Saturday, September 02, 2006

There have always been I think two layers to my posts. Categories maybe is better. Integral theory and politics/social/religious/scientific ethical commentary.

I've been sitting with Matthew's comments and my own resopnses to them for a day or two now. One thing I've gained from that reflection is to be more conscious of not mixing--intentionally or otherwise--those two zones on this blog. To say it simplistically: not bringing colors/levels into discussions outside the integral discussions.

My writings in the second category challenge what I perceive to be outdated orthodoxies of both the left and right--on all the subjects mentioned. The authors I recommend as pointing to fresh ways forward, new solutions like Thomas Barnett do not employ AQALism. The integral frame, for a myriad of reasons, is just too controversial. Not only qua controversial but usually over complexifying. And lost in the ensuing kerwuffle are the ideas of those thinkers.

The most important work for the world is how to build governance/security as the forces of globalization penetrate further and further into the disconnected parts of our world. The key for the 21st centuy is simply to bring every country on earth to a modern, accountable sytem of governance with rule of law and respect of human rights, free-r markets, and the creation of non-environmentally destructive form of energy.

The ideas to achieve those goals are in broad outline already out there.

While the two camps are certainly not totally separate in my mind, the arguments of the latter group are independent of the former. At least they are in the authors themselves. In fact, the only truly ideas that are really my "own" on this site have to do with my reflections on the interaction between post-metaphysics and Christian mystical theology.

For the rest I am just doing my own idiosyncratic version of collating, synthesizing, linking, mashing, etc. these other authors. (Zakaria, Wright, Aslan, Lomborg, et. al).

So if readers of this blog are unconvinced or dead-set against "Wilberian" thought, then I leave the decision up to them. My suggestion would be to simply peruse the other set (the post-conservative, post-liberal thoughts) and perhaps ignore the integral pieces altogether. This bifurcation is an attempt to take into account that some readers may not be on board with certain presuppositions of mine and it's not always fair to write as that were the case.

That covers the second category--I'd like to say something about the first.

In order to do that I need to tell a story to describe what the integral writings mean for me, are for me.

In the mystical Jewish tradition of Kabbalah there is the concept of the klipot. In Lurianic Kabblah (Kabbalah derived from the great Isaac Luria, 16th century) they tell the following story. All of this is just metaphor btw.

Before the beginning, there was only God. God decided to create, but since God was everything God had to create a space which was "not-God" (which is of course not possible). So God hid herself, leaving an opening---i.e. the universe.

God then created a series of vessels, to act as intermediaries, to hold the Divine Light and modify it so that it could instantiate in this new world. For no one (not even the Universe) could look upon the face of God and live.

But the vessels splintered from the Divine Force and fell into the forms of creation we are now accustomed to. These shards are known as the klipot. The klipot have within them trapped the remnant of the Divine Light. The Kabbalah master by awakening to his own mystical awareness (and Godhood) acts to redeem the universe by unleashing this Divine Light. The light is retrieved by transmuting the negative density of the klipot. All of matter, all emotion, all thought (very much like Tantricism) is a means of this realization and its corresponding transcendent wisdom/love must be released.

Til then God herself is in Exile. Since Kabbalah is Nondual, the story of the Hebrew Scriptures which tells us of the Jewish people's exile (and since in Nonduality God and humanity are one), then the Jewish exile is God's own exile.

The reason I told that story was because that process of transmutation is how I see integral. At least as I try to practice it here. Again, not for all, just in my writing. For others it means something else.

To me perspectives-post metaphysics is inquiring into the process of this transmutation in the realm of thought/ideas. Perspectives to me is about coming to sense not only the content but the underlying process whereby ideas are reached, opinions are formed, views are upheld. By trying to dig out under the groud of our thought, I'm trying to poke through the ground entirely until I enter the groundless.

The transmutation is to no longer simply conceptualize as in persons, things, manifestations, achievements, proofs per se but rather to gain access (however partially) to the perspectival address and performance of those occassions. To just see where they are; where people are at. As a way of relationship. To transmute for myself and offer as a guided process for any interested, the density, the fixity around notions outside the context/feel of an evolving matrix. To release them in a way for their own creative participation.

These integral reflections for me then are a yoga--a spiritual practice. In traditional Sanskrit called jnani yoga--yoga of the intellect/higher mind. Aurobindo never meditated; his only practice was writing. I'm no Aurobindo, but I'm trying ever so imperfectly to follow in that line.

That is why I say there are two tiers to these posts. This second layer involves an inner drive and interest in the underlying eros-impulse of creation. As mentality flakes off, like exfoliated skin, from that process, it will in some form or another refer to a universe of both verticality and horizontality. All of which is encircled by a non-vertical, non-horizontal reality---the numinous z axis perhaps.

I feel the proper signifier of integral, what I mean by integral, is turquoise/indigo in nature. Again those words are only pointers to actual worldspaces/experiences. And in order not to fall victim to the disease I've outlined above, don't accept that statement without testing it out in your own experience through the procedures described previously.

The evolutionary drive I find only ex-ists, only stands out in that turquoise realm, for lack of a better word. It is not as I been at pains to make clear the primary necessity in terms of the short or intermediate terms. Not in all contexts anyway; in fact only in a very very few.

A criticism I have heard of this line of practice is that integral is becoming skeptical as to the nature of truth. It is not the case that the awareness of worldviews means that all things are true. Even within a worldview there are illusions and mistaken notions. Though medieval science does not count as science by modern standards (e.g. four humors), even within its own frame there was good and bad medieval science. For the most part the worldspaces manage to correct themselves from within their own frame. As these ongonig threads are more general in nature, I don't typically concern myself with those notions very much. Not that I don't criticize what I take to be mistaken views--particularly when writing from that earlier layer. But they are there.

The segregation of these two lines of thought was already working in my mind and my life. But maybe it hadn't yet come through here. So if nothing else I'm grateful that this latest round of back and forth has brought that disinction more to the frontburner. I have only one other real outlet for this side of me in my life. I have a long term, 30-50 year vision on any of these integral thoughts reaching a sorta tipping-point, critical mass--in the turquoise/indigo way described. For some that that's too pesimisstic, I don't know. Not married to that timeframe. Just a studied guess of where peoples, currents seem to be, but all that could easily change.

I describe this integral-cum-meditation not as a hedge to prevent me from being criticized, to put it beyond judgment by cloaking it in quasi-spiritual language which its not PC to judge in this day and age. It's just for my clarification's and the reader's. I think transparency is a good thing of its own whatever else it may lead to.


At 5:13 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I agree, and it's one reason why I enjoy your insights so much, even though I don't comment often.

I've never studied Wilber's elaborte cosmology in depth, though I've gotten a fair understanding I think, from WIE, and other secondary sources. On the one hand, I see that some of the things he is trying to do are eminently laudable, for instance, trying to bring science and religion together to the table, and integrate the various languages of experience.

But on the other hand, it often feels like it's just more concepts and assertions spewing into the noosphere. And I don't see any indication that a single dyed-in-the-wool materialist or religious fundamentalist has been suddenly persuaded by realizing, "hey, we're all holons, man!"

The higher levels of mysticism, (turquoise) and enlightenment, see the whole as a whole, without conflict or division between "Science" or "Religion" or "America" or "Iraq." It's in the mind that the divisions begin, and in the mind where they will end their tragic tyranny of division.

Simply put, more people need to wake up. Once reality is seen as it is, the maze of false identifications can no longer be taken as descriptions of the "real" but as understood as simple shorthands for part of our experience in the phenomenal world. And from that realization , we can act for once, rather than react from a springboard built of millennia of unenlightened misperception.

I see you as sensing that and trying to communicate it. And I thank you for it.


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