in 1917, reported to have observed the sun spinning in the sky. What I believe happened here is that an unconscious suggestion resembling a sleeping dream sequence, became superimposed on events that occurred in a conscious waking manner. Then because of this undeniable conscious waking aspect to the experience, the witnesses then literally believed in the reality of the dream aspect associated with the event. In other words, in such cases one may not be able to distinguish conscious reality from unconscious suggestion!

So for example in Ireland, countless observers swore to seeing statues that actually moved in their experience. However the problem with this account is that many others witnessing the same events saw nothing unusual happening. So I would explain this by saying that this latter group did not experience the crucial dream aspect that operated on these occasion as a form of group hypnosis (where so many similarly reacted to the same unconscious suggestion).

I would also explain the phenomenon of bilocation - associated for example with the Catholic monk, Padre Pio - in a similar fashion. So what is happening here is that though the person actually remains in just one place, though the power of unconscious telepathic suggestion, the image of the person can then become superimposed within an event consciously experienced by someone else, in another - perhaps far off - location.

Incidentally this would also apply to the phenomenon of the stigmata (also associated with Padre Pio) where again a particularly strong form of unconscious suggestion created visible bodily symptoms (in this case reminiscent of the sufferings of Christ).

Though the motive for this may indeed have been deeply spiritual (as with Padre Pio). it could also contain pathological associations. Thus the occurrence of the stigmata in an individual would not in itself constitute  a healthy development (though in many cases it could indeed contain an important spiritual significance). Perhaps more accurately, the genuine spiritual experience of stigmata could also on occasion become associated to a degree with questionable pathological elements.

I also had several lucid dreams at the time entailing out of the body experiences and levitation.

In fact I still often get a strange feeling when out walking that I could perhaps through the power of suggestion take flight and arrive immediately at my destination.

So all in all the unconscious is potentially a very powerful instrument. And we have not yet remotely in our human evolution begun to tap into its enormous potential.

Indeed when the unconscious does undergo proper development, in the future we will be able to directly change the physical environment in line with our unconscious.

Some of the great sages in both Western and Eastern mystical traditions have already possessed to a degree this power e.g. with respect to dramatic physical healings. However, even these manifestations constitute but a pale shadow of what will eventually be potentially possible.

So to conclude I was already entering a period of protracted emotional desolation before the death of my mother, which subsequently affected me more deeply than my father's death some 15 years previously (due to unresolved emotional issues in her life that still remained).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Death of Romance

As stated in previous blog entries, in affective terms, my experience of Level 2 (Band 3) was characterised by very spiritually refined archetypal fantasies.

The earlier type related largely to the transcendent aspect in the adoration, as it were, of a new found God with a feminine face (that radiated the platonic notion of beauty).

The later type however related in complementary fashion to the more immanent aspect in deep attraction to an Earth Mother (with hopes of the most intimate physical fulfilment).

And here, I began to better understand what an important contribution Freud had made with his Oedipus Complex.

For the original most intimate relationship of a child is with its mother (in both physical and emotional terms). Therefore the root nature of sexual desire - especially for male children - expresses the primitive desire to be united physically and emotionally with the mother.

However, quite rightly most cultures treat incest as taboo. So the young child in gaining independence from the mother. is thereby culturally conditioned to quickly repress this desire.

However if one is to properly get to the root of sexual repression later in one's spiritual journey, one has to learn to honestly face the unconscious nature of such desire.
Then its more refined holistic expression is in becoming united with the whole Earth (and by extension everything in creation) where all physical nature is now experienced as one's Mother.

Thus it is interesting how in Western culture the transcendent aspect of spirit (where sexual desire is sublimated in platonic fashion) is viewed almost exclusively in male terms.

Then the immanent aspect (where sexual desire can be freely released) is viewed in corresponding female terms (as the Earth Mother).
However these two strands have rarely been successfully united with each other with the transcendent religious emphasis dominating the immanent (often viewed as representing mere "pagan" influences).  

Not surprisingly the need to reconcile both of these poles created a considerable amount of emotional conflict in my life.

Without the transcendent direction, the desire for sexual and emotional fulfilment can become too localised and unduly identified with a restricted range of symbols.

Likewise, without the immanent direction, the desire for ultimate fulfilment can become unduly impersonal (entailing a degree of repression of one's basic physical instincts).

So the big challenge is to increasingly balance both aspects successfully with each other.

In this way the most complete fulfilment of one's romantic longings, in a physical manner, can become equally compatible with the true platonic quest, in the pure adoration of spiritual beauty.

Though the complete attainment of one's mystical identity (in complete union with spirit) does not necessarily exclude the accepted notion of a physical marriage to one special person, frequently however it does in practice become associated with a commitment to celibacy.

Therefore we have perhaps the surprising paradox that the full attainment of one's sexual longings (whereby one becomes spiritually united in a sense with the whole world) can require that one completely forego any lesser expression in attempting to fulfil such longing through any one individual.

Even in the case of a committed couple who both share the strong mystical desire for total union, realisation of this goal may subsequently require the transformation of their relationship beyond its more limited physical expression.

For the ultimate challenge is to be able to relate to everything in physical creation (without possessive attachment). Only in this way can the sexual energy of all creation be then experienced in full freedom (where each physical phenomenon can preserve its unique spiritual beauty without lessening in any way the unique beauty of everything else in nature).

However progressing along this path does require confronting one's primitive instincts in a very open fashion. For without proper understanding and acceptance of their nature, one will always remain a slave in some measure to their involuntary promptings.

I have stated many time before how in my own Christian tradition, I have never seen this crucial issue properly addressed in explicit manner by any of the great mystics.

However indirectly we are left perhaps with some telling hints. Therefore when the saints frequently referred to themselves as the greatest sinners of all, it is likely that they were perhaps referring to the primitive nature of their sexual desires, which they had been required to face in the most stark fashion on the road to eventual sanctity.

In other words they had thereby to confront the root nature of all sin (sexual and otherwise) in a much deeper fashion than the rest of humanity.

Again in my own life at this time there was initially an external focus, through social relationships whereby the archetypal nature of sexual longing could for a while be successfully projected on to certain women of my choosing.

Initially, these longings expressed themselves in a more platonic fashion (expressive of transcendent affective desire) and then gradually in a more physical emotional fashion (reflecting the complementary immanent direction).

However I soon realised that a considerable layer of repressed instinct hindered further progress.

So eventually this required a lengthy withdrawal from external relationships (as the focus of projection of involuntary desires) to a continual battle within that lasted several years.

Though not as arduous as the extended "dark night" of the previous level, daily life at such time did become extremely monotonous and colourless due to so much affective energy now being turned inwards.

Indeed I would liken it in weather terms to facing a continual cold North wind or alternatively to a cyclist continually required to pedal up a steep hill.

All in all, it seemed then to spell the complete death of romance in my life (with unconscious sexual desires now prevented from finding any rest in external phenomena).