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).