We are currently dealing with sub-level 2 of H1 (Subtle Realm), which represents the more formal based understanding of this level.
"Deep Relativity" related to the stage defined by the exterior direction of understanding (which was addressed in the last article). So we will concentrate here on the corresponding interior direction (of sub-level 2).
Though all stages are important in development, "The Dark Night of the Soul", as this is commonly called, plays a crucially significant role esp. in Western Mysticism. 1 It must be successfully negotiated for full mystical unity to be ultimately attained.
In its starkest form, it involves the erosion of all conscious phenomena in experience.
This is necessary due to the problem of rigid attachment, which arises as an inevitable consequence of dualistic understanding.
Such understanding recognizes only the (conscious) positive direction of experience. This causes a fundamental imbalance whereby truth is mistakenly identified unduly with this separated direction.
The lessening of ego attachment consequently requires the strengthening of the (unrecognized) negative pole (i.e. mirror understanding). In ascetic terms this is referred to as purgation. It causes much existential anguish and psychological distress, as it literally involves the undoing of former conscious understanding.
This in turn immerses one deeply in the unconscious, which because of its darkness is commonly symbolized in the spiritual literature as "night". 2
Though the "Dark Night of the Soul" is often used in a more loosely defined sense, it is most properly associated with this stage which involves the intense erosion of the deepest conceptual structures. In its extreme form this is an exceptionally harrowing experience, which involves a kind of obscure anguish and psychological distress with no real parallel in other experiences. 3
Due to the negation of all conscious phenomena one must learn to live entirely by faith. (This is interior illumination - concealed as darkness - which incubates for a long time in the spiritualized unconscious).
Once again we will summarize this stage with five different phases.
Entry results from a gradual process whereby one prepares to surrender all remaining conscious attachment. 4
Usually a key moment of surrender heralds the decisive entry into this phase.
The overall stage itself – especially in its most severe form – may last for several years. One gradually has to become accustomed to living in almost total inner darkness.
This darkness itself represents an intense form of spiritual illumination i.e. faith. However because it is so internalized it reveals itself indirectly through the intense exposure of shadow elements in the personality.
In terms of the energy bands of the spectrum this is very much like a spiritual x-ray (of very short wavelength and high frequency). This light then becomes focused minutely on ego imperfections (which formerly remained hidden).
This creates a great deal of existential anguish. One longed for the spiritual light. Now instead of finding it, one is plunged in the deepest blackness with weakness and misery revealed at every turn.
This suffering has a profoundly moral dimension due to a keen awareness of sin it evokes. However the growing intense desire to see God only serves to sharpen the divide as between the pure spirit and ones own ego selfishness.
Though one enters the "Dark Night" expecting it be difficult, nothing can adequately prepare one for the bewildering nature and intensity of the many trials that it contains. They are truly unique and impossible to adequately convey in phenomenal terms.
Owing to its directly spiritual origin, there is an obscure indefinable quality to much of this suffering. When one is in the midst of a trial it involves the personality in a deeply intimate fashion. However once past, little remembrance of the event remains in memory. This is due to the fact that purely spiritual suffering is very immediate and cannot be adequately conveyed through (indirect) phenomenal symbols.
One feature in particular has special significance. This relates to the extremely congested and suffocating nature of the "Dark Night". 5 This I believe, has immense complementary importance for Physics. 6
The stage principally involves the deep-rooted negation of formal conceptual experience, which is necessary to remove subtle phenomenal attachment. 7
Concepts – in a direct sense - provide the dimensional framework for our psychological experience of space and time.
Thus the erosion of concepts causes the very fabric of space-time to contract. This in turn greatly condenses the nature of phenomena in experience and causes the flow of time to slow down considerably. One therefore experiences an immense weight finding one’s customary duties very burdensome. Though the authentic exercise of faith can lessen this burden, it serves to increase conceptual erosion (causing psychological space-time to further contract). 8
This of course requires that one exercise even greater faith so as to cope with this increasing burden. So the very remedy for one’s immediate problem only serves to intensify the process. Thus one becomes caught up in an ever more demanding situation with no apparent means of escape. 9
However it would be inaccurate to portray this phase solely in stark terms.
Despite its many difficulties it conveys a deep sense of meaning to the personality (because of its authentic spiritual quality). Also precious mystical touches of a very pure kind may be conveyed occasionally to the intellect and emotions or sometimes directly to the will. These are usually received in a tranquil state of darkness and are spiritually very intimate and gentle (like candlelight).
Paradoxically, one does not even desire to escape the suffering (though often wishing it could be otherwise). Also, though feeling in great danger one can feel intimately sustained by a powerful yet invisible force.
For a while one develops a sort of equilibrium and learns to accept this highly restricted underworld as one’s normality.
However carrying on with normal responsibilities can become problematic.
Because of the continued absence of light, customary talents are gradually lost and one shows no inclination for developing new skills. Also, there can be disturbing memory loss (reflecting the great erosion of phenomenal experience).
However, though not apparent at the time there is a great benefit. One learns to greatly economize on conscious effort by doing only what is essential in any situation.
There is now the unfolding of an extremely refined form of (interior) suprarational understanding.
This is highly personalized and relates in a profound manner to the dilemma of existential choice.
Here every decision involves the close complementarily of exterior and interior poles. So morality now consists in balancing these poles as sensitively as possible.
Because the only dim light in consciousness is identified with this interior aspect of understanding, one's remaining conscious ego identity becomes closely associated with this aspect. So one becomes extraordinarily conscientious in regard to taking the right decision in any context and feels that failure in this respect would cut off the remaining link with reality plunging one forever into oblivion.
Because this understanding is so refined, one can only ultimately decide through an inner intuitive signal confirming the correct decision to take in any context. However with the remaining light becoming dimmer, one has to struggle ever more with conscience to receive this signal. This requires an ever-increasing level of pure faith. This daily agonizing with conscience can lead to severe scrupulosity creating an enormous burden on the personality. Having already let go of so much, one now desperately tries to hold on to the last vestiges of conscience and the security of at least acting in a moral fashion.
Just when in need of some compassion and mercy, life continues to get even more difficult
Mirror understanding in relation to the personalized interior aspect of this sub-level now takes place. This means that the remaining faint light that guided one's conscience is now taken away so one has to increasingly walk in pure faith (which is terrifying).
So one no longer has any confirmation of being on the "right" path. In fact everything would now seem to suggest the opposite. Because of the unremitting darkness and suffering, one may be reaching a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It is also common now to show increasing depressive symptoms. 10
As one becomes increasingly more isolated, considerable difficulties with work and social relationships may develop.
As one feels about to be engulfed for ever in darkness there may be a heroic if desperate attempt to turn the focus off one's won problems through passive immersion in the suffering of others.
So one now can be become extremely sensitive to the plight of all those marginalized, the homeless, the mentally ill, the poor in society. However though this indeed provides a more universal context for many ills it also serves to greatly increase the intensity.
The situation now deteriorates further. Any remaining consolation is removed.
One no longer has any illusions about being on a "spiritual" path and now sees oneself as a social outcast in an increasingly desperate situation.
As one reaches the end of one's tether a decisive critical point is reached.
Now it might initially appear that this stage has little relevance for Physics but that would be entirely mistaken. The acceptance that all psychological events have - by definition - complementary physical aspects, necessitates that this extremely important stage must have significant physical implications. However making this all clear requires a qualitative mathematical translation that is not yet recognized.
The Two Number Systems
As I have stated before all mathematical symbols have both quantitative and qualitative interpretations. However conventional mathematics - operating from the rational understanding of H0 - inevitably reduces the qualitative to the quantitative interpretation.
So numbers have both a quantitative and qualitative aspect. However only the quantitative is recognized in conventional mathematics.
If we take any number e.g. 4, we readily understand this in quantitative terms.
However this number also has a qualitative (dimensional) characteristic.
So 4 is strictly 41. In other words the number 4 (as quantity), is implicitly defined with respect to the qualitative number dimension (i.e. power) of 1.
So mathematical interpretation is literally linear (i.e. one-dimensional) as it implicitly defines all numbers with respect to the power of 1 (i.e. the qualitative dimension of 1).
Now of course higher powers can be used. However, a reduced quantitative interpretation of any number requires ultimately expressing its value in linear (one-dimensional) terms.
So 42 is a number that is defined initially in a two-dimensional manner.
However its value is given in reduced quantitative terms as 16 (i.e. 161).
A little reflection will indicate that a qualitative transformation is always involved whenever a number is expressed with respect to higher dimensions. (This transformation however is generally ignored).
In geometric terms 4 can be represented as a straight line marked off into four equal units.
Though the value of 42 is given as 16, an unrecognized qualitative transformation is also involved.
Strictly speaking, 16 here represents square rather than linear units.
The correct value for 42 therefore is 16 square units.
In geometric terms, 42 would be represented as a square (with each side 4 units) rather than a straight line representing 16 units.
However in terms of the conventional interpretation of numbers, this qualitative aspect is lost.
Quantitative Number system
There are in fact two complementary ways of defining numbers. (For convenience we will confine ourselves here to the natural numbers).
In standard terms the natural number system is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ……..
Strictly this can be written
11, 21, 31, 41, 51, …… As we have seen, in direct terms this represents the quantitative interpretation.
This gives the linear (i.e. one-dimensional) interpretation of number. (The number is defined with reference to a fixed qualitative dimension, which remains implicit).
Qualitative Number system
However there is an exact complementary natural number system (the significance of which has not been recognized).
Again in standard terms this would be written 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,…..(where the number now refers directly to the power or qualitative dimension).
In this format it looks identical to the standard quantitative system (and is therefore reduced to it).
However the fact that it is really a distinctive system becomes more apparent when it is written in its fuller form.
Here, each number (as qualitative dimension) is defined with respect to the fixed quantitative base of 1.
Therefore the system can be more fully written as
11, 12, 13, 14, 15,……
In the standard system only the numbers as quantities vary (which are defined with reference to a fixed unitary quality (i.e. dimension).
In the alternative system, only the numbers as qualities (i.e. dimensions) vary. These are defined with reference to a fixed unitary quantity.
However from the conventional perspective, the second system is of little use as the reduced quantitative value of each term is always 1.
Circular Number system
To appreciate the significance of the second number system, a different kind of transformation is required.
Now the second number (as quality) is 12. So this is defined with respect to the second dimension.
To get a (reduced) linear (one-dimensional) interpretation we obtain its square root.
As we have seen this involves equal positive and negative values +1 or -1 (which lie as two equidistant points on the circle of unit radius).
If we take 14 and get its reduced (linear) value we obtain 4 values.
Two of these are real + 1 or - 1, and two are imaginary + i or - i.
Again these lie as equidistant points on the circle of unit radius. 10
The reduced values of any number in the qualitative system will always lie as equidistant points on the circle of unit radius.
So for example we take 1100 andget its reduced linear value (by extracting its 100 roots), we will obtain 100 equidistant points on the circle of radius 1.
So what is highly significant here is that the qualitative number system has an indirect (reduced) translation which is purely circular. 11
So we now have two quantitative systems:
the standard linear system where numbers lie at an equal distance from each other on a straight line.
- The alternative (indirect) circular system where numbers lie at an equal distance from each other on a circle. (This again is a reduced quantitative interpretation of the qualitative system).
Now the (linear) logic of form is the correct basis for the interpretation of the first number system.
However the (circular) logic of emptiness is the correct basis for interpretation of the second (indirect) number system.
So to appreciate the qualitative significance of number we must use the (circular) logic of emptiness.
As we have seen in direct terms this involves intuition; however it equally has an indirect quantitative translation through the use of bi-directional reason.
So there is an enormous role in integral science for the qualitative appreciation of number (with its indirect rational translations).
However this requires a combination of intuition and bi-directional reason which only properly unfolds at the higher levels. 12
Because mathematics is rigidly interpreted from the (reduced) understanding of a "lower" level (H0), its great integral potential is therefore not recognized.
Levels of Spectrum as Dimensions
In popular terms we often refer to the levels of reality as dimensions.
Quite remarkably, they have in fact a precise mathematical translation as dimensions (in a qualitative manner).
Thus the rational level - in terms of structure - is literally one-directional (i.e. one-dimensional).
As we know in quantitative terms a square is two-dimensional. So to reduce this to one-dimensional form we obtain the square root (which yields either a positive or negative value). Likewise in qualitative terms the Subtle Realm is two-dimensional. So when this is expressed in reduced linear format, its understanding has both a positive and negative interpretation (i.e. the complementarity of horizontal polarities).
We will later see that the structure of the Causal Realm (H2) is four-dimensional and that of Nondual Reality (H3) is eight dimensional. 13
So again H0 is one-dimensional (i.e. 20)
H1 is two-dimensional (i.e. 21)
H2 is four-dimensional (i.e. 22)
H3 is eight-dimensional (i.e. 23)
In the last section, I distinguished as between the quantitative and qualitative aspect of number.
Again number (as quantity) is defined within a given dimension (which is fixed).
Number (as quality) is defined with respect to a given dimension (to which a fixed number is raised).
Now - strange as it might seem - this is directly relevant to our interpretation of the sub-levels (within each level).
So the first sub-level (concrete) relates directly to the quantitative aspect of phenomena.
The second sub-level (formal) relates directly to the qualitative (i.e. dimensional) aspect of phenomena.
The third sub-level (vision) relates directly to the interaction of both quantitative and qualitative aspects. 14
In scientific terms the quantitative (concrete) aspect is provided (directly) through sense perceptions. These provide the (quantitative) data that are then interpreted within conceptual dimensions
The qualitative (formal) aspect is provided (directly) through mental concepts. These provide the (qualitative) theories i.e. dimensions with which to interpret the phenomena.
The quantitative-qualitative (vision) aspect is provided (directly) through spiritual intuition which essentially provides the means to switch between both aspects.
Now let us return to H0 and trace development through the sub-levels in qualitative mathematical terms.
Sub-level 1 here represents the concrete aspect (conop). Object phenomena are explicitly understood with reference to their (conscious) positive direction.
(Alternatively we could say that in scientific terms only the exterior aspect of phenomena is recognized).
However implicitly the negative direction is also required to enable dynamic switching as between the observer and what is observed. So for scientific understanding to take place the interior aspect must be implicitly recognized. 15
So with sub-level 1 (at H0), the positive direction of (object) quantities is solely recognized, though in dynamic terms the negative direction is implicitly required.
Sub-level 2 then represents the formal aspect (formop). Qualitative dimensions (i.e. conceptual phenomena) are again understood with respect to their (conscious) positive direction. However once again for dynamic switching to take place - as between observer and what is observed - the negative direction must also be implicitly employed.
So in psychological terms, the dynamic switching of concepts in experience (implicitly) involves the use of negative dimensions. 16
(An important implication here of course is that negative dimensions have a complementary significance in the physical world).
Though it might seem somewhat farfetched and abstract, this has a vitally important practical function in experience (which again has a precise qualitative mathematical interpretation).
Let us take 2 -1 . This is 2 raised to the power of -1). 2 is here defined with respect to the negative direction of the 1st dimension.
Now the value of this is expressed as 1/21 i.e. 1/2. In this way by defining the original whole number 2 (with respect to a negative dimension) we create a fraction.
Now this process, in qualitative terms, is directly tied up with the simplest forms of analysis and synthesis.
Say for example we have a cake and divide it into two slices. The number of slices can be represented as 21. (2 here is defined with respect to the positive direction of the dimension).
However in inverse fashion each slice now comprises a fraction of the original cake, which in numerical terms is represented as 1/2 (i.e. 2 -1). (So - quite literally - the negative direction of the linear dimension is involved).
In other words, in psychological terms we must implicitly negate the concept of each slice before we can recognize them as a fraction of the original cake.
This raises a vital point regarding the unbalanced nature of conventional scientific interpretation.
As we have seen, it formally emphasizes solely the positive direction of concepts.
This in turn literally leads to the problem of fragmentation.
For example when we originally divide the cake we recognize two slices (21). If we subdivide each slice we have four slices (41). If we subdivide again we have eight slices (81).
The implication here is that through emphasizing the positive direction, we keep looking at the fragmented parts (of the original whole) as new wholes.
Thus we start with the original whole unit (i.e. the cake) and divide in two to get two new wholes (i.e. 2 slices). Then we subdivide each new whole and get four further new wholes (i.e. 4 slices). Then we subdivide again and get eight new wholes (8 slices).
So we keep interpreting holons in terms of their whole aspect (which are represented literally as integers). Not surprisingly, because we see these fragmented units as whole, we literally seek wholeness through fragmentation (which is the great problem of modern scientific society).
The opposite side of the coin is the ability to understand these fragmented units in the context of the original whole (which emphasizes their strictly fractional part nature).
So in terms of the cake, the various slices are now simply parts of the original whole (and represented numerically as fractions). However this latter ability relates directly to the negative dimension.
Once again when we see both slices as half of the original cake (1/2), then in mathematical terms this is 2 -1
Likewise the ability to recognize objects as parts of an original whole is implicitly based on the negation of the first dimension (i.e. where the exterior direction of linear conceptual understanding is eroded). In the dynamics of experience, this then enables switching as between exterior and interior aspects to take place.
So there are two qualitatively distinct operations (which science greatly confuses).
There is analysis, which is represented by the subdividing of the cake into new whole slices. As we have seen this ability is directly based on the positive dimension of experience (i.e. formation of concepts).
However there is also synthesis which represents the reverse ability to understand these slices as parts (i.e. fractions) of the original cake. This ability is directly based on the negative dimension of experience (through the erosion of conceptual attachment).
So mirror understanding is properly required for true synthesis. Otherwise a merely reduced notion (where synthesis is confused with analysis) prevails.
With sufficient development of the negative (mirror) direction, we no longer confuse whole meaning with a fragmented notion of "wholes" (differential understanding). Rather we now appreciate their strictly "part" nature in the context of the larger whole (integral understanding).
So again - in a direct sense - integration is based on mirror appreciation.
Again this latter ability literally requires negative dimensions in psychological terms (through the ability to negate concepts).
In formal terms however, science has no appreciation of negative dimensions. Therefore conventional scientific translation inevitably reduces the process of integration to that of differentiation.
New perspective on dimensions
When we look at reality from the qualitative perspective, a dramatically different appreciation of the nature of space-time dimensions emerges.
The simple starting point is that every quantitative relationship has a corresponding qualitative counterpart.
So if we can have positive and negative aspects (i.e. signs) to quantities, then equally we can have positive and negative aspects to qualities (i.e. dimensions).
Likewise if we can have rational (fractional) objects, we can equally have rational (fractional) dimensions.
When one looks at reality in this fashion a very new appreciation emerges.
So in terms of H0, the concrete sub-level leads to the emergence of rational (fractional) object phenomena. 17
The formal sub-level leads to the emergence of rational (fractional) dimensions.
Then vision-logic involves the interaction of both i.e. the understanding of rational objects in the context of rational dimensions).
As we know this is a very intuitive experience. When sufficiently activated it leads to the transformation to H1 (the subtle realm).
Now as we have already seen, the structures of H1 are precisely defined in qualitative mathematical terms as irrational (i.e. paradoxical).
Remarkably - in quantitative mathematical terms - if one raises any rational number to a rational dimension (which is a fraction) then we get an irrational number. 18
So 21/2 = the square root of 2 (which as we know is irrational).
So there is a fascinating qualitative interpretation to this result (which precisely explains the nature of the psychological transformation from H0 to H1).
So it is the increased dynamic interaction as between rational quantities (differentiation) and rational qualities or dimensions (integration) that itself facilitates the transition from the rational to the transrational levels.
However when we consistently view the dimensions inaccurately in a rigid fashion, it greatly limits the potential for this very transformation to unfold.
Clarification of Dark Night
If we continue on to H1, I hope to clarify an important aspect of the "Dark Night".
A key defining characteristic of H1 is that both directions of experience are understood in an explicit fashion.
So sub-level 1 once again involves the concrete aspect.
Here we establish irrational quantities (i.e. that are paradoxically understood) within dimensions. Once again these irrational quantities relate to the subtle paradoxical understanding of perceptions which unfolds at this sub-level.
This - as we have seen - is done firstly with relation to the positive direction of experience (exterior), and then with relation to the negative direction (interior).
So just as in mathematics we can have irrational numbers representing quantities (e.g. + the square root of 2 or - the square root of 2), equally - in dynamic terms - we have perceptual experience that enables (quantitative) irrational understanding (in both a positive and negative direction).
Sub-level 2 involves the formal aspect.
Here we establish irrational qualities i.e. subtle concepts with a paradoxical interpretation (with which to interpret quantitative perceptions).
Firstly - as we have seen in "Deep Relativity" - this is done with respect to the positive (exterior) direction.
Now in this "Dark Night", it is also done with respect to the negative (interior) direction.
It is during the "Dark Night" that the dynamic erosion of refined conceptual experience, takes place in a fully explicit fashion. 19
So the "Dark Night" represents in qualitative mathematical terms, a profoundly negative dimensional experience.
As I have pointed out in the last section it is this capacity which enables integration - as opposed to differentiation - to directly take place in experience.
In other words it provides the ability to see parts in the context of a larger whole.
Because of the considerable psychological obscurity of the "Dark Night", preoccupation with the particular phenomena of understanding is greatly reduced. One is thereby enabled to integrate everything within an overall context that is deeply spiritual.
The Dark Night and Black Holes
There are remarkable unrecognized structural characteristics as between the "Dark Night" of psycho-spiritual development and the Black Hole of Physics. 20
Stars of a certain critical size, when their energy has burnt out, can then be transformed into an opposite state, whereby they collapse under the weight of their own gravity. Eventually matter becomes exceedingly compressed, so that no light can escape. Additional matter within the gravitational pull of the Black Hole body however can be sucked inwards.
The "Dark Night" represents a very similar psychological process. People who embark on this stage are spiritual "stars" that have shone very brightly in previous stages of high level illumination. However, there is a very definite tendency - as I have already commented on - for these positive stages of spiritual energy to literally burn out.
Indeed "burn-out" is a term used psychologically to describe a situation of emotional exhaustion, where a person has used up all available psychic energy. However it is only in limited circumstances - as with burnt out stars and Black Holes - that this state of psychic "burn-out" is transformed into a spiritual "Black Hole". This - as I have identified - is when very rapid spiritual transformation is the direct cause of subsequent difficulties in personality integration. This can lead to temporary mental and emotional exhaustion, which are the symptoms of this "burn-out".
What happens then in the "Dark Night" is that the structures of the personality collapse under a massive internal spiritual gravitational pull. 21 No light can escape and this explains the prolonged darkness and the considerable difficulty with conscious communication. Also additional psychic matter in one's immediate experience, is continually sucked inwards. Anyone, who has gone through this stage, will recognize the powerful one-way direction of experience, whereby it seems as if the whole world is drawn under this intense "great attractor" inside one's psyche. Not surprisingly this creates an enormous feeling of internal psychological congestion.
The most significant emotional feeling one experiences throughout the "Dark Night" is that of deep grief. This is understandable, as due to the massive erosion of conscious structures and contents involved, there is a continually reinforced sense of loss. Now, the very word "grief" has definite connections with the word "gravity". One who is in grief is literally in a grave emotional state. The ultimate loss, is of life itself, and when this happens, one can literally end up in the grave. So, we have another of these important connections where fundamental physical and psychological notions are complementary.
Indeed, from this perspective there are two basic forces both physically and psychologically i.e. energy and gravity (each with positive and negative directions). Whereas energy is an expansionary force essentially establishing interdependence, gravity in relative terms - is the opposite contractionary force establishing independence of reality. The gravity force in physical nature, is necessary to give matter a stable separate identity. In relative terms energy on the other hand links matter together in a composite manner establishing interdependence. Both gravity and energy in nature are created through dynamic physical interaction. Gravity is posited or created through the negation of energy; energy in turn is posited or created through the negation of gravity.
In fact, these forces are ultimately identical with matter and the dimensions of space and time (and fully interchangeable with them).
Similarly, in psychological terms, gravity or grief associated with loss, makes one aware of a separate isolated identity, whereas the release of energy, naturally draws one into contact with one's environment. Indeed the very formation of concepts in experience (which requires the transcendence and consequent loss of individual perceptions) - as an intellectual binding force - is the expression of psychological gravity. The formation of perceptions - in the release of separate sense data - is the expression of psychological energy. Again, in experience, the creation of gravity and energy can be directly identified with the creation of space-time, in direct terms (through concepts) and space (through perceptions) respectively. The other "forces" physically and psychologically can be seen as different manifestations of the same fundamental complementary tendencies. 22
The interesting point for physics - drawing on the "Dark Night" experience is that what is gravity from one direction is simply energy from the other. Thus the massive gravitational pull (of what is external) is by the same token a pure form of internal energy. Thus because of the external direction of the physicist's perspective, only the gravitational aspects of Black Holes seem apparent. However just as psychologically, there is an interior as well as exterior direction to matter, so this is true of physical reality also. Therefore, whereas from the exterior direction, Black Holes demonstrate enormous gravity, from an interior perspective they demonstrate equally enormous amounts of energy. Indeed this is why Black Holes from a practical observational viewpoint are so elusive. Normally, physicists observe matter manifested in its exterior (objective) direction, making it amenable to direct investigation. However, Black Holes represent the manifestation of matter inherently in its interior direction therefore evading direct observation.
So as the attempted objective rational approach, at best represents only an indirect understanding of the psychological "Dark Night", likewise the attempted objective rational approach to physical Black Holes, also at best, represents only an indirect understanding.
Just as the "Dark Night" can only be directly understood through the intuitive ability developed during the surparational mirror stage, Black Holes - which in structural terms are complementary - require the same intuition to be directly understood.
This, in turn can throw light on the notion of "parallel universes". The conventional difficulty in appreciating "parallel universes" is due to the reduced uni-directional (i.e. positive) and uni-modal (i.e. cognitive) world-view of conventional science, which creates the static illusion of the existence of one homogeneous universe.
However, when one adopts a dynamic two directional approach (i.e. positive and negative), it becomes easy to see these alternative directions as representing interacting parallel universes. Thus, (psychologically) objective experience of reality constitutes one universe and subjective experience an interacting parallel universe. In complementary physical terms, the exterior direction of matter constitutes one universe, whereas the interior direction (as manifested in Black Holes) represents a parallel universe.
In like manner when we adopt a dynamic two modal approach (i.e. cognitive and imaginary) the dynamic intersection of modes psychologically again represents parallel universes. The complementary physical expression of this would be in terms of intersecting "real" and "imaginary" parallel worlds.
Ultimately, with sufficient interaction, involving both direction and mode, we can create an infinite number of dynamically intersecting worlds. What this simply amounts to, in practical terms, is that each person experiences reality in a unique way (i.e. constitutes a single dynamic world), yet interacts in common experience with others (i.e. these parallel universes intersect). 23
The universe should be conceived in dynamic terms as involving an infinite number of parallel worlds (both real and imaginary respectively) in relation to a common universe of complementary type.
The psychological dynamics of the "Dark Night" can also be very helpful in terms of clarifying the time reversal effects of Black Holes, which have become so popularized.
I have already described that whereas space and time move in a forward direction with positive structures, that in relative terms, they move backwards with negative or mirror structures. This stage represents the culmination of mirror structure development, whereby positive movements (in space and time) are negated and undone, and also the very dimensions themselves are negated (through suprarational mirror structures).
This again helps to explain the great congestion of the "Dark Night" experience. It is because one is being psychologically squeezed out of - not only of movement of events in space and time - but literally out of experiencing in these dimensions altogether. In other words, so radical is the transformation involved that one has to abandon a space-time framework entirely, to move into a purely spiritual and eternally present experience of reality.
So, the structure of Black Holes, in this respect is exactly similar. The dynamics of the Black Hole collapse, represent an attempt by nature to break out of space and time, which can only be successful, when neither matter (nor the dimensions of space and time) exist. This happens, when matter gets converted into pure gravity, or alternatively in its complementary aspect pure energy, which has only a present existence.
When this happens the physical star, just like its psychic counterpart is "born again".
More Striking Parallels
Even more precise parallels can be drawn as between the "Dark Night" and the Black Hole. Surprisingly, the spiritual model of the "Dark Night" drawn up by St. John of the Cross, lends itself to direct comparison with an astrophysical model of Roy Kerr, which has been recognized as a major theoretical breakthrough on Black Holes. Indeed St. John often refers to the psychological congestion of the state in the extreme narrowness experienced by the soul, and uses the surely appropriate biblical reference of Jonah being swallowed up in the whale to illustrate his point.
Physicists distinguish as between non-rotating Black Holes and rotating Black Holes. In Kerr's model there is only one event horizon (i.e. the external) associated with the former, whereas there are two event horizons associated with the latter (external and internal).
St. John speaks in complementary vein of the two spiritual nights. The night of sense involves the external and the night of spirit involves both external and internal structures. (I suggest myself that the main determining effect as to whether one goes on to the latter stage is personality. Those who do - like rotating Black Holes - are more unstable, inherently possessing highly dynamic personalities).
St John talks of these "nights" very much as psychological "event horizons". According to him, one can approach the nights (or event horizons) through active purgation. However this is not sufficient to enter the nights (i.e. pass through the event horizons). This highly intuitive experience, where psychologically, space and time undergo extreme curvature, requires the special non-linear boost of passive purgation.
There is also much written on the nature of the singularity in relation to Black Holes. The end of the Black Hole journey is the dreaded singularity. It is quite similar also in psychological terms. The goal of the "Dark Night" is to be reduced to "nada" or nothing (in phenomenal terms) - referred to in the East as the "void". This is required to arrive at the pure spiritual center of one's being, a task that is fraught with much danger. So the spiritual transcendent "void" viz. nada (of H1), is complementary to the physical "singularity".
Physicists are now recognizing later stages in the evolution of Black Holes with speculation on white holes and radiation effects. Similarly there are later complementary stages in the spiritual journey, where the direction turns from transcendent to more immanent experience. We will take this up again at H2.
Holistic Mathematical Interpretation
In sub-level 1 (concrete) we have seen how Einstein showed in his Special Theory the equivalence of matter and energy. Matter can be converted into energy and energy into matter.
A striking manifestation of this is when matter and anti-matter particles meet where they fuse directly to create energy. 25
There is of course a complementary pattern in psychological terms.
When opposite psychic matter and anti-matter particles meet they fuse creating spiritual energy (as light). In other matters when the opposite directions of (concrete) perceptions are combined, a qualitative transformation in psychic energy takes place.
In holistic mathematical terms (physically and psychologically) they can be represented as the addition of equal real (i.e. conscious) number quantities with positive and negative signs.
At sub-level 2 (formal), we can now demonstrate a fascinating similar type relationship. This is the equivalence of space-time (i.e. dimensions) and gravity.
In like manner when opposite dimensions and anti-dimensions meet they directly fuse creating gravity. So the Black Hole collapse involves the massive contraction of space-time (due to the fusion of dimensions with their anti-dimensions).
One fruitful way of grasping this is by remembering that all holons have exterior and interior aspects. So dimensions are holons and thus have exterior and interior aspects (which in dynamic terms interact). However because Physics concentrates on merely the exterior aspect, it does not view dimensions in this dynamic fashion.
Dimensions in their exterior aspect are represented by flat space-time. However the presence of matter causes an interaction which introduces the (unrecognized) interior aspect causing curvature and contraction. In extremes this leads to the complete contraction of space-time through the Black Hole collapse.
It is exactly complementary in psychological terms.
Understanding with respect to the exterior aspect of holons (such as conventional science) is linear and takes place psychologically in flat space-time.
Once again dimensional experience is provided directly through concepts. These act as a binding force for perceptions, which literally give gravity to our experience. When interaction with psychic matter (perceptions) is very pronounced, psychological space-time becomes curved. In other words understanding of concepts becomes increasingly circular (i.e. relative) which is the key characteristic of sub-level 2.
The "Dark Night" in its extreme form approximates a situation where complete curvature takes place (with conscious attachment ceasing). It involves the total contraction of space-time (in the erosion of all conceptual frameworks).
Once again this erosion involves the fusing of the opposite polarities of concepts.
This in turn leads to the massive generation of inner psychological gravity (i.e. intense grief).
Grief is an expression of loss. When the very framework necessary for conscious experience is removed, a most severe sense of loss results. So pure grief and the total curving of space-time (psychologically) are synonymous.
In holistic mathematical terms the key structural dynamics underlying both the "Dark Night" and the Black Hole can be easily represented.
Quite simply each results from the addition (i.e. fusion) of equal real number qualities (i.e. dimensions) with positive and negative signs.
These results amply demonstrate the Integral 1 Method.
We have thus matched for both sub-levels 1 and 2, important physical results with complementary psychological behavior (demonstrating in both cases the holistic mathematical translation of their common structures).
At the previous (concrete) sub-level we identified the exterior aspect with macro Relativity and the interior with micro Quantum Mechanics.
It is similar at this (formal) sub-level.
The Black Hole phenomenon relates to the contraction of the macro universe (corresponding to the psychological negation of the exterior direction).
However the interior direction unfolds (which I referred to in Phase 3) which has parallels in Quantum Mechanical terms.
Now the psychological features of the phase strongly suggest complementary quantum characteristics.
It represents extremely refined rational activity of an existential kind. I pointed out the enormous weight associated with apparently trivial decisions. This in turn is due to the highly concentrated space-time environment in which such decisions are exercised.
This would strongly suggest that quantum mechanical behavior of particles also becomes more and more restricted. Particle activity in turn would become increasingly uncertain gradually becoming inseparable from their dimensional environment (at which point, space matter and time would be indistinguishable and quantum behavior would cease).
So from the relativistic perspective, dimensions become inseparable from matter (with the Black Hole collapse). Equally matter becomes inseparable from dimensions (with receding quantum activity).
The logic of all this is that it becomes ultimately impossible either psychologically or physically to properly translate quantitative and qualitative aspects of reality in real terms (through the refined understanding of H1).
This problem raises the great epistemological difficulty in terms of reconciling Relativity with Quantum Mechanics (through the translations of "real" science). However this key issue will become clearer when we deal with the third (vision) sub-level.
By carefully matching corresponding regions of the two complementary Spectra of Consciousness and of Nature we have been able to clarify what is recognized as important - though baffling - behavior and demonstrate fascinating structural similarity (in both cases).
These common structural characteristics can be effectively translated in holistic mathematical terms.
The Integral 1 method of translation is therefore the appropriate way for demonstrating the remarkable underlying symmetrical nature of reality - both physical and psychological - in horizontal terms.
1. It is not of course exclusively confined to western Mysticism. For example Gopi Krishna provides a graphic account of this ordeal from an Eastern perspective. In his "Eye of Shiva", Amaury de Riencourt, in quoting pandit Gopi's account, actually likens it to one who has gone through the "event horizon" of an astronomical Black Hole. NOTES
However there is perhaps an important difference in emphasis between traditions East and West.
If we accept that dualistic consciousness is more differentiated in Western experience then this would imply that a more extreme negation would be required for the pure development of spiritually intuitive awareness. This extreme negation would then account for the "Dark Night of the Soul".
2. St. John of the Cross clearly distinguishes varying degrees of intensity in terms of this mirror understanding.
The most obvious form of attachment is directly identification with the conscious phenomena of experience. This is characteristic of the rational (linear) level of H0.
The transitional stage to H1 (subtle realm) involves the negation (i.e. undoing) of direct conscious attachment. St. John distinguished two forms here;
"the active night of sense" – which relates close to sense based concrete understanding (conop).
"the active night of spirit" – which relates more to the formal based understanding (formop).
This growth in mirror understanding then becomes the basis for the more intuitively inspired experience of H1 (based on the complementarity of positive and negative poles).
However a more subtle type of attachment is involved at this level where one identifies too rigidly with the secondary symbols (through which the spiritual light is mediated).
So this leads to the need for an intensification of mirror understanding so as to remove the refined secondary attachment.
Again St. John carefully distinguishes two forms;
"the passive night of the senses" - which relates closely to the interior direction of sub-level 1 (concrete stage);
"the passive night of the spirit" - which relates to the interior direction of sub-level 2 (formal stage).
3. The "Dark Night" can vary greatly in intensity and the manner in which it unfolds.
However the extreme form as described by St. John relates to a particular personality type (combining characteristics of the 4 and 5 types in Enneagram terms).
This combines emotional and existential with intellectual and detached characteristics.
As these are strong opposites it requires a high degree of spiritual development to combine them in a harmonious fashion.
In the Enneagram diagram the 4 and 5 are the only types separated by a gap.
It takes the journey in faith to fully bridge this gap. There is little doubt that St. John himself combined these characteristics. He would be described as a 4 with a strong 5 wing.
The 4 aspect provides the capacity for intense exposure to inner subjective development. The 5 aspect provides the necessary detachment to describe these inner states in an objective manner.
4. It is not possible to get completely rid of all conscious attachment. One can only approximate towards this goal.
Also, the "Dark Night" only relates directly to conscious attachment of a direct and indirect subtle kind.
However there is also unconscious attachment, which could be described as attachment to the projected phenomena of the unconscious (e.g. fantasies). Again this can be of a direct (rigid) and indirect (refined) form.
One of the weaknesses of St. John's account is that he does not sufficiently distinguish in his formal account as between both kinds of attachment.
During H2 (Causal Realm) one comes to terms with this latter form of attachment. St. John describes this in poetic fashion when referring to "Spiritual Espousal". However it is not satisfactorily reconciled with his formal synthesis.
St John does mention in his "Dark Night" a third night besides "night of sense" and "night of spirit" which could be referred to as a "night of will". However he never actually completed this treatise and does not deal with this "night of will" further. It would equate well with his "Spiritual Espousal" (which relates to H2 and the causal realm).
There is a marked failure in Christian Mysticism to generally properly distinuish H1 and H2 (subtle and causal realms).
Thus the "Dark Night" which starts in H1 (higher subtle realm) is generally portrayed as leading directly to union.
5. St. John refers frequently to this inner congestion, as like being bound hand and foot and unable to breathe. He uses the Biblical reference of Jonah being swallowed in the belly of the whale to illustrate his point.
This psychological congestion has a marked effect physiologically on one's breathing pattern.
Breath control is often advocated as an aid to contemplation. Here we have the reverse process whereby the spontaneous contemplative process that is unleashed during the "Dark Night" itself dramatically alters one's breathing process until it is almost fully suspended. One still gradually breathes in but the corresponding breathing out is greatly suspended.
So the psychological congestion one feels has a striking physiological counterpart.
6. The "Dark Night" has a complementary vertical relationship with the Black Hole (demonstrated later in the article).
Thus understanding of the Black Hole phenomenon in Physics can be greatly facilitated through corresponding understanding of the Dark Night. Likewise understanding of the Dark Night in psycho-spiritual terms can be greatly aided through appreciation of the Black Hole.
The "higher" understanding of the "Dark Night" at H1 intuitively interprets the "lower" Black Hole of L1.
7. Strictly speaking it is the attachment to concepts that requires erosion. However as this attachment is inevitably tied up with the concepts, these too are necessarily eroded during the "Dark Night" process.
This stage in truth also involves continuing deep erosion of sense perception.
As these perceptions are rooted in mental conceptual structures, they cannot be fully negated (i.e. undone) until the concepts themselves are negated.
8. This contraction is related to severe trials, which sometimes follow a fairly regular pattern. Nature symbols can be evocative of this contraction
One can feel as if drowning or being caught up in an internal earthquake. At other times one feels greatly parched as if one's insides had received a severe overdose of sunburn. The sense of being confined like a hostage in a dark confined space with little freedom for manoeuvre is often very strong.
When these recede one begins to surface a little to restore some kind of normality. However over time one's customary framework of experience is greatly eroded.
9. It is like a chain reaction. One has to exercise faith to literally survive in the darkness. But this growing inner light only highlights ego restrictions further forcing one into a greater exercise of faith.
So the process steadily intensifies.
10. What is clinically diagnosed as "endogenous depression" is very likely and is associated with the loss of a general sense of meaning in one's life. As the very purpose of the "Dark Night" is to erode one's conceptual frameworks of understanding is not surprising that this type of depression should occur.
Endogenous depression is often diagnosed by the psychiatric profession in purely physiological terms as a chemical imbalance. This is very reductionist. Certainly a chemical imbalance can be associated with the illness. However this is inseparable from changing psychological factors which tend to activate the physiological process.
Other psychotic symptoms associated with manic-depression or schizophrenia may well surface at this time.
However this raises a key dilemma. To diagnose an authentic "Dark Night" experience in simply pathological terms (though such elements may well be present) is to very much misunderstand the nature of the problem.
So people dealing with the genuine "Dark Night" experience are not likely to see (very much as with a Black Hole) and only notice these secondary characteristics. So they are likely to confirm the aspirants own growing fears that the whole experience has been a tragic mistake.
11. Jung is perhaps the best known modern thinker who recognized the qualitative mathematical significance of number.
Indeed Marie Louise Von Franz has said "Jung devoted practically the whole of his life's work to demonstrating the vast psychological significance of the number four…."
However the qualitative significance of 4 can only be properly appreciated through the alternative number system that I have defined where it represents a dimension (rather than a quantity).
The reduced quantitative translation then leads to two real and two imaginary values (with positive and negative signs in each case).
What is fascinating is that the geometrical representation of these numbers i.e. as four equidistant points on the circle (defined in the complex plane with horizontal real and vertical imaginary axes), is the basis for the most common of all mandala patterns.
Jung appreciated the integrative value of these symmetrical mandala symbols. However I have never seen the crucial link made to the circular (rather than the linear number system).
12. Indeed it works both ways. The (linear) qualitative number system has a reduced circular interpretation in quantitative terms. Equally the (linear) quantitative system has a transformed circular interpretation in qualitative terms.
So crucially, the conversion from qualitative to quantitative (or quantitative to qualitative) involves switching as between two differing logical systems.
Because conventional science is based on just one system (i.e. linear), it cannot properly deal with the relationship as between quantitative and qualitative (and consistently reduces the qualitative aspect in any context to the quantitative).
Of course numbers as qualities (i.e. powers) can be interpreted also as quantities, (which is the standard mathematical approach). However this simply leads to the loss of their inherent qualitative significance.
Numbers as quantities can also be interpreted as qualities (which provides an immanent rather than a transcendent type of understanding). Numerology is implicitly based on this (immanent) qualitative approach.
13. H0 (the rational linear level) is by definition one-directional (i.e. one-dimensional).
Bi-directional understanding properly unfolds with "higher" levels. H1 is two-dimensional because in reduced linear terms it has two horizontal real directions (i.e. positive and negative).
By extension, we can for example have say 3 dimensional, 5 dimensional, and 18 dimensional understanding all of which have a precise qualitative mathematical interpretation given by the appropriate roots.
However the 2, 4 and 8 dimensional cases are the most important (on which all other dimensions are based).
The best way of appreciating this is in terms of the binary digits 1 and 0. So these two digits can be used to express all other numbers.
Now in holistic mathematical terms it is similar. However we now distinguish between "real" (quantitative) and "imaginary" (qualitative) uses of these digits.
Thus the two-dimensional case deals allows "real" encoding; the four dimensional case allows for "real" and "imaginary" encoding; the eight dimensional case allows for both "real" and "imaginary" encoding simultaneously.
14. The Causal Realm is bi-directional in both horizontal and vertical terms; nondual reality is bi-directional in horizontal, vertical and diagonal terms.
15. It is the very interaction of opposite polarities (such as quantitative and qualitative) that leads to the generation of spiritual intuition.
16. Conventional science ignores the interior aspect of understanding. Therefore it has no means within its own frame of reference of explaining dynamic switching as between observer and what is observed.
17. A concept represents a dimension in psychological terms. Switching as between the exterior and interior aspects of conceptual understanding requires the dynamic negation of the other pole. So in psychological terms this entails the formation of negative dimensions.
One may ask how linear understanding in - by definition - one-dimensional and yet this levels recognizes four dimensions of space-time.
However reflection on the matter indicates that thee of these dimensions are spatial corresponding to (quantitative) perceptions. The remaining dimension of time - then in relative terms - relates directly to time and conceptual experience. So when we say that the H0 (the rational linear level) is one-dimensional, strictly speaking this means that the (qualitative) dimensions of time is one-dimensional.
Likewise when we say that H1 is two dimensional, this again means that time is two-dimensional (which in reduced linear terms gives positive and negative directions).
18. The notion of fractional dimensions is recognized in fractals. Strictly speaking these dimensions are not fractional but irrational. However given the reduced nature of mathematics the irrational values of these "fractal" dimensions are approximated in rational terms.
19. "Exceptions" may arise if the number raised to the fractional power can itself be expressed in terms of an integer power. So for example 41/2 = 2 (which is not irrational). However 4 itself is 22 so the expression reduces to 21.
20. Strictly speaking we are talking here of the erosion of irrational qualities (i.e. concepts with a subtle paradoxical interpretation). However it is only remaining linear (rigid) element that is eroded. Irrational understanding - by its very nature - involves both circular (intuitive) and linear (rational) elements.
21. This is because they occupy exactly complementary positions on the double Spectrum (i.e. of consciousness and Nature).
So we are identifying the "Dark Night" with sub-level 2 (interior direction) of H1 (on the "Spectrum of Consciousness". Therefore the "Black Hole" belongs - in relative terms - to the interior direction of the corresponding sub-level of L1 (on the "Spectrum of Nature").
Thus the very basis for this approach is that all levels, sub-levels and stages on both spectra have a precise holistic mathematical structure.
Therefore the task is to identify where different psychological and physical events lie on the Spectrum so as to establish complementarity and then encode this through the corresponding mathematical translation.
22. The reason for this psychological collapse is interesting. Psychic energy is directly related to the fusion of phenomenal perceptions in experience. However perceptions are greatly eroded during the latter stage of sub-level 1 (of H1). This enables very clear conceptual understanding to unfold. However because the perceptual base to which these concepts might be applied has already been eroded it creates a growing imbalance in the personality. This necessitates massive erosion of these concepts so as to achieve harmony at a purer spiritual level. It is this necessary erosion of concepts that causes the psychological implosion.
23. The full explanation of this will unfold with "The Theory of Everything" which represents the understanding of H3.
24. The "Dark Night" is a gateway to an infinite number of parallel worlds. The death of all "real" matter (in space and time) - and indeed these very dimensions - simultaneously involves the corresponding birth of "imaginary" matter and "imaginary" dimensions. In physical terms it represents the transition from a relativistic to a quantum mechanical universe. Here each living thing constitutes a unique universe and center of meaning and yet in dynamic relationship with a common universe. This apparent paradox can be resolved through a (mathematically) complex perspective. Thus if the unique individual unit of life - at whatever level - as for example a sub-atomic particle, represents a single real universe, then the common holistic universe with which it interacts is imaginary.
In reverse complementary fashion, if the holistic universe is real, then the unique specific universes with which it interacts are imaginary.
25. As Richard Feynmann has suggested there are two ways of interpreting anti-matter.
The standard (static) interpretation involves considering a different universe where matter particles carry an opposite sign. However a more dynamic interpretation would be fully compatible with our existing universe.
Quite simply if the exterior direction of a particle is positive, then - relatively - the interior direction is negative.
So at a very "low" sub-atomic level of activity, matter particles keep switching as between exterior and interior directions creating the fusion we know as physical energy.
In psycho-spiritual terms it is complementary. At "high" levels of "super" understanding, activity keeps switching as between exterior and interior directions of experience generating spiritual energy.