Again, in my approach to the Spectrum we can distinguish major levels.
We have three "lower" levels, LL3, LL2 and LL1, where – starting from a state of total confusion - understanding becomes progressively more differentiated.
We then have the "middle" level L0 where (linear) differentiation reaches high level of specialisation.
Then we have the three "higher" levels, HL1, HL2 and HL3 where understanding moves towards increasing levels of (circular) integration.
Finally we have Radial Reality, which – though not a distinct level - represents the full differentiation and integration of understanding of all the other levels.
Associated with each of the major levels is a distinct logical system (the basic features of which can be expressed in succinct fashion).
Conventional scientific understanding is dominated by the logical understanding of L0 (the rational linear level).
This creates an unfortunate tendency to reduce the understanding of all the other levels to the understanding appropriate to L0.
For convenience L0 can be divided into three sub-levels which we can term conop (concrete operational), formop (formal operational) and vision-logic (centaur).
As I have continually highlighted on the Form, the key feature of the logical system of this level is its one-directional approach. Rational connections are made consistently in a linear forward direction (e.g. cause-effect relationships). .
(Indeed underlying this whole approach is the belief in the one-directional nature of time moving in a forward direction).
At the 1st sub-level (conop), one directional rational understanding is confined to concrete relationships.
At the 2nd sub-level (formop) it is extended to the thinking process itself leading to the ability to deal with abstract formal relationships.
The 3rd sub-level is inherently more dynamic involving the progressive two-way interaction of concrete and formal understanding.
This process is more open and flexible naturally leading to the (implicit) generation of intuitive insight.
This in turn facilitates a more expansive and integrative capacity providing a coherent framework for the networking of considerable amounts of information.
Ken Wilber demonstrates this capacity to the nth degree.
However Ken claims far too much for the vision-logic of L0.
Properly understood it is a multi-differentiated rather than a truly integrated approach. It is simply the most advanced of the rational linear stages and is still characterised by its one-directional manner of interpretation. (I have frequently criticised Ken’s use of this one-directional interpretation in terms of his approach to development).
At best vision-logic offers a quasi-integrated (rather than a truly integrated) interpretation of reality.
Now approached from the standpoint of linear understanding Ken’s translation of integration may indeed appear very convincing. However when interpreted from the standpoint of the "higher" levels the translation gradually unravels revealing many internal consistencies.
This leads to a very important point. The understanding of the "higher" levels cannot be accurately translated (using the vision-logic of L0). Equally the understanding of the "lower" levels cannot be accurately translated in this manner. The "lower" levels in fact should be translated in terms of their complementary "higher" levels. Thus for example to properly understand LL2, we need the understanding appropriate to HL2. The fused (integrated) understanding of the "higher" HL2 level, then interprets the confused (undifferentiated) understanding of the corresponding "lower"LL2 level.
Thus the very claims that the centaur stage represents the integration of mind (i.e. the rational level) with all lower physical levels is strictly speaking inaccurate. Again at best it represents a form of quasi-integration of body-mind (which gradually unravels with "high" level spiritual development).
Because Ken Wilber demonstrates in such a comprehensive and competent manner both (scientific) rational and spiritual (intuitive) capacities his overall approach generally has evaded criticism.
However his great shortcoming – as I see it – is his inability to show how these differing modes of understanding (i.e. rational and intuitive) are connected. There is no real interface in Ken’s work as between both modes. However from a proper dynamic perspective it is vitally important to establish this interface.
Thus In Sex Ecology and Spirit, Ken talks of his vision-logic as though it provides the "highest" rational approach for translation of reality. Beyond vision-logic – according to Ken – lie the genuinely transrational i.e. spiritual intuitive stages.
Because of the clear dichotomy Ken makes as between rational and (intuitive) transrational stages, he fails to recognise that the "transrational" stages equally represent the continuing development of ever more subtle forms of (bi-directional) reason which have immense significance in terms of the development of a truly integrated scientific approach.
Indeed he confuses rational understanding that properly applies to these "higher" levels with his interpretation of vision-logic.
For example I would see the logical method employed by the great Western philosopher Hegel as an example of the formop sub-level of HL1 (i.e. circular or subtle-logic). However Ken reduces this (and indeed the rational approach of other "process" thinkers) such as Whitehead and De Chardin to vision-logic. Not surprisingly Ken’s use of Hegelian concepts is insufficiently dynamic.
I will now trace out briefly the basic nature of the rational logical systems of the "higher" levels.
The key characteristic of HL1 is a bi-directional linear approach (in relation to horizontal polarities).
Again we can distinguish three sub-levels which we can for convenience refer to as conop, formop and vision-logic).
Basically this more subtly intuitive approach leads to the growing realisation that horizontal polarities (e.g. subjective and objective) are in fact dynamically complementary (and ultimately identical).
The 1st sub-level (conop) itself has two distinct manifestations relating to macro (external) and micro (internal) reality.
I have been recently demonstrating the implications of this type of understanding in relation to physics.
Indeed it leads to a new type of integrated understanding of physics which we I refer to as Holophysics 1 (consistent with HL1).
In this understanding every physical interpretation of reality is balanced by a complementary (mirror) psychological interpretation. Though opposite the structure of "both" worlds is therefore identical.
I have demonstrated conop here in relation to the (macro) findings of the Special Theory of Relativity and the (micro) findings of Quantum Physics. This very method of establishing complementarity in itself greatly facilitates the true intuitive appreciation of this reality. Thus the bi-directional rational connections are transformed in intuitive realisation of their significance. This leads more readily to reduced bi-directional (rational) translations of reality. So in this approach intuition and reason are explicitly understood to be in ceaseless interaction.
Now of course we could approach any existing discipline in a similar fashion leading to a radically different kind of integrated understanding. (I hope to attempt to "integrate" Economics in this manner in the not too distant future).
The 2nd sub-level (formop) also has two distinct manifestations relating to macro (external) and micro (internal) reality.
This sub-level is associated with a more holistic and formal philosophical interpretation of the complementarity of opposites (at the horizontal level). As I have stated repeatedly on this Forum, this interpretation has a precise holistic mathematical structure.
Again Hegel would is a fine illustration of this approach (at the macro level).
The dialectic of his triadic dynamic arrangements (often expressed in terms of thesis, antithesis and synthesis) illustrates the bi-directional approach in horizontal terms.
However Hegel’s philosophy led to an unduly reduced interpretation of reality where he failed to emphasise the vital transformative nature of true intuitive understanding.. Properly understood the dialectic involves the dynamic interaction of rational and intuitive understanding (and cannot be reduced to mere paradoxical expression).
Though lacking a purely spiritual aspect Hegel’s opponent Kierkegaard exemplifies the micro (internal) aspect where the dynamic existential nature of experience is revealed.
Indeed the integration of both macro and micro aspects requires a strong emphasis on spiritual intuitive dynamics of experience (rather than reduced rational translations).
Thus the 3rd sub-level (vision-logic of HL1) involves the two-way interaction of both the concrete and formal understanding of the complementarity (of horizontal opposites). It is associated with a pure transcendent form of spiritual intuition and represents the "highest" form of integration possible in terms of the (horizontal) complementarity of opposites.
Now I hope in the near future to return to my postings on Holophysics 1 to indicate the implications of the formop and vision-logic sub-levels for integrated scientific understanding.
HL1 is of course largely limited to the understanding of horizontal complementarity. One-directional linear understanding would therefore still largely apply in terms of both vertical and diagonal opposites.
This limitation is well illustrated by Hegel’s philosophical approach to history.
The dynamic driving force is provided by the bi-directional approach (at a horizontal level) of the complementary opposites of thesis and antithesis.
However this bi-directional approach does not extend to the vertical level.
Thus Hegel basically portrays historical development in terms of a (one-directional) transcendent holarchical approach.
Ken Wilber uses this general approach of Hegel (and like-minded theorists) to support the validity of his own holarchical approach to evolution. However this (merely) forward view is not really consistent with the nondual interpretation of reality. Hoewever the implications of the bi-directional approach (from a vertical perspective) is rarely recognised . So the transcendent holarchical approach ultimately represents a mistranslation of the dynamic nature of evolution. (Evolution is both transcendent and holarchical and immanent and partarchical; both aspects continually emanate from the central present moment).
The next level (HL2) is associated with an even more subtle rational logic which is bi-directional (in both horizontal and vertical terms).
Now this might sound very abstract. However it is of vital importance providing the means to appropriately translate (in reduced fashion) the true dynamic nature of whole and part.
For example without this "vertical" logic, approaches to evolution will inevitably reveal deep inconsistencies.
It is also exceptionally important for example in physics, in terms of the true integration of Relativity Theory with Quantum Mechanics (i.e. the whole with the part).
Ultimately this integration cannot be achieved in terms of conventional science (with its rational analytical bias) but rather in terms of a deeper spiritually intuitive holistic approach.
I hope in the not too distant future to move on to HL2 (point level or causal level) and demonstrate the implications of its bi-directional logic (in horizontal and vertical directions) for physics.
Again we will have three sub-levels, conop, formop (with quantitative and qualitative aspects) and vision-logic (where quantitative and qualitative poles are intuitively reconciled).
Then we have HL3 (null level or nondual reality) which is the most purely intuitive of the stages (providing the most appropriate means for true integration). Any remaining divisions as between levels and sub-levels dissolve with the culmination of HL3.
I have already sought to demonstrate how the translation of HL3, leads to a true holistic "Theory of Everything" that equally applies to physical and psychological reality.
Radial Reality involves the growing interpenetration of all (previous) levels.
It involves both dual and nondual translations (in a very refined manner).
In scientific terms it involves both analytical and holistic approaches.
Thus we have here the growing marriage of both the differentiated and integrated scientific approaches (that are qualitatively different).
Once again vision-logic as used by Ken Wilber – though very flexible – is still characterised in rational terms by its one-directional linear approach. It is really suited to a multi-differentiated (rather than an integrated) scientific approach.
A truly integrated scientific approach is inherently very intuitive and requires in rational terms a more subtle bi-directional linear method (which unfolds at the "higher" spiritual levels.
The integrated scientific vision thus truly starts where Ken’s vision-logic ends.
The comprehensive scientific vision – what I call radial science – is a reflection itself of the experience of Radial Reality – and involves the growing interpenetration of the differentiated and integrated approaches.
Thus a comprehensive approach to science involves three distinct aspects.