Friday, July 7, 2017

Dual and Nondual Reality

In my latest model of development, I now include 8 bands - where a band represents the most general classification of stages - in total. And as each of these bands then contains three main levels, this leads to a model containing 24 major levels.

Then in my holistic binary approach to development, the nature of all these levels is dynamically defined in both linear (1) and circular (0) terms, allowing for unique configurations with respect to differentiation and integration respectively.

I also define sub-levels (usually 3 within each level).

Then a key distinction is made as between the 3 main polarities of experience, external/internal whole/part and form/emptiness. And again in dynamic interactive terms, these polarities combine notions of relative independence (where the poles are separated) and relative interdependence (where the poles are viewed in a complementary manner) respectively.

The first polarity set (external/internal) leads to the view of stages as relating internally to the psychological self and externally to the physical world.

This means for example that at the higher levels one realises that each new stage not only represents a new understanding with respect to internal self, but equally with respect to the external world.

So for example - as I have repeatedly emphasised, we do not have the existence of just one type of Mathematics, as is commonly believed (that is equated with the absolute nature of Band 2 understanding), but potentially unlimited types of Mathematics (with each containing a certain relative validity).

The second polarity set (whole/part) leads to the view of stages as representing a dynamic relationship as between states and structures. In the "Stages of Development" I detail for the 21 levels (of the 7 bands that I defined at the time) the dynamic behaviour of both external/internal (as stages of self and reality) and likewise at even greater length the dynamic behaviour of whole/part (as states and structures).

The third polarity set (form/emptiness) leads to the recognition of the deepest psycho-physical interactions operating throughout development. Though I have delayed consideration of the various ways in which interactions take place through the major levels (because of other concerns) I may return to this important  topic in future.

I have also highlighted the importance of mirror stages of development, the explicit recognition of which occurs at the more advanced stages of development.

The mirror stages - referred to in Christian mysticism as purgation or "dark nights"- provide the essential link as between the differentiation and corresponding integration of stages.

Thus each stage of development must initially be posited in conscious terms for differentiation to take place. However it must then be equally negated (in an unconscious manner) for corresponding integration to occur.

I also place great emphasis on the importance of - what I refer to as - the primary modes, which are the cognitive, affective and volitional aspects of experience.

I then distinguish these from the secondary modes, such as linguistic, logico-mathematical, musical, kinisthetic, interpersonal abilities and so on, which all represent certain configurations with respect to the "primary colours" (i.e. primary modes).

So for successful integration - especially at the more advanced stages of development - a satisfactory balance must be maintained as between the three primary modes.

I also place emphasis on the distinctive personality types, which can have a considerable bearing on the precise dynamics through which development unfolds.

In all, I define 24 such types, based on a holistic mathematical rationale with each representing a unique configuration with respect to the 4 qualitative dimensions of experience (that indirectly can be expressed by the four roots of 1).

And I have been very conscious that my own particular development represents just one unique example (with all its inevitable idiosyncracies) of a particular personality type.

So I certainly would not wish to offer this as a blueprint for all possible development. However its special value lies I believe in providing the appropriate framework from which the holistic mathematical approach - which does indeed have a universal value - itself naturally evolved.

However, though recognising the extraordinary level of detail that must necessarily inform a comprehensive approach, it has never been my intention to attempt to pin down development through rigidly imposed definitions or classifications

Rather my key motivation has been to bring a truly dynamic rationale to its understanding that intimately affects the very way we intellectually attempt to deal with the matter.

And certainly from my perspective, I would see deep issues with respect to the manner in which integration - as opposed to differentiation - is handled.

To put it bluntly, I see the very nature of integration - certainly in terms of intellectual translation - repeatedly reduced in terms of differentiated type understanding.

In fact to avoid such reductionism, the recognition of three distinct processes with respect to development are required.

Firstly, we have the differentiated aspect (conforming to linear asymmetric type understanding); secondly we have the integrated aspect (conforming to circular paradoxical type understanding that entails the dynamic complementarity of opposite poles); thirdly we have - what I refer to as - the radial aspect (conforming to the mature interpenetration of both linear and circular type understanding).

And my very approach with respect to an overall model of development reflects these distinctions.

So the first great task in development is the successful unfolding of the differentiated aspect (with dualistic understanding).

This task relates to Band 1 with specialisation of this differentiated aspect then taking place at Band 2. Though of course integration must also necessarily take place at this time, it is largely of an implicit nature, used to support the more dominant differentiated aspect.

The next great task is the radical unfolding of the holistic integral aspect. This is associated with spiritual contemplative type development and rarely takes place in a substantial manner in Western culture.

This mainly relates to Band 3, with specialisation of the integral aspect taking place at Band 4 (with nondual awareness).

However the final great task is the radical unfolding of both the differentiated (analytic) and the integral (holistic) aspects simultaneously in mutual interpenetration with each other.

Now this begins to commence with Band 5 (in what I refer to as pre-radial development).

Then it attains its mature expression during Bands 6, 7 and 8 (with the radial stages).

Now the great weakness as I see it with conventional approaches is that an attempt is made to graft on an Eastern style treatment of nondual awareness with a Western style treatment of dualistic understanding.

This leads to a dichotomy as between the conventional stages of Western psychology (that emphasise phenomenal structures) and the esoteric stages of Eastern mysticism (that emphasise spiritual states).

However, whereas Western psychology is very weak on successfully integrating spiritual states with phenomenal structures, equally Eastern mysticism is equally somewhat weak in integrating phenomenal structures (at the advanced stages of development) with spiritual contemplative states.

So for example - as I repeatedly emphasise - the advanced stages do not lead solely to the emergence of increasingly refined spiritual states (though indeed these constitute an element of primary importance) but also increasingly dynamic phenomenal structures, in both cognitive and affective terms.

Therefore when one emphasises this latter aspect - say with respect to cognitive structures - then one quickly realises that associated with the advanced contemplative stages are new forms of holistic mathematical understanding (with potentially immense implications for the scientific understanding of all transformation processes).

Therefore though in "integral" accounts of development, the importance of advanced spiritual development for true integration should indeed be emphasised, because of an unduly Eastern emphasis on states, insufficient recognition still exists that the very nature of integration requires a distinctive type of intellectual interpretation from that used to deal with differentiation.

In other words with respect to the translation of development the integral aspect is repeatedly reduced in a differentiated fashion.

So integration is typically dealt with by emphasising the multiple aspects in which differentiated development takes place, with integration supposedly then arising from the attempted combination of these separate elements. However this is simply to confuse integration with the multi-differentiated aspect of development.

However in properly moving from the dual emphasis (that characterises differentiation) to the nondual emphasis (that characterises integration), one must coherently show how any dualistic asymmetric distinction,  with a partial limited validity in relative differentiated terms, is rendered fully paradoxical in a holistic integral context.

And then this equally requires in the proper preservation of the unique aspects of differentiation and integration with respect to development, that the simultaneous mix of both (where they mutually interpenetrate with each other in a harmonious manner) requires a new distinctive terminology, which I refer to as radial.

And properly speaking in a comprehensive model of development, allowing for the full potential of human understanding, pride of place must then be given to radial development, for it is only from this perspective that one can see both the differentiated and integral aspects (as considered in a relative separate manner) in the appropriate context.

So Western understanding places far too much emphasis on dualistic understanding (though strictly one cannot have such understanding without a nondual element).

However in the Eastern mystical traditions there is in turn too much emphasis on nondual awareness (though again strictly speaking one cannot have nondual awareness without a dualistic component).

Thus even at the most advanced levels of contemplative awareness, we do not just have the experience of emptiness, but rather the highly refined interaction of both dual and nondual. So what in fact happens is that experience now becomes so dynamic that phenomena of form do not even appear to arise. A similar situation is now recognised in physics whereby the "quantum vacuum" is in fact associated with the highly dynamic activity of virtual particles!

And radial development is certainly not just an expression of nondual awareness.

Now it might be maintained in the texts of - say a Zen master - that one now sees the world exactly as it is i.e. in a nondual fashion.

The simple point remains however that one cannot even register phenomena of form without a dualistic element arising.

So what happens is this! Say one looks at a flower with the most developed form of awareness!

Then to recognise the distinct phenomenal identity of the flower, one must momentarily separate the external from the internal pole of experience (with a dualistic element therefore involved).

However one then immediately recognises the complementary aspect of the self in the experience (thereby cancelling out this dualistic recognition). Therefore one is again momentarily aware in dualistic fashion of the internal self (in the experience of the flower) which is immediately cancelled out through the complementary recognition of the alternative external aspect.

So one keeps dynamically switching as between momentary dualistic recognition of both the external and internal aspects of flower recognition through the mutual complementary fusion of both as nondual spiritual awareness.

Thus the true experience of the flower now properly entails a highly refined supremely balanced  dynamic interplay of both dual (differentiated) and nondual (integrated) aspects i.e. radial understanding.

Therefore the - strictly - misleading emphasis on nondual awareness in Eastern mystical traditions has led I believe to an important imbalance where the value of pure contemplative awareness is often emphasised at the expense of commited dualistic action with respect to the world of form.

So properly understood, during the radial levels, nondual awareness is not only designed to interact with refined dualistic activity, but even the most rigid of such activity.

I often use the analogy of a fire to emphasise this point.

Eastern mysticism often reminds me of a fire where the material is already ablaze (with the flames representing nondual awareness).

However if we were content to leave it at this, the fire would eventually die out (reflecting a comparative lack of dualistic activity).

Therefore the most healthy situation reflects a fire where some material is already ablaze but where other material has not yet been set alight (reflecting a mixture of both nondual awareness and dualistic activity). And as the strength of the fire grows, this would enable the addition of ever more material (even that which is least flammable).

And this is exactly how I see radial development i.e. as the situation where both dual activity (entailing engagement at varying levels of refinement) and nondual awareness grow in a dynamically balanced manner with each other.

So it represents a continual on-going process with remarkable potential for dramatic evolutionary development.

However most Eastern accounts greatly ignore this dynamic evolutionary aspect through an undue emphasis on  (nondual) spiritual awarenesss. Western mystical accounts by contrast sometimes do deal with the (dualistic) dynamic aspect  but without sufficient emphasis on the pure nondual awareness properly required.

In particular from my own perspective I realise that the radial levels have potentially startling implications for a true revolution in understanding with respect to Mathematics and all the sciences.

However I can see scarcely any true recognition of such implications in either Eastern or Western traditions. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Personal or Social Development!

When one looks at the stages of development from a social perspective, one would have to conclude that "average" attainment remains quite low (in terms of the full potential spectrum).

Therefore from one perspective, one could conclude for most individuals - certainly in Western society - that development plateaus significantly with the stages of Band 2.

This of course is not to deny that such individuals may in many respects be highly capable and talented and occasionally reach (at least with respect to some abilities) more advanced bands.

However one would have to conclude that very few indeed achieve sustained experience of the contemplative or radial stages.

This in turn creates an important difficulty for any rare individual who feels called - even from an early age - to significantly advance to these advanced stages.

For in attempting to do so, one is placing oneself outside the norms of conventional society, where perhaps for the remainder of one's life, one must be willing to swim significantly against the tide of conventional expectations on a lone and often treacherous journey with no assurance of eventual success.

And in a nutshell, this is why I believe so few individuals ever seriously embark on this spiritual journey.
It is not that they necessarily lack the ability to do so, but rather that the desire to be recognised by "normal" society is so strong that very few indeed are prepared to willingly let go its comforting support and approval.

I believe that one does not voluntarily choose to pursue a lone spiritual route. Rather one sometimes finds through personality and life circumstances, that the very attempt to preserve one's sanity requires a deeper spiritual meaning than provided through the norms of conventional society. In other words, it is really an underlying keen sensitivity, springing from the unconscious, to the lack of any true coherence with respect to conventional social expectations, that for a small minority, creates an unquenchable desire for proper spiritual integration.

Though determined form the age of 17 to pursue my own spiritual quest, I often wondered if this would necessarily doom me to a life of great isolation. This was due to the intense nature of experience associated with the more advanced contemplative stages, which by definition could not be properly shared with others. And for a very considerable period of time, this was indeed the case.

Therefore though I was certainly convinced regarding the authentic spiritual nature of what I had experienced, in many ways this seemed to create ever deeper barriers to the prospect of any
form of social intimacy.

And then I slowly began to realise that I was looking at the spiritual journey from the wrong perspective, and that ultimately my own quest for spiritual integration was inseparable from that of society at large.

In other words, when one achieves significant personal development, one's relationships with society undergo dramatic change. However this does not happen in just one direction.

Rather, in reverse, society's relationships with the person involved thereby likewise undergo significant change.

So from one perspective, one's relationships with society have changed; however from the reverse perspective, society's relationships with this person equally have changed.

Thus far from being a passive participant, all of wider society is necessarily involved in any one person's spiritual transformation.

However I was to slowly realise that when the emphasis in development was primarily on the "higher" super-conscious stages, that I was especially prone to see development in merely personal terms, with the - ultimately - mistaken view that I was thereby advancing beyond others with respect to these "higher" stages. And it was in such moments that I would then most strongly feel the lack of any recognition from others regarding what had unfolded.

However this was then reversed when the emphasis turned - especially during Band 5 - to the "lower" sub-conscious stages, where through constant exposure to the must primitive "prepersonal" fantasies, it was easy to believe that others, living at the normal conscious level, were now at a more advanced stage.

So therefore when the emphasis in development becomes equally balanced as between "higher" super-conscious and "lower" sub-conscious stages, both individual and social development come at last into dynamic equilibrium. Then one feels no longer better or worse but rather fully at home as equal with others in society.

And this returning home coincides with the onset of the radial stages.

However one must be careful not to be too romantic regarding the process. In truth, though many may set out with the best of intentions on this arduous spiritual journey, few truly arrive home, with the majority still struggling somewhere on the mountain slopes, with little hope of early arrival.

And even for those who genuinely make it home, as always life then brings a host of new challenges, with no time to rest on their laurels.

This is why I customarily see the radial stages as most accurately representing an enhancement of normal life with the same joys and sorrows that everyone experiences, but perhaps in a much more wide-ranging and intensive manner due to a keenly felt spiritual desire to serve society to the best of one's abilities.

So in this respect - from the mature radial perspective - there is no clear distinction as between personal and social development.

Though early on, one might have seen spiritual progress in personal terms as relating to the unfolding of more advanced stages with respect to one's individual development, one gradually comes to later see such stages as equally reflecting spiritual progress with respect to wider society.

Thus in the former case one sees oneself as choosing an arduous spiritual path; however in the latter case one equally realises that this path has been chosen for one by society!

So one's own development (in relation to society) then equally reflects the corresponding development of society (in relation to oneself).

Therefore though the average level of social development may be based on the dominant influence of Band 2 stages, for a small minority, this will not be the case, with the stages of the more advanced bands now determining behaviour.

So again, one can say that development for this small group of individuals goes therefore well beyond social norms; however equally one can say that society chooses a minority for this special kind of development.

Indeed in an even deeper sense, when such individual and social aspects are finely balanced, one can validly say - though perhaps expressed in a variety of different ways - that it is God who chooses such individuals to act as superconductors of spirit for the greater benefit of the society in which they operate.     

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

All Stages Revisited

In yesterday's entry I was at pains to portray that with Band 5 development both ascent and descent become equally associated with "higher" super-conscious and "lower" sub-conscious development respectively.

And as the complementary dynamic nature of both aspects becomes ever better appreciated, the very notion of "higher" and "lower" with respect to development eventually melts away (with both terms understood in a merely secondary relative fashion).

This paves the way for true radial development, where all experience emanates directly from a spiritual centre of being, which equally is understood as the physical centre of the entire universe.

And there are remarkable links here with the true nature of the number system.

Thus, corresponding to super-conscious ascent, I discovered the great importance of the qualitative holistic notion of number as dimension (associated with the Zeta 2 zeros). In other words the "higher" levels of development are literally related to such dimensional numbers, each of which represents an ever more refined configuration with respect to how the fundamental polarities of experience (external/internal and whole/part) are dynamically configured.

Then with super-conscious descent, I was to realise that these holistic dimensions (of unconscious origin) are implicitly involved in our every-day understanding of ordinal number notions such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on.

Later, with respect to the sub-conscious descent, I discovered the corresponding great importance of the qualitative counterpart of the more common notion of number as representing quantity (associated with the Zeta 1 i.e. Riemann zeros). And these in turn now represented the highly important ways in which primitive instinctive behaviour itself can be configured in an integrated fashion.

Then finally with the sub-conscious ascent, I discovered in turn how these new numbers (i.e. the Zeta 1 zeros) are likewise implicitly involved in our every-day cardinal understanding of the natural numbers 1, 2, 3 and so on.

In other words, I had now discovered the truly relative nature of the number system in both cardinal and ordinal terms where analytic (quantitative) notions are dynamically inseparable from their corresponding holistic (qualitative) meanings. Or to put it another way, I witnessed the unveiling of the hidden (unconscious) aspect of number and its fundamental relationship with accepted conscious notions.

Thus in the most mysterious manner, the relative independence of each quantitative  number (in cardinal or ordinal terms) is remarkably synchronised with the relative interdependence of all numbers in qualitative terms.

And this then provides the means for the encoding of created phenomena. In other words, all phenomena of form are ultimately mathematically encoded in a dynamic number format; alternatively such observed phenomena in nature represent the subsequent decoding of hidden number patterns.

So mathematical language in this enhanced dynamic sense (where both quantitative and qualitative aspects are explicitly recognised) serves as the essential intermediary as between the ineffable nature of spiritual emptiness and the phenomenal world of observed form.

Thus when we can eventually read phenomenal reality as it is truly structured (i.e. in this dynamic mathematical manner), it will become fully transparent to spirit, where the relative momentary existence of each separate phenomenon in space and time will be instantly understood to be fully compatible with the relative interdependence of all phenomena (as the present moment continually renewed).

However in acknowledging yesterday how I had long given  notions of the ascent with respect to development undue attention - if even at an unconscious level - I also realised that the same applied to my customary use of "revisited stages" as applying only to "lower" development.

In fact properly understood, once it gets under way, then in an important sense all stages - whether "higher" or "lower" - take on the status of "revisited stages" throughout remaining development.

Before development commences, the stages of the spectrum are totally confused with respect to each other, whereby no differentiation has yet taken place and correspondingly no integration.

Then when it unfolds, development never takes place with respect to just one stage (in a sequential manner) but rather in a qualified sense with respect to all stages.

However to properly recognise this fact, we have to keep looking at development in a dynamic interactive manner, where notions of differentiation and integration are mutually involved.

Now, whereas differentiation (of states and structures) takes place sequentially in a relatively discrete manner, corresponding integration takes place in a complementary continuous fashion.

Therefore when we talk about the initial unfolding of the body-self at the first level of Band 1, this relates merely to the default (i.e. first substantial) differentiation of this stage.

Therefore with respect to such differentiation, it does indeed appear to constitute the earliest lower stage in development.

However there is also a much overlooked integral aspect to this stage development, where the "lowest" is complementary with the "highest". In other words what is implicit in the earliest stage (as mere potential for development) is then made fully explicit as actualised development at the corresponding "highest" stage. And the three "higher" levels of Band 3 have well-defined complementary links with the corresponding three "lower" levels of Band 1.

In my own binary approach - which is deliberately designed to take account of such complementarity - the first level commences from a state of total confusion with respect to the three main polarity sets (which all have a well-defined holistic mathematical rationale).

Thus in the most fundamental sense, there is total confusion with respect to the diagonal polarities of form and emptiness; there is equally total confusion with respect to the vertical polarities of whole and part; finally there is total confusion with respect to the horizontal polarities of external and internal.

So with the default differentiation of the first major level, the infant gradually learns to separate in experience the diagonal polarities of form and emptiness. In other words the infant becomes aware, through recognition of the body self, of the distinction between form and emptiness (i.e. a phenomenal world as distinct from nothingness).

However from an integral perspective, because of the complementarity of the "lowest" with the "highest" level, this leads to a still greatly confused identification of the "lowest" with the "highest" level.

This in seeking integration, the infant at this stage inevitably confuses the transcendent notion of the (spiritual) emptiness beyond all form, with the corresponding immanent notion of this emptiness as already contained within such form.
In other words, there is a direct confusion of pre and trans notions (with the "highest" level identified with the "lowest" (and the "lowest" with the "highest").

Thus from this confused integral perspective, the infant has a greatly inflated sense of his/her omnipotence (immature transcendence) which is then directly identified with every fleeting phenomenon of form that enters experience (confused immanence).

Therefore whereas it is indeed true that the differentiated aspect of stage development appears to unfold in an unambiguous sequential fashion, the integrated aspect by contrast unfolds in a paradoxical manner. Thus whereas linear notions of development characterise the differentiated aspect, circular notions characterise the corresponding integral aspect.

And whereas from the differentiated perspective, polarities are separated in a relatively independent manner, from the corresponding integral perspective, polarities are united (as complementary opposites) in a relatively interdependent fashion.

We need to bear this in mind for example in understanding the relationship as between pre and trans throughout development.

In earliest development, a high level of confusion characterises the complementary relationship as between "lower" and "higher" and "higher" and "lower" levels of development.

Thus properly understood, earliest development is not prepersonal (as opposed to transpersonal) but rather represents the confused experience of both prepersonal and transpersonal aspects of experience.

Then as the default sequential differentiation of stages progresses the confusion as between pre and trans lessens (though still exists to a degree).

However, this explains well how peak experiences with respect to "higher" stages can take place from complementary "lower" stages (especially subtle from mythic) and equally - though not emphasised sufficiently - how valley experiences with respect to "lower" stages can take place from complementary "higher" stages.

In particular it is extremely common - especially in Western society - for those with established contemplative experience of the subtle realm (Band 3, Level 1), to have frequent "valley" experiences with respect to the mythic level (Band 1, Level 3) as the major religions heavily rely on the use of myths in their teaching.

Therefore pre and trans (and trans and pre) elements remain to an extent still enmeshed with other, with respect to both their confused and mature expressions, throughout development. However the key distinction to be made is that whereas in earliest development a largely confused relationship exists as between pre and trans (with the possibility of occasional peak experiences of a more mature nature), with established contemplative development, a mature relationship now exists as between both aspects (with the possibility however of occasional valley experiences of a confused nature).

There is also another extremely important point, which is very relevant to our age.

Because of extreme specialisation with respect to Band 2 (at least with respect to rational cognitive type understanding) trans and pre can thereby become separated from each other to a considerable degree.

So we refer to Band 2 (the middle band) as representing personal development (i.e. neither pre nor trans).

However as pre and trans (and trans and pre) are dynamically complementary with each other with respect to "lower" and "higher" bands, such specialisation can thereby greatly cut off access to all other bands of the spectrum.

We see this especially evident with respect to the conventional approach to Mathematics, which is identified solely with the rational understanding of Band 2.

Therefore the huge importance of the other bands for mathematical understanding - which I have been illustrating in my blog entries - are thereby completely missed.
In fact there is no way to even begin accessing these other forms of understanding (holistic and radial) from within the present accepted paradigm!

Therefore I would see this extreme specialisation (which is consistent with the present scientific worldview) as perhaps the greatest enemy to true experience of both trans (transcendent) and pre (immanent) aspects of spirituality. So we are certainly now living in an information age, but unfortunately one which is deeply inimical to the corresponding need for authentic transformation!

So the true goal should be to properly preserve the dynamic context in which both pre and trans can find their authentic expression.

Thus the proper differentiation of structures (where pre is separated in a relative manner from trans) should be balanced with the corresponding integration of structures (where both pre and trans are now understood as relatively interdependent with each other).

Therefore throughout development, it is not just the "lower" stages that are revisited but also the "higher".

So once again when the "lowest" level (Band 1, Level) is initially differentiated in a relatively discrete manner in development, this likewise entails the corresponding continuous integration with all other levels on the spectrum. However so often this shadow integral side of development remains hidden with emphasis merely on the differentiated unfolding of individual stage structures.

Therefore when we consider that only "lower" stages (that have already been differentiated) can be revisited we are ignoring the integral aspect of stage development.

In fact we are thereby reducing the integral aspect of stage development (which is utterly distinct) in mere differentiated terms.

And to put it bluntly, this reduced treatment of development still remains the norm with respect to "Integral Studies" where no proper methodology yet exists to properly distinguish the integral from the differentiated aspect of stage development.

Once again from a differentiated perspective, asymmetric distinctions are indeed important with respect to development (though merely in a relative manner).

Therefore with respect to one's integral methodology, one must then be able to demonstrate how all such asymmetric distinctions, that enjoy a certain validity within a limited relative context are thereby rendered paradoxical in overall holistic terms. And this is the very means by which one is ultimately enabled to properly preserve phenomenal dual distinctions with a nondual spiritual vision.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ascent and Descent Revisited

The proper dynamics of both ascent and descent with respect to spiritual development are subtler than commonly realised.

For example, I have characterised Band 3 as a model of the spiritual ascent towards a formless type of transcendence.

However even during Band 3, I had become deeply aware of a corresponding form of descent that was taking place.

So whereas the ascent was then associated with the unfolding of the "higher" stages of super-conscious development, the descent was associated with the corresponding unravelling of "lower" immanent stages of sub-conscious behaviour.

Thus I was already strongly aware then of the complementary nature of both the "ascent" and "descent", assuming that full spiritual union would gradually emerge with the completion of Band 3 (where transcendent and immanent directions of spirituality would then be fully reconciled).

However whereas I was aware of this requirement at a conscious level of understanding, I was only later to realise that considerable further development would be required before this realisation could fully take hold likewise at an unconscious level.

Also, as Band 3 unfolded - especially with respect to Level 3 - I noticed that a significant imbalance had opened up with respect to development, in that the continual attempt to vertically integrate in bi-directional fashion both the "higher" new stages of  Band 3 with the "lower" revisited stages of Band 1, led to a considerable by-passing of the rational linear stages of Band 2.

And as normal everyday activity is deeply grounded in these stages of Band 2, this this was to lead to growing difficulties with respect to involvement with conventional social and work responsibilities.

Therefore though Band 4 in my account is designed to outline the specialised development of the holistic contemplative stages of development, I realised that considerable on-going development was required before this could be effectively achieved.

In fact this situation is not at all unusual in development. As each stage of development is necessarily linked to all other stages, then the full range of stages must thereby unfold - which in truth is a never-ending task - before any individual stage can achieve its full mature developed expression.

Therefore though in earlier development, Band 2 is associated with the specialised unfolding of the linear rational stages, without further on-going contemplative development, these will inevitably be understood in an unduly rigid manner.

So long before the specialised development of such conscious stages can be complete, one must already embark in the contemplative direction of Band 3, to prevent the unconscious energy needed for this task from becoming significantly eroded.

Thus as I have repeatedly stated, the specialised default rational development of Band 2 i.e. the understanding associated with the first significant unfolding of Band 2 stages, can itself create a major block in terms of the subsequent unfolding of Band 3 (and the more advanced bands of development).

Likewise the attempted specialisation of default development of the contemplative awareness of Band 4, could likewise create a major problem with respect to the subsequent successful grounding of this awareness in the rational understanding of Band 2.

Therefore, though for simplicity I have tended to characterise Band 5 with the spiritual descent i.e. in the attempt to integrate spiritual contemplative awareness with everyday linear understanding, the vertical dynamics of this Band are in fact more complex.

Thus with respect to Band 5, the relative descent properly relatives firstly to the super-conscious awareness of the "higher" stages (initially associated with Band 3). However rather than now being directly associated with the "lower" sub-conscious stages (initially associated with Band 1), these are directly integrated with the linear "middle" stages (of Band 2). In this way "higher" contemplative awareness can become properly grounded in everyday normal reality.

However there is an important complementary type process that equally unfolds with respect to the (revisited) sub-conscious stages (initially associated with Band 1).

Because development here - due to unconscious repression from earliest childhood - tends to lag behind the unfolding of super-conscious awareness, one must continue with the descent into the lowest regions of instinctive behaviour, before all repressed primitive material can be fully unearthed from the unconscious. So until this process is completed (which depends on the depth of integration involved) remaining repressed material will be projected in a somewhat involuntary manner into consciousness.

Now with respect to personal experience, even though both the ascent and the descent with respect to super-conscious awareness had been largely completed with the culmination of Level 2 (of Band 5) only the corresponding descent with respect to sub-conscious behaviour - away from Band 2 - likewise had become completed with the culmination of Level 2.

However overall integration of both (intuitive) super-conscious awareness and (instinctive) sub-conscious behaviour, finally requires the ascent of instinctive sub-conscious activity (now suitably free of involuntary type projections) from the primitive subterranean depths back to Band 2, where in like manner it can be also successfully integrated with everyday conscious activity.

Now this I would see as the task of Level 3 (Band 5).

Thus when duly completed we have the situation where both spiritual intuitive awareness and physical instinctive behaviour - both now suitably refined so as to be free of any inordinate attachment of either a conscious or unconscious nature - can both be truly integrated (from above and below as it were) with everyday conscious life.

And when this integration is finally achieved, the notion of "higher" and "lower" stages in development loses any residual meaning (except in a merely relative sense).

Thus the "lowest" stage in development - relating to the physical instinctive behaviour of the baby infant - is just as important as the "highest" stage relating to the most advanced type of spiritual contemplative awareness.

Indeed in a certain sense, because its significance tends to be so devalued, this "lowest" is often the most crucial stage and generally the last that can be successfully integrated with overall development.

So with the onset of true radial development (Band 6) the very tendency to rank "higher" and "lower" stages, except in a merely relative sense, melts away, with all experience now emanating from a spiritual centre of being, which is equally experienced as the centre of the entire physical universe of form.