Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Integral Studies (2)

My consistent criticism of "Integral Studies" throughout my tenure on its various forums was that interpretation invariably consisted of the predominant use of the linear asymmetrical approach. This then led in many ways to a reduction of the holistic notion of integration to that of differentiation.

Not surprisingly, in turn it led to numerous inconsistencies from an overall (i.e. integral) perspective.

The importance of number can perhaps be grasped from the fact that in this context, "1" holistically encapsulates the general method of interpretation that characterises our conventional approach to science and indeed to a considerable extent general intellectual discussion.

In this holistic context "1" precisely relates to the manner in which the polar opposites, which fundamentally condition all phenomenal experience, are related.

Two of these polar parings are especially important. So firstly external always implies internal (and internal implies external). Secondly part always implies whole (and whole implies part).

Now in 1-dimensional terms a clear separation is made as between these polar opposites. So typically - as in the scientific perspective - the external world (as objective) is abstracted from the internal knower (as subjective). In other words the subjective aspect of experience is reduced in an objective manner.

Likewise, the parts are abstracted from the whole (with the whole effectively treated in quantitative fashion as merely the sum of its parts).

Therefore, in every relevant context, with respect to the polar opposites in experience, reality is interpreted in terms of just one isolated reference frame (that is treated in a somewhat absolute fashion).

What is truly remarkable - when properly grasped - that associated with every other number (≠ 1) is a unique manner for overall interpretation of reality.

And whereas (default) 1-dimensional interpretation is absolute, all other interpretations are of a dynamic interactive nature.

So essentially in this context, the holistic notion of number relates to a unique manner in which the fundamental polarities of experience (external/internal and whole/part) are configured.

Of special importance in an integral context are the interpretations  associated with "2" and "4" respectively.

In analytic terms, this notion of "twoness" is indirectly represented (in linear fashion) through the 2 roots of 1 which are + 1 and – 1 respectively. Now in analytic terms these roots (representing opposite poles) are clearly separated. However in a holistic manner they are viewed as dynamically complementary (and ultimately identical) with each other. 

Thus, in actual experience, we keep switching as between positive and negative poles. So one moment we are aware of the external world (as positive) in relation to the self as negative.  Then at the next moment we are aware of the internal self (as now positive) in relation to the world (as negative). 
Then when this interaction becomes sufficiently smooth and dynamic, we increasingly realise in nondual fashion the true interdependence of both positive (+) and negative (–) poles.

And it is this qualitative notion of interdependence, which can only be rationally expressed in a (circular) paradoxical manner, that constitutes the basis of all true integration in development (physical and psychological).

However I was strongly aware of a series of imbalances that characterised the typical approach to the overall spectrum of development, which ultimately related to the unquestioned dominance of the linear (i.e. 1-dimensional) method of interpretation.

For example, the stages of human development - even when "higher" spiritual contemplative states were duly incorporated - invariably focussed on the internal (psychological) pole. 

However my consistent argument was that associated with every stage of development in psychological terms was a complementary stage of physical reality.

One clear implication of this is that what is conventionally termed "science" in fact represents the interpretation that is associated with just one major stage (i.e. band) of development.

Expressed more accurately, such science represents the linear (1-dimensional) approach that is properly suited for the quantitative  interpretation of the various "parts" of the system.

However beyond this are more refined stages (where intuition and reason interpenetrate in an increasingly dynamic manner).

So overall I was led to define 3 major types of science that were intimately related to corresponding bands of development.

So firstly we have analytic science (of a quantitative nature). Then we have holistic (or integral) that is directly of a qualitative nature. And finally we have - what I refer to as - radial science, which combines both quantitative and qualitative aspects in both a highly creative and productive manner.

While on these forums, I mainly concerned myself with the clarification of the nature of holistic science. 

This is based on the realisation of a two-way complementary nature with respect to the fundamental poles (external and internal) that dynamically condition all phenomenal reality. Therefore from one perspective, a matching psychological phenomenon exists for every major physical interpretation Equally from the opposite perspective, a matching physical phenomenon exists for every psychological interpretation.

Initially I was led on this holistic scientific path when I realised that all the key notions with respect to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity had compelling psychological equivalents. Thus the very manner of achieving a more integral understanding of this reality - which was now in truth seen as psycho physical - was in the marriage of both aspects.

Later from the opposite perspective, I was led to a much deeper appreciation of the nature of black holes through the realisation of marked similarities with the mystical phenomenon of "the dark night of the soul".

So the goal of holistic science is to assist one to move smoothly to a truly nondual contemplative appreciation of reality through the marriage of its complementary physical and psychological aspects. 

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